I believe the children are our future. Teach them STEM. Walk them around downtown Alexandria on a chain gang.

If you’ve loafed around these pages much, you won’t be surprised to hear that yuppie eugenics are a self-regenerative damnation upon America and that Jeremiah Wright’s prayers are superfluous. America is officially too woke for hard eugenics post Carrie Buck, that Austrian pest with the excessive interest in military stuff, and so forth. Soft eugenics is another matter, but not a much less appalling one. This is a fucking vicious country, and matters of hearth and kin are especially easy excuses for our violent outbursts of parochialism. The worst among us were already itching to hunt down the poor and brutalize them; “good neighborhoods” and “good schools” for our precious snowflakes are convenient justifications for terror campaigns, frequently racially coded, against the marginalized and the vulnerable that were on the agenda long before and irrespective of family formation. This way, the evil gets a pass because all the nice bitches at the HOA demand it on behalf of rugrats who are probably too resilient to need or expect communal interference against their integration with the local poor trash.

The kids are all right. No. They would be all right, or right enough, if their parents and their parents’ peers weren’t insane. There’s a billboard at the King Street Metro Station in Alexandria advertising STEM immersion classes for toddlers. This billboard raises a bunch of questions: Why does it exist? Why does the market for what it’s advertising exist? Why does anyone think it’s anything but pathological to force preschoolers into formal scientific training? They can hardly make it to the potty. Why does anyone think that little Madison gives a shit about STEM? I have a bachelor’s degree in geology and I think it’s a goddamn scam. Are the self-important shitheads who take that billboard seriously because they seek vicarious aggrandizement through their desultory, belated broods really crazy enough to expect their precious snowflakes to know what they want to do for a living before they’ve matriculated to kindergarten? In spite of all the bad things that the US workforce is, we do not live in a society of astronauts, marine biologists, and princesses. When trailer park boys (TM) tell their landladies (in the traditional feudal sense) that they’re “gonna collect a check, just like mamma did,” that’s just the preemptive triumph of realism over aspiration. If we want them to aspire to a more edifying reality, maybe we should make a justly compensated one possible for them instead of constantly berating them for not staying in school until they’re in debt for life.

There could be jobs for the native poor, but we give them to Mexicans. I simplify, but I don’t mislead. There is something else that I saw in Alexandria, even worse than the toddler STEM billboard. I saw a line of–I believe it was sixteen, although I was too floored to make a definitive count–toddlers tied by the wrists to a length of rope, staggered on alternating sides barely a pace apart, with a young Mexican lady in a daycare T-shirt tugging on the rope from their front, a second young Mexican lady pushing the line from the rear, and a third mamacita sheepdogging the line from the right. The lady in the front was pulling hard on this line of mostly unhappy and barely ambulatory tykes.

In retrospect, I don’t think it would have been wrong of me to call 911. Legal or not, that’s the kind of thing that ought to trigger a child abuse investigation. Cops ought to be called out to make sure that stunts like that don’t go one toe over the line into an actionable offense. What really floored me about it, in addition to the child abuse/neglect angle (like, who thinks a 5:1 brat:adult ratio is adequate for a toddler field trip, and where the hell are the parents?), was the Dixie angle. The Mason-Dixon Line, commemorated by Tom Lehrer in coarse, coarse song, is one formal frontier of the South, but Maryland isn’t wholeheartedly Southern. These assholes just had to deploy their children’s chain gang on the Washington & Lee side of the river. I immediately, of course, had vivid images of antebellum slavery. It didn’t matter that there was only one noticeably black child on the rope. One just doesn’t fucking do that in–dear God–Alexandria. Marse Bob himself wasn’t much of a racist, and certainly not a bigot (much like George Wallace). Dat Confederacy, tho. Or, perhaps, one does fucking do that in Virginia. It’s for Lovers. Loving (heh; look, I hardly slept last night) one’s children must be less convenient than hiring Mexicans to neglect and incidentally abuse them on public streets. This was happening on King Street in Old Alexandria, in a very ritzy neighborhood. I have to assume that the parents have significant financial resources to pay for daycare. They, of all people, should not have children being tied into a tug rope like prisoners and bodily jerked around by negligent Mexicans. If American migrant workers were doing that to Mexican children in Mexico, I’d be equally scandalized and even more furious at the gringos because, as their compatriot, I expect them to have better ethics than that in their dealings with small children.

That Kwesi Millington for Sheriff feeling surged through me, electrically (how else?), as I watched this scene. Every American who isn’t too retarded for the sixth grade should immediately and viscerally understand the implications of putting anyone in physical bondage as part of a group in the Tidewater South. George Washington stole teeth from slaves for his dentures not an hour by horseback downriver. Robert E. Lee, as I said, was a local boy done good, or bad, depending on taste. Mercy Street is filmed there, but its target audience is too busy with Downton Abbey reruns to watch it. These are, shall we say, ties that bind us to our history in the worst possible ways. Donald Trump was right about the slave chains: they’re not good, really not good. We should all agree with him on that much. And we should be absolutely sure that there is a compelling public safety interest in putting anyone into anything even resembling chain-gang bondage before readying the rope. Being too cheap to hire more Mexicans doesn’t cut it.

Especially in the fucking plantation South. What in God’s name is wrong with these people? Did they elect Jeff Sessions mayor? NoVa leans left, and to the extent that it leans right, it doesn’t lean mercy me and shut my mouth, I do declare the General Lee is late right. Looking at that toddlers’ chain gang, I’d sooner expect dandies and their ladies to don their Sunday best for a public slave whipping than Loudoun County libertarianism. If there was a consensus not to normalize the ugliest parts of the Old South for young children, it must have gotten lost in translation into the Spanish. Chicas: no es bueno. Comprende? No bueno. Madre de Diós. It’s like the gardener not understanding how you wanted the hedges trimmed, except it’s also child abuse, and we’ll be lucky if Neil Young doesn’t write another whiny song about old-fashioned Dixie bigots when he hears about this shit. #CanadianContent #CommunicateToCreate!

#NeverMind

Alienating the citizenry from the means of production is certainly a Tidewater classic. Here we can’t find Americans to watch their own countrymen’s kids, so we also can’t find enough Mexicans. Or Hondurans or whatever. Probably Mexicans, though. Do I sound like I give a shit if some campesino takes me for a Canuck because the gringos all look alike? A skeleton staff of foreign women who don’t so much speaka the English are hired to acculturate toddlers into felon work-release culture so that the toddlers’ parents can make a killing for, just a hunch, the Pentagon and its institutional sugar babies. National defense my fat white ass. We can’t find American girls to do that. What the hell is wrong with us? What the hell is wrong with our women? Judging from the staff at our massage parlors, we can’t even find American women to work as whores. Childrearing and whoring are basic as fuck. Most women will have an inclination to one or both, probably focusing on the former but not mutually exclusive. It would be like having a nation of men who are unable to do basic commercial yard work.

Oops. We have that, too, apparently, judging from the Mexican guys in the matching uniforms who got off the Metro at Pentagon City. We can’t rake a damn pile of leaves. Proficiency in English seems like a worthwhile secondary qualification in a gardener, but what do I know? I’m not in a position to lord it over my Mexicans, since I haven’t any. Proficiency in English definitely seems a worthwhile skill for a whore catering to American customers, but maybe I’m just old-fashioned for wanting to have a language in common for communication during casual trysts, for wanting the opportunity to cohere dates with prostitutes into a broader social context than a dozen badly mispronounced words, including “sucka” and “ooh, bigga cock!” These dates usually involve massage, allowing for even worse nonunderstandings having nothing to do with sex. Seriously, I’ve hired masseuses who couldn’t understand basic sentences immediately pertaining to their practice and who didn’t seem to understand a full dozen words of English.

It’s absurd, but come to think of it, what else should we expect as a society for not generally agreeing that proficiency in English should be a qualification for customer service positions? Do you expect your day laborer to speak any more English than “Home Depot?” Do you expect the staff at Panda Express to have souls?

This has been little more than a list of working stiffs that we don’t want to recruit from or integrate into a cohesive citizenry. It’s cheaper when the help doesn’t expect the privileges of citizenship. The way it treats children in daycare is certainly cheaper, in any event. The yuppies need to train little Parker to be the next Fleming right now, but they also must loot the federal treasury during entirely overlapping business hours, so I guess little Parker will have to ride that rope again, no matter how much it hurts his wrist. If that brat pack came from poverty, it would be under the watch of neighborhood aunts and grandmothers, not mercenary Mexicans in matching T-shirts. NoVa toddler STEM immersion and NoVa toddler chain gang forced marches are intersectional. They come from the same dark recess of the heart, and it ain’t a school recess, dawg.

More Filipina nurses should moonlight as hookers. We instituted English instruction in the Philippines and the government kept it up after independence (sic?), so it would be more culturally congruent than China’s bottomless surplus of women who avoided sex-selective abortion in utero. Lynn Majors may be the sexiest nurse, but he is not the ONLY sexy nurse. I got, like, an hour and a half of sleep on a train to Philadelphia just before dawn this morning, so of course that was inevitable. But who am I kidding? Most of you still come here for Dubai Porta Potty. Why do we keep getting non-English speaking massage whores from a largely industrialized country with a severe structural shortage of marriageable women? Organized crime has to play a role, but more in a stay quiet and I’ll smuggle you to the Promised Land sense and less in a Nick Kristof-engorging kawaii damsel-in-distress sense. (It’s easier to keep a kidnapping victim silent in a garment factory full of Fuzhounese women than in a whorehouse where most of the customers speak English and know how to call 911.) As badly as medicine has been corrupted, we still seem to expect more of nurses than that. They have to be able to say things like “just a little prick” (heh) and, like, know what insulin is.

What do we do to get English speakers into landscaping? I’ve already double-scheduled the Filipina nurses (again, I’m running on fumes), but our boy Lynn would look damn good mowing the lawn in a mullet. Chains or no chains, rope or no rope, only Joyce Mitchell would let Cullen out on furlough to tend the grounds.

Don’t go around saying that the foregoing was tasteless. I said Jesus Kristof’s name, but I had the restraint (okay, the computer-stupid) not to link to his work.

A florid overproduction of elites: Roses are red, limousine liberals are miserable; put the liberals back in the car, and dump the car in the Kill van Kull

That’s “car” as in “Parker, fetch the car,” which Paul Fussell avers is a Social suggestion that one might make to the subordinate. When one is of a certain Class (C), one need not say explicitly that one uses limousines and waits in joyful hope for the inauguration of Kwesi Millington as Sheriff.

Well, shucks. That again. As Robert Dziekanski said, “I’m shocked, SHOCKED to see YOU here.” You may be reading that and thinking dude, it’s rude. Well, dude, I’m in Philadelphia; I’m violating the prevailing community standards by exceeding them. I’m hardly two blocks from the street where a bum blindsided me from a distance of two paces by announcing, out of the blue, “Believe it or not he IS my fucking savior! Don’t test HIM, pussy!” I wasn’t surprised to discover that the Catholic Church had left street ministry in this hood to the Protestants; it can barely manage its own internal catechesis. Mercy Street is an underrated PBS drama, not anything that the one holy catholic &c is particularly trying to reify in meatspace.

Where the hell am I going with this? My bum from above will surely say that I’ve answered my own question, but many mentally ill people will agree with me that it’s foolish to take the mentally ill too seriously. Unfortunately, you don’t have to be clinical to be crazy. If you’re high-functioning enough, you can always go into politics. The poetry (sic) in my title was inspired by a similar outburst of poetry (very sic) during last week’s Day Without Immigrants, to wit:

Roses are red

Tacos are enjoyable

Don’t blame Mexicans

Just because you’re unemployable

Don’t blame this white boy just for throwing you into the Kill van Kull. You were asking for it. The Democratic Party must feel at home on Staten Island. It’s run by people who point excitedly at every smoldering, repulsive trash heap of a mountain that passes into their view and eagerly volunteering to die on it. They probably do this because they presume themselves immortal. As I’ve discussed before, I’ve voted and even campaigned locally for Democrats, so yes, I find it disgusting that they’ve given practically their entire party apparatus over to sanctimonious, malignantly tone-deaf shitheads who make me look back wistfully on the innocent naivety of John Lindsay. That’s kind of like how, though time goes by, James Blunt will always be in a club with you in 1973, only more so, but still. Here we go again, I guess. It wasn’t actually a simpler time (that much is utter nonsense), but I get the feeling that the shitty left-wing politics of the time weren’t so stupidly shitty. For one thing, the left wasn’t trying to outmaneuver a bunch of sniveling useless eaters who had taken over the Democratic Party and refute the apparent category error that these fuckwads, who have been sinking the party for decades now, were part of the broad left.

So here we fucking are. The Democratic Party, the closest thing to a mainstream leftist party in the United States, keeps casting its lot with immigrant scab labor. A combination of party myth and entrenched strategy still holds that the labor left, especially union labor, is a crucial part of the Democratic base. But why the hell shouldn’t it defect from Hillary Clinton, who smears labor as bigoted and hopelessly backwards, to Donald Trump, who at least speaks glowingly about the working class and its trades on a regular basis? The Democrats keep shooting themselves in the foot. They keep bolstering the suspicions of Jacob Bacharach and other observers that they operate not to win elections and advance policies in the interests of their constituents, but to apportion jobs from their baroque spoils system to various hangers-on who demonstrate an adequate combination of political correctness and pedigree.

The Inside Baseball approach to correcting this ugly stance is to somehow convince these shitheads that the unemployed are able to swing elections, that we and our sympathizers are a hidden Florida lurking throughout the land. This would require credibly demonstrating that the unemployed don’t consistently sit out elections in a state of dejected apathy and, in many states, reversing the mostly Republican restrictions on the franchise for ex-convicts. It would also require inspiring Democratic apparatchiks with a desire to win elections by being pragmatic (e.g., by not gratuitously insulting key constituencies) instead of losing elections with stands of haughty principle (sic, as ever).

Fundamentally, this mess goes far deeper than stupid strategies. The Democratic Party’s stupid strategies are driven by a heartfelt bigotry towards the poor, the working classes, and the unemployed. The Republican Party is even worse in this regard, but it has managed to cobble together a functioning coalition of zealots, timid authoritarians, and Go-Galts under the auspices of a deep story that isn’t an utterly incoherent mess, so it’s able to win elections in years when the economy isn’t a total disaster and/or the Democratic Party is one. The Democratic Party has tried to peel off the Go-Galts with offers of a libertine paradise on earth for yuppies and bring them into a coalition with the very working classes that they scheme to dispossess for their own socioeconomic aggrandizement, and to do this under the auspices of a deep story that cherishes a balanced, equitable sharing of human freedom for all citizens, regardless of class.

Of course it doesn’t work. Of course the “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” crowd is a millstone around the Democratic Party’s neck. Any self-preserving leftist party that found itself concern-trolled into a death spiral by interloping yuppies would lay down the law: all right, shut the fuck up, you guys are Main Line Republicans catfishing as Democrats and sinking our coalition by showing up here, it’s time for you to take that shit straight back to Strafford. Leave. Instead, they insist that yuppies are the future and working stiffs are the past. Unemployment and disability stats suggest that they aren’t entirely off-base on the latter point, but the yuppie swarm doesn’t even return a reliable Democratic-majority vote, and the national job market (hell, the international job market) has turned into an ugly game of musical chairs.

This approach is electorally disastrous and disastrous for legislation and public policy, but it’s grotesquely adaptive if the goal is to close deals at country clubs. It makes frighteningly good sense under the assumption that Democratic politicians would rather trade favors with Republican politicians than answer to their own voters. This, after all, is the crowd that was caught doing business at Tim Russert’s funeral mass. If they’ll do that in a church sanctuary, where won’t they do it? *VERY RICHARD NIXON VOICE* Christ, they’re in a goddamn cathedral, they were supposed to help the priest help the poor bastard find peace at the center and they’re handing out fucking business cards. *TRICKY DICK OUT*

The Main Line and the Clurb are much less important to the Republicans than they are to the Democrats. As Republican voters, they provide funding and small regional voters bases to complement those that the Republican Party has amassed in poorer areas. As Democratic voters, they provide the same funding, the same small regional voter bases, and an attitude that alienates the Democrats’ major bases. This is a problem unique to the Democrats because they’re the ones who make a show of respecting the vulnerable lower classes and wanting to do right by them; the GOP safeguards itself against this line of attack by never insinuating that it gives a shit about the poor per se.

In addition to courting these fancy-pants who don’t know when to shut up and wouldn’t if they did, the Democrats have cultivated an overlapping but maybe marginally poorer and less secure base of strivers who regard Bill Maher as a public intellectual. Maher’s traditional self-justification is that because he’s abrasive and forward he’s the only person on the left (again, sic, mostly) who’s willing to speak harsh truths about, for example, Islam. His foils are a minority of scrupulous liberal dipshits who are afraid to upset the Ummah by saying bad things about terrorists. This is a very easy opposition for Maher to own. It’s foolish enough to defend Islam against claims that the entire religion commanded terrorist attacks instead of proposing a simple, targeted response, like “cease military and foreign aid to Saudi Arabia.”

Tellingly, Maher got woke liberals so upset in the aftermath of 9/11 by insulting Islam and the Ummah that he flew almost under the radar with his thoughts on grain elevators, specifically, that it’s funny as all hell when rednecks die in mass-casualty grain elevator disasters. In his world, it’s okay to make fun of people for dying in preventable mass-casualty incidents as long there isn’t an overt political component at play, and as long as the victims are poors. All those goofy hayseeds were doing was making sure that the rest of us had food. Who cares about them?

A party that curries favor with Maher’s ilk cannot expect to win over anyone who does honest manual labor for a living. Injurious and fatal accidents are an ever-present threat to manual laborers. Any party that truly cares about the working class will take them seriously and do what it can to keep them to a minimum. Instead, the Democratic Party keeps using Maher and other dipshits like Stephen Colbert to show that they’re hip. Colbert’s inaugural Late Show episode featured his stuffing his mouth with Oreos to the point of overflow as a stunt to show that he didn’t give a shit about production being offshored to Mexico from Chicago. The general point was to make fun of Donald Trump, but which of these television blowhards was looking out for the heavily black and brown production floor workforce at the Oreo plant: Colbert, the ostentatiously flippant one, or Trump, the one who demanded that the factory remain in Chicago?

It’s understandable that entertainers are alienated from the means of production. What’s special about Maher and Colbert is that they have achieved total alienation from the means of production. They are the platonic ideal of the knowledge economy incarnate. They transcend all knowledge of and care for their food supply (it’s a limited kind of knowledge). Meanwhile, they preach to audiences heavy on woke locavore foodies, which is insane.

The Donald is able to clean up just by showing an ADHD level of interest in how factories work and an admiration for the people who run them. When everyone else in show business is a shitty, hopelessly sheltered ingrate, that’s enough. When protesters demand that out-of-work, dispossessed Americans from old families (including black ones, in case you’re a fucking moron) respect Mexicans for their work ethic AND their tacos, and when there have also been campaigns of brown-on-black ethnic cleansing in bad parts of Los Angeles, how can anyone expect the deplorables not to conclude that they’re the targets of an ethnic population replacement project? It’s hip to politicize tacos now. They’re the breakfast of champions. Fuck Wheaties. Fuck whiteys, too. And darkies, for that matter. They’re panda-bearing us again.

It’s possible to be a foodie and not be an asshole, but being an asshole doesn’t seem to hurt. They aren’t uppity for wanting novel taco options; we’re the uppity ones for expecting preferential hiring over people who are not authorized to work in the United States. We’re just unemployable and bitter about it.

I’m already doing PT in preparation for this summer’s blueberry harvest. You’re fucking welcome.

The problem with our leaders is that they’re in leadership positions and not on public assistance

We’re living in a civic horror show. This shit isn’t amusing any longer; it’s truly scary. Donald Trump was able to hijack a night’s television news broadcasts by yelling at journalists during a press conference. If I weren’t so jaded, I might have found it engrossing. Instead, I found its domination of the national news utterly disgraceful. It wasn’t newsworthy. The newsmen turned themselves into the news because that was cheaper than going out and finding the real news. The mainstream media are widely rumored to want to neutralized Trump. Few things would make him and his advisors look humiliatingly impotent than for the press pool to boycott their press conferences. They’d be the losers who invited a bunch of people to their party and couldn’t get any of them to show up. As much as journalists hostile to Trump complain about him and his administration, they keep dutifully showing up to these ridiculous press conferences because they’re the last ones to turn down easy access to power or to chase a difficult but meaningful story when an easy but meaningless one is dumped into their laps. Besides, their ratings would fall. Trump is great for ratings. Enough viewers enjoy a good food fight to ensure it.

This press conference corresponded with the “Day Without Immigrants,” a one-day strike of mainly immigrant employees in the service sector, which also commandeered more than its fair share of the news without being put into its proper context. This strike was a mobilization of immigrants to publicly celebrate the unwillingness and inability of Americans to hold down productive menial jobs. We’re to believe that these immigrants are honored to work themselves to exhaustion for a pittance doing demanding, often dangerous physical labor for a soft, decadent, derelict native stock. We’re to believe that this arrangement will not naturally degrade into the simmering resentment of a haughty, condescending native citizenry on the part of an alien underclass. We’re to believe that the resulting mutual distrust will not threaten the legitimacy or stability of the republic by provoking disputes between the enfranchised natives and the unenfranchised immigrants over the scope of civil rights and liberties.

Worse, we’re to believe that it’s somehow healthy, normal, and reputable for our society to be unable to function from day to day without a desperately poor and profoundly foreign reserve pool of menial labor always at the beck and call of the managerial class. This assumption is antithetical to self-government. It requires a subordinate, vulnerable foreign population to live and work long-term under the jurisdiction of a government that expects it to fulfill most of the responsibilities of citizenship in exchange for few to none of the rights. This is why inherently dangerous jobs, such as meatpacking, have gone from moderately dangerous but well-paid to exceedingly dangerous and very poorly paid since the 1980’s. Enfranchised workforces demand relief from their governments when they’re abused by their employers. The whole point of illegal immigrants is that they’re expected to pay some damn dues before anyone dangles a path to citizenship in front of them. They’re here to take up the slack from an enfeebled native stock.

Americans celebrating their own progressive softening, their own inability to run their own society, is an ominous sign of national decadence and decline. But it’s not entirely what’s happening. Much of it is the haute bourgeoisie and its lesser hangers-on celebrating the national weakness on behalf of their entire country, including dispossessed lower-class Americans who desperately want to be gainfully employed doing something tangibly productive. The latter never asked management to fire them and give their jobs to a foreign peasantry, and they never asked to be silenced. They aren’t the ones who rolled into workaday towns on the prairie, beat the meatcutters’ unions into bloodied submission, flooded the zone with Mexicans, seeded an epidemic of methamphetamine abuse by forcing line speed-ups and pay cuts, and then spent decades sanctimoniously intoning that Americans no longer have the mettle to do an honest day’s work.

What’s really driving the White llies of the Day Without Immigrants is the fear that, without immigrants, they’ll lose access to their servant class. They’ll either be deprived of creature comforts or have to provide for them with their own personal labor. The news reports focused on restaurants that closed or went shortstaffed. How much of the santimony came from White Allies who have $20,000 home kitchens? How much of it came from people who could perfectly well do their own cooking, cleaning, and yard work but would rather have compliant campesinos do it for them on demand?

The casualty toll from this shitty attitude is quantifiable. It’s published in statistics on industrial injuries and deaths. But looking any of that up involves being more interested in the welfare and safety of menial laborers than in being a grandiose yuppie shithead.

So far we have a yuppie swarm that will sell its own fellow citizens down the river in order to optimize its epicurean Downton Abbey LARP. We might wonder which political party represents it. This is a trick question: they both do. So does the Libertarian Party. This is why the Democratic Party has been veering into crude bootstrapping agitprop and smearing shit all over the remnants of its old labor constituencies. Constituencies that demand honest pay for honest work cause scandal among constituencies that use bullshit artistry to demand lavish pay for more bullshit artistry. Both major parties are run by weasels who scurry away from the sunlight.

That is, both parties and their circles of beneficiaries and favor-curriers are Acela elites. Why the hell does the US right wing have this screwy beef with a specific train service, and an efficient, highly-utilized one at that? Being against socialist trains is just their cover. The crux of the matter is that the Acela, a federally subsidized and chartered common carrier, has been perverted into a rolling country club, and these self-described “conservatives” are every bit as complicit as the “liberals.” It’s emblematic of coastal privilege: it requires pay-to-play (the tickets are so fucking expensive that I, a train buff since the age of ten, still haven’t been spendthrift enought to buy one), it is lavished with resources that Congress the likes of which Congress won’t allocate for flyover country, it’s exclusive (the fares again), and it feels European (but without the operational capabilities that have been available off the shelf in Europe for over twenty years). The federal government will dump money on this vanity project for Northeastern social climbers, but it somehow can’t spare the funds for a second daily run to Grand Rapids or doubletracking through the oil patches on the High Plains. Mainstream transportation reporters are too ignorant and lazy to get into these nuances, so instead we hear about out-of-touch Washington elites being spoiled by this speed train.

Besides, if the conception of the Acela Corridor as a slur were really about socialized high-speed rail, the Acela crowd wouldn’t also be so obsessed with Uber. Operationally and philosophically, Uber is nothing like Amtrak. It’s just that Acela and Uber both cater to people who think they’re too important to slum it with the poors on Amfleet (a bitchin’ ride) or Metro (a bitchin’ local ride, although admittedly a routine clusterfuck). They’d catch NetJets if they had the money.

This bullshit squad is now frantic that it will be dispossessed as Trump abolishes the spoils system or (realistically) redirects the spoils to his own more openly vulgar crowd. His is an exceptionally divided and incoherent administration, daily at cross-purposes with itself, so the bougie freakout is over possible dispossession, not actual dispossession. A bunch of grifters and rentiers are violently flailing about, trying to shake off their own karma. It isn’t pretty. They’re afraid that they’ll lose their seats on the gravy train and, God forbid, be forced to work for a living. They have an ominous sense of how bad that would be because they’re guilty (or, for the “conservatives,” self-righteous) about the nightmare that they’ve made of the workplace for the poor.

There’s no reason that an expanded, robust social welfare state couldn’t get their sleazy asses into the projects and hooked up with food stamps, too. Or they could feign disability and claim that Washington made them mentally ill. Well, shucks, what do I mean, “feign?” They’re facially disturbed.

Yes, this offer applies to Paul Ryan, too. If he believes in the dignity of work, he’s free to fucking do some. Since he actually believes in the indignity of having other people do the work, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t enjoy the same repute as any other parasitical government check beneficiary who never bothers to look for an honest job. No, P. J., it isn’t a parliament of whores, unless you mean a parliament of Aileen Wuornos; no need to tar the rest of the whores with that brush.

Mistake by the lake

A reader in Wayne County, New York, sent in this comment about farm labor abuses to Naked Capitalism:

Hi Yves, I didn’t feel comfortable posting a comment because it’s kind of frank/un-PC, so I thought I’d send you a note about the farmworker issue.

I grew up in a small town in Western NY on Lake Ontario. The county is the largest apple producing county outside of Washington state. Motts and other companies have factories there. During summers and falls, I’d work on local farms. Friends of ours owned them, and I was in/had been in 4H with their kids, so they’d hire me (I was one of the poors but they knew I was dependable), so I was at least able to work and earn a little bit of money. I’d bring in the apple crop with the workers in the fall. Other than the farmers/owners themselves, sometimes I was the only other one that could speak English.t

The farmers/owners prefer the illegals/undocumented however you want to term it, over blacks or other Americans. The blacks (usually migrants) were the ones that picked the fruit before the big influx from south of the border. The migrant blacks were eventually displaced. The farmers didn’t like them because they’d actually complain about stuff or would leave if they were getting a raw deal. There was nothing really keeping them there. The illegals, they can’t say a word or else ICE will be called. They know they’re under the gun, so to speak. They have to take whatever deal the farmers offer them. They can’t complain about housing, pay, injuries, working conditions, nothing.

They send their children to the local school-which has gone way downhill in recent years due to the influx of kids that are not native English speakers and need a lot of remedial help, etc. The non-farming locals get upset because they know they are driving illegally, and there are sometimes fatal accidents(drunk driving is very common during apple season), and there are fights amongst them and sometimes murders, etc. The farmers have historically held a lot of sway politically (always been a very heavily republican district) so laws pretty much were never enforced, and it’s been allowed to go on(the farmers never get in trouble for hiring them). In recent years, however, ICE has been patrolling more often, and there have been raids on the camps owned by the farmers(slums/bunkhouses, essentially, where they put up the workers). The farmers got mad about the raids because they were losing their cheap labor.

A woman I know in the town made a documentary(“After I Pick the Fruit”) a few years ago about them. It does have a slant, but it might help shed some light for you. Some background, though-Nancy Ghertner is from a well-off family and her husband is a doctor. They own a home in Sodus and a summer home on Sodus Bay, and their children were sent to Gould Academy in Maine so they wouldn’t have to go to the local public school with the rest of us deplorables. They have been trying to protect the workers from the raids and do other support work, and the non-farming locals are not big fans of them. The locals are much, much less well-off than the Ghertners, so there is friction there. Working poor, for the most part, as a lot(most- who are we kidding) of the traditional manufacturing industry pulled out some time ago(Xerox, Kodak, etc).

The farm owners around there are mostly old Dutch stock and the farms have been in their families for generations. Nearly every single one of them is a quiet millionaire/multi-millionaire. They pinch pennies like crazy and go to great lengths to not pay their workers much if they can help it/get away with it. A lot of them are very racist and hate the blacks. You’d think you were in the Jim Crow Deep South sometimes! The stuff I have heard, it’s horrible. I think some of that might play a role (they don’t like “uppity n-ggers”). They much prefer the illegals/undocumenteds for obvious reasons.

I think more Americans would want to do these jobs if they were paid decently/not getting screwed. It’s honest work and I always felt good about myself at the end of the day.

Another issue is that it is seasonal, and so you can’t really settle down. There aren’t exactly other jobs in the area to pick up when the season is over. Obviously it is different in CA and other warmer places. Maybe it does come down to greed. I don’t know. And no one wants to pay for fruit and veg what it’s really worth. Also, when I was picking, Motts was paying 2 cents(!) per pound for juice apples. The market got flooded with Chinese concentrate and drove the price down. Nobody talks about that. The bottom suddenly fell out. How can American farms compete with that? It’s a giant mess, suppose it is all interwoven.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little. It’s not something I felt I could post. I’m very sorry for the harsh language, and I don’t know what to term the workers. I just thought I’d chime in as I had been in the thick of it for a while, not that long ago, and also to suggest the documentary.

As they say around Grand Rapids, if you aren’t Dutch, you aren’t much. I’m not one to discern structural white supremacy peeking out from every hollow I spy, but that right there is some fucking white supremacy in action. One can see how the Roosevelts might have gone into politics just to rebuke their own family bigots. In the Northeast and the Midwest, coarse, unabashed racial bigotry is traditionally ascribed to modest but aspirational white ethnics who, depending on their family and community circumstances, may or may not be keeping the American Dream alive in their hearts: Irishmen, Italians, Poles, etc. It’s never ascribed to lace-curtain WASPs. Judging from our correspondent’s comments above, this looks intentional. Just as the Damn Yankees are always scapegoating Dixie’s salty crackers for America’s racism, the WASPs scapegoat their own white ethnic neighbors for whatever Northern racism they’re forced to confront. In Grand Rapids, the Dutch performed the additional putz mitzvahs of crossing picket lines to save the local furniture industry from its ungrateful Pollacks and then of founding Amway.

Going by what passes for general-interest US history, Thomas Jefferson was the only rich white bigot ever. Thing is, cracka wasn’t catfishing his homeboys as some kind of proto Warren Buffett. He was an unabashedly flaming epicure maintaining his extravagant lifestyle through the blood, sweat, and tears of his human chattels, at first guiltily, and then, as he became older and more indebted, with crackpot racial theories and vicious corporal punishments that horrified his own slaveholding contemporaries. The Dutch blue bloods in Wayne County are more pernicious because they pretend to be po’ country boys and girls, much as Warren Buffett famously takes his grandchildren out to Dairy Queen once a month.

Exceedingly few people spend their lives chasing obscene riches in the hope of continuing to live like that, but it’s a brilliant conceit in a society with a strong formal belief in meritocracy and the work ethic. I take my own white ass out to Dairy Queen whenever I feel like getting some damn cheese curds. Yeah, yeah, that’s assuming that I have a car of my own, but it’s also assuming that I’m more homeless than I am right now, when I’m crashing with my parents. Enough people fall for this shit, or at least feel some motivation not to piss off the cryptotoffs, that this catfishing earns its orchestrators net praise for being thrifty and hardworking, not net ridicule and contempt for being miserable bastards imposing an ethnic caste system over their neighbors’ objections.

Tellingly, this landed gentry makes a show of living almost shabbily while Dr. and Mrs. Ghertner, whose income is presumably derived from the former’s skilled labor, send their precious brats off to a fancy-pants New English boarding school and maintain a shore house, the more ostentatiously to summer. There is no ethically coherent explanation for this. The ethically incoherent explanation is that Americans are taught to admire doctors for getting rich and buying bitchin’ rides through their own hard work and Medicare fraud–I mean, uh; mercy, I didn’t mean to say a thing like that–and to despise the generationally landed for getting rich by milking their holdings for ongoing passive income. We aren’t supposed to admire rentiers, unless they’re on Downton Abbey. 

Wayne County sounds like a civic horror show. Its landed elites dump alien chaos into the local school and road systems while shutting the native poor out of the job market. Its professional elites dabble in cinematic celebrations of local diversity while sheltering their own children from this same diversity in very non-local, non-diverse academic cocoons. The remainder of its citizens, being poors, can go to hell. So can Rochester, with its large population of dispossessed former factory workers and their descendants, who are even worse off. Rochester is within manageable daily commuting distance of much of Wayne County’s apple belt, and very easily within weekly or semiweekly commuting distance of the entire county, but it’s full of black people. The lace curtain Dutch aren’t there to put the Community back to work, or to have the least clue what I mean by the Community. No, guys, I’m not totally insane. US Census figures show Wayne County’s overall population dropping, along with its rate of family formation. The drop isn’t explained by the elderly population, which is modest for an economically declining rural county and only a few points higher than the national average. The apple orchards would be a great place to put some brats to work seasonally, but that isn’t why God created wetbacks.

It’s too bad that land reform keeps falling into the all-thumbs hands of strongmen like Mugabe and Maduro. We could use some land reform of our own. It might improve our race relations over the current high Dutch stance of Kwesi Millington for Sheriff today, Kwesi Millington for Sheriff tomorrow, Kwesi Millington for Sheriff forever. This, friends, is how we Communicate to Create a society that transcends these shitty Dutchmen and invites Jeff Sessions, too, to do his penance in the cotton fields.

Pim Fortuyn, pray for us.

Whitey’s Last Stand

Ásotthalom is a minor border township in Hungary which stumbled into the international news for a few months as a point of entry into the European Union for thousands of refugees/migrants/Ottoman revanchist invaders/take your pick who had amassed in Serbia, waiting for their chance to steal into the Promised Land of Schengen to do what ever the hell it was that they were planning to do. This mass migration, whatever its true causes and purposes, alarmed the Hungarian government badly enough to provoke its emergency construction of a border fence topped with barbed wire, the general idea being to ensure that the foreign gentlemen became some other Schengen country’s problem first, not Hungary’s. Given the practically nonexistent evidence that these travelers wanted a thing to do wanted a thing to do with Hungary, other than to pass through it en route to the Anglo-Saxon-Scandic good stuff, this fence seemed like reasonably wise and effective national policy. The gentlemen in question have not, for example, backtracked into Hungary from the Teutonic heartland and mass-raped Budapest.

The geopolitical context of this mass migration, or whatever it really is, is a fucking mess. A number of countries in the Middle East have been in states of war provoking genuine refugee crises. Saudi Arabia and the various postage-stamp kingdoms of the Gulf have significant capacity to absorb Arab refugees from their destabilized neighbors and enough in common with them culturally and linguistically to integrate them, but they have no interest in providing for the welfare and safety of trashy poors from trashy countries when they can dump them onto Western enemies-cum-benefactors instead and sow even more chaos abroad. Nice steel beams you have in those towers there; shame if some jet fuel happened to them. At the same time, the surge of legitimate refugees gave cover to dirtbags and intelligence assets, if I may risk repeating myself. Some of the supposed refugees, meanwhile, may be economic migrants trying to better themselves and their families whose circumstances back home fall into a gray area between a true threat to their survival and a more prosaic but still very real threat to their ongoing welfare.

Where does a prospective host country draw the line for such people? How does it balance humanitarian considerations for the welfare of the foreign poor with the welfare of its own constituents? These are legitimate questions without easy answers. The dirtbag hordes are another matter. Unattached young men, well-dressed, well-nourished, and showing no signs of emotional distress, showed up en masse in a bunch of major European cities, including Budapest, and spent hour upon hour hanging around railway stations and town squares, flirting with the local girls. When they moved on, they left behind piles of trash, some of them cleaned up on a volunteer basis by disgusted private citizens. The dirtbags gave off a strong “who baby daddy this is?” vibe. It was classic alpha fucks and beta bucks: foreign deadbeat shitheads looking for all the world like they were about to get the local maidens pregnant and skip town while little bitches walked behind them, cleaning up their messes and not getting any action for their trouble. Of course, allegations against Middle Eastern refugees from the other side of the Hajnal Line are even worse, but no sexual consent can justify the way the deadbeats behaved on their way through Budapest, or the way the local girls behaved around them. It was antisocial.

The incentives were totally fucked. The foreign gentleman callers weren’t totally unacculturated, as they immediately conformed to the worst Eurotrash social norms. But somebody has to keep civilization running, and if that somebody isn’t getting any pussy while antisocial layabout slobs are, that somebody may stop showing up to work. It was bad enough that parasitical migrants were monopolizing the public companionship of local girls; anything more intimate that can be inferred or confirmed is only worse.

Ásotthalom is back in the news, this time because its municipal government has proclaimed a safe haven for Whitey and invited a Pan-European medley of proud honkies from across the EU to homestead under its jurisdiction. This invitation has been complemented with posted bans on public displays of same-sex affection and Islamic dress. These bans have upset the woke international diversity crowd by being insensitive and shit, a darkly amusing turn of events for a liberal movement that has had an excruciatingly impossible time, especially in Northwestern Europe, reconciling gay liberation and Sharia.

I suspect, though, that if this Whitey Rez proclamation isn’t just a passing troll stunt, the signs warning the fruits and nuts to behave themselves are mainly for show. If Ásotthalom can in fact create a safe space for Christendom’s beleaguered breeders, it won’t need petulant outbursts of positive law to nurture traditionalist white European natalism because it will have natural law firmly on its side. And frankly, it’s hard to see how that wouldn’t be an improvement over the current childrearing situation in Europe, in which a great many of Europe’s scant children are being born to marginalized, embittered, resentful Muslim extremists in deeply troubled ghettos and raised with atrocious socioeconomic prospects. A cohesive community of enterprising young people raising families under a supportive local government has to be an improvement over the barren ennui that has consumed much of Europe (including Hungary) and over the thirty-year shit show of the banlieue. It would be a huge improvement over deadbeats hanging around train stations and flirting with naive, impressionable local chicks. It would reassert a healthy masculinity that cherishes and lives by values of responsible fatherhood and community engagement. It would allow one small corner of Europe, at least, to suppress the moral hazard that encourages shitheads to clown around for sexual access to bimbos in a society reluctantly stewarded by jaded incels. The explicit racial angle of Ásotthalom’s campaign is over the top, but there’s nothing frivolous about its assertion of community stability and cohesion as virtues worth restoring.

Ironically, if this campaign is successful it will turn Ásotthalom into one of the most mongrelized gentile communities in Hungary since the time of Genghis Khan. If its native stock showed up in some steel town around Pittsburgh, they’d be hunkies, meaning that in Carnegie’s time they absolutely would not have been admitted to Whitey. That shit would have been off limits to them. Similarly, in a Europe not overrun by Muslim aliens crowdsourcing a recreation of the Battle of Vienna, Hungary’s nationalist extremists would not want a grab bag of Germans, Frenchmen, Britons, and so forth diluting their already diminishing Finno-Urgic native stock.

Pan-Africanism was dead on arrival. This Pan-European campaign may not be. Here we have Hungarian nationalist leaders who would clearly rather see Hungarian identity be expanded to include assimilable non-Hungarian Europeans than watch Europe’s indigenous ethnicities die off in meaningless dead-end hedonism and be replaced by aggressive, deliberately fertile newcomers with religious axes to grind. Of course, the notion of Hungarian ethnic purity is pretty laughable in the first place, given how much of the national family tree can be traced back none too distantly to Mongol rapespawn. The consensual dicking of natalist wives by generically white husbands who give a shit about their families and communities is an improvement over that, too. As they say in Sacramento, this regime would finally reward niggas who have something to do with their kids.

There are self-consciously woke elements that will get severely butthurt if the Ásotthalom Whitey Rez project succeeds. In the modern European context, an above-replacement birthrate among gainfully employed, prosperous, assimilated citizens would definitely be a success. I don’t like the idea of banging on about how Europeans have too many cats and too few brats, since I’ve wrung my hands enough about this situation vis-a-vis my own country, but getting butthurt about the one fertile community out of ten or twenty in an otherwise barren society is fucking pathetic. What’s that? The Mormon Utards have too many fucking rugrats, and they’re going to cow us all into submission to their false gods? Please, do allow me to recommend a cheese to pair with your White Whine. Forgive me if I’ve said this before, but I suggest a Manchego fuck yourself. Europe’s Muslims, on the other hand, have had dire trouble assimilating, and they keep taking their anger out violently on their host nations. Fertile center-right Christian communities may actually be all that stand between Europe and swordpoint conversion to an extremists’ creed. They may actually be the bulwark. I’m not trying to go all Charles Martel Breivik on a cracker’s ass, but the reports of Muslim communal intransigence do not look good at all.

Europe cannot or will not defend its external borders. Frontex is a pitiful joke. Arab governments show no political will to discourage their populations from breeding like rabbits in a time of war and increasing food shortages. Europe has borne the brunt of the consequences, for the geopolitical reasons described earlier. “Saudi Arabia” is like “Corleonean Sicily,” but with Sicily occupying a useless slice of Libya. That’s arrogant even by Muammar Qaddafi’s standards. I recall something about him renaming months of the year or some shit, but he didn’t rename the fucking country after himself. Or maybe that was Turkmenbashi. Family-level antisocial narcissism isn’t necessarily any better. In any event, Europe doesn’t deserve the geopolitical blowback of demographically feckless parts of Asia Minor just because it’s come to be populated by metrosexual bachelor faggots and unsatisfied birth-control spinsters and what-have-you. These dead-enders weren’t the kinds who abused the imperial subject populations and made off with their national wealth. Sure, God may help those who help themselves, but if there’s a grand moral justification to dump an assortment of refugees, landless emigrants, spooks, and dirtbags on a country not their own, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates are surely stronger candidates than Germany and Sweden.

One country stands out for keeping immigrants at bay in a time of demographic contraction and virtual waifu. I refer, of course, to Japan. God only knows who the Yakuza have been using to clean up Fukushima (that is, the parts that aren’t radioactive enough to fry robots within two hours), but that’s one country where management isn’t allowed to import foreigners willy-nilly to do long-term scab labor. Me newspapeah The Economist regularly concern-trolls Japan to hell for not getting with the program already. It’s striking that so many internationalists with credible or proven Rothschild connections seem so eager to watch Japan implode into a national social catastrophe as punishment for its xenophobia, aka its national cohesion. These creeps are itching to be vindicated by the collapse of a specific foreign nation. They don’t wear it well.

It’s worth considering the possibility that Japan has a chronic labor surplus in spite of its ballooning honored citizen population and its misallocation of its youth to hikikomori bullshit. Similarly, it’s worth keeping in mind that Japan is a country where grandfather often is not feeling well enough to receive visitors from the local council today on the occasion of his 105th birthday, nor has he been feeling well enough for some decades, but he never was one to begrudge his children and grandchildren his own pension. #TeshTips: The authorities don’t mind disbursing payments to pensioners whose apartment buildings were demolished years ago; what they don’t know can’t be their administrative responsibility to update in the database. It’s a great place to get money for being dead.

I offer a more intelligent white nationalism than chugging milk by the gallon on Times Square, and I’m not even a white nationalist.

Peering fearfully into the Boomer psyche

This is a crude initial attempt to understand a generation that seems afraid to understand itself, but here goes. My main objective in this exercise is to understand why the Boomers are so petulant, judgmental, and self-righteous about the failures of the Millennials. The reasons are not what the Boomers say they are, so taking their word at face value is worse than useless, but I think I’m getting a decent sense of their thinking, which is important for anyone who hopes to get money, sympathy, and/or job offers out of their kind.

Many Baby Boomers, especially more successful ones, can’t or won’t face the extent to which the young today have been foreclosed from opportunity. It’s important to note that this willful ignorance cuts across the standard partisan and ideological lines. Republicans and others who self-charitably identify as conservatives angrily insist (often with a telling defensiveness) that of course America is the land of opportunity, so anyone failing to seize abundant opportunity here is morally flawed and hence discardable. Democrats and others who self-charitably identify as liberals are nominally less wedded to the myths of the American Dream and the rugged American individualist, but they did well themselves, bent over backwards to give their children what they assumed was generous academic and social enrichment, and now can’t for the life of them figure out why their precious snowflakes are such perennial fuckups. They’re much guiltier than soi-disant conservatives about their belief in meritocracy, since they also pride themselves in their belief in equity, but the basic worldviews and the resulting policy outcomes aren’t that different. I’ve heard about comments from avowedly woke liberals in affluent suburbs of Chicago, for example, who assert that they’re “socially liberal but fiscally conservative.” Uh-oh. Where have we heard that before? It isn’t just the Clurb, either, and I don’t see their girls getting ready to dance up on me.

It was mostly innocuous for old-line Republicans to dick around with this happy horseshit in the thick of the Great Compression and to congratulate themselves decades later for having been active in a party that was not overrun with meddlesome religious nuts. The country could take a bit of genteel fantasy about increased fancy-pants self-dealing back then because labor held the whip hand and had no compunction about cracking it if management or capital got out of line. These days? For starters, Travis Kalanick hasn’t done a Jimmy Hoffa disappearing act. The One Percent, which is more accurately the Twenty Percent, has spent practically two full generations gorging at the trough. Temporarily embarrassed millionaires don’t explain the political success of the great neoliberal ratfuck on their own; the credentialed, salaried minority, which consistently punches far above its own weight at the polls, has been paid off well enough not to want to rock the boat.

This sleazy hustle more or less worked through the generally strong economies of the late twentieth and very early twenty-first centuries; it was objectively disgusting, but it was basically stable. It became obviously unstable in the months after the crash of 2008, when the job market went from mildly humiliating but fruitful to utterly humiliating and fruitless for marginal jobseekers. The Cathedral is deeply insulting many of us with its talk, nearly constant for at least half a decade, of “the recovery” from “the Great Recession.” Absurdly, reporters and commentators were earnestly talking for some time about a “jobless recovery.” They might as well have proclaimed a feasting fast or a celibate sexual union. This “jobless recovery” was more accurately an imposition of monetary legerdemain to prop up stock inflation at labor’s expense, but to me, and I’m sure to many other unemployed people who either couldn’t find work at all or couldn’t find work that wasn’t both ill-paid and needlessly humiliating, it felt like another campaign by the successful to rub our noses in the dirt. Since I graduated from college, I’ve come to realize ever more fully just how many people look down on the poor, the unemployed, and the underemployed, as well as the uneducated, and how many seem to outright despise us. I realize that I’ve been lumped into a cluster of categories that the successful want to silence and erase. It can be frightening. I confront attitudes prevalent in my native class whose endgames include high-volume butchery and starvation of the poor and genocide. The othering is insane and barely believable.

This is one reason why I sincerely and wholeheartedly respect trash-scavenging bums, disability frauds, Section Eight layabouts, and other lowbrow losers more than I respect most of the high achievers I’ve known. At some level, it really is about who I envision being self-dealing enough to get me killed. It’s why I’ve come to hate college as an institution. We have people with no wisdom, no morality, no street smarts, no ability to read others from outside their own caste (if they can read anyone at all), and in many cases no culture or learning insisting that they have the right to dictate policy for entire countries because they’re the best and the brightest. It chills me sometimes that I was on course to become one of them. It chills me to see how many of their peers they’ve convinced to sell out, often for low and contingent wages or for vague promises of something better years into the future.

There are times when I cannot discern a thing in my peers but comprehensive amorality. That’s how brutal and unrelenting their fog machine is. Right now, two over-the-top high achievers stand out in my mind as exemplars of the yuppie project’s amoral excesses, one from college and one from high school. The former is the Insurance Schmuck. The latter is a lawyer (at least second-generation) who graduated from an extremely Brahmin college in New England and then used Teach For America as a stepping stone to law school. She and a mutual classmate are a yuppie power couple, based in the District of Columbia the last I checked, of exactly the sort whose affluence and overbearing parochial concern for the future success of their children (or, in their case–again, last I checked–child singular) gentrifies every level of government they touch into a dystopia of unchecked privilege. They were both exceptionally gracious and well-adjusted throughout high school, nothing like the Insurance Schmuck has been the whole time I’ve known him, but she has clearly been corrupted by her caste, and I’d be surprised if her husband hasn’t been as well.

It’s hard to imagine anyone with ambition resisting this corruption when it’s been drilled into every preppy head since kindergarten that unscrupulous academic and professional conduct isn’t unscrupulous because that’s just what it takes to get ahead. Since Wyomissing is so overrepresented at Lancaster Country Day, all three of us almost certainly have acquaintances in common with Taylor Swift, who is a creepy, disturbed celebrity version of them. Restraining one’s own ambition can feel immoral and abnormal in this context, but unleashing it inevitably feels very wrong whenever I think about what my classmates are doing to the world. The Insurance Schmuck, for his part, is so spiritually narcotized that he can turn his moral compass on and off at will. This is all happening in the Facebook age, which features Facebook’s internal gaslighting of its users and its users’ aggressive self-censorship and personal branding, on top of the fraudulently selective manner in which colleges and (hey there, burnout blawggers!) law schools cherry-pick their employment data and alumni updates for publication.

The marginalized among us can’t figure out what the hell’s happening here. We can try, but we know we’re getting a snowjob. This is an extremely toxic culture. Reengagement with it, to the extent that reengagement has even been offered to us as an option, is ethically nightmarish. To wax a bit Godwinian, these verge on the moral quandaries that concentration camp inmates face. The yuppies have put me through the buzzsaw. If I were offered a turn manning their machinery of walking everdeath in exchange for a restoration of my own socioeconomic status, would I except it? Wow Much ethix Omg mr faust Very distress. Seriously, I have to assume that they have other people in their sights whom they wish to ruin with the same apparatus, even if I’ve escaped it for the time being.

Let’s get political for a moment, why don’t we. I have a bachelor’s degree from a liberal arts college whose admissions office started upping its rejection game in earnest a few years after I enrolled. If I feel so distrustful and resentful of my peers and am so eager to say why, what do the less educated deplorables say from their basket? How do they feel watching the credentialed affluent throw a gigantic shit fit because their very credentialed and notoriously crooked presidential candidate failed to secure her coronation in spite of her dirty tricks? How do they feel about the clubbable educated under the circumstances?

The Boomers entered a very different job market during a very different zeitgeist when they were young. Even I recall the job market being less deranged when I got my summer jobs at Hersheypark, starting in 2001, than has been since about 2009. I doubt many affluent retirees have a working sense of just how horrible it is, both quantitatively (in terms of the sheer unavailability of jobs) and qualitatively (in terms of the creepy insanity that has overcome so much of the managerial class). Things have really gone to hell. Employers are eating through their own payroll and pension funds so voraciously that they’re now cannibalizing themselves. We’d have routine insurgencies by street gangs, at the very least, if it weren’t for internet pornography, video games, long-term resettlement in theoretically empty nests, and disability fraud. Our leaders and the successful around us further delegitimize themselves when they insist that things are improving and refuse to take our grievances seriously. Observers who are preparing for this whole thing to blow sky-high aren’t the goofy ones here.

Part of the problem is Boomers taking cooked employment statistics and other warmed-over propaganda seriously (for the fashionable, “fake news”). Another part of the problem is Boomers refusing to listen to their children and grandchildren when we insist that things really are that bad for us. Five million people don’t disappear from the official US payroll in a single calendar year (2008 to 2009) in a time of increasing population because they suddenly became lazy. If my allowance and some other loser’s welfare abundance is the cost of your Mexican gardener, try not to forget that this is one of the reasons that I keep dogfooding the stoop labor jobs that Yanqui don’t want no more. I don’t want my country to turn into Qatar. God knows large parts of it are on course for that.

I don’t think I’m impertinent, then, to regard defenses of multimillionaires hiring illegal immigrants for yard and farm work as anything less than an assertion that their employment as illegal aliens should take precedence over mine as a US citizen. Uh, I still lives here. Can I come in? No, that’s not okay. There are dozens of millions of Americans who need to be reintegrated into the job market and the civic life of our country, who need to be respected again as citizens worthy of their citizenship, before I’ll agree with projects to prioritize the employment of Michoacano peasants in my job market or regard their preferential hiring as possibly having a damned thing to do with a humanitarian impulse. How the hell am I the unreasonable one for asking that my country’s government actually enforce its work authorization laws since employees are already made to produce I-9 documents, or for asserting that it is wrong for the US government to endlessly give Latin American governments the dispensation to be corrupt and derelict and to consequently release floods of economic refugees onto our soil? Yes, this problem has been abating, and not a year too soon, but the corrupt mentality of the clubbable that facilitates it has not. On our side of the Great Wall (“It’ll be elegant!”), we’re still governed by dipshits who don’t feel embarrassed for enthusing about Mexican gardeners.

For some unexplained, indefensible reason, social mobility for people like me was supposed to be irreversibly upward. This was nominally true about everyone, but when push comes to shove, the bougies don’t give a shit about the poors. No one was willing to imagine a world in which downward mobility, let alone inescapable downward mobility, was a possibility for the well-born and well-bred. It’s the fucking Roaring Twenties again, I guess. This is all part of a big tangled mess with the Mexican gardeners and the Honduran nannies. They were just supposed to be at a lower, meeker level on the escalator to prosperity. Then it all fell apart and we started getting bombarded with hot takes about participation trophies. I received mine from Kenneth “Ken” Fitzhugh, the future subject of Palo Alto true-crime hot take Blood Will Tell.* What nobody seems to notice about this participation trophy bullshit–what even I rarely notice–is that if the job market were decent, nobody would give a rat’s ass about what participation trophies had done to the employability of the Millennial. The eerie thing, though, is what these trophies say about Boomer psychology (and for that matter, what the reaction to them says about Americans’ psychology in general). Maybe they were meant to console us in our times of loss, but maybe they were meant to instruct us that losing was not an option. We’ll never get a straight answer on this from people who won’t talk straight to themselves.

*(I’m not sure about the participation trophies. I am sure about Coach Fitzhugh, so I thought I’d mention it, just in case.)

It’s easy for failures to launch to wonder why they’re such losers when their parents have done everything for them to prepare them for success. I’ve certainly done that. The thing is, our parents haven’t done everything for us. They’ve gone to heroic extremes to provide for our formation into good little Eichmans–I mean, good little social climbers, and in many cases they’ve given us extra money, too, but the things they haven’t done for us are painful to examine. They assumed that we wouldn’t drop our or burn out, so they did nothing to prepare us for this possibility. The BoBos immersed their children in cultural references and forms of speech that are helpful to successful social climbers but actively harmful, and often dangerous, in working-class and underclass environments. They didn’t teach us how to code-switch our way safely back and forth across the gaping cultural divide that they were too distracted and cowed to try to bridge in their own lives. Often they tried to stop us from learning our own way across the divide. A stuck-up school like Dickinson College sure as hell doesn’t want its students learning how to communicate with the domestic poors as equals. #CommunicateToCreate! Well shucks, how did that get in again? It’s always such a shock. Our parents want their property values to keep appreciating and then wonder why we can’t afford decent housing, or housing at all. But we dare not describe ourselves as homeless or our mothers will cry. (We speak royally here, but not entirely so, we’re sure.)

Who “us” this is? Many of us, probably, but we have trouble quantifying ourselves, and that’s by design. The incentives for the upper classes to keep the lower classes atomized are painfully obvious.

It isn’t a special snowstorm to insist that our peers and our parents accept us even though we’re losers. It only looks that way at first blush. It isn’t even necessarily professional victimhood. Anglo-American society has been structured and governed for two generations (roughly my whole lifetime) to produce losers and then shit on them. That’s what it does. Someone is going to be the toilet slave for as long as people who play that dirty game are welcome in polite society. We’re led by people who think it’s appropriate to shit on the generationally poor, to shit on the uneducated, to shit on the retarded who can’t help themselves, to shit on anyone who can be accused of using drugs without meeting some arbitary threshold of social proof, and to shit on surplus elites who fell from grace during economic contractions. They definitely think it’s acceptable to shit on the unemployed. If they actually loved the virtue of work, they’d try to give the unemployed a hand up into employment instead of making excuses for rejecting their applications and making fun of them for being out of work.

Someone has to speak up for the victims of this sadism. As I mentioned, it will endure until the social consequences for indulging in it become unpleasant. Someone has to keep advocating on behalf of the losers for as long as this society remains vicious enough to keep producing them so abundantly and unnecessarily.

I am called to bear witness to these things. Suck on it.

We really need an anti-immigration left

Donald Trump’s botched travel ban rollout is exactly the sort of right-authoritarian assault on due process and human rights that Americans should have expected as the constituents of a polity that has proven itself too hamfisted and disingenuous to reform its unwieldy, lawless immigration regime in a lawful and humane manner. The US government could have published specific restrictions on specific types of immigration in advance, giving those affected proper notice of their inadmissibility. A well-disciplined CBP could have enforced these restrictions by humanely turning away aliens ruled inadmissible under them at ports of entry. Instead, a criminally ill-disciplined and lawless CBP detained a bunch of travelers who had been blindsided by the implementation of a blanket travel ban without notice while they were in transit, denying many of them food, water, communication with emergency contacts, and access to legal counsel. CBP officers obstructed onsite inquiries by members of Congress into the status of detained travelers at at least two airports, Dulles and Hartsfield-Jackson, and inquiries from pro bono lawyers who had rallied in front of arrivals halls at multiple airports. CBP has apparently defied several parallel orders from US District Courts, including one from “rocket docket” Judge Leonie Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia. Worse, there are reports that customs officers at Dulles abducted travelers in their custody to offsite detention facilities in the midst of active habeas corpus petitions that had been filed on these detainees’ behalf.

The question of whether the worst elements of CBP are allowed to reenact the Stanford prison experiment under color of authority is separate from questions of whether CBP’s better officers are allowed to fairly and consistently enforce immigration laws at US ports of entry. The latter, in turn, are separate from questions of what levels and types of immigration should be permitted. Grave official misconduct, including frank human rights violations, was a huge problem at CBP before the travel ban clusterfuck over the weekend. The rogue behavior reported under the auspices of this ban or contemporaneous to its implementation has not been limited to citizens of the named countries, either. The culture of lawlessness at CBP is so entrenched, and its worst officers so deranged, that the only way to force compliance with court orders may well be SWAT raids on secured areas at ports of entry: that is, US Marshals, or possibly local or state law enforcement officers deputized by outraged local officials to enforce the Fourth Amendment (you know, federal law), storming into buildings guarded by gunslinging nutjobs with federal law enforcement commissions of their own. The prospect of the US Marshals being the sane elements in this scenario should be alarming, but it’s looking like a moot point: some recent reports claim that Marshals are systematically refusing to enforce federal court orders in these matters.

So, yes, civil war involving urban combat in government buildings used by the traveling public is now a very real possibility. This situation is chaotic and dynamic, so there’s no telling from hour to hour how it may play out. I’m quickly being won over to the position that Trump really is Nixon on steroids. I always suspected that he was mostly trash-talking everyone, but now, less than two weeks into his presidency, he’s surrounded by nutty advisors, publicly wallowing in Nixonian paranoia that increasingly looks heartfelt, not staged, directing unusually aggressive criminality on US soil by federal law enforcement agencies, and trying to subvert the judiciary. Motherfucker needs an impeachment. Nixon wasn’t given a chance to reform himself in office after he was caught ordering burglaries and the like, nor should he have been given one. What the president deserves in these cases is immaterial; the presidency is a solemn, dangerous office whose misuse can ruin countless citizens’ lives. What matters is what the American public deserves, and we deserve a hell of a lot better than we’re getting in Trump’s and his advisors’ bad moments. The republic is in peril when it’s in the hands of people so unhinged and disturbed. And for better and worse, Trump has burned so many bridges with so many politicians that he’s the likeliest candidate for impeachment since Nixon.

The protests and the lawyer mobilizations over the weekend are essentialto the survival of our constitutional order. The presence of partisan wackos and fools in the protests doesn’t make them any less critical to the rule of law. It’s unfortunate that they were so much more muted and limited in scope during Obama’s robotic-death-from-the-sky presidency, but at least they’re happening now. Given a choice between public dissent that includes dipshits who are embarrassments to the broad left and a customs agency that absolutely would give Charles Graner a commission, a pitch-black uniform, and a sidearm, I’d take the useful idiot liberals in a heartbeat.

What’s the hitch, then? Outrage unto civil disobedience about the predatory criminality of CBP and the Border Patrol does not necessitate outrage at the proposition that the United States should no longer welcome the whole wide world into its living room, no questions asked. The gist of Trump’s travel ban–not the crude, vicious mechanisms of its enforcement–is at least a tentative step towards a more thoughtful immigration policy sincerely devoted to the advancement of the national interest and the interests of many of the more vulnerable classes of US citizens. Trump arbitrarily singled out a medley of disfavored nations that are minor to middling sources of immigrants to the United States, and rogue elements in the CBP ad-libbed from there. The possibility of corruption pertaining to Trump’s business interests influencing his decision should certainly be investigated. None of this means that it’s in the US national interest to continue to serve as a come-one-come-all dumping ground for the world’s wretched refuse when we’re having trouble getting our own house into order. None of it means that there’s a compelling national interest, or even a compelling international humanitarian imperative, for the United States to keep allowing any society from any country to immigrate here at will and set up parallel kinship networks that its own atomized citizens lack the wherewithal and the social capital to replicate. None of it means that Mark Zuckerberg deserves more H-1B visas for his scab labor. None of it means that it’s a social good to encourage unassimilated ethnic enclaves to fester for generation upon generation on US soil, operating under their own arbitrary communal laws, beyond the reach of the sovereign authorities that govern native-stock communities. None of it means that the US government has any obligation to the Mexican government to absorb the demographic overflow caused by the feckless, self-serving policies of its suspiciously white elites.

America First is a rallying cry dear to certain racists, but it is not inherently racist. Yes, it’s inherently nativist and parochial, but pointing this out doesn’t explain why Mexican officials have dispensation to be nativist and parochial without offending America while the parochial nativism of US officials is such a grave offense to Mexico and all Mexicans. Why should it be our duty to worry endlessly about the welfare of Mexican swarthies, who overlap significantly with our elites’ gardeners and whom the hidalgos despise anyway, when so many of our own communities are dying? True, “we” destabilized the countries on Trump’s shit list, but really, our elites conspired with their elites, or alternately with the elites of third countries, to orchestrate their pillage and looting. Or, in Somalia’s case, “we” watched the locals wreck their own government in a civil war and encouraged “our” trawlers to stripmine their fishery in the absence of a functioning coast guard.

We get to stop fluffing our neighbors’ beds and start cleaning the piles of shit out of own own bed whenever we say so as an electorate. Trump’s particular way of saying so causes an unacceptable amount of collateral damage, both to individual foreigners of goodwill and to our own rule of law as a nation, but the grievances that he’s trying to remedy are genuine. This is why we need political leaders of goodwill who have the backbone to insist that the human damage of imperial wars stop being dumped wholesale into unsuspecting mill towns and that the Mexican peasantry stop being imported en masse to break meatpackers’ unions.