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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Yea verily, doth this AltRight appear most unseemly


Panic.

FIRST, an apology, or rather a regret: The Economist would prefer not to advertise the rantings of racists and cranks. Unfortunately, and somewhat astonishingly, the Alt-Right—the misleading name for a ragtag but consistently repulsive movement that hitherto has flourished only on the internet—has insinuated itself, unignorably, into American politics. That grim achievement points to the reverse sway now held by the margins, of both ideology and the media, over the mainstream. It also reflects the indiscriminate cynicism of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Much of the Alt-Right’s output will seem indecipherably weird to those unfamiliar with the darker penumbras of popular culture. It has its own iconography and vernacular, derived from message boards, video games and pornography. Its signature insult is “cuckservative”, directed at Republicans supposedly emasculated by liberalism and money. Its favourite avatar is Pepe the frog, a cartoon-strip creature co-opted into offensive scenarios; one Pepe image was reposted this week by Donald Trump junior and Roger Stone, a leading Trumpista, the latest example of the candidate’s supporters, and the man himself, circulating the Alt-Right’s memes and hoax statistics.

Truth. Beauty. Goodness.



I'm literally weeping with joy and gratitude right now.

Seriously, if you believe in America as an integral nation with distinctive interests, you only have one choice.
Oh, right—there’s that other issue. The sacredness of mass immigration is the mystic chord that unites America’s ruling and intellectual classes. Their reasons vary somewhat. The Left and the Democrats seek ringers to form a permanent electoral majority. They, or many of them, also believe the academic-intellectual lie that America’s inherently racist and evil nature can be expiated only through ever greater “diversity.” The junta of course craves cheaper and more docile labor. It also seeks to legitimize, and deflect unwanted attention from, its wealth and power by pretending that its open borders stance is a form of noblesse oblige. The Republicans and the “conservatives”? Both of course desperately want absolution from the charge of “racism.” For the latter, this at least makes some sense. No Washington General can take the court—much less cash his check—with that epithet dancing over his head like some Satanic Spirit. But for the former, this priestly grace comes at the direct expense of their worldly interests. Do they honestly believe that the right enterprise zone or charter school policy will arouse 50.01% of our newer voters to finally reveal their “natural conservatism” at the ballot box? It hasn’t happened anywhere yet and shows no signs that it ever will. But that doesn’t stop the Republican refrain: more, more, more! No matter how many elections they lose, how many districts tip forever blue, how rarely (if ever) their immigrant vote cracks 40%, the answer is always the same. Just like Angela Merkel after yet another rape, shooting, bombing, or machete attack. More, more, more!

This is insane. This is the mark of a party, a society, a country, a people, a civilization that wants to die. Trump, alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live. I want my people to live. I want to end the insanity.
The Flight 93 Election.

This pseudonymous essay is rumored to have been written by Christopher Caldwell. The author has said the pseudonym is to protect him not from the Left, but from erstwhile conservatives.

He penned a response to the predictable pointing and spluttering by ideological conservatives.
A point from the earlier essay is worth repeating. Conservatives have shouted since the beginning of Trump’s improbable rise: He’s not one of us! He is not conservative! And, indeed, in many ways, Trump is downright liberal. You might think that would make him more acceptable to the Left. But no. As “compassionate conservatism” did nothing to blunt leftist hatred of George W. Bush, neither do Trump’s quasi-liberal economic positions. In fact, they hate Trump much more. Trump is not conservative enough for the conservatives but way too conservative for the Left, yet somehow they find common cause. Earlier I posited that the reason is Trump’s position on immigration. Let me add two others.

The first is simply that Trump might win. He is not playing his assigned role of gentlemanly loser the way McCain and Romney did, and may well have tapped into some previously untapped sentiment that he can ride to victory. This is a problem for both the Right and the Left. The professional Right (correctly) fears that a Trump victory will finally make their irrelevance undeniable. The Left knows that so long as Republicans kept playing by the same rules and appealing to the same dwindling base of voters, there was no danger. Even if one of the old breed had won, nothing much would have changed, since their positions on the most decisive issues were effectively the same as the Democrats and because they posed no serious challenge to the administrative state.

Which points to the far more important reason. I urge readers to go back through John Marini’s argument, to which I cannot do anything close to full justice. Suffice to say here, the current governing arrangement of the United States is rule by a transnational managerial class in conjunction with the administrative state. To the extent that the parties are adversarial at the national level, it is merely to determine who gets to run the administrative state for four years. Challenging the administrative state is out of the question. The Democrats are united on this point. The Republicans are at least nominally divided. But those nominally opposed (to the extent that they even understand the problem, which is: not much) are unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. Are challenges to the administrative state allowed only if they are guaranteed to be ineffectual? If so, the current conservative movement is tailor-made for the task. Meanwhile, the much stronger Ryan wing of the Party actively abets the administrative state and works to further the managerial class agenda.

Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to threaten this arrangement. To again oversimplify Marini (and Aristotle), the question here is: who rules? The many or the few? The people or the oligarchs? Our Constitution says: the people are sovereign, and their rule is mediated through representative institutions, limited by written Constitutional norms. The administrative state says: experts must rule because various advances (the march of history) have made governing too complicated for public deliberation, and besides, the unwise people often lack knowledge of their own best interests even on rudimentary matters. When the people want something that they shouldn’t want or mustn’t have, the administrative state prevents it, no matter what the people vote for. When the people don’t want something that the administrative state sees as salutary or necessary, it is simply imposed by fiat.

Don’t want more immigration? Too bad, we know what’s best. Think bathrooms should be reserved for the two biological sexes? Too bad, we rule. And so on and on.

To all the “conservatives” yammering about my supposed opposition to Constitutional principle (more on that below) and who hate Trump, I say: Trump is mounting the first serious national-political defense of the Constitution in a generation. He may not see himself in those terms. I believe he sees himself as a straightforward patriot who just wants to do what is best for his country and its people. Whatever the case, he is asserting the right of the sovereign people to make their government do what they want it to do, and not do things they don’t want it to do, in the teeth of determined opposition from a managerial class and administrative state that want not merely different policies but above all to perpetuate their own rule.

If the Constitution has any force or meaning, then “We the People” get to decide not merely who gets to run the administrative state—which, whatever the outcome, will always continue on the same path—more fundamentally, we get to decide what policies we want and which we don’t. Apparently, to the whole Left and much of the Right, this stance is immoderate and dangerous. The people who make that charge claim to do so in defense of Constitutional principle. I can’t square that circle. Can you?

(To those tempted to accuse me of advocating a crude majoritarianism, I refer you to what I said above and will say below on the proper, Constitutional operation of the United States government as originally designed and improved by the pre-Progressive Amendments.)

One must also wonder what is so “immoderate” about Trump’s program. As noted, it’s to the left of the last several decades of Republican-conservative orthodoxy. “Moderate” in the modern political (as opposed to the Aristotelean) sense tends to be synonymous with “centrist.” By that definition, Trump is a moderate. That’s why National Review and the rest of the conservatives came out of the gate so strongly against him. I admit that, not all that long ago, I probably would have too. But I have come to see conservatism in a different light. To oversimplify (again), the only “eternal principle” is the good. What, specifically, is good in a political context varies with the times and with circumstance, as does how best to achieve the good in a given context. The good is not tax rates or free trade. Those aren’t even principles. In the American political context, the good is the well-being of the physical America and its people, well-being defined (in terms that reflect both Aristotle and the American Founding) as their “safety and happiness.” That’s what conservatism should be working to conserve.
Restatement On Flight 93.

The Age of Ideology is over.

An Anarcho-Capitalist Proposal


Clayton County Jury Awards $10M To Murder Victim
A Clayton County jury delivered a post-apportionment award of $10 million to the family of a man murdered by unknown assailants at a Forest Park apartment complex last year, earning praise from plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Shiver for putting aside the fact that the dead man's widow was a Mexican national and spoke no English.

"I'm encouraged that jurors are looking past someone's last name, the language they speak or the color of their skin to see that all lives have intrinsic value," said Shiver, whose team included Shiver & Hamilton partner Alan Hamilton and associate Daniel Beer, and Darren Summerville and Mecca Anderson of the Summerville Firm.

The jurors were not told that the dead man, Florencio Perez-Hernandez, had been in the country illegally, Shiver said. His widow obtained a visa to attend the trial, leaving their three children in Mexico, but had to return before its conclusion, he said.
The defendants, the apartments' corporate owner and management company, offered to settle the case for $1 million a few weeks before trial, Shiver said, after turning down a $7 million plaintiffs' offer last October.

Because of that, the plaintiffs' lawyers will also seek attorney fees through Georgia's offer of judgment statute, under which a party that declines a settlement offer, then loses at trial by at least 25 percent more than the rejected offer, can be ordered to pay the winning party's fees accrued from the date of the offer, he said.
The defense team included Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial partners Earl "Billy" Gunn and David Matthews, and associate George Green Jr.

"I can't say I'm surprised with the verdict," said Gunn. "I am surprised and unhappy with dollar amount awarded, although I had a jury that worked diligently."

"I expect us to pursue post-judgment relief," Gunn said.

The case is the second one pitting Shiver Hamilton and Gunn's firm stemming from a murder at the Bradford Ridge Apartments. In 2013, 13-year-old Steven Diaz was shot and killed there, resulting in a confidential settlement last year.

Asked why the first settled while the second went to trial, the lawyers said another insurer handled the first case.
"Different insurer, different philosophy," said Gunn. "I told Jeff, 'that first settlement spoiled you.' I was wrong."
The just-concluded trial involved the Jan. 24, 2015, murder of Perez-Hernandez, 33, who had left the apartment complex to go to a nearby convenience store with a friend, Emmanuel Perez-Lopez.

As they returned, according to Shiver and court filings, three men asked them for cigarettes; upon being told they had none, someone hit Perez-Lopez in the head with an unknown object, and he passed out.

When he came to, Perez-Lopez returned to the apartment and told others there about the attack, and they went in search of their friend. They found him dead from a gunshot wound in the apartments' parking lot, 50 to 100 feet from where he and Perez-Lopez had been accosted.

Clayton County, Georgia was the setting for Margaret Mitchell's great circa bellum novel Gone With The Wind. Much of the 1977 film Smokey And The Bandit was shot there, back when we used to look like this.


Rest assured my friends, all those days are indeed "gone with the wind."

2000 census
lAs of the 2010 United States Census, there were 259,424 people residing in the county. 66.1% were Black or African American, 18.9% White, 5.0% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 13.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the 2000 census, there were 236,517 people, 82,243 households, and 59,214 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,658 people per square mile (640/km²). There were 86,461 housing units at an average density of 606 per square mile (234/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 37.94% White, 51.55% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 4.49% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 3.55% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. 7.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Estimated 2006 population is 271,240, with a racial make-up of 20.4% white non-Hispanic, 62.9% African American, 5% Asian, 11.3% Hispanic or Latino, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.1% Pacific Islander. 1.5% were reported as multi-racial.

There were 82,243 households out of which 40.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.70% were married couples living together, 20.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 10.40% from 18 to 24, 35.40% from 25 to 44, 18.40% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,697, and the median income for a family was $46,782. Males had a median income of $32,118 versus $26,926 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,079. About 8.20% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.

The last quarter-century has seen significant change in the racial composition of the county's population. In 1980, Clayton county's population was 150,357 — 91% white and 9% minority, while in 2006 the population was approximately 271,240 — 20% white and 80% minority.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 259,424 people, 90,633 households, and 62,389 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,832.5 inhabitants per square mile (707.5/km2). There were 104,705 housing units at an average density of 739.6 per square mile (285.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 66.1% black or African American, 18.9% white, 5.0% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 7.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 13.7% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, and 4.9% were American.

Of the 90,633 households, 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.2% were non-families, and 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.37. The median age was 31.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,311 and the median income for a family was $48,064. Males had a median income of $36,177 versus $32,460 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,958. About 13.6% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

In summary, whites are fleeing, vibrancy is moving in, and incomes are stagnant and declining, despite the unmitigated boon of cheap immigrant labor. I know white rednecks who just up and left, dropping their keys off at the bank. Central American stoop laborers, paid in cash, stumbling around drunk, are easy marks for black predators.

The security measures necessary to keep Bradford Ridge Apartments predator-free would likely price the unit costs out of the reach of the late Perez-Hernandez. The tactics necessary to keeping his assailants away would be illegal. This is quintessential anarcho-tyranny: the property owners are placed between the Scylla and Charybdis of pricing out their own customers thereby eliminating their income stream, or assuming the full expense for the general criminality of Clayton County and its dysfunctional demographics, which is frankly uninsurable and impossible.

Let me unpack this a bit more: a Clayton County jury (none of whom, I assure you, were landlords) apportioned practically no fault to the actual trigger-pullers (that's what the "post-apportionment" means) and simply speculated that something could have been done to prevent a group of human predators from preying on their unfortunate marks (machine guns? Ghurkas? a crocodile-filled moat?). Note also the strange tale of the survivor: they hit him over the head, and apparently drag his buddy 50 to 100 feet away where they shoot him, then conveniently disappear, allowing Perez-Lopez to regain consciousness, return to the apartment, then go looking for the decedent whom (hey, presto!) they find shot dead. I'm not an actor on Law & Order, but this story stinks to high heaven.

Which gets me to my Anarcho-Capitalist Proposal: If the costs of general criminal activity in counties are going to be socialized on to the county's property owners, why not just give the property owners the county?


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Modest Proposal


In 1729 Jonathan Swift floated A Modest Proposal for solving Irish poverty under English rule: allow Irish parents to sell their children to the English as food. The Irish would no longer be poor, and the English would have enough to eat.

I have my own Modest Proposal: billionaires must run the country for the duration of their lives, and upon their death, the responsibility will pass to their children for their lives, ad seriatim. If they or anybody in the line of succession refuses the responsibility, then their wealth will be confiscated by the government.
___________________________________________

Governance used to be by the most physically imposing or charismatic, who seized lands and charged rents from the inhabitants. Then it was by the monarchs who inherited these kingdoms from their physically imposing, charismatic ancestors, and doled subordinate fees out to lesser lords who willed these estates to their children in turn. The merchant class did not rule.

Then we decided that “the people” would rule. "The people" seized the right to rents from the monarchy in the usual way: by superior violence, for which the people subsequently substituted ballot boxes. In other words, instead of firing the rifles, we just count up who has the most of them and agree to go home instead.

Due to various court rulings, billionaires are effectively able to buy legislators who tell the voter class what they want to hear, and who then proceed to do the donor class’s bidding. (In a bit of ancient history, I remind readers that the ballyhooed campaign finance reform sponsored by Sens. McCain and Feingold is a largely toothless bit of legislation which accomplished nothing in the way of actual reform.)

The best example of this distortion of the democratic process is Eric Cantor, who got tossed out on his ear by voters repulsed by his support for Open Borders. Upon being fired by the voters, Cantor promptly landed a $3 million dollar a year job.


In sum, the prospect of being voted out of office is no longer a threat to the ruling class, who receive substantial back-loaded bribes in the form of speaking fees, "foundations," and other sinecures. We live in an oligarchy dressed up in democratic trappings. This is of great benefit to the oligarch puppetmasters, who might otherwise find their own necks on the line for the destructive policy choices they bribe legislators and executive branch officials to follow.

Therefore, get government aligned back with ownership incentives. Since the current metric is wealth rather than physical prowess and charisma, then we’ll just stick the wealthy with running the place, or their wealth will be confiscated so it can’t subvert the people.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hierarch of "Eastern America"



Who are "Serbians?" Presumably, they are an ancestral group with sufficiently high rates of in-group marriage to warrant the ethnic label.

Where is this "Eastern America?" It's actually a heavily populated area which has been settled since the 1600's, whose inhabitants generally consider themselves an integral part of the sovereign and cultural entity called the United States of America. Ninety nine percent of them are not Serbian.

Serbians, like other immigrants, think the USA is terra nova with this common language and legal and other infrastructure just lying around for the rest of the world to pick up when they get here. The fact that there is a distinctive Anglo-America which actually built the place and supplied this social and physical framework is unknown to the new arrivals, thanks in no small part to Anglo-Americans telling them there's never been any such thing as Anglo-America.

The Serbians, the Levantines, the Meso-Americans, the Afghans, and on and on, are not coming here to be here; they are coming here to have a better there. God bless us all, and thanks for the Orthodoxy, but this doesn't end well.

I refer readers back to this post from October 29, 2015, where an Anglo-Saxon Fr. Patrick Allen was tasked with explaining why we're sticking with our Syro-Lebanese, Arabic-speaking fathers in the faith.

We are all in uncharted territory. America, an Anglo-Celt republic, has become a multicultural empire and nobody knows what do now.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Everything is a pyramid scheme



What is Steemit?

Launched in March and gaining prominence in July, Steemit, a self-described "blockchain-based social media platform", has seen this level of notoriety in just its first few months of operation. To date, it has polarized blockchain experts while winning scores of newcomers to the technology.

The brain-child of Daniel Larimer, founder of BitShares, and Ned Scott, a former financial analyst, Steemit aims to provide a place for individuals to create content, promote the content they believe is good and comment on stories — all while earning money.

But Steemit is more than just a website for earning spare change.

It’s an actual blockchain built on a piece of technology developed by Larimer called Graphene, which allows for the deployment of application-specific blockchains.

Scott, in interview with CoinDesk, explained that the team only had the idea for Steemit back in January and, because of the Graphene framework, they were able to quickly roll the project out.

The rest, like most things in the blockchain space, is a bit difficult to explain...

Translation: It's a pyramid scheme.

Crypto-currencies are pure fiat, just like government legal tender, except they don't have an armed government with a legal market to back them up. They will be exchangeable for real goods and services, until they won't be. The subtext to all this: if you can't explain what you're about in one declarative sentence, you're probably a pyramid scheme.

The Twitter thread above got me thinking about this old post titled, "Storing Paco" [reminder - it's all been said on here already]:
Tyler's metaphor, his pet dog Paco, refers to the fact that savers now have to pay the banks to store their money (Paco) instead of having their money run around and play (generate positive returns). Negative interest on deposits basically transforms cash into gold, implying huge, zombie-army levels of risk, like a survivalist who incurs storage and opportunity costs in order to hoard canned beans and ammo. But the risk doesn't seem to be out there, with healthy profits and positive consumer confidence. So this implies, to Tyler, that there is some barrier to new investment. (He loses me at this point--economic stagnation? wealthy entrepeneurs cashing in their chips?)

Tyler continues: "I liked Paco (more importantly Paco liked me), but I do not enjoy living in a Paco economy. I think of the calm before the storm and wonder how to reconcile the observed calm and the potential for the storm. I do not like the most obvious attempts at reconciliation."

In other words, something really obvious should be happening to explain negative interest rates (which, as a practical matter, are economically impossible) but darned if anybody can find it.

So what is "it?" And I think I've found "it." Every person I talk to is seeing their margins squeezed. Competition is pretty brutal on an inter-connected planet of 7 billion people. This doesn't mean we're all going to die; it just means our profits are going to be ever lower. Add in a constant stream of new money, and quality trends downward and more and more people see their living standards fall, thus driving high-IQ people who want to make a lot of money into value-transference activities like Steemit instead of, say, discovering how to repair damaged neural tissue.

Thus the conundrum for the rich: there really isn't any "next big thing" left out there, and bank deposits are only insured up to $250,000, so they're storing their money in cash equivalent: government bonds. There are a lot of externalities in play as well which I won't go into. But what this also means is there is a lot of over-valued trash and the rich know it, which is why they're stockpiling cash. Note too that they are counting on the current bond issuers (the EU, the US government et al.) still being around to honor their debt obligations. Of course, the issuers are going to do this by pure money-printing but productivity and markets seem to be growing just enough that this is not a problem for the debt holders. Yet.

The system is fragile in that the over-valued trash (like Steemit) must eventually reflect the underlying fundamentals, and the government is borrowing too much. I suspect the situation will flip and the flight to real assets (land, gold, ammo, vodka) will come when it's obvious that the future mean-90 IQ peoples of the US and Europe will not and cannot repay the obligations incurred by mean-100 IQ Americans and Europeans. So good news for my fellow 52-year olds: the system has about 30 more years left in the tank.

Finally, apologies for the delayed posting. I am going to try and follow my friend the Rat-Faced Man's advice and post weekly, even if (when) the quality suffers.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The year Rudyard Kipling was proved right about everything

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control--
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.
_____________________________________________
BREAKING: At least 80 people were killed and 18 others were seriously injured Thursday when a terrorist drove a large truck loaded with guns and hand grenades into a crowd that had gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in the southern French city of Nice.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but two sources, including a U.S. counterterrorism source who collects and monitors jihadist social media, told Fox News that accounts linked to ISIS were "celebratory" and their followers were told to use the hashtag "Nice".

The death toll was confirmed by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve early Friday morning. A source told Fox News that two Americans – a father and his son – were among the dead in the attack.

Earlier, French President Francois Hollande said that children were among the dead, and said his country was "under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing."



There were a number of weapons in the truck; France's strict gun control does nothing to keep weapons out of the hands of Islamic militants. The perpetrator is apparently first-generation French, of Tunisian origin: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel (Are you muttering to yourself that that's not a French name? I'm calling Homeland Security you hateful bigot.) Immigrant populations in France remain resentful and marginalized through successive generations. They hate it there; the French hate them there. France is under martial law, with armed soldiers patrolling her streets. Naturally, nobody but the Alt-Right (Fascists! Nazis!) dares suggest that maybe this is what separate countries are for.

Why is it not a deadly sin to squander your children's inheritance of a high-trust society by importing violent, immiscible peoples, just so you can have cheap labor and more consumers to sell crummy gewgaws and cellphone plans to?

Obviously, when I say "Rudyard Kipling," I may as well be saying "Donald Trump."
We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies.

A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or worse -- all you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th.
By what stretch is this unconscionable bigotry, as opposed to an eminently debatable proposal in light of the facts on the ground? Different people are different; a Tunisian Muslim has different heroes, different history, different creed, different norms, and on and on, with little in common to French celebrating their own version of July 4. The immigrant is what he is; the real traitors are the thoughtless bureaucrats and merchants who think countries are just lines on a map.