Milo on Romantic Music

The Christmas season always gets me excited for music, because there are so many wonderful carols and hymns about the birth of Jesus.  I will write more on the topic of Christmas carols later on in the month, but today I wanted to touch on a really niche topic:  Milo Yiannopoulos‘s love of Romantic-era music.

What got me on this topic is not just my musical mood; it was an epic Telegram thread Milo had going about… classical music.

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TBT: Deportemal

The unintended theme this week has been back on immigration, particularly the kind that swamps small communities and results from one-sided tolerance.  Since I’ve already uncorked that bottle, I figured I’d like the wine flow with this week’s TBT feature.

This piece, dating back to late May of this year, was a full-throated screed against the manifold injustices of illegal immigration.  Few topics make my blood boil more:  the flagrant violation of the rule of law, the entitled attitude (“we have it tough, so we have a right to be here”), the two-tier system of justice—all are make my stomach turn.

So, here’s my prescription to cure our ills:  a healthy dose of “Deportemal“:

I have little patience for illegal immigrants.  Their illegality encourages ethnic cloistering.  Their very presence constitutes a persistent state of lawlessness, which seems to breed further criminality.

Then there’s the matter of the vast gulf between mainstream American culture and the virtually premodern peasant cultures from which most illegal migrants come.  Child rape is serious problem among men of certain Latin American cultures, as a recent piece from The Blaze demonstrates.  A twenty-year old illegal immigrant impregnated an eleven-year old.

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The Hispanization of Rural America

This weekend I drove through some very rural parts of western South Carolina to check out some small-town festivals (Subscribe Star subscribers will get the full story this Saturday, and read my ode to candy apples, which this same trip also inspired).  My route took me north from Aiken through Ridge Spring, South Carolina, then up through Chappells and Saluda to Clinton, located on the cusp of the Upstate.  Then it was a 90-minute drive back south through Saluda, Chappells, and Johnston on the way back to Aiken.

Most of this section of South Carolina is farmland, dotted with small towns or unincorporated communities.  Some of these towns were once thriving little railroad junctions, or the communities of prosperous farmers or textile mills.

Now, they often feature quaint but dilapidated downtowns (often full of barber shops and wig stores, but plenty of boarded-up windows), a few stately old homes, and a great deal of poverty.

What I noticed on this most recent trip, however, was the clear uptick in Hispanic residents and businesses.

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Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that 76% of American voters believe that illegal immigration is bad for the country.  That is a substantial majority (and it makes you wonder about the other 24%).

When breaking that number down by partisan affiliation, it’s not surprising that 90% of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is bad.  What is somewhat surprising is that 63% of Democrats believe that illegal immigration is bad.  That suggests that opposing illegal immigration and border control continue to be winning issues.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: ICE Raids a Good Start

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

The sweeping ICE raids announced some time ago finally seem to be bearing fruit.  The big news earlier this week was of the raids of multiple food processing plants in Mississippi, resulting in 680 detainees—the biggest haul since 2008.

It’s a start—a good one—but it’s only that.  President Trump argues that the raids will act as a deterrent to future illegal immigration.  I think he’s correct—to an extent.

The larger question, though, is how effective of a deterrent will this raid be?

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TBT: [Four] Years of Excellence

President Trump officially kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign earlier this week, and it’s been almost exactly one year since the post below.  I’ve been quite impressed with President Trump, who has governed far more conservatively than I and many other conservatives could have ever hoped.  While there is still much to be done on immigration—border crossings have accelerated due to misguided progressive policies that encourage child trafficking—and the wall seems to be more an abstraction than a concrete reality, Trump has slashed taxes, created jobs, and strengthened national security.

Trump has also stacked the federal courts with conservative-leaning judges and justices.  And that’s in the face of progressive aggression and Deep State coup attempts.

His record speaks for itself.  President Trump has taken the reins of the Republican Party and has done much to shore up the Republic.  Here’s looking to four more years—and to Keeping America Great!

Father’s Day—16 June 2018—marked three years since President Donald Trump’s now-legendary descent down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, following by his controversial but true-to-form announcement that he would be seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for President.

I was, initially, a Trump skeptic, and I voted for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the South Carolina primaries the following February.  When Trump first announced, I wrote him off—as so many others—as a joke.  I appreciated his boldness on immigration, but I still thought the PC Police and the campus Social Justice Warriors were firmly in control of the culture, and that no one could speak hard truths.

I also remembered his brief flirtation with running in 2012, and thought this was just another episode in what I learned was a long history of Trump considering a presidential bid.  At the South Carolina Republican Party’s state convention earlier in 2015, I asked two young men working on Trump’s pre-campaign (this was before The Announcement) if he was reallyserious this time.  The two of them—they looked like the well-coifed dreamboat vampires from the Twilight franchise—both assured me that Trump was for real, and I left with some Trump stickers more skeptical than ever (note, too, that this was before the distinctive but simple red, white, and blue “Trump” lawn signs, and definitely before the ubiquitous “Make America Great Again” hats).

I even briefly—briefly!—considered not voting for Trump, thinking that he was not a “real” conservative.  I still don’t think he’s a conservative in the way, say, that a National Review columnist is (although, the way they’ve gotten so noodle-wristed lately, that’s a good thing; I’ve just about lost all respect for David French’s hand-wringing, and Kevin Williamson went off the deep-end), but rather—as Newt Gingrich would put it—an “anti-Leftist.”  That’s more than enough for me.

But my conversion to Trump came only belatedly.  I can still find a notebook of notes from church sermons in which I wrote, “Ted Cruz won the Wyoming primary.  Thank God!” in the margins.

Then something happened—something I predicted would happen on the old TPP site—and I couldn’t get enough of the guy.  It wasn’t a “road to Damascus” epiphany.  I started listening to his speeches.  I read up on his brilliant immigration plan (why haven’t we taxed remittances yet?).  I stopped taking him literally, and began taking him seriously.

And I noticed it happening in others all around me.  Friends who had once disdained the Republican Party were coming around on Trump.  Sure, it helped that Secretary Hillary Clinton was a sleazebag suffused with the filth of grasping careerism and political chicanery.  But more than being a vote against Hillary, my vote—and the vote of millions of other Americans—became a vote for Trump—and for reform.

Trump made politics interesting again, too, not just because he said outrageous stuff on live television (I attended his rally in Florence, South Carolina before the SC primaries, and I could feel his charisma from 200 feet away; it was like attending a rock concert).  Rather, Trump busted wide open the political orthodoxy that dominated both political parties at the expense of the American people.

Take trade, for example.  Since World War II, both Democrats and Republicans have unquestioningly supported free trade.  Along comes Trump, and suddenly we’re having serious debates again about whether or not some tariffs might be beneficial—that maybe it’s worth paying a little more for a stove or plastic knick-knacks if it means employing more Americans.

That’s not even to mention Trump’s legacy on immigration—probably the most pressing issue of our time, and one about which I will write at greater length another time.

Regardless, after over 500 days in office, the record speaks for itself:  lower taxes, fewer regulations, greater economic growthgreater security abroad.  At this point, the only reasons I can see why anyone would hate Trump are either a.) he’s disrupting their sweet government job and/or bennies; b.) they don’t like his rhetorical style, and can’t get past it (the Jonah Goldbergite “Never Trumpers”—a dying breed—fall into this group); or c.) they’re radical Cultural Marxists who recognize a natural foe.  Folks in “Option B” are probably the most common, but they’re too focused on rhetoric and “decorum”—who cares if he’s mean to Justin Trudeau if he gets results?  The folks in “Option C” are willfully ignorant, evil, or blinded by indoctrination.

As the IG report from last Thursday revealed—even if it wouldn’t come out and say it—the Deep State is very, very real.  That there were elements within the FBI willing to use extralegal means to disrupt the Trump campaign—and, one has to believe, to destroy the Trump presidency—suggests that our delicate system of checks and balances has been undermined by an out-of-control, unelected federal bureaucracy.  Such a dangerous threat to our republic is why we elected Trump.

President Trump, keep draining the swamp.  We’re with you 100%.

Deportemal II: Trump Vows Mass Deportations

On Monday, President Trump announced the deportation of millions of illegal aliens beginning “next week,” vowing that ICE agents would remove such aliens “as fast as they come in.”

Here are the two pertinent tweets from the president:

Critics and supporters alike are asking for details on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement will process the millions here illegally.  As I write this post, I’ve just listened to part of Ben Shapiro’s podcast on the announcement; he argues that a surgical, case-by-case approach is preferable, as some illegal aliens possess skills we would want in the United States.

While I appreciate Shapiro’s measured response, I can’t agree.  As I wrote in “Deportemal,” the time for half-measures has passed.  A lengthy review process of the millions of illegal aliens—which could be anywhere from 11 to 33 million (PDF; that document shows an illegal population of 12 million as of 2015), and maybe higher (that no one can know for sure is a major part of the problem)—would bog down for years, if not decades.  Another visa process ladled on top of inherent law-breaking will merely exacerbate the problem.

Consider:  our current catch-and-release system—migrants show up to one court date, get a temporary visa and orders to report back to court, then disappear into the countryside, never darkening an immigration court again—already gives migrants an easy in.  Essentially, touching American soil is like tagging home base:  once you’re here, you’re in.

Now, imagine adding an individual review process to that.  First, you’d have to assume good-faith on the part of illegals in the country.  They have virtually no incentive to come to another hearing.  Yes, they have the opportunity to be absolved of their illegal status (I’m assuming that’s what Shapiro is proposing), but if they think they don’t, they’ll avoid the process.

Second, a whole cottage-industry of gaming the individual amnesty system will emerge.  Lawyers skilled in the ins-and-outs of this fresh bureaucratic hell will profit at the expense of their countrymen and poor illegals.  Appeals—and you know with the federal government there would be a lengthy appeals process—would linger on for months, even years, further adding to the administrative load of ICE and our courts.

If we were dealing with a few thousand people, we could demonstrate some mercy and approach this issue with a lighter touch.  Unfortunately, we’ve failed to enforce our border laws for so long that we’ve allowed this crisis to metastasize, to the detriment of American citizens and potential immigrants alike.

Republicans squandered a golden opportunity to make some real strides on immigration reform during the 2017-2019 congressional session.  President Trump has moved mountains since then via constitutional executive orders and international diplomacy, particularly his threat of slapping hefty, incremental tariffs on Mexico.  Increased enforcement of Mexico‘s southern border has, according to Shapiro, already eased the number of arrests on the American border.

In the wake of President Trump’s massive 2020 reelection campaign launch last night in Orlando, Florida, it is imperative for immigration patriots to run (and win!) in 2020, and for Americans to support Trump’s reelection.  It’s our best hope to resolve this crisis, to the benefit of Americans and the world.

For more of my writing on immigration, check out “Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration.”

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Ted Cruz on Ben Shapiro

It was a glorious weekend at Casa de Portly, deep in the heart of Dixie.  It was the kind of weekend that saw a lot of non-blog- and non-work-related productivity; in other words, I loafed a great deal, then did domestic chores around the house.

In case you missed it, on Saturday I released my Summer Reading List 2019.  If you want to read the whole list—and it’s quite good—you have to subscribe to my SubscribeStar page at the $1 level or higher.  There will be new, subscriber-exclusive content there every Saturday, so your subscription will continually increase in value.

Anyway, all that loafing and cleaning meant that I was unplugged from politics.  I did, however, manage to catch the Ben Shapiro Show “Sunday Special” with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

I was a big fan of Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, and I voted for him here in South Carolina.  Cruz intuited the populist mood of the electorate the way that President Trump did, and combined it with policy innovation and constitutionalism.

There’s a reason Cruz hung in there as long as he did against Trump:  he’s a canny political operator, but he also knew how to pitch a conservative message that was appealing to many voters.  I sincerely believe that had he clinched the nomination, he would have won the 2016 election (and, perhaps, by an even wider Electoral College margin than did Trump).

Cruz catches a lot of flack because he’s a little dopey and looks odd—a whole meme emerged in 2015-2016 claiming that Cruz was the Zodiac Killer—but he’s been an influential voice in the Senate.  He possesses a supple, clever mind, and has urged Republicans to make some bold, innovative reforms to the Senate (he vocally champions and has proposed a constitutional amendment for congressional term limits).

The hour-long interview with Ben Shapiro—which opens with a question about his alleged identity as the Zodiac Killer—shows how affable and relaxed Cruz really is.  I’ve never seen him appear more relaxed and genuine (and I never took him for a phony—I’ve seen him speak live at least once at a campaign rally in Florence, and spoke very briefly to him afterwards) than in this interview.

Granted, it’s friendly territory—Shapiro was a big supporter of Cruz in the primaries—but Cruz spelled out some important ideas, as well as his projections for 2020.  If you don’t have a full hour, fast forward to about the forty-minute mark for his discussion of Trump’s reelection prospects.

To summarize them briefly:  Cruz thinks it all comes out to turnout, and that Democrats will “crawl over broken glass” to vote against Trump.  He even points out that his own race against Democrat Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke was as close as it was because Beto ran against Trump more than he did against Cruz.  He also thinks Joe Biden is going to flame out, and one of the more radical, progressive Dems will clinch the nomination, making the prospect of a truly socialistic administration terrifyingly possible.

That said, Cruz is optimistic.  Discussing his own narrow victory over Beto in 2018, he points out Beto’s massive fundraising and staffing advantages (Cruz had eighteen paid staffers on his campaign; Beto had 805!), but explains that a barn-burning bus tour of the State of Texas pulled out conservative and middle-class voters in a big way for his reelection.

That points to one of Trump’s strengths:  the relentless pace with which he campaigns.  Trump held three and even four rallies a day in key battleground States in the final days of the 2016 election, which likely made the difference in Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Great White Whale of Republican presidential elections since the 1980s, Pennsylvania.  If Trump can get his pro-growth, pro-American message out there as effectively in 2020 as he did in 2016 and can excite voters who want to protect their nation and their prosperity, he could cruise to reelection.

Cruz’s optimism, tempered by practical challenges ahead for Republicans, really came through in the video.  Really, the entire interview reminded me why I liked Ted Cruz so much the first time.  I’d love to see him remain a major presence throughout the next five years, and to see him run for the presidency again in 2024 (him, or Nikki Haley).

Regardless, I encourage you to listen to this interview.  Take Cruz’s warning to heart:  don’t get complacent, because the Democrats aren’t.

Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration

I’ve really been beating the drum about immigration lately, so today’s Lazy Sunday should come as no surprise.  Illegal immigration is a major crisis facing the United States and Europe, and it’s one we ignore at our peril.

Indeed, even legal immigration presents a problem if left unregulated.  Massive amounts of immigration leads easily to ethnic cloistering; if left unchecked, entire neighborhoods or cities can become unrecognizable.

An essential component of conservative nationalism is that a nation is made up of a people.  In the old European conception, that manifests itself as the nation-state:  a group of people sharing a common lineage or shared blood.  Sometimes that identity is self-consciously constructed, but it still stems from the notion that a certain people and a certain land make up the nation.

The American conception of nationalism is only slightly different:  the American people don’t have to share the same patrimony, but they do have to share similar values.  Those values are Anglo-Saxon in origin, but they can (and must) be adopted by anyone.

As such, ethnic cloistering subverts the assimilation process, placing fundamentally alien populations in the midst of natives.  That’s a recipe for conflict, as it undermines social and national cohesion.

“Nationalism” doesn’t have to be a dirty word.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with a group of people wanting to have their own nation.  No America should feel like a thoughtcriminal because he wants to protect his country from unregulated foreign invasion.

Some food for thought for your Sunday morning.

  • Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis” – One of my first posts on immigration (and last week’s TBT feature), the context for this piece was the child separation policy and the faux outrage about it (notice how you never hear about this anymore?).  When I wrote this piece, this issue was red-hot, and I anticipated all sorts of social justice whinging.  Now that the political usefulness of child props is waning, it’s interesting to read it with fresh eyes.  My basic argument is unchanged, though:  we wouldn’t be dealing with child separation and the like if it we simply enforced the law.
  • The Facts on the Border Crisis” – This piece looked at the history of Texas Republic and the oft-forgotten Mexican War.  Texas was a major province of Mexico.  After gaining independence from Spain, the young Mexican government invited white American yanquis to settle the territory if they converted to Catholicism.  When the Mexican government attempted to abolish slavery, the American settlers—many of whom came from the Deep South with their slaves in tow—balked, demanding to keep their slaves.  When General Santa Anna attempted to enforce the Mexican constitution, the Texans rebelled.

    The point:  large, marginally-assimilated foreigners dominant in one geographic area is a recipe for disaster.  Now, Mexico is doing to the Southwest what Americans did to Texas in the nineteenth century—they even call it the Reconquista.

  • Somali Shenanigans” – Case in point:  the resettlement of Somali refugees and immigrants into Minneapolis has completely transformed the demographic makeup of a large neighborhood in the city.  That’s also changed the politics of the State’s Democrat-Farm-Labor Party, which now caters to this largely unassimilable contingent.  Indeed, they’ve now elected Ilhan Omar to Congress, a woman who allegedly married her brotherallegedly married her brother to commit immigration fraud.
  • Immigration by the Numbers” – This post details the costs, social and economic, of immigration, focusing primarily on the huge amount of American dollars sent to foreign nations as “remittances.”  Remittances are funds earned in the United States and wired back to family members in an immigrant’s home country.  It’s a massive business, accounting for $148 billion in total, with $30.02 billion going to Mexico (China also gets a pretty penny).  That’s American wealth draining off to support other countries.
  • Deportemal” – Rounding out this week’s Lazy Sunday is a little post about the lawlessness that stems from illegal immigration.  The attitude of illegals is excessively cavalier:  in addition to existing in a state of persistent illegality, they leverage their “shadow” status to avoid real penalties for petty crimes.  The frustration for legal citizens is palpable:  we’re held to a rigid legal standard, while authorities turn a blind or helpless eye to illegal activity from illegal aliens who feel entitled to breaking the law because their home countries suck.

Illegal immigration is a frustrating assault on the lives of American citizens and the rule of law.  Rather than indulge such wide-scale lawlessness, we should robustly and aggressively prosecute and deport illegals upon apprehension for any offense, from the smallest jaywalking misdemeanor to child rape and murder.  If you’re caught and you’re illegal, you’re going back!

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: