Denial Is Doom

Thirty years ago, I sat inside a classroom in a hangar at a small airport, taking the ground school course required for my Private Pilot license. The air smelled of strong black coffee and jet exhaust; from beyond the walls of the classroom were the high whining sounds of the mechanics’ pneumatic wrenches and the rumble of the engines of Learjets and Gulfstreams. Our instructor was an old-timer, retired from flying the line, but with a thousand old hangar stories to tell, and much to the relief of all, he frequently interrupted the dry, FAA-approved curriculum with them. One of them in particular has stuck with me these many years, and seems worth retelling just now. In this age of the internet, I could look up the exact details of the story, but I’d prefer not to, and to repeat it to you exactly as I remember him telling it to us all those many years ago.

* * *

On a bitter cold night in a winter of the late 1950s, a DC-6 – one of the last generation of big four-engined, piston-powered airliners produced before the jet age began – lifted off from LaGuardia airport in New York City, bound for Miami. Seconds after takeoff, and at only a couple of hundred feet in the air, the plane began to fall back to earth, headed down toward the darkness of Flushing Bay. If it had crashed into the cold waters, all on board would almost certainly have drowned or died of hypothermia, but the quick instincts of the pilots guided it to a crash landing on Rikers Island, a small spot of land in the middle of the bay that for many years has been the location of the city’s main prison. As the plane impacted, the nose broke off and the wings ruptured, splashing aviation gasoline across the frozen ground. And yet, miraculously, few of the passengers had been killed in the crash. As soon as the stewardesses (whose primary job is to get passengers out of a wreck alive, not to serve drinks) came to their senses and realized what had happened, they began an emergency evacuation. Within a few short moments, the situation became even more urgent – flames appeared at the rear of the passenger cabin, and quickly spread forward. Yet the brave young women stood fast, guiding all of the surviving passengers out of the emergency exits and to safety.

Finally, only two living souls remained in the shattered hull of the airplane. One was the last of the stewardesses, and the other was a middle-aged gentleman, in a neat suit and tie, holding the newspaper he’d been reading when the plane took off, sitting quietly and not moving from where he was. Though she was right next to an emergency exit herself, and the flames were only seconds away, her courage and compassion got the best of her, and she went back to try to get him out in the precious little time remaining. She ran up to his seat, stood over him, and with all the firmness she could muster, said: “Sir, we’ve got to go! You have to get up and come with me through the exit.”

The man seemed eerily calm, yet his face wore a disquieting, blank expression. He looked at her and replied: “No, it’s fine. Everything is fine.”

By this point, the stewardess was practically screaming: “No, sir, it isn’t! The plane has crashed! You have to follow me out of here! Right now!”

“No”, he answered, “everything is fine. We’ll be in Miami soon. You’ll see. Everything will be fine.”, and then went back to reading his newspaper.

There was no more time left. She had done everything she could for him, and now she could only save herself. Climbing through the emergency exit, she took one last look back, just in time to see a ball of flame rushing toward her. She leapt out into the snow, running as fast as she could. Almost immediately, the whole wreck was engulfed. As she huddled with the other passengers and waited for the guards of the nearby prison to reach them with aid, all she could do was look back at it in horror.

* * *

Whoever the man in the suit was, he burned alive – needlessly, tragically – because his brain paralyzed itself with denial, and wouldn’t allow him to process the truth of what had happened to him. Denial is a natural part of our brain’s coping mechanisms, but of all the forms of self-deception, it is the most dangerous one, because it keeps us from clearly seeing dangers, rendering us unable to deal with them. And intelligence is a meager defense against it – in the 1950s, travel was an expensive luxury that few people could afford; the man in the suit was likely some sort of important executive off to a high-level business meeting. He was almost certainly a smart person, and spent a lifetime being nobody’s fool. Even the most rational of us most sometimes struggle to overcome the irrational impulses hardwired deep into the programming of our imperfect brains. Perhaps with a few more minutes, he could have done it – snapped the spell cast over his rational mind, processed the danger clearly, and done what needed to be done to save himself. But he didn’t have a few more minutes, and the reality of our world is that often life doesn’t give us that kind of time. Most dangers require some sort of immediate action. Time is of the essence, and self-deception means doom.

There is a reason why I am telling you this now. Something very bad has occurred, and many people are responding to it with denial and self-deception. These people are mostly neither stupid nor cowardly, and getting angry with them will accomplish nothing. But likewise it is doing them no favors to stand by silently and to not do everything one can to snap them back into reality so that they can rationally process the dangers we’re facing and develop an appropriate response to them. Like the brave stewardess trying to save her passenger from a horrible fate, there are some harsh truths that I must now tell, with all the compassionate firmness that I can muster.

* * *

This is all real. As hard as it is to believe that what we’ve seen in the past couple of months is actually happening to us, it is. The left has just stolen both the presidential election, and the election that decided control of the Senate. Having done so, they have flooded the nation’s capital with tens of thousands of occupying soldiers, who they have screened for political loyalty. On the 20th, Biden will assume power, and nobody is going to stop it. Trump is finished; he has effectively been out of power since January 6th, and on the 20th, he will be flown back to Mar-a-lago for a quiet retirement. Qanon was fake; there is not and never has been any plan to trust, and “The Storm” isn’t coming. The military isn’t going to overthrow Biden and reinstall Trump; their leadership are completely on-board with everything that has happened. The American Republic is dead; having gotten away with fixing two national elections, the Deep State will assume the permanent role of kingmaker. There will be no more free, fair elections at the federal level. For appearances’ sake, a nonthreatening Republican of the RINO variety – a Nikki Haley or Marco Rubio – may be allowed to hold the presidency again at some point, but they will never permit another real reformer like Trump anywhere near power. All the holes in the system that allowed his rise have been patched. He’s not getting elected again in 2024, and nobody like him is getting elected then, or ever again.

Speaking of January 6th, conservative pundits who say it was a disaster for the right are fooling themselves (and trying to fool you). It can’t do any harm to our political cause because there is no more harm to do. It’s obvious now that we’re not going to vote our way out of this. We’re not going to fundraise our way out of this. We’re not going to get out of this by dropping “truth bombs” on talk radio or going on National Review cruises with Victor Davis Hanson. “Vote harder” (at least in federal elections – there may yet be some value in at at a state and local level) is now a strategy that’s just as rational as sitting in a burning airplane waiting for it to reach Miami. Who cares if what happened on the 6th destroys the national Republican party, drives away big-money donors, gets all of Sean Hannity’s sponsors drop him, and makes the corporate media that already hated us hate us more? Any hope of victory that was ever invested in any of that has crashed and is on fire. It’s not going to get you to your destination. The only thing you can do is to get yourself to a safe place and plan your next move while you watch it burn.

As for what to do now, I have already covered first steps in previous columns, which I invite you to read. But to all of you who have spoken proudly of 1776 and what our ancestors did, and assured yourself that in their place, you would do the same, let me ask you: If not now, when? If not because of this, then because of what? I do not advocate acting rashly or even necessarily quickly – the hour must be right, and the proper occasion must present itself. Certainly, I do not advise any ill-advised or premature moves. We must act wisely and deliberately. What I am telling you is that the time is near and you must make yourselves ready for it.

But to do that, the first thing you must do is to engage with reality. There can be no more hopeful-but-implausible dreams, no more comforting self-deception, and no more denial about the truth of what is happening. Survival is at stake, time is running short, and we cannot afford it.


Addendum: OPSEC For Your Disney Adventure

Now that I’ve laid out some of my political and philosophical thoughts regarding the recent fracas at Disneyland*, it’s time to add a short addendum covering the practical. Let me emphasize here that I believe any further action at Disneyland itself to be pointless and foolish, first because Disneyland is beyond saving, and also because it’s never a good idea to “try to make lightning strike twice”, as the saying goes. But I don’t mean to imply that assembling to petition for a redress of grievances is useless in its entirety. At the state and local level, I believe that it can remain very helpful in encouraging the management of local Disney Stores to nullify, become sanctuaries from, and/or outright ignore the asinine and oppressive dictates that are sure to flow from the Magic Kingdom in the coming years. Thus, whether you’re planning some local action, or even ignoring my advice and going back to Disneyland (seriously though, don’t do that), some advice on how to keep yourself safely out of the hands of Disney security seems well worth sharing.

•First, be very very careful when it comes to who you tell about going to an event. It should be on a “need to know” basis only – everyone else can be told that you’re going fishing, or to a business meeting, or some other plausible explanation for a short absence. After you get home, don’t say anything to anyone about having gone. Most especially, DO NOT post anything on the public internet about it, and certainly not on social media, even if only close friends and family follow you there. We no longer live in the age of civil disagreement on political matters; the left has turned into a creepy fanatical cult that takes joy in convincing its followers to betray those closest to them. And this is no distant tale from Stalin’s time – it’s right here in the present.

Don’t do Disney security’s job for them by posting potentially incriminating evidence where they – or anyone who may decide to talk with them – can easily find it. Don’t tell anyone what you’re up to, no matter how close to them you may be, unless there’s some practical reason why they need to know. As I’ve pointed out before, this isn’t the 60s, and you’re not a 19-year-old who just has to tell all his friends about having seen Hendrix at Woodstock. Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth closed.

•Leave your phone at home. There’s no reason at all to bring it with you, and every reason not to. That your phone tracks you everywhere you go, can be used to record your conversations even when you think it’s turned off, and was created by Big Tech oligarchs who will gladly turn you over to the authorities at the drop of a hat, is all well-established. Beyond this, you shouldn’t be taking pictures or recording video at an event anyway. When our friends in Antifa first started their big summer full of events this past year, they encouraged livestreams of what they were doing. By the time fall rolled around, however, enforcers in their ranks were threatening to beat the asses of anyone caught filming or taking pictures. They had figured out that security forces were watching the streams and using them both as field intelligence, and to identify people in Antifa’s ranks for later arrest. There’s a reason why activists of the past warned against the revolution being televised. The Happening is no time to be taking selfies. And it’s certainly not the right occasion to be risking the safety of people around you by putting their faces out there in public, either. If you think you’ll be bored on the way to an event, bring a book to read, or take your old iPod out of the drawer where it’s been sitting in for years, put a new battery in it, and rediscover your musical tastes from 2005. But it’s long past time for the Dissident Right as a whole to start cultivating Tony Soprano’s attitude towards cell phones.

I have no doubt of that.

•Speaking of keeping your face out of public view, mask up when you’re at an event. Yes, yes, I know – you hate face diapers. They’re a symbol of the COVID panic and the Karen fascism that’s come with it. I get it. But the one thing that we can genuinely be thankful for in the whole thing is the normalization of identity-obscuring masks. Take advantage of that. Find a nondescript, common, comfortable design (no flashy logos), and wear it without fail when you’re at, or even near, the event. While you’re at it, consider picking up a pair of reliable safety goggles, not only for additional concealment, but in case the air should start getting a bit spicy when you’re there.

•While we’re on the subject of staying unidentifiable, you should wear plain, nondescript clothing to events. Again, it should have no logos, no artwork (no matter how patriotic it might be), no flashy colors – nothing personally identifying about it at all. Notice how Antifa all dresses alike, and all very plainly? There’s a reason for that – it makes it hard to tell who’s who in a crowd. Of course, you don’t have to copy their style and wear all black. The point is to wear something common that could have come from anywhere and could be worn by anybody. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wear old clothes from the bottom of your closet, or that you picked up at a thrift store, and that wouldn’t mind getting ruined in a fracas, or having to throw away later if having them in your possession is no longer wise. And make sure they cover any tattoos you might have, as well. Your skin art may express your individualism, but standing out as an individual is the last thing you want when security is looking at photographs of an event, trying to figure out who was there.

•Gloves, either of the simple medical kind found at your local pharmacy, or more stout ones if it’s wintertime, wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. One wouldn’t want to make a mess at Disneyland by leaving one’s fingerprints all over it, after all.

•Bring only common flags that anyone could have – the US flag, your state flag, the Gadsden flag, or, if you live in the south, the Confederate stars and bars. Ditch any homemade banners or signs immediately after the event ends. You can make a new one next time.

•Don’t drive to an event – security cameras are ubiquitous in urban centers, and excel at tasks like reading license plates. If you must drive just to get to the city where the event is happening, park far away on a quiet side street where cameras are sparse, and then walk or take public transit to and from the event itself. Consider stopping somewhere to at least partially change clothes along the way. It may take longer, but it’s better to take time than do time.

•Always be in groups. Do not let anyone wander off alone, either during the event or in the immediate vicinity of it after it’s over. Those left alone are easy targets, ripe to be picked off by security or Antifa (which has already murdered more than one of ours that they’ve caught alone after an event has broken up). Leave no man behind, and leave no man alone until it’s all done and everyone is safe.

•Bring cash. Don’t pay for anything near an event with your credit/debit card. If you’ll need a hotel room, get one far away from the event itself.

•Know the name and phone number of a competent criminal defense lawyer in the jurisdiction where the event will be taking place. If you are arrested by security, the only thing that you should say to them is that you have nothing to say to them until you’ve spoken with legal counsel.

•Don’t bring any weapons unless we the people have decided that it’s time to use them. Yes, I know that events like the Richmond pro-2A rally, where thousands of peaceful protesters brought AR-15s with them and nothing bad came of it, have happened in the past. But even though that wasn’t so long ago, we live in a very different world now. The past year, up to and including the events of January 6th, have represented an enormous paradigm shift. The mindset of everyone, including of security forces, is nothing like it was only a year ago. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t keep and bear arms, nor do I believe there won’t come a right time to use them in the face of tyranny (quite the opposite – I think that time will come sooner than anyone expected a year ago), but until and unless things have gotten bad to the point where the time to use them finally has come, they should stay home. Don’t bring them to what everyone expects to be a peaceable assembly for the redress of grievances just for show. That will cause more trouble than it’s worth. That said, it wouldn’t be unwise to wear body armor, a helmet or hard hat, and other purely defense gear. It’s hard to tell when or how things could get out of hand.

Stay safe and ready, dear reader. There are hard times ahead, and there is no way out but through them.

(*The names of some locations may have been changed in this article in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention during this season of internet purges.)

Disorganized Thoughts On Disruption at Disneyland

Recently, some acquaintances of mine spent a day at Disneyland*. Sadly, they ended up not having too good a time of it there, as a rather infamous fracas took place during their visit – I’m sure you’ve heard about it on the news. Now that the dust has settled just a bit, I think it would be worth engaging in a bit of reflection about what happened, what it means, and how we should proceed in its aftermath.

•First, what we saw take place at Disneyland was absolutely glorious; anyone who disavows the events of that day in all but the weakest, most wink-and-a-nod manner (which some may have to in order to hold onto certain positions of power) should themselves be disavowed. This event has separated the pretenders from the serious. Anyone who thunders on about 1776 and claims they would have been standing tall among the patriots when the shot heard around the world was fired, but who disavows what happened at Disneyland this year, is (in the words of the great Bob Grant), a fake phony fraud. It’s easy to retroactively put yourself on the winning team centuries hence; there is no risk to it at all. But at the moment when the struggle for liberty is joined, only the brave – only those willing to risk everything, and in many cases, to lose it – will show up to fight, and will be able to claim their share of glory. As one of the great men of 1776 said:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

It may be true that none of us wanted the situation to come to this. I certainly didn’t. But here we are, and it is we who are called to rise to the challenge of our time. Do not be a coward, and do not countenance cowards when you find them. Mock them, shame them, let them know that they are phonies, and at the time of testing, despite their empty words, they were found wanting. Never let them forget it.

•That said, the trip to Disneyland should not be repeated under any circumstances. In a struggle like ours, doing the same thing, the same way, at the same place, twice is a very bad idea. Never show up where your enemy is expecting you. Disneyland has increased security greatly since the incident, and that high level of security will not be reduced anytime soon. The shock of the fracas has made the people who run Disneyland paranoid, and they’ll be ready, willing, and able to quickly shut down any attempt at another such event. That’s just as well, though – the message was sent, and there’s no need to put on a repeat performance. Going forward, most effort should be directed at state and local Disney Stores, to encourage them to nullify or declare themselves sanctuaries from the dictates emanating from Disneyland. Besides, at this point, it’s obvious that Disneyland itself is a lost cause. I recommend avoiding it completely – and I don’t just mean not going there to register your displeasure with the place. Don’t go there on business if you can avoid it. Don’t go there sightseeing. Don’t drive through it if an alternate route is available. Stay away from it entirely. It’s enemy territory.

•In fact, you should also stay away from any big cities to the greatest extent you can. This weekend, I was driving along a major highway in the rural south, and pulled into one of those big chain rest stops for a break on my journey. On a bathroom stall, instead of the usual profanities, I found this written.

Surprisingly, it’s a very good point, on two accounts. First, hopefully you have already taken my standing advice to leave the big cities and decamp to the countryside. The cities aren’t safe to live in anymore, and increasingly aren’t even safe to visit. As tempting as it may be to take the wife and kids to dinner and a show in the city (if those things ever return to being commonly available there), you shouldn’t. Again, don’t take the risk of any unnecessary excursions into enemy-held territory. Second, our struggle is likely to be one fought on multiple fronts, not all of which involve use of force. The political and economic dimensions of it shouldn’t be minimized, and something like a #NotOneRedCent campaign would be a definite step in the right direction on the economic side of things.

•Much attention has been focused on the hypocrisy of those who run Disneyland, and for good reason, especially after the Antifa riots that caused so much destruction for most of the past year.

Once again, Legend of Galactic Heroes shows why it is the best sci-fi series ever made.

This, however, is now a tired old point. Everyone who’s been paying attention to politics at all during the last 50 years knows that these people are shameless hypocrites. Little more is to be gained by pointing it out yet again. A far more important revelation that has come out of the recent fracas is the degree to which their reaction to it has shown them all to be a bunch of panicky, hysterical cowards who seem to have just realized that that their hold on power, and on the minds of the people, is far more tenuous than they previously believed. In response to the fracas, 20,000 soldiers have been ordered into Disneyland – a number only slightly higher than the total of US military personnel currently deployed to protect South Korea from a nuclear-armed communist invasion. If that seems a bit excessive to protect what we are told will be a “virtual inauguration”, carried out almost entirely behind closed doors on January 20th, then you have a good glimpse into the current mindset at Disneyland (of course, their equally panicky, hysterical response to an illness that has a 99.95% survival rate revealed that long before January 6th). These are literally people who are terrified of middle-aged women who run flower shops. It is they who live in constant fear, and you who should not.

As for these guardians of the Magic Kingdom, after years of letting everyone who’s fit and competent know that they’re not welcome in the new, diverse US military, our elites seem to be left with nobody but this lineup of doughy goofballs to protect them and enforce their dictates.

Let me reiterate what I have said many times before: use of force on the part of citizens must always and only be both local and defensive in nature. Defend your homes, your towns, your neighbors, your families, and your liberties against whoever may threaten them. Don’t go off to Disneyland or any other faraway place with the idea of liberating it from itself. But here I say again: do not live in fear of the cowards of Disneyland or their enforcers. If we are forced to fight them, there will be losses on both sides; I won’t pretend otherwise. And some might choose to accept oppression out of intimidation by, or misplaced respect for, some fat broad holding a Starbucks cup just because she has a government-issued uniform on. But I will not.

Protip: The optic is supposed to go on top of the rifle.

•Another thing that the reaction to the recent fracas proves is that the people inside Disneyland are deeply delusional and out of touch with everyone outside it. Trapped inside their government-media-Big Tech echo chamber, they came to believe that everybody in the country hated Donald Trump as much as they did, and that everybody would be as happy as they were to see him go. Fancying themselves to be loved by the masses, they had no understanding of the anger that the people already felt over their incompetence, corruption, arrogance, foolishness, cowardice, and embrace of destructive, divisive, unworkable Marxist ideas, and the degree to which a stolen election would be a match thrown toward the proverbial powder keg**. What is worse, they still don’t understand it, and think that they have enough remaining credibility that they can turn the situation to their advantage by having their media associates breathlessly exaggerate what anyone can see was a mildly rowdy protest (the only real act of violence coming at the hands of one of their own security enforcers who panicked and vastly overreacted to a complete non-threat), recasting it as a new Pearl Harbor.

You can’t reason with delusional people, as they do not have a sufficient connection to observable reality to be able to make sense out of it. So stop trying. Recent events are only accelerating the transformation of Disneyland into a paranoid armed camp; a gilded prison and insane asylum for people who have lost touch with the situation outside its gates every bit as much as the residents of Versailles or the Winter Palace ever did. Let it become that. Again I say: stay away from it. If the Magic Kingdom is determined to stay isolated from us and ignore what we have to say, then we should respond in kind by isolating them and ignoring what they have to say. Pressure (and support, where brave people do the right thing) should be applied at the state and local levels to encourage leaders there to do just that. This is the path forward for the immediate future (and sets the stage for longer-range goals, like permanent separation).

•As a final note, I’d like to let all of my readers know that I doubt that I will be writing much of anything further about Donald Trump, either in my longform pieces or anywhere else. I have nothing against the man personally. But he was never the answer to what ails our society; not long-term. He had good intentions, but he took the job not realizing what he was getting into; not understanding the forces he was dealing with. He thought this was still the country he grew up in, and that with gumption, hard work, and perseverance, he could turn it around. He had a dream, and now that dream is gone. I feel bad for him, and I wish him a peaceful retirement. But his moment upon history’s stage has now passed, and it’s time for us to move on from it and to concentrate on the future.

And quite an interesting future it will be.

(*The names of some locations may have been changed in this article in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention during this season of internet purges.)

(**One of the manifestations of this loss of touch with outside reality is the genuine shock with which Disneyland’s elites have reacted to things proceeding as they have over the past few months – including to all the recent talk of secession and/or civil war. But common folk have felt in their bones that something bad along those lines has been coming for a long time now. Call them “Modern Sporting Rifles” all you like, but Americans haven’t bought tens of millions of AR-15s over the past decade and a half because they thought they might someday need to hunt deer more efficiently. I am as great an advocate for the right of citizens to keep and bear arms as you will find anywhere, but even I will admit that people hoarding military-style assault rifles is not exactly the sign of a healthy society which believes it has a peaceful and prosperous future ahead of it. It’s a [perfectly reasonable] response to a national premonition – one that has been gnawing at us for years – that there are deeply troubled times ahead.)