This post was written on December 31, 2016
A major theme from 2016 arises from the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. That is, that 2016 marks a turning point. This creates uncertainty, but it also brings hope. So in light of the bad and very ugly themes from the year, with it comes to the opportunity for change and change is good when you see the Titanic heading straight for the iceberg. With that, here are our themes and events that represent the good, the bad and the ugly from 2016.
The Power of the People
I must start with the silent majority in a democracy. During the past few years I was feeling increasingly isolated as one of the few among my social circle that was ware and willing to speak out against the dangers of increasing political correctness, inequality that is leaving working class people behind, extremist feminism and corporatism in politics. It appeared that anyone I socialized with thought of me as cuckoo anytime I spoke about these subjects. Sure I saw videos and articles that would speak in isolation about any of these issues, but to find any surrounding people that shared my views on any of these issues in isolation was rare, finding anybody that shared my views on these issues collectively was non-existent.
Then Brexit and Donald Trump happened. The Brexit vote, which I participated in, was the first time I felt proud of the little my vote counts for. It made me realised there is a silent majority that exists and the people still have a voice. This is a people’s revolution. Whether you agree or not, this isn’t a coup, the people voted for this. The media and those in power did not. The people have won…so far.
Sports and Celebrity Worship
I do not include sports for the reasons you might think. In fact, I believe professional sports are in a slow decline. Ratings for the NFL are well below a year-ago. The NFL is THE sport in America and the second sport of Canada. Salaries continue to climb and the cost of taking a family to a game is becoming astronomical amid an economic climate that is stuck in mud. Players and the league continue to shove politically correct views down the tv viewers’ throat, either through commercials, SuperBowl halftime entertainment or promotional events. People use sports as an escape, but it is hard to escape the hole in your wallet or the hole you want to put in your head after watching another “don’t beat women” commercial. Maybe people are getting tired of this and finding better things to do with their Sunday afternoons, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Movie ticket sales continue to move in random directions and no doubt views of tv programmes are likely increasing. Nevertheless, this is more about the fact the pleas of celebrities were ignored with the Brexit and Trump votes. Oh how I enjoyed watching clips of arrogant celebrities beg and plea with people to vote for Hillary or to vote against Brexit, then to listen to the harmony of cries and shrieks when enough people didn’t do what they said. The arrogance of these people has gone too far and perhaps this is the start of the general public noticing that. I have hope this could be a turning point in the age of celebrity worship, yet for the reason this only marks a potential turning point, this subject makes an appearance in the ugly department as well.
It was a year of change for many of American sports winners and many mediocre middling sports teams finally came out on top.
The Cubs finally did win the World Series, so Back to the Future was only a year off. LeBron came back to Cleveland and won that city it’s first championship since Jim Brown was still playing football. Villanova won the NCAA basketball championship and, their first title since 1985 and the NCAA final’s first buzzer beater since 1983. Even Leicester City won the Premier League in the UK, shocking “soccer” fans around the world.
Normally in recent years, whistleblowers have had a rough time. Thanks to Wikileaks in 2016, this was not the case. They maintain their reputation by keeping sources unknown and helped to spread awareness about some of the dark reaches of US politics before the US election. The Democrats, the same people who were lauding Wikileaks over it’s revelations during the Bush administration, have made Julian Assange public enemy #1, bumping Snowden down to secondary targeting.
If you read Wikileaks, Hillary was caught exclaiming, “can’t we just drone this guy?”, in reference to Assange. If you read, well anything else in the media, that statement is suspect. Some of this is just semantics, but the scope of the data dump by Wikileaks leading up to the election was astounding and that much information, whatever their source, is bound to have some truth in it. Wikileaks has an unblemished record of anything they release never being proven as false. A lot of it, isn’t a surprise to anyone, it’s just that nobody else reports on this. The media refused to discuss Wikileaks, unlike how they were more than happy to publish front page news about it’s leaks from a decade ago.
Assange is still alive and Wikileaks continues to operate. Whistleblowers win for once.
The Media Has it’s Stalingrad
This is the big one. If the birth of blogs, YouTube, smartphones and the like was the beginning of the war on the mainstream media, then 2016 was it’s Stalingrad. The mainstream media was highly exposed for it’s bias in the US election, and YouTubers, bloggers and other independent media outlets were there to expose it to millions of people.
This is a major turning point. I myself discovered numerous YouTubers with good content, both on the left and right of any ideological spectrum. Many of these newcomers to the news media made me aware of just how many lies are being fed to us from the media.
For me, this started when a blogger named “RooshV” was harassed and defamed by many major news outlets in the Western World for posting online a plan for “meetups” (aka a bunch of dudes hanging out and having a beer) with followers of the blog “Return of Kings” in various cities. These lazy journalists cherry picked an article without any context (exclaimer: I have read some of Roosh’s content since his days under a blog known as DCBachelor) and claimed Roosh and his followers were pro-rape advocates. Even the idea of being pro-rape just sounds insane to any normal person. What does that even mean? I’m sure rapists don’t go around publicly claiming, “Yes, let’s support more rape!”. Essentially, some people don’t like Roosh’s writings so, using their large mainstream platform, made the decision to try to ruin his life. Incredible.
Anyways, this carried over into the Brexit vote and the Trump election. I began to watch more independent media than before, many of which just showed headlines from the mainstream outlets that exposed their hypocrisy, bias and profit-fueled incentives. The major media outlets continued to double down. HuffPost claimed Hillary had a 90%+ chance of winning the US election, just before the vote. In any case, for all of the blustering and shouting the mainstream media attempted, they failed miserably. It appears there is more than just me that are tired of their lies – only 6% of Americans trust their media. We have all known they have been lying for profit for years, but now we have more options than ever to go elsewhere for good content or just tune out altogether.
I shed no tears for the future layoffs of this industry. However, see more in the Ugly section of this writing.
There is nothing new here. Yes, the major stock indexes in the UK and US are reaching astronomical levels, but we all know that is thanks to low interest rates and Central Bank interventions. These interventions were ramped up in the UK post-Brexit, and the UK market skyrocketed.
“But Bane, the US unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2007”, you ask?
Growth remains anemic. For the first time in US history, Obama will likely serve as the only President without an economy achieving 3% growth in any single year during his reign.
The war in Syria escalated as Russia joined the fray. This is now a full-blown proxy war that harkens back to the Spanish Civil War in some ways. The war itself, although bad, has been going on for several years now and has remained somewhat contained. Considering the global players involved in this theatre of horrors, it is surprising nothing has happened to spill the contact over into the more “serious” realm. Despite a Russian plane being shot down by Turkish fighters late last year, nothing has come of it. Yet. However, some actions by major powers (that will be addressed shortly) could tip this conflict over if things don’t get resolved soon.
These driverless cars sound like a good idea, but it sounds like a rich man’s fantasy. Douchebag Musk and his fantasy enterprise, Tesla, saw it’s first driverless casualty in 2016. I have stopped counting how many zombies I run by on my way home that are walking and staring into their phones. The young continue to use dating apps and show a complete lack of ability to interact socially in-person, dragging the rest of us into this pathetic era of human relations. Apple seems to have run out of good ideas. Costs for iPhones and laptops just seem to be getting astronomical. Google, Facebook and the like seem to be moving towards co-operating with governments to establish a Ministry of Truth of their own. Many people continue to think we can replace high intensity fossil fuels with low intensity renewable energy with the flick of a light switch – irregardless of what they think, we see no sensible policies ever being discussed or implemented (except from some of the oil companies, ironically).
Siloviki all live, accept and adapt to technology, and have no issue with useful technological advancements. Yet some of the lengths people go to assume that everything moves in a straight upward trajectory should have us pause for concern.
Trump and Hillary
Yes, the Trump inclusion sounds like a contradiction. The simple question is, in a country of 320 million people, are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton really the best candidates the country can come up with for its chosen leader of the free world? Elections continue to be made up of choosing between the least good option. I would like to think there was a time when the western world had leaders they could be proud of.
Our opinion is that President’s have become merely PR agents to put on a good face for the American government – this might go back as far as Eisenhower with his warning about the military industrial complex. They are not the ones making major decisions. But what do I know? Obama wanted change. No change (except token change). Trump was voted in based on change. We shall see.
College Campuses and SJWs
What can I say that hasn’t already been said by so many others? I’ll let this video link say it all.
Yeah, that was the end of last year, but it just escalated this year. 2016 was the year I realized just how bad things are on college campuses. Comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld have mentioned how this is an environment unfit for humour for a while. Yet this year, things got really, really ugly. The Trump election and the Brexit vote just made it clear to me how many clueless people there are out there that can’t handle views from others that differ from their own.
These are the future “leaders” of our world. I think it was King Oscar II of Sweden that said “a man who has not been a socialist before 25 has no heart. If he remains one after 25 he has no head”. I may have had a bit of a “bleeding heart” in College, but this is extreme. I heard all of these stories over the past decade. Stories about kids getting participation trophies in everything and this is the result of such indoctrination of these spoiled, self-entitled brats as they move through adulthood. Scary. Combine this with the trend of Facebook and Google policing the Internet and you have a dangerous world.
We here at Siloviki do not pretend to know the truth. We are merely writers in a dingy basement with rats. We seek the truth.
Gulf of Tonkin. JFK assassination. Pinochet. Iran-Contra. Weapons of mass destruction. Russian hacking? We have seen this story before. Either it was something that was hidden or something that was purely lied about, or, in the case of JFK, something that we don’t know with certainty is true or not.
The mainstream media lost it’s Stalingrad and is now doubling down on its ability to deceive its readers (or what’s left of them) by taking, at face value, the CIA and US government’s claims that Russian hacking interfered with the US election. Clinton started pointing the finger at Putin and Russia during the campaign. The irony is comedic because just 4 years earlier Obama laughed at Mitt Romney’s assertion that Russia was a major threat. People won’t remember that right? Right. It shows a fantastical lack of respect for the country’s citizens. Oh silly peasants, it’s obviously the truth, because…the CIA says so.
This all came out towards the end of the year and it began to even spread to Europe, with British parliamentarians and the German Chancellor echoing the same sentiment of “Russia is to blame”. To me, this just proves the statements out of the US are nothing more than a propaganda stunt on a level not seen since Joseph Goebbels was still breathing.
Whether it’s to delegitimize Trump or out of sheer delusion, these “nation blaming actions” are the kind that can lead to war. Which is particularly notable when you have Russia and America involved in the Syrian conflict, on opposite sides. The echoes of the Spanish Civil War are getting louder.
Yes, 2016 was a victory over the mainstream media. However, they are not done with us yet. They lost and are losing to these bloggers that sit in their mother’s basements and now they have to push back.
No need to discuss the semantics of it all. The point is this was all too predictable. With the fallout of Brexit, we continue to see nothing but repeated articles from irritating OxBridge grads at the FT and Economist about the negative impact of Brexit, a genuine and endless fear campaign. So it was no shock to see the same in America post-election, with the “fake news” and “Hillary-good; Russia and Trump-bad” narrative. It just reeks of desperation and you can smell blood in the water. The problem is, many of these institutions are the indirect PR machines of powerful people. They all get together at underground basement parties and screw each other in goat masks. Probably. They have all taken blood oaths and will battle to the end. They will go to very dark lengths to get the narrative back on their side.
So some major boomer celebrities died in 2016. Ok, I feel bad for their friends and families. I do not feel bad for their fans. You do not know these people. Stop acting as if the world is ending because someone who’s music you listen to has passed away. The lengths we go to worshipping celebrities is downright scary, and in 2016 this was laid in full view on social media for everyone to see.
Lastly, on a more personal level, we have witnessed many enter unemployment in years prior but they remained so during 2016. Most notably, it was not a good year for a lot of bankers and oil industry veterans. It is fine to be unemployed for a year, but when we are witnessing a 2nd and 3rd year for a lot of these people struggling to find work, that scares us. When we hear in the media of all of the job prospects it actually appears to me, when I search job boards, that this is related to a lot of lower-paying and less stable jobs in the “new economy”.
There are tons of new businesses starting up by people who usually would be working as a banker or a lawyer. It is never a bad thing to have less of these people, but only if there are good options for them. How many apps do we need? Do you really want to work in an industry in which the sustainability of the business is hanging on the attention span of a millennial? Did these people choose these jobs or is it merely the only option? If you pay attention, things are very gloomy on this front. You shouldn’t even require the drilling down of the government’s distorted statistics to figure this out.
Cost of Living
A continuing theme in this era, but it appears more startling now. Housing prices in Vancouver reached the stratosphere on an unimaginable level. Calgary, where the oil market has decimated jobs, hasn’t had house prices drop to a level that resonates with common sense. Vancouver puts a little tax on wealthy foreign buyers of homes and they begin to buy up Toronto. This has a significant effect on the people who live in these cities, who then jump in to buy homes at inflated values before things get “too expensive”. We have seen this happen all over the world for a few years, but what took place in Vancouver this past year (where there is no strong and viable economy that attracts young workers outside of yoga instructors) was truly eye watering.
I guess I could really go on in this section. 2016 was the year, for the first time in my life, that people in the west started taking anti-democratic actions. Petitions for another referendum in Britain, pushes for a re-count and for the electoral voters to reject the will of the American people all were a part of something I have never seen before. Particularly considering it is coming from the left. This, in combination with social justice warriors and Russia blaming, is very worrying for the near future.
We believe 2016 was a good year. It was a year of change, which we view as good. It was also a year of some serious warning signs. All in all, the good always outweighs the bad. Most of the bad or ugly is not so much what has happened, but what could happen. The war in Syria has not spilled over into a more general conflict with major powers. A large segment of people in the Western World are voting for change, a dictator has not coerced them into it. There was no major plague to wipe out large segments of the population. We, in the West, continue to live a high standard of living and we are not in a recession or depression, despite the warning signs of the economy.
If you think 2016 was a bad year, then you need some perspective about what a bad year looks like. If any of these warning signs from 2016 come to fruition in 2017 (more general war among major powers, economic collapse or revolution from a movement that wants everyone to agree on everything), then we can talk bad.