Q&A Monday #2: Answering Questions from Readers of Culturcidal
Who should be POTUS? Excess COVID deaths. How does the FED operate? A balanced budget?
Back in the day, when I ran Right Wing News, I did over 100 Q&A Fridays. Those consisted of me giving the audience a chance to ask me just about anything they wanted to know and since people seemed to love asking questions back then, I thought I’d see if people enjoyed doing the same thing on Culturcidal.
After giving the audience a chance to ask questions yesterday, here are the ones I answered. If you enjoyed this and you want it to be a monthly thing on Culturcidal, let me know in the comments section. If not, I’m glad we got to do two of these. I really enjoy interacting with all of you and I love any excuse to do it more.
“If you had the power to choose the POTUS, whom would you choose?” – Ann H.
One of my favorite movies is Limitless. In it, Bradley Cooper gets hold of a drug that gives him a four-digit IQ. He becomes brilliant, charismatic, and essentially capable of doing anything. I’m not spoiling it too much by telling you that in the end, he decides that he wants to be President of the United States.
When I saw that, I couldn’t help but think, “Why take a man smart enough to fix every problem on planet Earth and put him in a situation where 535 sociopaths, narcissists, and hustlers in Congress can block almost every important thing he wants to do?”
A Roman Emperor could dramatically change things, but a president, especially in a highly polarized society like ours, is so heavily limited by checks and balances that he can usually only make changes at the margins and avoid actively pursuing bad policies. So, in a sense, it doesn’t matter who you put in the White House. Until we change the culture, things are going to stay broken.
If we’re talking about a more realistic scenario featuring our actual options, I’d take DeSantis followed by any non-joke candidates 20 deep except Trump. Trump is so toxic at this point, that even if I wanted him in the White House again, which I don’t, I think his chances of beating even a weak candidate like Biden are somewhere between slim, none, and “he may need a miracle.” Trump would max out Democrat turnout, lose independents big time, and would probably lose more Republicans than just about any other candidate because the man has an incredible knack for making enemies.
If you love Trump – and I have friends and relatives that do – there’s no hate from me. I get it and fully acknowledge he has lots of diehard conservative fans, but it feels like people are trying to relive the glory days of his victory over Hillary that have shown no signs of coming back around. Trump’s such an obvious bad choice for this election cycle that running him feels like practically conceding the White House to the Democrats in 2024 and will cost us seats we can’t afford to lose in the House and Senate. If we do run Trump, we’re likely to have our fourth straight mediocre election cycle in a row (this is not a coincidence) since 2016 and it may even allow Biden to pick a Supreme Court Justice or two, which would undo Trump’s greatest accomplishment by far in office.
“What are your top 10 movies these days?” – Dave Swindle
These are my personal favorite movies of all-time, not the greatest movies of all time. Your mileage may vary. Let’s see, in alphabetical order with descriptions from Amazon, I’d go with…
1) 300: In the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army.
2) Army of Darkness: Bound in human flesh and inked in blood, the ancient Necronomicon, or Book of the Dead, transports department store clerk Ash and his 1973 Oldsmobile into the Dark Ages. There, he faces legions of undead beasts in a battle for his life.
3) Conan the Barbarian: The sword-wielding warrior seeks vengeance on the cult leader who enslaved him and massacred his village in this fantasy-action classic!
4) The Crow: Exactly one year after young rock guitarist Eric Draven and his fiancée are brutally killed by a ruthless gang of criminals, Draven -- watched over by a hypnotic crow -- returns from the grave to exact revenge.
5) Fist Of The North Star (1986 -- Anime Version): When modern weapons become obsolete in the postapocalyptic future, martial arts become the main instrument of warfare. And it's up to Ken, an expert of the renowned Fist of North Star style, to use his powers to save humanity. Fighting his way across a grim landscape in search of his beloved Julia, Ken faces off against old friends and enemies in this fist-flying anime feature based on the Japanese manga by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson.
6) Invasion USA: When terrorist mercenaries led by Soviet agent Rostov (Richard Lynch) invade America and turn the country into a war zone, it's up to one-man army Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris) to stem the rising tide of violence, leading the U.S. Army into guerilla warfare on its own turf. And Hunter won't stop until every last enemy of freedom has been eliminated. This rousing actioner features death-defying stunts and a heart-stopping climax.
7) Limitless: A burned-out writer discovers a pill that unlocks 100% of his brain capacity but soon finds his life in jeopardy from the side effects.
8) Ninja Scroll: When a monster made of rock attacks a band of ninjas, a masterless ninja named Jubei heroically saves the life of the beautiful female warrior Kagero. But Jubei succumbs to an elderly ninja's treachery and finds himself facing certain death.
9) The Passion of the Christ: In Christ's crucifixion based on the New Testament, Judas expedites the downfall of Jesus by handing him over to the Roman Empire's officials. To the horror of his mother, Mary, Magdalen, whom he saved from damnation, and his disciples, Jesus is condemned to death. He is tortured as he drags a crucifix to nearby Calvary, where he is nailed to the cross. He dies, but not before a last act of grace.
10) Tombstone: Legendary marshal Wyatt Earp joins his brothers to pursue their collective fortune in the thriving mining town of Tombstone. Earp and his notorious pal Doc Holliday are called into action when a gang of rustlers begins terrorizing the town.
“How does the Federal Reserve operate?” – Chris
The answer to this could be a book. In fact, there actually are multiple books that cover the topic. So let me give you a very short, very simplified rundown of what the Federal Reserve does and why it exists.
The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 as a result of a number of banking panics. Essentially, banks used to do the same thing that some crypto exchanges have gotten in trouble for recently. They’d take a lot of their depositor money, put it into extremely risky ventures (banks still do this, but to a much lesser extent than they did back then), and then when there was an economic downturn, they’d lose the money and couldn’t pay their depositors back. When the news got out, it would cause people across the country to quite naturally freak out, and then they’d withdraw their money from their local banks. This caused a lot of banking failures. The Federal Reserve provided money in these situations to keep banks from going under and to keep the public from panicking.
The Federal Reserve also manages the money supply and, to a degree, the economy in lieu of allowing Congress to do it, which would undoubtedly be a disaster. The Federal Reserve controls how much money is printed, they buy government bonds that go unsold, and their general goal is to keep inflation at 2% or below while also keeping the economy from dropping into recession.
There is contentious debate about how good they are at doing this (I’d say “Not very”), whether they should be audited (I’d say “Yes”), whether we should be on the gold standard instead of fiat money (I’d say, “We should have been, but going back to the gold standard would cause far more of a deflationary crash at this point than people would be willing to tolerate”) and whether the Federal Reserve should continue to exist at all (I’d say, “Yes, it should, because it’s the least bad option we have at this late point”).
"How about a discussion about excess deaths from the COVID shot? Do you think that there will be any reckoning? I just saw this video which details this and more. Approximately 20% excess deaths in the US alone!" – Stephanie
I’m not really in either of the two camps many people seem to have moved to on the vaccine. Initially, I think people went overboard on dramatically exaggerating the importance of the vaccine and now I think there are a lot of people dramatically exaggerating the danger of the vaccine. Where is the truth? Probably somewhere between the two, but realistically, it just hasn’t been fully determined yet. Science often takes a long time to play out.
Is the vaccine killing people in great numbers? That appears to be almost entirely speculative with very little real evidence behind it. We certainly have had excess deaths over the last couple of years, but much more likely suspects for that would be COVID itself with things like increased suicides and drug overdoses as a result of lockdowns added in.
While I’m certainly open to the possibility that the vaccine is worse for people than most scientists believe (when you read up on the history of vaccines, there are often unanticipated deaths and side effects at first) the reality is we need more data, more time, and more research to definitively answer this question.
“Do you think we will ever have a balanced budget again?” — Danny Coots
At this late date, that would require huge cuts to Defense, Social Security, and Medicare. Since that would be incredibly unpopular and would lead to any political party advocating it being voted out of office, it’s hard to see a scenario where that happens. In other words, we’ve let our deficit spending go for too long and our economic cancer is terminal at this point. The only question is how long we last before it all implodes. Sorry the prognosis is so grim, but it’s reality.
Granted, it may be possible to balance the budget after the dollar is completely devalued and we have Weimar Germany-style hyperinflation, but once we get to that point, our economy would be so thoroughly destroyed that it would basically be irrelevant.
"I was listening to an interview with Alan 'The Most Censored Man in America' Sabrosky on RFK's chances for nomination vs Edward Curtain's belief that it is the most positive current development in American politics. Do you think the powers behind the Democrat Party will let that happen?" – HUMDEEDEE
You’d have to go all the way back to Franklin Pierce in the run-up to the Civil War in 1852 to find a sitting president who ran, but didn’t ultimately win his party’s nomination. So, the odds are against it. In addition, RFK Jr. is currently sitting at 14% in the polls. Marianne Williamson pulls another 5% and there’s another 13% undecided. The rest of the Democrats are saying they want Biden. So, it really doesn’t look like there’s a tsunami of anti-Biden sentiment on the Left.
Granted, Biden is not popular, he’s not loved, and he generally doesn’t seem to be thought of as particularly competent among Democrats. However, he’s viewed by Democrats as almost certain to beat Trump and seems to currently only be a little behind DeSantis, so there’s no strong motivation for them to replace him with RFK Jr., who is a bit of a marginal figure in the Democratic Party. The only person who would probably have a realistic chance to knock off Biden in a primary right now would be Michelle Obama and even that would be far from a given since she doesn’t have her husband’s gift for politics.
“In your opinion who are some of the most loved famous people in America?” – Ann H.
So, I am going to cheat on this one a little bit and name the 5 non-political “famous” people that I most admire in alphabetical order while adding a larger list as well.
1) David Goggins: Goggins is a former SEAL, ultra-marathoner, and self-help author who has literally expanded my beliefs of what it’s possible for a human being to do.
2) Chris Jericho: Great pro-wrestler, but also made it as a rock star, does great books and he is a genuine marketing genius.
3) Elon Musk: Not only a brilliant businessman but a far-thinking visionary, hard worker, and a guy who has gotten an incredible amount out of life.
4) Tony Robbins: He’s an absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking, life-changing self-help author who has overwhelmingly succeeded at life and has built a 700-million-dollar war chest.
5) Joe Rogan: A great comedian, podcaster, and MMA announcer. In phenomenal shape and he may be the coolest guy alive.
I also enjoyed your comments. There are so many people out there who will never gain my respect. You're not one of them so I appreciate hearing your opinions.
I did enjoy this and I would like it to be a regular event!