The Carnival of Lunacy

One of the reasons I like the formulation “custodial state” to describe where the West is heading is it conjures in the mind the image of a nursery school or kindergarten. Sometimes I’ll tack on the phrase “game warden” to focus the mind on the image of a human zoo, like we saw in the movie Planet of the Apes.

This formulation has a lot of uses. When discussing technology, for example, we see that much of it is about removing human to human interaction and replacing it with robot to human interaction, with the robot filling the role of the nanny who looks after the children.The technology prevents the user from “making mistakes” or nudges them into the preferred choices.

Warehouse automation, for example, is about technology babysitting the employees so the supervisor does not have to do it. The magic barcode scanner did not fall from the sky. Managers wanted a way to keep their employees from making mistakes that did not require them correcting the employees face to face. Instead, the software does it.

The point here is that we live in an age where adults are in retreat, increasingly afraid to play the role that adults have played since the dawn of time. Nowhere is this more obvious than the college campus. There you find overgrown adolescents living a Peter Pan existence, afraid of adulthood, lest they be thought of as old squares like their parents.

This is on display in this story about race trouble at Missouri University.

A group of black players on the Missouri football team says it will stop participating in football activities until university system president Tim Wolfe resigns.

The announcement came via Twitter on Saturday night in a post by Missouri’s Legion of Black Collegians. It comes after several recent racial incidents on Missouri’s campus, and with Wolfe under fire for how he has handled them.

The tweet included a photograph of 32 black men, including starting running back Russell Hansbrough.

“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,'” the tweet read. “We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”

This is the result of adults allowing children run wild out of fear of a monster of their own creation. Instead, the idiot coach is taking the side of the players and the university officials are cowering. The correct response is to explain to these players that regardless of what is happening in the world, they have responsibilities. If they go on strike, then they will be expelled and lose their scholarships.

Adults are supposed to teach children about responsibility. Taking a brave stand on some issue that has nothing to do with you is fine, but it’s only brave if you pay some price for it. More important, there’s always a price, even when you don’t get a gold star for bravery from the social justice warriors, so think carefully about your choices.

That would require the adults to act like adults and that’s never happening on a college campus. Instead, they indulge every bit of childish nonsense from the students, as well as the adults. So much so they are willing to overlook a crime wave by athletes in order to have silly games to attend and, of course, not notice who is committing the crimes.

Missouri had 63 criminal cases involving 46 athletes [between 2009 and 2014]. Twelve athletes were involved in more than one incident, Outside the Lines found, and Missouri had the second-highest number of allegations of sexual assault, violence against women, and harassment. Florida State had the most.

One of their gentle giants named Dorial Green-Beckham (guess the race) was a one man crime spree. In his two years at Missouri, Green-Beckham was arrested twice for marijuana-related issues and was the subject of a burglary investigation. In that last instance, that police report stated he allegedly threw a woman down a flight of stairs. Nice guy.

The American college campus is a land of Eloi. The only difference between the adults and the children is that the adults charge the children an extended entrance fee to gain admittance. Otherwise, the adults carry on like overgrown coeds. Since there are no real Morlocks to fear, they invent them in the form of rape hoaxes and imaginary racism. The result is a carnival of lunacy that mocks commonsense.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this is it encourages an ever widening vortex of lunacy. Some students make a nuisance of themselves and the adults do nothing. Then a group of overgrown adolescents in the faculty decide to top it by making a bigger display on campus. The Missouri campus is now well on its way to becoming Lord of Flies because there are no adults to put their foot down and call an end to it.

Bill Nye The Nazi Guy

I’ve never been famous or had a desire to be famous. In fact, it has always struck me as a miserable way to live. These things are a matter of taste and not having ever been famous, I may be all wrong about my reaction to it. My ego has never responded well to flattery so I’m confident fame would not be fun for me. Having people stopping and pointing at me sounds horrible.

There are others for whom fame, even minor fame, is a narcotic that hooks them like a meth addict. They crave it and when they get a taste of it, they will do anything for more of it. My hunch is this is what drives people into the entertainment fields. It’s not the money or the thrill of being good at something. They want to be famous and they will go through every humiliation in order to get a taste of fame. The casting couch could not exist otherwise.

That’s what drives a guy like Bill Nye to repeatedly make an fool of himself. He gained some minor celebrity making kids laugh on TV while doing parlor tricks and now he is obsessed with getting on TV or mentioned on-line. That usually means saying asinine things that the Left can use to claim science proves they are right. It’s why he peddles himself as a scientist when he is nothing of the sort.

Yeah, you’re leading to my next point. Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic. And so part of the message in this book is to get the deniers out of the picture, and along that line – I’ve been saying this a lot the last few weeks as  I listen to the Republican debates – maybe one of these people will go out on his or her own, thinking for him or herself, and say, “You know, I’ve been thinking about this and climate change is a very serious problem. So if I’m president, we’re going to address climate change.”

Anyone familiar with their history will recognize why I call him the Nazi Guy. He is dehumanizing the people who disagree with him and his cult’s beliefs. That lets him dismiss them without consideration. It’s a pretty short trip from where he is now, calling the infidels “toxic”, to a place where he is demanding they be rounded up and shot.

Again, Nye is just an attention whore saying increasingly deranged things in order to get people to notice him. He has figured out that his fake scientist act works on the hard thumping crazies of the Left so that’s his act. If juggling chainsaws was popular with the public, he would be out there doing that instead of peddling this nonsense.

The whiff of fascism is particularly strong here because climate worship has a lot in common with fascism, particularly Nazism. Hitler was a vegan and a bit obsessed with living what we would consider to be the granola lifestyle. The Germans, after all, did give us the Hippies. Instead of rubbing out the mongrel races threatening the folk, the Climate Nazis want to rub out those who threaten Gaia.

This is not an exaggeration. There was a green wing to National Socialism and it was very influential. The mystique of blood and soil was exactly that, blood and soil. For the Nazis, the folk were inextricably bound up in the land. Romantic feelings toward nature were an essential part of the Nazi movement. Preserving Germany for Germans was one side of the coin. Keeping the natural environment of Germans pristine and unsullied was the other side.

Stories like this from New York make a lot of sense if you think of these people as they think of themselves. The climate change warriors are not just defending the environment; they think they are defending themselves and their kind. It’s blood and soil mixed with Puritanism. Instead of the elect running around looking for blasphemers, they are running around looking for deniers. Instead of bringing sinners to account, they are suing the oil companies.

The Mind of the Moonbat

I was driving yesterday thinking about being interviewed by Bill Maher. This was not some sort Walter Mitty fantasy. For some reason I was thinking about the time I was sitting next to Bill Maher at a restaurant in Miami a dozen years ago. He was at the table next to me and that had us sitting within a foot of one another. He smelled like feet and looked like he had not slept in a week. I think his companion was a hooker, but maybe he just has a thing for skanks.

That led me to think about how a loathsome creature like Maher has managed to get rich in entertainment. Why would anyone agree to go on his show? Ann Coulter used to be a regular and I recall hearing her say she counts Maher as a friend. Maybe my experience is not indicative of the real Bill Maher, but people I know who do know him say I’m being too kind. Maher is worse than I think.

That’s what led to my imagining what it would be like to sit on his show and interact with. I have, from time to time, watched his HBO show. It is mostly for anthropological reasons, like watching a show on Pygmies or the Papuan. Instead of primitives, it is Progressives performing for other Progressives, not thinking much about who else is watching. It’s like being a fly on the wall of a cult meeting.

The thing with Maher is that he is a good example to use when explaining how members of a religious cult understand and respond to the world outside the cult. From my small sample size of viewings, the typical show is Maher and other members of The Hive leading the audience in the current hymns. Once is a while he has a normal person on in the same way tent preachers bring the town drunk up to be healed. The point is to use the hapless sinner as an example.

On a few occasions I have seen a normal shine the focus on some defect of the Left and this is where you see Maher show himself to be a full spectrum moonbat. He has a physical reaction to hearing contrary information, squirming in his seat and rolling his eyes. It’s not intended to to be dismissive either. It’s a genuine physical reaction to unclean thought invading the safe space.

I’ve tested this on my moonbat office manager. I’ll engage her in some normal chit-chat knowing that she will eventually figure out how to conform the topic to one of the three solas of the One True Faith. This is where I pounce and point out some defect in the faith or some corruption of the party. She will recoil in horror and look furtively around the room, the fight or flight mechanism kicking in like a shot of adrenaline.

The other thing you can observe with Bill Maher is the tactic of shifting the focus. His heretical guest will point out that Obama lied about something or other and immediately Maher will respond with something about Bush or Palin or some other monster in the moonbat pantheon. The purpose is to change the topic of discussion away from that which vexes the faithful to something more pleasing.

In comment threads of new stories critical of Ben Carson, you will see moonbats jumping in when someone points out the double standard applied to black Republicans versus black Democrats. This is very bad think so they chime in with made up stories about how the racist white press in the olden thymes tormented the heroic Obama. That shifts the focus from present reality to something imaginary.

I used to think this was a defense mechanism, a herd instinct in the human personality toolkit that is tapped into by the hive minded or maybe dominant in these people. Every herd animal has some way for members to warn the herd of danger. Progressives hooting about stranger-danger is just an adaptation of this. The trouble with this theory is that Progressives are forever trying to pick fights with normal people. Instead of being a defense mechanism, this is an attack mechanism.

That’s been my observation of shows like Maher’s and others where three-on-one is moonbat fun. They bring the bad thinker in who valiantly tries to make his points. The tactic of shifting the focus inevitably puts the victim on defense. The segment was supposed to be about Obama, for example, but instead devolves into another critique of his critics, hinting that maybe the bad thinker is a racist.

The lesson here is that when dealing with a moonbat, the key is to always keep the focus on them. They are highly skilled at shifting the focus as it appears to be a biological instinct, but if you have some discipline, you can have some fun watching them squirm in agony. This old video of British airhead Piers Morgan being tormented by Ben Shapiro is a great example.

If you watch carefully, you see Morgan desperately trying to shift the focus from himself in order to put the guest on the defense. First he tries the “how dare you stuff” hoping this will put Shapiro off his game. When that fails he desperately tries to change the subject and have the guess address arguments made by some third person.

I’ve always through that this video should be mandatory viewing for the training of normal people going on these shows. This does not happen because the Left signs the checks and the surest way to get fired is to challenge the One True Faith effectively. Even so, for normal people dealing with the moonbat relative or lunatic at the office, knowing how to keep the focus on the moonbat is a valuable skill. If I ever find myself interviewed by Bill Maher, I hope to remember it.

Digital Fantasies

America’s Newspaper of Record brings word that Amazon has opened its first bookstore, as in brick-and-mortar bookstore.

The opening of’s first brick-and-mortar store on Tuesday proves that software is not really “eating the world,” as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen put it in 2011.

In his widely noted Wall Street Journal column about predatory software, Andreessen wrote:

“Today, the world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, is a software company — its core capability is its amazing software engine for selling virtually everything online, no retail stores necessary. On top of that, while Borders was thrashing in the throes of impending bankruptcy, Amazon rearranged its Web site to promote its Kindle digital books over physical books for the first time. Now even the books themselves are software.”

Retail stores are still not strictly necessary, and yet Amazon now has one in Seattle. That’s because the book market has proved less one-dimensional than publishers and sellers feared in 2010 and 2011.

In September, The New York Times revealed that the Association of American Publishers had registered a 10 percent decrease in digital book sales in the first five months of the year and that the number of independent bookstores was actually growing.

The failure of the Great Pumpkin to rise from the pumpkin patch and sprinkle the children with free eBooks is hardly surprising. I used to go around and around with moonbat friends about this issue as they were all convinced that we would soon be reading everything from a magic tablet. Physical books were old and stuff so of course they serve no purpose.

As is always the case with Utopians and futurists, they naturally assume that because they cannot see the obstacles to their fantasies, those obstacles must not exist. Full steam ahead! In the case of books, the glorious future of eBooks faced the very real obstacle that they were not a very good replacement for real books. They are and remain, a solution in search of a problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I consume most writing off a screen. I read a book or two per month, sometimes more sometimes less. I read a ton on-line. It has been so long since I’ve held a newspaper I can no longer remember when. The other day, I was getting coffee and someone asked if they had a newspaper. To me, it sounded like he wanted to know where to tie up his horse.

The thing I was never able to explain to my moonbat friends with regards to eBooks is that books as we understand them, along with bookstores, publishers, writers, editors, layout men, illustrators etc., did not spring from nothing. They evolved over time to solve the problem of quickly and easily distributing content to as many people as possible in a way that profits the people involved in that process. It is not easily replaced.

Movable type was invented in 1040. The printing press was invented 400 years later. In other words, it took 20 generations for there to develop a need for the mass production of printed material and a solution to be developed. We have another 30 generations to get us to the paperback that you can take to the beach. The point being is there is a lot of trial and error in those bodice-rippers you wife reads.

Utopians never think of these things as they think that their inheritance dropped from the sky. They have no appreciation for what they see around them. All they know is the sleek looking iPad is cool and all the cool kids have them so let’s close down the bookstores and make everyone read eBooks. That’s an exaggeration, but that’s the level of thinking. The people betting on eBooks were betting that 50 generations of work could be replaced in a wave of the hand.

I say all this as someone who reads eBooks. I read physical books too, but I also read eBooks when convenient. I re-read Camp of the Saints the other day off my tablet. The book is terrible and I would not display it on my bookshelf so I saved the money and downloaded it. The thing is, I don’t read a lot of books that suck and I tend to make notes in the margins when I read so the physical book works better most of the time.

Further, if I leave a book on a plane or at the beach, no big deal. If the sun melts my tablet, that is a big deal. If I drop my tablet down the steps, that’s a big deal, while dropping a book off the roof costs me nothing. These are things the Progressive mind can never contemplate as they see no value in them, because they see no value in people. My preferences are immaterial to the material mind.

This blinkered reasoning is standard fare these days so I’m an outlier. The physical book was as good as it needed to be and mail order was fast enough and cheap enough. For something to replace this model it had to be different, offering things you could never get in a book like embedded video or multidimensional plot strictures for fiction where every reader get s a slightly different experience. Instead eBooks are just books that make your eyes bleed.

Busy Work

Walk around any big company and you will find lots of people that appear to do nothing but busy work. They have titles and responsibilities. They perform all sorts of activities, but it is nearly impossible to figure out how these activities help the company. In tough times, these are often the people who get let go and everyone who is left moans about having to do their work, but in a month or so no one notices anymore.

Government and the academy are loaded with people that do nothing but busy work. I once knew a guy whose mother was a year from retirement from the government. Her department was closed and instead of transferring her elsewhere, they just let her run out her time in an office. She spent her days making scrapbooks of the grand kids. They even gave her an office with a window.

I knew a guy who worked for the city of Boston and all he did was attend meetings. His day would start with a meeting and he would go from meeting to meeting all day with breaks for lunch and answering voice mails and so forth. I had some fun trying to pin him down on what he actually *did* every day. The best I could tell, he’s gift was in never answering the question.

Maybe the reason the workforce participation rate is at all-time lows is because of a side effect of automation. That is, there’s no need to automate busy work. The process of automating essential work is making it harder to add extra people who spend their days keeping busy. As companies automate essential work, there’s less waste, as in the guy in the cubicle who spends all day on Facebook.

The area I notice this most often is in IT departments. Companies of any size will have at least one IT person. Often they have several. One guy handles desktop support, while another manages their software and corresponding database systems. Some other guy is the boss and he usually spends his days in meetings, not actually doing work. All of these people appear to be essential when something goes wrong, but things don’t go wrong very much anymore.

These jobs could be and used to be combined. I’m old enough to remember when there was not much of a need for desktop support because everyone used dumb terminals. This can be done today with things like Citrix and thin clients. Similarly, the IT guy was never in management meetings. Like engineers, these were guys who did work, not talk about it. We’ve created a lot of busy work in IT.

The place where you see endless busy work is the academy and the “think tanks” that have sprouted up like dandelions all over the Imperial Capital. In the academy, the study of the obvious has become a staple of life. Every day we see something in the news feed that can be classified either as the “study of the obvious” or the “study of the imaginary.” The latter pretty much keeps the economics departments around the country going.

I think it is part of what is driving the replication crisis in the soft sciences. Most of these studies are cooked up in order to fulfill grant funding conditions. The government doles out money and part of the deal is a paper on some topic. The result is loads of “research papers” that are simply gibberish.

The old saying that idle hands do the devil’s work applies to busy work. My suspicion is most of the people rattling around the academy are better at fraud than anything academic. Take for example this guy who did a guest post on the Ron Unz site. Ron posted it mostly because it conforms to his view that biology does not exist. Ron is a denier!

Anyway, look at the bio of the writer, Chanda Chisala:

I am from Zambia, Africa. My formal educational background is in Biochemistry, but I have never practiced it or worked in that field. I started my web company immediately upon graduating in Biochem at the University of Zambia. I also formed Zambia Online in 1998 and it is still the most active Zambian web site today (see Zambia Google rank).

“Human Supremacism” is what I call my philosophy. It simply means that man is the highest kind of being possible in reality, and it means that every individual is absolutely the highest kind of being in the universe. This is the only logical foundation for the ideology of human rights. No one has a right to control another human being, not government, not society, nothing, because nothing is above any human being. So, observing human rights simply means that you can’t involve any human being in any kind of interaction without their permission. And this interaction means interacting with any of their property. Governments exist solely for the purpose of sustaining this principle. Anything they do above that is not their duty and it is usually a violation of human rights itself. Human supremacism.

In 2008, I was granted the Knight Fellowship by Stanford University to study “the impact of the internet on the future of African journalism, and the philosophy of human rights.”

In 2009, upon completing my Knight Fellowship program, I was invited back to Stanford by the Hoover Institution as a Visiting Scholar.

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, Mr. Chisala has no business being on a college campus. The reason he has never worked in biochemistry is there is no one in Zambia in need of a biochemist and no one outside of Zambia would hire a biochemist from Zambia. STEM fields are notoriously un-PC because they are right answer fields. Checking the right boxes does not trump getting the wrong answer.

Having figured this out, Mr. Chisala set about a career as a hustler that has taken him all the way to Stanford. His personal philosophy reads like something you see in high school yearbooks, but that’s not what matters. He’s checking the right boxes at Stanford and that’s what matters. He gets to fritter away his day writing nonsense about the Internet in Africa, a topic no one cares about, including Africans. This is busy work.

The assumption by the robot future guys is that we will reach a point where the robots either wipe us out of become our caretakers. We will become Eloi and the machines will be our Morlocks, without the harvesting and eating part. A world kindergarten where humans are free to play like children, while their robot overseers look out for their safety.

Maybe the alternative is a world composed of busy work. The robots will figure out that humans need to feel important and that means performing work. The robots will create a world where it appears all of us are doing important stuff, but in reality we are just spinning our wheels, killing time in busy work, like maintaining blogs.

The Yankee Scold

In another age, David Brooks would have been a guy standing against the wall at the town hall meeting, where the fate of Esther was being debated. Some would argue that a good dunking was enough. Others would argue that burning at the stake was the only way to make sure the devil was not living in the village. Later, David would make clever and witty observations about the night’s events to his coevals.

Poor Esther, however, would have spent that night looking for David to come to her aid believing he would explain to the townspeople that she was not a witch or possessed by the devil. After all, the well regarded Mr. Brooks had counseled her to trust in the good judgement of the townsfolk and trust in God to carry her through this ordeal. A whole lot of Esthers have gone to the gallows waiting for their David to rise and speak on their behalf.

David Brooks is pitched as a conservative voice at the New York Times, but I can’t think of single right winger who would consider him a fellow traveler. Brooks is what the Left imagines a good and sensible conservative should be, as opposed to those malignant Morlocks on the other side of the wall. For Progressives, Brooks is a good person with some contrary ideas about how best to run society.

As is always the case with the Left, reality is something different. Brooks is a Public Protestant. That is, he is not overly concerned with private morality. He was, for instance, one of the first to dismiss the indecency charges against Bill Clinton. Instead, men like Brooks imagine themselves as anointed by God to carry out God’s work and try to make the world a more perfect and less sinful place.

When men like Brooks think and write about morality, it is not in the context of his relationship to the Almighty. It is about your relationship with the Almighty, which happens to be the managerial class, of which Brooks is a member in good standing. This profile of Brooks provides an example of what I mean.

In general, Brooks contends, journalists balk at sharing moral viewpoints, and readers bristle upon receiving them. His critics find him an insufferable scold, a pompous sermonizer. “I think there is some allergy our culture has toward moral judgment of any kind,” he reflects. “There is a big relativistic strain through our society that if it feels good for you, then who am I to judge? I think that is fundamentally wrong, and I’d rather take the hits for being a moralizer than to have a public square where there’s no moral thought going on.”

Therein lies the difference between the Public and Private Protestant. The Born Again Christian would prefer it if the public square was family friendly, but that has nothing to do with their relationship with God. It’s why we see these folks retreating from politics again. Their salvation is a personal matter, not a political one. Once there is no room in politics to debate issues like abortion and marriage, there’s no point in participating.

For Public Protestants like Brooks, the public square is all consuming. The anointed are not judged by their private relationship with the Almighty. They are judged, along with the society they maintain, on the general morality of society. It’s why they are endlessly meddling in the lives of the people. If they let you fall into a degraded state, it reflects on them so they believe they are obligated to prevent that from happening, whether you like it or not.

The trouble that is brewing in the Republican Party is directly tied to this divide over morality. David Brooks is considered a conservative at the New York Times because he resists the current fads roiling the ruling class and instead adheres to old Yankee sense of public obligation and public authority. The Progressives really don’t disagree with him on these points. They just think he is old fashioned, which is closely associated in their mind with reactionary.

Outside of this ecosystem, where the bulk of GOP voters reside, this dynamic just looks like two sides of the same coin. Paul Ryan hugging Barak Obama as they agree on how much of your money to spend on their public improvement projects strikes many GOP voters as a betrayal. In the room where these two men are hugging, it feels like they are adversaries. Outside the room it looks like they are partners.

That’s because outside the room, most American are Private Protestants. I’m using the term as a non-sectarian, cultural label. Lots of atheists, Catholics and Hindus reject the serve-the-world/save-the-world ethos of the ruling class. These voters are looking from Republican to Democrat, and from Democrat to Republican, and from Republican to Democrat again; but it is impossible to say which is which.

Since the 19th century, America has been dominated by the old Roundhead culture that dates to the founding. The south has been too weak economically and culturally to push back. The middle has thrown in with the winners out of necessity. The choices before the voters since the middle of the 20th century has been between the hair-on-fire fanatic and the prudent scold, with guys like Brooks filling the role of the latter.

Politics is about numbers and the numbers no longer favor the Roundhead coalition and that’s what leaves guys like David Brooks sleepless at night. His role as the sensible antidote to the fanaticism of his coreligionists is of no value when there is a more cavalier coalition to counter the Roundheads. That’s what we are seeing signs of in the Trump coalition.

The space for the Yankee scold to operate is getting small. Perhaps that’s why David Brooks is suddenly struggling with his relationship with the Almighty. He keeps working on that sermon, making weekly improvements, but the number of people in the pews gets smaller and smaller. Pretty soon, all the Yankee scolds will be left searching for a congregation.

Being Wrong

There’s a genre of expository writing where the author explains in detail how he got something completely wrong. The name for this form is “nonexistent” because no one ever does it. Similarly, you will never hear a lecture from an economist explaining how he got some prediction totally wrong. For instance, Obama’s economic team swore that the stimulus bill would set off an economic boom through the magic The Multiplier. They were wrong and it was a flop, but no one talks about it because it is simply not done.

This is something you see in all fields, not just public policy. You never read about scientists discussing how they screwed up an experiment or fell for some nutty idea that sounded good at the moment. What we expect and what we get is equivocation, denial and when that does not work, an attempt to flush the incident down the memory hole. It usually works too. Paul Ehrlich was hilariously wrong about human populations, but he has paid no price.

The weird thing about this, I think, is we know that being wrong is usually more important than being right. When you are a student learning mathematics, you are required to show your work in detail. The reason is the teacher wants to see your mistakes. In sports, coaches focus on the mistakes even after a big win. The reason is we learn more from our errors than through our successes. It’s an axiom of life that old people teach to young people as they help them get over some difficulty.

I think one reason why public people never admit being wrong is they know that a lot of people really want them to be right. The people telling the public that economic science said the stimulus bill was a sure fire cure for the economy knew that a lot of people wanted that to be true. They voted for Obama believing he was Jesus. Those economists selling the stimulus probably believed it too. They really really wanted to be on the winning side of history. When that did not happen, they could not face it so they did not face it. The dogs barked and the caravan moved on.

Our side of the game is not immune to this either. Read Zero Hedge and you come away thinking the world is about to explode any minute. Every day they have a post title something like “Five Charts Predicting Armageddon.” That’s been a feature every day since it started in 2009 and the world has not exploded. More important, being wrong for six years has not discouraged them. In fact, they are more certain than ever, operating under the theory that they are due, I guess.

It’s not just the fringe weirdos on our side. Reagan was convinced that taking tax hikes off the table would eventually force the welfare state into retreat. His reasoning at the time sounded great. Make tax hikes the third rail of politics and it leaves borrowing as the only way to finance the government. Eventually, the bond markets would force a roll back as the deficits would grow so large that eventually no one would lend. Reagan came into office when debt was at $900 billion. He left with debt at $2.6 trillion. Obama will leave office with $20 trillion in debt.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. In the 1980’s people knew that no country could survive with public debt equal to or greater than GDP. Now, that mountain of debt may one day topple over and take us all down, but it is not happening tomorrow. As it stands, the great day of reckoning over public debt is 25 years late and nowhere to found. That’s important to keep in mind when thinking about the current issues of the day. The odds are, we are all wrong about what’s coming next.

The people in charge, the central planners running the economy through the central banks, are often mocked by people on our side. After all, every effort at central planning has failed miserably so why should this time be different. The thing is, it has been different and it remains different. Say what you will, but the massive debt and real estate bubble that burst seven years did not plunge the world into depression. Maybe it was dumb luck or maybe the central planners are better than we think. I’m not saying they are perfect or that they really know what they are doing, but I don’t see any soup lines either.

It’s possible that the looming custodial state, where the Cloud People rule over the Ground People like game wardens, is going to be wonderful. The Ground People will embrace being cared for like children and accept being pushed around by the authorities when necessary. The sense of looming catastrophe that animates much of the alternative right will turn out to be completely misplaced. Instead, it will be viewed as a great leap forward for humanity.

Or, I could be completely wrong.

Impractical Magic

Gun grabbers and their enablers in the social sciences are fond of cranking out studies that show high gun ownership correlates to high suicide rates or high murder rates. They collect up some statistics from crime reports and then try to match that up to gun ownership rates or gun laws. Usually there will be some sort of scary heat map showing the bad places in bright red and the good places in a nice color like green or blue. The point of the exercise is to claim that science! is against guns.

One of my favorite gags is to point out to these very serious people posting these claims that their “reasoning” is based on magic. After all, the underlying premise is that the mere presence of a gun causes someone to kill or commit suicide. It’s as if they think people see a gun and are suddenly compelled to shoot themselves or someone else. The shaping of metal and plastic into a gun imbues it with magical powers that seizes the minds of normal men, causing them to go violently crazy.

This sort of magical thinking is so common in the education rackets that no one bothers to notice. The chant, “Diversity is our strength” is just assumed to be true so no one thinks about it. If a school does not have black kids in it, then it is assumed to be an incubator for the Klan. If a school has no white kids in it, the assumption is that the school is a plantation. Only through the right mix of hues can a child magically absorb knowledge.

No one bothers to explain why diversity is good or beneficial. The reason for that is there is no explanation. The “experts” look at numbers on a page and say, “these school have good results while these schools have bad results. The solution is to send the kids from the bad schools to the good schools!” The magic lies in the building as that can be the only explanation, other than racism, of course. Racism is always a good fallback if magic is not a good answer.

Nowhere is magic more obvious than in the topic of race. The other day I did a few riffs on this story about how the sandman is a racist. When considering physical phenomena, the logical place to start is with biology, if it involves living creatures. Otherwise, physics is the place to start. That’s entry level reasoning. Yet, in matters of race, biology is immediately ruled out in favor of mysterious forces that can be quantified with statistics, but only explained with the Ouija Board.

Steve Sailer has been having a lot of fun with the cooing over Raj Chetty’s big project, pointing out the many methodological flaws. In John Derbyshire’s latest transmission from the bunker, he introduces us to a new term that describes what Sailer has been discussing. It is called “Magic Dirt Theory.” The dirt in places like Utah where children do very well possess special qualities that are lacking in the dirt of places where children do poorly.

Magic Dirt Theory is what’s behind the push to export troublesome populations out to the suburbs. Through the use of Section 8 housing vouchers, the oppressed can be sent out into the burbs to live in apartments built on the magic dirt that makes the suburbs so attractive to white people. In no time, those troublesome populations will magically transform into highly productive, self-actualizing citizens, contributing to the wonderfulness of suburban life.

The beauty of Magic Dirt Theory is it reinforces the magic of race. If the whites raise an objection to having their neighbors owning pit bulls or having loud parties on weeknights, it is just proof that the horrible bad whites are trying to deny blacks access to the magic dirt. The only solution is to redouble efforts to transplant more blacks into places like Ferguson Missouri. If the magic dirt does not take, then it just shows how powerful the magic of racism really is and why the good thinkers must never quit trying to beat back the bad thinkers.

Magic Dirt Theory. The cause of and cure for all that ails the Progressive mind.