THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain

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The morality of public “service”

I was brought up to respect policemen. I still do. Even a libertarian state would ask good people to put themselves in harm’s way to enforce its few laws. The harm they do is rarely the fault of the (mostly) good policemen enforcing our current monstrous state’s thousands of bad laws. 

The same can be said for judges. They have an honest, important and necessary job to do that is foundational for civilisation but also apply and interpret thousands of laws that should simply not be. Their hands are dirty but it’s not their fault. Our soldiers too and perhaps (though here it gets murkier) even some of our civil servants.  

Though my conscience might still (just) handle being a judge (and relish the chance to lean hard toward Liberty in interpreting our laws) I couldn’t be a civil servant, soldier or policeman in modern Britain any more than I could be a politician for a mainstream statist party. I could not serve a gangster state that interfered with the citizenry’s freedom while violently extorting from it the money to pay me and hope to sleep at nights. 

Which raises the awkward question, who can? Being a judge, a soldier or a policeman is noble enough (and a civil servant harmless enough) in principle but to choose such a career serving the states we have now is morally questionable at least. Watch the French police currently beating up the gilets jaunes, for example. You’ll need to scour YouTube as the MSM is oddly reticent on the subject. These thugs are not conscripts. Each studied, applied, trained and freely signed a contract. Why would a decent human choose to do that job?

We have been watching Kiefer Sutherland’s Netflix show “Designated Survivor” and enjoying it well enough. I view it as the entertaining  tosh it is intended to be but wince at its po-faced portrayal of its heroes. They are cynical foes of Liberty and (literally) murderous enemies of the Rule of Law but we are expected to see them as paragons of selfless virtue. Given the boundless power of modern Western states, and the extent of their control over our personal lives, just who else would we expect to work for them but narcissists and sociopaths?

A children’s home (or church trusted by parents with their children) needs to be particularly alert to the possibility of child abusers wanting to work there. A powerful state should be similarly so about sociopaths. Neither our children’s homes, churches nor governments seem to have shown any such concern. I fear the abusers are now in charge of recruitment. 

This at least partly accounts for the relentless “mission creep” of the modern state. It certainly accounts for “Conservative” ministers, surfing smug tides of Liberty-minded rhetoric, interfering in the minutiae of our lives indistinguishably from openly authoritarian Labourites. There was a time when a moral man like this would become a civil servant but the people who staff our state now lack — almost by definition — any moral scruples about its rôle.

Please tell me I am wrong in this pessimistic analysis. If not, how can we hope peacefully and democratically to roll back the power of the state? If we can’t, then how does the story of our civilisation end?


On being a dispirited activist vs being Pamela Geller

I am reading one of the books I snagged at the Think IEA conference last weekend. It's called A U-Turn on the Road to Serfdom and it contains practical suggestions, based on the 2013 Hayek lecture by Grover Norquist, as to how we might effectively work towards a smaller state. In it Norquist remarks on the electoral effect of the Tea Party movement in the US.

There have been some very good studies about how this affected the voter turnout in places where you had rallies, compared with places where they planned a rally, but it rained, so it was cancelled. You could see that we gained between three million and six million voters in 2010 because of increased political activism: the idea of showing up, seeing other people, realising you weren't alone and that you weren't crazy was very important.

This struck a chord. I am an activist by inclination. In my youth, I was regional chairman of a Maoist school students organisation, Chairman of the Conservative Association at my university, marched to legalise homosexuality in Scotland and Northern Ireland and campaigned on political issues. Once my career became serious and I had a family to take care of, however, I eased off and became politically very isolated. I fell prey to the propaganda of the Left-Establishment orthodoxy. With only the BBC and the mainstream media to guide me, I came to believe that I was – if not alone – part of an unfashionable minority.

Then came the "War on Terror". The Islamic terrorists were rank amateurs compared to the IRA whose campaign I had lived through without once feeling civilisation was in danger. The Irish Republican terrorists were highly-trained (by the Soviets), well-funded (by Irish-Americans) and well-protected (by the Kennedy dynasty in the US, by judges in Germany refusing to deport them, by the Catholic Church refusing to excommunicate them and by its priests providing them with safe houses). The Islamic terrorists have money from their Arab and Iranian sponsors and some of the older ones were trained by the CIA during the Russian campaign in Afghanistan but mostly they are laughable InCel losers. Films like Four Lions and plucky Glaswegians like John Smeaton ("We're from Glasgow, we'll just set about ye") constitute an adequate societal response while law enforcement deals with them as the simple (in all senses) criminals they are.

I mourned the losses of my American friends in 9/11 but feared (presciently as it turned out) the nature of their likely response. I feared (even more presciently) that authoritarian opportunists would cynically use 9/11 as cover to attack civil liberties. How was one classical liberal with a family to take care of and a demanding career to take on Tony Blair, George W. Bush et al. as they – by appearing to respond manfully to panicked calls to "do something" – set about dismantling our freedoms? So, my activism revived a little and I started this blog.

I know. It's hilarious. One man writing from Moscow about the PATRIOT Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act and other such legal euphemisms, was going to make a difference, right? Well, I wasn't quite that dumb. I knew I was lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness. I had no real hope that I would make a difference but I felt a moral obligation to chip in my two cents' worth. To be honest, I didn't want to die having stood silent while the civilisation I believed in was damaged. I don't believe that I have changed the world for the better but I have changed me

I have experienced the warm feeling Norquist describes, of realising that I was neither alone in my views nor crazy to hold them, through fellowship with the readers of this blog and of others like it. I am not sure I have illuminated much with it, but I have kept that "little candle" alive and with it the hope that one day it will pass to someone who will be able to make the difference I have not. I hope the fellowship that has helped me so much has also helped my little band of readers. We have huddled together in the darkness and, at worst, we are still here and still thinking freely.

Though my little candle has not started any fires, those of other bloggers have. To light a fire you need – it seems – more incendiary views than mine. I have just finished reading Fatwa : Hunted in America by Pamela Geller for example. Her blog Atlas Shrugs, now renamed as The Geller Report, found a readership large enough for its advertising to fund campaigns that made a real world difference. She has become enough of a threat to merit (and I do regard it as a high honour) an ISIS attempt to assassinate her. Her security team killed both of her attackers. Her blog revenue also paid for those trained professionals to be there and do that. I envy her that.

Geller is not afraid. She is a feisty, aggressive, Jewish lady and will not back down in the face of what she fears is an embryonic Shoah, instigated by jihadists and supported by the Left/Liberal Western Establishment. She goes too far with her conspiracy theories. I no more believe that the Blairs and Merkels of this world are secretly plotting the downfall of the West than I believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Blair and Merkel do exist, alas, and their conduct does threaten the West but they are greedy fools, not traitors. Despite her imaginative excesses, Geller does great work in exposing the weakness of the West's leadership and the bias of the West's media. Her reward has been for ISIS to try to kill her and for mainstream journalists to "victim blame" her for that! Even President Trump publicly wondered in the aftermath of the assassination attempt (and this really is a compliment from him) why she was so provocative!

Meanwhile the social media giants seek to demonetize her online publications and to smear her relentlessly. Yet she remains, and this I can only admire, a spirited activist. I would be proud if I had pulled just one of her stunts: the one in which she put up two near-identical "hate sites" on Facebook. Every word on the sites was the same, except that one said "Kill the Jews" and the other said "Kill the Palestinians". Then she reported both pages to Facebook's team monitoring compliance with its Terms of Service. The "Kill the Jews" page remains, Facebook having ruled that it was free speech in compliance with its ToS. The "Kill the Palestinians" page was (but of course, did you ever doubt it?) taken down. She has cleverly proved the sinister bias in not just "The" Social Network but all the social networks. For another small example of that bias, I use an aggregator called Feedly for my daily reading list of news and blogs. I can't add the Geller Report to that list because Feedly doesn't recognise its existence. Yes, her website is there. Yes, her free speech is unimpeded. But I have to remember to visit her site because Feedly silently declines to accept it. Yet it would (and quite rightly) let me aggregate any number of hateful anti-Western sites.

Geller's book is not well-written. It is in her authorial voice, which is a tiring high-pitched scream. It's repetitive and just a wee bit narcissistic but it's really worth a read. Her career, whether on any given point she was right or wrong, illustrates clearly the anti-Western bias of the West's political, intellectual and journalistic leadership. While most of our citizens remain proud of the West's achievements, it really seems our elites are are subconsciously intent on civilisational suicide out of sheer self-loathing. Reading it made me feel guilty that, in pursuit of comforts she has cheerfully exchanged for physical danger and vilification,  I have sacrificed so little to its defence. 


A corset-maker by trade, a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination

Bordentown_02

Five years ago today in New Jersey I stood outside the home of my hero Tom Paine, author of Common Sense, The American Crisis, Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.

In his day he was known as “the most dangerous man alive” though his only weapon was his pen. So mightily did he wield it that President John Adams said “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.

He helped shape the new republics of America and France; serving in the Revolutionary French National Convention representing Pas-de-Calais, bravely opposing on moral principle (anti-monarchist though he was) the execution of the deposed King and escaping the guillotine at the hands of Robespierre by pure luck. He was “a corset Maker by trade, a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

Washington had Paine's pamphlet The American Crisis read aloud to his troops to inspire them. It begins:

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

He is the most important but least remembered of the Founding Fathers because — though profoundly religious himself — he offended the conventional (and in the case of the slave-owners, hypocritical) religiosity of the early Americans. Sadly his influence was also lost in France, where his fan Napoleon, who slept with Rights of Man under his pillow but whom Paine recognised shrewdly as “the completest charlatan that ever existed,” overthrew the Revolution.

When I stood before the images hewn into Mount Rushmore, I was probably the only person there thinking it sad that Paine’s was not among them.

I blog under his name not because I agree with all his ideas (he was as misguided in details as he was sound on principles) nor because I consider myself his equal (though he would have insisted upon that) but because he is a hero of the cause of Liberty. Also because if he were alive today the greatest of all pamphleteers (no publication has ever reached the same percentage of Americans as Common Sense) would blog and tweet to dangerous effect. I hoped my humble writings in defence of beleaguered Liberty might exert even a millionth part of the influence his had.

If only his ideas had been as successful in his native Britain as they were in his adopted America how much better the world might be today. I still hope one day we shall bring his revolution home.


Home run

My day started well with a walk on a windy beach and a photo I liked. Then a motel breakfast lowered the tone as it will. I soon cheered up as I hit the road and drove through Kitty Hawk  and back over a bridge to the mainland. My touristic objective for the day was to visit the US Navy at its home base in Norfolk, VA and specifically the retired battleship USS Wisconsin, which is by far the biggest exhibit at a naval museum there.

The drive was perfect, along country roads. I listened to the Outer Banks country station for as long as I could and then to my own music via my iPhone which had hooked itself up to Sally via Apple Car Play. The scenery was classic, the roads were good and the traffic was light, I made good time to Norfolk, found a nearby parking garage and headed off to the museum.

I ignored the interactive educational nonsense and headed straight for the displays. Then I tried to find a vantage point (I couldn't) from which with a 16mm lens I could photograph the entire battleship. A professional photographer working there told me the best place was the top floor of the nearby car park but – just my luck – I had parked in the wrong one.

I had lunch at a local bistro before heading off to my friends in Georgetown. All was well until I hit the DC traffic and then the joy began to drain. It seems that I am a redneck at heart and country roads are where I am happiest.

The updated tour map is here and I am assembling an album of photos to which I will post a link soon. Tomorrow I will do some tourism in DC during the day before heading off to the the airport to drop Sally off and take the redeye home.


In Blackbeard's wake

The only friend I have who lives in North Carolina today commented on Facebook that he has never heard of these islands. All the more kudos then to my Austrian-American lawyer friend in Georgetown who suggested I should drive back via The Outer Banks and not (as I had planned) through the Smokey Mountains. Not, you understand, because I would like any of the things The Outer Banks are famous for. I don't surf, I don't sail, I don't swim in the sea and I find beaches unappealing. Nor am I an outdoorsman and least of all am I a fisherman. I do however like to drive the American Road and, like the protagonists of one of my favourite Simon & Garfunkel songs, I've come "to look for America".

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 17.18.47The most similar places I have been were Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. I took my family to Nantucket years ago. We took a trip to Martha's Vineyard while we were there. If you don't own one of the estates there or enjoy surfing etc., the appeal of those islands is limited. The history of the Nantucket whaling fleet has an afternoon of interest in it and whale watching is great fun, especially if you have young children to marvel at the size of the beasts when they come alongside.  Though anyone willing to marvel will do. The soundtrack of one of my family videos of that trip is rendered hilarious by an American lady marvelling so vigorously at the whales that she replicated Meg Ryan's performance in the most famous scene of "When Harry met Sally".

But I digress. The public areas of those wealthy islands tend to the scruffy. The Kennedys, Obamas and Carly Simons of this world have entourage to do their shopping for them and tend only to leave their estates to visit each other. The Outer Banks are less elitist. Not only do more tourists come to stay in hotels and rentals that must be made appealing to the public, but listening to the local radio (The Outer Banks have an excellent country station) I feel there are probably more locals here. Locals not in the sense of workers brought in to service the private estates but of people who are from the place and would still be here if wealthy city folks had no taste for sea spray and sand in their toes.

It doesn't matter how much money you spend on a beachside home, it always seems to look a bit rickety and windswept and have something of the "shack" about it. Windswept and interesting though, as long as there's sand and sea views. And beachside homes out of season, amid shops and restaurants that are closed until the sun-seekers return, are always going to look that bit shabbier and less chic. I bet the place looks lively and colourful at the times of year it's meant to be enjoyed though. I reflected as I drove that this would have been a great place to make family memories when Mrs P. was alive and the Misses P were young children.

These were my thoughts and impressions during today's short journey. I enjoyed the drive tremendously. I set off from my B&B in Beaufort after a splendid breakfast. I tend not to use B&Bs because they usually want firm advance bookings and I like to be flexible when on the road. Whenever I do use them however I wonder why I don't do it more often. There's such a difference between a breakfast cooked by a human who is going to look you in the eye as she serves it and the "complimentary" breakfasts of roadside motels. It is a good job I ate a hearty breakfast as the places I tried for lunch were closed. That was my own fault because I drove too quickly out of Ocrakoke and Hatteras, the destinations of the two ferries I took today. Each had a cluster of places around the ferry terminal where a chap could have fed royally. Out on the road, however, there was not enough activity to justify keeping restaurants (not even a Dairy Queen) open out of season.

The attraction then was the road itself. Through such villages as the delightfully named "Sealevel" on the mainland this morning it was already pastoral in a seasidey way. Two lane blacktop bounded by scrub and sand. And water everywhere, though mostly glimpsed from bridges or between the beachside homes. I take childish pleasure when driving in America in the road signs written in English – as opposed to the stupid symbols we use in Britain. I saw two new favourites today; one many times – "No fishing from the bridge" and one just once "Autistic Child Area". The latter could have caused an accident as I lost concentration wondering precisely how I should drive differently on the basis of that information. I am afraid I came up with nothing useful so drove as I otherwise would – with precisely the same determination to avoid hitting any children I encountered.

Then came the ferry crossing from Cedar Island to Ocracoke. It lasted from 1030 to 1240 and was fun. I left Sally for a while and wandered around the ship with my camera, photographing mainly the distinctive shrimping boats with their wing-like nets that reminded me of Forrest Gump. I attracted a bit of attention on the ferry as I had driven onto it with the roof down. I had driven roofless since breakfast as the temperatures rose slowly from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 61. It was certainly not as warm as I would have wished but the sun was shining and I wanted both to feel it on my face and to see and smell my surroundings. Sally's heated seat helped as did the regular heater directed to blow on my legs. I thought it was an exaggeration on the part of a kindly American lady to tell me I was "brave". Particularly so soon after the Veterans' Day celebrations of actual courage.

On the islands themselves, as you can see from the map, the ocean is often almost within touching distance on both sides of the road as one drives along. There are "no parking" signs along the road to deter people from just hopping out to go to the beach anywhere – as they certainly could. On the other hand there are regular and neat parking areas with pathways to the beaches for bathers and surfers and tracks for those who have bought a permit to take their 4x4s on the beaches for a drive. 

On a windy day like today the road often resembled a beach. Sand was drifting steadily across at some points, and was suspended in the air like a low red mist at others. Just as I wondered how the local authorities kept the roads clear in such circumstances I encountered a road crew engaged on bulldozing the sand back to prevent further drifting. I also drove in a single file convoy through a long construction zone where a major bridge connecting the islands was being repaired. My favourite parts were on the causeways where narrow sandy beaches no wider than the hard shoulder of an English motorway on both sides of the road were all that separated me from the Atlantic. It was at those moments that I could see why pirates such as Blackbeard used to find these islands an appealing base for their criminal enterprises.

Tonight I am going to watch some TV and chill. The town of Kill Devil Hills looks lively enough and its restaurants are both plentiful and open, but it does not exert enough charm to draw me back outside after the exertion of hauling my heavy case up the stairs to my upper level motel room. The updated map of my tour can be found here if you're interested. Tomorrow I have a longish drive back to Georgetown to spend a final night with my friends there before heading for the airport and home on Thursday. 


Charleston, SC and Beaufort, NC

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Charleston is a beautiful city. It was one of the great cities of the British colonies in the Americas. It was a major port and naval base. 40% of black Americans can trace their ancestry to slaves sold in its little market by the docks

Its present state as a historic city full of old buildings and charm is, like so much in the South, a result of the Civil War. Southerners had so much capital tied up in their slaves, that they were impoverished when the system was abolished. Britain had abolished slavery throughout its remaining colonies eighty years previously but had compensated the owners. They had therefore been able to reinvest and reorganise their businesses to work with free labour. The moral bar had been raised but life and business went on. 

The more dramatic (and some readers will be thinking more ethical) approach taken by the Americans left over 700,000 dead, the South in smoking ruins and once-wealthy Southerners near bankrupt. Morality is a difficult thing. As is democracy.  There is no way that 19th century voters in America would have approved a compensation scheme.  Of course if you had told them the death, destruction and division that would ensue, they might have taken a different view. Hindsight is cheaper than war.

Charleston has olde worlde charm by the shipload because when buildings aged or burned down their owners could only afford to make do and mend. Now any building over 75 years old is preserved by law, however dubious its utility or artistic merit. Ironically the city is doomed to be a living museum of the age of slavery. 

I wandered its streets, camera in hand, and drank in the charm. I signed up for a horse-drawn tour of colonial Charleston and noted that our guide spoke of the British colonists as “we” when other Americans say “they” as if the Revolutionary War deleted the British individuals who founded America and replaced them with new humans, rather than just changed their nationality. 

Over breakfast back in Camden, the bride’s daughter and son-in-law – restaurateurs in Barcelona – had recommended High Cotton, as the place to eat in Charleston. It was a brilliant choice. After sampling a few local beers in the nearby bar, I turned up for my solo reservation and had a fantastic time. New Jerseyites at the next table made conversation, as did the accomplished young waiter and sommeliere.  It would’ve been nice to have a friend to share the experience of course, but it was not the weird occasion it might have been in Britain. I dined on shrimp and grits washed down with a bottle of Pouilly Fuissé and life was good. 

Today I set off early from Charleston to drive up the Carolina coast towards the ferry terminal at Cedar Island from which I will embark tomorrow to reach the “Outer Banks”, a series of islands linked by ferries and causeways many miles off the mainland coast. Blackbeard the pirate was fond of the place and the Wright Bros made my life of travel possible with their brave experiments there.

The nearest bed to the ferry terminal that I could hire was in an elegant B&B in the little sailing town of Beaufort. I arrived in the late afternoon after a pleasant and uneventful journey mostly along minor roads. The pace was slow but I was able all the better to watch ordinary Americans go about their business. Sally the Ford Mustang I hired in Washington DC  is a perfect machine for the task. It was chilly but sunny so I turned up my collar, turned on the heated seat and drove most of the way with the roof down and the cruise control on, thoroughly adjusting to the unhurried pace of the American Road while blending in as I never could in Speranza on my 48 state epic trip of 2013. 

After walking along the waterfront and taking some photographs in Beaufort, I settled down in a Mexican restaurant to have a much more humble meal than last night. I rather shocked the waitress by ordering a pitcher of margaritas to accompany my modest repast. Spanish is not the secret code she thinks it to be so I got the full benefit of her wisdom as she told her manager all about the dissolute alcoholic Brit she was serving. I was as cheerfully unaffected by this as my “large organism” was by the alcohol and tipped her handsomely to introduce some much needed confusion into her narrow mind. 

I am a forty minute drive from the ferry terminal and am booked on the 1030 crossing so will head over there after breakfast tomorrow. The crossing of Blackbeard’s old waters is more than two hours so I will have the whole afternoon to make my way to the beach hotel I am staying at near the Wright Bros testing grounds. 

The updated map of my tour is here


Love and Marriage

On the Great American Road Trip of 2013, the Quarterback (remember him?) told me it was wrong that I felt so at home in the United States and saw it as part of my culture. "These people", he said, "formed their nation in rebellion from yours". So, indeed, they did and I like to think I would have been on the side of that rebellion. In establishing these United States, the Founding Fathers and the first citizens implemented the very best ideas of the English thinkers of the time, including my hero the original and best Tom Paine. It's only a shame that those ideas were not implemented sooner and more fully in the land where they were conceived.

Such historical unpleasantnesses as the Revolutionary War apart (a major battle of which was fought on the land where the wedding I am here to attend took place) there is no question that the language, legal system, modes of worship, customs and manners of my home islands were transplanted successfully here. They have developed in ways that are entertainingly distinctive, but in truth no more different than, say, those of Edinburgh, Scotland from those of London, England. A South Carolina wedding, I am here to inform you, differs little in its essence from one that might take place on the lawn of a country house in England. If the house were close to London, it might even be possible to find a gospel choir similar to that which put us in the right frame of mind before the ceremony began. I doubt though that a British bride would gaily mix the music of that choir with Scottish bagpipes and drums.

To see that choir singing the Lord's praises in English, to watch the bride process to the sound of pipe and drum, and to hear the old English ceremony spoken in a Southern drawl was quite the experience. If Britain is lost to her enemies, our culture will, believe me, live on this side of the Pond.

To see my old friend look so happy as she took her man in marriage was a delight. She shares a Christian name with my late wife and her husband shares mine so I shed a tear as I heard them called upon in those names to be true to each other until death does them part. That moment passed however. I thoroughly enjoyed both the ceremony and the celebrations that followed until I slipped away to avoid the dancing - a form of revelry I simply do not grok. I particularly enjoyed the speech of the bride's son (standing in, as he did at the ceremony, for the father of the bride). He's the English-educated son of her English first husband and has the humorous irreverence that mostly did NOT make it across the Pond. Though the American speeches, heartfelt though they undoubtedly were, came over as too stickily sentimental for English tastes, the American audience seemed to enjoy his jokey, English-style speech as much as I did.

There is something inspiringly optimistic about a wedding. Two people, particularly two far too experienced to be naive, committing to love each other forever is, as Doctor Johnson cynically put it, a triumph of hope over experience. I don't share his cynicism. Screw experience, I am all for hope!

Today the wedding party breaks bread together for the last time before we part company. I shall be heading off on the rest of my road trip and plan to follow roughly the route shown.

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A new age?

It has been a while. My life has been filled with family, friends and festive fun as I hope, gentle reader, has yours. Even this, the first post of 2017, is something of an accident. A young photographer friend of mine responded on Facebook to President Trump's inaugural speech as follows;

Now I am genuinely confused. How do you eradicate an idea unless it's made from bricks?

I replied but soon realised my post was not Facebook material. So here it is for your review and correction. Please let me know in the comments how you would change or add to my draft plan for POTUS to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism as a threat to the USA . 

  1. You begin by naming it. [Done, in the Inauguration speech].

  2. You stop making excuses for it.

  3. You deport its supporters and ensure proper screening of future immigrants from the countries where it is rife.

  4. You publish a threat list of such countries; naming, shaming and withdrawing all aid from them and restricting their citizens' travel to the US until they qualify to be de-listed.

  5. You ensure Saudi Arabia – the heart of Islamic darkness and Western civilisation's most important current enemy – is on that list.

  6. You allow citizens of threat list countries to trade freely with yours so that their isolation is only political. Trade is always good and almost never the legitimate concern of government because countries don't trade — their citizens do.

  7. You override all "Green" opposition to allow free enterprise to open every oil field, fracking site and nuclear plant it can on US and US-friendly territory to make your country energy independent and weaken the Arab oil states on the threat list.

  8. You lean diplomatically on its sources of funds (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the EU — which funds Hamas in Israel).

  9. You arm the West's only ally in the region — Israel — to the teeth and back it loyally in eliminating with extreme prejudice the enemies who threaten it.

  10. You purge its cultural Marxist allies and apologists from US academia — there is no reason to fund treason from taxes; let them sell their indoctrination in the free market if they can.

  11. You equip and train special forces and deploy drones to kill anyone who practises or promotes it.

  12. You cease aid to any country or body (e.g. the UN) that provides support to it.

  13. You announce that you will never intervene in a threat list state militarily to facilitate regime change. No more overthrowing one Arab fascist to make way for another. In making this announcement you acknowledge that President Putin was right to support the recognised government of Syria rather than back first the rebels who proved to be Al Qaida and then the rebels who turned out to be ISIS. You announce your intention to seek President Putin's advice in future such situations.

  14. You close the UN nest of vipers in NYC (and redevelop the land as Trump-branded condominiums to help recover some of the millions wasted on funding US enemies there for decades).

  15. You deploy a fleet in the Mediterranean to sink the smugglers boats, kill the smugglers and land any illegal migrants you may rescue back to their port of embarkation. You order that fleet to destroy any ports still allowing smugglers to operate after having given them fair warning.

  16. You ask President Putin to deploy the Black Sea fleet on a similar mission.

  17. You insist that freeloading parasites like Germany and France pull their weight in the defence of Western civilisation by putting troops in harm's way alongside Americans and Brits where necessary and paying their NATO dues of 2% of GDP (including arrears back to its foundation) or lose the protection of the US nuclear umbrella.

  18. You ignore as irrelevances anyone who finds the above shocking because there is no question the majority of the American public will support all of it.

Today the Free World has a leader who has the balls to do it and "Mad Dog" Mattis in charge of the US military. US "liberals" may be trembling histrionically today but the terrorists they have succoured around the world should be genuinely afraid.

The Enlightenment West is as powerful as it chooses to be. All it has to do is quit the self loathing political correctness and believe in itself again — as its despised  "ordinary" people have never ceased to do. You may say the above programme is not libertarian and you would be right. It is a plan for the US as currently constituted, not as I would wish it to be. In a libertarian America, for example, there would be no state funding of universities and so it would be up to their owners to decide whether to employ Marxists and other enemies of the Enlightenment - and up to students and their families to decide if they want to pay for an anti-Western education that equips them for nothing productive.

In the meantime, drain that swamp, Mr President. Gentle reader, please discuss. 


The Infants Still Crying Wolf

You Are Still Crying Wolf | Slate Star Codex

I have said my piece on Trump for now but the worldwide wets of the special snowflake meltdown just can't give it a rest. Scott Alexander over at Slate Star Codex is trying to administer some soothing facts to them. Good luck with that. Here's how he addresses their anguished cry of "racist!!!" for example. 

Trump made gains among blacks. He made big among Latinos. He made gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people. I want to repeat that: the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population.

Nor was there some surge in white turnout. I don’t think we have official numbers yet, but by eyeballing what data we have it looks very much like whites turned out in equal or lesser numbers this year than in 2012, 2008, and so on.

And here's the voting data. Not that facts ever got in the way of their identity politics hatred and division campaigns before, right?

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If they weren't making people hate each other by falsely accusing people of hating each other it would be funny. God knows it's all I can do to keep from hating them.