Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Drum Machine of Outrage

The press is working hard to nurture outrage over Trump's separation of illegal immigrant families at the border, not just out of opposition to immigration enforcement but with an eye toward hobbling the Republicans in the midterm elections.

Now a Trump tweet asserting illegal immigrants won't be allowed to "infect America" has given them the outrage-quote around which to hang the scandal-narrative.

This is standard media manipulation that has taken down countless politicians over the years, many of them for the same reason it's being applied to Trump now, because he represents a threat to the powerful interests that all but control the media.
This standard model is supposed to work and did, until Trump, either evil-genius or just not knowing any better, came along and demonstrated the outrage-monster by which the elite has repressed speech doesn't really have any teeth.

As he's done in the past, Trump is defying the push--which basically comes as a demand from the deep state or whoever: stop this or we will destroy you with it. You would think the anti-Trump elite would be content to let him sink, and they are citing polls supposedly showing overwhelming opposition to the policy (but not among Republicans), but they're probably getting that sinking feeling this is something like the NFL controversy all over again.

Trump stands to win yet another conspicuous victory over the media and to do it ahead of the midterms on the issue of immigration.

Now comes the concern trolling.The Hill reports people are mad. Important people.
The separation of children from their parents at the border is fast becoming a political crisis for the Trump administration. 
The administration’s actions have drawn fire across party lines, including from former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.  
 They have caused unease among stalwart supporters of the president — among them, evangelist Franklin Graham and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Not one but two first ladies and a strange new respect for Anthony Scaramucci. George W Bush lost relevance the moment he passed out of the White House for the last time so we're all excused for forgetting about him, but I think the reason we don't hear from Obama on this is because his administration actually employed the same policy of detaining minor illegals separate from their families.

I suspect In any district with a majority concerned about immigration, this policy is manna from heaven; whatever the case, by November this all will be forgotten, unless the media finds a memorable hook. This article proposes one, and if they can just get it to stick it will be a doozy.

What better analog than Hurricane Katrina, when we practically blamed the weather on W? A source invokes a freighted word, Katrina, and it can be duly reported. It has to be. Someone said Katrina. If people want to make of it a rallying cry, hey, that's up to them, says the reporter.. He just reports the facts, he says. You know, Trumplodyte, real news. If someone wants to make of it a political theme, because it's short, easy to remember, involves a  hated president and Suffering People of Color, well that's their business.
The administration has careened from one controversy to another, yet the president has seen his approval numbers edge up close to their high point of late.
[note: if the administration you despise ends the cycle with higher poll numbers it's you who's careening]
But some observers wonder if this issue could cause him deep damage because of its emotional resonance. The possibility of it rising to the level of President George W. Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 seems increasingly plausible.
Where's Kanye West when you need him? Oh.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sex and Drugs and Denial

Sitting in on the Luke Ford panel with Kevin Grace and Brundlefly. Talking about David Irving, pharmaceutical drugs and psychiatry and, always, women.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Skin in the Book

Today on Luke Ford we'll be talking about Nicholas Nassim Taleb's book Skin in the Game, the Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.

It's the fourth book in the former trader and risk analyst's Incerto series on risk, randomness and responsibility. The first book, Fooled by Randomness purports to demonstrate we are, just as the title says, fooled into creating "rational" explanations for random occurrences, including catastrophic market failures, or "black swan" events, the misunderstanding of which as he sees it he addresses in The Black Swan.

In the third book Antifragile he offers the concept of antifragility as a measure of a market or society's robustness or durability, demonstrated by how it responds to shocks, for one thing. Something is antifragile if, a la Nietzche, that which doesn't kill it makes it stronger.

Skin in the Game is about bearing the consequences of one's actions--above all of one's responsibilities: "...skin in the game is mostly about justice, honor, and sacrifice, things that are existential for humans"; "those who don't take risks should never be involved in making decisions."

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Last Days of Democracy

Somehow I'd missed it, but earlier this week the group Patriot Prayer, a conservative Christian body in the Proud Boys sphere, rallied across from Portland City Hall and were attacked by armed and masked antifa.

Despite being explicitly not white nationalist, the group triggers with its support for Trump and explicit Christian conservativism, drawing violent antifa as surely as a KKK rally.

The demonstration took place a year after the group gathered in the same small park downtown for a "free speech" rally, as this one was billed. That event came off without incident only because of a high police presence cordoning off the conservatives from antifa (openly promising violence) and others barely less hostile. See my video of that demonstration below.

Still, the news reports range from deliberately to unintentionally biased. Everyone deploys the same passive description ("fights broke out") to describe a clear assault by one group on another. Even if the description is plausible--say, the two groups came into contact and individual skirmishes were prompted by both sides--the reality is, the conservatives, left alone, would have peacefully left. As they've demonstrated time and again, when they're allowed. It isn't as if in the absence of antifa and their kind the Patriot Prayer guys would have gone rampaging through the city.

Despite this obvious fact, antifa and the respectable local left invoke, with ramped-up intensity, the standard canard that a "homophobic" or "racist" person or group represents an immediate threat of violence. And then antifa comes along to initiate violence. Progressive hysterics connecting gay-bashing to any resistance to, for one, sexual degeneracy have become accepted wisdom wherever pc reigns, which is everywhere; these hysterics are source and justification for political violence. The Establishment is complicit in political violence, in Weimar-ish street battles.

There are no countering reports in the mainstream media and the lazy normie reader is not roused from his slumber. The report from putatively conservative Fox News is indistinguishable from the others, only it's shorter and the reporter appears to have derived it entirely from social media.

Here's the $PLC take.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Cracking Up

I joined James LaFond and Lynn Lockhart of the Crackpot Podcast

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In the Mix

Black teens on a burglary spree in a white neighborhood ran over and killed a white female cop and, naturally, blacks are hardest hit:
BALTIMORE – It's hard to think of a more volatile mix: Four young black males from Baltimore City, accused in the death of a white female police officer in Baltimore County. Authorities say three of the teenagers were breaking into homes when the fourth ran the officer over in a stolen Jeep.

Predictably enough, social media, call-in radio and other forums blew up. A sampling from the Baltimore County Police & Fire Facebook page:

"I was hoping they'd kill him during apprehension. What a waste of life. He's currently breathing air some decent person could be breathing."

"I personally am tired of good for nothing hood rats committing adult crimes and people STILL saying crap like, he had hard times growing up, society made him do these things because he had no role models."
Young people don't know how long the "volatile mix" vaporism (let's call it) has been out there in the media lexicon, often invoked to obscure black misbehavior by equating it with the ensuing white expressions of outrage.

 Introduced back when whites might have actually contributed "volatility" to the "mix"--when they were resisting, sometimes violently, desegregation, say--decades ago, it's still invoked now that whites are all but powerless as such, relegated to complaining online. Invoking the platitude the conventional reporter deliberately equates barbaric black crime with the anger it invokes.
Authorities say the teenagers were burglarizing homes in Perry Hall Monday afternoon when Baltimore County Police Officer Amy S. Caprio approached the Jeep. They say driver Dawnta Harris, 16, of the Gilmor Homes public housing project in West Baltimore, ran her over.

Caprio died a short time later. Harris and three other youths were charged as adults with first-degree murder.

That the black youths had driven to the county, populated in no small part by decades of white flight from the city, fueled heated exchanges online and over the airwaves.
Baltimore imploded two years ago after the Freddy Grey riots, as police pulled back as crimes in the city increased. Packs of black teens have emerged from the hood to terrorize gentrified and suburban areas.
"After white flight, a lot of people who moved to Baltimore County ... felt victimized by blacks – 'they made me move,'" said Pietila, author of "Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City."
Blacks victimizing whites is a fundamental constant of the American street and school.
"At stressful times, all these emotions come out," he said. "These are not logical matters. These are matters where emotions rise, and prejudices take hold."
These emotions are invoked after contact and victimization, or in sympathy with others similarly victimized by blacks, in recognition of a consistent pattern constituting a campaign of violence against whites. Not to put too fine a point on it. But it is in fact the opposite of prejudice, but post-judgement.

None of that is important. The problem, as far as the Miami Herald reporter with the Spanish name who reached out to the former Baltimore Sun reporter with the Spanish name explained, is Trump and the demonization of "certain groups":
Pietila is a former reporter and editorial writer for The Baltimore Sun. While city-county tensions have a long history, he said, they now play out in the context of a noisy, divisive political climate. 
"What is part of this discussion is the demonization of certain groups that is happening at the national level," he said. "A lot of people who have strong feelings, maybe they used to be more circumspect. Now they let their feelings out."
White people are complaining about their victimization because Trump said bad things about Mexicans. Everyone's got their angle--except white people.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Holiday Streaming

Got to join Luke Ford this morning.

Kevin Michael Grace returns.

Also, Big Cat Kayla and Glib Medley.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Luke Ford Sunday

Matt Forney returns to Luke Ford today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Absolute Portland Report

The ACLU sent a letter to Amazon this week protesting law enforcement use of its "Rekognition" facial recognition program. It turns out a nearby police department is leading the way:
The tool, called Rekognition, is already being used by at least one agency — the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon — to check photographs of unidentified suspects against a database of mug shots from the county jail, which is a common use of such technology around the country.

But privacy advocates have been concerned about expanding the use of facial recognition to body cameras worn by officers or safety and traffic cameras that monitor public areas, allowing police to identify and track people in real time. 
The tech giant's entry into the market could vastly accelerate such developments, the privacy advocates fear, with potentially dire consequences for minorities who are already arrested at disproportionate rates, immigrants who may be in the country illegally or political protesters.

"People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government," the groups wrote in a letter to Amazon on Tuesday. "Facial recognition in American communities threatens this freedom."
Tech firms like Amazon Web Services are developing technology that will enable police to identify most people immediately from, for instance, a cop's body cam. It should help them in rounding us up to work in the salt mines after the hammer comes down for real.

The Orwellian implications of the above story render this grim police blotter item quaint, but look for the surprise:
Members of the Portland Police Bureau Detective Division's Homicide Detail continue to investigate the death of a person that occurred Monday evening on Southwest 2nd Avenue between Southwest Ash Street and Southwest Ankeny Street. 
Based on information gathered in the initial investigation, detectives believe there was a disturbance between two people on the east sidewalk of Southwest 2nd Avenue. During the disturbance a gun was fired and the victim was struck by gunfire. As officers arrived at the scene they immediately provided the victim with emergency first aid. When emergency medical responders arrived at the location they determined the victim was deceased. 
The suspect remained at the scene and was taken into custody without incident. After being interviewed by Homicide Detail detectives, the suspect was lodged at the Multnomah County Jail. 
The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Sophia G. Adler. Adler was lodged on a charge of Murder (At the time of this release a booking photograph was not available.).
That's right, a female gun homicide suspect. The location is right behind, I think, the main Salvation Army shelter and in a rough pocket of downtown that draws a lot of homeless.

Speaking of shelters, I've been having some interesting conversations with a friend about their experience working at a female domestic violence shelter. Trans men are showing up and getting beds in female-only dorms. Employees who complain can expect to be fired--women in the shelter can expect to be kicked out--if they complain. There is no bottom.

The ACLU won't be addressing any of that, unless someone challenges the rights of the trans men. But they are on the city's case for alleged police excess in the Trump Season of Protest:
Today, with the help of a ferocious team of lawyers at Tonkon Torp, we have filed six lawsuits in Multnomah County Circuit Court to hold the Portland Police Bureau accountable for their violent response to protest. The lawsuits include six plaintiffs who were brutalized by police at protests between October 2016 and June 2017. 
Kat Stevens 
Patricia Barger 
Charles Stubbs 
Tristan Romine-Mann 
Peggy Zebroski 
Kelly Simon 
Our clients were assaulted or battered at a protest at Portland City Hall in October 2016, at a youth-led protest following the election in November 2016, at the Not My Presidents Day protest in February 2017, and at a counter protest to the June 2017 Patriot Prayer alt-right gathering.
I was at the June 2017 demonstration.

Right-wing but not white nationalist groups--Joey Gibson, a conservative Christian Trump supporter (who I think is actually of Pacific Islander background) organized the "pro free speech" event" when that was a trend. They had a permit to occupy a small park directly across from City Hall, and were surrounded by counter-protesters on three sides, each of those of a different theme--pro-immigrant on one side, labor rights (somehow) on the other, and the antifa horde you see above. Everything was kept in check by police cordoning off the opposing sides, but all they had to do to effect a Charlottesville would have been to stand down as they did there.

Antifa presence was heavy and threatening, kept in check by an equally heavy police presence:

To keep these groups apart at the protest's end, police pushed antifa northward with flashbangs and I think even a little tear gas:

Sorry about the kid there ruining the shot with his narration:

There was speculation protesters leaving in smaller groups would be picked off once the event was over, and there were confrontations here and there:


Our small Black Panther contingent blocked a street briefly, but I saw no arrests or fights.

Optics were awful on both sides, of course.

The ACLU also cites the post-election protest from November 2016. Here's a funny video of me getting flash-banged (at about 3:30) moments before getting arrested along with the lefties in that debacle. My reaction is a little embarrassing:

I'm already nostalgic for those simpler times. Look here for a regular dispatch from Poztown every Tuesday.