ePawnshop

The so-called new economy is, in most cases, just the use of technology to circumvent the rules and regulations of the old economy. By operating on-line, they can escape state regulators. This company is a good example. it is hard to tell from the site, but their marketing suggests they are an asset backed lender. That means they lend to people who can pledge an asset that is of greater value than the loan. That’s different from an underwriter, which fund a purchase of an asset.

Pawn shops are almost as old as prostitution. Mosaic law addressed lending, which in those days was exclusively asset based lending. The Greeks and Romans had pawn brokers. English law is based on Roman law as regards pawn brokers. In America, every state has laws regulating pawn shops. The pawn shop owner has to undergo a background check and be finger printed. They are required to keep detailed records of all items taken in and get positive identification of the customers. The state requires these records to be made available to police on demand.

That’s what’s puzzling about these on-line operations. Where are they licensed and how can they do business across state lines? Here’s an article from a couple of years ago on the growth of mega-pawn shops. It’s not hard to see where this is headed. Local pawn dealer will start buying protection from their state legislature. The Internet guys will try to do the same and we get a replay of Tesla in New Jersey.

Anyway, it is a good example of how we are running out of places to employ technology to squeeze out profits. The low hanging fruit from the information age has been picked. We are now into the great settling out as the dust clears. Just as the great fortunes of the industrial age were built prior to the Great Depression, the great fortunes of the Communications age have been built prior to the Great Recession. There are a few plumbs to be picked and maybe ePawn is one of them, but the pickings are slim.

Watching the Diversity Party Up Close

When you live in a diverse neighborhood, you learn a lot of about race and not the stuff the Left preaches about either. In fact, when you live in a diverse place, you see how laughably wrong the Left is about race. Race is not just a social construct and it is not just a white-black, master and servant thing. This is a big world with a lot of tribes living in isolation for very long periods of time. As a result, certain group characteristics have been baked into the cake.

Most of what we are is the result of a relatively small number of people inter-breeding for thousands of years. It is one of the things people don’t get about human development, but it is important. Humans are the results of thousands of years of cousins marrying cousins. It’s simple mathematics. Eurasians stand apart as they stopped this practice once they could figure out how to stop it. The rest of the world continued to inter-marry right up into this age.

In my little slice of heaven, we have a lot of blacks, a growing number of Amerindians, Koreans and South Asians. The folks from the sub-Continent are mostly Hindus, but we have some Pakistanis and Nepalese. Whites remain a majority in the state overall, but it’s a very slim majority and it is shrinking. The whites keep moving away from the diversity, so sprawl now goes from the city fifty miles in each direction. At some point, they will run out of places to hide from the glories of diversity.

Where I live there is a Darwinian struggle between the remaining whites and the other groups. An odd sort of alliance has developed where the remaining whites and Koreans are sort of aligning with the Amerindians and South Asians to keep the blacks at bay as much as possible. It’s a losing battle and the reason is in this story from Detroit. While the Asians are fine with being aggressively anti-black, whites are not. South Asians quickly pick up the anti-racist stuff, so they too are unreliable.

In my travels, I’ve found that whites have largely abandoned crime as a cultural ornament. White gangsters are a thing of the past, outside of the Aryan Brotherhood and outlaw biker gangs. They operate on the fringes, well away from the bulk of white Americans.This is why the typical 20-something white boy is trying to look a like a homosexual. Bad men and tough guys are as alien to him as buggy whips. Even the movies they watch are devoid of white guys being tough.

East Asians have organized crime, but it is inward looking and often tangled up in the legitimate governing institutions. Leland Yee is a good example. His accomplice has been tangled up in Chinatown politics for decades. The Koreans who have come to America are following the Tiger Mom route by sending their kids to college, financed by cash businesses they can run with a minimum of English. Koreans are fearless when it comes to business.

Then there are the Amerindians, who often speak Spanish, but not necessarily, many speak Mayan tongues like Mam and Nahuatl. We call them Latinos as if they are all descendants of the Goths on the Iberian peninsula. Mexico, like all of Central and South America is populated with people who prefer authoritarian government. They bring those habits here and the result is complex criminal gangs that function like a government in their communities.

MS-13 is a good example of how this works. The Mexican Mafia is another good example of how organized crime intersects with Latino culture. These are complex gangs that impose order on the Latino community. They also are well equipped to deal with the blacks with whom they battle for drug turf in American cities. The Mexicans seem to be winning. On the other hand, seventy years ago working class whites seemed to be winning, but then they lost.

The natural flow of things is for the whites to vote with their feet. I see for sale signs all around the cheaper areas just outside the city. It seems that these small ranchers are being bought by blacks fleeing the city, which only encourages more white flight. The late comers from the sub-Continent are tough to read. They have no criminal history and most are here because of professional reasons. They have advanced degrees in STEM fields and work at the big engineering firms and hospitals.

The younger ones live in apartments like barracks. They are H1B1 and will be fleeing once it gets too rough. Maybe they will follow the whites into insulated enclaves out in the county sprawl. The guy who runs the wine store near me lives in a nice bedroom community twenty miles away. I suspect he plans to sell out to a Korean who will install bullet proof glass and lay in a stock of cheap beer. Koreans hate blacks, but they will take their money, even from behind bullet proof glass.

This report from Michigan State comports with my observations. People from different tribes don’t get along very well. Even if it is not open warfare, it is a simmering sort of hostility that prevents anything resembling a community. I’ve lived here for ten years and I can name maybe five people within walking distance of me. I bet 70% of the whites around here were enthusiastic Obama supporters. Going by the for sale signs on their lawns now, I’m betting 70% prefer their diversity at a great distance.

Baltimore is a microcosm of what is going on in the nation at-large. Both political parties are berserk about replacing Americans with foreign imports, mostly from Central and South America. The new robber barons like Mark Zuckerberg want as many Hindus as possible. Legitimate gangsters like Sheldon Adleson want to flood the country with third world peasants and they are willing to buy all the politicians they need to do it. The rich people running America don’t like heritage Americans very much.

That’s why that Detroit story is important. The rather surprising candor about what is obviously a tribal assault is a bit stunning. It is our future. You cannot throw a bunch of people from different tribes together and not get violence. People will inevitably self-segregate.  They will inevitably arm themselves and start jostling with one another for supremacy. Charles Murray was right and everyone knows he was right. Maybe the Cult figures everyone is now ready to accept our Bosnian future.

The Soviet States of America

Way back in my youth, I got a close up look at Progressivism. This was back in the early Reagan years when I was a part time employee for a Congressman. I was just a kid and a nobody, but the wife of the rep took a liking to me and that gave me the run of the place, so to speak. I used to have lunch with the Congressman two or three days a week. He was a nice man, but about as interesting as vanilla ice cream. That’s true of every elected official I met in Washington. privately, they were very dull.

The interesting people were the aides and activists. The ones on the Right were full of excitement about finally turning back the liberal tide. Even as a kid, I thought they were delusional, but they were fun. On the other hand, the old liberals defending the status quo were scary. They were deadly serious and ideology was everything. These were not people interested in free and open debate. They wanted to win and they were not interested in free-thinkers or critics in their midst.

The lesson I have carried with me ever since is this. Unless and until the Right comes to terms with what they are facing, America is doomed. These are not people with whom you can reason or compromise. They are fanatics. More important, their fanaticism transcends any sense of propriety. They will use any means necessary to destroy anyone who is seen as an obstacle. These are evil people who exist to undermines their host societies, which they loath and detest with all of their being.

The Bush years cured me of any hope for the American Right. Nice people in many cases. The problem is they are all like Jonah Goldberg. They make wonderful arguments in defense of civilization. They are often very good at warding off the zombie attacks from the Left. Their defect is they think the Left is just a bunch of people mistaken on matters of fact or reason. That’s not the case. The Left is a cult of lunatics no different from Islam. There’s no reasoning with them.

Until civilized people take the same view of the cult that sprung up on Rue Saint-Jacques, civilization is doomed. Maybe that’s starting to happen. This column by Kevin Williamson on NRO, of all places, takes an unvarnished view of the death cult running the culture.

The convocation of clowns on the left screeched with one semi-literate and inchoate voice when my colleague Jonah Goldberg, borrowing the precise words of one of their own, titled a book Liberal Fascism. Most of them didn’t read it, but the ones who did apparently took what was intended as criticism and read it as a blueprint for political action.

Welcome to the Liberal Gulag.

That term may be perverse, but it is not an exaggeration. Mr. Weinstein specifically called for political activists, ranging from commentators to think-tank researchers, to be locked in cages as punishment for their political beliefs. “Those denialists should face jail,” he wrote. “You still can’t” — banality alert! — “yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. You shouldn’t be able to yell ‘balderdash’ at 10,883 scientific journal articles a year.” “Balderdash” — a felony. At the risk of being repetitious, let’s dwell on that for a minute: The Left is calling on people to be prosecuted for speaking their minds regarding their beliefs on an important public-policy question that is, as a political matter, the subject of hot dispute. That is the stuff of Soviet repression.

But then Soviet-style repression has long been a dream of the American Left. Consider the abuses of psychiatry that were the great hallmark of the Soviet way, and then consider that there is a cottage industry today among left-wing psychiatrists arguing that conservative political views represent a form of mental disorder. That psychiatric approach to suppressing dissent has spread quickly through the intellectual sewers of the Left, with writers everywhere from Daily Kos to Salon diagnosing instances of “RWA” — right-wing authoritarian — disorder among their political rivals. Robert Altemeyer, the father of this asinine school of so-called thought,  denies that there exists such a thing as a left-wing authoritarian.

If Mr. Weinstein’s preferred method of enforcing intellectual conformity — coercion through state violence — seems extreme, consider that the jihad against Brendan Eich of Mozilla was no simple exercise in the operations of civil society. (Even if it were, it still would have been wrong; it is not as though social pressure cannot be put to illiberal and contemptible ends, something that gay-rights activists, of all people, should appreciate.) Mr. Weinstein’s victims of state repression are only hypothetical; Mr. Eich is a victim of state suppression in fact. His donation of $1,000 to a Proposition 8 group was made public through the commission of a crime by political powers — namely, the leaking of confidential IRS data to left-wing groups by their sympathizers within the agency. The leak was not intended to destroy Mr. Eich but rather to destroy Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign; Mr. Eich is nonetheless entitled to expect justice from the Department of Justice. Congress believes that it knows who the leaker is; but he has not been, and almost certainly will not be, prosecuted for his crimes. The reason for that is that the current management of the Department of Justice sympathizes with his political positions and does not wish to intervene to prevent the abuse — at the hands of government officials — of those it regards as its political enemies.

I’ve mentioned a few times that the Obama administration has been doing, with reckless abandon, what Nixon was merely accused of doing, in the articles of impeachment drawn up by Congress. If you want to measure how far down the pit we have fallen, ponder that for a second. Nixon was forced out because he contemplated doing that which we associated with authoritarianism. Today, the mass media celebrates a President using the IRS as a political weapon, conducting political prosecutions, spying on the citizens and refusing to enforce the people’s laws.

Williamson is mostly a faker, so no one should think he is anything but posing here or that the Right is starting wise up. The only way to dig out the fanatics from the culture is through the rough methods of revolution. I don’t see that happening. Instead, we will stagger on toward a soft, feminine authoritarianism. Heretics will be exiled to the fringes of life, but not thrown into camps. A sort or weird and semi-violent Shakerism among whites will eventually give way to a Latin authoritarianism as the white population is over run my Hispanic peasants from the south.

Milo Yiannopoulos Is Not Very Interesting

Ours is an age of banality. Despite all the yammering about diversity and cross-pollination of cultures, we live in a bland, uniform time. You can see this when walking around the common areas of our life. The modern American parking lot, for example,  looks like something an East German planner would have imagined. Today, black and silver account for half the car colors, followed by gray and white. Of course, because form follows function in a sterile society, the cars are the same shape

In the 1960’s the most popular car colors were shades of green. One year turquoise was the top color choice for car buyers. In 1972 the most popular color choice for the Corvette was orange. Take a look at color pictures of an American parking lot from that era, and it is not just a circus of colors. It is a circus of shapes and sizes. Car makers were coming up with every shape they could conjure, hoping to appeal to the liveliness and spontaneity of the people. The cars matched the people.

Anyway, that is something to keep in mind while reading this very odd column, by someone calling himself Milo Yiannopoulos. He is what passes for clever and interesting in London apparently. Of course, because America is so bereft of anything interesting or even skeptical, those things are imported from England. American just assume a British accent means smart and clever. Yiannopoulos gets to be a avante garde as a result. Here’s some of the post.

You’ll think this is weird, but for three years now I’ve taken what might be described as a “data-driven” approach to my social life. Specifically, I’ve been maintaining a gigantic spreadsheet of friends and business contacts, updated with columns such as “Hotness Index,” “Income,” and “Strategic Value.” And I spend about four hours a week keeping it up to date.

Why? Well, it’s not because I’m east London’s answer to Patrick Bateman. At least, that’s not the only reason. No, the spreadsheet is simply the best tool I’ve developed so far for managing an ever-increasing contact list of interesting people I am anxious to introduce to one another, or with whom I want to spend more time.

Of course, not everyone makes the cut. As I write this, there are only 746 people in the database out of a possible 4,500 entries in my address book. Included and assessed on a variety of metrics are A-list celebrities, board members of multinational corporations, investors in my previous ventures, and people I went to school with. And, yeah, a few randoms from 2009 I sort of maybe might consider calling at 2am.

Reading his wiki entry, he passes himself off as some sort of taste maker and techno-culturalist. The fact that he wastes four hours per week cataloging his relationships on a spreadsheet certainly makes him uncommonly dull. Interesting people don’t waste valuable time on mundane tasks. They have people for that. For example, in the Imperial Capital, powerful people, the real movers and shakers, don’t carry their own mobile phone. They have people for that.

Present and past relationships appear in the database, as do family members and work colleagues; these days, most of us have heavily overlapping constituencies of work and play.

I won’t pretend I don’t get a frisson of childish amusement from “shorting” the “stock” of people who show up late for an appointment (I’m hoping to commission a mobile app so I can do that on the fly) or even demoting those who have annoyed me in some way.

But the primary objective of maintaining this information is to enable me to quickly and easily filter and rank contacts before I send out invitations for parties and suppers.

The image above gives you an indication of what the spreadsheet looks like. I rank pretty much everyone I meet that I might want to see again in a number of different ways: subjective cultural assessments, estimates of income and intelligence, how much they like to party, how much trouble they like to get into, and obviously, how physically attractive they are.

The scores are normalised across the whole group. This enables me quickly and easily to drill down and generate lists from which I can craft the perfect party. I can even engineer how the photos will look, since I have a column that covers personal style. Politics is covered by a simple “Pass” or “Fail.”

There’s a term for the use and misuse of field-specific words in areas outside the specific field. Today, everyone is trying to pass themselves off as a quant, so they like to borrow language from math and science. Milo has no science or math. He had some training in philosophy, but no math or science. His misuse of the word “normalize” suggests he just thinks it sounds cool. That’s the habit of the modern fake nerd. They pick up the jargon from statistics, mostly, and fertilize their language with it.

I’ve made some interesting discoveries about my social life. For example, people ranked closer to me (with a “Tier” of A or B) are more physically attractive, and have politics that align with mine. But there’s no correlation between a person’s income and how highly I value our relationship, unless there’s been romantic interest.

My close friends (Tier A) tend to have high IQs, but their partying, troublemaking, and strategic values don’t follow any patterns. All of which implies that I am attracted to pretty, smart people with sound politics, but I don’t particularly care whether or not they are wealthy or like to party.

Look, I know all this is a bit odd. And it must sound terribly calculating. I suppose there’s a reason I’m writing a book called The Sociopaths of Silicon Valley. Perhaps it’s what jacket blurbs refer to as “unique insight.” But the truth is, this is simply the best tool I have developed to help me navigate a complex environment.

Actually, it just makes Milo sound like a shallow dullard. Odds are, his “high IQ” friends are just slightly above average people like Milo, who are similarly shallow. Posers like this guy tend to be quite average if you can get past the act. His writing is clever enough, so maybe he is not a dimwit. It’s not always fair to judge the character of someone based on a small sampling of their writing, but he seems to be determined to tick all of the boxes that are ticked by superficial poseurs.

It speaks to the age that a flamboyant homosexual can attract an audience of young males, based on his bitchiness about women. Back when the car lots were full of color and creativity, young males looked up to the rugged tough guy types as the epitome of male coolness. Steve McQueen rather than Milo the Queen. The rise of homosexuals in social status corresponds with the decline in normal male behavior. We live in an age that is not just duller, but gayer. That can only end one way.

Those Vegans are Crazy

Here’s something almost everyone knows, to some extent. All of us have been trained for the last five decades or more to think self-denial leads to good health. That’s really what most diet fads boil down to. We are told if we give up these tasty things we will live forever. In another age, food took on more magical properties and ever-lasting life was in the after-life for those who followed the rules in this life. The magical properties of food are still popular among the organic crowd. They will harangue you all night over the benefits of organic or all-natural food, even though there is no science to it.

Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.

A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

Vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and a 50 percent increase in incidences of cancer.

The cross-sectional study from Austrian Health Interview Survey data and published in PLos One examined participants dietary habits, demographic characteristics and general lifestyle differences.

The most significant dietary habit difference between meat-eaters and vegetarians concerned their BMI and alcohol consumption – with both being higher for those who consume meat.

Many past studies have instead put an emphasis on the health risks associated with red meat and carnivorous diets, but this study points the other dietary direction. However, the researchers do caution that continuing studies will be needed to substantiate some of the rather broad dietary distinctions, associations presented in this current research.

Overall, vegetarians were found to be in a poorer state of health compared to other dietary groups. Vegetarians reported higher levels of impairment from disorders, chronic diseases, and “suffer significantly more often from anxiety/depression.”

Subjects who consumed lower amounts of animal fat were also linked to poor health care practices, such as avoidance of vaccinations and a lack of preventive care.

Most likely, people drawn to food cults are a bit crazy. Their diet is a form of self-medication. The discipline of maintaining one of these diets provides structure in their life, which carries over to other areas. That’s what these guys may be picking up in the study. It is not that plant eating makes you crazy. It’s that crazy people are more likely to go for plant eating as a way to self-medicate. That’s the theory behind the various “cleanse” scams running through the health food world.

Regardless, as a matter of science we know humans have evolved eating a range of foods. Meat, fish, dairy and wild greens were the primary foods for most of human history. Early man was living almost entirely on meat and fish. About 12,000 years ago humans started to figure out how to grow plant food and raise food animals. Man domesticated sheep, goats, cows, and pigs about 15,000 years ago. The opportunity to feed large numbers of people year round with plant food only goes back a few thousand years. That means humans evolved for almost all of its time as meat eaters.

Dum Vivimus Vivamus

This was on American Digest recently. I have no idea what either site does, but I’m grateful for the traffic. Anyway, I was a huge Babe Ruth fan as a boy. One of the first books I recall reading on my own was a short biography of him. It was one of those kids books where you read the first half, flipped it over and reads the second half. Before that, I only read what was given to me by parents and teachers. Reading for fun was alien to me until about the age of eight.

A former teammate of Babe Ruth’s once recalled him by saying, “You’ve got to remember, this guy wasn’t born, he fell out of a tree.” Ruth grabbed life by the throat (or maybe it was another part of life’s anatomy) and shook it up as it has seldom been shaken up.

Ruth spent the majority of his youth cooped up in St. Mary’s industrial school, listed as an “incorrigible.” After he was released at the age of 20, Ruth seemed to spend the rest of his life making up for lost time. He went through women like they were jelly beans.

Most men, even the greatest ladies’ men, have particular “favorite types” of women, subjective turn-ons, and particular traits they especially like in the opposite sex. Ruth seemed unusual in his complete lack of this quality. Ruth just simply loved women- of all types, sizes, races, and personalities.

It’s funny, but men do have certain types of women they prefer. That’s not something that gets discussed in public much at these days. I suppose women are attracted to certain men as well. I recall a study that claimed women are far less likely to date out of their race or be attracted to men of another race than men. That is, men will go with just about anything if it means sex. Given a choice, most men do prefer certain types. I guess Ruth was way over on the liberal scale in these matters.

Hardly a day passed during his baseball career (1914-1935) that he did not have sex with at least one woman. He liked women as much as baseball. Having no favorites, bedding tall women, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, beautiful knockouts, ugly rejects, socialites, film starlets, secretaries, other men’s wives, and hookers in every big city in America.

Ruth was a stallion in bed, once making love to a woman seven times in one night- and smoking a cigar between each encounter to boot. Ruth often went to the women’s homes, but sometimes he called them up to his hotel.

Ruth was crazy about prostitutes and loved frequenting brothels. Often during his career, St. Louis fans would be “touched” by the Babe as he told a St. Louis cab driver to take him to “the house of the good shepherd.” They assumed he was going to church. Little did they know, “the house of the good shepherd” was St. Louis’ biggest whorehouse.

Once Ruth took over an entire house of ill repute for an entire night. His goal was to go to bed with every woman in the house- and he did, one by one. In the morning he celebrated by eating an 18-egg omelet.

Ruth lived to just 53, but it seems like a miracle that he made it that far. On the other hand, his cancer was unlikely to have been caused by hard living. We like to think there is a direct causal relationship between sin and health, but there’s little evidence to support it. As the song says, I’ve known more old drunks than old doctors. Until Ruth got cancer, he was healthier than most men his age, even with all the boozing, womanizing and carrying on.

It is why one should always remember that life is for living. Put another way, we have a short time to live. While we live, let us live.

Sic transit gloria mundi
How doth the busy bee,
Dum vivimus vivamus,
I stay my enemy!

Naomi Wolf is a Dolt

The last time anyone had any reason to care about the thoughts of Naomi Wolf, she was trying to explain how Clinton’s over-the-top womanizing was consistent with feminist principles. No one really cared all that much about hat she was saying, but she was amusing in a weird way, so she got media attention. Here you had Bill Clinton carrying on like the male chauvinist pig of feminist lore and everyone of these women were excusing him. There’s hypocrisy and then there is American feminism.

Anyway, this was in the news recently. The Left seems to be entering the paranoid stage as this wave ebbs. Whenever they are up to something, they start howling about fascism. That usually means they are plotting some anti-democratic shenanigans. It also ties into the on schism within the Left between national socialism and international socialism. Naomi Wolf could be nothing, but it probably means the Left is feeling threatened by enemies, real or imagined.

Western feminism has made some memorable theoretical mistakes; a major one is the frequent assumption that, if women held the decision-making power in society, they would be “kinder and gentler” (a phrase devised for George H.W. Bush in 1988 to appeal to the female vote). Indeed, so-called “second-wave” feminist theory abounds in assertions that war, racism, love of hierarchy, and general repressiveness belong to “patriarchy”; women’s leadership, by contrast, would naturally create a more inclusive, collaborative world.

The problem is that it has never worked out that way, as the rise of women to leadership positions in Western Europe’s far-right parties should remind us. Leaders such as Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, Pia Kjaersgaard of Denmark’s People’s Party, and Siv Jensen of Norway’s Progress Party reflect the enduring appeal of neofascist movements to many modern women in egalitarian, inclusive liberal democracies.

The past is prologue: Wendy Lower’s recent book Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields adds more data to the long record of women embracing violent right-wing movements. And the rise of far-right movements in Europe – often with women in charge – confronts us with the fact that the heirs to the fascism of the 1930’s have their own gender-based appeal.

One obvious reason for the success of women like Le Pen, Kjaersgaard, and Jensen is their value for packaging and marketing their parties. Europe’s far-right parties today must appeal to citizens by not seeming dangerously extreme and marginal. How dangerous can the movement be, after all, if women are speaking for it? Such parties come to be seen as more mainstream, and their appeal to traditionally harder-to-win women supporters receives a boost. It’s just marketing in a modern democracy.

In the last couple of years as the Obama show staggers to a conclusion, Progressives like Wolf have been wringing their hands over the rise of fascism again. The 1950’s were allegedly a revival of fascism, according to the Left, because Americans were happy, prosperous and being fruitful. For American Liberalism, everything is upside down. They spent the sixties allegedly fighting fascism, which was just an excuse to swing a wrecking ball through the traditional American life of their parents.

Fascism took a holiday in the 1970’s, but it came back in the 1980’s only to go back on holiday in the 1990’s. But, the fear of Hitler was back in full for the Bush years. The core of what these people believe starts with the end of the Constitution, yet they expect people to take seriously their concerns for liberty. They lack any capacity to self-examine, so they start howling about fascist threats to democracy, whenever their plans to undermine the normal functioning of democracy is impaired.

This deranged lack of self-awareness is tough to grasp at times, because it is so unlike what normal people experience. All of us are self-conscious to some degree. The Left is thoroughly and completely elitist. It is the religion of the ruling elite. You sure as hell are not going to hear a debate about third wave feminism in the ghetto or on the job site among working men. You are not going to hear Rotary Club Republicans advocating euthanasia or forced sterilization of the unfit. Those are topics discussed by Progressive in the faculty lounge. Yet, they think they are fighting those things.

That’s a big reason why Progressives have made fascism  their eternal bogeyman. It’s a form of projection. They hate this truth about themselves, but cannot face up to it without blowing the whole religion up in the process. It gets deeply internalized to the point they can no longer recognize it in themselves. The fear and hatred are still there so when they go looking for a scapegoat or a bogeyman, they inevitably call it a fascist.

That’s the other part of this. As this Progressive wave ebbs and the people notice the garbage left behind from the flood, the Left seeks to cast the spotlight on some other. It has already started, for example, with health care. The law passed by the Left is a disaster. Instead of defending it, they are out attacking various bogeymen for failing to fix it. That sounds insane – and it is -but it is not intended to convince. It is intended to distract the people on the Left, so they don’t notice their own failures.

Fear of a White Planet

The word “alarm” is supposed to imply concern and even fear. You can be alarmed about a child molester moving into town. You can be alarmed about your kid hanging out with the potheads. One is not typically alarmed about gettting a bonus at Christmastime. Words have meaning and their use says a lot of about what’s on the writer’s mind. No one is alarmed about something they welcome. Alarm is supposed to imply fear and dread of something unwanted.

In this story from National Journal, the headline is, “Tech Pipeline Is Alarmingly White” with a subhead of “No African-Americans, Hispanics or girls took the AP computer science exam in some states, meaning a majority of The Next America has little familiarity with tech.” Presumably, the publication thinks too many white people, however that is defined, is a bad thing. After all, one cannot be alarmed by too much good news. Something must be done!

The pipeline of students who will be tomorrow’s tech leaders is alarmingly vanilla.

According to a new analysis of test-takers, not a single girl, African-American or Hispanic student took the computer science Advanced Placement test in Mississippi or Montana last year. More than a third of the population in Mississippi is black.

In other words, a hugely disproportionate bunch of white guys took the test.

The lack of diversity is disconcerting because computer science is an industry hurting for qualified workers. That’s not to say that a student must take AP computer science to pursue a computer science career, but it’s an indicator of which young people have a degree of familiarity with the field. Tech companies have long lamented that they’ve had to look outside the domestic pool of students to find employees. Encouraging largely untapped demographics—girls, African-Americans and Hispanics—in high school to enter the field would only help.

But that’s not happening, at least successfully, right now.

There are 11 states where not a single African-American took the test, and eight states where no Hispanics sat for the exam.

We’re not talking here about people who passed or didn’t pass, either. We’re talking about people who simply took the test, which means African-Americans, Hispanics and girls aren’t enrolling in AP computer science classes in the first place.

Of the approximately 30,000 students who took the exam in 2013, only around 20 percent were female, according to the analysis, and a tiny 3 percent were African-American. Just 8 percent were Hispanic.

Notice the magically thinking. It is not about passing or failing the AP exam. It is about taking the exam. There’s an assumption that passing the exam is just a matter of joining the process and ticking the right boxes. If you dump more blacks into the AP courses, then they will just pass and become smart STEM people. The possibility that this is not possible is never considered. Of course, biology can’t possibly be the reason.

One reason there are so few students enrolling in the class and taking the test is that AP computer science courses are more common in suburban and private schools, Barbara Ericson, a senior research scientist with Georgia Tech who compiled the data, told the blog Education Week, and those schools tend to be less diverse than urban and public schools.

Another potential reason is that there are so few women, African-American and Hispanic instructors teaching computer science and so few working in the computer science field. Students are more likely to pursue a course of study if they have mentors with similar backgrounds to emulate.

College Board, which oversees the AP tests, has made diversity a priority in recent months, but clearly, there’s still a long way to go. And diversifying the pool of students taking the exam will require more than a push from College Board. Families, schools and community organizations will also play a crucial role in encouraging and guiding more girls and minority students toward computer science.

It is tempting to assume that the people making these claims know they are speaking nonsense, but that’s probably not the case. They really do believe in the blank slate and egalitarianism. The possibility of biology preventing their preferred outcome is just never considered, because that’s not a possibility. It’s like blaming Big Foot of leprechauns fo the problem. As usual, Steve Sailer was all over it and has some handy numbers.

Here are the pass rates (3 out of 5 or higher, equivalent to a C or better in a college 101-level intro course):

All test takers: 67%
Males: 68%
Females: 62%
Blacks: 36%
Black males: 38%
Black females: 27%
Hispanics: 45%
Hispanic Males: 49%
Hispanic Females: 31%
Whites: 66%
White Males: NA
White Females: NA
Asians: 70%
Asian Males: NA
Asian Females: NA

America has spent roughly a trillion dollars since the 1960’s on trying to fix the race gap is income, education, crime and so on. It’s hard to know, as the accounting for some of it is impossible to figure. How does one cost the affirmative action or laws against private discrimination? Still a trillion is a good figure. Yet, the gaps in all of these areas have no changed much. When it comes to education gaps, the data is overwhelming that environment plays no role in the overall outcomes. It’s biology.

That said, one cannot help but think that the real driver of stories like this is not the denial of biological reality. The real issue is a hatred of white people. Whether it is self-loathing or ethnocentric forces that flow under the surface of society, maybe a combination of both, the ruling class culture is shaped by a general hatred of normal white people. That’s why the headline writer is alarmed at the white people in tech.

Obama’s America

This story from Massachusetts is a nice preview of what comes next with ObamCare.

The family of Justina Pelletier, the 15-year-old girl at the center of a battle spanning two states and two prestigious hospitals, is devastated but defiant after a Massachusetts judge gave permanent custody of the girl to the state’s Department of Children and Families.

Speaking a day after Massachusetts juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston issued a four-page ruling blasting Pelletier’s parents for being verbally abusive and complicating efforts to bring the West Hartford, Conn., family together, Lou Pelletier told Fox News Channel the Bay State bureaucracy has been aligned against his family from the beginning.

What exactly happened that caused the state to take this child from her parents?

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families took emergency custody of Justina on Valentine’s Day 2013 after doctors at Tufts Medical Center, which had been treating her for a rare condition, and doctors as Boston Children’s Hospital, clashed over the cause of her medical problems, which included difficulty eating and walking.

At Tufts, Justina had been treated for mitochondrial disease, a group of rare genetic disorders affecting cellular energy production. When Justina began experiencing some gastrointestinal problems, the Tufts doctor treating her, Dr. Mark Korson, wanted the girl to visit Dr. Alejandro Flores at Boston Children’s Hospital, according to the family’s attorney, Phil Moran. Flores had treated Justina in the past, Moran said, and Korson thought it beneficial for the teen to see a gastroenterologist.

What happened next was a “tragic nightmare” for Justina and her family, Moran told FoxNews.com.

Justina was taken by ambulance to Boston Children’s Hospital because she was in a wheelchair at the time and a heavy snow storm was blanketing the region. Because she arrived by ambulance, she was taken directly into the hospital’s emergency room, where a “resident refused to send her to Dr. Flores” and, “declared this was his case,” according to Moran. He said the unnamed resident then called upon a psychologist who diagnosed Justina with somatoform disorder — a mental condition in which a patient experiences symptoms that are real but have no physical or biological explanation. Justina was diagnosed with the disorder “within 25 minutes,” Moran claims.

The Pelletier family rejected the new psychiatric diagnosis and wanted to bring Justina back to Tufts, Moran said. He claims the hospital tried to force the girl’s parents to sign papers preventing them from seeking another opinion.

After tempers flared between the Pelletiers and staff at Boston Children’s, the hospital notified the state that it suspected the parents of medical child abuse.

The girl was kept at Boston Children’s psychiatric ward for nearly a year, but was then slated to be transferred to another state facility. Johnston said the family, which vented its anger in various media interviews, hampered efforts to have her placed as near them as possible. She is currently being held at the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network facility in Framingham, Mass.

This is how authoritarian regimes work. People always focus on the violence, but the real tool of terror is the process. Innocent people get tangled in a system that makes no sense and operates at the whim of functionaries. Appeals to justice just anger the unaccountable bureaucrats, who then use their knowledge of the system to torment the person complaining about the system. The victims have no recourse. There’s no one to whom they can appeal. The process is a punishment with no appeal.

Of Course It Is Rigged

High frequency trading, known as HFT, is the hot new thing for market pundits to reference when discussing the markets. They don’t know much about it, but mentioning it give them credibility. This post over at MR brought out some particularly oleaginous characters defending what is nothing more than a way to game the system. The idea is to use special knowledge to buy and sell equities in order to minimize losses and arbitrage imbalances in the market.

This has been the point of insider trading and self-dealing since knife money. In a completely honest and transparent market, the only way to make money is to buy and hold stocks. Trading, assuming fees are involved, is pointless since everyone knows what everyone else knows. There’s no chance to buy a depressed stock that is about to rebound or sell a stock that is about to collapse. Informational asymmetry, at least the belief in it, is what allows a market to exist.

What the HFT guys are up to is two things. One is they can process news that impacts share prices faster than any human. The algos can grind through a mountain of data by the time humans traders have buttered their toast. Bake in the right assumptions about how the humans will react to particular data and your algorithm will make perfect trades before anyone else in the market. Selling a stock that is about to drop 10% saves millions. Buying just as it heads up 10% and you make millions.

That’s the boy scout approach. The big boys like to play dirty. Here’s how. Let’s say there are 20,000 shares for sale at $10.00 and 10,000 shares for sale at $11.00. A buyer can have all 20,000 shares at $10.00. If you’re the guy looking to sell at $11.00, you may be willing to sell at $10.00 if you think there are no takers at $11.00. You can drop the price, but you still stand in line behind the guy selling at $10.00 until those shares are sold. That’s how it works. No line cutting.

The HFT guys beat this system by exploiting the relatively low cost to cancel. They can put sell orders out at $10 and see if demand is strong. They can cancel those sell orders, thus making the bit of the line in front of the $11 sell orders disappear. Humans can’t play this game, but robots are very good at it. In fact, cancel orders have rocketed up as more and more algorithms have sprung up in finance. Getting ten cents more per share may seem like peanuts, but not when you’re moving tens of million of shares.

The thing is, this is neither new or unexpected. A great book to read for anyone interested in the financial markets is called The Money Game, written fifty years ago. The author was a market insider when that meant something. He predicted the rise of machines in trading and the rise of crooks using machines to get an edge. Mencken, I think, said there are no new ideas, just new ways of saying them. That’s true of the HFT scams. It is just another way for sharps to fleece the squares.