So, if slavery is bad because liberty is good, and if the American conception of liberty is bad because of slavery, why is slavery bad?

At issue, you will immediately recognize, is the Project1619-adjacent notion that the existence of slavery in American history discredits the government and general political complexion of the United States of America. I have argued against/around this poison pill [meme] before, chiefly on Quora:

The leftist idea is to use the mere existence of past slavery as a rationale to set up a completely different kind of socio-political order. Since most of these ninnies are promoting some form of socialism, those of us who identify socialism with slavery must express some alarm.

The idea is bizarre when you break it down. But most young people seem not to move beyond statement and restatement of the core notion:

The temerity of the Left! One of today’s leftists’ characteristic charges is that capitalism and slavery are a package deal, somehow, and that American capitalism depended upon the institution of chattel slavery for its success, and that the wealth Americans now revel in is tainted by the institution of slavery that was abolished over a century and a half ago.

An astounding assertion, and utterly without merit.

As I stated in the piece quoted directly above, it is an extraordinarily loopy notion even to pretend “to redress past harms caused by slavery” by working “to oppose freedom generally.”

Americans have promoted the idea of freedom while not successfully living up to the idea. Sure. And slavery was the most obvious failing of freedom-loving Americans. But to say we should give up liberty and embrace socialism — servility to the coercive horde or the maximum state — because of this, is . . . witless.

Or, maybe, the wit of the Devil taking the hindmost brains. He loves a good laugh, and to urge his minions to abandon freedom “because slavery” is too droll even for a mere human archon.

twv

Top left-to-right: Timo Virkkala & Rocco Lucente; Bottom: Olof Af Yggdrasil & Lee Waaks.

The 18th episode of the LocoFoco Netcast is up on LocoFoco.net and is crawling out to podcatchers:

It is also up in video form on Brighteon and on BitChute. Check them out!

For this episode of the LocoFoco Netcast, co-hosts Timo Virkkala and Lee Waaks query Rocco Lucente and Olof Af Yggdrasil about the nature of the pandemic and its panicky, political reactions.

The podcast, as always, can be found on LocoFoco.net, and with podcatchers such as Apple’s and Google’s, and Pocket Cast and Spotify.

All flesh be grass?
But which grass, among so many?
Man has spread across the earth —
Spartina, across the mud —
Each going where others could not go.
So, spartina, you are man’s secret totem —
You, the grass no sane man would sow;
We, the flesh that sees like flesh as foe.
Your blades,
Which human spades
Cannot devour,
You, I say, represent man’s power.
But . . . you know your limits.
Do we know ours?
Well, of mud we are
And to mud we shall return.
You, spartina, are the grass
From which flesh could learn.
And let it be said,
By the living and of the dead:
We’ve made our mark upon the mud,
You in lovely green,
Man in red blood.

twv, August 3, 2004

Spartina is a grass that is invasive in the Willapa Bay, near where I live. The federal government has spent millions trying to eradicate it, since it turns oyster beds in the intertidal areas into raised grasslands. Since writing this poem — oh, so long ago — I learned that the federal government spent millions planting the grass on the shores of the Potomac. And Chinese have been using it to reclaim land for a very long time. twv

The Atlantic, once an indispensable magazine, first went completely Trump Derangement Syndrome, and of course now carries water for the Pandemic Panic Totalitarians. Here is an email I just got from the ’zine:

COVID-19 deaths are on the rise once again. We debrief why that’s not at all surprising—and three other things we learned while covering the outbreak in recent days.
Four Things We Learned(SHUTTERSTOCK; PAUL SPELLA / THE ATLANTIC)

1. There is no mystery in the number of Americans dying of COVID-19This summer surge in deaths was entirely predictable by looking honestly at the case and hospitalization data that preceded it, Alexis C. Madrigal explains.

2. America needs to prepare for a double pandemicThis is what keeps our Science reporter Ed Yong up at night. “If America could underperform so badly against one rapidly spreading virus,” he asks, “how would it fare against two?”

3. We talked to Anthony Fauci. He called efforts by the White House to discredit him “bizarre.” But no, he hasn’t thought about resigning. “I just want to do my job,” he told our reporters. “I’m really good at it.”

4. The pandemic will force some to face their cognitive dissonance“When the facts clash with their preexisting convictions, some people would sooner jeopardize their health and everyone else’s than accept new information or admit to being wrong,” two social psychologists write.
It goes on from there, but you get the idea.

On Not Being a “Tribal”

When I first heard that many/most economists argued the minimum wage law cannot help low-skilled workers, I was working 25¢ above the legal minimum wage rate.

I was intrigued. I had never heard of this notion before.

So I read quite a bit about it. I even started to read economic theory.

I tried to understand.

Here is something odd, though: when most people hear about this notion, they reject it as “stupid” or “obviously wrong” or “capitalist propaganda” or some such. I have encountered this reaction many times, in conversation on the Net and off.

Very rarely do people who say they are concerned about the working poor and the unemployed raise an eyebrow and honestly look into the matter. Mostly they look for some way to “debunk” the idea. They look for “studies” (Card?) that back up the program they favor.

Why?

My theory is that while I cared about a class of people to which I belonged, or nearly belonged, most people say they do but do not.

They care about their policy. They care about seeming to care. They care about using force through government.

But actually helping the poor? Not likely. If they did they would approach the subject differently. If they cared, they would earnestly seek to learn if the challenge were true.

I investigated these matters in 1980. It was one of two policies that weighed heavily on my mind at the time. I probably read a dozen relevant books on this subject, and a few on the other. I began to read economics and the old political economy, as well as continue my course of social philosophy and the social sciences.

And since then I have developed a deep suspicion: most people have very little interest in the things they say they have interests in. They have interest in belonging to this tribe or that — to the tribe that is associated with the causes they talk about. They are tribals. That was the term I used way back when: tribals. (Imagine my surprise when Crocodile Dundee used the term, later.)

I believe most people to be these “tribals.” And I have always striven to avoid thinking tribally. It is why I have often criticized my own kind.

For I do have my own kind.

But I am so uncomfortable with tribal thinking I adopted a moniker that that my fellow tribesmen and -women do not use: LocoFoco.

A little distance. I define. Let others scramble to understand. They could use the mental exercise.

So that’s my general perspective. I do not really think most people are earnest about their politics, not on a philosophical level. I think most are ooga-boogas.

twv

Once every week or so, on SoundCloud, Apple, Google, Pocket Casts, and Spotify.

“Mr. Mueller should keep his promise to the American people. . . .”

I think government employees should keep their promises to the people they serve, so this statement from White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere does not seem out of line.

What is it all about, though?

Well, special counsel Robert Mueller wrote an infamous report, released early in the year, that failed to establish Trump campaign collaboration with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Last Friday, President Trump did what many thought he would do earlier: grant Roger Stone clemency for his felony convictions — as prosecuted by the Mueller team. And on July 11, Mueller defended himself and especially his team’s prosectuion of Roger Stone) in a special op-ed for the Washington Post.

So, on the 13th, the White House lashed back, saying Mueller should shut up and let his infamous report do all the talking. 

Like he said at the time of the report.

There was a lot of really shady things about the Mueller investigation, and the Stone prosecution and convictions seemed especially iffy, and . . . corrupt. 

Well, depending on who you talked to. 

Everything these days being so partisan that coming to a non-partisan judgment is (a) difficult and (b) almost pointless, since whichever side you come down on, the other will dismiss you.

Politically, clemency for Stone looks like insider dealing to Democrats, and pure justice to Republicans. 

For the rest of us?

Well, Roger Stone remains a character, undoubtedly so, and author of a really “incendiary book,” one that makes a case that LBJ conspired with the Mafia and the CIA to assassinate JFK.

So you can see why certain intel agency insiders (and their Deep State buddies) might have it in for the man.

twv

Let’s all take a moment to mourn the passing of Climate Change Catastrophism. 

For years polls have shown that the bulk of mankind rates this issue very low as a priority.

Now, when other issues emerge to better signal uprightness — like “wear the mask!” and “black lives matter!” — the lip service people gave to climate alarmism, without (of course) really understanding the ramifications of the prophets of doom, the repeated failures of their prophecies, and the infancy of “climate science,” no longer beckons much cultish behavior.

That behavior is reserved for pandemics and racism panics.

While it is just as true that the “science” behind official pandemic responses and patterns of policing are just as shoddy and deceptive as that behind “manmade global warming,” the new ones are new, and more closely and immediately affecting everyday life, so they have extra oomph.

Will Climate Change Catastrophism come back?

Well, it might, but not, I think, bigger and better and stronger. It will be weaker, flaccid. All the people who have become skeptical about the lockdowns and mask orders, and about how real crime stats in America apply to protest demands and riots and statue iconoclasm, will take their newfound skepticism and apply it against the garbage heap that is Anthropogenic Global Warming.

But I predict a new, better form of Climate Catastrophism could emerge, and should: the one that recognizes that the real global threat to civilization, humanity, and life on this planet is extra-terrestrial hits by asteroids, comets, and mass coronal mass ejections (from the Sun).

Maybe after people realize that hair-shirt-wearing religious posturing that serves to replace the doctrine of Original Sin with some secular analogue is an embarrassment to all mankind — or at least that small fraction of intelligent terrestrial life — we can deal with real threats in a rational way.

OK. Stop laughing.

twv

Be polite to polite people. Be cuttingly, bitingly polite to rude people. Avoid violent people, but be prepared for violence if avoidance is not an option.

Approach each encounter offering the best . . . but be ready for the worst. The rule, after initial encounter, is reciprocity, tit for tat. When asymmetry appears inevitable, defend, be prepared even to destroy. Anything else risks encouraging the worst behaviors.

We train strangers and even our enemies. As well as our friends. 

Some might say this is what it means ‘to be a man.’ But I am unclear how this would not apply to women.

twv

I know worrying about “foreign interference in our elections” is so Last Year, but as I was reading a missive from Gab.com entitled “Who Is Gab For?,” I realized something: Big Tech de-platforming and censorship is foreign interference in “our” elections:

American values are foreign to Silicon Valley because three-quarters of Silicon Valley workers are from foreign countries with foreign values. Would American workers unilaterally censor fellow Americans at the behest of a corporation? Perhaps, but there would undoubtably be a few more dissenters and whistleblowers.

I know that when I get crunched for a post on Quora or Facebook, it does not feel like Americans doing the crunching.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The letter from Torba:

Gab is an anti-establishment company.

The establishment is our enemy because the establishment is the enemy of Truth.

This includes establishment “conservatives.”

Gab is not being built for the establishment.

It’s being built to dismantle it.

Our terms of service have always been unapologetically American and place the First Amendment above all else as a guiding principle when it comes to content moderation. This is something most “woke” American companies won’t do. This is something the vast majority of politicians would never endorse. This is something Silicon Valley will never do.

American values are foreign to Silicon Valley because three-quarters of Silicon Valley workers are from foreign countries with foreign values. Would American workers unilaterally censor fellow Americans at the behest of a corporation? Perhaps, but there would undoubtably be a few more dissenters and whistleblowers.

Gab is the only technology company in the world brave enough to authentically stand against Big Tech tyranny and offer people a real choice.

Gab gave birth to the free speech software movement in 2016 and is the de facto market leader when it comes to alternative technology. Not only did we build an open source social network, but also a web browser, a news aggregator, hosting infrastructure, email infrastructure, our own ecommerce platform, and much more.

While our terms of service are crucial and the technology we’ve built is impressive, Gab is nothing without our community of people. Gabbers are not just “users.” They are our shareholders, customers, donors, volunteers, and warriors.

Many Gabbers have been with us since August of 2016 when we launched. They’ve seen our story unfold and have stood by us through attacks from every mainstream media outlet in the world, every far-left activist organization in the world, every major tech company, foreign governments, and worse.

Gab stood boldly in front of the entire establishment machine and dared to say: NO.

Gabbers are smart people.

They aren’t easily led astray by talking heads or “influencers.” They aren’t fooled or persuaded by gimmicky marketing slogans or smooth-talking politicians. Gabbers are thinkers and Truth seekers. Above all else: they are good, honest, hard working people who love their freedom, country, and God.

Gab has earned their trust through trial by fire.

Not one person in the political establishment–including the Conservative Inc crowd that loves talking about free speech and Big Tech bias–embraced Gab. Not one of them defended Gab. Many of them even attacked Gab and cheered as we were attacked by the media and Big Tech. These people are hypocrites, liars, frauds, and enemies of truth.

The mainstream media has never covered Gab in any objective way or with any form of journalistic integrity (with the one exception being Tucker Carlson.) From the moment Gab launched we were smeared, defamed, and attacked by the marxist propagandists who call themselves as “journalists.”

None of this mattered to our community.

What mattered is that we stood our ground and most importantly: we refused to ever give up and kept fighting back.

So who is Gab for?

Gab is not designed to prop up narcissistic “influencers” who already have a big microphone courtesy of their oligarch masters.

Gab is not being built for politicians to whisper sweet nothings full of lies and deception to the masses.

Gab is for everyday people who feel that they no longer have a voice—both online and off.

We invite them, and you, to speak freely.

Andrew Torba / CEO, Gab.com / July 9th, 2020

YouTube kicked off Stefan Molyneux last week. Yikes this de-platforming is bad. So it is important to start patronizing other video services.

Vimeo is, alas, no better. It also de-platforms in lockstep with the others.

But BitChute and Brighteon both work pretty well. Please go to both services and set up accounts and start watching videos. The LocoFoco Netcast is now on both, with the latest episodes being up:

We of the Bibliobibuli (LocoFoco #17)

We of the Bibliobibuli (Books in Our Private Libraries)

Dratit, but, alas, WordPress does not “embed” these videos with its Embed tool. The LocoFoco channel on BitChute is bitchute.com/locofoco/ and my channel on Brighteon is brighteon.com/channels/wirkman.

Please click on over and watch as much as you can on these platforms. Molyneux is there; so is Alex Jones; and so is Styxhexenhammer666.

twv