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AvatarComments by Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner*

On “A Timeless Box Full of Whistles

An amazing essay, wonderfully written.
I'll add more when I've had time to reflect.

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

"Are you part of the anti-crucifixion Judean People's Front?"

"No I'm part of the pro-crucifixion People's Front of Judea"

"

Worth noting that Jesus' main criticism of society was their narrow and self serving focus on the law rather than justice, and in that he was echoing earlier prophets saying similar things.

"

As a lapsed Catholic turned lapsed Episcopalian I think this piece has a lot of truth to it.

Particularly the thoughts on how churches tend to deliver spirituality as a consumer good, a sort of self help exercise.

Personally I think American Christian churches (I don't know enough about other faiths) are struggling to define themselves and what they are about.

Aside from sexuality and reproduction few of them really have anything to say that isn't already covered by secular organizations.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

In this case, the One Weird Trick is organizing society based on economic principles.

I mentioned that it was Marx's victory that he got everyone to imagine that economics was the only proper way of ordering society.

One of the ways I realized this was false was when I imagined the Jim Crow South from the lat 19 through middle 20th century, as adopting either socialism or libertarianism.

In either case, how would the fortunes of the oppressed minority there have changed?

I think it is obvious that their fortunes wouldn't have improved or even changed much either way.

Which is why I am so insistent on the point of racism and cultural chauvinism today.
Those desires have so much power, that like a black hole, they bend and warp all the organs and institutions of society to their purpose.

"

I second the motion.
Distributist writings appeal to me, but seem to forever be on the abstract plane.

Moving the distribution of wealth closer to its production sounds wonderful, I'm just not sure what it looks like.

I've said for a while that the old debate between liberal capitalism and socialism has exhausted itself, so a new framework of how to look at social organization would be interesting.

"

You know I actually was a union factory worker for a few years after high school, stacking boxes on an assembly line.

The pay was great- triple minimum wage for a high school diploma, time and a half for overtime, triple time for holidays.

But the work? Yeah, stacking boxes for eight hours in a hundred degree warehouse...I'm not nostalgic.

"

I want to share Dougherty's view, and very badly want to share in the idea that say, being a steelworker was somehow better than being a pool cleaner.

But I note that no one is envying the modern steelworkers in China, slaving in hellish conditions for poverty wages;
No one is admiring the women assembling circuit boards in Malaysia, as if they were unionized Ford workers.

I don't think it is the work we feel nostalgic for, but the wage and job security.

If a barista could support a family, if an auto detailer could buy a house then I don't think anyone would be nostalgic.

"

See, I've learned over the years not to be bamboozled by the rhetorical pyrotechnics of an argument.
I've gotten to the point where I just look at the bottom line of what is being supported or attacked.

Because all the flowery Bible verses, the erudite quotations from the Enlightenment philosophers- its all total bullshit if it is being pressed into service for something that is obviously and intuitively hurtful and mean.

Like, calling a transwoman "Sir" or supporting the forced separation of families and infliction of cruelty.

The Bible tells us to treat other people how we would like to be treated, and the Enlightenment tells us that every individual should be allowed to flourish as they wish.

Addressing someone as they wish to be addressed doesn't have anything to do with some deep philosophical premise- its just kind and thoughtful. Striving to keep families together isn't some strange political theory- its just common decency.

There is a core of meanness, and deliberate cruelty in Shapiro and this movement he calls home. All the rhetorical polish in the world won't conceal it.

"

Isn't Shapiro the "Arabs like to live in sewage and blow stuff up" guy?

I'm pretty sure this is not the conservative I am looking for.

On “Manifest Trumpestiny

Mr. Trudeau, Sir! We cannot allow a Property Gap!

We must, I implore you, we must immediately purchase Park Place, and put a hotel on it!

I'm not saying we won't get our hair mussed, maybe we have to lose Schitt's Creek, depending on the breaks.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

Then I really am confused.
Is he welcoming of an invasion of lower IQ people from shithole countries?

If so, then I retract my criticism.

"

Glad to!

Western Civilization stretches from the Hebrew culture of the Old Testament, to the pagan culture of Athens and Rome, to the barbarian cultures of Northern Europe. It includes mysticism of the Persian religions, to the art and culture of the Muslims in Byzantium and Spain.

It isn't a single coherent thought, its a long process of accretion and assimilation and conquest, of wildly diverse and contradictory ideas.

What do you think the Romans like Cato and Cicero thought of the religion of Moses and Abraham?
What did the Celtic tribes think of Cato and Cicero?
What did the Christian missionaries think of the Celtic religions?

These people all despised each other as either uncultured savages, or imperialistic slavers.

There are still surviving writings of the second and third century Romans sneering at the new Hebrew cult of Jesus as it was rising in popularity.

Christianity in their eyes was an affront to civilization, the religions of uncivilized and inferior people. They looked at Christianity much the way Ben Shapiro looks at Islam.

The history of Western Civilization is a palimpsest, a thick overlapping of waves of conquest and Great Replacements, as one culture was overrun by another, but the resulting mix containing thread of both.

You can see the stupidity of Shapiro's view in the occasional awkwardness that results when white supremacists try to create something "pure" out of it- Like when someone suggests white culture is Christian, while another guy nearby waves a symbol of Odin or some Norse mythology.

Or the absurdity of 19th century WASP culture that saw the study of Virgil as the essence of erudition, while they despised the actual living descendants of Virgil as an inferior race.

Ilhan Omar is as much a part of Western Civilization as Ben Shapiro is.

"

The worst enemies of "Western Civilization" are those who most vehemently defend it.

Western Civilization is a long tangled chaotic mix of cultural diversity of the very sort that the Ben Shapiros of the world detest.

On “Manifest Trumpestiny

I still find it difficult to accept how the entire news media just casually accepts the possibility that the President is losing his grip on reality, like this is a reality show show version of West Wing.

I'm reminded of that TV show in the 80s called Amerika, where America was taken over by Russia and the President just airily suggests the country be broken up into pieces, and everyone just nods in docile submission.

It seemed bizarre then, that earthshaking things could just happen, and everyone might shrug without protest or argument.

But maybe its because like I keep suggesting, that for most of us, none of this has any tangible effect on our day to day life.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

"You think you're an intellectual, don't ya, ape!

"Apes don't read philosophy."

"Yes they do Otto, they just don't understand it!"

"

Its entirely possible that you put more thought into this one comment, than Shapiro put into his entire radio show.

None of their shtick even seems to have the veneer of anything approaching a principle or coherent worldview. Its all just free form, off the cuff tough guy poses and snarling memes or tee shirt slogans.

Its like one of those analyses of classic fascism, where they aren't trying to win anyone over with arguments, but sheer force of emotion and intimidation.

"

Ahh, yes, acknowledging that short people got no reason to live is so very un-PC I'm surprised Ben hasn't made that argument yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bfyS-S-IJs

On “Epstein Dead

That's it in a nutshell, that crime is boring, even if we are talking about Prince Andrew molesting a teenager, its just as sad and tawdry as if it was a Scout leader or soccer coach in a suburb somewhere.

I mentioned elsewhere that in his 30's Ted Nugent adopted a 17 year old so as to have her as his girlfriend, and Bill Wyman started dating Mandy Smith when she was 13, all without the blare of trumpets and breathless tabloid fascination. And these were events made public, without anyone suffering a mysterious accident.

I guess that's what I'm getting at, that even if there is video of some Mr. Big in bed with a girl, given the way our world operates, why would anyone think this would motivate them to murder?

I get the sense sometimes that people want a scandal like this to be bigger, more dramatic and lurid than it possibly can be.

The way that people imagine that Hollywood celebrity couples bicker more intensely, have spats that are more dramatic, and makeup sex that is more romantic and erotic than regular people.

"

Well, there WAS a conspiracy where Epstein, Maxwell, and others (allegedly) engaged in sex with underage girls.

But it actually deflates the thrilling aspect of conspiracies, since as I show below, all sorts of people are out there blabbing about it saying "Hell yeah, Epstein was messing around with young girls!"

The conspiracy was not just the big important people but all the assorted servants, bodyguards and hangers on who saw and remained silent, until this very moment when it becomes convenient NOT to be silent.

Because the tables have flipped. In 2008, for a butler to go around talking about Epstein would have been all downside and no upside.

But today, there is a lot of lucrative opportunities, not to mention plea bargains, available for anyone who talks.
And as we see, there is such a huge cast of characters, using assassination to block the truth would be like killing a beehive one bee at a time.

Maybe the worst aspect of VIP conspiracy theories is that the VIPs don't really need to work very hard to keep ugly secrets- there are plenty of ordinary people willing to look the other way, when it is convenient.

"

Another batch of interviews:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ghislaine-maxwell-where-in-the-world-is-jeffrey-epsteins-girlfriend

"According to one unsealed deposition, Epstein’s former house manager in Palm Beach, Juan Alessi, said Maxwell “became the supervisor not only for this house, but for all the homes” when Epstein was absent. Alessi said more than 100 girls came to Epstein’s mansion during his employment, and that he cleaned and returned sex toys to Maxwell’s closet."

"A butler for Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Eva Andersson-Dubin, detailed one occasion where Maxwell, Epstein, and an unnamed 15-year-old girl from Sweden, entered the home Dubin shares with her husband Glenn, a billionaire hedge-funder.

The employee, Rinaldo Rizzo, testified that Eva brought the girl into the kitchen and left. The teen, who was distraught, told Rizzo she was Epstein’s personal assistant. She then burst into tears, claiming she was on Epstein’s island with Maxwell and Epstein’s ex-assistant, co-conspirator Sarah Kellen. The trio had asked her for sex, and she said no."

There is going to be a mountain of this sort of stuff. There were witnesses numbering in the dozens or more, who can all implicate Maxwell and all the Mr. Bigs involved.

And this is important:
"While Maxwell wasn’t explicitly named, she’s long been at the center of the Epstein controversy as his girlfriend-turned-majordomo and recruiter of his minor victims. And now that Epstein is dead, all eyes are on Maxwell as the keeper of his secrets.
The government will have access to the full, unredacted evidentiary record in the case Giuffre brought against Maxwell, Boies said.

Which keeps me thinking that there really isn't a lot of motive in killing Epstein, since there are so many Keepers Of Secrets besides him.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

When I think about Ben Shapiro, I have one of those "There but for the grace of God" moments.

Because at 18 I was also a precocious Reagan conservative, and could argue well, and to be honest, I was callow and cocksure of myself and my view of the world, the way young men who have never experienced life can be.

How lucky I am then, that there wasn't a massive grift machine and welfare circuit that could groom me, supply me with a platform, and flatter and fan the flames of my self regard into an inferno of noxiousness.

Like boy bands, the political world has an insatiable appetite for new talent so in all likelihood Ben's moment in the spotlight will be over soon.

If he's lucky, he will discover other ways of looking at the world.

On “Epstein Dead

Once again you are pointing to irregularities that don't exist.
It is entirely REGULAR for guards to fail to patrol;
It is REGULAR for guards to cheat and falsify paperwork;
It is REGULAR for self hanging to result in a hyoid bone being broken.

All these facts are entirely consistent with suicide.
Unfortunately they are also consistent with a jailhouse murder.

We
Just
Don't
Know
Enough
Yet.

"

From what I've read, the Mafia in the NY/NJ area has largely been decimated partly from encroachment by Russian mobsters, but also by the collapse of the old organizational discipline.

Where once guys would do time without squealing, in the past couple decades they couldn't wait to blab to the Feds.

Which makes sense when you think about it.
If you're the sort of guy who is willing to work patiently and diligently and wait your turn and endure long years of paying dues before you see a reward, well, you would be a union carpenter, not a mobster.

Look at how the guys in Mueller's investigation sang like canaries the moment they were pressured with indictments.

"

Your logic is backward.

For instance, in order for it to be murder by strangulation, his hyoid bone would need to be broken.

It was broken!
But that doesn't rule anything out, it only keeps the possibilities open.

It could have been murder by strangulation, or it also could have been suicide by strangulation assisted by incompetence.

Same goes for all the other pieces of evidence we have- the guards sleeping, falsifying records..

All of the evidence we have fits with either scenario.
So we still just don't know.

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