As middleman to the magical community at large, Adrian Hartworth never sticks around. His nomadic lifestyle keeps him a step ahead of friends, enemies, and all too often, law enforcement. Then he saves Abby Simmons and her grandfather, only to find himself unofficially adopted into their unlucky family. Years of experience tell him that the cancer killing Abby is anything but natural. His instincts say flee.

Driven by the guilt of a past filled with bad choices, Hartworth delves into Abby’s misfortunes and the town’s dark past. What he discovers lands him at the heart of a century-old battle against an evil he knows he cannot defeat. The man who never sticks around will face a choice: take a stand against a power that will crush him, or a leave a young girl to die and damn thousands in the process.

THE MIDNIGHT GROUND is a book from the Original Cyberpunk’s Rampant Loon Press that has been compared to the Harry Dresden and John Constantine stories and is free on Amazon today.

2020 as 1850

The idea here is considerably less interesting than the source, as it appears that even the converged champions of diversity are beginning to understand that the future is unlikely to bring smooth sailing into their imagined utopia of tolerance, equality, progress, inclusion, and diversity, as The Atlantic explains “Why the 2020s Could Be as Dangerous as the 1850s”:

If Joe Biden beats Donald Trump decisively next week, this election may be remembered as a hinge point in American history: the moment when a clear majority of voters acknowledged that there’s no turning back from America’s transformation into a nation of kaleidoscopic diversity, a future that doesn’t rely on a backward-facing promise to make America great again. But that doesn’t mean the voters who embody the nation’s future are guaranteed a lasting victory over those who feel threatened by it.

With Biden embracing America’s evolution and Trump appealing unrestrainedly to the white voters most fearful of it, the 2020 campaign marks a new peak in the most powerful trend shaping politics in this century. Over the past two decades, and especially since Barack Obama’s election in 2008, voters have re-sorted among the parties and thus reconfigured the central fault line between them. Today Republicans and Democrats are divided less by class or region than by attitudes toward the propulsive demographic, cultural, and economic shifts remaking 21st-century America. On one side, Republicans now mobilize what I’ve called a “coalition of restoration”; on the other, Democrats assemble a “coalition of transformation.”

So far so good. The only two errors so far is the suggestion that Joe Biden will win the election; not only will he not decisively beat Donald Trump, he will be decisively beaten, as well as the assumption that the “coalition of restoration” is necessarily shrinking. The Atlantic is making the usual left-wing error of the Ricardian Vice, in which all variables save one are held constant. Just as leftists never understand that people’s behavior changes in response to tax hikes, it also changes in response to demographic changes.

The next section is where it all goes awry. It is downright comical to posit that California, of all places, is the “hopeful vision” for the way forward for a victorious coalition of transformation. Then again, what does The Atlantic know about the West Coast or the ruthless preferences of the increasingly powerful second coming of the Aztec Empire? Would the return of the Mexica to the Southwest be better characterized as restoration or transformation?

The inexorable change coming to the Democratic Party could make the GOP even more reactionary. Biden has defined himself as a “transitional” figure, and demands are already building for a Democratic leadership corps that reflects the party’s increasing reliance on young people and people of color. It’s not hard to imagine that by 2024, Democrats will be led by presidential nominee Kamala Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent; vice-presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man; and House Speaker Hakeem Jeffries, who would be the first Black person to hold that post. Much like Obama did in 2008, such a roster would symbolize a changing America in a way that inspires the coalition of transformation—but terrifies many in the coalition of restoration. “It would touch on everything that a lot of Trump supporters were reacting to when they supported him in 2016—this sense of feeling threatened by the [challenge] to white supremacy in the U.S.,” Schaffner told me.

California over the past 30 years may offer a hopeful vision of how America could work through these coming conflicts. During the 1990s, as minorities were slowly becoming a majority of the state’s population, racial tension soared. With preponderant support from white voters, conservatives passed a series of ballot initiatives targeting those minority groups, including Proposition 187, which cut off services for undocumented immigrants; a ban on bilingual education; and tougher criminal-sentencing laws. But once California passed the racial tipping point and the sky didn’t fall, tensions dramatically eased. In years since, the state has repealed much of the hard-line agenda it approved during the 1990s. If that’s the nation’s path, the next few years may be rocky, but today’s political fault lines could slowly dissolve. Americans could re-sort themselves around less volatile differences over taxes and spending, instead of their feelings about racial and cultural change.

The alternative is the 1850s scenario. On that path, the Republican coalition remains centered on culturally conservative white Americans who grow more embittered and radical as evidence mounts that they cannot stop the emerging majority from instituting its agenda. If this many non-college-educated and Christian white voters are receptive to a Trump-style racial-identity message when they constitute a little more than 40 percent of the population, there’s little reason to believe fewer of them will respond to it when they fall to 38 or 36 percent as the decade proceeds. Already, research by the Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels has found that a stunningly high percentage of Republican voters express sympathy for an array of antidemocratic sentiments, such as the half who agreed that the “traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.”

There is no alternative. The nation has already been defeated and the state is now in the same process of partition and separation that Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have gone through, although there is little reason to believe that the dissolution of the United States empire will be anywhere nearly as peaceful, given that the various peoples are far more distinct than the Czechs and the Slovaks or the Serbs and the Croats.

It is interesting, though, to see how more and more people on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to recognize that the endgame for empire is in sight.

RIP James Bond

With all due respect to Roger Moore and Daniel Craig, there was only ever One True James Bond. RIP Sean Connery.

James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90. 

Sir Sean, whose acting career spans decades, is best known for his portrayal of British fictional spy James Bond who he played between 1962–1971. 

He also starred in The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock. 

I always admired the way he never saw any need to hide his Scottish accent, no matter what role he was playing. In my personal opinion, his performance in The Rock was the best of his career.

“Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”

Dying in your sleep at age 90 in the Bahamas while surrounded by your loved ones. That, I would suggest, is a proper winner’s exit.

The war that was lost

Immigration, as the great Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld has shown, is war. And that war, not WWI, WWII, or the Cold War, was the true existential war that America faced, and lost, as demonstrated by this selection from The Old World in the New: The Significance of Past and Present Immigration to the American People, published in 1914 by sociologist E.A. Ross:

If you should ask an Englishman whether the tone of political life in his country would remain unaffected by the admission to the electorate of a couple of million Cypriotes, Vlachs, and Bessarabians after five years’ residence, he would take you for a madman. Suggest to the German that the plane of political intelligence in reading and thinking Germany would not be lowered by the access to the ballot-box of multitudes of Serbs, Georgians, and Druses of Lebanon, and he will consign you to bedlam. Assure the son of Norway that the vote of the Persian or Yemenite, of sixty months’ residence in Norway, will be as often wise and right as his own, and he will be insulted. It is only we Americans who assume that the voting of the Middle Atlantic States, with their million of naturalized citizens, or of the East North Central States, with their million, is as sane, discriminating, and forward-looking as it would be without them.

The Italian historian and sociologist Ferrero, after reviewing our immigration policy, concludes that the Americans, far from being “practical,” are really the mystics of the modern world. He says: “To confer citizenship each year upon great numbers of men born and educated in foreign countries—men who come with ideas and sympathies totally out of spirit with the diverse conditions in the new country; to grant them political rights they do not want, and of which they have never thought; to compel them to declare allegiance to a political constitution which they often do not understand; to try to transform subjects of old European monarchies into free citizens of young American republics over night—is not all this to do violence to common sense?”

As I sought to show, near the end of my initial chapter, the conditions of settlement of this country caused those of uncommon energy and venturesomeness to outmultiply the rest of the population. Thus came into existence the pioneering breed; and this breed increased until it is safe to estimate that fully half of white Americans with native grandparents have one or more pioneers among their ancestors. Whatever valuable race traits distinguish the American people from the parent European stocks are due to the efflorescence of this breed. Without it there would have been little in the performance of our people to arrest the attention of the world. Now we confront the melancholy spectacle of this pioneer breed being swamped and submerged by an overwhelming tide of latecomers from the old-world hive. In Atlanta still seven out of eight white men had American parents; in Nashville and Richmond, four out of five; in Kansas City, two out of three; and in Los Angeles, one out of two; but in Detroit, Cleveland, and Paterson one man out of five had American parents; in Chicago and New York, one out of six; in Milwaukee, one out of seven; and in Fall River, one out of nine. Certainly never since the colonial era have the foreign-born and their children formed so large a proportion of the American people as at the present moment. I scanned 368 persons as they passed me in Union Square, New York, at a time when the garment-workers of the Fifth Avenue lofts were returning to their homes. Only thirty-eight of these passers-by had the type of face one would find at a county fair in the West or South.

In the six or seven hundred thousand strangers that yearly join themselves to us for good and all, there are to be found, of course, every talent and every beauty. Out of the steerage come persons as fine and noble as any who have trodden American soil. Any adverse characterization of an immigrant stream implies, then, only that the trait is relatively frequent, not that it is universal.

In this sense it is fair to say that the blood now being injected into the veins of our people is “sub-common.” To one accustomed to the aspect of the normal American population, the Caliban type shows up with a frequency that is startling. Observe immigrants not as they come travel-wan up the gang-plank, nor as they issue toil-begrimed from pit’s mouth or mill gate, but in their gatherings, washed, combed, and in their Sunday best. You are struck by the fact that from ten to twenty per cent. are hirsute, low-browed, big-faced persons of obviously low mentality. Not that they suggest evil. They simply look out of place in black clothes and stiff collar, since clearly they belong in skins, in wattled huts at the close of the Great Ice Age. These oxlike men are descendants of those who always stayed behind. Those in whom the soul burns with the dull, smoky flame of the pine-knot stuck to the soil, and are now thick in the sluiceways of immigration. Those in whom it burns with a clear, luminous flame have been attracted to the cities of the home land and, having prospects, have no motive to submit themselves to the hardships of the steerage.

To the practised eye, the physiognomy of certain groups unmistakably proclaims inferiority of type. I have seen gatherings of the foreign-born in which narrow and sloping foreheads were the rule. The shortness and smallness of the crania were very noticeable. There was much facial asymmetry. Among the women, beauty, aside from the fleeting, epidermal bloom of girlhood, was quite lacking. In every face there was something wrong—lips thick, mouth coarse, upper lip too long, cheek-bones too high, chin poorly formed, the bridge of the nose hollowed, the base of the nose tilted, or else the whole face prognathous. There were so many sugar-loaf heads, moon-faces, slit mouths, lantern-jaws, and goose-bill noses that one might imagine a malicious jinn had amused himself by casting human beings in a set of skew-molds discarded by the Creator.

Our captains of industry give a crowbar to the immigrant with a number nine face on a number six head, make a dividend out of him, and imagine that is the end of the matter. They overlook that this man will beget children in his image—two or three times as many as the American—and that these children will in turn beget children. They chuckle at having opened an inexhaustible store of cheap tools and, lo! the American people is being altered for all time by these tools. Once before, captains of industry took a hand in making this people. Colonial planters imported Africans to hoe in the sun, to “develop” the tobacco, indigo, and rice plantations. Then, as now, business-minded men met with contempt the protests of a few idealists against their way of “building up the country.”

Those promoters of prosperity are dust, but they bequeathed a situation which in four years wiped out more wealth than two hundred years of slavery had built up, and which presents to-day the one unsolvable problem in this country. Without likening immigrants to negroes, one may point out how the latter-day employer resembles the old-time planter in his blindness to the effects of his labor policy upon the blood of the nation.

If America is to leave behind any historical legacy for the ages, it is this. First, pick your own damn cotton. Second, always sink the ships. Third, never let business-minded men set national policy, because for all their pragmatism, they are totally incapable of seeing anything beyond tomorrow’s pocketbook.

Seldom has a Cassandra foreseen coming catastrophe more clearly. It is small, though rather cold, comfort to know that the die was cast long before most of us were even born. Even so, Ross’s closing paragraph is a haunting one.

“The Roman world was laughing when it died.” Any couple or any people that does not feel it has anything to transmit to its children may well reason in such fashion. A couple may reflect, “It is simpler, speedier, and cheaper for us to adopt orphans than to produce children of our own.” A nation may reason, “Why burden ourselves with the rearing of children? Let them perish unborn in the womb of time. The immigrants will keep up the population.” A people that has no more respect for its ancestors and no more pride of race than this deserves the extinction that surely awaits it.

An interview with the Original Cyberpunk

 No, not me. It’s an interview with Bruce Bethke, the award-winning author of Cyberpunk and Head Crash.

BB: Most people misunderstand how supercomputers work and what supercomputers really do. We hit peak CPU speed about 15 years ago. More processing speed equals greater power consumption equals formidable heat dissipation problems, so unless there’s some kind of radical breakthrough in processor technology—quantum processing has been coming “next year” for as long as I’ve been in the industry; I’m not holding my breath—the way we increase computer power now is by building ever more massively parallel processor architectures.

The result is that the majority of the work being done on supercomputer systems now is just plain old computational fluid dynamics. Admittedly, we’re talking here about crunching through data sets measured in petabytes or exabytes, but deep down, it’s still just engineering. You may think it’s a dead language, but most of these programs are written in Fortran. While Fortran 2018 ain’t your grandaddy’s Fortran, it’s still Fortran.

There is interesting work being done in artificial intelligence and machine learning on supercomputers now, but it’s more in line with pattern recognition and data mining. For now, most AI work doesn’t need the kind of brute force a modern supercomputer brings to the table.

Ergo, for me, the most frightening possibilities are those that involve the misuse by unscrupulous politicians or corporations of the kinds of insights and inferences that can be drawn from such extensive data mining. The things that are being done right now, and that will be coming online in the next few years, should scare the Hell out of any civil libertarian.

AIs on their own seem to be best at finding flaws in their developer’s assumptions. I’ve seen AIs tasked with solving problems come up with hilariously unworkable solutions, because their developers made assumptions based on physical realities that did not apply in the virtual world in which the AI worked.

CM: Could you elaborate on your comments about data mining?

BB: Sure. What we’re talking about here is a field generally called “big data”. It’s the science of extracting presumably meaningful information from the enormous amount of data that’s being collected—well, everywhere, all the time. “Big data” tries to take information from disparate sources—structured and unstructured databases, credit bureaus, utility records, “the cloud”, pretty much everything—then mashes it together, finds coherences and correlations, and then tries to turn it into meaningful and actionable intelligence—for who? To do what with it? Those are the questions.

For just a small example: do you really want an AI bot to report to your medical clinic—or worse, to make medical treatment decisions—based on your credit card and cell phone dutifully reporting exactly when and for how long you were in the pub and exactly what you ate and drank? Or how about having it phone the Police, if you pay for a few pints and then get into the driver’s seat of your car?

That’s coming. As a fellow I met from a government agency whose name or even acronym I am forbidden to say out loud, “Go ahead and imagine that you have privacy, if it makes you feel better.”

Read the whole thing at Mythaxis Review. There is also a nice bit about me there, which may be of interest to you, if for no other reason than it almost certainly annoys Bruce to always have to answer questions about me given that he is without question the much better writer and novelist. But we all have our crosses to bear….

The Trumpslide cometh

Clay Travers of Outkick the Coverage explains why he is voting for Donald Trump:

I believe every single media member should address his or her audience and say exactly what they are doing with their own vote this year. I think authenticity matters and I believe audiences should know what public figures who claim to be unbiased do when they enter the privacy of a voting booth. This is not a new position for me, I have shared my presidential votes publicly every year that I’ve been a public figure.

For those of you who are new to Outkick: here are my presidential votes since I became a public media figure in 2004:

2004: John Kerry

2008: Barack Obama

2012: Barack Obama

2016: Gary Johnson

2020: Donald Trump

I also voted for Al Gore in 2000 and worked on his political campaign as a college student.

This voting record illustrates precisely why linear models based on changing demographics don’t work. And it also demonstrates why the God-Emperor is going to considerably exceed expectations next week.

To ask the question is to answer it

 And given that the WNBA can’t even get people to watch their games, the answer is no.

Can WNBA Players Take Down a U.S. Senator?

Sen. Kelly Loeffler poured gas on her feud with WNBA players by filing a bill targeting trans woman and girl athletes. But running against the WNBA could backfire on the Atlanta Dream co-owner.

On Sept. 22, Atlanta Dream co-owner and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) fired the latest salvo in her months-long battle with WNBA players. She introduced a bill that would effectively ban trans girls and women from playing publicly funded sports, potentially affecting thousands of youth, high school and collegiate athletes nationwide. Previously, Loeffler had clashed with WNBA players over their support for Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name, a campaign spotlighting Black women killed by police.

But with the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, Loeffler could not have picked an issue closer to the hearts of WNBA players, many of whom are LGBTQ.

If Loeffler doesn’t win reelection, it will because the Republican ex-governor was more popular, not because a few freaks from a minority of a minority of a minority are unhappy with her very popular view that boys in dresses should not be permitted to compete with girls in the latter’s sports.

Franco-Swiss model predicts Trump victory

The GDP numbers are in. The God-Emperor will win:

According to the election prediction model developed by John Antonakis, Professor at HEC Lausanne (University of Lausanne) and Philippe Jacquart, Professor at EMLyon, the deciding factors in the critical swing states will be the state of the economy and the charisma of the candidates. For the November 3rd US Presidential election, positive economic indicators should boost the chances of a Trump win.

The statistical model developed by the researchers and professors John Antonakis and Philippe Jacquart, is based on two kinds of data: the country’s economic fundamentals and the political party currently in power (based on the economic model developed by Prof. R. Fair at Yale University), as well as the candidates’ level of charisma. This model has correctly called the 2016 and 2012 elections and, retrospectively, 20 of 24 elections from 1916-2008.

  • Positive economic messages help an incumbent get re-elected.
  • An incumbent president running again has an advantage.
  • Economic growth data in this quarter will weigh heavily on voting outcomes (current forecasts suggest between 20-30{5c1a0fb425e4d1363f644252322efd648e1c42835b2836cd8f67071ddd0ad0e3} 3rd Quarter growth).
  • Biden’s election speech is less charismatic than Trump’s speech.

And what was the economic growth reported?  

U.S. GDP booms at 33.1{5c1a0fb425e4d1363f644252322efd648e1c42835b2836cd8f67071ddd0ad0e3} rate in Q3, better than expected.

Ergo, it’s not only in the bag, but President Trump is going to win in a landslide that has only been exceeded by Ronald Reagan in his 49-state thumping of Walter Mondale. Despite the Fake Polls, everyone knows this is going to happen: Walmart is not pulling all its guns-for-sale off the floor because Trump’s supporters lack weaponry and Rodeo Drive is not already being boarded up prior to Election Day because Hollywood storeowners anticipate excessive exuberance on the part of ecstatic Biden voters.

“Joe Biden is heading to St. Paul, Minnesota, tomorrow. It will be the fullest travel day of his general election campaign, with stops now in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”

Translation: Biden is going to lose Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Muslims are not French

A Muslim leader makes that perfectly clear.

The former prime minister of Malaysia said Muslims have “a right to be angry and kill millions of French people” just hours after an attacker yelling “Allahu akbar!” beheaded one woman and killed two others in a church in France.

The incendiary comments were part of a tweetstorm from Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who railed against Western culture and French President Emmanuel Macron for refusing to denounce the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have sparked three attacks in two months in France.

“Macron is not showing that he is civilized. He is very primitive in blaming the religion of Islam and Muslims for the killing of the insulting school teacher. It is not in keeping with the teachings of Islam,” Mohamad tweeted.

“But irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill. The French in the course of their history has killed millions of people. Many were Muslims. Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”

Mohamad also said “the West” shouldn’t impose its views and values on others.

“To do so is to deprive the freedom of these people,” he wrote.

How, precisely, is he wrong? The West shouldn’t impose its views and values on others, which is precisely why it should not permit those others to reside in the West.

And how is this any different than another non-Western people holding the people of the West responsible for everything from the Spanish Inquisition to the Holocaust?

Immigration is war.

UPDATE: The Interior Minister at France understands France has been invaded and is at war:

France must be prepared for more attacks on its soil, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has warned following a deadly killing spree at a church in France. He said that the nation is battling against Islamic extremism. “We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside,” Darmanin told RTL radio on Friday. 

Unfortunately for the French people, the current government of France is not willing to actually fight or win that war. 

The minister said at the time that France must reel in “rampant Islamism which is arming people ideologically,” while stressing that Islam would always have a place alongside other religions in the secular nation. 

One media, one voice, one opinion

Glen Greenwald resigns from the media organization he founded because it was captured and converged by infiltrators:

Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media.

The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.

The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.

I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose….

Making all of this worse, The Intercept — while gradually excluding the co-founders from any role in its editorial mission or direction, and making one choice after the next to which I vocally objected as a betrayal of our core mission — continued publicly to trade on my name in order to raise funds for journalism it knew I did not support. It purposely allowed the perception to fester that I was the person responsible for its journalistic mistakes in order to ensure that blame for those mistakes was heaped on me rather than the editors who were consolidating control and were responsible for them…. It is astonishing to me, but also a reflection of our current discourse and illiberal media environment, that I have been silenced about Joe Biden by my own media outlet.

I have no doubt it was astonishing to him, but it shouldn’t have been. Convergence destroys everything it touches, no matter the industry, no matter the perspective. Not even being an honest man of the Left can save one from the corporate cancer.

All assets activated.