Off the Cuff – Wars We Do Not Need

The last few months at work have been fraught. We were recently ordered to provide proof of Coof Juice as part of our employment. Even if you work exclusively from home. If you will not drink the Coof-Aid, you must provide a daily PCR ‘negative’ test, at $180 a pop. To work at home. FFS.

This, and other events, have led me to an uncomfortable conclusion. Much of what we do, and the “problems” we solve at work, are caused by concern trolling. Someone needs to appear to be on top of things, to contribute their thoughts, to Make a DifferenceTM. To prove their value, a troll shows concern over some perceived danger, trouble, and/or injustice, almost always at the last minute and in full panic mode. They then delegate actually doing anything about the problem onto someone else. The six-figure salary is for demonstrating the wisdom to find the problem, after all. Actually doing work is for the serfs.

After calming the situation down, you find out there was no real risk or valid concern to begin with. More than once, the concern troll has forgotten what, days earlier, merited a red exclamation point email after working hours. Off to the next point of concern.

That this plague infests the workplace should be no surprise, given it is a plague infesting our society. The trigger for this realization, that the FAUXVID crisis is driven by the same kind of actor as the concern trolls in the workplace, was a video from about four years ago by a MGTOW YouTuber called Colttaine (who has been locked out of his channel, so the link may break).

Here is the video on Odysee:

https://odysee.com/@colttaine:d/Caricatures-and-the-Culture-War:f

In the video, Colttaine briefly discusses Gamergate. Remember, back in 2014, all that nonsense about how video games and video game production were problematic due to inherent sexism? Remember how a murky cabal of 4-Chan misogynists online were FOR SURE preparing to murder the BRAVE women COURAGEOUSLY exposing the systemic sexism in the industry? Colttaine called it correctly in 2017: all it accomplished was increased views at Kotaku, and increased media exposure for three concern trolls: Quinn, Sarkeesian, and Wu. This got me thinking about the source of much annoyance in my life: the concern troll crying “Wolf!” or “The Sky is Falling!” or “Omicron!” or “Sexism!”.

We did not need the war on drugs. We did not need the war on terror. We do not need a war on Islamophobia. We do not need a war on toxic masculinity. We do not need a war on Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan, Russia, China, or any other state not ideologically aligned with Globohomo. We do not need a war on systemic racism. We do not need a war on unconscious bias. We do not need a war on inherent sexism. We do not need a war on carbon dioxide. We do not need a war on a virus. We do not need a war on the unvaccinated.

We need a war on concern trolls. Not concern trolling…concern trolls.

How do you wage war on concern trolls? Ignore them. Part of the reason they have so much sway is because people pay attention to them, retweet or repost what they say, and so their message gets amplified. A prime example: Justin Trudeau, Canada’s leading source of concern trolling. Recently, he made comments at COP26 that Canada was going to stop exporting coal to developing countries, so they can lower their carbon emissions. This is retarded, as a developing economy needs cheap energy. I’m fairly certain they’ll get their coal from elsewhere anyway, so this will likely accomplish nothing.

But, leave it to other concern trolls to amplify this. Based on Justin Le Premier’s single comment at COP26, people I know are freaking out because “OMFG, won’t someone think of the coal industry!”. That’s all it takes: Trudeau makes one comment, provides zero, zip details and some concern troll now needs to amplify his remarks, fretting (speculating) as to how Ottawa might implement the plan, and what impacts it will have. Never mind that there is no plan and no details whatsoever. Trying to guess what Ottawa will do is pure speculation. Also, of all the shit Trudeau has talked since 2015, he’s implemented almost nothing personally that has had any actual impact on anyone. (Others in Ottawa have done things that affect Canadians, but trust me, Trudeau did nothing more than stamp his brand on it.)

This is an unforced error: Trudeau is a concern troll, so ignore him. Seriously, every time that guy says something, I barely notice. Talking nonsense, and saying things to provoke a response, is just what he does. But I cringe a bit every time someone reacts to what he says, either in the media, or in the comment section. Every reaction only enforces the narrative that what he says actually matters.

The truth is that Trudeau is Prime Minister because the Liberal Party of Canada lets him. It is a fine deal: he gets to play Prime Minister, jet-set around the world, give away billions of dollars, keep his delusion of grandeur going, all in exchange for maintaining the appearance that what he says matters. The Libs get to keep political power, relying on…whatever it is people see in that guy. It is irrelevant whether people agree with him, or like him, or hate him. As long as people respond to him as if what he says matters, that’s good enough.

If people actually ignored Trudeau, and his public statements no longer generated any interest, the Liberal Party would politely ask him to consider retirement. If he did not take the advice, he’d likely find himself metoo’d in short order. (It is always the Night of Long Knives at the Canadian Liberal party – there is always someone waiting to get rid of you and take your place.) The moment Trudeau causes little to no reaction with the public, is the moment the Libs see him as a liability, not an asset, and he’ll be gone. For Canada, ignorance could truly be bliss.

(Of course, mocking the piss out of concern trolls can also work. Finer bloggers have advised just such a course. I think Z Man and Severian have posts on this.)

Sunday Morning Coffee 11/28/2021

Eternal Anglo Seax discusses the symbolism and energy of the Fall season. He follows up with a post on the importance of Black Friday. Almost on cue, the Statistician to the Stars makes a Bleak Friday offer of his own. It’s a great deal…I think?

Speaking of actual great deals, Nikolai Vladivostok (from SovietMen) released his new book Tales From Captivity. I did a review of it here. Full disclosure: the cutie in his call for reviews of the book does not actually personally deliver the book to you. I was disappointed, but I think this is for the best. If she showed up here, I’d never get around to reading the book. And neither would she.

Gerry at Throne, Altar, Liberty sees hope in the Rittenhouse acquittal.

Severian discusses the autumn of the Middle Ages, an interesting take on the 15th Century, and how it relates to the 20th and 21st Centuries.

While effusively insisting it is not a return, Patriactionary returns, and chuckles at the news that the draft has been extended to women in the USA. He does have some not funny news about the restoration of the Notre Dame in Paris.

This always cracks me up. Ten-ply need not apply:

Gerry Bowler quickly summarizes the very short Upper Canada rebellion of William Lyon Mackenzie, in 1837.

Mogadishu Matt on the lessons learned from shitty neighbours.

On the digitization of ownership, the latest trend in equitization, from the Naked Dollar.

Banned Hipster wonders about the piles of dead bodies in Manhattan, and why Big Pharma gets its IP on the ‘just fucking take them’ vaccines, when allowing others to produce them would save lives…right? Right?

Terror House magazine, bastion of fiction and poetry, with part one of strange tale of book fetishes and isolation: The Debasement of Igor Prostakovich.

Over at the Orthosphere, some thoughts on transcendence (including the false version), with a collection of Bertonneau quotes on the subject.

Aggregators

Check out Whatever.com’s round up of happenings in the Empire of the St. Lawrence. (Also, last week’s Speech from the Throne was an excellent round up of every single progressive shibboleth in Canada. If you tell me it was a collection of comments from the CBC News website, I’d believe you.)

A Political Refuge From The Global Village has an excellent collection of quotes.

To close: more white fetishism. Trigger warning for the ten-ply: Germans having fun, without acknowledging their collective guilt.

Review – Beyond Order, by Jordan Peterson

Full disclosure: I suffered from anxiety most of my life, the like 200 pounds on your chest all the time kind. It was not until I read Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning that I began to get free from it. Why this happened, I do not know. But Dr. Peterson is a clinical psychologist. I assume his work on myths informing the human need for meaning was heavily influenced by his clinical practice. I owe Dr. Peterson many thanks for getting me to where I began transcending anxiety. This review is therefore biased.

Beyond Order is the follow-up to Peterson’s 2018 12 Rules for Life. Beyond Order has twelve more rules for one to live by in order to live a life of meaning in this chaotic world. There are rumours that the book caused an internal rebellion at the publisher, with many anonymous persons demanding the book remain unpublished. I like it that much more now. The rules are:

  1. “Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement.”
  2. “Imagine who you could be and then aim single-mindedly at that.”
  3. “Do not hide unwanted things in the fog.”
  4. “Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.”
  5. “Do not do what you hate.”
  6. “Abandon ideology.”
  7. “Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.”
  8. “Try to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible.”
  9. “If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely.”
  10. “Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.”
  11. “Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant.”
  12. “Be grateful in spite of your suffering.”

The overarching theme of the book is to show the importance of facing the difficult truths and situations in life, especially when we would prefer not to. Like Maps of Meaning, Peterson uses many different myths to demonstrate why it is important to face these situations and handle them to the best of your abilities. Indeed, what these myths are trying to tell us is that facing uncertain, difficult, often insurmountable situations is the most important thing we can do. Advancing in confidence and faith towards the terrifying unknown may just be our purpose for living, and doing anything less is a waste. Facing these dangers requires sacrifice, sometimes of our ideas or understanding, sometimes physical, and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. You should not fear the loss,  as the sacrifice allows the world, with us as a part of it, to be redeemed and renewed. I think that best summarizes the book.

I saw many MSM reviews that did not critique any of Peterson’s rules, but rather accused it of being more of the same found in 12 Rules for Life, or they trotted out the same old tired progressive tropes they have been slinging at Peterson since 2016. There are many poor criticisms of Peterson in the MSM, and a lot of it looked like self-indulgent virtue signalling shtick.

There are many good criticisms of Peterson’s philosophy in the dissident sphere. He makes many references to Christianity, without the fundamental elements of belief and faith. A ‘Christianity-lite’, as it has been called. To me it is the faith that is paramount, and the mythical elements are gravy. But, given the anti-Christian element in our societies, perhaps treating the Bible as a collection of myths is good ‘gateway study’ for learning about Christian faith.

Further, his focus on the individual has come under fire, and he’s been accused of leaving no room for collective elements in his philosophy. In Beyond Order, he does make references to improving yourself as service to the community, so he does address this issue a few times. But remember, his target audience is, like fish in water, so immersed in individualism I suspect many of them do not comprehend what a ‘collective’ might actually be.

The book itself seems to take much longer than is necessary to convey the needed lessons. Also, the audiobook version is narrated by Peterson himself, and he seems to have one speaking-volume: fill a college-size theatre, unassisted. This made listening to the book tiring at times. It also feels at times like it is a collection of his YouTube lectures, which do not adapt to the written page.

Finally, remember that Dr. Peterson’s focus has been on people who have suffered trauma and the effects have severely impacted their social functioning. Dr. Peterson has referred extensively to works by Solzhenitsyn and Frankl (Gulag and concentration camp survivors respectively) in the past. This work is therefore most relevant for those who have suffered serious trauma, or are or were in impossible situations full of despair, and need help handling it. (Given the anti-depressant and narcotic use on our continent, maybe a lot more people than we’d like.) People with strong purpose and faith, and lots of community support, may find a few points of help here, but they do not need this book.

All told then, you will likely find something useful if you read this book.  I recommend it if you find yourself wandering this world without a sense of purpose. If you have suffered serious trauma, or have high anxiety, I would say it is essential you read this book. My critiques are not against Peterson or the message in it, but rather, its presentation probably turns some people off. Beyond Order does not have all the answers. It will require difficult things of you if you take it seriously. And that’s probably what a lot of us need.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all readers from the USA!

A music recommendation from Z Man.

A little history, and little philosophy, from Sperg Box.

Greg Johnson posts a collection of past Thanksgiving articles at Counter Currents.

To close: This came out last year. You’ll find track 3, ‘Wishbone’, appropos. Track 4 is a cover of ‘Lord of this World’, by Sabbath.

Off the Cuff – Burning Down The Regime

I was thinking about my snark from this week’s Sunday Morning Coffee. In particular, about how I labelled the major political parties in Canada as being ideologically the same, with pace being the only difference. Some consequences came to mind, I cannot sleep, and they need to come out of my head.

All of these parties are part of the ruling regime. The idea that the Liberals win an election, so they rule, and then the Conservatives win one, and they rule, is now fantasy. All Canada’s political parties, judges, academics, media outlets, and big business, are the ruling regime. The only questions are who gets power within the regime at a given time. (‘Who?’ is constant, but its internal parts are always in flux. ‘Whom?’ never changes much.)

The recent coalescing of ideological affirmations by all political, business, academic, media and judicial elements of the Canadian regime is a sign. The regime is under threat (or, at the very least thinks it is). Shortly after Trump won in 2016, the Canadian regime stopped pretending, circled the wagons, and has been acting like it is fighting for its survival ever since.

Why?

They have opponents. It is they who have observed the regime, and want it destroyed. And the regime knows this.

The regime’s opponents have no culture which has not been provided by the regime.

They have no creed, nor code, nor faith, not provided by the regime.

They have no way of life or means not strictly controlled by the regime.

There is nothing they own, not their property nor their incomes, not even their faces, that cannot be, at the whim of the regime, smothered or taken away.

Some are able to have some of the above things free from the control of the regime. The regime vilifies them every chance it gets. Anything deviating from the prescriptions of the regime is a threat and must be stopped.

The regime has lied to them, promised them utopia, and then spun every event, principle, fact, in order to hide the inevitable failure. They know it now, that the beliefs, creeds, codes, morals and faith forced on them by the regime could finally come crashing down in an instant.

We live in a house of cards built on a foundation of sand.

Everything we fill our time with is a distraction away from this. The narcotics, the media, the rage and fear pornography, all keep us distracted and numb.

No wonder so many want to burn it all down.

Review: Tales From Captivity, a collection of short stories, by Nikolai Vladivostok

Back when I was in my teens, my grandmother and I would watch old Twilight Zone episodes together. (The really old ones, from the late 1950s, early 1960s.) It’s creator Rod Serling was a genius, and we would always try to predict the ‘twist’, the plot element that was hidden from the viewer, driving the narrative. It was always revealed in the end, in a manner to create confusion, fright, revulsion, and despair. I loved the old Twilight Zone episodes, and despite my best efforts to predict, the ending was always a surprise.

Most modern fiction, television, movies, all fail utterly to achieve anything like this. You see the ‘twist’, the ending, the secret driving the characters, about 1/5 of the way through, and then the rest of the experience is a disappointing slog.

Nikolai Vladivostok, in his new collection of fifteen short stories, Tales From Captivity, brings back the element of hidden, startling twist.  My copy is a review copy, provided by the author. It is a collection of dark tales about the human experience, and how forces we do not see or cannot control trap us, including our own inherent nature. It spans Roman-era Cappadocia (The Gospel of Judas) to points in the not so distant future (Sweet Sixteen). The tales are at times gritty horror stories of confinement (Who Eats Who, Happy Underground), sometimes fantastic (The Intruder), bordering on myths (The Death Room), and sometimes, Tarantino-esque treatments of the flawed sinner in all of us (The Barista’s Tale, The Outdoors Type). He creates narratives and plots that cause the reader fear, dread, horror, wrath, angst, and at times laughter, like his predecessor Serling. The stories take place across a broad variety of landscapes and cultures, and I suspect Nikolai has spent much time as an astute observer far from home.

Tales From Captivity introduces you to scenarios which, while fantastic, are only one or two steps away from real life. It is these tiny little patches to the fabric of reality that lead to profound consequences. In it are placed normal, real, fallible human characters, and things unfold in unexpected ways. For almost all of these stories the ending was not what I predicted. Even in the most harrowing moments, I was captivated, and read on.

No review is complete without some mention of areas for improvement. The characters are sometimes stereotypical, and some scenarios feel contrived. A few of the endings are a bit abrupt. In some of the stories, the primary conflict is left unresolved. But, you could say all of this about what I think is one of the finest short stories ever, Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants.  All of this is forgivable when the author conveys the elements of the story in a compelling and memorable way, as Nikolai has done here. And sometimes, like real life, conflicts are left unresolved, and stories that face this head on are better for it. They are short stories after all, and you only have so much time.

I’m no author, being the writer of mostly sterile legal opinions, so understand this review is based on how Nikolai’s stories made me feel. I therefore avoid delving into structure or syntax, language or theme. Frankly, it was refreshing to read a well written set of short stories that were entertaining, while tackling some of the inextricable aspects of our modern existence. The necessary suspension of disbelief is mild and pays big dividends with these stories. There is structure, there are themes (how modernity and technology have isolated us, for example), but I’ll say no more and let you discover for yourself.

Tales From Captivity is aptly named, macabre, entertaining, and well worth your time and money. Check out the release post at the SovietMen blog for more information.

Sunday Morning Coffee 11/21/2021

Not guilty? Really? Kyle Rittenhouse? Not guilty! Cue the riots. I am barely able to summarize what took place that led up to the shootings. But both sides seem to agree it was total chaos. Which makes me lament that no government on this continent seems to think it is responsible for maintaining peace and order.

The performances by both defence counsel and the prosecutor in court marked it as a show trial. The amount of scorn heaped on the judge by the prosecutors was unacceptable. The charges were trumped up, and not meant to reflect on any crimes Kyle may have committed. Rather, the charges were politically expedient. I’d call it a display of virtue signalling through prosecution. I’m glad it failed. IM-1776 discusses why.

Finally, the coverage by the media was outright defamation. I did not pay much attention to the case, really am not sure what actually happened, and now, I doubt I’ll ever know. (There are still people up here in Canuckistan howling about how Kyle killed three blacks, FFS.) I think commenter Ann Cherry, at William Briggs open discussion, quoting a Facebook post, describes what I did not know was at issue in this case:

Kyle put out a dumpster fire that was being rolled down to a gas station to blow up, with people all around.

Kyle’s Dad, Grandma and Friends all lived in Kenosha, 20 minutes from where he resided with his Mom part time in Illinois.

Joseph Rosenbaum knocked him down twice and then attempted to kick him with lethal force to the head. Huber had hit him in the head 2x with a skateboard. Gaige Grosskreutz, a felon in possession of firearm, aimed his gun at Kyle first, as he admitted on the stand.

In the State of Wisconsin, it is legal for Kyle to have a gun, even at 17 (which was why the gun charge was dismissed). Kyle did not cross state lines with a gun he wasn’t supposed to have. The rightful gun owner did, as he was legally permitted to do.

Rosenbaum was a 5 time convicted child rapist and that Huber was a 2 time convicted woman beater. Grosskreutz was a convicted Burglar with an assault on his record also.

(This is from someone’s Facebook post, so it is subject to verification. But I’ll take it over the MSM narrative, which was clearly bullshit by omission, any time. The MSM narrative remains bullshit…)

Image

Jim made a correct prediction on the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Go for Jim’s take, stay for the comments.

William Briggs discusses the latest in FAUXVID madness in the 106th update.

Eternal Anglo Seax discusses the only appropriate response to the ongoing FAUXVID madness:

The purpose of life is to live. One side of this argument will cease life before it begins while sanitising its other end. The other wants to carry on as before, and refuse to live cowed by fear. Which actually sounds like living, while the other sounds like careful dieing. One can live and let live, the other has to be enforced by increasingly comical extremes. My answer remains the same:

No.

A Napoleonic post by Banned Hipster on White Supremacy Fetishism. So cheeky!

Alf has some observations on raising children in the Netherlands.

The Z Man discusses the real supply chain issue. It was not what I expected.

At SovietMen, some advice on the best level of participation in our current crumbling western societies: no more than is necessary. Nikolai was not sure what to say to Canadians about politics.

For Canadians, it is as Nikolai suggests: the more local the government, the more impact they have on your daily life. The Canadian provinces tend to have much more impact than Ottawa on the daily lives of their populace. Municipalities even more so. (Ottawa NEEDS mass media for Canadians to even notice what they are up to.) So, if you are going to get involved, make it as local as possible.

However, at the provincial level and higher, the parties rule the day and typically dictate policy to you, through the elected politicians, and not the other way around. There was also allegedly a concerted effort in recent municipal elections in Alberta to install regime friendly candidates in municipal councils, a clear indication the rot is spreading.

Boycotting federal or provincial elections is probably one path to dissent. The ruling regime is all about claiming Canadian democracy works and popular votes give them a mandate. When people simply do not participate, those arguments get weaker. Plus, voting federally is a waste of your time. The policy positions of all the major parties in Canada, in summary, are:

I’m Justin Trudeau and I’m Liberaling!

Liberal: “We’re Justin Trudeau and we’re Liberaling!”
Conservative: “We’d Liberal slower!”
NDP: “We’d Liberal faster!”
Bloc Québécois: “Les Anglais est très fous. Je me souviens notre belle province.”
Green Party: “You’re racist!”…”Nuh-uh, you’re racist!”

So suppose you want to vote for a political party, and not lemmings reacting to the latest manufactured social justice controversy. Your option is voting for the party that only runs in Québec, the province that has tried to leave twice. Which is to say, outside of Québec, you do not have one. I’m sure there is irony in there, but I cannot come up with a quip about it.

The Myth of the 20th Century crew on the development of the timber industry in the United States. In it, they express their contempt and disdain for Canada, threatening to nuke Toronto. Gentlemen, please, if you want to get rid of fake and ghey Canada, nuking Toronto will get you nowhere. Help us with Ottawa and the rest will take care of itself.

John Michael Greer, at Ecosophia, has an interesting perspective on the upcoming Christmas season, a celebration important to two religions: Christianity and Consumerism.

Locklin on Science looks at the health care issues in the United States that are more serious than FAUXVID.

Adam Kotsko at An und für sich discusses what is needed to make better television.

Mogadishu Matt: To Be Cautious of the Unprofessional Makes Sense.

New books are coming. From SovietMen’s Nikolai Vladivostok, Tales From Captivity, a very aptly named collection of macabre short stories (review to follow shortly). William Briggs discusses Everything You Believe Is Wrong on Pat Flynn’s podcast.

Audio:

Quintus Curtius reviews the Brazilian movie Seven Prisoners, and discusses its theme of gradual decline into moral corruption. It is about human trafficking in São Paulo, Brazil, how the system works, and how everyone in it, from slave to master, gets trapped. I watched it on Netflix, and it is a very tight film, well worth its 93 minute run time. (I suspect it might have been a stage play before.)

Charles Haywood looks back at his 2019 review of Ernst Jünger’s Eumeswil, and reviews The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam.

This weeks aggregators of choice: Nikolai Vladivostok with Word from the Dark Side. Niccolo Soldo with the always excellent Saturday Commentary and Review.

To close, more white fetishism:

Review: The Prize – Daniel Yergin

I recently read The Prize by Daniel Yergin. It is, put very shortly, a history of the development of the oil industry on our planet. Such a vast topic could never be placed into one volume, as Yergin has here. He chose to focus on one very important facet of the industry: the US experience in oil industry development. And rightly so: the story of the rise of the American Empire relies heavily upon the story of oil development, implementation, marketing, and dominance. This book is almost 2000 pages of that story (almost 1400 in narrative, and about 600 in supplemental resources).

Yergin begins by describing the development of US oil starting in the 1850s, in western Pennsylvania. He provides an interesting and well developed history of oil development in the USA, the Dutch East Indies, the Russian Empire (now, Baku, in Azerbaijan), Venezuela and the Middle East. He focuses on the influence of the British, French, and Americans, and to a lesser extent, other imperial powers of the era. He always takes time to describe the powerful, determined and disciplined men who drove development of the oil industry, and this focus on personality and relationships makes the book worthwhile.

Yergin takes us through the world wars, with heavy emphasis on oil as a primary driving factor, especially for Japan’s actions in the Pacific. After the US embargo on oil which began on 1938, Japan felt it had no choice but to establish other oil supplies by force. The attack Pearl Harbour was launched to provide breathing room so they could do so in southeast Asia.

Yergin then finishes the narrative, going through the post WWII events that impacted, and were driven, by the ever present race to secure oil supplies. This is the prize all these nations strive for: controlling their own energy supply, so they can maintain their sovereignty, and controlling other’s oil supplies, as a way to control them too. (I have often said in this blog before, if your country does not control its energy supply, someone else will, and it is they who will exercise a great deal of control in your country, not you. To fail to control or engage with your energy industry is to surrender sovereignty.) The Suez Crisis, the oil price shocks, OPEC embargoes, in particular the complex relationship between the US and the Saudis, and US intervention in the Middle East, are all documented here. Yergin stops the detailed analysis with the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. An epilogue covers the period up to 2008.

The Prize does have a few faults. Throughout, it gives the impression that Yergin is explaining all significant events as if always motivated by oil. I do not think Yergin meant to do this. He does create this impression by using a method of explaining a historical event, describing how it impacted or was impacted by the oil industry, and then moving on to the next event. Given the size of the book, there is little room for subtlety or nuance when trying to summarize such a complicated area of history.

Another concern of note is that many significant areas of the oil industry get hardly a mention. I’ll nitpick at his treatment of Canada. It maybe gets half a dozen mentions in the entire book. Canada is the third largest exporter of oil in the world, and depending on who does the math, has either the 2nd or 3rd largest reserves. Yet we get little time in The Prize. Why the short shrift?

Brace yourselves, Canuckistanis: oil supplied from Canada is largely controlled by the Americans. Most of our oil comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan, and goes through pipeline systems either in the US, or controlled by the US. Even a large part of the oil from western Canada that goes to the Empire of the St. Lawrence spends much of its transit time in pipelines and facilities in the US. Canada’s supply is largely controlled by US interests, and can therefore be considered part of US domestic supply. There are exceptions, such as the TransMountain terminal in Burnaby, B.C. But, as the Americans know, you do not need to control every single drop of oil, just a significant part of it, to make sure Canadian producers do not take actions which might impact supply or prices.

Trans Mountain Pipeline terminus map. Note the interconnect into Washington State.
No, it does not carry ‘tar sand’.

All the wrangling that has gone on with oil pipelines in Canada (including the effective killing of several oil and gas pipelines to Canada’s Pacific coast) in the name of the environment and climate change always seem to benefit American interests in the end. (Brandon’s efforts to kill Keystone expansion are a notable apparent exception, but it actually proves the rule. I speculate that his action is beneficial to the US in a way, keeping Alberta oil in the ground, which may keep prices up, and provides a nice reserve should US domestic and Middle East supplies become compromised at some time in the future.)

Back to The Prize. Canada’s treatment in the book is the fate of most countries which have provided little drama in the world oil markets: they are mentioned, and that’s about it. In a book this size, you have to make such choices, or you end up writing forever.

All told, I’d recommend The Prize for those who are interested in learning about the big scale events and ideas of the world oil industry. Also, it is for those who want to get a sense of who the major players were, and still are, to this day. It may also be a good read for those who deal with Americans and the US oil industry. US oil has deep roots, and the book helps explain their sometimes idiosyncratic behaviour. In oil, the race never stops, and the prize they are striving for is sovereignty.

Sunday Morning Coffee 11/14/2021

Malcolm Kyeyune at tinkzorg relates the 1941 Pearl Harbour attack to the recent moves by the ruling regime in the US. They’ve had their Pearl Harbour moment. I think that the regime will not stop until it also has its Nagasaki/Hiroshima moments.

Severian on generation ships as a plot device, and what they tell us about tribalism.

Mogaidishu Matt with more wisdom, on workplace incentives and what one should value.

William Briggs with this week’s FAUXVID update: How We’ll Know If The Vax Is Killing Kids.

Ramzpaul does the best alternate history episode ever. Watch it before YouTube blocks it for misinformation about Martian Graviton Rays.

Z Man at the Z Blog discusses cultural revanchism, and how it will not succeed by looking back. The path forward is continuation, not restoration.

At the Sperg Box, 2021 most apt pun: a post on the News Cycle as Spin Cycle. Plus, a short story: Shoot.

IM-1776 interviews Michael Rectenwald, founder of American Scholars, recently banned on YouTube. He talks about The Global One World State.

The Banned Hipster with dispatches from inside Lithuania’s dystopian FAUXVID society.

Over at Kunstlercast, Steven Kirsch is interviewed on the FAUXVID crisis, the dangers of mRNA vaccines, and early treatment methods for the bug.

This week’s aggregator is SovietMen. Check out his Word from the Dark Side, both last week’s and this week’s.

To close:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

Off the Cuff – No Going Back

There is a part of Ernst von Salomon’s Der Fragebogen which has stuck in my mind for many months now. (Yes, if you can, read it. More details on why in a later post.)

The book is a narrative memoir of Salomon’s experiences in Germany from the outset of WWI to a year or two after the Allied occupation of Germany in 1945.

The episode in question involves Salomon and his lady Ille walking home on the night of November 9th, 1938, after playing cards at a friend’s house. As they discover quickly, all is not well, for it is Kristallnacht, and Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses are having their windows smashed in by rioters. Salomon tries to hail a cab, but the one they stop refuses to take them given the chaos. They make their way home, and are greeted by their landlady. She has changed their name on the call box on the outside of the building, to protect them. Salomon wonders why, since he is not a Jew. She replies that Salomon is like ‘Solomon’, and so she does not want the rioters thinking he is Jewish. Besides, she tells Salomon, they may not come for you tonight, but they will come for you eventually. Given Salomon’s political leanings, which he backed up with violence, this seems highly probable.

They get into the safety of their residence, and Ille breaks. She cries and yells at Salomon saying he should go out into the street and deal harshly with the rioters, to stop the chaos. How will they ever get back to normal if he DOES NOTHING? He replies that there is nothing he can do. There has been no normal since the end of the Great War. It’s been, almost to the day, 20 years of instability and chaos, and he tells her they are not going back to “normal” any time soon.

I raise this because in the current FAUXVID crisis, I hear many people say they want to get back to normal. Even the most staunch workplace adherent of the FAUXVID religion that I know is now exhausted. She asked me what all of this health theater is for: when does it end? She just wants us to get back to normal. “Two weeks to flatten the curve”, vaccines, masks, travel bans, health passports, social distancing, have all failed to produce the promised result: going back to “normal”. With her, I found myself in Salomon’s position. I told her we were not going back to “normal”. Two years of increasing demands, restrictions and fear mongering only got us further from normal, not towards it. I told her things have not been normal for at least twenty years, and to be honest, things have slowly been sliding downhill for much longer than that. I suspect it was a cruel thing to say. She was crushed, as the realization came upon her that all she believed about the crisis was false. But, maybe forcing her to face reality is what she needed. Who knows?

The beneficence of Justin Le Premier, le Dauphin and Deuxième Roi du Canada.
Brought to you by Phycür.

What point would I go back to when things were actually felt “normal”? 20 years is an appropriate start, as that is roughly the time elapsed since 9/11. All the security drama we go through in our airports has made air travel outright miserable for everyone. The constantly changing requirements mean we can never, ever be prepared to go through security without hassle. One day, shoes off and Kindles out of their cases. The next, keep your damn shoes on, we do not care about your stupid Kindle, but these refried beans should have been in your luggage. All, of course, for your own safety, purely from altruistic motives, and certainly not about funding an industry with billions of taxpayer dollars, making its proponents rich. The parallels to FAUXVID are clear.

But that is not far enough. You have to go back to the Y2K crisis, where the whole world was going to shut down on 01/01/2000, when computer clocks would go back to 01/01/1900, or some other date, due to bad programming of some kind. I know of two systems that had date difficulties around that time. One was fixed with a firmware upgrade afterwards, with the system running just fine in the interim. Another, caused a travel agency to not collect deposits on all-inclusive packages on time. They quickly fixed that manually. All told, nothing to panic about.

But to me, it goes back deeper than that, back through the 90s. The Colombine and other high school shootings, the ATF Waco siege, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, even the OJ Simpson case. I was making deliveries at that time, and on every TV in every place I dropped off orders, the live footage of OJ’s Bronco on the LA freeway system was showing. It seemed so bloody odd.

Thinking back, for me, the moment things started sliding was the Rodney King arrest. I remember all the MSM channels replaying, over and over again, the selected footage of the cops standing in a circle, beating Rodney while he was on the ground.

For this post, what sticks in my mind is that the networks replayed this footage over and over in some morbid attempt to keep viewers rapt, angry, emotionally engaged. All to keep them from changing channels, or shutting it off.

From that moment forward, the comfortable story that governments were supposed to be good, and the media existed to keep them that way, was shattered. It was clear the media was supplying us with information in ways to get and keep us hooked. Industry and government were already part of that game.

The main product we have been sold ever since is emotional manipulation. FAUXVID is just the latest manifestation, with fear as the primary vector. They’ve had to crank up the fear because lower level emotional manipulation was just not getting it done anymore. Twenty years of fear mongering must eventually numb those subjected to it. Plus, social media was making it more and more difficult to operate in the shadows. It does not help when the President Trump, a beneficiary of media exposure, calls them out on it, on their own platforms. The regime fears nothing more than that its actions and the futility and harm of its social engineering projects will be held out in the light.

Fear certainly sells, and that’s why we’re not going back to normal. Not by continuing to play along, and likely, not ever, no matter what we do. I suspect we’re going to get more of the same. People are going to give up more and more autonomy on the promise of getting to normal some day, until finally they accept a dictator who takes total power on the promise of stability. Whether a Marcus Aurelius or a Mao is anyone’s guess.