The Cult of Diversity

If there was ever any doubt that the cult of diversity was, in fact, a cult, this should dispel those doubts.

A popular gifted program will get the axe after Ditmas Park school officials chose diversity over exclusivity.

Citing a lack of diversity, PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald informed parents in a letter that the Students of Academic Rigor and two other in-house programs would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners.

“Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” McDonald told parents in a letter posted on the photo-sharing site flickr and obtained by Ditmas Park Corner.

The benefit of “diversity” has never been established. History shows humans have been against diversity since the dawn of time. In fact, diversity is most likely bad for human communities. We are tribal animals and that means being around people like us. 100,000 years or so of evolution is not going to yield to a lecture from a snotty bourgeois bohemian that lives in gated community. That’s the thing with the cult of diversity, the preachers tend to live in monochromatic communities that are always white. You never hear brothers from the hood talking about diversity, other than the second definition. That’s code for black, as in “is there diversity there?” That means, “is it OK for a black guy to go there?” But, diversity as we see here is a religion for neo-Victorian white women who like a selection of ethnic restaurants within walking distance, but a nice big wall between them and the diverse.

This particular school is in a gentrifying neighborhood, which means loads of middle-class white women pretending to be artists as they live like June Cleaver. That’s the other thing about the diversity cult. The women all pretend to be artsy feminists, but they live like a 1950’s house wife, including the husband with the good job. Of course, gentrification is when liberal white people throw all the black people out and then fix up the neighborhood. This neighborhood was pretty rugged until recently. You can be sure these urban pioneers singing the diversity gospel voted for the lunatic mayor. That’s what makes this hilarious. These are folks used to getting exempted from their rules. It looks like the lunatic mayor is changing that.

Anyway, here’s an oldie from a dead commie:

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s cheeks, but she’d forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel.

“Huh” said George.

“That dance-it was nice,” said Hazel.

“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.

“I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,” said Hazel a little envious. “All the things they think up.”

“Um,” said George.

“Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?” said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. “If I was Diana Moon Glampers,” said Hazel, “I’d have chimes on Sunday-just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.”

“I could think, if it was just chimes,” said George.

“Well-maybe make ’em real loud,” said Hazel. “I think I’d make a good Handicapper General.”

“Good as anybody else,” said George.

“Who knows better than I do what normal is?” said Hazel.

“Right,” said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

“Boy!” said Hazel, “that was a doozy, wasn’t it?”

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

“All of a sudden you look so tired,” said Hazel. “Why don’t you stretch out on the sofa, so’s you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch.” She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around George’s neck. “Go on and rest the bag for a little while,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re not equal to me for a while.”

George weighed the bag with his hands. “I don’t mind it,” he said. “I don’t notice it any more. It’s just a part of me.”

“You been so tired lately-kind of wore out,” said Hazel. “If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.”

“Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out,” said George. “I don’t call that a bargain.”

“If you could just take a few out when you came home from work,” said Hazel. “I mean-you don’t compete with anybody around here. You just sit around.”

“If I tried to get away with it,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it-and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?”

“I’d hate it,” said Hazel.

“There you are,” said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?”

If Hazel hadn’t been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn’t have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

“Reckon it’d fall all apart,” said Hazel.

“What would?” said George blankly.

“Society,” said Hazel uncertainly. “Wasn’t that what you just said?

“Who knows?” said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn’t clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, “Ladies and Gentlemen.”

He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

“That’s all right-” Hazel said of the announcer, “he tried. That’s the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. “Excuse me-” she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

“Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,” she said in a grackle squawk, “has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.”

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen-upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrison’s appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.

“If you see this boy,” said the ballerina, “do not – I repeat, do not – try to reason with him.”

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have – for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. “My God-” said George, “that must be Harrison!”

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood – in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

“I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

“Even as I stand here” he bellowed, “crippled, hobbled, sickened – I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!”

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrison’s scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubber-ball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

“I shall now select my Empress!” he said, looking down on the cowering people. “Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!”

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

“Now-” said Harrison, taking her hand, “shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!” he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. “Play your best,” he told them, “and I’ll make you barons and dukes and earls.”

The music began. It was normal at first-cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while-listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it.

It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it.

And then, neutraling gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons’ television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George. But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. “You been crying” he said to Hazel.

“Yup,” she said.

“What about?” he said.

“I forget,” she said. “Something real sad on television.”

“What was it?” he said.

“It’s all kind of mixed up in my mind,” said Hazel.

“Forget sad things,” said George.

“I always do,” said Hazel.

“That’s my girl,” said George. He winced. There was the sound of a rivetting gun in his head.

“Gee – I could tell that one was a doozy,” said Hazel.

“You can say that again,” said George.

“Gee-” said Hazel, “I could tell that one was a doozy.”

 

Giant Crooks

This is hilarious:

Quarterback Eli Manning and New York Giants brass created bogus “game-worn” football gear to pass off as the real deal — and one of the forgeries is sitting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an explosive new lawsuit claims.

A helmet on display in the hallowed Canton, Ohio, gridiron museum — supposedly worn by Manning in Big Blue’s 2008 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots — is just one of dozens of fake items the football superstar and his Giants cohorts have created to fool fans and make money from collectors over the years, the lawsuit alleges.

Other “forgeries” passed off on collectors include several Manning jerseys, two 2012 Super Bowl helmets and a 2004 “rookie season” helmet, according to court papers.

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Manning took part in the scheme so he could hang on to his personal items, according to the documents.

The memorabilia ruse is so common among Giants players and staffers, the documents claim, that team equipment manager Joe Skiba openly discussed Manning’s fake game gear on an official Giants e-mail account.

The lawsuit emerged as Manning’s big brother, Peyton, prepares to lead the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, the Giants’ home field.

A rep for the Giants on Thursday said, “This suit is completely without any merit whatsoever and we will defend it vigorously. We will not otherwise comment on pending litigation.”

In my youth I hooked up with a roadie for the Stones to move some tickets. He was a crazy English dude and I was up for some adventure. I got to meet the band and I got great seats for the show. The interesting bit was the guy would sell anything not nailed down. The economics of that life required it. The tour covered travel and lodging, but pay was minimal. The roadies made their money scalping tickets, selling band stuff (real and fake) moving drugs and trading on their connection to the band. It was very much the carny lifestyle. I’m guessing the people working for pro sports teams have a similar life. They sell anything they can that belongs to the players.

The allegations are part of a civil-racketeering, breach-of-contract, malicious-prosecution and trade-libel suit filed Wednesday in Bergen County Superior Court by sports collector Eric Inselberg.

In one startling claim, the suit says Barry Barone, who has been the Giants’ dry cleaner since 1982, used his Rutherford, NJ, Park Cleaners store to beat up jerseys and other items at the behest of longtime locker-room manager Ed Wagner Jr.

In a 2001 incident, Wagner told Barone “to intentionally damage multiple jerseys to make them appear to have been game-worn when they had not been.”

Inselberg’s lawyer, Brian Brook of Clinton Brook & Peed, said his client walked in to find Barone “using a big pair of scissors to cut up a set of Giants’ 2000 season’s game-issued white jerseys,’’ in order to then “’repair’ those damages” to make the shirts look used.

Then you have the very honest men in the memorabilia business:

Inselberg was indicted in 2011 for memorabilia fraud for selling bogus used sport jerseys from teams.

But federal prosecutors in Rockford, Ill., dropped all the charges in May 2013, telling the judge that “prosecution was no longer appropriate in light of some new facts that were pointed out to us by defense counsel.”

The case was jettisoned two days after Inselberg’s defense lawyers told the court that Giants staffers had lied to the grand jury that indicted him about their relationship with him, in a bid to cover up for the team’s own fake-memorabilia sales.

Wednesday’s lawsuit is Inselberg’s attempt at retribution against the Giants.

The new suit alleges that Wagner, along with Skiba and his brother, Ed, also an equipment manager, were told by team brass to lie to federal investigators and the grand jury about how much Giants sports gear they sold him over the years.

 

Amy Chua is a Dirty….

Population genetics is all the rage these days. Not the science as much as the abuse of the science. You have that nitwit in England claiming interest in this stuff is tantamount to embracing Hitler. But, you also have guys like this who just claim science proves people they don’t like are inferior. But, you also have semi-respectable liberals getting a little frisky with the whole nurture/nature thing. I say semi-respectable because they will surely be expelled from the cult. Jews and Asians are on shaky grounds with the CML as it is. But, there are some entertaining bits of reaction that are worth noticing. Ashok Rao does some interesting things on economics, but he goes into a complete panic over Chua’s latest.

No tiger mom would have let her daughter publish this piece for a fifth grade project, let alone in the New York Times. Amy Chua, in a little under 3000 words, explains her theory of power and prosperity in modern America. Absent from this essay, however, is a single reference to any scientific study. Not only does the article exclude any hyperlinks – appalling for any serious journalism in the 21st Century – it refers to several anonymous “studies” without providing any information about the authors, making it well-nigh impossible for a reader to track it down.

Yes, the lack of hyperlkinks is what makes Shakespeare unreadable today. It is a strangely modern thing to fill up an essay with links to supporting documentation. Instead of persuading with well reasoned arguments, the writer is now expected to build a legal case, using prior arguments as precedent. If the area is related to science in any way, then you have to link to studies that you claim support your argument. It really is a tedious way of doing things and complete bullshit. The form is not intended to improve the work, it is intended to blunt it. It socializes reason in a way that is unreasonable. Amy Chua’s arguments are hardly original, but they stand on their own.

Anyway, I’m not a Chua fan, but I am enjoying the reaction to her from different corners. She’s probably right about why certain ethnic minorities have prospered while others have sunk to the bottom. Those traits, however, don’t spring from nothingness. I suspect she knows that, but she also likes showing up in the NYTimes and the swank book parties in Manhattan. That means she can describe what the elephant in the room would like if there was a room and an elephant, which there’s not and only racists would think so. Who knows, maybe she can play the victim card if some critic gets carried away or is from the wrong sub-group, not that anyone sees race, if race existed, which it doesn’t.

A Little Too Late

This excellent column from Steve Sailer hits on something I’ve been mulling over for a while now. I’m not talking about the ethnic stuff. I mean this last bit at the end of his column:

Perhaps it’s time, for the good of your family, for you to study the secrets of successful minorities. Granted, they won’t make America a better country, but maybe it’s a little too late to worry about that anymore.

I had an exchange last week with someone about the future of the country. Specifically the future of the country after the Republicans push through another amnesty. His point, one with which I largely agree, is that amnesty pretty much ends the Right as a force in American politics. The Right has very little influence now, but it is an obstacle that causes problems for the Left and their enablers. Classical Liberalism, the only post-Christian alternative to the Jacobins, will die out in an America with another 30-50 million third world citizens. The political parties will resemble what we see in Europe, international socialism versus national socialism. Any discussion of reducing the role of the state in the lives of the people would be on the fringe.

I fully admit to a degree of sadness at that prospect. For most of my life, I have liked my country. No nation is perfect and a propositional nation like America is always going to be at odds with itself over the defects. That beats the homogenizing and stifling  conformity forced up the citizens of most civilized nations. It certainly beats the barbarism of the uncivilized lands. If you are going to love your country, loving one that loves you back is a good choice. That relationship, however, will soon be a thing of the past. My “countrymen” will have no more in common with me than a guy living in China. My rulers will see me as just another subject, no different than any of the other entries on the spreadsheet. That’s the reason fertility rates in Europe have collapsed. Why would anyone bring someone into a world of strangers?

 

 

 

 

 

The Feelies

I’m continually amazed at how much Huxley got right in Brave New World. People who fret about the future and those unhappy with the people in charge, tend to rely on Orwell for their ammunition. The truth is, Orwell got everything wrong. The future is not going to be a boot stamping on a human face forever. The future is going to be something closer to what Huxley had in mind. Automation will do most of the work required to sustain life and people will spend their free time on drugs or their technological equivalents. The “feelies” were a type of movie experience Huxley described where the viewers experienced raw emotions, rather than watching a story with characters and plot.  According to this story, books will soon deliver emotion to the reader.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a “wearable” book which allows the reader to experience the protagonist’s emotions.

Using a combination of sensors, the book senses which page the reader is on and triggers vibration patterns through a special vest.

“Changes in the protagonist’s emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in the wearable [vest], whether by changing the heartbeat rate, creating constriction through air pressure bags, or causing localised temperature fluctuations” the researchers said.

The vest contains a personal heating device to change skin temperature and a compression system to convey tightness or loosening through airbags.

It will not be long before movies move from 3D to 4D, where the fourth dimension is smelling, tasting and so forth. Instead of sitting in a theater, you put on your headset, plug into the grid and join other in some grand adventure that is like being in a video game. It will be lucid dreaming with a social element. Old people will lie around reliving their youth until the state pulls the plug. Maybe it will work out just fine or maybe not.

Dark Kudzu

I’m surprised by how quickly the traffic on this blog has grown in the short time doing it. I see a regular group of a few hundred popping in daily. A larger group of a few thousand drops in at least every few days. of course, an army of robots and penis pill salesmen swing by daily, but I filter those out of the list. It’s funny how it is easy to spot web traffic from robots, but a major pain in the neck to block them entirely. The penis pill salesmen and fake ugg boots people from Eastern Europe are persistent. I  assume it works for them otherwise they would stop, but you never know. It may be that the real scam is further down stream and has nothing to do with stealing credit cards and selling fake medicine.

What got me thinking about it is a couple of things I recently saw. When I was regular on NRO, I would torment liberal by comparing them to the Seekers, the cult written about in the great book When Prophesy Fails. I know exactly one person familiar with that book and that one person is me. I never see anyone reference it and certainly no one connect it with modern liberals. That’s why I used it. That was the gag. The best way to insult someone is by doing so subtlety. Calling someone, who fashions themselves your intellectual superior, a booger-head just reinforces their sense of superiority. Referencing something they have to look up because it is unknown to them makes them feel inadequate. Childish on my part, but every man has his vices.

The other day, I saw that former National Review contributor Robert Weisberg had picked up on the idea and used it in his latest column. I don’t want to claim he got the idea from me, but I’d say it is highly probable. He may not even recall where he heard it, but he looked it up and decided it was a good bit of gear to stash away for future use. That’s often how ideas get into circulation. Someone with a small audience gets read by someone with a big audience, who then popularizes the idea, often taking credit for it. Rush Limbaugh has become a very rich man popularizing the ideas of others. Ann Coulter is another example of someone from Conservative Inc who got rich repeating the ideas of others while flashing some skin on TV.

There’s nothing wrong with it, but it is a reminder that ideas have a habit of escaping the enclosure. Steve Sailer gets ripped off all the time. I see his stuff recycled by less agile minded people on a regular basis. That’s not a terrible thing as he has many good ideas. It is why HBD’ers should not worry so much about the assault coming from dead enders like Jamie Bartlett and Tim Stanley. These are people with no useful or interesting ideas of their own. Instead they make a living attacking others, but by doing so five those ideas a wider audience. The concern is that people like these two trolls are good at character assassination, while guys like JayMan are not. Reading his post on the subject, I can see how guys like this could be silenced by thugs like Bartlett and Stanley.

Still, I suspect the ideas peculating in the so-called Dark Enlightenment – what a great phrase – will be surfacing in the columns of mainstream chattering skulls soon enough. There may be no Alfred Wegener out there in the Dark Enlightenment, but you never know. Science is the history of error and the best ideas were often met with skepticism and scorn from the running dogs of the status quo.

Old Books

[subscribe2]I’m reading an 80 year old copy of J.B.S. Haldane’s The Inequality of Man. He got some run when Richard Dawkins resuscitated his ideas in the 1970’s. HBD’ers will reference him from time to time, but otherwise he has been forgotten. My copy is a worn old paperback that is a few years from falling to pieces. I don’t know where I got it, but I figured I should read it before it falls to dust. As I’m reading bits of the page’s edge falls away, creating a natural bookmark. Even though it is 80 years old and written by an upper class Brit, the book reads easier than most modern stuff. The old British academics really knew how to use the language to reach a broad audience. Or, I’m just temperamentally suited for that sort of writing. You never know about these things.

There’s a great value, I think, to reading old books in science and social commentary. One of the things that jumps off the page right from the start is just how fresh much of his discussion of population differences seems today. I recently re-read The Money Game by Adam Smith. You would think a book about Wall Street written in the 190’s would seem ridiculous today. Instead, it was as fresh as anything written today. His treatment of computers and markets (keep in mind that computers were rarities in the 1960’s) was strikingly prescient. The lesson you take away is the money game, the world of finance, has not changed much at all in fifty years. The point of the book, is it had not changed much in the previous fifty years. Reading stories about scams run by big banks on the 1920’s that are just like those run today is a bit jarring in a good way.

That’s one reason why I think it is wise to read old books from time to time. It is a good way to remind yourself that the world has not changed very much, at least the big parts of it. By old books, I don’t just mean classics. A well read man should have read the Western Canon. Anyway, I suspect it is why the Left locks up history into a trunck and buries it in the backyard. Constant reminders that human relations have not changed very much makes the idea of Marxist Man  ridiculous even to the fanatic. If the nature of man is transcendent and rooted in his biology, Marxist Man is an impossibility. Then you have the fact that the ideas  current with modern lunatics are just recycled from past lunatics. Reading about people 100 years ago making the same claims you are making today is satisfying until you learn they failed disastrously. That is going to take the wind out of the sails of even the most dedicated. “This time things will be different” can only take you so far.

That said, there’s a service to the stable minded too. Haldane was one of the first population geneticists. He was also a Marxist. On the one hand, he offers up respectable and rational ideas about population genetics. On the other he claims Soviet communism is a roaring success and will certainly work in the long run. Incredibly, he claims the Soviets had, at the time of his writing, made no attempt to socialize agriculture. At the time, the Soviets were brutally collectivizing the peasants. killing millions in the process. It is also during the Holodomer, which a British intellectual of his stature surely heard some rumors. He may not have known the details, but the rumors were everywhere. The point here is that brilliant people are capable of believing outrageously insane things. Reading old books on social commentary is a great reminder of that. It is another reason, I suspect, the Left ignores their own intellectual history.

What I’m enjoying about Haldane is something HBD chick touches on in this blog post. Population genetics and eugenics are separate things. The modern critics, all from the Left, of HBD immediately throw out the eugenics card. Haldane goes to great lengths explaining why the eugenicists are wildly mistaken on the science of genetics. What we know now and what he could not know then, is what the Left would do with these ideas. The modern Left’s assault on HBD has little to do with science and everything to do with history. When you start sniffing around in the past about eugenics, you find the heroes of the American Left as the chief promoters. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a proto-Nazi eugenicist who wanted to sterilize the unfit.

That’s an obvious example, but the Progressive Era is full of them. Sterilization campaigns were a regular feature of the American Left from the beginning and persisted even after the horrors of the Nazis were fully aired. The lingo changed, but the underlying justification remained. Programs launched by liberals in the 60’s and 70’s aimed at reducing birth rates in black ghettos were just thinly veiled eugenics programs. Of course, it is hard to claim your cult is the friend of the black man if you have been systematically trying to snuff them out. Similarly, it is hard to run the war on women stuff, when you are also ripping out their reproductive organs.

In contrast, the HBD folks, for the most part, don’t try to tease morality or public policy from the science of population genetics. There are exceptions and abuse, but the folks dedicated to the science don’t care about the politics. The reason is an example Haldane uses. Atoms do not act in predictable ways. Instead, they act in a number of ways with differing degrees of probability. Rolled up into a bar of steel, however, the mathematics presents an object to us that acts predictably and seemingly consistently. That’s population genetics. One Chinese guy is random and unpredictable. a billion are predictable and fixed.

One last thing on reading old books. There’s a valuable lesson in the wrongness of their certainty. One of my few criticism of John Derbyshire is his blind spot to the error rates of science. The history of science is the history of error. Reading Haldane’s ideas on cancer and what comes next for the treatment of the disease is cringe inducing. His description of blacks in America and their likely future is hilariously anachronistic. The point is Haldane was brilliant and empirically minded, but he and his contemporaries were wrong about a great many things. Those who came after them made their careers proving them wrong. Those who come after us will do us the same favor. Therefore, it is wise to not keep open the possibility that what we think we know now is all wrong.

Chinese Banking

The only thing more mysterious than Byzantine politics is maybe Oriental business practices. It is a strange combination of complexity and opacity, sprinkled with a heavy dose of dishonesty, that is forever off-limits to the Western mind. A good example is right here. In the West, a firm struggling to pay its bills and threatening to default will do so in a very public fashion. If the regulators take over, they perform a public audit, liquidate the assets and pay creditors based on an agreed upon framework. If the firm goes into bankruptcy, that is also a public process. If a white knight comes in and puts up a bunch of cash, then we learn who it is and why they are coming to the rescue. It is not perfectly transparent, but the public and interested parties will know enough to judge the results.

In China, the banking system is a mystery to even the people in the Chinese banking system. China Credit Trust Co has no money of its own. It sold a product to investors promising a ten percent return on loans to a firm that has no money to repay the loans. They can dress it up in the popular lingo, but that’s the bottom line. Zhenfu Energy, desperate for cash, went to private firms to borrow money at rates well above market. China Credit Trust Co appears to have created a product to be sold to retail banking customers to funnel money into the struggling energy company. It was a fraud, but most of modern banking is a fraud. Now that the energy company is defaulting on the loan, China Credit Trust Co cannot pay the retail investors their promised return.

This was all supposed to happen at the end of the month. Today a mysterious and undisclosed white knight has arrived to supply the cash. Everyone knows the white knight is the Chinese Communist Party, but no one will dare say it. It is simply a “restructuring” that papers over the problem for now. A month from now some mid-level functionary will kill himself and everyone will know why, but no one will dare say. It is no way to run a modern economy, but that’s another thing everyone knows, but no one dares say. Instead, the West looks the other way and hopes those inscrutable Chinese keep buying up the useless paper the credit machines keep emitting every month.

Hannity Versus Politico

I saw this linked on the America Spectator blog. I must confess that I find Sean Hannity to be a boring loud mouth. Michael Savage is a nut, but nuts often lock in on a truth that the rest of us pretend not to notice. Conservative talk radio is often just Republican talk radio. In the Bush years, guys like Hannity and Limbaugh were so far in the tank for Bush they should have been getting a W2 from the GOP. I listen to some talk radio, but the level of discourse is pretty low. Most of it is just cheering for the red team over the blue team, even when the red team is fucking up. Still, I give Hannity credit for using his head in this case. It is too bad his party does not do the same.

The recent uproar over Huckabee’s comments at some Republican meeting is a good example of the stupid party in action. Huckabee pointed out that Democrats think women are unable to control themselves in matters of sex. Dana Bash is either too stupid to understand English or is a liar. The later is the most likely answer. The woman works for NBC which is nothing more than a megaphone for the cult of modern liberalism. MSNBC, their cable arm, is a collection of people who should be institutionalized. Why the Republicans would invite these nuts in and give the media credentials is the great mystery of our time.  The Stupid Party seems incapable of learning what mediocrities like Sean Hannity have apparently mastered.

Libertarian Marriage Nuttery

My in interested in homosexual marriage lies only in the irrationality of the subject. Marriage is all about reproduction. Without it, you’re left with the equivalent of an intimate handshake agreement on how to divide up the property when one or both parties gets bored. But, as modern insanity goes, it is one of the lesser evils. It does tell us a lot, however, about the people debating it. Arguments for changing public policy, the good ones least ways, contain knowledge of the current policy, its origins, its trade-offs and then the reasons why the new policy is superior. That allows everyone to agree to the facts in advance. Gay marriage advocates dispense with that and instead throw a tantrum, demanding you justify your opposition to their tantrum.

Libertarians suffer from many of the same defects as the Left. My suspicion with them is they are just conservatives with less backbone than the typical conservative. By seeking shelter in the libertarian hut, the lunatics will pass by them on their way to burn some village of normalcy. Libertarians, being useless in the culture war, are not a target of the Left. Say what you will about the Left’s scorched earth polices, they are adept at the  conservation of energy by narrowing their enemies list. They eventually get around to you, but for libertarians, it seems like a safe bet. If libertarianism is on the rise, as some people claim, then this theory will be put to the test. One hundred years of warfare will not be undone by a bunch of pot smoking greed-heads.

Like the Left, libertarians suffer from a peculiar brand of myopia. The Left is at war with the past, even their own past. By that I mean they jam history into their narrative, excluding great swaths of it, even their own words and deeds. Libertarians, in contrast, are so narrow minded, they blunder into a retarded utopianism that borders on the comical. They will yammer on about open borders, for example, and then throw in the fact it worked great when we lacked a giant welfare state transferring a trillion dollars from tax payers every year.They like to design machines that work great if we suspend the laws of physics.

I thought about that when I saw this from Karl Denninger. This is one of the newer hobby horses libertarians enjoy riding in public. Their “solution” to the war over marriage is to do away with marriage.

Marriage is none of the government’s damn business.  It’s sad that it took the gay screamers to wake people up to this, but if it results in Oklahoma actually doing the right thing it will be about damn time.

Tell me this — why is it that you want the State in your bedroom? I don’t give a **** if you’re straight or gay, just give me one good reason why you’d invite the ****ing government behind your bedroom door.  Ever.  For any purpose.

But you do, and what’s worse is that if you actually honor a religious, that is, a sacramental marriage irrespective of what faith you follow you have sworn falsely before your God by having the pastor sign a state marriage license.

As is typical of fanatics everywhere, libertarians have no idea why the rules and institutions were created. They seem to think they were either forced on us by some supernatural entity or sprung from random nothingness. The hallmark of the fanatic is a dedicated lack of curiosity about the origins of contrary opinion. Libertarians seem to think marriage was created in the murky past by the religious or by despotic rulers or maybe the leprechauns. He just assumes that society, through the state, has no interest in marriage and that marriage licenses are something new.

That’s complete nonsense. This excellent post on matting patterns of medieval Franks illustrates that policing marriage predates Christianity and the nation state. Human populations have been keeping an eye on mating habits for a very long time, perhaps from the earliest times of human settlement. Other species have ways of dealing with inbreeding like the Westermarck Effect. The best way mother nature has to handle inbreeding is the defective progeny dies off quickly. Humans having the ability to reason through these results, we soon figured out that mothers and sons should not be mating. Whether a natural repulsion developed, followed by the taboo or the other way around, human societies have been policing the mating choices of its members since the beginning. Again, marriage is about reproduction, not sex.

In the Christian world, the church was enlisted in the war on cousin marriage long after authorities took an interest in it. It is not hard to see what human populations would worry about this problem. Every pinhead is a burden. If you get too many pinheads, you end up like Detroit. If you want to argue that this is no longer necessary in modern times, keep in mind that we are taking in tens of million of people from places where inbreeding is still common. Then there is the urban and rural underclass where inbreeding is always a concern. If you don’t have someone policing the hillbillies in Appalachia, you will get get a Scotts-Irish Pakistan in a few generations. Unfettered liberty works great for smart rich people, but becomes increasingly problematic as you move down the social pyramid.

Contra the libertarians, mating habits are a central concern of all human populations. Try this thought experiment. The world is wiped out by some plague and the remained 100 people are all of child bearing ages, equally divided between boys and girls. What are the first priorities of the group? Obviously, the group has survival needs. Food, fresh water, fire, shelter and defense against nature are the first concerns. Establishing a decision making process and a division of duties amongst the members of the tribe would come naturally, if the group is to make it through the first winter. The next thing they will do is figure out how to handle the inevitable paring off, mating a child birth. Again, if they are to survive, figuring this out is at the top of the list.

That’s why libertarians properly belong on the fringe. They deliberately seek to eliminate themselves from serious debate over public policy. The right thing, it seems, is to leave them alone with the copies of Atlas Shrugged.