Monday, April 30, 2018

"So I Said to Morrissey"...the Left, the Right, and the Future of "Britishness".

Like many politically-minded people who lean to the right, England, and Europe in general, has been on my mind for the last few years, and even more so in the last few months, and weeks. I expect this is mostly because we, meaning American Conservatives, see Britain as not just our cultural prototype, but more so as a litmus of how many of our shared issues are dealt with effectively or not, as we try to learn from their canary in the coalmine of globalism and intersectionality.

Just recently, from the safety of our cozy stateside armchairs, we watched the state sponsored bureaucratic health care system (NHS) of Britain use the Mercyside police force to stop a sick child's parents from going against their dictum to employ euthanasia on him. We saw a man sent to jail for flipping off an automated traffic camera in the most invasive surveillance state the worldwide. We saw another man (Count Dankula) fined and narrowly avoid jail time for an off-color Youtube video joke, and we have seen numerous people in Great Britain prosecuted for low grade trolling, or even posting their opinions on Twitter and Facebook. Yet, the authorities of Old Blighty walk on eggshells regarding press mentions of Muslim rape gangs in Rotherham, which they can no longer hide by their usual tactic of manipulating statistical descriptions so they appear as something they are not.

England probably thinks she is doing a bang up job, at least when compared to meek little Sweden, or even riot-drenched Paris, but there are a handful of brave souls who have done the unthinkable and have, gasp, crossed the Rubicon and dared to speak out publicly. One noticeable celebrity voice that has been gradually added to the choir of skeptics, Classical Liberals, and true Conservatives, who usually hold down the fort of rebuttal has been the often out-spoken British Alternative Pop-Rock superstar, Morrissey.

Many, many, years ago I briefly met the recently solo former Smith's front man, and intentional provocateur, Stephen Morrissey. I was working in a record store at the time...remember those? And he had come in like any music lover, to browse.

Now, I was, and am, quite the Smith's and Morrissey fan, so I approached him tentatively in order to express my appreciation for his artistry, and to be a bit of a second-hand fanboy, by requesting his autograph for a friend.

We chatted briefly, and at one point I said to Morrissey, "I want to thank you. Your first album with the Smiths got me through a rough period of my life between high school and college." He enigmatically replied in a concoction of self-effacing coyness and pithy condescension saying, "I'm so sorry for you".

At the time I didn't quite know how to respond to what I would view today as an admirable minor trolling, and so, I just muttered something that passed as a grumbling agreement and I let him get on with his music collecting. Oh well...

Regardless, I have to admit that as a card-carrying member of the "anglo-sphere", I've always felt that Morrissey, the personality, somehow summed up modern Britishness. He was ethnically Irish, was a fan of Americana, and was from the working class north. Add to it that his word-smithing leaned, and leans, to that of a 19th century educated gentleman with a penchant for verbosity that rivals Oscar Wilde, he captured a generation of educated malcontents. But perhaps most importantly, Morrissey has always somehow managed to fuse the passive-aggressive / politeness-bluntness speech patterns of British repartee with the Punk ethos of Anarchic dadaism.

He was outspoken on pretty much every subject, and even when I personally disagreed with him, or his statements didn't reflect an issue of interest or importance to me, I still respected his dedication to being an "agent provocateur".

But, in the present climate of the west, caused by a collusion of Marxist Globalists, otherwise known as self-professed "Progressives", and their puppets in the spheres of media and academia, words that don't endorse every bullet point of their dictatorial narrative are deemed "micro-aggressions", or even "hate speech". Ironically, even a chap like Morrissey, who most people would categorize as very liberal, have come under fire by the thought and language police of the far left, and have been labeled, no surprise here, as "fascist".

Given, as an intentional button pusher whose statements often present conflicting extremes of opinion, Morrissey has confounded those on both the left and right, and no more so than in a most recent interview posted to Moz's website with someone named "John Riggers", who may even indeed be a pseudonym for Morrissey himself. In it Morrissey addresses his past, present, and future career moves, his unwavering vegetarianism, and of course his pointed but lackadaisical dislike of the monarchy. But it's his take on other social topics that are relevant to the state of Britain, and the west in general.

So, let's look at a few excerpts from the message.

Morrissey, speaking about Brexit, states:

"That should tell you all you need to know about the outstanding lack of neutrality within the British press. It’s all a pointless argument anyway because, as you’ve surely noticed, Brexit did not happen. The EU wouldn’t allow it to happen. It is now a dead issue. The people said Leave but the EU said no. People wanted to leave the EU because of the complete erosion of freedom under EU rules, and the fair-minded majority now see in even more frightening ways how very much they are hated by the EU, not to mention the British political elite.

...Hungary, Italy, Finland and Poland will leave before the UK is allowed to. A second referendum is muttered about but people don’t realize how a second referendum will see an ever higher percentage of people voting Leave. What then? A third referendum?

...There are local elections but people use their vote with national party figures in mind. UKIP is dead, and Nigel Farage aided their downfall by supporting Henry Bolton. Theresa May was always a Prime Minister uninvited. She is incapable of leadership. She cannot say her own name unless it’s written down on a cue card in front of her."

Well, whether you are on the left or on the right, British or American, there is almost no denying that Morrissey is  absolutely dead on here.

The feckless Theresa May and her shambling Tories have still failed to enact Brexit, against the wishes of the majority of British voters, and one can only assume that it's because they are invested in the bureaucracy of the E.U., and are essentially little different from the Neo-Con Corporatist wing of the American GOP.

After the brutal Manchester bombing of an Ariana Grande concert by a Jihadist, local boy makes good Morrissey went on record stating that it might be time for Britain to re-evaluate her immigration policy, and be more strict about who is being let into the nation.While this seems like a practical suggestion of policy change in light of a bad situation (and the fact that England is peopled by some 23,000 known former ISIS operatives), this is of course absolute blasphemy to the globalists, who don't believe in borders and national sovereignty at all. In league with their radicalized intersectionalist brethren, whose identitarian victim hierarchy categorizes Muslims as sacrosanct, they are compelled to unilaterally forgive 1400 years of Islamic military expansionist Imperialism as well as 250 terror attacks per year.

He continues, expanding on his feelings about May and Islam, saying:

"I recall her speech on Eid al-Adhar, and how she referred to it as a ”joyous celebration”… as millions of animals had their throats slit to mark the occasion. I wondered what kind of compassion she could possibly have. The answer is none. However, the Conservatives conserve nothing in modern Britain. In fact, they are the prime destructors of British heritage. Labour are no different from the Conservatives in that they do not object to FGM, halal slaughter, child marriage, and so on. There is no moral clarity with these people, and you shouldn’t vote in a certain way simply because you always have. Do you have the nerve to vote differently? If you have any concern for animal welfare, for example, you cannot possibly vote for either Conservatives or Labour, because both parties support halal slaughter, which, as we all know, is evil. Furthermore, halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of ISIS, and yet in England we have halal meat served in hospitals and schools! UK law is pointless!"

Referring to Jewish kosher slaughter, he adds:

"It, too, must be banned. I am not saying that stunned slaughter is acceptable, because it couldn’t ever be. If you use the term ‘humane slaughter’ then you might as well talk in terms of ‘humane rape’.

Now I personally have no problem with Halal or Kosher slaughter, as I am not an animal rights activist, and I eat meat, and I do view the intention of both to be more humane to the animal by letting it bleed to death rather than just smashing its skull in, so this is moot point for me. But in his statement Morrissey reflects the mounting concern of everyday Brits, who see their government as not only ineffective against Islamic extremist terror, but one that proposes to give Islam special treatment in placement and speech, and even gives slack to Muslim-generated violence, that is not accorded to British Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, or any other franchise.

Morrissey demonstrably states his feelings about London mayor Sadiq Khan and the increase of street violence in London, saying:

"London is debased. The Mayor of London tells us about ”Neighborhood policin ” - what is ‘policin’? He tells us London is an ”amazin ” city. What is ‘amazin’? This is the Mayor of London! And he cannot talk properly! I saw an interview where he was discussing mental health, and he repeatedly said ”men’el ”… he could not say the words ‘mental health’. The Mayor of London! Civilisation is over!

...London is second only to Bangladesh for acid attacks. All of the attacks are non-white, and so they cannot be truthfully addressed by the British government or the Met Police or the BBC because of political correctness. What this means is that the perpetrator is considered to be as much of a victim as the actual victim. We live in the Age of Atrocity."

I personally feel that Morrissey is well within his rights to state his opinion of Sadiq Khan, and even pose his objections to his "cockneyisms", and call civic / cultural violence out for what it is, because certainly, the British press, the government, and the police will not.

At one point I was going to devote an entire Gauntlet post just to Sadiq Khan, who I feel is one of the worst major city mayors, globally. Luckily, I'm an American, so I can say what I want about him without the fear of the police stopping by my home, or being prosecuted for an on-line offense.

Speaking out against the leftist controlled media and their opinion squelching tactics, he notes:

"They don’t discuss, they insult. If all fails they’ll conclude the interview by calling your grandmother a fat slob. Diverse opinion is banned in England, debate is over. The most offensive thing you can do in modern Britain is to have an opinion and to talk clearly...The tabloids would attack me if I reversed global warming. I once made a comment about China and of course The Guardian  attacked me, but the next day David Cameron said more or less the same thing about China and The Guardian  praised him! So, you see, personal bias is usually at the root.”

Morrissey's strong feelings here about the press - echoed quite clearly in the United States in all-time abysmally low opinion polls regarding the media in general, and President Trump's frequent pithy tirades against "fake news", may not seem very shocking when coming out of the mouth of Tory politicians like Jacob Rees-Mogg, philosophers like Dr. Jordan Peterson, internet skeptics like Sargon of Akkad, media opinion makers such as Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham, or as he stated, David Cameron, but for a lifelong celebrity radical such as Morrissey, specifically known for his support of leftist, liberal, and progressive causes, to be attacked as earnestly as Conservatives usually are, betrays not only that the left is more than willing to eat itself, but that England has entered some pretty murky territory.

Sadly, this media morass is just a manifestation of the push and pull of the culture war between globalism and sovereignty that we on this side of the pond have wandered into as well, and share with our older brothers in the mother country.

Fortunately, Americans are far more apt to "get up in each other's faces" at this point (we're rude bastards), and bonus, we're very armed, so the government knows not to throw its weight around as much as they do in Britain. 

In the end the distinction may be that Conservatives in America generally pride themselves on holding to a different set of philosophies than the left, especially and since the Tea Party Libertarian "reformation". In fact, many have gone out of their way to distance themselves from those neo-cons, RINOS and corporatists who have too much in common where the left and the right are on the same page.

Sadly, in England this does not seem to be the case, and it appears that the puritanical streak of the Tories seems for all intensive purposes to have morphed them into serving as willing pawns of intersectionality and the identity politics of the Labour Party and their media.

The bottom line, Britain is now in the business of shutting down discourse and trampling on their citizens rights to express their opinion on-line, in their homes, in the press, or on the street.

Very sad, and I for one hope that this disease does not spread.

Morrissey does offer one end piece of advice here. When asked "How can we be saved?", he simply replies, "Music is your only friend."

I don't know if that will solve all of England's, and Europe's, or America's problems, but, hey, it's a start.

Till next time.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

Welcome back to the Gauntlet of Balthazar and the Bandcamp hosted 391 & the Army of Astraea Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away.

Today's track, "Easter Fool", is one of my recent  personal favorites of the more industrial-tinged pieces that I've cranked out lately.

Recorded in the aftermath of Easter Sunday and April Fools Day, which as you may have realized, coincided this year, the theme took on a more off-kilter dissonant "harlequin" sort of element, especially in the second part.


Till next time.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

From the Writer's Studio: Danger, Will Robinson! Lost in Space, Again - the Review

Okay, okay, I'll admit it that I got sucked into this one due to my own childhood nostalgia, but there are some really nice things about Netflix's brand-spanking new reboot of the classic (mostly daffy) 1960's prime time science fiction series Lost in Space.

So, as usual in the "From the Writer's Studio" feature of the Gauntlet, let's take a look at the original series and compare what innovative and / or predictable or political changes the new series has made to that original template.

According to the rather concise Wikipedia page on the subject: "Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series created and produced by Irwin Allen. The series follows the adventures of a pioneering family of space colonists who struggle to survive in a strange and often hostile universe after their ship is sabotaged and thrown off course. The show ran for three seasons, with 83 episodes airing between 1965 and 1968. The first season was filmed in black and white, with the second and third seasons filmed in color."

The premise of the original series (as well as the content of the much later unveiled and never aired original pilot episode) actually leaned fairly to the dark side for a piece of its sort at the time. This sinister quality was reflected mostly in the first season (and parts of the second), where the on-board antagonist, narcissistic psychologist Dr. Zachary Smith launched into recurring forays of oblique sabotage that was insidious, unforgivable, and malevolent. Yet, the Robinson's always found it in their collective hearts to not leave him behind.

Admittedly, in league with external villains (often played by guest stars) this worked fairly well in the non-episodic "monster of the week" format of mid-late 1960's prime time television, but we can only assume that network executives wanted "more lovable" characters, and so, Dr. Smith quickly became a caricature of himself, and was morphed, (with amazing verve by veteran character actor Jonathan Harris I might add) into a conniving, mischievous coward, whose antics became almost comical in both their tactics and their predictability. Regardless, without the proactive schemes of the Dr. Smith character, almost none of the action within the original series would have moved forward. 

The rest of the cast were in many respects archetypes of the time, and not surprisingly they were, excluding Dr. Smith; the military pilot, Major Don West; and the Robot, one family unit, similarly to contemporary popular television westerns like Bonanza.

We had the father turned able Captain, Dr. John Robinson, who led the way. The supportive wife, Dr. Maureen Robinson, who served as the conscience of the crew. Their beautiful and compliant older daughter, Judy Robinson, who filled the post as the erstwhile and ever unrequited love interest of the otherwise secondary male protagonist, Major West. And lastly, we had the dual child prodigies, Penny and Will Robinson, who invariably presented the clever solution out of whatever quandary the crew had encountered earlier in the episode, and of course, in the nick of time.

Bouncing endlessly from earth-like planet to earth-like planet, the Robinson family and their "guests" always sought to get back home, only to somehow miscalculate their trajectory, encounter strange phenomena, and of course, stumble into a new adventure.

As an over-arching critique I am, in general, mostly adverse to reboots, and I tend to view them as a sad manifestation of the entertainment industry's failure to explore news artists and to produce new and innovative franchises, in league with their penchant to capitalize on "safe" pre-existing market bases. 

Saying that, I absolutely and totally adored Ron Moore's Battle-Star Galactica 2004 Redux, which I still regard not only as a great update of a beloved classic series, but as a truly complex, wonderful and ground-breaking stand alone science fiction series.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that my reticence and perennial dislike of reboots may be personally motivated - a pet peeve of a screen-writer who has designed several series that I perceive could be very successful both artistically and financially, but are as yet still un-produced. But, suffice it to say, my vexation is still probably best encapsulated in the oft overheard complaint, "Hey, can't those guys in Hollywood ever come up with new stuff?"

Well, while there may not be that many totally ground-breaking ideas in the new Lost in Space, created by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, of "Dracula Untold" fame, I have to say that it does bring some nice new touches to the table.

So I guess the operative question is: what are those nice new touches?

First and foremost, the relationship between John and Maureen Robinson is much more strained, and one might argue, much more realistic, and is reflective of real world issues. This is very contemporary and serves as an obvious counter to the asexual patriarch-matriarch paradigm of the original. These nuances of rejection, abandonment, past joy, career priorities, and the simmering power dynamics of their relationship is subtly underwritten in dialogue between the characters, and is remarkably voiced by talented actors Toby Stephens and Molly Parker.

While this is hyper-realistic, this is also playing both sides of sexual politics, in that, by crafting Maureen as essentially the lead as well as the scientifically brightest character, it appeases the feminist in all of us, yet, when push comes to shove in times of stress, the less brainy, more brawny, male characters are the ones to grab the nearest knife and kill the present threat ala caveman etiquette as the girls standby and shriek.

In essence this is destroying a series of gender stereotypes, while promoting another gender stereotype, an almost ancient one, for better or worse. But as I said, it's not without its realism.

Regardless, achieving this sort of balance is not an easy road to hoe, and I suspect that there may be some confused blow-back on the social justice media front.

Then again, when isn't there?

The two girls, Judy and Penny, unlike in the original series and in the feature film (which is best left for a whole other analysis), are much closer in age and are much more overtly competitive with one another. Also, John is presented as Judy's Step-Father, which aside from the realism of a less than archetypal family structure, is a minor element that may be presented as a component in the sister's dynamic later, but hopefully not, as a race card would be a low hanging fruit, and would be a "low context" issue, which is why the subject was delicately broached by out-family group character Don West. They are played respectively by Taylor Russell and Mina Sundwall, who are both really excellent young actors.

Young Will Robinson is still as naive as he was in the original and is now played by diminutive Maxwell Jenkins. Yet, he is also presented as not as capable as his character was in the original, to the point where (warning: minor spoiler ahead) his mother orchestrates a system hack in order for him to pass the test to be included on the mission. This entails that his dynamic strongly relies on an "overcoming adversity despite deficits" motif that depicts him as an underdog which the viewer will associate with rooting for the triumph of human nature over empirical data. Sadly, many contemporary screenwriters (probably unconscious victims of third stream feminism) feel that not only must they bump up the abilities of female characters, they must also present males as deficient in some respects. But, I digress.

This brings us to Major Don West, or now just Don West (I don't think they've mentioned his rank yet), who is snarkily played by Argentine-born actor Ignacio Serricchio. He is a little more Han Solo than his antecedent, and his fulcrum rests firmly on the overt mercenary / selflessness paradigm that has driven the arc of many the anti-hero in film and television history. Still, very fun to watch.

The robot is very contemporary in design and carries with it a much more overt fascination / fear component than was implied in the original. As a agent of, we can assume, an insect-like alien life form, it attacks the human colonists, and in essence causes the failure that maroons the Jupiter missions. I say missions, since the Robinson's ship is but one of many downed colony ships on the same alien planet, where the episodic story-line continues. This of course means that the extended cast is larger, which leaves room for future conflict, unless they go all "Terranova" on us.

The largest axe the team has taken to new series is probably in regard to the Dr. Smith character, who is no longer male, nor a doctor, but is instead a lying, identity stealing, murdering psychopath. In fact, we even see her take Dr. Smith's identity on screen - played in cameo (nice touch) by original cast member Billy Mumy. Parker Posey, known for her forays into tongue-and-cheek comedy aptly plays June Harris cum Dr. Smith (a name homage to actress June Lockhart) with a quirky, insidious flair that implies the unpredictable danger of Smith's character in its original envisioning.

Visually the practical effects, ship wreckage, vehicles, and the Vancouver location sets, as well as the large amount of discernible CG, are all top of the line, and clearly, no expense was sparred. The direction is standard yet quite nice, and the sporadic use of flashbacks, even far into the episodes, is plied as a useful tool to explain story notes in the present.

Also, the re-working of the original John Williams theme is pretty cool.

Saying that, I do have some visual design problems with the outing, the primary of which is the contemporary look of the series on earth. Everything is essentially 2018, and aside from the fact that there has been some mild environmental upshot from a meteor impact, all of the technology presented is virtually identical to ours. Cell phones are the same. Military hardware is the same. Retail stores are the same. People sit around listening to music from the 1970's. Yet aside from a few predictable references to "the death of books", we are led to believe that even though it seems exactly like our world, we have also built a fleet of light year-traversing capable space craft.

This is not how technology works. Engineering innovations and design changes effect society on a whole, and we evidence this as we see the inhabitants of small Indian villages popping out their iphones. I personally like to call this writing / production failure "the Surrogate Effect", named so after the otherwise well-written Bruce Willis film, which posited a global robot revolution, but also presented no visible effects of that revolution on any other aspect of society. Utter nonsense.

So to sum up, aside from a minor complaint about the reality in general, all in all I have to say that I like the new Lost in Space very much and look forward to seeing more.

Four out of Five Gauntlet's up!

Till next time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

Welcome back, or welcome for the first time, to the Gauntlet of Balthazar, and this weeks installment of the Bandcamp hosted 391 & the Army of Astraea Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away.

Today's track is titled "The Army of Astraea (Remix)", and aside from the "theme song" aspect of the name, the piece veers strongly into the realm of industrial atonality, and is dominated by a sequence of dozens of algorithmic artificial voice tracks built around a single chord structure.

As usual, enjoy!

Till next time.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Contrarian Strategist : A Conservatives Guide...A Karmic Follow Up

In light of the Gauntlet's pleasing success with the last installment of the Contrarian Strategist: A Conservative's Guide to Effective Arguing with Leftists, I thought I'd follow up with some observations about my own evolution to Conservatism to help both those who share my beliefs, as well as those who can not understand where we stand and how we broke free of the dominant political narrative, of both sides.

So, I have a little real-life story today, set in that far-off before time of promising yet challenged electronics, known as the 1980's.

It was a brand new semester and the weather was still balmy in the early fall of 1985, and a new, visible, and vexing group had suddenly materialized on my college campus that greatly concerned me. They were actively attempting to attract new members and were handing out literature around the student union. At first I thought they were perhaps some born-again group, but as I glanced at their literature I was immediately angered.

I say angered of course because the word "triggered" hadn't been coined yet.

But anyway, back to the story.

You see, the band of activists were describing themselves as "Conservatives", and were seemingly led by a fellow who I had actually gone to high school with, who we'll call Mike, mostly because, uhm, his name was Mike.

As a fellow Art School graduate and Punk, I felt that Mike had somehow betrayed the Anarchist ethos that I believed we previously shared, and I must say, though I pictured myself as having moved past the more extreme Marxist tendencies I held at the age of fourteen, I must admit that I pretty much led the charge of counter protest against Mike's fledgling group.

We showed up to their meetings and sat in silent protest, we confronted them on the quad and argued with them, and if I had to crystallize my feelings and suspicions about them, I felt that they were...well, they were just Nazis.

Mike even pulled me aside and once implored me quite earnestly, saying; "We're really not what you think we are, man." But I would have none of it, as I suspected this must have been some sort of ruse, designed to fool me as to the true nature of his little band of budding fascists.

At some point Mike's group, or our interest, or both, must have waned, and I don't remember the last exchange we had with one another, but I guess we all moved on.

As I continued on through my college career I started to evolve and lean further into the Conservative camp, entering through the Anarcho-Capitalist and Libertarian doorway that my Anarchism had brought me to. My Existential Nihilism slowly gave way to a stronger work ethic and a desire to become a contributing member of society, and to marry and have kids, and all that. I soon realized just how knee-jerk indoctrinated I was by Far Left culture, and I "woke up", and I would say that by just two years later I would have had very little problem with the polemic Mike's group was promoting.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't run and vote for Neo-Con George Bush and his Desert Storm disaster, quite the opposite, I protested the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions as misguided, and believed they would create, well, exactly the situations they ended up creating. I didn't vote for "W" either, because I had started to view Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs as two sides of the same rotten coin, one selling us out to Saudi Arabia, and the other to the People's Republic of China.

By the time Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney ran against Barak Obama, I was so frustrated with the party that though I had long since changed my registration to Republican, I was desperately looking for alternatives that reflected the Classical Liberal ideals of the Enlightenment and Jeffersonian principles of Republicanism that I had embraced.

As it turns out a close friend of mine had gotten involved with the Tea Party movement, and we started sharing on-line article and video links made by new and exciting commentators on Youtube who reflected our growing dissatisfaction with the GOP, as well as the Left.

Soon the party was split, and the RINOS and Corporatists were being exposed, and nothing could have made me happier.

In the 2016 election we finally had viable Republican candidates that truly reflected actual Republican, Conservative and Libertarian principles, or mixes thereof. The Neo-Con Corporatists, or "Deep State", as they are now regularly called in the media, and as even Senator Chuck Schumer referred to them as just a couple of months ago, but now we're told is a Conservative "conspiracy theory" buzzword, were on the ropes. War-hawk Senator Lindsey Graham came in with the first stringers, getting about as much backing as Governor Bobby Jindal, and Neo-Con legacy and GOP shoe-in Jeb Bush had competition from Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, and trailed behind Dr. Ben Carson, Governor John Kasich, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, and of course, President Trump.

I suspect the intra-party struggle will continue, and we are seeing the most obvious push and pull for dominance in the drive to widen the war in Syria, as reformations are not the easiest and shortest birth pangs to endure.

Still, even thirty years later, whenever I am in the middle of being mass berated by Leftist friends of mine, I think back to Mike's weary imploring for me to try and understand his perspective, and it falling on my then metallic ears.

It's times like those that I think "is it possible that in a just a few years this person attacking me might wake up with a light bulb over their head and join me on the "dark side", and have similar memories of how they so fervently opposed me in the past?"

I guess we can never really tell just how, when, and why other people change, but one thing is for certain, change they do.

Till next time.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Contrarian Strategist: A Conservative's Guide to Effective Arguing with Leftists

Perhaps you've noticed of late that as a Conservative, or even a Classical Liberal or a Moderate, that you have come under frequent scathing verbal and very personal attacks by friends, family, and acquaintances, who lean politically to the left of you. You may have been initially confused by this visceral increase in their ire as, for all your disagreement with them, you never felt the same need to cut off contact, un-friend, or demand that your Leftist friends, family and acquaintances share your opinion on various issues. You have probably been called "a bad person", "deplorable", "a sexist", "not sensitive", "a monster", "a supporter of Nazis", or just have been called "a Nazi", openly by people who have known you for many years, knew that you leaned right, and, you assumed, didn't think such things about you, let alone that they were all untrue.

I expect that this is perhaps because you haven't in the past been very forthright about your beliefs out of concern for causing friction or being on the receiving end of backlash, so instead you chose traditional politeness, and avoided subjects like politics and religion over lunch. However, it is more likely that your friends to the left either did not realize your political affiliation, or even much, much, more likely, that your peer group has been radicalized recently by the Far Left, their identitarian politics, and a virtual non-stop barrage of media messaging that posits "there can be no discussion between the two sides", as radical ideologues are often apt to state.

Conservatives can be seen to generally prize open debate and discussion, simply for the sake of open debate and discussion, and though we can be guilty as anyone else of trying to convert others to our point of view, the culture war we are currently embroiled in was in many ways won long ago by the radical left, who have dictated global and domestic politics and most economic thinking by their control of academia, the news media, and the entertainment industry. 

Saying that, the more control the left gained as they coalesced from the counter-cultural movement of the late 1960's to stepping into running the establishment that they fought against, they at the same time incorporated an increasing tendency toward Marxist ideology that has made them, well, unbearable.

The handy-dandy fifteen point guide that follows has been primarily designed as an aid for the floundering Conservative who finds him or herself caught in a defensive posture (mainly, but not exclusively on Social Media) against Leftist polemic attack, and has not thought out how to fight back effectively or philosophically, or even how to extricate oneself from the melee.

If you are an expert troll what follows may seem very obvious to you, and if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Leftist I encourage you to also feel free to read on, because I expect that some of these points may hit home and serve as a bit of a mirror that might make you re-think your position on several topics. Then again, maybe not.   

So let's begin.

To tangle with the Left you will need...

1. Patience

Liberals, Progressives, and "Social Justice Warriors" want "change", and they want it "now".

They are psychologically caught up in an eternal process of "making things better" within the confines of their image of what is best, for everyone, globally. This extends even to those who state that they neither share their beliefs, nor have any interest in the manner in which they propose to fix the so-called problem they have identified.

They will ignore statistical data, and commentary culled from sources they deem, "fake", which works out pretty well for them, since objectively, statistics can always be claimed to have been manipulated, and commentary can indeed be quite subjective. Thus, they can always refute an ever expanding tide of data and commentary simply by claiming it is fake or manipulated if it continues to undermine their narrative.

So, you must exercise patience, stand back, and let their policies fail.

I am willing to wait, oh, a decade or so, sadly watching Sweden devolve into anarchy, just so I can say, (not in a petty way mind you), "See, we weren't making it all up." to a few friends who would rather wear blinders and buy into a delusion rather than entertain reality. 

So don't hesitate to point out failure, even if it takes years. Leftists are generally slow to acknowledge defeat (mind you this is a wing that started rioting upon losing elections as far back as 1968 - something Conservatives would never do), since as ideologues, they have embraced the notion that their beliefs and policies are superior, both morally and practically, and thus, to go against them means you are the one holding the world back from being "perfect".

Always remember that in their minds they are heroes and they believe they are building an utopia.

2. Humor

Radicalized ideologues are, let's face it, a mirthless lot. This is because their intersectional beliefs encourage them to look at all situations and words spoken or written as potential offenses, micro-aggressions, flat out hate speech, and in violation of the politically correct language policing they themselves propelled to prominence in western culture.

While the left was a great proponent of "free speech" in the counter-cultural revolution of the late 1960's and early 1970's, they also take themselves and their "mission" so seriously that a great number of stand-up comics, most of whom we may safely assume describe themselves as liberals, now choose to not play college venues anymore out of fear that every word they say will be taken too seriously by some random snowflake in the audience.

But their "hurt feelings" are just an entree to grasping onto more power and control, and laughter is uncontrollable.

Since the left believe they are still "fighting the man" and control, but are actually the biggest Statists out there, comedy and laughter are the best methods to undermine their cultural hegemony.

Well, until they find a way to make jokes illegal.  

3. Civility

Never, never, never resort to foul language and personal attacks (as they routinely do), even though, trust me, they will fire first, unless you open with uncalled for harsh words or offensive speech.

However, if you do indeed get pulled into an argument with an abusive Leftist, or group of abusive Leftists (they do so like the pile-on), never slum to the use of profanity or aggression first, because they will invariable attempt to rewrite the sequence of events and say that you veered away from civility first.

As vexing as their hither-dither attempts at impromptu revisionism can be, even in light of the fact that Facebook and Twitter threads have time stamps attached to every comment, it will serve you in the long run to remain calm appearing to the outside world and stand out as the level headed one, regardless of what uncalled for epithets they will choose to throw at you, though, as you know, they do only really prefer one.

4. Perseverance

Stick with the argument, if you have the time.

I know that it can be tiring, and being personally attacked by six people at a time on Social Media can be taxing, but don't relent.

Let them know that there are people who don't share their vision with them.

Even if they dismiss you as "backwards" or whatever fumbling insults they manage to hurl, it will serve to remind them that their cultural hegemony is still being challenged.

And that's a very good thing.

Still, you will also need to...

5. Hold to the Philosophic Argument

I personally believe that the majority of leftists can not properly phrase the parameters of what they actually believe, at least by metrics of terminology and accurate political and philosophic descriptors, but instead merely espouse that they know that "theirs is the best and right way".

This is why they will claim a belief is a Liberal or Democratic party principle, when it is instead a Marxist ideology. They will likewise conflate their own Progressive ideas with those of Marxist and Anarchist revolutionaries of the early twentieth century, as well as the actual historic Progressives (who were Republicans and Social Darwinists), as well as the Eugenic racism of the Democratic party and Planned Parenthood.

Since they often fail at framing their own argument accurately, they will instead rely heavily on emotional arguments, and it is common that such phrases as "it's a human right", "they're killing our kids", and "you are, like, a total Nazi", and things like that, will pop up here an there in their polemic.

The tactic here is to hold them to the point at hand. I know its hard - like keeping a sleepy cat's attention, but it is a sound tactic if you are caught in an engagement with an "eclectic" leftist.

6. Distance Yourself from Neo-Cons, RINO's, Corporatists and War-hawks

Deep State Neo-Conservative Corporatists are the bane of the Republican Party, and share much more in common with Neo-Liberals than they do with real Republicans, Libertarians and Traditional and Religious Conservatives.

One of the more ambitious goals that started with the birth of the Tea Party, Libertarianism, and the patriot movement, was to reform the party get it back to the Classical Liberal ideals of the Enlightenment and the Jeffersonian principles of the Republican and Whig parties of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

These principles value Constitutionalism, citizens rights, and picture a government that is subservient and accountable to the people and is diminished in size and power. Neo-Conservatives and Neo-Liberals do not share this goal, and thus, are effectively the enemies (not in a hateful way) of those from the center to the right, and if I may be so bold, they are the enemy of "the people".

When in an argument with a Liberal feel free to point out where they have deviated from their own Classical Liberal beliefs, and have inserted instead Marxist ideals, or worse, Corporatist, Statist, or Globalist principles.

As an inversion of the oft plied Leftist-Alinskyite tactic of blaming your opponent for something you are guilty of, this tactic instead reminds them of their own past and history, honestly.

So, call them out, and show them that they are working against their own previously held beliefs and are now fighting on the wrong side.

7. Embrace the Grand History of the Republican Party

This is actually very easy to do, and you don't need a masters degree in History or Political Science to do it, as most of the accomplishments which the Left touts as their own were actually promoted and passed by either a Republican President or Republican controlled House and Senate. These include, ending slavery, ending the Jim Crow laws, women's voting rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the De-Segregation of schools, the ERA, the Equal Pay Act, Roe vs. Wade, and the list goes on.

I imagine that Democrats / Liberals failed to be successful in pushing through these agendas when they were in control of the state because they were either overtly opposed to them (as in slavery and de-segregation), or preferred, unconsciously or not, to leave the issue to fester, because they have increasingly defined themselves by "the endless struggle" instead of being dedicated to actually solving problems. 

Leftists will openly deny this, (the words they use here are usually "delusional" or "nonsense"), but the proof is in the pudding, as voting and veto records are matters recorded for posterity.

They will also claim, when they don't like the history, that these events occurred, long, long, ago, and so don't matter in the present. Then again, aren't they the ones who want to tear down Confederate statues? Wait, I thought that was a long time ago, and doesn't matter? Oh well, pick and choose, I guess.

Another ploy they rely on is to try to convince you of the "Big Switch", which is a re-write that states that all the racist Southerners switched from being Democrat to Republican (in the late 1960's), even though only four or five of the so-called "Dixiecrats" ever switched party affiliation to Republican, and the South did not even start to shift to Republican voting dominance until Reagan's second term in the mid-late 1980's. Nice try though.

8. Distance Yourself from "Alt-Right" Racists

This is easy to do for the most part, though the supremacist nut-jobs have hijacked the "Right" part in "Alt-Right" from underneath the right's doorstep. I have proposed "New Right" for the post-Tea Party movement in a previous post here on the Gauntlet, but since I'm a small fish, that may never catch on as a viable substitute.

But let's look at the Conservative philosophy for the answer here.

Conservatives are un-apologetically Capitalist, and you should not hesitate from pointing out that Nazism has far more Anti-Capitalist affinities with Socialism, i.e. (Nazi = lit. National Socialist German Workers Party) than anyone on the ACTUALLY on the right could ever be capable of.

Conservatives are Nationalist, make no mistake about it. But they are Civic Nationalists, not Ethnic-Nationalists, as Supremacists are by definition. The Founders didn't give a fig where Americans came from, their race or religion and all that, all long as they shared the philosophy of Civic dedication to the idea of America.

Conservatives are also ardent Constitutionalists. However, to the contrary, racial identitarians, or supremacists, are by definition fascists, as their goal is invariably the eventual removal of impediments so their system may become the singular overriding ideology. Thus, they, like the Communists, are opposed to the Constitution (and therefore, America itself), since our system precludes the removal of the Senate and House, and makes it impossible to establish a true fascist dictatorship in America.

Simply put, America is about individualism. Fascism, in both its Nazi and Communist forms are about Collectivism. Nazism (and other forms of radical race politics) and the various forms of Marxism abhor individual accomplishments and wealth, because those serve to enrich the individual and not the collective, or the "community", which detracts from the larger goal of establishing their utopia, and global dominance. 

9. Be Conscious of the Left's Unpredictability

Always remember that those on the Left generally lean to what I like to call "selectivism".

They are selectively emotionalist, selectively literalist, and selectively didactic, and can switch those gears within the context of an argument as quickly as Caitlin Jenner changes dresses.

So they will site gun violence data for partisan purposes, but if you challenge that data they will talk about the pain of "the children", and then didactically attempt to deconstruct the grammar of the second amendment all within a few responses.

This is generally a trap, so you must be prepared with the hard data to refute their assertions, express suitable sympathy for "the kids", and hold your ground on the meaning and spirit of Constitution.

It can be a little like following a hummingbird, but "Stay on target, Gold Leader". 

10. Let Them Be Themselves

This is pretty self-explanatory but, if you are engaged in a battle royale with an unfocused Leftist who has veered into radical crazy town, let their arguments appear, well, as crazy as they are.

This is kind of an extension of the "Patience" idea, but this is very effective tactic, especially if there are third parties peripheral to your debate involved, and especially if they are people who are on the fence regarding the issue in question.

By remaining the sound, measured and practical one, and allowing your opponent to express radical ideas that go beyond the moderate sensibilities of the majority of citizens, pretty much everywhere, it will serve to alienate others from their message.

Sadly for the Left, resistance emboldens them, and thus they will invariably "double down", and push ahead with even more radical ideas than before, losing even more centrists, and as we have seen in the last couple of years, as the less radical sector of Liberals who "just weren't Liberal enough" have been alienated from their own party.

11. Celebrate Freedom and Wealth

Not to sound too preachy here, but, one should be neither covetous or jealous of other people's success as a general rule, and it is only proper karma to sing the praises of those who suffer for their freedom and their plenty.

Since Marxism is innately collectivist, and promotes such fascist eventualities as "the re-distribution of wealth" in the guise of "equality", and disdains personal gain and property rights, it stands in direct opposition to the foundation that America was built upon.

This can be illustrated no more clearly then by observing a Leftist or Far Leftist Antifa protest, where not one American flag will be seen on display, but instead Cuban, Mexican, Former Soviet, and North Korean flags fly proudly in the air as millennial retro-radicals trod upon the ashes of our nations flag.

One must remember that radical ideologies have little respect for competing philosophies, and this brings them into conflict with the basic Democratic principles of our nation. Notions such as freedom of opinion, speech and discourse, and supporting others wealth, are generally "triggering" to those altruists with other people's money on the Left.

When they condemn those who have gained wealth, as innately "evil", point out how mean-spirited it seems they are being, and inquire if they give all their hard-earned money away, as to not "hoard it".

12. Read Between the Lines

Always remember that underneath all of the intersectional language policing, and class, race and gender warfare arguments lies a vision powered by Marxist Internationalism, now know as "Globalism".

As I stated earlier, Leftists will often conflate ideologies, define them improperly, but the bottom line is that excluding those who are indeed Neo-Liberal Corporatists or Traditional Democrats, the majority of the rest have incorporated varying levels of Marxism into their Democratic beliefs either knowingly or unknowingly.

They prefer the use of the term Marxism, and are fairly comfortable with the term Democratic-Socialism, and sometimes just Socialism, but Leftists do get oh so triggered when you use the "C" word - Communism.

Feel free to remind them that all forms of Marxism they ascribe to, and the distinctions therein were designed by Marx himself, or other Communists as "Communism light", and the ultimate goal of these factions was and is indeed the eventual coalescence of global Communism.

Somehow shortening it just to "Commie" makes it even worse for them, and they will protest vigorously, so use this sparingly, lest you encourage them to the a lack of civility I mentioned above.

13. Let the Left Eat Itself

This is sort of an extension of the "Let Them Be Themselves" principle.

Let the Far Left push it boundaries even further to the Extreme Left, and allow their radical philosophies to alienate Moderate Leftists, Mainline Democrats, Centrists, Independents, Classical Liberals, and obviously, anyone right of center.

This happens not just in the world of Social Media, but in the realm of election voting as well, as virtue-signaling politicians talk a big show to constituencies who they are increasingly divorced from as elite armchair political theorists who have nothing to offer the average citizen of a Republic. 

Rabid dogs eventually turn on one another, as we saw DACA recipients turning on their self-appointed protector, Nancy Pelosi, a few weeks ago. 

14. Argue the Specifics of Intersectionality

This is a big one, so let me give you a couple of examples.

Article One: The Jews

Much like identitarians on the racist fringe, many Leftists are also vexed by the Jews. This is because intersectionality is built upon a hierarchy of oppression and victimization, and Jewish identity causes cognitive dissonance in the Leftist mind.

"Why?" You may ask.

Well, this is why.

Jews possess a long history of oppression in their ancient homeland (not so good)  and wherever they resided in exile (awesome - a minority), yet, because Jews rank lower on the intersectional oppression scale, than say, Palestinian Muslims (they're supposedly "browner", kinda), the left is forced to attack Jews for their financial success (Yuck!), and relative lack of overt discrimination in the last two generations in America. Jews currently rank highest in academics of any "white" demographic, and are solidly middle class bourgeoisie (Oy Vay) - which presents a vexing paradox for Marxist leaning liberals. Thus, like Asians, they are thought of as "not as ethnic" (meaning not fully supportive of their Marxist agenda) as Leftist racists would ideally like them to be.

Ironically, 75% of American Jews sadly still vote Democrat, and many of that number self-identify as Socialists, Progressives, or are involved in some way with Social Justice issues. However, this innate Leftist leaning among Jewish-American voters will not spare them from the Progressive backlash, which I expect will alienate more and more Jewish voters over time and push them into the Conservative camp. This arc is being paralleled by a similar percentage of Latinos swinging right, who currently vote 35% Republican, no matter how hard Spanish language media attempts damage control.

While Alt-right racists accept Jews as who they are, and many support Israel (probably as a means to have more Jews leave their "white" nations), Leftists, being good surrogate Afro-Centrists, ascribe to the "illegitimacy theory", which holds that Israel should never have existed and functions as an extension of European imperialism.

Thus, they choose to ignore the multiple centuries of Muslim imperialism in the Holy Land, which was high-lighted by unregulated migration, massacres of Non-Muslims, and forced conversions, and they instead choose to see the Palestinians as yet another among an endless throng of "poor oppressed indigenous peoples" (i.e. non-white) who just couldn't get by without their advocacy for them.

Leftists and other Globalist types often try to conflate issues here, and particularly like to blur their own western racial issues with Israeli intra-cultural issues and draw parallels where none exist, including extending the illegitimacy issue from the right of Israel to exist (i.e. its okay to hate Israel and Zionism - cuz that's not the same as hating Jews...riiggght) to the very nature of Jewish genetics, revealing the Eugenics streak that has not left the Left since Margaret Sanger conceived of Planned Parenthood as a means to limit the number of Blacks and poor whites born into American society.

Regardless of all evidence to the contrary, including a wide range of genetic studies, physical appearance, blood phenotype, etc., etc., leftists are sooner likely to anoint Africans and people of African descent as the heirs to the people they've read about in "their" bible, even though Ashkenazim have been determined to be the inbred descendants of some 600 Judean refugees who escaped from the Third Roman-Jewish War and genocide of second century C.E.

For them to move forward with this falsehood, they must then ascribed to conspiracy theories that endorse alternate folklore, such as Arthur Koestler's thoroughly disproved "Thirteenth Tribe" theory, which posited a mass Turkic conversion to Judaism by a now extinct Crimean tribe known as the Khazars, with no genetic data ever verifying a single Khazar gene.

I mean, maybe it's just me, but what could be more racist than attempting to rob an ethnic group of its cherished identity, or assisting one group to steal another groups identity? Isn't that at the very least the "cultural appropriation" that the Left so frequently goes on about?

By supporting the diversity, history and reality of Jewish identity, and learning the other side of the narrative wherein Muslims systematically diminished the native Jewish and Samaritan communities of Judea, Samaria, the Galilee, and the plain over the course of some 900 years, as well as standing behind the sovereign right of Israel to exist as a pluralistic democratic challenge to Muslim imperialism and cultural conformity, you are in essence already working totally counter to their intersectional narrative.

On top of that, the real tin-foil hat wearers, when confronted with data that refutes this cock-eyed narrative must then resort to a "worldwide Jewish scientific conspiracy" which must be responsible for falsifying genetic testing the world over.

But, we know of other Socialist political movements in the past that propounded murky international Jewish conspiracies too, don't we?

Article Two: The Blacks

Currently 89% of African-Americans vote Democrat, and are the end product of a process of Democraticazation that began prior to World War Two and was a fait accompli by the late 1960's. One may wonder why Black voters would sidle up to a party that not only supported slavery but was in essence the Confederacy, but even at the latest date, fought against de-segregation and equal rights, and leading party members such as Senator Robert Byrd, touted open KKK leadership roles. Add to it that LBJ's "Great Society" program in essence created the modern Urban Ghetto as a premeditated facsimile of Reconstruction Sharecropping, and worked counter to the advances the Black middle class had made through the 1930's-1960's, it went on to introduce a series of maladies into the Black community that were much less prominent or were previously non-existent.

But as specified previously, the "Big Switch" ruse and the Left's control of media, entertainment, and academia, have worked hard to convince Blacks of this lie. Can you imagine that they were so effective that they were able to convince African-Americans to turn on the party of Lincoln, the party that fought for their freedom and equal rights, while Democrats like Byrd talked a big show of "remorse" for being in the KKK. It almost reads more like ridiculous fiction, if it weren't so devious and misleading.

To address this issue further I think the best commentary on the Liberal-Conservative split comes from Malcolm X, certainly not a "lover" of whites by any stretch, but his observations are still cogent and biting to this day.

"In this deceitful American game of power politics, the Negroes (i.e., the race problem, the integration and civil rights issues) are nothing but tools, used by one group of whites called Liberals against another group of whites called Conservatives, either to get into power or to remain in power. Among whites here in America, the political teams are no longer divided into Democrats and Republicans. The whites who are now struggling for control of the American political throne are divided into "liberal" and "conservative" camps. The white liberals from both parties cross party lines to work together toward the same goal, and white conservatives from both parties do likewise.

The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative.

Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro's friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political "football game" that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.

Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These "leaders" sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These "leaders" are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders."

Tell that to your Liberal friends.

And lastly, when all else fails...

15. Play Your Cards

Since intersectionality virtually functions on a subjective point system of oppression, you need to have your own set of cards that, if cornered, you can throw down in an argument if need be. Everyone has cards, even if you don't realize that you do.

For example, if an intersectionalist is railing that you can't possibly understand what poor migrants go through, point out your Huguenot or Irish ancestors fleeing from country to country, mention your mentally handicapped niece, what great friends you are with your Muslim tailor, or better yet, if you are a member of one of the "anointed groups" that they give great varying latitude to, such as Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Jews, Muslims, migrants and illegal aliens, LBGT, etc., etc., mention that fact. Though since it is a pecking order, I must warn you that there is the possibility that you may be trumped by a surprise attack. Thus, if you are a Black man, you can be sure that you might get "put in your place" by a Black woman, and she might then be brow-beaten by a Gay Black Handicapped woman, and...well, you get the picture. So be advised.

This is of course not the most noble of the strategies, but I can't tell you how many volatile "discussions" I've COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN with a well-placed mention of my mom's eighteen uncles and aunt being beaten, gassed, and burnt in ovens in the holocaust. Kinda trumps a lot of other victim narratives, if inserted with verve and in the right context.

So when you are being nailed to the wall by a non-stop attack by triggered Leftists, who are name-calling and enacting all of the pleasant tactics that I have detailed they are apt to do, feel free to "play your cards".

I truly hope this guide will help you in your wanderings through the internet, and at family gatherings, if and when you "get up in it". And who knows, maybe you'll even change some hearts and minds.

Till next time.