Pure indulgence

I love him, the old rogue.

Podcasts here.

Transcripts (and much, much more) here.

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Scott Adams hits it out of the park

Scott Adams’ writing has been insightful through the election campaign. I haven’t agreed with everything he has said, in particular his conclusions about who was winning at each stage. But for illumination he has been indispensable.

I enjoyed this post, from a few days ago. It is relevant to the concern we have here for clarity of thought, and not deceiving oneself:

In nearly every scenario you can imagine, the person experiencing an unlikely addition to their reality is the one hallucinating. If all observers see the same addition to their reality, it might be real. But if even one participant can’t see the phenomenon – no matter how many can – it is almost certainly not real.

Here I pause to remind new readers of this blog that I’m a trained hypnotist and a student of persuasion in all its forms. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to learn the tricks for discerning illusion from reality. And I’m here to tell you that if you are afraid that Donald Trump is a racist/sexist clown with a dangerous temperament, you have been brainwashed by the best group of brainwashers in the business right now: Team Clinton. They have cognitive psychologists such as Godzilla advising them. Allegedly.

I remind you that intelligence is not a defense against persuasion. No matter how smart you are, good persuaders can still make you see a pink elephant in a room where there is none (figuratively speaking). And Clinton’s team of persuaders has caused half of the country to see Trump as a racist/sexist Hitler with a dangerous temperament. That’s a pink elephant.

As a public service (and I mean that literally) I have been trying to unhypnotize the country on this matter for the past year. I don’t do this because I prefer Trump’s policies or because I know who would do the best job as president. I do it because our system doesn’t work if you think there is a pink elephant in the room and there is not. That isn’t real choice. That is an illusion of choice.

Trump represents what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring real change to a government that is bloated and self-serving.  Reasonable people can disagree on policies and priorities. But Trump is the bigger agent for change, if that’s what you think the country needs. I want voters to see that choice for what it is.

And it isn’t a pink elephant.

Worth reading the whole thing. It has been quite clear to me that Adams has been leaning to Trump for a while, in the last few days he has made his support more explicit. Yesterday, he laid it all out in another superb posthe laid it all out in another superb post:

Joe Biden said he wanted to take Trump behind the bleachers and beat him up. No one on Clinton’s side disavowed that call to violence because, I assume, they consider it justified hyperbole.

Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40%+ of voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behavior online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right?

Some Trump supporters online have suggested that people who intend to vote for Trump should wear their Trump hats on election day. That is a dangerous idea, and I strongly discourage it. There would be riots in the streets because we already know the bullies would attack. But on election day, inviting those attacks is an extra-dangerous idea. Violence is bad on any day, but on election day, Republicans are far more likely to unholster in an effort to protect their voting rights. Things will get wet fast.

Yes, yes, I realize Trump supporters say bad things about Clinton supporters too. I don’t defend the bad apples on either side. I’ll just point out that Trump’s message is about uniting all Americans under one flag. The Clinton message is that some Americans are good people and the other 40% are some form of deplorables, deserving of shame, vandalism, punishing taxation, and violence. She has literally turned Americans on each other. It is hard for me to imagine a worse thing for a presidential candidate to do.

I’ll say that again.

As far as I can tell, the worst thing a presidential candidate can do is turn Americans against each other. Clinton is doing that, intentionally.


As I often say, I don’t know who has the best policies. I don’t know the best way to fight ISIS and I don’t know how to fix healthcare or trade deals. I don’t know which tax policies are best to lift the economy. I don’t know the best way to handle any of that stuff. (And neither do you.) But I do have a bad reaction to bullies. And I’ve reached my limit.

I hope you have too. Therefore…

I endorse Donald Trump for President of the United States because I oppose bullying in all its forms. 

I don’t defend Trump’s personal life. Neither Trump nor Clinton are role models for our children. Let’s call that a tie, at worst.

The bullies are welcome to drown in their own bile while those of us who want a better world do what we’ve been doing for hundreds of years: Work to make it better while others complain about how we’re doing it.

Today I put Trump’s odds of winning in a landslide back to 98%. Remember, I told you a few weeks ago that Trump couldn’t win unless “something changed.”

Something just changed.

A couple of points:

  1. Political violence is a serious concern. For me, it arises from a person’s believing that their side is morally in the right, and thus that anyone in opposition must necessarily be morally in the wrong. And you can do anything to stop people who are morally in the wrong, including by inflicting violence upon them – and certainly by imposing censorship on them. For some reason, the only political group which doesn’t believe itself to be morally in the right are conservatives and libertarians. They certainly believe their political positions are right, otherwise they couldn’t possibly espouse them. But they don’t then draw the conclusion that other people are morally wrong and can/must be mistreated and censored. No other group has this belief – not the extreme right, nor the extreme left, nor the centre left. They all believe in and advocate violence against their opponents. Hence the labelling of Trump as Hitler, and Hillary Clinton’s dismissal of her opponent’s supporters as ‘not American’, with all the chilling implications that that assertion carries. I don’t know why this is, but it seems to be a sound rule of thumb.
  2. I don’t know what Adams is referring to in his ‘Something’s changed’ sentence. Something has certainly changed for him – but, unless Adams plans to hypnotise every American voter, that isn’t a change that will get Trump elected. Trump I think still has a chance, but Clinton is most certainly the favourite, and will remain so regardless of whatever comes out of Wikileaks, or anywhere else. The electorate is simply too stupid and naive to comprehend the scale of her corruption and criminality, or the threat that her constant, continuous bear-baiting poses to the safety of her country. They’re just going to have to learn the hard way.

Anyway. Well done Scott Adams. And here’s to your hypnotising the entire country on the evening of November 7 – the future of civilisation may depend on it.

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam, Insights, The Mind & Society, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

I don’t know what to say anymore (updated, 26/10)

From the Nation, via Zerohedge:

As the two nuclear powers sabre-rattle over conflicts within Syria, and to some extent, over the Ukrainian crisis, asking these questions to determine who will pull the trigger first has become more paramount than it was at the peak of the Cold War.

The Nation’s contributing editor, Stephen F. Cohen, reported Vice President Joe Biden’s statement that the White House was preparing to send Vladimir Putin a “message” — most likely in the form of a cyber attack — amounted to a virtual “American declaration of war on Russia” in Russia’s eyes. Biden’s threat is reportedly in response to allegations that Russia hacked Democratic Party offices in order to disrupt the presidential election.

Chuck Todd, host of the “Meet the Press” on NBC, asked Joe Biden: “Why haven’t we sent a message yet to Putin?”


Biden responded, “We are sending a message [to Putin]… We have a capacity to do it, and…”

“He’ll know it?” Todd interrupted.

“He’ll know it. It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact,” the U.S. vice president replied.

What are the effects of this kind of rhetoric when dealing with international relations? Western media decided to pay little attention to Biden’s statements, yet his words have stunned Moscow. As reported by the Nation:

“…Biden’s statement, which clearly had been planned by the White House, could scarcely have been more dangerous or reckless — especially considering that there is no actual evidence or logic for the two allegations against Russia that seem to have prompted it.”

The statements will not come without any measured response from Russia. According to presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russia’s response is well underway:

“The fact is, US unpredictability and aggression keep growing, and such threats against Moscow and our country’s leadership are unprecedented, because the threat is being announced at the level of the US Vice President. Of course, given such an aggressive, unpredictable line, we have to take measures to protect our interests, somehow hedge the risks.”

The fact that our media refuses to pay attention to the dangers of our own establishment in sending warnings to adverse nuclear powers based on unasserted allegations shows our media is playing a very dangerous game with us — the people. This attempt to pull the wool over our eyes and prepare us for a direct confrontation with Russia can be seen clearly in the battle for Aleppo, Syria.

As the Nation astutely noted:

“Only a few weeks ago, President Obama had agreed with Putin on a joint US-Russian military campaign against ‘terrorists’ in Aleppo. That agreement collapsed primarily because of an attack by US warplanes on Syrian forces. Russia and its Syrian allies continued their air assault on east Aleppo now, according to Washington and the mainstream media, against anti-Assad ‘rebels.’ Where, asks Cohen, have the jihad terrorists gone? They had been deleted from the US narrative, which now accused Russia of ‘war crimes’ in Aleppo for the same military campaign in which Washington was to have been a full partner.”

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. There must be something very deep going on here, beyond the view of ordinary folk, because from where I am, the White House is going pell mell to war with Russia in order to prevent al Qaeda from being pushed out of Aleppo.

al Qaeda. The US is fighting on the side of al Qaeda.

Aleppo. No-one has wanted to fight for Aleppo since 1917, and even then it was a way-station.

I’m not making this up.

Putin and his advisors have seen this coming for at least the last year. In July this year Putin warned (in much the same state of mind that I am in, it seems):

We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

And he’s right. And he’s not provoking it, it is all being provoked in the United States, for reasons that I simply cannot fathom. It’s completely beyond me. It is wrong and incredible on so many levels.

And yet it’s happening. Before our eyes.

UPDATE, 26/10: From TheDuran, via Zerohedge:

Russia reveals photos of a new highly advanced liquid fuelled heavy ICBM capable of evading anti-missile defences and hitting US territory with 10 tonne nuclear payload.

The Makeyev Design Bureau – the designer of Russia’s heavy liquid fuelled Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (“ICBMs”) – ie. of missiles capable of reaching US territory from Russian territory, has published the first picture of Russia’s new heavy Sarmat ICBM which is due to enter service shortly, probably in 2018.


This is a superpower baring its fangs and telling an adversary to stay well away. The Russians are doing everything they can to warn the Americans off. And the Americans aren’t taking any of it seriously.


Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Instrumental Rationality, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Rationalisation, discrimination, de-legitimisation … you know the rest

Interested, while controlling my revulsion at the subject matter, to read this, via Unz:

By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man. Because he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.

In a very telling moment, Thiel referred to the devastating legislation that North Carolina and Mississippi passed prohibiting transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice as a “distraction.” Thiel also endorsed a political platform and party that includes the vice-presidential nominee who has voted aganst [sic] hate-crime laws, opposed HIV funding, and supported a law allowing businesses to deny services to people who identify as gay.

In this way, Thiel reaffirmed his own sexual choices — while separating himself from gay identity. His notion that transgender people’s predicament is somehow a distraction effectively rejects the conception of LGBT as a cultural identity that requires political struggle to defend.

‘By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man. Because he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.’

One of my aphorisms is that people can rationalise anything, if doing so would mean that they can remove an unwelcome cognitive dissonance and dismiss or denounce a person or group which presents an inconvenient and/or significant disruption to one’s beliefs, cause and/or raison d’etreContinue reading

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“He who will not listen will have to feel.”

From Germany:

The most recent example of backlash over the migrant crisis comes from the small German town of Oersdorf in Northern Germany.  The Mayor of Oersdorf, Joachim Kebschull (61), was recently beaten unconscious outside of the city’s Town Hall where the construction committee was meeting to discuss a new housing development for migrants.  The mayor was apparently struck with a club from behind as he stepped out the Town Hall building to get a laptop from his car.

According to The Telegraph, just hours before the committee meeting Kebschull received a threatening letter saying:

“He who will not listen will have to feel.”

“Oersdorf for Oersdorfers”

These idiots, in their arrogant self-righteousness, are reviving nationalist violence across the western world.

We had it beaten. We had it beaten for 70 years.

And they have revived it.

There is no word, no phrase, for this. The phrase that comes closest is ‘wanton and wilful criminal idiocy’. But it cannot capture the emotion of revulsion that the actions of the globalists create.


Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Two cheers for Martin Wolf

I hardly agree at all with Martin Wolf on anything these days. I once admired his wisdom, intelligence and perspicacity, but those days are long gone, and I suspect old ‘Two Brains’ has fallen into his dotage. I suspect younger readers encountering him now have the same feeling that I once had when I first encountered his old stablemate, Sam Brittan, in the early noughties – ‘Why does anyone pay attention to this guy?

Despite this regrettable parting of the ways, I still find things to admire in his writings. And this passage, excerpted from a recent Wolf column, is one of those:

The Iraq war has damaged trust in US wisdom and competence. But the global financial crisis has been even more destructive. Many have long suspected US motives. But they thought it knew how to manage a capitalist system. The crisis devastated that confidence.

After all this damage, election of a man as unqualified as Mr Trump would call into question something even more fundamental: belief in the capacity of the US to choose reasonably well-informed and competent leaders. Under a President Trump, the democratic system would lose much of its credibility as a model for the organisation of a civilised political life. Mr Putin and other actual or would-be despots would cheer. Their belief that talk of western values is just hypocrisy would be vindicated. But those who see the US as a bastion of democracy would despair.

Wolf is correct about the damage to US credibility and prestige resulting from the Iraq war – but not just the Iraq war; remember the hecatombs in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, as well as US support of the Israeli government – and from the unbelievable incompetence of financial policy, both pre-and post-financial crisis.

And I think he’s correct about the damage to US prestige and credibility that this election is wreaking. I just think he is talking of the wrong candidate. I think the US’ internal and external policies have gone so far off the rails that Trump is exactly what is needed to clean house and get things working again. I believe he is sufficiently pragmatic to be educable, while sufficiently bright and tough-minded to be effective. The disaster for the US, and for democracy, would be the election of the entirely corrupt, utterly compromised, corporate-indebted, and cult-marx marinated Hillary. I doubt that the US could survive a Clinton presidency.

So, how about this for a re-worked paragraph:

After all this damage, election of a person as compromised as Mrs Clinton would call into question something even more fundamental: belief in the capacity of the US to choose reasonably honest, minimally competent, uncorruptedtrustworthy and respectable leaders. Under a President Clinton, the democratic system would lose much of its credibility as a model for the organisation of a civilised political life. Mr Putin and other actual or would-be despots would cheer. Their belief that talk of western values is just hypocrisy would be vindicated. But those who see the US as a bastion of democracy would despair.


Posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Democracy and freedom of mind, Flotsam and Jetsam, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘By the numbers’

Muslims talk about islam.

More informedly than the ‘nothing to do with islam’ crowd ever could.

Posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Epistemic Rationality, Freedom of speech, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

‘Screaming into the camera’

Recently, in a video interview which I can’t exactly identify, Jim Rickards mentioned that, in the video releases that he gave prior to Brexit, advising his subscribers and clients to ‘short sterling and buy gold’, he was doing everything short of ‘screaming into the camera’ in order to get his message across.

I was reminded of this phrase, and of an earlier, significant warning, when I saw this recently-released clip of Jim talking to Egon von Greyerz in a gold vault in Switzerland. While the whole video is important and worth watching, note the statement about refiners’ access to gold dore from about 2 mins 47 seconds.

If this isn’t ‘screaming into the camera’, I don’t know what is.

The earlier, significant warning? From July 27, 2007, posted on the magnificent Going Private blog:  Continue reading

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The Great Inversion: United States becomes the ‘Evil Empire’

Raimondo’s essay brought to mind an idea that has been rolling around in my mind for a while now, but which I haven’t until now committed to paper (bytes, whatever):

The United States is becoming the Evil Empire that it fought against in the Cold War. 

My (admittedly loose) reasoning is:

  • whereas the elite of the Soviet Union was motivated by an ideology of marxism, the elite of the United States is motivated by an ideology of cultural marxism;
  • whereas the Soviet Union was openly hostile to, and sought to destroy, western societies, the elite of the United States are openly hostile to, and seek to destroy, Russia;
  • whereas the elite of the Soviet Union used their ideology of proletarian dictatorship to justify their aggression against those they deemed to be ‘enemies of the working class’, the elite of the United States use their ideology of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ to justify their aggression against those they deem to be ‘oppressive’;
  • whereas the elite of the Soviet Union controlled social narratives through official news agencies, and sought to suppress alternative narratives which can only circulate through what was known as samizdat press, the elite of the United states control social narratives through mainstream media agencies, and seek to suppress alternative narratives which can only circulate through unofficial channels on the internet (blogs, message boards, podcasts – all of which are currently under threat of censorship);
  • whereas the elite of the Soviet Union sought to promote their ideology of proletarian dictatorship to other countries through conquest, proxy wars and ideological subversion, the elite of the United States seek to promote their ideology of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ to other countries through conquest, proxy wars and ideological subversion;
  • etc., etc.

and so on and so forth. For every action of the elites of the Soviet Union, I think I can find an analogue in the beliefs and actions of the elites of the United States.

Here is just the latest analogue, outlined by the anonymous author at The Daily Bell and re-printed at David Stockman’s site:

In bluntest terms, the FBI performs a function similar to that of the 20th century KGB. It creates high-profile “criminal cases” to reinforce elite memes. For instance, banking elites are currently fixated on creating a “war on terror.” The FBI is charged with finding and arresting terrorists to buttress this narrative.

I’ll look for further examples, to share with you. This is not really a Popperian approach to generating knowledge – I should be looking for evidence that invalidates my hypothesis. The reason for my questionable approach is that I think there’s a preponderance of evidence that western countries are not, fully, modern analogues of the old Soviet Union – my being able to write this blog is evidence of this – but that it is important to monitor these developments because they represent a threat to essential, fundamental, ancient liberties which have allowed western societies to thrive for so long.

I’ll post examples under the category Cult-Marx Inversion.

Lastly: a discussion of cultural marxism with Andrew Breitbart, plus some other resources discussing cultural marxism.

Plus, as a treat, Yuri Bezmenov discussing the mechanics of ideological subversion, and a Zerohedge article quoting Oliver Stone and his use of C Wright Mills’ accurate term ‘crackpot realists’.

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Narrative as the fabric of modern reality

Quotation from Tim Price, writing at the Mises Institute blog:

Yuval Harari, in his excellent history of mankind, Sapiens, points out that just about everything in the infrastructure of the modern economy is either some kind of narrative or myth. The buildings on Wall Street and in the Square Mile may be solid enough, but the rest of the fabric of our financial system is dependent on trust or collective belief rather than the material and the “real”.

Posted in Narrative and Taboo, The Mind & Society | Leave a comment