“In retrospect, we can see that these c. 1990 Canon Wars were an important step in the Woke’s Long March Through the Institutions.”

I studied English literature at UC Irvine where the schools of critical theory were inscrutable, borderline meaningless, and righteously obnoxious.  So it was with much pleasure that I read this review of Harold Bloom’s role in those wars. 


I loved this

Armed with a photographic memory, Professor Bloom could recite acres of poetry by heart — by his account, the whole of Shakespeare, Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” all of William Blake, the Hebraic Bible and Edmund Spenser’s monumental “The Fairie Queen.” 

From Steve Sailer on Harold Bloom (1930-2019) who recently passed

The Great Awokening was given a test drive in university English Departments in the late 1980s where, under the influence of Continental theorists like Foucault, it was considered fashionable to decolonize the Canon and throw out the Dead White Males. At the time, the Canon Wars received considerable coverage in the higher-brow popular press, such as the New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic.

My suspicion was that much of the popularity of French Theory was due to English department academics trying to erect severe barriers to entry to their profession. Tenure track English professors are particularly in danger of competition from amateur adjunct professors who love great literature for being great literature: e.g., bright empty nest housewives retired advertising copywriters, and the like. So by insisting upon the requirement the literature teachers be conversant in an ugly, graceless vocabulary of “theory,” you can drive away many people who would love to teach students about the most beautiful writing of history.

In retrospect, we can see that these c. 1990 Canon Wars were an important step in the Woke’s Long March Through the Institutions. But in the prestige press at the time, the Woke mostly lost, in part because the Great Writers of the Past really are great. For example, the theater kids on campuses continued to find Shakespeare a joy for their Let’s Put on a Show urges. 

Continue reading. . . .


Daniel McAdams: “The US Has Ceased Being a Republic and Has Become a National Security State”

via Bob Wenzel at Target Liberty.

Daniel McAdams

Below, Executive Director Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute is interviewed by Mohsen Abdelmoumen.

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your Twitter account has just been closed. Why?

Daniel McAdams: In August I was watching a segment of the Sean Hannity program while at a friend’s house and noticed that despite an hour of Hannity ranting against the “deep state” in the US, he was wearing a lapel pin bearing the seal of the US Central Intelligence agency, which most would agree is either the center or at least an important hub of the US “deep state” itself. I tweeted about this strange anomaly and as a comment to my own Tweet on it I happened to say that Hannity is “retarded.” Twitter informed me that I had committed “hateful conduct” for “promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” It is clear on its face that I did none of these. I used a non-politically correct term to ridicule Hannity for attacking the “deep state” while wearing the symbols of the deep state on his very lapel.

It is clear that Twitter is deeply biased against any voices outside the mainstream, pro-empire perspective. As a leading Tweeter in opposition to interventionist US foreign policy, I had long been targeted by those who enable and enforce Twitter’s political biases. Look at who Twitter partners with and you will understand why I was banned for a transparently false reason: the US government-funded Atlantic Council and other similar organizations are working with Twitter to eliminate any voices challenging US global military empire.

In your opinion, what exactly is the role of the CIA in the regime changes of some countries around the world?

From its creation by the National Security Act of 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency carried the dual role of analyzing intelligence for its customers in the Executive Branch of the US government and conducting covert actions and operations in pursuit of (claimed) US foreign policy goals. The history of CIA action in post-war Europe is extensive and includes founding front organizations to prop up socialist and far-left publications and institutions as a challenge to Soviet communism as well as backing far-right groups and political parties and even violent terror organizations to directly confront communism and overturn elections where communists made gains.

After the Cold War and the defeat of Soviet Communism, where one would expect a reduction if not elimination of such a global secret warfare organization, the CIA only ramped up its operations overseas. Today the CIA is merely one arm in a multi-faceted US “regime change” apparatus that includes the US State Department, USAID, and, very importantly, US government-funded “non-governmental” organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and its sub-grantees. This “regime change apparatus” uses CIA methods developed during the Cold War (by “experts” like Gene Sharp and others) such as mobilization, training, subterfuge, agitation, and propaganda. We saw this apparatus at work in events like the “Arab Spring” and before it in the overthrow of the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia. We saw it in the Ukraine coup of 2014 and we see it in Venezuela and in Hong Kong today.

The practical value to the United States of such operations is less than zero, the costs to the American taxpayer are enormous, and the immorality of manipulating the globe toward an outcome preferred by Washington’s elites is self-evident.

When we see the generalized NSA surveillance, do you think we live in a democracy or a tenebrous fascist regime?

Americans have been manipulated by the elites in government and its allies in state propaganda (otherwise known as the “mainstream media”) to accept, particularly post-9/11, the deeply anti-American proposition that we must yield our privacy and Constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties to a government that promises it will not abuse its increased power over us but will only use it to keep us safe. These promises have been over and over again proven to be lies. Government is not targeting terrorism or terrorists: they are targeting average American citizens.

Americans were told that only terrorists’ phone calls would be intercepted, but then Edward Snowden revealed that all of our phone calls are intercepted. Americans were mad for a few weeks but then Washington promised “reform” of the PATRIOT Act in the form of the FREEDOM Act and everybody calmed down. Even though the FREEDOM Act is actually worse than the PATRIOT Act because it legalized all of the illegal activities that were taking place under the PATRIOT Act. “Reform” in Washington means obfuscation and perception manipulation.

Likewise, Americans seeking to travel within their own country have been forced to allow strangers to invade and touch the most private areas of their bodies – and their children’s bodies! American sheep just bow to the authorities and keep watching their freedoms stolen from them, murmuring to themselves as they are raped by the authorities, “well…I have nothing to hide…”

You mentioned one time Operation Mockingbird, where the CIA manipulated journalists in the 1950s. In your opinion, does the CIA continue to use these same practices today?

I have no doubt that the CIA continues to maintain a close relationship with both mainstream and independent journalists. This is critical to establishing and controlling the narrative in each foreign “crisis.” It is no accident that each mainstream media outlet – regardless whether left-wing or right-wing or any wing – has the exact same perspective on events like the Ukraine coup or the Venezuela attempted coup, or Hong Kong protests. Part of this is the US “deep state” or “national security state” and part of it is the increasing integration of US corporate entities into the US government. Major media outlets are owned by US corporations that also own weapons manufacturing companies and cannot be trusted to report on events objectively. Similarly, virtually every US mainstream media outlet employs “former” members of the US intelligence community to “explain” foreign events to their viewers.

When is the last time a credible non-interventionist or pro-peace analyst has been featured in any mainstream media outlet? As in Soviet times, any view at odds with Washington’s “party line” is simply disappeared. When independent media outlets begin gaining traction and challenging the narrative, they are “de-platformed” on social media and even from their Internet service providers under the recommendations of US government-funded NGOs like the Atlantic Council or the German Marshal Fund.

 Is not what is currently happening in Hong Kong a CIA manipulation targeting China in the context of the Trump administration’s economic war?

There is plenty of evidence of US government involvement in the Hong Kong protests. That does not mean that every single body out in the street is in the pay of the CIA. That is the red herring argument of those who are determined that we never see the US government hand in unrest overseas. Or to ridicule as “conspiracy theorists” those who point out obvious US government involvement.

It is undeniable that the US government has been involved in grooming, training, and funding the anti-Beijing movement in Hong Kong for years. They don’t even hide it: you can easily find on USAID and National Endowment for Democracy website the level of funding the US government provides these organizations and political parties. And when these party leaders come to Washington, they are received by the US Vice President, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, and other high-ranking US government officials. Which foreign opposition movements that Washington does not support are given such treatment?

Imagine a movement dedicated to overthrowing the US political order that was funded by the Chinese, whose activists regularly went to Beijing for training in organization and mobilization, and whose leaders met with leading members of the Chinese Communist Party. How would such a movement in the United States be viewed by the US government? How would it be portrayed by the US mainstream media?

You mentioned a US-supported coup when you talked about Venezuela. In your opinion, does the US administration continue the same interventionist policy to destabilize Latin American countries?

Any Latin American government not in Washington’s constellation has been and is targeted for destabilization and overthrow. We saw this with the 2009 coup in Honduras, whose architect was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We see it in Cuba. We see it in Venezuela. We saw it with Ecuador, where a government wary of US persecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was “changed” in favor of a regime that handed Assange over to the authorities in exchange for a few billion dollars from the IMF. Do what Washington says and get paid; oppose Washington and get overthrown. That is the foreign policy of the US empire. And like the Soviet empire that preceded it, it is a policy doomed to failure.

Why in your opinion does the United States always need an enemy? Is not there a danger of world war when we see the multitude of US imperialist interventions around the world?

The US has ceased being a republic and has become a national security state. The US national security state enriches its elites – be they in the military-industrial complex, the think tanks, or the media – at the expense of middle class and working-class America. It does this by promoting an “enemy scenario” whereby the American people are made to believe that if they ever challenge the US military budget – larger than the next seven military budgets combined – they are not only putting themselves and their families at risk, but they are deeply unpatriotic and anti-American. The US national security state fought an 18-year “war on terror” which only seemed to generate more terrorists! Intervention in Iraq and Libya and Syria to “fight terrorism” resulted in more, not less, al-Qaeda and ISIS. It was not until Russia and Iran stood up in 2015 and began fighting these US-backed groups that there was a reduction in their power.

After the Russian and Iranian success in beating back the jihadist threat in Syria, the 2017 US national security strategy did an Orwellian about-face and abandoned the “war on terror” in favor of a declaration that our new enemies were again our old enemies: China and Russia. It is literally Orwell’s 1984: “We are at war with Eastasia. …We had always been at war with Eastasia.”

What do you think about the North Korean and Iranian case, where the Trump administration lacks a clear vision and where some neoconservatives are pushing for a war?

There are few consistencies in President Trump’s foreign policy. One emerging consistency, however, is that he seems genuinely reluctant to take the country into a bona fide war. He’s happy with sending a few dozen Tomahawk missiles into the Syrian countryside, but when faced with an actual robust response to any US strike, he to this point has chosen de-escalation. This may be a function of his keen eye for politics rather than any philosophical or moral concerns, but it to this point seems thematic. The problem is that by surrounding himself with neoconservatives – and make no mistake his replacement for Bolton is at least as much a neocon as the Mustached One himself – the president is isolating himself from any inputs advising military constraint when facing crises overseas. That is why many of us were so much hoping that Bolton would be replaced with a Realist like Col. Douglas Macgregor. There is a big danger that the president will be cornered by a lack of non-war options to the next crisis simply because he gives no quarter to non-war voices in his administration.

When we consider the plight of activists and whistleblowers, such as Assange, Snowden, etc. can we still talk about freedom of speech and human rights? Shouldn’t we mobilize more to support these activists and others around the world?

The plight of Snowden and Assange and all of the persecuted whistleblowers and truth-tellers is the plight of what is life of our liberty, freedom, and even Western civilization. When all dissent is quashed, imprisoned, tortured, we are left with only the Total State. The Total State, as we know from history, brooks no dissent because it can only maintain power by continuing the illusion that it alone is the source of truth. Thus any voice challenging the Total State, as the embodiment of truth, must on its face be a lie. Why would truth allow lies to undermine it? Why would any sane person oppose “the people” as represented in their Soviet government? Surely such a person would be insane and need of treatment rather than a citizen raising a legitimate question or differing opinion.

This is what we are facing in the US today. A Total State, where opposing views are de-platformed and disappeared. Where truth-tellers are jailed and tortured – pour servir d’avertissement aux autres (to serve as a warning to others).

What is your assessment of the Trump Presidency and what do you think of its foreign policy?

The Trump Presidency thus far has been an enormous disappointment. The president had the opportunity to name a top-notch foreign policy and national security team that would reflect and carry out his stated policies as a candidate – getting along with Russia, NATO skepticism, opposition to endless war, etc – but once in power he has again and again drawn from that same neoconservative cesspool that no matter who is elected always find its way to positions of power and influence. He did not chart a wise course in building a solid administration of professionals who agree with him – and there are plenty to choose from – and instead, he actually hired an entire team of people who not only disagree with his stated positions but they actually publicly ridicule them and work against them. It is unprecedented in my memory to see those who serve the president publicly undermining his stated positions, yet Bolton and Pompeo never hesitated or hesitate to do just that. This is an enormous missed opportunity for President Trump and for the United States.

You have been an advisor to Congressman Ron Paul and you are doing an excellent job as Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Can you explain to our readers what the missions of this institute are?

Our mission as a non-profit educational institution is to make the case for a non-interventionist foreign policy and the restoration of our civil liberties at home. We are the continuation of the Ron Paul liberty movement. To that end, we publish thousands of articles making the case for non-interventionism on our website, we broadcast a daily Ron Paul Liberty Report, and we hold conferences throughout the country bringing together a broad coalition of Americans – and non-Americans – to learn and promote peace and prosperity!

San Ysidro Valedictorian shames educators during Commencement. Whatever happened to gratitude and encouragement?

Clearly, Ms. Buhr didn’t acquire many ethical lessons.

“To my counselor, thank you for teaching me to fend for myself.”  That’s not a terrible ethic to develop at a young age, is it? I liked her condemnation of the counselor who tried to take credit for a student’s achievement.  That is SOP at schools as well as in larger organizations.  

via Gary North forum, from Zero Hedge.

As delicious as this was to watch and listen to, this is not the kind of thing that people want to know about and not the kind of behavior that people want to associate with.  This is public shaming and public humiliation, and the kids ate it up.  So Ms. Buhr knows how to appeal to one segment of her audience but dynamites the rest.  Even if this kind of criticism comes from a higher authority than a valedictorian, it still wouldn’t be acceptable.  Why not be content and grateful for what you’ve achieved and for where you’re going rather than to gravedig on people whom she claims had no role in her success anyway?

Ian Mathews at Forbes makes a good point

Then I sent a text message back to my friend, who owns a successful small business with twenty employees.

“Would you hire her?”

The response was immediate.


Huh. My friend was impressed with Nataly’s bold move but had no interest in working with her. I asked him why.

“She comes across as jaded and approached the situation with a victim’s mentality.” What was mildly amusing to him as a consumer of content became frightening as a potential employer. In three minutes, Ms. Buhr told prospective hiring managers all they need to know and saved themselves the time it would take for a formal interview.

I thought public education had a monopoly on mind-control.

The comments herein by Stephen Kinzer were the best insights I’d heard anywhere on Sidney Gottlieb, the head of the MKULTRA program conceived and operated by the CIA but funded by the American worker.  Tom invited Stephen Kinzer to discuss his latest book, Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, 2019.  Kinzer, who has written several books, and his in-depth analysis of characters heading or operating inside the CIA and its predecessor, the OSS, is nonpareil.  The interview comes from Tom Woods’ Episode 1494, titled “The CIA and Mind Control.”  My first thought upon reading the title was, “Wait, I thought public schools were the primary purveyor of mind control?”  Oh, well, Sidney Gottlieb is the secret government’s boots on the ground so to speak.  


And what I found particularly murderous was Gottlieb’s desire to “blow one’s mind out” prior to the administration of LSD so that the LSD could work more effectively.  So phrases like “mind-blowing” or “it’ll blow your mind” or “it’ll blow your hair back” are all references to the CIA drug program directed, apparently toward “undesirables abroad” but certainly if anyone grew up in middle-class neighborhoods in Southern California you were aware of the prevalence of every drug imaginable.  Some listeners were critical of the interview, claiming that it didn’t go far enough or failed to point out that mind control is still in operation by the CIA but in more subtler or white noise forms.  Clearly, big pharma has muscled in on this mind-control action with their psychotropic prescriptions and other peculiar forms of treating mental health with electroconvulsive shock therapy.  Yeah, no CIA involvement there.