Libertarian Weirdos

Libertarians have everything about human nature exactly backwards. Humans are not rational actors and we should never want to be. The other thing about libertarians is they suffer from many of the same defects as liberals. Chief among them is their moral preening. There’s no better example than Nick Gillespie from Reason. I read this and think he must be an awful person to be around or have as a neighbor.

As one of the folks (along with Matt Welch, natch), who started the whole “Libertarian Moment” meme way back in 2008, it’s been interesting to see all the ways in which folks on the right and left get into such a lather at the very notion of expanding freedom and choice in many (though sadly not all) aspects of human activity.

Indeed, the brain freeze can get so intense that it turns occasionally smart people into mental defectives.

No one gets into a lather of expanding freedom and choice. That’s just signaling so the reader knows he is in the presence of the anointed. The fact is, hardly anyone pays much attention to libertarians. The reason is life is not a math problem nor is it an economic problem. Public debate is about what kind of society we wish to have and that means culture.

To wit, Damon Linker’s recent essay in The Week (a great magazine, by the way), which argues that the outcomes of U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Libya disprove libertarianism, in particular, the Hayekian principle of “spontaneous order.”

No shit. Linker is being super-cereal here, kids.

Nick is a 50-year old man. There’s simply no reason to write like a teenager. Putting that aside, the observable reality of the Middle East is, in fact, a perfect case against libertarianism. Remove a central authority with the willingness and ability to enforce the rules and you get Lord of the Flies with camels and swarthy guys firing Kalashnikovs. The same is true of Africa and South America. It turns out that the only people capable of pulling off anything close to libertarianism are Anglo-Saxons.

But, that’s noticing and that leads to the great bogeyman that haunts the dreams of the libertarian weirdo – culture. Africans prefer a form of government that is based on neopatrimonialism. South Americans have always preferred autocratic rule, often by military men. Russians love their czars. Economic systems spring from culture. Culture and genetics dance the dance within the bounds of their geography to make the people we around the world. No words on a sheet of paper will change that natural realty.

Assholes And Their Toys

Amongst gun people, New Jersey has a shabby reputation. The gun laws there are authoritarian and oppressive. It’s why Tubby has zero chance of winning the GOP nomination is 2016. Here’s a good example of the nutty gun laws in the state.

 A New Jersey man was arrested after police say he shot down a neighbor’s remote control drone.

According to investigators, officers with the Lower Township Police Department were called to a home in the 1000 block of Seashore Road on September 26th to investigate the report by a resident that his remote control helicopter (drone) was shot down. Investigators say the resident was taking aerial photographs of his friend’s home, which is under construction.

While doing so, the resident told police he heard several gunshots as he simultaneously lost control of the drone. After retrieving the drone, the resident observed multiple holes in it that were consistent with a shotgun blast. The resident called the Lower Township Police Department and when officers arrived, he directed them to the area where he heard the shots coming from.

After an investigation, police say they determined 32-year-old Russell J. Percenti allegedly fired the shots that brought down the drone. Percenti was arrested and charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Criminal Mischief. The shotgun used to shoot down the drone was seized by police. Percenti was released after posting bail.

First off, we will see more of this. Cheap flying gizmos with cameras means every jerk in the neighborhood will have one. In the not too distant future some jerk will have a drone spying on the woman next door and her husband will throttle the guy. The reason the general IQ has fallen is modern technology has allowed the stupid to escape the natural consequences of their genetics. At the tail end of the technological revolution, assholes get to easily reach out and share their asshole-ishness with the rest of the world.

What gets gun people worked up about this is the homeowner who shot down the drone gets charged with “Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.” What in the hell is that? Unless they can prove the guy bought the gun so he could shoot down that idiots drone, they are making stuff up. This is why the cops are out of control. We have mountains of vague laws like this. Every day in the precinct, the chief says, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.

As a gun owner and a normal person, I’m fine with local ordinances about discharging firearms in residential areas. I’m also fine with the man pulling the trigger being held responsible for the deeds of the bullet. If the idiot flying the remote control copter wanted to sue, fine. Giving the shooter a fine for discharging a firearm is fine too. This is not a criminal matter. This is guy getting pissed off at his neighbor who is a raging dickhead. But, this is New Jersey.

All that aside, technology is about to invite a whole new layer of trouble in our lives. Assholes like the the guy flying the spy camera is going to become a big problem and people will inevitably demand a solution from the state. Frankly, I don’t know the right answer. If I see a remote control gizmo flying over my property or even over my head, I’m taking it down if I can do it. If I find the guy controlling it, he’s having a very bad day. I’m sure I’m not alone. Banning the sale and use of these things, including for police departments, is probably a good idea.

Obama Speaks At Klan Rally

President Obama spoke at a Ku Klux Klan rally today.

Hello, CBC!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Everybody, have a seat.  It is good to be with you here tonight.  If it wasn’t black tie I would have worn my tan suit.  (Laughter.)  I thought it looked good.  (Laughter.)

Thank you, Chaka, for that introduction.  Thanks to all of you for having me here this evening. I want to acknowledge the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairwoman Marcia Fudge for their outstanding work.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Shuanise Washington, and the CBC Foundation for doing so much to help our young people aim high and reach their potential.

Tonight, I want to begin by paying special tribute to a man with whom all of you have worked closely with; someone who served his country for nearly 40 years as a prosecutor, as a judge, and as Attorney General of the United States:  Mr. Eric Holder.  (Applause.)  Throughout his long career in public service, Eric has built a powerful legacy of making sure that equal justice under the law actually means something; that it applies to everybody — regardless of race, or gender, or religion, or color, creed, disability, sexual orientation.  He has been a great friend of mine.  He has been a faithful servant of the American people.  We will miss him badly.  (Applause.)

This year, we’ve been marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  We honor giants like John Lewis — (applause); unsung heroines like Evelyn Lowery.  We honor the countless Americans, some who are in this room — black, white, students, scholars, preachers, housekeepers, patriots all, who, with their bare hands, reached into the well of our nation’s founding ideals and helped to nurture a more perfect union.  We’ve reminded ourselves that progress is not just absorbing what has been done — it’s advancing what’s left undone.

Even before President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, even as the debate dragged on in the Senate, he was already challenging America to do more and march further, to build a Great Society — one, Johnson said, “where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.  Where no man who wants work will fail to find it.  Where no citizen will be barred from any door because of his birthplace or his color or his church.  Where peace and security is common among neighbors and possible among nations.”  “This is the world that waits for you,” he said.  “Reach out for it now.  Join the fight to finish the unfinished work.”  To finish the unfinished work.

America has made stunning progress since that time, over the past 50 years — even over the past five years.  But it is the unfinished work that drives us forward.

Some of our unfinished work lies beyond our borders.  America is leading the effort to rally the world against Russian aggression in Ukraine.  America is leading the fight to contain and combat Ebola in Africa.  America is building and leading the coalition that will degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.  As Americans, we are leading, and we don’t shy away from these responsibilities; we welcome them.  (Applause.)  That’s what America does.  And we are grateful to the men and women in uniform who put themselves in harm’s way in service of the country that we all love.  (Applause.)

So we’ve got unfinished work overseas, but we’ve got some unfinished work right here at home.  (Applause.)  After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have now created 10 million new jobs over the last 54 months.  This is the longest uninterrupted stretch of job growth in our history.  (Applause.)  In our history.  But we understand our work is not done until we get the kind of job creation that means everybody who wants work can a find job.

We’ve done some work on health care, too.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we’ve seen a 26 percent decline in the uninsured rate in America.  (Applause.)  African Americans have seen a 30 percent decline.  And, by the way, the cost of health care isn’t going up as fast anymore either.  Everybody was predicting this was all going to be so expensive.  We’ve saved $800 billion — (applause) — in Medicare because of the work that we’ve done — slowing the cost, improving quality, and improving access.  Despite unyielding opposition, this change has happened just in the last couple years.

But we know our work is not yet done until we get into more communities, help more uninsured folks get covered, especially in those states where the governors aren’t being quite as cooperative as we’d like them to be.  (Applause.)  You know who you are.  It always puzzles me when you decide to take a stand to make sure poor folks in your state can’t get health insurance even though it doesn’t cost you a dime.  That doesn’t make much sense to me, but I won’t go on on that topic.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more work to do.

It’s easy to take a stand when you’ve got health insurance.  (Laughter and applause.)  I’m going off script now, but — (laughter) — that’s what happens at the CBC.

Our high school graduation rate is at a record high, the dropout rate is falling, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before.  Last year, the number of children living in poverty fell by 1.4 million — the largest decline since 1966.  (Applause.)  Since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate has gone down by about 10 percent.  That’s the first time they’ve declined at the same time in more than 40 years.  Fewer folks in jail.  Crime still going down.  (Applause.)

But our work is not done when too many children live in crumbling neighborhoods, cycling through substandard schools, traumatized by daily violence.  Our work is not done when working Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate, even as corporate profits soar; when African-American unemployment is still twice as high as white unemployment; when income inequality, on the rise for decades, continues to hold back hardworking communities, especially communities of color.  We’ve got unfinished work.  And we know what to do.  That’s the worst part — we know what to do. 

We know we’ve got to invest in infrastructure, and manufacturing, and research and development that creates new jobs.  We’ve got to keep rebuilding a middle class economy with ladders of opportunity, so that hard work pays off and you see higher wages and higher incomes, and fair pay for women doing the same work as men, and workplace flexibility for parents in case a child gets sick or a parent needs some help.  (Applause.)  We’ve got to build more Promise Zones partnerships to support local revitalization of hard-hit communities.  We’ve got to keep investing in early education.  We want to bring preschool to every four-year-old in this country.  (Applause.)  And we want every child to have an excellent teacher.  And we want to invest in our community colleges and expand Pell Grants for more students.  And I’m going to keep working with you to make college more affordable.  Because every child in America, no matter who she is, no matter where she’s born, no matter how much money her parents have, ought to be able to fulfill her God-given potential.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

So I just want everybody to understand — we have made enormous progress.  There’s almost no economic measure by which we are not better off than when I took office.  (Applause.)  Unemployment down.  Deficits down.  Uninsured down.  Poverty down.  Energy production up.  Manufacturing back.  Auto industry back.  But — and I just list these things just so if you have a discussion with one of your friends — (laughter) — and they’re confused.  Stock market up.  Corporate balance sheet strong.  In fact, the folks who are doing the best, they’re the ones who complain the most.  (Laughter and applause.)  So you can just point these things out.

But we still have to close these opportunity gaps.  And we have to close the justice gap — how justice is applied, but also how it is perceived, how it is experienced.  (Applause.)  Eric Holder understands this.  (Applause.)  That’s what we saw in Ferguson this summer, when Michael Brown was killed and a community was divided.  We know that the unrest continues.   And Eric spent some time with the residents and police of Ferguson, and the Department of Justice has indicated that its civil rights investigation is ongoing.

Now, I won’t comment on the investigation.  I know that Michael’s family is here tonight.  (Applause.)  I know that nothing any of us can say can ease the grief of losing a child so soon.  But the anger and the emotion that followed his death awakened our nation once again to the reality that people in this room have long understood, which is, in too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement.

Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.  We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities.  That’s just the statistics.  One recent poll showed that the majority of Americans think the criminal justice system doesn’t treat people of all races equally.  Think about that.  That’s not just blacks, not just Latinos or Asians or Native Americans saying things may not be unfair.  That’s most Americans.

Draw whatever conclusions you like.

The Stupid Person Veto

There’s a term called the “heckler’s veto” which describes how lunatics are able to stifle normal public discourse. Colleges will not invite Ann Coulter to speak anymore because the lunatics are so disruptive the school fears harm could come to their students. The crazies over at Media Matters and The Southern Poverty Law Center work from this premise. In both cases it is a small number of people, but they make such a ruckus it is easier to go along with their racist demands than do the right thing.

The thing is, Media Matters et al. rely on mass media to pull their stunts. One of the weird consequence to the technological revolution is we now have the lunatics veto and the stupid person veto to go along with the heckler’s veto. Because we made it so easy for the stupid and crazy to reach a broad audience, we are more aware of them than at any time in human history. Matt Osborne, in another age, would have passed the time playing checkers with the other patients at the local asylum. Today he participates in public debate.

Steve Sailer has a post about the increasing number of two-digit IQ’s writing for popular websites. That column by Daisy Hernandez is funny, but it is also a good example of the the stupid person veto. Her bio suggests she is clever enough to fool others in her slice of the bell curve, but she is not adding anything to the stock of human capital. In a different age, she would be a secretary at an office somewhere or at home raising children. She’s also not a “woman of color” but she’s smart enough to know that’s how stupid people gain a toe-hold in the opinion rackets these days. Liz Warren got a job at Harvard once she became a fake Indian.

Reading her column, you see a familiar game. Some self-described victim declares herself to be a moral authority. That gives her a veto over the rest of us. After all, the only reason her “white male editor” spiked her asylum story is he is a racist. His pointing out the idiocy of such a proposal is the proof. After all, only “skinny white guys” notice that dimwits like Ms. Hernandez have heads for of goofy ideas. Because it is so easy for blockheads like Daisy to get on twitter and Facebook, they can now shout down everyone else.

I’m fond of pointing out that the mouth breathers on MSNBC were not allowed on TV and radio thirty years ago. The men running television and radio, sympathetic to the causes of these lunatics, were still responsible enough to keep these nuts off the air. They rightly feared the consequence. Even now, without mandatory cable fees MSNBC would go out of business in a week. technology has flung open the asylum doors and we are awash in dimwits and lunatics. The sane and sober are drowned out and the results follow.

Weird People

F. Scott Fitzgerald supposedly said the “rich are nothing like us.” The fact is the rich do live different lives than everyone else. For most people, money is the thing you never have enough of and so you are forever fussing over it. It is always at the heart of your decisions. Rich people have excess and so they don’t spend as much time fussing about money in their daily lives. That leads to lives that are strangely different than the rest of us.

In February I gave an interview to Vice UK to help promote a film I had written and financed called The Canyons—I did the press because there was still the idea, the hope, that if myself or the director Paul Schrader talked about the film it would somehow find an audience interested in it and understand what it was: an experimental, guerilla DIY affair that cost $150,000 dollars to shoot ($90,000 out of our own pockets) and that we filmed over twenty days in L.A. during the summer of 2012 starring controversial Millennials Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen. The young journalist from Vice UK asked me about the usual things I was preoccupied with in that moment: my admiration of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street—the best film I saw in 2013 (not great Scorsese, but better than any other American film that year) and we talked about the movie I’m writing for Kanye West, my love of Terrence Malick (though not To The Wonder), a miniseries I was developing about the Manson murders for FOX (but because of another Manson series going into production at NBC the miniseries has now been cancelled), the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast (link), the possibility of a new novel I had begun in January of 2013 and that I lost interest in but hoped to get back to; we talked about my problems with David Foster Wallace, my love of Joan Didion, as well as Empire versus post-Empire (link) and we talked about, of course, The Canyons. But the first question the young journalist asked me wasn’t about the movie—it was about why I was always referring to Millennials as Generation Wuss on my Twitter feed. And I answered her honestly, unprepared for the level of noise my comments caused once the Vice UK piece was posted.

Bret Easton Ellis is not a billionaire, but he lives a life of leisure. His books and the movies from those books have made him millions. His fame means rich people looking for cultural trinkets are willing to pay him to hang around them. That’s why his opening paragraph resembles something you would expect from a patient at the local psychiatric ward. The name dropping and impulsive self-reference is strange enough, but the volume of it is not like anything you find in normalville.

I have been living with someone from the Millennial generation for the last four years (he’s now 27) and sometimes I’m charmed and sometimes I’m exasperated by how him and his friends—as well as the Millennials I’ve met and interacted with both in person and in social media—deal with the world, and I’ve tweeted about my amusement and frustration under the banner “Generation Wuss” for a few years now. My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and  who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. And Generation Wuss responds by collapsing into sentimentality and creating victim narratives rather than acknowledging the realities of the world and grappling with them and processing them and then moving on, better prepared to navigate an often hostile or indifferent world that doesn’t care if you exist.

Pop culture people always seem to come to bad ends. Comics rarely have careers into their fifties for this reason. Once you hit your 40’s you begin to lose touch with pop culture. By your mid-50’s you have no idea who most of these people are even if you try yo pay attention. The aging comic’s references become sad and dated. The aging satirist starts to sound like a retired athlete. Ellis appears to be heading down that road where he compares everything to his generation.

Spies Like Us

I once knew a girl who worked for the NSA. She was an “escort” which meant she escorted people around the facility. She stood at one door. When someone came through that door, she would check their ID and then walk with them to their assigned area of the facility. Apparently, this was a common way of handling internal security back then. I have no idea if it remains in place, but it sounds like a bureaucratic solution to security at classified facilities

More recently, I knew a guy whose daughter worked for the CIA. She started as an intern in college. She was a theater major. She was also as dumb as a goldfish and about 150 pounds overweight. After college, she got a full time job at the CIA and they sent her all over the world. She worked in Baghdad and Kuwait. Once she started having kids she was sent back home. What a fat stupid women could possibly do for the CIA is a mystery, but she got to pretend she was Mata Hari.

Back in the 80’s, it was revealed that the number of paper pushers to field agents in the CIA was something like 150-to-1. They had an army of people who spent all day reading foreign newspapers and categorizing the stories. If you spoke Russian, you would sit there all day listening to Russian TV and radio, cataloging the details. All of those people need coffee and they need managers. They all got to tell people at dinner parties that they worked for the CIA.

The point being is we have thousands of people working in the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies who are just cubicle jockeys. Most of what they do is pointless busy work. Some of it is useful and some of it harmful. The fat girl in the CIA most likely spent her days filling out forms and reading e-mail. Like the “escort” I met in my youth, she was as much of a spy as the janitors or coffee jerks working at the CIA Stabucks.

The new supervisor thought his idea was innocent enough. He wanted the baristas to write the names of customers on their cups to speed up lines and ease confusion, just like other Starbucks do around the world.

But these aren’t just any customers. They are regulars at the CIA Starbucks.

“They could use the alias ‘Polly-O string cheese’ for all I care,” said a food services supervisor at the Central Intelligence Agency, asking that his identity remain unpublished for security reasons. “But giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn’t work for this location.”

This purveyor of skinny lattes and double cappuccinos is deep inside the agency’s forested Langley, Va., compound.

Welcome to the “Stealthy Starbucks,” as a few officers affectionately call it.

Buck Sexton likes to brag about working for the CIA. His act on Glenn Beck’s network is to be the national security guy. Obviously, he was never a field agent. Unless we go to war with the Scouts, a guy like Sexton is not needed in an undercover role. Fox has another fake spy on named Mike Baker. He actually did field work, but it was drug cases and that’s more like police work than espionage. He pretends to have been a government hit man on TV.

The comical part of the Starbucks story is that no one buying coffee there is a ever going to be a field agent. Maybe they get out into an embassy job, but they will never go under cover. Driving into Langley with your CIA badge and CIA parking sticker on your car is a terrible way to maintain your cover. Yet, everyone in the place, including the guys emptying the trash barrels, carries on like they are Maxwell Smart. I bet you could make a money selling them shoe phones and cones of silence.

Rich Man Poor Man

The Bush years, I suspect, will be studied by historians for a long time. It’s not that Bush was all that interesting. It’s that he and his band of neoconservative fanatics sent so many people into a permanent state of insanity. Most of the old paleos went nuts over the war mongering. Many eventually embraced the weird anti-Israel paranoia that used to be the private domain of the Lyndon LaRouche followers. That’s not to say Israel is not trouble, it’s just that they are not the only trouble.

The Left, of course, was taken over by the crazies. The end of the Cold War probably was the main cause, but Bush hatred was one cause. Maybe Bush hatred was just a symptom of the craziness. it really does not matter. What the Bush years revealed is the ruling class has gone crazy. One side wants to make war on the world and the other side wants to make war on us. Lots of people have gone crazy trying to understand what in the world is happening to these people.

There were minor figures who also went bonkers. Rod Dreher was a conventional Catholic conservative in the Sam Francis vein. Then he started getting squirrelly, writing about “crunchy-cons” and then he wandered off to find himself. His work today has all the hallmarks of a man who was defined by his faith and then lost his faith. There’s a maudlin obsession with suffering. The source story is here. The bullshit meter is at eleven on this one. A little google work and I see it is a hoax.

The fact is we have four types of poor people in America. The first and most common is the dependency class. These are the folks you never see. They live in the bad areas or what you assume to be bad areas. In the ghetto, the women get on the dole and the men sell drugs, get high and get in trouble. There are some of the other type of ghetto dweller. This is the working poor. These people have jobs and try to live decent lives.

Then you have the temporary poor. These are young people starting out and divorced mothers trying to bounce back. The former often made some poor early choices and are struggling to recover. They do and it builds character. The latter are women who end up divorced with kids and living in an apartment. Again, it is temporary. Eventually their salary rises and the kids move on or they find a new man. The thing with this group is they just don’t have money. That’s different than poverty, which has a behavior component. Give these people more money and they put it away for a rainy day.

The final category of poor people are the imaginary ones. These are the poor the SWPL-types like Rod Dreher read about or see on TV. The imaginary poor are designed to elicit feelings of pity followed by an urge to “get involved.” The tale offered up by Linda Tirado, for example. hits all the current fads in SWPL-ville. She smokes and eats junk food. SWPL’s are big into self-denial. She prefers abortion to motherhood, but the closest abortion mill is too far away so she has kids she does not want.

This weird form of Mercerism would be harmless if not for the fact public policy is all geared toward helping the imaginary and temporary poor. Rod Dreher spends hours coming up with ideas to do something about the imaginary poor. Democrats in Washington are always championing polices to help the temporary poor, but end up writing laws for the imaginary poor, cause that’s where the emotion lies. It is why Mao packed off the intellectuals for the rice paddy.

Islam in Drag

Many of us out on the fringes have been pondering the series of weird moral panics and cultural shifts that have been coming at us for a long time now. The weird thing is the culture war seemed to be running out of steam in the Clinton years. He was a degenerate, but not much of a culture warrior. Polling showed the public had turned on the family issues like abortion and divorce. Even Bill Clinton was talking about abortion being “rare, legal and safe.”

Then things went bonkers again. Homosexual rights quickly sprung up with groups like Act Out and then, of course, homosexual marriage was on us. That was 15 years ago, maybe? That fight raged and then the ground shifted again. The trannies were suddenly in the street demanding I’m not sure what. Today brings news that the Feds are suing a company for discriminating against trannies. It won’t be long before they are forced to make cakes for them.

It’s easy to let the freakishness of it all distract from what’s really going on. Many on the right make that error, thinking the issue is the issue. They never stop and wonder why these issues. Steve Sailer has written about the bigger picture, but I suspect he just finds it all too amusing to waste much time on it. Frankly, I fall into this trap as well. The material is just too rich to leave untended. The jokes write themselves.

In my more lucid moments I used to think it was all part of the suicidal impulse of the Left. As I’ve written before, people join movements out of self-loathing. They seek to replace their identity with that of the group. It is a form of self-obliteration. Get enough of these people together heading in the wrong direction and they are soon shopping for alien abduction insurance and Phenobarbital. In a political cult like Liberalism, they try to tear down the structures of civil society. In other words, all of these causes are a means to an end and have little to do with helping the oppressed minorities, real or imagined.

Sitting atop a mountain, cross-legged in quiet contemplation, it occurred to me that the latest rounds of moral panics about the big bad NFL are a piece with the current war on normal. We have male players acting poorly towards women and children. Further, we have alpha male owners not disciplining those players to the satisfaction of the Cult. Worse yet, the big dog at the top of the NFL has not been groveling sufficiently. Compounding it is the fact the NFL is a tough guy, manly man league. It ain’t soccer.

Outside of football, the sporting press is forever ranting about fighting in hockey. They want the beaning of hitters in baseball eliminated. They hate the physical play in basketball, a sport no one would confuse with a tough guy sport. Boxing, of course, has been pushed to the fringes.of course, you have the berserk fanaticism on the Left for chav ball. It is the one sport that boys and girls can play together.

Outside of sports, you have the mania for doping up boys so they don’t act like boys in school. As soon as a boy shows some spunk a bureaucrat is racing to the scene with a handful of Ritalin to “fix” the boy and make sure he stops acting like a boy. This story the other day on NRO is emblematic of the war of males congregating without women. The insanity of forcing “fraternities” to admit women is no impediment to the war on men.

It is the one thread you see running through all of this. I’d include the war on women nonsense that was a part of the last campaign. All of these things are a reaction to and a rejection of what has been a part of western culture’s sense of masculinity. The new religion of America is going to be a feminine religion, one where women and the traits of women are dominant over men and the traits of men. That’s why the hysterical response to the NFL. It’s attempts to attract women and appeal beyond working class males is a threat to the new religion.

Interestingly, the other great religion of our day is Islam, an over the top masculine faith. From the start it has been about the dominant males dominating the other males. Women have no place in Islam. They have a minimal role in Islamic life. If you look at old photos from Muslim countries, you see women dressed like normal women of the day. That was a time when Islam was on the wane. Once Islam revived, the women were put  back in their bags and into the back rooms.

If you look at how Islam polices itself, it is hard not to see the parallels to what is going on in America. The two religions are mirrors of one another. In Islam, heretics and enemies are not just killed, they become trophies. Throughout history, the victor has held up the severed head of the vanquished. The loser has offered his neck to the winner. The last act of an honorable man, who has been defeated, is to offer up his neck to his better.

On the other side of the coin, we see heretics and enemies humiliated and forced to grovel. They are not confronted or physically harmed, they are shamed and forced to confront themselves through the public apology. Shame has always been the way women were punished in western societies. A man would get a beating, while a woman would be publicly humiliated with the scarlet letter or a turn in the dunking chair. That’s what we see with the Cult today. The accused is forced to recant in public and grovel for mercy.

We’ve had a glimpse of the end game for Islam. In Iran, where Islam is absolute, fertility rates have collapsed. David Goldman claims there are more prostitutes in Tehren than mothers. That may be an exaggeration, but the TFR is 1.8, well below replacement. When you net out the non-Persian in the hinterland with their high fertility, the numbers are worse. Across the Islamic world, the rise of Islam brings a fall in fertility. That can only go on for so long before it all falls apart.

Similarly, the West has seen fertility rates collapse. The argument from the Cult is rising education levels result in fewer children. That does not change the fact that fewer children means fewer people. The logical end is no people. I’ve written before that we are living in a different sort of Iran. Ours is a highly feminine version where women seek to dominate men. The results appear to be similar. The difference is the West has a store of value built up over 500 years of progress. Otherwise, our mullahs wear pants suits.

The War on Black People

A good way to get yourself sent off to the reeducation camp is to point out the dysfunction in black America. The only acceptable opinion is that blacks are the victims of white racism. No matter the topic, if it includes black people the answer is racism, even for blacks talking about the topic. There’s some truth to it, but the reason for that is the insane rule itself. This story about the mayor of New York City is a good example.

A senior adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio is in a serious relationship with a convicted killer and interstate drug trafficker whose most recent run-in with the law happened late last year — when he nearly ran over a New Jersey police officer while driving her car, records show.

Rachel Noerdlinger, the chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray who has attended top-level NYPD meetings, has been romantically linked to Hassaun McFarlan since 2010. Court and police records show that the two have lived together for nearly two years.

McFarlan, 36, has been arrested at least five times, including for the fatal shooting of a teenager over a down jacket, records show.

Two of the arrests occurred while he was dating Noerdlinger, a former aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton. While they’ve been an item, McFarlan has also trashed police officers on his Facebook account, referring to them as “pigs” in two posts.

In one online rant, McFarlan said, “I cant come outside without the pigs f—— with me in the hood.”

Most black people, especially black women, are law abiding, peaceable people who just want to live their lives. Rachel Noerdlinger is obviously a bright and hard working women. If she were your co-worker or neighbor, you would probably like her. The trouble comes when the violent, out of control boyfriend arrives. They almost always arrive. That’s the problem and it is a problem for the majority of black people. They are forever terrorized by this subset of the black community.

Whites are good at dealing with their trouble makers. Violent and lazy whites are shunned by respectable whites. Even in the lower classes, the criminal element is segregated from the rest. Blacks don’t do this and it harms all black people. Rachel Noerdlinger will most likely get fired. She will pay the price for her criminally violent boyfriend.

This is why segregation is still common. A black family moves in and the whites are thrilled to be diverse. Then the ghetto friends of the black family show up one night and party until four in the morning. The next week all of those white people with their “coexist” bumper stickers are calling the Realtor. The rush to get out is on and the original black family finds themselves living in the old neighborhood again, just in a different location.

Things That Bug Me

One of the benefits to be an aging crank is you get to point out the foibles and missteps of others with impunity. In the age of mass media, those foibles are replicated and exaggerated. Some guy on TV says something clever and you hear it repeated a million times over the next week. Some phrases, like “the Chicago way” become catch phrases for the more pedestrian pundits like Michelle Malkin. She’s well intentioned and on the right side of things, but my goodness. Sarah Palin saying “crony capitalism” is another one that makes me grit my teeth.

Anyway, I thought a listical of things I hate would be a fun post.

1) Reach out and touch base: At least once a day, some young fellow calls in to let me know he is touching base with me. How I became his base is never discussed. I guess I’m supposed to be flattered. I have no idea where this came from or how it became a standard greeting, but I hate it. What bugs me about it is the dishonesty. You’re not checking on my wellbeing. You want something from me. That’s why you’re calling me.

2) The on-line symposium: I’ve been to a lot of symposiums, as in the ancient Greek sort. We did not call them that. We called them drunken arguments, often held at the pub, but sometimes around the kitchen table at three in the morning. You can’t do this on-line. Sure, I often get drunk reading the internet and have even posted while drunk, but that’s not a symposium. That’s a drinking problem. What’s really irritating is these on-line things are always feminized. The participants care more about flattering one another than scoring points.

3) Pronouncing foreign words with a foreign accent: The idiot in the White House has this habit. He speaks one language, American English. He’s not exactly a word smith either. Yet, the guy will pronounce foreign words with what he thinks is a native speaker’s accent. I bet if ever had a reason to say “Slim Jim” he would try to sound like an Indian convenience store clerk. It is a ridiculous affectation that says the speaker is a punk and a nitwit.

4) Make statements into questions: This is one that millennial pansies love using. I used to love going off on them at Marginal Revolution. Smarmy, left-wing 20-something boys do this exclusively. They lack the guts to make declarative statements so they opt for the passive-aggressive approach. Lines like “you know [fill in tantrum]?” is the standard form. The precious little snowflakes want you to know they are vexed by your opinions and want you to explain yourself. It’s the result of over investment in children. The resulting sense of entitlement give them a veto over the world around them.

5) Demand a link: Many lunatics are so thoroughly marinated in the Cult of Modern Liberalism, things the rest of us take for granted are a mystery to them. Somehow, it becomes your responsibility to provide them with material on what most of us already know. I get the sense sometimes that these people have never heard of Google. Whenever I run into something unfamiliar or objectionable, I look it up. If I choose to rebut the claim, then I post the link.

6) Ignorance as argument: I wish I had a nickel for every time someone posted “I’ve never heard of ….” It would be nice if it were methodological solipsism, but it is really just navel gazing. When presented with information or opinions that don’t fit neatly into the person’s world view, they deny its existence by claiming to have never heard of it. The implication is that the argument must be false because they are unfamiliar with it or unfamiliar with your facts. By extension, their point of view or opinion must therefore be the correct one.

7) Being right by default: Every liberal I know does this. They stake out some position and demand you convince them they are wrong. Homosexual marriage is a classic. Instead of making the affirmative argument, they demand an explanation as to why they should not push forward with it. I guess I can’t blame them, given the direction of things. Still, it is an infuriating pose. If you want to change something, it is your job to make the case. It is not my job to stop you from believing stupid stuff.