Non-Whites Only

Years ago, I was skimming the want ads on Monster, or a similar site and I kept seeing some version of “minorities and women are encouraged to apply” listed prominently in the ads. Like a lot of people, I thought this was just the new bullshit way for companies to announce their wonderfulness. This was back in the early Bush years, so we were not full-tilt Afro-worship yet. We were just at the start of this Great Progressive Awakening.

Just for laughs, I contacted one of the companies that listed a real e-mail address. I asked if the position was open to white men. I never expected a response as I was obviously trying to stir the pot. At least I thought it was obvious. I got back a nice reply from some woman explaining to me that as part of their diversity programs they would be looking for a “well-qualified” minority applicant.

In other words, they were not just displaying their piety, they were telling the honkies they were no longer welcome. The causal, matter of fact way it was written was what got me. The same people hooting and bellowing about racism thought it was just wonderful to openly display their hatred of white men, like it was a sign of enlightened thinking.

Anyway, I thought about that when I read this story linked on Drudge.

CBS’ new Nancy Drew will look very different should the network move forward with the reboot.

CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller revealed Tuesday that the network’s reimagining of the iconic character will be diverse.

“She is diverse, that is the way she is written,” the executive told THR immediately following his time in front of the press at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Tuesday. While Geller said it was too early in the process to explain just what he meant by diverse — whether Nancy is African-American, Asian-American or Latino, he said it would hinge on finding the right actress for the part. “[She will] not [be] Caucasian,” he stressed. “I’d be open to any ethnicity.”

Any ethnicity except one with white skin. Imagine the reaction if the guy said, “we’re not going to cast a negro in the part.” After the requisite “storm on social media” the idiot would spend a week begging for forgiveness and then lose his job. Yet, hanging a sign out that reads “non-whites only” is celebrated like it is an achievement to be copied everywhere.

The only thing new here is the brazen way in which it is publicly stated. This Glenn Geller guy could very well be an idiot, but you see it everywhere in the media. The one group it is OK to shit on are whites and especially white men. The people who invented civilization are being run out of town in favor of people who have yet to figure out how to stack one brick upon another.

The foaming at the mouth hatred for while men is so over the top it is starting to feel like satire. Every TV commercial either features a mixed race couple (white women – non-white man), has a black guy cast as the hero or has the white guy as a dufus. The dopey white guy has become such a stock figure in the media, it looks strange when a normal white guy pops up on screen. It’s like seeing a leprechaun.

It was only a matter of time before white women joined the ranks of the unwanted. The phony-baloney rape hoax culture at colleges hilariously ignores assaults by black guys on white women. In fact, those are covered up because black trumps white, regardless of the sex involved. We’re seeing that in Europe where the elites are throwing a rape-a-paloosa so European girls can be assaulted by Arabs.

This will not end well.

Hillary Capone

One of the benefits of writing about the world, versus being a pen for hire, is you get to speculate about things in public. The check writers in the publishing world are deathly afraid of their benefactors so they turtle up at the first site of trouble. Even lefty rags tip-toe around in fear of pissing off the wrong rich guy. If you want to make a living as a writer, you better keep your head down and show proper deference.

Hobbyists like me have no such restrictions. What bloggers lack in audience share, we make up for in wild-ass speculation, some of which turns out to be right. I was reminded of that by this I saw come over the twitter machine last night. The latest batch of Hillary Clinton e-mails suggest she was up to something other than hiding from Congressional subpoenas.

Back in the summer I wrote this about the scandal and it was picked up by a bunch of sites, including Red State. If you think through the mechanics of building a private e-mail server and then working to keep it private, the set of motivations behind such an effort are small and they range from the mildly devious to the flamboyantly criminal. There’s simply no good reason to have gone off the books in this fashion.

What has made the Clintons so successful at the grift is they never let anyone see inside the box. If three people are in on their caper, those three people have four versions of the “truth” and none of them quite fit with the facts. The reason for that is the Clintons use selective honesty to blind their subordinates to the contradictions. Each member of the caper is sure he is the only one trusted enough to know the whole story.

That’s most likely what’s happening with this scandal. The FBI interviewed the technical people who handled the servers. They have interviewed Clinton staff and have, reportedly, been talking to Hillary through her attorneys. By now the FBI has 85 versions of the truth, all of which sort of fit the facts. Of course, many of these people, believing they are the most trusted aide to the Clintons, are stonewalling out of loyalty.

The other thing the Clintons are good at doing is offering up multiple motivations for their capers. In this case, Hillary has said she wanted to guard her private correspondence. She’s also hinted that she was trying to keep the vast right-wing conspiracy from prying into her affairs via Congressional oversight. These are all relatively innocent explanations. She was justified in breaking the law because her tormentors are big meanies!

It’s this artful use of distraction that causes me to wonder if her campaign is not just another smokescreen. The FBI would be hard pressed to get the green light to indict her even if she was not running for president. Getting the political class to OK it when she is the front runner for the nomination is highly unlikely. That makes her campaign a force-field to repel a full blown investigation. At least that’s what they are thinking.

Put another way, Hillary’s campaign is like a staged terror attack to distract from the bank heist going on across town. As long as she is running for office, the Feds are limited in what they can do to her. The bet is the clock runs out on this by the summer as it will be viewed as too politically dangerous. Win or lose, Team Clinton gets away with what amounts to a bank heist.

Ultimately, that’s what has always worked for the Clintons. The assumption by friends and foes is that they are motivated by power, ideology and politics. Their actions are all in pursuit of office or scoring points against political enemies. Working from that assumption, their enemies always swing and miss because they are aiming at something that is not there.

The real soul of the Clintons, if you will, is good old fashioned greed. It is a love of money and what money brings that drives them. Politics has always been a means, not an end. In this regard they are not much different from most gangsters. Al Capone enjoyed crime, but crime was not his motivation. He liked living large and crime was the means to that end. if Capone happened to be good at making widgets, he would have done that.

If the news reports are accurate, it appears the FBI is figuring out that they have an old fashioned heist on their hands. The smart money says they run into a stone wall, but even Al Capone was eventually brought low on the sort of technical violations of the law we are seeing here. This is not the 1920’s where you can hide the books from the Feds. Every cent that flows in and out of that operation can be traced now.

Still, the Clinton gang is not without its resources. The longer this takes, the less likely it is for the political class to permit a criminal case being brought against her. Imagine Clinton being indicted in June after clinching the nomination. But events have a way of getting away from even the craftiest people so there’s always hope. The image that brings me joy when thinking of the Clintons is of Bill standing on the porch, a bimbo on his arm, waving to Hillary as she is carted away to the penitentiary.

Public Madness

One of the more remarkable things about the last couple of decades has been the evolution of multiculturalism into a suicide cult. Back in the 1980’s when “tolerance” was becoming a thing with Progressives, the argument was that whites in white countries should be tolerant of their dusky brethren.

It was not just the decent thing to do, it would make for a more peaceful society. If whites in America, for example, put aside their prejudices about blacks, then blacks would have a fair shot to join the mainstream culture. If the West was more respectful of the third world, then maybe those people would embrace civilization.

I recall being lectured about tolerance by a French girl back in the mid-80’s and my thought at the time was that this was just another silly way for Progressives to preen in public. When I pointed out to the French girl that “tolerance” implied “dislike” as in she was tolerant of blacks even though she privately despised them, she nearly had a stroke. It was clear she had not thought much about it, but she liked being smug around white trash like me.

Over the last three decades, this fetish has evolved from tolerance through celebration to outright worship. Hilariously, there’s zero tolerance for anyone that does not fully embrace the self-loathing, suicidal impulses of the multicultural faith. On every college campus in America, you will find a club for every conceivable “minority” group, but the opening of a few “white student” clubs was cause for National Day of Mourning.

Eric Hoffer wrote that “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” A corollary to that might be “every great cultural pathology begins as a petty public piety, becomes a political weapon and degenerates into insanity.” It does not trip off the tongue, but the point is what’s important. What started out as a pose became a weapon for the political Left and has now devolved into madness.

This example from the City of Brotherly Love would be funny if it were not so sad.

A 33-year-old Philadelphia policeman, Jesse Hartnett, was ambushed late Thursday when Edward Archer, a Muslim man, reportedly tried to execute him while he was sitting in his police vehicle. Images from the incident show a man dressed in Muslim attire firing off a reported 13 rounds at officer Hartnett. The police officer was hit three times but did not suffer life threatening injuries and is expected to recover fully, reports said.

According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, the suspect said he had committed the attempted execution in the name of the Islamic State, the jihadi terrorist insurgent group that controls territory in the Middle East.

“According to him [the shooter], police bend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran,” said Commissioner Ross.

Mayor Kenney, who was inaugurated last week, took a strikingly different tone when coming to the podium.

He began by expressing his well-wishes for the officer who the Muslim man attempted to execute, but then spent the latter part of his statement distancing Islam from the shooter, who claimed he was carrying out the shooting for Islam.

“In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen,” said Mayor Kenney.

“That is abhorrent. It’s just terrible and it does not represent this religion [Islam] in any way shape or form or any of its teachings,” he added. “This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”

I’m old enough to remember when mayors, even from big cities, were content to take bribes, ignore police corruption and let the city unions raid the treasury. Now they want to be the local imam, defining the will of Allah and passing judgement on the conduct of the faithful. How long before the mayor begins issuing fatwahs, calling the local youth to wage jihad against the infidels?

The mayor is not thinking any of this through, of course. He’s just a back pew moonbat that is willing to grin like a chimp on TV and do what his handlers tell him. In modern America, municipal government is a dead end politically, so it attracts low-watt sociopaths and grifters unable to do productive work. Mayor Kenney is too stupid to comprehend any of this. He is just trying to ape what he sees and hears from his idols, people like Obama and Angela Merkel.

That does not change the fact that multiculturalism has become a public madness. Angela Merkel is throwing her country into turmoil for no reason other than the psychological terror she feels when contemplating the alternatives. Like an agoraphobic fleeing a public place in terror, Merkel is in a panic over the mere hint of nationalism and is instead inviting a billion Muslims to relocate to the Fatherland.  She would rather let the rapefugees rampage through the streets than see her countrymen waving the flag.

Unlike private madness, public madness eventually recedes. We’re seeing that now all over the West, but public madness comes with a price. The bill for Merkel’s Madness will be paid. Whether that is through a return of the worst instincts of the German people or a diminished of their best instincts is the question. The same is true all over the West. The madmen have conjured spirits most assumed were dead. It will not end well.

Vouchered Reality

I think when the robot historians write the story of late empire America, one of the great villains will be Jack Kemp. It was Kemp who “figured out” that conservatives had to find some way to counter the Progressive monopoly on altruism in the public consciousness. Otherwise, elections would continue to turn on who most cares about the weakest, rather than who has the best ideas.

That sounded fine in terms of politics, but philosophically it conceded a critical point. That is, the state is responsible for the care and feeding of the citizenry. If someone is poor, it is the duty of politicians to figure out why and fashion a remedy for it. Kemp’s happy warrior dance is what eventually led to the Bush variant of “Compassionate Conservatism.” When Bush said, “We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, Government has got to move”, he was channeling Jack Kemp.

The “conservatism” of Jack Kemp was decoupled from the traditional conservatism of America. Instead of being a cultural and philosophical counter to Public Protestantism, it was a different implementation of American Progressivism. The New Right accepted the fundamentals of the Left, particularly innate egalitarianism, they just had different ways to achieve the desired results.

The New Right offered tax incentives as an alternative to the bureaucratic and sclerotic welfare systems of the Left. Instead of building and maintaining public housing stocks, the New Right would create the ownership society. Of course, when it comes to education, the New Right offered vouchers and school choice as an alternative to throwing money at the union dominated public schools.

The trouble with all of this is it accepts a set of assumptions that are at odds with reality. Fundamentally, the Old Right differed from the Left on the issue of egalitarianism. The Right argued that people are born with a range of skills, talents and dispositions. There is a natural hierarchy within the human family and social arrangements must comport with the reality.

In contrast, the New Right signed onto the idea Reagan so cleverly explained in his famous A Time For Choosing speech fifty years ago. They “can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without automatically coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.” While the Left sees the invisible hand of avarice, the New Right sees a bug in the code of social policy.

This denial of biological reality is most evident with school choice. The assumption underlying these proposals is that every parent wants their kid to grow up to be a college educated high achiever in a self-actualizing profession. In reality, the degree of parental concern for offspring follows the normal distribution that tracks closely with economic condition.

Anyone who has spent time with the poor understands something that the social planners never grasp. Poor people make poor decisions. That’s why they are poor. They have above average time preferences, which is mostly due to a lower IQ and poor impulse control.

The drug dealer did not end up on parole because he thought things through and weighed the risks against the gains. Selling weed just seemed like a good way to get money at the time. He wanted money so he could buy stuff like a car and maybe a flat screen. Tomorrow is another country that he never intends to visit. It’s all about the here and now.

It’s why school choice programs don’t have a lot of supporting data behind them. This study linked on Marginal Revolution is the latest example debunking the claims of school choice. It turns out that there’s not a whole bunch of talented kids locked into poor schools after all. It’s bad students that make bad schools, not the other way around. Vouchers, at best, let middle-class whites move their kids further away from the poor kids.

Politicians of the New Right are so enamored with these programs, despite their dubious value, because of what Jack Kemp saw forty years ago. On the one hand, they promise the same results that naturally flow from freedom of association, which appeals to their base voters. On the other hand, everyone gets to pretend to care about the poor, thus stealing a cudgel from the Left.

The result over the last three decades has been a metastasizing welfare state that is served by an army of technocrats from both sides. Per capita federal spending, adjusted for inflation, has doubled since the 1980’s because one party pushes compassionate liberalism while the other side pushes compassionate conservatism. Traditional America has been crushed between the jaws of this vice.

The Crisis of Liberal Democracy

It is generally assumed that revolutions are for poor, bedraggled countries where operating a flush toilet is a great challenge. The hilariously misnamed “Arab Spring” is a good recent example. One Arab craphole after another fell into chaos as the price of food shot up and the local potentates were unable to keep a lid on things. Big important countries don’t have revolutions anymore. They have democracy!

That’s not a foolish assumption. The last real revolt in Europe was the Bolshevik Revolution and a lot of people would argue that Russia is not a part of Europe. The Spanish Civil War is not counted as a revolution, but that’s debatable. Either way, it’s been a long time since westerners have felt the need to “spit on their hands, hoist the black flag and start slitting throats.”

The argument is that modern liberal democratic societies have built in checks against tyranny and systems for making structural reforms when necessary. If the main political parties are unresponsive, then new parties rise up to displace them and implement the needed reforms. Elections give the people the tools to reign in their rulers so there’s no need for revolution.

Just because this process has never happened does not mean it can’t happen. The argument here is that the main parties respond to changing attitudes and reform on their own so there’s no need for new parties. The Tories in Britain, for example, moved right when UKIP got going. In America, the Democrats lurched to the left when the Green Party sprouted up in the 90’s. The Republican Party is about to move right in response to the Trump-a-paloosa.

That’s the theory. The Greeks would point out that they kept voting for something different, but nothing changed. In fact, the more they voted, the more draconian the punishments from Europe. They would have been better off having a good old fashioned military coup. At least that would have made for good television. Instead, Greece is now Germany’s Puerto Rico.

The lesson the German politicians learned, or at least appear to have learned, is that democracy is nothing but a bluff. The Greeks could have started shooting, but instead they knuckled under to German demands, even when it was a matter of pride. They would rather stop being Greek by eliminating that which makes them Greek, than take on the burden of leaving Europe and reclaiming their sovereignty.

Angela Merkel appears to be taking the same stand with the German people. Here we have genuine social unrest due to the flood of migrants she invited into the country and her response is to go after Germans who speak out about it. The mayor of Cologne, sounding like Bill Clinton, told her female citizens to just lie back and try to enjoy the rape-a-thon going on in the city square.

Just in case you are inclined to think that’s a mischaracterization, Merkel has just made a big public show of not accepting limits on allowing more Muslim immigrants into the country. The only conclusion to draw from this is she thinks there’s no amount of degradation and humiliation that will cause the German public to rise up and put an end to this madness. Given the Greek experience, she’s probably right.

It’s tempting to think there’s some difference between Germans and Greeks in the view of the people in charge, but that is a mistake. As far as Merkel is concerned, the people of Cologne are no different from the people of Athens. They are not even people. They are economic units to be shifted around and eliminated in order to maintain the ruling class. If the economic units in Athens can be bullied, why think the units of Cologne will not be bullied too?

What we are witnessing in the West is the great test of liberal democracy. On the one side, all over the West we see recalcitrant mainstream parties digging in their heels on polices that benefit the global elite at the expense of the local populations. On the other side you have local populations trying to force change on their government through the liberal democratic processes. The theory says the politicians, as a matter of survival, will yield.

So far, that has not been the way to bet. Instead, the main parties find new ways to subvert the will of the voters. In Greece the Germans laid siege to the country until they broke the will of the people. Closer to home, the German government is unleashing a wave of Muslim terrorism on their people, presumably as a form of intimidation. In France, the main parties have teamed up to block the third party from winning.

You don’t have to be a seer to see what’s coming. If through the accepted democratic process, the will of the people is thwarted, then the people will lose respect for those processes. If the people in charge already look upon these processes with contempt, there’s no one left to support the status quo and the whole things falls to pieces. Perhaps the post-democratic world imagined by the global elite is what emerges, but 100 years ago all the smart people had similar thoughts.

The American Alawites

Minority populations in any society tend to nurse a grudge against the majority. It’s perfectly reasonable, as a sane society of any design will abide by and cater to the desires of the majority population. Therefore, the minority group will find themselves on the fringes or under constant pressure to assimilate. This natural friction also results in a bidirectional animosity between the majority and the majority.

It’s why a sane society avoids letting the minority population gain control of the levers of power. While there is some chance it works out just fine, there is a greater chance that the minority will try to exact revenge on the majority. Alternatively, it will appear they are favoring their group over the majority. To paraphrase Lee Kuan Yew, in a multi-ethnic state, people are loyal to their tribe first, so it is assumed.

In modern America, this gets squirrely because the ruling cult we call Progressives, have turned minorities, particularly blacks, into objects of worship. It’s why we have been saddled with the jug-eared clodhopper, Barak Obama, for the last seven years. Progressives truly believed he was the fulfillment of prophecy and would cleanse the soul of the nation.

As a result, the tendency is to focus on Obama’s racial animosity toward whites, because like most black people in America, Obama nurses a grudge against white people. That was fairly clear when he was running for president. His comment about rural white guys being bitter clingers was largely viewed as one of the good white/bad white signals. Bad whites go to church, own guns and are racists because they are losers.

It is why it is tempting to think Obama’s bizarre executive actions on firearms is just a way to spite the honkies. His policies will do nothing to abate violent crime. Black guys will keep shooting black guys for sneakers, respect and other dumbass reasons. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim. The only people who will notice these changes are law abiding crackers, who like hunting and shooting paper targets.

But that’s the thing. Obama is about as black as Ned Flanders. His tribe is the cult into which he was born and raised, the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Like the Alawites fighting the Sunni majority in Syria, he looks at the majority with contempt, believing they choose to live outside of grace. This is not a black thing. It is a Progressive thing. He thinks he is on the winning side of history, so that means his opponents are losers.

Alawites are Twelvers, an eschatological brand of Islam. They believe in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and they believe that the last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi. That will mark the end of ordinary reality and begin a reunion with the Divine. The faithful organize their lives around bringing about this final event.

Progressives are a similar cult. All their talk about being on the right side of history is just another way of saying they are the elect, the people who will enter the promised land in the end times. The proof of that is they organize their lives around bringing about those end times. Once they build their city on the hill, they can move in, lock the doors and leave the losers in flyover country to their own hell.

In the meantime, like their Calvinist ancestors, Progressives invest a lot of their energy in public acts of piety. Obama just got a most everything he ever dreamed of from his rent boy Paul Ryan so he should be happy with his legislative success. Instead, he is going out of his way to let everyone know he is on the side of the angels with regards to guns. To the fanatic, there’s always room for one more mass, one more hymn, one more sacrifice.

The trouble is, like we see in Syria, Obama’s ruling sect is wildly out of touch with the majority. Since he took office, 100 million guns have been sold to Americans. This is in a country that probably had three times that number in circulation when he was elected. As we see with the Alawites in Syria, mathematics does not yield to wishful thinking. Eventually, the majority decides to impose its will on the minority.

The vast majority of Americans are waking up to the reality of their position and beginning the process of sloughing off the current ruling class. America is a peaceful and prosperous country so there’s no need for a violent revolution. But if the fanatics do not yield, well, the people are heavily armed so the revolution, if it comes, will be brief. Just in case, you may want to stock up.

Art of the Con

Over the holiday weekend I read a book titled The Art of the Con by Anthony Amore. It is a book about art theft, a specialty of the author, who makes his living protecting art and investigating art thefts. The book is what I call a bathroom book in that it is light reading broken into small sections. I’m a lackadaisical reader and I knocked it out over the weekend.

If you like true crime and are looking for a quick easy read to kill time on a train, plane, or stagecoach, it is a good choice. The author has a good understanding of the world of fine art but is levelheaded about it. For instance, he acknowledges that Abstract Expressionism is easy to fake because it takes so little talent to produce. The writing style is conversational and direct, as you would expect from an investigator.

One of the interesting data points in the book is that close to 50% of fine art is fraudulent in some way. Either it is an outright forgery, a copy or was produced against the wishes of the artist by associates and understudies. The Great Masters, for instance, often relied on understudies to do much of their work so passing off the work of an understudy as that of the master is common.

Of course, art fraud is so common because it is so lucrative. Rich people collect art as a way to display their wealth within their peer group. It not only tells the other rich guys that you have loads of disposable income, but it also suggests you have cultured tastes. Therefore, high demand from rich people, looking for an emotional high, drives up prices for fine art and that means huge potential gains for fakers.

The strangely interesting chapter to me is on lithography where it is suggested that there are more fakes on the market than real art. The reason is “real” is not easy to pin down. As far as I can tell, the difference between authentic and fake in most cases is simply a signature. Even there, the signatures are often done by someone other than the artist. Everything about it feels shady, but people keep spending money on it.

I don’t know if it was intended, but the vibe I get from reading this chapter is the modern artists are so greedy they are fine with opening themselves up to massive fraud, as long as they can make a quick buck. The suggestion is that artists are just a click less dishonest than the con men that sell fake art to suckers. Either way, it’s hard to feel sorry for the artists.

If you are a fan of true crime, the strongest chapters are the first chapters, in fact, the one knock on the book is that it seems like the author ran out of material at about 175 pages and then filled in the rest with musings about the internet and infomercials. I found myself skipping through those quickly. It’s a book that starts strong and finishes with a whimper.

Those strong first chapters are on some of the great confidence men of the modern art world, who swindled millions from people that were savvy about the art game. The thing that stands out in his retelling is that these grifters are biologically driven to deceive people. Whether or not they feel guilt is debatable, but they know what they are doing is illegal and considered to be immoral. Yet, they keep doing it.

Unlike the Hollywood version of confidence men, the real life con-men confess quickly when caught. These are professional liars gifted at reading others. Once they see the cops have the facts, they become very cooperative, trying to earn sympathy points from the court, which often happens. Their skill at manipulating the emotions of others comes in handy in front of a judge.

The thing with con men is they see themselves as the victim so when they are caught, pleading for mercy comes naturally. The same skills they used to win the confidence of their marks are used to win sympathy from their captors. The exception is when they get caught and there’s no deal to be made. That’s when they get as mean as a cornered rat, which is not a bad comparison.

Ultimately what works for con-men is normal people have trust in others. That trust is based on altruism, a concern for the well-being of others. Confidence men lack that quality even within their kin group. It’s not that they hate their marks. It’s that they have no regard for them whatsoever. The mark has what the con-man desires to possess so he employs the necessary strategy to get what he wants.

Anyway, if you’re have an interest in true crime and need an airplane book, The Art of the Con is a good choice.

Fear and Resentment

I continue to read National Review On-Line, despite having dropped the subscription to the paper version years ago. The reason is it is a canary in the coal mine sort of publication now. Their selection of topics and positions indicates the current thinking within the Republican Party. They have fluff and red meat type stuff too, but it is mostly about how to sell the GOP to the public.

The Weekly Standard, in contrast, is about influencing policy and is more of a trade journal for staffers in DC. They will take a long piece on policy or strategy and package it with a bunch of fluff that managerial class staffers will find interesting. My guess is their circulation is 90% within the DC metropolitan area. It now fills the role the New Republic filled before it was destroyed by the gay Nazi from Facebook.

Anyway, this ridiculously long-winded piece on immigration from one of the fake nerds at National Review is something that got my attention. I mostly skimmed it for two reasons. One is that a 3,500 word piece is too long by default. Second, it’s obvious the author has no grasp of the subject.

For years, elite conservatives have ignored grassroots opposition to mass immigration, and Trump’s rise is their reward. That GOP primary voters are in revolt over immigration, and that so many of them are spurning elected Republicans they no longer trust, should come as no surprise.

Does this mean that all conservatives need to do is call for closing the borders, and then all will be well? Not by a long shot. If Republicans who favor mass immigration have been blind to its downsides, many of those who are opposed to it have themselves been blinded by nostalgia — they have failed to recognize that the more culturally homogeneous America of the 1980s, when many older conservatives came of age, is gone.

The result is that anti-immigration conservatives have alienated potential allies. Many centrist and liberal African Americans share conservatives’ skepticism about immigration, yet they are reluctant to join forces with a movement they see as racially exclusive. Many Hispanics and Asians, whether foreign- or native-born, see the virtue in reducing less-skilled immigration while easing the way for skilled workers. Political scientists Jens Hainmueller and Daniel Hopkins have gathered considerable evidence that support for such a policy is widespread among Americans of all backgrounds. Yet immigration advocates have deliberately framed the immigration debate as all-or-nothing, and conservatives have let them get away with it.

I’ll just note that no where in the 3,500 word article do we find numbers in favor of mass immigration of any sort. The alluded to “evidence” in this quote is never mentioned again. Like the “evidence” in support of Big Foot and extraterrestrials, the evidence in support of mass immigration is always discussed, but never presented.

Again, it is an unnecessarily long article. The argument is that the GOP needs to adopt a policy of unlimited immigration that discriminates against low-skilled immigrants. That way, the knuckle-dragging rubes in flyover country will stop bitching about the foreigners and get back on the GOP bus. Again, there’s zero data in support of the claim that immigration is good for Americans. It’s just assumed.

None of this is new, but it indicates two things. One is the GOP is still baffled by the revolt of the peasants. They are convinced the trouble is the poor white dirt people in their trailers and shanties, being displaced by the brown people of the future. If the GOP can buy them off then the American middle class will gladly sign onto what the author concedes is cultural suicide.

The other thing we see here is there’s no real interest in peeping over the walls and seeing the faces of the revolting. They prefer to imagine the Trump vote is a bunch of old white guys on Rascal Scooters, waving around the Confederate Flag. There’s a sneering contempt for the rabble outside the walls. Therefore, it is only proper to assume the worst of them.

The contempt is most obvious when they deploy their favorite phrase, “fear and resentment” to those opposed to mass immigration. The implication is that only paranoid losers oppose mass immigration. They can’t keep up so they manufacture bogeymen they can point to as an enemy. Hilariously, the author finishes by calling his war on Americans “the compassionate case for integration and assimilation.”

This being the start of 2016, I have naturally been reading up on the year 1916. Even though it was clear that Russian society, for example, was buckling under the strain of war, the tsarists were incapable of seeing things through the eyes of the Russian people. To them, the peasants and workers may as well have been foreigners, for all the connection they felt toward them.

You see the same insularity in today’s managerial elite. Reihan Salam is better than most in that he concedes that the GOP should pay some attention to its voters on the issue of immigration. The trouble is the vast majority of the managerial elite look at the American people in the same way the tsarists looked at the starving peasants of St. Petersburg, as a burden and a nuisance.

Insurance Versus Taxes

You can make the argument that insurance made the modern world possible, because it made risk quantifiable. The insurer is making a bet that the return on his investment of your premiums will exceed the claims on those premiums. In order to make that bet, he has to have some way to calculate the amount he can reasonably expect to payout in claims.

That’s one half of the equation. The other half is the investment. In order to run a profitable insurance company, you have to invest conservatively. The same guys figuring out the probability of your death this year are using the same mathematical skills to find the safest investments. The result is large pools of premiums moving into the safe investments like bonds. [1]

Niall Ferguson in the Ascent of Money gives a great history of the first modern insurance company, the Scottish Ministers Widow’s Fund. Robert Wallace and Alexander Webster figured out a few things that revolutionized capital. One of the consequences of this innovation was that large pools of capital were created from thousands of small premiums. That capital could then be put to work in new businesses, new industries and new technology.

The interesting thing about the birth of modern insurance is even after centuries of experience, we still can’t understand the difference between insurance and taxation. Social welfare programs, for example, work on the principle of pay-as-you go where current taxpayers cover the expenses of current beneficiaries. Back when the Scots were inventing modern actuarial tables, they knew pay-as-you-go could never work in the long run. Yet, here we are.

It’s also why the public sector pension systems are teetering on collapse. The Scotts figured out that a fixed benefit system had to lock in the benefit side by pegging it to the amount of premiums paid into the system. Once you uncouple the premium from the benefit, the system will collapse. The only question is how long it will take, but the boundary always seems to be one working life, as we are seeing in America.

Similarly, insurance only works when it is voluntary. When the state comes in, points a gun at your head and says you have to buy an insurance policy from the companies they choose or from the state, that’s not insurance. That’s extortion. If you want to be kind, it is a tax. When the state takes money from citizens against their will, that’s a tax, regardless of the intentions.

It’s why American health insurance is collapsing. It has none of the features one must have for a successful insurance system. The insurers are forced to take all customers, regardless of risk. They are not allowed to dump reckless customers or even ask about risky behavior. At the same time, the customers are forced to buy insurance. In many areas, there’s only one or two companies and the rates are set by the state.

Of course, what makes health insurance an impossibility is we will all get sick and die eventually. You cannot insure against certainty. A true health insurance system would combine the logic of whole life insurance to cover the inevitable with the logic of term life insurance to address surprises, like getting hit by a bus. Again, these are things we have known for centuries.

Progressives are now talking about using the same nutty ideas to “remedy” gun violence in America. They want gun owners to carry liability insurance that would pay victims in the event the insured’s gun is used in a crime. No insurance company would sell a policy to a gun owner to cover the cost of them shooting someone. There’s simply no way to shoot someone without being negligent (criminally or civilly) or justified. In both cases, insurance has no role.

The point of this, of course, is to drive up the cost of gun ownership and create a gun registry, but even if it was an honest effort, the gun owner is being held liable for the actions of others. That’s just a click away from collective punishment and contrary to a couple thousand years of western civilization. More important, it is confusing insurance with taxation. In this case, taxing millions of gun owners so politicians can hand out tax dollars to the victims of gangbangers.

All of this brings me to something Steve Sailer has been pushing with regards to immigration and that is forcing immigrants to carry liability insurance. Unlike compulsory gun insurance, the attempt here is not to infringe on a natural right. Steve is cleverly trying to introduce the idea in order to help immigration opponents. In that regard, it is clever and I hope it catches on with the chattering skulls.

The problem here is similar to the other examples of compulsory insurance. It’s really just a tax. We already have a sponsor system where people can bring over relatives and employees, as long as they meet certain financial terms. Sponsors cannot be on welfare, for example. They have to have an income higher than the current poverty line.

Where the insurance should come into play is on the sponsor and employer. If Jose wants to bring his family over, he has to either get a liability policy with a million dollar combined single limit or post assets of the equivalent. Employers seeking H1 visas would do something similar. If Jose gets rich and wants to sponsor his relatives, Jose has to carry enough insurance to cover it. Similarly, the employer will have to factor insurance costs into their indentured servant costs.

[1] I know. I know.