Double Reverse False Flag-a-Rooney

I like what Ron Unz is doing to support the Dissident Right. Ron is very rich and very smart. He allegedly has an IQ over 200, but I have no way of knowing if that is true. Still, his business career supports the argument that he is an exceptionally bright man. Having super-smart people in your corner is almost always good. Having smart rich people in your corner is even better. Having smart, rich curious people is ideal.

That’s what strikes me about Unz. He is not doctrinaire, as far as I can tell. His site has all sorts of political and philosophical points of view. Steve Sailer is what we used to call the mainstream Right in the 1980’s. Noam Chomsky is a socialist circa 1968. It takes self-confidence and a high degree of curiosity to open the doors to such a wide range of opinion. It is something I try to cultivate in myself and therefore admire in others.

The thing you have to guard against, however, is falling for crackpot ideas with which you are unfamiliar. I’m a natural skeptic so this is much easier for me than most. My default assumption, when confronted by a new answer, is to assume that it must be wrong. I then set out to disprove it. I’m a natural puzzle solver so reverse engineering an idea or argument to see how it works is second nature. That wins me few friends, but it avoids stumbling into this sort of stuff I see on Ron’s site.

Philip Giraldi had a long career in the intelligence business as a CIA agent and later as a private dick for international clients. Therefore, his words carry an authority that most do not. He’s also a dedicated Israel hater. Here’s a quote from him:

“The Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away. “

Giraldi’s opinion of Israel is popular in Europe and, obviously, dominant in the Middle East. Arabs, fond of conspiracy, have created an elaborate mythology around Israel, international Jewry, the United States and their own plight. Westerners, who spend long periods in Arab lands, tend to pick up this habit of mind, along with a suspicion of Israel. They often return home sounding like retired Nazis to American ears. Giraldi has a bit of that to him and I would assume it comes from many years posted abroad.

Regardless, his obsession with Israel borders on the pathological. To suggest, as he does in that post, that the Israelis were behind the Paris shooting is simply nuts. All of the evidence points to two unstable young men who probably spent too much time on-line fantasizing about being the great Arab warrior. It’s not al-Quaeda or the Mosad. It was two disaffected Muslims. Instead of shooting an aging rock star to win the heart of a woman, they shot up a newspaper to win a place with Allah. But, the conspiratorial mind can never accept such banal explanations.

In his essay In Search of Anti-Semitism Bill Buckley laid out the turf that lies between criticism of Israel and/or commentary about Jews and anti-Semitism. This has remained an unresolved dispute between various factions of the Right since it boiled over in the 1980’s. The result, in my view, is that the folks chased out of the mainstream Right over the issue of Israel have never gotten over it. Their non-personhood haunts them even after all these years. The result is a deep paranoia about Israel and their neo-con supporters on the American Right.

I think Giraldi’s paranoia about Israel is simply weird. Israel is a country that does what it can to advance its interest. If it were located in the heart of Europe, it would be a Hebrew Lichtenstein, a commercial center with a big Temple. Instead it is surrounded by Arabs and it must adjust to deal with them. Americans have a romantic view of Israel so that is reflected in our foreign policy. Israel does not exist to undermine America. It acts in its own interests as it views them.

Three Cheers for Death Taxes?

I saw this the other day on Maggie’s Farm. I can’t recall how many times I have had debates with people over death taxes. Everyone is always shocked by my position on the issue. I guess it is just assumed that Progressives like inheritance taxes so anti-Progressives must be against them. That’s generally the assumption on all taxes and tax policy. Once again, we see how the Left’s hive mindedness shapes public discussion.

Taxes are necessary if you wish to have a government. Government is necessary if you wish to have a state. Even libertarians get this. The question is, what do you tax in order to fund government? The amount of taxing should always track the amount of spending. The great disaster of late 20th century American conservatism is the uncoupling of taxes from spending. The modern Right is just a different brand of liberal, offering a free lunch in exchange for a vote.

It seems to me that taxing the dead is a great way to fund the state. After all, the dead have few spending needs. They have no rights and no claims on the living. Taking the property of the dead is well within the traditions of western people so it’s not like we are breaking new ground. Throughout history, failure to properly name an heir meant your property was awarded to the state upon your death. To date, the dead have never petitioned their government for redress of death taxes.

The only snag is when it comes to property held in association with others, like a business or jointly held lands. If your business partner dies and the state takes ownership of his shares in the business, you now find yourself in partnership with the government against your will. Worse yet, the state could auction off that ownership stake and you end up out of business entirely. But, key-man polices have been around a long time so there’s a remedy.

A key-man policy is a type of insurance policy. If one partner dies, the policy pays off so that the other partner can acquire the shares of his partner from his estate. Putting that into law so that the state gets the insurance money rather than the company stock is not terribly difficult. It would protect the rights of the living without giving rights to the dead.

The thornier problem is property or a business sort of owned by a family. The patriarch builds up a company and has his kids join in the business. Before they are ready to gain a share of the business, the old man gets hit by a bus. There’s no insurance policy to cover the business so the tax obligations would wipe out the family business. Again, this could be addressed with minor changes in the law such that life insurance could cover this sort of calamity.

The only sensible objection, it seems to me is one of equity. The guy who works hard, saves his money and builds up a fortune ends up paying a greater tax than the bum who never bothered to save. Bill Gates, according to some, should have the right to give his great fortune to his children if he chooses. It should not be confiscated by the state.

There’s nothing to prevent Bill Gates from giving his fortune away. He would just have to do it while he is alive. If he wants to set his kid up with a billion dollar gift, that’s his choice. That option exists now. Whatever is left upon his death will go to the government. People have been doing this sort of planning for generations.

The counter to this is the modest, middle-class family cannot take advantage of these laws. The folks who have their wealth in their primary home, maybe a vacation spot and the family business cannot be expected to liquidate before death and give away their money. As a practical matter, it must be done at the time of death. At the risk of sounding callous, life is unfair like that sometimes. No tax is without its unfairness.

That’s the thing I come back to when it comes to the death tax. No one likes paying taxes. There is no tax scheme that makes everyone happy or everyone equally miserable. Every tax irks someone more than others. The dead have bigger problems than the disposition of their property so taxing them strikes me as the least harmful of the possible taxes.

Unlike most other taxes, death taxes have the benefit of breaking up large fortunes. Concentration of wealth is the number one enemy of civilization. There’s nothing wrong with someone getting fabulously rich through his own initiative. There’s an assumed link between the fortune and the talent. Inheriting a fortune and the power that comes with it is hitting the lottery. Worse yet, it subjects the rest of us to sortition, thus pegging the fate of society to the mating choices of the long since dead.

In conclusion, taxes are about paying for the current operations of government. The best taxes are those that retard the normal functioning of society the least. No one escapes death so taxing it will not get less of it. It’s not perfect, but no tax is perfect. It is the only tax that has any plausible social benefit.


Virtual Nuisance

When I was a boy, the adult women were much more sensible than the corresponding women of today. Back then, the moms and aunts were in their late-20’s to mid-30’s and they struck me as the most practical adults in my world. They did all the work for family events so that’s probably why it seemed that way to me.

One of things I recall hearing as a kid was how a family weirdo “always had to get involved in stuff. “ As a kid this made no sense to me, but looking back on that time from the perspective of this time I get it. The weirdo in question was into causes. It was always something to do with poor people somewhere very far away. I think she was into some weird church too, but it was a long time ago.

I thought about that when this turned up in front of me the other day. I use one of my many fake Yahoo e-mail accounts for travel sites so I saw it when printing off travel documents. I clicked on the story because I foolishly thought that maybe someone was going to finally call bullshit on the college rape nonsense. I was wrong, of course.

The article is complete nonsense. The vibe that comes through suggests the author is struggling with mental illness. I looked her up and my suspicions were confirmed. As soon as the word “jezebel” comes up you know you’re either dealing with Bible study, Hebrew school or crazy people. Her twitter feed makes clear she is not one of the first two choices.

It used to be that women like Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, the authoress of the Yahoo article, had to work hard to be “involved in stuff.” If she wanted to be a pest, she had to do it retail. That meant going to a public place and handing out mimeographed rants or making a nuisance of herself in some way. Airports were popular places for Moonies and Hare Krishna’s. I recall our family weirdo making a scene at the local grocery store once over something unknown to me.

It used to be that the mall in Washington was the weirdo bug light. Every weirdo with a cause showed up in DC and went to the mall to “make their voice heard.” Well, it seemed like every weirdo with a cause. If you walked from one end to the other, you would see just about every brand of nutter this country could muster. I used to know a guy, who had a scale for the degree of crazy on the Mall that day.

That’s no longer the case. Today, Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy can be a pest from her bedroom. She can sit around all day texting other lunatics about lunacies they share in common. They can coordinate their efforts and “make a difference.” Because they don’t have to worry about getting punched in the nose, they can be as vicious as they like. The technological revolution created the social justice warrior by breaking down the fences society had used to keep the nuts penned up.

I don’t have answer for this. My sense is technology has turned 50,000 years of evolution against itself. For as long as man has been man, we had ways to deal with our defects. The best way was to arrange things so that it was hard for any one person to make too much trouble. Technology has obliterated those old limitations. I know people with the IQ of a goldfish with a smartphone and social media accounts.

The upshot, if there is any, is that I will be dead before lunatics like Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy have reduced the whole thing to rubble.

Fake War Nerd

I would not consider myself a regular reader of the War Nerd blog. I probably check in once a month or so when I am regularly reading it. In fact, I went a long time not reading it until John Derbyshire mentioned it a few months back. The fact is there are too many sites and too many writers to keep up with all of them regularly. I have a lot of interests so I’ll drift away from a site or a writer if they are not writing about what is interesting to me at the time.

Anyway, Derb’s mention of the War Nerd brought me back to it. The other day this entry got my attention. Reading it, my bullshit detector was pegged to eleven. Right out of the shoot, this struck me as very weird from someone claiming to be living in Kuwait.

I read a long article called “My Terrifying Night with Afghanistan’s Only Female Warlord” last month. It was utter crap, and so similar to a lot of utter crap I’ve been reading about the women fighters of the Kurdish YPJ militia in Syria that I realized it’s time somebody called foul on the offensive, ignorant crap going around about what the media likes to call “women warriors.” I don’t particularly enjoy the role of progressive scold, and it don’t hardly come natural to me, but somebody’s gotta do it.

What happens, in every case where writers and TV reporters with no background in military reporting try to describe “women warriors” is that they sexualize everything, ignore the real context, and betray a deep misogyny in every word they write or speak on camera. I mean, to the point that it’s surprising, at least to me, because a lot of these people make a big deal about being progressive. I’m kinda shocked, actually, how crude their gender bias is. Nobody seems to be even trying to hide it.

That’s not the voice of the usual guy writing about the drinking in Kuwait or the bureaucratic insanity of the American defense procurement system. Instead, it sounds like a middle-aged white women from a typical American state college. The word “sexualize” is the thing. You only ever hear that from lefty scolds in the academy.

Then there is this:

I’m an American, and it wasn’t until I’d lived in the Middle East for years that I could see just how American I was, above all in my notions about gender and bodies. Americans see everything as a sexual hierarchy, and that seems so natural to us that you have to work very hard to realize it’s not a universal human pattern of thought, but a particularly American one. Percy hasn’t taken that time, doesn’t even know she needed to if she was to see what this Tajik matriarch is doing. The results…well, they’re pretty durn funny, and then infuriating, by turns.

That’s the sort of thing a young writer pens when they are trying to write travel fiction from their parents vacation house. It’s the sort of thing a non-traveler thinks experienced travelers have learned. It just sounds fake to me. The bit about how Americans “see everything as a sexual hierarchy” is right out of the womyn’s studies department of third rate state college. It’s the sort of line I write when making sport of feminism.

That led me to consult wiki. The Wiki on the blogger is fascinating and I feel confirms my suspicion. This bit is what I mean:

Gary Brecher is the pseudonym of John Dolan, author of The War Nerd, a twice-monthly column discussing current wars and other military conflicts, published originally in the eXile, then NSFWCorp, and currently in PandoDaily. A collection of his columns was published by Soft Skull Press in June 2008 .

When you look up John Dolan you get this:

John Dolan was born in Denver, Colorado in 1955. Dolan taught and studied at UC Berkeley, where he completed a PhD thesis on the literary writing of the Marquis de Sade.

He has published poems in many US and New Zealand literary journals and his first collection won the Berkeley Poetry Prize in 1988. In 1993, he moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he lectured at the University of Otago. During his time in Dunedin, Dolan contributed regularly to the Otago literary journal Deep South. In 2001 Dolan resigned his academic post, and moved to Moscow to become co-editor of the eXile, a bi-weekly English-language publication based there. He was the first reviewer of A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, a bestseller featured on Oprah’s monthly bookclub, to correctly expose this alleged memoir as fraudulent years before that was officially brought to light (the title of Dolan’s review was “A Million Pieces of Shit” and the first line was “This is the worst thing I have ever read”) . He is married to his former student, Katherine Liddy. Dolan relocated to Canada to teach at the University of Victoria in Canada in 2006. He claims to have been fired for encouraging students to criticize George Monbiot in 2008. Until spring 2010, Dolan was an associate professor of English composition and literature at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani. He was fired in 2010 and wrote a lengthy article on his experience there.

I don’t want to belabor it, but it seems pretty clear that the guy behind the War Nerd blog is mostly full of baloney. He had a brief time in Iraq a few years ago and has created a fictional character as the blogger “War Nerd.” That’s my sense of it, least ways. The reason some of the posts sound like the howlings of a third wave feminist is they are probably written by his wife and former student.

Maybe this is old news and I’m late to the party. Like I said, I’m an infrequent reader. Still, just goes to show that you can’t take anything at face value.

Hot House Flowers

Steve Sailer had this up on his site with some comments. It’s short so I’ll post the whole thing below.

Two groups who I think share a lot of unappreciated similarities are liberal gentrification critics and conservative immigration critics. Both want to take a dynamic and free society and freeze it in time, because they like it how it is now. And both assume we have a high level of ownership over our neighborhoods and our country.

It’s true both neighborhoods and the country overall exist within democracies and so we have some legitimate say in what happens there, but it’s simply not the case that we own it. Both contain homes and property owned by others, which you don’t own. As a result, your neighbors are free to sell their homes to whoever they please, and for gentrification critics and immigration critics this can be a problem. The United States is not our shared property, but a free country and free society where we have various rights.

Perhaps all the existing residents could decide that to the best of their abilities they want to legally freeze everything in time and keep it just how it is. But remember that the country looks how it does today because past residents were willing to accept change. The desire to freeze it now, to block new entrants and stop change, is a selfish act that denies future generations the right to see their country and neighborhoods evolve, just as they have evolved to this point.

Imagine if every neighborhood from the 1950s remained frozen in place, and strict laws managed to mandate static relative socioeconomic status and ethnic and cultural makeup. In retrospect of course it seems silly and hubristic to pick a singular point in time, -say 1955- and declare that everything is perfected now compared to all prior states and all possible future states. Of course when we’re taking about now instead of then, many find the right to preserve current conditions to be obvious and not silly at all.

Maybe this message is wholly unneeded for the sophisticated readers of the blogosphere, but I think for sure it is broadly under-appreciated. The only reason we have have gotten to this current state that you wish to preserve forever is that past generations resisted that impulse. It’s a free country, and that means we don’t own it.

The bit of commentary that got my attention and made me laugh is this:

I’m always amused by how people congratulate themselves on how sophisticated their simplistic ideas are. The concept of diminishing marginal returns appears to be unknown to them, for example, but that doesn’t dent their self-confidence.

Sailer is not a wordsmith or a humorist, but sometimes his dry wit is pretty funny.

Modern times means you can Google the writer and learn a lot. Adam Ozimek, according to his LinkedIn profile, has spent most of his life in college. He has had a short tenure at a consulting firm that sells expert testimony to trial attorneys. That sounds terribly dodgy to me, but everything to do with civil litigation is dodgy. Otherwise, Adam Ozimek has spent his life either in school or doing school work for hire. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing that would strike a normal man as work.

That’s the thing you always see with economists. It is rare to see one with any experience in the practical world. Most are career academics. Others bounce around government and private think tanks. In some respects, economics has become a guild like the law. It has its own language, credentials and hierarchy. The law is the marshal profession of the managerial class. Economics is the priestly order of the managerial class. If your kid has an abrasive personality he goes into law. If he is socially awkward he goes into economics.

Years ago I was involved in a lawsuit. During discovery, the topic of billing consulting fees came up. I forget the details, but there was a question about fees billed to the other party. The attorneys were flabbergasted by the idea of marking up fees billed to a client. At first I thought it was some sort of lawyer gag, but I realized they were serious. They simply had no idea how a business makes a profit. In this case the business hired consultants and billed for their time.

Similarly, I had a discussion with a German doctoral student at Yale over beers about business topics. He was an interesting guy and his specialty was currency markets. I have an interest in the history of money so that’s how we fell into conversation. Once we moved to more mundane matters like balance sheets and financial statements, the guy was completely lost. He expected to leave college and head into finance. I could not help but wonder how he would manage without knowing something about how a business functions.

The political class now draws its members from the managerial class. Ted Cruz was a lawyer, for example. Jindal was a consultant for McKinsey. Tubby from New Jersey was a lawyer for the government. The staff in Washington is chock full of guys with resumes similar to Adam Ozimek. It is fair to say that the people who run the government have little in common with the rest of us. They are brimming with self-confidence as they look through the glass of the terrarium at us.

The Cloud People

This story from the Beeb, as the Brits call it, is an excellent example of how globalism is eroding the nation state.

The Islamists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris should be not be described as “terrorists” by the BBC, a senior executive at the corporation has said.

Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, the largest of the BBC’s non-English language news services, said the term “terrorist” was too “loaded” to describe the actions of the men who killed 12 people in the attack on the French satirical magazine.

Mr Kafala, whose BBC Arabic television, radio and online news services reach a weekly audience of 36 million people, told The Independent: “We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that ‘two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine’. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is.”

Mr Kafala said: “Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.”

This is an inevitable result of globalism. The BBC used to be a British company funded by British taxes. Now it is a global concern (still collecting British taxes) with more customers outside of Britain than within it. The elites running it naturally have little reason to be loyal to Britain or any other country in which they operate. Like their company, they are citizens of the world, which is a polite way of saying citizens of nowhere.

The global elites are the cloud people. They float above us, detached from language, culture and history. They have no loyalty to a country or the people and traditions of a country. It’s like the British Raj. The people in charge are fine with the rest of us engaging in our quaint customs, as long as it does not interfere with their looting of the resources. When the ground people cause trouble, then the cloud people step in to remedy it.

I suspect it is why our elites are berserk for mass immigration. At some level, the fact that clusters of people with a common ethnicity and common heritage exist is a challenge to the new post-national ideology. If Europe can be turned from a patchwork of peoples and cultures to a gray, featureless slurry devoid of cultural diversity, the elites will feel justified in their indifference to toward the people.

At other times I have used the word neo-feudalism to describe this new arrangement. The financial support of our elites comes primarily through government sanctioned skimming operations. The BBC would not exist without the British government and the British taxpayer. Much of the modern economy is simply socializing costs and privatizing profits with the former falling on the middle-class and the latter bubbling up to the elites.

Mere greed does not explain the berserk behavior with regards to immigration. It does not entirely explain why the BBC is willing to indulge in linguistic acrobatics in order to avoid describing reality. It turns out that Georg Lukács was right, but he was looking in the wrong direction. It is not the proletariat that achieved class consciousness through reification. It is the modern global elites.

The alienation that Marx and Lukács imagined as the natural result of a mechanized, material society never materialized as the lower classes always had other primary identities that trumped all else. The neighborhood, the gang, rooting for a particular football team are all ways working men give their lives meaning. No amount stuff can change that, particularly in a welfare state.

The modern global elites are formless and their dealings are entirely transactional. The rich and powerful of the Industrial Age used their wealth and power to build the cultural and political institutions of their country. They could look around them and see the envy and admiration of their tribe, they people, their country. Today’s elites hang out at Davos comparing Rolex watches and eating $50 hot dogs.

The class identity that our elites have realized is really an anti-identity. They hold the rest of us in contempt. That’s why the BBC looks for ways to poke the common Brit in the eye. It is why the NYTimes roots for whoever is fighting against the American service man, wherever he is sent to fight. It’s why elite academies keep retrograde companies like Chick-fil-A off their campus. They are who they are because they are not us.

The Reactionaries Take Greece

It looks like the Greeks have decided to bugger the world by voting in Syriza. I don’t know enough about Greek politics to know if they can govern alone. According to news reports, they are just shy of a majority so they need partners to form a government. Presumably they can find a few small parties to give them the seats they need, but that’s just my guess. The AP says they won 149 of 300 seats in parliament. Looking at the WSJ chart, it appears the communists got 15 seats so they will probably join Syriza in a coalition of the crazy to run Greece.

I would assume that average Greeks will now pull the rest of their money from the banks and stop paying their taxes. The Greek banks are on the knife’s edge due to the quiet bank run leading up to the election. All of them have reportedly applied for emergency liquidity from the ECB. The noises coming from Yanis Varoufakis, the incoming Finance Minister, suggest Alexis Tsipras is spoiling for a fight that creates chaos. It is an axiom of radical politics that crisis creates opportunities.

The crisis they seek now is with Europe. Reading the international news tells me the first step is to break out of the spending restraints placed on Greece by the troika. That should force a confrontation with the rest of Europe, particularly Germany. If not, then the next step will be to demand a restructuring of current debt. Syriza seems to think the Germans would rather be bled dry than let the Greeks walk. That’s the way to bet, given the way European politicians have turned themselves into pretzels in order to keep the project afloat.

The fascinating thing to me is that Alexis Tsipras is basically the young version of every current European leader. The typical Eurocrat was saying all the same stuff, when they were young, as Tsipras is saying today. It’s like time has folded on itself and the Eurocrats are now fighting their juvenile selves over a project they would have opposed in their youth. That should work to the advantage of the geezers, but so far the advantage seems to be with the young radicals.

The other thing of interest to me is what happens elsewhere with their radical parties. In a healthy social democracy, the main parties represent the core of the nation. What we’re seeing all over the West is the main parties are losing support from the core as they defend the privileges of the elites over all else. The people will have their tribune, so eventually a fringe party finds a way to make its case to the disaffected core. That’s what has happened in Greece and is in process throughout Europe.

The future is not written so there is still time for the more stable countries of Europe to reform and maybe what’s happening in Greece will be the wake up call they need. I’m not terribly optimistic about that possibility.  The main parties of Europe are now built on the idea of a single Europe with open immigration, a single economy and a single political class, independent of the people. I don’t think people realize just how radical the idea of Europe is in the history of man. There’s never been anything like it and the mainstream parties are all married to it.

That’s what brings me back to the irony of the young radicals facing off with the old radicals. Europe has been stuck in this endless loop for two centuries now. Each generation comes along with their plan to prove Rousseau right. When they inevitably fail, the next generation gets their shot to show the old fools how it is done. Alexis Tsipras talks like a college professor circa 1968 or 1848.

The endless loop of feudalism was eventually broken by the Black Plague. As an economic system it could not survive the massive disruptions brought by the plague so something else had to fill the void. But that was an economic arrangement, not an ideological one. It took the massive devastation of central Europe in The Thirty Years War to discredit the idea of a universal European church.

Rousseau-ism has proven to be much more resilient and adaptive. Christianity eventually broke on the wheel of science. Rousseau-ism keeps mutating. The European project is a radical adaptation of fascism – transnational fascism, but it is still the same old songs, just sung to different tunes. In one of life’s ironies, Syriza is reactionary, a demand to return to old school Rousseau-ism of a century ago.

My sense is we have entered a new phase. This will be marked by the slow bleeding of the core in order to buy off the fringe. The core is intellectually and spiritually exhausted. Success within the core is about managing decline. There’s no man on a horse riding in to reform and reinvigorate the core. Like a once rich family selling off the furniture to pays their debts, the core of Europe will keep printing and borrowing to pay off the fringe. Until they can’t do it anymore.

The Limits of Selling Me Crap

I was paging through Twitter and saw this posted by Gavin McInnes. The story itself is not the point of this post. It is an example of how race is covered in America. If a white guy executed two black guys, the major news companies would devote all of their coverage to it for a year. That’s because it fits into the mythology that animates the liberal narrative. But, that’s a topic for another day.

I was thinking about writing something about it when sound mysteriously started coming through my speakers. For some reason I was using Chrome rather than Mozilla, the former not having the array of pop-up blockers, script blockers and flash blockers installed. I hunted around and found the offending video and stopped it. If you have clicked on the above link, you will be doing the same thing in a few seconds.

The story was actually blocked until you took a survey. The page is plastered with ads, in addition to the video crap in the middle. Just doing a little estimating, I’m going to say that the page is 60% advertisement. The story takes up maybe 10% of the page. The rest is promotions for the site and other features on the site. They are perilously close to the point where the story is so hard to find in the clutter that we’ll need an app to help find it.

This is happening all over and not just on the Internet. Websites have no way to make money other than ads and even then the money is small. They have no choice but to pack their pages with ads. The weaselly tactics some use is not wise, but maybe they are desperate. Breitbart is a useless site, as far as I’m concerned, because it is so cluttered with ads and embedded audio. I really hate the embedded audio.

I was talking to a friend the other day after one of the football games about how a 60 minute game is now a five hour event. A football game is a three hour commercial with a football game woven into it. The promotion of it and other games before and after the game is just more marketing, disguised as content. Even replays have sponsors now so that we end up with “this replay brought to you by Viagra shows…” I’m all for the NFL making money, but do they really need to sell so many ads?

I read the other day that the NBA will start placing ads on the uniforms. It will not be long before technology allows them to have rotating ads on the uniforms. The courts will soon be plastered with ads. The NHL is using video technology to digitally place ads on the ice for TV viewers. During World Cup, they had ads crawling on the screen because there are no breaks in the game to run ads. That means the rules of the game will be changed so they can run ads during games. “This water break brought to you by…”

Getting back to the web page ads, there’s a limit. I don’t go to Brietbart because I hate the ads. Even if they don’t care about old hate-thinkers like me, there is a limit to the number of ads they can post on their site. Similarly, there’s a limit how much crap they try to sell us on our phones and TV’s. What happens when the limit is reached? The whole economic system of the west is based on never ending growth and that includes advertising.

What happens when there’s no more room to grow?

The Lunacy of Caitlin Dickson

This was on the front page of Yahoo.

A simple errand turned violent for Clarence Daniels this week when he went to Walmart for some coffee creamer and wound up in a chokehold.

Upon arriving at the Walmart in Florida’s Hillsborough County on Tuesday, the 62-year-old Daniels, who is black, grabbed his handgun from his car and slipped it into a hip holster underneath his coat. Watching this from inside the store was Michael Foster, a 43-year-old white man described by the Tampa Bay Times as “a well-intentioned vigilante.” As soon as Daniels walked into the store, Foster tackled him, shouting, “He’s got a gun!” Ignoring Daniels’ repeated yells of, “I have a permit!” Foster proceeded to put him into a chokehold. When sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they confirmed that Daniels was indeed a concealed carry permit holder and Foster was arrested and charged with battery.

Think about the thousands of crime stories you read where the race of the perpetrator is never mentioned. Here, the race of the victim is mentioned first. If you have any awareness at all, you know what’s coming.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the scuffle, which might explain why the incident was not widely covered and why the local coverage chalked it up to an honest misunderstanding. And maybe it was an honest misunderstanding. But Foster’s instinct to take matters into his own hands and attack a man he thought might pose a threat to his fellow Walmart shoppers pulls into focus the state of vigilantism in the U.S., and Florida in particular.

As long as the U.S. has existed, so too have vigilantes: civilians who, with no legal authority, take it upon themselves to enforce laws and punish wrongdoers, typically operating under the assumption that government or police cannot be trusted to do so. Vigilantism, by definition, is illegal. But throughout history, state and federal laws have blurred the lines between what is considered illegal vigilante behavior and what qualifies as justifiable self-defense. Perhaps nowhere else has that line become more blurred in recent years than in Florida, where Tuesday’s Walmart tackle took place.

OK, maybe it was a false alarm. Instead of being a story about evil white people assaulting black bodies, it is a story about evil white men and their vigilantism. or, maybe a story about the dangers of concealed carry laws.

A decade before the country broke into Civil War, the budding abolition movement prompted Congress to pass a collection of bills known as the Compromise of 1850. One of those bills was the Fugitive Slave Act, which, among its provisions, included the requirement that citizens help in catching fugitive slaves. The spread of abolition — and later desegregation—was met with the creation of groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, that sought to restore “order” and intimidate civil rights-seeking African-Americans as well as their allies — often through violence.

Though much more loosely organized and existing further out along the societal fringe, racism is still at the heart of today’s larger vigilante groups. Only instead of free blacks and civil rights advocates, modern-day groups like the Minutemen militia target immigrants, sometimes even acting as volunteer Border Patrol agents in an unauthorized effort to crack down on illegal immigration.

Of course. It all makes sense now. Hyper vigilant white guy trying to be a good guy is really another racist like those slavers from last week who built the country on black bodies. Not only that, this incident shows that the very idea of borders and border control is a vestige of white racism!

Of course, not all vigilantes are motivated by race; nor are most of them affiliated with any sort of group. Benjamin John Francis Fodor, better known by his superhero name, “Phoenix Jones,” claimed to have been interested in breaking up brawls when he took to the streets of Seattle armed with a hooded mask, pepper spray and a stun gun before he was arrested in 2011 on four counts of suspected misdemeanor assault.

In attempting to enforce the law, vigilantes like Fodor often end up breaking the law themselves. This recent Walmart case is no exception. Because Florida is a “concealed carry” state, Foster had no legitimate reason to assume that Daniels was breaking the law before asking him to see his concealed carry permit.

Whew! It turns out that not all vigilantes are racists. There are some exceptions, like the one black guy arrested for vigilantism. But otherwise, all the white ones are racists!

In attempting to enforce the law, vigilantes like Fodor often end up breaking the law themselves. This recent Walmart case is no exception. Because Florida is a “concealed carry” state, Foster had no legitimate reason to assume that Daniels was breaking the law before asking him to see his concealed carry permit.

Florida is also, however, a Stand Your Ground state, a wide-ranging self-defense statute best known as the basis for the acquittal of George Zimmerman of the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. In the wake of the controversial Zimmerman verdict, Florida lawmakers met last year to clarify that Stand Your Ground does not permit vigilantism. Still, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department’s response to Tuesday’s Walmart incident suggests vigilantes aren’t necessarily discouraged as much as they are urged to patrol responsibly.

You see, even when good-hearted black people break the law it is because the laws were written by white racists. You know, the concealed carry laws are all written by the KKK to facilitate the war on black bodies. C’mon! Everyone knows that!

Given the lunacy on display here, I suppose it is fitting that she winds it up with the Cult’s favorite myth. That is the nonsense about “Stand Your Ground” laws having anything to do with the Zimmerman defense. That was a case of lethal force in self-defense. When a guy is bashing your head against the curb, you get to shoot him. That’s been true for about 15,000 years.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this was written by some angry black person. At least that would make some sense, but that’s not how it goes these days. It was written by a pampered, upper middle-class white girl. As soon as she lands a husband, it is off to Connecticut and a whites-only neighborhood and a lifetime of lecturing the rest of us about racism.

Ian O’Connor: Stupid and a Liar

Last night, Ian O’Connor posted a column about the Brady Flat Balls scandal. It’s the sort of meat-head nonsense you get from sports columnists these days. The thing is, it contains a lie that has now been obscured with careful editing. The current opening graph is this:

Under his oversized ski cap, Tom Brady could not hide from the fact he was convicting himself in the court of public opinion. The quarterback of the New England Patriots admitted that footballs pumped up to 12.5 pounds per square inch are “a perfect fit for me,” yet swore he did not notice a difference in the AFC Championship Game when most of the balls had significantly less pressure.

The original paragraph and the basis for his entire rants read this way:

Under his oversized ski cap, Tom Brady could not hide from the fact he was convicting himself in the court of public opinion. The quarterback of the New England Patriots admitted that footballs pumped up to 12.5 pounds per square inch are “a perfect fit for me,” yet swore he did not notice a difference in the AFC Championship Game when the balls weighed two pounds lighter.

If you read the comments, people caught it quickly and mercilessly mocked the idiot for not understanding grammar school science. This guy actually thought footballs weighed 12.5 pounds, one pound of weight for every pound of air pressure. Therefore, a fully deflated football would weigh zero and float away.

I’ve had experience with sports reporters in press boxes and interview rooms. Most reporters are surprisingly obtuse. Sports reporters are uncommonly stupid. The only skill they possess is a willingness to spend their lives on the road watching ball games. That and the ability to avoid noticing anything prohibited. These are the same people who failed to notice the use of steroids in baseball, when it was obvious to most fans.

The other thing with this story worth noting is that Ian O’Connor pretends to be an intellectual on TV. Television is entertainment so all of the chattering skulls play a role, like comedians. Larry the Cable Guy is not actually a cable guy and his accent is entirely contrived, along with his act. O’Connor pretends to be the cerebral guy on the stage, despite having a two-digit IQ.

The difference between a comedian and the fake intellectual is the former is honest, while the latter is dishonest. Pretending to be an accountant, dispensing advice for a fee lands you in prison for fraud.  Pretending to be an accountant on a news program, dispensing advice for a fee wins you an Emmy. The parade of fake military experts is a good example of how lucrative fraud is on television.

The reason stupid people, like Ian O’Connor, are so common in the news business is narrative journalism. The news business has been dominated by the Cult for decades. Instead of reporting the facts of a story, it is a race to jam the facts into the narrative, which is always based on some left-wing fable.

O’Connor embraces this philosophy and flatters his bosses by pretending to be an intellectual, who embraces their philosophy. That means rising quickly to the top.

Multiply this a million times and you have the modern American news media.