Friday, April 28, 2017

The Good Old Jobs are Not Coming Back

I was talking with an acquaintance the other day and he predicted that the time is not far off when AI will take all our jobs. He mentioned how Google recently switched out its Japanese-English Translate app with an AI based app. Just as an experiment to see whether it was any good. Google started getting emails telling it how much better its Translate had become.

Or what about the Google Map app, that is processing the movement of millions of cellphones along all the streets and highways in the world, and then tells you which route to take to the hospital? How do they do it?

But today's politics is all about the villainy of the globalists and the neo-liberals. (That's when it's not about the villainy of the "haters" and the "xenophobes.")

Here is a piece about a Cadbury chocolate factory closing in England, with the jobs going to Poland.
For nearly a century, residents of Keynsham knew that their local Cadbury confectionery plant was a source of employment. Then, on Oct. 3, 2007, it all changed. The word went out that the factory was to shut down and move to Skarbimierz, Poland. Just like that, come 2011, one hundred years of history were rubbed out thanks to a closed-boardroom decision. As Meek writes, the factory’s leaving meant the loss of “highly paid, permanent, solidly pensioned jobs…not because [the workers] had done anything wrong, or because their products weren’t selling, or because the factory was unprofitable, but because their Polish replacements could do the same job for less than one fifth of the money.”
OK. Let's look at the other side of it.

"For nearly a century" the Cadbury plant had provided "highly paid, permanent, solidly pensioned jobs." Think what that means. It means that, without any particular effort, the folks near that factory had great jobs, great wages, great tenure, and great retirement. For nearly a century.

The point is that such a setup is an extraordinary exception. That is not how the world works, not under capitalism, not under neoliberalism, not under Trumpism, not under New Dealism, and certainly not under Communism from Lenin to Castro and Chávez.

The real world changes, from day to day, from year to year, and we had all of us better work hard to keep up or we will get left behind at the side of the road, hungry and wounded.

The promise of human community and government is that each of us is not alone, forced to face the world without our fellows. But no community, no government, can provide us with "highly paid, permanent, solidly pensioned jobs" forever. Human community and government can file the rough edges off inevitable change, but it cannot make everything smooth for all time.

Anyone that tells you different is lying.

There are lots of articles floating around about how the globalists are lying. Or that Trump is lying. Of course they are. They are lying because the voters want to be told that they can have "highly paid, permanent, solidly pensioned jobs" forever. Or they want to be told that great manufacturing jobs are coming back to Make America Great Again. Or that the government can solve the health care problem with a top-down administrative single-payer system. All politicians lie, because we voters insist that they tell us lies.

Sorry, fellahs. Those "good jobs at good wages" in the grand old manufacturing plants are not coming back. There is no going back to lifetime employment and solid pensions. The supposed social gains and the workers rights displayed in the break room at work are written in sand. And that is just the private sector. The government sector is even worse, with the promises of pensions for seniors and government retirees also written in sand, and welfare wreaking cultural suicide and education failing to educate, and Obamacare a predictable trainwreck.

This is a rough time for our liberal friends who have been living in a liberal bubble, superinflated on Obama's watch. That's why liberals are so frantic and so angry since Trump's election. They thought that their Liberal Reich would last for a thousand years, because their Leader told them so, and they cannot believe, not yet, that they have been lied to.

Just like the white working class was lied to, that the welfare state and labor legislation would solve their problems forever. Just like blacks were lied to, that the civil rights era -- or the First Black President -- would solve their problems forever. Just like women were lied to, that women's liberation would solve their problems forever.

Like I said, government can file off the rough edges of life. Sometimes. But don't assume it. The only thing to do is watch the market. What is happening to the market in skills like yours? If you don't like what you see, you had better do something about it, now.

But whatever you do, don't listen to a sauntering politician, whether left, right, or center. Because he's not going to solve your problems for you. Only you can do that.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Women and Sex and Love and Marriage

My American Thinker piece this week tried to explain the left's abandonment of the white working class all over the world as comparable to the sexual despoiling of a young woman by a caddish sexual predator: seduction, exploitation, abandonment. One reader wrote me to mention how much women in sexual relations outside marriage suffer from domestic violence.

But this week is full of such talk. There's the liberal fascination with the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale about an America run by the religious right and with Christian magnates refreshing themselves with "handmaids" in addition to their wives. Heather Wilhelm writes that this is pure liberal projection. (Anyway, Christianity has been a big force for monogamy and has notably structured its belief system towards women's spiritual needs).

Then there's the K.C. Johnston and Stuart Taylor book on The Campus Rape Frenzy. About how the Obama administration twisted the Title IX statute into a license to hunt male sexual predators on campus. And how due process is thrown out the window in order to pursue live white males.

Remember the Sexual Revolution that was going to liberate both men and women from their hangups about sex and also smash the patriarchy? So how come that lead to the hook-up culture on campus fueled by half a bottle of vodka per person to be consumed before the evening's frolics?  Gilbert GT. Sewall writes how the hook-up culture works on today's campus.
On campus, if you are a girl, you are declared hot or not. A large number of girls want to be hot. Running with the fun crowd means heavy partying and sex. There can be great emotional blackmail and unrelieved pressure to put out. Young women who don’t get slandered or dropped.
How come the college girls, hot or not, aren't liberated by their sexual liberation?

I guess the thing that annoys me the most is that, after demanding the waving away of all sexual mores, the customs and culture around sex and marriage built up by our forefathers, the left now wants to rebuild the sexual behavior boundaries with the sweet use of government force, only liberal political activists need apply. Really? So rules about sex were a good idea after all?

Well, if you ask me, it is pretty obvious what is needed, given the testimony of my reader about non-marital domestic violence, and the stories about Columbia's Mattress Girl, who clearly pursued her former lover out of her rage that issued from his abandoning her.

Human society needs a culture around sex that moderates the instinctive sexual predatory behavior of males, and honors the love-forever instincts of females.

I'd say that such a culture would make it shameful for a young man to pursue a young woman for sex without making a commitment of fidelity, and utterly foolish for a young woman to consent to sex before obtaining a commitment of fidelity from her lover.

That, of course, is what marriage is all about. It is a declaration of fidelity and commitment made before the world and in particular before the two families in question. So it curbs male sexual predation and helps women secure commitment. What a concept!

Meanwhile the kids have to navigate the storm-tossed waters of the post Sexual Revolution world of college. I am intrigued by the various strategies young people have evolved to avoid the hook-up scene. One of them is homosexuality, male and female. Another is the "friends-with-benefits" notion of sticking with one partner throughout college, recognizing that the partners will likely separate after college. Another is the decision to have nothing to do with the opposite sex and play video games in the basement. Another, that I have seen in a number of young people of my acquaintance, is simply to stick with the same partner right through college and graduate school until careers are set and then get married. How about 30-year-old Jon Ossoff, great white hope of Georgia Democrats, who has been with his current girlfriend for 12 years?

Meanwhile, we have our liberal friends who think they can solve all this with liberal activism and government regulations and social media naming and shaming.

Where do they go to learn to be so foolish?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Berkeley Riots: What Comes Next?

When I wake up in the early morning these days, I fear civil war. I wonder if the Democrats that, in 2000 and in 2016, refused to concede the election understand this. I doubt if the Antifa in Berkeley do; they are just repeating their lessons in activism back to their teachers.

And so we come to the Berkeley riots.

You can see where the authorities went wrong in Berkeley. It was the failure to use force against the anti-Milo protesters on February 2. The authorities failed to deny the lefty protesters their heckler's veto.

In other words, it is fine to protest, but not if the protesters prevent a speaker opposed to them from speaking.

Why is this? It is not because drowning out your opponent's speech is unfair. It is because threats of force encourage your opponents to use threats of force to make sure that their guy does get to speak.

Which is exactly what has happened at Berkeley. Young male Trump supporters are flocking to Berkeley for the chance to crack the skulls of the "girls and the beta males."

See liberals? That's why it is the job of the police to stop violence.  Period.

If the police do not stop the violent protests of liberals then what? Do they only apply force to red-neck fascists when they have the effrontery to travel to Berkeley to protest? Do they step back and let the protesters fight it out? Do they close down the event and send the protesters home? Do they interpose their bodies between the two opposing sides?

You can see that the right thing to do would have been for the Berkeley authorities to firmly deal with the violence of the first protests in February, and make sure that Milo Yiannopoulos got to speak and that protesters did not succeed in stopping his speech.

But we are past that happy moment now. Now it will take a more robust application of force to put a stop to what liberals used to call the "escalation." (Yeah. Remember back in the Cold War when liberals were all worried about the dangers of escalation?) And if the Berkeley authorities do not put the foot down when Ann Coulter goes to Berkeley on April 28 then it will be harder the next time.

Putting the foot down, liberals, means preventing protesters from blocking Coulter's access to the speaking venue. It means preventing violence between the two forces of protesters. It means preventing hecklers from interrupting Coulter's speech.

It was always going to come to this. The whole liberal activist culture and its sacraments of "protests" and "marches" are lies. There is no need for protests and marches, not when all adults have the vote and when the ruling class pays especial interest to the grievances of women and minorities. And the liberal activist culture depends on the tacit cooperation of the police in allowing a kind of ritual violence of "protest" by liberals. Don't try liberal tactics if you are a conservative.

And street protest works. Politicians tend to wilt when the professional left puts people in the street with protest signs and protest chants. It plays so well on TV.

Recent commentators put the blame for the present situation on President Obama. It is he that transformed his presidential campaign in to Organizing for Action and has trained 30,000 activists in left-wing protest culture.

So what happens next? Does Berkeley shut down the protests and let free speech reign? Or does the left's protest culture notch another win in its belt?

All I know is that back in the 1970s Americans hated the left-wing protests of the "kids," and they voted for Richard Nixon twice. It was only the cunning of the Watergate scandal that put a temporary stop to the conservative revival and elected Jimmy Carter for a single term before the election of Ronald Reagan.

Will history repeat itself? Will the current left-wing outrages build support for President Trump and the Republican Party? Or has the left learned from the failure of the Sixties and raised up a whole generation of lefties with its hegemony over the schools and the colleges?

Nobody knows. But they say that while history doesn't repeat itself, it certainly rhymes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Fundamental Problem With Government

More and more, I am becoming convinced that the fundamental characteristic of government is that it cannot change its mind, cannot retreat, cannot cut spending. Why is this?

Well, obviously it issues out of the very nature of government, which I define as:
An armed minority, occupying territory and taxing the inhabitants thereof to reward its supporters.
The point of this definition is that it covers every government from a criminal gang in an inner city, to a guerrilla group in the hills, to a modern national welfare state.

Now, as British politician Norman Tebbit argues, it is probably a good idea for a government to do a little more than that. If it has good laws to encourage enterprise, a stable currency, good roads, etc., this enhances its power and keeps the people from forming a head of rebellion.

But the basic thing that every governing class understands is defending its territory, rewarding its supporters, and getting the revenue to fund those two vital tasks.

Notice the basic parameters of this situation. The governing class needs that revenue, else the supporters may start to get restless. But the way to maximize that revenue is to promote a healthy, growing economy that throws off revenue like a dog shaking itself after a swim.

So the sensible thing for a cunning ruling class would be to limit the amount of revenue spent on the supporters, for this one very good reason:

If things go south, then where is the money going to come from to reward the supporters?

Hello Venezuela. Venezuela once had a prosperous economy founded on its oil resources. But the Chávez regime decided to ramp up the rewards to its supporters by looting its oil industry. The policy looked like political gold for a while, and every lefty in the world cited Venezuela as an example of social justice and redistribution.

Yet now Venezuela is a basket case; its population lost an average of 20 pounds each last year, and its economy has dissolved into hyperinflation. What went wrong?

Quite simply, the government promised more to its supporters than it could deliver. One fine day eevil American frackers, no doubt supported by the CIA, flooded the world with cheap oil and natural gas, and the price of oil dropped by 50 percent. Suddenly the Venezuelan government could not afford to reward its supporters as they had become accustomed.

Now if the Venezuelan government had been a business it would have declared bankruptcy, stiffed the shareholders, and paid the bondholders 25 cents on the dollar. And the workers would have found jobs elsewhere and the equipment and factories would have been sold off to other businesses.

But government isn't a business, so the Venezuelan government inflated the money supply, controlled wages and prices, seized businesses, jailed its opponents and armed its supporters and sent them out into the streets.

From this textbook case of national self-immolation you can see that there are three things a government cannot do.

A Government Cannot Admit It Was Wrong. I think this is because the real job of a government is to lead the nation in war, and a war leader cannot admit his doubts and mistakes. He must lead and inspire the nation to work and fight for the inevitable victory. Therefore,

A Government Cannot Change When Things Go Wrong. The basic fact of existence is that it is one thing after another. Whether you are a housewife or a CEO, things go wrong and you have to fix things and apply the lessons learned. But government cannot admit that things have gone wrong, except to blame them of saboteurs and wreckers, and therefore cannot seem to change.

A Government Cannot Cut Spending When Things Go Wrong. Check my definition above. The basic government program, indeed the only program, apart from defending the borders, is to reward the supporters. How can the government cut the rewards to the supporters? Chances are the greedy pigs would start looking for another armed minority to promise them the rewards withdrawn by the present armed minority.

What is the meaning of the three catch-phrases above? They tell us that the only business of government is war. If you are fighting a war then you cannot admit things are going wrong, because then people would start to lose heart and wonder if the war is really worth it. But that would defeat the whole purpose of the war, which is to win it, come what may. Then, if the government cannot admit that its war is going wrong, it cannot admit it when it sensibly changes strategy after the inevitable disasters and reverses of a war. And the government certainly cannot reduce spending on the war and its soldiers, not until the last coin from under the last mattress has been spent on furnishing and supplying the armed forces in the march to victory.

See how this notion tells us that the whole welfare state culture is horribly mistaken?

First, pensions. It is pretty obvious that the current pension model is broken. Our Social Security model was designed in the 1930s when the average life expectancy was 60-something instead of the present 70-something. But it is politically impossible to adapt the program, because people that have paid in all their lives demand the full benefit. Government cannot admit that there is a problem with Social Security, cannot admit it needs to be changed, and cannot bring itself to tell people that their benefits are going to be cut.

Social Security needs to be privatized, so that the pensioning of our senior citizens can constantly change and adapt to new realities. But that won't happen until it is completely broken.

Obviously the same thing applies to health care. The provision of health care is an immensely complicated affair, and obviously needs to constantly adapt as problems arise, and as new technology, new techniques, new understandings about disease and ageing appear. But government is incapable of acting except in response to the needs of organized political interests. And the central issue in any change becomes what to do about the people that might lose their benefits.

In education the notion, over a century ago, was probably to spread literacy. Then it became training factory workers. Today? Yes, just what is the point of today's government education system? Inquiring minds would like to know. But the teachers and administrators demand that we should continue the current system without diminution.

And then welfare. We know that it is a disaster, but the Democrats cannot agree to change it because its recipients and its administrators are their supporters, and the purpose of a government is to reward its supporters.

When the next civilization arises out of the ruins of our own, I hope that its founders will assert that no collective task, except defense, should be assigned to government. Because look what happened to "Western Civilization."

This is not to say that everyone should be "thrown upon the market" without mercy. Not at all. I am just saying that there are plenty of ways to perform "collective" tasks without doing them with government. And I am saying that government is the last place to look if you are searching for mercy.

No doubt, as the #WeBelieve yard sign says, "Kindness is Everything." But Government is Force, and that is all it is.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Agony of the French White Working Class

Notice the difference between the US and France? In the US the white working class has invaded the Republican Party and the Republicans, courtesy of Trump, have listened to its grievances.

In France the white working class is isolated in the Front National, and it is outside respectable French opinion. So after Round One of the French presidential election the "far-right" Marine Le Pen is isolated and the "moderate" Emmanuel Macron (who is a complete insider having held ministerial posts in the Hollande government) is the fusion candidate that all the other parties are endorsing for the final runoff.

Here is Macron's education:
[He] studied Philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, completed a Master's of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, and graduated from the École nationale d'administration (ENA) in 2004.
It's a shame, and it makes me realize how lucky the US is that all the folks tossed out of the Democratic Party over the years -- Southerners, Christians, pro-family, and now white working class -- were able to find a home without isolating themselves in a fringe party that could be easily marginalized by the establishment. Instead, by the magic of coalition, they have influenced the politicians in their new home to listen to their grievances.

I am trying to conceive of a catch phrase to symbolize the monstrous injustice that the left has perpetrated on the working class, first mobilizing it against the industrial revolution, the very thing that had saved the lower class from the previous centuries of starvation in the wake of the agricultural revolution; then acculturating the workers against embourgeoisement; and finally throwing them away as racist, sexist bigots. It is a Great Injustice to use people in that way, and the worst of it is that the left used the white working as cannon fodder in the left's reactionary movement against the new culture of the market economy in which prices not force is the foundation of society, a reactionary movement against science and common sense and justice that is bound to fail.

The left's culture is a culture of force, but the new post-industrial revolution market culture is a culture of cooperation. The person in the next village, or the next nation, is not your enemy, but your customer or your supplier.

The contribution of the market economy is, of course, in part in innovation, that nobodies can invent new ideas and product and sell them without getting permission from the ruling class.

But I am coming more and more to believe that the real contribution, the elephant in the room that nobody notices, is that the market helps most when things go wrong.

If you are a worker in a dying industry, or a company that can't make a profit, the market tells you in no uncertain terms to raise your game or get out of the game into another one. If you lose your job, or your company goes bankrupt, then you have to change.

But with government when things go wrong the only response is to double down on failure. Workers petition government to force employers to pay them the full amount they had in mind; industry groups lobby the government for subsidies to keep the good times going. And so it goes until the whole thing collapses.

In a company, declining profits soon force the company to abandon money-losing products and services and lay off workers. But when government revenue dries up it is almost impossible to cut spending, because people getting government benefits will riot in the streets rather than agree to a reduction in their benefits. So government has to respond to a reduction in revenue by the cunning of inflation.

Maybe my view is outside the mainstream because my family, going back to at least the late 19th century has been bourgeois and has responded to setbacks by taking its losses and moving on. One set of grandparents were in Russia during the revolution and had to get out with nothing. The other set of grandparents were in Japan in the run-up to World War II and sold their business in 1941ish, presumably at pennies on the dollar, to a Czech Jew. My parents found themselves in India at the time of independence and partition and went back to England, presumably taking quite a loss.

So when things go wrong you can sit where you are and hope that things get better; you can organize and try to force the government to bail you out, Or you can take your losses and start over.

The white working class was taught to believe that government would always be there when something went wrong, that government, in President Obama's words, would "have its back." But government doesn't care about you, it only cares about your vote, and what your vote can do for it.

So the French working class has voted for Marine Le Pen, and is going to go down to defeat in the runoff. And nobody will help the workers to build a new life. Because they are all racists and sexists and bigots.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Why are "College Educated" Whites So Liberal?

If you read the reports on the recent special House elections in Kansas and Georgia, you know you are supposed to believe that Republicans have a real problem with college-educated white voters.

Or if you read about the fall of Bill O'Reilly at FoxNews you learn that his audience was the spawn of FDR, folks that grew up in the 1950s conservative culture in the warm afterglow of the New Deal. Whereas the new generation of "young, cosmopolitan right-wingers" finds O'Reilly rather embarrassing.

Now, according to my reductive Three Peoples theory this all makes sense. Today's Republican Party appeals to the middle, the People of the Responsible Self in between the elite, educated People of the Creative Self, and the subordinate workers and peasants of the People of the Subordinate Self.

But still, as a college-educated voter, I have a bit of a problem believing that my fellow college-educated Americans are that wedded to the Democratic Party. I mean, aren't we educated folks supposed to see behind the conceits of sauntering politicians and bureaucrats of the administrative, regulatory state? Doesn't "creativity" mean the belief in a life of trying and failing, accepting a risk proposition rather than the dull certainties of a salaried, benefited life?

Maybe I think that way because I am not that interested in power. But think about things from the point of view of a youngster on the cusp of college and work. You hesitate about launching into the rough-and-tumble of a business career, and you don't fancy a degree in the making and doing majors, the technology degrees. But if you choose a major in the pure sciences or the humanities you find that your career options are much better if there is a big administrative state that requires trained bureaucrats to opine and judge the actions of the workaday world. Regulatory bureaucracies require lots of economists to evaluate the effects of government policy. And environmentalism has been a godsend to the job prospects of pure sciences like geology, botany, and zoology.

Then there are educated women. It has been observed by Steve Sailer that women used to be much more interested in IT back in the 1950s when Grace Hopper was developing COBOL.
Her COBOL was notoriously verbose, the Chatty Cathy of programming languages, but it got an awful lot of work done. Not surprisingly, lots of women were COBOL programmers. (My wife was one for awhile.)
I'll say! So why aren't women interesting in tech careers any more?
[One] reason women have gotten squeezed out of programming is that government policy has responded to billionaires' demands that computer programming no longer be a middle class career appealing to American women. Instead, it should be a two-tier business with brilliant male programmers making death or glory bids to gain riches in Silicon Valley, while in the lower tier, American women are replaced by South Asian men via the H-1B visa. 
Or rather, that men are fighters and women are lovers, and men are more attracted to the forced march over rough terrain of the high-tech startup.

Then, when we remember that women are now 55-60 percent of college student bodies, we can understand that in the educated elite there is a much higher proportion of people that want a "middle-class career" with lots of jobs for Chatty Cathys that are eager to share and discuss with other Chatty Cathys over coffee that "I can't believe she said that."

In the late election, the trump card for Democrats was the Trump "pussy" conversation revealed as their usual October Surprise. The fact is that middle-class women in America are not to be soiled with locker-room talk, and will take strong action to put a stop to it. Trump's revelations that middle-class women are not above having their pussies patted by powerful alpha-males was not to be endured. What, modern educated women acting like hypergaming working-class secretaries flapping their eyes at their bosses? Not to be endured!

Of course, all political trends in America are presented as the death-knell for Republicans, so it is hard to get a sensible view of things. No doubt educated voters are trending Democratic. But all of a sudden white working class Americans are trending Republican. And what about working-class blacks and Hispanics? How long are they going to voting for a Democratic Party that keeps them in the back of the bus?

It really does make a lot of sense that many college-educated voters would trend Democratic. There are tons of jobs in and around government that require moderately educated workers.

It's a pity, though that the settled science says that big government is death to a free and prosperous society. So I dare say that down the road we will be speaking of educated Americans dying of despair when the administrative state runs out of money.

But how does that explain an educated American like me? Why don't I have a #WeBelieve yard sign out front of my house waving in the liberal Seattle breeze?

Perfectly simple. I didn't get my education at college. I am an "autodidact." Which is Greek for self-educated. I went to university to get an engineering degree and only started my education after leaving school. The result is that I missed getting the proper indoctrination in ruling-class-approved ideas and narratives. The only time I've been back to school in the last 50 years is to take a class each in Aristotle, Plato, Hume, and Kant. That's because I felt I needed to get the official line on each of those philosophers, as a kind of intellectual ballast. As I have written, of the three teachers for those classes, one was a pompous ass, one was a horse's ass, and one was the best teacher I have ever had in my life.

Meanwhile, every educated person should know that civilizations mostly fail because they run out of money; they spend so much on rewarding their supporters that there is nothing left to put food on the table and defend the borders on the Champs Elysées.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How Little Darlings Get "Hurled" to Cultural Perdition

So here we are in a week that the great white hope of progressives, Jon Ossoff, failed to pick up a GOP seat in Georgia by the cunning trick of being about the only Democrat facing a slew of ambitious Republicans in a "jungle primary" which means that if you get 50% of the vote you win the election without going to a general.

Only he cam in a couple of percentage point short. So that's all right.

Then we have Bill O'Reilly getting run off FoxNews for sexual harassment allegations. I guess that the Murdoch kids are determined to wreck the business that their father put together, as foolish young scions often do.

Note to ambitious young women wanting to make it at CBSNBCABCCNN etc. The sexual harassment gambit will not work for you, because everybody knows that only conservative white men are a problem on the sexual harassment front.

Well, everyone in North Seattle is convinced. #WeBelieve signs and "Hate Has No Home Here" signs are everywhere.

Er... I know what you are saying. Liberals are the biggest haters in America. So the funniest thing since sliced bread is for liberals (and especially gays) to pretend that they have nothing to do with hate.

Actually, the truth is that politics equals hate. Politics is about division, and hate is the way you divide. Liberals live and die by politics, so they must be haters.

But I am thinking of the bigger picture. I am thinking about where Democrats go from here. Because their culture war on everyone that is white and straight just doesn't make sense to the ordinary American that is living outside the yeasty inner-city gentry neighborhoods where only liberals (and conservative spies like me) can afford to live.

Todayt I am mixing together my "little darlings" notion into a major attack on the left and everything it stands for. As you know, my little darlings notion says that if you are presently the little darlings of the ruling class, there is nowhere to go but down, because one fine day the ruing class will get tired of you, or decide they don't need you as their clients. You are like soldiers being marched across Europe in some dynastic war. The day will come when you find yourself sitting abandoned on the route of march. And then...

Well, the first time this happened to the little darlings was reported by Karl Marx when he wrote that "the free proletarians were hurled onto the labour market" when their lords no longer needed them during the agricultural revolution. That, as far as I can see, was back in the 16th century.

That's a good line, Chuck. Let's try it out on the modern era.

In the 1970s, the liberals, who had heretofore loooved the white working class, "hurled them onto the global labor market by importing millions of third world immigrants into the USA." Finally, after 50 years, the white working class realizes that they have been had.

In the 1960s, the liberals, who had heretofore promised to make women the darlings of their politics, "hurled women into the chaos of the sexual revolution," expecting women to indulge in sexual libertinism like men, get careers like men, go into the armed forces like men, oh and also, in between more important matters, bear and raise children. At the present time, women still don't realize that they have been had.

In the 1960s, the liberals, who had paraded as the friends of African Americans, instituted a huge expansion of welfare and affirmative action that has "hurled African Americans into a cultural spiral dive." Poverty is high; educational attainment is pathetic, and low-income African Americans are daily persecuted by the kindly attention of criminal gangs while rich liberal philanthropists like George Soros fund openly racist groups like Black Lives Matter and teach blacks to hate.

Then there are gays and Latinos, the emerging little darlings of the liberals. We don't yet know how and when these groups will get "hurled" in Marx's felicitous phrase. But my little darlings theory says that it is bound to come.

Because politicians and activists do not care about people like you. They only care about your vote.

What they really care about is power: the power to tell you what to think, what to do, and the power to make you pay if you don't.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Only Privilege In America is Liberal Privilege

The Lady Marjorie and I were out for a walk yesterday and ran into a former neighbor who now lives in one of those gi-normous block houses, very often with Hardie board siding, and with flat or shed roofs.

He was delighted as how his roof-top solar panels meant that electricity didn't cost him anything. A little later he drove past in his Prius.

Yes, liberals. I understand why the Trump ascension has you all so fit-to-be-tied. Why, that crude idiot might cut the subsidies on your solar panels, and even on your Priuses.

It's comfortable to be a liberal in America. You get to reward yourself with free stuff, all in the name of diversity, or climate, or social justice. The utility pays you 44 cents per Kwh for your intermittent solar power (recently cut by one third in Washington State, apparently) while the utility charges you 11 cents per Kwh for their firm (but climate destroying) 24-7 power. Such a deal for liberals.

Then there is the subsidy on those cool Priuses and electric cars, tax credits amounting to thousands of dollars per car. Such a deal for liberals.

And then there are the special privileges obtained by university teachers and administrators, who basically can't be fired.

And then there are the subsidies for the arts. And then there are all the NGO jobs for the children of wealthy liberals that don't need the money from a real job. Not to mention the legacy places at college.

And so it goes.

Let's look at latest liberal hearthrob Jon Ossoff, the "investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide" who almost made it on Tuesday to be congresscritter from the 6th District in Georgia. From La Wik:
Born in Atlanta, Ossoff was raised by his parents in Northlake, an unincorporated community in Georgia's 6th congressional district.[7] Ossoff's mother Heather Fenton, an Australian immigrant,[1] co-founded NewPower PAC, an organization that works to elect women to local office across Georgia.[8][9] His father, who is of Russian Jewish and Lithuanian Jewish descent, owns a specialist publishing company.[1] Ossoff was raised Jewish.[10] 
Ossoff attended the Paideia School, a small private school in Atlanta.[1] While in high school, he interned for Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.[1]
Can you spell "liberal privilege" and connections up the Wazoo? Of course the 30-year-old was selected by the ruling class to run for a special election for Tom Price's congressional seat. He is their kind of guy.

Let's look at Jon's opponent in the June runoff, Karen Handel. La Wik:
Handel was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.[4] After graduating in May 1980 from Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro,[5][6] Handel attended both Prince George's Community College and The University of Maryland, but did not complete any degree.[7] She then went to work for Hallmark Cards. Later, she served as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle's wife, Marilyn, where she worked to promote breast cancer awareness and research.[8]
Not quite the perfect life story. Oh, and she has said that she doesn't think that gay parents are quite the best thing for children. In other words, she agrees with American philosopher Harold Gosse, who said many years ago that all children want a mother and a father: their mother and father.

Don't get me wrong. I think that liberals are the nicest people in the world. And some of my best friends are liberals, bless their hearts.

But when you start to think about privilege in America in the spring of 2017, then the first thing you think of is "liberal privilege."

Or you have completely missed the point of Kant and critical theory, like the rest of your liberal friends.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Yes, Liberals, Critical Theory Applies to Your Ideas Too

Conservatives are chuckling about a worried New York Times article about how Trump is stealing the left's cookies on critical theory.

After all, if there is no absolute truth, as the left insists, then it's OK for Trump to lie his head off!

They quote lefty writer Bruno Latour:
Latour observed that conservatives had begun using methods similar to those of critical theory to muddy debates around issues, like climate change, that required immediate and decisive action. 
Oh really, Bruno. But what is your warrant for assuming that "climate change... required immediate and decisive action"? After all, might not the whole climate change issue be a pure case of power and privilege forcing its narrative on an innocent and marginalized American middle class which is not allowed to have an opinion on the matter?

Could we not say that "climate change" is a dominatory plan by the liberal privileged elite to force the ordinary middle class to live a more modest life style so that the liberal elite could feel good about themselves?

As the NYT's Casey Stone says, going back to dear old Kant:
 The bedrock claim of critical philosophy, going back to Kant, is simple: We can never have certain knowledge about the world in its entirety. Claiming to know the truth is therefore a kind of assertion of power.
Exactly. So when anyone, whether a church divine or an environmental activist, makes a statement that assumes that we can know that heretics are Satanic or climate change is catastrophic, we go back to Kant, who said that we cannot know things-in-themselves but only appearances.

So critical theory is not supposed to be a weapon to demolish people you don't like for advancing stuff they believe in. It is supposed to be something you apply equally to yourself, to your ideas, and your science.

It is supposed to be used to say: well, my theory looks like the best thing since sliced bread, but it is, after all, just a theory, because I cannot know things-in-themselves.

Now the original application of critical theory, starting with Marx, was to critique the political and economic ideas of the bourgeoisie which, the Marxians felt, merely reflected the class interests of the bourgeoisie, and confirmed the bourgeoisie in its prejudices.

Then along came the Frankfurt School that proposed that the bourgeois ideas were in fact not just classist, and oppressing the working class, but sexist and racist as well, and oppressed non-white races and women and gays as well as the working class.

Good point, Frankfurters, and we will take that under advisement. Actually, we did and now we have a whole bushel-load of civil rights laws that are supposed to lift women and minorities out of past ages of oppression and marginalization.

Only thing is, that the various lefties and critical thinkers don't seem to do much critical thinking about their own ideas.

For, instance, I've read a Marxist tome or two. What I do not encounter is any understanding that Marx's theory, that built upon the dichotomy in classical economics between use value and exchange value, has been utterly exploded by the marginal revolution of 1870.

Nor is there any notion that the critique of sexism and racism, which had a point when formulated by the Frankfurters in the 1920s to 1940s, and gussied up by Herbert Marcuse in the 1950s, has been answered. We now have tons of laws to mitigate and indeed reverse the marginalization of women and minorities that obtained before 1965.

But the left has not rested on its laurels; it has redoubled its efforts to winkle out oppression and marginalization.

Well, of course it has. The left is all about power, not about justice. And the left never gives its opponents the benefit of the doubt, or allows that the opponents are simply wrong rather than evil.

But how can they know? If Kant was right then we "can never have certain knowledge about the world in its entirety. Claiming to know the truth is therefore a kind of assertion of power."

Claiming to know the truth about oppression and marginalization is therefore a kind of "assertion of power."

Which brings me back to my basic belief, which I do not claim to be certain, but I certainly believe to be useful and sensible.

The lesson of the last 200 years is that the left's program is all about power. And that is all. But the bourgeoisie, the white males, the corporate CEOs, the targets of lefty wrath, are not that interested in power.

The warrant for this is the actual record of middle class people and their observed behavior over the last 200 years. When the left demanded justice for the workers, the middle class responded with government programs. And the corporate chieftains usually retired from business at some point and devoted their declining years to philanthropy, or even building rockets to go to Mars!

But for lefty politicians and activists it is all about the game, all about the next program or the next protest.

But you gotta say, the lefties had themselves a helluva ride for the last 200 years.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pity the Pore Norks!

What do you do if you are an economically dead-end socialist state and you want to stay in business, desperately.

We are talking, this week, about the  Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader.

(Funny how those socialist states go all-in on the fascist Führerprinzip. What is that all about?)

Well, the answer is obvious. If you are a dead-end socialist state that can barely feed your people you absolutely, positively have to have nuclear weapons. Otherwise the United States will one day invade you and put you out of business. As in Iraq, courtesy of Republican George W. Bush. As in Libya, courtesy of Democratic Barack H. Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That's why Iraq was pushing for nuclear weapons. Pity that Saddam Hussein buckled under and agreed to get rid of his "weapons of mass destruction." Maybe if he had kept them the US wouldn't have invaded, and Iraq wouldn't have descended into secular strife, and maybe we wouldn't have ISIS to kick around today.

That's why any tin-pot dictator in the world is looking at Libya right now and saying, the sooner I get nuclear weapons the sooner the US will leave me alone. That's why Iran just had to keep going on its nuclear program and that is why is was so convenient to have Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett in the White House to advise President Obama on the Iran deal.

Of course, these dead-end socialist states could abjure their famine-causing socialism (as in the famines in the 1930s Soviet Union, the 1950s Maoist China, the 1970s Cambodia, and now oil-rich Venezuela) and become dutiful client states of the United States like Japan or South Korea. But where is the fun in that? Where would you go to get your macho chest hair back?

The fact is that it takes real cojones to be a state that is aligned against the US. In a way Noam Chomsky is right. The US is the evil global hegemon, and you'd better not mess with it.

And here's something amazing. President Trump tosses a few cruise missiles at Syria, and all of a sudden the Democratic elite is taking him seriously and complimenting him just a little. What is that all about? I thought that Trump was a crazed maniac. How could his image have improved when he proved the critics right?

And what about China? Why would they want to "solve" the Nork problem? Right now it must be rather convenient to have a mad dog at hand to focus the attention of the United States. What would be the point of taking out the Nork regime, unify Korea, and bring the border of the US imperium right up to the Yalu River? I don't think so, if I am a Chinese leader.

I don't know what the Trump regime is planning with respect to North Korea. All I know is this. Every state that wants to be taken seriously by the "international community" needs to be a nuclear power, and be able to talk about tossing a nuke into the men's room at the White House.

Otherwise that state will be treated like a pawn, and one day might find US troops coming ashore to take care of the interests of the US world empire.

Friday, April 14, 2017

In This School of Life, We Learn...

Those "In This House, We Believe" signs are breeding like rabbits in my rich-bitch liberal neighborhood. So I have finally decided to produce a countersign.

"IN THIS SCHOOL OF LIFE, WE LEARN"

That's what it starts out with, because the delicious thing about the #WeBelieve sign is its pure liberal conceit. As though there was no argument about its facile slogans. But life is a process; we learn from out mistakes as we go along.



"GOVERNMENT IS FORCE"

Hey kids! Notice what happened to United Airlines the other day? They called the cops to eject a paying passenger from an airplane. They called on the government's men with guns, and the only thing the men with guns understand is force. And everyone hates it. United could have solved their little problem with money. Instead they opted for government's "sweet use of force." When you advocate for a new government program you are saying that the only solution is force.

"POLITICS IS DIVISION"

They say that if you put a bunch of Americans into a room to solve a problem they will do it by giving each participant a piece of the solution. But politicians play a different game. Their game is to divide the electorate in two, so that they get the 51% and the rest get nothing.

"SYSTEM IS DOMINATION"

I got this one from lefty rich kids Horkheimer and Adorno in their Dialectic of Enlightenment. Apart from extending identity politics beyond the sacred working class to women and minorities they wrote: "What men want to learn from nature is how to use it in order wholly to dominate it and other men." No kidding!

So, you see, when you combine the government and politics and system you get an unholy brew of force, division, and domination. Sad.

"SCIENCE HAS A PROBLEM"

I mean this in every sense. The first, from F.S.C Northrop is that knowledge begins with a problem. If you don't have a problem, you don't need knowledge or science, or wisdom or anything. Second, in the sense applied by Horkheimer and Adorno above, which the environmentalists understand in their better moments: science easily leads to domination. Third is the unholy combination of science and government. When you combine science and politics you get politics, as in "climate deniers." When you combine science and government you get government and its force, as in H-bombs and bird-killing eco-crucifixes.

"SEX IS AMAZING"

Among the more evolved and educated among us there has grown up a cult of creativity. To participate in an original creation of a work of art, or science, or gadget, or activism, is the highest form of life, and only the best need apply. In fact, of course, everyone, even the meanest among us, can participate in the wonder of creation, just by having children. It is telling that the initiates into the cult of creativity, who I call the People of the Creative Self, rather tend to devalue the ordinary miracle of children. I suspect they are wrong.

"MEANING IS CRITICAL"

David Bohm writes that meaning is just as real as matter and energy. It's just that there is more meaning in a human than in a rock. But meaning is something about which we wrestle every day. That's why Douglas Adams introduced "the meaning of life, the universe, and everything" as a constant theme in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Meaning is not just critical; it is paradoxical.

"MIGRATION IS INVASION"

You can say that no human is illegal all you want, but migration is a serious business. Ask the folks on the receiving end of the northwestern Europeans that migrated all around the world starting in about 1492. In our time the left has made a scandal out of European migration, calling it colonialism. In other words, for the last 500 years Europeans have been migrating and invading all across the world, and that is bad. But now that the rest of the world wants to migrate to the West migration is good? Explain that to me Sherlock.

 "GOD IS NOT MOCKED"

The guy that invented the notion of "GOD" was a genius, because he encapsulated, for any era, the fundamental mystery about "the meaning of life, the universe, and everything." And whatever silly signs we post in front of our homes, whatever silly ideas we post on our blogs, whatever the lying talking points we spout on the nightly news, God is not mocked. What a relief.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Left's Argument ad Hitler

President Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer got into trouble this week with a Hitler remark. You are not allowed to say that at least Hitler didn't gas Germans. Because the Holocaust. And Marine Le Pen got into trouble by saying that the real France was not the France that send the Jews to the gas chamber.

We moderns like to attach guilt to whole nations, e.g., Germans for killing the Jews. It's almost impossible to counter, because it's a "when did you stop beating your wife" question. Just try: "hey, the Germans weren't all bad" on your liberal friend and see where it gets you.

Personally, I feel that it is not quite true that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I'd say that assigning collective guilt is the mark of a true monster.

And, of course the worst of the worst were not the Nazis and the fascists but the Commies in the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China. They killed far more than Hitler's Germany, and practically took their nations back to the Stone Age. But somehow nobody is trying to cover the Russian and Chinese people with collective guilt.

Why is that?

It is because you can't win when you are up against the cultural elite. They can name and shame you and you can't name and shame them. The Russians and the Chinese are not collectively guilty because the cultural elite does not want to smear them. Hey, at least Lenin and Mao were trying to do something about evil capitalism. Or something.

But here is my approach to the Hitler smear.

The people turn to idiots like Hitler when the usual idiots have failed.

That's how Hitler got his chance in Germany. Here's how.

First, the usual idiots got Germany into a two-front war, with France and Russia, in 1914.

Then, the usual idiots lost the war.

Then, the usual idiots in Germany after the war failed to cut government spending to match the reduced tax base of 1919 and thereafter, resulting in hyperinflation.

Then, the usual idiots in Britain, France and the United States tried to get back to the old gold parity, forcing a nasty deflation on the world.

Then, the usual idiots applied a ton of band-aids to the problem and ended up with the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

At some point, the people of Germany decided: enough of these usual idiots. Let's try this Hitler chappie.

Sorry, Germans, that was a bad choice. But I am sorry that the usual idiots decided that they had to blame every last German for their mistake in order to cover up their own crimes against humanity.

It's not that different from the present.

In the US the usual idiots subsidized home mortgages, setting up a decades long boom and bubble in house prices, which crashed in 2008. And that really screwed the average middle class, not to mention young people.

In the US the usual idiots got us into a stupid war in the Middle East.

In the US the usual idiots thought that the solution to the crash was more financial regulation, more health care regulation, more environmental regulation and a war on college men as rapists. So we got a decade of sub-par growth, and heightened racial and other tensions. And sharply higher health care costs.

So now we have Trump.

The point is that when the usual idiots blame the people for electing a Trump or a Hitler, they are missing the point.

The problem is not the people. The problem is the usual idiots. They are the governing class, so when things go wrong, it is their fault.

OK, the problem is not just the usual idiots; the problem is also that the people keep voting for the usual idiots that offer them free stuff, that propose a way out of our problems without it costing anything, that warp the economy in an attempt to avoid dealing with the problems that come from taking 35 percent of GDP and spending it on government programs, and handing out subsidies and special favors left and right.

Imagine the United States as a nation where the people said: no free pensions; no free health care; no free education; no free nothing. I know. It is impossible to imagine.

But when the voters feel they are stuck in a corner, like a rat, they have two options. They can curl up and die, or they can strike out and hope for the best.

But as long as our liberal friends can get people to cringe when they depart from the received wisdom on Hitler, on race, on gender, on gays, on immigration, they will keep doing it.

And so the only thing left for the people to do is to elect a Trump. Or a Hitler.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

United Airlines and the Sweet Use of Force

Everyone is having a grand old time about United Airlines calling the cops to drag a passenger off one of its airplanes, because he wouldn't give up his seat as ordered.

A lot of people are saying "there oughta be a law." Or that airlines should give up overbooking. But that is stupid. United Airlines has been punished enough already. And every other airline has taken note.

I want to talk about that charming phrase of Deirdre McCloskey: "the sweet use of force." This in a series of books about how the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years is due to the, probably accidental, absence of force. The Great Enrichment came from innovation that government failed to smother in its cradle.

Now it seems that at the Chicago gate at which United Flight 4311 was overbooked, there weren't enough volunteers for bumping at the price offered by United officials at the gate. But the airline just had to get four United employees to the destination so they could fly an aircraft the following morning. So the officials, instead of raising the ante, looked in the rule book and discovered that they had the legal power to remove people from the airplane by force.

So, with the sweet use of force they solved their little problem and got their United crew on the flight so that they could report for duty at the destination airport next morning.

But the point of capitalism, of markets, of money, of prices is that you can get things done without force.

And that is the most amazing and wonderful thing in the world.

Force always looks tempting to the man or woman that has men with guns at their command. But force is a very blunt weapon. And humans really hate being on the receiving end of force.

Now, I understand that when it comes to their own money, most everyone is a Scrooge. They don't want to spend it on other people.

But that doesn't change the wonderful thing about money that it removes the need for force.

Let us imagine a blissful socialist community in, say, New Harmony, Indiana. The blissful communitarians decide that David Dao is going to be responsible for cleaning out the pigsties. But David says no.

Now what? Does the community just try to persuade David? Does it start a whispering campaign among the women to name and shame him into obedience? Does it send him to New Harmony jail until he reconsiders? Or does it put the dirty job of pigsty cleaning up for bid? As they used to say in northern England: "where there's muck there's brass." Brass means money for those of you unacquainted with northern English.

But wait! There is no money in New Harmony! So force is the only option.

Fortunately Chicago is not New Harmony. Money is permitted in the Windy City, although it can't be doing its job very well, given the level of murder in the Windy City. In the case of the United flight waiting at the gate in Chicago money is an option. What would persuade four people to give up their seats? Would it be $1,000 each? $1,500? $2,000 and a year's membership at the United Club lounge? Whatever the price, I am sure it is less than the price United Airlines is going to pay for the sweet use of force when money, money, money would have solved the problem in a heartbeat.

All you big government fans, please copy. Your policy of force looks cheap to you, but it costs a lot more in the long run.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Return to Slavery in Islamic Lands

Just this week the usually lefty suspects are reporting slave markets in Libya: BBC, Aljazeera, Guardian. The deal seems to be that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are held for ransom in jails and put to work for no pay. If no ransom is forthcoming, then the slaves are killed.

We've already had the case of Boko Harum kidnapping high-school girls and distributing them to their soldiers as concubines. Not to mention the ISIS policy of using humans in conquered cities in whatever way seems appropriate to the local commander.

Now it happens that I have been doing a bit of reading on the subject of conquest and slavery over the years, and it is obvious that slavery and concubinage were ubiquitous in the good old days. Clearly, in the hunter-gatherer age, a tribe ceased to exist if it didn't have enough young men to defend its territory, and the surviving women and children would be distributed around as concubines and slaves.

Feudal Europe did not have slaves as such, but plenty of people were serfs, and it was OK to enslave non-Europeans and/or non-Christians.

Oh, and let's not forget the women slaves from Circassia that were sold at Kaffa in the Crimea and distributed to harems all over the Middle East.

Then we have the Vikings, who ran a jolly old slave market in Dublin, Ireland a thousand years ago. These slaves would have been Brits captured in autumn raid up the rivers of Britain. And the Vikings also ran slaves down the rivers in what is now Russia.

The remarkable thing about plantation slavery in sugar and cotton, which is held to be the original sin of the USA, is that it became a scandal at all. Because slavery has been ubiquitous down the ages.

Why did plantation slavery become a scandal? Was it because the old gentry in Britland didn't like the jumped-up nouveau-riche owners of West Indian slave plantations of the 18th century and decided to teach them a lesson? Or was it because capitalism and markets really don't like force and subjection?

What is interesting is that the movements opposed to capitalism have all tended to return to slavery and feudalism. The great socialist empires of the 20th century, the Soviet Union and Maoist China, used slavery on an unimaginable scale. And all the big-government schemes of the progressives involve high levels of human compulsion, what I call neo-feudalism.

So it really isn't surprising that the latest reactionary movement opposing modern global markets and freedom, the Islamic reaction, is virulently pro-slavery and is reviving the cultural and economic order of the European order prior to the Peace of Westphalia, that ended the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648.

So that when the Soviets invaded Germany in 1945 they only raped the women for a season, and in Berlin for a month. Oh wait. They sent millions back to the slave labor camps in Siberia.

My point is that there is something about capitalism that finds a problem with slavery, and I don't think it is because "we" are more evolved or moral than our ancestors. It is something more mysterious.

But as soon as capitalism gets pushed back, out come the slavers again, and out come the slave markets.

Why is that? Is it because capitalism rolls back the frontiers of power? Is it simply because slavery does not pay? Is it because under capitalism it pays to treat everyone as a potential business partner? Is it because under capitalism people are focused on making money rather than on accumulating power?

I don't know. But I think it is telling that the Great Islamic Reaction is featuring slaves and slave markets.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Problem of Women and Politics

One of the things that you are not supposed to notice is that the rise of big government has coincided with the enfranchising of women. Before the 20th century, government was almost exclusively in the war business. But in the last century it has been in the taking-care-of-people business as well.

This is not surprising, when you think back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The men were almost exclusively involved in protecting the border of the tribal territory. Then women were almost exclusively involved in taking care of everything else.

Naughty Steve Sailer refers to this in a piece about snooker. Billiards is almost exclusively a male sport, but now the champion woman snooker player is competing with men. But can she, or any woman, really play with the best men? Sailer recalls playing pool with an expert.
I had a boss in the marketing research business who was a really good billiards player. But his superiority over me was overwhelmingly mental in that he could see many shots ahead. We’d have conversations like this:

“Steve, why did you sink the 4 ball?”

“Uh, because I could, George.”

“But what does it leave you?”

“Uh [considering the question for the first time] … the 10 ball!”

“Sure. But what will that leave you?”

[Blank look on my face]

“You’ll next try for the 12 or the 2, and you’ll miss, and leave the cue ball set up for me with a slam dunk on the 9, then the 13, then the 11, then the 3, 7, uh, 5, 1, and the 8 ball. As soon as you chose to sink the 4, it was Game Over.”
Now it seems to me that this skill is exactly the skill that a military commander has to have. Military formations are sorta like billiard balls, at least in the Newtonian sense that military affairs, like billiards, are all about force, action and reaction, and so forth.

Sailer imagines that women excel in a different form of cause and effect.
I imagine there are women who can hold a similarly complex chain of social reasoning in their heads — “But if Sally tells Jane what Joe told her about Mike’s opinion of what Melissa said about Mary’s cousin Al …”
That sort of complex relationship dynamics, we all know, is not a major skill of men.

So a man's life tends to gravitate towards assembling the resources needed to defend the border, a business at which they are already well-programmed. A woman's life tends to gravitate towards assembling the resources to help her care for her loved ones. That is what she is programmed for.

So government, over the centuries, was really a male thing, and government was primarily about the problem of the border, and the problem of rebels within the border.

But women are not interested in that. They just ask: "Mr. President, is it safe?" and then return to important matters, like keeping the kids alive, maintaining her standing with the neighborhood women, and dealing with an end-of-life mother.

Now that women have the vote, it is not surprising that government has gravitated recently towards the woman's view of things, and got into the business of supplying resources for women to look after their loved ones.

You can see the problem here. A government with the resources to defend the border can use the resources to deal with troublesome regime opponents. A government with the resources to help women care for their loved ones can use the resources in a whole host of pet programs that reward the government's supporters rather than help people.

The great question of the modern age is how to keep government limited on the defense front to issues that really do involve the defense of the realm, and how to keep government limited on the domestic front to issues that really help people.

And I don't know how to do that.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Gorsuch Confirmed, So What?

Neil Gorsuch was just confirmed to be Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by a vote of 54-45. So that's all right.

We know why the Democrats have to fight these Supreme Court nominations to the knife. It's because their pet issues -- abortion, gay marriage -- have been decided by the Supreme Court, and not by a bipartisan majority in Congress. So the composition of the Supreme Court is of vital importance to secular-believing liberals.

It all seemed so sensible and advanced a century ago when the Progressive movement came up with the idea of the "living constitution." Of course, that was then, when total government spending was less than 10% of GDP, whereas now it is 35% of GDP and very likely more.

The truth is that we are somewhere near the high-water mark of the great progressive tide and sooner or later it will start to recede. We can't really deal with more government spending, because it chokes off the natural workings of the economy. Yet we can't cut anything, from Social Security to government employee pensions, because nothing gets people to the polls like someone cutting their benefits.

So liberals are going to be on defense, protecting their privileges, and it will get worse before it gets better. That's because all the people displaying the "In This House We Believe" in the Liberal Commandments signs from Karen Joiner do not understand that what they are doing. They do not understand that all the Liberal Commandments amount to the legislation of liberal morality. They do not understand that their secular commandments are a violation of the separation of church and state. They do not understand that government is a very blunt instrument to use in enforcing morality.

They do not understand that the reason for limited government is to reduce the number of issues over which people can fight, so that we can avoid civil war.

Look at the top item on the list: Black Lives Matter. Just what is the government supposed to do about that? Stop police brutality? Or stop gangbangers killing other blacks? And what are we going to do about the fact that most black children don't have fathers, not in a practical sense of having a mother and a father in the house? And what are we going to do about the fact that government education serves the upper-middle class best and the poor worst?

And anyway, what are we going to do about the travails of the white working class, suffering elevated deaths from drugs, drink and suicide for 30 years while nobody noticed?

Our liberal friends do not understand that the bill for a century of progressive politics is coming due, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

The problem is that just about everything liberals have done over the last century is evil, as in identity politics; stupid, as in big government entitlements; or wrong, as in all the regulation and administrative ukase that benefits special interests.

The usual way of solving such problems is through the collapse of the current civilization.

Tell me it ain't so, Justice Gorsuch.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Democrats Ride the Tiger of Progressive Rage

Today the Senate Republicans voted to change Senate rules to end the Senate filibuster for US Supreme Court nominations. This was done after the Senate voted not to end debate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the court.

On the Drudge Report there is a mushroom cloud, as in "nuclear option."

It is not elected Democrats that are pushing the filibuster; it is progressive activists.

Apparently in progressive circles there is a strong belief that Republicans will pay for this vote to end the filibuster. But, as Jim Geraghty writes, maybe not. The progressives predicted doom and gloom for Republicans when they refused to bring Merrick Garland's nomination to a vote in 2016. And nothing happened. Actually less than nothing happened because Hillary Clinton's campaign barely mentioned the Garland nomination, the Republicans kept control of Congress and the American people elected Donald Trump.

Apparently, the Democratic rage at and consistent "Borking" of conservative Republican nominations to the Supreme Court is all about one thing and one thing only.

Abortion.

That's what Kristan Hawkins writes.

I suppose that is true. But it seems crazy.

The thing is that if the Supreme Court were to vacate the Roe v. Wade ruling it would not make much difference, because Roe v. Wade was a preemption of state laws. If liberals want abortion they can have it, in New York, in California, and wherever Democrats and liberals are gathered together and wear pussy hats.

So the progressives are getting all excited about nothing.

Meanwhile, we ought to get back to legislating changes in the law in the legislatures and untangling legal problems in the courts, rather than using the courts as a way for the elite to short-circuit the legislative process and implement its moral vision without consulting and persuading the broad American people.

But that brings us back to the Democrats. They are riding the tiger of progressive rage and hoping that they don't get thrown off and eaten by the electoral process.

Because ordinary Americans that don't listen to NPR and don't read the New York Times live in a different world from the religious cult we call "progressivism" with its sacraments of activism and peaceful protest, and I suspect that Democrats will continue to lose at the ballot box. That's because ordinary people don't like street action and heightened political strife.

I doubt if ordinary people understand that it is they that pay the price when politics transforms itself into street violence and ultimately civil war. But they know that they don't like the sound of political war drums.

Always in the back of my mind is Peter Turchin's Ages of Discord in which he notes that the "political stress index" in the US is soaring just like it did in the years before the Civil War broke out in 1861.

Today's elimination of the Supreme Court filibuster is just one more flashing red light telling us that all is not well in the United States, that both sides of the partisan divide are cruisin' for a bruisin'.

According to Turchin the present divide started with the election of Ronald Reagan, so you could say that it started when people like me decided that they couldn't take the progressive bullshit any more.

You can see that the progressive pushback ever since has been based on the Deplorables argument so thoughtfully advanced by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

How dare those Deplorables dare to oppose our glorious progressive vision!

Well, I would only tell my progressive friends that politics is a very blunt instrument, and that the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years that has brought the world's poor from age-old starvation to an astonishing competence has occurred in the face of non-stop leftist prophecy that the End is Near, the poor would suffer, and that only the political hegemony of the educated, evolved, compassionate people could stop it.

In other words, the progressives get it wrong. Politics is not the answer. Period.

And until progressives finally understand that -- and don't hold your breath -- the poor will suffer.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Trouble with Moving Comics and Movies Left

Last week Marvel Comics admitted that their new lefty-approved superheroes aren't going down well. Comic readers just don't want diversity. One of my readers commented that he'd been reading the comics for decades, but "a couple of years ago, the sjw comics showed up and I quit."

You see this sort of thing everywhere. Last week I went to the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and of course Beauty had to be a right-on liberal girl that couldn't wait to get away from her sleepy bigoted village. And she was the daughter of an artist, not the daughter of a merchant, as in the 19th century version, or a princess as in the ancient version.

Then yesterday on a flight from Florida I saw the latest Star Wars franchise movie, Rogue One, and the heroine (who is hero and heroine in one) is risking her life in death-defying action that no girl or woman ever did or will do.

And as for the diversity, it was notable that the diverse characters were all in supporting roles. In Beauty they were villagers and courtiers. In Rogue they ran the gamut, including blacks, east Asians, Middle Easterners, and they were all wise and brave. But they were all in supporting roles. The main flawed characters were white.

You can understand why blacks are getting shirty about no black Oscars. How come they are always playing second fiddle when liberal Hollywood puts out a blockbuster? Well, Hollywood? What's the excuse?

But of course it goes deeper than that. The heroes and heroines are all upper-class. Beauty is a voracious reader. The Star Wars heroine is the daughter of a major scientist. And what about La La Land, which I also saw on the plane. These are white college kids confronting the hard choices of life as an artist. Blacks and other races need not apply except as scenery.

The point about the old Marvel superheroes is that they started out ordinary. Superman was from Smallville. Spiderman's family was very ordinary. So the point of the Marvel comics was to cater to boys from working-class backgrounds that were dreaming of the possibilities of a life of action and adventure rather than just working at the factory. This is the boy version of the Broadway musical, which is about young women daring to marry out.

The new SJW-converged characters are middle-class kids wondering whether they can be creative artists.

Obviously today's left is only interested in the cultural situation of people like them. It's not just that they have fallen out of love with the white working class; they are just not interested in any life questions that don't apply to the educated, creative life.

This all makes sense with my reductive Three Peoples theory. The comic superheroes are about the sons of the People of the Subordinate Self trying out as People of the Responsible Self, as in the advice to Spiderman that with great power comes great responsibility. But the SJW heroes and heroines are all about the creative life of the People of the Creative Self. In La La Land the whole movie turns on a scene where the hero and heroine choose creativity and artistic career over relationship. The improbable heroines of Beauty and Rogue One are trying out as feminist heroines that can be everything that a man can be.

I think that the SJW turn is a blind alley. The minority supporting characters are racist insults, Uncle Toms, keeping Asians as inscrutable martial-arts experts and other non-whites as repositories of wise tribal tradition. As as for the heroines? Well, in my view you can't get away from the fact that men are fighters and women are lovers. So when you put a heroine up and make her into a fighter you are lying. Women do fight, but they fight in verbal whispering and in their culture of compliant. And a woman's life all comes down to caring.

The problem with the SJW-converged arts is that it completely leaves the ordinary person in the dust. I've spent a week interacting with immigrants that are doing "the jobs that Americans won't do" like looking after little old ladies in retirement communities. They are living in another world from the liberal SJW world. Yet liberals pose as their advocates and representatives.

It won't end well, any more than the liberal love for the white working class ended well. The People of the Subordinate Self need to learn the ways of the middle class, the "program" for succeeding as a responsible adult in the market order. When liberals block the road to the middle class they are committing vile injustice.

I've been reading a book about David Bohm and his "implicate order." It's all good, except that it marginalizes people that want to live according to a "program." David Bohm and his interlocutors don't understandthat before you can spread your wings in creative discovery you must first master the responsible life, and for many people that means a "program" of rules and roles?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pity the Media Won't Keep Their Side Honest

One thing you can say about the mainstream media. They are in like Flint on any political shenanigans by Republicans. The result is that Republicans are really careful about governing by the rules. At least after the lesson of Richard Nixon.

But the mainstream media gives their Democratic buddies a pass. And now that failing may be coming to bite them in the Obamagate/Susan Rice affair.

There seems to be an attitude in liberal circles that, hey, the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups was no big deal, and anyway they are all teabaggers. There seems to be an attitude out in mainstream medialand now that, well, National Security Advisor Susan Rice's "unmasking" of Trump transition people was legal, and therefore not a problem.

And don't get me started on sanctuary cities and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

In other words, it's OK for Democratic politicians and administrators to flout letter of the law and the spirit of the law, because they are on the right side of history. And it's OK for liberal activists to break the law with violence on the street or burn down a few businesses in Baltimore, MD. But don't you racists and sexists and teabaggers try that, or we will have your guts for garters.

In a way, it is good news for Republicans and conservatives that Democrats are breaking the rules. It shows that they are in trouble. That is usually how financial fraud starts. Financier Bob gets into a hole with a bad bet and then tries to paper over the hole with a bit of sharp practice.

Of course the story on the ObamaGate surveillance seems to be a bit different. The Obamis figured that Hillary Clinton would win the election and so a bit of illegal surveillance of the politicians and operatives on the Trump team would be no big deal. It just made sense to keep an eye on the Trumpsters, just in case. No surprises, please!

But then Trump won the election and the liberal base lost its mind. So now the Obamis switched into interference mode, trying to wrong-foot the Trump transition and maybe trap its officials into improprieties or illegalities.

On Powerline blog, they call Susan Rice a fool and a knave. I presume they mean that not only is Rice operating above her level of competence, but that when she gets into trouble she cheats, just like a financier in trouble.

Isn't that really the story of the Obama administration, from Obama on down? President Obama, as they say, was "wafted aloft" by liberals doing their bit for affirmative action. For the rest of America, electing Barack Obama to the presidency was to be a ticket out of race shame, so that America could get on with being America and stop the penance for African slavery.

But a chap that was "wafted aloft" has not really shown his mettle, and sooner or later he will be in over his head.

When you are in over your head you revert to your training. That is what military basic training is all about, and that is what flying training is all about. When things go wrong you automatically go with your training. I remember in my soaring days that a couple of times it looked like I would have to "land out" in a field. My training clicked in and I started a descent into a sensibly selected field. But both times I hit a thermal on the way down and so was able to circle in the thermal and climb out of trouble.

President Obama's training has been in left-wing activism, which I would call an inappropriate preparation for high office. It is training for rich kids to protest and agitate, but it is not a training for governance.

So President Obama has given away the Democratic dominance of elected offices by pushing the liberal activist agenda without regard for people that might not agree with liberalism. And his affirmative action appointments, from Attorney Generals Eric Holder to Loretta Lynch, have not seemed to imagine that they represent the nation rather than the liberal agenda.

What these liberals do not seem to understand is that the whole apparatus of laws and following the rules is not there to be the servant of political power, but is designed to make the opposition feel that they are protected from the arbitrary power of the rulers, and hold on the the dream of getting back into power at the next election.

Our liberal friends think that law is a question of enforcing rights, rather than limiting government power. In fact, according to my understanding, law developed mostly outside government to deal with questions of commerce and inheritance. It was so successful that government picked it up to exploit the law's reputation for justice. So with "rights." These started as the rights of Englishmen to be free of government power; they have now migrated to be rights that are enforced upon ordinary people to favor the favorites of the ruling class.

Liberals don't get this. They think they are doing God's work by advocating for traditionally marginalized people and by legislating social programs to help "working families." And it means nothing to them how they get there. Because social justice. Indeed, the normal way to "get there" is through "activism" and "peaceful protest."

The problem is that "activism" and "peaceful protest" are in fact rehearsals for civil war. Both methods amount to shows of force, or, in left-wing jargon, "escalation." That is why the left used to talk about "demonstrations" and in French they still talk about "manifestations." And that is why the left gets all worked up when groups on the right use the method of the street, as the Tea Party did a decade ago. When the other guys do it to you, you understand completely what is going down.

So the liberal love of "activism" and "peaceful protest" is a rehearsal for civil war and so also is the Obami appetite for weaponizing the government against the Republicans.

Hopefully, the end of the current leftward lurch will be a repeat of the 1970s when ordinary Americans reacted viscerally against the New Left and the students and the "kids." And hopefully Marx's apothegm will also apply that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce.

Hopefully we won't lurch, step by step, towards civil war.

Because, quite apart from the illegality, I just get the feeling that the Obamis are the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

And they aren't going to learn until the media makes them play by the rules.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trump is the Bonfire of All Our Vanities

Is it the best of times, with President Trump upsetting the administrative state apple cart, even if he isn’t draining the swamp? Or is it the worst of times, with the amateur Trump getting taken for a ride by the Deep State?

It depends on whether you read Breitbart or Jonah Goldberg.

Did Trump and the Russians steal the election, or were the Obamis surveilling the Russians so that they could spy on Trump.

It depends on whether you listen to DNC chair Tom Perez or Obama factotum Evelyn Farkas.

I’d say that the simple answer is: we don’t know. And the simplest reason is that when there is a great battle raging, nobody knows who will win, because it ain’t over till it’s over. See Battle of Waterloo, Duke of Wellington, winner: “The nearest run thing you ever saw.”

Waterloo ended the Second Hundred Years War in Britain’s favor and relegated France to second tier. But what if that nearest run thing had gone the other way? What if the Prussians hadn't arrived in the nick of time?

I think that disappointed Never-Trump conservatives are chiefly concerned that Trump will lead conservatives into the weeds, betraying conservative principle in one of two outcomes: either confirming big government by failing to curb entitlements or by surrendering the United States back to Obama-style Democrats and smashing the Republican Party to pieces.

And Democrats? They have raised up a generation of secular religious bigots, according to Jonathan Haidt, that have turned the university campus into
a holy space—where white privilege has replaced original sin, the transgressions of class and race and gender are confessed not to priests but to “the community,” victim groups are worshiped like gods, and the sinned-against are supplicated with “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”
Victor Davis Hanson has more on that.

If you are an old-fashioned liberal -- and I assume there still are some -- your comfortable certainties are ruined. Why has this happened? Because the old-fashioned liberals surrendered their party to the leftist cultural Marxists that believe in bending the arc of history towards justice by any means necessary.

If you are an old-fashioned conservative the rise of Trump means that your comfortable certainties about reining in big government are ruined. As I wrote last summer, the gentlemanly conservatism of my adult life is over, because it failed to produce a majority at the polls. Call it GOPe or RINO or neocon or whatever. It’s over.

Conservatism failed because it failed to persuade the American people to abandon what we regard as the false promise of the big-government administrative state that lives by buying the voters with promises of free stuff.

Maybe the whole conservative agenda is a mirage. Maybe the basic socialization of humans is that we want some powerful lord or imperial president to rule over as as a neo-feudal baron with his grand promise that he will make us safe, paid for by the “rich” or the “one percent” or “evil corporations.”

But think how the world looks to liberals today on April Fools Day as I write this. We have the humiliating situation of FDR’s New Dealers voting for a billionaire. For thirty years, it now appears, the white working class has been dying of despair, and the evolved and educated liberals had no idea! What happened to the science? What happened to the people who cared about people? How could the white working class be flushing itself down the toilet and their wise rulers had no idea?

Now think on the bright side.

For conservatives we now have the white working class voting Republican. With the workers now on our team we can start to persuade them, and over time they will listen to our story. Why? Because we humans all look with a kindly eye on the agenda of our friends. Maybe, as time goes by, the white working class will agree to little tweaks to Social Security to allow the camel’s nose of private savings into the tent. Maybe they will allow tweaks to Medicare so that market prices can bring reality to the fantasy of third-party payments.

And then there are the immigrants of whom you’ve heard tell. I’m in Florida at a retirement community this week, bumping into immigrants working insane hours to get ahead. One is working as an aide because her dry-cleaning business failed. But already she is developing a website to sell women’s gym clothing. There’s the security guard working two jobs and sleeping three hours a night and going to school one day a week to get nursing credentials. Somebody forgot to tell them that the American Dream is a nightmare. People like that are going to be a huge disappointment to the Democrats in the years ahead.

Everyone wants the comfort of believing that the other guys are cheating: that’s what the Russia flap is all about, on both sides. Everyone wants the stop the other party from legislating their agenda: Democrats are enraged that the Republicans obstructed Obama; Republicans are enraged at today’s Democratic shenanigans.

The truth is that all our political vanities are burning up in flames, and nobody knows what the bonfire will burn up before it is done.