During the recent incarnation of the domestic terror organization Black Lives Matter, a group of BLM organizers in Florence, South Carolina received permission to paint a “Black Lives Matter” mural on a section of street in downtown Florence. The mural is meant to depict various scenes from African and African-American history, including some Egyptian elements.
The mural itself was a community effort, and took around three or four days to paint. In all fairness, it was a peaceful project with the full support of the City of Florence, and seemed to be an expressive way for the black community to participate in a project that isn’t overtly destructive. Creating art—even historically inaccurate, propagandist art—is generally preferable to looting stores.
However, the City of Florence has decided to remove the mural. Naturally, it’s resulted in a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth from blacks and gentry white liberals in Florence, who are accusing Mayor Wukela—a red-diaper baby and progressive Democrat—of racism, of suppressing black voices, and the usual litany of complaints.
Of course, that has nothing to do with why Florence City Council—which is overwhelming Democratic and heavily African-American—is removing the mural.
We’re continuing our dive into the B-sides and deep cuts of the TPP oeuvre. For this Lazy Sunday, I decided to check out September 2019.
Whoa! What a gold mine of hidden gems and nuggets, forgotten in the tide of events. I didn’t realize how many good posts I generate during that first full month of the 2019-2020 school year. There’s enough for a couple of weeks, but here are three forgotten posts to tide you over until next Sunday:
“Remembering 1519” – With The New York Times‘s 1619 Project all the rage—a retelling of American history in which racism and slavery are the only pertinent factors in our grand national story—this post examined a piece from The Federalist about Hernan Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs in 1519. Rather than framing it as evil Europeans callously destroying the peaceful natives (any fifth grader can tell you the Aztecs were anything but peaceful), he flips the script to something closer to the Truth: the Catholic Christian Spaniards toppled a wicked regime built on human sacrifice and false gods. The Spanish weren’t angels, but they destroyed a great evil.
“Saturn: The Creepiest Planet?” – Quora inspired this post, and the site has now become a favorite of mine for people smarmily answering astronomy questions. The Solar System has always fascinated me, and Saturn in particular is alluring—so mysterious and regal, with its massive rings. I’ve even written a song, “The Rings of Saturn,” which I will hopefully record one day. The Quora post in question asked “What is the creepiest planet in our solar system?”; the answer, per a recording of Saturn’s electromagnetic waves, is Saturn. The embedded video to that recording is now, sadly, dead, but I’m sure some intrepid searching could turn it up.
“A Tale of Two Cyclists” – One of my more frivolous and cantankerous posts, this short screed denounces “spandex-festooned cyclists riding in the middle of a busy lane during rush hour.” Yet my sympathies are entirely with the second cyclist, “a black man of indeterminate age…. wearing street clothes, and riding what appeared to be a fairly rundown bike.” I have no problem with folks who use a bike as their primary means of transportation, lacking any other options. But these large groups of “cyclists” who ostentatiously hog entire lanes at 5 PM drive me batty.
That’s it for this Sunday! We’ll continue our exploration for at least another week, as there are some more goodies from September 2019 to explore.
A couple of days before the start of the school year, my school underwent a round of indoctrination professional development: the dreaded diversity, equity, and inclusion training ($5 subs got a sneak peek of my handwritten notes earlier this week, which I uploaded as a digitized PDF). As these things go, it wasn’t terrible, but there was plenty of social justice buzz words, and a subtle, implied anti-white bias to it. Really, it was an anti-Truth and objectivity bias.
This Saturday, permit me to be your guide through the harrowing world of corporate-style diversity training in the Year of Our Wokeness Two-Thousand and Twenty C.E. (because “A.D.” is discriminatory against non-Christians, even though the B.C.E./C.E. dating system is still based on the Birth of Jesus Christ!).
Yesterday, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate Herman Cain passed away after a long struggle against The Virus. Cain was 74.
Breitbartcalls Cain a “Conservative firebrand,” which was apparent to anyone following the crowded 2011-2012 Republican presidential primaries. Like 2016, that was a crowded primary field, with tons of conservative darlings and Establishment types alike jumping into the field. Back in those days, everybody thought Barack Obama was going to be the next Jimmy Carter—an ineffectual, overly-progressive one-termer. The economy stunk, Obama seemed out of his depth, and conservatives were united and motivated to get out and vote.
Herman Cain quickly set himself apart from the rest of the crowd, though—he wasn’t a career politician, but a successful businessman (according to John Derbyshire, Cain is also somewhat a mathematical genius). He put out his bold “9-9-9 Plan“—flat, nine percent national sales, income, and corporate tax rates. Cain’s reasoning: “If ten percent is good enough for God, nine percent is good enough for the federal government.” Yes, it was a bit far-fetched, but it was catchy, and in an era of high corporate and income taxes—both of which undermined American business competitiveness domestically and abroad—it resonated with voters. The implicit reference to the biblical tithe also let voters know Cain was a devoted Christian, which was a welcome change from the open hostility of the Obama administration to religious liberty.
A major lesson of the 2016 election was that the neoliberal consensus of the prior thirty years was not the panacea its advocates claimed. Trump’s candidacy was premised on the notion that the national government should work for the interests of the nation’s people, not on behalf of globalist concerns and aloof cosmopolitan elites. Government could be reformed to strengthen the nation, rather than operating as the piggy bank for and protector of internationalists.
It’s interesting to reflect how entrenched the assumptions of neoliberalism were prior to 2015-2016. When Trump began his historic campaign, virtually no one on the Right was talking about tariffs, other than Pat Buchanan (and a long essay on the necessity of a trade war with China that Oren Cass wrote for National Review in 2014). The outsourcing of jobs overseas was assumed to be a short-term sacrifice that would result in more efficiency (ergo, lower prices on consumer goods) and more skilled jobs here. We were a “nation of immigrants,” so we’d better throw the doors wide open.
With Trump’s election, a long-dormant populist wing reemerged, consisting both of conservative Republicans and disgruntled Democrats. Tariffs became an important foreign and domestic policy tool. A trade war with China soon began, and the United States renegotiated the NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada. Manufacturing jobs began returning to the United States, and immigration laws began to be enforced (so long as those Hawaiian judges didn’t get in the way). The economy, rather than contracting as the free trade hardliners warned, grew exponentially, and even now is recovering at a remarkable clip after The Age of The Virus temporarily sidelined it.
It’s been awhile (3 April 2020) since I’ve written a Phone it in Friday, which means I’ve been doing my job and writing actual content on Friday, not just slapping together listicles of random thoughts (that link is not intended to diminish Audre Myers, a far more engaging random thinker than me). That said, today seems like a good opportunity to phone it in—after a day of baby wranglingyesterday, and a fitful night’s sleep (thanks in part to some heavy, but delicious, meals).
Yesterday, I wrote about the destruction of statues of American leaders—the destruction of American history. My position is that tearing down virtually any statue—Confederate, Union, Theodore Roosevelt, etc.—is the untenable erasure of our nation’s history. Further, the historic illiteracy of the woke SJWs has seen the defenestration of statues of abolitionists—an absurdity for groups that claim to be fighting against the legacy of slavery.
In that context, I made a big deal about the toppling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln has assumed something of a demigod status in American history, one that glosses over some of the thorny issues of how to respond to the secession of the Southern States (a real question at the time was, having opted into the Constitution, could States later opt out; for a good biographical read on that issue, check out “A Voice of Reason” by John Marquardt at the Abbeville Institute). Lincoln was certainly a man with many noble qualities, and a keen constitutional mind. The toppling of his statues is the height of insanity—or nearly so.
Statues are coming down all over the United States. A few years ago, during our nation’s last bout of racialist temper tantrums and looting, the calls were for Confederate monuments to come down, on the premise that our nation shouldn’t celebrate “losers” and “traitors.” For an historically illiterate population that just knows that “slavery was because of bad white Southerners,” it was a compelling, if ultra-simplistic and stupid, case.
At the time, many conservatives pointed out that, hey, if you start tearing down statues of former slave owners, you’re inevitably going to move onto George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Should we really judge great men of the past solely based on one practice, one that we now acknowledge as immoral, but that was widespread—and, let’s not forget, practiced globally, with particular zest and gusto among Muslims—during their lives? And let’s not forget that many slave owners wished to see the ultimate demise of the “peculiar institution.”
What we’re seeing now is an orgy of presentism, one that fits nicely with the orgy of animalistic rioting. These ignorant, borderline illiterate (they are, in fact, excessively educated in Grievance and Victim Studies, but uneducated in actual knowledge and Truth) progressives and their pawns live in a perpetual present, in which the only good is whatever the social justice commissars decided at the last struggle session. “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”
Amid all the upheaval of the past few weeks, conservatives are wondering, “What next?” and “Where did we go wrong?” There are multiple answers to both questions. To the latter, there are the familiar suspects: the 1960s, the Progressive Era of the early twentieth century, the influence of the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism, etc.
One possible answer—one that’s been pushed aside in our historically incompetent and racially hypersensitive era—is the victory of the Union in the American Civil War. I wrote extensively about “The Cultural Consequences of the American Civil War” a few weeks ago; in that essay, I wrote that
…[T]he biggest legacy of the American Civil War was that it marked the victory of a certain Yankee political philosophy and political economy over the rest of the country. The North and the South took fundamentally different views of the world….
…[T]he larger point was that the South existed in a far more traditional version of the world than the Yankee.
The Yankee, instead, came from a Puritanical/Calvinist perspective. Weaver argued that the Southerner recognized and named evil, but rather than try to stamp it out—thereby breeding a multitude of smaller, more insidious evils—he sought to fence it off, to mark it. The Northern Puritan sought to eradicate evil–thus the radical abolitionist impulse (in the context of the Civil War), on down to the modern-day “Puritanism” of the SJWs, for whom nothing is ever good enough.
Immediately after the Civil War, the South, being out of national politics in the Reconstruction Era, could not stop the political-economic alliance of the North and West, which put into place high protective tariffs and expanded federal authority….
And so on. Essentially, the victory of the Union, which brought many material blessings, and the moral good of abolishing slavery, also brought with it the totalizing influence of Yankee imperialism and the erosion of legitimate States’ rights at the expense of expanding federal power.