The funny thing about Impeachment 2 is that it smacks so strongly of anti-democracy.

I know, I know. Folks are talking about the payoff being the Senate forbidding Trump (if removed) from ever holding office again. Seems a tad personal. Not anti-democratic.

And hey: doing this to Trump after a miserable, humiliating failure of it a year ago is so embarrassingly petty that I shake my head. So the personal animus must be high. Were they humiliated by Trump? I suppose that could be what galls them so.

But I think it is something else.

Of course, I do find it funny how under their skin he got — and it is hilarious to witness Democrats talk about how awful a president he is, but when you probe them they almost always mean BECAUSE HE SAYS ICKY THINGS not because he’s murdered people (like LBJ) or started wars (like Bush and Clinton and Bush and Obama), or even because he WASN’T DICTATORIAL ENOUGH about COVID (my favorite Intellectual Death Knell of the Democracy ploy). But, behind the whole circus, what seems pretty obvious is this: he gave voice to the people Democrats hate most, “the Deplorables.”

Who now number over 70,000,000 strong, and are getting quite fed up with Democrats.

These Deplorables wanted to “Drain the Swamp,” but, until Trump, none of their respectable Republican champions could dare take it seriously. So the Deplorables went “another direction.” And that man fought hard for them. True, he accomplished little swamp-wise — the Swamp’s gotten bigger and nastier — but he did something they didn’t think they needed: he drew out the swamp creatures, into the light beyond Swamp cover, for all to see, and the Deplorables looked at the creatures, red in tooth and communism, and said, “at least we can understand Trump’s problems — these people seem malevolent and dangerous.” They stuck with their man.

And Democrats went bonkers, for five years.

And now a second impeachment! I mean, suppressing nearly half of the electorate because you disapprove of their political attitudes is quite anti-democratic. That is the next worst thing to one-party-statism — that is, fascism/communism/tyranny. And, amusingly, it sure smacks of “voter suppression”: it isn’t against Trump so much as the people he’s given a voice to that Democrats have it in for. Those people must not have power!

But mainly, the left’s hatred for the right isn’t really ideological. It may be the old the-political-is-the-personal. But what is that, though, really? Sexual loathing, class-based revulsion. Add on the racism and sexism against white males, and maybe you can see what I mean. Trump the billionaire personifies what leftists think Deplorables are. Or: Trump is the perfect champion for Deplorables’ deplorableness.

But it is worse: the Democrats are the Swamp! Maybe the reason Democrats hate Deplorables so much is that each side now knows and hates the other for what the other is. Deplorables know Democrats’ secret, that the Democratic Party is a Deep State creature, the ultimate Swamp Thing; and Democrats know the Deplorables’ secret, that they are weak and demoralized without a leader who pushes fantasy above reality.

So I’m trying to get in the spirit of the whole affair to cheer on the divisiveness.

Why applaud rather than leave it at a sneer? Well, I think it would be good for the United States to split up — and the Pentagon be dissolved, above all else. If ideological and partisan division can get the union dissolved on more workable lines, so be it!

Let’s go for it. Go, Democrats! Let’s do Civil War! (You morons.)

twv

P.S. Or it is just the humiliation Trump gave them that sticks in their craw. Why, they’d love Trump’s Deplorables so long as they bowed down to everything they said and be good little . . . well, you know.

I confess: I sometimes like to answer bizarre questions.

Why don’t white people realize that I don’t want them bothering me?

…as answered on Quora….

I am a white person. I am answering this question. Does that bother you?

If it does, it is not my fault. While one might not unreasonably infer you only want answers from P.o.C., you are not explicit, and it is more than likely that Quora itself provides a socially recognized venue constituting the one safe space in which you might interact with people you apparently dislike (“whites”) without being bothered.

So I have the temerity of answering.

Most white people in America are not very racist, and many of them are (or, until recently, were) at least trying not to be racist. Indeed, many white Americans voted for Barack Obama not merely to signal their lack of racism, but also in an earnest attempt to encourage racial peace. But that did not work out at all well (Obama having fanned the flames of racial grievances), so quite a few seem to be giving up on trying.

But look at that word, again, “bother.”

I do not want to be bothered by anyone! White, black, brown or purple. I bet you do not want to be bothered by anyone either. Being bothered is a negative condition.

I am sort of wondering why anyone would express their dislike of being bothered by limiting it to people of one race. It suggests that you are pretty darned tolerant of bothersome P.o.C, but not at all of bothersome whites.

And that is racist.

But maybe not horribly racist.

I have come to believe that racism, no matter how irrational it looks from a universalistic moral point of view, has not evolved in a singular way to play upon the social sphere of life as WHOLLY EVIL. Some forms of racism are worse than others. And maybe the most common form is best thought of in terms of “bothersomeness.” I know that I expect people to be open enough (empathic enough) to be well-mannered in most social situations; I merely assume that my presence alone will not bother them. I expect others to have my basic attitude: to be open to peaceful relations with anyone, and tolerant of social contact while we negotiate the extent of our future involvement, if any. Most of us will ignore each other most of the time. But when, in the course of the day, we do bump up against each other and find oursleves sharing a temporary social space, we expect each other to be, at worst, rejected with grace. Not in anger, hatred, revulsion.

Perhaps the most common form of racism is not expecting that attitude from other races, but only of one’s own — or, worse yet, not expecting minimal civilized courtesy and forbearance of members of one race, while assuming it of all others.

I fear that, in the last decade or so, a number of prominent political groups (far left and alt-right) have abandoned the moral goal of establishing that minimal social more. Their onslaught of airing racial grievances, I fear, is upping the levels of racial discord.

And that is more than bothersome.

twv

I am about to set up a new feature on this site, quotations of a pithy nature, to be titled “Laconics of Liberty.” But this passage struck me as a grand example of glorious 19th century exuberance. Not laconic!

Henry A. Wise on John Tyler, first spread of pages of the first chapter, Seven Decades of the Union: The Humanities and Materialism (1872).

“Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists,” tweeted Timothy Burke. Another Twitterer quipped, “White privilege is . . . Being part of the mob while taking a selfie with the cops.”

After citing these two tweets, Heavy noted a third: “To be fair, you could see a cop doing the right thing to de-escalate by saying ‘all right, you can take your selfie now get the hell out.’” 

That last thought is reminiscent of Paul Jacob’s Andy Griffith reference at Common Sense

The protest-turned-invasion of the Capitol was, all in all, not very violent. One woman was shot and killed as she advanced upon police within the building. No one else was. The other listed deaths were outside the trespass event, on the streets.

Were the trespassers “terrorists”?

Well, terrorists are those who use violence upon civilians to gain some political effect. The breaking-and-entering incursion into where Congress works was illegal, and “violent” in the sense that breaking glass is violent, and marching into property without the owners’ permission is violent. So: not-very-violent. The woman shot was not brandishing a weapon. The oft-cited deaths outside the Capitol building turn out to be mostly . . . irrelevant. But, and this is key: this riot was turned against the government directly, not against the citizenry. Insurrectionists would be a better term, but even that is a bit much, since it is obvious that they just wanted to “make a statement,” not take over the government. The various riots over the summer lasted weeks, months. This lasted a few hours.

Now, is this general low-key quality of the whole affair — as exemplified by the selfie moment — an example of “white privilege”? That seems a little off. The protesters-turned-trespassers had no beef with the police. So the “privilege” consisted in not being a threat. Sounds like the wages of peace rather than the perks of privilege.

Their beef was with the machinery of vote counts and the whole system that they think stole the election for Biden over their candidate, the current president.

Most people in media and on the Democrat side — and many, many Republicans — say “there’s no evidence for a stolen election.” While it is possible that the election itself wasn’t stolen (I’ll abide by evidence rationally presented) to say “no evidence” is off. There’s a lot of evidence of voting schemes and ballot abuse. It’s just that the system isn’t set up to deal with it in the time allotted by the Constitution.

The proper time to deal with election fraud is before and while it is happening — definitely not a few weeks before inauguration. Even of a Manchurian Candidate.

twv

One of the reasons I got along with Bill Bradford, late editor of Liberty, so well for so long — long after most of his hires could tolerate his supervision — was his glee in acknowledging criticism. Not personal criticism, mind you, but literary. Specifically, he liked printing negative letters-to-the-editor, and did not really think most should be responded to by the authors or editors criticized. If someone marshaled a negative judgment, well, the letter-writers in the Letters column should, if at all possible, retain the last word. If the critic were correct, well, there it be; were he were not, then, the idiocy should be plain to see, and the criticized author should know when he was being unjustly criticized. And be content. With the content. In context.

But you guessed it, we did gloat over some especially silly responses.

Of course every writer prefers praise to contempt. And when we learn something, we find it difficult to complain. Indeed, learning should always be welcome.

That being said, expressions of disapproval that performatively prove our points are especially rich.

I get some pushback on Quora, for example, primarily from leftists. Some of it is instructive, but most is gloat fodder. And then there is the praise, too. For example, from a recent answer:

And I wonder if Bill Bradford would advise me never to hit REPLY. I suspect he would.

twv

Does the left or the right in the West generally have a higher and deeper sense of “spiritual maturity”?

…as answered on Quora….

One of the hallmarks of spirituality in nearly all traditions is to embrace or somehow unify a basic metaphysical duality. At first blush, one would expect neither “the left” nor “the right” — each by emphasizing one tendency in political thought and practice — to sport a deep spirituality. Both are doomed to shallow gambits and contradictions scuttling unity of wisdom and meaning.

The problem is, what do “the left” and “the right” represent?

For decades I was on the wrong track on this. I have always deeply distrusted both leftists and rightists, but, to make sense of their characteristic follies and perversities, I kept looking to their policies and their basic orientations as defining. Not a wrong-headed approach. But the world seemed too complex to reduce to a one-dimensional spectrum. I was troubled by the prevalence of the same kind of policies on the left and the right. A certain arbitrariness seemed most evident. The idea that left-right served as little more than a chaotic delusion or distraction kept on coming back to me.

In the last few years, though, I applied it to my most basic interest in social theory: in-group/out-group alignments and dynamics. And I listened to the latest metamorphosis of leftist obsession, with the focus on “inclusion.” And it struck me: leftist thought isn’t about oppression (per Arnold Kling) or egalitarianism (per Michael Malice), it is about appealing to the cause of outsiders or an outsider group as a rationale to attack and either reform or destroy (or just take over) the in-group hierarchy. Rightist thought is all about something more basic: defense of the in-group and its hierarchy from outside threats, or merely leftist ones.

Protecting self from other (self-defense) and one’s own in-group (in traditional societies this often amounts to “kin group”) is a basic, natural, and necessary tendency. A basic interest. We would not be here as a species had not our ancestors successfully accomplished this. But protecting the outsider from abuse by the in-group and its defenders is absolutely vital to the growth of civilization. Also a basic interest. For the rightist vice is overkill, treating every perception of human difference as evidence of an enemy. It needs to be counterbalanced with a willingness to defend the underdog, the loner, the misfit, or merely a wanderer or trader from another tribe, to allow civilization to grow.

So “the right” is traditional order; “the left” reaches beyond the programmed-into-us defensive instinct to protect and nurture the other. This “orientation” is at least as old as the Amenist/Atenist (right/left as in setting sun in the West versus rising sun in the East) split in Egypt, and comes to us from both our Helenistic and Hebraistic traditions. It is not an accident that “right” is both a direction and a key term in moral philosophy. It is funny to have seen leftists so despise tradition that they now see “right” as utterly evil. Ah, the comedy of partisanship.

Rightists assume that they are always in the right — denying that they can be oppressors to outsiders, denying the possibility of “right vice.” Leftists assume the opposite. But obviously there is right-virtue and right-vice just as there is left-virtue and left-vice.

The rightist vice is oppression of outsiders and other groups; slaughter; exploitation, etc. The leftist vice is treason, taking in outsiders to destroy other insiders.

Justice is when both sides’ virtues are in play, and both sides’ vices are repudiated.

Nowadays that does not seem possible, since both sides see only vice in the other. There is no possibility of achieving spirituality in such out-of-balance nature.

Instead of spirituality, there is only ideological mania.

The principles that would determine what virtue is in defense of self and kin from invasive, threatening others (and of course any group can seek destruction or exploitation of another), and virtue also in defense of others from the “no kill like overkill” extremism of the rightists, while being able to discern where both insider and outsider defenses go beyond the fit and proper — that is justice.

Spirituality would be the “feel” for that just balance, the sheer perspectival ability to create the balance and cultivated instinct to dispose the imbalancing passions.

Hint: that spirituality does not arise in politics, normally, since politics in a democracy (as well as other governmental mechanisms) is all compromise based on expedience and what-you-can-get-away-with, not principle: politics forms shotgun compromises. A spiritual, justice-oriented middle-ground balance would achieve ideal compromises, where the middle ground is virtuous.

I am pretty certain that our form of modern governance engenders and promotes left-vice and right-vice, which in turn reinforces our mixed system, and if we want peace and a vital spirituality, we are going to have to rethink our fundamentals.

I know: not likely.

twv

The New Century Dictionary, H.G. Emery and K.G. Brewster, editors, D. Appleton-Century Company (1942).

It’s the cause of much mockery and mirthful meming. The Internet erupted in hilarity. 

And Jesse Lee Peterson sees it as an attack on Christianity.

I am referring, of course, to the opening prayer of the 117th Congress, by Representative Emanuel Cleaver, from Missouri’s Fifth District, Kansas City (where everything’s up-to-date). Here is a segment or two, featuring the bizarre benediction:

Bask in this a moment: a Methodist preacher, when it came time to mumble “the name of the monotheistic god” — yes, he said those words in the prayer itself — uttered as that name not “Jesus” or “Jehovah” or “Adonai” or even “Allah,” he stumbled on “Brahma,” and concluded with not merely an “Amen” but an “and Awomen.”

A boom-chicka-THWACK.

That the ceremony yielded jokes is apt. It is itself a joke. Emanuel Cleaver claims to be a Methodist minister. But the joke is more worthy of Richard Pryor than any professed Christian. It shows an essential impiety — so to this extent maybe Jesse Lee Peterson has a point — but it also shows a piety, too: a tip of the hat or a nod in the direction of the real religion practiced in Cleaver’s party: intersectionalist feminism.

You see, “Amen” sports a distinct etymology from either “man” as in “adult male” or “Man” as in “humanity.” The Hebrew root is explained in the oldest dictionary by my side as “strengthen, confirm.” And means “Truly, verily.” Meanwhile, “man” and “woman” reach back from Germanic roots to Sanskrit’s manu. While I suppose strength is associated with men, “woman” derives from wife+man, so I’m not sure prefixing an “a” to that word assuages feminists from the horrid words “wife” and “man.”

All this is silly. Yes. But it does show how far from traditional values and habits Democrats have wandered. The Culture War continues. They simply do not care about holding to any cultural pieties of the old days. They have written off those for whom anything like a traditional Christianity means anything — those folks “cling to their God and their guns.” Democrats do not!

Verily.

twv

In the past, I have warned that when the insiders — or, more properly, our overlords — take away cash, replacing it with digital fiat currency, freedom would be over.

The end of “democratic liberty,” such as it is, would be at hand.

That is coming soon, under cover of COVID, to be pushed as a saving measure by the new Democrat administration.

The rationale will be the same as the lockdowns: save the pensioners!

For Social Security and private pensions both are in the process of being destroyed.

Of course you saw this coming, as secular debt accumulation.

But you looked the other way.

You won’t look away from the next step, though. You will turn on your neighbors, in fear.

The new totalitarianism is almost in place.

Your compliance is appreciated by your overlords. Your compliance is the source of their power. You, the mask-wearing public, are the enemies of freedom.


In free fall, you feel fine. On the sidewalk, you’re a blot, and feel nothing any longer.

Mocking the possibility of a terminus on the way down is what fools do. The “we owe it to ourselves” counsel regarding debt accumulation has been the classic free fall folly — and one that is quite out-of-date, for we are now can see how the higher-ups and insiders plan on handling the conversion of financial systems.

The old dollar system is going to die. It will be replaced by a digital currency as if right out of the Book of the Revelation. The death of cash, which insiders are plotting (and is why it was absolutely necessary to get Trump out of the White House), will spell the loss of the last bit of liberty in society.

In the future, only criminals will be free.

And criminal freedom is not liberty.


On the other hand, as Catherine Austin Fitts admits in a recent much-shared video, the technology for an international digital fiat currency is not ready. And the idea that the U.S. Government could manage such a transition seems laughable.

Which is why, I guess, I assume it will not be the U.S. Treasury or the Federal Reserve that takes the lead on the project.

Till then, there is Bitcoin and many private digital fiat currencies. I am sure our overlords are watching these closely. For clues on how to do it, and what not to do.

My friends have all been gung-ho on the eleutherian possibilities of Bitcoin, but I expect Bitcoin to be cracked down upon big time should the new, cashless worldwide currency replacement actually occur. Let me just say, Bitcoin users: get used to riding on trains. For expect a last train ride in a boxcar, cramped.

twv

What are we supposed to make of “experts” who do not confront the most important data in front of them?

That’s a problem these days. And it has been a huge issue on the CO2 theory of “anthropogenic global warming.” One problem I’ve had with this well-funded “climate science” is that its pushers cannot explain the biggest climate change in our most-relevant geological past: the cycles of Ice Ages. So I invited Ralph Ellis, co-author of the paper “Modulation of ice ages via precession and dust-albedo feedbacks,” to explain what others do not seem able or . . . willing. Here is our conversation, in video, with a few visual aids (“as they say in the ‘ed biz’”):

It turns out that Ralph Ellis is an inveterate challenger of accepted paradigms. So after the one-hour mark, our conversation moves to ancient Egypt and a curious possibility about the true identity of the ancient Israelites. And note: this possibility has been staring us in the face all along. It occurred to me, and if you knew who The Hyksos were, it probably occurred to you. But only Ralph Ellis has taken up the clue to see where the ancient path leads.

The audio version of this podcast can be found on a variety of podcatchers and at LocoFoco.net:

LocoFoco Netcast, “Ice Age and Exodus,” Season Two, Episode Three (January 4, 2021).

Provide feedback at LocoFoco.locals.com. Thanks for stopping by.

Timothy Virkkala

Kamala Harris, a ruthless political opportunist, has spouted some extraordinarily socialist memes while U.S. Senator.

Why is socialism suddenly so popular in America?

…as answered on Quora….

We live under a Damoclean sword. The dysfunction of our representative government is obvious to all. The financial system is geared towards maintaining an ever-growing federal government debt, and continued bouts of crisis-induced and politically-opportunist deficit spending ensures that we are trapped in this system. Though there are even Novel Laureate economists who pretend that “deficits don’t matter,” almost no one really believes this to be true. It is a repressed guilt, when not an acknowledged unease. We are trapped in our political habits, and those habits are leading us to . . . something, some dreaded apocalypse. And we are going a bit crazy. The thin cable holding the sword from our figurative skullcap could snap at any moment.

But that is just our time. A long time coming, but our time. Socialism, which is the shifting of responsibility from individuals to large groups, usually the State as representative and factor of those groups, is a perennial folly. It is a mania of Wish and Hope over reality. And the young, growing out of a dependent condition, are especially prone to its allure. But the lure that is socialism can attract just about anybody. So why now? Especially?

That Damoclean sword is but one of the cyclical factors that is especially important right now. Another long-term cycle is education. Government control of schooling stacks the deck in favor statism — socialism being merely statism’s most extreme form (if we not unreasonably regard communism as merely socialism’s extreme form). Over the generations, public education attracts socialists and breeds socialists, and since socialists demand socialism, they can get it (or chunks of it) incrementally as well as in special moments of crisis.

“Government education” is, remember, a socialist institution itself, an example of sectoral socialistic practice: the universal provision of a good based on “need” and from conscript wealth, not any specific demand. So it is itself a case of a meme template that imprints on many of the students and teachers who get push through its sorting machine. And the students who tend to be most successfully imprinted are the “moderate brights” who take well to classroom instruction, who test well and then are eagerly routed to teach in such institutions, or lead in corporations. While the educations that some receive go into entrepreneurial activity, providing goods and services on the market, the real plumbs offered by the system are class-based, and generally serve to substitute the “rational” systems of pedagogy with market tests of direct service of public demand. This added layer into a market economy is a technocratic one, as well as a class one, and it feeds many socialist memes. This process has been going on for generations, and has ramped up technocratic, classist, rationalistic and generally statist solutions with each generation.

Now, let us not forget the praxis of argumentation. One of the ways socialists tend to gain an upper hand in debate is to pretend that for any present crisis the responsibility is “capitalism” and the solution always more government. Absurd and unsupported claims, sure, but they “feel” right to people who are trained to think that way, or just “want to be saved.”

Rather than accept responsibility for their lot and make incremental improvements to themselves and for their loved ones.

As such, we should acknowledge that socialism is a form of messianism, generally, and in the West has developed as a post-Christian form — a neo-christian replacement of religious worship with state activism.

And one huge element of the popularity of socialism is that it is what most secular people swap God for. Statolatry is the current dominant religion. And it grows as capitalist consumption grows, and as science supplies more answers and as technology offers up more gadgets, because the felt need for a deity or the services of a deity-referencing priestcraft diminish.

More and more answers to questions that religion used to make much of — questions like where did we come from? and what does it mean to be human? — now are supplied by scientists and intellectuals with little or no religious interest or perspective. Though religion may not be there to supply accurate answers to such questions, that has been one thing that religions provide for people.

To discover, as I discovered, decades ago, that my religion supplied bad answers to important questions, meant that I felt compelled to abandon my religion. Now “everybody” is doing what was fairly rare when I was young. Atheism is on a sharp rise. But whereas I gave a great deal of thought and spent much time researching such issues, today’s seculars seem largely of a very bent than me. They are followers, mass-men (and -women, and -divergently “gendered”), and it is because of social pressure that they wander away from religion. Or lack of social incentive.

Just so, they wander into a political philosophy without much though, either, and with many thought substitutes, like the currently popular post-modernism of the intersectionalist left. Whereas I prescribed for myself a conscious program of study before I settled on my political program. Most folks, of whatever political persuasion, sort of fall into their cause.

The history of socialism is one that should serve as a warning to the civilized. But education is such a sorry state that most folks are utterly ignorant of this development. Indeed, the blow to official socialist politics that the fall of the Soviet Union delivered was long ago, and socialist agitation culture — always popular with some — has rebounded. Other interests, such as messianism’s victim obsession and popular prophecies of “environmental” catastrophe and the like turn out to feed socialism.

So, there has been a confluence of secular factors. But the class element should not be forgotten.

In the 19th century, it was wage laborers who provided much of the focus of socialist agitation, with union organizers leaning radically socialist. Nowadays, that is passé. It was long ago discovered that the broad proletariat was largely uninterested in socialist revolution, and only interested, at most, in slow piecemeal reforms.

So socialists switched gears and emphasized educational institutions and filling the ranks of their beloved government bureaucracies. They became classist. They depended upon taxpayer subsidy and special government favors. And the people they came to hate most were actual laborers in the private sector.

The mark of a socialist is, today, someone who has gone to college, and the cultural hatred members of this ‘cognitive elite’ have for wage-earners and their interests is palpable.

And this is one of the main drivers of the sudden popularity of socialism: class hatred — that is, hatred of the proles, particularly white male proles. While socialists pretend to be for justice and love and inclusion, anyone who has honestly studied socialist movements knows the truth: out-group hatred fuels the movement. Always has. And does so now more than ever.

Now it is just doubly droll that it is the old socialist hero The Honest Workingman who is hated most, as a “Deplorable.”

Socialism has always been full of absurdities. Now it is downright hysterical in its absurdities.

twv, January 2, 2021

Yves Guyot addressed an argument that fake-news comedian Jon Stewart made popular and which fuels no small part of the socialist revival.