TBT: Populists and Elites

One of the blessings of the Trump administration was that Trump reminded us how fun regular people are.  Sure, I love the symphony and all that stuff, but a representative government should be basically populist—it should care about the people it governs, and look out for their interests.  Leaders should reflect the people, not set themselves against the people.  At most, our officials should strive to set examples for how a good life can be lived.

The thrust of this piece—written one year ago today—is that elitism is shockingly ignorant:  it presumes that anything that does not interest the elitist is somehow barbaric and simplistic.  That our own elites embrace the vulgar and raise up vice as a virtue suggests their elitism is supremely misguided—or lacking entirely.

Few remember now Michael Bloomberg’s disastrous run for the Democratic primary last year—it was so long ago!—but it was the political embodiment of clueless elitism against Trumpian populism.  Bloomberg had the resources and the softly center-Left stance to buy himself into the White House, or at least the Democratic nomination, but he bungled it so badly, even his supporters were in awe of his ineptitude.

Well, now we have a senile, fraudulent feebster leading a puppet regime, so it seems gross incompetence is no longer a barrier to entry to the highest office in the land.  Perhaps a healthy dose of elitism is needed after all.

Regardless, here is 18 February 2021’s “Populists and Elites“:

Read More »

Five Dollar Friday: The Elites and a Giant Clock

Today’s post is an exclusive for $5 and higher subscribers to my SubscribeStar page.  Five Dollar Fridays will be a regular feature heading into the 2020 election, with unique analysis of and insights into the presidential and other national, State, and local elections.

America’s cities are aflame, in a more ghoulish, pointless reenactment of the upheavals of 1968.  The organizations behind various protest movements and rioting all parrot the same meaningless platitudes:  “Black Lives Matter,” “Abolish the Suburbs,” “Wake Up Motherf**kers, Wake Up,” etc.  There even seems to be an attempt to normalize pedophilia—the logical, horrifying next step for the LGBTQ2A+ set.

Despite Republicans enjoying official political control of the presidency and the Senate, the Left clearly dominates the culture, the media, academia, Big Tech, and more.  The question is, how much of this dominance was deliberately orchestrated, and how much of it is the result of various organic left-wing movements?

Most conservatives are familiar with the radical Left’s “long march through the institutions,” in which ’60s radicals and former hippies gained cushy sinecures in government and academia, and began dribbling their Marxist dogma into the political and cultural thought of the country.  The anti-war movement and the sense of restlessness among post-war youths offered fertile ground for anti-American ideas, especially when swaddled in terms of “peace” and “love.”

But how much of that was intentional, and how much of it the result of happenstance?  Perhaps an answer rests with a Jeff Bezos-funded, ten-thousand year clock hidden in a Texas mountain.

H/T to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire and Z Man for the idea for this week’s post.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe for $5 or higher to my SubscribeStar page.

Donate to The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation

$5.00

TBT: [Censored.TV] Lineup Announced

Other than Roosh V, probably the greatest influence on my deeper red-pilling was Gavin McInnes.  McInnes’s commentary is funny, lively, and fresh.  I have consumed hundreds of hours of his popular podcast, Get Off My Lawn, so I’ve heard a lot of his thoughts on a broad range of topics.  Even when I disagree with his assessment of some event, his perspective is unique and interesting.

Milo is also a part of McInnes’s world, and his sharp, erudite, biting commentary—and excellent journalism—routinely inspire posts on this site, such as Monday’s piece “What is Civilization?

Back in Summer 2019, McInnes—who, like Laura Loomer, has been banned from multiple platforms—launched Censored.TV, which at the time was FreeSpeech.TV (thus the brackets in this post’s title, and in the original post below; the service changed its name after another company threatened a trademark suit against McInnes).  The service, which is just $10 a month or $100 for a year, features about a dozen different personalities and shows, ranging from “Gary’s Mailbag”—a homeless man who wanders around outside the studio and reads letters—to Milo’s raucous “Friday Night’s All Right.”

The main message of the original post was to encourage readers to support content they like (myself included!), especially conservatives.  Platforms like SubscribeStar help give conservatives and dissidents a voice, but those platforms are oases of freedom in a desert of techno-tyranny.

With that, here is 2019’s “FreeSpeech.TV Lineup Announced“:

Thanks to my brother for this nocturnal news update:  Gavin McInnes’s new subscription-based service, [Censored.TV], is ready to launch.  Listeners to the excellent, hilarious Get Off My Lawn podcast know that Gavin has been planning this platform for some time now, so it’s exciting to see the lineup.  The most exciting part of that schedule:  the twice-monthly sit-downs with Milo Yiannopoulos to talk about the news.  Talk about throwing gasoline onto a raging fire of awesomeness.

The service is $10 a month, or $100 a year, which is on par with Steven Crowder’s Mug Club or Ben Shapiro’s subscription.  I just don’t think it comes with a Leftist Tears Hot-or-Cold Tumbler, much less a far superior hand-etched mug.  But with McInnes’s crazy, controversial, humorous observations about life and culture, I can live without a drinking vessel tossed in (although it would be hysterical to drink coffee from a mug made to look like McInnes’s bearded mug).

Because of constant censorship from techno-elites and their ever-shifting “terms of services,” conservative and Dissident Right voices have fewer and fewer options to raise funds.  Some sites, like immigration patriot website VDare.com, can’t even use PayPal anymore.  As such, more and more content creators are turning to alternative or free-speech-friendly services, or undertaking the cost of creating their own infrastructure, so they can continue to get their work to fans.

I am definitely a small fry in this game of commentary, but that’s why I’ve setup a page with SubscribeStar.  My goal isn’t too live off of subscriptions, but just to supplement my income slightly to make blogging more on a daily basis more feasible (and to reinvest some of the funds into maintaining and improving the experience).

For guys like Gavin McInnes, who has been hounded from even supposed safe havens like his old employer, CRTV (now BlazeTV), reliable income streams aren’t a passing lark—they’re absolutely crucial.

In a better timeline, McInnes would be hosting Red Eye.  But he’s a fighter, and I have no doubt his new service will continue to deliver the laughs.

Free speech isn’t free.  Support creators like McInness, Crowder, Shapiro, and Milo to the best of your ability to keep their content alive.

If you’d like to support MY content, consider signing up for a subscription to my SubscribeStar page.  New, exclusive content every Saturday, starting at just $1 a month.

Donate to The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

$5.00

More Tech Censorship

Another round of tech censorship is upon us.  The Trump campaign has been banned from streaming service Twitch (which I thought was just for gamers and girls with big boobs).  A bunch of conservative and Right-leaning personalities have been banned from YouTube, including Gavin McInnes, who built his own platform at Censored.TV.  Immigration patriot website VDare may lose its domain registrar, forcing the website to the Dark Web and TOR browsers.

Probably the most shocking is the digital defenestration of Stefan Molyneux, the grandiloquent Internet philosopher.  Molyneux’s Freedomain Radio touts itself as “the world’s number one philosophy show,” and Molyneux’s output is ponderously prolific.  Within hours of major news events, Molyneux will have long “The Truth about [Insert Controversial Figure or Event Here]” videos uploaded, meticulously researched and supported with fact-filled PowerPoints.

Lately, though, Molyneux has been posting videos of his daughter’s tadpole pool, or of the two of them building a turtle garden.  He’s also been livestreaming Doom—controversial in the Tipper Gore era of schoolmarmish censorship of video games and music, maybe, but not thirty years later, and certainly not grounds for deplatforming.

So why did the Left decide to destroy Molyneux’s livelihood?  The simple answers:  because he’s Right-wing, and because they could.

Read More »

Trump Takes Action on Big Tech

President Trump finally did it—after years of calls from blackballed conservatives, GEOTUS signed an executive order yesterday removing liability protections for social media companies that censor users based on their political views.

Here is a lengthy excerpt from Fox News‘s reporting:

The president’s order, which also cuts federal funding for social media platforms that censor users’ political views, came just two days after Twitter took the unprecedented step of slapping a “misleading” warning label on two of Trump’s tweets concerning the fraud risks of nationwide mail-in balloting. The move immediately backfired: Experts disputed that Trump’s tweet was actually misleading, in part because mail-in balloting has been linked to ongoing fraud; Twitter’s fact-check itself contained false statements; and Twitter failed to apply the standard of review to other users.

At Thursday’s signing ceremony, Trump called the fact-check “egregious,” and held up a photo of Twitter executive Yoel Roth, who heads up the site’s fact-checking and rules-making operation. Fox News reported on Wednesday that Roth has mocked Trump supporters, called Trump’s team “ACTUAL NAZIS,” slammed “scary trannies” in New York City, and called GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a “bag of farts.” (In a statement, Twitter did not dispute Fox News’ reporting, but called it “unfortunate.”)

“My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” the president said.

Essentially, social media platforms have always had a choice:  either act as a publisher, in which case you’re liable for what users post, but you can remove and censor content as you see fit; or act as a neutral platform, in which case you’re protected from liability for what users post.  Twitter, Facebook, et. al., are trying to have the best of both worlds—ban political posts and users with which they disagree under the companies’ “Terms of Services,” while disclaiming responsibility for everything else.

Read More »

Populists and Elites

This past weekend gave Americans two studies in contrasts, between President Trump and Democratic hopeful Michael Bloomberg.  Contrasting these two men and their attitudes highlights the wide divide between populists and elites.

On the one hand, President Trump made a grand entrance to the Daytona 500, where he served as the iconic race’s grand marshal.  NASCAR is a hugely popular sport among President Trump’s core supporters, so that move was good politics.  But it was also an acknowledgment of the humanity of his supporters, and an endorsement of a key event in their lives.

I’ve never understood the appeal of NASCAR personally (other than the crashes… and then you realize that a real person is inside that hunk of steel, and the thrill quickly vanishes).  But that doesn’t matter.  Millions of Americans love the sport, and my inability or unwillingness to understand or appreciate it doesn’t detract from their enjoyment.  Nor does it mean they’re wrong to enjoy the sport.

That’s the trap most elitists fall into—“if I don’t like something, then it’s the height of philistinism!”  I confess I get this way about rap music, but I can at least articulate an objective case against rap (it lacks melody, its subject matter is often foul and dehumanizing, it is often unsophisticated in its musical structure, etc.).  Nor do I seek to destroy it, even if I believe—sincerely—that it is detrimental to the health of our society.

There’s also a haughty arrogance to most elitists:  they presume that they what they like is nuanced and complex, whereas everything else is simplistic rubbish for rubes.

Such was the case of former New York City Mayor Bloomberg, who ostentatiously proclaimed that farming is a job any moron could do, while information technology work is difficult and requires more “gray matter.”  Here is the quotation from the linked Fox News article:

“You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that,” Bloomberg said during a 2016 appearance at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School. “At one point, 98 percent of the world worked in agriculture, now it’s 2 percent in the United States,” he continued.

Ask any gardener how easy it is to grow even the simplest of plants.  How many of us have killed a potted plant due to lack of watering, or overwatering?

Now, apply that to hundreds of acres of crops, many of which are complex, genetically-engineered supercrops that depend on a deep understanding of agronomy, horticulture, biology, and chemistry.  There’s a reason people go to school for four years to become farmers.

And farming is hard work.  That’s nothing against all the code monkeys out there slaving over a hot C++ compressor (that reference probably dates me, and illustrates my ignorance of coding).  But both professions require focus, attention to detail, and a degree of erudition.

If anything, coding is probably easier.  Lest I indulge in the same arrogance as Bloomberg, just consider how we’re importing Third Worlders (mostly from India) to write code for us (undercutting the ability of native-born Americans to make a good salary in tech).  Indians are bright, hardworking people, but their ability to code well is more the result of relentless focus and intense family and social pressures.  Anyone willing to apply the effort could figure it out.

And it’s not slaving away in a field, sweating every weather forecast, wondering if it will rain too much this winter, or if the late frost does or does not come.  Will a hurricane hit and wipe out an entire crop?  Will hail destroy my barn?  The code monkey’s biggest worry is when his next shipment of Mountain Dew Code Red is coming in, and if he’ll have it in time to help him meet his next deadline.

Regardless, President Trump is the model of respect for Middle America:  he respects the people that work hard, and he respects their interests and traditions.  Michael Bloomberg is an out-of-touch elitist who disdains everyone who doesn’t have enough money to buy the Democratic nomination.

When NeverTrumpers ring their hands over “decorum” and “character,” they should understand that President Trump has shown his character through his actions:  he cares about his voters, and about Americans generally.  Michael Bloomberg only cares about Michael Bloomberg.

TBT: Tucker Carlson’s Diagnosis

This week’s TBT looks back to a piece I wrote in January 2019 that summarized a segment Tucker Carlson did on his wildly popular show.  That segment really shaped my thinking on some economic and social issues (although other commentators and writers were already influencing my thinking in that direction).

Earlier this week, I wrote a piece about another Tucker segment that applied these concerns into a political platform, of sorts, one that moves beyond economic growth to real improvement for people’s lives.

This blog post was a bit shorter, so I’ll allow it to speak for itself.  It’s definitely worth watching the linked video in the piece, as it is the segment the post covers.

Here is January 2019’s “Tucker Carlson’s Diagnosis“:

recent monologue from Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program is blowing up the right-wing blogosphere, and understandably so.  Carlson has been a vocal critic of the neoliberal deification of economic efficiency at all costs.  I used to be a member of this cult, until the candidacy of Donald Trump (and lived experience) knocked the idealistic scales from my eyes.

Normally, it bugs me when people send me video clips to watch.  If they’re cutesy videos of the variety that drive clicks—think cats playing piano, or Goth versions of Christmas songs—I usually ignore them, no matter how hyped they are.  That’s not some virtue on my part; I just don’t want to take the time to watch them, especially on a cell phone (a pet peeve:  someone making me watch a video on their cell phone; I will refuse).

That said, I’m indulging in some hypocrisy:  you must watch this video as soon as you’re able.

For those of you that don’t want to take the time, here are some highlights:

  • Elites care only about maximizing economic efficiency, regardless of the human costs to individuals, families, and communities
  • That lust for efficiency drives income inequality, particularly benefiting the technology sector/Silicon Valley
  • “We are ruled by mercenaries, who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule”—a key idea; I’ve read a similar analysis from controversial blogger Z-Man, in which he argues that leaders in a democracy are, inherently, renters rather than owners, and therefore are heavily tempted towards asset-stripping while in office, rather than building and maintaining a nation:  http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=15929
  • Because of the hollowing out of American manufacturing and declining wages (again, due in part to the quest for efficiency), men struggle to find employment or to improve their wages
    • Because of that, rural parts of the country are dominated increasingly by healthcare and education, female-dominated fields
    • While better wages for women is fine, Carlson claims that—whether or not they should—women are less likely to marry men who earn less than them, therefore

These are just some of the most interesting insights, but Carlson sums up in fifteen minutes what would take a legion of hack bloggers like me hours or weeks to explain.

Again, I urge you to watch this video:  https://video.foxnews.com/v/5985464569001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Lazy Sunday LXV: Techno-Weirdos II

The New Year is chugging along, with Democratic primaries and caucuses mere weeks away.  Early voting has already started, as I noted yesterday.  “Tom Steyer’s Belt” continues to drive surreal amounts of traffic, which I suppose is one metric for the ubiquity of his ads.

Perhaps the greatest ally the eventual Democratic nominee will have is Big Tech.  We’re already witnessing the preemptive deplatforming of various conservative and anti-Leftist figures.  Attempts to weed out “fake” news—which to the Left is any news not reflexively critical of Trump—and to “fact check” conservatives are going to pick up as the election approaches.

Tech censorship raises a number of thorny questions that our traditional understanding of rights and obligations struggles to answer.  The question of free speech is particularly tricky, as it does seem that the monopolistic power—and the active collusion between them!—of Big Tech companies effectively strangles dissent.

That might be constitutional in a strictly literal sense—at least it’s not the government infringing on our rights—but it certainly violates the spirit of freedom of speech.  And, seriously, who doesn’t think the apparatchiks in The Swamp aren’t eagerly working hand-in-iron-fist with Google to keep tabs on us?

Does anyone have a copy of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act sitting around?  Maybe we should dust that off.  Trump would make a good trust-buster, as would Attorney General Bill Barr.  I’d sure love to see a political cartoon of the ursiline Barr swinging a club at a computer screen.

With that, here are two recent pieces I’ve written on tech companies and censorship:

  • Free Speech in the Private Sector” – This post looked at a lengthy essay from science-fiction author Cory Doctorow, in which he argued that our traditional understanding of freedom of speech is insufficient in addressing tech censorship.  The old libertarian canard that “a private company can set whatever limits on speech it wants” is a worthy ideal, but when the “private company” dominates the public square and effectively makes some forms of expression or some ideas unspeakable, then do we really have free speech?
  • Mailchimp Monkeys with Molyneux” – As if on cue, Mailchimp obligingly proved Doctorow’s point when it deplatformed Stefan Molyneux in a Twitter-induced panic.  Mailchimp might not be monopolistic in the way, say, Google is, but it’s all part of that cabal of freedom-hating e-litists.  Molyneux is a bit grandiose, to be sure, but he’s been maligned as being all sorts of unacceptable -isms and -ists that he simply isn’t.

That’s it for this week, folks.  Here’s to another week of selling our data to faceless technocratic overlords.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: First They Came for Crowder

It’s been a week for discussing tech censorship.  Yesterday, I wrote about Stefan Molyneux’s suspension from Mailchimp.  That was the result of deliberate misinformation and a handful of Twitter trolls.  It’s scary to consider that that’s all it takes to be deplatformed.

Such incidences are eerily, distressingly common.  Milo, Gavin McInnes, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones—all victims of Big Tech’s insatiable lust for virtue-signalling and social control.

This week’s TBT, then, looks back to Summer 2019, when conservative comedian Steven Crowder saw himself at the center of an on-again, off-again controversy regarding a mincing radical.

The great English physician said (I’m paraphrasing here) that we don’t need to be taught so much as we need to be reminded.  Crowder has endured with an excellent legal team, but it’s worth our time to consider the past (and present) battles in the ever-raging culture war.

Here is 2019’s “First They Came for Crowder“:

The big news in the conservative world this week was YouTube’s unceremonious demonetizing of Steven Crowder, yet another example of techno-elites censoring conservative and dissident voices.  Apparently, YouTube has somewhat reversed that decision if Crowder removes the hilarious “Socialism is for Figs” t-shirt from his website’s store (which, if that link is any indication, they have done).

The occasion for this deplatforming was a bout of limp-wristed hysterics from gay Hispanic (that’s a two-fer) Carlos Maza, a whinging, soyboy-ish fop with a penchant for calls of violence against conservatives.  Once again, loafer-lightened totalitarianism rears its fabulous head.

Maza argued that Crowder had “bullied” him in a series of sketches lampooning the sassy Latina’s emphatic videos for Vox.  As such, Maza demanded YouTube demonetize Crowder’s videos on its site.  When YouTube refused, Captain Canines led progressive journalists on a crusade against YouTube, claiming it didn’t do enough to protect LGBTQ2+etc. creators.

Please.  As Will Chamberlain writes in a piece on Human Events, Maza is one of the most privileged people on the planet:  he’s a flamingly gay Hispanic journalist.  Few people enjoy greater access to the full might and rancor of the progressive press (but I repeat myself) than this guy.

Crowder, on the other hand, has to hawk humorous t-shirts and hand-etched mugs to create a source of non-YouTube funding in order to keep his show going.  He’s been urging fans to subscribe to Mug Club for years for precisely this reason:  YouTube could pull the rug out at any moment (use promo code “Free Speech” for $30 off an annual subscription—that’s an incredible bargain).

YouTube brought in users with the promise of using their platform to make a living.  Now that they have a monopolistic market share of viewer eyeballs, they murkily shift their guidelines like a witch’s cauldron, booting conservatives for the slightest perceived offense.

Conservative content creators need reliable sources of funding to fight against the progressive media machine.  Steven Crowder needs your support.

And trust me—the mug alone is worth $70.