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If You Read One Article Today …

This is absolutely worth your time. I read this early this morning when I couldn’t sleep.

French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency. Doing so allows them to “present the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,” says Guilluy. It’s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; it’s the color of some of our employees’ skin. French elites have a thesaurus full of colorful vocabulary for those who resist the open society: repli (“reaction”), crispation identitaire (“ethnic tension”), and populisme (an accusation equivalent to fascism, which somehow does not require an equivalent level of proof). One need not say anything racist or hateful to be denounced as a member of “white, xenophobic France,” or even as a “fascist.” To express mere discontent with the political system is dangerous enough. It is to faire le jeu de (“play the game of”) the National Front.

The only ideas I see coming out of tech elites are “Universal Income” for the deplorables, which presumes the real issue is economic rather than one of dignity and meaning. The solution is not welfare for those left behind. That will end very badly if that’s all they’ve got. But what is the solution? I don’t have one. I wish I did. But I don’t see any of this headed good places.

As the article points out, the fundamental question of our day is over globalization. In the end, we’re all going to end up living in a smaller world. We won’t stop that. It’s just a question of what globalism looks like and who it benefits. The current system being set up by transnational elites is untenable. They won’t admit it, but it is. They will probably put the world through hell figuring that out, and I think this is just the beginning.

I’ve had to do a lot of hard thinking as political coalitions have shifted around. It’s enough to really make you question your values. Do I feel any kind of solidarity with France’s Yellow Jackets? What if I do? What does that make me? I’m sure a lot of you are struggling with the same things. I keep coming back to this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I think I still believe that. I think I’ve always believed it. We’re a country that had a bourgeois rebellion. The French took the same ideas and had la Terreur. The article I pointed out noted that in many ways the French Yellow Jackets have it worse than we do. What are we going to do when it’s our turn?

E-Mail Spam With True Threat

I’m getting spam today saying “My man has carried a bomb ([some random explosive here]) into the building where your company is conducted” and they will set it off if they aren’t paid some bitcoin. That’s meme comical. I haven’t laughed so hard since somebody set up us the bomb.

Look, if you’re going to get all technical, please learn the difference between a primary explosives, secondary explosives, and blasting agents, if you want me to take you seriously. Also, use of proper English grammar and vocabulary would also be helpful. Best comment I’ve seen so far:

The venn diagram of people who know how to pay them in Bitcoin and people who would fall for this is very small.

Apparently there are businesses all across the country evacuating over this. I have a feeling whatever Nigerian basements these guys are sending this stuff from is going to get found and raided relatively quickly by third world cop standards.

On Our Discourse

This is very much worth your time to read. From my social media feeds, I’m seeing a lot more virtue signaling about hate than I am debate over gun control.  That’s should be a good thing. Who likes hate? But it’s all coming from people who do some pretty impressive hate mongering for anyone who disagrees with them on an hourly basis. There are nazis on every street corner, you see. Trump is responsible for each and every one of them! If you voted for Trump, so are you!

In other words, more than half of my Shabbat morning congregants, and in some more traditional synagogues, almost all of them, should have the doors barred against their entry. Jews who make minyans, pay shiva calls, underwrite nursing homes and kindergartens—people who make Judaism possible, with their flawed but real human presence, for other people—should be cast out of our midst because of the levers they pull in the privacy of a voting booth. And what, after all, would a Jew who fled from Iran know about anti-Semitism—or protecting the Jewish community?

Donald Trump is neither a devil or an angel. He is not Hitler, and fascism is not descending on America. I am becoming more convinced this madness is being driven by Baby Boomers who, as a whole, were never properly socialized for social media. I’ve been participating in online communities almost since there were online communities. You have to learn the pitfalls. People are not instinctively wired to interact in this medium.

I do know people my age who are being driven mad by the algorithms, and I know plenty of Boomers who have enough self-awareness necessary to put it in context or just stay away from it. But generationally, Boomers seem to have fewer tools to cope.

Social media is total poison. Even the dealers know it. I have to embrace Social Media to cultivate an audience these days. My motivation to keep doing that, in case you can’t tell, diminishes with the day. I must pay homage to the gatekeepers. They are the first to tell me, daily. Pay us money, and you can access your audience. Once upon a time I earned my audience without transfer payments to Silicon Valley. Not anymore. I won’t pay them, but I pay for it with reduced traffic.

I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week

Kavanaugh was really the “safe” pick for Trump. The Dems are running a real risk of galvanizing him beyond what he would have been if they had treated him no different than the GOP treated Sotomayor or Kagan.

I just went back and looked at my high school yearbook, and I can find multiple things I would never want spun in the court of public opinion in this political climate.

I was the exact opposite of a wild child. I was so tame I think I disappointed my mother.

Based on what I heard today, Kavanaugh was probably a harder drinker than I was at 18, but maybe not at 21. The most I could be accused of at 18 is raiding mom’s wine supply in the fridge, or sneaking a beer from dad’s stash. I didn’t attend wild booze parties in high school. By my early 20s I might have done some questionably legal things that involved young men, too much alcohol, flammable gases, fresh produce, and a large body of water. And for this I would never be able to serve on the Supreme Court today, by current standards.

I watched the spectacle today, and it was a disgrace. If the Dems wanted an FBI investigation they could have brought up the allegations when they became aware of them. But they didn’t. They held them until it was politically useful as a delaying tactic… and they kept pushing for the delay.

I agree completely with Glenn Reynolds: “Had he received a normal confirmation, I suspect Kavanaugh would have been a bit of an establishment squish. I rather doubt that he’ll be that now.

Looks Like Cody Wilson Could be Going to Jail

Breaking news, it seems:

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said.

The pair messaged online, then began exchanging text messages.

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

Sanjuro? Really? Even Anthony Weiner came up with better names for his alter egos. If there’s anything that all sides can agree on, it’s that Cody Wilson has more panache than using a name like Sanjuro.

According to the document, Wilson sent the girl images of his penis, and she sent him nude photos of herself.

Why does everyone and their mother send dick pics these days? You know what I’ve never ever done? Send a dick pic. If this is true, he could be screwed on the pictures alone if she was under 18. The age of consent in Texas is 17, and federally the pictures are a problem if she’s under 18.

This is disappointing. There are very serious First and Second Amendment issues at the heart of what Cody Wilson is doing, and this will seriously complicate things. But this issue is bigger than Wilson, and it will come to the front one way or another.

UPDATE: Just as SAF announces they are expanding their lawsuit to include Pennsylvania’s AG and Governor, among other state pols as well.

Happy Independence Day

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th. I’m off this week, and enjoying not doing much of anything. Sometimes the best vacation is the staycation. I decided to run a 4th of July falling plate match at the club. Trying to decide whether to paint the plates with patriotic patterns, or paint them with the Union Jack. Shoot all the plates down, for America! For Independence!

Fireworks

Down the Memory Hole?

It was looking like the school shooting in Texas had all the hallmarks of going down the memory hole. I have a policy of not mentioning the killer’s name, but I’m just going to say, if you plan to shoot your way to the top of the news cycle and become a household name, don’t have some Greek name that no one can spell or pronounce, unless you live in Greece. If that kid planned to become a household name, he failed out of the gate with that name. Also, Royal Wedding the next day.

The killer used a shotgun and revolver, not an evil AR-15. Of course, USA Today notes that the killer used “less lethal” firearms, even going so far as, without a hint of irony, noting that “less lethal” weapons were used at Virginia Tech to kill 32 people. We got some narratives to preserve here!

In truth, against unarmored individuals, there’s hardly anything more deadly than a 12 gauge shotgun. Well, maybe a 10 gauge shotgun. I believe our opponents aren’t going to go whole hog on this one, for a couple of reasons:

  • As I mentioned, the news cycle isn’t good for them. You have a lot of things competing for headlines.
  • The weapons used don’t fit the narrative. Their use reinforces our point that the firearms few want to ban are still quite deadly. We keep saying, banning AR-15s won’t stop mass shootings. This shows that’s true. Even if you banned all semi-automatic firearms, you’ll still have school shootings, as this kid shows.
  • People’s emotional batteries haven’t had a chance to recharge after Parkland. You can’t keep people jacked up to 11 all the time. Social media has definitely made that easier, but most people who are soft allies don’t have the energy to keep it up all the time.
  • Didn’t happen in a swing state.

Glenn Reynolds asks, “After Texas school shooting, how can we inoculate ourselves against the next one?

But the school shootings are just a warning. In his novel Rainbows End, science fiction writer Vernor Vinge writes about “research trends that could ultimately put world-killer weapons into the hands of anyone having a bad hair day.”

That novel is set in 2025, and we’re already not so far from the scenario of someone cooking up a nasty plague in his or her garage. We need to think about what causes people to behave in violent and destructive ways, and how to fix it, while there’s still time.

Read the whole thing.

Speaking of not going whole hog, I’m also seeing evidence that the gun control movement is trying to hook David “Camera” Hogg off the stage and replace him with a more affable Parkland Kid. I’m sure Everytown and the Hollywood people who were managing Hogg probably realized what a liability that kid was almost from the moment they pulled the trigger and realized there was no recalling that particular bullet. I would not have wanted their jobs. You want kids that are comfortable in the spotlight, but not ones that serve up megalomania, with a healthy dose of Hitlerjunge imagery on the side. But you have play the cards you’re dealt, and while they had to play Hogg, we have Ted Nugent. So I suppose it’s even.

Here We Go Again

Get ready for more scolding fingers pointed in our direction. Early reports are more often than not wrong, so I’m not going to report any facts at this point, since they will change.

I’ve been busy as hell, but I’ll do my best to cover the backlash. No doubt there will be a lot of bullshit flying, and people trying to get us to take the blame.

New Tactic to Shut Down Open Carry?

I was very concerned when I heard police in Montgomery County 302’d (involuntary observational commitment) someone for open carrying an AR-15. I don’t consider it wise to open carry an AR-15 down the streets of suburbia, but 302ing someone for politically distasteful behavior is reminiscent of the Soviet Union, and along the lines of “things we worry about” when we’re talking mental health issues and guns. Some people out there, after all, consider an interest in firearms to be a sign of mental instability.

But this article suggests there were other factors involved other than the open carrying:

Rather, police acted after some of the man’s friends messaged police via Facebook with concerns about his behavior and change in mental status.

One witness told police the young man talked of “shooting up” Penn State Abington back in January.

More recently, the man texted the friend a picture of the AR-15, saying “look what I just got.”

OK. If the allegation is true and the witness credible, in this context the 302 is a lot more understandable. But I worry law enforcement might get an idea that a trip to the loony bin for evaluation is the new “Disorderly Conduct” charge if you want to nail someone for open carrying because the responding officer doesn’t like it.

Culture Leads Politics

Kevin has a bit on “Why R. Lee Ermey Eatters,” because we need more cultural figures to show that shooting is FUN. We can all forget that sometimes. Despite the role Ermey is best known for, he was a hell of a nice guy. He also impressed me that he would attend NRA Board Meetings. There are some celebrities who I do not believe have even shown up to be sworn in. At the Glock booth, the line would always be around the corner (and Glock’s booth is BIG) to meet him and get a picture and autograph. Generally speaking, I don’t vote for celebrity Board members, even if they are sometimes contributors, just because they don’t need my help. But I always voted for Ermey. He struck me as a stand-up guy. And yes, the one time I saw him walking to the restroom from a Board meeting, I was tempted to tell the hotel staffer who also saw him walk by, “I hope that head is so sanitary and squared away that the Virgin Mary herself would be proud to go in there and take a dump!” That movie was one of those shared cultural experiences of my generation I’m not sure we really have anymore.

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