Monday, March 31, 2014

TED Hour and Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me give me strange new respect for NPR

I listen to NPR.  There I said it.  And I'm glad (cue maniacal laughter).  The truth is that NPR gives me conniptions most of the time - not because it's lefty but because it is so predictably and doctrinaire, lefty.  If you're a lefty imagine listening to Rush Limbaugh - feel that burning sensation the pit of your stomach? the gut stewing discomfort? the irrational urge to flee? - ok, now you know how I feel when I listen to NPR.  I like my lefties non-traditional, lefties with a brain enough to think for themselves rather than playing the 'symbol' game - "where do you stand on AGW, Reagan, abortion, Obamacare, etc?  Oh you do, well to hell with you, you right winger".

I don't like most NPR (or BBC for that matter since NPR seems to slipping ever so slowly Anglower and lower) because the stories often don't seem to be so much written as piled together.  Take a few slices of bien pensant prejudice and lay on a dollop of collegiate indoctrination and garnish it with phrases that end going 'up' in that odd questioning way that lefties seem to favor rather than in the normally declamatory down direction as if nothing is every really known? And we're really not sure that mass murder was bad? and bam! you've got an NPR report.  I also find the casual moralizing of their pledge week to be indescribably painful but I don't give them squat so I get that pain back.

So why do I do it?  Why do I put myself through such psychic torment?  I do it for the children so that someday little rich boys and girls and little poor boys and girls can play together without the latter expropriating the former. But mostly I do it for the G2 which for you Yalies means military intelligence: what is the cliche du jour?  In which predictable direction are they spinning the President's latest gaffe?  What 'outrage' are they 'outraged' about today? What are the hens pecking at now?

But every once in a while, a beam of sunlight bursts through the unrelenting progressive eat your peas gloom and hits me like a bolt of lightening:  this.  THIS! is what truly progressive port side radiophonic pander could be.  THIS! would be cool.  It happened to me while I was driving to Houston, that affront to liberal sentiment everywhere.  I was passing through Dallas listening to KERA, the weepy Dallas station whose big whine is 'we are the only wonely NPR station in all of North Texas, poor pitiful us, give us money' when the thunderclap hit.

I was listening to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me and I don't know if it was because WWDTM has old dudes like Tom Bodette and Roy Blount Jr. on it or because the only prize is Carl Castle's voice on your answering service (pretty damn cool in my book) but they spun away from liberal orthodoxy in a way that shocked me - they mocked the unmockable - they twisted the tiger's tail - they gasp!  Shit, I can't remember exactly what it was that they did because I was busy cursing a pickup load of Mexicans for weaving into my lane as I was trying to make the transition from US75 to I45 to get on the road to Houston.  But whatever it was it must have pissed off the donor base because I felt a surge of joy and pride that limited me to very minor obscenities rather than the entire Mexican cussing oeuvre that my Uncle Jesus taught me.  It was that damned good. It'll come to me eventually, but in the meantime I wanted to make sure to go 'yay' WWDTM before the producer and host are shot at dawn for treason.

And the TED hour, God bless TED.  In their defence, TED opened the show in a doctrinaire wave the little red book manner with a Malcolm Gladwell piece. Gladwell is the guy that 'debunks' things in predictably leftward ways that aren't really debunkings as much as a concatenation of examples that support whatever the types of people who still subscribe to the New Yorker want to believe.  In this edition he pointed out that the tale of David v. Goliath didn't just represent weak vs. strong but also clever vs. dumb, agile vs. slow, creative vs. brute force and new hotness vs. old, big and busted.  Wow.  He must go to an Evangelical Presbyterian Church to get that much deep, astounding insight.  Not one of the big ones with the top preachers because they move well past that but one of the small ones whose preacher nearly flunked Old Testament.  Old Mal specializes in working the corners of the lefty mind that are clogged with debris and confusion - which is good because there ain't no frickin' way a dude that looks like him could get a job at Walmart.

But it got better - after a really fun and hunger inducing segment on how Chinese food has gone native and ripped off the Japanese fortune cookie industry by Jennifer 8. Lee (I know, I know but she did),  Leslie Chang actually told the donor base that everything they thought about big nasty exploitative American corporations eating poor little asian working girls as snacks was a bunch of hooey.  Really.  Swear to God.  Of course the cynical right winger could point out that this message was one that Apple, Nike and other impeccably lefty corporations wanted to get out for profit reasons and they would be right but still it whacked the Marxist sensibilities of the average NPR nobbler right in the kisser.  The segment pointed out that Chinese factory girls did what they did because they chose to do it, not because of any 'false consciousness' (shit!) and that it was arrogant and self righteous of westerners to think that they knew better (shit! shit!) and that it was really stupid to think that some German jackass scribbling in the corner of the British Museum in the middle of the 19th century knew more about what these people needed than they did (holy screaming NPR effing shit! shit! shit!).  I have never been so proud of a story told on NPR in my life (well except that time that they asked my friend Thor "Thunder God" Hearne to do a series to save their assess after Newt Gingrich and the Republicans unexpectedly waxed Bill Clinton - it lasted one 5 minute segment before he was - to his everlasting credit - banned for life.).

It ended with a fascinating segment about Alan Savory, a guy who has a theory for why grasslands in drier places turn to desert and how by quadrupling the number of livestock that things could be made much better.  No, you didn't read that wrong:  by quadrupling the intensity of agricultural exploitation via grazing of the African and other grasslands, Savory has been able to dramatically improve the productivity, water retention and diversity of the land.  And he said the key wasn't any simple trick of nature but detailed, focused human planning and management of the environment.  I mean this breaks so many lefty/green tabus that frankly I'm gobsmacked.  For TED to do this he or rather it must have brass balls.  I can see every green group alive sharpening their long knives for poor old TED's cojones.  I mean this TED dude, he has got to be one helluva stud to pull something like this on the Green Midgets.

And to top it off, the entire freaking show was focused on debunking things that to paraphrase Will Rogers: 'we know that just ain't so'.  Which after over 17 years of no global warming is a topic that the green faithful are staying as far away from as humanly possible.

As I said before, these two shows (and no I still can't remember the coolness from WWDTM but it was there, I swear) have shaken my assumptions about proggos to their foundations.  God I hope these chaps survive the week because they have committed the ultimate acts of heresy and treason.  Pray for them, indeed, hide them if they come desperately scratching at your door for sanctuary.  Poor sods.

And don't forget to listen to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on Sunday afternoons.  Just in case lightning strikes twice.....wait, wait, don't tell me, it's on the tip of my I got nothing.  Maybe tomorrow.

Why do we admire Jesus? Part 1

Virtually everyone thinks highly of Jesus.  Christians do, of course.  But even the most outrĂ© Islamist  mujaheddin* will tell you that 'Jesus was a prophet' even as he's cutting the throats of Mom, Dad and the Christian average 7.5 kids occupying their suburban Lagos split level hut. And your average LGBTQ activist thinks Jesus is swell - if only because they think He was gay.  After all, cruising around Palestine with 12 other dudes and a retired hooker? Get real.  And even your darkest left bank Sartrean scribbler will give Jesus props for his existential leap up onto that cross that showed those bourgeois Roman bastards a thing or two.

But all that fol-de-rol is just people appropriating Jesus to be a symbol for whatever mischief they've gotten up to. The Mad Muj use JC as a prop in their slaughter-a-thons and most of the LGBTQs are trying to resolve their mommy issues by chucking a queer Jesus in the old biddy's face. But when you get past politics,  money and mummy how should we think about Jesus - as a man, not a symbol?  And right up front I'll stipulate that Jesus is the Son of God and what I am not trying to do is get into a logical circle jerk that justifies His every tic and belch with the phrase "because He's God".

What I want to do is understand what made Jesus, the man - ostensibly the "Perfect Man" come to be admired by so many as the sin qua non of love, compassion, truth and justice.  In other words I want to get past the obsequious fawning and grovelling that we all end up doing in front of the all powerful or (in the case of my marriage) the sexually unavailable and find out what made Him admirable as a man, using our, much lower man-based standards. So I won't let Him take any bases just because He's God but on the other hand, since He's 'perfect' He should bat 1.000 so he won't need any. Another way to put it is: what are the things that if I actually did what Jesus would do 24/7 would get a low percentile human like me admired or at least respected, which would be a big step up, lemmetellya.  And I am sad to say that does not include playing with that 45,000 caliber Smiter 2000 with the classic wood grip that He hangs over the gates of Hell in His Holy Rumpus Room.

And to do this we must use the Christian Bible as our source document (yes there are other documents that reference Jesus but their provenance is iffy, particularly that one that had Jesus kicking Spartacus and Ben Hur's asses in a chariot race).  That said, I think we need to look past the numerous 'everybody thought He was swell' passages to specific examples that directly address the issue of admire-ability. Because while I believe the Bible was written by God and am certainly not saying anyone was lying, let's just say that to me it reads a little like it was edited by Marketing, not Accounting.

That's why I think we need to take a 360 degree look at the Guy - think about Him and His life from all perspectives.  One of the characteristics of ethical 'revealed' religions is that they have a dominant, linear narrative that heads from the dark, dim, sinful past to the sunny uplands of salvation and truth to be followed immediately by the offering and coffee.  On the Tour de God there's often not much time to peer out the side windows and take in the 'experiences' that God's entry into time and space provoked.

For example when "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the 'walls came tumblin' down'" there is no doubt that the faithful made out like bandits - OK so they would have liked to have kept the cattle and it was a pity that they had to slaughter all the purebred Corgis but still it was an awesome win.  But what did the Jerichovians think about the Great and Swell Jehovah as they watched their children getting the Joshua Stroke or the Himmler Spike (don't ask)**. And they must have really been upset at the sloppy purebred puppy juggling. That is before they had their throats cut, of course. So was it "yaayhovah!" or "shit! not this again"?

But that was Big God's gig, not Man God's so technically Jesus is not eligible for a Gengis (pronounced John Kerry style:  jen-jish) in the Most Creative Use of Infanticide in a Major Genocide category.  Which is kind of a drag because God was the true innovator in top tier totalitarian terror technique what with his invention of urban firebombing, an environmentally responsible water soluble 'final solution' and best in class terrorization via multi-family first child murder. Not to mention his politically motivated terror famine to cement Joseph in power which anticipated by over 2000 years Stalin's Holodomor and Mao's Great Leap Forward or his achievements at Jericho and a stack of other...stacks of bodies where he made the death pits of Babi Yar and Katyn look like work of babababykyns. Suffice it to say that Jesus the man could definitely use the Big Guy's badass street cred right now.  Because everyone has him pegged as a puss.

So what is it about Jesus that makes him so special?  I mean aside from the oh so typical Easter specials that make him so damn sthpethcial that I need to wipe the spit off of my laptop screen after I type the word. If you buy Hollywood, Jesus is just a First Century Fairy who doesn't do sex but instead swans around talking about love and forgiveness and how to be nice to your Mom while doing big time catering and fishing stunts on the side.  Oh and holy bootlegging - he did a serious water to wine trick that today would have the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms busily crucifying Him all by themselves - no Sanhedrin or Roman Procurator needed, thankyouverymuch.

Which has got to piss Jesus off.  After all we're talking about the Executive Officer in some of the most successful in percentage terms genocides ever recorded which when you take into account the primitive tools available - no poison gas chambers, machine guns or choo choos, just hand killing implements and the occasional holy demolition, is an even greater achievement than it first appears.  He was yards better for Dad God than Himmler was for Hitler or Yehzhov was for Stalin and don't even talk to me about Li Peng - Mao couldn't wait to waste that incompetent - he was always saving people from certain death when he should have been killing harder.  Even  Pol Pot's posse was no match for the Young Exterminator, that Human Hound of...well that hates Hell.

And that's one of the strangest aspects of Jesus:  the wide dichotomy in his behavior between when he was XO in the Army of God and working directly for the Big Guy and when he was out on his own doing His Ministry.  So why was Jesus' Ministry so different from his "Maxistry" so to speak?  Was it simply that Man God was a puss when he wasn't backed up by a genocidal army?  Or had the Son of Man been infected by a bug he picked up slumming?  And why did he decide to go to his gigs by foot or leaky boat rather than the heavily armed Cloud Copter 777s that usually whisked the Godhead around the battle space?  Well I guess the answer was that Jesus was trying to "Go Man" for a while.  Which certainly shocked the shit out of the men that he encountered, so much so that many didn't believe him.  After all, if you ask this man, I would much rather 'Go God' for a while what with that sweet 45,000 caliber Smiter 2000 available for any petty disagreements along the way. I could have told Jesus that going man, particularly in the first century where you have fleas, eat with your hands and shit in hole was not an A lister's 'dream date'. But if there's one thing that Godhead is it's impervious to argument, advice or persuasion.

So one frosty spring night Jesus decamped from a heaving uterus into a (very bitter and irritated) cow's chow tray to the shock and then avaricious delight of a band of shepherds who made damn sure those wise men left Bethlehem no wiser but certainly a whole lot poorer.

Ok, so Jesus pops out of Mary and people think that's swell until they start trying to kill Him.  So the in parentis locos, so to speak (and about this time they were definitely thinking it was loco for them to get in parentis with this baby) to the relief of the angrily lowing cows scooped Jesus up and high tailed it for Egypt to get away from the first century version of a D&C Abortion:  Dissection and Cutting (the head off) that was the first abortion law in history that made really, really late term abortions both legal and mandatory at the same time. NARAL Pro Choice would have loved Herod the Great.

But what's so admirable about being born? I mean other than the fact that by doing so, Jesus invented Christmas which by itself is extremely cool and would have won Barack Obama another Peace Prize had the committee not been a bunch of atheist Norwegian Grinches who all really do live on the top off ice covered mountains and bitterly mutter at us happy Americans down where it's warm - which is why BHO got his first Peace Prize - they thought it would upset us - and it did!

And I'm sorry but getting chased out of your own country - a country that your Dad is God of and your relatives used to be King of even if you're new born is humiliating, not admirable - I mean who's the boss here?  Jesus or some nappy headed Edomite with a really bad reputation in Family Court?  Well at least Jesus got Great H in the end when his guts ate him or blew up or something and he ran out of time to kill more of his kids who really did turn out to be a bunch of pretentious little shits just like Herod claimed.

So chalk up Christmas as a 'collateral' win because Jesus really didn't do anything noteworthy, himself except tick off the cows and the King so we're still looking for our first sign of a truly admirable moment that Jesus can call his own.

In the next phase of the admirability sweepstakkes, Jesus and the "Rent-a-'rents" snuck back to Nazareth while everyone was distracted trying to get "Great's" guts back into him enough so that they could get the entire 'package' buried because boy did he smell.  And then in fullness of time Jesus became a kid and once again the Bible says that he was a "particularly swell" kid or something to that effect to which I and every other parent says:  "yeah, right - I'll bet his shit didn't even stink". But the real problem is that the only piece of evidence we have for Jesus' behavior as a kid (other than his perfumed poo) was the most notorious piece of truancy in world history.  As I discuss in my (largely unread but at least my mom likes it) 'Why isn't Jesus a Big Fat Sinner?':

Teenage Rebellion
Or take Jesus as a teenager, please.  He's in downtown Jerusalem with the family doing the high holy whatnot.  Mother Mary tells him to be ready to hit the road with his brothers at oh-eight-hundred but Jesus ditches and instead stays in the big city.  And you can understand why, after all in first century Palestine Jerusalem with it's temple, wild diversity and even wilder carnage would have been the equivalent of mega-mall with multiplex, go-carts, and video arcade attached.  With all that to look forward to, what self respecting teen would want to schlep back to a one donkey village like Nazareth?  So he didn't, He took in some lectures, watched some cows get their throats slit and generally had a grand old time.

Meanwhile, Mom, Mr. ben Joseph and the little half-bros spend an entire day humping their baggage back to Galilee only to discover that Jesus is nowhere to be found.  Mary panics, because after all God, made her the Son of God's earthly mom or at least His wet nurse.  So she and Mr. ben Joseph drop everything and run back the 20 miles or so in the middle of the night in the dark.  She arrives panting, drenched in sweat the next morning and then searches for two full days in increasing horror and panic only to find Jesus lounging at another lecture.  She asks him in the most polite but obviously exasperated way possible WTF?  And Jesus respond's the way little shits the world over have been responding to their mothers for millenia:  "Why are you looking for me, didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"  Succeeding in implying that Mom was both stupid and a lousy mother for not anticipating the whereabouts of her little darling when it was he who had ditched her.

Okay, so there were probably mitigating factors and He was the Son of God and all but I don't think you can meet my requirement that if I did it it would make me admirable because had I done that, my dad would have kicked my ass from there to Nazareth.  No sale.

This is the end of part one.  Mostly because I've temporarily run out of steam to complete the outline that is beating a tattoo drum to the beat of Hava Nagila in my head.  So I'm going to stop now and hit publish come what may.  And what may is likely not a whole lot, given very few people read my stuff, but in fairness, I primarily write to make that man in my head stop singing that stupid Jewish song.

*Isn't it great fun the way that it sounds like you're puking when you say it? We don't use the puking phoneme enough in English.

**Ok, so you asked even though I told you not to.  In truth, I'm sure Joshua guided as he was by the Triune God innovated both the stroke and the spike and that pissant Nazi just stole them.  The spike or as the Nazis called it, the SShpike was the maneuver whereby the genocidaire of the first part took the infant in question and tossed it up in the air to be caught on the genocidaire of the second's bayonet or spear depending upon millennia.  The stroke, which was typically used on larger toddlers was where the killer grasped the tyke firmly by the ankles and using a strong Tiger Woods downstroke smashed the little nipper's skull into a convenient wall.  Typically you wanted a kid with a little more mass so that the cranium would explode and maximize that frisson of terror that the true genocidal artiste was going after. I urge you to read Hitler's Willing Executioners by Daniel Goldhagen and Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder to learn more about how our modern monsters updated the Master's methods while staying true to His Proud Heritage of Horror (Hey, He was the one that did the bragging, not me).

Chinese factory girl

One of the things that angers me about my country is the condescension that we show towards normal people who live in so called "less developed" countries.  Too often we look at them in Marxist terms (and this is a particular conceit of evangelical conservatives so don't tell me you ain't no commie) as victims who are nothing more than the exploited, abused, helpless means of production for our trinkets. 

I grew up in these countries and that is a lie.   People in poorer countries are every bit as able to make choices about their lives as we are and they demand that we respect their judgment the way they respect ours.

This TED talk is by an author who spent two years with factory girls in South China. It should make you toss your self righteous condescension in the in the dumpster or at least the basement.  Worth the time.

Replica bullets and dud shell get DC man weapons conviction

The DC prosecutor and judge didn't have enough education to know what a muzzle loader was and not enough integrity to use google.

These are the judges chosen by those overwhelmingly Democrat public servants and politicos that live in DC.  The same politicized thugs who are allowing Michael Mann and his deep pocketed climate cronies to bankrupt Journalist Mark Steyn for mocking Mann's clearly fraudulent hockey stick in print.  A claim that would be thrown out of any civilized jurusdiction with sufficient education to read the First Amendment for content.

But of course there is nothing civilized or honorable or even educated about DC. Why do we give these vile lizards power over us? Oh I know: it makes lawyers money.   At the link.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Obami use Freedom of info act to increase secrecy

All I can say is that I am shocked, shocked that a resolute statist is doing things that strengthen the state versus the people it ostensibly serves. See the shocked bambikins at the link.

Proud father brag blog

Son Sam was on Megabus to Chicago with GF for a long weekend (Megabus is awesome, crushes and humiliates Amtrak while paying taxes, natch) the Decatur bebadged enter bus and pull 5 'iffy' looking characters off for random frisk and comprehensive luggage search.

Sam politely (while being punched in the arm by GF and observed by the - mostly minority Good Germans) asks them on what probable cause they are delaying the bus and searching passengers.  The gun for a penis gang was shocked at the question and mumbled something about Homeland security.

I am proud that he stood up for other people's rights and didn't behave like the Holderite statists wanted.  I've found that our govternment Skinheads (they all seem to have the shaved skulls these days) are flummoxed when you question their behavior.

Of course the Glock Cocks aren't the real problem it's their thuggish lawyer masters. But still I'm proud of him.  Now, how to get my shy daughter to stand up against the State's criminal tendency.

Oh: the bebadged bozos did find contraband in their search - a bag of weed which is a misdemeanor.  So the boys at the station will be doobing tonite.

Obama care just an elaborate Dem voter registration setup?

Cali O'Care sends prefilled Dem voter registration forms to insurance enrollees.  After all, Dems bought these voters fair and square - it would be churlish of them not to vote donk.

I mean what do you think the purpose of this thing is after all? Healthcare?

The fascist super state has only one purpose: the fascist super state.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Never mind. Now saturated fats are OK

So it's Roseanne Rosannadanna on the entire bloody eat healthy combine of so called "settled" science.  Remember when Jim Atkins was widely denounced by the diet and public health machines as being a fat "denier"?  Well they didn't have the Goreacle's slur yet but still....

I am beginning to think that the key indicator of failed science is when government rent seekers shout the science is settled.  Of course we already know that more CO2 is good for plants and other living things so the 2nd rate academic rent seekers must shout even louder and ban dissenting views like the LA Times has. What confidence that shows.

So how do you know what you know?

Chilling and pickling people to keep them alive long enough to save their lives

Pickling.  It's all pickling these days. Just don't call it suspended animation. HT

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"People are starting to wonder about Obama's competence" Starting? Honestly?

Chris Cilizza of WAPO wrote a column with that headline and I'm not sure which stunned me more:  that headline or his intro sentences:

"President Obama got elected on competence. Now people are starting to wonder."

Really Chris?  You really thought that when you voted for a first term Senator to be President who had never held a managerial much less an executive or leadership position in his life you were voting for the 'competent' one.  When you voted for a guy who'd been a legislator for more than a dozen years and had never led the passage of a single piece of legislation?  Wow.  I would be fascinated to hear your hiring process for lawn care specialists or pool boys or neurosurgeons for that matter:  "OK, I just want to make sure that you're competent Dr. DooRight:  you say that you're a general practitioner who's never done brain surgery but that 'how hard can it be?'.  OK, you sound like you know what you're doing to me, drill away!"

But maybe I misunderstand what 'competence' means to people in your neck 'o the woods.  Out here in flyover we think competence means a demonstrated capability to do the job for which he was hired.  Perhaps you think competence means "dude that is in my party that can get elected this cycle"?

After all, you're from DC and it's just full of competence.  From 800 dollar toilet sweats to website collapses to, well you guys in the press who don't know your ass from a competent executive.  No wonder the country is in the toilet.  You bloody incompetent.

Fear the Koffing Kitty Kat

They can transmit TB.  I always knew cats were evil, I just didn't know why.  Now I know the truth. The stunning facts here.  It's from England and they're nutters about their cats so you know it must be true.

Marijuana prohibitionists really are the worst form of human scum

I don't smoke pot.  I have asthma that is triggered by sucking smoke in my lungs so I stay away from the stuff.  That being said, I've hung around a lot of people who have used mind altering drugs - both legal and illegal - and without a doubt the safest one I've ever encountered is pot.  No one.  NO ONE has ever been documented of dying from a THC overdose.  That compares to 25,000 people who die from alcohol poisoning every year and about 17,000 who die from prescription drug overdoses.

Yet there are still 60,000 Americans in prison from Marijuana - mostly trafficking.  And millions of Americans are humiliated and harassed by police who use this ultra safe drug as their gateway to steal people's cars, homes and other property and share it among themselves via legal larceny, oops, I mean asset forfeiture. East of where I live in the Corrupt State of Illinois, local cops even run a specific asset forfeiture scam against anyone who looks like they might have marijuana in the car.

I know this because the thugs, oops, I mean police tried it on me.  They look for people in 'druggie' looking cars (I drive a minivan, go figure) and follow them until they inevitably do something 'wrong'.  Then they write you up for an 'unsafe lane change' or a tail light being out and try to strike up a conversation with you.  At some point they'll get serious - as if you've told them something that makes them need to search your car.  They'll 'ask' to search it but with that same tone of 'you really don't want to say no to me'.  If you say yes and they find any pot or pot paraphernalia then you'll make the rest of your trip by Greyhound and they'll have a shiny new toy.

All in chock full of goodness America.  It is this vile and criminal behavior by out so called 'protectors' that leads me to conclude that anyone who supports or enforces marijuana prohibition - and that of course, includes all policemen and prosecutors unless they specifically refuse to do so - are hateful, evil people who take joy in hurting and humiliating others.  I can not imagine working for or employing one or sharing a church pew with them.  They are beneath contempt and should be shunned.  It is astounding to me that otherwise decent people should be so enthusiastic for hurting and humiliating others.

We should prohibit these people until their bigotry fever breaks, not pot.  This was all triggered by a nice editorial by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin in the conservative NY Post.  Prohibitionists:  you're not welcome anywhere.  Well except the DEA and other similar thug ranches.  Go away.  Leave the rest of us alone.  You scum.

ADDENDUM:  OK, OK, I'll stipulate that child molesters are the worst form of human scum, followed by human traffickers and children who never call their Moms but marijuana prohibitionists are definitely fourth scummiest.

Talk about reacting negatively to your opponent's argument: Gubenatorial candidate passes Gallstone during debate

Ouch baby, very ouch.

But to be honest, that's nothing compared to what I go through every time I watch BHO teleprompting. That inhuman, pedantic cadence. The smug, self satisfied tone. The irrational blather. The way he pauses to let the computer catch up and tell him what he's supposed to say next. The way he blinks and whirrs when they reboot him after every speech sets every ganglia in my body ganglying in agony - it's the equivalent of a gallstone machine gun.

They need to get him an upgrade or a service pack or something because he's getting really buggy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How the blow fly flies and why scientists are excited about it

Well it's obvious:  Blow flies fly by blowing.  No idea why scientists give a rip.  The truth at the link.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Egalite, Liberte, Piketty! - a furiously French take on inequality by a Frenchman who is furious at the rich

Thomas Piketty and Emmanual Saenz are two Frenchmen that are the acknowledged experts on income inequality data around the world.  Piketty has just published a book and did an interview with some fawning doe-eyed Bambi from New Yorker magazine.  Here's a rather more jaundiced take on le Piketeer's product by Jim Pet...Pethokou...crap, that Jim guy with the stupid Greek last name that I can't spell.

Predictiably for a Parisian academic, Piketty interprets the increasing levels  of inequality in our society in doctrinaire Marxist terms and classic question begging style:  capital gets more and more concentrated over time because it compounds at a higher rate than GDP growth (where does it say that it has to do this? are you making an interest rate forecast or revealing scripture?)  and ultimately results in massive inequality, chaos and I guess Bolshie revolutions or at least some salutary Guillotiningss of a Koch brother or two.
At Last!  After 100 million dead and the collapse of regime after regime
I am now vindicated by two....French academic economists.
Wait, that can't be right.
My problem with these guys is that they are ideologues and they don't do all of the analysis that they should and make invidious and inaccurate cross sectional and longitudinal comparisons.  In particular they misuse American numbers - a big part of American inequality is due to the immense diversity of the nation, particularly in cost of living terms which they, of course, don't adjust for. And there's a secular phenomenon going on there - housing prices soaring in certain cities so real standards of living are much less impressive vs. 'poorer' states with lower housing prices.  All this serves to exaggerate inequality.

Although it is fun interacting with neo Marxist ideas that actually have data and analysis behind them rather than dancing yet another version of the Old Trotsky-Trot that always makes me want to take an ice pick and plunge......   Well anyway, so how then should we live? or what should we do about all of the meanies out there? Clearly all of BHO's minwage and labor standards small ball is irrelevant and manipulative if not actively malicious in that cool kids in high school inviting the dorks to the big party except that there wasn't one sort of way.

In contrast Piketty says we should tax the Bejesus out of wealth and unearned incomes - go all Clement Attlee on their asses.  Which is charming hailing from a France whose rich, talented and ambitious have been launching themselves at high velocity across the English channel so much that London is the second biggest French city.  Personally I think they should go back to the popular front days, create a shadowy, conspiratorial party, pretend that they're in the majority and seize power (in lots of heroic poses so you make those kick-ass posters), killing and looting the rich and trashing the country.  It is a sure fire way to reduce income inequality:  destroy the institutions that produce the wealth to begin with.

I hazard to mention this because Left Bank intellectuals like Piketty and Saenz  might take me literally.

PS:  it is a testament to the shallowness and intellectual poverty of the American Left that they've outsourced the substance of what - now that they've 'saved' healthcare - is their 'numero uno' issue to Bolshie garlic eaters.  And I thought everyone said BHO was brilliant Harvard grad or something.

Energy self sufficiency as a pointer to geopolitical strength

This is an interesting chart outlining energy self sufficiency.  Of course China's self sufficiency is currently strangling their country in killer is Indias.  Given that the US has been the number one producer of Oil and Gas for most of history since Edwin Drake drilled the first oil wells in Pennsylvania in the 1860s, it's astounding how good a shape we're in energy wise.  And it's getting better.  We've been blessed with lots of mineral wealth but far more importantly, we've been blessed with a lot of private property with secure property rights that extend to that wealth and the entrepeneurs and engineers to get at it.

It's that Gosh Darn free market tarbaby again.

Medicare Advantage exhibits the classic symptoms of crony capitalism

Economists find that most of the Feds incremental subsidies for seniors to buy private health coverage ended up in the insurers pockets.  Only 20% bought more care.

This is a classic example of the third party problem. Consumers get a benefit that they don't pay for so they tend to over consume which in insurance terms shows up as excess coverage that is under used.
And the insurer rent seekers like all the other entrepreneurial cronies pursuing "Acela" (regulatory arbitrage) strategies prefer to get payment from the Feds because those gosh darn consumers are absolute heck when they're spending their own money.  HHS weenies? Not so much.

Believe it or not millions of individual consumers are much better at ferreting out maximum value than government time servers.

If we'd only let them. Details here.

I suppose he's finding out whether God hates him.

Westboro church's "God hates fags" pastor dead.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Obamacare's epitaph: "You 'F'ed' up, you trusted us"

I think it is fair to say that had the administration and Democrat Congressional leadership been honest about what the Affordable Care Act meant that it would not have passed.  For example, if they had been honest about the costs and how new taxes would not come close to defraying them, blowing yet again another hole in the budget.  Or had they admitted that they were going to force a hundred million Americans to change their health insurance.  Or that the young were going to pay for their more affluent parent's insurance.  Or that there would be no 'conscience' provisions protecting people from paying for procedures that they deemed immoral (contraception, abortion).

Ex Dem Congressman Bart Stupak probably has more reason to despise the lying liars in his party than anyone else, after all they lied to him straight to his face knowing that he would repeat their lies to his constituents and that it would most likely cost him his seat - here's Mr. Stupak's thoughts from the WSJ.

The margin of victory in the House was delivered by then-Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan as leader of a group of antiabortion Democrats. In a USA Today op-ed two weeks ago, Stupak accuses the administration of betrayal:

During the final debate on the Affordable Care Act, I engaged in a colloquy with Chairman Henry Waxman reaffirming that Americans would not be required to pay for abortions or violate their conscience by participating in or promoting a procedure they find morally objectionable. In response, we received an ironclad commitment that our conscience would remain free and our principles would be honored. With our negotiations completed and our legislative intent established by the colloquy, we agreed to an executive order directing federal agencies to respect America's longstanding prohibitions on government funding of abortion and most relevant here, to respect longstanding protections for individuals and organizations conscientiously opposed to participating in or facilitating abortions.

I was deeply concerned and objected to the HHS mandate that required all health plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives, including four drugs and devices that could terminate human life at its earliest stages by preventing an embryo's implantation in the womb.

Or as Bluto Blutarsky that Blotto Philosopher would have put it:  "You fucked up, you trusted us".

Let that be the epitaph for O'care.  Now if we could just kill the thing so we can get it buried....

"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz oh what a collapse it is!" Chinese property market in free fall but will it pop elite western real estate markets in the kisser

With cities filled with empty apartment blocks it was only a matter of time before the big Chinese crash occurred.  But the follow on impacts on the rest of the world are still not well understood.  One of the first is that wealthy Chinese who bought Hong Kong real estate are now  selling.  Next up: Vancouver, London, LA, SFO and NYC bolt holes will be priced to move.  Whether this will put the high end coastal real estate markets into a tail spin remains to be seen.  One thing is certain:  China is in for a period of turmoil that will shake the People's Dynasty to its bloody, criminal foundations.

Popcorn anyone?

The educational value of state incompetence

There is nothing like a massive Federal cock-up like Obamacare to stifle the 'reformers' who want to remake us to their taste.  Thank you Mr. President, you have furthered the cause of limited government more than you can imagine as this FT columnist observes.

As for Mr Obama, the botched rollout of his healthcare law has done more to discredit the case for activist federal government than Republicans could hope to achieve. For the time being, the hope and change wing of the Democratic party is quiescent. It will be hard for Mrs Clinton to rekindle their enthusiasm. That gives Republicans their best chance since 2000 to regain the White House. The party of yesterday may yet have a future.

The strange Revival of Republican America

Eurotwits who only watch American TV and listen to Ameritwits have been convinced since oh about 1862 that the Republican party - a party of 'Baboons' like Lincoln and 'Loose Cannon' like Teddy Roosevelt and 'Amiable Dunces' like Reagan was headed for the ash heap of history.  After all it's not a real conservative party, meaning a party that sustains the centralized establishment of a traditional European ruling class, instead it's a Libertarian conservative party with serious populist overtones which the Euros despise.

But despite having almost all the press, media and intelligentsia (which has nothing to do with either intelligence or wisdom, by the way) actively campaigning against it 24 x 7 the damned thing keeps getting votes.  Must be frustrating for the Corporatists who thought the US would be stitched up tighter than a Bongo drum by now - just like Europe.  FT provides a good discussion of the details here.

Jimmy Carter: 'My own communications are probably monitored'...

Only if they're interested in the crackpot maundering of a ratchet jawed peanut feeb.  Mr. Carter's self regard is only exceeded by his self righteousness.  All hail St. Jimmy the Nuts.  More southern fried solipsism at the link.

What? Larry Page isn't going to buy liberal absolution ala Gates and Buffet - Astounding

Aside from his company Google Mr. Page would be just another unremarkable left coast liberal.  That he recognizes that his wealth can do more good outside of the state Borg and its subsidized, subscale poorly incentivized charitable satrapies is a good sign.  Most fat cats don't care about the future as much as they care about their reputation.  Of course Elon Musk is a state subsidized capitalist but in the land of the Federal Stupor State everyone ends up being a whore to one degree or another.

5. Now This is Refreshing: When he dies, Google CEO Larry Page says he wants his billions to go to capitalists and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, rather than giving it to charities and philanthropic organizations. Source.

Its critical that we focus on how to grow our pie fast enough to survive the parasite load.  Hattip, Capre Diem.

Obami trying to give global Internet infrastructure leadership away... groups that look and behave like the Un Human rights commission.  You know, the one led by the likes of the Saudis, Iran and Sudan who say Israel is the worst human rights violater in the world?

The Obami are like the rich dweeb who thinks giving the other kids expensive gifts will make him popular when all they do is make him pathetic.

Pathetic, dweebish and giving away control of ICANN@ is no way to make friends Mr. Obama.

"Progressive" tech businesses caught rigging tech job market

Well you don't expect these Corporatist 'Masters of the Universe' to play by little people's rules do you? That wouldn't be progressive - "the best must lead! Yay green gay marrying wind electric motorbikes...or something. Now where's my fucking money?"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3 Things I think about Russia and the Ukraine

First:  we don't have a lot of leverage there.  In geopolitical terms, the US is like a 5 card draw poker player that usually gets more extra cards than the rules allow - in some cases up to three extra jacks. Where we don't have an edge is in the core of the Eurasian landmass - where Ukraine is.  There, we just get the same deal as everyone else and the only thing we have going for us is we have the biggest bank roll and can stay in the game for a long time.

In situations where we have 'free cards' we tend to act aggressively, in cases like the Ukraine where we have no edge, we act cautiously, bluff and wait for the other guy to make a mistake.  Not very gratifying but necessary.

Second:  The old "Russia is never as strong as she looks nor as weak as she appears" is very true right now. While flush with petro dollars that make it seem richer than it is Russia has one half our population, one eighth our economy, is completely dependent on the high price of oil and gas to keep the country solvent and significant restless and resentful minority problems.  It has a serious male premature mortality crisis and without immigration - which will stop with the end of high energy prices - the population will continue to fall.  The country has never gone through the type of necessary modernising reforms that Japan and Germany did. Instead the defeat of the Romanov state was followed by decades of what can only be described as "anti reform", war and then collapse. Russia has immense human and physical assets - before WWI it was mentioned in the same breath as the US as one of the "rising nations" - but is corrupt and poorly run.  Its military - while large - is poorly armed by our standards and with poor morale to boot.  It's only ace is that it has nukes. But Russia can't project power very far and doesn't have much leverage beyond the old Soviet Union.  Outside of the Eurasian core, the US has to screw up to give them an opening - like we did in Syria.

Third:  Putin is making the same mistake that the Romanovs and the Bolsheviks made:  they all believed that a big Russia that encompassed its neighbors and their resentful nationalities was the best way for Russia to be strong.  Yet the history of the last 120 years contradicts that judgement over and over again.  In 1905 shambolic, multicultural Russia was beaten by much smaller but racially cohesive Japan in an event that almost broke the Romanovs.  Later in WWI another much smaller, racially cohesive state:  Germany beat Russia with one hand tied behind it's back, destroying Romanov rule for good.  The Bolsheviks then forced a civil war and reconquest of the near abroad that killed millions and embittered tens of millions more.  After that, Stalin murdered millions to collectivize agriculture and to see off his racist, nationalist paranoia.  Then the Sovs barely survived another assault by the Germans that destroyed European Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, killing 20 millions. The Germans would have succeeded had they not (once again!) fought with one arm tied behind their backs and if the Sovs hadn't gotten a large amount of support from the US.  Then after barely surviving, they expanded their empire again to dominate more resentful nationalities to the west, requiring more soldiers and money that they did not have, finally leading to collapse in 1991.

Big Russia is a big problem for core Russia - it doesn't make Russia stronger, it drains Russia's resources in holding onto resentful neighbors who could be allies were they not so abused (Imagine the mess if the US had conquered Canada and Mexico rather than absorbing them into our economic and geopolitical systems based on their self interest). It puts the focus on foreign policy and away from domestic reform.  If Russia could summon just half the cohesion and focus among the Great Russians that the Japanese and Germans were able to achieve it would be a vastly more powerful state.

But instead they're picking on, abusing and alienating their neighbors.  I actually have some sympathy for the Crimean and eastern Ukrainian initiatives as  they focus on reuniting the  Russian majority regions (regardless of how they came to be that way) with Russia.  But the way they're doing it loses them 10 friends for every one Russian they repatriate.  But hey! this is Russia - this is how they roll.

And one more thing: With respect to Russia the Europeans are like a drunk, loud mouthed girlfriend in a biker's bar: they are constantly saying and doing provocative things and then when things get out of hand, expecting us to step in and vindicate their honor.

It's either 'Incest is Best' or 'Do the Crony' - Big Nets have relatives of top execs working in the White House

Bien Pensant America is remarkably inbred and parochial - just look at who works for the White House.  Hattip

THIS WEEKEND’S DISCUSSION OF MEDIA/GOVERNMENT INCEST REMINDS ME OF THIS: Top CBS, ABC, CNN execs all have relatives working as advisors for White House.

Lefties you've got a problem

I'm reading Bloodlands by Yale historian Timothy Snyder which is a superb history of eastern Europe during Stalin and Hitler. Two things jump out from the book: Firstly, while both regimes were equally murderous, the left was much better at hiding its horrors than the Nazis because it had this handy-dandy obscuring creme called the "class struggle". Every cruelty, every depredation, every dead body could be dressed up in this garb: "look he was a Kulak/Capitalist/Breaker". And the intellectual elite of the west who had just come to a saving knowledge of Marx would genuflect and sing Hosannas to the highest high priests of murderous Communism.

The second is that notwithstanding all their rhetoric the Stalinists were vicious racists who persecuted and murdered millions of Poles, Jews, Koreans, Germans, Tartars and others because of their race/nationality, putting Great Russians in charge of everything.

Ultimately when the class and race agendas clashed racial and national solidarity won. Because races and nationalities unlike class, are real. They contain culture and culture is language, religion, family, physiognomy, traditions and memories. And most importantly races and nationalities could command loyalty which is what a vicious, unpopular regime run by a Georgian interloper really needed. And as a consequence the USSR became just another phase of Russian imperialism: Stalinist instead of Romanov. One with a particularly brutal and lunatic Tsar.

This conflict between the leftist class and race agendas is playing itself out in much milder form in the US. Shika Dahlmia describes how the desire for 'racial justice' is foundering on the unwillingness of Asians to be discriminated against any longer. Asians are increasingly the odd men out in the leftist coalition - no longer the oppressed other, they are now haves that in leftist class parlance should pay for their crime of prosperity with higher taxes and reverse discrimination. In that they are following in the path of the Jews. Indeed, some leftists argue that reverse discrimination against Asians is nothing but an updated version of that that WASPS used against Jews as if that were a good thing.

However Jews have been able to largely dodge reverse discrimination by dint of the fact that they are racially white and are disproportionately powerful in collegiate and other elite settings. Ron Unz' magisterial analysis of college racial and ethnic preferences show what most of those who have attended elite colleges already know: Jews are vastly overrepresented relative to their objective credentials. This isn't just due to cronyism, it's also due to the fact that Jews are the greatest patrons of great Universities and have a stronger, more emotional attachment to higher education than any other group. By contrast Asians are often very bright but first generation college goers and easy to identify.

Jews heavily support racial preferences. It would be interesting to see what they would do if collegiate reverse discrimination was once again inflicted on them. And I believe their deft sidestepping of that fate is what has allowed a people who "earn like Episcopalians" to continue to blithely "vote like Puerto Ricans". Asians have learned to their chagrin, that the "Jew Deal" is not available to them and as such they have rebelled against leftist racial orthodoxy. And the high priests of the left are shocked that Asian moms and dads would put their children, indeed their race before ideology. In this they are treading the same path that Stalin did - just without the blood and bodies.

But the problem is - particularly in California - that leftist class ideology isn't worth a lot. The left has invested decades in promoting racial tribalism - including supporting a group with the astoundingly invidious name La Raza "The Race". When you combine this with the decline of white, non-Jewish, non-hispanic whites from whom all left sin has flowed and all recompense collected you begin to realize that the left is running out of acceptable class enemies that aren't racial allies. Hence the need to screw Asians.

And if it's not the Asians and not the Jews and not the Latinos and not the Blacks and if the whites are shrinking into insignificance where do lefties get off? Lefties are like sharks and if they can't keep moving and blaming and taking then they die. So someone must be at fault and someone must pay or the whole bloody neo marxist, paleo lib project that is California comes crashing down.

There's really only one group left - the most powerful group in the state: the state's dominant religious community and the only religion that commands almost universal, unthinking fealty from the powers that be. That of course is Fundamentalist Environmentalism. Most of the coastal rich, particularly the powerful tech nerds and Hollywood types are members of this very rich church. To date they've been allies of the left but as the pie doesn't grow and the evil white oppressor continues to flee to Texas and Colorado, at some point the logic of leftist envy and hatred has to turn on these koastal kumbaya kapitalists.

It will be fun to watch the Elect squeal when the knives get stuck in them. As I've said: lefties, you've got a problem.

Climate change hysterics refuse to debate their critics on air

Probably because they keep getting spanked by people with a broader, adult perspective and no money riding on panicking the rubes.

Never fear: murder will out and their retreat into the Fortress of Ineptitude is a sign of their desperation. For what will these utterly pedestrian mediocrities do without fear and panic helping?  The dishes. At McDonalds.

More panic at the link.

Narcissus wasn't a narcissist say self absorbed authors

Next thing they'll be telling me Mao wasn't a Maoist. Or Maso wasn't a Masochist, that self slappin' stinker.  And they tell me the Selfie doesn't make this the "Me" generation because that was the seventies when I couldn't even take decent pictures of me.

Personally I think this is definitely the WTF generation. Osama, Obama,
Gdubya, I mean WTFF?

More narcissism here

More O'Care rubes self identity: AMA edition

Obama makes docs eat 60 of a mandated 90 day grace period for insurance deadbeats. Docs kick.  Greed always gets you in the end, doesn't it?

When you rely on the state for you daily bread you have nowhere else to go when the ration is cut.  And the ration to the politically weak always gets cut.

I guess that makes the docs power politics pussies.

Everyone's a criminal, we just haven't decided what you've done wrong yet

The fascist super state seems to be roaring forward in California - see their 24 by 7 by 365 surveillance of every car in LA.  It wouldn't be as big a problem if what was against the law was carefully circumscribed and if misdemeanors were truly treated as such and not as simply opportunities for the gun totin' bebadged thugs to humiliate the people.  Total information and total criminality:  it's the successful implementation of the Stalinist model.

Leave it to Cali to do the absolute wrong thing really, really well.

God help them.  And us.  Hattip Instapundit.

A REVEALING LOOK INTO AN OFFICIAL WORLDVIEW: Los Angeles Cops Argue All Cars in L.A. Are Under Investigation.

Do you drive a car in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area? According to the L.A. Police Department and L.A. Sheriff’s Department, your car is part of a vast criminal investigation 
The agencies took a novel approach in the briefs they filed in EFF and the ACLU of Southern California’s California Public Records Act lawsuit seeking a week’s worth of Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) data. They have argued that “All [license plate] data is investigatory.” The fact that it may never be associated with a specific crime doesn’t matter. 
This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system, in which we assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity. In fact, the Fourth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution exactly to prevent law enforcement from conducting mass, suspicionless investigations under “general warrants” that targeted no specific person or place and never expired. 
ALPR systems operate in just this way. The cameras are not triggered by any suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; instead, they automatically and indiscriminately photograph all license plates (and cars) that come into view. This happens without an officer targeting a specific vehicle and without any level of criminal suspicion. The ALPR system immediately extracts the key data from the image—the plate number and time, date and location where it was captured—and runs that data against various hotlists. At the instant the plate is photographed not even the computer system itself—let alone the officer in the squad car—knows whether the plate is linked to criminal activity. 
Taken to an extreme, the agencies’ arguments would allow law enforcement to conduct around-the-clock surveillance on every aspect of our lives and store those records indefinitely on the off-chance they may aid in solving a crime at some previously undetermined date in the future.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The modern social liberalism is a negation of pluralism and ultimately the death of our Bill or RIghts

The left loves diversity - until it comes in conflict with what they see as their 'social justice reform' agenda. Increasingly they are conflating equality of status and equality of choice - the first - which fought racism and sexism is widely recognized as returning to people the basic rights that they were denied for so long. The second, involving certain avant garde lifestyle choices usually revolving around sexuality seeks to extend the same 'rights' against discrimination as the status minorities receive.

But it is fundamentally different. No longer are we warring against discrimination that is based upon who we are, instead we are setting up a war between competing philosophies of how we should live and having the state with all its guns, shackles and steel boxes validate one and persecute the other. This is madness and the antithesis of liberty, because if people are free at all, they must be free to espouse and undertake their own version of the ‘good life’. For example, it is not invidious for a beautiful lesbian to refuse to date a man. She refuses because her definition of what is true and good for her excludes participating in certain activities with heterosexual men. It would be tyranny and involuntary servitude to tell her she musn’t discriminate against men in her personal relationships. Likewise, someone that provides services of a particular, custom nature like a photographer or a caterer should have the right to serve or not serve events based upon their definition of the good life. As Erick Erickson would say: I have no right to refuse to sell a Gay couple a cake but I have every right to refuse to design and make a cake for a Gay marriage that I believe is wrong.

This freedom to live one’s life as one chooses and to associate with whom they will (or won’t) is critical to functioning of our democratic republic. If only to ensure that social ‘innovations’ are tested and not simply adopted because an elite thought they were 'swell'. Because the avant garde has a history of pitching rotten 'solutions' like eugenics and socialism and concentration camps for backward natives and racial enemies. Ross Douthat has a lot to say about this in the NYT:

In a “defense” of religious liberty that’s basically written to reassure liberals that they can support something called religious freedom without conceding an inch to actual-existing dissenters from liberalism’s preferred legal and regulatory regime, Emily Bazelon offers a formulation that hints at why religious and ideological pluralism, so honored in theory, is often hard for people to get behind in practice:
On these two fronts [same-sex marriage and the HHS mandate], religious liberty looks like a shield fundamentalists are throwing up against, well, sexual modernity. They’re not ready to accept same-sex marriage or sex without procreation, and they’re arguing that fundamentalist-owned businesses, as well as individuals and churches, shouldn’t have to.
All of this is giving religious liberty a bad name …
But why a “bad name”? If we take pluralism seriously, the whole point of the concept is to enable groups to “throw up a shield” against the pressure of consensus, and develop and promote alternatives that are rejected by the powerful, or by society as a whole. This is true when the consensus in question is old and rooted and traditional, but it’s also true when the consensus in question likes to describe itself as representing “modernity” (or “progress” or “enlightenment” or whatever loaded, whiggish word you prefer), because vanguard-of-history ideas no less than rooted-in-tradition ideas can turn out to be mistaken, misdirected, immoral, barbaric. (I shouldn’t need to rehearse all of the examples of thoroughly “modern” ideas from the 19th and 20th centuries that today’s liberals quite rightly find abhorrent.) And one of the advantages that pluralism offers to modern societies in particular is a kind of hedge against the progressive fallacy — a way for a culture rushing to embrace a new paradigm to concede, along the way, the possibility that it might be making a mistake, and that even capital-p Progress might benefit from having critics.
But this is where the problem comes in. Because as Bazelon’s blithe (and increasingly typical) dismissal of current religious-liberty concerns suggests, it’s precisely when people in liberal societies see themselves as out on the vanguard of history that they’re least likely to concede that they might, just might, be making a mistake, and most inclined to feel instead that the thing to do is shatter the shield wall around the remaining bastions of unenlightenment rather than permit them to persist. It’s when a consensus is at its most self-confident, in other words — and therefore most vulnerable to the errors of overconfidence — that the kind of pluralism that might serve as a corrective becomes hardest for that consensus’s exponents to accept.

To see this problem in microcosm, consider the case of American universities, which are notionally bastions of a depoliticized pluralism — miniature societies whose only official commitment is to free inquiry and intellectual diversity — but which somehow tend to end up containing fewer real divisions than the society they exist to educate and serve. Not that American academia isn’t pluralistic in some sense: There are plenty of competing ideas and warring schools of thought on college campuses, and plenty of forms of diversity represented in their faculties. But this is usually a pluralism of the already-acceptable, not the genuinely challenging, and as such it tends to evaporate when it seems to conflict with the (left-liberal, secular, liberationist) ideas that the academic community holds most dear.

You can see this dynamic at work with conservative Christian groups on a number of elite campuses right now — precisely because of issues related to “sexual modernity,” their ability to invite speakersfind advisers andgain university recognition is being chipped away at and constrained. (This chipping-away often involves demanding that religious groups promise not to discriminate on the basis of beliefs or behavior — a rule that’s allegedly intended to encourage pluralism within campus organizations, but has the actual-practical effect of reducing the space for ideological diversity writ large.) But even when the pressure is more informal, the effect is similar: Pluralism is absent or limited on our allegedly freethinking campuses precisely in those arenas where a robust theory of pluralism-as-social-good suggests it would be most valuable.

We cannot afford an avant garde orthodoxy that steamrolls all opinions and choices about how to live in the name of 'diversity' or 'inclusion'. Establishing a uniform public belief system that deviations from are punished in order to protect private choices is a ludicrous oxymoron of a political philosophy. People have the right. Must have the right to think for themselves and choose and in choosing have the right to behave consistent with their choices. The liberal war against conscience is nothing less than a war against free minds and ultimately free people. It cannot be 'compromised' on. The difference can not be split.

Modern Atheism: a futile exercise in "circleism"

Circleism is the tendency to win arguments by drawing a circle around the facts and concepts that are admissible in the debate. Of course circleists carefully exclude their opponents' strongest data and arguments to make their job easier.

One of the stupidest circlist tricks is to pile up hundreds of examples of smart people who agree with you, carefully avoiding those that don't.   It more resembles intellectual voter fraud than honest argumentation.

Emma Green reviews a new circlist Jeremiad  that does precisely that the link. It's English, natch. The lime balls are the most tedious, smug circlists of all. I guess dreary weather inculcates dishonest argumentation somehow.

Nate Silver is a "fox" ₩who fails to know the most important single thing for a journalist: Himself

Like a lot of lefties the Natester thinks he's "non-ideological" and comes at every issue only from the facts.  This is not only ridiculous, it's sophomoric. Didn't any adult ever tell this overgrown idiot savant that "know thyself" including your biases and blind spots is the critical first step for anyone who wants to think for a living?

Stupid Fox. More salutary Nate bashing at the link.

Does Bezos think Amazon.newspaper's leftist shilling is good for business?

Because I'm happy to use Netflix if he's just going to use my money to smear decent people.  I thought Bezos was a business man not a self righteous leftist thug.  The WAPO lies about the Kochs turn out to be....risible lies. And bizarrely they argue that's a GOOD THING.  At the link.

Attaboy Jeff you've managed to pay money to smear yourself with DC feces. The shareholders will be thrilled.

Labor force participation conrinues to plummet

We're turning Euro.  The Dems have won.  They are successfully turning millions of self sufficient, independent adults into their clients.

At least until the collapse comes.

It's Elephants all the way down and the mice are coming II

There's an old no doubt apocryphal story about an Indian boy and his father walking along the road. The son asks: "Papa, we are standing on the world but what is the world standing on?" His father wrinkled his brow in thought and then answered: "Why son, the earth rests on the back of a God in the shape of a huge elephant"

"What does he stand on?"
"An even larger elephant"
"What does he stand on?"
"An even more enormous elephant"
"What does he stand on?"
"Look kid, it's elephants all the way down."

And that in an Elephant's nutshell describes the philosophical problem that we all confront. Where do we come from? God? Gaia? Evolution? It doesn't matter which you believe for none of us can really explain how we got here. We have our theories and doctrines and dogmas but the little boy in the story can overcome the most philosophically sophisticated exigesis with the simplest of questions. It truly is elephants all the way down.

And don't tell me that 'science' has 'proven' anything about the origins or life or the Universe. By definition science can not see beyond our 'time-space envelope' and any pseudo transcendent claims made by 'evolutionary theory' are just that: theories that can't be falsified and therefore are bad scientific theories (but potentially good religious doctrine).

So each of us hew to our own pespective on what Douglas Adams called 'The answer to life, the Universe, everything!" and seek to persuade others of the rightness of our interpretation of the incomprehensible. I'm a great believe in micro-predestination: it seems obvious to me that our genetic makeups predispose us to certain beliefs about the infinite: some of us are very spiritual but unfocuses, some spiritual and dogmatic and some dogmatically hostile to spiritual things. We inherit these stances from our parents and then adjust them to reflect the culture and circumstances that we find ourselves in.

By the time you're my age, 52, almost everyone has decided what they believe and how they will live. Whether it's elephants or DNA strands all the way down. Unless and until the mice of failure, self doubt and confusion begin scurrying around the precarious pachyderm pile and threaten to upend your world.

Horrified by all of my libertarian polemics?  Here's a compilation of my non political, non economic pieces for those nights when you have insomnia.

Bastiat bites Obamacare HARD

But it's the rest of us that go ouch.  Here's a classic 'inside pool' second or third order impact of the Democrats' lunatic healthcare tendency.  First a little background from the WSJ:

• Unworkable subsidies. A family of four at 138% of poverty level is able to enroll in Medicaid in about half the states and obtain insurance worth about $8,000. Since the coverage is completely free, that's an $8,000 gift. If they earn $1 more, they will be entitled to join a health-insurance exchange and obtain a private plan that costs, say, 50% more in return for an out-of-pocket premium of about $900. That's a gift of more than $11,000.

At the same time, the employees of a hotel who earn pretty much the same wage as in the two previous cases will be forced to have an expensive family plan and they and their employer will get no new government help. The only assistance is the long-standing tax break that exempts employers' premium payments from federal income and payroll taxes. Even so, the ObamaCare mandate amounts to about a $10,000 burden on these businesses and by extension their employees.

These are only a few of the many ways in which ObamaCare's treatment of people is arbitrary and unfair.

A bigger problem is the impact these differential subsidies will have on our economy. As businesses discover that almost everyone who earns less than the average wage gets a better deal from the federal government in the exchange or from Medicaid, and that most people who earn more than the average wage get a better deal if insurance is provided at work, trends already evident will accelerate. Higher-income workers will tend to congregate in firms that provide insurance. Lower-income workers will tend to work for firms that don't. But efficient production requires that firm size and composition be determined by economic factors, not health-insurance subsidies.

Did you get that?  We already have an economy that is steadily stratifying into different classes of employees:  at the top are the government workers who get lifetime employment, gold plated retirement and healthcare benefits - mostly because politicians can shove those up our kids....noses so no skin off their....asses.  In the middle are the higher comped, more 'valuable' private economy workers who while facing the uncertainty of the private market, get 'good' benefits - they are increasingly congregating in firms that specialize in high value work and subcontract out or otherwise outsource most of the low wage low value work.  Then at the bottom are the untermenschen who rely on the state to cover their healthcare, retirement and so on.  Obama's law intensifies and accelerates this trend.  

Like most things that our brilliant port siders do these days, the unintended consequence of their electoral whoring is more inequality and cruelty at enormous cost to our children (Estimated $7 Trillion down for this sucker, but who's counting).  But hey!  They won some elections so it was a 'good gig'.

Next up:  unaffordable, unproven and ultimately pointless Pre-K 'education' subsidies - another middle class voter bribe where the bill gets sent to our kids.  Dems are like sharks, they have to keep on robbing Peter's son and daughter to pay Paul or they will die electorally.  One of these days we're going to conclude that we can't afford them alive anymore.

I remember when calling cops nazis was a crude epithet

I was in Panera this week and in walked three tough, crew cut men in battle fatigues and webbing, clearly ready to kick some Mujaheddin ass.  But they were St. Louis police.  Presumably from their tactical squad.  When I was a kid police looked like my Dad:  normal, perhaps a bit pudgy around the edges but normal.  Now with their skinheads and their tactical outfits and their friggin' tanks and their obscene and often criminal behavior, they're morphing into nazis.  At least in my eyes and the eyes of my friends.  They ain't on your side, they're on their side.  Hattip Carpe Diem.

From The Economist article “Armed and Dangerous“:
Early one morning a team of heavily armed police officers burst into the home of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer in Los Angeles county. What happened next is unclear. The officer who shot Mr. Mallory six times with a submachine gun says he was acting in self-defense—Mr. Mallory also had a gun, though he was in bed and never fired it. Armed raids can be confusing: according to an investigation, the policeman initially believed that he had ordered Mr. Mallory to “Drop the gun” before opening fire. However, an audio recording revealed that he said these words immediately after shooting him. Mr. Mallory died. His family are suing the police.
(Note: covered the Mallory tragedy about a month ago here.)
Such tragedies are too common in America. One reason is that the police have become more militarised. Raids by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units used to be rare: according to Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University there were only about 3,000 a year in the early 1980s. Now they are routine: perhaps 50,000 a year (see article).
The war on drugs creates perverse incentives. When the police find assets that they suspect are the proceeds of crime, they can seize them. Under civil asset-forfeiture rules, they do not have to prove that a crime was committed—they can grab first and let the owners sue to get their stuff back. The police can meanwhile use the money to beef up their own budgets, buying faster patrol cars or computers. All this gives them a powerful incentive to focus on drug crimes, which generate lots of cash, rather than, say, rape, which does not. This is outrageous. Citizens should not forfeit their property unless convicted of a crime; and the proceeds should fund the state as a whole, not the arm that does the grabbing.
The militarization of American law enforcement is alarming. The police are not soldiers. Armies are trained to kill the enemy; the police are supposed to uphold the law and protect citizens. They should use the minimum force necessary to accomplish those goals.
That does not mean getting rid of SWAT teams entirely. But it does mean restricting their use to situations where there are solid grounds to believe that the suspect involved is armed and dangerous. They should not be used to serve search warrants on non-violent offenders, or to make sure that strip joints are code-compliant, or in any circumstance where a knock on the door from a regular cop would suffice. The “war on drugs” is supposed to be a metaphor, not a real war

 But you have to admit, going with guns blazing like they do on TV is effing fun innit?

Universal Prr K programs are like communism

They don't do anything except waste money, give a certain class of people who like to manipulate others a frisson of power and politicians one more government interest group to cultivate.

And when this becomes obvious as it inevitably will, like communists its supporters will claim that true Quality Pre K has never been tried and it wouldn't be a pointless waste of money and a sick joke played on people if only it were done right with, of course, a whole lot more money.

After all, having minwage workers care for your toddlers in large institutions is how the Sovs and Chicoms conquered the world. Or not because the point isn't to make things better.  It's to stitch up another legal racket.

The science sans my cynicism at the link.

Why does the left love evolution but hate free markets?

If it weren't for conservative religion's opposition to validate it in their eyes, I suspect evolution would have a hard time with liberals just like they despise the spontaneous organization of markets.  After all they despise evolutionary psychology and argue that Darwin stops at the neck.  Indeed I think our brilliant leftwise validators of 'science' and valiant battlers against 'superstition' are the true creationists. Great Dawkins quote at the link.  I wonder how much of an inconsistent fraud he is?

Government may be a problem but our Feds are THE problem - FDAedition

Why has the rest of the world had access to better sunscreens or a safer insulin pump for ten years or more while the same products languish in the apoxic dead zone that is our Federal stupor state?  Monopoly government sucks just like monopoly cookies would.

Break it up, break it all up.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Why isn't 'Capitalism' more popular

After all it's made billions rich by historical standards, delivered incredible innovations and  the foundation for our current astounding level of peace and prosperity.  No really I mean that - there have never been fewer wars killing fewer people and the average and median income in this world is many multiples of what it was everywhere until oh, 1825.  Yet people will cheer socialism, environmentalism, googleism, you name it but capitalism doesn't get respect.

Now I nicked this question from Jonah Goldberg so I could answer it because he botched the job.  I believe "Capitalism" is unpopular because the concept capitalism was in fact invented by Marx to be the antithesis of Marxian Nowheresville - I mean utopia.  Its an ism and all isms stink because they are ideologies - made up mental Disneylands where people who don't do much build fantasy systems in the sky.  Capitalism is just the bad word attached to real life - what happens when people are left alone.

The Founding Father's original language for the Declaration of Independence said it better.  Jefferson said our goal is to secure for each of us:  Life, Liberty and Property.  If those are secure, then 'capitalism' the naughty fartfigneugen of a German Marxist word is what happens.  Reality is not an ideology - and capitalism for want of a better word is what happens when free, secure people get to do what they want.

Which is pretty damn cool even if the word is afartfigneugen.

Sue and settle environmentalism

It's wrong and an abuse by the left and the EPA.  MORE AT THE LINK.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lois Lerner will talk and will likely perp walk, it's just a matter of when. And lefties should hope she does because the alternative is much, much worse.

You can stonewall Congress for a time but eventually as Shakespeare said: 'murder will out' - the truth will come out.  The left and their press shit-zus and toy poodles hope that the truth will come out later rather than sooner so they can sneer at it in the Clintonian formulation of 'old news'.  But the Obami explicitly targeted their political enemies in ways that enhanced his probability of reelection.  They screwed with the fundamental legitimacy of the state by screwing with the electoral efforts of hundreds of groups.

This is a crime as bad or worse than any third rate break in.  And the yapping obama lap dogs know it, they are desperate to stonewall this thing for as long as possible.  Jim Jordan was the chief counsel of the House Oversight committee which is responsible for making sure that the IRS and other agencies don't descend into political criminality.  They've been stonewalled.  Here's his point of view from the WSJ.

When Ms. Lerner appeared before Congress in May 2013, she made this statement: "I have done nothing wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations." But Ms. Lerner, we discovered, forwarded confidential taxpayer information to her personal email account in early May 2013, which is a violation of IRS rules. About the infamous "Be on the Lookout" targeting list—a document used to identify conservative groups for additional scrutiny—she told Congress that the criteria for screening tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny never changed. In fact, she personally ordered it changed in July 2011 according to documents and testimony received by the committee.

Ms. Lerner was most certainly driven by politics. One email of June 11, 2011, shows that she directed her subordinate to focus on the issues surrounding the application of Karl Rove's group, Crossroads GPS. In another email of Feb. 1, 2011, she frets about the Supreme Court "overturning the ban on corporate spending" as it applies to nonprofits. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission also overturned the ban on union political spending, but she expressed no concern about that.)

Emails and testimony that we confronted Ms. Lerner with showed her saying that the tea party is "very dangerous," ordering a "multitiered review" (read: delay) of the cases, and managing the optics of her operation so it would not be revealed as a political project.

Last May, and again on March 5 of this year, Ms. Lerner refused to answer the committee's questions about the IRS treatment of tax-exempt groups, asserting her right under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Yet we learned on March 6 in reporting by this newspaper that she had previously given an interview to the Justice Department and, according to her lawyer, spoke with no grant of immunity.

Ms. Lerner's lawyer claims she gave an interview to the Justice Department because she did not believe the Oversight Committee would treat her fairly. More likely, the reason is because Justice is friendly territory. The lead investigator is a substantial Obama campaign contributor, and Justice has already leaked that it doesn't expect to prosecute anyone. As to the claim that liberal groups were also victimized, our committee investigation has yet to hear from a single progressive group that received the systematic scrutiny and harassment faced by the tea party and other conservative groups

This is a big deal for if we can't count on our political opponents to play fair with the machinery of government when they control it then why should we ever accept an adverse election result again? Losing an election is becoming more like losing in the old Roman Republic:  stripped of immunity, stripped of protection, the losers were in political terms (or sometimes real terms) dead men.  So losers stopped accepting the electoral outcomes and started fighting in the streets.  And then the Legions got involved.

 We are not anywhere near that but with the Obami misusing the IRS, rewriting law after law without Congressional approval and putting forth novel concepts of what the executive can do without Congress, a breakdown can happen quickly, so quickly that people don't realize it until it's too late.  But I want to be clear:  it is my conviction based upon the people that I know well that we on the right will not tolerate this blatant misuse of state power in the interest of left wing electoral success.  The Obami chose and their yappy pets cheered, but we - if need be - will dispose to save the Republic from these left fascists.