Detroit

The chattering skulls will certainly be talking about Detroit, specifically about the bankruptcy filing. It is the largest municipal bankruptcy in our history. More important, it is viewed as a preview of coming attractions. Roughly half the states and hundreds of localities are technically insolvent. The money they raise through direct taxation is insufficient to cover their operating expenses. They get by through borrowing and transfers. Without state subsidies, for example, Baltimore would be bankrupt.

Kevin Williamson has a column up on it today. He dances around the elephant in the room, of course, but he does allude to it. What’s wrong with Detroit is it is full of blacks. The culture of corruption runs from the top all the way down to the bottom. This is not just a math problem. It is a moral problem. Detroit did not suddenly become corrupt. It started after the riots of the late 60’s. A city that was majority white became 80% black in 15 years. The whites fled taking their money, taxes and expertise with them.

On the numbers side,  Karl Denninger has a post up on the math of the problem. Detroit owes $9 billion to health and pension funds. That number will keep going up every day as current workers accumulate benefits. That’s $10,000 for every man, woman and child currently in the city. Throw in the secured credit, net out those unable to work and it is not hard to see the problem. The city owes more than it can ever possibly pay, probably by a factor of three – at best. Everyone the city owes should expect thirty cents on the dollar.

Karl makes a larger point, one that will be with us for a long time. One generation cannot promise itself future money from the pockets of the next generation. It is an unenforceable contract between generations. The reason is you cannot force people to execute their contractual obligations, no matter how they entered into the contract. Even slavers understood this. The people living in Detroit today are unable and unwilling to pay the debts created by previous generations, so those debts will not be paid.

The same is true across the country where government has racked over $54 trillion in pension and health promises. That’s $180,000 for every person in the country. By comparison, Detroit looks great. There’s simply no way all of those promises can be met, especially with the demographics of the country changing. Will newly arrived foreigners agree to pay your pension payments? The answer is not just “no” it is “hell no.”

Again, we see the same old pattern as we see with all of our nation’s maladies. The seed was planted in the 1960’s. The generation that won the fight against fascism, threw in the towel twenty years later to make their kids happy. The selfish, resentful brats we call Boomers have rampaged through American culture like locusts, destroying everything in their path. In old age, they will be demanding the rest of us live in poverty so they can have cushy pensions and health plans.

The Kurds

Steve Sailer has a post up on this piece in the NYTimes about Syria. The Kurds are looking like the one population group in the Arab world with a chance to escape the entropy of Islam. In Iraq, Saddam tried to exterminate them, but they hung on. Today, the Kurdish areas of Iraq are the only civilized portion of the country. Business is booming, they have a reasonably sane government and they have avoided the sectarian terrorism that still plagues the rest of the country. This with no help from the Americans.

Now we see they are quietly taking control of their areas in Syria. The Turks are naturally nervous about this, but there’s not much they can do about it. For the Turks, all of the options in Syria are bad options. Their bigger concern is the fact the Kurds will outnumber the Turks in twenty years. The future belongs to those who show up and in Turkey, the Kurds will showing up in big numbers. They have a TFR three times that of the Turrks.

Between the three countries, the Kurds number 30 million. They sit on loads of oil and gas and they practice a mild form of Islam. This allows them to be favorably disposed to western capitalism, without swallowing the degenerate Western culture. That sounds like the makings of a pretty good country, at leats by the standards of the region. Maybe the West should start looking at the Kurds as potential partners instead of the crazy Arabs.

So?

The late great Andrew Breitbart used to respond to liberal pieties with “So?” The point, I assume, was to challenge the assumptions behind the passage of the catechism being quoted. I thought of that when looking at this clip from the state media. The bald dorky guy is pretending to care what the two ghetto prols are saying, even though he has done everything possible to make sure he never runs into their kind in regular life.

The two prols, raised on TV, repeat the lines they have heard their whole life, but never bothered to understand, assuming they could understand any of it.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend Zimmerman looked at Martin and thought, “There’s a young black male. I better check him out as they are always committing crimes.” Heck, let’s take it further and assume he thought, “I hate niggers, Why is that nigger in my neighborhood?”

So what?

Having bad thoughts is not a crime. Following someone because of those bad thoughts is not a crime. Punching someone in the face as Martin did to Zimmerman is a crime. Sitting on top of someone, bashing their head into the ground, is a crime. Pulling your gun and shooting someone doing that to you is not a crime. It’s the most fundamental right.

There are a lot of things both men could have done and should have done different. So?

Nothing New Under The Sun

Consider this:

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

– Booker T. Washington, 1911

Then watch this:

Stop Killing People

I saw this posted on Drudge. I used to hate Ann Coulter. The reason is I thought it was just an act. She would play the role of crazy right-wing pundit for liberal paymasters on TV. I’ve softened on her, but that forced laugh still bugs me. But, she has toned it down a lot over the years. Maybe she is just getting older. I don’t know, but I find her funny and entertaining at times now. The linked column is a good example as it is a bit sarcastic, even when touching in the elephant in the room with the Zimmerman trial.

That elephant is black crime. Specifically, it is the enormous amount of crime committed by young black men. Richard Cohen, of all people, wrote about this in the Washington Post. According to the White House, black men between the ages of 15 and 25 make up one percent of the population. They commit 27% of the murders. Murder is considered a proxy for crime in general so it is reasonable to assume this group commits almost a third of the crime, despite being one percent of the population.

Normal humans make observations. One of our evolved skills is pattern matching. Daily life tells Americans of all ages and races that young black males are far more likely to be dangerous than all other groups. Throw in the universally recognized uniforms and non-verbal affectations of violent black culture and you have a very handy image of someone you should fear at first sight. Trayvon Martin fit the profile perfectly. When he attacked Zimmerman, only a fool would not have had a genuine and reasonable fear for his life..

Ann Coulter is right. if young black males want to blend in like everyone else, they should stop dressing like killers. More important, they need to stop killing people.

Olberman’s Nine Lives

The news brings word that foaming at the mouth lunatic Keith Olbermann has been hired by ESPN. They plan to stick him on late night and promise he will not talk about politics. I guess we are supposed to believe that no one else could possibly fill that time slot so they had to hire a screaming fanatic to do it. That’s what Olbermann is and that’s what he will be in his new gig, a screaming fanatic in the mold of Father Coughlin. That’s probably unfair to fans of Coughlin, as they never passed themselves off as intellectuals.

Olbermann walks around thinking he is a genius level IQ when he is probably just about average for the population. That’s because like all fanatics, he conflates morality with reason. This has always been a feature of the Left. They see themselves as the anointed and anyone who does not see that must be stupid or evil. That gives them license to celebrate their brilliance and do anything they like against their opponents. The fanatic has no limits on his virtue or his vengeance. That’s why Olberman is a nut.

Regardless, it is emblematic of what has gone wrong in America. This idiot keeps getting high paying gigs, despite being a stupid dickhead that everyone seems to hate. Failing up seems to be the way the over-class operates. The more you screw up, the higher you climb. It is only in the wretched world of reality do we see a connection between performance and remuneration. Get fired from a few sales jobs for being an asshole and you end up working the drive through. Screw up in politics or the media and you get rich.

Spatial Reasoning

Steve Sailer has a link up to an interesting piece in the NYTimes regarding spatial reasoning. One of the little discussed aspects of team sports is the value of spatial reasoning. The ability to think through problems in three dimensions is a very useful thing if you are a quarterback, linebacker or point guard. These positions require an awareness of where everyone is and where they are going. It also requires an understanding of how the players will react to one another, the limits of the field and the context of the game.

I’ve often mentioned that certain sports are good indicators of skill at other sports. Jim Brown had great field vision in addition to his physical skills. He was a great lacrosse player in college. That’s a sport that requires high level spatial reasoning. You can be good at that sport without being a great athlete, but you have to possess that ability to visualize the field three dimensionally. Otherwise, you can have no idea what’s happening in the sea of sticks and people. Brown’s “vision” made him a terror on the football field.

No Nothing Experts

When future generations are picking through the rubble of our civilization, they will wonder about stuff like this. National Review was a serious publication for intelligent ruling class people. Reagan was a regular reader and credited the publication with informing his views on a range of issues. Bill Buckley was a genius and a polymath. James Pethokoukis is supposed to be their economics guy, yet he displays a staggering ignorance of the subject, often just repeating what the jabbering numskulls on CNBC say every night.

This column is just bad reporting, but he often opines on economics in a way that suggests he could not run a lemonade stand. Dig a little into his bio and you learn that he was a journalism major in college. He has never held a job in business or finance. His adult life has been occupied with writing about a subject he knows nothing. He may be a bright guy and a quick study, but without training or experience, he is wholly unqualified to comment about these subjects. Yet, here he is casting himself as an expert.

This is something you see throughout the media. On television it is a parade of feckless airheads reading from a teleprompter. This now legendary video shows that these idiots will read anything that is put in front of them. Their guests are not much better. They are almost always washouts from some industry who can’t get jobs. Otherwise, they are people better at talking about their field than doing it. There are more retired generals on TV payrolls than on active duty in the military.

The hippies had one thing right. Getting wasted and listening to Led Zeppellin all day is not a great way to spend your life, but dropping out has a lot of merit.

The War on the Past

One of the things that strikes me more and more as I get older is the lack of institutional memory from the chattering classes. Turn on TV news and you see two people screaming at one another seemingly unaware that their dispute was hashed out last month, last year or even twenty years ago. Politicians propose solutions that were tried a dozen times in the past, failed and were discarded. Hollywood, of course, is now recycling what was recycled last year.  America is a land of people with the memory of a goldfish.

The leaves of the tree are merely the manifestation of the roots. I think this piece I saw mentioned by Mark Steyn gets at the root of the issue. History is no longer a subject that American elites have much interest in these days. The national religion is liberalism and the liberal is by necessity at war with the past. All the leaning forward business we see from lefty nutters on TV is a dramatization of the struggle. For the liberal, the past is a nightmare from which they struggle to awake. It is the barrier to the glorious future.

The result is two phenomenon. One is the past is ignored. Vast amounts of the past has been erased from the record. The mere mention of them can get you banned from elite society. So much so they have been removed from the curriculum of our universities. If you dare bring any of it up, they run you out of the system. The other phenomenon is the rewriting of the past, even the near past, to fit the narrative of inevitable progress toward the glorious future. For instance, modern liberals all believe the Dixiecrats were right-wing Republicans. They are certain that Hitler was a conservative.

The religion of America is liberalism. The mandated stupidity we see everywhere is a direct result of the Left’s war on the past. It is one thing for the janitor to not remember what he had for breakfast. His role in life is to follow instructions. When the intellectuals deliberately close off their minds to the idea of history, the binding of the present to the past, we are going to have problems. Every one of history’s monsters promised to unshackle the people from the past. Our current monsters have the same plan.

Zimmerman Aquittal

In light of the Zimmerman acquittal, John Derbyshire’s concept of the cold civil war seems about right. The prosecution of this guy had nothing to do with race or racism. It had little to do this the facts of the case. This was about one group of white people taking a shot at another group of white people. John uses the labels Hutus and Tutsis, but that does not quite work. Those groups hate one another over blood and land, the time honored hatreds between tribes. In our war, one can pick sides. It’s the nature of a culture war.

I prefer to frame it as Whole Foods whites versus WalMart whites.  Whole Foods whites are mostly northern, mostly liberal and mostly college educated. Go to a Whole Foods and the creepy conformity is a little unnerving. The women dress the same, are roughly in the same age bracket, sound the same and do their hair the same. The men are mostly of the soft artsy variety. With a few exceptions everyone there is what David Brooks described as Bourgeois Bohemian. It’s an updated form of Puritan conformity.

WalMart whites have their own culture too. They are fat and wear clothes that displays their pop culture preferences. While Whole Foods whites will wear a plain t-shirt, the WalMart whites always have something scrawled on their shirts and it is never the name of a college. The parking lot will be full of domestic cars and pickup trucks, many with NASACAR bumbler stickers. That’s the thing with these folks. They like guns, car racing, country music and hearing fart jokes from guys like Larry the Cable Guy.

When George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, Whole Foods Whites saw nothing more than a WalMart white with a German last name and assumed he must be the heir of Bull Connor. Strangely, despite their educations, Whole Foods whites know little about the South and believe nothing much has changed since 1968. The case for them was just another chance to marginalize WalMart whites and their culture. In this regard it is reminiscent of the Snopes – Compson dynamic in the Faulkner novels