Invade, Abandon, Invite

A palpable arousal has overtaken the refugee resettlement community in Portland, as they gear up to receive an influx of Afghan refugees

For Oregon organizations that contract with the federal government to help refugees resettle in the US, the sobering headlines meant an immediate shift in workload.

“The pace of what happened—I can’t wrap my head around it,” said Matthew Westerbeck, director of refugee services for Catholic Charities. “We are all ramping up as fast as we can to prepare. We’re about to see an influx of refugee families in a way we haven’t seen in this country for years.”

Catholic Charities is one of three Oregon agencies that receives funding from the federal government to support refugees seeking to resettle in the US. That work ranges from securing affordable housing for refugee families to connecting refugees with new employers to making sure refugee children feel comfortable at school. With thousands of Afghans fleeing Afghanistan out of fear of its new extremist leadership, these agencies have been told to prepare for an avalanche of newcomers seeking a new community to call home.

Donald Trump did manage sensible immigration and refugee policies, slashing the number refugee numbers and putting a lot of the resettlement grifters out of work.  Alas, just about everything good Trump managed was through executive action, and was immediately undone with the arrival of Biden.

It doesn’t help that refugee resettlement agencies like LCSN and Catholic Charities are emerging from a period of record divestment in their work by the federal government. The Trump administration’s strict limits on the number of refugees allowed into the US left resettlement agencies with little funding and stability to support the coming surge in refugees.

Westerbeck said that in 2016, Catholic Charities helped resettle 589 refugees across Oregon. In 2020, that number had dropped to 66.

The resettlement programs have received extra support from the Oregon government over the past several years to make up for the federal gap. But it’s still left the programs largely unprepared for the expected capacity need.

To ramp back up for the expected surge in Afghan refugees, Westerbeck said his organization will be seeking donations—to cover newcomers’ rent and utility bills—and volunteers—to serve as “cultural navigators” for refugees who need guidance navigating their new environment, to help furnish new apartments, and to greet refugees at the airport. He’s also seeking landlords who are willing to offer affordable rentals to refugees or employers who may be open to hiring the newcomers.

Westerbeck, who began at Catholic Charities as a volunteer, said he has faith that the Portland community will step up to support the new refugee residents. It’s lightened the heaviness of the past week’s headlines [I’m sure it did]…

Brown responded with strong support, pledging to urge the White House to expedite refugee relocation and increase the country’s cap on the number of refugees it accepts annually. The current refugee cap was set at 62,500 per year by President Joe Biden in May. Trump had set the yearly cap at 15,000.

If the US takes in something like 30,000 Afghan refugees mostly selected from the collaborator class I don’t expect we’ll have the sort of problems Europe has had with its Afghan refugees who, like those from the Muslim world generally, come from the young, male and troublesome part of the population; but it’s worth noting again the Europe “rape gang” phenomenon (not to be confused with another Pashtun-in-the-West phenomenon, grooming gangs) is overwhelmingly an Afghan thing:

But there was one development [following Merkel’s “refugee” influx of 2012] that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.

Our Afghans won’t be that bad because they won’t be selected from anyone who can make the walk. Likewise our Muslims, who I’ve always found amiable enough, and their womens’ modesty admirable. Of course, they’ve also produced such as Ilahn Omar and Rashida Tlaib. The demagogues are inevitable now regardless of the source population, but the well-behaved aspect of our non-African Muslims may change as Biden flings the border open further and the group is no longer selected for better traits. Europe absorbs the Muslim equivalent of our southern traffic from Latin America; God bless our relatively placid Mexicans. As somebody once quipped, we had the good sense not to locate our county north of the MIddle East. The powers-that-be are seeking to right that unfortunate oversight..

Anyway, welcome, Afghan newcomers. You may find you feel right at home here.

And Never the Twain Shall Bro

Wherein our hero falters and redeems himself…

Nicholas Taleb writes about risk in investing and in general, and burst onto the scene with his widely praised The Black Swan. For those of use who may have read The Black Swan and then got on with our lives, his real vocation is now Being Nicholas Taleb, contrarian tough-guy who can’t expound long without mentioning deadlifting or beating up someone from the vast, decadent class of non-deadlifting humanity.

He’s been a sensible critic of US foreign interventions but as a “Greco Levantine” Christian whose influential family was impoverished by the Lebanese civil war, he’s no fan of such as the Taliban. So when he encountered Taliban encountering, maybe for their first time, gym equipment in their new digs (courtesy of the US taxpayer, natch) he delivered what Steve Sailer called “the most on-brand response” to their triumph:

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So, rousing myself this morning to post what I’d been thinking in the back of my mind about this curious spectacle (Taleb, not Taliban) since I saw it, I went to Mr Taleb’s Twitter and found this:

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Which is pretty much exactly what I’d been thinking.  Taleb’s first response (if he wasn’t being facetious) represented Western delusion coming up against reality–delivered by the “Medieval” Taliban out of the “seventh” (or is it “eighth”?) century–that never went away.  America has made fetishes of muscles and military might, in film endowing special forces with mythical powers of physical capability, where they’re played by absurd comic-book caricatures like the Rock and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The pro-military genre (which is probably now a thing of the non-woke past) post-Rambo not only presents a wholly false impression, it likely has helped degrade the elite forces it’s romanticized–dropping the great magnetic lure of Hollywood before them.

Our servicemen have been holding at bay those scrawny Taliban only by virtue of technology, as one of them will no doubt tell you.  The Taliban have been doing very little but waiting for about a decade.  So it isn’t as if our defeat in Afghanistan was military–it was entirely moral.  For twenty years we provided the Western model, wealth and liberty and gym equipment and it dissolved the moment the powerful hand of technological superiority was removed.  But the curious thing is we deploy battalions of physical specimens, who shelter behind walls and call in air power whenever a fair fight presents itself–with their skinny, sandal-clad enemy.

I’m entirely serious when I say the Taliban should do to the gym equipment they find what they did to those Buddhist statues, blow it up with ceremony, for therein, like many of the temptations we’ll have left behind, lurks their doom, just waiting to be released by their vanity. You want to defeat the Taliban? Get them lifting, bro. They’ll be posting shirtless selfies and obsessing over their diet in no time.

Congratulations on your victory and may peace finally prevail in your country. I’m an unlikely ally, but trust me, you students of Islam, you don’t even want to get started with this shit. Shut it Down, as the meme goes.
Here’s a little inspiration:



Zabriske Point, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970

Mirabile Dindu

Repeating myself from a couple of posts ago, it’s a cliche but the decidedly anti-religious secular order of the present feels very much like religion. It has its own fantastic mythology, its own miracles, its own faith as bulwark against undermining by reason or empiricism. It works as a received religion, despite confusing its apologetics, critical race theory, with science.

Equity is the revelation, and I find it no less miraculous than the Resurrection, not that it need be. In for a penny in for a pound once you’ve crossed that empirical and logical Rubicon, and a belief in the equality of races and the mutability of sex is a far more disastrous belief than in, say, a one-off miracle about an immaculate conception, the revelation of which is God Loves You, Be Decent. No, believing in this suppressed kingdom of God called Equity requires, as you see, the very destruction of decency and the perpetual self-abasement of an un-elect, us. Original sin with no path of redemption–redemption is heresy. The cult of equity proceeds like a black mass mimicking Christianity in the negative. Western man’s boundless need to affirm his moral worth is thus weaponized against him.

Genuine religious miracles are presented as exceptions to the laws of nature–this is what makes a miracle. Equity’s miracle is not nature defied but re-conceived. The miracle the woke must believe in is present and ongoing, everywhere at once, in defiance of reality. The genuine miracle pays tribute to the laws of nature–to science; the postmodern miracle of equity robs it daily.

Wokism commands the heights of power that Christianity in the West relinquished hundreds of years ago; arguably its control is greater than the Catholic Church at its height in Europe. At the same time the new dispensation proceeds with the vigor of a young religion that no mature religion can produce. No power is greater than a credulous mass, and the woke, with comic obliviousness, credit a wholly un-scientific tradition replete with its own fantastic mythology. And while believing in the Resurrection might sound “crazier” than believing Caitlin Jenner is a woman, somehow, it’s the latter that will wreck your society. I’m a religious skeptic but I acknowledge the Resurrection could have happened. Caitlin Jenner is right before me, and I need not look under “her” skirt to say definitely no, not a woman.

The notion Caitlin Jenner is a woman is recurring fact, not an isolated event obscure in the past; you must express belief in the miracle of Caitlin every day–and are encouraged to celebrate in ritual. You must believe this along with an ever-expanding host of things, even things, not to wax hyperbolic, but it’s true, that could get you killed. You must repress, as vigorously as anyone was encouraged in sexual repression, both your disgust and rational fear.

In the new arrangement Jesus doesn’t walk on water but you’re expected to.

Sunday Sermon: For Shame

It’s a cliché but the West’s secular post-religious dispensation feels very religious. Its values are opposed to the religion it displaced (despite it wearing the language of routed Christian morality like a skin suit) and the successful campaign against Western decency advanced a good deal on a Jewish critique of Christian shame as unnatural, taught to oppress and indulged out of inferiority, producing both psychological dysfunction and political repression. The American boomer was subjected to a lifetime of this conditioning. Here a film pilloried the Catholic Church, there one sent up the evangelicals; in the classic Carrie sexual shame produces supernatural retribution.

My impression is a psychotherapy-inspired theme critiquing shame as such rose with sixties counterculture and waned along with the sexual shame that was its central target. Shame made you sick, shame made you a bigot, shame kills they all but said once. Needless to say we, under the new regime, are inundated with shame. I would say shame has made a comeback but it never really went away. Shame is ubiquitous; the whole of woke ideology and practice is shaming, much of it a comic mirror-image of the old realm of the shameful: being a slut, or being obese are no longer shameful, but to find them shameful most certainly is. The grandchildren of the sexual revolution are very much into shame. But not all shame is equal.

Shame is currency in the political economy, sluicing through well-worn channels and trading on its own exchange market. Shame resembles a twisted financialization scheme, a negative asset shorting white America that doesn’t earn if it’s not churned. In the scramble for position, in the flight from white identity, even in the scrum for spoils among the non-whites, at the cesspools of “intersectionality”, the mantra is shame for thee but not for me.

The discrediting of shame (call it shame-shaming) has served its purpose, but shame remains, and it remains very useful. It’s as if there’s a more or less constant amount of shame in the collective Western breast, and it’s just a question of directing it. And now it’s directed in countless directions. Infinitely more and infinitely less free we are in this new arrangement. But the sexual revolution was a gambit, taken for a bargain: for our freedom we offered up sexual shame, thinking we didn’t need it, thinking the other guy was the sucker. And we got a palmful of magic beans for our patrimony. Sexual liberation is Western man’s mess of pottage.

So while the gaslit modern takes his sexual license for granted, as the natural order of things, the way his grandparents took sexual morality for granted, he takes for granted the new and multiplying restrictions. His shame, now conditioned to fix on other things, he doesn’t really question; society’s writ is the word of God, especially in a Godless world. Respite from the shaming grows more precious. The few lights on the plain, where dissidents collect to speak the truth under their breath, go out gradually one by one. The new religion does not endure village atheists.

Christopher

“Chris! Hey Chris! What are you doing?”

I was at a streetlight facing the river at the north end of downtown. Here the train tracks come together ahead of Union Station just to the north, taking over 1st Avenue where the cars are banished. The street burrows under overpasses and bridges, combining with the dilapidated stone and brick that absorbs the lessened light to give it the feel of a tunnel. As one moves north along the river here the homeless and their camps become more numerous, and their condition rougher.

Chris had just gotten off of a bus, shuffling along miserably, as he has for years, in a boot fixed to a leg ruined from the knee down, carrying a laundry bag and a box of belongings. He had been renting a room until last month, burning through a legal settlement for his leg injury, smoking marijuana constantly and, maybe, staying off of the harder stuff. He had been lately depressed, complaining there was no work for him anywhere and his money was running out. He announced his intention of moving back onto the streets. Looks like he’d done it.

Chris was a carpenter (he left his meager tools and possessions behind after he abandoned his rented room) and couldn’t work because of his injury, incurred on the job. As for doing something else he complained to me in his plaintive slur about job applications, saying he’s always worked informally. Clearly this is a dodge, but I think it wasn’t necessarily work he was afraid of, but the responsibilities that come with it. He’s unemployable in any work that requires a neat appearance, dealing with the public or speaking; he can’t even fake the merest respectable sort of speech. Adopting the professional demeanor necessary to running a cash register would be difficult. He complained to me he’d always worked informally. Forms are inherently intimidating to him. The scrutiny of others is unbearable. He’s always shrinking back, a little. I’ve seen this type, gentle and hapless, before.

That was the last time I’d spoken to him, when he still had a roof over his head. He’d already been homeless before. I asked him what it was like. Food can be had, that’s not a problem; the hassles with the other homeless however, and others, are unavoidable. Shelter in the winter, of course, is a problem. Some people just don’t want to fuck with the hassles of modern life, he said, in his way. I don’t know if he knew he was talking about himself. Chris’ own foray into paying rent was short-lived; a matter of a couple of months. Unable or unwilling to find work, his spirit was spent along with his settlement money. He grew fatalistic. He talked of suicide so much a roommate called the authorities and he spent a couple of days away in a facility. He was home just days before the suicidal talk resumed. His roommates tried to talk him out of going back on the streets, but felt some relief at his leaving. The overcrowded boarding house had already experienced one suicide, in the madness of 2020, when a man in the miserable converted garage out back took a lethal dose of pills. Chris’ behavior deteriorated as the time for his parting approached. His roommate complained of cleaning out his abandoned room, finding bottles of piss lined up behind the bed. Old habits, I guess.

Chris is probably half my age but you wouldn’t know it. There’s an open, friendly face fading behind the wear, angular still and handsome once. He looked exhausted. His left eye was reddened and receding behind its craggy folds

“Hey Dennis, what’s going on?” He smiled the same ironic, defeated smile.

“How you doin’?” I asked. What a stupid question.

“I’m alright.”

“You need a ride?” His grin tightened and he shook his head half-shrugging, as if to lament he had no where to go.

“Where you staying?” Still bearing his default grin of defeat he indicated as best as he could the immediate environment, with a sweep of his elbow.

“Out here man.”

“Fuck.” I said, stupidly shaking my head. “How is it out here?” I asked, my eye scrolling along the rough camp nearby.

“It sucks. Fuckers punched me,” he turned the painful looking eye to me, “and then fucking maced me. People out here are assholes.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I have to go.” A car had pulled up behind me as the light turned green.

“Be safe.” I said. He didn’t seem to hear. I couldn’t hear him either, but he kept talking as if oblivious to the fact I was moving away. His voice faded out. Later I guiltily realized I forgot to offer him money. I wonder if it’s the last I see of that one.

Moot Causes

Shortly after having been saddled with the public role defending an all-but engineered crisis at the southern border, Kamala Harris explained the only lasting solution would be to fix its “root causes”. Maintaining a border–as we were doing mere months ago–is no longer possible somehow; but, fortunately, curing Latin American poverty, corruption and violence is. Oh, let’s not forget climate change. Just think, if this crisis hadn’t come about, we’d have never thought of confronting these ills! If only we’d started sooner! Perhaps it just took a mind as fertile as Kamala’s.

To keep the silly ruse going the National Security Council has issued a “root causes strategy” as directed by President Biden’s executive order, making quaint and ironic (considering the source) noises about “transparency”, “democracy” and a free press.

Call it executive oblivion:

Corruption and other government actions to undermine transparency and democratic governance limit confidence of the public in their governments…

Don’t we know it. Our BLM-allied, Facebook-flagging, “white nationalist” purging White House also condescends to teach the benighted Latin Americans about “the rule of law” and a “free press”.

The strategy is organized under five pillars:
• Pillar I: Addressing economic insecurity and inequality
• Pillar II: Combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of
law
• Pillar III: Promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press
• Pillar IV: Countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by
criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations
• Pillar V: Combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence

If the document were entirely in earnest it would be declaring our intention to adopt Central America and make its many problems our own.

I can’t help but reflect on how we’ve long heard, and recently heard a lot, about addressing the “root causes” of black criminality, and its necessity in conjunction with our present trend dismantling local police. Of course the new government dependents and future consumers streaming across the border is the point and “root causes” a diversion. Equalized economic and other conditions, at least too soon, would not suit the powerful at all. Fortunately for them the notion Central America’s problems are solvable (and by us) is laughable and they need not sin by doing anything to encourage it. Indeed, they can proceed with all the meaningless, performative policy they can stand and retain both confidence the people won’t stop coming and the moral consolation they’ve actually worked against it.

But the black crime that is the ultimate source of their other assault on constitutional America is something we can, and have, effectively lessened.

The parallels are striking to me. Black criminality, like third world poverty, is a boon to the powerful–no demagogy has succeeded more than the demagogy that now goes as black civil rights; it wouldn’t be possible without the crime. Likewise, if anything has less chance of solution than Latin America’s problems it’s black mayhem.

Unlike the poverty of the third world, black crime is something we could do something about. The great decrease in crime beginning in the nineties was just that. The resultant disparity in black and white incarceration is both a genuine outrage to progressives and their most valuable weapon. Those that cite “root causes”–and waste money on various grifts around them–doth protest way too much.

Update: a slice of Portland nightlife

Regarding Saturday’s post about Friday night’s chaos downtown today comes confirmation from Portland police it involved two separate stabbings, one of them a slashing for good measure following a bullet to the torso. That victim survived. A second man was spotted staggering along by a passing ambulance around the corner from the taped-off crime scene involving the first event. He later died:

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau has launched a homicide investigation after a presumed stabbing victim died in a hospital Saturday.

An ambulance passing through downtown Portland spotted the victim just before 1 a.m. at the intersection of SW Pine Street and SW 3rd Avenue. Crews said the man was seriously wounded. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died, according to PPB.

“Preliminary information indicates the victim may have been stabbed,” PPB homicide detectives said Saturday morning. “An autopsy will be scheduled for a later time to determine the cause and manner of death.”

No suspect information was immediately available and the investigation remains open, police said.

“No suspect information” is a phrase of increasing frequency.

The violence came on the very night the city increased police patrols downtown, including FBI agents invited by Mayor Wheeler–who suggested they might look for applicable federal charges, in an apparent attempt to work around antifa ally District Attorney Mike Schmidt. The police presence was deliberately conspicuous, but people seemed to hardly notice and the police not clearly briefed:

Around 11 pm, five Portland Police officers stood in a circle at the corner of Northwest 3rd Avenue and Couch Street. Their demeanor was more formal and wary than the congenial parade-police approach PPB used to reflect on weekend club shifts.

Asked if they have seen FBI officers that evening, one replied, “We read that too.” They hadn’t seen or heard of the promised assistance…

Outside Kelly’s Olympian, police strung caution tape and blocked the street at each end with a total of seven squad cars. But the officers moved one of their squad cars to let a couple who parked on the street back out.

“Back the blue!” a man yelled, stumbling past and walking in the road. “We need more of you!” Then, as he receded, he added: “Portland is a shithole! Portland looks like shit!”

An officer at the scene said there was a shooting at the bar, but he couldn’t give out more details. On Saturday, a police spokesman confirmed that a shooting occurred, sparked by a “verbal altercation” on the corner of Southwest 5th Avenue and Washington Street.

“The suspect produced a gun and shot the victim in the lower torso,” Sgt. Kevin Allen told WW. “He then produced a knife and sliced the victim on the shoulder. The victim was seriously wounded and transported to the hospital by ambulance. Doctors have stabilized him and his injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The suspect ran off before police were called.”

It’s possible one perpetrator is responsible for both stabbings.