Enchiridion XIX


You can be unconquerable if you enter into no combat in which it is not in your own power to conquer. When, therefore, you see anyone eminent in honors or power, or in high esteem on any other account, take heed not to be bewildered by appearances and to pronounce him happy; for if the essence of good consists in things within our own power, there will be no room for envy or emulation. But, for your part, do not desire to be a general, or a senator, or a consul, but to be free; and the only way to this is a disregard of things which lie not within our own power.

Assessing relative risks is hard

 When you've lost the NYT . . . .

Curmudgeons and their music


I'm 65, and while I understand in a general way what Spotify is, it's not for me.  Some years ago when we were trying to install a home audio-visual system that would coordinate the internet with the TV and allow us to send music playlists to either indoor or outdoor speakers, I had trouble getting the playlist function to work.  The young AV engineer pointed out that it was trivially easy to hook into Pandora and had a really hard time grasping why I wanted to make up my own list of songs.  I was equally baffled why I'd want to let anyone else choose them.  "But there are lots of different channels with different styles," the little whippersnapper would say, tactfully omitting the implicit "even old fogey stuff" part.  Yes, and none of them are particularly close to anything I'd listen to, old or otherwise.  It's the curmudgeon disconnect, or maybe the disdain of someone with exotic tastes for someone more plugged into popular culture.  Even in my plugged-in youth I disliked listening to 99 pieces of dreck on the radio to hear one compelling song.

Neil Young often figures prominently in my playlists.  Here's hoping he doesn't mind.  Without even listening to Joe Rogan, I still side with him in the filthy censorship wars.

Enchiridion XVIII


When a raven happens to croak unluckily, be not overcome by appearances, but discriminate and say, “Nothing is portended to me, either to my paltry body, or property, or reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all portents are lucky if I will. For whatsoever happens, it belongs to me to derive advantage therefrom.”


          The men of the East may spell the stars,
          And times and triumphs mark,
           But the 
men signed of the cross of Christ
           Go gaily in the dark.

          "The men of the East may search the scrolls
           For sure fates and fame,
          But the men that drink the blood of God
          Go singing to their shame.

          "The wise men know what wicked things
         Are written on the sky,
         They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
         Hearing the heavy purple wings
         Where the forgotten seraph kings
          Still plot how God shall die.

          "The wise men know all evil things
          Under the twisted trees,
          Where the perverse in pleasure pine 
         And men are weary of green wine 
         And sick of crimson seas.

          "But you and all the kind of Christ         
          Are ignorant and brave,
          And you have wars you hardly win
          And souls you hardly save.

          "I tell you naught for your comfort,
          Yea, naught for your desire,
          Save that the sky grows darker yet
          And the sea rises higher.

Outlaw's Prayer

Ironically this album, "Armed & Crazy," was considered important by the jury in sentencing our brother Jonny Paycheck to prison for shooting a man in the head while high on cocaine. Prejudice, no doubt, just as he explains here.

How’d Canada Get Here First?

Who knew it was this easy?

Maryland still doesn't want to impose the ugly duty of appearing in classrooms on its vulnerable teacher population, so it sent the kids home again.  But then, that was really hard on parents who needed to go to work, so Maryland opened "equity hubs," which are not, I repeat, not schools, but rooms where the kids can go sit at tables and do their virtual learning exercises.

What's that?  No, of course these are not mere day-care babysitting facilities.  The kids are doing schoolwork, I tell you, but now their parents don't have to supervise them while they do it.  The teachers are on a screen someplace, working safely and remotely.

What's that?  Yes, it does seem a lot to expect that order will be maintained and a big group of kids will pay attention to the teacher and do the work without any adults in the room, so we're providing "proctors."  Presumably lower-paid, non-union adults who don't mind the overwhelming COVID threat to teacher-type adults.

As one commenter said, he's waiting to find out that the proctors are really teachers, who will get overtime pay.

PA Court Declares 2020 Election Unconstitutional

It's a by-now-familiar issue: nobody actually changed the laws via the legislature, they just acted as if the laws were different than they were. 

Local government insanity, two more examples

Example the First. We have a community pool, built a couple of decades ago. Popular lore suggests that all the local governments committed to sharing its expenses equally, but there's nothing in writing. In recent years, one local entity dropped out, while the others (including the county) have contributed a fixed sum annually--a fraction of the actual net cost of the pool after user fees. One entity, the largest local city, apparently picks up the substantial tab for the entire resulting deficit, and has done so since the memory of man sayeth not to the contrary.

For about 18 months now, as the county's representative on the pool committee, I've been trying with increasing bafflement to get the pool manager and the other board members, who include a city rep, to address the deficit. Sometimes they say it's not a problem, because the city will cover it, to which I respond, cool, let's quit talking about it, then. To which they then say, but what if the city doesn't keep it up? And I say, hadn't you better take a look at your revenues, specifically your user rate structure? I've written about this here before. They struggle with the task of imagining what rate increases the market might bear, and how much each type or amount of increase might contribute to the bottom line annually, given uncertainties like volume of customers from year to year and the impact of rate hikes on same.

Last spring I tried to get them to think about this in preparation for the 2021 summer season. When they finally got it on the agenda in July, they still lacked any firm numbers to wrestle with and supposedly were going to call a special meeting in a week or so, while there might still be time to raise rates for the summer season. OK, that never happened. Fast-forward to last week, the first meeting since last July. I expected the same topic to be rehashed, with roughly the same results. When I arrived, however, I was pleased to see that the city finance manager was attending. I asked her what I used to try to ask the other folks, "What does it actually mean when we run a deficit? Is there a cushion account we're gradually depleting? We don't bounce checks, right?" She responded quite openly: the city simply pays all the bills, and runs an account receivable that the pool has never paid and evidently never will.

Okay, I thought, when I'm wearing my pool hat the status quo seems eminently satisfactory, and I don't ever wear a city hat. I do wear a county hat, but the county doesn't mind continuing to pay its annual flat contribution, so we're all good.

But if you're thinking I was then able to shut up while the room went on to continue to discuss the issue of what rates to raise and by how much, I guess I haven't painted a very clear picture of myself. Like an idiot, I eventually found myself goaded into asking clarifying questions. Someone would start talking about a tiny change in a minor category of rate, and I'd ask, now, is that one rate type out of four, or what? Hearing that it was in fact one rate out of four or so, and that they planned to move on to the other rates next, I'd say, now, how much do you suppose that first rate change would increase annual revenues? And I would get blank stares again, just as I did last year. Finally after they slowly went through all the categories, I said, OK, the total impact sounds like roughly in the neighborhood of what, about X dollars?--X dollars being maybe 20-25% of the annual deficit.

At this point, they left glum confusion behind and proceeded to the idea that really animates them: it's terrible that the county doesn't pick up a big part of the huge recurring annual deficit and help the city out. Never going to happen, I said, taking the opportunity to suggest that they might want to think about whom they'll vote for in the primary for County Judge primary in a few weeks. Now everyone's shouting about the county being mean and not living up to its ancient (unwritten, disputed, unenforceable) promises and so on.

Finally someone has the bright idea that, if the city subsidizes the losses but the county doesn't, maybe city taxpayers should pay lower pool use rates than all non-city residents, including county residents in the boonies and out-of-towners. Excellent idea, I agreed, very sensible, figure out how much you can raise that way. Well, they had no idea, and besides, what they really wanted was for me to say, "Oh, don't do that, I'll go take the other County Commissioners hostage at gunpoint and force them to increase your budget."

We left it that they still needed to gather data for a reality check and would call a special meeting "soon," so they may still be able to raise rates before summer. All I could think was, "Please wait another 11 months. I'm out of here December 31." Or, "Heaven give me the good sense to shut up next time if there really is one before I go."

Example the Second. I learned this week that the county has an ordinance dating back to 2004 requiring a $5 annual pet license, including the usual need to prove rabies vaccination. I learned this because we recently inched a small fraction of the county's IT system slightly further into the third millennium, so residents can now buy the license online instead of going bodily to the Animal Shelter with, I kid you not, a money order. I figured this would spark the same level of non-interest that most descriptions of county activity do when I post them on Facebook.

Imagine my surprise when my public absolutely erupted. Three days later we're into a practically unprecedented number of comments. It's unconstitutional. It's a tax gouge. It will make it impossible for poor people to afford having a pet. It's the government invading and ruining our lives. How will the county enforce this if no one knows about it, etc.

I've been steadily pointing out that the rule has been in force for 18 years, though apparently not a soul was aware of it. The county has no plans whatever to start enforcing it, or even to publicize it. I seem to be the only one talking about it. Absolutely nothing has changed except that, if you happen to want to buy a license, you can now do so conveniently online. It's pretty cheap, and it will put your pet into a registry so that you'll be notified faster if your pet should ever get lost and picked up.

"But I already microchip my pet, so this is tyranny/waste/mad overreach." OK, but the Animal Control folks report that it takes six hours to hear back from the national microchip registry, while this local registry is basically instant. Again, it's pretty cheap, and it's a bit of a donation to the almost-no-kill Shelter, which helps sad puppies. No, it's a tax on strays! Also, it's evil to finance government operations via user fees instead of general taxes! Or both!

I resolutely remain calm--easier to do online than sitting in a pool committee meeting--and keep repeating that nothing has changed in terms of obligations or enforcement. The only change is that it's now easier to pay.

But the public remains in a ferment. We're going to borrow $13MM to build a bigger, fancier courthouse than we need? Yawn. A $5 fee you weren't paying is now easier to pay if you feel like it? Armageddon.

"Our appeal is becoming more selective"

An innovative defense of the effectiveness of home-nonschooling in the COVID age:
Even the Democrat-led city government of San Francisco had enough with the board. It filed a lawsuit against both the SFUSD and its board in February 2021, accusing them of ” failing to come up with a reopening plan even as numerous other schools across the U.S. have reopened.” But SFUSD reopened only elementary schools last April and didn’t return to full-time in-person learning for all K-12 until fall 2021.
Board President López claimed the long delays didn’t cause any learning loss because children were “just having different learning experiences than the ones we currently measure,” and they learned more “about their families and cultures by staying home.”
I've wondered if some schools could actually make kids dumber.

Enchiridion XVII


Remember that you are an actor in a drama of such sort as the Author chooses—if short, then in a short one; if long, then in a long one. If it be his pleasure that you should enact a poor man, or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen, see that you act it well. For this is your business—to act well the given part, but to choose it belongs to another.

Here the parallel is to the Bhagavad Gita, where the key religious lesson is that one has a role to play in the dream of the Great God -- and therefore ought to play that particular role as well as possible. Clearly there is a recognized need for someone to stand in the role of the Author, in spite of the fact that the mythology of the day made it mysterious who precisely might be in that role.

Enchiridion XVI

When you see anyone weeping for grief, either that his son has gone abroad or that he has suffered in his affairs, take care not to be overcome by the apparent evil, but discriminate and be ready to say, “What hurts this man is not this occurrence itself—for another man might not be hurt by it—but the view he chooses to take of it.” As far as conversation goes, however, do not disdain to accommodate yourself to him and, if need be, to groan with him. Take heed, however, not to groan inwardly, too.

"His son has gone abroad" is a much smaller reason for grief than "his son has died." If the other man were meant to be a Stoic we must assume was meant to be included from the earlier aphorisms; but he is clearly not one, and so the comment is meant to underline that even minor things can upset the unwise.

That makes the cynical ending more appropriate. We are human beings, wise and unwise alike; it can be worthy to sympathize or empathize with the unwise, for the purpose of comforting them and ameliorating their suffering. Yet it is not proper to abandon the course of wisdom in doing so; we must remember that they are behaving foolishly, even as we attempt to ease their foolish suffering. 

A Western Interlude

I decided to clean the guns the other day. Nothing like a little 'Western' music to make that task a happier one. 


Hey, as long as we want the best person for the job

At long last, S. Ct. Justice Breyer has seen the elephant in the abysmal polling on the future of the U.S. Senate after November 2022, and announced his retirement effective June. The Democratic party leadership is floating some black female candidates, because that's the important thing, with a Ketanji Brown Jackson reportedly heading the list. She tends to get reversed even by bipartisan higher D.C. Circuit courts, but I suppose that's because no one's properly setting her up for success.

Watch Your Flank

Interesting warning:

Enchiridion XV


Remember that you must behave as at a banquet. Is anything brought round to you? Put out your hand and take a moderate share. Does it pass by you? Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not yearn in desire toward it, but wait till it reaches you. So with regard to children, wife, office, riches; and you will some time or other be worthy to feast with the gods. And if you do not so much as take the things which are set before you, but are able even to forego them, then you will not only be worthy to feast with the gods, but to rule with them also. For, by thus doing, Diogenes and Heraclitus, and others like them, deservedly became divine, and were so recognized.

There is a sixth century commentary on this by Simplicus, who is one of the chief Neoplatonist writers; I am not referring to it on purpose, and indeed have not read it, as I never read secondary sources prior to engaging a philosophical text myself. Nor should you; we may engage it later. There is always a lot to be learned from what the wise think about any topic, but you should wrestle with it first to decide what you think. They may convince you that you were wrong, or that you misunderstood something; but you should first find a ground of your own, rather than letting any of them tell you what to think. Aristotle's efforts often begin by explaining the positions of the wise, and when they do they quickly turn to him refuting them. 

The process described in the end is apotheosis, a Greek pagan notion by which some heroes were raised to the ranks of the immortals. Many local heroes were worshipped after a while as if they were gods, though usually as chthonic gods of the underworld. (That is redundant, if you are unfamiliar with the word chthonic.) Some Greeks believed in a cycle of reincarnation, involving an eventual return to light and life in a cycle that embraced death and perhaps godhood; we don't fully grasp exactly how all of this worked. 

The general advice is interesting. At a banquet, everyone should usually be served all the courses. Here the idea is that the banquet is somewhat chaotic, and some dishes are offered but others pass by. Others that might have been offered to your fellows have not yet been offered to you. Patience is the key virtue; that and self-discipline, which allows you to take not of some of the offerings if you decide they are not good for you. If you do that, you will be worthy of ruling like the gods: though in fact you may gain nothing at all, and pass by some things of value (perhaps including good glasses of beer or cider, or even fine Scotch whisky) along the way. 

It's a strange sort of banquet, not arranged with the convenience nor the enjoyment of the guests as its first order. Such is how we find it, however, whatever that says about the qualities of the host.

What Exactly is the Threat to Democracy?

In an amazing article that should not be excerpted, Vox wonders aloud. 

And speaking of pretexts

In general our political system would garner a lot more support if it stopped with the pretext nonsense and worked out compromises on the use of power based on actual responses to the harms it claims to be addressing. Enough with the pretending that CO2 is a "toxin," for instance, or that a virus is the same as a machine emitting sparks.

WOTUS pocus

We'd do better addressing real environmental threats if we quit destroying our credibility with preposterous pretexts like this.

What constitutes “navigable waters”? That question has bedeviled Mike and Chantell Sackett for 15 years, and now it comes back again to the Supreme Court. Ten years ago, the Supreme Court took an incremental approach to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Act and the EPA’s regulation based on its jurisdiction over “navigable waters.”
* * *
[A new] case raises the question of the test that courts should use to determine what constitutes “waters of the United States,” which the Clean Water Act was passed to protect in 1972.
In a 2006 case called Rapanos v. U.S., the court could not muster a majority opinion. Four justices, led by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the provision means water on the property in question must have a connection to a river, lake or other waterway.
But a fifth justice, Anthony M. Kennedy, created the test that emerged from the case, saying the act covers wetlands with a “significant nexus” to those other bodies of water.

For maximum confusion

There's nonsense talked about a lot of things, of course, but sometimes I think the greatest nonsense is reserved for what passes for discussion of economic policy.
[I]f you asked critics what “Supply-Side Economics” is, most would say it’s a theory about tax revenues that says a lower rate of taxation often yields a higher tax-revenue haul. It's a foolish try.
More realistically, supply-side economics is a simple statement of reality: in order to consume we must produce first. Since consumption is what happens after production, the goal of economic policy should be to remove the barriers to production. . . .
Add Treasury secretary Janet Yellen to the list of supply-side critics who is wholly confused about what it is she’s criticizing. In a recent speech before the World Economic Forum, Yellen pointed to the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposals, child care, paid leave, and global warming initiatives as “Modern supply-side economics.” She said what?
I guess that's "modern" as in "absolutely nothing like what the term means."  Way to make sterile arguments about definitions even crazier and more futile.

Come to think of it, though, the irrationality is hardly confined to economics. As a species we seem to combine irrationality with stupidity in staggering proportions. And yes, I have been spending too much time lately interacting with my fellow citizens as we gear up for the local election primary on March 1, why do you ask?

Well, that took long enough

Election do sometimes improve things.

One major focus for Makary has been on the importance of recognizing natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2, acquired by previous infection. He has continually pushed for the government and employers to recognize natural immunity in addition to immunity conferred by vaccines when considering mandates, which is normal throughout Europe. A new CDC study released on Jan. 19, 2022, appeared to lend credence to Makary’s analysis.
Newly elected Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently appointed Makary to be his adviser on pandemic response.

Enchiridion XIV


If you wish your children and your wife and your friends to live forever, you are foolish, for you wish things to be in your power which are not so, and what belongs to others to be your own. So likewise, if you wish your servant to be without fault, you are foolish, for you wish vice not to be vice but something else. But if you wish not to be disappointed in your desires, that is in your own power. Exercise, therefore, what is in your power. A man’s master is he who is able to confer or remove whatever that man seeks or shuns. Whoever then would be free, let him wish nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others; else he must necessarily be a slave.

Here is another master/slave admonition, one that runs towards accepting the fact that servants are not flawless but human beings with vices and flaws. It's odd, in a way, to run this together with the death of wives or children. We've seen that tendency throughout these early aphorisms: 'accept that a cup may be broken, or your wife could die.' 

This reminds, again, that these are meant to be thoroughgoing commitments. In small things and in the biggest things, accepting that you only control what you do is the path to freedom. Practicing the small things makes you capable of handling the big things when they arise, for -- as mentioned earlier -- it is habituation via small exercises that enables the soul to handle the great labors. 

The Boomers are Responsible

It’s popular to write generational warfare posts, but as a Gen X member I’m neutral in those. However, I would like some of you who are Boomers to explain this to me. 

I kinda like it; but it doesn’t make any kind of sense. 

The Situation in Ukraine

The Korean War started when the United States declared the Korean peninsula to be outside its defensive perimeter, then changed its mind once the Communist forces invaded. The United States under the present administration has done everything it can to declare Ukraine outside the West's defensive perimeter -- withdrawing diplomats today, declaring combat forces off the table a month or so ago -- but now is mulling shifting up to fifty thousand men into Eastern Europe as a hedge against Putin's 100,000 forces massed on Ukraine's borders.

Nor is it limited to drawing a line just this side of Ukraine.
...after years of tiptoeing around the question of how much military support to provide to Ukraine, for fear of provoking Russia, Biden officials have recently warned that the United States could throw its weight behind a Ukrainian insurgency should Mr. Putin invade Ukraine.
That is always an option, although not one generally acknowledged publicly by the President himself. Normally you have think tanks and other outsiders warn about that possibility, trusting your opponents' intelligence services to read those white papers and pass the warning along. Open acknowledgement undermines the chief advantage of such a strategy, which is plausible deniability. 

Nor is this theoretical.
More than 150 U.S. military advisers are in Ukraine... [including] Special Operations forces, mostly Army Green Berets, as well as National Guard trainers from Florida’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Military advisers from about a dozen allied countries are also in Ukraine, U.S. officials said.... In the event of a full-scale Russian invasion, the United States intends to move its military trainers out of the country quickly. But it is possible that some Americans could stay to advise Ukrainian officials in Kyiv, the capital, or provide frontline support, a U.S. official said.
Emphasis added. Sometimes we deploy forces as a 'tripwire,' daring enemy forces to engage them because it would mean engaging the United States military. The ongoing mission in South Korea is of that sort. Yet these forces are pledged to be withdrawn in the event of a Russian invasion, unless they stay to provide 'frontline support' to the opposition according to this nameless official. 

That is exactly the kind of lack of clarity that provoked the Korean conflict. We are well behind the power curve if we want into this fight -- those fifty thousand men can't be there for a long time, and the initial commitment will only be a few battalions. Ships take a while to float. Divisions take a while to shift into place, and they can't get there too far ahead of the logistical sustainment elements they will require. 

If we don't want the fight -- if letting Russia (and probably China) reassert their older claims to a larger sphere of influence than they have enjoyed during the era of the Pax Americana -- then we should be clear about where our lines really are now. There's no point whining about the Russians rolling into Ukraine if we have decided they can have it for the moment; and neither Russia nor China has the demographics to hold these extended claims for more than a generation or so.

We would not be here, of course, if the Biden administration had not come into power; their willful destruction of American energy independence, their devastation of our economy, and their humiliation of our military in Afghanistan are at the back of the present moment of weakness. Yet it is what it is; retrenchment may be necessary for the present moment. A second Korean war in eastern Europe serves no one's interests, not even Ukraine's. 

"Seared into the Hypo-something"

The UN is funding psychologists who promise to help migrants 'recover' memories of oppression that will entitle them to asylum claims in the USA.

“The most common mistake migrants make during interviews . . . is that they are saying that they are suffering economic hardship. It’s not one of the criteria for refugee status,” Vidal explained during a lengthy recorded telephone interview January 20 with the Center for Immigration Studies in Tapachula. “That may cover up one of the true reasons why they are coming. They need psychological help so they can remember the situation they experienced.”

Asked if recovering asylum-qualifying memories for better interview outcomes is the main purpose of employing psychologists with United Nations money, Vidal answered: “Yes, through the psychological help we give them.”

They claim a 90% success rate in helping migrants describe their experiences in ways that accord with international conventions on asylum. 

Trucker Rebellion

Canada has passed a vaccine passport bill for truck drivers entering or leaving the country, which just went into effect. The short term effect of this bill is that it has provoked a substantial demonstration among truckers up north; they say it took 45 minutes for the convoy to clear Calgary on its way to link up with others. The medium term will be to exacerbate supply chain issues and crash the economies of Canada and the United States (the latter made worse by a similar issue with Mexican truck drivers, who supply a large amount of our fruits and vegetables -- especially in winter). 

The long term effect may be to encourage the shift to robot truckers, as this kind of concentrated economic power among the little guys is threatening to those who enjoy political and social power. They aren't there yet, though. For now they still have to heed those ordinary men (and a few women) who push those diesels down the highway.

Enchiridion XIII


If you would improve, be content to be thought foolish and dull with regard to externals. Do not desire to be thought to know anything; and though you should appear to others to be somebody, distrust yourself. For be assured, it is not easy at once to keep your will in harmony with nature and to secure externals; but while you are absorbed in the one, you must of necessity neglect the other.

Socrates professed that his wisdom lay in knowing that he knew nothing. If you're sure you know how to do anything, there is a danger that you stop trying to learn to do it better.  

"Patriot Front" are a Federal Mousetrap

I think we went over this the last time they popped their heads up -- which they never do except at major right-wing events they want to discredit with their presence -- but this so-called group is obviously a bunch of Federal agents and/or informants. They have no support among the well-known right-wing organizations -- even the hard-right Center for Security Policy has no brief for them, nor does Heritage, nor does anyone. They show up with matching uniforms and equipment, as well as professionally-printed banners. These are expensive, but no right-wing billionaires support them. Who would? The Koch brothers, who want mass immigration to keep labor costs down? Commerce Club Republicans? The pro-Israel right, made up of Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews -- are they going to fund a neo-Nazi fascist group? Of course they are not. And it's certainly not Donald Trump, who never spends anything on anything that doesn't say "TRUMP" in big gold letters. Nor does he spend money on anything that's not going to make him money, not on purpose. No right wing players would back this group, but they've clearly got real money backing them. The Federal police are the obvious explanation for this funding source. 

Also, Patriot Front coordinates with the police everywhere they go, and very successfully. They have police escorts when they march to avoid altercations, unlike Antifa or the Proud Boys who fight in the streets and therefore end up in court -- where they are identified publicly in court records. Coordinating hostile protests with the police is a skill that some longstanding protest organizations have, but few of those exist on the right (who are not much given to police-confrontational protest marches anyway). However, if you're the FBI, it's pretty easy to get the local police to assign you a protection detachment to walk  you through your march. 

Dad29 has a commentary on a recent 'leaked' video that exactly matches my own interpretation of it. It's an obvious plant.

There's a similar problem with another claimed leak about this organization, this one out of Unicorn Riot, the pro-Antifa media. From a counterintelligence perspective, Unicorn Riot should expect to be close to the top of the FBI's infiltration list if the FBI is at all concerned about Antifa: after all, they're considered friendly media and are allowed to film at Antifa events. Getting someone inside there would be invaluable for collection. That same infiltration of Unicorn Riot would likewise be invaluable for the FBI in terms of credentialing their fake "Right Wing Fascist" group. Arrange a fake leak through Unicorn Riot and suddenly the left wing groups will believe this is a real organization. They'll begin to treat it as if it were real when they see it in the streets, which might encourage right wing fascists to come out and join it.

The real issue is that there aren't really any right wing fascists to recruit. Try that "Sig Heil" crap at one of the local honky-tonks and see how far you get with it. I'd make sure your insurance is paid up, though. There's no grassroots support for this kind of thing because Americans hate Nazis; and there's no Astroturf support on the right because none of the relatively few right-wing billionaire players would back such a group. The Feds are the only thing that makes any sense.

Harsh but fair