Weekly Roundup: From Atlanta To Xinjiang Edition

John Lennon never envisioned the kind of strange days we’re having now, that’s for sure. This is particularly true when it comes to that ever-expanding grey area marked “The Intersection Of Corporate And Government Power”. Highlights from the grey area this week:

  • Last year, Swedish fast-fashion trash-goblins H&M made some kind of bland statement about being “deeply concerned” by reports that cotton grown in the Xinjiang region of China was being harvested using slave labor. These statements were brought back to public attention via social media this week, causing the Chinese government to take some, ahem, direct action, at which point H&M basically apologized to China for criticizing their use of slave labor to harvest cotton.
  • The president of Delta Air Lines — you know, the guy who actually made a video showing all his blue-collar employees clapping for him as he walks into a hangar, then caused that video to be shown at the beginning of every Delta flight — criticized Georgia for its new voting-protection law. This caused the Georgia government to take some, ahem, direct action.
  • Facebook announced, after censoring an interview between Lara Trump and President Donald Trump, that it would no longer allow Trump’s voice to be heard on the platform. They meant that literally; everything from the “Home Alone 2” scene to, say, a theoretical recording of Trump reading the Gettysburg Address will be immediately deleted from Facebook.
  • Major League Baseball also announced their decision to punish Georgia for the new voting law by withdrawing the All-Star game from Atlanta, while at the same time affirming their decision to build dozens of “baseball development centers” in partnership with the Chinese government.
  • A spokesperson for the Biden Administration reaffirmed that there would be no government-issued “vaccine passport”, and then hastened to add that the Biden Administration would work with corporations to help develop guidelines for privately issued vaccine passports.

Most peculiar, momma! Is there a common thread on which to pull here? And what does it unravel, exactly?

It’s tempting to sum it all up as, “Corporations are now wholly subject to the Left, whether the Left is Chinese or American.” Or maybe it’s “Corporations respect the Chinese government and are willing to bend to its whims, but they expect the American government to cooperate with their directives at the very least and comply where possible.” Truthfully, both of these reductions strike me as a bit whiny on second glance, and too close to the OMG HYPOCRISY stupidity regularly engaged in by “conservative” pundits.

(I remind the reader that an apparent discrepancy between Facebook censoring Trump’s voice and Facebook allowing, say, ISIS to post beheading videos without censorship is not hypocrisy; rather it is what the kids call a “flex”, or a naked display of strength. Life is not your high school debate class. Pointing out these seeming contradictions will not cause Facebook, or any other converged organization, to disappear into a puff of smoke. They know the contradictions exist. It is by design. Part of the purpose is to humiliate you and to cause you to experience cognitive dissonance.)

As of late I’ve been reading Curtis Yarvin’s Substack. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a non-sugar-coated view of the world, as opposed to the balanced-and-cheerful viewpoint I try to promote here at Riverside Green. One of Yarvin’s more thoughtful points, and one to which he returns on a frequent basis, is the idea of “power leakage”.

Let me put it to you in the simplest terms. You have a kingdom with an absolute monarch. In theory, all the power in the kingdom is concentrated in the monarch. He makes decisions, speaks his will, and the kingdom acts accordingly. When the monarch is educated, benevolent, intelligent, and thoughtful, as was the case with Cecil Rhodes Augustus Caesar Suleiman I, then there is no better form of government available. Alas, most monarchs are either bad people, or — and this is worse — they are bad at holding on to power. They allow other people to exercise their power in their name, without oversight or concern. Think Cardinal Wolsey, or the Star Chamber, or the men who surrounded Emperor Hirohito.

When power leaks, when it becomes unaccountable and mysterious and capricious, it is almost always evil, in effect if not intent. The fable of Robin Hood is about power leakage, as are many other fables. Furthermore, leakages of power, like random leaks of an irrigation pipe on fertile ground, create weed-like growths that are not easily eradicated.

With this idea of power leakage in mind, let’s take a look at how China handled those unpleasant people at H&M who didn’t want slave-labor cotton in their sweatshop goods. They didn’t arrest anyone, and they didn’t bring out the Red Guards. But they did ensure that all H&M stores simply disappeared from mapping applications, including Apple Maps. At the same time, H&M because very difficult to find on the Chinese Internet. If you didn’t already know where the local H&M was, you weren’t going to find it. And if you wanted to buy online, you were out of luck.

This forcible disappearance happened in coordinated and rapid fashion. Needless to say, H&M got the message in coordinated and rapid fashion as well, quickly promising to “regain the trust” of Chinese consumers, presumably by making sure that there is plenty of slave-labor cotton in the sweatshop clothing. And as far as anyone is concerned, that’s that.

Do you see any power leakage here? I certainly don’t. I see the Chinese government acting like it has sole control of the country. Because it does. I think it is particularly telling that Apple Maps was complicit in the disappearance of H&M stores. For all of their social-justice bluster in America, Apple has no difficulty complying precisely with the Chinese government’s requests, no matter what those requests might be.

Alright, let’s dip back to America and see what’s going on here. Georgia passed a new voting law. It’s 98 pages long. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read summaries of what the law contains, including a summary from CNN, and I find it very hard to see any racism in the law as it has been explained to me. Much has been made of the “you can’t hand out water at the polling place” rule; turns out that it’s just a general law saying you can’t give away any free items to people anywhere near a voting booth. I’ve had several friends agonize over the RACIST nature of the law; I’ve patiently asked each and every one of them to show me where the law is RACIST. Their response, to a man, has been something along the lines of “It just is” or “It’s too obvious for me to explain it”.

It should go without saying that there is no mention of race or color in the law. That doesn’t stop people from saying it targets Black people. I’m always uncomfortable with assertions like that because they sail awfully close to President Biden’s infamous quote that “poor kids are just as smart as white kids”. One concern is that you have to have some form of identification to fill out an absentee ballot. Doesn’t have to be a state ID or a vaccine passport, both of which will likely be necessary in the near future to get on a plane or train or bus. A utility bill will do, as will several other kinds of bills mailed to the home.

That being said, I have no personal involvement with the law. I don’t live in Georgia and I don’t vote in Georgia. What is of interest to me here is the power leakage demonstrated by Delta, Coca-Cola, and Major League Baseball. It seems obvious that there would be no possibility of these companies even commenting on, much less attempting to interfere with, a new Chinese election law. Here in the States, however, they have no qualms about attempting to bully the Georgia legislature into compliance with… what, exactly?

Curtis Yarvin knows what. He is not afraid to state the obvious: that there is an unwritten, and constantly changing, but also universally known, New Code of American behavior. We all know that there are many things that simply cannot be said or written in the America of 2021. It doesn’t matter whether or not those things are true; in fact, in many cases the more true they are the more harsh your punishment will be. The subject of vote fraud is one of those forbidden things. If you make any public assertion that the 2020 election was compromised, even if your assertion consists of nothing but documented and criminally charged instances of voter fraud, you are asking to become a modern unperson.

(For the record, we here at Riverside Green unequivocally and totally believe that the recent election was the fairest, safest, and most secure election in American history. We believe that the mechanisms used to count and validate a historically unprecedented number of mail-in ballots were safer and more secure than any of the previous in-person, ID-verified votes in American history. At the same time, we also believe that Amazon is absolutely right in requiring all ballots in its facility unionization votes to be cast in-person with valid ID, because Amazon is a good company and the matter of unionizing one of its distribution centers is too important and vital to be handled via electronic, mail-in, or non-ID-verified votes. Thank you for reading.)

In any event, it is part of the modern American catechism that voting needs to be as easy as possible, and that no methods whatsoever should be used to validate ballots. (Other than the slightly wacky one of only counting the first ballot cast in someone’s name, and throwing out all the rest.) I don’t think anybody could tell you when this idea became a mandatory part of our beliefs. Certainly it has never been part of American history, which typically relied on voters either having valid ID or being personally known to the administrators of the polling place. No public pronouncement was ever made on the subject. And yet we all instinctively know What The Goodthink Is on the subject of votes nowadays.

The ironic part of Delta’s concern trolling over this election law is that it applies to neither Delta’s employees nor its customers. All members of both groups need to possess valid state-issued ID and pass a secretive, near-mystical background check by the TSA. This is very different from, say, a firearms manufacturer leaving the State of New York because nobody in the state besides cops can legally possess its products, or even an automaker moving to another state because they want to do away with union laborers. Delta has no dog in this fight — except the alpha dog of Eternal Social Justice, for which all profits must be sacrificed if necessary.

Georgia’s response to this corporate activism was swift and surprisingly Chinese: the state House of Representatives voted to remove a multi-million-dollar tax break for Delta. The Senate might confirm this vote, or it might not. It’s worth noting, however, that the media is very agitated about this retaliatory action. It’s perfectly fine for Delta to threaten the state of Georgia; it’s not fine for Georgia to return the favor. This is the precise opposite of the Chinese model.

Meanwhile, we have Biden’s statement that vaccine passports (ugh) will be privately created using government guidelines. This feels like power leakage of the worst kind, and the sort that has been gaining tremendous momentum during the past few years. Our government has delegated the power to censor, the power to censure, and the power to impoverish. The recipients of that delegation have been a loose coalition of California-based tech companies, which in turn effectively control your life and mine and everyone else’s. If Google says you are a racist, then you are not going to work anywhere besides a fast-food restaurant. Twitter will provide the resources that an anonymous group of people needs to coordinate an attack on your entire life. If you are unlucky, then the attack in question will be both literal and deadly, courtesy of a “SWATting”.

In any benevolently run country — scratch that, in any competently run country — this kind of power leakage would be absolutely prohibited. The government would set laws regarding speech and those laws would be universal, whether you were standing on a soapbox or posting on Snapchat. While it would be perfectly fine to require employees of a Burger King to refrain from using racist or slanderous terms while working in the store, it would not be fine for Burger King to fire someone because they said something unpleasant on their own time, or in their own homes. Corporations would be free to leave a state if they wanted to, but they would also expect to be subject to the power of the legislature in whatever states they inhabited. If a group of people were, let’s say, to create a secret Facebook group to discuss ways to get someone fired from his job, then said group would fall under the definition of racketeering and the people in the group would be prosecuted.

It would also go pretty much without saying that Facebook could not make the insane decision to prohibit a current or former President from speaking on its platform. Imagine this happening in China. You can’t. The only way it would happen would be if the government decided that the former president shouldn’t have a voice at all, in any situation, at which point Facebook would be the least of his worries.

This competent government would have a vaccine passport — or it would prohibit the existence of vaccine passports, the same way WalMart is not allowed to issue you a competing variant of the state driver’s license that lets you go down one-way streets backwards. All the powers that have been leaked to corporations over the years would be recaptured and administered by the government. (Want a good example? Alright: private prisons.) Most critically, if it had a “social credit” system, the system would be transparent, centrally administered, and based on easily understandable rules. It would be nice if those rules were meant to enhance the quality of life and discourse in the country, but they would be clear in any case.

What I’ve described, of course, is the Chinese government, which has spent the past twenty-five years improving the Chinese standard of living while also promoting and ensuring Chinese interests abroad. Everyone respects the Chinese government because it does not leak power. There is no equivalent to the “deep state”; there is only the State. It may be capricious, unfair, or even murderous, but it is always responsible.

Having considered this, it seems obvious that the explanations for all of the events listed at the beginning of this column are, in fact, the same explanation: Corporations respect power, but they also seek it. If the state demonstrates power over them, they will obey. If the state leaks power, corporations will attempt to be the recipients of that leak. If the state leaks enough power, the corporations will start to exercise power of a sort themselves, over the state.

The libertarian crowd will tell you that this is a Good Thing, but that’s only because they imagine that the interests of the corporations align with their own. In truth, the power that corporations seek is both absolute and tyrannical. They will always work towards a situation where you are forced to buy their product, a situation where the Terms of Service bind you to absolute fealty while committing them to nothing. And you don’t get a vote.

It seems obvious that the whole world is heading towards a model where government and corporations march in lockstep — which used to be called “fascism” before the term was redefined to mean “voting Republican”. John Lennon envisioned part of that future in “Imagine”: a world where “you’ll own nothing / and you’ll be happy”, a world where people put aside family and faith so they can “live for today”. The only question seems to be: Who will have the upper hand, the corporations or the government? Think carefully before you answer.

* * *

For Hagerty, I discussed a new pickup truck and discovered a long lost Steve McQueen interview.

61 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: From Atlanta To Xinjiang Edition”

  1. psmith

    Every so often I realize Ford will probably never put the 7spd manual from the new Bronco in an ecoboost 4×4 Ranger, preferably one with only two doors, and get upset about it all over again.

    Cautiously optimistic about the Maverick though.

  2. snorlax

    I’d like the new Maverick more if it wasn’t going to be built in Mexico. I suppose I should be glad it’s not China.

  3. Ryan

    What is it about McQueen exactly that makes men obsess over him? James Garner and Paul Newman both were better actors and had better racing careers.

    I also have a confession to make: since I was a kid, I’ve ALWAYS wanted a black Monaco Chronograph.

    Even though I’ve learned that they’re not anything special, I still like the aesthetic. Still, I just can’t get past the whole “McQueen” thing..

    • stingray65

      McQueen was a cool asshole who died relatively young – a great combination to become a legend. Ford used the dead McQueen in a late 90s ad for the European only Ford Puma that relied on many of the elements that made him a legend (see link). The interesting story behind the ad is that during the creative session between Ford and their ad agency they were discussing the possibility of doing this ad to bring in elements of Bullit and the Great Escape and putting McQueen into the new Puma and all the early Boomer or older executives were getting all excited about the possibilities, when a shy younger man meekly raised his hand to interrupt the discussion and say “wow this sounds really cool, but who is this Steve McQueen guy?”.

      • John C.

        You would think to advertise that secretary car they would have had Chad McQueen play his father reenacting the scene in the modern cosplay style with less threatening testosterone. Steve really looked out of place.

      • Carmine

        That they used this ad for a little compact sporty car in Europe but didn’t use it to sell Mustangs in the US has stuck me as really dumb move……

        • CJinSD

          If you consider who the Boomers are that buy Mustangs and who the creepy Millennial soy bois are that have laminated posters of Steve McQueen; it starts to make a little more sense. The Mach E should absolutely be advertised with an animatronic or CGI Steve McQueen though.

      • Ryan

        Interesting, didn’t know about that commercial. I know in Europe they threw his face on an ad for Renault trucks or something. The gentlemen who commented on the Hagerty article saying it was an affront to Steve’s legacy must’ve missed that one..

  4. JMcG

    The nuns where I grew up shared a white Maverick with a Black Vinyl top. It looked like their habits. Were your nuns Bernardines?
    I will buy a Maverick Pickup if it is produced with a stick shift. I sold my loaded F150 and bought a new Mustang to replace it. I was able to do so because my 18 year old son bought a really nice 96 F150 with a straight six and a manual transmission. It might be the platonic ideal of a pickup.
    He seems bound for college this fall, which means no pickup around the house anymore.
    His first vehicle was a 95 Ranger with 300k miles and a four speed that I bought from a buddy at work for 100.00. We replaced the timing belt, did plugs and wires, bled the clutch and he was off to the races, so to speak.
    My 17 year old daughter now wants a Ranger to replace the Versa she inherited from my mom.
    Ford will sell a metric buttload of these things if it looks like a pickup.

  5. Ronnie Schreiber

    The kerfuffle over the Georgia election law is battlespace preparation for the Senate version of HR1, the Democrats attempt to federalize all elections and turn the U.S. into a single party state along the lines of California. That’s why corporations, which sense a cultural shift to the DIE (diversity, inclusion, equity) religion, and the media, which is the canon for that same religion, are describing this as a “voting rights” issue, no small part of which is intended to keep blacks on the Democratic plantation.

    The question I have for Democrats is that if the 2020 election was indeed the fairest, safest, and most secure election in American history, what need is there for HR1?

    To those who think they can rig things to remain in power forever, I’d simply point out the every deposed dictator and overthrown regime in human history had even more power than the Democrats are trying to grab.

    • stingray65

      Every deposed dictator and overthrown government in human history has had to kill, torture, and imprison a lot of innocent and patriotic citizens, destroy most of the economy with corruption and incompetence (including the fortunes of the rich citizens), and/or get the country involved in a highly destructive losing war before they were successfully deposed or overthrown in a process that often took decades of highly destructive and abusive civil war, and their replacements have more often than not been a dictatorship or authoritarian regime of only a slightly different shade of corruption, repression, and incompetence.

      Does anyone really believe that California will ever again elect a Ronald Reagan type to state-wide office, and if by some miracle of circumstances someone with truly conservative instincts and preferences would get elected as did Trump in 2016, does anyone believe that the California government bureaucracies, public employee unions, leftist courts, and tech giants would quietly accept the outcome and let him start dismantling the corrupt, repressive, and incompetent system they have put in place to enrich and impower themselves?

    • Newbie Jeff

      “The question I have for Democrats is that if the 2020 election was indeed the fairest, safest, and most secure election in American history, what need is there for HR1?”

      The answer is always white supremacy. But when it’s not, the answer is Russia. Or maybe Fox News?

      In all seriousness, the Democrats don’t have to rig anything. A firm majority of Americans are stupid enough to continue voting for the party that now has a clear record of destroying every major city they “run” or state they “govern”.

      It will be difficult for those of you who grew up in a different America, but you have to now accept that most Americans think and behave like the inhabitants of the world’s most derelict third world societies. That is, they live at the feet of their masters, and not only are they happy to do so, they hate those who refuse to assimilate. They eagerly forfeit their individualism in exchange for the security of total government dependency… without ever actually getting it. They value nothing in American society, which is the only behavior that makes sense because there is no longer anything in American society to value.

      Anyway, add this to the list: the Democratic congress WILL send a reparations bill to Biden just before the midterms. You thought Delta and Major League Baseball were excited about voting bills in Georgia? Just you wait!

      • stingray65

        I saw an interesting meme yesterday. The first page shows a picture of a satisfied Leftist nodding with righteous indignation at the statement: “Racism permeates all major institutions in America”, and the second picture shows the same person in shocked horror after understanding the truth in the statement: “The media/social media, entertainment, government, education/academia, major corporations, and NGOs are all controlled by the Left”.

  6. Disinterested-Observer

    I’ll concede that your interview had me going. In my defense I’ll say that McQueen was a d-bag, the “interview” reminded of nothing so much as a period correct interview of notorious d-bag Bob Dylan, and I am extremely credulous. So what did you accomplish?

  7. stingray65

    Jack, all the examples of “power” you note above are basically bullying. Bullies butt into any argument or issue that will they believe they have to power to win that will enhance their position of power, and avoid confrontations with any power or authority they are afraid of. Thus Delta’s CEO believes he can bully the Georgia Legislature on an issue that has zero impact on Delta’s business, but might appease the social justice warriors he is terrified will accuse him of racism if he stayed silent which might cause problems with the board or lead to some boycotts or worst of all lead to awkward moments at the country club, fancy cocktail parties, and 5 star restaurants that he and his wife like to frequent. On the other hand, he would never bully the Biden administration over their policies that are already increasing the price of jet fuel and raising his labor costs that do directly impact his business, because he saw what the Democrat run DOJ/FBI did to Trump, Manafort, Stone, and Flynn and he doesn’t want a 5 AM SWAT raid on his mansion for some phantom crime or to lose his share of the Covid relief money they are doling out. Its the same with Baseball, which will happily bully Georgia, but won’t say a thing about China’s abuses because they will lose access to 1.3 billion potential baseball fans and cheap manufacturing of MLB licensed gear, and upset major sponsors such as Nike who do almost all their manufacturing and a lot of sales in China. Bullies will always butt their way into any targets of opportunity, but they are ultimately cowards who will cause a lot of damage before someone or something decides to fight back.

  8. stingray65

    I have to say I’m a bit torn by Delta’s behavior towards Georgia. On the one hand I think it is a completely false claim of racism with regards to the voting regulations requiring ID, but on the other hand it will be much more convenient to fly Delta without having to show any ID, because they will be obviously be dropping ID requirements for flying if they don’t want to be hypocrites? Or perhaps they will only drop their ID requirements for flyers of color, because I’m sure all the social justice warriors will feel more comfortable knowing the Muhammad sitting next to them in coach didn’t have to present any racist ID to board their Delta flight.

  9. John C.

    In Georgia now there are all these ads being run still after Governor Kemp signed the weak sauce voting bill. They are sponsored by BLM and say this list of big Georgia companies all issued statements of support for black lives after the death of George Floyd but shouldn’t be allowed to be silent during the voting debates. They have hit on a big weakness of Republicans. They are so pro business that they will quickly fold in the face of big business pressure. Have no doubt that Delta will keep it’s tax scheme, voting will remain fortified by Dems in Georgia, and North Dakota will sacrifice girls sports to Amazon. It really is disheartening to having worked and donated to get Republicans elected to watch them sell out their voters.

  10. John C.

    I loved in the faux McQueen interview you had him shit on the cars of the Bullitt chase. It took courage as most car mag readers love the sounds and visuals of the chase but auto writers of the pass the canape mindset were sniffing at the boorishness in anti establishment 60s San Francisco, The canape passers would have understood not to directly state that what seemed cool wasn’t because reasons. There is some basis even for it as McQueen was quite nervous about playing a cop in 1968. Using satire to get it out there was clever.

  11. Rusty C. Shackleford

    I am blessed to be only slightly educated and mostly domesticated. So it’s very scary when a highly educated, politically aware person states all the messed up stuff I see happening (albeit, a bit more eloquently). It’s scary because my ignorance is no longer bliss. It’s scary because if I can see it, why can’t so many Americans. What’s even worse……I feel like much of this is to make me (the general public) scared….and dammit, it’s working. *I also, for the record, feel the election was totally fair, no tampering, no hoodooing, and …well I don’t have the card they want us to read from, but I’ve read this aloud so there are two publicly recorded forms of my statement. Go “insert pertinent leader at the time this is reviewed to decide which class of American I should be allowed to live as”!*

  12. Dirty Dingus McGee

    I live in Ga and have less than zero faith that the bill to rescind Delta’s tax breaks will pass.The Uniparty that’s running things has already proven to be a horde of spineless twats and I’ll bet a dollar to a dog turd that it doesn’t get signed (haven’t followed it to see if it cleared the Senate before sine die)

    Even as the powers that be are trying to make me an “unperson”, I’m aiming for the same thing, just on different terms. I’ve become more and more disillusioned about what the future will look like for this country. So many different groups that are CONVINCED that their way is the one true way that we will soon devolve into warring tribes, same as was done since the beginning of time (and still is in many parts of the world). I just don’t care anymore. I can’t be less white, I don’t care if you wanna cut off your pecker (just don’t try to come after mine), I don’t give a flip about how oppressed you are in your country which you think gives you the right to invade mine and start sucking on the government tit.
    But I’m just a Boomer so obviously my thoughts and opinions are of no matter to anyone younger than me. I’m now “woke”, just not in the way you wanted me to be.And looking around, I’m not the only one. Will the “woke” crowd win in the end? Probably, but there will be a LOT of casualties on both sides. Not sure if in the end it will be worth destroying this country for that.

    • stingray65

      “I can’t be less white” – this apparently isn’t true if you get the anti-racism training Coke provides its employees.

    • Newbie Jeff

      “I live in Ga and have less than zero faith that the bill to rescind Delta’s tax breaks will pass…”

      The interesting hypothetical is: would it pass, veto-proof, with 100% support from Georgia state Democrats? The party of “we stand against capitalist greed and corporations who don’t pay their fair share of taxes!” will now vote AGAINST removing a tax break from a multi-billion dollar corporation that has received billions in taxpayer money.

      Where are all those Democrat Party cheerleaders we get to hear from? Would love to hear them explain this one…

      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        On a side note, Jon Ossoff and Stacy “I da real gubner of Ga” Abrams have come out AGAINST moving the All Star game out of Georgia because of the horribly racist new voting regulations. Reason? Why it will disproportionately effect POC.Not sure how that works as the new ball park is in a predominately white area north of Atlanta these days, no longer in the southside of Atlanta where the evil wypipo aren’t welcome.

    • Betchaz

      I’m now “woke”
      That’s the problem with you Boomers. Asleep at the wheel until 2021. Truly the worst generation ever.

      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        If trolling, 2/10. If serious, its been a gradual process over the last 5-6 years. But accelerated substantially over the last 2 years.

        Everyone hates us White Boomers. Well, except for our money. EVERYONE seems to want it. Quit sniveling and get off your ass and make something of yourself.

        • Betchaz

          BOOMER ALERT, BOOMER ALERT! “Get off your ass” – OK BOOMER!

          What good have you Boomers done for this country? HOW HAVE YOU BOOMERS BETTERED THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

          How would you compare yourself to the Greatest Generation? (lol).

          If you think this has only been happening 4-5 years, or perhaps only 2 years(!!!), you are truly, certified insane (and thus my previous comment—asleep at the wheel). DJT has been bringing up these issues for decades.

          BYE, BOOMER!

          • Dirty Dingus McGee

            Wow, did you ever put me in my place. Obvious a superior intellect at work here. Just out of curiosity, how many years of high school education DO you have? The giveaway is this statement;

            “DJT has been bringing up these issues for decades.”

            Really? Where? And you do know that DJT was a Democrat until a year or 2 before he ran for president?

            I was looking to retire and move on with life. Instead I think I’ll see if I can live to 100, just to continue pissing you off and living, rent free, in your head. Gotta tell you though, it’s not very interesting in there. Not much worthwhile going on..

          • Betchaz

            Notice the Deflecting Dingo didn’t answer any of my questions.

            Notice too how DD attempted to knock my intelligence. While simply scrolling, I noticed he doesn’t know the difference between “affect” and “effect” (mind you, this was simply scrolling to find my comment, not looking for his lack of intelligence). I have a college education and then some—-who mentioned anything about intelligence or education? Fail. Boomer fail.

            Why did you bring up DJT’s political affiliation? I never did. He wrote letters/ads in the 1980s, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!”. He spoke about AMERICA in the 1980s. There are videos—do your own research, Boomer; turn off the BOOB TUBE. He wrote books on American business. “THIS MAN NEEDS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT”, said I, the prescient Millennial in 2004. We got him elected, spreading the real word through the Internet—by no help of the BOOMERS. Boomers were cowering in the corner, “I don’t like his tone… :/”

            Trust me, you don’t live in my head. At all. Like not even at a 0.

            Another sad case of the deflecting Boomers……..

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            This site only has three administrators, none of whom are here on a constant basis, which is why the auto-moderation is so strict.

    • Eric H

      I agree. The spirit of compromise for “the greater good” has been pretty much stomped out by outrage politics and the 24 hour news cycle. Years ago, political horse trading happened and things moved forward, even if they didn’t move forward entirely in your preferred direction. Now it seems the only way things get done is with an overwhelming partisan majority.

      While it doesn’t disillusion me it makes me sad and disgusted.

    • hank chinaski

      They don’t want your pecker. They want your grandson’s. And for you to accept that a mutilated man in a dress equals five. That’s the flex. Now bake the cake.

      A sign of the times that an April first piece required a disclaimer like that.

      Not for nothing, but one or two previous fascist dictatorships worked pretty well for the majority of their citizens, QOL-wise, at least for a time. This new variety clearly hates them at the outset. The ingroups are much smaller.

  13. Vladimir Berkov

    And it’s not just leakage from government to the private sector, it’s inside government. A single unelected federal district judge in the western district of nowhere can immediately halt the actions of a us president. A city can simply decide which federal laws it will and won’t enforce. Worse still, it may decide to actively shield and hide said offenders from justice.

  14. Ark-med

    Loved McQueen interview piece’s not-so-subtle jab at Discount Sandler’s fauxtrage about the Wattswagon foofaraw.

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      As clever as some of the writing is, I’m getting annoyed at the April Fools fake articles, but those are not nearly as annoying as the journalists who were butthurt by Volkswagen’s publicity stunt.

  15. Daniel J

    Moving backwards here:

    0. “They will always work towards a situation where you are forced to buy their product, a situation where the Terms of Service bind you to absolute fealty while committing them to nothing”

    This has happened because we don’t have a TRUE competitive free market. If we had a true competitive free market, we’d have many more competitors to Google, Apple, FB, or twitter. Government regulations have made the price of entry into almost any market too high.

    Can monopolies or duopolies occur in a perfect free market society? Yes. But isn’t it the case that the best ideas should win? The best products should win? We’ve never been here, though. Every monopoly in existence today is created out of too much regulation, not too little. Most libertarians agree that monopolies exist in a free market, but they are brittle, because they will fall as soon as the next product or idea comes to pass. Why aren’t they brittle in our economy? Because of government influence and too much regulation.

    1. In regards to censorship and the election, it should be noted that Steven Crowder was put hiatus from Youtube. Supposedly where he and his team investigated Las Vegas and Detroit voter roles and found that many addresses on the roles simply did not exist. He never “claimed” that it had anything to do with the current election, which was against Youtube Policy. AFAIK, He is suing both FB and Twitter over similar “vague” policy enforcements. I don’t know if he is suing Youtube, but Youtube has settled in the past with people suing based on their arbitrary enforcement of their policies.

    • Daniel J

      For more clarification:

      Youtube enacted a policy that streams would be pulled or creators could be banned if they talked about voter fraud and the current election. It was OK according to their guidelines to talk about voter fraud, but not in the context in how it effected the election. Crowder just showed the irregularities/fraud in two areas of the country where invalid addresses were used for voting. He made no claims about on how this impacted the last election. They suspended him.

  16. Dan

    Power leak. Disagree. This is power consolidation. Fed takeover of state power has been going on approximately forever. Now that the uniparty owns corporate America too – or vice versa, it doesn’t make any difference – they can use corporate boycotts as another political weapon to those ends just like the EPA, DOJ, DOT, etc. that they used – still are using, this is an addition – before. Delegation of censorship to Twitter and vax passports to Google and voting to MLB isn’t losing power, it’s working around the legacy limitations – 1A, CRA 1964, etc – of the federal code to gain powers they hadn’t had before.

    Example: Oakland’s new welfare program wherein low income whites are explicitly disqualified from benefits due to being the wrong color would be slam dunk illegal under fed non discrimination law, so it’s being done as a public-private partnership instead.

    The vax passport to get on an airplane that you’ll shortly find yourself ineligible for due to anti public health statements crawled off your blog will be Google’s private business, remember the 1st Amendment is freedom of speech not freedom from consequences.

    Maverick: Don’t kid yourself with how cheap it’s going to be. There may be a 25K edition but it’ll be for marketing and commercial buyers and as awful in the touch points and visual trim as everything else that you aren’t supposed to buy. The retail trims will be past 30 like everything else.

    • CJinSD

      Christians have to make gay wedding cakes, but charities can decide who gets to eat based on racism. When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

  17. danio

    I went over to Gray Mirror to check things out.

    From Covid and our strange defeat, “A restaurant is a monarchy. An auto company is a monarchy. A movie is a monarchy. None of them has so much as a parliament. Why does the private sector, when left to its own devices, always adopt this discredited abortion of medieval political science?”

    This isn’t true in all but fully private (mostly small) companies. Large companies have boards of directors who are elected representatives that have the power to appoint or remove management. If you buy shares of the company, you can have a say too. Also, whether I buy shares or not, I still get a vote with my wallet.

    Yes, I know, deplorably Libertarian and simplistic. But the corporate system might be more trustworthy than “the” system. Divorced from each other of course.

    Yarvin explores why it takes 2 days for a corporation to develop a vaccine and a government two years to distribute it when he talks about fast acting “Libertarian Authoritarianism”. In my mind, Corporatism is that Libertarian Authoritarianism which probably sounds horrifying on the surface to people who don’t think about these things, but isn’t when we realize that Capitalism is the ultimate Democracy. If we were able to stop buying government on a whim rather than forced to at figurative and literal gunpoint every paycheck, things might work a little more efficiently.

    No, I don’t trust corporations to always do the right thing, of course neither the government. But with some exceptions, I can choose not to actively fund one of the two, though that relationship gets murkier all the time. This is why a high degree of Libertarianism can work; remove all the special powers so none can wield it against the other. The power of the Ring is too precious to destroy, though. Paraphrasing Yarvin, people don’t vote for politicians because they want that politician to have the power, they want to channel their power through that politician.

  18. gtem

    I like the IDEA behind the Maverick but not the execution. Have owned a pair of 90s Rangers over the past few years (both bought in the spring and sold late summer, a year apart). Loved the ’94 Longbed especially. Both XLT reg-cabs, 2.3 Lima, stick, alloys, power steering, A/C (worked on both!). Very utilitarian, very unsafe, obviously not fit for the daycare run. But also very fun to bomb around in, way more fun than an automatic, three cylinder FWD Escape based Maverick could ever hope to be. Saw some small FWD trucklets down in rural Mexico when I was down there for work, those looked pretty neat and more fun, but also probably as big of deathtraps as my aforementioned Rangers. I will say a FWD based vehicle would be much better for all season use, my Rangers were rather hopeless even just in the rain (Again, it was kind of part of the fun).

    I’d rather try and find the cheapest fleet-spec RWD Ram with a Hemi

  19. Tyler

    Thought- provoking. Thank you. One ask: that in the future you explore the definition of “Chinese” as you apply it. I think you’re using it as shorthand for “Tier One resident, ethnic Han, on good terms with the Chairman.” But if you’re drawing off a different understanding, I’d be interested to hear it.

    Georgia’s pushback is worth watching, as are the upcoming court cases on admin law. At the lower leveIs there are a lot of actual civil servants left in a lot of state governments, and in my experience they’ve grown to resent the “The Secretary shall…”- ification of their life’s work. Most multinational corporations would rather grease D.C. than the state capitols, where they are brought perilously close to their actual shareholders, customers, and employees. Many of whom are even brown!

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Maybe not THAT tight of a definition, but let’s say “ethnic Han, urban/suburban, not politically opposed.”

      One interesting thing about the Chinese is that they have seemingly zero impulse to implode their own country with uncontrolled immigration. I read a blog a while back by a white guy who lived in China for 20-plus years. People who knew him, and knew of his desire to live in China permanently, would not hesitate to draw a distinction between him and “real Chinese”. Nobody ever bothered to engage in any performative stupidity about how he was equal to the ethnic Chinese, or even superior to the ethnic Chinese. Compare that to the United States where someone who crossed illegally last year is held up as more of a real American than someone whose family arrived on the Mayflower.

  20. Rick T.

    We are rapidly moving away from Constitutional rights to terms and conditions as the basis of American society.

  21. trollson

    Thank you for calling out corporatism as the fascism that it really is. Too many people on the right still think the threat is communism.

    Regarding the lack of rules, it’s designed that way on purpose. Not knowing what pleases the state or angers it results in complete control and submission.

  22. NoID

    Great, another blog to read. If this keeps up I’m quickly going to become an outlier in my company’s data which shows work from home to have shown a net increase in productivity.

    I will say that it’s no surprise that a benevolent dictatorship would be miles and miles more effective than any democracy ever could be. The trick is finding perpetually benevolent dictators (or finding and installing successive benevolent dictators in perpetuity). I’m not sure if this is what Yarvin is getting at since I’m only two posts in, but it sure seems like it.

    Figure out a system that can accomplish this, and I’ll happily make sure my last vote is for this system before I detach. In the meantime I still think a better alternative is something the Libertarians have dubbed minarchy, or what Noam Chomsky has called Libertarian Socialism. But the problem there is it relies not on a single or a small number of benevolent dictators, but rather a nation filled to the brim with enlightened despots. It shouldn’t be to hard to meet the quota of despots, but enlightening them is another story.

    • dejal

      That’s always the problem, isn’t it? Theoretical and realistic. You end up with Bill Gates running the show.

      “Sweden axes Bill Gates-funded Harvard experiment aiming to DIM THE SUN to fight climate change amid outcry from activists”. A plan to seed the atmosphere with chalk dust.

      Or Bill Gates and malaria. There’s certain countries in the world where he wouldn’t last 10 minutes if he touched down because of that F up. A normal human would take stock. People like him are “Mistakes were made”.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I should probably write a little more about it, but how many ways are there to say “Woke 110-IQ crowd punishes autistic 170-IQ nerd for not having any sense of social rules”?

      • Eric H

        I wonder if Stallman has looked into the anti-defamation laws in Massachusetts? There’s a lot of untrue stuff being bandied about, he could probably win a case against some of the egregious idiots.

      • scotten

        That’s a pretty good summation. I hope he holds out against the well-bathed masses arrayed against him.

  23. hank chinaski

    The man who got fired by Doordash’s AI while he bled out would make a perfect companion piece.

      • LynnG

        Jack, hope they do, but do not count on it….

        Oh, as far as technology. Someday I hope you will educate your readers as to what the job of “Senior VP/Chief of Cyber Security” is. My best friend’s wife with a BA from George Mason has went from government, to a major credit card company, to a major financial institution as the holder of that job and now is making in the high six figures…. The person with that job title in my corperation is not the brightest bulb in the room, and makes in the mid six figures, but still strikes fear into all the network users. Go figure.


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