December 29, 2016

Sibling rivalry remains worse for generations raised in hyper-competitive era

One major change brought about by the status-striving phase of the economic cycle is intensified sibling rivalry. It's "just another" form of hyper-competitiveness, but one that threatens a core institution which is supposed to be beyond the effects of economic cycles.

No matter when you observe them, Baby Boomers have basically gotten along with their generation-mates within their kin groups -- siblings, cousins, and so on. And of course they got along with their parents, aunts and uncles, etc. Their bonds with these individuals were formed during the accommodating phase of the cycle, up through the 1960s and even into the '70s, which were a transition ("Me Generation") between the New Deal / Great Society era and the Reagan Revolution.

They do rib each other here and there, engage in "a little friendly competition" over inane crap, but overall the roots show from the pre-striver era, and they get along with one another.

The quality of these interactions takes a noticeable drop with Gen X, and really flatlines once the Millennials become involved.

For Gen X, relationships with cousins are distant and awkward, though well-meaning rather than hostile. Similar well-meaning awkwardness among siblings. They reflect the lack of time that X-ers made for others during their proto-careerist adolescence. As with any secular trend, it's worse for the later than the earlier members.

For Millennials (who in this context appear to begin with 1982 births), family gatherings bring out only aggressive egocentrism. They're rehashing what is familiar from their upbringing during the era of high-stakes childhood, especially since the 1990s. In well-adjusted families, this constant status-jockeying may appear less hostile, while in dysfunctional families it will take the form of endless sniping and baiting.

It's not the cathartic "getting it all out there" kind of battle within the family. That has an end goal -- clearing some kind of emotional clog in the system -- which once reached, brings satiety to the participants, who go back to normal for awhile. The oneupsmanship over the most petty shit has no goal other than to draw out the contest into another round. Without any satisfaction to resolve the drama, the gathering ends abruptly and awkwardly with the tension still hanging around undissipated.

These generational differences have been stable, from what I've seen of my family's home movies, at least back to the 1960s. Little Boomers weren't tearing each other to shreds back then, and do not do so now. Once you see home movies from the '80s, it's apparent how even as small children the X-ers and later the Millennials would move family gatherings step by step closer to sibling rivalry death matches.

At this point, it's no longer possible to believe that we will change things directly, and drop our hyper-competitiveness with our siblings. The best we can do is try altering the social climate toward one of accommodation rather than me-first. Making public displays of being sick and fed up with steel cage matches over nothing could at least signal to the next generation that they'd better not continue the practice. Pre-emptive shunning of social behavior that poisons the family.

Getting that message across broadly will probably take another generation or two, but it's happened before, so it can and will happen again.

December 21, 2016

Is the next Star Wars trailer out yet?

Here was my take on the Star Wars pop cultural experience as of 2016, back when the trailer was released for Rogue One (with links to three earlier posts as well). Nothing about the theatrical release has changed my take.

I haven't heard people reciting memorable lines of dialog, re-enacting key scenes, and so on, as though Rogue One were actually memorable, rather than just another forgettable and disposable chunk of pop culture junk food.

I didn't see The Force Awakens, and won't be seeing this one either. This is more to look at how the general public and Star Wars fans themselves are treating the franchise.

Two key paragraphs from before:

What's new to observe with the release of this trailer is just how forgotten The Force Awakens has become, not even three months after its release, and even among its hardcore nerd following. Facebook was filled with spazzy Star Wars shit for a few weeks when the new movie came out, but then... nothing. No quoting favorite lines -- evidently the dialog was forgettable. No references to favorite scenes -- evidently all visuals were forgettable. And no gushing over favorite plot points or themes -- evidently the entire narrative was forgettable...

Like I said, the real drama now takes place across the trailers -- one prolonged masturbatory anticipation, brief climax when it's out in theaters, and hardly any resting period before the next obsessive anticipation. Nerds don't want to enjoy the actual experience, they want to geek out over forecasting what it might be like (reminds me of how they behave in another domain of life).

Star Wars has taken on an almost religious quality for its fan-base, which includes larger and larger swaths of the population nowadays.

So, why continue adding to the Star Wars Bible? It just keeps diluting and weakening the impact of the original movies. Enough of this continuing revelation from one false prophet after another.

Midwits liken religion to an opiate of the masses, but that misses the feeling of satiety that religious people come away from each religious experience with. They're "full" for awhile, until they get hungry in awhile, then they'll take part again. They aren't constantly on the brink of withdrawal symptoms, searching for ever greater dosages to bring about the same painkilling effect.

Rather, this is what the cult of Star Wars has degraded into -- a bunch of anhedonic depressives being supplied by Hollywood with pop cultural opium, as quickly and as regularly as their movie-mills can churn the stuff out. Unlike an actual religion, its practitioners feel no joy, satiety, communion, or community -- no more than a crowd of drug-addicted strangers who file into the same crackhouse to get their fix.

Here's to hoping that in the more prosperous and point-having lives we will begin to enjoy as Trump returns America back toward normality, the general public will no longer treat movies, even supposedly sacred ones like Star Wars, in such a degrading way. And, Hollywood will no longer be supplying them with this Force Awakens / Rogue One kind of crap anymore.

December 20, 2016

Divided Establishment can't even unite around anti-Trump EC votes

In yet another sign of how divided the Establishment remains, there were five faithless electors who chose a Republican -- and these five split their votes among three people (Colin Powell, Ron Paul, and "Tiny Bites" Kasich). Could they not coordinate enough to concentrate their votes into a single individual, for maximum effect?

It just goes to show how hyper-competitive the elites still are, leading to internal fragmentation. Each Trump hater wanted to broadcast their own unique personal style of hating Trump, to show that the other Trump haters are just a bunch of posers who are not as artisanal in their Trump hatred.

The same mentality kept the anti-Trump forces from posing a serious challenge during the primaries. None of the other candidates wanted to fall on their sword for the greater good of the group, and none of the voters wanted to bite the bullet and cast a ballot for the one agreed-upon rival to Trump.

In contrast to these suicidally selfish Establishment types, the society-oriented figures all coalesced around Trump, whether they agreed 100% or not. Ditto his voters. The populist-nationalist movement is strongly united.

It's a misnomer to call the strategy "divide and conquer," when it is really "conquer the divided".

Even the anti-Establishment Left couldn't agree on their protest electoral vote -- of the two who managed to vote for a Democrat, one was Bernie and the other was some Native American activist at the Dakota Pipeline protest. That is just a trendy topic of the past several months, and will be replaced by something else before long. It doesn't have the brand recognition among lefties and liberals, let alone the wider society, that Occupy Wall Street did, for example.

The rest of the Democrat faithless votes were intended to go to Bernie, which is more coordinated than the "boo Trump" Republican votes. Still, one of two that succeeded is like getting a My Chemical Romance tattoo in 2006. It's actually going to be in the historical record -- some random activist from a trendy protest du jour, rather than the figurehead of the movement during the entire primary season and whose name will be associated with it for the near future.

December 19, 2016

Les Miserables at Inauguration?

From Blind Gossip:

While there are reports that nobody wants to perform at Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration, that is not true.

In an interesting turn of events, we just found out that the producer of one theatrical show is currently negotiating for their entire cast to perform at the Inauguration!

There are a few details that still need to be worked out in the contract, but it looks like attendees would be treated to more than one musical number from the show.

Although the show’s producer was quite antagonistic towards Trump during the past year, it looks like that is not stopping them from putting the show first!

By the way, this is definitely NOT about the cast of Hamilton! ...

[Optional] Which song from a musical would you most like to hear Donald Trump sing?

The clue is in the optional question, playing on "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables. He's already used that song at a rally in Miami in September, where there was also a projected image of "Les Deplorables" in the style of the play's poster art, with revolutionaries at the barricades.

That was a hit even with the reporters, who will be in too good of a mood to say anything bad during the Inauguration.

It'll also force the elitists to reveal their contempt for middle America and middlebrow culture, as well as how silly and trivial their "highbrow" alternatives are -- getting lectured by AIDS-rotted diversity hires LARP-ing as the founding fathers? Somehow I don't see that playing at the Vienna Opera House...

Another example of culture being downstream from politics!

December 17, 2016

Culture is downstream from politics: TV shows adapting to Trump era

The Hollywood Reporter writes about how TV executives are struggling to make their programming relevant in the age of Trump. They don't know anybody who voted for Trump, and none of their current shows has an even accidental chance of reaching Trump voters. Either they get with the times, or they're effectively off the air.

They're not changing everything abruptly in an attempt to pander, as though pleading for them not to vote Trump next time as long as we keep our promise to make TV shows that aren't all about degenerate cosmopolitans. It's described as more of a shift in tone, toward hopeful and optimistic and away from snarky and cynical. You can smell the feel-good family-friendly sit-coms from here, making the 1980s great again.

This is a good example of how pop culture follows changes in the political and economic realms, rather than the other way around. Andrew Breitbart is frequently quoted to the effect that culture needs to change before politics does ("Politics is downstream from culture.") Here is the summary from a representative post at RedState:

Culture matters. Withdrawing from it is no answer. If you want to change the future of the country, you need to engage the culture and not just expect that the kinds of citizens who vote for your values can be summoned from the hills.

The Trump phenomenon has proven this theory wrong, since he ran exclusively on economic and political topics, ignoring culture (other than to complain about "Why are they remaking Ghostbusters? Are they incapable of making good new movies?"). "Despite" this stance, and despite not altering the cultural foundations of the country, he did indeed summon voters from the hills in Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Losing observers from both sides try to reduce cognitive dissonance by chalking up Trump's popularity to being a reality TV star, which goes to explain why his counterpart in the other party enjoyed his own success against all odds. Trump, like Bernie, achieved as much as he did thanks to his stances on the issues, not on personality or fame.

The entire cultural realm had long been, and still remains united against Trump the man, Trump voters, and the Trump agenda. Bernie had some cultural supporters, but not as big as Hillary did, and they did not cut ads for him or introduce him, as though his young supporters needed their candidate to be validated by cultural figures they already care about.

As mentioned in the post about who puts out conspiracy theories and why, the idea that politics is downstream from culture is part of the conspiratorial worldview. After decades of defeat, Republicans and conservatives began to attribute their failures to the Democrats and liberals invading and taking over the major cultural institutions -- schools, churches, the media -- and using this strategic position to influence or brainwash the general public into believing liberal bromides and voting Democrat reflexively.

How did those people explain the heyday of conservatism during the Reagan years? It's not as though the 1980 landslide against all odds had followed the defenestration of liberals from academia, the media, and the Mainline churches, where they have been in control since forever. It was not an attempt to analyze or explain, but to soothe their pain by shifting the blame to external hostile actors instead of their own smug leadership, sell-out politicians, ossified think tanks, and disgraced cultural figures such as the televangelists of the 1980s.

Returning to mainstream TV shows, which came first -- Nixon's defeat of Humphrey, or the release of All in the Family? Archie Bunker arrived to television a full two years after Nixon's first inauguration. A key demographic in the Nixon coalition was working-class whites who were sick of the excesses of the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, whether these were rural Southern whites or urban white ethnics.

In 1968, both groups had been loyalist Democrats for generations, but the influx of the Civil Rights movement antagonized them enough to defect at least temporarily (for white ethnics) or permanently (for white Southerners).

The Democrats were apoplectic that such large chunks of their New Deal coalition had been so effortlessly poached by the GOP. It couldn't be because the Great Society policies were failures -- it was because... uh, well, let's explore who these Nixon voters are in sit-com format, contrasting them with their liberal Democrat children. Maybe by portraying them halfway sympathetically and "feeling their pain," we can bring some of them back into the fold.

But culture has minimal influence over politics, so no, these groups did not come back to the Democrat party until a generation later with Clinton in '92, after the Bushies had alienated most of the Nixon and Reagan voters.

It was the Democrats' version of thinking that politics is downstream from culture. It's just that the Dems control the media, so they can translate that mindset into cultural change more than the Republicans can when it's their turn to blame culture for their political failures.

Another show in the vein of All in the Family was Family Ties, wherein liberal Jewish media executives tried to explore the nascent conservative and yuppie phenomena, as the liberal Boomer parents struggle to understand their uber-Republican son Alex Keaton. Nixon did not run as a conservative, but as a pragmatist, law-and-order, liberal-moderate. Reagan's landslide was even more unforeseen to Democrats in the media than was Nixon's, and provoked greater panic to figure out what went wrong.

Family Ties debuted nearly two years after Reagan defeated an incumbent Democrat, again showing that culture follows politics and economics. The producers hoped to pull the Alex Keatons at least halfway toward the liberal Boomer generation, but they resisted and remained GOP loyalists -- although it's worth asking if he would have voted for Trump? Maybe. But maybe Alex P. Keaton put yuppie elitism over party loyalty and voted for Clinton. (Many such cases! Sad!)

Since these political re-alignments tend to have a strong geographic pattern, the TV producers have hinted at portraying the lives of people other than coastal elites, and exploring what makes working-class and middle-class whites in flyover country tick.

I looked through Wikipedia's lists of major TV shows set in various states to see when the last time they actually devoted attention to Trump country. It looks like it was after Nixon's first win, and lasting through the Reagan-Bush years. They had taken parts of the Midwest for granted during the New Deal / Great Society years, when so much pop culture focused on coastal cities (or the Old West). Suddenly they became obsessed with the Great Lakes region, and Chicago in particular, to try to figure out who these defectors were.

Chicago plays such a central role because after Democrat loyalty during the New Deal and Great Society eras, Illinois became Republican from 1968 until 1992 -- and they did not do that without the support of metro Chicago. Wisconsin went Republican in '68, '72, '80, and '84. Even Minnesota went Republican by 6 points in '72. Michigan was a little late to the party, but stayed Republican from '72 until '92. Indiana and Ohio were also heavily Republican during this period, but they were not defectors from the New Deal era, when they were still fairly Republican.

Here are the major TV shows set in the Midwest during the Nixon-Reagan-Bush years, where the locals are portrayed sympathetically, there's a strong sense of place, and the regional culture and economy are not sneered at for not being elite and cosmopolitan.


Mary Tyler Moore Show - Minneapolis
Happy Days - Milwaukee
Laverne and Shirley - Milwaukee
Bob Newhart Show - Chicago
Good Times - Chicago
WKRP in Cincinnati - Cincinnati


Roseanne - Chicago
Married with Children - Chicago
Family Matters - Chicago
Life Goes On - Chicago
Family Ties - Columbus


Home Improvement - Detroit (began before Clinton)

Shows from the Clinton era onward, like That '70s Show or Parks and Recreation that are set in Wisconsin or Indiana, feature liberal cosmopolitan elites doing a mocking blackface performance of flyovers, or portraying the liberal cosmo elite-wannabes stuck in flyover country.

The media elites even became interested in the blacks of flyover country (Good Times, Family Matters), which we still haven't seen despite a two-term black President whose political career began in Chicago.

Outside of the Midwest, the liberal media elites tried to understand other newly Republican areas, such as Connecticut. It was more of a swing state during the New Deal and Great Society periods, but was solid GOP from '72 until '92. The hit '80s sit-com Who's the Boss? set up an intercultural dialog between an urban blue-collar Italian from Noo Yawk working as a live-in housekeeper for a suburban professional WASP (portrayed by a Jew) in Connecticut.

The star of that show, Tony Danza, had also starred on Taxi, set in Manhattan during the dingy stagflation era of the late '70s and early '80s. Even when the media elites did cover the Center of the Universe back then, they focused on everyday blue-collar life at work, rather than the conspicuous leisure of cosmopolitan yuppies that began to characterize Manhattan reality and cultural portrayal during the Clinton years and afterward.

So perhaps in the Trump era, not only will we see a more sympathetic portrayal of whites in the Midwest but in working-class coastal areas, too. If the past is any guide, though, don't expect any of this to be visible until about two years into the strange new times. Right now the media elites are still in the denial and anger stages of grief.

If formerly shrill Civil Rights hippies and Jews can make family-friendly WASP-y sit-coms like they did in the Reagan-Bush years, they can change their tune during the Trump years as well. Unlike the Democrat party itself, the creators of pop culture need to appeal to the mainstream, which has now revealed that it doesn't give a shit about conspicuous leisure, elite degeneracy, and identity politics.

December 15, 2016

Conspiracy theories spring from losing side: Now left-wing, not right-wing

In the wake of an emotionally charged event or situation, attempts will be made to explain how it came to be. Those whose self-esteem is enhanced by the straightforward explanation will latch onto that one, while those who are suffering from cognitive dissonance will resort to a more complicated explanation that leaves their ego intact.

For example, if one presidential candidate gives the other the biggest schlonging in recent memory, supposedly against all odds -- the straightforward explanation is that the winner was more in tune with the will of the people, campaigned better, and was a better person. Supporters of the winner will make that their explanation of the outcome, and enjoy peace of mind from adopting the straightforward story.

Supporters of the loser, however, cannot accept that their candidate was out of touch, campaigned incompetently, and was a horrible human being. That would make those loathsome qualities infect the supporters themselves. So, no, it wasn't that she was those awful things... it was... uh, some nefarious outside force's fault!

Choosing a bogus narrative makes these supporters do increasingly bizarre backflips just to jump through all the logical hoops in order to appear coherent. But they are actually going slowly incoherent, their minds constantly under the pain of cognitive dissonance. Before long, their primary mental operation is dulling pain or escaping pain, rather than thinking, feeling, and behaving like a normal healthy person.

Since the rise of the Democrats after 1992, it was Republicans who began veering off into conspiracy-oriented nutjob territory. First they blamed Democrats for invading various institutions and brainwashing the general public into liberalism and therefore voting Democrat.

During the brief GOP interruption of George W. Bush, the Democrats did the exact same thing, blaming ubiquitous Fox News for brainwashing the general public into being kneejerk Iraq War cheerleaders and voting Republican.

But Bush's presidency was not that great of a departure from what Clinton was, what Gore would have been, and what Obama would be. Liberals suffered cognitive dissonance, but it didn't take really wild conspiracy theories to explain why Kerry lost. Fox News propaganda being on in so many living rooms, is what it boiled down to.

Now that Trump has destroyed the two major political clans in the nation, by a decisive Electoral College margin, and against all odds and all news coverage for over a year -- Hillary voters cannot simply say "There goes Fox News again." Fox has in fact been fairly weak in supporting Trump, but liberals would not let that get in the way of a good rationalization.

They're not going there because they can tell that something much more nefarious is required to explain a far more mindblowing outcome than Bush's narrow win over Kerry in '04. Enter the Russia / Putin / KGB conspiracy theories, which have been under way since the general campaign.

An upset as earth-shattering for liberal globalism could only have come from a force so strongly anti-American and so deeply conservative -- not a bumbling clan like the Bushes. Who do corporate globalists recognize as conservative and at least nominally not one of America's allies? Putin! Again, the accuracy of this characterization doesn't matter: it's close enough for them to latch onto without feeling like they're completely making shit up.

In the Trumpian era, Republicans will no longer be the conspiracy theorists -- that now falls to the Democrats, who haven't been this devastated since Nixon and Reagan.

During the Reagan-Bush era, Democrats grew increasingly conspiratorial about the JFK assassination. That was their last hero, and he was going to do such great things like pull out of Vietnam and save the nation from all the turmoil that blew up under Johnson's escalation of the war. This was only in the back of their minds during the Reagan years, as one after another Vietnam movie struck a chord. It wasn't until the end of the Bush years, though, that it would become so overt, with the movie JFK in 1991.

It got so bad that Noam Chomsky had to write a short book combating the growing conspiracy theory mindset about JFK among liberals and the Left (Rethinking Camelot, 1993).

Expect a similar progression. Democrats will start getting nostalgic for the Clinton years, whether it's associated with Bill or Hillary or other figures.

Bill didn't really want to sign NAFTA and start a chain of events that would lead to the election of Trump. He was a man of the people, and campaigned in blue-collar white areas. So, he was pressured into NAFTA by the FBI and Mexican drug cartels. He had actually prepared a speech denouncing the outsourcing of American manufacturing, sounding strangely like Donald Trump's stump speeches of 2016. If only the conspirators hadn't coerced him into signing it, the Trump era could have been avoided!

The only Republicans left to spin conspiracy theories to comfort their wounded self-esteem is the NeverTrump cucks. They have no numbers in the general population, but they are over-represented in the elite, so we may continue to hear from them now and again, as they commiserate with the humiliated Democrats.

On a final note, this also shows why PizzaGate is not a conspiracy theory. There's no major event or situation where the believers are on the losing side, and are pursuing this story to reduce cognitive dissonance. Nor are the deniers going along their merry way after having won, tuning out the wacko believers -- they are very much tuned in, shrill, and intense in debating the believers.

Rather, what comes out of the PizzaGate investigations will serve as the basis for a campaign of righteous vengeance by the winners. Obama weaponized the IRS against the Tea Party, now Trump will cripple Hollywood and the DC elite by exposing their child sex trafficking rings.

December 12, 2016

Trump slump cycle continues: An excitable system model, with historical comparisons

One thing I noticed and got right about the election season, which as far as I know nobody else did, was the cycle between rising and falling enthusiasm for Trump, both among his supporters and opponents.

During rising phases, his supporters were ecstatic and his opponents said he's not the anti-Christ after all. During falling phases, his supporters panicked about him selling out and his opponents panicked that he would bring about the apocalypse.

Within each phase, the two sides' conclusions contradicted each other -- if his supporters were ecstatic, shouldn't that send his opponents into a panic? And if his supporters were panicking about him selling out, shouldn't that make his opponents cheer up?

So, it was not a factual or rational response, but an emotional one -- turned on or turned off.

This cycle appeared to have an up month and a down month. The down phase was clear during the early part of even-numbered months, while the up phases were clear during the most parts of the odd-numbered month (perhaps minus the end, which led into the next down phase).

I first wrote about this cycle in June, then again in August, and just before the final slump in October, which I predicted in the last post on the topic. I was hoping the rollercoaster would end after the election, but it appears to still be going.

We're clearly in another turned-off phase, where blackpill feelings are palpable among enough of his supporters, while his opponents are in their uncharitable hater phase again. It nominally revolves around his Cabinet picks and transition in general, but as the earlier posts explained, it has nothing to do with what is actually going on in the political world. It's an emotional rollercoaster, so when people are feeling good they'll rationalize current events in a half-full way, and when they're feeling bad they'll rationalize them in a half-empty way.

When was the last time we were in a phase where his supporters were noticeably blackpilled? Early-to-mid October (PussyGrabGate), early-mid August (post-Conventions, Khizr Khan), early-mid June (La Raza judge), early-mid April (abortion punishment, Wisconsin primary), and early-mid February (Iowa caucus and debate). There's no thematic thread that connects all of these, including now his Cabinet picks. It's just an emotional rollercoaster oblivious to factual goings-on.

What kind of model does explain oscillations such as these?

The ones that come to mind are how neurons fire, or how the heartbeat works. There's an external stimulus big enough to cause an excitation that sustains or feeds on itself. A dampener applies and eventually drives the excitation into a calming-down phase. The dampener has done its job and shuts itself off, allowing the excitement level to rise slightly back up to a resting state. Then it fires all over again.

These are called excitable systems, and the best known simple model is the FitzHugh-Nagumo model, which describes how a simplified neuron fires. (Only quants should click that link, but it is a forgotten classic.)

In this case, the external stimulus is the emotional energy being injected into the citizenry from the political figures -- those who are influential enough to inject anything. Here, it's mainly Trump, but also Crooked Hillary and Bernie way back when, along with high-ranking cuck traitors within the GOP. It's not the media, who are reactive along with the rest of the citizenry.

As citizens interact with each other, they spread and feed off of one another's emotional energy. They're feeling better and better about Trump, even if his supporters always feel better than his opponents. But citizens also have a strong inhibitory tendency, so that they don't just fly off into outer space every time they get excited. (The inhibitory force is generally stronger than their self-sustaining force, which is why we're generally ho-hum about politics, or about anything for that matter.)

Aside from their own tendency to dial things down even when excited, the citizens' emotional energy also tends to get drained by naysaying -- perhaps by the media, by other sub-groups within the citizenry, but somebody internal to the system.

Naysaying rises in response to positive levels of emotional energy ("Uh-oh, people are getting excited, better go rain on their parade"). But it also tends to shut itself off in the absence of positive vibes -- naysayers aren't that way all of the time for no reason whatsoever.

In the terms of the neuron firing model, the citizens' emotional energy is like the membrane potential V, the naysaying is like the recovery variable W, and the emotional energy injected by the political figures from outside the system is like the external stimulus current I.

Can such a model not only describe what has been going on this season, but also explain why earlier seasons have not behaved this way?

The neuron model allows for cases where there is only a single spike, as well as repeating spikes. When the external stimulus is weak, there might be at most one spike and not a very large-magnitude one. This is like most elections, where the citizenry (not just political junkies) are mostly tuned out aside from, perhaps, one key moment where everyone got all excited and then went back to not caring anymore.

However, when the external stimulus is stronger, the resting state is not stable, and the spikes keep happening over and over. If any politician has injected higher energy into the citizenry during an election season, it has been the President-Elect. ("You OD on Trump.")

In the model, the external stimulus can rise so high that the resting state is stable, but at a shrill level, where both the emotional energy of the citizenry and the naysaying remain constantly high, rather than going through cycles. We haven't seen that yet. I'm not sure that it even got that bad during the lead-up to the Civil War, but I don't know the month-by-month story to determine if it cycled or remained constantly shrill.

One prediction of this model, which has not been tested, is that if the external energy from politicians is strongly inhibitory -- meaning they're trying as hard as possible to calm the citizens down and do the naysaying themselves -- it would backfire. The citizens' emotional energy level would plunge below its already conservative resting level, and its correction would not merely lead back to the resting state, but instead toward a very large spike before returning to rest (with no cycles).

How unique has this election really been, though? It's certainly been more of an emotional rollercoaster than those within recent memory. But there appear to be rollercoaster seasons every 4-5-6 elections, which tend to come from geographical and ideological re-alignment. A strong third-party vote also shows up during these tumultuous seasons.

The last one wasn't quite this bad, but it was still a whirlwind -- 1992, when Clinton went on his own ups and downs throughout the season, as did Bush who was fighting off culture warrior Pat Buchanan, all while liberals and conservatives began fighting each other. Clinton and Bush both injected much higher levels of emotional energy than had been usual just four years earlier.

This was the re-alignment that ushered in the culture war era, which peeled off California, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic from the GOP (even in '88 this re-alignment was in effect, peeling off the Pacific NW and the Lutheran Triangle). Third party disaffection was Perot.

Some say the 1980 election was highly charged, but that was mostly confined to political junkies arguing over ideology. Among average citizens, there were fluctuations in poll numbers, but not the widespread waves of excitation followed by despair that we've seen this time. Most people were on-board with the "Anybody But Carter" feeling, and it wasn't nearly as nasty as 2016 or 1992.

We have to go back instead to 1968 to find another really tumultuous season. Nixon wasn't quite the firebrand that Trump is, but there was intense energy on the Democrat side as four heavies fought each other for the nomination, and triggered a massive protest at their own Convention (similar to this year). Not to mention the high energy being injected from other political figures, such as Martin Luther King, who got assassinated along with Bobby Kennedy.

This was the post-Civil Rights re-alignment that took away the "Solid South" from the Democrats, who made a strong third-party showing for Wallace.

Before that, the last "give 'em hell" candidate was Truman in 1948, another one where support seemed to wax and wane, as the indefatigable Truman toured the nation trying to keep voters pumped up. Also like 2016, the clueless media and pollsters not sensing any of this, and proclaiming the firebrand's demise before the election was even held ("Dewey Defeats Truman").

This saw the defection of the Mid-Atlantic states to the losing GOP, where they would remain later under Eisenhower, and a strong third-party vote for the Dixiecrats in the not-so-Solid South (a premonition of 1968, relating to segregation). Overall, though, not as seismic of a re-alignment, nor as bitter of a campaign as others like it. This was the Mid-Century, around the nadir of political partisanship and discord.

And without going into too much detail on the others: 1932 (intense energy from FDR about the New Deal during the Great Depression), 1912 (big fight between Taft and Teddy Roosevelt on the GOP side, causing a strong third party showing for TR, who actually won more than Taft), 1892 (incipient Populist rebellion in the Frontier and Mountain states), 1876 (the most contentious ever), and of course 1860 (Southern secession).

I don't know the month-by-month stories in these seasons, but given the unusually high level of energy being injected from the major political figures, I'd bet they were emotional rollercoasters like 2016, rather than having at most one big moment of excitement. The 1860 season may be an example of the model with such a high level of energy being injected from the political figures that there is a stable state at shrill levels and not just waxing and waning enthusiasm for Lincoln, leading the way to the Civil War.

The good news for this time is that even when there was a rollercoaster season, it didn't last forever and ever. After some time in office, Trump and other major political figures will dial down the intensity. He has already begun, although he's still ready to fire off threatening tweets and hold massive rallies where he works everybody up again. Already by the midterm season, things will have quieted down a bit (1994 was rambunctious, but not like 1992).

The only time when a highly intense election was followed by a greater one was 1860 and '64. Again, I kind of doubt that 1860 was a Trump-like rollercoaster, and more of a constantly shrill season that would lead to Civil War. At the same time, this rollercoaster was the closest we've come to constantly shrill levels in a very long time.

Peter Turchin has said that we're in 1856 again, but even assuming that's accurate, I don't see the second peak of political discord being anywhere near the original Civil War (knock on wood). This time around, the Secessionists would be unarmed West Coast pacifists, not Southerners who were born fighting.

December 10, 2016

Media erase news of pedo ring bust; Pedo symbol used by more child welfare groups

A couple quick updates on PizzaGate.

First, in late November the AP reported on a major pedophile ring in Norway being busted, leading to dozens of arrests, including two politicians. This report was picked up by the NYT, WaPo, and ABC, among others. All three major media groups have removed the story from their sites and archives, while it is still up on the AP's own site. See here and in the comments.

A more thorough report from The Independent, UK, mentions that it was a tip by the FBI that led Norwegian authorities to launch their attack. Again we see that the FBI, at least the rank and file, are the good guys among the feds. The CIA are globalist traitors.

The major media have suddenly decided to censor this story because they don't want Americans to have a broader pattern already in their minds, which the PizzaGate revelations could fit neatly into. You aren't supposed to have in the back of your mind a news item about a pedo ring being busted that involved several politicians. Otherwise you might be more accepting of the inevitable reports that John and Tony Podesta from Clinton world are involved in some kind of pedo ring.

Desperately trying to erase this story two weeks after the fact, and on a weekend when hopefully nobody would notice, just shows that there is some seriously damning stuff going on here. The nature and extent of any crimes will be determined by a proper and thorough FBI investigation, but given the kinds of evidence the Establishment has been erasing, it relates to pedophiles.

On that note, a recent post showed that pedo symbols appear on the logos of child welfare and adoption agencies, suggesting they are implicated, perhaps as the suppliers of children to the pedo rings.

Well just a few days later, I've found yet another instance of the same logo that appeared on the San Antonio Center for Childhood Trauma (meant to help abused children fit into foster homes) and Terasol Artisans, the restaurant across the street from PizzaGate Central, Comet Ping Pong. Besta Pizza, also across the street, deleted a pedo symbol (spiraling triangle) from their logo within days of PizzaGate breaking. Days later, Terasol joined in deleting the pedo symbol of concentric hearts from their website.

As I was catching up on the findings from /pol (in this thread), I saw that someone else found that exact same logo on yet another child welfare agency -- Through the Storm Outreach Ministries (Kingstree, SC, a rural black area). Its ostensible purpose is to help homeless and runaway youth, particularly pregnant teens or teen moms. They explicitly say they're going to help them avoid sexual abuse and prostitution.

And yet, there's that logo again (lower-right):

It's the exact same logo, with the transparent background again picking up whatever color is on the webpage it finds itself on.

It's clear how similar this child welfare group is to the one from the earlier post. What's not so clear is why they both share the logo with Terasol Artisans. But if it was damning enough that Terasol removed it entirely from their website within a week of the PizzaGate story centered on two businesses just across the street, it cannot be a good sign wherever it is found.

Through the Storm mentions elsewhere on its site that it provides off-site daycare. So if you're a teen mom, you're not only making yourself vulnerable by wandering into these people's arms -- you're also putting your child at risk. Given where else this logo appears, who the hell knows what they're doing with your small child at the off-site daycare?

Here is the symbol by itself -- try dropping it into a reverse Google Image Search to find other instances of it. You might also try using a graphics program to change the background color to help GIS find other instances. But the foreground color is always orange. Let us know what you find out.

You might be skeptical about two places using similar designs, but in this case they are identical across supposedly independent businesses. And there are now not just two but three of them, in Texas, South Carolina, and DC. They all have a higher awareness and/or coordination in whatever it is they do. It serves as a distinctive uniform logo, not just variations on a dog-whistling design theme.

ADDENDUM: Just tried the reverse GIS, and got an immediate hit -- Joyful Parenting Coaching. Gee, another child welfare professional, imagine that.

ADDENDUM 2: Another hit, also a life coach who deals with children and families, including LGBT and addicted. Former counselor to abused children, and has been a live-in nanny! BTW, from San Francisco.

December 8, 2016

At re-Americanized industries, a new level of job cornucopia

Trump is negotiating to bring back entire industries that used to have a place in the American economy -- such as electronics -- and that will have an additional benefit to job-seekers than simply the presence of more unfilled jobs. That is, since these industries have been sent out of the country for so long, their job openings will be in a "get in on the ground floor" industry, rather than a mature industry that is already well colonized.

Although the first round of applicants won't have the training to put together an iPhone, neither will any of the other American workers.

No clogged arteries in the promotion system, where the job you're looking to fill won't be open because the current occupant isn't being promoted up out of it.

Networking won't be as important, as there's nobody yet to network with in a new industry. Get trained, show up, don't screw up, and there you go.

And unlike other start-up industries that grow too fast and suffer from Gold Rush-style extinction after an initial boom, these industries have already proven their long-term worth and stability in both the United States way back when, and outside the country where the industries are currently located. They are not economic bubbles like "online social media". Making cars, television sets, and cell phones will not be going bust any time soon.

These industries already pay much better than the typical ones the workers would find themselves in -- that's why they were sent outside the country in the first place, to reap profits from labor arbitrage. Now we can add less difficulty getting your foot in the door, and less insecurity long-term.

There will be a boon to white-collar professionals as well, whose jobs are more industry-general rather than specific. If you're already trained as an accountant, you can switch industries from banking to electronics manufacturing without as much trouble as, say, switching from assembling burgers at McDonald's to assembling iPhones at Apple. Without needing as much specific training, the white-collars will be fast-tracked into the new industries.

That's another aspect that is often overlooked in the re-Americanizing of these industries -- they will produce not only blue-collar but white-collar jobs, too. The assembly line workers at a manufacturing plant don't run the whole operation by themselves. These middle and upper-middle class jobs were destroyed alongside the working class ones when the industry was sent out of the country.

Decades down the line, there will probably be class conflict that arises between the blue-collar workers and white-collar managers and professionals within these industries. But for now, they are both in the same boat of wanting the industries to return to this country so they can all get better-paying and more secure jobs.

This parallels the stages of populism after the elite-centric Gilded Age. First, during the Progressive Era, the focus was workers and industrialists teaming up to strengthen the nation's industries (as opposed to doing the bidding of foreign economies and peoples). Then, after that was achieved and immigration shut off, the foreign economic threat receded into the background, and the domestic class conflicts came more into focus, spawning the New Deal era with its tug-of-war between Big Labor and Big Business, as mediated by Big Government.

The neo-Progressive Era under Trump will be characterized by a seemingly strange coalition of workers, managers, and (loyal) company owners, uniting around the common project of re-industrializing the American economy. The Bernie movement was putting the cart before the horse, stressing class conflict at a time when nationalism is needed for populism to succeed. They'll get their turn, in a generation or so.

December 7, 2016

Pedophile symbols on child welfare and adoption logos

When the news first broke about the potential pedophile ring operating out of Comet Ping Pong in DC, it didn't take long for another pizzeria two doors down, Besta Pizza, to remove a known pedophile symbol from its logo (a triangle spiraling to form two concentric triangles).

Knowledge of these symbols comes from an FBI document obtained by WikiLeaks in 2007. The main ones are shown below. Click any image to enlarge.

As the citizens' investigation expands beyond the pizzerias themselves, and looks at potential sources through which the children would be trafficked, attention has turned to agencies that have easy access to obtaining and transferring children -- adoption, foster care, international relief and rescue, and the like. They would be the suppliers.

Do known pedophile symbols show up in the logos of these child-themed agencies?

In a post at the PizzaGate page on Voat, a graphic designer has gone through a national online database of such agencies, and tried to track the evolution of their logos. The idea is that the FBI document is from 2007, so by 2016 pedophile groups may have subtly altered or added to the symbols in order to evade detection. His purpose is to identify new symbols.

But plenty of these agencies are still using the old symbols known to the FBI 10 years ago. I did a Google Image Search for "adoption logo" and so on, scanning for concentric hearts, spirals, etc. Many results are indeed variations on these few themes. However, what's truly disturbing is how brazen some of them are, being near carbon copies from the FBI document.

Here is a screenshot of the webpage for the International Adoption Clinic of the Kennedy-Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Children's Center. They haven't bothered updating the look since 2004, around the time of the FBI document. Notice the heart logo in the upper-left:

Look familiar? Here is a side-by-side with the "girl lover" pedophile symbol from the FBI document of the same time:

Concentric hearts formed by a single stroke that spirals inward, clockwise, with the colors being white and pink-purple. All that's missing for a total copy is the final diagonal side on the inner heart of the second logo. Still, 99.9% identical logos for the International Adoption Clinic and organized girl-loving pedophiles. Not a coincidence.

Next, consider the logo of Terasol Artisans, a bakery across the street from Comet Ping Pong. Less than a week after PizzaGate broke, they deleted this logo from their website, just like Besta Pizza did with theirs, revealing it to be damning evidence. Here is one of the last days it was displayed:

Again the concentric hearts, but now also concentric hands. Based on scanning through those hundreds of child agency logos, I believe concentric hands is a new pedophile logo, but that's for another time.

Now consider the San Antonio Center for Childhood Trauma and Attachment LLC, a company that ostensibly trains child welfare workers, teachers, and parents of foster children how to integrate children into a new household, who show signs of a traumatic childhood. Check out the logo on the upper-left:

Look familiar? Here's a side-by-side:

In fact, they are 100% identical. (The logo's background is transparent and picks up the respective colors of the two different webpages it's laid on top of.)

Terasol removed this logo during a scandal about pedophile rings at a business across the street, yet here is the exact same logo for an agency that is supposed to be protecting abused children. And both feature the telltale girl-lover symbol of concentric hearts.

The two examples so far have looked at private groups -- what about similar groups within the government? It turns out they, too, appear compromised. Check out the logo (lower-right) for the Child Advocacy Center within the Sheriff's Office of Wicomico County, MD:

This one combines both the concentric hearts and the spiral motifs from the FBI document.

The fact that the logos of child welfare and adoption agencies so closely conform to pedophile icons suggests that they are involved in the child trafficking rings. They would be the ones who acquire and/or distribute the children wholesale to the black-market, whereas the restaurants like Comet Ping Pong, Besta Pizza, and Terasol Artisans would be the retail middlemen. (See this post on the possible ecosystem of the various shady businesses all on the same block as Comet Ping Pong.)

What exactly these groups are up to, we don't know. But it involves moving children around, is morally shady enough that they delete damning evidence when exposed, and uses a small group of (not-so) secret symbols to let the intended audience know who to approach.

Obviously not all of their business falls under this category -- I'm sure they do plenty of morally permissible activities as well (selling literal pizzas, matching foster kids with stand-up foster parents). The point is that they appear to be carrying out both the permissible and the suspicious activities, as though they were front groups (whether they were founded as such, or were hijacked and co-opted by pedo-enablers).

Now, go and post this wherever there is an audience for the PizzaGate story -- the Voat page, /pol, Twitter, Gab, Reddit, the forums you post on, whatever. I'm just doing the research here -- spreading it is your job. And buckle up, it looks like some serious stuff will be discovered on a daily basis from now on.

December 5, 2016

Bring Levi's production back to America

Trump has made it a hallmark of his rise to power that America needs to start manufacturing again if it wants to become wealthy again (and not just for the 1%).

So far he's made examples out of companies that make machines -- cars, air conditioners, iPhones -- since the workers get paid better in those industries. They add more value assembling cars than they would assembling burgers because consumers are not willing to pay much for someone else to assemble a burger for them -- but a car? Who would know where to begin, even assuming you had all of the raw materials and equipment at hand?

By bringing back jobs that add a lot of value to their employers' operation, Trump is lifting up the working and middle class without having to raise the minimum wage. Most manufacturing jobs already pay at least $15 an hour, which the Bernie people want to be the new minimum wage. Aside from not having to force employers to pay more than it's worth to hire someone, the workers enjoy the dignity of having a decent-paying constructive job rather than a handout.

But even in our manufacturing heyday, making machines was not the entirety of what we made, especially for female workers. There were whole industries that mass-produced what women used to make in their own homes, such as clothing and linens of various kinds. Although they don't add as much value as workers making air conditioners, seamstresses still save consumers a big headache by assembling their clothes for them.

Clothing wears away faster than an air conditioner or a car, so what the clothing manufacturers miss in profit margin per item they make up in sales volume.

Whenever he feels like the timing is right, Trump should pick an iconic clothing company that has off-shored its production. The carrot is the much lower corporate tax rate and reduction of pointless regulations. The stick is a big fat 35% tariff if they insist on ruining American workers' livelihoods while selling them cheap crap from the third world.

I nominate Levi's as the next target. Founded way back in 1853, they used to have 63 factories in America as recently as the early 1980s, employing between 15 and 20 THOUSAND workers, and they closed their last factories less than 15 years ago. The final nail in the coffin is so recent that there are even contemporary articles about it on the internet (covered by Forbes, CBS, and NBC).

Everybody recognizes Levi's, everybody has a pair, so it wouldn't require a campaign just to familiarize the public with who the target is. Nor what the problem is -- everyone understand that "made in Mexico / India / etc." is crap in clothing, while "made in Italy / England / etc." means high quality. The difference is that Levi's isn't a luxury brand, so we wouldn't be paying extra for its connotations like we would for an Italian designer pair of jeans.

Trump is a genius at identifying brand ambassadors, and would not have to personally take on the project so much. Have someone more relatable to the target audience be the face of the arguments and policy changes. Former beauty pageant contestants with a conscience and business sense? Maybe Ivanka herself?

It's not an ancient tradition set in stone that jeans have to be made by slaves in the third world so that the corporate stockholders continue to make profits like they did in their heyday, forever. Sometimes they're going to make more, sometimes less -- and that doesn't give them the right to fire the entire American workforce.

What kind of sick society would promote those norms with blood relatives or spouses or churches? "Welp, you've been dragging me down from 100% maximum for a few quarters now... you understand that I've got to ditch you. Maybe when/if you're back at your peak levels, you can return. Otherwise you can get re-trained to fit into a relationship with some other brother / husband / congregation."

The new approach of government must be stewardship over America's industries as resources that the American people depend on for their livelihoods, not helping corporate boards make off with as much money as humanly possible, and the devil if it ruins everyone else's lives.

And remember this earlier post: when manufacturing returns, the higher labor costs will not automatically go toward higher prices for consumers. They can just as well get eaten by the stockholders in the form of lower profit margins per item. Companies that stubbornly insist on raising prices to maintain profit margins will get out-competed by their rivals who decide to be the first mover in biting the bullet. So they'll still be profitable and rich, just not richer than God -- perfectly fine.

On top of prices that are roughly the same as before, we're going to get a much better product, and we're going to improve the lives of tens of thousands of workers just in the Levi's company alone. Better yet, these will be workers who would have a hard time getting good-paying jobs in other manufacturing sectors like car production -- namely working-class women.

That will have all sorts of positive knock-on effects, such as women not depending so much on the government to provide for them, and not being as in thrall to the neoliberal Democrat coalition that tosses them a few handouts while shipping their good-paying jobs to Mexico, India, or China.

Those workers fired in the final San Antonio plant were mostly Hispanic, judging from the name of their protest group (Fuerza Unida), and they were angry that their jobs were getting shipped to Costa Rica. They didn't care that their job thieves were "fellow Hispanics," even assuming Mexican Texans identified with Costa Ricans. It's like Cesar Chavez's Hispanic farm union workers wanting to send the illegals back over the Rio Grande, so they couldn't undercut their wages in America.

Bringing back all these good-paying jobs for working-class women that don't require a high level of skill and training will bring even more minorities into the Trump coalition, without having to pander to identity politics or provide handouts. We don't need 100% of them to defect, just enough to break what's left of the blue wall in certain states. Then it's back to GOP dominance like we haven't seen since the original Progressive Era.

December 2, 2016

PizzaGate beyond DC: Eight more pizzerias to investigate

Note: please link / condense this post to the PizzaGate page on Voat (the clearing house after Reddit shut down its own initial pages), the chans, Twitter, Gab, forums, and so on. We need to get the sleuths working on these leads, as well as further convince readers that there really is something going on here. It could be as simple as leaving a link to this post and a list of the pizzerias to look into.

I don't want this blog to turn into an ongoing PizzaGate discussion, though: this post is simply to lay out several leads for more interested individuals to follow up on. Discuss any concrete findings you have on those other sites, not in the comments here, which are for general reactions to all this weird crap.

After an earlier post on the topic, circumstantial evidence continues to mount about a possible pedophile / child trafficking ring operated by members of Clinton World through the DC pizzerias Comet Ping Pong and Besta Pizza. See this summary.

Now it's worth expanding the scope of the investigation. If those businesses are part of a ring, the same business model should be in operation elsewhere for the same purposes.

What are the odds, for instance, that there isn't a similar pizza front for pedos in Hollywood, a known den of underage sex abuse by elites?

It's hard to dismiss the totality of the evidence just surrounding Comet Ping Pong and James Alefantis -- if there are many other cases that are hard to dismiss, eventually the skepticism is unwarranted, and an investigation by the FBI is in order.*

I've gone through the Instagram accounts of actual pizzerias looking for red flags -- describing pizza as an addiction or obsession or lifestyle, highly sensual and sexual innuendo, a preponderance of underage children rather than other age groups in pictures, odd or inappropriate remarks about those pictures of children, and memes showing sexual pizza imagery or other bizarre pizza imagery relating to children.

When modern managerial culture says don't allow your brand to creep normal people out, especially if you're supposed to be catering to children and families, these are even more flagrant warning signs.

So far I've found at least 10. Two of them (linked to each other) I've looked quite a bit into, and will lay out the details in a post of its own. The remaining 8 I don't feel like investigating myself, since it's tiresome and creepy. But given how out-in-the-open these people are, there is guaranteed to be something in these 8 leads. They sometimes comment on each other's accounts, suggesting they're part of a larger federation.

These businesses and their customers primarily use Instagram for social media, so if you want to search for even more leads, that's where to look through. They're so similar and consistent that you will get used to spotting their tells. How many times do I have to see a meme of some guy making out with a human-size cheese-dripping pizza slice? That depiction of cheese is a motif unique to them -- a slice with something that looks more like runny, globby cheese dip than normal solid pizza cheese.

Again, who knows which of these will pan out? But there's enough red flags in their online presence to look into them. No links are given below, otherwise they might notice traffic spikes. If you're committed enough to investigate them, you can easily google their name. And don't be a retard by leaving comments directly on their accounts.

In no particular order, with some representative red flags (among many others omitted for brevity). Click to enlarge the text of the creepy comments, hashtags, etc.

1. Pie Five Pizza (brought up on /pol early on, but forgotten)

2. Pizza Studio

3. King David Frozen Pizza (Canada)

4. Hogan's Goat Pizza

5. King Dough Pizza

6. Bondi Pizza (Australia)

7. Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria & Bar (Las Vegas)

8. Blaze Pizza (Pie Five clone?)

Information to look into: Who is the owner, who are they connected to, where are their locations? And most importantly -- do they have connections to organizations claiming to protect children, particularly from abuse? A common theme in articles about pedo rings is that the groups responsible for taking them down -- whether benevolent non-profits or law enforcement agencies -- tend to get hijacked by pro-pedo individuals.

It's important to note that it's not clear what exactly these shady groups are up to. Child trafficking, pedophile rings, teenage prostitution, distributing child pornography, creating but not distributing it, something else? I wouldn't get too obsessed with uncovering what degree the crimes rise to, which the FBI will be figuring out. What internet sleuths can do is track down who is definitely up to something wrong, and get the word out.

I also wouldn't start with fixed expectations about who the elites are that are enabling this deviance. Comet Ping Pong and Besta Pizza were linked to Clinton World because they're in DC. Other locations will be tied to different sectors of the elite -- the movie industry in Hollywood, Wall Street in New York, tech and banking in Silicon Valley, and so on. Some of these 8 are chains with many locations, and it may be that the crimes are only taking place in some of them, where elites are concentrated.

For that reason, don't obsess over the Spirit Cooking angle to Comet Ping Pong, as weird and disgusting as it is. Maybe there will be a tie-in to a Satanic LARP-ing cult in the other cases, maybe not. We know for certain that no such group was involved in the pedo abuse within the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, and the like -- it's not about the elites being into the occult, but orchestrating the sexual abuse of children and covering it up.

* In fact, it's probably an anonymous FBI agent who initially leaked the details about Comet Ping Pong. Nobody would have noticed any of those clues on their own, and they had been sitting in plain sight on the internet for years. If we can figure this stuff out after an initial tip, the FBI likely has case files started on everything we already are and could soon find ourselves discovering. The internet sleuths are not so much breaking ground, but giving an advance warning of what law enforcement had already been preparing to expose and prosecute.

The reason why they aren't pursuing the cases toward indictments or announcing anything to the public is, as we've seen with Comey covering up for the Clintons (going back to the Marc Rich pardon), the elites have been above the law. With outsiders Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions coming into power, that situation will no longer hold.

December 1, 2016

Urban areas that flipped red (and a few that flipped blue)

Both the Establishment media and conservative regulars are framing Trump's success as an uprising of non-urban America over urban America. The media provides its consumers with ego flattery in the form of reassuring them that Trump voters are hicks in the sticks, while conservatives pride themselves on not being urbanites and want to flatter their own egos about the electoral strength of non-urban America.

It's not that there's no truth to this -- a thousand voters in this rural county, a thousand voters in that rural county, pretty soon you've got a narrow victory.

But so much of non-urban America was already sour on the Democrats that there wasn't a whole lot more blood to be squeezed from that stone.

Rather, the key new partner in the Trump coalition was urban areas -- not just any, but those in de-industrialized regions. Industrialization produced large populations who are still there in the Rust Belt, even if it's down from their peak around 1970.

They may be forgotten cities, but they are still cities. In the Establishment and conservative mindset, whether you love 'em or hate 'em, only the thriving glamorous cities represent urban areas.

An earlier post on Election Day discussed these issues, and now we can see where exactly the large numbers of new Republican voters came from. We can also see which urban areas that used to be Republican have defected to the elitist party.

To keep the numbers round, I'm using "urban area" to mean a county with about 100,000 people or more. I only counted it as a flip if it was the same color during both Obama elections, and switched during the Trump election. Otherwise it already flipped due to Obama, McCain, or Romney. We're interested in the re-alignment brought about by Trump vs. Clinton.

First, a brief reminder of where urban areas are located:

We can't expect flipping urban areas in the Upper Plains if there aren't any there to begin with. And they'd already be Republican anyway.

This map shows urban counties that went for Obama both times and then for Trump (red), and those that went for McCain and Romney and then for Clinton (blue). Click to enlarge.

See the Appendix for tables listing the county, state, largest city, population size, and the last time it voted Republican (if it went to Trump) or Democrat (if it went to Clinton).

Let's start with the handful that went from red to blue. If Trump cities are forgotten cities, then new blue cities are thriving magnets for aspiring elites. Trump cities lie in the Rust Belt, new blue cities in the Sun Belt.

The worst offender is Orange CA, which hasn't voted Democrat since 1936. Next is Fort Bend TX, part of the Houston metro, that hasn't been blue since favorite son LBJ ran unopposed in 1964. Another favorite son, Jimmy Carter in 1976 and '80, was the last Democrat chosen by three counties in the Atlanta metro (Cobb, Gwinnett, Henry).

The only new blue county outside of the Sun Belt is Anne Arrundel MD, part of the Baltimore metro and home to Annapolis ("Drain the swamp"). It only narrowly voted Republican the past two times, though, so it's not as dramatic of a reversal. The last Democrat they voted for was LBJ in '64.

These counties are all affluent, and are natural defections as Trump re-aligns the GOP toward its Progressive Era dominance, when its guiding principle was husbandry of America's industries, relying on the native working class and industrialists alike.

What's disturbing is that when these new blue counties voted Democrat many decades ago, they were in line with the rest of the nation -- FDR, LBJ, Carter. Now they are voting blue at a time when the country has swung decisively red. They are joining their fellow nouveau riche parasites to make the Democrats the party of reactionary elites.

Turning to the blue-to-red counties, the bulk of them lie in the former industrial powerhouse of the Greater Northeast -- east of the Mississippi, and not the South. The two main sub-divisions are those along the Great Lakes and those in eastern major river valleys (Delaware, Hudson, Connecticut). Most of them contributed to winning the state for Trump, or at least substantially narrowing the margin (as in Rhode Island). The exception here is New York, where the gains outside of New York City were offset by the worse-than-usual Republican numbers within it. Not surprising, given all the yuppies, transplants, and immigrants there.

The largest counties here, with over half a million residents, are Suffolk NY (Long Island), Macomb MI, and Montgomery OH. I said in the Election Day post that a major Rust Belt city would turn red, and although it wasn't as big as Cincinnati, its large satellite Dayton turned red for the first time since 1988.

Just under half of these Rust Belt counties voted GOP for the last time as recently as 2004, although that doesn't mean they were reliably red before then. For some, 2004 was like 2016 a risk-taking year for the reliably blue county. For others, they had been drifting away for awhile, and 2008 was the crossing-over point. So Trump has both brought back lapsed Republican counties, as well as piqued the interest of blue counties who only vote red when things look really bad and they want someone to shake things up.

Nearly half last voted Republican during the 1980s, and a handful for Nixon in '72. Only two counties last voted GOP when it was a losing party (St. Lucie FL and Suffolk NY last voted red in '92). So unlike the new blue counties, the red-for-Trump counties have generally been on board with the rest of the nation -- for Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and now Trump.

And although W. Bush won many of these counties, he didn't win the states they're in because he didn't win enough of them at once, and by large enough margins. Sure, W. Bush won Racine WI in '04, but Trump also added Kenosha, which hasn't voted red since the '72 landslide. And W. Bush won Macomb MI in '04, but Trump added Saginaw and Bay, which haven't voted red since the '84 landslide. So W. Bush could only make a dent in Wisconsin and Michigan, while Trump won both of them. And W. Bush didn't win any of the three in Pennsylvania that Trump flipped, which last voted GOP in '84 or '88.

Outside of the Rust Belt, there are two flipped counties in Florida that helped win the state. Although it might not seem like a historic upset since Florida goes back and forth, these two counties (Pinellas and St. Lucie) have been solid blue since '88 or '92. I'm guessing the transplants there are refugees from the Rust Belt. They vote like them, at any rate.

Secondarily, there's a pair of Southern minority cities where Trump's no-BS appeal to blacks managed to convert two urban areas that are traditionally Democrat because they're majority minority. These are Robeson NC and Jefferson TX, which only voted Republican in the '72 landslide, and were Democrat before that at least back through 1960. Chesapeake VA is also nearly majority minority, and no doubt flipped red with the help of the blacks for Trump. That was a W. Bush county (and state), though, so it's not such a major reversal.

Finally, there's an outlier out West in Cowlitz WA, which is actually on the Oregon border and part of the Portland area rather than Seattle. (Oregon is the reddest state on the West Coast, notwithstanding the recent colonization of Portland -- imagine that for twice as long in Seattle, and five times as long in San Francisco.) There's no single big city there, but a collection of small towns with roots in the lumber industry. Since 1960, they've only voted Republican in '60, '72, and '80.

That flip is part of the "grungers for Trump" phenomenon that I've pointed out several times before. This now includes the hometown of Nirvana (Aberdeen WA), whose small county (Grays Harbor) has not voted Republican since 1928! At least they picked winners when they did decide to go red. Truly a return to the Progressive Era of the GOP.

This makes it clear that the main issue determining the election was populism vs. elitism, and that gaining the white working class in forgotten cities was smarter than trying to reach out to minorities in mega-cities. The losses on the GOP side reflect that: it was elitist whites who left, not blacks, Hispanics, or Asians (such as their numbers were in the GOP).

If we don't internalize these lessons, we'll slip back into the same anti-urban mindset that lost so badly over the past generation. Rescuing and re-building forgotten cities is not blind worship of urbanism, unlike the failing mindset of Establishment Republicans whose idea of urban outreach is making themselves as cosmopolitan as possible in order to win the votes of yuppies in thriving cities. The Trump movement can prioritize urban areas, as long as it's coming from an attitude of stewardship over American industries, rather than maximizing the incomes of carpet-bagging yuppies.


Red to blue counties

State County Largest City Pop (100K) Last voted D
CA Orange Anaheim 32 1936
GA Cobb Marietta 7 1976
GA Gwinnett Peachtree Corners 8 1976
GA Henry Stockbridge 2 1980
MD Anne Arundel Glen Burnie 6 1964
TX Fort Bend Sugar Land 6 1964

Blue to red counties

State County Largest City Pop (100K) Last voted R
CT Windham Windham 1 1988
DE Kent Dover 2 2004
FL Pinellas St. Petersburg 9 1988
FL St. Lucie Port St. Lucie 3 1992
IL Winnebago Rockford 3 2004
IN Porter Portage 1 2004
IN LaPorte Michigan City 1 1988
IN Vigo Terre Haute 1 2004
IN Delaware Muncie 1 2004
ME Penobscot Bangor 2 2000
ME Kennebec Augusta 1 1988
ME Androscoggin Lewiston 1 1988
MI Macomb Warren 8 2004
MI Monroe Monroe 2 2004
MI Saginaw Saginaw 2 1984
MI Bay Bay City 1 1984
MI Calhoun Battle Creek 1 2004
MI Eaton Charlotte 1 2004
NC Robeson Lumberton 1 1972
NH Hillsborough Manchester 4 2004
NJ Gloucester Washington Twp 3 1988
NY Suffolk Brookhaven 15 1992
NY Niagara Niagara Falls 2 1984
NY Oswego Oswego 1 2004
NY Broome Binghamton 2 1984
NY Orange Newburgh 4 2004
NY Dutchess Poughkeepsie 3 2004
NY St. Lawrence Ogdensburg 1 1988
NY Saratoga Saratoga Springs 2 2004
NY Rensselaer Troy 2 1988
OH Montgomery Dayton 5 1988
OH Stark Canton 4 2000
OH Wood Bowling Green 1 2004
OH Lorain Lorain 3 1984
OH Portage Kent 2 1988
OH Trumbull Warren 2 1972
OH Ashtabula Ashtabula 1 1984
PA Luzerne Wilkes-Barre 3 1988
PA Erie Erie 3 1984
PA Northampton Bethlehem 3 1988
RI Kent Warwick 2 1984
TX Jefferson Beaumont 3 1972
VA Chesapeake Chesapeake 2 2004
WA Cowlitz Longview 1 1980
WI Racine Racine 2 2004
WI Kenosha Kenosha 2 1972
WI Winnebago Oshkosh 2 2004