A Moral Philosophy of HBD

Pubic policy in the West is argued on many fronts, but the roots of all of our debates are in the Enlightenment. Arguably, the three most important men of the Enlightenment are Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. They are the giants whose shadows are still felt today. When Progressives, for example, proselytize on behalf of equality and inclusion, they are relying on Rousseau, and to a lesser extent Locke, as the foundation of their argument. Libertarians root their ideology in the ideas of Locke, specifically with regards to property.

The starting point for the men of the Enlightenment was man’s natural state or how they imagined humans acted before civil society. Hobbes imagined that man’s natural state was a “war of all against all” and civil society was imposed to protect men from each other. Locke imagined that man was naturally cooperative, looking out for one another and that civil society was a natural outgrowth of man’s nature. Similarly, Rousseau imagined that man in his natural state was virtuous and altruistic.

Obviously, that is an absurdly generalized version of three of the greatest thinkers in human history. The point I want to establish is that the foundation of modern Western society is rooted in notions about man’s natural state. The men of the Enlightenment did not have access to detailed studies of hunter gatherers. They did not have the fossil record or an understanding of evolution and genetics. They were simply conjuring the possible starting places by working backwards from where they stood in the timeline.

And they were wrong.

While we don’t know the nitty-gritty details of early modern human society, we have some rough contours of how our ancestors lived before settlement and writing. We also have loads of studies of our nearest relatives that allow us to understand what pre-modern man must have been like before we split off on our own evolutionary branch. Even if you reject evolution, we have examples of hunter gatherer populations in the modern age that live, most likely, as our ancestors lived at one time in Eurasia.

What we know, with a high degree of certainty, is that humans were never in a state of nature as Hobbes imagined. We were always in cooperative groups, most likely kin based groups. While conflicts between groups of humans over territory and resources would have been common, these groups exchanged women and food with one another too. Marrying off women from the clan to men of the neighboring clan would have been an important way to keep the peace, settle disputes and bind people together.

Similarly, human societies were not egalitarian paradises as Rousseau imagined. Human beings developed compassion for one another based on familial relations. Trog guarded the interests of Grog because it was good for both. Similarly, they were hostile to strangers for the same reason. Compassion for others is no more or less natural than hostility to others. In both cases, they are driven by biological necessity. One group of humans would share scarce resources internally, but gladly let strangers starve to death

The point here is two-fold. One is that we know a lot about the biological nature of man that the men of the Enlightenment did not know. Genetics is opening up vast new areas of understanding. Continuing to base our moral philosophy on vague speculation that has proven to be incorrect does not make a lot of sense. For instance, we know with certainty that nature does not bestow her gifts equally, but she does so predictably. Continuing to operate as if we are born a blank slate is rather foolish, given what we now know.

Further, we know that human evolution was local and on-going after humans spread out from Africa. Asians have physical characteristics that are unique to people from Asia. Northern Europeans have physical features unique to them. These variations must extend beyond the physical, into cognitive areas as well. Assuming that moral codes, for example, are universal is as nutty as assuming that people everywhere have red hair. The way in which people see themselves, there relationship to one another and their place in nature is not universal.

An assertion like “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” works great if by all men you mean all the men of your tribe, your ethnicity or your lands. It falls on its face when you apply it to all humans everywhere. Similarly, the political economy of Sweden works great when it confined to Swedes in Sweden. It does not make any sense to the people of Syria because they are different people with different natural abilities and cognitive skills.

The Enlightenment came along with the revolution in commerce. The West was suddenly rich and the old feudal order was no longer workable. The industrial age gave us intellectual movements that built on the Enlightenment and attempted to create a moral philosophy to match the industrial world. We have just gone through a technological revolution and we are in the midst of a revolution in the understanding of human biology. Accordingly, a new moral philosophy is certain to develop and evolve to match our new understanding.

The next big thing in public policy will most likely be based in Human Bio-Diversity, unless the good thinkers go the Muslim route and begin to slaughter the men of science. Heading off down the road of mysticism and magic is not out of the question, but the more likely option is the people preaching equality and inclusion follow the Shakers into the history books. What comes next will be a public debate rooted in biological reality. How best to manage the bone-deep differences in human populations.

There will also be a degree of magical thinking as that helps grease the wheels of society, but the disaster of multiculturalism, the memory of it as well as the residue on the ground, will mark it in the same way the Holocaust has marked fascism. Instead, debates about what to do for X people will be bounded by the debate over the limits of compassion for out-groups. Many of these arguments will be just as wrong as the arguments in favor of inclusion are today, but they will be wrong in a different direction.

It Never Ends

The Interwebs brings news that Hillary Clinton’s “eraser” may have been on Reddit asking for advise about altering classified documents.

An army of reddit users believes it has found evidence that former Hillary Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited free advice regarding Clinton’s private email server from users of the popular web forum.

A collaborative investigation showed a reddit user with the username stonetear requested help in relation to retaining and purging email messages after 60 days, and requested advice on how to remove a “VERY VIP” individual’s email address from archived content.

The requests match neatly with publicly known dates related to Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Stonetear has deleted the posts, but before doing so, the pages were archived by other individuals.

What’s astonishing to me is the fact Team Cankles hired the dumbest IT people they could find. How can you have a job in IT and not know that anything posted on the Internet is forever. There is no deleting stuff. Similarly, they appear to have not fully understood how e-mail works.

Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out.
I am not sure if something like this is possible with PowerShell, or exporting all of the emails to MSG and doing find/replaces with a batch processing program of some sort.
Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?

There’s nothing wrong with going on-line for help, but if I’m hiring someone to be my super secret e-mail eraser, I want someone that answers these questions, not the guy that asks them.

Stonetear posted to reddit on Dec. 10, 2014:
Hello- I have a client who wants to push out a 60 day email retention policy for certain users. However, they also want these users to have a ‘Save Folder’ in their Exchange folder list where the users can drop items that they want to hang onto longer than the 60 day window.
All email in any other folder in the mailbox should purge anything older than 60 days (should not apply to calendar or contact items of course). How would I go about this? Some combination of retention and managed folder policy?
The FBI report says that Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton aide and attorney, requested in December 2014 that the email retention policy be shortened to 60 days. The FBI report says Mills “instructed [redacted] to modify the email retention policy on Clinton’s clintonemail.com e-mail account” but that “according to [redacted] he did not make these changes to Clinton’s clintonemail.com account until March 2015.”

The report says the person, essentiallyidentified as Combetta by The New York Times, realized in late March 2015 that he had not made the retention change and “had an ‘oh sh–‘ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015, deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the [Platte River Networks] server and used BleachBit to deleted [sic] the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s emails.”

There’s little doubt at this point that members of Team Clinton should have been charged with obstruction of justice, in addition to violation of federal law with regards to classified information. If we had anything resembling the rule of law, most of Team Clinton would be in Federal prison working on deals where they roll on the old bag. Instead, there’s a very real chance she ends up in the White House.

Mao Was Right

When I was a kid, it was part of the holiday season to see politicians participating in the rituals of Christmas. The President would show up at a church somewhere to participate in a Christian mass, even if he was not a member of that particular sect. The exception was that non-Catholics would not take communion at a Catholic mass, out of respect to Catholics. Otherwise, it was considered a sign of respect for leaders to show up at a church at times like Christmas.

Similarly, political leaders would show up at a military memorial on veterans holidays to lay a wreath, say a prayer and demonstrate a proper reverence. On the 50th anniversary of D-Day, Ronald Reagan made a week out of showing his respect for the men and women, who saved Europe from herself. Even communist mayors of progressive American cities knew to show respect to veterans on those holidays. The point was for the people to see that these public figures were pious and shared our fidelity to the cultural institutions of society.

Public acts of piety by leaders are a part of settled society and an integral part of political leadership. Scipio Africanus, the great Roman general, is famous to modern people for defeating Hannibal at Zama. In his day, he was famous to his contemporaries for his great displays of public piety and his use of them to win the support of the people in order to defeat his political enemies. Roman emperors invested a great deal of wealth and time into public acts of piety, building great temples and holding elaborately expensive public events. Public piety is a feature of human society.

That’s an important thing to keep in mind when watching our public figures perform in public. In almost all cases, these performances are carefully considered and choreographed. They are intended to win support for the public figure. If they are attached to a cause, the way to bet is the public figure cares little for the cause, but is simply using it to curry favor with the public. The point is for you to walk away thinking the public person is moral and good, and therefore deserving of your support.

This is the case with the Atlantic Coast Conference announcing that they will be pulling their sportsball tournaments out of the state of North Carolina in protest of the state law banning deranged men in sundresses from stalking women in public toilets. For those unfamiliar with American college sports, our colleges run billion dollar sports leagues for some reason. How this happened would take a long to explain, but imagine if your football leagues were all owned and operated by your colleges and universities.

Here’s the statement from the college presidents:

“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”

Clearly, an army of public relations people worked on this statement for weeks so that it is packed the most pious punch possible. It has all the abracadabra phrases the Cloud People love. “Collective commitment” is one of my favorites. Cloud People love that phrase. Pol Pot was fond of that phrase too. The Cloud People never shut up about the glories of unity and collective action, while at the same time yapping about diversity and tolerance. Mussolini would be proud.

Similarly, the “values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination” are not values anyone in the Cloud actually follows, but they like the way it sounds so they say it a lot. Show up at a faculty meeting with a Trump hat on and these people will run screaming for security. You will be arrested and thrown in a pit, all in the name of tolerance and inclusion. The words no longer have a literal meaning for the Cloud People. They are magic words and the point of using them is make you shut-up so they can boss you around without having to explain themselves.

The insanity of this is not in the fact they are on the side of mentally ill men in dresses stalking little girls in public toilets. That’s crazy, but what’s really nuts is the fact they think this appeals to the general public. “I support men in dresses watching my daughter pee” is something said by exactly no one ever. Dirt People feel sorry for transvestites and would support mental health services for them. Normal people would be against throwing trannies off rooftops, as is preferred by the Muslims the Cloud People are importing.

Otherwise, it is an ugly part of the human condition that normal people tend to ignore. If the man down the street likes to wear something pretty, that’s his business as long as it remains just his business. If he goes outside like that, he better be extremely respectful of the rest of us. The same is true of swingers and other fetishes like furries. Normal people have always understood that privacy must be respect and publicity should always be used carefully. Keep your private affairs private and respect the privacy of others.

It is just another example of the great gulf that lies between the rulers and those over whom they rule. Not so long ago, the rulers would have known this and showed their goodness by defending the little girl from the deranged man in the sundress. They may not have done much about it, other than make a speech, but they would have made the effort to show they are on the side of angels, with regards to men in sundresses stalking children in toilets. The North Carolina law is perfect example of this practice.

Today, they expect the fathers and mothers of those little girls to cheer them for unleashing perverts onto the public. It is the worst sort of grace on the cheap, because it inflicts a heavy cost on the public. The Cloud People ruthlessly enforce their codes of conduct in their world,, while denying normal people the right to do the same. One can be forgiven for thinking that maybe there is a sadistic pleasure at work. The Cloud People humor themselves by immiserating their subjects.

Again, it is easy to see why Mao sent these people to the rice paddies.

The Community Center

Not far from my little slice of heaven, the Cloud People built a community center, which is a funny name for these things. In actual communities, where people think of one another as fellow citizens, there’s no need to build community centers. In the ghetto, where the only thing everyone agrees upon is the fact the ghetto sucks, they always have a community center. These are built and paid for by people that don’t live in the community. They can’t bring themselves to call these things “low security detention centers” so we got a “community center.”

The word “community” gets thrown around a lot these days, but it is mostly a carryover from the olden thymes when the Left believed in class solidarity and the power of the people. The Left used to say “Individually we are weak like a single twig, but as a bundle we form a mighty faggot.” No one talks like that anymore, at least not in a serious way. Instead we get talk about “bringing people together” and how we are “stronger together” but it is just meaningless jargon to make the Cloud People feel righteous about not being Dirt People.

The point of these things is to provide a place for the neighborhood youth to hang out while being supervised by people the government pays to supervise youth. The standard model is a large gymnasium that can be used for basketball and other indoor activities. They have some offices for the bureaucrats hired to supervise the youth and organize activities for them. They don’t call them youth centers because people would just assume they are crime centers.

That’s what ends up happening with these things. The one near me opened up about six months ago and I saw people from all over coming and going. Even the Hispanics and Asians showed up with their kids. Then the young black males began to take over. First the Asians disappeared then the whites and finally the Hispanics threw in the towel. On the way home last night I saw a group of black males loitering around the front door, pants down, hats on sideways, playing with themselves. The point being made is they now run the community center.

The same thing happened with the public pool a few years back. One of the apartment communities made some sort of deal with the government to let the community have access to the pool. It used to be strictly for residents, who paid a fee to use the pool. Memorial Day the pool opened and it was a multi-culti paradise. By July 4th it was all black and by Labor Day the cops were there every day. One of the life guards got assaulted so the rest quit and the pool was then closed. It’s a private pool again.

That’s what will happen with the community center over time. The local hoodlums will set up shop and the cops will then setup shop to keep the drugs out. Eventually the people hired to do the supervising will get tired of having their cars broken into and their lives threatened so the whole project will careen to a predictable denouement. I’ll give it a year or two before the programs have been scaled back to the point where the building is empty most of the time, a monument to SWPL pride.

The sentiment behind these projects is not all bad, it’s just that they ignore objective reality. The white underclass is mostly a problem of jobs and drugs. There are too few jobs and too many drugs. The Hispanic underclass is mostly a cultural issue. These people are here as unskilled labor. The black underclass has a young black male problem. This cohort is 3% of the population and 30% of the crime. In the ghetto, young black males are why no one can have nice things.

A better use of resources would be to focus on the young black males with something other than indulgences like midnight basketball. The trouble is no one knows how to do that in a way that does not offend the sensibilities of the Cloud People. Even acknowledging that the black underclass has a young black male problem is a good way to be thrown out of the Cloud, so magic is blamed. The rulers build gleaming new community centers that will magically make the problems go away. At least that’s what everyone pretends will happen.

The other day, I saw a group of Muslim women walking past the community center with their small children. The women were decked out in their burqas, billowing faceless blobs that shock the sensibilities, seeing them on an American street. They stopped and stared and then shuffled on down the street to the block where they magically started appearing a couple of years ago. They wear the burqa to make clear they have no intention of assimilating. I suspect their men send them out as a message, a way of marking their turf.

One day, that community center will be a Muslim cultural center.

Stupid People Blues

The first time I met a big foot journalist, this was back in the 1980’s, I was struck by what appeared to be the shallow stupidity of the guy. It was not the normal dullness you get from low-IQ people. It was sort of a confident stupidity. It was not just that the guy did not know what he did not know; it was that he was sure he knew everything there was to know, despite not knowing much about anything. In time I came to understand that most big foot journalists are no different from beauty pageant contestants in that a blithe dimness is an asset.

The reason for this is the news is mostly a performance. The big foot “journalists” play a role for their publication. ESPN, for example, has as guy they call Ian O’Conner and his job is to be the tweed jacket intellectual. They kit him out in jeans, a sports jacket and turtleneck. The viewer is supposed to accept him as the brainy, thoughtful sports guy, who gives “perspective” to the news. In reality he is as dumb as a goldfish. The average beauty pageant contestant would be embarrassed for him. Ian is too dumb to have self-awareness so he gladly plays the role.

It’s not just sports where you find these blithering morons. Tucker Carlson the other day said that modern journalists, and by that he meant political reporters, are just stupid rich kids. The parents have done well so they send their smart kid off to law school, while the dull one is sent off to journalism school. The result is modern journalism is a culture dominated by Ron Burgundy, nitwits too dumb to realize they are stupid. An example of which is here in this blog post at the Spectator.

I’ve just invented these comments, but if you’ve been anywhere near a newspaper website over the past decade they’ll sound familiar. These days, however, they’re a bit harder to find.

That’s because ‘below-the-line’ comment threads are being killed off by the media outlets that set them up. With a sigh of relief.

Malicious creeps have had their microphones turned off, mid-rant. So have countless monomaniacs who aren’t malicious but who have been sucking the life (and profits) out of the publications that host them. Clever, polite people have lost their platform, too, but I’ve yet to meet an editor who feels their pain.

One of the more remarkable things about opinion writers for mainstream publications is that they are staggeringly ignorant about what goes on in their own offices. Comment sections kill profits at news sites? If I did not know better, I would assume this was a gag, but reading the rest of the post makes clear the guy writing it thinks it is true. The reason news sites added comments is to attract readers. They did this because they were hemorrhaging money. How does he not know this?

For five years I was editor of Telegraph Blogs. Every day, from the moment we switched on our computers, we had to live with the drone of the ‘underpants brigade’, as one colleague called them.

To the casual reader, these Y-front warriors were obvious fruitcakes. But they had a sharp eye for the fragility of the journalistic ego. When a blogger confirmed their prejudices – never very difficult to do – they would smother him with plaudits. Certain writers started nipping below the line to confer with their troops; they would return with their self-esteem nicely restored but touched by madness, clutching a goodie bag of fresh conspiracy theories.

This is modern journalism in a nutshell. You have the fishbowl of semi-retarded people hired to do a job a high school boys used to do. Now, instead of high school grads, journalism employs middle-aged men with advanced degrees in nonsense specialties like sociology. Damian Thompson has a Ph.D in the sociology of religion, which is about as useful as a masters degree in sitting still. But, you can be sure he has killed many hours boring his colleagues with tales of his days at university.

The reason news sites are killing off comment sections is two-fold. One, it is usually where you get the bits of the news story our betters edited out in order to maintain the narrative. The “Minnesota man” in the story is identified in the comments as Jorge Gonzalez, an illegal from Guadalajara. It’s where the “suspect wearing a red shirt” is identified as a black guy named T’Q’ull Ferguson with a Facebook page full of pics of him holding a handgun and a bong. The comment sections have become a leak in the system.

The other problem, especially for opinion sites like The Spectator, is the comments have become the place that make the writers cry. Sure, there’s lots of inane chatter in the comment threads, but it is also where some smart people post corrections and point out the many glaring logical errors. Guys like Damian Thompson have fragile psyches so seeing their mistakes highlighted for everyone to see, right under their posts, is a source of constant distress. Look at the first comment under that blog post.

When you live in the snow globe of opinion journalism, the outside world is horrifying. That’s why you went into the snow globe in the first place, to get away from the cold, pitiless world of reality. The Spectator is a collegial place where peers josh with one another, engage in witty repartee, but always respect their “shared dignity.” Those angry Dirt People in the comments with their facts and reason just don’t get it. Many of them don’t even have a PhD. They are ruining it for everyone!

The media’s new war on their readers is part of the general unrest we are seeing in the West. People in the media have long viewed themselves as the fourth estate, part of the ruling class, but policing the ruling class. This was always nonsense. The press has always been staffed by obsequious rumpswabs and toadies. The reason for that is noticing is dangerous in the mass media so only the most blinkered and stupid thrive. Suddenly, these dullards are learning that the rest of us have no respect for them.

Travelogue: The Imperial Capital

Yesterday, my duties required me to go into the Imperial Capital for meetings. Not being a Cloud Person, and living among the Dirt People, it means I have to drive into the city, which is one of the worst things that can be asked of a man. Traffic around the Capital is some of the worst on the planet. I think I’d rather ride a scooter in Tijuana than drive around Washington DC. But, when duty calls you do what you must and that meant two hours of car time navigating the traffic of the capital.

One of the things you notice upon entering the capital area, if you are the noticing type, is the wealth. Sitting in traffic, I looked at the cars around me and I spied an Audi A8 to my left, a Mercedes S-class in front and a Tesla to my right. That was roughly a quarter million dollars within arms length of me. Looking around, I saw lots of other luxury cars. For the managerial elite, Audi and Mercedes are the safe choices so you see a lot of them. Lexus is another solid choice as their cars are well appointed, without being ostentatious.

The Imperial Capital is the richest place on the planet, which makes a lot of sense, given that it is the capital of the empire. Half of the ten richest counties in America are around Washington DC. The reason for that is the people living in those counties either work for the government or they work for companies that have one customer – the Federal government. The average Federal salary is something north of $80,000 per year, while the average American salary is about $50,000. That’s before figuring in the lavish government benefits.

Of course, the people living in the capital area don’t think of themselves as rich. One of the stranger things about the managerial class is they combine a sense of entitlement with the firm belief they are up against it. Federal employees are hilarious when they start moaning about how tough it is for them in the bureaucracy. From their perspective, they are not wrong. Government workers spend their days in pointless busy work. Anything resembling useful work is thwarted by a bureaucracy that has evolved to serve its own interests.

The shadow bureaucracy, the army of private sector contractors that work exclusively for the Federal government have a slightly different view of things. They actually have to fulfill the terms of a contract so there is a culture that somewhat resembles the dreaded private sector. Even so, fulfilling the contract often just means showing up for meetings and conference calls, where the only thing discussed is the next meeting or conference call. I know someone whose only job is to arrange conference calls for the staff of her firm. She drives a BMW.

I’ve often suspected that the urge for self-actualization among managerial class types stems from the fact that at some level, they know their work is meaningless. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working the business end of a shovel knows the strange pleasure that comes from seeing a hole in the ground that you created. There’s a pleasure in work that comes from seeing the results of your labors. It’s why Donald Trump seems so weird as a politician. Unlike the rest of them, he can point to a building with his name on it and say, “I made that.”

In the Imperial Capital, no one can say they made anything since all of them are just gears in the giant machine we call the state. The Federal government does a lot and the results are everywhere, but no one person can connect his labor to any one thing. Worse yet, most everyone thinks the government does more harm than good. Even the people in the system generally despise the fruits of their labors, what little there are. It’s not as bad as being a guard at a labor camp, but it is hard going to work every day knowing you’re either unessential or a nuisance.

The result of this is the people in the managerial elite, government division, do not identify themselves by their work. A computer programmer will tell you he is a programmer in the first few minutes you meet him. A plumber or school teacher will identify themselves by their trade. Government workers tell you about the hobbies and their passions. A gal yesterday spent fifteen minutes telling me about her passions, before finally getting around to mentioning she was an administrator for a government agency.

The other thing that warps the culture and the people of the Imperial Capital is the near total lack of risk. There’s crime, of course, but that is mostly avoidable. The violence in DC is in the remaining black ghettos, which are slowing being exported beyond the beltway into unsuspecting neighborhoods in the suburbs. The thing that is missing is economic risk. No matter what is happening in the economy, it is always good times in the Imperial Capital. They have not had a recession in over 70 years.

The fact is, it is just about impossible to be fired from a government job. More people die in their government jobs than get fired. No one ever quits, because there is no better place to work. Imagine if your employer gave you a 30% raise and tenure, meaning you can now come to work naked if you choose. That’s life in the Federal bureaucracy. All those days off, I suspect, are so the Federal workforce can have time to build interesting and self-actualizing lives outside of work. Otherwise, days and weeks of pointless tedium would result in a mass insanity or something similar to a prison riot.

Roll it all up and you have a world inside the Capital and the world outside. Something similar can be seen in New York or London with the financial class. The difference there is they actually do things, other than stop people from doing things. Hollywood has a similar culture. They call Washington “Hollywood for ugly people” for that reason. In both cases, tens of thousands live well doing no discernible work. Their value is in the fact they know how the system works or they are a gear in some portion of it that has been deemed essential.

It’s easy to see why Mao sent these people off to the rice paddies in the Cultural Revolution. If one is of the revolutionary mind, you cannot help but look at the managerial class as an occupying force, a foreign colonial bureaucracy. It’s not that they are bad or evil. It’s that they are so foreign and detached. Walk onto an elite college campus and you, as a Dirt Person, feel as if you are in a foreign country. Spend time in the Imperial Capital and you get some sense of what it was like to be a Hindu during the British Raj.

The Fury of the Central Planners

When I was out in the provinces last month, I watched a bit of the BBC and SkyNews. One of the things I found humorous about the news coverage was the hyperventilating about Brexit. Every story had a Brexit angle, even the local interest stuff. The general impression I got from the news presenters was that they were having a tough time keeping it together. At any moment they could break down into sobbing over the horrors of Brexit. If you did not know better, you would think Brexit was code for re-opening Auschwitz.

All the prophesies about the disasters that would befall the world, if the snaggletoothed yokels voted to leave Europe, have not come to pass. In fact, the early returns suggest it has been a net positive for the Brits. Time will tell how it all unfolds as there is a lot that has yet to happen. Even so, the results thus far are making the Remain side look rather foolish. Instead of accepting this reality, the true believers are carrying on like Godzilla is about to cross the Channel and attack London, because of Brexit.

This inability to accept reality is not confined to the Brits. Tyler Cowen has an unintentionally hilarious column up demanding that we believe the libertarian economists and not our lying eyes. The short version, for those uninterested in reading it, is that he and the rest of the doomsayers forgot to carry the one and the day of reckoning is actually a little ways off. But don’t you worry though. The day of reckoning is approaching and those beastly Dirt People in the accompanying picture will be held to account.

In fairness to libertarians, modern economists are not libertarians. They dress up their act with libertarian hobbyhorse items like free weed and open borders, but modern economics is managerial central planning. They are technocrats convinced they can micromanage everything through monetary and tax policy. No matter how many times they get it wrong, they remain certain they just need to tweak their models and boundless bliss will spread over the countryside. Worse still, they fully embrace the lunacy of homo economicus.

Economics, as I’m fond of saying, is the modern equivalent of astrology. Before a battle, Cyrus II of Persia would bring in his astrologers to advice him on the time and place to attack his enemy. The astrologers would figure out what he wanted to hear, consult their maps and then tell him what he wanted to hear. Cyrus was a bad ass dude, who was rarely wrong, so it was a wise course by the astrologers to tell the boss what he already knew. When he won, they got some credit and they avoided contradicting the boss.

This old story about the eminent astrologer economist Joseph Stiglitz praising the economic polices of Venezuela ten years ago is a good example. Stiglitz was telling his hosts what they wanted to hear because they were paying him to endorse their brand of lunacy. Of course, Venezuela is now headed to total collapse because their economy has ground to a halt. In an age when Mexico’s poor people are obese, Venezuela has managed to have a food shortage. Maybe the rulers should not have listened to Joseph Stiglitz.

The fascinating thing about economists is that their error rate is outlandishly high, but they never lose credibility with the rulers. Obama called in his best seers when he rose to power in 2008. They told him that borrowing a trillion dollars and blowing it on pointless projects would result in 1.5 trillion in economic activity. They called it the fiscal multiplier. One could be forgiven for thinking that this is another version of this old joke about a stranger coming into town and spending $100 at an hotel, then changing his mind.

The Obama stimulus plan was a bust, but that was never really the point anyway. Obama wanted to lavish his party with your money and he wanted to make it look like he was doing you a favor by doing it. That’s why he called in his best magicians and astrologers to give it their stamp of approval. Being right or wrong was never a concern. It never is in economics. The chief architects of the stimulus knew it was a great career move to give their stamp of approval to what was obviously just good old fashioned patronage. All of them landed prestigious jobs in the academy and Wall Street afterward.

Anyway, I suspect the fury of the central planners over Brexit has to do with fear that the scam is no longer working. Every big foot economist from the West weighed in against Brexit. They shook their staffs and promised Britain would be visited by plagues, monsters and dark spirits if they left Europe. The voters chose Brexit anyway. If you’re in the business of fooling the people on behalf of the rulers, you need to show you can fool the voters. Otherwise, the rulers have no use for you.

After the Revolution

My guess is more than a few readers have nursed some rather detailed revenge fantasies about what they would like to see after the revolution. Given the current crisis, it is understandable. Revenge is a big part of every revolution. While bringing back the hangman has its attractions, that’s not the sort of revolution we are likely to see. Instead, ours will be a political revolution. If the forces of darkness prevail in November, we head into the post-national, post-democratic future our rulers promise. If the forces of light prevail, then we may head into a period of raucous reform.

Let’s assume the good guys win for a change and Trump wins the November election. One thing that will happen quickly is there will be calls for him to pardon Hillary Clinton. It is well known that there is an open investigation into the Clinton foundation. It is on the slow track due to the election. If it goes active after the election, it will mean the e-mail crimes will be reopened. Official Washington will want Trump to pardon her and/or quash the FBI investigation into Clinton. We’ll hear a lot of stuff about closing the books for the good of the country.

That was the argument behind pardoning Nixon. Gerald Ford was pressured into taking one for the team in order to preserve “the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States.” Whether or not Ford truly believed this is hard to know, because there was never a full airing of what happened to bring down Nixon. It was a Silent Coup that has cast a shadow over our politics for forty years.

Trump should not pardon Clinton. Instead he should appoint a special prosecutor with the authority to go where the evidence takes him. The Clinton crime family did not operate in a vacuum. Lots of people have greased the wheels so that these two grifters from the Ozarks could hold official Washington captive for close to a quarter century. Getting all of it out into the open would do a lot of damage to the political class, but it would do a world of good for the nation’s politics. The corrupt bargain that has prevailed in DC needs to come to an end.

The point is not to put Hillary Clinton in prison, even though that would be a happy outcome. The Clintons have come to symbolize everything that has gone wrong in Washington over the last several decades. They are an extreme example of the ethos that has come to dominate American politics. It is a culture where everything is for sale, nothing is ever on the level and no scam is too small. Washington has become something like a rotten police precinct, where morality is inverted. Instead of the criminals fearing detection by the honest, it is the honest who fear the criminals.

Along the same lines, the IRS investigation has to be reopened so that the truth of that fiasco is laid bare. Nixon was run out of town, in part, because his people talked about using the IRS as a weapon. Whether or not the Obama people were involved in the IRS targeting scandal is unknown, but it needs to be known. There are certain things that must remain beyond the pale in order to maintain civilized government. It is why the West eventually got rid of blood feuds. Politicizing the IRS is one of those things that can never be permitted.

In all probability, the people in the IRS acted on their own initiative. Lois Lerner is a fanatic. That much is obvious. Putting her in a cage for a very long time sends the message to other fanatics that the IRS is no place for their kind. It also sends the message to the politicians who appoint these people. That was supposed to be the lesson of Watergate. It was not enough to obey the letter of the law. Politicians were supposed to obey the spirit of the law. Prosecuting the people responsible for the IRS scandal reestablishes that principle.

Whether any of this will happen is open to debate. The nation is at a crossroads, similar to where we were when Andrew Jackson came to Washington. There are also similarities between this period and the end of the Industrial Revolution a century ago. Then as now, new fortunes accelerated the corruption of the political class to the point where the public had lost confidence in their rulers. In order to avoid something much worse than a period of raucous reform, we need a period of raucous reform. If a Trump presidency merely clears the field for a new generation of reformers, that would be a pleasant result.

Cause otherwise what comes net will be much worse.

The Dead Witch Crisis

The news is now full of reports that Hillary Clinton had some sort of “episode” as she was getting into her assisted living van. It’s possible she was still drunk from the night before or maybe just so hungover she could barely walk. The campaign says she has pneumonia, which could mean anything or nothing. She has disappeared from sight so we’re left to speculate, but she is clearly a woman with serious health problems. The question people are beginning to ask is can she continue to campaign? If not, will she be forced to drop out? What would happen if she did?

The funny thing about all of this is most Americans don’t know how we actually select Presidents. The voting that is done in November will not, as a legal matter, select the next President. Voting merely selects the electors who will then meet on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. They actually meet in their respective state capitals where they cast their votes for President and Vice President. All but Maine and Nebraska have a winner take all system for selecting electors so your vote sort of matters, unless you live in a one-party state.

Similarly, each state has rules for getting on the November ballot. For example, Evan McMuffin, the Never Trump candidate, missed the deadline to be on many state ballots. This applies to the party candidates, as well, so a last minute change would create complications for the Democrats. If Hillary Clinton was suddenly incapacitated or simply quit the race, the Democrats would have a problem. They would have to go to court in some states to have their new candidate listed on the ballot. It’s not impossible, but it would be a complication.

So, what are the possible scenarios?

At this late date, finding a replacement would be complicated. The Democrat Party has rules for this scenario so they could move quickly. The rules strongly encourage the party to pick the runner up, but they can pick anyone to fill the slot. Bernie Sanders would be the obvious option, but that would mean certain defeat to Donald Trump, the nightmare scenario for both parties. The Bernie Bros are committed, but their numbers are limited. Most Americans would assume his nomination is a surrender.

They could go with a famous person with some traction in the party, but the choices are limited. Joe Biden is famous, but old and prone to saying wildly offensive things to black people and women. Elizabeth Warren is popular with the crazies, but she scares normal people. She’s also a very poor campaigner. She passed on a chance to run and passed on the VP spot. This makes forcing Clinton aside a troublesome scenario simply because the other options are only slightly better than having a corpse at the top of the ticket,

That brings up another option. Imagine that on Halloween it is reported that Clinton fell off her broom again and hit her head, rendering her incapacitated. The Democrats could reach out to Congressional Republicans and ask for a delay in the election. Congress does not have the power to dictate when people vote. They do have the power to decide when the Electors must be selected by the states. Congress could work with the states to postpone the election to December 3 in order to sort things out.

This brings us back to the first scenario, but the difference here is the crisis feel would open another dimension. The Democrats would feel free to pick anyone they like and would probably consult with the Republicans to come up with a “senior statesman” they could offer up as safe choice in a crisis. In other words, this delay would allow both parties to reset the game board so that the election was no longer about the insurgent Trump versus the corrupt system. Instead, it would be about the steady hand in a time of crisis versus the irrational hothead.

Another scenario, the high risk scenario, is for Congress to cancel the election entirely. Article II gives Congress the power to set the date electors are chosen so they can delay this indefinitely. Speaker Ryan would become acting President until Congress could come up with a new election date. Since Republicans control something like 35 state legislatures, they could stall the process so that they can stack the Electoral College with party members, who would pick a party insider. A governor like Kasich or even Jeb Bush could be installed as president.

Those are the Machiavellian scenarios. Given the nature of the political class, it seems unlikely that any of those would happen, even if Clinton drops dead tomorrow. Even so, it offers a little glimpse into the future. Over the last century, we have invested enormous power into the office of President. If you’re wondering how we can flip from republic to empire, a crisis such as the above would offer the opportunity. One candidate that is unacceptable and one that is dead, opens the door for the political class to bypass the voters and install their own man.

Generation Meathead

The interwebs tells me that Rob Reiner is making war on the hate thinkers, particularly Trump voters.

Filmmaker, actor and outspoken Donald Trump detractor Rob Reiner says it is impossible to level with the Republican presidential nominee’s bigoted supporters, who are “mostly white males who don’t have college degrees.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said that there’s “a very serious strain of racism” that runs through those supporting the Republican presidential nominee.

“And that’s a kind of disturbing thing, and I don’t think you ever reach those people. I think that they’re impossible to turn around. It’s very disturbing because a lot of these racist ideas have kind of been dormant for a while, and he’s given voice to them — he’s kind of unearthed it. And the thing that’s most disturbing is to discover that there’s so many people that still hold those views,” Reiner said.

For those too young to remember, or too old to remember, Rob Reiner is famous for having played the character “Meathead” on the popular 70’s TV show All In The Family. The show was supposed to mock traditional Americans, particularly blue collar Americans, but the public received it mostly as a celebration of normal people at a time when normals were under assault from liberals, hippies and various other degenerates. Rob Reiner’s character came to represent what had gone wrong with the country.

Meathead was a loudmouth know-it-all boomer, who enjoyed lecturing his father-in-law about the terribleness of America and the men that had made the country. The irony was that Meathead lived off the people he ridiculed. Archie, the patriarch, worked and paid the bills while his daughter and son-in-law lived in his house. It was a perfect metaphor for what was happening in the country. The parasites were determined to kill the host, but in the mean time they were perfectly willing to enjoy the fruits the host had accumulated.

Years ago, the great Paul Gottfried remarked that the country had long been taken over by the Meathead generation and their ethics. The Archie Bunkers were all gone. By that he meant traditional working and middle class America had been lost and the country was now run by fashionable liberals, who occupied the first ruling elite in history to be actively working to destroy the foundation on which it rests. Look around the culture and all the high ground is occupied by degenerate boomers, who carry on as if it is still 1968.

It has been said a million times in a million places, but the Meathead generation has been, on the whole, a national disaster for America. The nation started falling to pieces right around when the first wave of boomers hit adulthood. With a respite in the 80’s when the old and the young teamed up to support a return to sanity, it has been a fifty year slide into cultural turpitude, forced upon us by the Early Boomer cohort. Look around the political class and the worst of the worst were born in the 40’s and were apart of the first assault upon the culture fifty years ago.

The good news, if there is any, is that the Early Boomers are starting to croak. The front edge is now 70, which means they are retiring or dropping dead quickly. The demographers place the end of Baby Boom as 1964, but that’s never been very useful culturally. Someone born in 1964 has nothing in common with someone born in 1946. The real troublesome cohort was born in the ten year period following the war.These are the Early Boomers, the first wave that we generally associate with the madness of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

That means if you are a young alt-right trouble maker, you only have another decade or so to put up with degenerates like Rob Reiner. This realization may be at the heart of the hysteria we see in the ruling class. Rasping geezers like Hillary Clinton look around and see their time is just about done. They also see that what is forming up behind them is a giant cultural eraser, ready to rub out any trace of what her cohort leaves behind. Her “Basket of Deplorables” are young dudes and dudettes in hazmat suits, ready for cleanup.

Maybe that happens, maybe it is too far gone and alt-right is a just an echo from a past that is too far gone to matter. Regardless, generation Meathead will be remembered as the cohort that gnawed away at the social fabric of the nation, like rats, until it began to fall to pieces. Maybe this election is the start of the great cleaning up of the mess made by guys like Reiner and he cohort. Maybe it is something else, but their time is coming to an end. Generation Meathead will soon be gone. Good riddance to bad cess.