And Now Chicago


Early this morning, downtown Chicago became the scene of looting. Shots were fired both at and by the police. As of this writing, the draw bridges over the Chicago River have been raised, and the Illinois State Police have closed ramps to and from the Dan Ryan Expressway in order to seal off the downtown area. The Chicago Transit Authority has suspended bus and train service in the area.

Chicago used to be an interesting place to visit and do business, but it is now a failing city in a failing state. Margaret Thatcher once observed that the problem with socialist governments is that they eventually run out of other peoples’ money, and Chicago and Illinois are on the edge of bankruptcy. I’ll add that the morality of marxism always seem to lead to a form of corruption that sucks the moral capital out of any society it infects.

Which city will be next this summer?

Cultural Appropriation


I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematically logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


PJ Media reports that five “protestors” are suing Seattle. They claim the city effectively levied a “protest tax” by allowing police to use “military-grade munitions” to break up unruly crowds. The suit argues only people who are rich enough to buy armor have a First Amendment right to protest.

It looks to me like the real basis of the suit can be summed up as “No fair! You hit us back!” The cops dealing with the rioters in places such as Seattle have had rocks, bricks, and other projectiles lobbed at them. They’ve had large fireworks explode around them. They’ve been sprayed with bear spray which is much stronger than the pepper spray designed for use on humans. Most of the time, the police have held their fire, but when they have responded, they’ve used crowd control tools and techniques that are generally less dangerous than what they have faced.

While the military has access to the same sort of crowd control tools that the civilian police use, that doesn’t make them “military-grade munitions.”

BTW, just because a munition is “military-grade,” it isn’t necessarily too powerful to be in general circulation in society. The 9mm pistol cartridge used by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force is less powerful than the .40 S&W cartridge used in pistols carried by many officers of the Seattle Police. The 5.56 mm NATO rifle cartridge used in the M16 rifle and M4 carbine is less powerful than the .30/30 Winchester round that has been in hands of the public for over a century.

If the police cannot use a range of tools that are less dangerous than firearms when confronted with rioters and arsonists, their range of responses will be reduced as well. When faced with potentially lethal violence (one can be killed by a thrown brick, people die in fires), they will have to choose between retiring from the scene and leaving it to the rioters—or opening fire with live ammunition. When the Seattle Council voted to prevent the police using less lethal tools, the police chief let the community know that she would not risk her officers’ lives to protect property. A federal court has put the council’s order on hold for awhile, so the police haven’t faced a flee or fire choice. Yet.

I’m told it’s uncomfortable to be hit with a pepper ball. I’ll bet a 165-grain jacked hollow point bullet hurts worse.

Past Their Sell By Date


Sarah Hoyt has a thoughtful piece over at PJ Media explaining why she expects the current playacting at revolution by the Left to fail. She argues the false premises of the marxist philosophical worldview of the Left has so distorted their perceptions of Reality that they can’t understand why their efforts to bring about Utopia keep failing. In frustration the Left is throwing a tantrum because things aren’t “fair.”

They expect that the “99 Percent” will rise up in solidarity with them to overthrow the “1 Percent” of capitalist oppressors. However, it’s the Left that won the slow revolutionary march through the institutions over the past fifty years. It’s Leftists who now make up most of the “1 Percent.”

Real revolutions, not the left’s pretend theater, are not “and the people rose up.” That’s usually the last stage. Real revolutions are caused by living conditions/ways of making a living changing so dramatically that ideology must follow.

Communism and socialism were – though heads-on-pants insane – well suited to the mentality of mass production and mass movements.

They’re fish out of water in the 21st century. Which is why every move they make turns against them. Their heads are full of a society that no longer exists.

I’m not saying they’re not a danger, particularly in the areas – geographic and social – they control. What I’m saying is that they’re losing that control.

Read the whole thing.

In effect, proles who thought they had been guaranteed a spot in the Outer Party and had a shot at making it into the Inner Party are raging because their Fill-in-the-Blank Studies did not qualify them for anything other than struggling to service a significant debt on a barista’s wages. One part of the left is revolting against another.

This has happened before. During the middle years of the last century, the international socialist fought the national socialists in Europe. Sarah Hoyt argues that we’re now seeing the death rattle of the Left’s revolution rather than its birth pains. I hope she’s right.

They’re Only Kidding


OK, there are a few crazies among some of the city councils that are acting to defund their police departments, but none of the serious politicians on those bodies actually intend to defund the police functions they view as important. Someone has to enforce the Inner Party’s political will with violence when necessary and with the threat of violence at all times. You can call the city employees who do that “cops” or whatever else you wish, but the function of guarding the Inner Party and enforcing its will will always be one of the key functions of government.

Granted, funding may be reduced for some employees who maintain order among the proles for a while, but as long as there is no disturbance of the Inner Party’s calm or challenge to its rule, that’s merely a tactical detail to be administered by the Outer Party bureaucracy.

After all, if there’s no one around to enforce the law, people might go to the grocery store without wearing masks. Or refuse to pay taxes.

 

An Unwise Escalation


It’s being reported that rioters in Portland have used lasers to blind, perhaps permanently, federal law enforcement officers who were engaging in riot control. If so, it was unwise.

IANAL, but IIRC, an attack that can cause an injury such as blindness is usually considered dangerous enough to justify a response that can include deadly force. The feds’ response so far has been limited to normal riot control techniques, so the rioters haven’t experienced much more than a whiff of tear gas. There is a wide array of more powerful tools available to deal with the rioters.

Some of the Portland rioters may be trying to goad the feds into opening fire with their firearms, seeking to sacrifice some of their fellow travelers as Kent-State-style martyrs. I doubt that will happen. The BORTAC team has a reputation for being among the best trained and disciplined in the business. They aren’t a bunch of green, young National Guardsmen who’ve never been in a skirmish before.

I suspect that an appropriate response is coming, and I’ll bet that Antifa won’t like it.

Funding the Police


This was posted on the Twitterz—Mayor Ted had a security detail (of Portland cops) protecting him. As I’ve noted before, the Inner Party will always take steps to insure that there is a sufficient police force to protect their interests.

BTW, this sort of unfiltered, on-the-scene reporting may be what defeats the street thugs of Antifa and BLM. They’re using the ’60s playbook that relies on the public getting fed reporting filtered through friendly editing. While the MSM is working to provide that sort of coverage, too much truthful coverage is leaking out faster than it can be suppressed.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Step by Step


There were those who thought (perhaps hoped) that President Trump would use military force to deal with Antifastan in Seattle. He didn’t. Instead, he let the city get what they voted for good and hard. Things had to get so bad that rioters appeared in the mayor’s neighborhood before the city’s Inner Party decided the proles had had enough fun.

The rioters in Portland learned from some of Antifiastan’s errors. They stayed off the mayor’s front lawn and were rewarded with control of the night in city. Again, the President has not deployed the military. He’s committed federal civilian law enforcement office to protect federal property and enforce federal law in Portland. So far, it appears that federal civilian law enforcement can deal with the Portland crime wave.

BTW, the federal agents engaged in crowd control and site protection appear to be wearing uniforms with appropriate agency ID information and to have ID numbers visible on their uniforms.

But what if they can’t put the lid back on Portland? What if the situation degenerates into a minor, but full-blown, rebellion?

10 U.S.C. § 251 et seq. is the Insurrection Act. It empowers the President to use the military when it is otherwise impossible to enforce federal law or protect the rights of citizens or to put down a rebellion. The last time it was invoked was for the LA riots in 1992. He can do so over the objections of a state government that is failing to protect the rights of American citizens. The last time that provision was used was in Little Rock in 1957.

Do Governor Kate Brown and Mayor Ted Wheeler really want to go down in the history books with Orville Faubus?

I doubt that the President will have to deploy either to National Guard or other troops. Antifa and BLM don’t appear to have enough real support to be more than oversized street gangs. They’re a crime wave pretending to be an insurrection. When the going gets tough, the posers and soy boys will move along to something is less dangerous. I suspect steady application of civilian policing will turn the tide with the rest.

Free Speech v. Cancel Culture


I just read Willam Jacobson’s essay over at Real Clear Politics about his experience with cancel culture at Cornel University. Prof. Jacobson was condemned by colleagues at the Cornell Law School after he committed acts of wrongthink by publishing blog posts criticizing Black Lives Matter. Prof. Jacobson writes:

I offered to publicly debate a student representative and a faculty member of their choice, but that offer was rejected. They don’t want to criticize me. They want to silence criticism of BLM.

While I refuse to be silenced, others are not be able to risk such career pressure.

Although I am the target, students and free expression are the real victims. I have received many emails from students telling me that I have a lot of “quiet” support among students, but that they are afraid to speak up for fear of the professional or social consequences. Cancel culture has created this atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

Read the whole thing.

Sigh. I’m so old that I remember when liberals were in favor of due process and free speech.

Video Credit: Murrow, Edward R., See It Now, CBS, 9 March, 1954.

Past Performance Is No Guarantee Of Future Results …


… but given the world’s experience with every other marxist revolution, we might want to be careful about what changes we make in American society and how we make them.No Cambodians, Zimbabweans, or Venezuelans were available for comment as this post was written. However, several Czechs and Poles noted their experience was that making political systems more like our has reduced oppression in their countries.

Quote of the Day


The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.

—Emmanuel Goldstein

I Wish I Were Wrong


BLM thugs have murdered an eight-year-old girl because she was riding in a car that tried to enter a store parking lot where the terrorists had set up an illegal roadblock. The black-on-black violence occurred in Atlanta.

Some have said they are shocked by the crime. I’m not. I’ve been expecting something like it. The founder of BLM has said that they are trained marxists. If so, then their underlying worldview sees everything in terms of power struggles. If they want an omelette, they’ll break eggs. Hence, the body count in Antifastan (Seattle), Atlanta, and elsewhere.

The “Summer of Love” is turning out to be deadly. There are times when I wish things would not go as I’ve foreseen.

Readjusting the Overton Window


The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.

President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.

Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.

What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.

The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.

It will be interesting to see how they react.

Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.