About theartfuldilettante

The Artful Dilettante is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a graduate of Penn State University. He is a lover of liberty and a lifelong and passionate student of the same. He is voracious reader of books on the Enlightenment and the American colonial and revolutionary periods. He is a student of libertarian and Objectivist philosophies. He collects revolutionary war and period currency, books, and newspapers. He is married and the father of one teenage son. He is kind, witty, generous to a fault, and unjustifiably proud of himself. He is the life of the party and an unparalleled raconteur.

North Korean Defector After Attending Ivy League School: Even North Korea Was ‘Not This Nuts’

Famed North Korean defector Yeonmi Park offered a chilling account of her time at Columbia University, saying that not even North Korea went to the level of brainwashing that she witnessed.

Speaking with Fox News, Park became increasingly dismayed with the cost of an education that amounted to little more than what she described as indoctrination.

“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” she said. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her liking classic literature.

“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park said of her orientation. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.”

When it came to gender pronouns and manipulation of the English language, Park was even more confused.

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” she remembered asking herself. “It was chaos. It felt like the regression in civilization.”

“Even North Korea is not this nuts,” she added. “North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”null

Eventually, Park stopped arguing with her professors and “learned how to just shut up” so that she could graduate. She reserved her most pointed criticisms for the woke scolds who constantly lament about being oppressed.

“Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,” she said. “These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free.”

“I literally crossed through the middle of the Gobi Desert to be free. But what I did was nothing, so many people fought harder than me and didn’t make it,” she added.null

Not being able to think critically has real-world consequences on society, noted Park as she recalled her inability to see that leader Kim Jong Un was the fattest man in the country while the people were starving.

“In North Korea I literally believed that my Dear Leader [Kim Jong-un] was starving,” she said. “He’s the fattest guy – how can anyone believe that? And then somebody showed me a photo and said ‘Look at him, he’s the fattest guy. Other people are all thin.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically.”

“That is what is happening in America,” she added. “People see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”

Having seen the worst of humanity in North Korea only to witness brainwashing in the United States, Park admitted to feeling quite bitter and hopeless about it all.

“You guys have lost common sense to degree that I as a North Korean cannot even comprehend,” she said. “Where are we going from here? There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos. I guess that’s what they want, to destroy every single thing and rebuild into a Communist paradise.”

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment.

Why Countries Collapse

Dmitry Orlov and Vladimir Putin believe the US is failing, because the US government, in Putin’s words, is “making sure-footed strides directly along the path of the Soviet Union.”

These strides are, in Orlov’s words: “exorbitant debt, problems in the energy sector and unreformable political systems mired in corruption, their elites delusional in their feelings of omnipotence. And now comes a truly eerie analogy: the powder keg that detonated under the USSR was ethnic nationalism and separatism; and the powder keg that is currently detonating under the US is “woke” (anti-)racism: another brand of ethnic fascism but with American characteristics.” https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/dmitry-orlov/putin-fully-agrees-with-me/

I don’t deny that these problems afflicted the Soviet Union and afflict the US today. Certainly, such problems, if not successfully dealt with, could bring about failure. However, in my view the Soviet Union collapsed because the belief system collapsed. The United or Disunited States is collapsing for the same reason, as is all of the Western World. Whether Russia joins this collapse as well remains to be seen.

The Soviet Union collapsed because communism did not produce the plenty that it promised, or the freedom, and frustrated communist reformers were sick of the system. Dissidents were punished, at times severely, and propaganda was used to control the narrative as it is used today in the US. The remaining threads of belief were cut when hardline elements in the Communist Party placed President Gorbachev under house arrest.

In the Western world the destruction of belief has been underway for many decades. The French novelist Jean Raspail captured the collapse of Western belief and its consequences in his novel, The Camp of the Saints, 48 years ago in 1973. The collapse is clearly visible today. The French, the Germans, the British, the Scandinavians cannot resist the dark-skinned immigrant-invaders that are are finally conquering Western Christianity with Islam.

German belief in themselves and their country was destroyed by American control of their educational system since 1945. Germans are indoctrinated with the belief that their country is shameful, responsible for heinous acts supported by the German people. Any manifestation of German pride or any defense of German ethnicity against immigrant-invaders is treated as a manifestation of Nazism. https://www.unz.com/ghood/the-washington-post-treat-america-like-a-conquered-nation/

In Britain assorted intellectuals and university professors have damned the British for their colonialism. Generation by generation the attack has eroded away British belief in their country. Today “the privileged few,” the students at Magdalen College, Oxford University, are “uncomfortable” with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth in their common room and have removed the image of the Queen of England from their presence. Quite clearly, the disassociation of the privileged few from their country is extreme. How must the down and out feel?

In France the only politician who represents French ethnicity is Marine Le Pen, but the French ethnics will not elect the only politician who believes in a French nationalist state based on French ethnicity. When the Establishment is not trying to arrest her, they are calling her a nazi. So, if you are French and you stand for French people, you are a nazi. If patriotism still exists, it has been removed from association with French ethnicity.

In the now thoroughly Disunited States, split not north and south but red and blue, in the blue states white Americans are regarded as systemic racist oppressors of blacks and perpetrators of genocide of the native tribes. There is much talk of paying restitution, but the emphasis now is on eliminating “whiteness.” For the extremists, this means killing off the whites. You can see the flavor here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/06/11/expressions-of-anti-white-hatred-in-high-places-aruna-khilanani-at-yale/ For others it means eliminating Western culture.

Black studies programs in American universities and all blue state public school systems and some red state ones, although the red states are moving against it, teach that white people are racist by nature and naturally oppress “people of color.” The effect of this teaching is to create hatred of whites on the part of “people of color” while destroying the confidence of white Americans to defend themselves from accusations, punishments, and violence. The manifestations of the attacks on white Americans are everywhere. Indeed, we drown in them. Yet there is no public or political discussion of the official demonization of white Americans, which is being implemented as the official policy of the Democrat Party.

As in Raspail’s novel the attack on French nationalists was led by the French themselves, so in the Disunited States the fierce demonizing attacks on white Americans are led by white American liberals. Self-repudiation by white persons is the rule in the Western world.

In New Zealand there was or is about to be a vote to dispossess themselves and hand over part of the country that New Zealanders built to the descendants of the original native inhabitants. There is similar intent in Australia and Canada. The Germans for years have been paying billions of dollars to the “descendants of the Holocaust.”

Even the US military is being programmed to weed out alleged racist attitudes toward people of color. If white US soldiers are guilty of oppressing blacks, they are also guilty of oppressing Arabs and Asians. How then can US troops fight in the Middle East or against China? If blacks have been oppressed, the US has oppressed people of color in the Arab countries it has bombed and invaded for 20 years. Is the US military being conditioned so that it can only fight white people? Are US sanctions against China, North Korea, and Iran racist?

Will self-denunciation spread to Russia and China? Both are vulnerable. Both stupidly welcomed Western influence and have a professorial class of academics imbued with Western thinking. Think about the oppression under Stalin, the Kulaks and so forth, the gulag, the executions of “enemies of the people.” Think about Mao and all those he eliminated. And Pol Pot.

Is the answer that class oppressions are OK, but not racial oppressions?

In North America no one alive today has been a slave or owned a slave. In North America slavery ended 156 years ago. If American white persons have to pay a price for what happened long before their time, how far back and how widely applied shall the punishments be? What does Turkey owe descendants of Byzantium? What do descendants of Barbary Pirates owe descendants of Americans they enslaved? What do descendants of Muslims who raided Italian coastal towns for slaves have to pay descendants of the slaves? What restitution must Israel make for stealing Palestine from the Palestinians? What do descendants of Normans have to pay descendants of Anglo-Saxons for conquering England?

What do the black inhabitants of Benin, formerly Dahomey, owe the descendants of black slaves Dahomey sold into slavery?

Black Africans were were the mainstay of the slave trade:

“The Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by African states, such as the Bono State, Oyo empire (Yoruba), Kong Empire, Kingdom of Benin, Imamate of Futa Jallon, Imamate of Futa Toro, Kingdom of Koya, Kingdom of Khasso, Kingdom of Kaabu, Fante Confederacy, Ashanti Confederacy, Aro Confederacy and the kingdom of Dahomey.[43][44] Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fear of disease and moreover fierce African resistance. The slaves were brought to coastal outposts where they were traded for goods.”

“African states played a key role in the slave trade, and slavery was a common practice among Sub Saharan Africans before the involvement of the Arabs, Berbers and Europeans. There were three types: those who were slaves through conquest, those who were slaves due to unpaid debts, or those whose parents gave them as slaves to tribal chiefs. Chieftains would barter their slaves to Arab, Berber, Ottoman or European buyers for rum, spices, cloth or other goods.[48] Selling captives or prisoners was commonly practiced among Africans, Turks, Berbers and Arabs during that era.”

“The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery, who otherwise may have been killed in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs. As one of West Africa’s principal slave states, Dahomey became extremely unpopular with neighbouring peoples.[51][52][53] Like the Bambara Empire to the east, the Khasso kingdoms depended heavily on the slave trade for their economy. A family’s status was indicated by the number of slaves it owned, leading to wars for the sole purpose of taking more captives. This trade led the Khasso into increasing contact with the European settlements of Africa’s west coast, particularly the French.[54] Benin grew increasingly rich during the 16th and 17th centuries on the slave trade with Europe; slaves from enemy states of the interior were sold, and carried to the Americas in Dutch and Portuguese ships. The Bight of Benin’s shore soon came to be known as the ‘Slave Coast.’” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery .

According to Wikipedia’s entry, “History of Slavery,” today there is still some slavery in modern Nigeria, Benin, Sudan and parts of Ghana. Yet “black studies” and Critical Race Theory focus on 19th century slavery in the United States.

In other words, the only interest in slavery is in using it as a weapon against American white persons.

Slavery among black Africans existed long before the transatlantic slave trade. The black slaves sold to Europeans were first enslaved by other blacks. Yet black slavery is blamed on white people. This lie is used to foment hatred of whites by blacks and self-hatred by whites indoctrinated in their guilt. Clearly, this lie has destroyed any prospect of a multicultural America, which is the only America the white liberals believe in.

Paul Craig Roberts

Biden’s G7 Presser was a Train Wreck

Joe Biden and his overly-ambitious wife have been in the United Kingdom the last week, pretending to be royalty and generally projecting how much the United States is now taking a backseat on the world stage. That’s led to several awkward moments, including President Biden seemingly getting confused and having to be ushered away by Jill Biden. Then there was just the general embarrassment of a bunch of out-of-touch, vaccinated world leaders, elbow bumping each other because they are afraid to shake hands.

Things are not fine, and the supposed leaders of the “free world” are projecting weakness at a level that is emboldening bad actors around the world.

Even still, none of that added up to the sheer train wreck that was Joe Biden’s G7 presser today. We are in trouble as a nation.

Here was the requisite “joke” about him not having enough agency to choose who he calls on for questions. He does this all the time, and it never becomes less awkward.

Things are not fine, and the supposed leaders of the “free world” are projecting weakness at a level that is emboldening bad actors around the world.

Even still, none of that added up to the sheer train wreck that was Joe Biden’s G7 presser today. We are in trouble as a nation.

Here was the requisite “joke” about him not having enough agency to choose who he calls on for questions. He does this all the time, and it never becomes less awkward.

Then there was this ridiculous exchange.

What the heck did I just watch? This is the President of the United States unable to answer a basic question, instead, leaning into the mic and growling about it how it has only been 120 days. I’m not sure if that’s the senility coming out — or if he’s really just this awkward when he’s of sound mind — but it’s not a good look.

Besides, Biden has been in Washington, D.C., for 47 years. The idea that he just needs “more time” to do something as simple as lifting steel tariffs makes no sense, on its face.

Things got weirder, though. When asked why he wasn’t going to do the traditional joint presser when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon, Biden basically admitted that his brain is too broken to handle it.

How weak does this make the United States look? Our president can’t even be counted on to push back on Putin in a joint presser, something the last, several presidents had no problem doing. (More on that in Andrew Malcolm’s upcoming, Sunday VIP piece.)

But, Biden and his handlers know he’s incapable of controlling himself in such an environment so he hides behind this faux, tough guy personality. No, being tough would be calling out Putin to his face or at the very least, championing American principles as Putin stands beside him. Joint pressers aren’t meant to really elicit new information. They are symbolic in nature. Biden simply doesn’t have the ability to even do one. It’s a sad scene, not just for him, but for all Americans.

Of course, no Biden presser would be complete without him completely forgetting key facts about something he’s commenting on.

Unfortunately, Biden (as part of the Obama administration) has already seen to it that Libya is too far gone, with the country becoming a literal modern-day slave market. But perhaps this was a bit of a Freudian slip, admitting that his actions caused such death and suffering? Past that, you’d expect the President of the United States to know the difference between Libya and Syria, especially when you are trying to project strength to Putin in negotiating over how to handle the situation.

Unfortunately, there was no strength to be projected at all this past week at the G7. Our president is not fit for the world stage. He can’t handle basic duties and clearly has no idea what he’s talking about at any given moment. This is a senile old man who needs to be sitting in a rocking chair, staring at a pasture for the last several years of his life, not leading the supposed most powerful nation on earth.

The Western World Has Repudiated Itself

People were amazed that in 1962 Andy Warhol was able to sell a picture of a Campbell’s soup can for $11,700,000.

Italian Salvatore Garau has put over an even greater hoax on the art world. He just sold an “invisible” sculpture, that is, one that does not exist, for $18,300. In other words, he sold nothing for $18,300. At least Warhol had a soup can.

The art world is a world in which sophisticated white liberals live. For them it is sophistication to lay out almost $12 million — a sum that exceeds the lifetime earnings of practically everyone on earth—for an exact rendition of a soup can that they could have purchased in a food store for $1.

That was then. With the growth of sophistication, they now shell out $18 grand for nothing at all. Garau announced that he had an invisible sculpture for sale and someone paid him an average American shelf-stocker annual income for it.

But more is to come. A white teacher who taught Spanish has decided, after struggling and grappling “with my internalized white supremacy,” that it is racist for a white person to teach a language of color. To make amends she cancelled herself.

Others speaking at the “Virtual Women’s and Gender Studies Conference” argued that white teachers should teach in white schools and black teachers should teach in black schools. It was only yesterday that what today poses as “anti-racism” was considered racist segregation.

Paul Craig Roberts, UNZ Review


“An oligarchy is a power structure made up of a few elite individuals, families, or corporations that are allowed to control a country or organization.”

“Oligarchy: a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.
a country governed by an oligarchy.

‘the English aristocratic oligarchy of the 19th century’

government by an oligarchy.”

Caving In

We are in a literally Orwellian world now. Until a couple of days ago the headline on this Washington Post story from February 2020 read:

Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.

Now it reads:

Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.

Democracy dies in darkness, but stealth editing thrives there. That’s Orwell 101 – although one assumes whichever of Bezos’s woeful hacks was ordered to do it was unaware of his literary antecedents, or self-respect would have required him to seek alternative, less pitiful employment. Nevertheless, as you’ll know if you heard my serialization of Nineteen Eighty-Four, that was literally Winston Smith’s job – to go into the archives and rewrite past editions of the newspapers to conform to the needs of the present. And to ensure that versions of the past less helpful to the regime get, in one of Orwell’s many brilliant coinages, “memory-holed”.

Our chaps haven’t been memory-holing quite as long, so they’re not as smooth and assured about it as Winston Smith’s Ministry of Truth. Commissar Zuckerberg’s Facebook will now permit you to suggest that the ChiCom-19 may have “escaped” from a lab – in contrast to the rules a week or so back, when so much as raising the possibility got your account vaporized. Wikipedia isn’t quite so quick on the uptake: as I write, the lab-leak origin of the WuFlu still comes under “Covid-19 misinformation” as a theory used “to stoke anti-China sentiments”. But presumably the lads are modifying even as I speak.

Gee, it’s almost like they all got the same fax from head office. So what was a fortnight back a conspiracy theory that could not be mentioned is now acceptable in polite Zuck-policed society. Not because any new proof has emerged one way or the other: there has always been more evidence for a Covid lab leak than for the bat theory, not least because the relevant bats live a thousand miles from the Wuhan wet market.

When you boil it right down, the fledermaus theory of the WuFlu rests mainly on “scientist” Peter Daszak. Mr Daszak is this season’s omnipresent British subject: He is to bats what Christopher Steele is to Russians; his job is to maintain them as the McGuffin.

So, on the one hand, Peter Daszak is the US government’s principal middle-man (via the “non-profit” EcoHealth Alliance, which he heads) for funneling American tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. His principal research activity for the last decade has been coronavirus gain-of-function projects with Shi Zhengli, the lady who heads said institute in Wuhan.

On the other hand, Peter Daszak was also the only “American” member of the team the WHO sent to China to “investigate” the source of the virus. He was the organizer of the letter from twenty-seven virologists to The Lancet saying ChiCom-19 was of natural origin. And he was the “expert” relied on by Zuckerberg to ban lab-leak chit-chat on Facebook.

In none of these activities did he disclose his conflict of interest – that the institution he was absolving was his principal business partner, and run by his closest professional colleague, who has denied, risibly, that any of her employees ever got sick from the WuFlu, and certainly not in the fall of 2019.

So, if you’re one of those who appealed to Zuckerberg to let you have your Facebook page back, well, good luck with that: That’s like appealing your alimony to a judge who’s dating your ex-wife.

As with “former” MI6 man Steele, one is impressed at how plugged in Daszak is at the highest levels. Here he is on April 18th 2020 emailing Fauci direct:

I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“On behalf of our staff and collaborators”: The latter Daszak intends, one presumes, in the business-associate sense not the Occupied France sense. That said, the easiest way to make sense of anything is to consider whether the latest surprising development serves the interests of the Chinese Communist Party.

No western government agency should be experimenting with lethal viruses in a facility documented to be as slapdash about safety protocols as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But let us say the leak was accidental. Occam’s Razor suggests that it’s entirely obvious Chairman Xi would use it to rid himself of the US-China “trade war” (remember that?) and the one American politician serious about arresting and reversing the rise of Beijing. Furthermore, Xi knew he could rely on America’s media-corporate-showbiz nexus to “collaborate” on that. What may have surprised him, if only in the totality of its fetal posture, is the west’s willingness to tank its economy, wall up its citizenry for a year, and howl down anyone who wanted to blame the perp as “racist”.

So maybe it’s time to take it to the next level. Right now, the global Covid death toll is closing in on four million. To many among the Covid scoffers, that’s chump change relative to the world’s population, and anyway a lot of them were getting up there – in their nineties, late eighties, early sixties… But once upon a time killing four million people used to be regarded as a big deal in and of itself. And, as I said on Thursday’s Clubland Q&A, as of today the preponderance of the evidence is that they were killed by a virus that escaped from a lab funded by the Government of the United States.

You don’t think Xi can’t make that work for him? Is Trump still talking about reparations? “Okay, you first,” says Beijing. How do you think India and Brazil feel about Fauci’s games of function at the virological equivalent of the CIA’s overseas rendition sites? Or the European Union, which semi-crippled its economy in semi-perpetuity? France closed its restaurants and told them to do (dread word) “take-out”: wouldn’t you like to stick it to the Yanks for that?

Consider the prevailing political realities: If you blame Covid on Chairman Xi, he kiboshes you with sanctions (Australia) or forces you out of the Five Eyes (New Zealand). Whereas, if you blame Covid on Washington, what are they gonna do?

Furthermore, look at the key players closer to home. Powerline’s John Hinderaker writes:

The anxiety of the entire American establishment to protect the Chinese Communist Party is remarkable. Prominent Americans from Joe Biden to Mark Zuckerberg to Lebron James apparently prioritize loyalty to China over pretty much everything else. We normal Americans need a much better understanding of why this should be true.

To which Roger L Simon provides the obvious answer. These guys figure the Chinese have already won – and therefore, unlike Kraut-chummy Parisian trollopes in 1945, there will be no price to be paid for “collaboration“:

A perfect example is giant Apple whose most recent quarterly China revenue came in at a record-breaking $21 billion+. At the same time we got all sorts of ‘social justicey’ talk from CEO Tim Cook.

What Cook is doing, cashing in big on one side while mouthing ‘liberal’ pieties on the other, suits the Chinese communists perfectly well, essentially enabling them. Apple then becomes a linchpin of American communism much in the way Huawei is a linchpin of Chinese communism. (Not inconsequentially, Apple’s top five executives, including Cook, earned a total of almost exactly $120 million in 2020, up 13 percent during the pandemic.)

Almost our entire corporate world is trotting eagerly behind.

What will Zuckerberg, the Weirdbeard and the other commissars permit us to talk about? Over the weekend, I was asked to weigh in on the latest big Twitter fever – the vital question of whether or not Donald Trump had his trousers on backwards when he addressed the North Carolina Republican convention. The entirely predictable answer? No.

Yet, if Chairman Xi were to express a preference for wearing pants backwards, one has the strange feeling the WHO and CDC would recommend it and Zuckerberg, and The Washington Post would dismiss dissenters as conspiracy theorists, and Lebron James and John Cena would apologize for accidentally wearing their zippers at the front.

While we twitter, the entire western world has been debagged.

~We had a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the latest episode of Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade, which featured two tales of operatic proportions featuring servants of dark and ugly regimes. Rick McGinnis’ Saturday movie date looked at the grimly gritty Mike Leigh in non-grim mode. Our Sunday musical selection marked the centenary of Nelson Riddle with a song that started the whole rockers-sing-standards phenomenon. Our marquee presentation was our latest Tale for Our Time, the aforementioned George Orwell’s Animal Farm: Part One can be heard here, Part Two airs tonight. If you were too busy counting your gain-of-function grant, we hope you’ll want to catch up with one or three of the foregoing as a shortened week staggers to its conclusion.

Mark also hosted the very first radio edition of Steyn’s Song of the Week, telling the story of “Stardust”. If you missed it, he’ll be back with another song this Sunday at 5.30pm UK time on Serenade Radio, where you can listen to the show from anywhere in the world by clicking the button at top right here.

Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade and Tales for Our Time are special productions for members of The Mark Steyn Club. You can find more details about our Club here – and we also have a great gift membership.