Working Toward a More Complete/Accurate Understanding of the Left

  • by Gitabushi

A few issues have been in play lately in the news, as I’ve seen mentioned on the few accounts I still follow on Twitter and on Instapundit.

This all revolves around people “on the right” trying to get a grip on what’s going on with the US Left.

For instance, several large US corporations have knuckled under to China’s propaganda. The NBA pushed back on the Rockets’ GM showing support for Hong Kong, because the Houston Rockets are one of the most popular teams in China, and if China is angry at the Houston Rockets for supporting the pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong, then the NBA will lose lots of money.

Blizzard then kicked out a popular gamer who supported Hong Kong. Blizzard then tried to keep gamers from quitting in protest by refusing to authenticate their attempts to quit.

ESPN then pushed Chinese propaganda on their territorial claims.

There are many more developments I could cite. The point is, China has used its economic might to gain the power to dictate to US companies.  The result is that US companies that try to display the correct stances, that trip over themselves trying to woke, are doing the bidding of a nation that puts millions of people in concentration camps due their religion, and has a history of violent suppression of human rights.

tourists at forbidden temple
Photo by Sabel Blanco on Pexels.com

This causes a conundrum for some people.

The original idea was that if we engaged economically with China, we would export our liberal views to China. Instead, as the thought process goes, China has exported their totalitarian views to the US. Here’s some of the discussion:

Also here:

Here’s the thing. I don’t think this is accurate.

Meaning, yes, I agree that was the *argument* used to engage with China economically. But I do not think there was really any hope, or even intent, to liberalize China. The intent was to get rich.

Here are a few things I’ve identified about the US Left, and the Left in general.

  1. They are basically children. They can summon up endless arguments for whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if the arguments are self-contradictory, they merely want what the want. They have no concept of trade-offs or earning what they want.  They just want it, and will argue and fight and throw temper tantrums until they get it.
  2. At the same time, the whole point of the Left is to gain the power to ignore, sidestep, or gain compensation for negative consequences.  Hillary Clinton and her cronies do what they want without fear of jail time.  Democrats in Congress want to impeach Trump without accountability of an impeachment vote. Not one person in Obama’s administration has paid any price for IRS targeting of conservatives participating in the political process, or Benghazi, or the Benghazi coverup, or Fast and Furious, or for lying about Obamacare, etc. No one at the FBI or CIA or DoJ has faced any criminal charges (yet) despite a plethora of rule breaking.  Or for violating our rights, for that matter. This is the point of the Left: escaping negative consequences. The powerful break laws, the rank/file grassroots wants to escape negative consequences of bad personal decisions (that doesn’t rise to criminal behavior)
  3. The Left sees everything in society as a zero-sum Power Game: Rule or Be Ruled. They don’t care about China’s human rights abuses, because they aren’t being abused. They only care about human rights abuses when they can be tied to Republicans, because: a) Power means evading accountability, and b) whatever it takes to smear non-Leftists to gain power to achieve “a)”.

So China can put Muslims in concentration camps because there is no way to use that to hurt Trump, and because if Democrats don’t raise a stink about it, China will continue to fund their political campaigns so they can get re-elected to keep skimming money from US taxpayers to be rich and powerful enough that laws do not apply to them, so they can get what they want without having to accept trade-offs.

There’s no surprise there for me.  Everything the US Left is doing is right in character with what I understand about them.

The only question is, what do we do about it?

I’m all in favor of disengaging with China and urging all our allies to do so, as well. It will collapse China’s economy, which will create additional misery of a different type in China, but it might just be the medicine it takes to cure the Leftist Totalitarianism crippling their people.

The only thing is, we’d better be ready to help them establish a Rule of Law based, democracy-based Republic with strong checks and balances, or they’ll just go Left again. That’s all the Chinese people have ever really known: exploiting and being exploited by their fellow citizens.

“Story”

  • by Gitabushi

“Story” is about what happens internally, not externally.  Not fully grasping the importance of this is what tanks countless novels.  We don’t [read a] story simply to watch the events unfold; we come to experience them through the protagonist’s eyes, as she struggles with what to do next.  This is what mesmerizes us: it’s what we’re curious about, it’s what gives us the inside information we’re hungry for.

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

What do you think?  Want to debate?

John Hayward Nails it Again

  • by Gitabushi

I recently realized that if I “logout” from the twitter page I had autoloaded upon opening my browser, I can go check certain accounts.

So there are a few I check on.  One is John Hayward.  I find his thoughts brilliant and insightful. Nearly every day he has a tweet-thread that makes me think, or states a non-obvious truth with more clarity than I’ve seen anywhere else, or both.

This is what I tried to do on Twitter, to varying levels of success.  That is what I am now trying to do here on the blog, and what I will try to do in my fiction writing.

However, this post is to call attention to John Hayward’s thread yesterday:

I find this whole thread completely correct.

The thing I wish he would have added (and I’m sure he would agree with) is that his thesis is fully demonstrated in the Democrat Party POTUS campaign, particularly in the debates.

Moderates are appalled by the blatant Leftist proclamations, while conservatives are chortling with glee as they plan meme and advertisement campaigns.  Both treat the open Leftist campaigning as some sort of Kinsleyan gaffe.

It isn’t.

This is the nature of politics today. They aren’t campaigning for voter support, much less grass roots support.  They are campaigning for donor support, and propaganda editorial support.

Trump winning was a victory for the Right in rolling back Obama’s transformation of the US, but it was also a victory for the Left in that it fully implemented their tribal allegiances and alliances.

They don’t have to convince Democrat voters. Democrat voters will vote for who they are told to vote for. They need to be chosen by the Elite. If chosen, the Elite will give them money (most of it skimmed from taxpayer-funded Leftist programs and insider trading from same) to broadcast propaganda, and the Leftist propaganda machine will have an easier time lying and distorting in their cause.

They don’t need to have a good plan or a good program, because their cause is just. They are opposing White Supremacists, Racists, Sexists, and Trump.

They are justified in subverting and betraying the Rule of Law, because Trump. They will get all the LIVs, all the GOP who hate Trump, all the Democrats who vote as they are told to keep the gravy flowing, and the Leftist bureaucrats will manufacture more Democrat voters from the illegal alien pipeline.

That’s why the Democrat POTUS campaign seems crazy.  They aren’t.  They just have their anti-democratic system fully up and running now.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again (Updated)

  • by Gitabushi

Conservatives and Patriots are in somewhat of an uncomfortable position right now.

John_Meintz,_punished_during_World_War_I_-_NARA_-_283633_-_restored

This tweet-thread explains a good portion of the discomfort, but not all of it.

The part it doesn’t cover is how everything seems to be all-or-nothing.  The military takes an oath to defend the US Constitution. Obama clearly violated the US Constitution when he deliberately attempted to legislate with EOs. He flatly stated he would act *because* the GOP-controlled Congress wouldn’t do what he wanted.

The military didn’t depose him.

Did every single military member violate their oath, then?

What was the military supposed to do?  Throw him out of office? Assassinate him?

Well, what is the military supposed to do when an unConstitutional law is written?  Attack the legislators who wrote it?  How would they even know a law is unConstitutional until/unless the Supreme Court strikes it down?

Bottom line: the US military has no role in determining what is or isn’t Constitutional. And there is no military role in resolving violations of the US Constitution.

But the same conundrum faces the citizenry, particularly now:

What are we supposed to do when the Elite violate the US Constitution with the Deep Coup? What are we supposed to do when the federal government bureaucracy has become politicized and uses tax dollars and federal government authority on behalf of one party to achieve goals of violating and reducing our individual liberty?

Normally, citizens are supposed to then participate in the political process, giving power to those who will use political means to punish the violators within the restrictions outlined in the US Constitution.  Except, what if the violations are machinations by political actors to suppress or ignore out participation in the political process?

What if the Supreme Court rules something Constitutional that is plainly *not* Constitutional?

The answer I’ve gotten before is basically: Revolution. The Roots of the Tree of Liberty needs some watering with the blood of tyrants.

But nobody is doing that, are they?  And if someone assassinated Rep. Nancy Pelosi tomorrow, they would be rightfully accused of and prosecuted for murder.

If the violations we’ve already endured are not enough to spur armed resistance, then what will be?

But if we don’t actually form a revolution, is it legal? Or is it just murder?  When does it stop being simple murder and start being an act of liberty?

I think most people are not acting because it is a really terrifying line to cross.  So we hesitate, hoping we can see some resolution without resorting to deadly violence.

While you mull that, I’d like to introduce another aspect:

I’ve often said that one of the problems of our society is it is no longer permissible to punch someone who is being a public jerk. No matter how much someone may deserve a punch, you risk being arrested and convicted of assault. Our society has become degenerate enough that if a guy openly flirts with your wife, and you punch him, you’re the one in the wrong.

But let’s say simple assault doesn’t get prosecuted. We let it go, so that direct responses to being a jerk can help make a more civil society. Would that happen?  Or would we just end up with stronger men having even more freedom to be jerks to everyone around them?

Enter the idea whose time has come again, I think.

macaronymaking.jpg

Tarring and feathering.

It does no real harm. It is uncomfortable, and a serious hassle for the person tarred and feathered. But it doesn’t scar, it doesn’t wound, and it serves as an excellent warning to other people doing things similar to the original tarring and feathering recipient.

It *is* an assault and battery, but it is done by a group. I can’t tar and feather Rep. Adam Schiff, but a couple dozen of us can.  If a couple dozen of us participate, it will be harder for Leftist authorities to prosecute.  The action gains some measure of appropriateness based on the fact that it is a form of democracy: it is citizens coming together to punish a politician for their political activity.

Even aside from the somewhat-dubious proposition that there would be some legal safety in numbers, I could handle a few months in jail for participating in the tarring and feathering of a politician. I could explain it to my family. I would not feel any shame or worry I had something actually wrong.

While I don’t want Lois Lerner to retain her pension, and would like to see her in jail, I would be somewhat mollified if she were tarred and feathered.

[Edited to add this paragraph:]

In contrast, murdering a politician is indefensible. You can try to claim it isn’t wrong due to Watering the Roots of the Tree of Liberty all you want, it is still *murder*.  It would risk decades in jail, possibly the rest of your life, with no guarantee it would have any effect at all in even slowing the Leftist destruction of US Rule of Law, much less reversing it. No wonder everyone just sits around talking about revolution, but no one does anything.

There is a significant drawback/downside, however. The Left loves collective action, and they are copycats. They already try to intimidate GOP politicians through threatening actions. They’ve driven Ted Cruz out of a restaurant and threatened Mitch McConnell. If tarring and feathering comes back in vogue, the Left would attempt to tar and feather conservative politicians for actually following the Constitution.

There should be a way to resolve or prevent this.  One thing that comes to mind is that the Left has no sense of proportion or patience. They wouldn’t have the capability of organizing a relatively non-violent tarring and feathering, they would include actual criminal behavior of beating, and maybe even lynching.

However, while I don’t want to encourage the Left to copycat escalation into harming GOP politicians, I am also not responsible for their actions and immaturity. It would be easy to legalize tarring and feathering while still coming down harshly on anyone who went beyond that, and that would mean prosecuting Leftists almost exclusively.

Or maybe that’s idealist wishcasting.

Thoughts?

 

 

Survivor (Band)

  • by Gitabushi

I’ve been listening to Survivor’s catalog lately, and they really intrigue me as a band.

First, of course, they made the song “Eye of the Tiger” for Rocky III, and it is a great song. Not a thing wrong with it.

That song also inspired one of Weird Al Yankovic’s greatest parodies, “The Rye or the Kaiser.”  Not only is it a faithful rendition, it has what I think are his most clever lyrics. They make sense, they never really repeat themselves, and they follow the pacing of the original lyrics almost perfectly.  Give it a listen while reading the rest of this article.

Survivor also had one of my all-time favorite albums, “Vital Signs.”

It has a bunch of power ballads, with sappy love song lyrics…but it has some really good guitar work, and some decent rock songs.  I loved listening to that whole album.

To be honest, I really hadn’t been a fan of “Eye of the Tiget.”  I didn’t really like the singer’s voice at the time, and I didn’t enjoy it when it came on the radio.

But after falling in love with “Vital Signs,” I decided to give them another chance.  At first, I didn’t realize it was a different singer, but it didn’t take long to learn about that. It made sense to me; I liked the Vital Signs singer (Jimi Jamison), and I didn’t like “The Eye of the Tiger” singer (Dave Bickler).

But I liked the guitar work, and since I really like guitar, I found their self-titled first album at a half-price book/music store, and enjoyed it, despite Dave Bickler being the singer.  When the digital age arrived, I also got “Caught in the Game” in .mp3s.  Somewhere along the line I ended up with their entire catalog in .mp3s, but for some reason, the “Caught in the Game” album was really the only one I listened to.

There are a crapton of great songs, great hooks, and great guitar riffs on those three albums (Vital Signs, Survivor, and Caught in the Game).  But I never really listened to the rest.

Now I have.

Good Gosh Almighty, there are a crapton of great songs, great hooks, and great guitar riffs on all their albums.

They aren’t a truly great band, but they are a very good band.

They never quite stray into Heavy Metal, but they get close. The guitar tone on most of the songs is impeccable. It rarely sounds overproduced, usually sounds raw and real.  The drums are always good. The vocals are always good, and Jimi Jamison is especially expressive.

The first four albums are straight ahead hard rock, with few ballads, if any.  Then Jimi came on board, starting their power ballad era, but as I said before, they still have a rock edge, and great guitar work.  Still, “When Seconds Count,” was even more Power Ballad-y than Vital Signs, and wasn’t much of a hit. I think it is because power ballads sell singles, at the expense of albums and band identity.  Think of how much Journey gained *and* lost with “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.”

“Too Hot to Sleep” is a return to their rock roots, and while the album had no hits I can think of, it really is a solid album. Thoroughly enjoyable to anyone who liked hard rock.  Again, bordering on hair metal, but never quite crossing the line.

Then “Reach” is more like “When Seconds Count.” Peterik had left the band, Jimi had returned as the singer, and Sullivan was writing with other people (including Brian Smallwood). It’s not a bad album. It includes two songs sung by Sullivan that were pretty good.  It just lacks the edge “Too Hot to Sleep” and the early albums.

But it also made me curious.

I had noticed “Peterik/Sullivan” writing credits on a Tommy Shaw album.  I saw Peterik writing credits elsewhere. So I went back and looked at the writing credits for the earlier Survivor albums, and they are *all* “Peterik/Sullivan.”

I knew that Peterik had also been in a previous band. He was the songwriter, lead singer, and lead guitarist of “The Ides of March”, which did the song “Vehicle.” If you are giving me a blank look, I’m 90% sure you know the song, you just don’t know the band or the name.

Try: “I want you! I need you! I got to got to have you! Great God in Heaven, you know I love you!”

You know, this one:

So did Peterik do the music, and Sullivan the lyrics?  Or the other way around? Or some other arrangement?

I did some more research, and Peterik also wrote or co-wrote a bunch of .38 Special songs: “Rocking into the Night”, “Hold on Loosely”, “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys”, and “Caught up in You.”

As it turns out, “Rocking into the Night” was a Survivor song; they played it live and it always went over well, but their manager wouldn’t put it on an album, said it was “too southern rock, too boogie woogie” for Survivor. But the song made its way to .38 Special’s management, and they recorded it.  Before Survivor had their own hit in “Eye of the Tiger,” “Rocking into the Night” was a smash hit for .38 Special.  It created a lot of friction in Survivor: the rest the band blamed Peterik for some reason, and it only got worse when he continued collaboration with the other band. Each hit .38 Special scored, the members of Survivor felt were stolen from their own band.

I also read a few interviews with Peterik taking all the credit for writing songs that had them both credited.

So who actually wrote the songs?

The decency of the material on “Reach” indicates Frankie Sullivan had some songwriting ability.

But Frankie Sullivan was also clearly jealous. The only remaining original member of Survivor, he sued Jamison, Bickler, and Peterik at various times for touring with some mention or artwork from Survivor.

That seems petty, perhaps, but might it be justified?

One of the things to keep in mind is that when everyone around you is an asshole, remember that the common element between them all is YOU.

So I kept reading interviews. There aren’t many with Frankie Sullivan.

But you can sometimes get a sense of the truth in how stories shift and change over time. And from a harmony of all the stories, as related by Jim Peterik, I began to get a sense:

Frankie Sullivan was obsessively devoted to his understanding of Survivor as a brand and a business. He had a good sense of what would sell, what could become popular. He had talent as a songwriter, editor, and producer.

But Jim Peterik was both truly skilled *and* prolific as a songwriter.

Both of them could compose songs, and both of them could come up with really good lyrics.  But, say, 80% was Peterik and 20% was Sullivan.  Although the 20% Sullivan contributed was probably what made the difference between a song being “meh” and “really good” to “great”.

Peterik needed someone to work with, someone to hone his offerings into better songs. Peterik was also good at improving someone else’s work.  But maybe he couldn’t really work well alone.

And Sullivan couldn’t come up with a complete song on his own.  He needed a mass of original material that he could edit and refine down into great songs.

They were a good team, but had a lot of conflict.  Just like Schon/Perry, Shaw/DeYoung, Dokken/Lynch, Dubrow/Everyone else, Lennon/McCartney.

The conflict yielded some good albums, some great songs, and some awesome music.

I highly recommend their music if you like hard wrong with good lyrics.

Bonus/Aside:

Peterik worked with Kelly Keagy (drummer/singer of Night Ranger, a band with a Peterik-like main songwriter in Jack Blades) for Keagy’s solo album “I”m Alive,” which features Reb Beach on guitar, and is a really good album:

A Few Uncomfortable (Pithy) Truths

  • by Gitabushi

Happy, confident people don’t vote Democrat.

Developments that are good for Democrats’ electoral prospects are bad for the bulk of US citizens.

To the US Left, “democracy” is getting what they want, and any obstacle to what they want is an attack on “their” democracy.

The Left intends to decide for you what you want, in all things, forever.

 

Got any more?

Things I *REALLY* Like

  • by Gitabushi

The things we like form a significant part of our identity, no?

There are some things I *really* like.  I would love to talk about them much more than I get the opportunity to. In no special order, here are some things I like:

Music:
Early Night Ranger, early Loudness, Survivor, Styx, Chinese pop/rock from 1995 – 2002.

TV Shows:
Chuck, Flash Forward

Movies:
Groundhog Day, Star Wars, Beastmaster, the Princess Bride, Orcs!*

Books:
Cyteen, Agyar, The Last Coin, Tunnel in the Sky, Silverlock, Jumper, the Integral Trees

Writers:
Terry Pratchett, Steven Brust, Donald Hamilton (Matt Helm), Lee Child (Reacher), CJ Cherryh, early Lois McMasters-Bujold, early Heinlein

Games:
Jagged Alliance 2, the Sword of Aragon.

Miscellaneous:
Mazda, Fried Chicken, Cool Ranch Doritos, Black Butte Porter, Yellowstone Park, East Rosebud Lake Valley & Beartooth Wilderness

 

What does this say about me to you?  What are your favorites?

 

 

*this wouldn’t be in the Things I Like list, except for the visceral hatred for the movie I’ve seen.  It wasn’t that good,no, but it wasn’t *that* bad, so I have to include it