The late great Andrew Breitbart used to have a great way to befuddle moralizing liberals in TV. The liberal would go on a rant about something, which meant repeating the liberal pieties about the subject, then sitting back, full of righteous indignation expecting Andrew to cower. Instead, he would respond with “So?” and a rye smile. He had the perfect look to pull it off and the confidence to deliver it on target. The liberal would be poleaxed, unsure why they did not get the expected reaction.

I thought of then when looking at this:

THE brutal murder of 12 people at the offices of a satirical magazine in Paris today appears to have been carried out by militant Islamists. If so, many will again question the compatability of Islam with secular-minded, liberal European values. Mistrust of religion is not confined to Islam, but Europeans regard it as more threatening to their national cultures than other faiths (or indeed atheism), according to a 2013 poll by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Germany. The threat of Islamic terrorism is rising, to judge not just by today’s slaughter but also by other attacks and a recent upward trend in arrests for religiously-inspired terrorism reported by Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement arm. Perceptions can easily run ahead of reality, however. There were still more arrests for other types of terrorism (motivated by separatism, for example) in Europe in 2013, the last year for which pan-European data are available. And European publics wildly overestimate the proportion of their populations that is Muslim: an Ipsos-Mori poll in 2014 found that on average French respondents thought 31% of their compatriots were Muslim, against an actual figure closer to 8%.


So what? People are notoriously poor at this sort of thing. They simply pick a number that feels big or small or about right, depending upon the subject. Americans wildly overestimate the number of queers in the population. The reason is we are bombarded with the subject by the Cult of Modern Liberalism. It feels like there are many more than there are, which is what should be the point. Europeans are suffering from a similar phenomenon. Culturally, Islam is punching way above its weight in Europe so it feels like Muslims are swarming in big numbers.

This sort of passive-aggressive tactic is popular with the CML. Instead of making an argument and supplying facts to support it, they put things “out there” to shift the focus. You can be sure that the chattering skulls in Europe will prefer focusing on this rather than the lunacy of importing millions of Muslims. That’s what made Brietbart’s retort so much fun. It turned the focus back on the other guy, forcing him to explain himself.

Conspiracies Afoot

I’ve never been much of a conspiracy buff. My own experience says people have a tough time keeping a secret. Anglo-sphere countries also suffer from the concreteness of language, which makes it tough to pull off a good conspiracy. For a ruse to work, the mark has to believe things that are not true based on his own mistaken interpretation of what has been said by others. English is not a great language for that.

Arabic is a great language for nuance. Russian is a pretty good language for deception as well. In both there is lots of room for interpretation. Whether culture shaped the language or language shaped the culture is unknown, but a hour working with Arabs or Russians and you figure out that it is nearly impossible to pin them down on anything. It’s why contract law is alien to Arabs.

Anyway, this got my attention today. Since it is probably fire-walled, I’ll past it here.

Barely 24 hours after Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister, joined millions marching in Paris to pay tribute to the 17 people killed by Islamist extremists, the country’s president struck a much more confrontational tone.

“The duplicity of the west is obvious,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference on Monday evening. “As Muslims we have never sided with terror or massacres: racism, hate speech, Islamophobia are behind these massacres.”

“The culprits are clear: French citizens undertook this massacre and Muslims were blamed for it,” he added.

Although political leaders in Turkey have repeatedly condemned the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman, a parallel narrative has emerged in the country, with conspiracy theorists blaming the murders on foreign intelligence agencies rather than radical Islamists.

This is so Turkish. I’m by no means an expert on Anatolia, but I have strong interest. It is, in part, due to their love of conspiracy. The other reason is the first “fast woman” I ever had fun with as a young man was Turkish.

A similar phenomenon has occurred in Russia, which sent Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister, to Sunday’s march.

Some such theories have been endorsed by pro-government figures — highlighting the growing resentment and suspicion of the west in two strategically important countries at a time of rising tensions over Ukraine and the Middle East.

Russians are not the same sort of conspiracy mongers as the Turks. Russians seem to like the deeper, more subtle brand of conspiracy and intrigue. There’s an assumption that things are not as they seem, but also an internal logic is at work. Turks seem to like chaotic conspiracies that make no sense to anyone.

“In Turkey, at least, it looks dangerously like people are playing a double game,” said Aaron Stein of the Royal United Services Institute, a UK think-tank. “Issue condemnations that play internationally, even as you tolerate supporters pushing crazy opinions that appeal to your political base.”

Melih Gokcek, mayor of Ankara for the ruling AK party, said on Monday that “Mossad [the Israeli intelligence service] is definitely behind such incidents . . . it is boosting enmity towards Islam.” Mr Gokcek linked the attacks to French moves towards recognising Palestine.

Ali Sahin, a member of Turkey’s parliament and foreign affairs spokesman for the AK party, last week set out eight reasons why he suspected the killings were staged so that “the attack will be blamed on Muslims and Islam”.

Mehmet Gormez, director of the state-run religious affairs directorate, described the attacks as a “perception operation” that cynically used the symbols of Islam, although he later appeared to tone down his comments.

In his own remarks on Monday, Mr Erdogan added: “Games are being played throughout the Islamic world”. He expressed bewilderment that French intelligence services had not followed the culprits more effectively. However, he has mainly appeared to hint at a conspiracy behind the depiction of the killings rather than the murders themselves.

That’s the other difference between Turks and Russians. Turks personalize their conspiracy theories. Whoever is pulling the strings is not as important as who is the target of the subterfuge. In this case, they start with Muslims being blamed and work backwards. Russians don’t have the self-pity for this sort of stuff.

In Russia, some pro-Kremlin commentators sought to link the killings to geopolitical machinations by the US.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of Russia’s leading tabloids, ran the headline: “Did the Americans stage the terror attack in Paris?” and posted a series of interviews on its website that presented various reasons why Washington might have organised the attack.

In one interview, Alexander Zhilin, head of the pro-Kremlin Moscow Centre for the Study of Applied Problems, claimed the terror attack was US retribution against President François Hollande for a January 6 radio interview in which Mr Hollande urged the EU to lift sanctions against Russia.

Washington used the attacks as “a quick fix for consolidating” US and EU geopolitical interests in Ukraine, Mr Zhilin claimed.

Others repeated a popular Russian conspiracy theory blaming the US intelligence services for a swath of terrorist assaults, from the 9/11 attacks on the US to last week’s Paris killings.

“For the last 10 years, so-called Islamist terrorism has been under the control of one of the world’s leading intelligence agencies,” Alexei Martynov, director of the International Institute for New States, a think-tank, told pro-Kremlin internet outlet LifeNews. “I am sure that some American supervisors are responsible for the terror attacks in Paris, or in any case the Islamists who carried them out.”

The Russians, I think, just enjoy giving the Americans the business by feeding Muslims these wacko ideas. Given what is happening in Ukraine and Syria, it is in the interests of the Russians to angry up the Muslims. That does no mean the Russians don’t think skulduggery is at foot. It’s just that the assume it is rational. So, they throws some logs on the fire to suit their interests.

In all seriousness, I keep wondering when the West is going to wake up and figure out that Turkey is a lost cause. Turks with anything on the ball are heading to Europe. The remaining Turks are trying to figure out how to keep from being outnumbered by the Kurds. Their answer is to go all in on Islam. Supplying these guys with modern weapons and technology is a terrible idea.

The Homoverse

Something I’ve always found odd is how stories about homosexuals on sites that allow comments are instantly filled up with comments from gay militants. National Review has been sleepy for a while now, not generating tons of comments. Ramush Ponnuru is one of the least interesting posters there so his stuff gets cobwebs on it before anyone posts a comment. Today he posted this about some professional homosexual bitching about normals not wanting give up their religion to please homosexuals. Immediately it was flooded with deranged commenters making a nuisance of themselves.

I asked how these weirdos organize troll attacks. Who has the time? I was informed that there’s actually a blog that organizes them to bomb sites they don’t think are sufficiently deferential to their cause. It’s called JoeMyGod and it is about what you would expect from a site devoted to the crotch. It’s littered with pictures of naked men. It appears to to be the work of rabid lunatics. They have a link to Right Wing Watch, the journal of the aluminum foil hat crowd so the blog owner is a crackpot.

I’m going to assume the thrust of the site, so to speak, is the cause of homosexual marriage. That and the abolition of religion. Homosexual have had a long running feud with Christianity to the point of obsession. That’s why these nuts are running around harassing bakeries and caterers they think are Christians. Homosexual marriage, 0f course, is just a tantrum against tradition, they incorrectly associate with Christianity. The fact that marriage as a social custom integral to human settlement dates back thousands of year prior to Christianity is lost on these people.

I’ve written in the past that I think homosexual marriage to be a most harmless insanity. Basing public policy on rants against biology and serendipity is probably a bad idea with unknown downstream consequences. The most obvious argument against is it weakens normal marriage and thus undermines social cohesion. My argument against it is the grounds of general stupidity. Homosexual marriage is absurd and it is stupid to pretend otherwise. But, I can be convinced it is just harmlessly stupid.

What’s striking about the Pink Mafia is the inherent fascism in their cause. The image of homosexuals and Nazi cavorting together makes me laugh just typing it, but they say Hitler was probably a man who preferred the company of other men. He did have a thing for leather. Anyway, the underlying argument from homosexual activists is that you must get permission to use your private property and you must get permission from the state before deciding with whom to associate. Everything within the state, nothing outside the state.

I doubt the people reading and responding to JoeMyGod have the capacity to think that through. They are just angry and they want to strike out at society. People who join movements do so from self-loathing. The homosexuals harassing Christian bakers are seeking to exchange their hated self for the identity of the group. It’s why Islam seems to have an unlimited supply of suicide bombers. The self-loathing see obliteration as the ultimate goal of their membership in the cause. Mass movements have a lot of those people by definition.

The comments section of the post that started all of this is interest in that the hive mind is on full display. Each comment is another way of shaking the fist at those outside the hive. The naked hatred of Christians is pathological. The neologism “Christianist” must be an epithet in their cult, but maybe it has origins elsewhere. A quick Google search suggests it started with Andrew Sullivan, but I’m not interested enough to research it further. It’s just another reminder that you never put weirdos in charge and you’re best off keeping them out on the fringe where they can’t break anything important.

Contra Derb

Way back in the mists of time I had an exchange on Marginal Revolution with Steve Sailer, regarding the book The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. I pointed out the phenomenon of surname drift as an obvious counter to what Clark appeared to be arguing. Surname drift is how last names die out and slowly the number of last names diminish. Given enough time an isolated population would end up with everyone having the same last name. It’s just simple math.

Sailer got cross with me as he is a bit of genetic determinist and Clark’s book fits nicely into that belief. He’s not alone. John Derbyshire is a determinist, as well. In all honesty, I’m far closer to that view of human biology than most, but I think serendipity plays a much larger role than most of these guys would allow. Bill Gates was the son of bright parents. There were millions of coin flips by others, whose outcome shaped his life, between conception and his days stealing code out of dumpsters.

I thought about that when reading this from Derb the other day. I suspect we will hear a lot of sensible people discount the dynasty complaints with regards to Jeb. Derb was born and raised into a monarchy so I guess he can be forgiven with thinking such arrangements are sensible. I suspect many Americans will accept these arguments and dutifully vote for Bush in the primary and general election. I give Jeb a better than 50% chance of winning the nomination. Derb’s argument rests on this:

I write with feeling there, as a person hopeless at practical politics. If there is a PQ analogous to IQ, I’m down in the bottom decile. In my years working at corporate offices, I never had a clue who was up and who down. When X was suddenly fired or Y given a sudden dazzling promotion, I was always flabbergasted: “I had no idea …!” My colleagues would respond with a roll of the eyes: “Oh, Derb. Try to keep up, please …”

It is reasonable to suppose that this skill, or lack of skill, is rooted in the contours of the individual human personality. Now, most of the features that define personality are heritable, often highly so. (The paper at that link gives heritability for the “big five” core personality traits as: Extraversion 0.86, Openness 0.92, Neuroticism 0.59, Agreeableness 0.85, Conscientiousness 0.81.) We should therefore expect political skill to travel in families, like freckles or hairy elbows.

Presumably nature gets some reinforcement from nurture, too. Evelyn Waugh remarked somewhere that most men are best suited to the work their fathers did.

It seems to me that history argues against this line of thought. The line of Ida had a very good run, but many in his line were inept, crazy or deranged. The Julio-Claudian line was a train wreck. These are the two most successful family dynasties in the Occident and we see it as hit and miss, as far as hereditary leaders. Medieval Europe has a lot of hilariously insane rulers who came to power merely by their having won the lucky sperm contest, so the results can be quite dreadful.

The Founders certainly had a dim view of political dynasties. They had that in mind when designing the national government. They wanted the best and brightest to be attracted to state and local government, not the national government. This was, in part, to make political dynasties difficult to establish. A look through the biographies of the Founders say they knew a thing or two about the children of powerful men turning out to be nitwits, so they thought about it a lot.

There is an old time expression that goes, “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.” The first generation builds the family fortune, starting from the working class. The next generation does its best to maintain it, but mostly lives off the fruits of the father. The third generation blows through what’s left and ends up back in the same level as the founding generation. The Kennedy family is a good example.

I think the children of the king probably do, on average, possess more of the magic stuff that makes for a good king than most children. I also think they have precisely the wrong environment to cultivate that magic stuff. Poppy Bush served in WW2 and almost died in the Pacific. In other words, as a young man he had to cultivate his leadership assets under duress. His kids cultivated their assets getting drunk and chasing tail at elite preparatory schools. Seeds amongst the stones.

That said, any argument against Jeb Bush will find a friendly reception from me. If I were a religious man, I could be convinced that he is the Anti-Christ, heralding the end times. But that’s just me.

Opening Up Old Wounds

The Paris attacks are like a bad storm that blows through and reveals a lot long forgotten items that were buried under the water. The people who put them under the water are not happy they have come to the surface. Everyone else is shocked by their existence and can’t be distracted from their sudden appearance. This is what jumps out  about this story.

Jews are fleeing terror-hit Paris because of growing anti-Semitism in France, one of Britain’s most influential Jewish journalists said today.

Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, spoke out after an Islamic terrorist took six people hostage and held them captive in a Kosher supermarket in the French capital.

This afternoon police ordered all shops in a famous Jewish neighborhood in central Paris to close.

The mayor’s office in Paris announced the closure of shops along the Rosiers street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, in the heart of the tourist district and less than a mile away from the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo where 12 people were killed on Wednesday.

Hours before the Jewish Sabbath, the street is usually crowded with French Jews and tourists alike.

Mr Pollard said today’s terror attack in Paris, linked to the massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo, will force more French Jews to flee the country.

Many are moving to Britain or to Israel, according to a report published in the newspaper last year.

He said the fact that a terrorist had chosen to target a Jewish store was no ‘fluke’.

In a series of tweets he said: ‘Every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave’.

‘So, it’s a fluke that the latest target is a kosher grocer, is it?

‘What’s going on in France – outrages that have been getting worse for years – put our antisemitism problems in perspective’.

The hostage situation in the Porte de Vincennes part of the city is ongoing today.

But amid fears the terror attack may be linked to anti-Semitism police have also demanded that shops on Rue des Rosiers, in the Jewish quarter of Paris, to close early ‘as a precaution’ in case of further violence.

18 months ago France had around 500,000 Jewish residents – the largest population in the EU – but this may now be below 400,000, Mr Pollard’s newspaper said.

In America, Jews are all over the place. There’s a tendency to think all the Jews are in New York City and Los Angeles, but that’s not the case. Maryland and Massachusetts, for example, are 4% Jewish, almost all of whom live in suburbs and exurbs. In Europe, Jews are still packed into cities. In France, almost all of their Jews live in Paris, making them an easy target for Muslims.
Despite the aftermath of you know who, continental Europe has maintained a mild antisemitism. It’s not official or overt, but it’s there if you look. The waves of Muslims invited in by French elites are now exposing that for the world to see. The Paris attacks not only highlighted the insane immigration policies; they have reminded the world that the French are still not all that fond of Jews.
The low countries have been struggling with the same problem. Jews have been chased out of some cities while the authorities stand aside, hoping no one will notice what is happening or maybe not caring. It’s reminiscent of the pogroms that erupted with the onset of the Black Plague in the 14th century.  Many Jews fled east to what is now Poland and the Ukraine.
This time around the plague sweeping north and east is the tide of Muslims invited in by European rulers, angry with their people for wanting to share in the bounty of modern life. The Jews of France are unlikely to flee west this time, despite Putin working hard to invite back the Jews who fled after the fall of the Soviet Union. Maybe this time the people will take it out on their rulers, instead of the Jews.

The War of the Wimps

There were rumors during the 2012 election that the Bushies did not go all in for Romney and maybe worked to undermine his campaign. The argument being that they wanted to make sure the field was clear in 2016 for Jeb to run. On its face it never made a lot of sense because Jeb looked like a guy uninterested in running. Unlike his brother, Jeb never got a chance to cash in on the family name. He made some decent money in the 80’s, but not plutocrat money.

Here we are two years on and that theory is sounding more plausible. Maybe Jeb was plotting this move all along. Romney winning would have scuttled that plan. The earliest Jeb could make a run would have been 2020 and that would be pushing it. Odds are he was looking at 2024 when he was in his late 60’s and a political has-been. Running in 2016 looked a slot better for Jeb so undermining Romney would have made a lot of sense, assuming they are that Machiavellian.

Romney is sort of confirming those suspicions now that he is plotting to get in the race.

Mitt Romney forcefully declared his interest in a third presidential run to a room full of powerful Republican donors on Friday, disrupting the fluid 2016 GOP field as would-be rival Jeb Bush was moving swiftly to consolidate establishment support.

Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, has been mulling another campaign for several months, but his comments Friday mark a clear step forward in his thinking and come amid mounting tensions between the Romney and Bush camps.

“I want to be president,” Romney told about 30 donors in New York. He said that his wife, Ann — who last fall said she was emphatically against a run — had changed her mind and was now “very encouraging,” although their five sons remain split, according to multiple attendees.

Advisers said Romney discussed the race with his family over the holidays, where they spent time skiing in Park City, Utah, but he insisted that he has not made up his mind whether to run. Advisers said he recognizes that he would not be able to waltz into the nomination and that the intra-party competition is shaping up to be stiffer in next year’s primaries than it was in 2012.

Bush’s sudden focus on the race in recent weeks has put pressure on Romney to decide soon. Romney has been in regular conversations with major donors, some of whom are pushing him to run again, but confidants have also warned him that his window of opportunity could shut if he does not declare his intentions within 30 to 60 days.

Conservatives may still mad about the Bushies pulling their punches in 2012, so goosing Romney to run again would severely complicate the Jeb coronation. His game plan relies on the field splintering amongst a number of candidates, letting him hoover up the big money and establishment support so he can outlast whoever emerges from the scramble. Romney will have plenty of money and plenty of organizational support, so it would be a two-man battle.

For those hoping for a white knight emerges to cobble together the disparate components of the Right and carry the nomination in 2016, this is good news. Jeb Bush is probably the worst possible choice for president. Even Elizabeth Warren would be better and she’s as dumb as a plank and has a head full of nonsense. Jeb Bush would go a long way toward discrediting the Republican establishment and the neocons who still infest the party, as well as Conservative Inc.

Never Cross The Left

I’m fond of comparing the Left with Islam, as I think there are a lot of points of comparison between the two. That and it drives Progressives bonkers, but both religions do have a lot in common. One good example of a commonality is the willingness and ability to hold grudges. Once either religion puts you on the list, they never forget about you. The Friday news dump brings word that the Feds plan to charge General Petraeus will be indicted for pillow talk.

The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against retired Gen. David H. Petraeus for providing classified information to his former mistress while he was director of the C.I.A., officials said, leaving Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison.

The Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography, and focuses on whether he gave her access to his C.I.A. email account and other highly classified information. F.B.I. agents discovered classified documents on her computer after Mr. Petraeus resigned from the C.I.A. in 2012 when the affair became public.

Petraeus was put on the proscribed list back in the Bush years when he managed to change the course of the Iraq mess, thus stealing a victory from the other fundamentalists going crazy at the time, the Democratic Party. The fanatic website ran full page ads in the New Cult Times issuing a fatwa denouncing Patraeus as a heretic traitor. The Islamists Democrats continued to call him General BetrayUs through the remainder of the Bush years.

The Left never forgets about these things. They finally got their man when he foolishly decided to accept the CIA post from the Obama administration. That was probably a setup. In order to get the job he had to submit to a full FBI background check. You would think this happens with generals while they serve, but that’s not the case. The FBI is supposed to do regular background checks on people holding security clearances, but they don’t. Nominating Patraeus to the CIA post was like the mob boss setting up a meet with his arch enemy in order to whack him.

As Steve Sailer pointed out at the time, the affair that got Patreaus jammed up was surely turned up long before it was revealed. It is one of those useful things in the sort of war-band politics played in DC these days. Whether or not they dropped the dime on him to cover up their shenanigans in Libya is debatable, but they put the screws to him for a reason.

The decision to send the guy to prison leads me to believe it is revenge, not some Libya conspiracy. The press did all the hard work covering up the gun running the administration was doing in the Maghreb. There was no need to blackmail Patraeus. I could be wrong, but that’s my sense. The White House put the hit on the general to pay a debt to the fanatics. This is just the finishing blow.

It is yet another example of how the the normals simply don’t get what they are dealing with in regards to American liberalism. They keep thinking these people can be reasoned with like normal people. Instead, what we call the Left is more like the Scientology. Their primary motivation is defense of the cause. That trumps everything. All enemies within striking distance must be struck, no matter the cost.


The Preemptive Front Lash

Some time back, I recall that Juan Cole was popular with the cool kids of the chattering skull circuit. I don’t recall why or even the exact dates. I just recall that the more fashionable writers at the time felt it necessary to discuss Juan Cole. I want to say it was in the Bush years, but I could be mistaken. It does not matter anyway.

The other thing I recall about him is that I did not get why everyone was slobbering over him. That happens a lot with me. Even with those with whom I am sympathetic. The cool kids will be in love with some new chattering skull and I just don’t get it. In some cases, the new skull strikes me as derivative and stupid. All I remember about Juan Cole is that I did not find him interesting.

Anyway, this is floating around after the Paris attacks. People keep posting it, but no one says why or draws any conclusions from it. Maybe he is coming back in style again.

The horrific murder of the editor, cartoonists and other staff of the irreverent satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, along with two policemen, by terrorists in Paris was in my view a strategic strike, aiming at polarizing the French and European public.

The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. French Muslims may be the most secular Muslim-heritage population in the world (ex-Soviet ethnic Muslims often also have low rates of belief and observance). Many Muslim immigrants in the post-war period to France came as laborers and were not literate people, and their grandchildren are rather distant from Middle Eastern fundamentalism, pursuing urban cosmopolitan culture such as rap and rai. In Paris, where Muslims tend to be better educated and more religious, the vast majority reject violence and say they are loyal to France.

Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.

Steve Sailer has been having fun with the backlash trope. Anytime non-Occidentals behave poorly, the Left rushes forth with warnings and concerns about the backlash. The fact that no one alive has ever seen a backlash, only the front lashes, is what Sailer is mocking.

I’m fond of saying that fanatics see only that which confirms their fanaticism. Disconfirmation is either ignored or jammed into the mythology in some way. The fear of the backlash is how the Left shifts the focus from the bad behavior onto their preferred enemies. “Let’s not talk about the shooting. Let’s talk about those beastly provincials who will surely use this to cause trouble.”

Cole’s is taking this to a whole new level by fashioning an imaginary conspiracy by Muslims to incite the normal people of France to do what, well, you know, what they secretly dream of doing. C’mon, don’t play dumb. If you’re a white guy you know you secretly dream of getting the trains running on time again to the camps. You know!

It is a bizarre inversion of reality from these guys. Good behavior by the core population is proof of a secret longing to murder the fringe population. On the other hand, the fringe population actually murdering the core population is proof of nothing at all. It is just an isolated incident.

I must say, I am impressed by the mental gymnastics here. It would be easy to dismiss it as mendacity on stilts, but we’re dealing with true believers. Unlike the Muslims shooting up the city, Western fanatics are convinced they are Turing machines, processing the data of reality with flawless logic. It’s why the Muslims fear them so much. They know a dangerous fanatic when they see one.

True Believers at War

Razib Khan has a post up responding to something Ezra Klein posted regarding the Paris incident. First here’s the Ezra Klein piece. This is the bit that got Razib exorcised:

These murders can’t be explained by a close read of an editorial product, and they needn’t be condemned on free speech grounds. They can only be explained by the madness of the perpetrators, who did something horrible and evil that almost no human beings anywhere ever do, and the condemnation doesn’t need to be any more complex than saying unprovoked mass slaughter is wrong.

This is a tragedy. It is a crime. It is not a statement, or a controversy.

Razib first wonders if Klein had some sort of aneurism while writing that bit. Maybe he is unfamiliar with Klein’s work, but that piece was probably one of the better ones from the Vox project. I have no idea what sort of traffic the site gets, but no one ever mentions it, unless it is to mock Ezra Klein. Even the mockery has faded, for the most part. Anyway, Razib goes on to make an excellent point:

This co-mingling of religious and communal identity is not an aberration, but the human norm over most of history. In much of the world it still is the norm. Dishonoring the gods of barbarians and unbelievers has long been a matter of course. Churches were built over temples and mosques over churches for a reason. To show the power of one communal identity and the eclipse of another. Gods and people were interchangeable in the psyche. When the Assyrians sacked Babylon they dragged away the statue of the god Marduk in chains. But individuals dishonoring the gods of their own people was always a matter of serious concern, violating public order, and potentially undermining social harmony (often, innovation in religious practice prefigured rebellion). It doesn’t take much to imagine that there might be functional reason for societies to establish taboos of what is inviolate and sacred, and sanction those who trespass.

It is incorrectly assumed that religions must have an invisible man in the sky component. Dividing theology from ideology by the presence or absence of the super natural is convenient, but leads to the false assumption that ideologies are devoid of magical thinking. That’s not the case.

The most obvious example is PETA, the cult that claims to be the guardians of non-human mammal rights. The adherents of that cult imagine all sorts of things about animals that are laughably untrue. They also proselytize about the killing of animals, while running abattoirs all over the country.

Ezra Klein is a conventional liberal and of middling intelligence. He is not a blockhead, but he has a narrow mindedness that suggests a lack of curiosity about the world. He’s also overstocked with religiosity. It’s why his posts often sound like the journal entries of a rabbinical student or the private musings of a novice monk. He is forever wrestling with his faith.

Luckily for him, the prevailing religion of modern America is cultural Marxism so he has found a comfortable place to cast himself as a post-modern Tertullian. He has organized his life around proselytizing over the Internet. As a novice he worked his way up to a major media organ, but that was not enough. He went off to build his own Mosque called Vox where he can pray and train others to believe like him. It’s not a coincidence that cultural Marxism has many of the same structures as Islam.

Of course, Ezra really does not believe the things he preaches in the sense that he knows them to be true. I know two plus two is four for all known values of two. There’s no need for me to argue it or prove it. The reason for proselytizing is to convince yourself by convincing others. Misery loves company and so do the believers. Vox in explanatory journalism in the same sense that Shia is explanatory Islam.

One fascinating thing about the Paris attack is watching how the Left reacts to it. At some level, it seems they get that they are at war with a complimentary religion. As Razib points out, every religion has its taboos. Much of what modern liberalism preaches is taboo in Islam. What is sacred in Islam is considered barbaric by liberals.

The trouble is the Left can’t bring itself to condemn Islam. That’s simply against the core of their faith. Islam does not suffer from such a defect. They get that they are a religion at war with another religion. Hilariously, even when Islam makes that point, liberals are forced to call them liars and inauthentic Muslims.

Added to the crazy stew is the fact that western liberals have a technological edge and are killing Muslims wholesale. Muslims have to settle for retail killing, like the Paris attack. The simple solution is to expel all Muslims for Western lands, but again, they bump into their own dogma prohibiting such things. The result is a surge in Muslim immigrants, hell bent on killing the decadent West.

This will not end well.

The Circle is Complete

Buried in the news of Muslim lunatics shooting up a French newspaper office, the Black Guerrilla Family sent an armed man into a police station to test their security.

A member of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) gang, armed with a loaded .22 caliber handgun, walked into a Baltimore police station on Tuesday in order to test its security, police said.

Baltimore police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said the 29-year-old man walked into the Northeastern District station “fully armed and loaded with drugs on him,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

“An organized gang in the city of Baltimore sent an armed suspect into our building to see our security, to test our security. That is alarming to us, to me. I am going to send a message that we are not going to cower, we’re not going to back down,” Mr. Batts said.

Police said the man was enlisted by BGF to test police security for allegedly betraying the gang in the past.

“He did not go in there on his free will. This person had very little option, according to his statement, which lends credibility to what a dire situation this was,” Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.

The police commissioner is ordering security changes throughout the department. Security has also been enhanced in neighboring Baltimore County, a local NBC affiliate reported.

“The Baltimore County Police Department has received information about an incident at the Baltimore City Police Northeast District Station this morning,” Cpl. John Wachter said in a statement.

“In response to this, we have made necessary adjustments to our operations to ensure the safety of officers, professional staff and visitors at our facilities.”

The denouement of the New Left in the late sixties and early seventies was the decay of the Civil Rights movement into anarchy and violence. The anarchy was easy. Riots all over America in the inner cities wrecked black neighborhoods, drove away the tax base and condemned millions of blacks to a life of squalor. The violence was more sophisticated. The Black Panthers worked hard to look like something other than a race-based street gang. The Black Guerrilla Family started out as a prison reform movement, but quickly became a hyper-violent prison gang.

How the Civil Rights Movement went from peaceful demands for legal rights to anarchic violence has been thrown down the memory hole. David Horowitz, the guy right there during the rise and fall of the Black Panthers and Black Guerrilla Family, has written about it. His book, Destructive Generation, is a must reading for anyone trying to understand the Left in America. Otherwise, the whole sorry episode has been erased from the narrative.

As Horowitz documents in his books, the Black Panther Party was largely a creation of the New Left. Not satisfied with steady progress in race relations, the Left radicalized the movement, peeling off violent and psychotic young males to form the new vanguard, which happened to look a lot like a street gang. The whole point was to scare the bleep out of the squares. The rape, torture and murder of Betty van Patter, a progressive white woman committed to the cause, finally discredited the operation for good.

The BGF followed a similar arc. Liberal fanatics with law degrees went to war with the criminal justice system in the late 60’s. Under the guise of prison reform and racial justice, activists like Fay Stender helped former Black Panther members in and out of prison. The result was the Black Guerrilla Family, a violent prison gang. The BGF repaid their liberal enablers by having Stender shot in front of her son. She lived, but was paralyzed and eventually committed suicide.

In the 70’s, the radicals did not have access to sophisticated technology and strategies. They just made crude pipe bombs and left them in public places. Today they can take advantage of the communications revolution to learn all sorts of new tricks. The good news is the supply of young males looking for adventure is at an all-time low. Still, the period of violence, which marks the end of a progressive awakening, is upon us.