Let’s have a chat!

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Motion-sensor light that was poorly aimed.

A CANADIAN who goes by Kris because that’s his name mentioned on another blog today that he does not have a blog because his life lacks events that are sufficiently interesting to merit a write-up. Truth is, you can write about anything.

It’s often not so much the topic but how you present it.

Steve Cotton who lives inexplicably in Casa Cotton in the sweltering, insect-infested, Mexican beach town of Melaque often writes on potentially boring subjects, but his manner of writing makes it interesting. I’ll return to this theme down the way.

* * * *

Steve’s latest post was not on a boring topic. It was a death.

Yesterday, Steve wrote about Ken Kushnir, a first-generation American whose family hailed from Russia and who retired to Mexico many years ago from California with his Honduran wife. Ken died a few weeks ago.

I knew Ken, and I liked him. He was always smiling.

Ken, like Steve, like me, wrote a blog. His nom de internet was Tancho. His is the latest death among a group of Gringo bloggers who moved to Mexico in the last 20 or so years.

Another went by Sparks, but his real last name was Parks. And there was John Calypso who wrote an interesting blog dubbed Viva Veracruz which has been taken offline. Also, not long ago, Michael Warshauer died of cancer. The focus of his blog, My Mexican Kitchen, was, not surprisingly, on cooking and eating. He was a retired baker.

It seems we’re dropping like those proverbial flies.

Ken Kushnir, R.I.P. And, a tad tardy, Michael Warshauer too. Another good guy gone.

* * * *

But back to the topic of blog-writing and how having an interesting life is not required, though it surely helps. A bit of imagination can put, with luck, a fairly engaging spin on most dreary doings. Let’s look briefly at my fascinating day so far.

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A neatly trimmed bougainvillea!

I noticed recently that the motion-sensor light attached to the outside of our bedroom was not coming on when I walked up the Romance Sidewalk from the most critical direction at night. I climbed a ladder to adjust it this morning. Can’t test it till tonight.

I do incredible things.

(Update: The adjustment worked! Just so you know.)

Also today, I stopped procrastinating about trimming the bougainvillea you see in the photo. It’s one of four bougainvilleas in the Hacienda yard, plants I wish I’d never installed here way back when, about 16 years ago.

I went so far as to skip my customary exercise walk around the plaza this morning in order to adjust the light, trim the bougainvillea and write this blather for you. I did complete my gym routine at 7:30, however. I have a gym set here upstairs, and I use it.

The Canadian Kris (see first paragraph) used to leave good comments fairly frequently here, but he decided to stop when I took issue with a positive comment he made about the communist dictatorship of Cuba. Quite a few Canadians seem to have a positive view of Cuba, incredibly. Commenters come and go. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

Kris is welcome to come back. But Canadians are oddballs.

You never know who is reading your stuff. I recently heard from my daughter after a very long absence. She used to read my website years ago, and maybe still does. And she’d leave comments on rare occasion, sometimes to cuss me out.

Yes, I am a defective dad. As was my father before me.

She said that she’d uncovered some of her paternal grandfather’s artwork tucked away in her home. My father liked to paint. And she noticed for the first time some were reproductions of famous artists. Like my father, I also was an artist of sorts.

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My father’s copy of a Winslow Homer piece from 1899.
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Here is how Homer did it.

About the same time, I received an unexpected email from my last ex-wife. Aside from the occasional birthday greeting, I never hear anything from her, so this was a surprise. She wanted to know why I am a Trump fan. She seemed genuinely mystified, and she asked politely, as most Trump foes do not, so I sent her a reply that went something like this:

  1. Trump thumbs his nose daily at Political Correctness, a movement that is quite literally destroying Western Civilization.
  2. He knows the need for borders, and is doing what he can about it.
  3. He’s fighting the Regulatory State and making headway. I don’t recall any other president even mentioning the growing threat of the Regulatory State. Do you?

My response to her was a bit more detailed on those three points. Of course, there are numerous excellent reasons to be a Trump fan, but those are the three I mentioned.

I also mentioned to her the #WalkAway campaign, a movement of former Democrats like me who have abandoned that nefarious party. It’s most visible on YouTube.

Here’s a thoughtful video by a woman who worked in the Clinton Administration. She states why she’s abandoned the Democrat Party and is now a Trump supporter.

I’ve long wondered if my ex-wife reads my website, so she does. I’ve never mentioned my Trump love directly to her. I invited her to join me on the Trump Train because there is room for her. We do not discriminate. We’re a diverse bunch of cheerful folks.

Some of us make moonshine and marry our cousins, but most do not.

It was strange that I received communication from both my daughter and my last ex-wife in the same week. It’s always nice to hear from them, rare as it is.

I think our chat has come to an end. I probably should pack my bag for Guadalajara.

Nations are great things

NATIONS ARE different, and that’s what makes them interesting.

I favor national identities and borders that keep them intact. The counter to this opinion is called globalism. Globalists want things to be all tossed together, no borders, where people can hold hands and sing Kumbaya at a moment’s notice.

If there’s an aroma of Patchouli, then all the better.

While I favor nations, I’m not too keen on government, which I think should be kept to a minimum everywhere. I’m a lowercase liberatarian.

Recently, I opened a Facebook page under my real name. Filling in the part about my political druthers, I tried to just put libertarian, but Facebook would not let me. It insisted I put Libertarian Nationalist.

I thought about it for a moment, and I realized I am a nationalist. I favor nations and borders. When I’m in the United States, I favor American nationalism. When I’m in Mexico, I favor Mexican nationalism.

I support a border wall between the United States and Mexico, and I support a border wall between Mexico and Guatemala. Walls make good neighbors.

Related to this is that many years ago the Europeans lost their collective minds and initiated the European Union, a globalist wet dream. Not surprisingly, it was the British who first came to their good senses and departed the EU cage.

In the video above, Nigel Farage, one of my favorite fellows, provides a beautiful description of how the despotic EU works, a description that is so clear that even a nincompoop can understand it.

I offer a tip of the sombrero to the Brits for leaving the EU, even though they only did it by a slim margin. No matter. It worked. With luck, other nations of Europe will get fed up with the EU and do the same thing. Let us pray so.

* * * *

(Note: I also addressed this border issue a few weeks ago with In praise of window locks and border walls.)

Border wall

This is today, April 5, 2017.

I AM BIG on border walls. We have one here at the Hacienda. It separates us from the sex motel next door.

Walls create happy neighbors.

Stepping out to the terraza this morning — it was 48 degrees! — I snapped this photo to illustrate the difference between the two worlds of Hacienda and, well, you know.

When the motel was constructed almost a decade ago, I had this section of wall raised about a foot so folks in the motel rooms could not peer directly into our yard.

But we still can peer directly into their rooms.

You’re also looking at our two border guards, which are yuge!* The nopal and the bougainvillea, both of which I planted when they were little pups out of pots.

The sex motel manager recently asked if I would mind if they cut the bougainvillea on their side of the wall. I cannot imagine why they would want to do that. It’s quite pretty.

I replied yes. What they do on their side of the wall is their own business, not mine.

What I am particularly pleased about this morning is the temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

It makes me happy to be alive.

That and other factors too, of course. Like the V-formation of white egrets that just flew overhead.

* * * *

* Tip of the sombrero to the Blond Bomber in the Oval Office for adding this spelling variation to the language.

A natural man

(For a long spell, since turning my politics rightward about a decade ago, I have been a bit perplexed by my aversion to some elements of traditional conservatism. 

(This column clears it up for me. It was written by two young men, Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-described “dangerous faggot,” and Allum Bokhari, a Breitbart correspondent who lives in London. Yiannopoulos is also British-born.

(You may have heard of the Alt-Right, the alternative right. There are two versions of the Alt-Right, the extreme and the moderate. The latter makes sense to me.  The former does not. Fortunately, the moderate wing is far more populated.

(I am pleased to come out as a “natural conservative” and, it appears, a moderate Alt-Righter.)

* * * *

NATURAL CONSERVATIVES are mostly white, mostly male, middle-American radicals, who are unapologetically embracing a new identity politics that prioritizes the interests of their own demographic.

In their politics, these new conservatives are only following their natural instincts — the same instincts that motivate conservatives across the globe.

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Milo

Noted social psychologist Jonathan Haidt described the conservative instinct in his 2012 book The Righteous Mind.

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism.

Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity.

They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

An establishment Republican, with their overriding belief in the glory of the free market, might be moved to tear down a cathedral and replace it with a strip mall if it made economic sense. Such an act would horrify a natural conservative.

Immigration policy follows a similar pattern: by the numbers, cheap foreign workers on H1B visas make perfect economic sense. But natural conservatives have other concerns: chiefly, the preservation of their own tribe and its culture.

For natural conservatives, culture, not economic efficiency, is the paramount value. More specifically, they value the greatest cultural expressions of their tribe.

Their perfect society does not necessarily produce a soaring GDP, but it does produce symphonies, basilicas and Old Masters. The natural conservative tendency within the Alt-Right points to these apotheoses of western European culture and declares them valuable and worth preserving and protecting.

Needless to say, natural conservatives’ concern with the flourishing of their own culture comes up against an intractable nemesis in the regressive left, which is currently intent on tearing down statues of Cecil Rhodes and Queen Victoria in the UK, and erasing the name of Woodrow Wilson from Princeton in the United States.

These attempts to scrub Western history of its great figures are particularly galling to the Alt-Right, who in addition to the preservation of Western culture, care deeply about heroes and heroic virtues.

This follows decades in which left-wingers on campus sought to remove the study of “dead white males” from the focus of Western history and literature curricula.

An establishment conservative might be mildly irked by such behavior as they switch between the State of the Union and the business channels, but to a natural conservative, such cultural vandalism may just be their highest priority.

In fairness, many establishment conservatives aren’t keen on this stuff either — but the Alt-Right would argue that they’re too afraid of being called “racist” to seriously fight against it. Which is why they haven’t.

Certainly, the rise of Donald Trump, perhaps the first truly cultural candidate for president since Buchanan, suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

* * * *

The rise of Donald Trump suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

* * * *

Alt-Righters describe establishment conservatives who care more about the free market than preserving Western culture, and who are happy to endanger the latter with mass immigration where it serves the purposes of big business, as “cuckservatives.”

Halting, or drastically slowing, immigration is a major priority for the Alt-Right. While eschewing bigotry on a personal level, the movement is frightened by the prospect of demographic displacement represented by immigration.

The Alt-Right do not hold a Utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritize the interests of their tribe, they recognize that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – do the same.

As communities become comprised of different peoples, the culture and politics of those communities become an expression of their constituent peoples.

You’ll often encounter doomsday rhetoric in Alt-Right online communities: that’s because many instinctively feel that once large enough and ethnically distinct enough groups are brought together, they will inevitably come to blows.

In short, they doubt that full “integration” is ever possible. If it is, it won’t be successful in the “Kumbaya” sense. Border walls are a much safer option.

The Alt-Right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race.

The Alt-Right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved.

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Allum

A Mosque next to an English street full of houses bearing the flag of St. George, according to Alt-Righters, is neither an English street nor a Muslim street — separation is necessary for distinctiveness.

Some Alt-Righters make a more subtle argument.

They say that when different groups are brought together, the common culture starts to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Instead of mosques or English houses, you get atheism and stucco.

Ironically, it’s a position that has much in common with leftist opposition to so-called “cultural appropriation,” a similarity openly acknowledged by the Alt-Right.

It’s arguable that natural conservatives haven’t had real political representation for decades.

Since the 1980s, establishment Republicans have obsessed over economics and foreign policy, fiercely defending the Reagan-Thatcher economic consensus at home and neoconservative interventionism abroad.

In matters of culture and morality, the issues that natural conservatives really care about, all territory has been ceded to the Left, which now controls the academy, the entertainment industry and the press.

For those who believe in the late Andrew Breitbart’s dictum that politics is downstream from culture, the number of writers, political candidates and media personalities who actually believe that culture is the most important battleground can be dispiriting.

Natural liberals, who instinctively enjoy diversity and are happy with radical social change – so long as it’s in an egalitarian direction – are now represented by both sides of the political establishment.

Natural conservatives, meanwhile, have been slowly abandoned by Republicans — and other conservative parties in other countries. Having lost faith in their former representatives, they now turn to new ones — Donald Trump and the alternative right.

There are principled objections to the tribal concerns of the Alt-Right, but Establishment conservatives have tended not to express them, instead turning nasty in the course of their panicked backlash.

National Review writer Kevin Williamson, in a recent article attacking the sort of voters who back Trump, said that white working-class communities “deserve to die.”

Although the Alt-Right consists mostly of college-educated men, it sympathizes with the white working classes and, based on our interviews, feels a sense of noblesse oblige. National Review has been just as directly unpleasant about the Alt-Right as it has, on occasion, been about white Americans in general.

In response to concerns from white voters that they’re going to go extinct, the response of the Establishment — the conservative Establishment — has been to openly welcome that extinction.

It’s true that Donald Trump would not be possible without the oppressive hectoring of the progressive Left, but the entire media is to blame for the environment in which this new movement has emerged.

For decades, the concerns of those who cherish Western culture have been openly ridiculed and dismissed as racist.

The Alt-Right is the inevitable result.

No matter how silly, irrational, tribal or even hateful the Establishment may think the Alt-Right’s concerns are, they can’t be ignored, because they aren’t going anywhere.

As Haidt reminds us, their politics is a reflection of their natural inclinations.

In other words, the Left can’t language-police and name-call them away, which have for the last twenty years been the only progressive responses to dissent, and the Right can’t snobbishly dissociate itself from them and hope they go away either.