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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Viva Catalunya

The Catalan Republic votes to secede from Spain
In the aftermath of last month's Brexit vote, there was an outpouring of concern in Europe that the British decision would embolden similar separatist movements across the continent. Earlier Wednesday, this is precisely what happened when Catalan nationalists voted to approve a plan to secede from Spain, defying the nation’s Constitutional Court and challenging acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is currently in political limbo as he struggles to form a government.

The decision was approved by 72 regional MPs out of 135. Ten MPs from the CSP group linked to Podemos, Partido Popular and Ciudadanos walked out of the assembly and the Socialists did not vote. A recent poll shows that 48% of the Catalan population currently supports independence compared with 43% against it.

The vote, symbolic as it may be, was one of defiance toward Madrid as Spain's Constitutional Court had in recent days prohibited the regional parliament in Barcelona from voting on it. As Ansa reports, the resolution was presented by the pro-secessionist groups Junts Pel Si and CUP. The anti-secessionist parties - PP, Ciudadanos and PSC - have spoken out against the ''illegality'' of the decision. PP parliamentary chief Xavier Garcia Albiol has said that the act is tantamount to a ''coup'' against the government in Madrid and warned that there will be a price to pay for it. The head of the Socialist party, Pedro Sanchez, said there can be no democracy without common rules, while Albert Rivera, the Catalan-born leader of liberals Ciudadanos, described it as a attack on Spanish democracy. They both have rejected supporting Rajoy’s candidacy to become premier again.

Catalan regional president and pro-secessionist Carles Puidgemont instead says that the position taken by the regional MPs is ''legitimate'' and has in recent months confirmed that the goal is to achieve an independent ''Catalan Republic'' by the end of 2017.
Isn't the double-talk from the anti-secessionists all too predictable? Democracy is about the will of the people, not "common rules". And to call a representative vote that clearly has the support of the majority is not "an attack on Spanish democracy", it is, rather, a democratic attack on Spanish imperialism.

One hopes that the conquered States of America who are only part of the USA due to military invasion and occupation will one day be permitted their own self-determination too. After all, they've been occupied by the USA for considerably less time than Catalonia has been occupied by Spain.

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About those state polls

As I demonstrated yesterday, it's too soon to talk about the state polls. But it's NOT too early to talk about the trends in state polls. Here are the two battleground states in which polls have been released this week:

NV: Trump vs. Clinton KTNV Trump +5
OH: Trump vs. Clinton PPP (D) TIE (Trump +3 all four candidates)

Now, there aren't enough previous Nevada polls for there to be a trend. But given that the earliest Ohio polls were as high as +7 for Hillary, it is apparent that there is a trend towards Trump, as that is 10 points of Trumpward movement. I will review the other battleground states as they come in, but for reference, their early high water marks are as follows:

PA: Clinton +15
VA: Clinton +17
FL: Trump +8, Clinton +13 (Florida was Trump, then heavy Clinton, nothing new since 7/11)
NC: Trump +6, Clinton +10 (same as Florida)
CO: Clinton +13

So, if my prediction of a Trumpslide is correct, we should see significant movement Trumpward in all five states. Virginia is particularly important; if Clinton can't maintain a strong lead there despite selecting Virginia senator Tim Kaine, she is even more vulnerable than anyone imagines.

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Blogfodder

Two things:

1) If you're the t-shirt guy, get in touch please. I don't have your email on this computer.

2) If you're a good keyboardist with your own studio capable of recording and mixing a pro quality song, including percussion, please get in touch ASAP. I have a election-year project in mind. I already have the singer and it is not me.

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The self-serving revisionists

It's more than a little amusing to see these Republican immigrants, who are US citizens but are not Americans, attempting to present their self-serving revisionist histories as not only genuine, but deterministic:
Avik Roy is a Republican’s Republican. A health care wonk and editor at Forbes, he has worked for three Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. Much of his adult life has been dedicated to advancing the Republican Party and conservative ideals.

But when I caught up with Roy at a bar just outside the Republican convention, he said something I’ve never heard from an establishment conservative before: The Grand Old Party is going to die.

“I don’t think the Republican Party and the conservative movement are capable of reforming themselves in an incremental and gradual way,” he said. “There’s going to be a disruption.”

Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans.

“Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by that principle, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country,” he told me.

This is a standard assessment among liberals, but it is frankly shocking to hear from a prominent conservative thinker. Our conversation had the air of a confessional: of Roy admitting that he and his intellectual comrades had gone wrong, had failed, had sinned.

His history of conservatism was a Greek tragedy. It begins with a fatal error in 1964, survived on the willful self-delusion of people like Roy himself, and ended with Donald Trump.

“I think the conservative movement is fundamentally broken,” Roy tells me. “Trump is not a random act. This election is not a random act.”

The conservative movement has something of a founding myth — Roy calls it an “origin story.”

In 1955, William F. Buckley created the intellectual architecture of modern conservatism by founding National Review, focusing on a free market, social conservatism, and a muscular foreign policy. Buckley’s ideals found purchase in the Republican Party in 1964, with the nomination of Barry Goldwater. While Goldwater lost the 1964 general election, his ideas eventually won out in the GOP, culminating in the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

Normally, Goldwater’s defeat is spun as a story of triumph: how the conservative movement eventually righted the ship of an unprincipled GOP. But according to Roy, it’s the first act of a tragedy.

“Goldwater’s nomination in 1964 was a historical disaster for the conservative movement,” Roy tells me, “because for the ensuing decades, it identified Democrats as the party of civil rights and Republicans as the party opposed to civil rights.”
Of course, white nationalism is, quite literally, the raison d'etre for the U.S. Constitution and was signed into law by George Washington in the Naturalization Act of 1790. This factual history offends Arik Roy, because he is not white and he is not an American national, therefore he has to revise history and transform it into something that allows him to redefine the definitions of "conservative", "Republican", and even "America".

I've yet to see any liberal or left-winger make a statement more unequivocally equalitarian than Roy: "Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by the principle of equality, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country."

Once more, we see that if you scratch a "conservative intellectual", you find an anti-American. It is equivalent to stating that there is no moral authority outside of a mindless devotion to equality.

This sort of revisionist nonsense is where intellectual defenses of the proposition nation concept inevitably lead. There is no alternative, because it has no basis in history, fact, or logic. The propositional equality of "Americans" is every bit as conceptual and delusional and nonexistent as the economic equality of socialists, the herd equality of unicorns, and the animal equality of Animal Farm.

Some pigs always somehow end up more equal than others.

That being said, both the conservative movement and the Republican Party in its previous form are going to die. They will be replaced by the American nationalist movement and the American Party, which will claim the moral authority to govern the nation on the basis of actually representing the nation.

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Tor doubles down

This is fantastic news for Castalia House and all readers of Blue SF. PNH has been anointed Tom Doherty's heir and will be running Tor Books in the future.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden has been named Associate Publisher of Tor Books, effective immediately. This award-winning 28-year veteran of Tor has brought numerous prestigious and bestselling authors to the list, including John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow and Charlie Jane Anders, to name a few. His vision has been instrumental in the development of Tor.

Devi Pillai, who led the US division of Orbit to its position as Tor’s fastest-growing competitor, will be joining Tor, also as Associate Publisher. “I’ve watched Devi’s work with admiration for a long time now; her qualifications are outstanding, and she’ll be a great addition to our team,” said Tor Books publisher Tom Doherty. “As we continue our 35-year commitment to adult SF and fantasy, Devi and Patrick will work alongside each other to oversee our numerous editors who work primarily in these twin genres,” he continued.
It's as if Lincoln promoted Custer to replace McClellan instead of Grant. In 28 years, PNH has brought a mediocrity, a tedious didact, and a no-talent transvestite to Tor. That's the best he could do? Castalia House will be announcing two better, and better-selling, authors than any of those three in the next six weeks alone.

Tom Doherty should have fired PNH and Irene Gallo last year, but he was too old and infirm to find the courage to do it. Instead, he merely muzzled them while he could. With this promotion, however, PNH will have the opportunity to return to what is literally a bully pulpit.

This promises to be entertaining. When the Tor ship goes down, it should be PNH at the helm.

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What he doesn't understand is magic

Jonah Goldberg is defeated and depressed, but he's still not willing to admit that he chose the wrong side:
Personally, I thought Trump’s stentorian address was awful, albeit with a few effective bits, particularly at the end. There was no poetry, no arc, no uplift or modulation. It was like he spent 75 out of 76 minutes shouting the final conclusions on one PowerPoint slide after another. Over time, the sentences seemed to be getting shorter and more blunt. It looked like he might even devolve into just barking random vowels and glottal stops. His delivery reminded me of that old SNL newsroom skit when Garrett Morris’s head pops up in an oval and he just re-shouts everything Chevy Chase says for the hard of hearing.

Thematically, it was an anvil chorus minus the melody. There was plenty of conservative boilerplate, some of which I agree with. But the message last night had nothing to do with conservative litmus tests or checklists. No, the desired takeaway was, “Behold this Man of Strength! Cast your gaze Trumpwards, plebes, for our new Caesar is here to bring a New Rome (or restore the old one) through force of will.”

Nowhere in his speech did Trump give any sense that he knew — or cared — how he would get things done through his “sheer force of will.” That’s the thing about magical thinking, you don’t need to explain it. The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For get it, and everyone else never will.
All Goldberg manages to demonstrate here is that he will see what he's determined to see. Trump's speech was too long, but it was otherwise extremely effective. Poetry, arc, uplift, and modulation are merely tools of the orator, the objective of a political speech is to give the voters a reason to vote for you. Trump's speech did that, and the polls have responded accordingly.

As has long been the case, Goldberg, the good conservative, is focused on HOW a politician does things rather than WHAT he is doing. These conservative tone police are happy to vote for collective suicide so long as the politician promising to kill everyone does so in well-modulated, gracefully-composed tones while dressed nicely. Goldberg's reference to "magical thinking" is pure cuckservative projection given that he is one of the many conservative fools who thinks 61 million post-1965 immigrants were transformed into Real Americans through the application of Magic Dirt, and believes a 19th century poem is the Zeroth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Goldberg's complete lack of business experience also shows glaringly here. The CEO doesn't tell you HOW something is going to be done. That's not his role. Steve Jobs didn't introduce the iPhone by explaining how it was going to be manufactured in China, who would be writing the operating system, and how much RAM it would take up. If he had, it would have failed. The CEO's job is to establish the vision and inspire others to embrace it. That Trump has done, extremely well, with his Make America Great Again, which is the best campaign vision since Reagain's Morning in America.

In fact, Goldberg even admits that he is babbling and denying the evidence of his own eyes and ears, as this passage shows: By the normal rules the speech should have been a disaster. But as we all know the normal rules do not apply. I am fairly certain Trump will get his post-convention bump. I am less confident Trump is a guaranteed loser come November. In other words, it was not awful, it was effective.

But the deeper theme of Goldberg's piece is his shock and despair that so many people are refusing to buy into the Noble Conservative Who Knows What is Good For You schtick anymore.
I hate everything about this year, politically and (not counting some great TV) culturally. It’s clear many of my friends on the pro-Trump right are giddy with resentment-justifying glee at the alleged comeuppance of Trump opponents. One need only listen to quite literally anything Laura Ingraham or Sean Hannity say about Trump critics to see how large a role spite plays in the now-unbreachable divide between the new nationalists and the old conservatives....

But the truth is conservatism has become shot-through with a kind of vindictiveness that reflects poorly on everyone, friend and foe alike. I hate that after 20 years of fighting what I believe to be the good fight, so many can’t muster the will or generosity to consider that I’m doing what I think is right.

I hate that after 20 years of fighting what I believe to be the good fight, so many can’t muster the will or generosity to consider that I’m doing what I think is right. I’m entirely open to the argument that my analysis and judgment is wrong. But I am resentful, furious and, most of all, contemptuous of the lazy and self-justifying assumption that my motives are malign.
That's just it, Jonah. You didn't fight the good fight. You fought the wrong fight. As a conservative opinion leader, you didn't manage to conserve one single damn thing, and even more damning, many of your opinions changed over time with the progressive tide. Now you're choosing to side with the globalists and the progressives because you were never on the side of Americans at all. You fought the wrong fight and now you've chosen the wrong side.

Through your open opposition to America's nationalists, you have revealed that your motives and your objectives are, at the very least, opposed to the interests of Americans and the United States of America.

We don't care that you think what you're doing is right. We care that you have declared yourself to be an enemy of those who are trying to make America great again. We care that you have openly declared yourself to be an enemy of the American identity.

Frankly, I'm very disappointed in Jonah. I genuinely thought he was smarter than this. I defended him many times from those who regarded him with suspicion on the basis of his (((heritage))) and who considered him nothing more than a typical neocon. Unfortunately, when the time came to choose between America and his imaginary proposition nation, he chose the latter.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The failed case against the Trump-Putin conspiracy

The #NeverTrump crowd is increasingly panicked by Trump's rise in the polls, and now they're attempting increasingly unlikely disqualification attempts. Jeffrey Carr fact-checks Josh Marshall's claims about Putin funding the Trump campaign:
A fact is defined as a “true piece of information”. How many of Josh’s facts were true?
  1. Trump’s debt load was a Bloomberg estimate, not a fact.
  2. Trump is highly reliant upon money from Russia. Open to interpretation, not a fact.
  3. Trump Soho took investment money from Russian criminals. Fact.
  4. Trump’s campaign manager used to work for Viktor Yanukovych when he was running for Prime Minister of Ukraine. Fact.
  5. Putin could put Carter Page, Trump’s foreign policy advisor, out of business at any time. Not only not a fact, but untrue and ridiculous on its face.
  6. Putin has aligned all state-controlled media behind Trump. False.
  7. The Trump Camp only cared about softening the platform on arming Ukraine. False.
For the record, I despise Donald Trump. I can’t imagine a worse candidate for President and I’m shocked and appalled that he is the Republican nominee. However, there’s no need to invent Russian conspiracies to make the Trump boogeyman appear worse than he is.
Two for seven. Not exactly a closed book. The irony, of course, is that we KNOW Putin is funding the Clinton Foundation. As usual, the very worst case against Trump that can be conceived is to claim he might do something Hillary Clinton is already doing.

I assume the claims are false simply due to the unreliability and irresponsible nature of the people making the charge. They're desperate, and their claims are going to get increasingly weirder. But even if they were true, so what?

We already have 60 million foreigners interfering with the US elections. That's why we have so many Democrats still in office. What is one more?

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Conservatism in ruins

Andrew Klavan's first thoughts on rebuilding conservatism:
The conservative movement has collapsed and is in ruins. Its vehicle for political expression, the Republican Party, is now in the hands of an authoritarian nationalist who has never read the Constitution and does not believe in free expression, free trade or the separation of powers. Its central vehicle for expression in the news media is in disarray as Fox News becomes embroiled in scandal. Even its defenders on talk radio and in the blogosphere are severely at odds as they are forced to choose whether to defend Trump as the lesser of two evils or to stand fast with the founding fathers against both terrible sides.
The conservative movement has collapsed and lies in ruins. And it has done so due to the deceit and dishonesty of conservative commentators like Andrew Klavan, who apparently feel the need to make provably false statements about everyone from Donald Trump to the Founding Fathers.

Let's look at the three false statements in this one diagnostic paragraph alone:
  1. Donald Trump is not an authoritarian.
  2. Fox News has never been a central vehicle for expressing conservative views. It has, rather, pushed neoconnery as nominal conservatism while serving as a politically moderate alternative to the hard progressivism of the ABCNNBCBS cabal.
  3. The Founding Fathers believed in trade protectionism and a white America. Whether he gives a damn about the US Constitution or not, Donald Trump has as much or more in common with the Founding Fathers as the conservative movement does. The Constitution exists only to safeguard the unalienable rights of white Americans who are the posterity of the Founding Fathers, that is its sole purpose.
Now let's look at Klavan's proposal for rebuilding conservatism, which strangely enough, he provides without ever considering just why the movement is in ruins.
1. There is no substitute for victory. A political philosophy should be an outgrowth of moral values but it is not a moral value in itself. Its purpose is not to be good; its purpose is to be as good as it can be and still win power. A Christian may count it a victory when he is devoured by lions for his faith, but a conservative who is repeatedly devoured by the opposition in elections is just a self-satisfied schmuck. I am completely opposed to those — like Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam — who essentially argue  that conservatives must win by becoming watered-down liberals. But clearly, the methods by which we have been selling our philosophy to the voters have not just failed but failed utterly, and we should rethink them.
True enough, and yet Klavan observably knows so little about the history of conservatism in America that he doesn't understand that conservatives have never had a philosophy proper. He obviously hasn't read Russell Kirk, anyhow. That's why they can't sell conservatism to anyone anymore; it doesn't even exist as a coherent self-contained philosophy. Conservatives have never been much more than philosophical parasites on the Left. Klavan should read Cuckservative; if nothing else it would bring him up to speed on the intellectual inadequacies of conservatism.
2. Win what minority types we can with the truth. The opposition likes to point out that too many conservatives are white men. They're right — but only because blacks and women have been successfully sold a destructive bill of goods in leftist racialism and feminism. The facts are: black people are not oppressed by the police, women are not underpaid for the same work, white privilege is a destructive and racist myth, and true freedom means people you don't like are going to say things you disagree with in ways you find offensive. These are hard sayings but they need to be said, and they don't need to be said by conservatives to other conservatives, they need to be said by conservatives to blacks, women and sexual off-beats of all stripes. The Democrats have co-opted these people with destructive lies that make their lives worse. We can't win them back by jumping on that bandwagon. We need to proudly, unapologetically (and politely) tell it like it is — to them, in their neighborhoods and organizations. We won't win a lot of them. Not at first. But facts have a way of getting through over time — if you speak them courageously without being a jackass about it.
This is remarkable. And it's a tactic doomed to failure; conservatives like Klavan can't win anyone with the truth for the obvious reason that they don't know the truth. They religiously subscribe to the idiotic lie of the Proposition Nation and they attempt to win over minorities that will never, ever, be won over in significant percentages by the alien ideals of 18th century whites. Klavan can't explain historical anomalies that puncture his precious Ellis Island myth like the 1790 Naturalization Act, which means he can't tell it like it is because he doesn't actually know what it is.

The alternative is that he does know what it is and he is knowingly deceiving his fellow conservatives. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is merely ignorant.
3. Fight the culture wars in the culture. The culture wars are problematical because too often conservatives come across as anti-freedom or bigoted. That makes victory tough. I feel passionately about some cultural issues and indifferent to others, but I believe all of them should be fought on a cultural and informational level rather than a political one. For instance, I believe that abortion is the taking of a human life and that government therefore has a right to forbid it. But just speaking bluntly and honestly, I don't think I can win that fight in the political arena right now. Happily, the truth may do what politics cannot. The truth is on my side and the more the truth gets out about what abortion looks like, how it's done, and who the people who support it are, the more the public will know that it is unacceptable. Then we can win politically. As for sex issues, I confess I care not at all about other people's sexuality (I'm so deeply immersed in my own), but I do care very deeply about religious liberty and the freedom not to participate in what you abhor. That's a fight we can win and we should argue it everywhere as a freedom issue.
Correct concept, inept execution. Winning the culture war is NOT getting the truth out. It is rhetorically convincing others what the truth is. This is why the arts are the most vitally important battleground in the cultural war.
4. Some class occasionally would be nice. Conservatives have been all but banned from universities, the news media and show business. In response, we formed our own media in blogs, talk radio and Fox. Those are great venues for informing our own, but we could use some outreach to open-minded Democrats. I've wasted too much breath trying to convince conservatives that art is good and can change the world over time. They just won't believe me. But could we maybe agree that screaming at people and calling them evil and talking like a belligerent loudmouth know-it-all is not always the best way to bring them over to your side? No, huh. Well, it was just a thought.
For fuck's sake. He's another hapless tone policeman. This is why the Alt Right is going to win; because we don't give a quantum of a damn about "class". Someone once told me the important thing was "to win with grace and style". No, the important thing is to win, even if you have to get bloody and dirty in the process. Klavan, like a good conservative, is far more interested in going down to noble defeat and surrendering while wearing a nice clean uniform than he is with winning.
It very much looks to me right now as if Trump is going to lose this election on pure incompetence and mean spirit. That might actually make it easier for conservatives to regroup in the ruins of the Republican Party. If he wins, we may need a new party of our own. But whichever way things go, I think we need to open a discussion about how conservatives can not only remain conservative but also win elections in modern America.
Is he even watching the political conventions? This sort of wishful thinking is why no one should bother paying any attention to a cuckservative like Klavan now or in the future. Conservatism is dying. Its diseased remnants are flocking to the progressives, as we always knew they would. And we watch them go with dry eyes and a grim smile, because we don't need a bunch of useless cucks and moderates who were always happier shooting at their own side than the enemy.

I have never been a conservative. I will never be a conservative. I am delighted to see the conservative movement crumbling into dust. Conservatives conserve nothing, accomplish nothing, and stand for nothing. They will not defend the Church, they will not defend America, and they will not defend the West.

The Alt Right will. Join us, if you have the steel.

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Star Citizen: total meltdown

The crisis Derek Smart predicted is rapidly approaching. They're now talking 2019 for the game, but it appears RSI will not last that long.


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The Gold Timers

Far too many Baby Boomers didn't give a damn about their own children, let alone their nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. We can hardly expect them to care about the fate of Western civilization after they're dead, gone, and presumably, burning in Hell:
It's ironic that we spend our youth wanting to be older, and our middle age wanting to stop the clock. But I'm not going to wallow. On the contrary. For my birthday, I'm treating myself to a Vivienne Westwood frock, a haircut by Nicky Clarke and dinner at one of London's finest restaurants, Le Gavroche.

I'm not wealthy. I'm just representative of the so-called 'Gold Timer' generation - people in their 60s who are spending money now, rather than leaving it in their wills....

Surely I needed to leave my house to the next generation of my family? I surprised myself by my adamant response, but then I began asking myself why.

My parents, who were married in the Forties, believed in leaving as large a legacy to their four children as possible and, once they'd reared us, they continued in their thrifty ways, refusing to spend their savings on luxuries they deserved.

Growing up in Somerset, it was a necessity to have holiday jobs as a teenager. After my father's death, my mother took up the mantle of austerity, despite constant urging by us children to spend. By then, we were earning far more between us than our parents could have dreamt of.

My mother, Jean, did dip into her savings, but only in a modest way; she took a coach trip to Paris and bought a Chanel lipstick - I still wear Chanel lipstick in her memory. I admired both my parents tremendously, but so much has changed from their generation to mine. My siblings all have comfortable lives, and their children are unlikely to need a helping hand from Auntie. Unlike them, I never married and I don't have children.

I'd always thought I would leave everything to my half-a-dozen wonderful nephews and nieces. But now, suddenly, all the guilt I felt about spending my own inheritance has gone.
That's amazing. Suddenly all the guilt I felt about euthanasia for the elderly has gone too!

At the very least, it's a convincing case for eliminating Social Security, shutting down all the bankrupt pension plans, and letting millions of literally useless old Boomers rely upon the children they didn't have.

Fortunately, their sense of narcissism and entitlement is such that they can be relied upon to self-euthanize once they can't afford to eat in fine restaurants anymore.

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State polls and date relevance

DH has been resolutely predicting a Clinton win on the basis of the state polls, which correctly predicted Obama wins in the last two elections.
The state by state projections as of today including all most recent polling still indicate a Clinton win with around 312EV. Trump has not altered the road map at this point. Including polling changes that could happen between now and election day, Sec. Clinton is cruising towards victory. 
Although I respect DH's acumen and take him very seriously with regards to anything that involves data analysis, I am nevertheless predicting a Trumpslide, a win of even bigger proportions than 312 Electoral College votes for Trump. How is it possible for me to do that considering the supposedly reliable evidence of the most recent state polling that DH is citing?

The reason is pretty straightforward. While the state polls have been pretty good predictor of the election results, my suspicion was that this is only true of state polls taken in the last week prior to the election. Before that, they tend to bounce all over the place. Unlike the national polls, they don't always tend to favor the Democratic candidate, then fall more in line as the election approaches; the state polls appear to be less corrupt than the national ones.

Allow me to demonstrate. I looked at the results of the McCain-Obama race, since that one was more similar to the current race given that it also lacked an incumbent, in all seven of the states identified as key "battleground" states. In each case, I listed the following:
  1. The earliest date that any state poll got the correct result.
  2. The latest date that any state poll had either a) the wrong candidate winning or b) a tie
  3. The RCP average of the final state polls from the last week prior to the election
  4. The actual results.
PENNSYLVANIA
Rasmussen 2/14 - 2/14 Obama +10
FOX News/Rasmussen 9/14 - 9/14 TIE
RCP Average: Obama +7.3
Final Results: Obama +10.3

VIRGINIA
SurveyUSA 2/15 - 2/17 Obama +6
Mason-Dixon 9/29 - 10/1 McCain +3
RCP Average: Obama +4.4
Final Result: Obama +6.3

FLORIDA
PPP  9/27 - 9/28 Obama +3
FOX News/Rasmussen 11/2 - 11/2 McCain +1
RCP Average: Obama +1.8
Final Results: Obama +2.8

OHIO
Quinnipiac 9/5 - 9/9 Obama +5
Mason-Dixon 10/29 - 10/30 McCain +2
RCP Average: Obama +2.5
Final Results: Obama +4.6

COLORADO
SurveyUSA 2/26 - 2/28 Obama +9
Denver Post/Mason-Dixon 9/29 - 10/1 TIE
RCP Average: Obama +5.5
Final Results: Obama +9.0

NORTH CAROLINA
Rasmussen 10/8 - 10/8 Obama +1
Reuters/Zogby 10/31 - 11/3 McCain +1
RCP Average:  McCain +0.4
Final Results: Obama +0.3

NEVADA
Associated Press 10/22 - 10/26 Obama +12
Politico/InAdv 10/19 - 10/19 TIE
RCP Average:  Obama +6.5
Final Results:  Obama +12.5

So, as early as FEBRUARY there were three battleground polls that correctly predicted the result, but in four other battleground states, there was not a single poll among the dozens that were taken that correctly predicted the result until October, or in two cases, November. Since none of the three correct polls were performed by the same company, and since in one case, that same poll went on to incorrectly predict a result that was off by 10 points, it's pretty clear that these results were random and therefore unable to serve as the basis for a predictive 2016 model.

Not only that, but there are no February state polls comparing Trump to Clinton, because back in February, Scott Adams, Mike Cernovich, Helmut Norpoth and I were about the only individuals publicly going on the record and stating that Trump would be the Republican nominee.

Now let's look at the latest date that a state poll incorrectly predicted the winner. Even in a state that Obama won by 12.5 percentage points, there were polls in October indicating a dead heat. Mid-September is the earliest date of an incorrect poll; in North Carolina, which was close, even the RCP average had McCain winning right up until the election took place.

Taken in sum, this means that it makes no sense to pay much attention to the state polls until September. What we can before then, however, is the general trend from one candidate to the other; in many of these battleground states, the gradual shift from McCain to Obama, or from leaning Obama to strong Obama, is apparent.

And what do the state polls show in this regard? At the moment, they are too much in flux to clearly read a trend, but they appear to be gradually following the shift from Clinton to Trump already seen in the national polls. So, I see no reason to revise my prediction of a Trumpslide.

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Priest beheaded in France

There is a hostage situation in a church in northern France:
Two men armed with knives took several people hostage in a church in a town in France's northern Normandy region on Tuesday, a police source said. The source said between four and six people were being held by the assailants in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
I figured it was only a matter of time before the immigrants began attacking the churches, as they often do in Egypt and Pakistan. Assuming, of course, it is Muslims again. We don't actually know that yet.

UPDATE: Two hostage-takers at church near Rouen shot dead.

UPDATE: "Islamic State Attackers Behead Elderly Priest"

In not-unrelated news, it is turning out that Muslim immigration is not good for the economy.
The Belgian economy lost close to €1 billion as a result of the March 22 Brussels terror attacks, according to a new report, local media reports. An economic impact report commissioned by the government suggests Brussels’ tourism and shopping industries were hit hardest in the aftermath of the attacks, newspaper De Morgen wrote Tuesday. The Belgian capital recorded a €122.5 million drop in sales in the second quarter of this year, compared to the first months of 2016. Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt earlier estimated a decrease in federal tax revenues of €760 million, which represents about 0.1 percent of GDP, bringing the total loss to nearly €1 billion.
I doubt they included the cost of repairing the airport either. That won't be cheap.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

John Scalzi, political pundit

McRapey analyzes the Republican National Convention. Incompetence ensues.
The convention, generally, was the worst-run major political convention in a generation, and that should scare you. How is Trump going to manage an entire country when he can’t even put on a four-day show? (The answer, as we found out this week, is that he has no intention of managing the country at all; he plans to foist the actual work onto his poor VP while he struts about as bloviating figurehead.) Trump lost control of his convention and his message twice, once with Melania Trump’s clumsy plagiarism of Michelle Obama, which ate up two days of news cycles before Trump’s people found someone to be their chump for it, and then second with Ted Cruz, that oleaginous lump of hungering self-interest, who rather breathtakingly took to the stage of a nominating convention in order not to endorse Trump, in the most public way possible. That bit of low-rent Machiavellianism ate up another day of news cycles.

In the end, all the GOP convention has coming out of it are two massive failures of message control and Trump’s cataclysmic nomination speech.
And Nate Silver of 538 observing that Trump's chances of winning the election have rising 40 points from a month ago. And Mr. Trump taking the lead in several national polls, including those from CNN and the LA Times. But while we're on the subject of badly-run conventions, have we ever seen a national party chairman resign the day before the start of the convention?

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Scalzi?
But that’s the Trump shtick: He doesn’t have policies or positions or plans
No, no positions at all. And who could possibly know what his policies on tax reform, healthcare reform, immigration, foreign policy, and trade could be? Of course, one should keep in mind that John Scalzi is an SJW, and what is it that SJWs always do? I seem to recall someone wrote a book about that.
Trump is still not likely to win — after everything, he’s still trailing Clinton.
Only in the polls taken a month ago. He's doing rather well in the new ones, so much so that the media is now attempting to discount the very sort of "convention bounce" that we were previously told doesn't exist anymore.

However, the best dismissal of John Scalzi's worst attempt to engage in political punditry since his famous "I'm a rapist" post is from a Hillary Clinton supporter, who notes a certain irony about McRapey's attack on the Republican candidate for President.

In a post about how Donald Trump’s modus operandi is to scare people into voting for him, I count *ten* instances where you tell us that Trump (and the Republican party more broadly) should scare/terrify us, that they’re dangerous, that they’ll bring disaster/tragedy to the country, and so forth.
- Brian Greenberg

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Jerry Pournelle on free trade

Thanks to his There Will Be War series, Jerry Pournelle was one of my biggest intellectual influences as a teenager. If you want to ensure that your teenage sons have an antidote to the progressive and globalist nonsense in which they are engulfed by the mainstream and conservative medias, you simply cannot do better than give them a book or three from that series; the educational aspect of TWBW was the reason it was my absolute top priority to get it back in print. We've got seven of the original nine back in print already, and we'll have the rest out by the end of the year.

Now Jerry is turning his still-formidable intellect towards one of the great questions of the day: free trade. It is of particular import for conservatives:
One reason Conservatives are advised by Conservative leaders to disagree with Trump is his position on Free Trade. The problem for me is that I do not see Free Trade, particularly laissez faire Free Trade, as necessarily Conservative at all,

The advantages of Free Trade are lower prices for stuff. That means they are more cheaply produced. As the economist David Ricardo wrote, there is a principle of comparative advantage that coupled with free trade guarantees maximum profits for when there are no trade restrictions, and impediments to free trade are supposed to be mutually disadvantageous.

But do understand, what is conserved is lower prices. Nor social stability. Not communities. Not family life. Indeed those are often disrupted; it’s part of the economic model. Under free trade theory, it’s better to have free trade than community preservation, better to have ghost towns of people displaced because their jobs have been shipped overseas; better to have Detroit as a wasteland than a thriving dynamic industrial society turning out tail finned Cadillacs and insolent chariots and supporting workers represented by rapacious unions in conflict with pitiless corporate executives.

The theory of free trade includes liquidity: liquidity in capital flow, and liquidity in labor relocation.

What was conserved by turning Detroit into a wasteland? How was that conservative? Wouldn’t it be more conservative to argue that if everyone pays a little more for stuff made here, by people who work here, we are better off than having it made south of the border and inviting our people to go work there at their prevailing wages?

Go further. You don’t have to move. We’ll pay you for not working and you don’t have to move. Of course we’ll have to raise taxes on those who do work to pay those people no longer working, but that’s life. But after unemployment benefits work out – in my days the government would pay you $26 a week for 26 weeks – you’re in trouble. So much so that welfare benefits kept being raised. Food stamps, which became larger and bought more items. Negative income tax. And if you dropped out of the labor force – no longer looking for a job – you are no longer unemployed. The unemployment rate just went down. You stopped looking for a job. Of course you don’t have a job – you are certainly not employed – but you aren’t unemployed and don’t count toward the unemployment rate. I wouldn’t have thought that sort of lying to the people by government officials was a very Conservative thing to do at all.

Would a 15% tariff on cars have saved Detroit? It would mean that I would have had to pay about $5000 more for my 1988 Ford Eddie Bauer V8 Explorer I bought in 1999. I could have afforded that. And I suspect that I’ve paid more in income taxes sent to welfare recipients in Detroit than that. Is paying people not to work more Conservative than trying to keep their jobs – and manufacturing capabilities and potential here, bot dismantling it and leaving its former site to rust away – Conservative?

And is encouraging people not to work – at least making it easier and more possible – building a Conservative nation?

What, precisely, is being conserved here?
At the core of the intellectual case for free trade is the idea that Say's Law somehow applies to labor, that the aggregate supply of labor necessarily creates an equal quantity of aggregate demand for labor. Hence the claims that since those who had been employed by technologically outdated buggy whip manufacturers found jobs working for automobile manufacturers, those who no longer work for corporations that went offshore will find them doing something else.

But this is a complete failure of logic. The buggy whip workers were able to go to work for the auto manufacturers because those factories were located in their home states. A Detroit auto worker cannot go to work for a Korean or a German manufacturer, or even for a US automaker who sets up a plant in Mexico.

Free trade is, in fact, intrinsically anti-conservative, which of course is why revolutionaries such as Karl Marx have historically favored it.

I should also mention that There Will Be War Vol. VI is now out in ebook, and Vols I and II are now available in a hardcover omnibus edition.

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The Trumpslide cometh

CNN reports that Trump had the biggest post-convention poll boost since 2000.
We all expected Trump to get a bounce from the convention, although I don’t believe many of us expected it to be quite this big…

Donald Trump comes out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%. That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups.

There hasn’t been a significant post-convention bounce in CNN’s polling since 2000. That year Al Gore and George W. Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical 8 points post-convention before ultimately battling all the way to the Supreme Court.

The new findings mark Trump’s best showing in a CNN/ORC Poll against Clinton since September 2015. Trump’s new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump’s convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%). Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.
The actual poll results are here in PDF format. Trump is already up between three and five points and Hillary hasn't even taken the stage yet. It's only going to get worse for Clinton and the Democrats from here.


The Trumpslide has already begun. Now it's picking up speed.

UPDATE: Nate Silver is now calculating a 57.5 percent chance of a Trump victory, up from 10.8 percent one month ago.




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5 Reasons Trump will win

Michael Moore explains 5 reasons Donald Trump will be the next President:
1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.

I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream!

 And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.

2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man.

Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!

That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!

3. The Hillary Problem.

Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.

Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies.

But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.

4. The Depressed Sanders Vote.

Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS.

Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her  — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.

5. The Jesse Ventura Effect.

Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad.

And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like.

Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.
It's amusing to see how Moore can, despite himself, see some of the relevant issues, and yet fail to understand them. And it's all so typical of an American liberal to vow one thing and then rationalize doing the other. But as wrong as he is about nearly everything, even Moore can see the Trump train barreling down the line; it's a testimony to the herd-following nature of journalism that so few journalists have cottoned onto it yet.

Of course, there are at least seven reasons Trump will win, and Moore left out the two biggest, Immigration and Islam, which, though related, are two separate categories. Every time there is a shooting or an attack of any kind, anywhere in the USA or the West, Donald Trump picks up support, because everyone knows that Hillary Clinton isn't going to do anything about either Immigration or Muslims in America.

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Shooting in Fort Myers nightclub

Another Florida shooting:
At least one person was killed and 14 others injured in a shooting at a Florida nightclub. The incident happened at Club Blu in Fort Myers, police told NBC station WBBH early Monday.

The Fort Myers Police Department also confirmed that at least one person had been fatally shot, according to WBBH.
No word on who was responsible yet. Make that two dead. Sounds more like vibrants than jihadists, though.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The motive was unclear

As if they're actually fooling anyone. Another immigrant murdering people in Germany today:
A Syrian refugee wielding a machete has killed a pregnant woman and injured a man and another woman in Germany before being arrested by police. The attack happened in the south western city of Reutlingen near a doner kebab stand in a bus station at Listplatz Square.

German media have been reporting that the motive for the attack in the city south of Stuttgart was unclear.
Angela Merkel needs to send every single invitee is sent back to whatever country they claimed to be from, then apologize to the German people and resign.

UPDATE: At least one person has been killed and nine others injured after an explosion struck a restaurant in Ansbach, Germany. It was a failed attempt to conduct a suicide bombing inside a music festival. The dead individual is the bomber, who the media widely suspect to be a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed Christian who played the violent video game GamerGate.


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Hilbot needs a reboot



Now, some have claimed that Hillary Clinton is ill, brain-damaged, prone to seizures, or a Lizard Queen whose human skin suit doesn't always fit very well. However, I think that what we're seeing here is a simple bug in Google's Hilbot-16, easily repaired by a simple reboot. Nothing to worry about, as Google's finest engineers are on it.

Please continue not noticing all of the information about the Democratic National Committee being released by Wikileaks.

What only exacerbates the creepiness is the way that she immediately tries to laugh it off and change the subject, which means this sort of thing has happened often enough that she's been trained how to try to minimize people's reactions to it. This is probably why she hasn't been giving any interviews or press conferences.

One wonders how they plan to keep her under wraps if she were to win the election. Perhaps they have in mind a system like the one Robert Silverberg imagined for Majipoor, where the Pontifex disappears into the Labyrinth following his elevation from Coronal, never to be seen again.

It doesn't matter, really. Because Trumpslide.

UPDATE: Snopes tries to play defense, fails.
The fact that Clinton immediately repeated her initial reaction for humorous effect supports the hypothesis that it stemmed from a conscious movement and not an involuntary seizure.
No, it means that the seizures happen often enough that she has a go-to strategy to try to convince people they did not see what they saw.

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The prophetic vision of Frank Frazetta



That's pretty remarkable considering that it was painted back in 1968. Of course, the larger question is: did Frank Frazetta predict the results of the 2016 US presidential election in the painting entitled "Rogue Roman". Think about it. Who was the roguest Roman of them all? Was it not... Gaius Julius Caesar?

The Frazetta Code. It could be Castalia's first national bestseller.

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Mind. Blown.

Now, you all know that I love Babymetal, and I thought it was pretty cool that they were playing "Breaking the Law" with Rob Halford of Judas Priest at the Alternative Press Music Awards. So, naturally, I had to check it out. But the last thing I expected was who was going to start playing guitar on stage....

Yui is only strumming along, but Moa can actually play, even though their guitars weren't mixed very loud, if it all. And Su is obviously having a great time being on stage with Rob Halford.

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#GamerGate was just the beginning

#DNCleaks is the next big revelation in media corruption:
WikiLeaks released over 20,000 emails on Friday allegedly sent from the accounts of U.S. Democratic National Committee officials, including dozens of off the record media correspondence.

Dubbed the “Hillary Leaks series” by WikiLeaks, the leak is comprised of a searchable database of almost 20,000 emails with over 8,000 attachments and photos from the email accounts of top DNC employees.

Some of the most interesting emails to read are those exchanged by DNC staffers as they decide how to respond to media inquiries, and then their off-the-record and deep background responses to numerous national media outlets. The emails contained off the record correspondence with reporters at the Washington Post, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Many emails in the database were sent from the email accounts of DNC’s Northern California finance director, Robert Erik Stowe, communications director Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan, finance chief of staff Scott Comer, finance director of data & strategic initiatives Daniel Parrish, finance director Allen Zachary and senior advisor Andrew Wright, among others.

The emails, according to WikiLeaks, covers the period from January 2015 through May 25, 2016.

Wikileaks said this is just part one of the Hillary Leaks series.
Some of this is really bad. It turns out that, in at least one instance, DNC officials were actually giving instructions to television executives to take people off the air because of what they had just said on the show being broadcast.

#GamerGate proved how the game media was operating in collusion, then showed how the mainstream media established and stuck by a false narrative. #DNCleaks is the first step in revealing precisely who has been establishing those false narratives.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

No one foresaw it

It's no wonder the SF-SJWs are always a few steps behind.
It had been believed that the slaters would lose interest if they couldn’t sweep entire categories, since it that would mean that they could neither get awards for their own favorites (since fans would No Award them) nor “burn down” the awards, since fans would have at least a couple of organic works to give awards to. No one foresaw the “griefing” strategy of nominating works whose mere presence on the finalist list would cast the awards into disrepute.
- Greg Hullender at File 770
They still don't quite get it, do they? Rabid Puppies didn't nominate "If You Were a Dinosaur My Love" or "Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue" for the Hugo Award. We didn't give a Best Novel Nebula to The Quantum Rose (Book 6 in the Saga of the Skolian Empire) or a Best Novel Hugo to Redshirts.

We're not casting the awards into disrepute, we are highlighting the fact that the SJWs in science fiction have already made them disreputable. I wonder what they will fail to foresee next? That's a rhetorical question, of course. I already know.

As an aside, I continue to find it funny that the SF-SJWs get so furiously upset about my dismissing so much of their concept of science fiction without the science as mere romance in space. I mean, everyone else clearly gets it, including the publisher.

Ascendant Sun is the direct sequel to The Last Hawk, in which Kelric, heir to the Skolian Empire, crash-landed his fighter on the Restricted planet of Coba. He was imprisoned by the powerful mistresses of the great estates--women who, over time, fell in love with him. After 18 years of living in their gilded cage, Kelric finally made his escape.

In Ascendant Sun, Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth. With little more than the clothes on his back, Kelric is forced to take work on a merchant vessel. But when that vessel enters Euban space, Kelric finds his worst nightmare realized: he becomes a slave to the cruel Aristos--humans who use torture and sex as the ultimate aphrodesiac.

Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, eat your heart out! Remember, Ascendant Sun, Book 5 of 14 in the Saga of the Skolian Empire, is the immediate predecessor to what the SJWs informed us was the very Best Novel in science fiction that year.

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SJWs: the larger game

A review of SJWAL by TBC Book Review:
Gamergate is a consumer revolt against progressivism, but many, perhaps most Gamergaters are quite progressive. You could say more or less the same thing about Counter-Jihad figures such as Tommy Robinson or Milo. To Vox Day, these are all potential or actual allies.

The fact is, most will heal themselves from progressivism in steps, the two major ones being:
  1. The progressivist revolt against various aspects or consequences of progressivism.
  2. Becoming a reactionary: as an aesthetic revolt against ugliness, out of virile pride, and through metaphysical conversion.
BUILDING AN SJ-PROOF WORLD, ONE STEP AT A TIME

This is, without question, the most remarkable aspect of what Vox Day is doing, and of which SJWAL is just a component.

According to his theory, organizations not designed to resist social justice convergence will eventually undergo convergence, thus becoming incapable of performing their original function and creating market opportunities for competitors or new entrants.

This is the time to be ambitious.
Project Big Fork is proceeding apace, and on schedule, the occasional hiccup notwithstanding. The launch of version 1.0 and the public kickstarter to fund 2.0 is still expected to take place in September. However, we will likely have a new, and equally significant, announcement, in three weeks or so, that concerns another aspect of the socio-technological high ground. About which more anon, but feel free to speculate as you see fit.

We can't fix or cure SJWs. Only God can do that. And while we can't trust moderates or liberals in positions of leadership, we can certainly welcome them into our ranks if they are willing to follow our lead.

The challenge is to avoid mistaking the enthusiasm of the convert for the good sense of the individual who was wise enough to not be hoodwinked or misled in the first place. What worked for the Apostle Paul is very unlikely to work very well in any situation where there is no literal Road to Damascus encounter with the living Son of God.

For an example of what not to do, see the Republican Party and the neocons. Or, alternatively, the conservative movement and the conservative media.

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The unfit sheep dog

Sarah Hoyt points out how it is important to not give the police, or any authority, blanket approval for their actions, no matter what they are:
To imagine that when a sheep dog goes crazy and goes after a lamb, though, it was the lamb’s fault for looking particularly vulpine, is to give permission to tyranny.

In every tyranny in the world, the victims are blamed.  Under communism you were often called crazy and sent to a madhouse instead of to prison, but it comes to the same.  There was always a justification. “He caused panic by speaking against the government.”or “He was spreading despondency” or “He was really evil and one dayy when he chewed gum, he just threw the wrapper on the sidewalk.

Even in petty tyrannies like the SJWs, where you don’t lose your life, only your livelihood, people can be attacked for writing a respectful article about sf/f female writers and editors.  But it’s okay, they had it coming. They used the word “ladies.”

Stay alert.  Remember this.  Do not let yourselves be manipulated into piling in on the side of tyrants because victims aren’t perfect.

No one is perfect.  This is no justification for using disproportionate force against them.
It's a good metaphor. The fact that sheep dogs are necessary doesn't mean some of them aren't crazy and need to be kept away from the sheep. And the fact that some sheep dogs are unfit for their occupation does not mean that wolves don't exist, or that sheep dogs are unnecessary.

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The importance of rhetoric

James Carville explains, in an email released by Wikileaks as part of the #DNCleaks in a note of unknown provenance:
Ideologies aren't all that important. What's important is psychology.

The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That's why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd.

Eighty percent of the people who call themselves Democrats don't have a clue as to political reality.

What amazes me is that you could take a group of people who are hard workers and convince them that they should support social programs that were the exact opposite of their own personal convictions.
- James Carville, Clinton strategist
What Carville is talking about is rhetoric. 80 percent of the people are limited to rhetoric; per Aristotle, they cannot be convinced by information. They can only be moved by an appeal to their emotions or appetites.

UPDATE: The Carville note appears to be a fake being passed around under cover of the DNCleaks; I thought it was a little strange that the wily Carville would come right out and say that. But whether he said it or not, it is true, moreover, it is true of Republicans as well. It is true of everyone and it has been true since Aristotle's day. Most people simply don't speak or think in terms of dialectic.

As for those who think Hillary Clinton is a shoe-in due to demographics, note that the DNC doesn't believe so. And this is a genuine day one DNCleak.

"HRC will go into gen election as vulnerable candidate. Clinton Foundation quid-pro-quo worries are lingering, will be exploited in general."

Translation: she sold out the USA while Secretary of State.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Hillary picks Sen. Kaine (D-VA)

The Lizard Queen has chosen her running mate:
Hillary Clinton named U.S. Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday, making a safe choice that will help her present the Democratic ticket as a steady alternative to the unpredictable campaign of Republican presidential rival Donald Trump.

The selection of Kaine, a self-described "boring" Virginian with wide governing experience and a reputation for low-key competence, could appeal to independents and moderates but is likely to anger liberal groups who object to his advocacy for an Asian free-trade pact.

But the Spanish-speaking former Virginia governor and Richmond mayor fits Clinton's long-stated criteria that the vice presidential choice be a capable partner who is ready to take over the presidency if necessary.
Just on the optics alone, those two are going to look pathetic compared to Trump and Pence. She had to go moderate, of course, but I doubt Kaine will do much to win back the whites she needs. Whereas Pence was a 7/10 pick, Kaine is 4/10 at best.

Of course, she was handicapped by the need to pick a harmless little guy who wouldn't overshadow her and make her look like his mother-in-law or his retired secretary when he stood next to her.

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How to use Brave at VP

After trying to sort out a different issue, I inadvertently discovered the problem with using Brave to comment here at VP. This is how to correct the problem and allow Brave users to comment here, assuming that you are like me and tend to keep your security levels reasonably high.
  1. Log into Google.
  2. Go to VP.
  3. Click on the orange lion head on the upper right to Open Bravery Panel. It will say Brave site shield settings for voxday.blogspot.com or your national equivalent.
  4. Take the shields down.
This also works with Name/URL for those who don't wish to utilize a Google account. It is safe because the only scripts here are the local book carousel scripts, the Google scripts, and the Amazon scripts and it will only affect your browser security settings on this site. And you can click to see for yourself exactly what they are and confirm for yourself that they are harmless.

At the present, only one percent of the users here are on Brave. Let's get that up over 20 percent! Even at this early stage, it really is worth the minor additional effort required.


KNOWN BUG AND TEMPORARY FIX: I was having a problem with both Twitter and Blogger periodically logging me out for no apparent reason. To prevent this, go to Settings, then Security, and under Private Data, turn off Clear All Site Cookies when Brave is closed.

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Attack in Munich

Breaking news from Germany:
At least one person has died and another 10 people are injured after a lone gunman went on a shooting spree in a German shopping centre.

A major police operation is ongoing in Munich, around the city's Olympic Park.

People were seen running from the shopping mall to get away from the incident after hearing gunshots.

The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre in the district of Moosach has been sealed off as emergency services try to control the situation.
 Sounds like the Amish are getting out of control again.

UPDATE: Now reporting "several dead" and a possible second active shooter.

UPDATE: The shooting was at a McDonalds. So we can't rule out Cheeseburger Rage.

UPDATE: Some sites are reporting the one shooter was white, but from the recorded verbal exchange, he sounds more like a second-generation Turk.

Man: "What makes you German?"

Gunman: "I was born here."

That's not how a German national would claim to be German, but it is how secondos often identify themselves. And in Germany, most secondos are Turkish.
Gunman: Ich bin Deutchscher

Man: Du bist ein Wixxer, bist du.

Gunman: Hort auf mich zu filmen!

Man: Was macht dich Deutsch?

Gunman: Ich bin hier geboren worden.

Man: Na und? 
Before he started shooting, the two other guys were calling him a Turkish shit and a scheissen Kanake. The latter term "is now usually used with an exclusively derogatory connotation against people of Turkish or Middle Eastern ancestry."

UPDATE: Holy cats, a guy on Sky News is just blatantly lying, claiming that the GUNMAN was shouting the anti-immigrant epithets and stressing that he claimed to be a German born in Germany, but ignoring the obvious second-generation context. That being said, I tend to doubt that was an Islam-inspired attack, but more a case of a literally crazy immigrant.

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On the Existence of Gods in audio

A #1 bestseller in the Atheism category, On the Existence of Gods is a response to a public challenge posed by a militant atheist who claimed to have never encountered any good arguments for the existence of gods. It is a competitive discourse between a Christian and an atheist, each of whom argue for their position on the subject, after which the arguments are adjudicated by a team of three judges - a Christian, an agnostic, and an atheist - before additional arguments are presented.

The format is compelling and the results are at times surprising, as the discussion takes unexpected twists and turns, while the judges exhibit ruthless impartiality as they criticize the arguments without mercy or favor. Vox Day, the author of The Irrational Atheist, presents the Christian perspective, while Dominic Saltarelli argues for the atheist position. The debate is wide-ranging and intelligent, but remains civil throughout, even as the momentum swings in favor of one side, and then the other.

Narrated by Jon Mollison, On the Existence of Gods is three hours and 22 minutes long. Click on the links or the cover image to listen to a sample.

There is a vast quantity of extant documentary and testimonial evidence providing indications that gods exist. This evidence dates from the earliest written records to current testimonials from living individuals. While it is true that the quality of this evidence varies considerably, it cannot simply be dismissed out of hand anymore than one can conclude Gaius Julius Caesar did not exist because one cannot see him on television today. Each and every case demands its own careful examination before it can be dismissed, and such examination has never been done in the overwhelming majority of cases.

For example, there are many documented cases of confirmed fraud in published scientific papers. If we apply the same reasoning to published scientific papers that some wish to apply to documentary evidence of gods, we have no choice but to conclude that all science is fraudulent. But this is absurd, as we know that at least some science is not fraudulent. Therefore, if one is willing to accept the validity of published scientific papers that one has not been able to verify are not fraudulent, one must similarly accept the validity of documentary evidence for the existence of gods that one has not examined and determined to merit dismissal for one reason or another.

Because it is intrinsically testimonial in nature, the documentary evidence for gods has been impugned on the basis of studies concerning the unreliability of eyewitness testimony for various reasons. However, this critical analogy actually demonstrates the precise opposite of what it purports to show. Since eyewitness testimony has been variously determined to be somewhere between 12 percent and 50 percent inaccurate, this means that between 50 percent and 88 percent of the testimonial evidence for gods should be assumed accurate, at least concerning the correctly reported details of the divine encounter. The correct interpretations of the specific details, of course, are a different matter.

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Trump's speech: an analysis

Note: this is based on the prepared text, not the one Donald Trump actually delivered, which was fairly similar. Key passages:
America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy.

I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today. Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map.

Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos.

Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.
Translation: no more neoconnery. He's rhetorically going after Hillary here, and is correct to do so, but he's dialectically including the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy as well. 2016-2009=7, not 15. This is the real reason why the conservative media is opposed to Trump; they want their foreign wars.
The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.
It's important that he directly called out globalism here. America First could be empty rhetoric, but rejecting globalism puts some teeth into it.
The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been over and over – at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist.
Islam. Not radical Islam. This is potentially significant, as the problem is with Islam itself, not the various variants of it. It is Mao's old fish/sea challenge.
we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place. My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.
Translation: no more Muslim immigration. Not quite as good as going back to admitting only white Christians of good character, but it's a very good start.
We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration
He's either lying to the American people, again, or he lied to the elite media that he specifically calls out as a problem in this speech. I'd bet on the latter.
By enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve.
Translation: deportation. Again, it's a start.
I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries. No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands. We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats.

This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation. Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk away if we don’t get the deal that we want.
Holy cow, I NEVER thought he'd take on NAFTA directly. This is phenomenal stuff, even better than I'd anticipated. There are brief throwaways about "fixing" TSA and Obamacare, and while it would have been better to simply announce that they'd be shut down, all in all, he hit the three main issues that are on the table good and hard: immigration, free trade, and globalism.

As for the other two big ones, gun control and the Fed, he didn't mention them nor did I imagine he would. Trump isn't interested in gun control and he's probably not equipped to even begin thinking about the monetary system. Trump is not only more appealing to the Alt Right than I thought he'd be, he's also more appealing to conservatives and moderates than I would have imagined. It was such a good speech, it even won over the cuckiest of cuckservatives:
Trump is definitely speaking to the moment. He may not be speaking to you, but he is speaking to many, many people in the country right now.... That’s rhetorical gold. All of it. I have never heard Trump or any other politician since Pat Buchanan put it so succinctly.

8.5 out of 10. I see no reason to revise my prediction that the election will be "a Trumpslide of Mondalean proportions."

Meanwhile, the man who was Trump before Trump, Pat Buchanan, sums up what we saw taking place at the Republican National Convention:
The crisis of today’s Republican Party stems from a failure to recognize, after Reagan went home, and during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, that America now faced a new set of challenges.

By 1991, America’s border was bleeding. Thousands were walking in from Mexico every weekend. The hundreds of thousands arriving legally, the vast majority of them Third World poor, began putting downward pressure on working-class wages. Soon, these immigrants would begin voting for the welfare state on which their families depended, and support the Party of Government.

By 1991, free trade had begun to send our factories and jobs overseas and de-industrialize America.

By 1991, an epoch in world history had ended. With the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Cold War was suddenly over. America had prevailed.

“As our case is new,” said Lincoln, “so we must think anew and act anew.” Bush Republicans did not think anew or act anew.

They were like football coaches who still swore by the single-wing offense, after George Halas’ Chicago Bears, the “Monsters of the Midway,” used the T-formation to score 11 touchdowns and beat the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship game, 73-0.

What paralyzed the Republicans of a generation ago? What blinded them from seeing and blocked them from acting on the new realities?

Ideology, political correctness, a reflexive recoil against new thinking, and an innate inability to adapt.

The ideology was a belief in free trade that borders on the cultic, though free trade had been rejected by America’s greatest leaders: Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

The political correctness stemmed from a fear of being called racist and xenophobic so paralyzing, so overpowering, that some Republicans would ship the entire Third World over here, rather than have it thought they would ever consider the race, ethnicity or religion of those repopulating America.

The inability to adapt was seen when our Cold War adversary extended a hand in friendship, and the War Party slapped it away. Rather than shed Cold War alliances and rebuild our country, we looked around for new commitments, new allies, new wars to fight to “end tyranny in our world.”

These wars had less to do with threats to vital interests, than with providing now-obsolete Cold Warriors with arguments to maintain their claims on national resources and attention, not to mention their lifestyles and jobs.

With Trump’s triumph, the day of reckoning has arrived.

The new GOP is not going to be party of open borders, free trade globalism or reflexive interventionism.
The new GOP is not going to be a republican party. It is an American party, which is to say that it is, for all intents and purposes, the White party. That doesn't mean it won't have any non-white support; what most people don't understand is that more than a few Hispanics, Asians, and even blacks want to live in a mostly white country.

The age of ideology is over. The era of identity politics is upon us, courtesy of those who eroded and expanded America's demographics in 1965.

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Vox's First Law in action


The Left has three insults and one joke. The insults:
  1. You're stupid.
  2. You're evil.
  3. You're irrelevant.
The one joke:
  1. Do you know that guy? He's stupid.
It's painful to see left-wing comedians attempt to do political humor. Guess what Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump have in common?

You guessed it. They're stupid. You can literally take old jokes about Gerald Ford, change the name to Donald Trump, and they'll be the same as today's jokes about Trump. And these people genuinely believe they are the smart ones.

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