Trying not to start the public floggings

BP Rising

…and I’m not talking about the share price of British Petroleum, either.

In this the latest of my forays into blogging, I’ve pretty much steered clear of commenting on current events because a.) we won and b.) I’ve enjoyed the sight of the Left running around with their collective hair on fire.

However, when stumbling across this bullshit via Insty, I have to ask the Left: do you really want to go where this will take you? Here’s what I’m alluding to.

Imagine a crowd of Trump supporters having a peaceful protest at the Saul Alinsky Park in, say, Seattle. Imagine too that for their protection against violent counter-protesters (see the link above for examples), a number of people like, say, me have surrounded the Trump supporters; people who are ready to combat violence with ultra-violence in self-defense.

Needless to say, when the first dozen or so “antifa” thugs (anti-fascist, very cute) get their bones broken and and heads cracked, they’re going to run like frightened rabbits…

…only to find their escape routes blocked by yet another group of Trump’s supporters with a similar attitude to the first, and yet more bones are broken and skulls cracked.

I mention this set of tactics because it was one of many that I learned while training for COINOPS (counter-insurgency operations) back in a real fascist country, South Africa, as part of my military service.

So I repeat the question: do you little snowflake antifascistas really want to go down this road? Because I promise you: we know a hell of a lot more about this stuff than you do. And the police aren’t going to protect your precious little asses forever; at some point, it’ll be Kent State redux, only with more casualties. A lot more casualties. Sure, you may get the propaganda victory… but you’ll be dead and won’t get to enjoy it.

To quote the Emperor Misha in another context: tick tock, assholes. Middle America is patient, but our patience isn’t endless.

Pinochet Revisited (2)

In Part 1 yesterday, I gave the background to the Pinochet Conundrum. Quite by accident, I read a post a few weeks back which appeared at (of all places) Return of Kings, which stepped away from the site’s usual Wars Between The Sexes spiel and gave still more background to Pinochet’s rule. It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing; and a number of the comments, many from actual Chileans, are extremely interesting.

But the long (very long) essay by Vladimir Dorta at Chicago Boyz gives, I think, the most balanced view of the Allende / Pinochet era and is definitely worth fifteen minutes of your time.

Here’s the truth of this whole issue, and why I’m asking you folks to read so much about Pinochet: the facts of the era are immensely complex, the issues as profound today as they were then, and when all the information is assembled, you will realize why the Left has taken so many pains to reduce the whole thing to a simplistic “Pinochet was an evil, murderous dictator!” trope. For one thing, the Left specializes in bumper-sticker slogans and aphorisms because the details of the issue — just about any issue — frequently expose their position as deeply flawed; and for another, history has since proven their support and near deification of Allende is mistaken, and profoundly cynical.

So in that same vein, allow me nevertheless to try to encapsulate the Pinochet Conundrum with my own brief take:

Pinochet was a dictator who deposed and assassinated his country’s elected president, and then had thousands of Marxist counter-revolutionaries murdered without trial or any legal process, before restoring Chile’s economy and rescuing millions of working-class Chileans from poverty. But such actions seldom occur in a vacuum; the truth of the matter was that Pinochet’s military coup against the Allende government was itself a reaction to the terrible dissolution of a modern democracy into a Marxist misery-pit by Salvador Allende, who (in modern parlance) was trying to install a Chavez-type society in Chile, and destroying Chile’s economy in so doing.

Let’s play a little revisionist history here for a moment. Let’s assume that right before Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez could truly begin to change his country’s polity into a Leftist dictatorship, an Army colonel named “Pablo Martial” had deposed and assassinated him, brutally eliminated his Chavista adherents, and installed market reforms which would eventually (but quite quickly) make Venezuela a paradigm of prosperous democracy in South America.

With that assumption, here’s my question: knowing now through hindsight what has since befallen Venezuela and its hapless population as a result of  Chavez’s ruinous policies, would we still be so quick to denounce Colonel Martial’s actions? And would working-class Venezuelan women today be scattering flowers in front of Colonel Martial’s private residence, as their Chilean counterparts still do to this day outside Pinochet’s modest home in Valparaiso?

Because make no mistake about it: Chile under Allende was heading in precisely the same direction as Venezuela would do under Chavez. No clinical reading of the numbers could yield anything but that conclusion. And Chile is still enjoying the prosperity which Pinochet’s “brutal regime” created, over twenty years later, while Pinochet’s secret police force is but a distant memory (despite the Left’s desperate attempts to keep it alive).

And that, my friends, lies at the heart of the Pinochet Conundrum. It’s a timeless issue and is always an uncomfortable one, which is why we need to understand it fully, without the noise of propaganda. I hope I’ve helped that understanding, because at the heart of the matter, the Conundrum is not about Pinochet; it was never about Pinochet. It is about evil being done to prevent a greater evil. And how we decide which is the “greater evil”, and whether we should support the evil which destroys it, is the most vexing and timeless question of all.

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.

Read more

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.)

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.