Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday



On Luke Ford today with Collin Liddell and Matt Forney.

Robert Stark and Matt P of Stark Truth TV join in to talk about their documentary (((Supply))) featuring Luke:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Hegemony and Harmony

Jack Beatty writes in Age of Betrayal:
...capitalism was up for debate in Gilded Age America; it had not achieved "cultural hegemony," a concept introduced by the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci to elucidate how regimes rule without force. Hegemony, for Gramsci, is "the 'spontaneous' consent given by the great masses of the  population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group; this consent is 'historically' caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and function in the world of production."
"Cultural hegemony" is a useful concept, if we strip away the postmodern autism--what's remarkable about a "dominant fundamental group" establishing norms? Is there a place where this isn't in effect?
Nonetheless, it exists, and it's useful to know exactly who wields it and how.

Gramsci the revolutionary invokes it to pathologize the capitalist order he seeks to overthrow. In the process he gives us a fine example of what Noam Chomsky said of post-structuralist theory, that it's all over-complicated truisms. Truisms, I would add, purporting to expose distortions in an implied natural order that doesn't exist.

But cultural hegemony is real. It's inevitable. Isn't the real question who wields it?

The old Wasp elite may have held their poor relations in some contempt, but they recognized them as relations. They would be stingy, they would be exploitative even, but they would not cut them loose, out of noblesse oblige.
Those commanding cultural hegemony now have no connections to the mass, and of course many feel hostility toward it. They are either indifferent to or enthusiastic about cutting them loose.

As ruling elites go historically, they weren't a severe as they look to our Current Year degenerate eyes. But the Wasps aren't in charge any more, not as Wasps at least, having been displaced by the Jews, who determine the course of society by virtue of the "prestige" they've earned through their "position and function in the world of production".

Cultural hegemony is complicated and souped-up now by technology. The old means of transmission was the church, the school, the intact pre sexual revolution family. The "hegemony" was traditional and orderly; oppressive but pacific.

The new hegemony defines itself as opposed to the old order, disdains pacifism and is just as oppressive, in its way. The hostility and dysfunction Grasmsci saw through Marxian goggles in the old cultural hegemony is now here in reality--and money is still fundamental. And Gramsci's radicalism helped, playing its part in discrediting the old order.

The globalist elite, having co-opted Marxism and folded it into capitalism by way of--yes--cultural hegemony are quite adept, if not as confident any more, of squeezing "spontaneous" consent, even enthusiasm, out of the masses, for a social direction no one would have acquiesced to, if they'd been asked. Gramsci had no idea. He must be rolling, leftward, in his grave.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fake Views

Comes now the New York Times weighing in on Trump's South Africa tweet
Mr. Trump’s comment came after the Fox News host Tucker Carlson presented a late-night program on South Africa, including land seizures and homicides, and described President Cyril Ramaphosa as “a racist.”
The tweet gives prominence to a false narrative pushed by some right-wing groups in South Africa that there have been numerous seizures of white-owned land and widespread killings of white farmers. Some of those groups have brought their claims to the United States on lobbying trips.
The Devil's in the definitions, here of "widespread". There's a post-Apartheid tradition of farm invasions, with the South African government touting a recent decline which Afriforum, the white South African advocacy group, challenges
 According to AgriSA's statistics, farm murders decreased from 66 recorded incidents in 2016/2017 to 47 in 2017/2018. This was less than a third of the highs recorded in the late 1990s, when 153 murders were recorded in 1997/1998. The increase in attacks comes nowhere near the record high seen in 2001/2002, when 1 069 farm attacks were recorded. Farm attacks increased from 478 in 2016/2017 to 561 in 2017/2018... 
[Afriforum director] Roets said the biggest point of debate around farm attacks was their frequency. "If you want to compare the rate at which farmers are being attacked and killed, you need to compare your calculation, not to a rate at which people in South Africa are being murdered, but to a rate at which people in South Africa are being murdered, with the exclusion of social-fabric crimes."
White farmers are protected somewhat by their isolation--of course this leaves them vulnerable once the bad guys find them. But as most victims of violent crime are urban residents in close with criminals, the murder rate for farmers should be well below that of the rest of the population. White farmers aren't killing and raping each other.

The government of South Africa doesn't supply statistics and the international media's response to groups like Afriforum is to shrug and declare it all too mysterious:
The truth is, we don't know. We can't calculate a meaningful murder rate for farmers, because we don't know how many there are. 
Do we include all 810,000 people employed in agriculture? That gives a farm murder rate of 9.1 per 100,000 - much lower than the South African average. 
Or, do we restrict ourselves to the 32,375 commercial farmers counted in the country's last agricultural census in 2007? 
That's what AfriForum, a group that campaigns for the interests of Afrikaners in South Africa, appears to have done. 
It has estimated a farm murder rate of 156 per 100,000 that has been widely quoted in recent days.
I suspect using commercial farms gives you a better representation of white farms than the category of all agricultural workers. Indeed, the broader farm murder rate suggests when taking the threat to white farmers out of the equation living in rural South Africa is far safer than living in urban South Africa.

Below is the Tucker Carlson segment that supposedly inspired Trump's tweet.



It's excruciating watching Carlson and his guest from the Cato Institute invoke "racism" and the hoary "wrong skin color", as if it's the racism that condemns it ultimately.

Apartheid South Africa was as racist as the new South Africa. Clearly its racist aspect was necessary to its preservation. The old racist white South Africa was always going to outperform the new racist black South Africa. Racism has nothing to do with it. Calling out another man's racism is like calling out his bipedalism.

This focus on the racism of the ANC keeps us tethered, as always, to our own imagined sin of racism, providing the necessary moral equivalence. Apartheid's severe order or the ANC's miserable anarchy, one and the same.

The Times piece brushes off Carlson's assertions by noting the land seizures haven't actually started (white farmers are still able to get pennies on the dollar for land) and devotes the rest of its space to--what else?--Trump and Carlson's racism
Mr. Carlson, who has often used inflammatory language on issues of race on his show, has become one of Mr. Trump’s favorite Fox News hosts. Mr. Trump himself has made many racially explosive remarks, and political analysts say they expect him to continue using that language to firm up support among his conservative voter base, which includes vocal white nationalists and white supremacists.
Contrast the media's obscurantism around this issue with their credulity around, say, Iraq WMD, Syrian freedom fighters or Racist Beckys.

But they keep their eye on the ball. The point is to make this a political loser for Trump, a racism scandal. I suspect it will be another incidental win for Trump, as the press finds itself justifying, yet again, brown barbarity in the name of anti-racism.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Predator, Prey

None other than the New York Times has exposed, it would seem, the hypocrisy of early #MeToo leader Asia Argento. Only now I learn her struggle: she was compelled to fake orgasm to get Harvey Weinstein's face out of her vagina, just like Rose McGowan before her, except Argento maintained a consensual sexual relationship with Weinstein for years afterward. When she saw McGowan building a career and heroic identity out of enduring precisely the same thing and calling it rape (who knew?) she wasted no time reacquainting herself with her trauma.

Her accuser's story is about as un-harrowing as her tale of Weinstein (presumably he didn't have to fake his orgasms, but I'm not sure how that affects the balance), and the belated timing of his sexual trauma is as suspect as hers--she suddenly discovered her victimhood after Rose McGowan made it profitable; a month later, he discovered his, which she had just made profitable. A Hollywood hypocrisy cascade.
The Italian actress and director Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. She became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. Her boyfriend, the culinary television star Anthony Bourdain, eagerly joined the fight. 
But in the months that followed her revelations about Mr. Weinstein last October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18... 
The fallout from “a sexual battery” was so traumatic that it hindered Mr. Bennett’s work and income and threatened his mental health, according to a notice of intent to sue that his lawyer sent in November to Richard Hofstetter, [Anthony] Bourdain’s longtime lawyer, who was also representing Ms. Argento at the time.
Bourdain killed himself after being cuckolded by Argento, who was photographed cavorting with a younger, shinier supportive male--a journalist she met through the #MeToo movement.

A more cynical person would see Argento (daughter of Italian horror movie director Dario Argento) as adept at getting what she wants from men, and as comfortable trading career capital for sex as with trading sex for career capital. Morally there's no distinction--unless we're allowed to consider young women are more vulnerable than young men here, which we aren't. But I'm sure the sex is a lot better when you're on top, so to speak, whoever you are.

Leah McSweeney in Penthouse, under the title Toxic Femininity:
Born in Rome, Asia Argento was raised in a family of famous Italian artists. Her father, Dario Argento, is a director and screenwriter best known for his innovative and influential horror movies. Her mother is the actress Daria Nicolodi, who starred in several of her husband’s films. Beyond this, Argento has a lineage of family members who were musicians and composers, including her maternal grandfather, Alfredo Casella.
Ms Argento didn't land in Hollywood off a Greyhound bus. Which makes me wonder: where are the stories of naive girls arriving in Hollywood to be taken advantage of who don't go on to have careers? All the prominent and not-so-prominent actresses with tales of lechery seem to have made careers for themselves--that are winding down due to age or stalled, and they've all come forward after the coast was made clear by two clearly mendacious characters, Rose McGowan and Asia Argento.
On October 10th of last year, journalist Ronan Farrow published a bombshell New Yorker article in which 13 women made allegations against Hollywood kingpin Harvey Weinstein, sharing accounts not only of sexual misconduct and harassment, but also rape.  
Credited with initiating the contemporary #MeToo movement, the article detailed what it called Argento’s “rape” experience with Weinstein, one very similar to Rose McGowan’s own experience with the producer. Wrote Farrow: “Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, said that she did not speak out until now—Weinstein, she told me, forcibly performed oral sex on her—because she feared that Weinstein would ‘crush’ her.” Argento went on to tell Farrow, “I know he has crushed a lot of people before. That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older—has never come out.” 
...Argento and McGowan describe Weinstein giving them oral sex, and both say they faked an orgasm in hopes of getting the experience over with as fast as possible... 
Argento went on to have a consensual relationship with Weinstein for several years. The New Yorker article is what thrust the Italian actress into America’s cultural conversation. Before this, the American media knew little about her.
Sometime after Argento and Weinstein were done with their totally non-transactional relationship the aging actress happened to Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain met Argento on the set of his wildly popular CNN show Parts Unknown when he was filming in Rome. Argento, a single mother of two and Italian celebrity, ended up a guest on the show. In February 2017, not long after they met on camera, the New York Post confirmed the two had started dating. One quick scroll through the couple’s individual social media accounts reveals that Bourdain was completely smitten with Argento, posting photos of her on the regular with heartwarming comments.
Bagging Weinstein and then, in her sexual decline, Bourdain, suggests as a sexual adventuress Argento has been very successful. An old Saturday Night Live bit featured a South American baseball star whose limited English led him to answer every interview question with "Bas-e-ball has been berry, berry good to me"; when asked about his big new contract he says it with more emphasis "...berry, berry good...". The Hollywood sexual market has been berry berry good to Asia Argento. It probably was pretty good to Rose McGowan until it wasn't anymore, and #MeToo is likely more about that than anything else.

Taking their participation in that market and selling it now in a different market, as something else, makes this the political-social equivalent of dodgy financial practices like mortgage-backed securities full of bad loans. The clearly deranged McGowan et al are the moral Goldman Sachs of Hollywood, making money at both ends of the deal. Is there likewise a political-social bubble? How does that end?
Bourdain was openly supportive of Argento’s involvement in the #MeToo movement as she rose to be one of its most prominent and vocal crusaders. Bourdain never held back when standing up for her or any part of the #MeToo movement, even defending McGowan and her feminist activism. The #MeToo movement had accrued a strong new male ally in Bourdain...

Bourdain gushed publicly over Argento, and when it came to her career, he was her biggest supporter. This is what you do when you love someone and believe in them. He wanted her to succeed because he adored her. His influence led to her new role as a judge on the Italian version of X-Factor, and he hired her to direct an episode of Parts Unknown when the series filmed in Hong Kong...
But in the days leading up to his suicide, things between the couple seemed to get rocky.
On June 5th, three days before Bourdain’s suicide, paparazzi photos of Argento and the young French reporter Clément, 28, were published in the Italian gossip magazine Chi. The photos showed the two holding hands, kissing, hugging, and dancing in a bar in Rome.

Argento fought to have the photographs pulled. Bourdain was mysteriously no longer following his girlfriend on Instagram. Argento then posted an Instagram story of herself in a Sid Vicious shirt that said Fuck Everyone, and captioned the image: “You know who you are.” Three hours later he killed himself. And she deleted the image off of her instagram story.
Bourdain not only had to endure his public cuckolding by a younger man but the financial shakedown from the jailbait. But there would be no respite in death. The apparent cruelty of her behavior was an immediate problem for brand #MeToo. His still warm body would be thrown under the bus by McGowan on behalf of Argento, too grief-stricken to hoist it, I presume
As numerous eloquent tributes to Bourdain were published, Argento decided she was too grief-stricken to continue speaking publicly, and handed the torch to Rose McGowan. The former Charmed star penned a letter to the public on behalf of Argento, which McGowan’s publicist, Nathaniel Baruch at Brigade Marketing, promptly emailed to Rolling Stone. 
McGowan’s letter opens by saying Argento is now a victim not only of rape but of suicide. “Sitting across from me,” she writes, “is the remarkable human and brave survivor, Asia Argento, who has been through more than most could stand, and yet stand she does. She stood up to her monster rapist and now she has to stand up to yet another monster, suicide. The suicide of her beloved lover and ally, Anthony Bourdain. I write these truths because I have been asked to.” 
You know how to tell if someone is a flake? They use weird, unnecessary phrases like "these truths".
McGowan then discusses Bourdain and Argento’s alleged “open relationship” in an obvious attempt to justify the photos with Clément. It’s too bad Bourdain isn’t here to confirm her statement that he and Argento were “free birds” who “loved without borders.” 
McGowan reminds the reader to “NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame,” and then says that Bourdain allegedly reached out to a doctor for help with his depression but did not take his advice. (How the fuck she knows that information and why she chose to disclose it remains a big fat question mark.) 
McGowan also states that both Argento and Bourdain suffered from depression, but “she did the work to get help, so she could stay alive and live another day for her and her children,” while Bourdain’s depression usurped him. “His decision, not hers,” McGowan writes. “His depression won.”
Bourdain's battered corpse was actually thrown under the bus a second time--Argento is saying he advised the payoff, implying she might not have. I wouldn't be surprised if Bourdain, whose lawyer handled the scandal for her, paid that hush money.

These women are monsters. Bourdain left an 11 year old daughter and estranged wife who were notably silent during this humiliation--ironic, considering all the mileage #MeToo has gotten out of the idea of "silent" female victims.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Crazy and the Dead

This week, after one of the cats had been living in a blackberry thicket behind the house for over a month, the other one had taken to monitoring the gap in the fence where I took out a board so I could put out food for the runaway--that he's still taking, showing no signs of the illness I initially assumed was his reason for abandoning the house.

The runaway cat has always been skittish and odd, the opposite of the other, a black and white tabby friendly to strangers. Despite this they've gotten along well over the years, and I don't know that I've ever seen them get into a proper fight--despite the fact the older one, despite his pleasant disposition, is always ready to scrap with the random tomcats that come around.

"Give me one more summer" I've murmured to him a few times over the last couple of years, as he's started to show his age. We got him sometime around 9/11. Summer, for some reason, is a conceptual homestretch. This year he entered it showing his decline, growing thinner, stiffer. Nonetheless he remained active. A lifetime outdoor cat, coming and going at will, he was still scaling the fence out back, playing, begging for food.

He stood watch over the gap in the fence--worried about the other cat, I assumed--before crossing over and camping out there himself a couple of days ago. Then the creeping lethargy and stiffness of the past weeks, leaving him to stare off blankly, to curl up with difficulty, became total. He stopped eating, then he stopped coming inside. I brought him in--all skin and bones--one last time; he stared at his food and bolted outside, returning to the hole in the fence and making a bed in the dirt and ivy between it and the creek a few feet off.

For two days he slept there, occasionally lifting his head when I came to pet him, weakly, as if out of duty, before laying back down. A few days earlier I had lifted him onto the fence he couldn't scale anymore and sort of spotted him there so he wouldn't fall. A weak purring in his chest. This was the last time for that. I experienced the whitest sentiment: "have I given my cat enough attention?"

But what a blessed life it was for him. Seventeen summers of absolute freedom to hunt and explore, to play with his companions, to loll in someone's lap. The first night we brought him home he slept on my bed and at some point woke me by scratching my face--he was just trying to play. Last night I came home and checked on him, shining a light down upon him and cooing. He raised his head a little. What must this look like to him I wondered--the light overhead from my phone blinding him, my voice? Cats are too smart to be fooled into thinking they see God, probably.

This morning I found him stretched out, as if sliding down the incline toward the creek below. I carried him inside, still warm, not definitively dead. Put him down, pet him just in case he's still "there" a bit--imagine him having an out-of-body experience, watching all this.

I had envisioned an ideal death for him: he gently going to sleep in a favorite place with the sounds of the household around him. But he saw it coming. Bitter but absolutely right what he chose, to be outside, in the dirt and leaves, with the creek reflecting the moonlight, and the normal rhythms of this small patch of land, of which he's been a part, undisturbed and swallowing him up. He drained it to the dregs.

The other cat remains at large.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Marginal Ross

Ross Douthat dares to go halfway there.

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, when just about everyone assumed Mitt Romney lost because he didn’t win enough Hispanic votes, the election analyst Sean Trende produced a dissenting take. A close look at the results across the Midwest and Appalachia revealed a large population of what Trende called circulated for years on the margins of conservatism, and it had obvious influence over Donald Trump’s campaign strategy in 2016.
His mix of economic populism and deliberate racial polarization was supposed to be demographically foredoomed — but instead it won him precisely those regions Trende’s analysis had highlighted, and the presidency as well. 
Linked at one safe remove from its namesake, Douthat refers to the Sailer Strategy. One marginal place through which Sailer's work regularly circulates is Ross' desk at the New York Times.

With the comic (if understandable) furtiveness with which he introduces Sailer's ideas, it's worth wondering if he takes seriously the conventional assumptions he expresses
The numbers offer a cautionary tale for both emerging-Democratic-majority inevitabilists and for a left whose increasing vehemence about the wickedness of “whiteness” probably encourages the white tribalism that Trump rallied and exploited.
Despite the implicit (and wholly justified) white advocacy in Trump's policies and rhetoric, they are still far from the "tribalism" it opposes. The notion that white nationalism is just mimicry of the racial politics of the left trivializes both. Self-described conservatives have been acting as if leftist excess will blow over any day now
After all, though Trump outperformed pundit expectations, he did not carry a majority, and his Midwestern electoral victory was wide but dangerously shallow. And if he won many of Trende’s missing whites, he also lost other (female, educated) whites whom past Republicans had won.
Female, educated whites are known in other sections of the paper as "Beckys", and their demonization is the latest field of exploitation for Democrats and increasingly panicked progressives. Let's see what another two years does for those numbers.
Those losses point to the likely limits on racial polarization as a Republican strategy. Turning out disaffected whites is more politically effective than most people imagined after 2012, but white voters are ultimately too divided to make a “white strategy” work as a foundation for a real governing majority.
Dividing white voters has been Democratic strategy for years. It's been a couple of years since Trump opened up the possibility that whites can oppose it and act in their own interests. They get less divided the farther Trump gets and the more violent the anti-white campaign gets.

Add to that the very real possibility of throttling down the pace of demographic displacement by restricting immigration, and even a white fertility rebound, as suggested by another mainstream reader of Sailer, Michael Barone, and things get truly interesting.

Don't worry I say; Ross and his liberal friends still have a lot to worry about.

The Alt Right is Dead; Long Live the Alt Right

This Atlantic piece by Adam Serwer, "White Nationalists are Winning", is a torrent of paranoid hyperbole from the bugman's id, but gets the important part right.
A year after white nationalists in Charlottesville chanted, “You will not replace us!,” their message has been taken up and amplified by Fox News personalities. Tucker Carlson tells his audience that “Latin American countries are changing election outcomes here by forcing demographic change on this country.” Laura Ingraham says that “the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore” because of “massive demographic changes” as a result of “both illegal and sometimes legal immigration that progressives love.” They echo the white-nationalist claim that America is at risk because the nation is growing more diverse, an argument that treats the mere presence of nonwhite people, citizen or noncitizen, as an existential threat to the country. White nationalists like Cantwell are cheered to hear their beliefs championed on Fox. Cantwell wrote last year that Carlson “is basically telling white America to prepare for war as directly as he can get away with while remaining on Fox News.”
This was written before today's own goal for the anti-American left, turning a failed rally of twenty people into a story of deluded thousands chasing imaginary Nazis. Some of Jason Kessler's critics on the right predicted a turnout of a few dozen "losers" resulting in humiliation for the right. They got the first part right, at least, but misidentified the losers. It's as if no one is in charge on the left, ultimately. Whatever constitutes the leadership of the left right now is riding the whirlwind of demagogy it's conjured. The irony just keeps coming--the alt right was felled in Charlottesville because of a failure of leadership, or so we're told.

Whatever becomes of the alt right it will have effected a shift in the Overton Window that could make the difference in the end.
But the alt-right and its fellow travelers were never going to be able to assemble a mass movement. Despite the controversy over the rally and its bloody aftermath, the white nationalists’ ideological goals remain a core part of the Trump agenda. As long as that agenda finds a home in one of the two major American political parties, a significant portion of the country will fervently support it. And as an ideological vanguard, the alt-right fulfilled its own purpose in pulling the Republican Party in its direction.
The alt right isn't dead, it's metastasizing.

The left took over America by capturing the moral high ground without ever once apologizing for its militants. Radical elements were key to its advance and remain key, as we saw today, to its defense. The right would do well to emulate that. Just as the left holds the Vietnam War and racism make the violence understandable, if not justifiable, likewise the far less violent fringe on the right is a predictable result of the open campaign of displacement against whites.

If the presence of a radical fringe on the right prompts the sort of embarrassing displays the left put on today, policing that fringe is doing for your enemy what they haven't the self control to do for themselves.

For all its concern over what's embarrassing the right forgot the left has no shame.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Real Comedy v Fake Comedy

Political correctness holds sway as no dispensation before, and with nothing more than, well, political correctness; it's both means and end, in a way. The pre-sixties order in America, still Wasp and Christian, could be publicly skewered. Even Lenny Bruce only ran afoul of authorities for obscenity. But I doubt there's been a period in America where the prevailing order was this off-limits to satire.

A lot of very talented people and resources are dedicated now to making a sort of fake satire, when they proceed from politically correct assumptions. Witness a recent, lamentable Jon Hamm video about that darn white something-or-other.

If sanity reigned, you would see a lot more of the sort of stuff Sam Hyde does. This is what it's supposed to look like, for younger people who only came of age in the Age of Poz.


 

Unite the Right II




Friday, August 10, 2018

Fear Goggles

Portland has to contort its progressive self to rationalize the violence of "anti fascist" demonstrators, but can't ignore it, due to the Patriot Prayer group's serial trolling of the city. The social justice community here is like Charlie Brown with the football. They know what's coming, they just can't help themselves.

One ignored demonstration might be all it took to get rid of Joey Gibson's provocations. But then, many or most on the left don't want that; they want the opportunity to mix it up with "fascists", to demonstrate, to raise money.

But in the media the farther you get away from the local reality on the ground the more obscure coverage gets.
Steve Sailer on the New York Times' coverage of Eric Clanton, the Bike Lock Bandit:

The story of Eric Clanton, the anti-free speech demonstrator / adjunct philosophy instructor who put on an Antifa mask and slammed seven pro-Trump individuals on the head with his bike lock in Berkeley last year (luckily, nobody died), is pretty interesting. Especially the part about how the “weaponized autism” of 4chan /pol/ participants crowdsourced the job law enforcement couldn’t or wouldn’t do — identifying the masked malefactor from subtle clues. But, the tale contradicted The Narrative about how pro-Trump violence is sweeping the nation, so the New York Times never ever mentioned Clanton’s name. Until yesterday, when it ran the following Associated Press story. I reproduce the NYT’s account in full:
A former community college teacher and anti-fascist activist has accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault for allegedly attacking attendees of a Northern California political rally. 
Eric Clanton’s attorney Daniel Siegel said the 29-year-old agreed to the plea deal Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court. He was sentenced to three years of probation. 
The Alameda County district attorney’s office initially charged Clanton with felonies for hitting several pro-Trump demonstrators on the head with a bicycle lock during a 2017 demonstration in Berkeley. Police seized flags, pamphlets and other paraphernalia associated with anti-fascist movements from his apartment. Siegel said medical records showed only one alleged victim sought medical treatment, for a bruise smaller than a dime.
“Smaller than a dime,” so kwitcher bellyaching, fascists! 
Bullet and knife wounds are smaller than a dime too. In fact, getting hit with the smaller-than-a-dime corner of a bike lock sounds worse than taking it broadside. I'm supposing the "no contest" plea enables the NYT to write Clanton "allegedly" committed the assault for which he accepted a deal.

Steve offers a reasonable surmise:
Did Clanton agree to snitch? Or is this normal sentencing in Current Year California? Will AG Sessions start an inquiry that could lead to federal civil rights charges against the anti-First Amendment thug? What exactly are the laws in California about smashing people on the head while masked and why aren’t they terribly applicable in this situation? This country needs rule of law, and part of rule of law is the press holding the justice system’s feet to the fire until obvious questions get answered.
It's hard not to sound hyperbolic, but the media, in acquiescing to the violence with silence and misrepresentation, is complicit in it.

The Anarchic State of Portland

A tiny contingent of anti-ICE protesters is camped out in front of Portland City Hall. Less than a dozen, either the hardcore or flaky fringe of the local protest community (if these are distinguishable) are pulling this unglamorous duty.

Abolish ICE PDX calls the protest a continuation of the blockade of Portland's ICE office, recently disbanded. After Saturday's near-riot in reaction to a right-wing demonstration and the ensuing campaign accusing Portland cops of excessive force applied with bias against lefty counter demonstrators, the goals of this siege are expanded to: abolish ICE, condemn the police and fire Ted Wheeler, our progressive mayor.

Protesters have a couple of hammocks strung up and are sleeping on the sidewalk--mingled among them the few homeless who always sleep on the sidewalk outside of City Hall. As a siege it isn't much, but their anger exceeds their size. Here they are trying to block the doors (two arrests were made):



I don't know how much harassment they give people during the business day, but at night they sometimes clash with random passersby, as one protester has since been arrested for striking a man with a pole after he complained about the blocked sidewalk.

One night this week I watched as a fat, middle-aged man with a "film the cops" t-shirt harassed a pizza delivery driver with his camera. A woman shrieked at him from the street. A few protesters lurked nearby as if to storm the locked building if someone should come to the door. The hapless fellow dodged a giant puddle of puke in his escape--he was in the wrong place.

Last Saturday's action has prompted the most recent anti-police narrative here. A protester has claimed some sort of projectile shot by police lodged in his bicycle helmet, but he apparently hasn't come forward.

A friend writes:
Was at court all day today, spent the time listening to the cops gossip. The antifa helmet with the flash bang lodged in it is total bullshit. It’s just the shell that’s in there, not the projectile. The guy won’t come forward to allow the helmet to be examined. They all know who he is, his name is “Lee”. Cops were somewhat pleased with Chief Outlaw seeming to have their back after Saturday, they’re used to getting no support whatsoever from any chief, she ain’t great but ain’t the worst.
Chief Outlaw's press conference was something of a pleasant surprise. She's at least a good spokesman and ably defended her cops--of course, this being Portland, she promised an investigation--by pointing out the hostility of the counter-demonstrators.

Indeed, my friend above appended this to his email:
Something funny one of the cops said was, during one of the more tense moments on Saturday, he heard someone tell him “look behind you!”, and he did. Standing behind him was Chief Outlaw, wearing an angry face, looking ready to clobber the next antifa that came her way, and she made eye contact with this cop, and did the angry black lady triangle finger snap, before she said: “Oh! It’s on!”. All the cops in the hallway busted up laughing.
Maybe she's an outlaw, of a sort, after all.

Another friend, recently alienated from the left by the anti-white indoctrination he experienced in college, was on the ground when Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson made a foray into the counter-demonstration. He was, of course, assaulted by antifa once the cops pulled Gibson out of there.



This is Pozland.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Cat Update

The blackberry thicket over the back fence erupts every summer with the sun after spending winter playing dead in thinned out, desiccated dormancy. Its tendrils make straight for the sun, spiked with thorns and up to a couple of inches thick; the larger ones bow under the height they achieve and dive back into the confusion.

A small evergreen is battling to overcome them as they wrap themselves around its branches as if to deliberately pull it back down to earth. Eventually it will grow large enough that its shade will kill off the thicket. Blackberry vines entangle its branches, pulling them downward. The picture of this creeping fight for life is suitably dramatic; two insensate, inexorable living things striving for the sun.

Another fence meets ours at a right angle. From here I can watch squirrels climbing through and down the trees at the other end of it, then hopping down and skittering the fifty feet or so to our fence where, after a quick check for the cat, they make a left turn and, coming to the end, leap onto a low hanging branch to continue their tree-hopping

In this way they manage to traverse long distances through city and suburb safe from predators. They must have countless regular routes such as this. I maintain our section of this critters' Ho Chi Minh Trail by trimming away the blackberry vines that bend around the top of the fence as if to take it down too in their mindless profusion.

Larger blackberry vines will attach themselves to the lower branches of mature trees and grow alongside, twinning them, as if adopting a strategy of concealment. I cut away a vine wrapped about the squirrels' branch, thinking to make it easier for them to climb on, and the branch, now released, sprung upward a foot or so. Now I'm not sure they can make the jump.

One of my cats--I'm always quick to point out I ended up a single man with two cats by accident when my daughter, their nominal owner, left home--has been holed up in there for two weeks, refusing to come out. If he's gone there to die he's going about it all wrong: when I come to the opening in the fence where I removed a board and call he answers back, from the impenetrable mass of thorny vines. I leave food and leave; he comes along and eats it once I'm gone. I spy him from inside the house. If he's not around I take the food away. If I don't the raccoons will eat it; I can tell because they leave behind a muddy mess wherever they go. Once I stuck my head in the opening to find two of them. They melted back into the brush. Throwing the muddied water in the direction of one of them I heard a splash; he'd fallen or jumped into the creek, the cliff-edge of which is hidden in the growth.

The circumstance became normalized, with me routinely putting out food. The cat started coming out before I left the food behind. He relaxed into this routine and started coming to the food before I left. I even petted him once--noting there was no indication of sickness. Even this hasn't managed to shed the fat off him. He allowed me to pet him, but I didn't try to bring him in until I decided the farce must end and I must, at least in this instance, finally do the normal thing--capture him and take him to the vet.

So I grabbed hold of him and maneuvered him through the hole in the fence. Somehow he ended up on my shoulder, upside down. He squirmed halfway out of my grip so I followed him to the ground and trapped him there. I had badly hurt both hands days earlier and had no grip strength in my left hand at all; trying to hold him to me using mostly my palms I wrestled with him until he slipped out from under me and back into the brush.

And there he remains.