The Pope is Not a Communist

So Sayeth Thomas Williams over at Breitbart.

Rather, the Pope is a critic of the spiritual malaise involved of the worship of Mammon. As he should be. But he never has said, or even suggested, that the free market be replaced with another economic system.

Francis’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, famously distinguished between capitalism as an ideology of lawlessness and capitalism as a system that promotes free exchange and creativity.

“If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative,” he wrote.

This is a summary of how Pope Francis thinks.

Read the whole thing, and observe the regularity with which the progs who write for the mainstream media shoehorn papal statements into things which confirm their bias.

Because the media – especially the American media – do not understand Catholicism. They never will.

The Three Steps of Cord Cutting

Step 1: “I’m paying $100 a month for cable. Netflix costs $8 a month, Amazon Prime $75 a year. WTH?”

Step 2: “Is it really worth $100 a month to watch football and 24-hour news?”

Step 3: “Hold up, digital rabbit ears are a thing?”

via Breitbart, noting the death-spiral of cable. Huzzah.

Or, as I noted when I underwent this process myself two years ago:

Mostly, I’m tired of paying through the nose for channels I never ever watch. The History Channel might be worth my time if I was an illiterate who needed everything explained to me real slow and then repeated. The Learning Channel has taught me nothing except that some women don’t realize when they’re heavy with child, but you can be a raging, soul-sucking, child-pimping, social climbing psycho hose beast control freak for eight seasons and the whole world will forgive you if your ex-husband puts on an Ed Hardy T-Shirt.

The pleasure are just not enough anymore. The Soup is not enough; reruns of How I Met Your Mother are not enough. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are not enough.

I’m a bit behind schedule, but I’ve finally watched all of Breaking Bad as it is.

Rule #1 Of Conservative Media: Don’t Suck

Iowahawk  and Lisa DiPasquale echo Ben Howe in making a basic point that we have not yet internalized:

So, to paraphrase Ben Howe’s point, if you want to make a good conservative movie, first, make a good movie. The same rule applies to humor: funny first, politics second. When it comes to gauging the impact of a satire bit, 100 praises or retweets from fellow conservatives aren’t as valuable as a single grudging “I hate your stupid wingnut politics, but I laughed.”

We don’t do this, because we don’t study the arts, and we don’t study the arts because we think them namby-pamby careers. Because artists are overwhelmingly progressive, conservatives don’t want to study the arts.

We need to get over this.

Third Parties – A Breitbart Retrospective

Big Government has a series on the history of Third Parties and the possibilities of a Third Party run in 2016. They’re all worth the read, but there’s no page for all of them: I had to do an internal search to find them from the beginning (though of course all of them are linked on the last in the series) It’s a Five-Part series, and four have been posted.

Part 1 highlights the political mood of the populace vis-a-vis the major parties. Everone is mad:

Still, looking ahead to the 2014 midterm elections, members of Congress in both parties might be a bit unnerved by yet another Pew data point showing that just 23 percent of Americans approve of the national legislature. To be sure, approval of individual lawmakers is much higher, but when overall disapproval is that high, there’s the distinct possibility that a “throw the bums out” election could be on the way.

Enh. Such things rarely manifest into actual action. It’s always the other guy’s Representative who is a swine, never yours. And most of them are in “safe” districts so even the two-party opposition is helpless.

Part 2 discusses the history of third parties, from the rise of the GOP and concomitant implosion of the Whigs in the 1850’s, to the Populists, Progressives, Dixiecrats, and Perot’s Reform Party. The upshot is that since the collapse of the Whigs, both parties have become adept at co-opting third parties.

Part 3 explores the No Labels moevment as the seed of a centrist third party. Basically, they’re too small-ball to inspire boldness, too generically good-government to really fit into a conservative’s or a progressive’s conception of why the government exists and what it should do. They want to “fix problems” but they don’t want to challenge

Part 4 looks at Rand Paul and the Tea Parties, and concludes that the Tea Parties and liberty-minded folk have no intention of bolting from the GOP, and that people tend to talk more libertarian than they actually vote. Both of which are almost certainly true. But, as Professor Reynolds likes to say, things that can’t go on forever, won’t. If the GOP continues their policy of pre-emptive surrender, the libertarians within the party will find themselves without a choice. If entitlements continue to be un-fixed, we’re going to find ourselves in the bracing anarchy of default libertarianism.

I will post Part 5 here when it appears.

The Civil War Has Begun

So Sayeth Breibart.

What Karl Rove and company did last week in the New York Times, claiming that their new “Conservative Victory Project” would cure the ills of a disappointing campaign cycle, is laughable. The so-called “Conservative Victory Project” is nothing more than an attempt by establishment Republicans to cull the conservative movement. Why does Rove think he has a monopoly on wanting to win?
At least Karl Rove and company are finally out front with their disdain for the conservative movement, and I am thankful for it. The battle lines are finally drawn, and conservatives should look at the New York Times article as our Lexington and Concord. This battle will be a long, hard slog against the establishment. Just this week, a Rove henchman attacked conservative leader Brent Bozell. But we will prevail, because we actually believe in core principles and a cause greater than our egos and money.

Everything is proceeding as I have forseen.

The Irrelevance of Conservative Despair

Over at Protein Wisdom, a former Marine and gun store owner speaks a few truths.

Writes Jeff:

Unfortunately, we’ve become expert, as a popular and political culture, at pretending we haven’t encountered those very truths we continue to molest — all in an effort to will new truths into being out of something so gossamer as manufactured consent based around manipulated perception.

All ideologies emphasize some truths and de-emphasize others. What Jeff is talking about is something far more insidious, because unspoken: an exercise in doublethink. One hears, one perceives truth, and one simultaneously pretends that the truth is not true, due to its simplism, its epistemic cloture, its unreasonableness. Because we do not like the truth (that the state is in many ways powerless to stop people from harming others), we will replace it with one more to our liking (that with the Courage to Act according to a Rational Spirit of this Our Enlightened Age, we can Do Amazing Things).

They are, of course, wrong. Human nature is not infinitely malleable, and even if it were, the state would need totalitarian powers to mash us into the New Soviet Man desired. And no state with totalitarian powers avoids becoming evil. Hayek spelled this out seventy years ago,  but people refuse to believe him, because they do not feel empowered by it. It spells out a limitation of human ability, which one cannot accept and remain progressive.

And right now, the progressives are powerful. Via double-think and the long march through the institutions, they can and do frame the debates to their utmost advantage. They routinely apply (while conveniently denying) a double-standard to the actions and pronouncements of people based on ideology and party affiliation. They run the tables on us, and we barely manage to stand across the train tracks yelling “Stop!”

This is all true, and we are only beginning to come to terms with it. We are passing through the stages of grief, from Shock (Holy crap, are we really going to lose Florida?), Denial (Karl Rove attacks the call), Anger (Whose Fault is this!), to Despair and Acceptance. Right now, I sense Despair, the hopelessness of standing against the Beast, the longing for the Sweet Meteor of Death, the call to Let it Burn. This feeling is real, and it is irrelevant.

Because they are wrong.

They. Are. Wrong. About Everything. About Guns. About Abortion. About Social Security. About spending, about taxation, about debt. They are Wrong about the Economy, and the government’s role in same. About every issue of public policy that has shaped the last 100 years, the progressives have put their yearning to immanentize the eschaton ahead of any other consideration, and have led themselves into continuous and repeated acts of folly, while blaming the world and we who disagree for reality’s obstinate recalcitrance.

Boasting of tolerance, they despise and indulge in violent fantasies about anyone who marches not in lockstep with them. Vomiting populism, they coagulate into a clerical/political class that exempts itself from the health care and gun laws they extol for the provincials. Yammering about freedom, they labor like stevedores to  build Caeser’s dais.

There is no magic bullet to defeat them. Negotiating with them will not slow them down. The only way out is through the truth: continuously, convincingly demanded. Taken to public forums and shoved in their face over and over and over again, until they first recognize that we will not be cowed.

And there are other ways. Pop Culture is not going to go away. It is a fertile breeding ground for assumptions – ideas which are not examined. We can use this it, too – once we understand how it works.

See, Andrew Breitbart didn’t expect someone else to do the hard, grassroots work of retaking our culture. There’s no army of conservatives out there who’s going to do it while you’re curled up watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show (starring an actor who shilled for Obamacare).

There’s you. You need to occasionally – not always, not all the time – acquaint yourself with pop culture sufficiently to participate in the discussion it sparks. Girls poses hard questions about young people, their aimlessness, their lack of morality, their crushing unhappiness – and conservatism has answers.

You need to make sure the people around you hear those answers, but step one is to be a part of the discussion.

There’s a step two, but step 0.5 is to be prepared to argue with people, to tell them, deftly, politely, bluntly, wittily, that their ideology is built on quicksand.

So get the hell on with it. It matters less what our gutless triangulating Congressmen do if we have the strength to punish them for it. They will believe we have that strength when we start manifesting it in every way we can.