The Me-trix

Aggressive narcissism defines us now. Weaponized, it fuels the woke demolition machine.

But the individual narcissist lives in oblivion, most of all of his narcissism and its manipulation.

The image from The Matrix of people siloed off from and unaware of one another while all feed their energy into the same giant tower is apt; but the real life Matrix drains your psychic, not your physical energy–which itself is a problem addressed through “the climate crisis” and “sustainability”. It isn’t too crazy to suspect your elimination is the end-goal.

We’re not even useful as batteries–the Metrix says so. In fact, unlike the film where an entirely illusory world is created, the Metrix works by laying everything bare until mystery and innocence aren’t possible. Sex is stripped of all modesty and mystery. Mystery is wrung out of everything. Everything is made trite through repetition. Nihilism is presented as the only tenable position. The Metrix’ illusion isn’t that you live in another reality, but that this one is normal and natural.

This is what I thought when reading about the latest petty outrage by a woke aggressive narcissist–a teacher in Utah bragging about the cocoon of Black! and brown propaganda to which she she subjects the innocents in her care:

‘For the first time in my life I am teaching at a majority white school and I’m kind of interested to see how students and parents react to my classroom or if they even notice anything about it because it’s built for non-white students,’ she said on the social network. 

I live in a majority white city built for non-whites, by the way. My report is that subjection to the typical Black! condescension/white condemnation kitsch which dominates here is that it’s deadening. It sucks a little of the life out of you, and the city.

I was struck by the obliviousness of the teacher–for whom I suspect the quiet resignation with which most white parents greet this slander is all the more infuriating, for the lack of attention it draws to her. Naturally she still has a job.

District representatives told the TV news station that ’employees on their own time and personal lives have free speech rights.’

That’s good to hear. Now let me tell you about niggers and cri–oof! ouch! oh fuck…!

No word yet on whether Merrick Garland and the FBI are pursuing charges against the outraged white parents.

Gray Lady: Russia Hates Pussy, Hats

It’s likely been a while since you’ve thought about 2017’s “Women’s March” which bequeathed to posterity the “pussy hat”, or its prominent organizer Linda Sarsour (who wears a hijab–ironically a sort of anti pussy hat, representing sex roles and modesty in absolute opposition to feminism as expressed by the pussy hat; but who’s paying attention, now or then?).

The New York Times is revisiting this fresh and relevant history, and bemoaning the loss of Sarsour’s leadership, with the help of some Russiagate veterans:

Linda Sarsour awoke Jan. 23, 2017, logged onto the internet and felt sick.

The weekend before, she had stood in Washington at the head of the Women’s March, a mobilization against President Donald Trump that surpassed all expectations. Crowds had begun forming before dawn, and by the time she climbed up onto the stage, they extended farther than the eye could see.

More than 4 million people around the United States had taken part, experts later estimated, placing it among the largest single-day protests in the nation’s history.

But then something shifted, seemingly overnight. What she saw on Twitter that Monday was a torrent of focused grievance that targeted her. In 15 years as an activist, largely advocating for the rights of Muslims, she had faced pushback, but this was of a different magnitude.

That morning, there were things going on that Sarsour could not imagine.

More than 4,000 miles away, organizations linked to the Russian government had assigned teams to the Women’s March. At desks in bland offices in St. Petersburg, copywriters were testing out social media messages critical of the Women’s March movement, adopting the personas of fictional Americans.

Russian trolls, having just elected Donald Trump, went right to work grabbing pussies.

One message performed better with audiences than any other.

It singled out an element of the Women’s March that might, at first, have seemed like a detail: Among its four co-chairs was Sarsour, a Palestinian American activist whose hijab marked her as an observant Muslim.

Over the 18 months that followed, Russia’s troll factories and its military intelligence service put a sustained effort into discrediting the movement by circulating damning, often fabricated narratives around Sarsour.

Apparently some of the “damning narratives” about Sarsour are true.  Thank you, New York Times.

One hundred and fifty-two different Russian accounts produced material about her. Public archives of Twitter accounts known to be Russian contain 2,642 tweets about Sarsour, many of which found large audiences, according to an analysis by Advance Democracy Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts public-interest research and investigations.

This website says 867 million tweets are sent a day.  I don’t know how many tweets were sent on the subject of the March.  As it’s likely in the millions, the Russian trolls must have been as hard to find as Waldo in all those pink hats.

Many people know the story about how the Women’s March movement fractured, leaving lasting scars on the American left.

A fragile coalition to begin with, it headed into crisis over its co-chairs’ association with Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, who is widely condemned for his antisemitic statements. When this surfaced, progressive groups distanced themselves from Sarsour and her fellow march co-chairs, Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Bob Bland.  But there is also a story that has not been told, one that only emerged years later in academic research, of how Russia inserted itself into this moment.

We’ll see below just how “academic” this research is.

What effect these intrusions had on American democracy is a question that will be with us for years. Already, social media was amplifying Americans’ political impulses, leaving behind a trail of damaged communities. Already, trust in institutions was declining, and rage was flaring up in public life. These things would have been true without Russian interference.  But to trace the Russian intrusions over the months that followed that first Women’s March is to witness a persistent effort to make all of them worse.

So, it’s kind of like watching the Brandon Administration operate, only its effects are meaningless.

In early 2017, the trolling operation was in its imperial phase, swelling with confidence.

Accounts at the Internet Research Agency, an organization based in St. Petersburg and controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had boasted of propelling Trump to victory. That year, the group’s budget nearly doubled, according to internal communications made public by American prosecutors.

Under these auspicious conditions, their goals shifted from electoral politics to something more general — the goal of deepening rifts in American society, said Alex Iftimie, a former federal prosecutor who worked on a 2018 case against an administrator at Project Lakhta, which oversaw the Internet Research Agency and other Russian trolling operations.

Artyom Baranov, who worked at one of Project Lakhta’s affiliates from 2018 to 2020, concluded that his co-workers were, for the most part, people who needed the money.

The job was not to put forward arguments but to prompt a visceral, emotional reaction, ideally one of “indignation,” said Baranov, a psychoanalyst by training, who was assigned to write posts on Russian politics. “The task is to make a kind of explosion, to cause controversy,” he said.

Hey you Russian bastards, demagogy and gaslighting are provinces of our domestic elites, who only have our interests at heart!

If the problem is opinion being manipulated by dishonest operators it’s worth asking: how, in the language of the Times, “organic” is this news story?

The paper here looks like it’s acting as a passive conduit for Advance Democracy, an outfit wiki-ed up after Trump’s election to amplify and fabricate controversies around Trump, using Silicon Valley money.  Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller in 2019:

A Silicon Valley charity gave $500,000 to a nonprofit group founded by a former Senate staffer who is working with Fusion GPS and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which has received significant funding from tech industry billionaires, gave the donation in 2018 to Advance Democracy Inc., a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) group, according to a database the recipient group runs.

A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found that Advance Democracy shares the same address as The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP), another nonprofit group started by a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer for California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Daniel Jones.

Mystery surrounds both of Jones’s operations. The identities of both groups’ donors have largely been kept secret, as Jones has avoided revealing his backers…

Jones created TDIP on Jan. 31, 2017, according to registration records filed in Washington, D.C. Through that group, Jones partnered with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue a private investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia. One goal of the organization, Jones told the FBI, was to provide information to the media, lawmakers and the FBI.

The aforementioned, massive Silicon Valley Community Fund has been described as a “black hole” with little transparency but unique tax sheltering benefits for donors.

SVCF has drawn criticism in recent years as a “Black Hole” for charitable donations because IRS rules and SVCF practice have allowed money to be held in DAF accounts for years with no required minimum payouts to charitable organizations (as are required of private foundations).  This allows donors to receive large tax breaks immediately, before the donations benefit charitable causes.

From an Atlantic article bemoaning the Silicon Valley Community Fund’s neglect of the Silicon Valley community:

And wealthy residents of Silicon Valley are donating large sums to such funds. Last year, the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund received $114 million from Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, and $526 million from Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder of Emerson Collective, according to Bloomberg, which obtained two pages of IRS information that the agency mistakenly posted online. (Emerson Collective owns a majority stake of The Atlantic.) “Donor-advised funds have been growing at double-digit rates from year to year,” Ray Madoff, a professor at Boston College Law School and a critic of donor-advised funds, told me. “Ask any nonprofit what their growth looks like—it’s nothing like that.”

I know nothing of the nonprofit grift, but the SVCF’s opaque “donor-advised” model looks like a good way for Silicon Valley to fund its various “causes” free of public scrutiny or legal limitations.

The amount of money going from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to the nine-county Bay Area actually dropped in 2017 by 46 percent, even as the amount of money under management grew by 64 percent, to $13.5 billion. Local nonprofits called the foundation the “Death Star” and the “Black Hole” because it was so hard to get money out of it, Al Cantor, a nonprofit consultant, told me. “They got so drunk on the idea of growth that they lost track of anything smacking of mission,” he said.

Maybe.  Maybe they have a very clear sense of mission–they just don’t want us to have a very clear sense of it.

The Daily Obscurantist

News reports now often raise more interesting questions than they answer:

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help in tracking down a suspect who allegedly crashed into a deputy’s car.

MCSO says that they have been performing a “safety mission” to reduce gun and traffic violence in East Multnomah County.

They reported that so far these efforts have resulted in 45 traffic stops, five arrests and one firearm seizure.Gresham passes crime initiatives to reduce gun violence

During this mission, deputies report that they saw a black sedan swerving through traffic.

Deputies say they attempted to stop the vehicle and that the car turned and crashed head-on into the deputy’s car.

There was a deputy and a K9 in the car at the time, and neither was injured.

The suspect reportedly got out of the car and ran into the Mount Hood Community College campus.

Police set up a perimeter but were unable to stop the suspect.

This article gives the impression they did not follow the suspect into the school. What gives? They “were unable to stop the suspect” can mean a lot of things. Did they not pursue? This article reads as if they didn’t.

KOIN News

Does the college provide sanctuary for those fleeing police or something?

It’s probably attributable to the sloppy grammar and inept phrasing typical of short news reports now, which read like bad translations or automated programs. I can’t find the Sheriff’s Department’s pursuit policy online. I’ve emailed KOIN and MCSO seeking clarification.

Including this clip just because

This KOIN report is much clearer, but the import is the same: police aren’t policing so much right now:

A SE Portland neighborhood says they’ve been targeted by a man on a bike who has been smashing their windshields as they’re driving.

After two people shared their own stories online, other neighbors came forward to them to say they’ve also been targeted in Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood just west of Mt Tabor.

The attack came out of nowhere, according to victims. Last weekend, Steve Magnuson was driving along SE 49th near Hawthorne, when a man on a bike smashed his windshield — all caught on dashcam.

“He stood up and sort of steadied himself and just took a big swing with a rock or something hard, right into my windshield,” said Magnuson, who went on to add he didn’t see where the man went off to but later found the same bike with a cart attached in a nearby homeless camp.

When he contacted police, they say they recognized the suspect, identifying him as 51-year-old Robert Casey McClatchey.

Great, that means he’s going to jail, right?

Another neighbor — who wished to remain anonymous — says the same thing happened to her a few weeks ago near 42nd and Belmont. She says she saw a man on a bicycle pulling a cart and pulled over to give him room. She says the man threw what appeared to be a coffee cup at her car, which she says she later found had paint in it, splattering near her tires.

She says as he got closer, he raised his hand, and she thought maybe he was going to wave and thank her for pulling over — not expecting what came next.Economist: Few vacant units mean more rent increases in Oregon

“Instead, he took something like a really heavy glass bottle and he just started smashing at my windshield, right in front of my face. My windshield shattered. It didn’t break through but there were shards of glass everywhere,” said the woman. “It was a violent attack, completely unprovoked.”

She says her daughter is a teen driver who also drives in the neighborhood and she worries for her family’s safety while pointing out that violence like what she experienced should have harsher penalties.

“I went home and called the police and when the officer came, he said, ‘well even if we can find him, he’ll just get a $100 citation,’” the woman told KOIN 6.

KOIN News

An earlier version of this story included a paragraph referencing the relevant Oregon law providing for a jail sentence in this case, that seems to have disappeared. Why they would edit it out I don’t know. Oregon law recognizes four levels of assault, each one requiring some level of bodily harm. A quick search of our intimidation laws suggests they all require a racial or similar motivation. We’ve outlawed the display of nooses (which is a little terrifying when you realize any looped piece of string now can qualify). We have a “cyberbullying” law.

Intimidation in the Second Degree looked promising, but it too is a “bias crime”. I suspect the police gave the victim a quote for a petty vandalism charge–that is, the law against breaking the windshield of a parked, unoccupied car. That someone can smash your windshield while you’re driving and there’s no law to address it is clearly a lie. A working police department would find the relevant charges.

It appears you can terrorize and intimidate people to your heart’s content–as long as your heart’s in the right place, social justice-wise.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Street takeovers are common now in Portland, a Black! and brown thing that has migrated north out of California, drawing enthusiasts from the Willamette Valley’s surplus of white yahoos. Something like hip hop that way. They’ve been a deadly problem here since the BLM insurrection of 2020 ushered in Portland’s Racial Reckoning® and the consequent decrease in public order, entering its third year with no political exit in this one party state–despite widespread public dissatisfaction.

Police still haven’t recovered from all the reckoning, remaining understaffed, underfunded and demoralized. Recruiting is difficult and weighed down with diversity requirements; many veteran cops have decamped for suburban and other friendlier municipalities. As I’ve pointed out here before, the abolitionists have succeeded in their goals of eliminating police through the attrition coming with all the demoralization and harassment, whether by design or not (though I very much think by design, as evidenced by the strain of “drive cops insane” propaganda and tactics they employ). I’m heartened to see Tucker Carlson make that point in a segment that calls out the Black! malice that’s filling the void left behind by order’s retreat.

The “dog whistles” are numerous, but Carlson also points out directly the color of the crime wave, showing the recent viral video of a Black! bully savagely beating a white kid at school.

In Portland our police appear to have indeed heeded the abolitionists’ call to “re-imagine public safety”, largely by doing what Steve Sailer calls “retreating to the donut shop”.

This is all the point of police abolition. Complete police disengagement with the public is the end goal of the movement; the movement welcomes it wherever and however it occurs, whatever its consequences. Abolitionists oppose things like shot-spotter technology mostly because it leads to police engaging the public (by responding to someone firing guns on your street). Likewise of course traffic stops, gang intervention strategies and other life-saving police functions.

Police abolitionists are forthright in stating they seek to end all encounters between traditional police and the public and they’re honest the goal is reducing the numbers of Black! criminal convictions. This model–when all surrender something, in this case public order, due to its disparate impact on Blacks!–manifests wherever it can, but nowhere so plainly as in law enforcement. You may want police to show up if someone is firing a gun on your street, but advocates for Black! thugs have gained the upper hand, so we all must accept the lowest common denominator of order–determined by Black! malice and including firing of guns on the street.

We are to go without traditional police to spare Black! criminals, because law enforcement is racist, as evidenced by all the Black! people in prison; this is our hell. Likewise we are soon to go without competent medical professionals, engineers, administrators.

(Entertainment was surrendered long ago. And despite the profusion of dull Blacks! it doesn’t feel like it’s theirs either–it’s nobody’s and that seems to be the point. Blacks! are oblivious to the condescension of it all and so take this looting of the culture on their behalf as a right, so the effect of repeated failure and rejection by non-Blacks! of this mediocre fare only inspires, like everything now, more Black! resentment.)

Public opinion is against them but the abolitionists don’t recognize public opinion, or any failure of their ideas (such as increased homicide rates and traffic fatalities) and are always pushing aggressively. Their gains of the past two years are modest on paper–they only managed a fraction of the police defunding they sought–and the city may eventually reverse course, but it will be a long time, if ever, until the city returns to “normalcy”–if it can. But the effect of 2020’s other street takeover, the BLM riots, goes well beyond the dollar figure.

Trust between police and public is shattered. The criminal and the crass have joyously adapted to lower standards of behavior as police have miserably adapted to impossibly higher standards of conduct. One retreats and one advances on the street. The police you see now drive about in cars scarred and dinged from abuse the city can’t keep up with.

Just over a year ago the problem of street takeovers was already far enough gone the city responded by passing an ordinance against it, but police mostly aren’t responding to 911 calls reporting takeovers, citing a lack of manpower. The takeovers can involve hundreds of cars and even a fully staffed department would be strained responding to this now regular occurrence.

Police recourse to the manpower excuse a lot now–and it’s always plausible. Ironically, genuine police accountability is impossible as a result of the abolitionists’ successes-and while they won’t say it, that too is feature-not-bug. They don’t really want police accountability, or reform; they want the police gone (really they want to be the police ultimately). Abolitionists work to wreck your trust in the police; for them bad police are good politics.

The so-called “social worker” model offered by abolitionists to replace police in dealing with mental health calls, Portland Street Response, establishes an important beachhead in the campaign to take over all police authority. That program remains small, but its proponents–biggest being abolitionist leader Jo Ann Hardesty–keep pushing to expand it to cover all mental health calls in the city.

But I wanted to address street takeovers specifically.

I was struck watching the footage of the crazed nurse who took out a busy intersection in LA: she flies over pavement marked with the familiar circular rubber tracks you now come upon regularly in Portland. One act of disorder taking place on the scars left behind by another–and I do believe the nurse’s mindless act is just as much a result of our new disorder as the street takeover of that intersection days before. To further indulge this idea (I wouldn’t know how to prove) I believe when Anne Heche crashed her car days later in a similarly suicidal or just wreckless act she was subtly influenced by the footage of the crash we all watched. We are too: we’re all swimming in the same water. And it’s getting more toxic.

To highlight the lunacy of it all is the inherently dumb nature of “drifting” and “doing donuts” in cars: spinning mindlessly in circles.

In August of 2021 a section of busy freeway on Portland’s Fremont Bridge, which looms over the Willamette River, was taken over.

Commenter: “This shit happens all the time in Norcal [northern California]”.

Street takeovers aren’t just a nuisance; they’ve become deadly. And it isn’t just because of the inherently dangerous nature of them–people are getting shot now, and without police on the scene they’re not even making it to the hospital. When an elderly man wandered upon one recent scene and panicked, someone starting shooting at him, killing a 20 year-old bystander. The victim didn’t make it to the hospital for some reason and died on the street somewhere else in town, where he was at first mistaken for a drug overdose:

Police on Sunday night discovered a man who’d been shot to death in the Eliot neighborhood, the Portland Police Bureau said.

Officers responded to a call about a suspected drug overdose at 15 Northeast Broadway shortly before 11 p.m. and found 20-year-old Cameron Taylor “suffering from a gunshot wound,” police said.

Medical examiners determined it was a homicide by gunshot, police said in a statement Wednesday…

Portland police said three people were killed and nine injured in shootings and other assaults since Saturday morning, including a ride-share driver held at gunpoint and a dangerous street-racing incident involving “hundreds of people and cars” that impeded officers who were responding to a call about a man who’d been wounded by gunfire.

Police would later determine Taylor was the man wounded by gunfire at the takeover.

Video posted to social media from the Marine Drive event shows gunfire and chaos as someone in a white van seemingly tries to break through a blockade of wall-to-wall vehicles. At one point, someone hits the van with a bat. As the van driver gets more erratic — hitting a vehicle after backing up and then surging ahead again — another person pulls a gun and starts shooting at the van.

Needless to say no shooter is in custody.

Cameron Taylor wasn’t the first casualty of our post-Reckoning streets. KOIN News:

A year after enacting an emergency ordinance aimed at cracking down on street racing and takeovers, Portland still struggles to contain the illegal events, which can draw hundreds of spectators who block major roads, including Interstate 84, the Burnside Bridge, the Sunset Highway Tunnel and the Fremont Bridge, endangering participants and bystanders. The events have left two people dead and injured at least eight others since August 2021.

Ashlee Diane McGill, 26, was struck by an “out of control” street racer at around 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 27. The driver who hit her was racing another car on Southeast Stark Street near 133rd Avenue, police said. McGill’s mother, Misty Nicholson, told KATU that her daughter was waiting for a bus when the car leapt the curb and struck her. McGill had a 6-year-old son, Nicholson said.

Cameron Taylor, 20, of Vancouver was killed the next day after he was struck by a stray bullet at an illegal street racing event. According to a family friend, Taylor was in a crowd of hundreds at North Marine Drive and Interstate 5 to “check out all the cars” when he was shot. A friend got Taylor into their car and tried to take him to get help, but he died on the way, police said.

Two others suffered gunshot wounds during the same event.

Since 2015, at least seven people have been killed in street-racing related incidents, and more injured – including an 11-year-old boy injured by gunfire in March and an 18-year-old woman in a coma after being hit by a racer in 2018.

The 2021 ordinance revised city code to make street racing or takeovers misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Since then, Portland police have partnered with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police on multiple “speed racing missions.” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a written statement that the city has “seen success,” noting that Portland police have made 21 arrests, conducted 50 traffic stops, confiscated three guns and towed 10 vehicles associated with illegal street racing.

And I don’t expect Taylor to be the last.

Park Blocks Blues

She might be beautiful, mixed race with delicate Caucasian features on a small face framed in ringlets trickling out of her tied-up hair. She’s arguing with an imaginary companion who is proving difficult, they just won’t listen; she’s making a moral argument about something. This spectacle is so common I’d wager a good half of those on the street yammering away thus are doing this: defending or arraigning something to an imaginary audience, commonly with the air of a prideful person defending himself. The homeless have an excess of pride, because pride is free. They affect a shamelessness and their station suggests they have none, but shame and pride are inextricable. False pride at least, arising in response to shame.

I confess I do the same in my head (I too have an excess of pride): imagining monologues I might have given; I’ve found myself imagining defending a given action to someone from my past–anyone who’s held any sort of influence over me. Have you? I’ve even caught myself muttering out loud once or twice. The line is too fine.

But there we were three men, strangers evenly spaced on the long wooden bench (with its inexplicable curvature inviting one into a squatting posture), placidly watching her pass before us, apparently oblivious. At first I thought she was approaching the brother with cornrows (maybe homeless maybe not, you can’t always tell), and she’s peppering her harangue with “nigger” this and “nigger” that. She passes us to set up at the end of the bench.

I try to transcribe but she goes too fast; I pick up fragments.

I don’t care…I don’t give a goddamn…there’s nothing that will change… I’m miserable today was the most miserable…and if I’m not God why are you asking me about crazy shit…and it still hasn’t stopped…In don’t even want my Dad to live I hate everyone…I will never get married…I called myself a nigger in the Starbucks [this is a refrain; she got into some sort of trouble at a Starbucks]…I’m not going to become a man I’m not changing my gender…I don’t know you…however you talk to me…here’s the thing…any pejorative disgusting [this phrase another refrain]…so I won’t ever marry…I’m not a Muslim and I”m not an immigrant…

Cornrows ambles off. The street car howls to a stop, the recorded female voice announces the destination in placid counterpoint to–for no good reason I’ll call her “Sally”. Three Women of Color painted on the side of the trolley assail me with ambiguously aggressive expressions. A contented looking pair of lesbians, salt and pepper, get on.

Sally breaks down sobbing.

…this state will never admit…I won’t get…I’m not agreeing to do anything…I don’t care…I never agreed to anything nigger no…this state won’t ever…I will never have sex I will never get married nigger…

Sally’s going faster; I’m losing most of it.

let me tell you…they never — no they don’t nigger no they don’t…really guarantees that no one will ever oh my Gawwwwd…I will never consent to have sex more than I have already consented…nigger…everything I’ve said…no nigger I’ m not even saying sorry…I want to go home I want to go home [sob] and she wants to go home tonight the second of September….so I decide to live forever like I always do I’m dying freeee….

The building across from me announces itself as home to Portland State’s graduate school as well as SCHOOL OF GENDER, RACE AND NATIONS; BLACK STUDIES; CHICANO/LATINO STUDIES; INDIGENOUS NATIONS STUDIES; WOMEN GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES. It’s a wonder the modest little brick building can contain it all. A group files out–notably no more sexually ambiguous than typical downtown–comes across the street near us and forms a circle.

I am not going to do anything for anyone I refuse to do anything for anyone…I will not be vegan…I’m not blind and deaf I’m not Helen Keller I’m not my sister…

Sally goes quiet.

In the lapse a pair of young women with formless bodies under formless casual clothes like frocks sit across from me. They give a start when Sally hits the ground running on resumption of her dialogue:

niiii-ger...I don’t care I’m asking you what I think…this man’s in love with me and you got a crush on me…wow…when I was homeless…I had no idea who the fuck she was…nigger no, not a gypsy like the religion this older white lady…so obviously it was never me I never…who Salvia you are so many fucking things…stop thinking you can justify every drug…I’m going sit here like Meg on Family Guy…come on nigger…oh shut up…why are you always asking her…nigger shit…fat…no I’m asking you no I’m literally what…the theory of — consent…I am a redhead a ginger…how am I having a fake ass overdose?…I don’t like saying shit like that…I knew you would never have to I never give my hideaway…

She’s got out a sheet of ruled paper and is reciting, somewhat, boilerplate about the rules of sexual consent. The new girls watch with mild interest.

…once they do that they have to reassess the language that they use…these are black women…really reading something I fucking written down…you’re not listening…

The trees spreading their skinny green long limbs against the horizontal afternoon light loom like firework blooms over, in the distance down the long narrow perspective of the park blocks, the tiny, perfect silhouette of a girl walking confidently.

Sally jumps up, looks at the two sexually ambiguous boys (two more possibly homeless–they are both residentially and sexually ambiguous) who’ve sat down between us. She looks shocked and hurt; she resembles a handsome boy holding back tears. There are holes in her jeans, scabs of mud on her knees. How exploited has she been? How much more? A homeless man, relating the latest beating he’d suffered on the street, once told me the worst thing about being a homeless person is other homeless people.

Sally sat back down as fast as she got up and started sobbing into her hands: you’re not listening nigger you’re not listening nigger you’re not listening nigger…

Dark Brandon Rises

they have built the electric chair and hired the executioner to throw the switch all right we are two nations America…

–John Dos Passos, The Big Money

Sacco and Vanzetti at least had defenders. They still have. Will we?

Someone in the furtive Biden Administration, America’s first fully fake presidency, thought it would make a good backdrop for a political speech to bathe the “sacred ground” of Independence Hall in Philadelphia in a garish blood red making shadowy and threatening two Marine guard props flanking an American flag–as guardians of hypocrisy, er democracy. Semper fi DEI

And it was hypocrisy that loomed over the crude and desperate speech that saw American political rhetoric fall to its nadir, an Idiocracy-level stupidity and a, well, 2022-level of mendacity. I’m not sure Brandon. slurring the “maga republicans” refrain (has anyone tallied how many times?), is operating at a level comfortably above that film’s body-builder newscasters.

Perhaps the world would be wise to take note. Is the world still paying attention? I kind of hope not; it was a shameful thing. But they should. “Democracy” is the universal value for which the Ukraine is taking its turn in the barrel presently, and for which Taiwan can expect its coming glory. That red glow of democracy (real or fake) framing Joe is to illuminate the globe after all–the incendiary red glow of munitions usually announces democracy’s arrival, its embers glow in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya. The world should be scared if not impressed.

Don’t scoff at Brandon; this ad campaign has persisted for decades

Biden shaking his skinny fists like antennas to heaven; branches of lightning crackle from them as the Marine guards morph into seven-foot drag queens with rainbow-colored M60s; the red brick of Independence Hall begins pulsing, breathing…

Sorry; the video also appears capable of inducing hallucinatory flashbacks.

But Brandon was only embarrassing us before the world, not speaking to it. He wasn’t even speaking to us, that dissident half or more of the nation characterized dishonestly as “Maga Republicans”–we are another nation the president declared, and if there’s any substance to Joe’s sad betrayal it is that: the president of the United States declared half the nation an irredeemable threat. A doddering acid-trip Lincoln announces the suspension of civil liberties and opening of hostilities not to force the Union together, but to force it apart.

But make no mistake. There will be union if not the Union. Operation Dark Brandon isn’t looking to cut us loose (conflicts aren’t fought over land any more, Vladimir Putin!) and the nascent one-party post democratic regime hijacking America isn’t interested in ceding land, rights or resources to any people or to any competing models–Brandon’s hallucinatory “democracy” can barely abide competing models abroad.

So I guess it’s on, Bran-don.

Insurrectionable

[9.1: I’ve updated the post below with some video]

I”ve long thought the lawyers representing the January 6 rioters should feature in their defense this crucial point, if not build a case around it: their clients were inspired by a clear precedent set by the legal and political indulgence of months of co-ordinated nationwide BLM riots.

Trump’s supporters thought the rules had changed. But the rules had been thrown out.

The Capitol riot was the culmination of the greatest troll in history.

It’s been pointed out the term “insurrection” more properly belongs to the BLM riots that began in 2020. But that campaign was more in the nature of a coup, disguised as an insurrectionary revolt–a color revolution as some were quick to point out. The coup’s aftermath is being implicitly presented as revolutionary governance. It has been successful in drastically changing the nation over the course of two years with little or no genuine popular support for its goals. We live with its bloody consequences and our rulers promise more.

So I’m heartened to read a lawyer representing some of the January 6 defendants is making the point. American Greatness:

In an interview this week, Joseph D. McBride said he is building a case to sue the federal government for millions of dollars over the abuses his clients have suffered.

The devout Catholic told the Blaze‘s Daniel Horowitz on his “Conservative Review” podcast Monday that he has witnessed the “deepest part of evil” while representing the political prisoners.

“They are gaslighting the entire American public,” McBride said. “They are calling these people extremists and terrorists, but the extremism and the terrorism lies with them!”

“January 6 did not happen in a vacuum,” he continued. “In the year or so that preceded January 6, you had all the BLM and Antifa riots all over the United States of America. We saw the burning down of cities, the attacking of police officers. Members of antifa out there in black bloc covered head to toe in full riot gear going at it with police, the looting of stores—you name it, we saw it.”

McBride posited that the left-wing agitators got a pass in 2020 because of new and expanded definitions of “civil disobedience, and political protest” which allowed government entities to view even violent riots “as grounded in the First Amendment, not criminality.”

In the wake of this, he explained, the pro-Trump protesters showed up in Washington, D.C. on January 6 with the impression there was this “new and modern definition of political protest.” Of course, most of the January 6 rioters came nowhere near the levels of violence the nation saw during the George Floyd riots, McBride was careful to point out.

Furthermore Trump’s supporters were acting while under the boot of the new regime of censorship–that does not extend to George Floyd’s rioters–their voices and concerns were, are, being censored everywhere. They took to the streets as citizens who were and are being demonstrably silenced in the public square.

The troll-’em-and-try-’em model playing out in DC has played out on a smaller scale here in Portland.

On August 22 of 2020 and 2021 Portland authorities officially abandoned the city to political street fighting. On the first hot August day police posted blocks away from their own barricaded central precinct downtown where conservative “patriots” and anarchist “antifa” were squaring off, warning over a loudspeaker they would not interfere but were observing crimes and combatants could be charged later. The following summer Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler announced ahead of time police would not intervene after patriots provocatively scheduled a downtown rally on the date of the previous year’s brawl and antifa, growing more impassioned as the day approached, promised to chase the patriots out of town all over again by whatever means necessary.

Portland, August 22, 2020; antifa counter-demonstrators outnumber right wing patriots, Dennis Dale Untethered Livestreams
Portland, August 22, 2020,: patriots retreating before antifa, Dennis Dale Untethered Livestreams

Such scenes were already familiar in Portland by the summer of 2016. Trump’s campaign shocked and enlivened the local protest community; his election kicked off a week of rioting and was a propaganda and recruiting boon for antifa. The trend was national. By 2017 Berkeley students were rioting ferociously over a Milo Yiannopolis speaking engagement, and that particular hot August brought the Charlottesville Unite the Right debacle, in hindsight a watershed event which would provide a template for the State for dealing with such as Portland’s patriots.

Beginnings: counter-protesting pro-Trump Rally, Portland, June 2016; Dennis Dale Untethered Livestreams

This wasn’t evident in 2017 when Joey Gibson’s Patriot Prayer “free speech” group, a loose organization of maybe two dozen people allied with local Proud Boys and a motley collection of opportunists, MAGA types and even some genuine “far right” figures, set out to troll Portland’s radical left by holding rallies downtown supporting the police, or Donald Trump–one “Him Too” demonstration–daring the anarchists to respond with violence and thereby be exposed as, the politically opportunistic but unsophisticated patriots might say, “the real fascists.” It worked only too well: a patriot was shot and killed for walking downtown a week after cops stood down that first August in 2020, by a member of a notorious antifa “security” team.

It did not matter; the narrative didn’t blink and the patriots won no sympathy from the media, from the city or even police they defended, for whom they were an expensive problem in a sea of problems. Unfortunately for the patriots they were the one problem that could be dealt with, using the strategy the city and its woke prosecutor won’t deploy on antifa: a few high profile prosecutions.

The conflict’s dynamic held from the start, always antifa seeking out the patriots; without antifa the patriots would have merely held their rallies and gone home–disappointed perhaps, but not having sacked the city like Visigoths, as antifa claims in defense of its violence. In a notable exception for which Joey Gibson faces felony riot charges, patriots disrupted a meeting organized by Rose City Antifa, heckling anarchists until a fight broke out.

Officially antifa claims to be defending the city’s BIPOC from bands of wilding racists all hopped up on hate, despite this never having happened. But they’re forthright about shutting down peaceful protest, declaring the patriots’ “fascism”–support for Trump and police being enough to qualify–demands violent opposition.

But the patriots were also a boon for antifa: they adapted to them as they adapted to Trump, making of them the ultimate propaganda and recruitment opportunity. With a pliant media they were easily fed into the narrative of Trump’s “fascism” that was radicalizing Portland’s fervent progressives and hapless liberals alike. The patriots’ challenge presented a chance to train and toughen up, to scrimmage with real live “fascists” and develop tactics, conveniently enough as the BLM summer of 2020 and antifa’s hour approached.

That hour coincided, even more conveniently, with that of thirty five year-old BLM enthusiast and restorative justice practitioner Mike Schmidt, who took over as Multnomah County District Attorney on August 2 of 2020, beginning his term early when his predecessor bailed out of the mayhem. He was just in time to toss the bulk of rioting cases against antifa and consider cases against the patriots–brought to him by antifa. The rules had changed with the guard and the patriots–the least politically sophisticated players in the game–were last to catch on. After antifa fought for years to shut down the patriots, the state would step in and do it for them. Among other things, this is the story of how anarchists won the case of the State v Alan Swinney.

Swinney drew a ten year prison sentence and two more face five years each for actions that wouldn’t normally merit serious assault charges–prosecutors set a precedent successfully arguing a paintball gun is a dangerous weapon–even absent the particular context, in which antifa aggressors confronted patriot demonstrators. The prosecutions are further undermined by the District Attorney’s previous publicly announced policy indulging violence in political demonstrations. The combination of the city abandoning the streets and antifa’s role as aggressor seems all the more pertinent: how does the state justify suspending the maintenance of law and order only to come back later and prosecute select acts that took place in the ensuing chaos–actions taken by those who were sought out by their “victims”?

This question has occurred to no one, apparently, including a defense team and a Portland jury, so far.

Urban Contemporary Combat

Dutch commandos from an elite anti-terrorism group in Indianapolis to study “urban combat” got a little impromptu live-fire training from some urban contemporary combatants:

Dutch commando has died after he and his two colleagues were wounded in a shooting outside a hotel in downtown Indianapolis over the weekend.

The commando, who was in a critical condition in hospital following the shooting, died of his injuries on Sunday night, the Dutch Ministry of Defense said in a statement today.

The soldier, whose identity was not released, was one of three members of the Dutch Commando Corps who were shot and wounded at around 3.30am on Saturday morning after what local police believe was a disturbance outside the hotel where they were staying…

It’s not uncommon for foreign servicemen to train at US bases. But what is the nature of this “urban combat”? Who’s the enemy?

The Marines have been using Indiana for such training since 2008 at least, and it appears foreign servicemen have been coming to Indiana to train for at least that long. It may not mean anything, but it’s notable that Dutch soldiers are training for urban combat at the same time Dutch farmers are staging massive demonstrations against the government’s land grab to fight “global warming”.

Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reports that the wounded men are members of the anti-terrorism 108 Commando Company. The group is training at a facility designed to teach urban combat.   

‘The shooting took place in front of the hotel where the commandos are staying,’ said a ministry spokesperson. ‘The incident happened during the military members’ free time.’

The soldiers were probably headed for the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (former site of the Indiana Farm Colony for the Feeble Minded) in rural Indiana, where the Army has a mock-up of a typical American city for training in urban combat.

Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) offers users a globally unique, urban and rural, multi-domain operating environment that is recognized as the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) largest urban training facility serving those who work to defend the homeland and win the peace.

Muscatatuck is a real city that includes a built physical infrastructure, a well-integrated cyber-physical environment, an electromagnetic effects system and human elements. Muscatatuck offers realistic, flexible and affordable training and testing scenarios. The site supports customized live/virtual/constructive (LVC) training, developmental testing and evaluation.

Multi-Domain Environment

The multi-domain environment includes a physical metropolitan infrastructure, a 1,000 acre urban and rural landscape with more than 190 brick-and-mortar structures with roughly 1.5 million square feet under roof, 1.8 miles of subterranean tunnels, a cave complex, more than nine miles of roads, managed airspace, a 185-acre reservoir, and a cyber live-fire range. The cyber range, or CyberTropolis, is capable of supporting live offensive and defensive operations for all three tenants of multi-domain operations (MDO) at any echelon through live/virtual/constructive (LVC) training platforms. This integrated MDO environment touches the 21st Century battlefield domains of land, air, maritime, cyberspace and space and includes the electromagnetic spectrum and information environment. As users regularly add role-players to create dense urban terrain (DUT), the unpredictable realism slows operations while increasing the speed and complexity of tactical engagements.

Muscatatuck is also home the Army’s “Cybertropolis”, which has built its own fake internet and technological infrastructure to practice turning off the water and other things:

CyberTropolis is the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center’s persistent training environment for advanced cyber-physical training and exercise support. This unique venue trains Joint Cyber Mission Forces with access to a real city consisting of genuine Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition systems (SCADA), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), a fully network integrated closed cellular network and Social Media Environment and Internet Replication system (SMEIR).

Our cyber live-fire developmental testing and training range for critical infrastructure systems is capable of supporting live offensive and defensive operations. The CyberTropolis environment produces physical outcomes, while most other facilities offer only a virtual interaction. MUTC’s virtual network is a secured enclave of the city’s enterprise network and is designed to facilitate cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and exploitation activities.

The Onyx System provides a closed-loop cellular network containing a unified software core network that enables fully integrated support for 3G (UMTS and EVDO) and 4G LTE technologies, and provides users with real-life training scenarios for current and future mission readiness requirements. This system also has the ability to generate traffic to increase the realism and complexity

A US general boasted to CNN that US encouragement and training of civilians to go fight the Russian war machine goes way back and is stalling Putin’s war

RT:

During its conflict with Russia, Ukraine has been relying on a US-developed doctrine that involves both the military and civilians taking part in defensive activities, CNN reported on Saturday.

The Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), which is said to provide a blueprint for smaller states to counter larger powers, was developed in 2013 in response to Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. It was further enhanced after Crimea’s “nearly bloodless” reunification with Moscow in 2014, which “stunned Ukraine and the West,” CNN said.

The ROC represents “an innovative and unconventional approach to warfare and total defense,” and guides the actions not only of the Ukrainian military, but also the civilian population.

“It’s all hands on deck in terms of the comprehensive defense for the government of Ukraine,” explained retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schwartz, who was in charge of Special Operations Command Europe during the development of the concept. “They’re using every resource and they’re also using some highly unconventional means by which to disrupt the Russian Federation military.” 

Schwartz said it was “just incredible to watch… despite the unbelievable loss of life and sacrifice, what the will to resist and the resolve to resist can do.”

Incredible to watch, yes.

The Ukraine is already nesting its forces and artillery in civilian areas wherever it can and has been plausibly accused of using civilians as “human shields”. It sounds very much like the “resistance operating concept”; you can’t devise a strategy sending civilians against tanks without having factored in the optics of civilian casualties. They might not mention that to CNN (then again they might, as they seem to be saying many of the quiet parts out loud now), but bad optics for the enemy might be not just a feature of the strategy but the point.

Every accusation is a plaudit in another context–it all depends on the crowd. Think of “the Great Replacement” and its double duty as a “conspiracy theory” and a Wonderful Thing to be boasted of and hastened.

It just shows how degenerate we’ve become that there’s a crowd, apparently, for whom civilian carnage is an inspiration.

Portland Pops Off

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I don’t know explosions, but the damage seems too great to be from one of the propane tanks the food carts typically use for cooking. Seems remarkable no injuries have been reported; the “pod” of carts crowded together here on 5th Ave between Stark (renamed Harvey Milk) and Oak downtown seems to have at least one cart open 24 hours, catering to late night partiers.

Foul play is always to be expected downtown, especially in the north end, just across Burnside Ave from Old Town, which teems with mentally ill homeless people. Of course over the years this little block has produced enough flatulence to contribute to global warming, so I guess I’m not surprised.