Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

        If racism is America’s original sin, then its redemption lies in anti-racism. For liberal theologians, Christian and Jewish, who no longer believe in the traditional biblical sins, racism is a godsend. It provides the moral drama of damnation and redemption, confession and absolution, in a way that is compatible with the larger secular culture and their own political ambitions.
             Fighting racism isn’t just a cause, it’s a religion. And all that remains of major religious denominations.
    • "Right-Wing Activism Always Fails"--Social Matter. The author contends that the protests, riots, or other types of public activism are not the path to power, but the end result of power. He writes:
              The notion that activism is the path to power is not just wrong, it is fully backwards. It confuses cause and effect. Arab migrants in Germany are allowed to grope women and steal iPhones from the locals. They do not do it in spite of the police and government, they do it thanks to the police and government. German right-wingers are not allowed to publicly demonstrate they exist, or that they oppose the state-imposed campaign of Arab rape and theft. This conundrum is not accidental, it is intentional.
                 Moldbug wrote about the folly of political activism in support of right-wing causes a long time ago. Activism of any kind is not the path to power, it is the end result of power. It is not the way to gain power and influence, it is a victory dance for those who already have it. Doing the victory dance when you have power only reinforces your power. Doing the victory dance when you don’t results in an unceremonious crushing by the state, followed by subsequent official wiping of anybody’s memory of you – unless you came close to succeeding, in which case you are officially rewritten in history as a villain and trotted out as a dirty, evil bogeyman to anyone who suggests anything vaguely resembling your ideas or opinions.
                   Five years ago, my husband and I bought a house in the emptiest county in America. We went there because the night sky is so dark, you can walk in the high desert by starlight and cast a shadow, so dark you can see distant galaxies and the zodiacal light. Three types of people live in our rural area: amateur astronomers, ranchers, and illegal aliens.
                     If you climb the mountains behind our house and look south, you look into Mexico. If you climb those mountains to the top, you are on one of the major drug trafficking routes into America. If you stay in the desert at the foot of the mountains, you are in rattlesnake country—the greatest biodiversity of rattlers in America, and the night path of illegal aliens.
                       It is not even a secret that the 60 miles between the border and Interstate 10 are treated as a no man’s land. We live and vote and pay taxes in America, but the government acts as if we are beyond the defensible perimeter of the country. Border Patrol is everywhere, but even with President Trump, they are just going through the circular motions of catch and release.
                         They have high tech listening stations in the mountains, trucks equipped with radar on the back roads. They know when drugs are moving through, know regular drop-offs, are adept at finding caches. But if they can’t secure the border, they can’t keep the families that live here safe—and they don’t even try.
                          We are the deplorables. All of my rancher neighbors have guns. Most are Evangelicals. To Democrats and open-borders Republicans, we are throwaway people. The Other. Disposable.
                  All of my neighbors have had encounters with illegals. Every single family. Everyone knows dozens of families whose homes have been broken into and worse—loved ones tied up, kidnapped, threatened, shot, permanently crippled by a hit and run attack, when they made too much of a fuss to authorities.  
                  But she also notes that they still don't answer knocks on the door in the middle of the night with a shotgun or other weapon because it might be someone truly in need. One can't help but wonder if these ranchers, or their parents, had been less friendly and helpful toward the smaller influx of illegal aliens decades ago, if it might have stemmed the overwhelming tide of illegal aliens now.
                              Women are nearly twice as likely as men to own only handguns (42% to 22%), Blacks are more than twice as likely and Hispanics nearly twice as likely as whites to own only handguns (57% to 38% to 20%), and those who live in urban areas are more than twice as likely as rural folks to own only handguns (40% to 15%).
                               Other interesting findings are political liberals are nearly twice as likely as political conservatives to own only handguns (36% to 20%), and (not shown) those who did not grow up with a gun in the home are more than twice as likely as those who did to own only handguns (44% to 20%).
                                 In her defense, while we still pretend otherwise, marriage is no longer a real family model. Legally speaking, marriage is now almost entirely symbolic, an optional facade we place over our real family model, the child support system.  Since legal marriage is a matter of aesthetics, there is a certain logic to only constructing the facade if the aesthetics are right.
                                   Moreover, even if she refuses to marry her baby daddy after he manages to jump through all of her proposal hoops, she knows that traditional conservatives will do her the favor of pretending that she was “abandoned” by her children’s father.
                                    I live in a third world country in which most people have known nothing but deprivation, and if a man is lucky enough to have work, he will make less than the cost of a chicken that day. My experience is that long-term deprivation, even simple poverty, does not engender dignity or community feeling, any more than excess does, as we see in the attitudes of the tech wealthy. It creates a somewhat cutthroat society of people, hoarding and looking out for number one.
                                       We consider democracy, fellow-feeling, helping your neighbor, giving and getting value for money, etc to be middle-class values for a good reason. They are much more common among the middle class than at the margins. But as the security in middle class life fades, along with the middle class itself, so do middle class values.

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