Much Like Julian Assange, Roseanne Barr is Not Your Friend

So I still read witty lawyer Ken White ( @popehat ) in spite of his unfortunate tendency to RT the oldskool conservative soi-disant “intelligentsia” like @Allahpundit (who once gleefully RTd “gorilla arms” tweets about Michelle Obama).  Personally I don’t see any big diff between Allahpundit and Gatewaypundit but I guess Allahpundit gets a pass from Ken because of professional courtesy– he’s a lawyer.

I wrote about Julian Assange here— but I do not get why Ken would ponder about Roseanne’s loon aspect being exposed– she really did vote Trump IRL– she is an Israeli-nazi.  Roseanne won’t talk about Greater Israel on her sitcom– she will talk about jobs and the economy.  Ever since Roseanne has had a twitter account she has been passionately pro-Israel.

Roseanne is just as stealthy as Ricky Vaughn or Spotted Toad— she isn’t going to tell you her real reason for secretly supporting Trump– it’s because Trump whole-heartedly supports the ethnic cleansing of muslim/Palestinians in Israeli claimed territory.  Huffpo on Vaughn:

But his desire ― or need ― to be all things to all racists no longer worked. The opportunism that gave him mass appeal when the far-right was unified during the Trump campaign and for several months after the election also spelled his doom after last summer’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The deadly rally was a disaster for the alt-right. The infighting began soon after. And Ricky Vaughn was a target.

“That same strategy of one foot in the mainstream camp and one foot in the white nationalist camp didn’t hold up after Charlottesville,” Hankes from the SPLC said. “You saw him getting attacked pretty viciously by the hard right in the post-Charlottesville moment where a large part of the alt-right was black-pilled (i.e. soured) on Trump. That mainstream strategy kind of crumbled and ruined his credibility.”

He was too soft, many other white nationalists said. Too much of a sellout. Many denounced him. But Ricky Vaughn kept fighting for relevance. A month ago, in the debut of his own “Ricky Vaughncast” podcast, he described his new approach, which was softer even still. He felt the alt-right should move away from trying to publicly convert people to white nationalism with brute-force propaganda and instead seduce them secretly in private.

lol– caveat emptor.

Roseanne is going to feed Trump’s base the same MAGA/jobs/BS that Trump fed them…but her covert agenda is Greater Israel.

I guess its true, we always become what we most despise.  Roseanne has become a nazi.


Still Looking for Mr. Goodbar

“A New Prophet” lol– posing for the part.

I just don’t get why Scott Alexander is so ummm… “respected” by the twitterati… the guy seems profoundly clueless and incredibly dense.  eg, if you make a safe space for racist and/or misogynist and/or homophobic and/or xenophobic speech obviously the racists, misogynists, homophobes and xenophobes will only become MOAR openly phobic and entrenched in their views.  Alexander is basically removing the social capital penalty for those kinds of anti-social behaviors enforced by the cultural evolution of US society.  So Alexander (much like his fellow traveler David Brooks) is not offering any kind of solution to our current socio-cultural woes.  “Respecting” the redtribe won’t increase their permeability to reason and science.  This seems like such a failure to grasp basic social physics and biology of belief research that I find it difficult to believe Alexander is as credentialed as he claims to be.  I too wanted to understand the schism between red and blue so I made a doomed effort to comment at the Cult of SSC for a couple of months.  My conclusion is that the red/grey tribe is neither understandable or persuadable– we are simply not the same.

So that’s why I find Alexander’s latest enraptured embrace of Jordan Petersen so hilarious, in a comedie noir semi-tragic fashion, of course.   Petersen reminds me of a slick scientology proselytizer more than anything ( without the Xenu), but Alexander is apparently head over heels about him, comparing him favorably to CS Lewis.

Twelve Rules isn’t another such thinkpiece. The thinkpieces are people pointing out a gap. Twelve Rules is an attempt to fill it. This isn’t unprecedented – there are always a handful of cult leaders and ideologues making vague promises. But if you join the cult leaders you become a cultist, and if you join the ideologues you become the kind of person Eric Hoffer warned you about. Twelve Rules is something that could, in theory, work for intact human beings. It’s really impressive.

And so learning that Jordan Peterson, who in his off-hours injects pharmaceutical-grade meaning into thousands of disillusioned young people men (ed. correction– there is no indication that Peterson appeals to young women in any sort of numbers)– learning that even he doesn’t have much he can do except listen and try to help people organize their narrative – is really calming and helpful.

I agree with Nathan Robinson here.

Jordan Peterson’s popularity is the sign of a deeply impoverished political and intellectual landscape… if you want to appear very profound and convince people to take you seriously, but have nothing of value to say, there is a tried and tested method. First, take some extremely obvious platitude or truism. Make sure it actually does contain some insight, though it can be rather vague. Something like “if you’re too conciliatory, you will sometimes get taken advantage of” or “many moral values are similar across human societies.” Then, try to restate your platitude using as many words as possible, as unintelligibly as possible, while never repeating yourself exactly. Use highly technical language drawn from many different academic disciplines, so that no one person will ever have adequate training to fully evaluate your work. Construct elaborate theories with many parts. Draw diagrams. Use italics liberally to indicate that you are using words in a highly specific and idiosyncratic sense. Never say anything too specific, and if you do, qualify it heavily so that you can always insist you meant the opposite. Then evangelize: speak as confidently as possible, as if you are sharing God’s own truth. Accept no criticisms: insist that any skeptic has either misinterpreted you or has actually already admitted that you are correct. Talk as much as possible and listen as little as possible. Follow these steps, and your success will be assured. (It does help if you are male and Caucasian.)

I wrote about this here when someone suggested Ann Coulter as an exemplar of a new public intellectual of the red/grey tribe– the right is engaged in a desperate search for appealing spokesmen and leadership– the old guard of conservative intellectuals have all left the building.

Alexander is still metaphorically looking for Mr. Goodbar.  Looking for Mr. Goodbar is a 20th century novel–  a psychological thriller about a young woman’s obsessive search for the agent of her own death.  Now I’m not saying embracing Petersen as a champion of the red/grey axis would cause Scott Alexander’s actual death…just the metaphorical death of the GOP.  And I would argue that the GOP has already found its Mr. Goodbar in Donald Trump, the overwhelming choice of the base.  I just cant wait for the slasher finale, where Trump grinds the red tribe /grey tribe coalition into lamb patties.  I don’t think Petersen’s infinite series of platitudes and cliches is going to hold much value in the post-Trump apocalyptic landscape of the future.

The Male Malady, Misogyny, and the Human Condition

I was prescient in my Men Who Hate Women series (1 2 3), as it turns out.  Every day there are more allegations of rape, intimidation, and sexual misconduct brought against powerful men in our society.

Louis C.K., Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Richard Dawkins, etc….all men who secretly hate women and exploit females and the young and regard them as property with less rights than adult males.   Reddit suspended r/incels today because of  extreme nasty.

The 40,000-strong community was nominally a “support group” for people who lack romantic relationships and sex. “They are involuntarily celibate or ‘incel’.” However, popular posts from the last few months include ones titled “all women are sluts”; “proof that girls are nothing but trash that use men” and “reasons why women are the embodiment of evil”.

Members describe women as “femoids” and the men they have sex with as “chads”. There are many examples, documented on a watchdog subreddit called IncelTears, where incels have condoned or advocated rape, or described it as a made-up construct.

The author of the boingboing piece decries “hypersensitivity” but the acts of some women coming forward have apparently lanced the boil.  Now the pus will come pouring out. It looks like Nagle was right in Kill All Normies in chapter six– from Quillette review–

– Ch 6. The driving force of the underbelly of the alt-right is misogyny fueled by sexual failure.

I think everyone should read Gilmores book– Misogyny, the Male Malady.  It explained a lot to me.


Prince Reckless

My favorite pic of Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, aka MBS, aka Prince Reckless.  Tall and handsome, young yet poised and accomplished, intelligent and cunning.  The perfect representative of a Kingdom of 70% youth.

I didn’t start out as a fan.  I thought he actually wanted to be another Ataturk!  But that was just a headfake to win support from DC lobbyists.  One thing MBS isnt doing is any return to “moderate islam”.  In fact, there is an intensive KSA program to spread wahhabism in Indonesia, home to 202 million “moderate” muslims.

I do not think the joint US/Saud program to sanitize ahadith can possibly be successful– largely because of secular science and the internet, although there is also an islamic argument– but I will cover the n-gram (shannon) entropy of sacred texts in another post devoted to information theory.

MBS support of the rewriting ahadith program is consistent with throwing a sop to the Americans.  A “return to moderate Islam” is not even on the table.  Its something MBS used to get American support.  From the Intercept article–

The move marks a moment of reckoning for Washington’s foreign policy establishment, which struck a bargain of sorts with Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S. who has been MBS’s leading advocate in Washington. The unspoken arrangement was clear: The UAE and Saudi Arabia would pump millions into Washington’s political ecosystem while mouthing a belief in “reform,” and Washington would pretend to believe that they meant it. MBS has won praise for some policies, like an openness to reconsidering Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers.

The always excellent Dr. Davidson– from the Qatar rift— it is sheer brilliance how Trump was manipulated by MBS and amusing how Tillerson et al have to scurry to mend fences.

Trump pointedly chose Saudi Arabia for his first official overseas visit, on which he signed several big-ticket arms deals. And just hours after Riyadh severed relations with Doha, he tweeted that, when it comes to terrorism funding, “all reference was pointing to Qatar” and that “perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism”.But the White House was soon apprised of the full extent of the US’s military facilities in Qatar, including the difficult-to-move forward headquarters of US Central Command (CENTCOM), and the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, hurriedly attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone. For a moment, it seemed any immediate danger to Doha had subsided. Indeed, as recently reported, Trump had apparently given an emphatic “no” to any military action, preferring to leave the quarrelling Gulf states to their own devices.

But its too late.  Trump has been more than happy to blowup any Obama legacy policy he could, and so has been wholly invested in the strategy to roll back Iranian influence, wreck the “concert” system of balance of power Obama was working on for the ME, and possibly withdraw from the Iran treaty.

The sheer genius of the MBS approach, to leave US and Israel with the Crown Prince as their only option, is breathtaking.  A proto-sovereign sunni bloc…can that happen?  A KSA independent of US yoke of servitude…an automous entity in MENA.  Plus, an entity equipped with all latest mecha…mirable dictu.

I don’t think Prince Reckless wants to be Ataturk… I think he wants to be Saladdin.

Killing Hitler

So here is Conor Friedersdorf’s taxonomy of violent protest movements.  He starts with his usual profound misunderstanding of islamic movements like ISIS– ISIS is not a protest movement– they don’t have street marches and protests– it is a violent armed insurgency that deliberately uses terror as a long-game strategy in asymmetrical warfighting.  It has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, Anti-fa, white supremacists, confederate revanchists or neo-Nazis.

ISIS has nothing to do with Naziism either.  Do you know, Conor, what movement is affiliated with Naziism?  The neo-Nazis that marched in the “Unite the Right” parade in Charlottesville.

So I ax Conor on his TL if he would go back in time and kill Hitler, given the opportunity.  No response of course.  It seems to me that if one is willing to go back in time to kill Hitler that is use of violence to achieve a goal.  Because thats what Anti-fa is trying to do.  Kill a Hitler before one emerges by exposing/destroying the potential base of support for fascism.  (ed. note:In these arguments I never want to go back in time to kill Hitler.  I think Hitler was an emergent effect of the spacetime composition of the German citizenry, there were likely many proto-Hitlers in the population, just like there was emergent fascism.  Problematic to eliminate them all.  No, if I get magical time travel powers someday (magical because time-travel to the past is improbable because of closedform timecurves) I would save Alan Turing and bring him to the future.  Because of biology there are infinitely many proto-Hitlers out there but only one Alan Turing.)

That aside Anti-fa is just what their name suggests– against fascists.   Dr. Wang at PEC has a fascism checklist based on this source I think.  Trump has checked quite a few boxes so far.  So if you were trying to prevent fascist ideology from colonizing a permeable sub-population– like low-information red tribe voters and confederate revanchists/white supremacists in the US– what would you be willing to do?  Would you use violence?  Because, violence works.  Just ask Hannah Arendt or Kwame Ture (Howard university philosophy major).

In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent has to have a conscience.

If your opponent is viewed as not human, disposable, and in this hyper-polarized climate this is endemic, violence happens.  The consistent thing about Anti-fa is they are responding to violence, responding to invasion of their space.  The tiki torch parade happened before any Anti-fa showed up, and the polo shirt sporting incels intimidated a small group of female uni students protesting fascism.  That the violence was implied doesnt make it any less real.  The Unite the Right meme is “taking back” their country/cities/turf.  The unis and cities dont want them there.  Neither does anti-fa.

So is defensive violence ok or not?  It seems like Anti-fa is defending their communities against disruptive invasions.  “Unite the Right” discussed using violence in the chat-logs used to plan the march, planned for violence.

If there is ONE THING the divided country should be able to agree on, its that Naziism is BAD.  Fascism is BAD.

Personally i think the GOP needs to grow a spine, and Friedersdorf needs to grow a spine AND a conscience and cut out the bothsidesdoitism and whataboutism that seems so consistant in his opinions.

Conor, try to remember only one side is sporting paired Confederate and Nazi flags.



There Is No Counternarrative

The US profoundly sucks at counterinsurgency (aka “counterterrorism”)…as evidenced by the epic fail of the Viet Nam war, OIF and OEF.  US is so very, very bad at counterinsurgency that it has now resorted to directly outsourcing the counterinsurgent effort to the local most badass tyrant/dictator/strongman/monarch in a profound contradiction of its oft-stated policy of promoting liberty, freedom, and justice for all (pluralist democracy lol), ie propping the local baddie (eg, Assad in Syria, Sisi in Egypt).  But I digress– I’m really here to talk counternarratives.  It would seem like outreach would be a great idea, non? But the US program on CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) has been terminated by the Trump administrationTant pis, because that program could have been directed to outreach to radicalized youth in the alt-right and anti-fa movements non?

Lately there’s a whole rash of articles about “reaching out”, and part of the imperative is the “reaching out to radicalized youth ” where anti-fa is force-equivalenced with white nationalists, incels, channers, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.  I feel like a talking parrot at this point, but both sides are not the same.   Anti-fa are protesting against fascists coming to their town or university— what counternarrative are they offered?  Allow it?

Socio-physics equivalency between ISIS and the Alt-right is being drawn with a heavy-hand as well.  This analysis ignores the widely disparate proximate causes of emergence of ISIS and the Alt-right: ISIS is primarily motivated by brutal western aggression in islamic lands while the Alt-right is basically an internal grievance movement– confederate revanchists, neo-Nazis, incels, channers, white nationalists, HBD proponents, evangelicals, rationalists etc .

First– Dr. Atran– Don’t just Denounce Radicalized Youth. Engage with Them.  Unlike America, his research into youth radicalization hasnt been defunded by the Trump admin.  But he’s still wrong.  Atran is on the record as stating there is no counternarrative to ISIS.  The only counternarrative that would work for ISIS is self-representative government for the islamic world. Why would there be a counternarrative for the Alt-Right?  The Alt-Right wants to capture US culture and redirect it.  Main stream American culture has been rejecting their ideology for decades.  Atran is backed by the US pundit class– We’ll Beat the Fascists with Ideas not Fists, etc.  But how do you engage with sexually frustrated incels and Beta-males?  These guys have already lost the culture war– girls won’t date them.  And adding neo-Nazis, AR-15s  and Confederate flags to the mix will just reduce their dating chances, not improve them.

What counternarrative will get these guys dates?

So, Dr. Atran– what counternarrative can you offer the Alt-right?

No one (except Nagle) will talk about this, but there is a deep and broad current of profound misogyny in the Alt-right.  I think 10 years ago James Damore would have just brought a semi-automatic to work and capped a few of his female  co-workers instead of posting a screed to an internal online group discussing women in tech.  This is probably a good thing, but we need to admit the underlying cause of their disaffection– the Right has been disenfranchised from culture.

I just do not think its possible to construct a counternarrative for the alt-right, any more than it was possible to succeed at CVE for islamic youth.  Dr. Atran is delusional.  Culture has moved on.  The VMAs were like an anti-Trump rally Sunday night.  Pink wore a “Fuck Trump” jacket.  Eminem lead an anti-Trump chant.  Paris Jackson delivered a diatribe on Charlottesville.

“Leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville, and all over the country, that as a nation — with ‘liberty’ as our slogan — we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination,” she urged the crowd. “We must resist.”

Something I learned in Evo Theory of Culture 101– a tribe without reps can’t long survive.  Culture evolves, and moves on.  Arts and Academe are the leading edge of the wave.

The reason Cthulu swims left is entropy — what confederate fan-boiz, neo-Nazis, the Alt-right, the Alt-Light, evangelicals, channers, Proud Boys, Identity Europa, incels, “rationalists”, Donald Trump and the GOP all have in common is a fervent desire for an entropy reset– to return to a past cooler and more ordered state.

Which like futile fantasies of counternarratives simply can’t be done.

UPDATE:  Milo Yiannopoulis is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.




Trump: the Cronenburg President

Scene from the Phoenix rally in Trump’s America.

I think Donald Trump is a Cronenburg.

Definition: (noun) A twisted mockery of a human being. Distorted beyond all recognition but still retaining enough human qualities to suggest a human origin. Often a result of a horrible virus or malevolent alien entity attempting to create a human race in it’s own sick image.

A deformed pinkish-orange monster.

I flat love Rick and Morty. And my favorite ep of all time is Rick Potion #9, where Rick creates a Morty love potion that turns the world (except for genetic kin of Morty) into first– mantis-people, and then the antidote turns them into Cronenburgs.  You can see the whole ep here.

I just think Trump is so physically repulsive by normative American standards, he MUST be some sort of mutation.  But his true Cronenburg manifestation is his raging mutation of American values.  Racism, tacit support for Nazis, white supremacists and KKK, attacks on the freedom of the press…incredible.

I have always loved cartoons.  I think they are the cultural DNA of America.  Political/cultural commentary and current events are threaded through South Park, Courage, Invader Zim, Squidbillies, Bob’s Burgers, Simpsons, Aqua Teens– but the ultimate best is Rick and Morty.  And now I’m horrified to see my country turning (perhaps as much as) half Cronenburg, lead by the biggest fattest most repulsive Cronenburg of all.

Trump is spreading the virus of hatred and it turns Americans ugly.  We need to get rid of our Cronenburg president before its too late.