That’s Why

When people discover that I emigrated from South Africa back in the mid-1980s, a fairly common question is: “Why?” Here’s why (via Reader PeterB and Moonbattery:

[South African] President Jacob Zuma said 2017 is the year of “taking land back to the people” and for this reason government will seek to change legislation to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

So like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, the South African government is going to steal property (that’s the true meaning of “expropriation without compensation”) from Whites and give it to Blacks. Considering how well this has turned out in the country just to its north, where once-productive land now lies fallow and an exporter of food (Rhodesia) now has to import what they once produced in over-abundance (Zimbabwe), this was obviously a slam-dunk decision for the Marxists of the African National Congress. Like all Marxists, the intention (Right the wrongs of apartheid!) is more important than the outcome (national collapse into bankruptcy, violence and anarchy), ending up with a billionaire ruling class, no middle class and a poverty-stricken underclass (see: Venezuela, Cuba, etc.).

And it will result in that same outcome, as surely as night follows day. Oh well. I would get upset, but I need to go and trim the dog’s toenails.

Pinochet Revisited (1)

Reader Norma asked this question of me under one of yesterday’s posts:

Sooo…how do you reconcile your admiration for Pinochet with your revulsion of Guevara/Castro, given that they used a lot of the same means to achieve their respective ends?  Is it all about the ends rather than the means?

I’m not an admirer of Chilean General and President Augusto Pinochet, by any means. What amazed me, back when I visited Chile with The Mrs., was how many Chileans, both ordinary working-class and the prosperous middle class, were admirers of Pinochet. So I attempted to bring some balance to the established trope about him, and looked at commentary and historical observations outside the usual “He was an evil dictator!” howls from the Left, both academia and most especially, the Press.

Norma was referring to a long-ago post I wrote called “The Pinochet Conundrum”, and I’d like to beg my Loyal Readers’ indulgence to read what I wrote back then, because it saves me having to rewrite much of it. The piece was actually posited against the problems facing post-war Iraq, where “moderates” in government were facing all kinds of radical Islam terrorist activity, and my point was that perhaps what Iraq needed was a strongman like Pinochet, who might do all sorts of barbarous things to the extremists, in order to turn the country as a whole into a modern, prosperous society (as Pinochet did for Chile). It’s a “conundrum” because you have to make all sorts of uncomfortable choices, some of which might go against the grain of long-held beliefs and, it should be said, decades of Leftist propaganda. Here’s the Conundrum, as I wrote it back then. Please read it.

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Quote Of The Day

From the brilliant mind of Sarah Hoyt:

“Horrible tyrants don’t get toppled. Their softer, kinder successors do.”

Now get over there and read the rest, which explains the revolution we’re about to experience. (Warning:  Sarah is an expository writer, and when she makes an argument, she buttresses it with all sorts of logic, reasoning, historical perspective and personal experience. In other words, she doesn’t do bumper-sticker aphorisms, she does wisdom. If you think it’s “TL;DR” then I feel sorry for you.)

You Can’t Say That Here

Tyler Durden (the other one) talks about how free speech is increasingly becoming criminalized, and it’s absolutely true, of course. When someone can get jailed for “hate” speech (my favorite kind, especially when it pertains to politicians of all stripes and Marxist politicians in particular), and when simply wearing a T-shirt can get one into trouble (try wearing a MAGA shirt on the Berkeley campus, for example), it’s easy to prove Tyler’s thesis.

I have two anecdotes on the above, relating to my oh-so brief period as a full-time student at a four-year college. (I should mention up front that while U of North Texas is, by Texas standards, an island of PC and Green groupthink, it’s like Hillsdale College by comparison to Yale or Berkeley.)

Anyway, sometime during my second week on campus I was strolling towards the coffee bar at the student union building or whatever they called it, when I saw a small expanse of lawn, maybe forty feet square, in front of which was a small sign designating this lawn as a “free speech zone — permit required” area. I happened to see one of my professors walking towards me, and I stopped her.

“Am I seeing things, or is this the only place on campus where someone can make a speech? And you need a permit?”
“Uh huh,” she replied, clearly oblivious of the trap I was setting for her, “You get it from the Student Affairs office.”
“Doesn’t sound very free to me,” I observed. “If one has to get a permit to speak, it could, theoretically, be turned down?”
“Oh, they hardly ever refuse a speaking permit.”
Hardly ever doesn’t really seem to jibe with free, does it?”
“Well, they try to avoid allowing anything that would rile up other students.”
“So if I stood up there, permit in hand, and started yelling that women and niggers shouldn’t be allowed to vote, there’d be repercussions?”
She flinched at the sound of the word “niggers”, which was my intention all along. “You’d probably be suspended!”
“So really, it’s not a free speech zone at all, is it?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Exactly how is it free, when I have to get permission to speak, the content is subject to penalty, and where I can speak is constrained by regulation?”
She had no answer to that, but walked off with a horrified look on her face. As did I. I can only imagine the discussion in the faculty lounge later that day. (Despite the evidence that I was a troublemaker, I still got an A for the course because after a few lectures it was clear, both to the prof and to the other students, that I could have taught the class. So why did I take the class, then? It fulfilled a stupid requirement, and as it was an easy A, it freed up time for me to concentrate on Post-WWII German Economic History, which was an absolute monster.)

The second of my many brushes with this free speech foolishness was when I saw a student, a young kid of maybe nineteen, wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. As we were in a classroom waiting for the professor to arrive, I thought I’d have a little fun.

“Why are you wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt?” I asked.
He looked down, as though seeing it for the first time. “‘Cause it looks cool.”
“You mean, you like the design, or you approve of his revolutionary ethos?”
I think he was a little confused by the word “ethos”, but he replied, “Both. He was a cool dude.”
“You know he was a mass murderer, right?”
The little shit smirked. “He was doin’ what had to be done.”
“Killing his political enemies, without a trial or any legal procedure, just lining them up and mowing them down with a machine gun?”
The kid started looking uncomfortable. “He didn’t do any of that.”
“You know there’s photographic and documentary proof that he did, right? And you know one of his most famous quotes?” (Long ago, I’d taken the trouble to memorize this one, for just such an occasion.)
To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail.” I paused. “Still think he was a cool dude?”
The kid was saved further embarrassment by the arrival of the professor, but after the class another kid came up to me and said, “Dude! That was awesome! Can you write that down for me, what Che said?”

Maybe, just maybe, I prevented at least one kid from becoming a Marxist. At worst, I exposed the other kids in the class to the reality of Guevara’s barbarity. One at a time, folks; one at a time.

Avoiding The Blue Meanies

“We don’t CARE how y’all did things back in California”
“Welcome to Texas. Now lose those bad Yankee habits”
“Californians welcome. Your politics, not so much”
“You screwed up New York. You screwed up California. Now can you leave MY state alone?”

or the all-time favorite:
“Yankees Go Home”

We are all familiar with the topic: Californians / New Yorkers / etc. get sick of their home states, pack up and leave for places less screwed-up, but bring all their bad political- and voting habits with them, and proceed to turn their adopted states into copies of the ones they fled.

Over at Maggie’s Farm, one commenter made this suggestion, which I found perfectly acceptable:

States should pass a constitutional amendment as follows:

1. Persons establishing a new state residency (i.e., not a change of residency within state) shall be prohibited from voting in state elections for a minimum of five years (ten years, if the prior residency is California).
2. The waiting period shall start on the date of issuance of the new resident’s state-issued voter ID.
3. New residents shall be registered to vote at the time of issuance of voter ID, in precincts reserved exclusively for national races (i.e. for president and vice president).

Loyal Readers of this website probably wouldn’t have too much disagreement with any of the above, although the “ten-year California extension” probably wouldn’t survive the Constitution’s Equal Protection challenge, but that’s okay. Remember, what commenter Craig suggests is but a microcosm of federal citizenship law for immigrants: you can’t become a citizen until you are legally resident in the United States for five years (with a couple of exceptions), and therefore you can’t vote, and so on.

This piece of commonsense would have a very salutary effect: remember, a newcomer to say, Texas, could always vote for POTUS and VPOTUS — that’s his absolute right as a U.S. citizen. But he couldn’t vote for anything to do with the state of Texas until he registers to vote and passes the five-year moratorium after which Texas citizenship is automatically granted. (And I don’t want to hear about “taxation without representation” from some Illinois transplant, because unlike Illinois, we have no state income tax in Texas, so the argument is moot — or as we call it in Texas, “utter bullshit“.) So we Texans could be spared the dolorous consequences of Blue staters’s bad habits, at least until we’ve had a chance to turn them into Texans.

This is actually of more than a little concern to me, because my area of north Texas is fast becoming home not just to people fleeing Blue-state bullshit, but corporations (e.g. Toyota) relocating here to escape Blue state taxation and regulation — and these corporations are bringing a large number of Blue state people with them.

This is a big state, and there’s lots of room for more folks; but there isn’t a lot for room for neo-socialist and Big Government nonsense in our state. We got to where we are by severely limiting government influence in our everyday lives — the Texas constitution is one of the most restrictive governmental covenants in the world — and by not allowing our government to tax its people into penury.

Just so we’re all clear on the topic: we already have a real problem with Latin American immigrants — the legal ones — bringing the typical Latin-American pro-government / welfare state mindset across the Rio Grande, without having a bunch of Californians and northerners doing the same thing across the Red River as well.

And don’t even think about gun control, newcomers, unless it’s keeping the bullets to a 1″ circle on the target. That, we Texans can all get behind; the other kind… as they say up north, fuhgeddabahdit. Literally.