Monday, September 12, 2016

September 11, fifteen years on

Yesterday was the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This is a re-write of the post I did then. If you'd rather not read my long-winded introduction, consider skipping down to the video links below, and check out, at least, the first one.
Until recently, I was as blithely unconcerned about the 9/11 truth movement as anyone else. The idea that such a heinous crime could have been an inside job seemed far too fantastic and outlandish to possibly be true.... so I just never seriously considered it.
Starting about one month ago, that changed. And all that it took for me to change my mind was for me to take that first peek at their claims and their evidence, with my own eyes. Once I did, I was astounded at the quantity and quality of information that has, for some reason, not made it into mainstream discussions. Of course, the fact that I've become convinced that the mainstream media is lying to us on an industrial scale, did predispose me being able to accept the fantastic and outlandish implications. As to how much that would have mattered, I have no idea. Maybe if I had been nudged, earlier on, by someone whose opinions I respected, then I would have had a look for myself -- who knows?
Of course, not everything I've checked out is credible; there is quite a lot of drek. But, enough of it is that I am 100% convinced that at the very least, there has been a massive cover-up: an organized, concerted effort to destroy and hide evidence, and to discredit those who question the official narrative.
Now, if it's true that there has been a cover-up, then that should immediately, dramatically override every other concern and every other talking point related to 9/11. Everyone should be asking themselves, how is it possible that the most catastrophic and heinous act ever committed within our borders, against our country and its citizens, has been so deplorably mishandled, with absolutely zero accountability? But almost no one asks this, and the most deafening silence comes from our mainstream media outlets -- the ones who should be clamoring the loudest for answers. So, what's going on here?
Looking back, I can see where my own reasoning was flawed. I had a broken personal "spam filter". Living in this information-saturated society, we all have to have a system for quickly deciding what inputs are worth consideration, and which are "spam".
A good spam filter has to estimate the odds that some new information is true, and do a rough cost-benefits analysis. My spam filter was broken in both of those functions:
  1. I reflexively dispatched anything about 9/11 into the spam bucket. If I thought about it for more than two seconds, it still went into spam, because its implications seemed incredible. This is putting the cart before the horse. The information's credibility should be judged first, independently. Then, if it's determined to be credible, a reasonable explanation should be sought.
  2. I don't think I ever did any cost-benefits at all, even subconsciously. But, here is exactly where "too fantastic" and "too extraordinary" should be considered. Only, they should increase the imperative to check things out, rather than decrease it.
The bottom line is that I should have taken at least some small amount of time to hear the stories directly from the movement itself, rather than getting them filtered through obviously biased sources. I feel guilty that for so long I dismissed people who, at great personal cost, were merely trying to bring information to light, to ask questions, and to demand accountability.
Today, even though so much time has gone by, there's even less of an excuse for dismissing them, because YouTube. Unfortunately, that brings its own problem: separating the wheat from the chaff. The issue of 9/11 has an amazing ecosystem of chaff.
But nevertheless, when I started to take a look myself, the first thing that struck me was how many huge, gaping holes there are in the official story. I'm not talking about vague allegations and innuendoes; I'm talking about strong evidence, from obviously credible sources, that left me unable to escape the conclusion that there has been a massive cover-up.
Regarding 9/11, there is a lot of misinformation out there; and I'd suggest keeping a couple of things firmly in mind when looking at something new:
  • It is not the job of the "truthers" to come up with a complete, consistent theory that explains everything. That was the job of the government investigators, and they failed, miserably. "Truthers" are absolutely justified in bringing up questions about suspdajaaa, and demanding answers.
  • The people you should trust are, in general, the ones who come across as the least confident. If it's true that we're living in an era of dense misinformation and subterfuge, then everyone should be pretty cautious before coming to a firmd conclusions.
  • If somebody (or some media outlet) consistently argues a point by attempting to discredit or smear their opponent, without addressing the technical issues, then that person (or outlet) is a huge part of the problem, and we should disregard anything they say from then on, period.

World Trade Center 7

Now, here is some information to consider, on the topic of how the World Trade Center buildings' collapses (and in particular building 7) are inconsistent with the official story. This video provides a summary of the issues:
Many people don't even realize that there was a third skyscraper that experienced total collapse on September 11, but that hadn't been struck by any airplane. This video shows the collapse from many different angles:
The official story, and that of NIST, is that this building spontaneously collapsed as the result, primarily, of office fires. But no steel-framed highrise building had ever suffered complete collapse because of fire, prior to that day. This looks a lot like a controlled demolition, and many people have suggested that it is. NIST should have investigated that question, in order to rule it out.
The basic problem with the official story is that the building fell too fast, and too cleanly. Basically, the entire structure lost all of it's internal integrity in an instant, and it fell at the same rate as freefall.
Here is a video analyzing these points (the first of three parts):
In the next part, David Chandler shows how, in NIST's draft report on the collapse of WTC7, the only way that they could have found that WTC7 did not collapse at "free fall" acceleration would be if they had picked an artificially early start time; in short, by faking their data:
In the last part, Chandler drives home the point that there is no way that the collapse we are witnessing could have been anything other than a controlled demolition:
I find this quote to be very convincing, both intuitively, and in relation to NIST's own explanations of it's analysis:
The raw data speaks for itself. One moment, the building is holding; the next moment, it lets go, and is in complete freefall. The onset of freefall was not only sudden; it extended across the whole width of the building. My measurement of the acceleration of the building was based on the northwest corner. NIST's recent measurement confirming freefall was based on a point midway along the roofline. The fact that the roof stayed level shows that the building was in free fall across the entire width. The collapse we see could not be due to a column failure, or two column failures, or a few column failures, or a sequence of column failures. All 24 interior columns and 58 perimeter columns had to have been removed over the span of eight floors low in the building, simultaneously to within a small fraction of a second.

How the main towers were destroyed

Next, here's some info about the collapse of each of the main two towers. Among the strangest unexplained phenomena related to the collapse of the twin towers were the eye-witness accounts of explosions, and the appearance of molten steel in different places and times throughout the event. NIST was the government agency put in charge of investigating the collapses, and this video gives a good indication of their approach to evidence that doesn't fit the pre-approved narrative.
Many of the workers who are quoted in this video talk about bizarre fires that lasted for months after the event. No attempt was ever made by NIST (that I know of) to explain them.
At the end of this video, the author sums up:
My name is Mark, and I'm the individual who was questioning Dr. Gross, and he asked me to email to him those thermal images. When I approached him after his talk to get his email address for that purpose, he refused to provide it to me. I think this is important because it reveals the attitude of the NIST investigators, which is one of willful ignorance of what really happened on 9/11."
Finally, if you have time, please watch this video:
I don't know about you, but I find the author of this video a good bit more credible than the scientists at NIST.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteenth anniversary of 9/11

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Up until about a month ago, I was just as unconvinced and unconcerned by the "truthers" as anyone else. I always considered the idea that it was an "inside job" to be too fantastic and too extraordinary to possibly be true. So much so, that it wasn't even worth my time considering.
That changed recently. Looking back, I can see that I was putting the cart before the horse. I was discarding important information, and dismissing people who brought it to light, before even reading or listening enough to find out what it they were saying, in their own words. I was doing that based on my preconceived notions of how the world works. I'd quote things like "Hanlon's razor" ("Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity") and consider myself oh-so-clever, and go about my business. But, the root of the problem was that I was letting other people (in this case, the mainstream media) interpret other people's words for me, and never doing even a little bit of legwork myself to make sure that those interpretations were reasonable.
Well, there's no excuse for that anymore, because YouTube. Now, on important issues like this, anybody can find out what the sources say from their own mouths, or at least from someone close and sympathetic.
Of course, that entails another problem: filtering the wheat from the chaff. And with the issue of 9/11, the chaff is thick, gnarly, and often disguised. (As an example, I'm convinced that Michael Moore's documentary is almost entirely chaff.)
So, about a month ago, I started to take a look myself, and the first thing I was struck by was how many huge, gaping holes there are in the official story. I'm not talking about vague allegations and innuendoes of improprieties and associations, but more like strong evidence, from obviously credible sources, that left me unable to escape the conclusion that at the very least, there was a massive cover-up.
Regarding 9/11, there is an immense cacaphony of voices and opinions. There is a lot of information and misinformation out there; but I'd suggest keeping a couple of things firmly in mind:
  • It is not the job of the "truthers" to come up with a complete, consistent theory that explains everything. That was the job of the government investigators, and they failed, miserably. "Truthers" are absolutely justified in bringing up the questions, and demanding answers.
  • The people you should trust are, in general, the ones who come across as the least confident in themselves. If it's true that we're living in an era of dense misinformation and subterfuge, then everyone should be pretty cautious before coming to any solid conclusions.
  • If somebody (or some media outlet) consistently argues a point by attempting to discredit or smear their opponent, without addressing the technical issues, then that person (or outlet) is a huge part of the problem, and we should disregard anything they say from then on, period.
Now, here is some information to consider, on just one of the myriad issues that have problems. If I have time, later today, I'll update this post with others.

World Trade Center 7

Did you know that there was a third skyscraper that collapsed on 9/11/2001 in New York City? The 47-story World Trade Center 7 (WTC7) experienced total collapse, but it hadn't been struck by any airplane. This video shows the collapse from many different angles:
The official story, and that of NIST, is that this building spontaneously collapsed as the result, primarily, of office fires. But no steel-framed highrise building had ever suffered complete collapse because of fire, prior to that day. This looks a lot like a controlled demolition, and many people have suggested that it is. NIST should have investigated that question, in order to rule it out.
The basic problem with the official story is that the building fell too fast, and too cleanly. Basically, the entire structure lost all of it's internal integrity in an instant, and it fell at the same rate as freefall.
Here is a video analyzing these points (the first of three parts):
In the next part, David Chandler shows how, in NIST's draft report on the collapse of WTC7, the only way that they could have found that WTC7 did not collapse at "free fall" acceleration would be if they had picked an artificially early start time; in short, by faking their data:
In the last part, Chandler drives home the point that there is no way that the collapse we are witnessing could have been anything other than a controlled demolition:
I find this quote to be very convincing, both intuitively, and in relation to NIST's own explanations of it's analysis:
The raw data speaks for itself. One moment, the building is holding; the next moment, it lets go, and is in complete freefall. The onset of freefall was not only sudden; it extended across the whole width of the building. My measurement of the acceleration of the building was based on the northwest corner. NIST's recent measurement confirming freefall was based on a point midway along the roofline. The fact that the roof stayed level shows that the building was in free fall across the entire width. The collapse we see could not be due to a column failure, or two column failures, or a few column failures, or a sequence of column failures. All 24 interior columns and 58 perimeter columns had to have been removed over the span of eight floors low in the building, simultaneously to within a small fraction of a second.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mass immigration and the refugee crisis

Trump said in a speech recently that Hillary Clinton wants “a 500 percent increase in Syrians refugees”. Politifact, a left-leaning "fact checker" determined this to be "mostly true" (Politifact is corrupt and untrustworthy, but they are biased to the left, so if they say it's true, you can believe it). Trump says we should put the brakes on until we figure out "what's going on". I agree with Trump.

This issue is somewhat related to the broader issue of immigration. This post is mostly an emotional appeal for reason and sanity. I think that we should slow down, and reduce immigration from all countries. For an introduction to the topic, I recommend these two short, fact-based videos: Immigration by the Numbers (about rates of immigration to the U.S. and changes that it brings about), and Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs, (about immigration as a means for humanitarian good).

Trump is also right when he says that our current policies are completely out of control. One lesson we can draw from the first video is that when deciding policy, Congress never seriously considers public opinion. And, the numbers have always trended upwards, despite the fact that the majority of Americans, when polled, prefer decreased immigration.

This is a vitally important issue for our future, and our children's future. Most people who are opposed to increasing immigration and refugee settlement, view this issue as being such a no-brainer, that their preferred talking point is, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Now, before you accuse me of doing a Trump, let me say, unequivocally, that most immigrants to this country are wonderful. I love immigrants! The topics here are different; so you must remove your mainstream media goggles that turn every mention of a distinct population group into a racist nazi dogwhistle. The main questions addressed by policy are: the number of immigrants per year, and what is the selection process.  Now, the selection process, like it not, inherently (tautologically) prefers some groups of immigrant over others. Some might tell you that the 1965 immigration law removed discriminatory barriers. But in practice the result was simply to discriminate in favor of countries closer geographically. That is why a large plurality of today's immigrants come from Mexico.

The question implied at the top of this post is whether or not we should admit large numbers of refugees from countries that are known as the source of terrorists. These are countries that have, by our standards, authoritarian cultures. There is clear evidence, despite the attempts by the German government and media, that the large influx of these refugees made the locales where they settled less safe for the existing residents. Many refugees have committed brutal murders, rapes, other violent crimes. In some public spaces, for another example, pickpocketing gangs have completely taken over, preying on tourists, and making enjoyment of those spaces impossible. There are tremendous problems with integrating these newly arrived people. The decision by Merkel to invite millions of these refugees doesn't seem to have been the result of a rational, deliberative process.

And in fact, I have yet to hear anyone raise a single valid justification for a policy of putting your fellow citizens at risk of being the victims of rape, murder, and other crimes, by forcing them to live next to newly arrived people from authoritarian cultures.

In an online discussion we were having, a friend wrote that the way he sees it, an "arbitrary" (small) increase in crime is offset by the good that is done by freeing people from having to live in the midst of genocide.

There are many reasons why this argument falls short.

First: while this might be true from a moral perspective, it doesn't pass the "democracy test". This is like a religious belief -- there's no way to argue its truth or falsity; either it comports with your morals, or it doesn't.  Therefore, it's irrelevant from the standpoint of government policy. Nobody, not any common citizen, nor Merkel, nor any government official or agency has the right to make this decision based on their own sense of moral rectitude, and not even consider the wishes of all of the citizens who would be affected. Government are obliged to serve the citizens.

As analogy, imagine that we lived in a group home with strict rules for vetting new residents. One day, a resident named Bob decided that a particular panhandler's suffering was so bad that we could waive the rules, and invite him to live with us immediately. So, the next day, Bob brings the man, and he moves right in.

[I hated writing this next paragraph, because it's a naked appeal to your base instincts. But after deliberating with myself a bit, I think it's not only fair, but necessary. Events like this do occur, and if the risk is real, and if you're going to opine on a policy question, then it's incumbent on you to have your eyes open. And after all,  don't we even teach children to be wary of strangers? To recognize the importance of that, but then deny that it could happen with a refugee, is a dangerous hypocrisy.]

We know nothing about our new roommate, and he might, for example, have a mental illness that makes him dangerous. If, for whatever reason, he were to kill one of my children, then ... I guess you can imagine how angry I'd be at Bob.

I can tell you that it wouldn't matter a damn how bad the panhandler's living conditions were. Humans are animals, and we have instincts, and one of our strongest instincts is to protect our families. I know I am hopeless non-progressive, but that's an instinct I subscribe to.

But, perhaps more importantly, there are other ways to help people that don't involve inviting them to live with us. This is true both for the panhandler analogy, and with most refugees. We should be looking for those, because, if you watched the videos above, you know that we will never be able to put a dent in the humanitarian crises which are looming in front of, by inviting them to live here. It's completely unsustainable.

The group home is a good analogy, because Merkel's million, last year, completely overwhelmed the Germans' system for vetting refugees, so they let thousands in without much vetting at all. Now, put yourself in the shoes of a father of one of the girls who was raped last New Year's Eve. Or, imagine that one of your children got murdered by a refugee. Then, let's say, in your grief you finally decided to read some different websites, and you learned that not only
are the crime rates of Muslim refugees significantly higher than the average population, but also that your government systematically hides the truth and
covers up their crimes. How would it make you feel that your own government thinks that the new Muslim arrivals' right to not feel insulted outweighs the right of your child to live?

It's fine and good for anyone to feel a humanitarian urge, and a desire to help the people of the world who are less fortunate than we are. Those are wonderful sentiments, and I feel them too. But our government's first duty is to the citizens of the country. There is no "human right" to immigrate, and our government has no mandate to put the interests of foreigners above the interests of our citizens. And, while you would certainly call them bigots, not all of your fellow citizens share those humanitarian urges, and that is their right. Call it xenophobia if you want, but (so far) xenophobia is not a crime. Who are you to say that your moral framework is superior? And, so superior that you get to dictate the policy that affects everyone. Isn't that the worst kind of hubris?

Finally, I believe that history is on my side. Countries and borders exist for a reason. Our species has a gruesome and violent history, and walls were built by our ancestors for defense. Nation states all have borders, primarily to keep their citizens safe while they toil, struggle, and raise children. I can recommend the book "Better Angels of Our Nature", by Steven Pinker, to learn something of the appallingly cruel and violent history of our species. You would get a clearer understanding of how amazingly lucky we are that we have been born and live in a time and place of extraordinary, unprecedented peace. Just the fact that common people like us can walk around and play outside, with our children, without having to fear for our lives, is unique in almost all of history.

Our ancestors suffered, worked and fought to build a civilization, and countries with borders to protect that civilization, and they bequeathed this precious, fragile gift to us.

There's no doubt that some of them committed crimes against other people or races, but I categorically reject the notion that we should atone for sins, real or hypothetical, that some of our ancestors committed hundreds of years ago, by destroying the best, most valuable thing that they created.

We have lived out our lives on a tiny island of peace in a vast ocean of cruelty and blood. None of us has any idea what that ocean is like. Those pushing for more immigration are engaging in a colossally irresponsible experiment. They have good intentions, and they have faith and hope, but that's all. Good intentions, faith, and hope, quite simply, do not justify putting this priceless, shared heirloom in danger. That's what this experiment does.

A chorus of angry voices is begging them to stop and think, but they insist that it's everyone's moral duty to go along with them.

This heirloom has been handed down for hundreds of generations, improved and protected by millions of lives, and without it, mankind has no hope. In fact, it was not a gift; it was merely loaned to us. We have been entrusted with it, to keep it safe until it's our turn to pass it to our children.

I know it sounds old-fashioned, but we, especially those of us with children, have a sacred duty to guard and protect, with all of our will, strength and effort, this thing that we have been entrusted with. Because it's a shared responsibility, all of
us must have humility and a bit of deference to history.

Instead, liberals imagine themselves to be so enlightened that they've suddenly discovered, after all these centuries, that borders were a bad idea. With breathtaking hubris, they have determined to break our shared treasure asunder,
while muttering contempt at our ancestors, and spitting in the faces of us and anyone who urges caution. We, their fellow citizens, are forced to watch in mute horror while they destroy the thing that we love the most, and that protected and nurtured all of us, and most of our friends and family, for our entire lives.

John Stewart upbraids us, telling us we don't own the country. It's not ours to keep. There never was a real America.

He is right that it's not ours, and we never claimed it was. But he couldn't be more wrong in his next utterance: it is ours to keep. We must keep it, protect it and defend it until it's our turn to pass it on. Stewart would have us believe that this fictional America not only isn't ours to keep, but is his to destroy.

It's hard for me to imagine a deeper betrayal than this reckless experiment. I'm sure a lot of readers won't agree with me, but I hope that I've been able to communicate why we get so angry about this issue. If so, please keep this in mind the next time you hear the lying media disparage Trump for his "heated rhetoric", and follow that with a smug, contemptuous politician lecturing us on morals, and scolding us with "That's not who we are."

Mass immigration and the refugee crisis

Trump said in a speech recently that Hillary Clinton wants “a 500 percent increase in Syrians refugees”. Politifact, a left-leaning "fact checker" determined this to be "mostly true" (Politifact is corrupt and untrustworthy, but they are biased to the left, so if they say it's true, you can believe it). Trump says we should put the brakes on until we figure out "what's going on". I agree with Trump.

This issue goes hand-in-hand, somewhat, with the broader issue of immigration. In this post, I'll argue that we should slow down, and reduce immigration from all countries. If you haven't seen them before, I recommend these two short, fact-based videos for an introduction: Immigration by the Numbers, which presents the changes in the numbers of immigrants that the U.S. takes in each year, and Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs, which addresses the question of immigration as a humanitarian effort.

I agree when Trump says that our current policies are completely out of control. And if you're tempted to say, about the current plans for refugee resettlement, for example, that the current levels are sustainable, then keep in mind the lesson from the first video about: the number only ever seem to go up, and Congress never seriously considers public opinion in deciding these levels. They are at the whim of whomever is paying them.

This is a vitally important issue for our future. Most people who are opposed to increasing the number view this issue as being such a no-brainer, that their preferred talking point is, "Are you fucking kidding me?" Refugees from Muslim countries, which have, generally, authoritarian societies and cultures, are making the countries and locales that they move to less safe for the existing residents. Many have committed brutal sex crimes and other violence, including murder, and in some public spaces, pickpocketing gangs have taken over. There are tremendous problems with integrating these large numbers of newly arrived people, and there doesn't seem to have been a rationale process for deciding this policy.

In fact, I have yet to hear anyone raise a single valid justification for a policy of putting your fellow citizens at risk for rape, murder, and other crimes, by forcing them to live next to newly arrived people from authoritarian cultures.

In an online discussion we were having, a friend of mine recently wrote that the way he sees it, an "arbitrary" (by which I think he means small) increase in crime is offset by the good that is done by freeing people from having to live in the midst of genocide.

There are many reasons why this argument fails.

First: nobody, not any common citizen, nor Merkel, nor any government official or agency has the right to make this decision unilaterally, regardless of the wishes of all of the citizens who would be affected.

As analogy, imagine that we lived in a group home with strict rules for vetting new residents. One day, a resident named Bob decided that a particular panhandler's suffering was so bad that we could waive the rules, and invite him to live with us immediately. So, the next day, Bob brings the man, and he moves right in.

[I hated writing this next paragraph, because it feels like an unfair appeal to our base instincts. But after thinking about it, I determined that it's not only fair, but necessary, to bring home my point.]

If that guy killed one of my little boys while they were sleeping, or if he raped my wife when she was walking down the hall, well ... I guess you can imagine how angry I'd be at Bob.

I can tell you that it wouldn't matter a damn how bad the panhandler's living conditions were before. Humans are animals, and we have instincts, and one of the strongest is to protect our families. I know I am hopeless non-progressive, but that's an instinct I don't mind subscribing to. And, more importantly, there are other ways to help people that don't include inviting them to live with us. We should be looking for those, because inviting refugees to live here is probably the least cost-effective way to help them. If you want a policy to ease your own feelings of guilt, then inviting refugees here to live might make sense, but if you were really interested in helping them, in vaster greater numbers, and in the
long term, then you would support something else.

The group home is a good analogy, because Merkel's millions, last year, completely overwhelmed the Germans' system for vetting refugees, so they let thousands in without much vetting at all. Now, put yourself in the shoes of a father of one of the girls who was raped last New Year's Eve. Or, imagine that one of your children got murdered by a refugee. Then, let's say, in your grief you finally decided to read some different websites, and you learned that not only
are the crime rates of Muslim refugees significantly higher than the average population, but also that your government systematically hides the truth and
covers up their crimes. How would it make you feel that your own government thinks that the new Muslim arrivals' right to not feel insulted outweighs the right of your child to live?

It's fine and good for anyone to feel a humanitarian urge, and a desire to help the people of the world who are less fortunate than we are. Those are wonderful sentiments, and I feel them too. But our government's first duty is to the citizens of the country. There is no "human right" to immigrate, and our government has no mandate to put the interests of foreigners above the interests of our citizens. And, while you would certainly call them bigots, not all of your fellow citizens share those humanitarian urges, and that is their right. Call it xenophobia if you want, but (so far) xenophobia is not a crime. Who are you to say that your moral framework is superior? And, so superior that you get to dictate the policy that affects everyone. Isn't that the worst kind of hubris?

Finally, I believe that history is on my side. Countries and borders exist for a reason. Our species has a gruesome and violent history, and walls were built by our ancestors for defense. Nation states all have borders, primarily to keep their citizens safe while they toil, struggle, and raise children. I can recommend the book "Better Angels of Our Nature", by Steven Pinker, to learn something of the appallingly cruel and violent history of our species. You would get a clearer understanding of how amazingly lucky we are that we have been born and live in a time and place of extraordinary, unprecedented peace. Just the fact that common people like us can walk around and play outside, with our children, without having to fear for our lives, is unique in almost all of history.

Our ancestors suffered, worked and fought to build a civilization, and countries with borders to protect that civilization, and they bequeathed this precious, fragile gift to us.

There's no doubt that some of them committed crimes against other people or races, but I categorically reject the notion that we should atone for sins, real or hypothetical, that some of our ancestors committed hundreds of years ago, by destroying the best, most valuable thing that they created.

We have lived out our lives on a tiny island of peace in a vast ocean of cruelty and blood. None of us has any idea what that ocean is like. Those pushing for more immigration are engaging in a colossally irresponsible experiment. They have good intentions, and they have faith and hope, but that's all. Good intentions, faith, and hope, quite simply, do not justify putting this priceless, shared heirloom in danger. That's what this experiment does.

A chorus of angry voices is begging them to stop and think, but they insist that it's everyone's moral duty to go along with them.

This heirloom has been handed down for hundreds of generations, improved and protected by millions of lives, and without it, mankind has no hope. In fact, it was not a gift; it was merely loaned to us. We have been entrusted with it, to keep it safe until it's our turn to pass it to our children.

I know it sounds old-fashioned, but we, especially those of us with children, have a sacred duty to guard and protect, with all of our will, strength and effort, this thing that we have been entrusted with. Because it's a shared responsibility, all of
us must have humility and a bit of deference to history.

Instead, liberals imagine themselves to be so enlightened that they've suddenly discovered, after all these centuries, that borders were a bad idea. With breathtaking hubris, they have determined to break our shared treasure asunder,
while muttering contempt at our ancestors, and spitting in the faces of us and anyone who urges caution. We, their fellow citizens, are forced to watch in mute horror while they destroy the thing that we love the most, and that protected and nurtured all of us, and most of our friends and family, for our entire lives.

John Stewart upbraids us, telling us we don't own the country. It's not ours to keep. There never was a real America.

He is right that it's not ours, and we never claimed it was. But he couldn't be more wrong in his next utterance: it is ours to keep. We must keep it, protect it and defend it until it's our turn to pass it on. Stewart would have us believe that this fictional America not only isn't ours to keep, but is his to destroy.

It's hard for me to imagine a deeper betrayal than this reckless experiment. I'm sure a lot of readers won't agree with me, but I hope that I've been able to communicate why we get so angry about this issue. If so, please keep this in mind the next time you hear the lying media disparage Trump for his "heated rhetoric", and follow that with a smug, contemptuous politician lecturing us on morals, and scolding us with "That's not who we are."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mass immigration: the long-term strategy of the Democrats

Introduction: the Gumball video

For context, if you haven't seen it before, please watch the short "gumball video", linked to below. Before you click through, I would also request that you try to suspend your disbelief until you've read this whole blog post. That is, if you find yourself objecting that something couldn't possibly be true, before you jump to Google to try to debunk it, hold that urge, and reframe it as a hypothetical. Ask yourself, “What if this were true?”

The reason for this request is simple. [Suspension of disbelief should start now.] The vast majority of sources of news and information on this politically charged topic are hopelessly biased in favor of mass immigration, and the sources you will find, that you thought were reliable, like the New York Times, or CNN, are hopelessly corrupt.

I hope that by the time you've finished reading this post, that you will at least have a seed of doubt in your mind. Hopefully you will start to see the lies for yourself.

Here is the “gumball video”: World Poverty, Immigration, and Gumballs.

Electing a new people

In 1953, Bertold Brecht wrote the poem “The Solution”, about a failed uprising that had just occurred in East Germany.

The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers' Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

For several decades the Democratic party (perhaps intentionally, perhaps not) has been promoting massive, unsustainable immigration, mostly of unskilled workers who accept low wages and fill jobs that could otherwise be filled by our current citizens (albeit, perhaps, at greater expense).

This policy is not good for U.S. citizens, but in the current political climate, we are not even allowed to discuss it, for fear of being branded racist. Rather than engage, discuss, and try to rebut the objections, the response is to insult and smear the one who dares question the prevailing ideology.

So, if it's not good for U.S. citizens, who is it good for? One group that clearly benefits is the Democratic party itself. Recent immigrants vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. We often hear how the demographics of the country are changing. But, rarely do we hear these two facts linked together in any news story. But mass immigration is a choice. It's a plank in the party platform. Isn't it possible that the main reason for it is that it's part of a strategy to dissolve the people of the U.S., and elect another?

In fact, on some occasions in the past, party operatives have let their guard down and admitted this, pretty clearly.

Mass immigration wasn’t exclusively a Democratic policy; the Bush administration and his cronies did the same thing. On this issue, Democrats and traditional Republicans are indistinguishable, except for the fact that Democrats stood to gain politically.

The following are examples of Democrats openly discussing the benefits of mass immigration and consequent demographic shift, with reference to strategy considerations, and how mass immigration could help elect more Democrats.

Article: Why The Democratic Party – Not Just The GOP – Has An Immigration Problem

Online here; Zoltan Hajnal, University of California, San Diego, December, 2014

This is a remarkably candid and clear exploration of the pros and cons of continued mass immigration, insofar as it would help elect more Democrats.

Although this talks about the “fears of white voters”, it just treats them as pawns. Conspicuously absent is any consideration of those fears, or whether they are justified. That is, not a single drop of ink is wasted on the notion that mass immigration might not be in the interests of our fellow citizens, who happen to be white (of course, it's not just whites that are adversely affected by mass immigration; but Hajnal doesn't mention other groups).

In contrast, they do seem very concerned about the well-being and interests of the foreigners who have come to this country illegally.

What can the Democratic Party do? The trade-offs are difficult.

  • Shifting to the right on immigration might win back some white voters, but would be unsavory to many liberals and could dampen support from Latinos and Asian Americans, many of whom continue to have no strong connection to either party.
  • The Democratic Party could simply wait to benefit from changing racial demographics….
  • Actively reaching out to law-abiding immigrants is the option President Obama seems to be following…. The vast majority of the undocumented have committed no crime other than crossing the border….

Under the right circumstances, actively embracing new immigrants can be politically helpful. For example, Democrats in California made major gains after opposing early 1990s measures to cut public services to undocumented immigrants.

[Emphasis added.]

Yes, it is true that California is effectively a one-party state now. Soon, America will be too.

Story: Dem strategists: Obama bungled 2010

Online here; David Catanese, Politico, 11/18/10,

Reporting on the thoughts of a couple of strategists regarding an upcoming election:

But both Carville and Greenberg, who jointly founded Democracy Corps, painted a rosier picture of Obama’s electoral future in 2012, mainly because of the country’s rapidly changing demographics.

Declining to pinpoint a Republican favorite, Carville said any GOP presidential candidate would be forced to “double-down on older whites” — a strategy that becomes less reliable each cycle.

“When you get into a presidential electorate, it decidedly favors Democrats, and every year it’s going to decidedly favor them more and more,” Carville said. “Demographics don’t do anything but get better for Democrats. Every election becomes less white.”

Carville is gloating. Immigration levels have been high throughout the Obama administration.

Story: Wasserman-Schultz hits Walker, ‘ultra-wealthy’ in first appearance

Online here; Byron Tau, Ben Smith Blog, 04/05/11

In this blog post, DWS didn’t describe immigration as a strategy, but does boast about the how it will benefit Democrats. Given that in her position, she is one of the architects of the platform, this is pretty damning.

“But if you look at the demographics,” she said, “Republicans haven’t exactly embraced Hispanic voters.”

“I think a lot of the districts will have more higher Latino populations than we saw in the last census. I think the Hispanic vote is going to be a significant factor in the next election,” said the Florida congresswoman. “I think we’re in great shape.”

Conclusion

I know that these posts don't quite measure up to a smoking gun, but the facts are that every policy maker for the Democratic party knows that immigrants overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. So, at the very least, that will bias them in the direction of open borders.

If you're just coming to this post from a Google search or some other link, and haven't familiarized yourself with the immigration issue before, then I would like to ask how much of this information is new to you? I'd wager that for most people, the answer would be "all of it". I haven't heard much informed debate on this issue, and given that Trump launched his campaign with this as his signature issue, would it be nice to have that debate? If the information in the gumball video were true, and especially if the Democrats are implementing a strategy to replace the U.S. citizens with a different set voters, and if the main-stream media really were committed to operating for the public good (that's the biggest "if"), then shouldn't they be writing about this every day?

The fact that they are not suggests that either all of this is complete bullshit, or else ... wait for it ... the media is lying to you. That's something you'll have to decide on your own.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Responses to a Michael Moore's "5 Reasons Trump will win"

Here are some of my reactions to an article that just came out in the Huffington Post, 5 Reasons Trump will win, by Michael Moore.

Moore wrote, speaking to the good people who think like he does:
Unfortunately, ... you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president.
My, how they love to make fun of the Donald. I'm convinced that a lot of the opposition to Trump comes from the fact that people just don't like him personally. I don't like him very much either -- he's not the kind of guy I could be friends with. He's a glad-hander, salesman type, and a bit of a bully. Never backing down and never apologizing seems to be part of his philosophy for life, but I'd have more respect for him if he'd apologized to Cruz for attacking his Cruz' wife and father. OTOH, I love that he doesn't apologize for most of the non-PC things he's said. The media loves to bring people to their knees, but even when they succeed, nobody ever forgives or forgets.

And though he's brash, I don't think he's nearly as bad as the media makes him out to be. This fucking main-stream media are incredibly adept at manipulating people's hate. They hone in on the aspects of Trump that I just described, and find the ways that people are predisposed to hate him, and they play on those things, and exaggerate and reinforce them in people's minds. Then the social media mockery and echo chamber and one-upmanship takes over, and does the rest. Look at how much play Jon Stewart's recent TV appearance got. A little innuendo here, some sarcasm there, and he's got everybody in the tribe feeling superior to Trump and all of his supporters. It's a form of brainwashing. Of course all media outlets do it, both liberal and conservative, but the difference is that the liberals have a lock on the big media outlets, TV channels, university bullhorns, and even social media platforms. And if, despite this lock, Trump is still doing as well as he is, then he must have a message that resonates.
....And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects,
Ahem. Not sure about "the world respects" part.
... someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids,
Trump doesn't care about kids?
... who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want!
What the American people want is not so clear. It depends on the issue. Most Americans clearly want a saner immigration policy.

In this article, Moore left out one important reason to oppose Clinton. It's not just her support for the Iraq war, but her overall record on foreign policy, especially when she was Secretary of State, is abysmal. Trump got this right in his speech. Look at the state of the middle east today. A lot of the blame for how terrible things are can be laid at her feet.
And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic,
Ahem. I am really looking forward to the debates.
.... The left has won the cultural wars.
This is true, and as a social liberal, I'm happy that gay marriage is legal, that women have the right to choose, and for the advances of civil rights. But I think things are going too far, now. Especially, for example, on college campuses. The civil rights struggle has morphed into a whinging contest, and I'm with Trump and his supporters on this: it's time to stop all the PC nonsense, and roll up our sleeves, and get to work.
....And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, ... it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote
Low turnout is not because of artificial barriers, it's because of voter apathy.
Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes - Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states - but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010.
The reason for this is that the Democrats and the unions have abandoned (some would say betrayed) those rust-belt workers. I've mentioned before how the labor unions are now vocal open borders advocates, which seems to me to be against the interests of their existing members. Don't you think?
Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states
I'm surprised Moore admits this. His analysis of the electoral map jibes with a lot of things I've read, but I don't think it's a sure thing, at all. A lot can happen between now and then.

I expect that we'll see at least one attempt to completely destroy Trump by digging up or fabricating some horrendous scandal. The attempts so far have failed, but they'll escalate to some nuclear option before the election. In the past few weeks, I've become more and more terrified of the power and corruption of the media, in league with the politicians and the big banks. Before Obama, they had Bush, a neocon republican, doing their bidding. You can see how those neocons have fled the party and are still trying to sabotage Trump -- they would prefer Clinton, at this point. I'm convinced that these oligarchs have absolutely no scruples. They profess to care about social justice, and peace, and the plight of the poor, but it's all a ruse. They'll do whatever it takes to preserve their power.

I remember that before the Iraq war, when I used to trust it, the Washington Post was very hawkish. I believed the lies, and so I was in favor of the war, too. Now, look at how they (the media) are pushing to expand NATO and antagonize Russia. It's simply not necessary, and not in America's interests. But they attack Trump when he suggests that Putin is somebody he could deal with. These media companies are the dangerous war-mongers.

If, by some miracle, Trump does win, look for a coup d'etat (or maybe even an assassination) within a year or two, so that Pence will assume the presidency. I know I'm starting to sound paranoid (I just ordered my tinfoil hat) but every day I read something new that makes me question everything I've ever believed. For example, I recently read an old article by Pat Buchanan, claiming that Watergate was a coup d'etat executed by the media against Nixon. I'm not saying I'm convinced, but seeing the way these institutions collude with each other, I have to admit this theory has the ring of truth. I would like nothing better than for someone to come and debunk this theory for me, but now I don't know whom to trust. Even some of the debunkers that I used to trust, like Snopes, are pods now.
2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man....
The opposition to Hillary is not about sexism. Maybe it tilts the white male vote by 2-3 points, but there are a lot of reasons to dislike Hillary that have nothing to do with her gender. And, I'd be willing to bet that a lot more women will vote their gender than men will. By analogy, look at how many whites voted for Obama vs. McCain (43%) or Romney (39%) ... a hell of a lot more than blacks voted for the republicans (4% and 6%, respectively). Every group except white males vote according to their "identities", a lot more than we do.
That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male.... By then ... a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country.
This whole paragraph is pretty offensive, because Obama has played the race card throughout his presidency, and everyone should be angry about that. From the Henry Louis Gates controversy in 2009 all the way through to BLM, he reflexively assumes that white racism is the cause of all the problems of minorities. If I believed that were true, then maybe I'd agree with Moore. But it's simply not true.

And this, I think, is the crux of the divide. If you believe that white, male privilege is somehow keeping women and minorities down, then naturally you'll want to fight that, and that makes sense - I can understand it.

But if you don't (and I don't, and I think a lot of Trump supporters don't) then you'll conclude that not only should we stop blaming white men because it's unjust, but also because it does enormous harm to the people that you're trying to help! It's completely dysfunctional, and utterly destructive, to constantly reinforce the message that they are oppressed. Rather than learning to overcome their difficulties through hard work and determination, they will learn to blame others, feel entitled to compensation, and never learn to succeed.

That's why I hate Obama's support for BLM, for example. Try to suspend your disbelief for a second, and imagine that the reason inner city youths have trouble getting jobs is something (anything) other than white oppression. Then, how does it help them if they constantly hear, from all sides, that this is the cause? What really stirs up my ire is that Democrats and the media never even try to assume good faith, and engage with this argument. Instead, they hysterically accuse us of racism, which, of course, just widens the divide.
3. The Hillary problem ....  her vote for the Iraq war ....
Moore is right that she is a hawk. And call me naive, but I believe that Trump is not -- he's fairly consistent on this. In his acceptance speech, for example, he talked about defeating ISIS quickly (he had to have a soundbite on ISIS, it's de rigueur) but he reiterated his opposition to nation building.
4. ... picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate ....
I'd just like to point out that liberals seem to highlight race and gender a lot more than Trump or his supporters. Have you noticed that?
5. The Jesse Ventura Effect. .... do not discount the electorate’s ability to .... fancy themselves as closet anarchists ...
I agree with this too! I think there are probably a lot more closet Trump voters than closet Clinton voters. I doubt it's more than 1-2 percent, but who knows?

Finally, for those of you who are voting for Clinton, I would like to ask, what is it about Trump, specifically, that prevents you from voting for him? Is it that you think he's racist? Is it his position on immigration? Do you buy the notion that he's too impetuous to have his finger on the button? Are you afraid he won't respect the constitution? Or something else?