How to Handle the Press

I mentioned the other day that Trump was exceedingly good at identifying opportunities to shift the focus from himself onto others. Dreary dullards in the GOP and their sycophants find this vexing, but it is good politics. Progressives have sold bad ideas and bad candidates this way for generations. Obama got the White House without anyone knowing anything about him.

The interwebs brings word that Trump has banned the Des Moines Register from his Iowa event.

Donald Trump courted further controversy on Friday by banning the Des Moines Register from attending his Iowa campaign event Saturday, according to the Register.

The real-estate mogul and Republican 2016 candidate was unhappy with an editorial published by the newspaper that called on Trump to pull out of the race.

“We’re not issuing credentials to anyone from The Des Moines Register based on the editorial that they wrote earlier in the week,” Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the newspaper.

He said he expected the campaign would reconsider for future events.

Lewandowski is a hardline libertarian-conservative, who reminds a bit of Lee Atwater. The world is a different place these days, but like Atwater, Lewandowski is good at getting under the skin of establishment types. This has the benefit of shifting the focus from the candidate onto his critics.

GOP voters loath the media so Trump scores points by zapping the media this way. More important, it raises a discussion of the media’s bias and honestly. There’s not a lot of time to mock Trump when the lead story is how the Des Moines Register is not playing fair.

The editorial section of the Register — Iowa’s largest newspaper — operates independently from the newspaper’s political team.

“As we previously said, the editorial has no bearing on our news coverage. We work hard to provide Iowans with coverage of all the candidates when they spend time in Iowa, and this is obviously impeding our ability to do so. We hope Mr. Trump’s campaign will revisit its decision instead of making punitive decisions because we wrote something critical of him,” the Register’s editor Amalie Nash said in a statement.

I’ve often wondered if the people working at these organizations believe this stuff. Maybe they do, but no one outside the press believes it. Even liberals admit that the main press is on their side. They just claim it is because the void where God used to be wills it. The vast majority of people think Amalie Nash of the register is full of it. Worse yet, they think she knows she is full of it.

Another Wickerman

One of the aspects of our neo-Puritan age is that being right is never enough if the Cult decides you have to be an example. Apologizing only confirms to them that you are the right guy to burn at the stake. The lesson here from the most recent public sacrifice is to never apologize and don’t bother defending yourself with facts.

Radio host Colin Cowherd no longer will appear on ESPN following comments he made questioning the intelligence of Dominican Republic players related to baseball one day earlier, the company said in a statement Friday.

“Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees,” ESPN said in a statement. “Colin will no longer appear on ESPN.”

Cowherd issued an apology later Friday via Twitter.

Cowherd had said Thursday that he didn’t believe baseball was complex, saying a third of the sport was from the Dominican Republic, which had “not been known, in my lifetime, as having, you know, world-class academic abilities.”

Major League Baseball on Friday said Cowherd owes Dominican players an apology for the remarks, and the MLB Players Association also condemned his comments.

Earlier Friday, Cowherd addressed his remarks from Thursday during The Herd.

“I could’ve made the point without using one country, and there’s all sorts of smart people from the Dominican Republic,” Cowherd said. “I could’ve said a third of baseball’s talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles. For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they’ve furnished baseball with so many great players.”

Cowherd on Friday also cited reports and statistics to back up what he said about the country’s ranking when it comes to primary education.

The median IQ of the Dominican Republic is 82 according to Richard Lynn. According to the people who study these things, the DR has one of the worst education systems on earth, which is quite an accomplishment. But, it is a mix of Latin corruption and African incompetence. The result is what you would expect. Of course, if you have ever experienced the Caribbean, you know this.

ESPN has been dominated by unhinged fanatics for years. They recently were promoting the mentally disturbed drag queen, for example. Every crackpot fad bubbling up from the fever swamps of the Cult of Modern Liberalism has been promoted enthusiastically by ESPN. A non-believer like Cowerd had always been on their list of potential wickermen.

At some point, people will figure out that there is no accommodating these nuts. The answer when they come after you is to go right back at them. Never apologize, never explain. Attack attack attack. You have nothing to lose as there is no reasoning with lunatics. Cowerd should have said he was the victim of a lynching by liberal crazies in ESPN. That puts the focus on them. You’re getting fired anyway. Go out with a bang.

That’s Mighty White of Him!

In modern times, the popular culture is geared toward looking down in the gutter for examples. Every social pathology is celebrated as authentic and realz. That means black culture is dominant or at least everyone pretends that it is the greatest thing since pockets. Reality is always something different these days and it occasionally peaks through the cloud cover like when football legend Charles Haley tells young blacks guys to act white.

Charles Haley is the only player in NFL history who’s been a part of five Super Bowl winning teams, so it was no surprise in May when one of those teams, the 49ers, asked him to speak to their rookies.

What might come as a surprise to some people though is what Haley said to those 49ers rookies.

“As far as the rookies, and I know they probably got mad, but I said, ‘Why don’t you all act like the white guys? You never see them in the paper getting high or hitting people,” Haley said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “‘Why don’t you act like that?’ They all looked at me crazy.”

The 51-year-old Haley wasn’t necessarily trying to be controversial with his comments, he was just trying to get the attention of a bunch rookies — Something that’s much easier said then done in this age of cell phones, Twitter and Instagram.

“I just did it for the shock value of it,” Haley said. “The hardest thing is these guys, they have an attention span of a 5-year-old. I’m not the most gentle and kind person to sit there and deal with that crap. I’m a little more confrontational. I think I got my point across.”

He’s right, of course. White athletes get in far less trouble than black athletes and it is because the blacks guys have the self-restraint of children. One thing that you notice living in the ghetto is that black males stop maturing at around 12 and stay that way until they are murdered, go to jail or magically make it into their 40’s. The later group usually gets deadly serious about life at that point.

Segregation had a lot of problems for whites and blacks, but it did not spring from nothing. The historical record has been re-imagined, but in the original many blacks in the South liked segregation. They correctly saw that the rules on behavior benefited the black community, especially women. The trade-offs were not just, but there were trade-offs, which means some benefits.

Attempts to create a shaming culture such that successful older black males can shame young black males into behaving properly has been short circuited by Progressives, but it is probably the only reasonable compromise. Put another way, you cannot have a multi-ethnic society unless the people at the top of the various ethnic groups agree on the high culture and enforce it amongst their own. That means old black guys telling young black guys to act white.

The Leverage Candidate

Like a lot of people on the fringe, I’ve been enjoying the Donald Trump show. Watching the panda-men of Conservative Inc. gasp and faint over the latest Trump statement is great theater. As Nate Silver from 538 puts it, The Donald is the world’s greatest troll. I get the sense Nate must read my blog as I made similar points two weeks ago. Maybe the shadow of this blog is longer than I think.

Anyway, I was thinking about Trump the other day when he lit up Caitlyn Graham and Rick Perry. That stunt with the phone number was pure gold. It both amused the crowd and shamed Graham for being a hypocrite. The line about Perry now wearing glasses was close to genius. When you can shift the focus from yourself to your critics in an amusing way, the critics get scared and usually pipe down.

Trump is our first leverage candidate. For two decades now we have seen loads of leverage companies and leverage financial institutions. The crash of 2008 was brought about by a leverage industry toppling over and taking the economy with it. The entertainment businesses, especially sports, are all levitating on warm gusts of leverage carrying them into the heavens.

The real estate business has always been about leverage. In normal times, someone with equity in a rental property could borrow against it to buy another rental property. The rule of thumb was that 80% of rental income had to cover 100% of the debt service. In simple terms, if the property generated $10,000 a month in rents at its peak, the mortgage could not be greater than $8,000 a month.

Clever real estate men like Trump would figure out how to push up rents to increase cash flow, which in turn drove up their asset base, allowing for more borrowing which they used to buy more properties. As principle was paid and the asset value increased, the difference in asset value and leverage could be turned into a tax free windfall. In Trump’s case, he would often liquidate properties he had made famous thus cashing out at their peak.

The way to think of it for the purpose of understanding Trump’s campaign is this. The savvy real estate man is always looking for a way to leverage his assets so he can jump on the next opportunity before the next guy. If you look at Trump’s career, you see he has moved from one project to the next, very often leaving suckers holding the bag as he walked away with a profit. Trump’s not a builder. He’s an opportunist.

That’s what’s happening in his campaign. He took stock of his assets. He’s famous and he is rich. He’s also nearing the end so he can afford to piss off other famous rich people, unlike regular candidates that have to suck up to the rich. Trump also has a way of connecting with the common people. He’s been doing improvisational television for a long time and he is good at it.

Those are the assets he has to leverage. The opportunities he is exploiting are immigration, the media culture, discontent with the Republican establishment and widespread angst about the culture and economy. My guess is he never had strong views on any of these things. He may not even have had opinions about them until now. He’s just a guy who is good at seeing and exploiting opportunities.

I think this is why the GOP is looking so silly trying to swat away Trump. They are used to dealing with people who fear nothing more than separation from the heard. Trump is not knocking on their door asking to join the club. He’s out on the lawn throwing rocks through the window because that’s where the opportunity lies. John McCain leaning out the window in his nightshirt and cap, yelling at Trump to get off his lawn is what Trump wants. It plays to his advantage.

Similarly, Trump is not builder. He does a deal and moves on. His whole life up to this point has been geared to winning the moment. That makes him uncommonly good at moving past a problem, a gaff or a misstep. He takes the loss and moves onto the next item. To be successful in his line of work, you have to have the conscience of a burglar. You can be sure Trump remembers every win and not a single loss.

That makes the conventional political attack ineffective because he is so good as brushing it off and re-focusing on his next opportunity. When he gets grief for being mean to McCain, he brushes it off and takes a shot at Caitlyn Graham. When the press howls about that, he points out that Rick Perry has a two-digit IQ.

As with everything, there is a limit to leverage and you eventually have to settle up and show a profit. Trump has made a lot of people a lot of money which is why people do business with him. But, he ruined more than a few too. It remains to be see how his presidential run will end, but the insiders are betting/hoping he is unable to deliver more than pithy lines criticizing his opponents.

That said, he is a smart guy and he likes winning. What started out as a vanity candidacy is looking more like a real campaign. Beppe Grillo started out as a gag too. Most people, especially the smart people, thought it was ridiculous to think a divorced actor could be president. Similarly, no one picked a degenerate from the Ozarks as a s serious candidate at this stage of the 1992 election.

For now, it is a good show.

Everyone Subsidizes Everything

In America, the cable television business is a great example of modern economics and a warning about what’s coming down the road. This story on the cable business has a line that caught my attention.

Big news came out last week that might have gotten lost in the shuffle of the slowest sports week of the year — according to the Wall Street Journal the number of cable subscribers is beginning to contract in a more rapid fashion. In particular, ESPN has lost 7.2 million subscribers in the past four years, over three million since last year. That could have a seismic impact in sports media since if the cable bundle is one large bubble — as some have been suggesting for years — then the sports universe may be in for a cruel tumble. I’ll explain why that could be, but first let’s spend some time with a refresher on the cable and satellite industry.

You pay for every single channel you receive on your cable or satellite package. Most people don’t realize this because the cable bill is one large number, but if you break your bill down every single channel has a monthly cost. Here are the 15 most expensive national sports networks along with what they cost a month and the number of homes they’re in. (Numbers courtesy of SNL Kagan).

1. ESPN $6.61 x 94.5 million homes = $7.5 billion
2. NFL Network $1.31 x 73.6 million homes = $1.16 billion
3. FS1 .99 x 91.2 million homes = $1.08 billion
4. ESPN2 .83 x 94.5 million homes = $941.2 million
5. SEC Network .66 x 69.1 million homes = $547.3 million
6. Golf Channel .35 x 79.4 million homes = $332.2 million
7. NBC Sports Network .30 x 83.1 million homes = $299 million
8. Big Ten Network .39 x 62 million homes = $290.2 million
9. MLB Network .26 x 71.3 million homes = $222.5 million
10. FS2 .28 x 64 million homes = $215 million
11. NBA TV .29 x 57.2 million homes = $199 million
12. ESPNU .22 x 74.9 million homes = $198 million
13. CBS Sports Network .26 x 61 million homes = $190.3 million
14. NHL Network .32 x 37.4 million homes = $143.6 million
15. Pac 12 Network .39 x 12.3 million homes = $57.6 million

While you probably receive in excess of 100 channels, most of us watch only 16 or 17 channels in a given month. If you’re a single girl without kids, you probably don’t watch Sprout and if you’re a single guy you probably don’t watch Lifetime, but you pay for every channel you receive. In practice this leads to much better television, because channels can go after small audiences with powerful and compelling programming that might not otherwise be financially feasible. For instance, hardly anyone watches “Mad Men,” in the grand scheme of ratings. It’s a very smart, slow-paced, intellectual program that appeals to a relatively small audience. On average less than four million people watch each episode of “Mad Men.” That leaves over 90 million people who receive the channel and the show but don’t watch. Yet these non-viewers subsidize “Mad Men,” by paying for AMC. Since most of us receive over 100 stations yet watch only 16 or 17, we all pay for in excess of 80 stations that we don’t watch. One positive result of the cable bundle has been a tremendous amount of money rolling into television programming and the flourishing of great shows that wouldn’t necessarily work if ten million or more people had to watch. That’s why I’ve written before that I support the idea of cable television bundles, everyone subsidizes everything meaning that the quality of programming is stellar across the television landscape. We may not all like the same shows, but all of us have never had better options. We’ve been in the midst of the golden age of television.

Right there is the core belief at the heart of modern economics. It is the belief that if we spread the costs far enough, they disappear. It is at the heart of public policy, government finance and the modern technology economy. Uber, to pick on a favorite target, relies on tens of millions of non-users to pay a few pennies extra in their phone bill so Uber users get a bargain.

Of course, the idea of socializing costs sounds good in the abstract because the amounts seem small, but the cable experience is showing how it ends and it is not pretty. For most Americans, cable TV was $20-$40 per month at the start of the cable age and you got a dozen channels. That was in the 80’s and 90’s as municipalities made deals with cable companies to wire up their communities.

Content makers figured out that adding their channel to the system only worked if they could get on the core package. Otherwise they had to rely on ads and that meant attracting viewers. The new channel owners would bargain hard to get on basic or maybe the next tier up. Every few years they would work to increase the carriage fees and improve their spot on the package, thus guaranteeing themselves a month fee, even if no one was watching.

As is always the case, a dollar here and a dollar there adds up. The average TV bill now is $125 per month. The result is a rash of cord cutting. With a broadband connection and bit of ingenuity, you can get most recorded content free or nearly so. Some people have simply stopped watching TV. Content makers, sensing a sea change, are now offering their stuff on-line without a cable subscription.

When you base the revenue model on everyone subsidizing everything, the incentives all point in the wrong direction. Sticking with the cable example, the content makers stop looking at viewers as customers. Their customer is the cable operator. At the same time, the actual customers start looking for ways around being taxed for content they don’t view. The result is an unstable model that eventually collapses.

That’s the reason modern western economies are stagnating. The model of socializing costs and privatizing profits – everyone subsidizing everything – works great for the top, but it is sand in the gears of the economy in general. At some point the gears grind to a halt and the whole thing collapses. There’s simply no way to spread the costs so thin that they actually disappear.

BBC Apologizes to Lunatics

Mass media was not always about giving the megaphone to the stupid and crazy. In the early days of newspapers and almanacs, the producers were trying to transmit news and, often, high culture to the masses. The people producing the first mass production printed material were making a living, but they also were improving the lot of their fellow citizens. Ben Franklin is the best example of someone doing good, while making money, literally and figuratively.

Closer to our current age, movies and cartoons borrowed heavily from high culture. If you watch old Bugs Bunny cartoons, you’ll note a great deal of sophistication, like references to literature and classical music. The default assumption in western societies has always been that everyone looks up for inspiration. That’s no longer true. Now it is assumed that everyone looks down, trying to emulate the dysfunctional and deranged.

The question is whether the culture has changed media or that mass media has changed the culture. Maybe it is both. A good example is this story from the Telegraph about an old guy getting savaged for trying to be funny.

The BBC have issued an apology after veteran golf commentator Peter Alliss provoked another sexism storm with his second on-air gaffe within 24 hours at the Open at St Andrews.

Alliss, 84, had already sent social media alight on Sunday night with his comment about young Irish amateur Paul Dunne being hugged by his mother as he came off the course with a share of the third-round lead.

“Ah, that must be mum,” said Alliss. “Perhaps he likes older women. I don’t know but I hope I got the right one.”But the storm he had provoked had hardly had time to die down when he was at it again on Monday evening. This time his remarks were directed towards Kim Barclay, the wife of Zach Johnson, moments before the American sized up a putt to win a three-way play-off to land the Open title.

As the camera focused on her, Alliss mused about how the couple would spend the prize money: “She is probably thinking – ‘if this goes in I get a new kitchen’,” commented Alliss.

Lesley-Ann Wade, the manager of British golfer-turned-commentator Nick Faldo, said on Twitter:

Her views were echoed by other users of the social media site

Now, most of the people on social media are loons. Everyone knows that, especially the people running things like the BBC. They get plenty of nonsense from crackpots and nutters on Twitter and Facebook. The right way to handle it is to tell them to screw and go about your business. In this case, the BBC should simply tell Lesli Ann Wade to grow up and stop carrying on like a teenage girl.

This never happens. Instead, adults in positions of responsibility grovel to these crazies, which only encourages more of it. Is this the fault of social media? Is it the fault of the culture tzars failing to draw a line and instead indulging these people? Maybe untethering the culture from 1500 years of history leaves the ruling class unable to find their footing, giving the nuts the upper hand.

I don’t know the answer. Something has gone terribly wrong when normal banter between adults is suddenly taboo. When noticing reality can get you fired, we’ve tipped into a dangerous place. The other day, David Frum got the treatment for noticing that Serena Williams looks like a steel worker in a tutu and wondering if she is not getting chemical aid.

This is no way to run civilization.

Bill Cosby

We live in a strange time in that the people in charge of the culture are at war with human biology in ways that we have never seen, at least not to this scale. In prior ages the religious would rage against vice, but that had some logic. A population of drinkers or gamblers is a drag on society. For most of human history scarcity was the the norm so society could not afford a lot of dead weight. Virtue had practical purposes.

Sexual taboos were mostly to keep the peace. Males compete with one another for females and females compete with one another for males. It should be easy to see how that can lead to trouble so cultures developed rules to limit violence and ritualized the competition. In the early middle ages, the Catholic Church implemented rules for sexual conduct to end things like cousin marriage, which people figured out was a problem.

Today, the people doing the ranting and raving about biology are religious fanatics from the Puritan tradition of Yankeedom. They’re driven by a desire to nose around in everyone’s business and push people around. There is a big hole where God used to exist and they deny their thing is a religion, but otherwise the people at the NYTimes could be sporting big buckles on their shoes and black hats.

He was not above seducing a young model by showing interest in her father’s cancer. He promised other women his mentorship and career advice before pushing them for sex acts. And he tried to use financial sleight of hand to keep his wife from finding out about his serial philandering.

Bill Cosby admitted to all of this and more over four days of intense questioning 10 years ago at a Philadelphia hotel, where he defended himself in a deposition for a lawsuit filed by a young woman who accused him of drugging and molesting her.

In other words, Cosby is like any other man. The drugging and raping stuff would be a crime, of course, but the rest of it is what every man does, particularly powerful men. It’s not clear Coz ever did any raping, as he has never admitted to any of it. Women seek the attention of high status males and high status males use that as a way to get them in the sack. Welcome to biological reality Graham and Sydney.

Even as Mr. Cosby denied he was a sexual predator who assaulted many women, he presented himself in the deposition as an unapologetic, cavalier playboy, someone who used a combination of fame, apparent concern and powerful sedatives in a calculated pursuit of young women — a profile at odds with the popular image he so long enjoyed, that of father figure and public moralist.

In the deposition, which Mr. Cosby has for years managed to keep private but was obtained by The New York Times, the entertainer comes across as alternately annoyed, mocking, occasionally charming and sometimes boastful, often blithely describing sexual encounters in graphic detail.

He talked of the 19-year-old aspiring model who sent him her poem and ended up on his sofa, where, Mr. Cosby said, she pleasured him with lotion.

He spoke with casual disregard about ending a relationship with another model so he could pursue other women. “Moving on,” was his phrase.

He suggested he was skilled in picking up the nonverbal cues that signal a woman’s consent.

“I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them,” he said.

Through it all, his manner was largely one of casual indifference.

Of course he is indifferent. He’s probably baffled that anyone would be shocked that he liked women. Cosby is from a generation when people were not surprised that men pursued women. We used to know these things but after decades of control by religious lunatics named Graham and Sydney many people are shocked to learn that Bruce Jenner is not the norm.

This turns up in the date rape nonsense. We used to know that some males will cheat in the pursuit of women. The “Spanish Fly” hoax of the 60’s and 70’s did not spring from nothing. Elixirs to make women horny and stupid have been around since the dawn of civilization. That’s why letting girls hang out with unattached males was greatly limited. People knew that some percentage of men would “take advantage” of young women.

Lunatics from the womyn’s studies departments, however, have made everyone forget that, so every weekend young girls get knee walking drunk with strange men and some percentage of them wake up regretting their choices. That’s why Graham and Sydney are so baffled by the Coz. For their whole lives they were taught that only monsters like Hitler did these things so they are properly outraged when Cosby is nonchalant about it.

Interest in Mr. Cosby’s deposition grew this month when a federal judge unsealed a 62-page memorandum of law in the case, which had been settled in 2006. The memorandum contained excerpts from the deposition, including Mr. Cosby’s acknowledgment that he had obtained quaaludes as part of his effort to have sex with women.

The parties have been prohibited from releasing the memorandum because of a confidentiality clause that was part of the settlement agreement, but the deposition itself was never sealed. This month, Ms. Constand’s lawyer asked the court to lift the confidentiality clause so her client would be free to release the nearly 1,000-page deposition transcript. The Times later learned that the transcript was already publicly available through a court reporting service.

What the Times leaves out is the judge should never have unsealed the documents, but he is a fellow fanatic so they just assume it is proper. This is something you always see with fanatics. The ends justify the means. When Obama was running for Senate, fanatics got sealed documents into the hands of the press in order to eliminate his competition. In California, a judge willy-nilly overturned a marriage referendum simply because he did not like the result.

Another aspect of this story that you see regularly with Progressive fanatics is the grudge. They never forget a slight. Cosby made the mistake of railing against black ghetto culture and siding with traditionalists over personal responsibility. The Cult never forgets and they eventually found a way to hang him.

More Nazis

I keep wondering when we will run out of Nazi to chase. By my math, the youngest people that anyone could reasonable hold accountable for crimes in WW2 are 85 and that assumes it is reasonable to hold 15 year-old people responsible for war crimes. The Danes are now being asked to arrest a 90-year old guy for being at a camp in Belarus.

A leading Nazi hunter visited Copenhagen on Monday to request a police investigation into whether a Danish man was an accomplice in the murder of Jews at a camp in Nazi-occupied Belarus during World War Two.The Dane has admitted to working as a guard at the concentration camp near Babruysk, Belarus in 1943 and witnessing executions of Jews there, according to a Danish police report from 1945 that was published in a book last year.

“He has admitted to being there. He has admitted seeing the atrocities,” Efraim Zuroff, responsible for Nazi war crime investigations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Reuters by telephone from London while en route to Copenhagen.

“He has never been prosecuted and I think he is in good health. There is no reason why it should be ignored.”

There was no immediate Danish police or judicial comment on Zuroff’s request.

Danish media said the man in question was 90 years old and had recently denied wrongdoing when asked about his past by reporters from the newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

The logic of chasing after entry level war criminals has never been strong. If you are an enlisted man ordered to shoot prisoners, you will shoot the prisoners. Self-preservation is immutable. To expect soldiers to disobey orders is crackpottery on stilts. The tell is when the phrase “lawful order” is used. Enlisted men are in no position to make those determinations. To demand otherwise is insanity.

That said, there were plenty of examples if guards who volunteered for the work and chose freely to do monstrous things. Prosecuting them after the war was sensible. I think once you get too far away from the event it becomes impossible to really know who did what to whom. Memories fade and the facts get lost or corrupted. Expecting someone to defend themselves decades after the fact is unjust. Expecting a nonagenarian to defend himself 70 years after the fact is madness.

There’s also the importance of closing the books on the past. The Japanese did many horrible things to American prisoners. We dropped two atomic bombs on them and fire bombed Tokyo. No on bothers talk about any of this anymore. The books have been closed on the issue. It’s probably long overdue to close the books on the Nazis. The Bolsheviks killed far more people are were a far greater threat over a far longer period. If we can close the books on the commies, we can close the books on the Nazis.

But, I suspect that will never happen in my lifetime.

Death of Europe

The other day I made the point that the the Greek drama was about erasing countries from the map of Europe. Everyone is going to pretend for a while that Greece is a real country, but eventually even the dumbest Greek will figure out that their national government is meaningless. The real power lies much further north and they are not all that interested in what the Greek voters have to say about anything. You don’t have citizens without countries.

The question is how exactly society is going to hold together without the glue of national sovereignty. You can be loyal to your family, your tribe and your countrymen because you share a history, biology and destiny. Loyalty to a committee of technocrats in a glass and steel office complex in another country seems implausible.

The dreariness of that last paragraph made me think about something else. That is the fertility rates in Europe. Men have children because they want someone to remember them and carry on their name and their ways. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that about the global technocracy. Looking at the Total Fertility Rates of the Euro nations, I see I’m not alone.

Euro Member TFR Euro Member TFR
Austria 1.43 Latvia 1.35
Belgium 1.65 Lithuania 1.29
Cyprus 1.46 Luxembourg 1.77
Estonia 1.46 Malta 1.54
Finland 1.73 Netherlands 1.78
France 2.08 Portugal 1.52
Germany 1.43 Slovakia 1.39
Greece 1.41 Slovenia 1.33
Ireland 2.00 Spain 1.48
Italy 1.42

To put those numbers into perspective, the populations to the south in Africa and to the east in the Muslim world have TFR’s double the typical European country. In some case it is four times higher. Demographers put the replacement rate at 2.1 so France is the only country planning to stick around for a few more generations. But, those numbers are inflated by immigrants so the TFR’s are probably lower across the board.

The odds of those numbers turning around are low because of this:

Euro Member Median Age Euro Member Median Age
Austria 44.3 Latvia 40.4
Belgium 43.1 Lithuania 39.7
Cyprus 34.5 Luxembourg 39.3
Estonia 40.2 Malta 39.7
Finland 43.2 Netherlands 40.8
France 39.7 Portugal 39.7
Germany 46.1 Slovakia 37.3
Greece 43.5 Slovenia 43.5
Ireland 35.4 Spain 41.6
Italy 44.5

Again, Africa and the Middle East have median ages half that of Europe. The demographic collapse that is looming over Europe is not going to be arrested by men wielding spreadsheets. It can only be arrested by men wielding something else, but the men of Europe are too old to wield much of anything these days. That and they don’t seem all that interested in it anyway.

This old Greek proverb comes to mind. “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Europe is at peace and is as prosperous as ever. It’s growing weak because their old men look around and wonder if it would have been better if they had never been born. Given the massive wave of migrants hitting Europe, it’s fair to wonder if the Europeans are just giving up.

The Disappearing of Derbyshire

I’m a fan of John Derbyshire and listen to his podcast each week. I did not subscribe for the pay version at Taki because I could not get their pay service to work. My first rule of commerce is that if you make it hard for me to do business with you, I will not do business with you. The Taki pay model, at least from my experience, was designed to chase away customers.

But, John would post his transcripts and audio later in the week on his site so I could listen to it there. Now I see that Taki has this up claiming that Derb has gone dark. They have scrubbed their site of his content so it is reasonable to assume there has been a falling out between Derb and Taki. On John’s site he says he shall return in two weeks.

I have no idea how popular Radio Derb is as a podcast. I enjoy it a great deal. John has a great voice and a good eye for content that will play well as audio. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I count his as one of the better ones. But, I’m a fringe guy and my tastes are surely not mainstream. Still, Derb has to be one of the more popular contributors at Taki.

John is a good example of just how far left the Overton Window has moved in my lifetime. Not so long ago John would have been a typical conservative commenter. When he began writing for National Review, he was rather conventional in his opinions, but much more empirical in his presentation. Today he is considered a fringe weirdo, a man wearing a tinfoil cap. That’s what happens when the inmates take over the asylum.

Let us hope he has not permanently disappeared.