#MeFirst Coven comes to Congress

Medusa, Arnold Böcklin, circa 1878, credit Wikipedia

#MeFirst Coven comes to Congress

by Ilana Mercer

The media scrum framed the Trump impeachment circus, round II, as an “emotional” affair. Headlines homed in on the “emotion” surrounding the trial. “It Tears at Your Heart. Democrats Make an Emotional Case to Senators — and America — Against Trump,” blared one of many hackneyed screamers, this one from Time.com. The case made by the managers “was both meticulous and emotional,” came the repetitive refrain. Democrat Jamie Raskin, a representative from Maryland and a lead impeachment manager, sniffed “emotionally” as he related what to him was a heartbreaking tidbit: his (privileged) daughter expressed fear of visiting the Capitol again, presumably because of the January 6 fracas. That made Jamie cry. And when Jamie Raskin cries, normies outside Rome-on-the-Potomac laugh. Uproariously.

Impeachment managers had warned all present in the Senate Chamber that evidentiary footage would be upsetting. Their presentations were “intentionally emotional,” intoned CNN’s Dana Bash, who had paired up with one Abby Phillips for the “solemn” affair. Phillips’ “coverage” of all things Trump, in scratchy vocal fry, was a reminder that the Left’s “empaneled witches and their housebroken boys are guided more by the spirit of Madame Defarge than by lady justice.”

A lady in an armadillo outfit emoted a lot. She was impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett. Although not particularly fashionable or feminine, there was a ton of “emotional” praise on the Internet for Plaskett’s attire. Armani’s armadillo apparel was certainly a preferred distraction to the decibels of weepy rage emitted over the Trump protest.

The “intentionally emotional” affair, the last impeachment trial conducted by the Senate, had been preceded by an even more “emotionally” bizarre “healing” coven in Congress, led by the representative from New York, one Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez set up an hour-long primitive, ritualistic session conducted, putatively, to purge the pain over the January 6 protest on the Capitol. Early in February, a coven of “prominent Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan),” joined Ocasio-Cortez in forcing such a session, with the aim of “creating space for members to talk about their ‘lived experience’” during that Capitol Hill riot. Big League Politics, a news website, was incredulous, reporting that “congress [had] devolved into an AOC-led therapy session,” during which “House members cried while detailing their ‘lived experiences.’” This American “thought” leader, Ocasio-Cortez, and her “harrowing” ordeal dominated the corporate press as well.

Here are some of the histrionic headlines as to what befell Congress’s queen of #MeFirst solipsism. See if you can spot the operative word that animated the writers’ impoverished text:

“AOC reveals more personal details in new harrowing video …”
“AOC shares harrowing Capitol riot experience, reveals she’s a victim of …”.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recalls her harrowing … – CBS News”
“I Thought I Was Going To Die”: AOC Details Harrowing Day …”

It turns out that the “lived experience” of these abreacting women might have “lived” strictly in AOC’s head, since the House Office Buildings, where AOC cowered, had never been infiltrated by the protesters. Formulaically, Ocasio-Cortez smuggled into her “living experience” an unverified mention of a sexual assault. Well, of course. It transpires that Rashida Tlaib, who provided an incontinently unhinged account of her “lived experienced” on that fateful day—the Democrat’s 9/11—was most certainly “not even in the Capitol during the breach.” Still, Tlaib framed her trauma of January 6, as emanating from simply “existing as a Muslim” in America. Ayanna Pressley rose with the Tlaib Cobra to spit venom:

… as a Black woman to be barricaded in my office using office furniture and water bottles on the ground in the dark, that terror — those moments of terror — is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me …
… I want us to do everything to ensure that a breach like this never occurs at the Capitol (again) … But I (also) want us to address the evil and scourge that is white supremacy in this nation …
…One of the images that I’m haunted by is the Black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob … That is a metaphor for America. We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations — and it must end.

Note the thrust of Pressley’s words. Hers are not just injuries to an individual who happens to be a black woman: Pressley implies she was subjected to them because she is a black woman. A man, some legislator, was then dragged in, Roman Colosseum style, to expiate before  AOC “for not initially recognizing his privilege.” It goes without saying that AOC’s castles-in-the-sky “lived experience” mocks out of meaning genuine human suffering. More to the point: AOC and her squad of progressive Democrats are not advocating “neutral principlism”—neutrality, objectivity, and equality before the law; the noble idea of “rules grounded in law, as opposed to rules based on personal interests or beliefs.

Differently put, AOC’s theory of justice is not metaphysical but mercenarily political. Every event to her is an opportunity—AOC’s idea being to lower the burden of proof so that events that occur in a woman’s head can be acted upon in law. What makes Cortez so cunningly effective is that she fights just like a woman, underhandedly. Her weapon of choice here is the guilt trip; her objective being to squeeze legislation out of her “harrowing,” “lived experience.” Almost charming in her childish, exclusively lower-order thinking—what makes AOC’s beguiling, baby-like behavior dangerous is that she uses the idiom of emotional anguish to derive legislative leverage.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Parler, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook and throttled by Twitter

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Jobs not Snobs

HMS Astute, built in Barrow-in-Furness, credit Wikipedia

Jobs not Snobs

by Bill Hartley

They still dig coal in the North East, just. The company responsible is Banks Mining which operates open caste sites. Banks protests in vain that whilst the country needs coal, then better it should come, in part at least, from a domestic source. An outside observer might be forgiven for thinking that Banks is laying waste to the countryside, rather than complying with strict environmental controls and planning consent. It’s a familiar sight on the BBC TV North East regional news, when a Banks story appears. Rather than the usual Eco-warrior the person speaking for the objectors is often a middle aged man in a wax jacket, the type who has a colour coordinated solid fuel Aga in his kitchen. What he definitely doesn’t have is a local accent. Now that those dreadful deep mines have vanished from the landscape, the North East has become a desirable place to live for incomers with money. One suspects that they make common cause with environmentalists to keep the view looking nice.

Certainly there’s plenty of evidence that environmentalism has a pronounced class element and not just in the North East. Down in London some definitely non-proletarian activists have been doing a bit of amateur mining. The February 11th edition of the London Evening Standard reported on the tunnelling activities of a group opposed to the HS2 project. Two activists named “Blue” and “Lazer”, who sound like individuals you might have met in Haight Ashbury circa 1968, had dug themselves in. Their father is a Scottish laird who owns an island in the Hebrides. One tunnel collapse could have prompted a sizeable inheritance problem. Also ensconced underground were Dr Larch Laxey and his son Sebastian. Not names you’d encounter in an inner city comprehensive. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, March 2021

Corot, Le Berger sous les Arbres, Soleil Couchant, credit Wikipedia

ENDNOTES,  March 2021

In this edition: Elgar’s Italian maestro. Stuart Millson recalls conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli.

When Worcestershire’s Edward Elgar emerged from what has been described as provincial obscurity into the realms of the European romantic mainstream, it became clear that his fame was no passing novelty. With the success of the ‘Enigma’ Variations and the Parsifal-like grandeur of his Cardinal Newman-inspired oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius, England was, at last, able to take her place alongside the Germany of Beethoven and Brahms. The famous Wagner conductor, Hans Richter, took up the baton for Elgar, conducting the first performance of Gerontius. Meanwhile, Gustav Mahler – described by the Elgarian conductor, Sir Andrew Davis as “the musical prophet of the 20th century – championed the Variations during his tenure with the New York Philharmonic. Audiences from the Rhineland to Pennsylvania heard and loved what Richter called “this English genius”. Elgar was soon to be as well established as Richard Strauss, Wagner or Debussy. Continue reading

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Systemic Rot – from Texas to California

Race IQ Sketch

Systemic Rot – from Texas to California

Ilana Mercer is twixt fire and flood

Some blame a quasi-free-market in electricity for the collapse of the electrical grid in Texas, during a winter snow storm, mid-February, in which temperatures hovered at 0°F (or -18°C). The same people finger deregulation and isolation from the national and neighboring grids. Opposing opinion has it that an excessive reliance on renewable energy sources, like wind turbines, was the culprit in a grid collapse that saw 40 percent of the power supply fail within hours of the storm, indirectly causing the death of about 60 Texans. All agree that the oil-and-gas state enjoys both cheap natural gas and abundant wind power, and that its natural resources could have stood Texas in good stead.

The Lone Star State’s human resources are another matter. Be they wind turbines or gas pipelines, the electrical grid has to be properly maintained. Texas, however, lacked “leadership.” It transpires that the grid had not been weatherized or winterized in anticipation of a harsh winter—pipelines had not been insulated and wind turbines never deiced. Leadership is a euphemism for intelligence. Texas in the winter of 2021 will likely be looked upon as a case of systemic stupidity, systemic rot. Continue reading

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Still Addicted to that Rush

President Trump with Rush Limbaugh

Still Addicted to that Rush

Ilana Mercer, on the late king of radio

Rush Limbaugh died on February the 17th. In the encomiums to conservatism’s radio king, mention was made of his 2009 address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. CPAC for short, or CPUKE before Trump.

Addicted to that Rush,” the March 6, 2009 column’s title, came not from Rush’s brief addiction to painkillers following surgery, but from an eponymous hit by the band Mr. Big. (It, in turn, came from a time when the American music scene produced not pornographers like Cardi B, but musicians like Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan). Nevertheless, that title alluded to one of Rush’s missed opportunities: speaking against a war into which he was involuntarily drafted and by which he was almost destroyed: the War on Drugs.

Still, how petty does that war, in all its depredations, seem now! How unimaginably remote do the issues Rush spoke to, in 2009, seem in the light of a country that has come a cropper in the course of one year, due to an unprecedented consolidation of state power around COVID, compounded by an amped up, institutionalized campaign against white America. And, in particular, against white Trump voters. Continue reading

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Rattus Republicanus

Gulliver’s Travels, credit Wikipedia

Rattus Republicanus

by Ilana Mercer

The defining difference between Democrats and Republicans is this: Republicans live on their political knees. They apologize and expiate for their principles, which are generally not unsound. Democrats, conversely and admirably, stand tall for their core beliefs, as repugnant as these mostly are.

The Left most certainly didn’t rush forward to condemn the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riffraff, as they looted and killed their way across urban America, last year. Instead, Democrats defended the déclassé, criminal arm of their party. “Riots are the language of the unheard,” they preached, parroting MLK.

What of the trammels of despair that drove the Trump protesters of January 6? Trust too many Republicans—goody two-shoes, teacher’s-pet types all—to trip over one another in order to denounce that ragtag of disorganized renegades, the protesters aforementioned, who already have no chance in hell of receiving due process of law. Continue reading

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The Walls of Jericho

Salt’s Mill

The Walls of Jericho

Bill Hartley blows his trumpet

Since the nineteenth century the expansion of our cities has seen settlements on the outskirts absorbed into the urban area. Occasionally though a town avoids this trend and manages to retain a distinct character. Topography can sometimes play a part in allowing this to happen and there is a good example to be found in the Yorkshire Pennine country.

Not everyone would favour living on an exposed site more than 1200 feet above sea level. This is a location which still carries a sense of isolation, even though it overlooks the City of Bradford. The railways never made it here, being defeated by the gradient. Closest was the old Great Northern Railway which climbed to some impressive heights on its network but was defeated by Queensbury, now part of the Bradford Metropolitan District. The station lay 400 feet below the town. Here, up to the 1960s, stood one of the strangest examples of railway architecture, a triangular station built that way to accommodate three lines which needed to find their way around the hills. Because the valley bottom sites had been taken by other lines they were known to train crews as the Alpine Route. Continue reading

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When Kyle Came to Kenosha (2)

A Kyle Rittenhouse supporter in Kenosha, credit Wikipedia

When Kyle came to Kenosha (2)

by Ilana Mercer

I’m not even sure one can still speak freely about theoretical matters. Nevertheless, against the background din of “insurrection” charges against MAGA America, I’ve tried to distill the hardcore libertarian take regarding the storming of the Capitol Building, on January 6, in a brief YouTube clip.


It is very plainly this: principled libertarians will distinguish pro-Trump patriots such as Kyle Rittenhouse from the armed wing of the Democratic Party: Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other criminal riffraff. BLM rioters trashed, looted and leveled their countrymen’s private property, their livelihoods and businesses, doing billions in damages. In contrast, the ragtag men and women of the MAGA movement stormed only the seat of power and corruption that is the State. Once!

Yet, in reply to the fact that “entire cities were burned to the ground” by BLM troops (the Democratic Party’s violent militia), some of the staunchest of conservatives have asserted that “storming the Capitol building” is much worse than “than burning down strip malls.” Principled libertarians, very plainly, think the opposite. Like us or not, the radical property-rights libertarian—who does not live inside and off the Beltway—will strongly disagree with the Trump-blaming conservatives. A certain kind of libertarian, the good kind, distinguishes clearly between those who, like BLM, would trash, loot and level private property—the livelihoods and businesses of private citizens—and between those who would storm the well-padded seats of state power and corruption. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, February 2021

Bird of paradise, credit Wikipedia

ENDNOTES, February 2021

In this edition: Entente Musicale, new releases of English and French music from SOMM; Kathleen Ferrier, remembered; Messiaen and 20th-century piano music from Divine Art, reviewed by Stuart Millson

A musical entente cordiale is presented in splendid sound this month, courtesy of the ever-enterprising SOMM CD label; a disc which features the virtuosity of two first-class and thoughtful performers of the younger generation, Clare Howick (violin) and Simon Callaghan (piano) – both searching, it seems, for a fusion of the flowering of authentic national voices in music, from England and France in the early 20th century.

France is represented chiefly by Debussy’s valedictory Violin Sonata dating from the end of the Great War – although one might also include Frederick Delius in the French category, for the English-born bohemian spent his last years in the seclusion of the countryside of Grez-sur-Loing. Clare Howick brings both detail and pathos to her interpretation of Delius’s Violin Sonata in B major (op. Posth), especially in the Andante middle movement. Thoughts arise of summer or early-autumn air with insects and birds galore; of overgrowing, untamed garden vegetation and the decaying colours of flowers and occasional traces of their once-strong scents. Continue reading

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Sappho of Lesbos

Sappho of Lesbos

by Darrell Sutton

John William Godward, In the Days of Sappho

The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace

Byron had a strong affection for Lucan’s Pharsalia. His attachment to Aeschylus’s Prometheus was equally pronounced. Acquainted with the classical tongues, bi-lingual editions of Greek and Latin texts were commonplace. His poems illuminate his penchants. He preferred the territories and literature of ancient Greece to its modern terrestrial forms. The ‘Isles of Greece’, though nationalistic in tone, is imbued with nostalgia. From a distance of two thousand years, Byron roamed the ruins of Greece daily by means of its preserved treasury of writings, and this he accomplished without a great fondness for their contemporary scenery. To quote his own words:

Let Aberdeen and Elgin still pursue
The shade of fame through regions of virtu;
Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,
Mis-shapen monuments, and maimed antiques;
And make their grand saloons a general mart
For all the mutilated blocks of art.

Byron had other appetites. Had the public known of them, his reputation would have been sullied. These cravings came and went. Whether they were enabling or inhibiting factors of his poetic prowess is a matter for his critics. But clearly, select authors of classical Greece retained a permanent place in his heart throughout his life. Continue reading

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