Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bogging inactivity

I think that it's fairly obvious that I am not maintaining the blog.

A decade ago, I kept a different blog which actually had some extremely minor impact (one or two legacy mainstream media figures used to read it at any rate, or so one could infer by their subsequent choices of topics on which to report). Those however were different times. We were Gen X, blogs like mine were rare then, and video blogging had not yet achieved the influence it has today. In short, the blog you now read tells you what I think if you care, but the world does not care any longer what I think. Nor should it.

I am too busy, anyway.

I was perhaps an asset to the blogging New Right a decade ago, but the New Right, now the Alt Right, now fueled by a generation that was in middle school a decade ago, no longer needs me, I think. That's a relief.

Scattered new posts might or might not appear here from time to time.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Alt Right Mark I and Mark II

There is the Alt Right and there is the Alt Right. You have
Separately, you have
  • Alt Right Chan culture,
which we'll get to in a moment, but let us first speak of Marks I and II.

Alt Right Mark I is a reaction to the almost inexplicable failure of American conservatism to try to conserve the nation.

Alt Right Mark II is a rebellion of belligerent Millenial nerds who have noticed that feminism (among others) is a big lie.

Mark I and Mark II both like being European white. Otherwise, Mark I and Mark II accidentally overlap. Each has learned somewhat from the other, but their motives differ. Taxonomically, both are called Alt Right, but maybe calling both by the same name has been a mistake.

I am not precisely Alt Right of either Mark, but I like Mark I a lot. By contrast, Mark II promotes such boring signaling spirals that Mark II is hard to like (it reflects the progressive Left in this respect). On the other hand, since I am not an establishment conservative, I am not stupid enough to think Mark II a foe.

Besides Mark I and Mark II, you have the offensively hilarious Alt Right Chan culture. That is sometimes very funny. I am not sure that Alt Right Chan culture has not been the youthful mainspring whose meme-power has lifted Alt Right Mark I to its present prosperity. Notwithstanding, though good taste has (by failing to conserve the nation) disgraced itself during the past 20 years, good taste cannot permanently fall out of style. Culturally, good taste will come back. Thus, Chan culture probably, inherently has limited reach. The youthful will not always be young.

Alt Right Mark I is great, though. It has momentum, too. If you have not listened at length to Richard B. Spencer (pictured left) of Alt Right Mark I, you should. Click the above link now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Larison on isolationists

Daniel Larison writes:

To say that someone is an “isolationist” because he doesn’t want to join (or start) wars overseas is akin to calling someone a shut-in because he chooses not to break into another person’s house and set fire to the building.


I used to be in favor of America's post-Cold War foreign wars. Then I noticed that:

  • we Americans had killed hundreds of thousands Iraqis in their own country (the blood being on American hands) and few of us seemed to care;
  • the Russians had killed one tenth as many Syrians at Aleppo (the blood not being on American hands) and we seemed to care a lot; and
  • in the interim, we had moved large numbers of Iraqi survivors to the U.S. to let them take out college loans, collect food stamps, and vote Democratic.

I gather that if we had killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the U.S., or even killed hundreds of Iraqis in the U.S., or even failed to give an Iraqi in the U.S. his food stamps, why, we would feel very guilty about this. But killing Iraqis in their own country is different: that's called liberating them.

I haven't even mentioned Afghanistan.

At any rate, I was wrong when I was in favor of America's foreign wars. Our invasion of Afghanistan was unfortunately a required response to Bin Laden's mad Sept. 11, 2001, bombing of Manhattan, but we should have exited Afghanistan within six months of entering it and should not have fought Iraq at all. The Baltic states or Taiwan might be next to draw us into a foreign war but I will not send my sons there to die. I am an isolationist now.


There was the objection that, if the U.S. does not stand up to tyranny, it could be Hitler all over again; yet this ignores how utterly wrong the U.S. has been in almost every foreign intervention (including the one against Hitler) as to what the actual effects of that intervention would be. Since when is it worth killing, since when is it worth dying, to enforce randomly unpredictable results in some faraway land?

It seems to me that, by intervening, the U.S. is at least as likely to create the next Hitler as to stop him. Those who disagree might tell us why, and tell us how many they are willing to kill to prove their point. No, Larison is right. That is not worth the foreign blood on our hands. That is not worth the deaths of my sons or yours. Hitler, who is already dead, is no excuse.

Who is bloodthirsty enough to tell us otherwise?

The U.S. has made enough corpses. The next time we fight, it must be for something worth fighting for; and please God may that day be long delayed. I am indeed an isolationist now.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Feser on apologetics

Edward Feser writes:
Now, apologetics is of its nature a rational enterprise aimed at persuading those who do not already agree by means of sober argumentation. And Catholic apologetics has always been guided by the principle of meeting one’s interlocutors where they are, charitably finding whatever is of value in their position and using it as a basis for discussion, etc.
One can learn much from Feser. The above is just one example. You can find Feser's blog here.

Incidentally, Feser's book The Last Superstition (a polemic rather than an apology) is excellent. Were I asked to recommend just one contemporary nonfiction book to the general reading public, that would probably be the one.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The lion cub plays at the hunt

There are plans:
  • I plan to change planes in Minneapolis to reach Milwaukee.
And then there are plans:
  • John plans to earn a Harvard MBA and to rise to become CEO of one of America's top ten general building contractors.
Plans of the second kind seldom go as planned, but such plans still matter, don't they? John might earn a Yale MBA (because Harvard had kept him on the admissions waiting list), hire on to a general building contractor that goes bankrupt a few years later, specialize in building fire protection during the meantime, and end up as CEO of an insurance company.

The hypothetical war plans of which I wrote in my last article are plans of the second kind.

So are the plans of the Alt Right.


One reads much loose talk of revolution on the Alt Right, in blogs and such. Who are those revolutionaries? Will you and I revolt with them? Shall we man the barricades forthwith, a broken bourbon bottle clenched in each angry fist?

Since it is impossible to plot an actual revolution in an unencrypted blog the FBI can read, since any four sherrif's deputies with a warrant and a pair of handcuffs could swiftly arrest an incipient revolt by an Alt Right blogger, one can question whether the loose talk of revolution has any value. You and I are not actually characters in a Victor Hugo novel, after all.

I suspect however that the loose talk of revolution does have value, for all that. For analogy, recall the above linked article on war plans. When a 32-year-old Army major is instructed to revise an old plan to invade Hungary, this is probably not because generals think an invasion of Hungary likely. Rather, it is chiefly because revising the plan makes good practice for the major, who might someday become a general; and because the quality of the major's work on the plan shows senior officers whether they can, during the intervening years, trust the major to help to plan something more real.

The major's Hungarian plan remains hypothetical, but hypothetical does not mean useless, does it? The major's Hungarian plan is an exercise that develops sound habits of mind. Besides, in an unforeseen emergency, one never knows: elements of the major's Hungarian plan might actually get used.

Now, admittedly, to compare hypothetical Alt Right chatter against an Army officer's hypothetical war plan strains the analogy. Indeed, measured against the latter, the former seems unserious on the face of it, hypothetical though both they be. After all, the Army officer will have trained four years at West Point, may have earned his Combat Infantryman's Badge under live fire on the high plains of Afghanistan, and might have commanded in Iraq an infantry company of 150 soldiers—to two of whose mothers he had personally written to explain their sons' deaths in action. The Alt Right blogger? He's just a blogger.

However, if the U.S. regime the major serves is deconstructing the American nation, then which of the two—the major or the blogger—may actually be doing some good? If the final measure of the major's work is to count the dead, what a tragedy! Though I would not quite say that I belonged to the ranks of the Alt Right, even I can see that the Alt Right blogger has at least a positive program of sorts to promote.


Revolution is a bloody business. It does not go well. It does not end well. It is not in itself a positive program. It gets hijacked by bad men for their own wicked purposes, while artilliery shells demolish men's homes, instantly reducing whole families to blood blots. You have rubble. You have famine. Men eat rats when they can get rats, sawdust when they can't. Water does not run. Electricity does not flow. Simple cuts get infected and lead to amputations without anesthesia. And that's if the revolution doesn't get crushed by the regime—which, nine times out of ten, it usually does.

You may think that you want a revolution, but you don't. You really don't. Yet, if things keep going as they are, you may get a revolution, nevertheless.

How would a hypothetical revolution go?

I have no idea. I do not want to find out, because a future is foreseeable in which revolution were the sole alternative to the extinction of our race. And, if a revolution there must be, then a reasonable man might conclude: the sooner, the better. One observes that the European race is the most effective warlike race ever to walk the earth, so I suspect that we whites would win even if substantially outnumbered; but the less outnumbered, the better, nor is victory guaranteed.

Remember Pat Tillman. He looks as though a squadron of F-35s could do him no harm, but in fact he was felled by an ordinary rifle round.

Still, I believe that we would win. And still, I would rather not put my belief to the test.


Chris Matthews once rhetorically asked, "Why does the little guy love his country?" Matthews' answer: "Because it's all he's got."

What can be done? What can be done is surprisingly easy:

  • Remember that the United States is our country.
  • Decline to get sidetracked by the troublemaking question, "What about the immigrants? Isn't the U.S. their country, too?" (To the individual immigrant, the answer "You're here, aren't you?" suffices. To the collective of immigrants—well, that collective is precisely the problem, isn't it?)
  • Halt almost all immigration.
  • Have the U.S. pay incentives to a significant fraction of recent immigrants voluntarily to emigrate.
  • Criminalize Islam, with a temporary exception for Muslims who are arranging to emigrate.
  • Admit that desegregation was once a noble impulse but has become a gruesome mistake. Repeal the Civil Rights Act. Strip most blacks of the franchise.
  • Amend the tax code to further incentivize whites who earn (or whose parents earn) above-average incomes to make more babies.
  • Restrict the college-loan program to discourage our best young women from wasting their most fertile years in college. College, which is scheduled to the natural tempo of a smart young man's life, simply does not work for most women.
  • Kick the undisciplined and the badly behaved out of high school, so that our high schools can restore their rigor, affording our young women a sound education during those few, precious years they can afford to devote to full-time study.

Will we do these things? No, probably not, but we could. We choose not to.

Why we won't do these things, or something like them, is rather a mystery. None of these things is harsh. None is brutal. None is unjust. All seem necessary and desirable. Most of these measures would have been embraced by our ancestors, were our ancestors alive today to counsel us. Since our ancestors are not alive, since we will not heed their counsel, a time seems not unlikely to come—nor may it be long delayed—when circumstance forces Americans to turn to harsh, brutal, unjust measures, but that time has not yet arrived.

When? Events will ride the saddle. Events are unforeseen. You'll see.

Meanwhile, the Alt Right plays at revolution as the lion cub plays at the hunt.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hypothetical war planning

In 1950, Ray S. Cline, U.S. Army historian, wrote of the Army's hypothetical war planning during the two decades that separated the World Wars:
The keynote of all war planning before 1939 was the strategic concept, required by national policy, of defense of the United States by the United States alone against any and all combinations of foreign powers. Thus of the ten or twelve color plans current and approved in the years between the wars, the one which occasioned the most staff work was not, properly speaking, a war plan at all but instead a "National Position in Readiness" plan called BLUE (United States). Of the others only two called for general mobilization of the armed forces, and these two represented highly improbable developments in international affairs, namely a war against RED (British Empire) or against a coalition of RED and ORANGE (Japan). The most significant plan from a strategic point of view was the ORANGE plan proper, which visualized a major conflict that, although primarily naval, would require the mobilization of more than a million men in the Army. The other war plans provided for actions in comparatively minor emergencies.
In all cases the color plans were simple outlines of missions to be accomplished and Army forces to be mobilized, concentrated, and used in combat in the event that military operations became necessary under the circumstances presupposed in any one of the plans. As strategic planning in a broad sense, the early war plans, with the exception of ORANGE, were virtually meaningless because they bore so little relation to contemporary international political and military alignments. They were valuable, however, as abstract exercises in the technical process of detailed military planning, providing useful training for the officers who drew them up....
As far as I know, all armies do this. Just as engineering professors cause their students, for practice, to plan cantilevers, trusses and the like, generals cause their staff officers to plan hypothetical invasions of Hungary and Costa Rica. Unlike the professors, however, the Army secretly archives the plans. Most plans are never used; but, occasionally, in an emergency, a plan may be snatched from the archive and put into sudden action.

It is more likely, of course, that the plan which actually gets used will have been prepared before action with greater care.
By 1940 [when World War II had begun on both sides of the Old World but the United States was not yet openly in the fight] the color plans had been largely superseded by the more comprehensive RAINBOW plans, which provided a variety of military courses of action to meet the real strategic situation imposed by Axis aggression.
Still, even an obscure plan can influence the course of a war, whether or not the plan as such is ultimately employed. William L. Shirer recounts:
Shortly before Christmas [1939, Alfred Rosenberg, head of the German Nazi party's Foreign Affairs Department] dispatched a special agent ... to Norway,... and over the holidays the handful of officers at OKW who were in the know began working on "Study North," as the plans were first called.
[Two months later], Hitler ... sent for [Gen. Nikolaus von Falkenhorst], who ... commanded an army corps in the west....
Falkenhorst later described in an interrogation at Nuremberg their first meeting at the Chancellery on the morning of February 21, which was not without its amusing aspects. Falkenhorst had never even heard of the "North" operation and this was the first time he had faced the Nazi warlord, who apparently did not awe him as he had all the other generals.
"I was made to sit down," he recounted at Nuremberg. "Then I had to tell the Fuehrer about the operations in Finland in 1918.... He said: 'sit down and just tell me how it was,' and I did.
"Then we got up and he led me to a table that was covered with maps. He said: '... The Reich Government has knowledge that the British intend to make a landing in Norway....'"
[T]he General, to his surprise, found himself appointed then and there [to carry out the invasion of Norway] as commander in chief. The Army, Hitler added, would put five divisions at his disposal. The idea was to seize the main Norwegian ports.
At noon the warlord dismissed Falkenhorst and told him to report back at 5 p.m. with his plans for the occupation of Norway.
"I went out and bought a Baedeker, a travel guide," Falkenhorst explained at Nuremberg, "in order to find out just what Norway was like. I didn't have any idea.... Then I went to my hotel room and I worked on this Baedeker.... At 5 p.m. I went back to the Fuehrer."
The General's plans, worked out from an old Baedeker—he was never shown the plans worked out by OKW—were, as can be imagined, somewhat sketchy, but they seem to have satisfied Hitler. One division was to be allotted to each of Norway's five principal harbors, Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Narvik. "There wasn't much else you could do," Falkenhorst said later, "because they were the large harbors." After being sworn to secrecy and urged "to hurry up," the General was again dismissed and thereupon set to work.
Apparently, the nonlinear way in which plans interact with unforeseen events can be complex. No formula can explain it, but stories like these can help one to understand.

The story of Falkenhorst and the Baedeker seems worth telling in any case. I do not suppose that the Norwegians found it too amusing when the German Army actually invaded (as indeed the German army did, 77 years ago next month), but, you know: a Baedeker? As though the General were looking for aught but a cozy Norwegian hotel in which to spend the night.

And before that, on the American side during the 1930's, the U.S. Army's chief strategic study seems to have been a plan to parry a hypothetical joint invasion of the United States by whom? By Britain and Japan!

In the shadow of the (now almost forgotten) Washington Naval Conference of 1922, I suppose that the idea was that, if the U.S. could parry a joint invasion by Britain and Japan, then the U.S. could probably parry other invasions, as well; but war with Britain and Japan does nevertheless seem formally to have been the plan.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Churchill on the English jury (part 2)

Synopsis of part 1: The White Ship strikes a rock. A prince drowns, trying to rescue his sister. The drowning throws the English succession into seventeen years of civil war, during which young Henry, great-grandson of the Conquerer and arguably rightful king, can grow up in France. Landing at long last in England, Henry fights, forcing King Stephen to adopt Henry as his heir.
The accession of Henry II began one the most pregnant and decisive reigns in English history. The new sovereign ruled an empire, and, as his subjects boasted, his warrant ran "from the Arctic Ocean to the Pyrenees...." The memories of Hastings were confounded in his person, and after the hideous anarchy of civil war and robber barons all due attention was paid to his commands....
After a hundred years of being the encampment of an invading army and the battleground of its quarrelsome officers and their descendants England became finally and for all time a coherent kingdom, based upon Christianity and upon that Latin civilization which recalled the message of ancient Rome. Henry Plantagenet [that is, our young Henry, Henry II] first brought England, Scotland, and Ireland into a certain common relationship; he re-established the system of royal government which his grandfather, Henry I, had prematurely erected. He relaid the foundations of the central power, based upon the exchequer and the judiciary, which was ultimately to supersede the fuedal system of Willam the Conquerer. The King gathered up and cherished the Anglo-Saxon tradition of self-government under royal command in shire and borough; he developed and made permanent "assizes" as they survive to-day. It is to him we owe the enduring fact that the English-speaking race all over the world is governed by the English Common Law rather than by the Roman....
A vivid picture is painted of this gifted and, for a while, enviable man: square, thick-set, bull-necked, with powerful arms and coarse, rough hands; his legs bandy from endless riding; a large, round head and closely cropped red hair; a freckled face; a voice harsh and cracked. Intense love of the chase; other loves, which the Church deplored and Queen Eleanor resented; frugality in food and dress; days entirely concerned with public business; travel unceasing; moods various. It was said that he was always gentle and calm in times of urgent peril, but became bad-tempered and capricious when the pressure relaxed....
The Plantagenets were rough masters, and the temper of the age was violent. It was the violence however of vigor, not of decadence. England has had greater soldier-kings and subtler diplomatists than Henry II, but no man has left a deeper mark upon our laws and institutions.... The names of his battles have vanished with their dust, but his fame will live with the English Constitution and the English Common Law.
This great king was fortunate in his moment. William I and Henry I had brought to England or preserved there all those instruments through which their successor was to work. They themselves could move but slowly and with caution. The land must settle itself to its new rules and rulers. In 1154 however [Henry II] had come to a country which nearly twenty years of anarchy had prepared for the acceptance of a strong hand at the centre....
 The italics are mine. See part 1.
The disasters of Stephen's reign determined Henry not only to curb baronial independence and regain the ground lost by his predecessor, but to go much further. In place of a multitude of manorial courts where local magnates dispensed justice whose quality and character varied with the customs and temper of the neighbourhood, he planned a system of royal courts which would administer a law common to all England and all men.
The policy was not without peril. The King was wise enough to avoid a direct assault, for he knew, as the Conquerer had known, that to lay a finger upon the sanctity of customary rights would provoke disaster. Faced with this barrier, Henry shrewdly opposed custom to custom and cloaked innovation in the respected garb of conservatism. He was careful to respect existing forms....
Respect for existing forms: this is a crucial point.
His plan was to stretch old principles to take on new meanings. In an unwritten Constitution the limits of the King's traditional rights were vaguely defined. This opened a shrewd line of advance. For centuries before the Conquest, Church and King had been the enemies of seigneurial anarchy, but there had been no question of swiftly extending the Crown's jurisdiction. Fastening upon the elastic Saxon concept of the King's Peace, Henry used it to draw all criminal cases to his courts. Every man had his own Peace, which it was a crime to break, and the more important the man, the graver the breach. The King's Peace was the most important of all, and those who broke it could be tried in the King's court. But the King's Peace was limited, and often embraced only offences committed in the King's presence or on the King's highway or land. When the King died his Peace died with him and men might do as they willed. Cautiously and quietly Henry began to claim that the King's Peace extended over all of England, and that no matter where it was broken offenders should be tried in the King's courts. Civil cases he attracted by straining a different principle, the old right of the King's court to hear appeals in cases where justice had been refused and to protect men in possession of their lands. He did not brandish what he was about; the changes that he made were introduced gradually and without legislation, so that at first they were hardly perceived. Rarely is it possible to state the date at which any innovation was made; yet at the King's death a clever man might have looked back and seen how much had been altered in the thirty-five years that Henry II had sat on the English throne.
Churchill will continue our story in part 3.