Keith Preston Trump’s response to hurricane Harvey Reply

This is a television interview I did with Press TV a couple of weeks ago. Watch here.

Hurricane Harvey finally hit the United States and destroyed the Gulf region, namely the states of Texas and Louisiana.

Flooding and ensuing rainfalls resulted in displacement of thousands of people and caused chaos. Like in any other natural disaster, the poor are doomed to suffer more both from the storm and its aftermath. At the White House, meanwhile, a nascent administration is being put to test amid the government’s response to the storm.

Battered by scandals, dismissals, and under pressure from many sides, the president mobilizes the government’s power in the wake of the devastation. But Hervey is not just any storm with expected consequences; it is a phenomenon occurring at a historical moment and could shed light into an ideological gulf in the US political system. What it has in store for the future of the Trump administration may not be perfectly clear, yet some officials are rushing to grab the opportunity to push their own agendas.

Handling such a crisis for an administration that is being pressured on many fronts over its performance could, of course, be a game changer but apart from that, how successful has the US government truly been in handling phenomena such as Katrina, Sandy and now Harvey? That and everything else notable about Harvey in this episode of We the People. 

How Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump have restarted the war on drugs Reply

Trump goes predictably full Nixon/Reagan on drug policy. Expect a backlash in the future given the racial implications of drug policy and the racially controversial nature of the Trump presidency.. The next Democratic President will likely be the furthest left the US has ever had. Just like Bill Clinton seems rather conservative by today’s standards, the next Democratic President will likely make Obama seem comparatively right-wing.

By Lois Beckett

The Guardian

Shauna Barry-Scott remembers the moment she felt the American fever for mass incarceration break. It was an August morning in 2013, and she was in a federal prison in the mountains of West Virginia. She remembers crowding into the TV room with the other women in their khaki uniforms. Everyone who could get out of their work shifts was there, waiting. Good news was on the way, advocates had told them. Watch for it.

Some of her fellow inmates were cynical: it seemed like millions of rumors of reform had swept through the federal prison system to only then dissolve. Barry-Scott did not blame them, but she was more hopeful.

At age 41, she had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession with the intent to distribute 4.5 ounces of crack cocaine. “Think of a 12oz can of Coke, cut that in a third,” she explains. “And that’s what I got 20 years for.” The sentence made no sense to her. Barry-Scott’s son had been murdered in 1998, and the men charged with shooting him to death had to serve less time than she did – six and seven years each, she says.

But the amount of drugs in her possession had triggered a mandatory minimum sentence, part of a now-infamous law passed in 1986 to impose punitive sentences for certain offenses amid a rising panic over drug abuse. In 1980, some 25,000 people were incarcerated in federal prisons. By 2013 after four decades of America’s war on drugs, there were 219,000. Yet this population was just a small fraction of the estimated 2.3 million Americans locked up not only in federal prisons, but also in state facilities and local jails.

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What’s the alt-right, and how large is its audience? 1

Many liberals and leftists that I know are currently in a state of panic over the rise of the Alt-Right, which they predictably regard as the onset of the Fourth Reich. In reality, the Alt-Right is a very small movement that is made to seem much, much larger than it is because of its provocative effect which is duly amplified by the sensationalist media.

The Alt-Right is an entirely predictable backlash against ongoing demographic transformation of the US, the entrenchment of political correctness, globalization, and the hegemony of the neocons in mainstream conservatism. The Alt-Right is to white nationalism what the Religious Right was to Christian conservatism, only with a lot less in the way of size, resources or influence. In nearly 40 years of its existence, the Religious Right has lost every one of its major issues (abortion, school prayer, gay rights, gay marriage, reversing the sexual revolution of the 1960s, gender roles, family relations, education policy, etc.) and the Alt-Right will be even less successful in the long run.

The Religious Right merely wanted to turn back the clock to the 1950s while the Alt-Right wants to go back to the 1920s when segregation, eugenics, and comprehensive immigration were the status quo. Ain’t gonna happen. In fact, neo-Nixonian Donald Trump may well turn out to be the right-wing’s last stand. (And unless anyone accuses me of libertarian bias, it is even more unlikely that the mainstream libertarian program of turning back the clock to the Gilded Age is going to happen).

By Thomas J. Main

Los Angeles Times

Inquiring minds want to know: What exactly is the “alt-right,” and how large is the audience for the movement?

The essence of the alt-right can be distilled to this catchphrase: All people are not created equal. That’s even more extreme than it may sound. Prominent alt-right thinkers don’t only believe that some are naturally taller, stronger or smarter than others, but also that some groups are more deserving of political status than others. They reject the concept of equality before the law.

Andrew Anglin is editor of the most popular alt-right web magazine, the Daily Stormer. He has written that “The Alt-Right does not accept the pseudo-scientific claims that ‘all races are equal.’” He also supports repatriation of American blacks to Africa or “autonomous territory” within the U.S.

Not all alt-right thinkers are so radical in their aims, but they all believe in some form of race-based political inegalitarianism. The unequal brigade includes in its ranks editors of and regular contributors to many alt-right web magazines, including Richard Spencer of Radix Journal, Mike Enoch of the Right Stuff, Brad Griffin (also known as Hunter Wallace) of Occidental Dissent, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance and James Kirkpatrick of VDARE (named after Virginia Dare, the first British child born in America).

The exact size of the alt-right is perhaps not of the utmost importance. As an ideological movement, the alt-right seeks not immediate policy or electoral victories, but longer-term influence on how others think about politics. Still, it’s possible to get a sense of the scope of this netherworld through web traffic.

From September 2016 to May 2017, I analyzed visits and unique visitors to scores of political web magazines of various political orientations. (One person accessing a site five times in a month represents five visits but only one unique visitor). Through interviews and using the site Media Bias / Fact Check, I identified nine alt-right sites, 53 sites associated with the mainstream right, and 63 with the mainstream left. I excluded left- or right-leaning general-interest publications, such as BuzzFeed, the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Data were obtained from SimilarWeb, a well-known provider of web-marketing information. All audience figures given here are monthly averages for the nine-month period I studied.

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“They have no allegiance to liberal democracy”: an expert on antifa explains the group Reply

Because they are revolutionary Marxist totalitarians. I am likewise opposed to liberal democracy, but for polar opposite reasons than Marxists, Nazis, or Islamists. Liberal democracy was an important historic achievement, but only in a limited way. The overthrow of the traditional ancient regime model of society by the modern bourgeois republics was a necessary stage in political evolution just as the replacement of emperor-worship in ancient societies with the “divine right of kings” ethos of the monotheist religions was a step forward in its own time. However, the effect of liberal democracy was to establish the oligarchical dictatorship of state-capitalism with the creation of electoral coronation systems as the means of conveying legitimacy upon the state. Serious anarchist thought involves an effort to retain the achievements of liberal democracy (e.g. freedom of opinion and minimal limitations on the power of the state) while ultimately working to abolish the state altogether. Marxism, Nazism, and Islamism have all been retrograde movements that sought to abolish the achievements of modern liberalism while restoring the “cult of the leader” and/ or theocratic concepts of past models of the state.

By Sean Illing

Vox

When Donald Trump used the phrase “alt-left” to describe the anti-neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville last week, most people had no idea what he meant. I’m actually not sure he knew what he meant.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any assemblage of guilt?” Trump said during a rambling press conference.

If the alt-left exists, it’s probably best represented by “antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”) — a loose network of left-wing activists who physically resist people they consider fascists. These are often the scruffy, bandana-clad people who show up at alt-right rallies or speaking events in order to shut them down before they happen, and they openly embrace violence as a justifiable means to that end.

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Here’s the best thing the media can do when reporting on ‘antifa’ Reply

The naivete of this writer is extraordinary. There really is such as thing as “left fascism,” and a mere 30 years ago it ruled 1/3 of the world’s nations, sometimes in alliance with right-wing fascists (e.g. the relationship between Franco’s Spain and Castro’s Cuba, Communist support for Peronism, or support for Maoism by 1970s Italian neo-fascist terrorist groups). During the rise of the totalitarian movements of the 20th century, far left as well as far right groups had violent paramilitaries and street thugs that were used to intimidate or eliminate their opponents. The Stalin-allied KPD in Germany was as large as the NSDAP, and had their own equivalent of the SA in the Red Front.

Some antifa types may fancy themselves as “anarchists,” but their ranks are already heavily infiltrated with Marxists, Leninists, Maoists, and Trotskyists, and anytime anarchists have been aligned with Communists it has always been the Communists who got the upper hand, from the First International to the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War to Paris ’68 to the Students for a Democratic Society. One of the largest antifa groups is the one in Portland, which is Maoist. Yvette Felarco’s group in the Bay Area is a front for a Trotskyist organization. I’m told the group here in Richmond is Maoist. The New York City antifa appear to be heavily Communist as well. Yes, the antifa are the left’s version of the neo-Nazis.

By Margaret Sullivan

The Washington Post

For many Americans, the first they heard of antifa was last month when a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville burst into the news.

Since then, though, it’s everywhere.

Trevor Noah did a comic riff on it last week, calling one wing of the group the “vegan ISIS.” Sean Hannity’s substitute, Jonathan Gilliam, lumped in Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville, with anti-fascists. And The Washington Post’s editorial board suggested the group call itself “profa” because its tactics work against its cause.

Most notably, of course, President Trump denounced Charlottesville violence “on many sides” — equating the neo-Nazis there with the anti-fascists, who say they aim to fight back against the rise of white supremacy and totalitarianism. (With roots in 1930s Europe, antifa’s adherents believe in direct action, including force if they deem it necessary.)

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Enough with the blue-baiting: The biggest threat on campus has nothing to do with free speech Reply

There are plenty of examples of universities and colleges imposing de facto censorship on leftists as well as rightists. Some cases in point can be found here, here, and here.

I think the problem is more of one where today we have mega-institutions like universities and corporations that are essentially states unto themselves, and yet are considered legally exempt from constitutional restrictions intended to restrain state conduct. Originally, when the Constitution was written, it only applied to the feds and not the states and localities. However, as the power of the feds has expanded and the states and localities have become more like administrative units the Supreme Court has established jurisprudence that has expanded the Bill of Rights to the states and localities as well. Today, we have a situation where corporations are merely the economic arm of the state and universities (along with the media) are the educational/ideological arm and yet these de facto states or state institutions claim exemption from the Constitution. Therefore, we need a new jurisprudence that extends the constitution to the corporations and universities.

By Sophia A. McClennen

Salon

One of the most disturbing and most predictable outcomes of the Charlottesville, Va., attacks earlier this month was that rather than lead to a reasoned and careful conversation about the rise of hate groups in our nation, it led to debates about whether the white supremacist neo-Nazis on display were the victims of discrimination. In Trumpland everything is on its head. Thus we have become desensitized to its dangerous combination of absurdity and malice.

But Charlottesville is not only a story about the mainstreaming of hate and fascism in the Trump era; it’s also a story about how the right has engaged in an all-out war to dismantle our public universities. As we have watched the rising public displays of fascism and bigotry sweep across the nation, it has been easy to overlook the fact that many of these rallies have been purposefully staged on college campuses. The decision to hold these rallies on campuses and to thereby provoke counter-protests also on campuses is a deliberate move by the right: one designed to allow them to further their narrative that college campuses are places that are hostile to free speech.

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The Dark Side of Empathy Reply

I’ve often been accused of lacking “empathy,” “sensitivity,” and all the other usual pieties. To which my response is “Guilty, but Proud.” Here’s why.

By Paul Bloom

The Atlantic

I’m not usually in favor of killing, but I’d make an exception for the leaders of ISIS. I’d feel a certain satisfaction if they were wiped off the face of the Earth. This is a pretty typical attitude, shared even by many of my more liberal friends, even though, intellectually, it’s not something that we’re comfortable with or proud of.Where does this malice come from? Psychologists have standard explanations for murderous feelings towards groups of strangers, but none of them apply here. I don’t think ISIS is a threat to me or my family or my way of life; I’m not driven by disgust and contempt; I don’t dehumanize them; I don’t think of them as vermin or dogs.

Rather, I am motivated by more respectable sentiments, by compassion, love, and empathy. Not for ISIS, of course, but for their victims. I have seen the videos of decapitations and crucifixions and have read accounts of rape, slavery, and torture. If I were less invested in the suffering of their victims, I would be more receptive to a balanced discussion of different options. But because I care, I really just want them to pay.

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759, Adam Smith observes that when we see someone harmed by another, we feed off his desire for vengeance: “We are rejoiced to see him attack his adversary in his turn, and eager and ready to assist him.” Even if he dies, our imagination does the trick: “We enter, as it were, into his body, and in our imaginations, in some measure, animate anew the deformed and mangled carcass of the slain, [and] bring home in this manner his case to our bosoms.”

You can see this process at work in research published last year by the psychologists Anneke Buffone and Michael Poulin. Subjects were told about a competition between two students in another room of the lab. Half of the subjects read an essay in which one of the students described herself as being in distress (“I’ve never been this low on funds and it really scares me”); the others read an essay in which she was mellow (“I’ve never been this low on funds, but it doesn’t really bother me”). The subjects were then told that they were going to help out in a study of pain and performance, wherein they would get to choose how much hot sauce the student’s competitor would have to consume.

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Ideology as Addiction Reply

There are an awful lot of people nowadays, many of our “anarchists” as much as anyone, who need to take the message of this piece to heart. What we witnessing today is the proliferation of cults committed to one or another fanatical ideology.

Of Two Minds

Solutions abound, but they aren’t one size fits all ideologies.

It isn’t just coincidental that ideology shares so many dynamics with addiction. Though ideology is a faith-belief dynamic rather than a chemical process, both require constant reinforcement/renewal and both demand a painful withdrawal procedure of those who decide to free themselves of the monkey on their back.

The individual addicted to an ideology needs a constant drip of confirmation that the ideological belief is both correct and ethically superior to competing belief systems. The ideology-addict gets a much-needed hit of confirmation by reading, watching or listening to other believers’ justifications and defenses of the ideology.

Ideology fills two basic human needs: certainty and purpose. a constant state of uncertainty places a corrosive burden on the mind, emotions and spirit; the solution is a decision or resolution that resolves the uncertainy.

Humans need purpose to guide their life; aimlessness is debilitating and unnatural.

Addiction provides purpose, as the life of the addict is guided by the need to satisfy the addiction.

Ideology also provides purpose: the believer is called upon to defend and evangelize the ideology as an abstraction, and support its manifestations in the real world.

Addiction is an all-or-nothing state of being. If an individual can abandon the addiction at will and feel no deprivation, it isn’t an addiction; if sporadic half-measures suffice, it isn’t an addiction.

Ideology is also an all-or-nothing state of being. One doesn’t believe in capitalism or socialism, for example, in half-measure or occasionally when the whim strikes; one is convinced of the rightness of one’s ideology as a permanent state of certainty.

There is a sense of belonging and betrayal implicit in ideological beliefs that mirrors addiction. The sex addict, for example, feels only fellow sex addicts can possibly understand the compulsion and satisfaction of that particular monkey on one’s back.

In the state of ideological certainty/ addiction, only fellow believers can possibly grasp the perfection and rightness of the ideology. Thus this certainty is not just a state of being; it is also a state of belonging, hence the similarity of belonging to a cult and addiction.

To cease believing is heresy and an abject betrayal of the brethen/sisterhood. Hell hath no fury like a membership scorned or abandoned.

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State Censorship, Corporate Censorship: A Libertarian View Reply

Sean Gabb has a timely article on the problem of censorship being outsourced from the state to state-allied institutions in present day society. This should motivate many right-leaning libertarians to rethink the overly neat and tidy “public vs. private” dichotomy that right-libertarians frequently embrace. Instead, we need to apply the insights of elite theory and recognize that governments, corporations, universities, and the mass media are all part of the same state/ruling class/power elite apparatus.

By Sean Gabb

Every age we have so far known has been one of censorship. This is not to say that opinion has been equally constrained in all times and places. Sometimes, as in the Soviet Union, it has been oppressive and omnipresent – even extending to an imposition of orthodoxy on the natural sciences. More often, it has been focussed on perceived criticisms of the established political and religious order. Sometimes, dissent has been permitted among the intellectual classes – especially when expressed in a language unknown to the people at large, and only punished when communicated to the people at large. Sometimes, a diversity of political orders has limited any particular censorship to an area of just a few square hundreds of miles. Sometimes it has been limited by a general belief in the right of free expression. But I can think of no time or place where publication has been absolutely unconstrained.

If I look at modern England, I cannot say that censorship is as oppressive and omnipresent as it was in the Soviet Union. I cannot think of any opinion that cannot somehow be expressed. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish to do any of these things. However, if I want to deny the holocaust, I can. If I want to argue for sex with children, I can. If I want to claim that the coloured races are intellectually or morally inferior, I can. If I want to say that homosexuality is a dreadful sin that will be punished by everlasting torments, I can. If I want to argue – in the abstract – for the rightness of shooting politicians, I can. The law punishes what are regarded as inflammatory expressions of such belief. It punishes expressions of such belief when they are regarded as affecting known individuals. But I am not aware of a law that makes it a crime to publish sober and abstract expressions of any opinion.

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‘Designating’ Antifa a Terrorist Organization Is a Bad Idea Reply

As I predicted, state repression against both the Alt-Right and Antifa is on the way.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review

Image result for antifa

State and local police, not the feds, are the best protection we have against domestic terror. And we need the feds to fight foreign terror. The violent radical leftist group that goes by the Orwellian name “Antifa” (anti-fascist) “is thuggish in its tactics and totalitarian in its sensibility,” as Rich Lowry forcefully put it in a column on Tuesday. It also engages in terrorism. The eye-test leaves no doubt about that. Neither does federal law. Section 2331(5) of the U.S. penal code defines domestic terrorism as activities that occur primarily within the United States; that “involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State”; and that “appear to be intended” to accomplish at least one of the following three objectives:

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A Blue Texas? Keep Dreaming Reply

This article is from 2012 but it raises an important issue that was largely ignored in the 2016 election, and that is the fact that even though Texas is now a “majority-minority” state, Trump still beat Clinton by nine percentage points. A standard presumption on both the Left and Right is that as the US becomes more diverse and integrated, the Democrats will have a distinct advantage because minorities typically vote Democrat. However, there may be room for caution. As American society becomes more diverse, the white vote in red states may become even more red, and the Republicans may gain an increased number of minority voters.

Minorities, whether ethnic minorities, women, gays, etc. may feel more comfortable voting for the GOP if they hold conservative views on issues such as economics, foreign policy, social issues, and if they feel that the the wider society is tolerant enough that they do not need to feel personally threatened. Additionally, class divisions within minority communities are likely to widen to an even greater degree in the future. There is also evidence that immigrants may well be inclined to assimilate into the political culture of the community they immigrate into. This would mean that immigrants who migrate to Texas are likely to be more conservative than immigrants who migrate to California.

By Nate Cohn

New Republic

Not only did the huge Hispanic turnout on Election Day help return President Obama to the White House; it has also lifted Democratic hopes about what just a few years ago was inconceivable: a blue Texas. Even Eva Longoria decided to pen a piece about Texas’ emerging swing state status and some Texas Republicans are getting nervous too— Jeb Bush asserted that Texas would be a blue state in 2016—but the talk is premature. Despite having the second largest Latino population in the country, Texas won’t be purple, let alone blue, for a long time.

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A Beating in Berkeley Reply

What I find most interesting about this article is that the “right-wingers” being described would have qualified as being on the Left, even the far Left, only 10-20 years ago. This is in keeping with my general theory that American society has shifted far to the left culturally over the past decade, and that the demographic components of the Right and Left will be increasingly blurred over time. Yes, most conservatives are still “old, affluent, straight, white, Christian males” and, yes, the majority of minorities are liberals, but this distinction is slowly become less predictable. I attribute this to the fact that US society is becoming increasingly integrated along racial, gender, and sexual lines while political and socioeconomic divisions are rising.

By Matt Labash

The Weekly Standard

As white supremacists go, Joey Gibson makes for a lousy one. For starters, he’s half Japanese. “I don’t feel like I’m Caucasian at all,” he says. Not to be a stickler for the rules, but this kind of talk could get you sent to Master Race remedial school.

And it gets worse. The founder of Patriot Prayer—a Vancouver, Wash.-based operation that sponsors rallies and marches promoting freedom and First Amendment rights along with all-purpose unity—also spews hippie-dippie rhetoric like “moderates have to come together” and “love and peace [are] the only way to heal this country.” Joey tends to sound less like an alt-right bully boy than a conflict-resolution facilitator or a Unitarian Sunday school teacher.

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They Staged a Bum Fight…and They Lost Reply

This is an interesting account of Charlottesville by Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the right-wing groups involved in the melee. As a caveat, I know Matt personally, I met him at a National Policy Institute event in 2011, and he produced some of my podcasts when I was on the old Voice of Reason network. He is critical of my anarchist philosophy, and I am critical of his white nationalist/national socialist ideology, and I have become very critical of the direction the Alt-Right has taken in recent years.

However, I had an interesting exchange with Matt on Facebook in the days before Charlottesville. I suggested that if the Alt-Right and Antifa were real radicals, they would be fighting the cops rather than other fringe groups. Matt objected, arguing that the fights start when the Left seeks to use force to prevent white nationalists and other right-wingers from having a presence in the public space. This is a valid point since the stated objective of the hard Left is to prevent right-wing gatherings from happening “by any means necessary” ranging from physical violence against persons, to vandalism, to bomb threats, etc.

I largely agree with the narrative that Matt outlines in this article in the sense that, while there were no doubt neo-Nazis on the Alt-Right side who were picking fights with counterprotestors on an individual basis, there is not yet any evidence that the Alt-Rightists who planned and organized the event intended for a riot to occur. However, there is evidence that the Antifa and other hard leftists (which did not include a majority of the counterprotestors) specifically wanted a riot to take place (see Faith Goldy’s interview with Stefan Molyneux I posted today), and that the serious violence started when the police shut down the rally and dispersed the Alt-Rightists into the crowd of counterprotestors. There is also room for speculation that the mayor and vice mayor of city government of Charlottesville, and possibly the governor of Virginia, quite possibly intended for a riot to occur for the sake of scoring partisan advantages. The Charlottesville police had been criticized for the way they handled counterprotestors during an earlier KKK rally in Charlottesville a month earlier, and it is entirely plausible that the decision was made to take the opposite approach in August by having the police stand down after shutting down the rally, pushing the Alt-Righists into the crowd, and allowing the leftists to “have at” the right-wingers (probably very much to the regret of most of the counter protestors). I am certainly willing to be persuaded by evidence to the contrary, but that’s how it looks at present.

By Matt Parrott

Traditionalist Worker Party

As foreshadowed by pretty much every altright voice who was actually there, and many of the anarchist voices who are being completely honest, Charlottesville was a premeditated attempt by the leftist city government to host the Alt Right’s paramilitary defeat at the hands of their antifa allies. It didn’t play out like that, but slowly and surely, piece by piece, what actually happened is making its way out from behind the wall of hysterical media-driven bullshit.

As predicted, documents are leaking and the objective truth is coming into focus. The Narrative Collapse is happening in cascading stages:

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Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say Reply

The Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet that I could find that made any reasonable effort to understand what actually happened in Charlottesville without moralistic grandstanding, and by including the alt-right perspective. The Los Angeles Times has been the only mainstream media outlet that has bothered to ask the question, “What actually happened?” rather than simply spin the “Official Bad People Did Bad Things” party line. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times was the only mainstream media outlet to predict Trump’s electoral victory.

By Matt Pearce

Los Angeles Times

The clashes that broke out over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., have become a new touchstone in the nation’s long-running debate over racism, free speech and violence.

One woman was killed and many more injured when a car, allegedly driven by a rally participant, sped into a crowd of anti-racism protesters. Two state troopers monitoring the action died in a helicopter crash later in the day, though no foul play was suspected.

The event quickly took on enormous political importance as Democrats and Republicans alike denounced the violence and the white supremacist views espoused at the far-right rally. President Trump has also denounced the racist groups, but he suggests that anti-racism counter-demonstrators share some of the blame. On Tuesday, he said “both sides” were responsible for the bloodshed.

Charlottesville: Violence in the Streets | Faith Goldy and Stefan Molyneux Reply

Faith Goldy along with Ford Fischer provided some of the best on the ground coverage of Charlottesville of any independent media sources. Faith Goldy is apparently some kind of Lauren Southern-like “alt-lite” figure that was associated with Rebel Media. Apparently, she was recently fired for giving an interview to Daily Stormer, which is an overt neo-Nazi site. She was present during the car ramming incident, and nearly hit by the car herself apparently.

This is an interview that Ford Fischer did with Luke Rodowski on the day of the incident.

Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here Reply

This feature from CNN is fairly representative of the mainstream media narrative on Charlottesville.

By Eliot McLauglin

(CNN)Despite the outrage and uproar, everyone had to know the protests were coming to Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — and that they would get out of hand.

This is how we got here.

It began in February when the City Council voted to rechristen two parks named for Confederate generals and to remove a bronze statue of one of those generals, Robert E. Lee, from an eponymous downtown park.

This came on the heels of several Southern cities removing dozens of Confederate monuments from public property after a self-described white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The Charlottesville move met with resistance, as some residents sued, and a judge blocked the statue’s removal for six months as the matter was litigated.

The City Council voted again in April, this time agreeing to sell the statue and let the buyer remove it, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.

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The complete story of what happened in Charlottesville, according to the alt-right Reply

This is an article from Quartz, a left-leaning publication, that describes the general set of narratives that have developed in alt-right circles concerning what actually happened in Charlottesville. While this article is obviously meant as as a “look at how these assholes are trying to spin things” expose, the author makes no effort to refute the claims made by the alt-right (some of which I would agree with and some I wouldn’t). Instead, the author simply links to the article on Buzzfeed I posted today, along with a feature from CNN, as supposed evidence of “the real story.” As I have said before, the media coverage of Charlottesville some of the sloppiest I have ever seen.

By Gwynn Guilford

Quartz

The mainstream media account of the Unite the Right rally and the alt-narrative ultimately diverge regarding the weekend’s violence: Who started it, what kind occurred, who let it happen. Both tell roughly similar stories, with the perpetrator roles inverted. According to alt-right commentators, the white nationalist protesters were thrust defenseless into crowds of armed thugs, beaten, and forced to defend themselves to the extent that one of their ranks killed in self-defense.

This isn’t surprising. The theme of Unite the Right and the surrounding commentary wasn’t the superiority of whites as much as it was their victimhood. While some Unite the Right attendees certainly came armed to the teeth, many others stood just as vigilantly clutching their smartphones and selfie sticks, as if poised to capture leftist evils rained upon them.

This matters because the alt-right audience isn’t exactly tiny—Breitbart News, the most popular site of its stripe, clocked 11 million unique visitors in May, after peaking at around 45 million in 2016. Nor is it disempowered: after all, the man the alt-right sees at its most prominent ally occupies the Oval Office. But perhaps because the alt-right (a term that encompasses those with anti-establishment views to racist extremists) readership is still small compared to more mainstream outletsCNN’s monthly traffic exceeds 100 millionwriters have fostered a David-versus-Goliath solidarity with readers around a shared conviction that politicians and the mainstream media aim to take power and rights away from whites.

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Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville Reply

This article from Buzzfeed, published two days after the Charlottesville incident, remains the best account of the timeline of events that I have seen to date by a) someone who was actually there, and b) someone who is liberal to left leaning in their political biases. The principal problem I see with this article is that it starts off with the line “Yes, you can blame the Nazis,” and the proceeds to describe what sounds like a great deal of mutual combat with no clear aggressor being identified, except on the basis of ideological affiliation, i.e. the standard “Official Bad People” vs. “People with Good Intentions” narrative. In other words, a variation of the “there is no moral equivalence between a dictatorship and a democracy” argument I used to get from right-wing Reaganite hawks when I would point out how US foreign policy during the Cold War was at least as aggressive as that of the USSR, and often more so given the superior wealth and military power of the US.

By Blake Montgomery

Buzzfeed

Yes, you can blame the Nazis.

The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville, Virginia, finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.

Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the white supremacist threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?

The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous. Here are a few:

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Yes, the Left and Right Mirror Each Other Reply

I found this description of the right-wing patriot movement on a Facebook page associated with a far left “anti-fascist,” “watchdog” type. What is interesting about this is that if you changes the names and terminology a bit, this could just as easily be a conservative or right-winger talking about the Left.

“The Patriot movement is more-or-less genuine in its attempts to distinguish itself from avowed White Supremacists (despite their own movement’s origins in the 70s white power movement). but what this means is that they are politically on the furtherist rightmost wing of the Trump coalition without advocating a white ethnostate.

There are a diversity of views in the movement, but in general its run by a lot of conspiracy theories (often derived from antisemitism), total hostility to Black Lives Matter and the Left, and deep and open Islamophobia and immigration. they want to use guns to intimidate their political opponents and believe in a lot of crackpot legal theories. only a small fraction (maybe a quarter) are “merely” libertarian gun nuts. so any “dialogue” with them is a dialogue with someone who SURJ would generally consider to have openly white supremacist views – whether the member is a person of color (they have a few, like Sheriff David Clarke) or white. letting them off the hook when they don’t want to be associated with Nazis is a cheap way to kosher their racism.

I think the best way to dialogue with them is to challenge their views of the Constitution – to ask why if they believe in 1A they are suppressing freedom of religion; to show that there is nowhere in the Constitution that it says that the county sheriffs can decide which laws to enforce; to argue that the NRA and Oath Keepers refuse over and over to back the rights of POC to own guns and open carry. They will listen to these arguments, but you’ll have to learn about some of this stuff (which most leftists don’t know anything about – i had to learn even the rudiments).

They also stereotype everyone from the RCP to Obama as a “Marxist” and in their world, we’re out to seize their guns, so groups like Redneck Revolt confuse them because they don’t fit cleanly into their narrative. There is some begruding respect, i think, so also getting guns and learning about gun culture will build a kind of bridge of common ground because you are doing something they valorize – kinda like if they studied white privilege theory and black history and racism in America and had a knowledgeable discussion with you about it (even if they didn’t agree with our take on these things) – you would respect them more that they are actually learning about this and engaging in these questions which are important to you and that you want people to delve into.”

Centrism: A Moderate Manifesto Reply

There is much to admire in this article although, like centrist thought generally, there is a little too much comfort with the status quo. Of the seven principles that are outlined in this piece, I can only accept 2, 3, 4, and 5 wholeheartedly. While 1, 6, and 7 make valid points, they gloss over the crimes of liberal-capitalist nation-states.

Critics of Communism and Fascism correctly point out the body counts that have been generated by these ideologies. However, Capitalism’s body count is pretty high as well. Perhaps even higher given that Capitalism has existed on a much larger scale and over a longer period of time than either Fascism or Communism. The Third Reich only lasted for 12 years, the Mussolini regime for 23 years, and the Franco regime for 36 years. Communism’s entire history extends over a period of about 75 years even if it controlled half the world’s population at one point. But Capitalism extends back for centuries, and has dominated most of the world since, and continues to do so today.

The body count produced by the US regime alone over the past two centuries probably numbers in the tens of millions, and when we add up the body count produced by all of the capitalist empires and regimes combined extending back for 400 years it numbers well into the hundreds of millions, thereby rivaling the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.

By Bo Winegard

Quillette.Com

Centrism. It’s a decidedly wimpy and unexciting word and it often inspires derision as a kind of pallid purgatory for those afraid to take bold action or propound creative political ideas. Worse, it is less a coherent philosophy than a potpourri of concerns, complaints, and anxieties about other philosophies. The center is where those who can’t quite commit to something better land. And the centrist is that staid friend who orders vanilla pudding for fear that anything unique might offend his delicate palette.

These common complaints might contain more than a kernel of truth, but centrism doesn’t need to be dull or incoherent. Understood properly, centrism is a consistent philosophical system that attempts to guide political and cultural systems through change without paroxysms of revolution and violence. The centrist, in this sense, believes that political and cultural progress is best achieved by caution, temperance, and compromise, not extremism, radicalism, or violence.

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Both Lincoln and the Confederacy Were Awful Reply

Yes, yes, yes. Finally, a commentator with the perspicacity to inject some actual common sense into this argument. Most of the arguments that are made against Confederate monuments could be made against other monuments commemorating US history as well. Many of the founders of the USA were slaveholders. Where do people think Grant’s armies went after the Confederate secession was put down? They went westward and continued the conquest of the Indian territories. Most nations have a similar or comparable history because all states are ultimately founded on conquest. That’s just how the world works. You could complain about someone flying a Chinese flag outside a Chinese restaurant by pointing out the body count generated by Maoism.

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

We’re fighting the Civil War again. Whenever both major parties drop any pretense of addressing the real problems facing American taxpayers, their constituents revert to having at each other in “the culture wars.” And no culture war would be complete without relitigating what should now be settled history: the reasons for the Civil War.

Americans sympathetic to the Union generally believe the war was fought to end slavery or to “rescue the slaves” from political kidnapping by the slave states, that seceded from the Union to avoid impending abolition.

“No,” say those sympathetic to the Confederacy. The states seceded over states’ rights, particularly their right not to be victimized by high protectionist tariffs, paid mostly by southern states, but spent mostly on what we’d now call corporate welfare and infrastructure projects in the north.

That the states seceded for a different reason than the war was fought seems to elude everyone.

There is plenty of secondary literature presenting evidence on both sides, which is why Americans are still arguing this tired point over 150 years after the war ended. But there is a pretty simple way to clear the air. Just read the primary sources and take everyone at his word.

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Antifa Organizers Announce Plans To Disrupt Neo-Nazi Rally Or Whatever Else Going On That Day Reply

The Onion is generally a left-leaning site. Fortunately, they’re smart enough not to fall for the “anti-facism” hysteria Kool-Aid.

BERKELEY, CA—Vowing to derail whichever event it is by any means necessary, local Antifa organizers announced plans Monday to disrupt an upcoming neo-Nazi rally or whatever else is going on that day. “We will stop at nothing to prevent these vile fucking neo-Nazi hatemongers from gathering, or, if not them, someone else,” said Sarah Jackson, 26, adding that the only way to end the spread of fascism is to physically confront Nazis, peaceful right-wing protesters, or just random people going about their daily lives. “We need to tell these Hitler-loving fucks or whoever else is standing there, ‘Get out of our city!’ Remember, we’re talking about white supremacist terrorists, people running errands on their lunch breaks, or a group of tourists, so if we have to throw a punch or two, then so fucking be it.” At press time, black-clad Antifa demonstrators screaming “Fascists, go home!” had swarmed a Scandinavian street festival.

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