Tax Farming

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Tax farming is a system where the state, usually a ruler or oligarchy, grants the right to collect taxes to a private person or group of individuals. In theory, this agent collects the taxes and hands them to the state, keeping a percentage for his fee. The tax farmer is eager to make sure the taxes are collected so he does a really good job collecting those taxes. Since the tax farmers are usually closer to the people being taxed, they are going to be better at unearthing the various tax dodges cooked up by the people, thus avoiding the problem of tax avoidance.

This was common in the Bronze Age and flourished from time to time in various places into the late Middle Ages. The Italians still maintain a form of it in their banking system, where the small local banks operate as a taxing authority for certain transactions. The remains of this practice are still with us in the form of business and sales taxes. The retailer is basically a tax collector. The difference is the business collecting sales and employment tax is not getting a commission. They are forced to do it by the state as a condition of doing business.

Like all solutions, it came with trade-offs. The king may have lacked the communications systems and granular knowledge of the local economy to efficiently collect his own taxes, but he gave away some degree of his authority when he resorted to tax farming. He also gave away some portion of his tax revenue to the tax farmer. Since the power to tax is the power to rule, the king was also ceding some of his own power to others, who could one day use those powers against him. In other words, the king was trading power for money, which is always a risky trade-off.

Tax farming is something to keep in mind when reading stories like this one from Hollywood. Of the eight people in the story, three run cable empires. Two run empires that piggyback on the cable monopolies. That means five of the eight most powerful media men in America base their power on state-granted cable monopolies, that are really just updated forms of the old tax farm concept. Instead of the state taxing you through your cable and internet, they grant that right to these companies, who kick a portion of it back to the government in the form of bribes and taxes.

It’s tempting to resist this comparison because the cable company is not banging on your door, demanding that you give them half your crops. It does not feel like a tax, but income taxes don’t feel like a tax either. You never see them. They just happen behind the scenes. Most people are completely unaware of the taxes on their wages. They see what’s on their stub, maybe, but they don’t see the laundry list of taxes paid by their employer. Those of you who sign the front of paychecks know the stuff on the pay stub is just the tip of the iceberg.

Similarly, as a consumer of pop culture you want to watch TV and go on-line so you get cable. In most areas of the US, there is one cable company. They don’t just sell you the content you want, they sell you a package that you have to buy whether you watch it or not. You pay for ESPN, for example, even if you never watch sports. You pay for the parade of freaks on the news channels, even if you are a sensible person who gets his news on-line. That’s a tax, no matter what they call it. You are required to pay for these channels even though you don’t want them.

Here’s a little math. The average cable TV bill in America is now over $100 per month. There are roughly 100 million cable homes in America, which means $10 billion per month flows into the cable companies via subscriber fees. Then you have the internet access portion which is about half that number. When you have the right to tax $150 billion from the public, you have a very powerful tool at your disposal. It’s no wonder that five of the eight most powerful media moguls are in the cable rackets. They have been granted the power to tax.

This would be just another scam the Billionaire Boys Club is running on the American people, except that most people still get their news and culture through the television. All of those moguls are raging left wingers, who use their billions to finance their favorite politicians and pump into your home their ideas about how you should live. It’s not an accident that most of what turns up on television looks like it was dreamed up by the sophomores in the women’s studies department. The modern tax farmer does not just have the right to tax the people in his domain. He gets the right to tell them how to think.

The Nature of the Cult

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It’s natural to think of cults as being filled with gullible people bamboozled by a charismatic confidence man. It’s popular to portray the cult leader as a deeply cynical, maybe even evil, person, who is using his flock to inflict harm or make himself rich. The Nazis are often described as the quintessential cult and Hitler as the ultimate cult leader. The implication of this way of looking at things is that the people who get caught up in a cult are dupes, fools or gullible innocents. Because they were well-intentioned, they can be forgiven, to a point, for falling in with a bad crowd.

The truth is a bit different. The true believer seeks out movements to join. They don’t need convincing. They are filled with self-loathing so they seek out groups to join in order to swap out their identity with that of the group. By immersing themselves in the movement, they obliterate their sense of self and assume the identity of the group. It’s why within five minutes of meeting a vegan, they tell you they are a vegan, because it is, literally, their identity. It’s also why cult members ferociously defend the group. It’s self-defense.

Being in a mass movement or a cult only works if the logic and beliefs of the cult explain the world to a satisfactory level. If the cult says the world is going to end tomorrow, it better end tomorrow. Otherwise, the cult collapses as it fails to comport with observable reality. Since reality never fully comports with the worldview of a mass movement, there has to be a method to deal with dis-confirmation. This either means filtering out contrary data or finding a method to fold it into the beliefs of the group.

A good recent example is the Afghan Muslim, who shot up the gay club in Orlando. For the modern liberal, Muslims and gays are always victims of bad whites. Therefore this event creates a paradox for the Cult of Modern Liberalism as it means two of their beliefs are mutually exclusive. To resolve this, they created a backstory claiming the shooter was actually gay and this was gay rage. The extreme homophobia of the bad whites finally sent this poor gay Muslim over the edge. Therefore, he is just another victim of the bad whites.

It did not take too long before it was clear that this guy was not gay or struggling with being gay-curious. Because the liberal media kept promoting the idea, the FBI eventually had to announce that they found no evidence to support the claims. It was also clear that Mateen was a Muslim lunatic with ties to other Muslim lunatics. None of that mattered as the Cult had their narrative and every Lefty now believes this had nothing to do with Muslims. It was all the fault of white America, homophobia and Islamophobia. The dis-confirmation was turned into confirmation.

Normal people wonder how it is that liberals so quickly cook up these weird theories and then agree on the story, as if it is coordinated. Look at how quickly they came up with the gay rage stuff and how every liberal was saying the exact same lines within hours of the incident. Well, look at a school of fish. There’s no head fish calling the shots, but they move in concert, responding to perceived dangers, as if they are under a uniform command. The school swarms in one direction and then, in an instant, veers in another direction, as a big fish approaches.

Liberals work similarly. They are always looking to one another for signals as to how they should respond. As soon as one lefty pulled the gay rage card, the rest started repeating it as it felt like the path away from danger. It’s why they watch the same shows and read the same news sites. They are constantly watching one another for cues as to which way to swarm. Being in a mass movement is first and foremost about blending seamlessly into the whole. Again, the adherent is there to swap their identity for that of the group so they are hyper-sensitive to the direction of the group.

When faced with dis-conformation, the members of a mass movement will first look to one another in order to reinforce their beliefs. This “circle the wagons” instinct is clear with the reaction we are seeing to the Brexit vote. Instead of wondering what they did wrong, the Remain crowd is blaming it on the moral degeneracy of the Leave voters, calling them racists and xenophobes. The Remain people are locking shields to clearly set themselves apart form the evil Leave voters. Their instinct is to first defend the faith, and then look to each other for the correct response.

You’ll also note something else in the response to the vote. They are blaming it on old people. We see this in the States after every Democratic loss. When they win, it is young people who carried them to victory. When they lose it is those grubby old racists, who were driven by fear and hatred that defeated them. Mass movements make a fetish of the youth. At least a dozen times since the vote in Britain I have heard a liberal say “the delusions and fears of an aging population have thrown away the future of the young in Britain.”

What’s going on here is the process of turning contrary evidence into proof that their cause is righteous. Further, they are turning the loss into a reason for hope. After all, those horrible, racist old people will be dead soon. Then the young and righteous will inherent the earth and usher in the promised utopia. Since there can be no doubt about the validity of their beliefs, focusing on the alleged weaknesses of their adversaries inspires the faithful to keep up the fight. And they always keep up the fight. They never quit. They never change their minds. They just keep at it until they get their way.

Will to Irrelevance

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George Will has thrown down his pacifier and stomped off in a huff, breaking with the Republican Party and officially becoming un-enrolled. Of course, Will lives in Washington DC so being a Republican was pointless in the extreme. The GOP rarely fields local candidates in the District and they don’t get to vote in national elections, except for President. The last Republican to hold office in DC was Mathew Emory in 1870. His office was abolished the following year. Being a Republican in Washington DC is an entirely symbolic act.

It’s also in keeping with Will’s long-time role as a conservative on television. The bow-tie, the wig, the round spectacles and the elaborate speaking style were all in furtherance of his job as a domesticated conservative, who would not scare the horses. All of it was a pose, a gesture, carefully choreographed so he could set the right tone for conservatives at home, by endorsing the terms of the debate as set forth by the Left. He was the candy coating for the liberal nut inside every ABC chat show.

Like so many of the Official Right, Will earned his spot in the mainstream media by attacking his own side. In his case, he was a rabid Nixon hater. That made him useful to the Left and got him a job in the Washington Post Writer’s Group and eventually a TV gig. He was also no fan of Reagan, but once it became clear that Reagan was going to be successful, Will shifted gears and became a Reaganite. Unlike Charles Krapphammer, Will saw which way the wind was blowing before the ’84 election.

Of course, as is the case with everyone in the clown car that is #nevertrump, Will’s hatred of Trump is more about money than ideology. Will’s old lady is Mari Maseng, who has worked for Republican politicians like Bob Dole and Rick Perry. She was also an adviser to Scott Walker. When not on the payroll, her company provides consulting services to Republican candidates. She also works for a GOP political action committee. As we see throughout “conservative” media, Republican politics has been a lucrative racket for the Will family.

That said, I doubt anyone under 50 bothers to read George Will’s column or listens to his commentary, but he is worth studying. Will is the quintessential Yankee Conservative. I sometimes call it Buckley Conservatism, or if I’m in a foul mood, the Wuss Right. Southern populists like Sam Francis called it Northern Conservatism. Yankee Conservative is probably more accurate as it is essentially a reaction to the Neo-Puritanism we call liberalism today. It’s not an accident that National Review is located in New York instead of Richmond.

Yankee Conservatives are not particularly interested in conserving anything. Their main issue is that the other team is in such a hurry that they often look undignified as they sprint off toward utopia. The Yankee Conservative places the greatest value on his dignity by putting up a choreographed resistance only to acquiesce to whatever it is the Progressives have in mind. It’s why the Left has gone from triumph to triumph, despite popular support for the “conservative” candidates. They know the guys standing athwart history yelling “stop” don’t really mean it.

It’s why guys like Will are so fond of attacking their fellow conservatives. The point of their ideology is not to remain rooted in the present or hearken to the past. It is to be gently pulled behind the Left like a skier behind a boat. Anyone seen as a drag on this process is cut loose by any means necessary. That’s why guys like Will are so fond of using the weapons of the Left against people like Trump. It cuts them loose and does so in a way that pleases their friends on the Left, letting them know they are the right sort, just a little reluctant.

It’s a bit ironic that at the end of Will’s career, he finds himself back where he started. Nixon, for all his faults, which were many, was a Dirt People candidate. In 1968 you voted for Tricky Dick because he was willing to punch the hippies and their Ivy League commie enablers. Guys like George Will and the other members of Team Buckley hated Nixon for it. Just like we see with Trump, the Buckleyites claimed their principles prevented them from embracing Nixon, but it was never principles, it was class. Nixon was not their sort.

Now Will is back where he started, except this time there’s really nowhere for him to go with it. The rise of alternative media makes having a perch on liberal media outlets pretty much useless. Now that he is at Fox, he has to compete with perky bimbos that say all the same things he says. Then you have alternative media voices that are more nimble with new media so they are able to bury the staggering geezers of Conservative Inc. Will makes a dramatic exit from the GOP and it is mocked on-line by the alt-right.

Like the rest of the Yankee Right, Will is fading into irrelevance.

All They Have Left is Vengeance

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I’ve become aware of the term “Holocaustianity” of late. It’s one of those things that I probably saw and skipped past, not bothering to register it in any way. I’ve never found the Holocaust and WW2 to be very interesting. In the long run, it will fall in importance well behind the Great War and many other wars further back in time. It’s significance to us is due to recency bias and the fact there are still people who lived it.

Anyway, I saw someone use the term “Holocaustianity” on twitter and the responses reminded me of something I saw on Vox Day a while back. That post on the alt-right makes the point that no one under 40 years of age cares about the deification of the Holocaust. This may be true, I have no way of knowing, but it sounds plausible. World War II ended 70 years ago. Most young people have never met someone who was alive during that time.

That said, Western Radicals will never forget and never let the world forget. At least that seems to be the plan. The interwebs tells me the Germans just convicted a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people at the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard was sentenced to jail in Germany on Friday by a judge who branded him a “willing and efficient henchman” in the Holocaust.

In what is likely to be one of Germany’s last trials for World War Two-era atrocities, Reinhold Hanning was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people at the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Rejecting the defense argument that the former SS officer had never killed, beaten or abused anyone himself, Judge Anke Grudda said Hanning had chosen to serve in the notorious death camp and had helped it run.

“It is not true that you had no choice; you could have asked to be transferred to the war front,” Grudda told Hanning as she read out the verdict.

She said it was impossible that he had been unaware of the murders since he spent two and a half years at the camp and had been promoted twice during that time.

“That shows that you had proven your value as a willing and efficient henchman in the killings,” Grudda said.

The white-haired Hanning, dressed in a gray suit and tie and seated in a wheel chair, listed to the verdict impassively. His lawyer, Johannes Salmen, said they would appeal.

During the 20-day trial that dragged on over four months, the court heard testimony from around a dozen Holocaust survivors, many extremely elderly, who detailed horrific experiences, recalling piles of bodies and the smell of burnt flesh in Auschwitz.

I have no doubt that the death camps were horrible. Russian prison camps were horrible. The Andersonville prison in the American Civil War was monstrous. The Japanese did horrific things to Allied prisoners. I had family die in the Bataan Death March. Of course, the Rape of Nanking and the Turkish genocide of Armenians killed unknown numbers. The point being, war is horrible and industrial war is the most horrible. It’s why we should do what we can to avoid it.

Vengeance after war for the “crimes” of the losers is understandable. Hanging German officers and leading political figures for their crimes during the war made perfect sense. In this case, what the Nazis did was the logical end of Rouseau-ist moral philosophy and that scared the hell out of people in the West, as it should. They needed to find a way to pretend it was an aberration. The Nuremberg trial was an effective way of “proving” that the Nazis were outside the scope of Western moral philosophy.

Still, prosecuting a 94-year old guy, for anything, is of dubious value. It’s not like there had been a 70 year manhunt for this guy. He lived his entire life in plain sight. He did not go around bragging about his time in the war, but he could have been put on trial years ago if it was so important to justice. Clearly, it was not important enough 70 years ago or 50 years ago or even 20 years ago. It’s not like this old man was a danger to anyone or a flight risk.

It’s important now because the people in charge only have a list of bogeymen. They no longer have an affirmative argument for why they should rule and why their preferred system is best. The main argument against Trump, for example, is to chant “Hitler” or “Racist” over and over. The argument for maintaining the monstrosity that is the EU is, well, “Hitler!” Putting a corpse on trial for the Holocaust is just a morality play to remind everyone that the night is dark and full of terrors.

In the US, the Civil War often fills the role of the Holocaust. A mentally ill kid shoots up a black church and the people in charge restart the Civil War, tear down some Confederate flags and topple over some old statutes in the South. The message was clear. Do as we say or the KKK will be riding through the streets and Union Army will be forming on the Potomac. It’s a histrionic madness that is wildly out of proportion to the triggering event, but all they have now is this pointless vengeance.

Maybe Not

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People who knock on doors and proselytize on behalf of some set of beliefs are people riddled with doubt about those beliefs and probably every other thing they claim to believe. The reason I know this is that if they were sure about the things they were saying, they would not care what I think about those things. They would not be on my doorstep trying to convince me to come around to their way of thinking. If they were so sure, they could just send me a post card or wait until I discovered the truth as they did.

The point here is that people trying to convince you of something, in almost all cases, are not doing it because of altruism. Sure, dad telling you not to drink and drive is doing it because he loves you. The cop telling you the same thing is doing it because he has a soul and hates seeing car accidents. Outside of those very narrow areas, people trying to convince you of something are either full of doubt and looking for validation or they are full of crap and looking for a sucker. Sometimes it is both.

I find myself thinking these thoughts whenever the robot future is pitched to me in news stories or by John Derbyshire in his podcast. In John’s case, the doomsday nature of the robot future is, I suspect, the main appeal. If the robot future promised puppies and ice cream he would dismiss the idea as silliness. In the case of news stories, my instinct is that the people pitching the idea really really want to believe it, so they try really hard to get everyone else to believe it. This piece is a good example.

One of the most convenient changes in the modern era of air travel has been the ability to check in online, drop your bags at the counter, and stroll off to security, potentially without having to speak to a single human. But when everyone else started doing the same thing, the lines at check-in got shorter, but the drop-off line got longer.
SITA, a Swiss telecoms firm specializing in the air transport industry, working in parternship with robotics firm BlueBotics, has a solution: Autonomous robots that check your bags at the curb.
SITA’s robot, called Leo, is being tested at Geneva Airport, the company said in a release late last month. To use the bot, passengers with luggage tap a few buttons on Leo’s touchscreen, scan their boarding passes, drop their bags in its cargo bay, and affix the luggage tags that Leo prints out. The bot then closes up its cargo area—so that no one can tamper with your bag while it’s in transit—and drops the bags off at a loading station, where a human drops the bags on a conveyor belt to be scanned and loaded onto the correct plane.

For starters, the person writing this has not been in an airport since the 90’s if their last memory is “drop your bags at the counter, and stroll off to security.” Maybe in fantasy land or at small airports for private aircraft this is the norm, but in normalville, standing in endless lines and suffering endless humiliations is the norm. I’ve been flying for decades and I don’t remember a time when air travel was anything but a hassle and it has not been made better by technology.

Putting that aside, there’s the fact that this wonderful leap into the robot future has existed for a long time. In America, many airports have kiosks where you check your bags. You slide your credit card, answer a few questions, get the bag sticker and then deposit your bag onto the belt. Maybe an attendant puts it on the belt, but that’s his only job and you have no reason to speak with him. After 9/11, DC airports had you put your bag through a screening machine first. Again, no humans involved.

Having a clumsy mechanical man handle the placing of the bags on the belt is hardly a great leap forward. It looks like a publicity stunt. That’s the thing with the robot future stories. They are short on practical specifics and long on predictions about how the clumsy mechanical man will soon be ruling over us as a mechanical overlord. Yet, we remain stuck in the clumsy and inefficient mechanical man stage. It always feels like we are being sold something that the seller does not truly believe. They just want to believe or pretend to believe it.

Don’t get me wrong. I tend to agree that automation is the great challenge to Western civilization in the long run, but it is the long run. No one reading this is going to live to see the day when they are enslaved by smart robots. In fact, few will see the day when smart robots are doing work in public places. That day is a lot further off than the futurists want to believe. Technologically, it is really hard and expensive to replicate even the most basic of human labor. Getting more complex stuff right and cheap is going to take a long time.

It’s the solar power narrative. For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve been hearing about how solar is ready to take over the world and make fossil fuels obsolete. It never happens. The best we have are small panels for running a small devise like a traffic camera. We’ve had those for decades. The large scale projects turn into tax sinks and then white elephants. The solar companies spring up and then go bust. The glorious solar future always seems to be just over the next hill, along with electric cars and forever life.

What To Do About Islam

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Terrorism from the Middle East got going in a serious way in the 1960’s and was allegedly spawned by the creation of Israel. Having failed to destroy Israel militarily, the Arabs set off on a policy of targeting civilians outside the Levant. The main actors at the time were Palestinians, but the rest of the Arabs, including Arab governments, eventually got into the act. Now, of course, we have these amorphous criminal organizations that exploit the global telecommunications system to recruit and direct lunatics all over the globe.

At the same time, Western involvement, and particularly US involvement, in the Muslim world has steadily increased. In the 70’s a handful of Americans worked in these countries, mostly in the oil business, but also as defense contractors. Today tens of thousands of Americans, plus equal numbers of Europeans are in these countries. That’s on top of the saturation of Western culture via the internet and television. Then there is the military aspect. America has been dropping bombs on Muslims since the 80’s.

No sane person can conclude that relations between the West and Islam are on the upswing. Thirty years ago, the typical Westerner had no reason to care about the Muslims. Today, it is all we think about, because every other week a Muslim goes bonkers and kills a bunch a people. To make matters worse, the flood of Muslims into Western countries is threatening the social fabric of the West. Think about it. We now have political candidates running on explicitly anti-Islamic platforms.

What is to be done?

The first thing to do is to ban all immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. Banning Muslim immigration is impossible as you can’t implement it, but you can halt immigration from countries like Afghanistan and Iran. The United States actually runs recruiting drives in these countries via something called a diversity lottery. There is no patriotic reason to be importing these people. The West is not short of low-skilled, low-IQ people so importing more of them makes no economic sense. Importing people violently hostile to the West is suicidal and it must end.

That still leaves the problem of illegal migrants. The West used to have no qualms about rounding up illegals and sending them back, but fear of being rude to strangers has paralyzed Western governments. There’s no reason to think this will change, but governments can make migration less attractive. Cutting off welfare benefits is the most obvious point of attack. Every Western country is creaking under the weight of social welfare programs. End all welfare programs to non-citizens.

Obviously, there are millions of Muslims living in the West and many have been here for a couple generations. The Orlando shooter was born in America and his father was a naturalized citizen. America has about 5 million legal Muslims, while Europe has over 44 million. Germany is 25% the size of the US and has far more Muslims. Given current fertility rates, these are dangerously high populations of people with a very poor history of assimilation. The West needs to think hard about encouraging reverse migration.

One way to do that is to offer cash bribes to leave. Some European countries are already doing this. It’s a form of Danegeld, but sometimes that’s what must be done. Many of the recent arrivals will jump at the cash bonus, figuring out that the party is over and they are better off going home. That’s a big part of all of this. The West needs to make it clear that Islam is not welcome in the West. Cutting off the welfare and paying them to leave sends that message and it discourages others from making the trip to the West.

Another tool that can be used to discourage Muslim migration is a hard ban on cousin marriage. Most Muslim countries continue to marry off daughters to family members. First and second cousin marriage should be banned and heavily fined. No marriage of this type should recognized. We have DNA tests to check this so it is cheap and easy to enforce. This is one of those things that sends a clear message, “You’re not welcome” to the Muslims.

All of this is incandescently obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. What’s remarkable about the age in which we live is that the things people have known and understood for thousands of years are now suddenly heretical. This is due to the fever that has gripped our rulers, but normal people fully understand the sensibleness of limiting Muslim migration into the West. We owe Muslims nothing and are under no obligation to destroy ourselves to accommodate them.

What is not obvious is that our good intentions have done a lot of harm to the Muslim world and as a consequence invited these manufactured problems to our door. The culture and habits of the West evolved in the West. The people of Europe evolved in Europe and in the culture they created. Exporting our culture around the world to people, wholly unprepared for it, has had the same impact as exporting smallpox to the Americas. What has made the Mohammedan go crazy is the endless assault on his culture by Western culture.

The West not only needs to stop bombing the Muslims, we have to stop flooding their world with our culture. Western governments, especially the US, have to halt the export of Western culture to the Muslim world. Guys like Sergey Brin will fight it as he wants to control the world via Google, but maybe it is time for Sergey to take two in the hat anyway, but that’s a post for another day. For now, the point is to halt the export of Western culture into Islamic countries via TV and Internet.

This also includes technology. What we fail to appreciate is how toxic Western technology is to these countries. They are not built for it. Our technology is like an infectious disease that seems harmless at first, maybe even beneficial, but then curdles into something that destroys the social fabric of these cultures. It’s why we have observed initial periods of great progress, followed by a shift to tyranny and then total chaos. It’s the pattern all over the Muslim world and the main driver is technology.

What happens is technology results in a material improvement in the lives of the people. They get better food, better medicine, better entertainments and better stuff. But then, this material improvement starts to disrupt the social arrangements and the ruling class uses the better technology to clamp down on dissent in very modern ways. As we see with the Turks, the result is authoritarianism. All over the Muslim world, the only stability comes either from despotism or backwardness.

Secular authoritarianism, however, sets off a counter-reaction where cultural elements begin to take on the secular authorities, the Islamic movements in the Middle East are not just religious in nature. They are counter arguments to Westernization. They are the response to tidal waves of foreign culture that are sweeping over Muslim lands. The West thinks it is helping by demanding democracy and shoving our values onto these people. Instead, we are creating fanatics who are dedicating themselves to fighting against what they see as an invasion.

Since this is going too long, let’s summarize it this way. The solution to the West’s Islam problem is a version of containment. The goal is to keep the Muslims bottled up in their lands. Limit their access to the West physically, but l also limit their access culturally. Cut them off from our TV and the Internet. Let them drift back to their traditional ways, even if that means living in tents and riding camels. The Muslim Middle East needs to be a reservation for the Muslim. The only role of the West is to make sure they don’t wander off the reservation.

Brexit

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On Thursday, which I think the EU requires the Brits to call quartidi, the subjects of England vote on whether or not to remain in Europe. The vote to leave, in theory, will compel the British government to negotiate an exit from the EU and paddle the island further into the Atlantic. The timing of the exit and the terms of the deal are not contemplated in the text of the referendum. There may be something in British law that determines these things, but I can find nothing to support that claim.

That’s not an unimportant bit in this discussion. It is no secret that the ruling class of England not only wants to remain in the EU, but they dream of a day when Britain is just another administrative zone of Europe, sort of like how the Romans treated Britannia. It’s not just that the idea of separate countries has become a heresy. The ruling elite seems to think the time has come to exterminate the British people entirely, at least as an identifiable tribe. As former Lord Chancellor Jack Straw put it, “the English as a race are not worth saving.”

Looking at the polling, the way to bet is that Brexit falls short. There has been a surge in support for leaving and English nationalism bubbling under the surface often goes unnoticed in polls. On the other hand, vote fixing and browbeating don’t always show up in the polls either. There’s also the fact that people perceive the status quo as the the safe choice. Humans are funny that way. Any change meets some natural resistance, even when there is no logic to resistance. Roll it all up and Remain most likely carries the day.

Let’s assume, by some miracle, that Brexit wins, what then?

In theory, the British government will begin negotiations with the EU on the formal withdraw of Britain from the EU. In reality, there has to be some political theater first. David Cameron will come under pressure to resign by members of his own party. He staked his reputation on this referendum so a failure to deliver would damage his standing. Plus, the people that really run things may want a scalp to send a message. As the saying goes, kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.

Of course, ousting a Prime Minister is no small thing and it could lead to all sorts of turmoil in the ruling party. Usually when this happens there is a group within the party that has coalesced around a new leader they are ready to install, once they have assassinated deposed the old leader. But, that’s not always the case and all hell could break loose once the Cameron is gone. Britain could end up having early elections, which would put things on hold until after the election. In effect, Britain would have a do-over referendum on Brexit.

If we assume that the political fallout is limited to the theatrical, the next step is the process of implementing the intent of the referendum. That will most likely take years as neither side will be in much of a hurry to get on with it. Parliament will surely pass some legislation as a stop gap to keep the current arrangements in place until a deal is done. The EU will set off on a long drawn out process of forming a committee to study the process of forming a committee to appoint a board to review Britain’s exit request.

The hope for all concerned is that the English people, having blown off some steam in the referendum, will go back to their affairs and forget all about it. From time to time the public will be notified that negotiations have taken place in the south of France during the winter or in the Alps during August, but otherwise nothing much will happen. There will no doubt be tales told to the British press about the long hours required to address the millions of details involved in actually leaving the EU.

Polling outfits will be surreptitiously dispatched to keep measuring public sentiment regarding the EU and the referendum. The hope being that opinion will swing the other way and Parliament can then pass an act overturning the referendum. The pressure to reverse the results of the referendum will slowly build over time until either the opposition is worn down or some crisis allows the rulers to act. A recession will be blamed on Brexit and it will be quickly “fixed” by overriding the referendum.

This probably seems like cynicism. After all, Britain is a liberal democracy where the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot box, is respected by the politicians.Our rulers invest a lot of time telling us this and then spend even more time getting us to come out and vote. Then there is the bizarre obsession with getting foreigners to vote in their own lands and come to our lands so they can vote in our elections. You can be forgiven for thinking that voting is a big deal and respected by our rulers.

That’s not been the pattern in Europe, or anywhere else in the West, over the last few decades. The voters vote and the political class does whatever it likes, coincidentally in line with the will of their donors and sponsors.  The French people voted against the EU Constitution and the rulers promptly ignored them. Other EU countries then cancelled their referenda. The Greeks kept voting for change, only to get more of the same after each election. Despite the rhetoric, voting counts for little.

The reason for this is that what we keep calling liberal democracy is actually corporate democracy. The political class serves the function of the management group in a corporation. The buccaneering billionaires of the global elite are the board of directors, who hire and fire the politicians, based on their performance. The voters are just the minor shareholders who are mustered every once in a while to endorse the actions of the board as represented by management. The vote is never binding.

Whenever there is shareholder revolt, the board takes it out on management. In theory, the shareholders could overthrow the board as well as management, but this always requires leadership from a large shareholder who is, in most cases, on the board. It may feel like the shareholders are taking control, but in reality the board is always in control. It’s just that the individuals members of the board may make war on one another.

In the case of Britain remaining a sovereign state, the board is of one mind, regardless of what the minor shareholders do tomorrow.

The Court Loon

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History is full of men who somehow managed to be wildly successful, only to be revealed as lunatics, madmen or incompetent. It’s an incredible thing to read about Caligula or Nero and think about what it must have been like to serve in the Imperial government during their reigns. According to Seneca, Caligula was presiding over games and ordered his guards to throw an entire section of the crowd into the arena during intermission to be eaten by animals because there were no criminals to be prosecuted and he was bored.

Imagine being in the next section over.

The thought that always comes to my mind is how it was possible for such lunatics to get into power. In most cases, it was simply the result of a faulty system of succession. A favorite example of this is Christian VII of Denmark. He became the king of Denmark because he was the next in line, despite his mental illness. Christian was a chronic masturbater who made visiting dignitaries play leapfrog with one another. He also would slap people in the face for no reason.

In the case of legendary madmen like Caligula and Nero, their madness came on after they assumed power so maybe it was just bad luck. Tiberius, Caligula’s predecessor started out as a perfectly sane and normal ruler, but slowly became a paranoid tyrant. Of course, there are example of men who rise to power simply because they are devious schemers. They finally get to the top and find they have no skill for the job.

The madmen and lunatics get all the attention, but history is littered with examples of mediocrities managing to thread the needle somehow, ending up on top, only to be undone by their own stupidity. In my lifetime, Jimmy Carter is the most obvious example. Carter was a smart man in an extremely narrow sense, but he was a terrible politician and he suffered from delusions of grandeur. His four years as president featured a series of unforced errors that still boggle the mind.

The point is, life is big and complicated with lots of variables. Under the right conditions, the dice can land the wrong way and we end up with a lunatic on the Supreme Court, which is why we have an impeachment system. if a nut winds up in the White House or on the bench, they can be removed. It does not happen often, but it’s a remedy, just in case we end up with someone like, say, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor submitted a racially-charged dissent in a Fourth Amendment case on Monday, which commentators hailed as a “Brown/Black Lives Matter manifesto.”

The case, Utah v. Strieff, was occasioned when police stopped Salt Lake City man Edward Strieff on leaving a house suspected to quarter drug activity. The state of Utah concedes the initial stop was illegal, as the officers in question had no probable cause to seize and search Strieff.

During the course of the stop, officers discovered Strieff had an outstanding warrant for a small traffic violation, and methamphetamine in his pocket. The Court was asked to decide whether the exclusionary rule — which prohibits police and prosecutors from using evidence obtained illegally — applies when an officer learns during an illegal stop that there is a warrant for an individual’s arrest, and finds additional contraband while executing the arrest on said warrant.

The High Court ruled 5-3 that the arrest, and the evidence obtained during the arrest, were legitimate, even if the initial stop was not. Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion, joined by the Chief Justice, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito.

Sotomayor filed a peppery dissent, joined in part by Justice Ginsburg.

“The white defendant in this case shows that anyone’s dignity can be violated in this manner,” she wrote. “But it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny. For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk’— instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger—all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.”

“We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are ‘isolated,’” she continued. “They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.”

Elsewhere in the dissent, she characterizes the United States as a “carceral state,” and pillories the “civil death” endured by those subject to arrest, a process she describes in vivid terms. She also accused the Court of treating minority communities as “second class citizens.”

The dissent’s citations are as interesting as the text itself, which read like a survey of the American black literary tradition. At various points, she cites “The Souls of Black Folk,” by W. E. B. Du Bois, Michelle Alexander, a law professor who has written extensively on over incarceration, and the more radical works of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Where does one start with this? This is a Supreme Court Justice, not a college freshmen writing her first college paper. The nonsense about blacks being the victims of police harassment has been debunked so many times, even race hustlers have dropped it. The facts on black crime are simply too easy to lookup. Here’s a study from the Obama administration that tells us that young black males are 3% of the population, but commit 27% of homicides. You would think a judge would know about this.

Of course, that misses the elephant in the room. Sotomayor is launching off on a Black Lives Matter rant over a white guy, who was the alleged victim. A fanatic is someone who can’t change their mind and won’t change the subject. When you layer in the references to guys like Genius T. Coates, it is not unreasonable to wonder if this woman has not lost her marbles. She may not be randomly slapping people or demanding members of the gallery be fed to the lions, but she is acting just as nutty as those legends I mentioned at the start.

How did we end up with a mentally disturbed dwarf on the high court? The same way Christian VII landed on the throne of Denmark or Caligula donned the purple. The process for selecting judges means ticking the racial boxes and a willingness to catch spears for the One True Faith. Obama nominated this woman because she was a Latin lesbian. Finding someone who checks those boxes and is competent in the law is impossible so he just took a loyal fanatic. The result is we have a mentally disturbed woman on the high court – for life.

The Ruling Elite

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For as long as I’ve been alive, the image of the ruling class has been the WASP. The caricature was of a horse faced, toothy guy named “Prescott” that liked to wear a tennis sweater draped over his shoulders and used the word “swell” a lot. Alternatively, it was the old guy sitting in a leather chair at his club, reading the Financial Times while smoking a pipe and drinking brandy with the other aristocrats. The point of these caricatures was to highlight the ethnic and cultural divide between the people in charge and the rest of us, not just the financial differences.

Like all stereotypes, the origins of this are rooted in fact. For a long time, the ruling elite of America was very WASPy and somewhat inbred. A relatively small number of ruling clans out of New England ran government, finance, big business and foreign affairs. The Brahmins were folks who traced their roots to the founding, often claiming to have had ancestors on the Mayflower. They went to the best schools, knew the best people and accepted their duty as the caretakers of the nation. They were of course, almost always Episcopalian.

Even back when I was a little kid, this was no longer reality in America. It remained a popular stereotype because it is comforting to people. The people in charge are not there because they are smarter or better. They were born into it or they had connections that allowed them to gain access to the halls of power. The Irish and Italians still carry on like the world is run by guys named Pemberton and Forbes. Jews, of course, love this motif and are endlessly reminding us that they were kept out of golf courses by the WASP elite.

Despite the mythologizing, the fact is we no longer have a WASP ruling class. The real ethnic nature of the ruling class in America is Jewish. As I pointed out in my Mokita post, Jews are smart and we live in an age when being smart counts for everything. The stereotype of the Jewish banker or Jewish lawyer is obviously true. The titans of global finance are all Jewish guys. The US Supreme Court is 30% Jewish and Obama has a Jewish guy warming in the bullpen to replace Scalia.

The argument has always been that Jews dominated banking because of historic discrimination and that’s not entirely false. Catholic prohibitions against usury allowed Jews to dominate the lending business, but that does not explain why Hollywood has always been dominated by Jews. It does no explain why 30% of the Fortune 1000 are people of Jewish descent. Jews are one percent of the population, but represent 47% of major American sports team owners.

Sport #Owners Jews Blacks Asian Whites Other
NBA 51 34 3 1 12 1
MLB 30 10 0 0 17 3
NHL 32 15 0 1 14 2
NFL 32 10 0 1 20 1
Total 145 69 3 3 63 7
47.59% 2.07% 2.07% 43.45% 4.83%

Ownership of sports teams is a great metric because it requires more than just money to own a team. You have to have connections in finance, politics and, of course, the sport. These sports leagues are clubs and they don’t just let anyone join. These are clubs for members of the American elite to show they are at the top. It’s the ultimate trophy for the most connected. The fact that close to half the people in sports ownership are Jewish is a reflection of the new American ruling class. It’s guys named Herb, not Prescott.

Despite this amazing dominance, Jews still act as if they are a put upon minority, scrambling to make a go of it in the teeth of ethnic hostility. The show Mad Men, from what I understand, is based on the myth that the Jews were kept out of advertising until last week. The guy that invented the ad business in America was a Jewish guy from Chicago back in the 1920’s. Then there is the whole golf club business that Steve Sailer writes about a lot.

It’s a powerful bit of mythology that probably works as motivation for young Jewish kids setting out in the world. Every ethnic group in America, except Germans and the English, has a similar sort of mythology. The Irish swear that their uncle Seamus was denied jobs because he was Irish. Italians claim they have been forever slandered by the whole Mafia thing. Poles work the Catholic angle. East Asians are quick to remind everyone about Fu Manchu and coolies.

Someone has to be the ruling elite in every society and having Jews in charge is probably not the worst choice. The Irish would be the worst choice. But, a ruling elite that nurses a grudge against the society over which it rules, because of past discrimination, sounds a lot like Syria where the Alawites angrily rule over Sunni majority. America is a not Syria, so there will not be a violent uprising against the ruler sect, but it does mean Jews will have to stop whining and accept their role as the ruling elite.

It also means that Americans will have rework their idea of the aristocrat. The Talmud is a best seller in South Korea because Koreans want to be successful so they are setting out to emulate the most successful ethnic group. Eventually, Americans will do the same thing. Instead of a striver changing his name to “Blake Ashcroft” and claiming Mayflower ancestry, the ambitious will change their name to Murray Goldblatt and claim Holocaust ancestry.

This is already happening at the fringes. Guys like John Podhoretz are constantly demanding to see Bar Mitzvah photos because they believe people are faking their Jewishness in order to gain access to the club. Whether or not people are “trying to pass” is tough to tell. Podhoretz is an evil little slug of a man. He could just be trying to damage his betters in the scribbling community. Still, it is not far-fetched. There used to be a time when you had to prove you went to Choate before gaining access to the elite.

On the other hand, Jewish fertility rates in American are around 1.9, with the highest being among ultra-orthodox sects at 4.1. The Jews in charge are not breeding and it only takes a generation or two of these sorts of TFR’s before Jews in America begin to look like the Amish. Then there is the inevitable out-breeding and falling away from the faith that challenges all religious minorities. It is entirely possible that Jews in America are at their peak and are about to experience a slide into oblivion.