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Monday, November 23, 2009

Decline and fall of the State, continued

The State is running out of real criminals to prosecute.

Facebook friend turns into Big Brother
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.

He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.

The police report said Bauer admitted drinking, which he denies. But he did plead no contest in municipal court Wednesday and will pay a $227 fine.

He was among at least eight people who said Wednesday they had been cited for underage drinking based on photos on social networking sites.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pat Buchanan's very good question

Is America Serious?, from TakiMag.com.

Are we at war—or not?

For if we are at war, why is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed headed for trial in federal court in the Southern District of New York? Why is he entitled to a presumption of innocence and all of the constitutional protections of a U.S. citizen?

Is it possible we have done an injustice to this man by keeping him locked up all these years without trial? For that is what this trial implies—that he may not be guilty.

And if we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that KSM was complicit in mass murder, by what right do we send Predators and Special Forces to kill his al-Qaida comrades wherever we find them? For none of them has been granted a fair trial.


Whether one believes Khalid is guilty as sin or pure as the driven snow, the trial is a mockery: procedure for the sake of procedure. If Khalid is guilty, he is a non-citizen enemy of the American state and should be shot just as Wehrmacht and Imperial Japanese soldiers in World War 2 were summarily shot. Pretermitting the question of his actual innocence, if he really is entitled to due process protections, then his treatment to date mandates that he be set free at once.

Americans have a strange, impractical faith in 'process.' How, for example, would Americans rid themselves of dictators like the Ceausescus? The obvious answer is to drag them out of their luxurious chambers and shoot them in the courtyard, not put on an elaborate trial to enrich and employ lawyers and bureaucrats (the outcome of which, by the way, is as predetermined as any drumhead court-martial).

Americans like to think that they have a revolutionary creed, but in fact, their own Revolution was just a power struggle between the American States and the British State. America has no real tradition of popular overthrow of the government; its one populist secession movement, the War Between The States, was crushed by the federal Union. The American people identify wholly with the US government, and a document which is nothing more than the government's corporate charter, the US Constitution, takes on almost Biblical stature. Thus, even the most ruthless enemies of the American nation are deemed entitled to scrupulous Constitutional protections. This is not noble; it is ludicrous, and suicidal.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Decline and fall of the State, continued

Plea for UN Troops in Mexico
Mexican business leaders have appealed to the United Nations to deploy peacekeepers just metres from the US border to help stem the rampant violence of the country's drug cartels.

The request from business groups in the border city of Juarez raises the prospect of blue-helmeted UN soldiers patrolling the US border.

It follows the failure of more than 8500 Mexican soldiers and special forces police to bring the bloodshed under control.

Ciudad Juarez, separated from the Texan city of El Paso by a short bridge over the Rio Grande, is the centre of Mexico's drug cartel turf wars and has one of the highest murder rates in the world...

More than 8500 Mexican troops have been sent into the city since February in an operation that had initial success. The troops are still patrolling the city and training police recruits. But the violence has returned and almost 2000 people have been killed this year, the bodies of torture victims often dumped in the streets, in a city of 1.5 million people.


A decent hypothesis would be that the Mexican federal troops have been infiltrated, bribed, or had their identities compromised.

The American elite are willfully ignorant of Mexico, preferring to focus on the macro effects of cheap labor while not thinking too long or too hard on the question of why not even Mexicans want to live there. If Barack Obama and his Cabinet members had any sense, they would be shifting National Guard troops to the Mexican border to contain the coming anarchy rather than deploying them 6,000 miles away to protect lackey regimes.

But they don't, so they won't.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Schools are prisons

Of course they are, via LewRockwell.com.

They have wardens, guards, trusties, gangs, inmates, and coerced attendance. Just like actual prisons.

Of course, this psychologist's happy vision of 'play-learning' and educational co-ops would likely vanish in the face of a more hard-edged reality of vocational apprenticeships and struggling family businesses.

Is It Time to Retire the Football Helmet?

Maybe, according to some sports physiologists.

The helmet, and padding in general, sets off an interesting 'arms race' among athletes, much like evolutionary selection pressures generate astonishingly potent snake venom on the one hand, and equally astonishing prey resistance to reptilian toxins on the other. Encasing an athlete in foam and acrylic and putting a steel cage in front of his face changes football from a contact sport to a collision sport, and the result is we have traded separated shoulders for brain injury.

I remember the standard techniques from high school football: head-up, and lead with the face. Removing all that armor would lead to some highly refined shoulder tackling in no time, same as if everyone was forced to drive from the hood of their car.

I recall two instances from high school football. In one, I got up from a blocking drill against someone twice my weight seeing a green tint to everything. In another game situation, I got double-teamed on an offensive sweep and had a lovely mild concussion. Football games are pretty interesting when you've had all sense of time and tactile sensation knocked out of you.

On the other end, I was in a practice scrimmage against another school at safety. The linebackers spun the running back around, and I stuck my helmet right in his back. He went down in a heap, and I'm sure he had a cracked vertebra.

Rugby in college, lots of musculo-skeletal strain, but no closed head injuries, although it's still a pretty violent sport.

World gold supply runs out

Hyperbolic, actually, but it does appear that at current prices, all the marketable gold is above ground.

From Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK.

The point to take from this is that the net exporting nations are hedging heavily against the dollar.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Obama declares no thinking allowed in wake of Fort Hood massacre

Obama says don't jump to conclusions

That's right, folks. I mean, let's not be hasty here. This had nothing to do with Major Hasan being a member of a demographic cohort that we have declared our intractable enemy. And don't dare question why we choose sides in overseas conflicts, then invite the protagonists from both sides here. Above all, let's not dwell on the facts that an Arab Muslim who badgered his combat veteran patients, denounced the US campaign against Arab Muslims, made what are euphemistically being called 'radical' postings on the internet, was given every opportunity to remain in the military.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Glorious multiculturalism

An Arab Muslim who argued passionately against the US's overseas campaign of terror against Arab Muslims is told of his pending deployment in support of this campaign. Then he goes on a shooting rampage. "Military, families left to wonder why," agonizes MSNBC.

You can either invade the world or you can invite the world. You can't do both. The level of cognitive dissonance in public commentary is just astounding.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More from Steve Sailer

"Man Men," at TakiMag.com

Sailer reviews the popular 'Mad Men,' and weighs whether the show's producer, Matthew Weiner, is a reactionary subversive. He ultimately and unfortunately concludes Weiner is not, and makes some great social commentary along the way.
... Weiner maintains plausible deniability in Mad Men by methodically depicting how unenlightened the upper-middle class WASPs of a half century ago were. We in the audience are scandalized to note, for example, that even the most respectable parents in 1960 devoted more time to socializing with other adults than to obsessively overseeing their offspring’s next leap up the steep slope of the meritocratic pyramid.

Moreover, many families in 1960 can afford a home on just one income. As Betty Friedan noted, housewives are imprisoned in their suburban homes, escaping in Mad Men only, well … any time they feel like it.

Worse, firms pay married workers more than equally productive single ones, in violation of all the tenets of Friedan and Friedman. Employers back then felt they had a “duty to society,” a concept with which our advanced cultures are no longer familiar.

Even more shockingly, the employees at the Sterling Cooper ad agency knock off work right at 5:15 PM each day. They appear to have some weird Depression-era relic of a notion of solidarity among American workers: that if the bosses want more work done, they should hire more workers.

Didn’t they understand back then that cheap wages and expensive land are what made America great? ...

While watching Mad Men, Weiner affords us ample opportunity to congratulate ourselves on how much progress we’ve made. For example, most of the black characters in Mad Men have servile jobs. Today, of course, things are infinitely better. Black men are seldom seen in servile jobs (unless they are African immigrants or gay). In fact, black men aren’t seen in any jobs as much anymore: ten percent of black men were out of the work force in Don Draper’s 1960 versus 24 percent in booming 2000. Indeed, black men aren’t even seen at all as much anymore because a million are now locked away in prison. (The incarceration rate of black male high school dropouts was one percent in the Bad Old Days of Dwight Eisenhower’s last year in office versus 25 percent in Bill Clinton’s glorious finale.)

The kicker to the joke is that Mad Men, despite being set in New York, is filmed in LA, where Latinos have been imported in vast numbers to fill the servant jobs that today’s upper-middle class whites no longer trust blacks with. Yet Hispanics are even more invisible to the Hollywood elite today than blacks were.

Steve gets in a jab at feminism as well.
Consider the interview in Variety in which Weiner is asked a standard question: “How much of the show’s take on gender roles is rooted in your own upbringing as someone born in 1965?” In response, he wanders around for 867 words trying to explain, without being so lucid that gets himself Larry Summersized, that he’s learned—the hard way—that feminism is flapdoodle. In his strained verbiage, though, there’s one cogent sentence that explains much of Mad Men’s appeal to contemporary women:

“What’s sexist in the office is fuel in the bedroom.”

Sailer also notes that Weiner is married with four sons, which leads to my observation that the personal lives of the elite often vary a good deal from the lifestyles they insist everyone must scrupulously tolerate. In fact, the liberal elite are often downright conservative (at least publicly) in their personal lives. This modern iteration of noblesse oblige wouldn't be so bad but for the fact that it's accompanied by shelves upon shelves of laws designed to smack down non-elites who lack the wealth to insulate themselves from the effects of progressivist social policy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good thread at iSteve

Dog Smarts

Animals are a really awkward problem for the Left. The hippies cling to their Darwinist creed, until it leads to some rather impolite conclusions about the animal known as homo sapiens.

Canis lupus familiaris presents the Left with that conundrum in spades: a sub-species shaped for behavioral characteristics via artificial selection as deliberately as a man selects his occupation. And it gets worse from the Left's perspective, because apparently certain behavioral characteristics are associated with certain phenotypes as well.

About twelve years ago, under a unique set of circumstances, I visited a pit bull breeder who showed me his six-week whelps. The bitch and sire were both isolated behind eight feet of chicken wire. The whelps were on three feet leads staked six feet apart.

These people were breeders, not dog fighters. I was told, in a very matter of fact tone, that the dogs were bred for 'hot,' 'super-hot' and 'dynamite' levels of aggression. Their son demonstrated the object of the enterprise by taking two whelps off lead and rubbing their heads against each other. The pups responded not with play behavior as normally observed between littermates, but with predatory snarling and attempts to grip and tear. The whelps are staked at six-feet intervals so they won't slaughter each other.

Six week-old pups.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

There goes my gig at the New York Times...

... because I could never write about people like this in such a deferentially neutral tone (via TakiMag).

NY Times: Parental Lifelines, Frayed to Breaking
For the past five years, Ernie DiGiacomo has been able to count on parents to guarantee the $1,500 to $2,500 rents he charges for the 15 apartments he owns in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When he called renters who had missed payments, he often heard, “My parents will send you a check.”

But in the past six months, the parents are pulling back financial help, he said, and as a result, he has watched more renters move out.

“Most of them are moving back with parents,” Mr. DiGiacomo said.

I mean, truly, the next Great Depression has hit:
Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs: They were interns at a modeling agency, for example, or worked at a college radio station. In some cases, applicants have stormed out of the market after hearing the job requirements.

“They say, ‘You want me to work eight hours?’ ” Mr. Illades said. “There is a bubble bursting.”

Capping off this world record for density of idiots-mentioned-in-a-single-article, meet our intrepid local househunters:
Mr. Weinstein has been advising two brothers in their late 20s who wanted to buy a $700,000 apartment with $250,000 from their parents. But their parents’ investment portfolio has lost so much value that they now can give only $50,000. Since the brothers make about $45,000 a year each, they are now shopping for a $500,000 apartment.

The parents still wish they could help, Mr. Weinstein said, but “right now, they’re in a situation in their life where they need to ensure their own security.”

It is an adjustment that many have to deal with. Eric Gross, 26, a construction worker, was going to buy, with help from his father, a $600,000 one-bedroom condo with city views at Northside Piers, a luxury building, he said.

But his father, who works in the auto industry, said he had to reduce his contribution. “He’s pulling back the lifeline,” Mr. Gross said.

So Mr. Gross is scaling back, shopping for a $300,000 apartment, said his real estate agent, Binnie Robinson of AptsandLofts.com.

These children in their 20's and their parents are about to get a very loud wake-up call. Investment returns calculated in real dollars over the next decade will not support these foppish lifestyles.