Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation.
Then, the HIV/AIDS hypothesis gets kicked in the teeth.
The discoverer of HIV speaks out.
The takeaway from all this is that layer by layer, via science departments concerned more with 'diversity' than merit, government grants, and other externalities, a meritocratic society is being dismantled and replaced with a who-you-know-not-what-you-know one. High IQ individuals will be diverted towards chasing fashionable chimeras while real, tangible problems like superbugs, metastatic cancer, and rising levels of ambient mercury are ignored.
UPDATE: A detailed summary of the leaked "Climategate" data appears here.
Monday, November 23, 2009
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Undergirding our continued presence in the Afghan money pit is the assumption, by both of what passes for 'the Left' and 'the Right' in this country, that inside every Pashtun and Tajik tribesmen is an occidental social democrat just waiting to get out. Thus, we shower Afghanistan with schools, voting booths and hospitals to treat all the natives we bomb, when the cold reality is Afghanistan will become a progressive democracy only when the US military is let off the leash to clear the place for American colonization. Afghanistan is Afghanistan because it's populated by Afghans, and you can substitute any country and peoples you like for that axiom.
The swipe at Mexico is rather breathtaking as well. Way, way under the radar of the LA/NYC/DC axis, the same dynamic is playing out: indigenous tribesmen are in open revolt against a corrupt, urban, US-backed elite. Unlike the Afghan conflict, this one will be coming home to us.
I wonder if Matthew Hoh has been reading William Lind?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I don't know that I'd use the big 'D' word, but some things I think we are going to see revealed as 'new' truths:
1. Mortgages with a term over 15 years make no financial sense.
2. Mortgages for any amount over two to three (more like two) times annual income make no financial sense.
3. College, for the most part, makes no financial sense, nor do the loans that pay for it.
4. Car loans make no financial sense.
5. Renting, and boarding houses, are actually not a bad idea.
6. The projection of rates of return in real dollars for practically all 401k's is wildly overstated, and even more so after accounting for taxes on withdrawals.
There are others, but those are six that come readily to mind. There is a whole super-structure of economic activity that assumes we have way more discretionary income than we really do. A 'depression' is nothing less than the liquidation of the 'bubble' economy down to the level of the 'real' economy, that is, the economy that's actually supported by the pool of real savings.
Gardasil researcher drops a bombshell
Dr. Harper began her remarks by explaining that 70 percent of all HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment within a year. Within two years, the number climbs to 90 percent. Of the remaining 10 percent of HPV infections, only half will develop into cervical cancer, which leaves little need for the vaccine.
She went on to surprise the audience by stating that the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is already so low that “even if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.”
There will be no decrease in cervical cancer until at least 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, and even then, the decrease will be minimal.
Apparently, conventional treatment and preventative measures are already cutting the cervical cancer rate by four percent a year. At this rate, in 60 years, there will be a 91.4 percent decline just with current treatment. Even if 70 percent of women get the shot and required boosters over the same time period, which is highly unlikely, Harper says Gardasil still could not claim to do as much as traditional care is already doing.
Of course, this is only a "bombshell" to anyone who didn't wonder why a virus that most people's immune systems deal with quite adequately requires mass vaccination at all. It's also worrisome that the mere label of "women's health!" has become at least as galvanizing as "for the children!" in setting public policy. The government and politically correct establishment (cynically abetted by Big Business) issue these hysterical mandates, which are then swallowed whole by the mainstream press, without a single pause for any critical thinking.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody — nobody knows who — made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half their value in nine days or less. It was madness — "like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets," according to one financial analyst.
But what's even crazier is that the bet paid.
At the close of business that afternoon, Bear Stearns was trading at $62.97. At that point, whoever made the gamble owned the right to sell huge bundles of Bear stock, at $30 and $25, on or before March 20th. In order for the bet to pay, Bear would have to fall harder and faster than any Wall Street brokerage in history.
The very next day, March 12th, Bear went into free fall. By the end of the week, the firm had lost virtually all of its cash and was clinging to promises of state aid; by the weekend, it was being knocked to its knees by the Fed and the Treasury, and forced at the barrel of a shotgun to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase (which had been given $29 billion in public money to marry its hunchbacked new bride) at the humiliating price of … $2 a share. Whoever bought those options on March 11th woke up on the morning of March 17th having made 159 times his money, or roughly $270 million. This trader was either the luckiest guy in the world, the smartest son of a bitch ever or…
Or what? That this was a brazen case of insider manipulation was so obvious that even Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the pillow-soft-touch Senate Banking Committee, couldn't help but remark on it a few weeks later, when questioning Christopher Cox, the then-chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "I would hope that you're looking at this," Dodd said. "This kind of spike must have triggered some sort of bells and whistles at the SEC. This goes beyond rumors."
Cox nodded sternly and promised, yes, he would look into it. What actually happened is another matter. Although the SEC issued more than 50 subpoenas to Wall Street firms, it has yet to identify the mysterious trader who somehow seemed to know in advance that one of the five largest investment banks in America was going to completely tank in a matter of days. "I've seen the SEC send agents overseas in a simple insider-trading case to investigate profits of maybe $2,000," says Brent Baker, a former senior counsel for the commission. "But they did nothing to stop this."
The SEC's halfhearted oversight didn't go unnoticed by the market. Six months after Bear was eaten by predators, virtually the same scenario repeated itself in the case of Lehman Brothers — another top-five investment bank that in September 2008 was vaporized in an obvious case of market manipulation. From there, the financial crisis was on, and the global economy went into full-blown crater mode.
Like all the great merchants of the bubble economy, Bear and Lehman were leveraged to the hilt and vulnerable to collapse. Many of the methods that outsiders used to knock them over were mostly legal: Credit markers were pulled, rumors were spread through the media, and legitimate short-sellers pressured the stock price down. But when Bear and Lehman made their final leap off the cliff of history, both undeniably got a push — especially in the form of a flat-out counterfeiting scheme called naked short-selling.
Most people are familiar with the practice of short selling, and of course, Taibbi explains it better than I can:
The basic premise of a normal short sale is easy to follow. Say you're a hedge-fund manager, and you want to bet against the stock of a company — let's call it Wounded Gazelle International (WGI). What you do is go out on the market and find someone — often a brokerage house like Goldman Sachs — who has shares in that stock and is willing to lend you some. So you go to Goldman on a Monday morning, and you borrow 1,000 shares in Wounded Gazelle, which that day happens to be trading at $10.
Now you take those 1,000 borrowed shares, and you sell them on the open market at $10, which leaves you with $10,000 in cash. You then take that $10,000, and you wait. A week later, surveillance tapes of Wounded's CEO having sex with a woodchuck in a Burger King bathroom appear on CNBC. Awash in scandal, the firm's share price tumbles to 3½. So you go out on the market and buy back those 1,000 shares of WGI — only now it costs you only $3,500 to do so. You then return the shares to Goldman Sachs, at which point your interest in WGI ends. By betting against or "shorting" the company, you've made a profit of $6,500.
Such a practice has a legitimate role in a free market, bringing bloated, over-valued companies to heel. What Taibbi goes after in this article is the practice of shorting shares you don't actually have, with the result that there are multiple claims to the same shares, and this enables all sorts of market manipulation that a fully-capitalized player would be unable to pull off. It's actually just like our current fractional reserve banking system, where the banks juggle an upside down pyramid of claims to the same bank assets, be they land holdings, mortgages or depositor dollars. Of course, as Taibbi acknowledges, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were rotten to the core with absurdly leveraged financial instruments. But what happened here was not the workings of a fully capitalized and transparent market.
By the middle of the Bush years, the great investment banks like Bear and Lehman no longer made their money financing real businesses and creating jobs. Instead, Wall Street now serves, in the words of one former investment executive, as "Lucy to America's Charlie Brown," endlessly creating new products to lure the great herd of unwitting investors into whatever tawdry greed-bubble is being spun at the moment: Come kick the football again, only this time we'll call it the Internet, real estate, oil futures. Wall Street has turned the economy into a giant asset-stripping scheme, one whose purpose is to suck the last bits of meat from the carcass of the middle class.
What really happened to Bear and Lehman is that an economic drought temporarily left the hyenas without any more middle-class victims — and so they started eating each other, using the exact same schemes they had been using for years to fleece the rest of the country. And in the forensic footprint left by those kills, we can see for the first time exactly how the scam worked — and how completely even the government regulators who are supposed to protect us have given up trying to stop it.
This was a brokered bloodletting, one in which the power of the state was used to help effect a monstrous consolidation of financial and political power. Heading into 2008, there were five major investment banks in the United States: Bear, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Today only Morgan Stanley and Goldman survive as independent firms, perched atop a restructured Wall Street hierarchy. And while the rest of the civilized world responded to last year's catastrophes with sweeping measures to rein in the corruption in their financial sectors, the United States invited the wolves into the government, with the popular new president, Barack Obama — elected amid promises to clean up the mess — filling his administration with Bear's and Lehman's conquerors, bestowing his papal blessing on a new era of robbery.
And the practice is not limited to stocks, as hedge funds and banks routinely do the same thing with mortgage-backed securities, Treasury bonds, commodities futures, and on and on. The bottom line is that the US economy is mostly just about moving piles of money around--a bizarre, cargo-cult type of economy where we're all supposed to get rich brokering deals instead of actually making things and selling them.
All of this is only possible of course because, so far, the rest of the world is obligingly sending us our dollars back for investment, and we have a lender of last resort in the Treasury and Fed linebacking the whole rotten structure.
Monday, October 19, 2009
... Bird Flu came along in 1997. SARS followed in 2002. Both came from Asia with great fanfare and dire predictions of a pandemic, which failed to materialize. Did these viruses come from labs? Were they natural? We’re not likely to find out.
This year we are confronted with swine flu, a novel combination of pig virus, bird virus, and human virus. This time the advertising has been coordinated and relentless, and miraculously a vaccine has been released in the nick of time. This drama reads like a script.
I came to the conclusion that every aggressive assertion announced by a bureaucracy was a self-serving lie many years ago. The FDA is controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, and duly lies in their interest. The NIH serves the interests of several cartels, including the AMA, controls medical research, and only releases results that favor its predetermined conclusion. But this only scratches the surface of government deception.
I wonder about the increasing frequency and ferocity of the lying. It reminds me of the psychopath who is finally trapped by reality and is desperately trying to avert attention to another subject. Meanwhile, we do have real problems that are not being addressed at all.
MRSA has been killing thousands of people annually for years, yet it is not labeled a pandemic, which it is, and the bureaucrats yawn and tell us to wash our hands. Meanwhile, hospital patients are incubating even worse antibiotic resistant bacteria, VRSA, VRE, C.diff, and TB. Influenza might make us sick, and might kill us, but these bacteria will not only make us sick, they are sure to kill us. Why is there no hue and cry in the media about this threat to public health?
I have come to wonder whether vaccines, like antibiotics, have reached a point of diminishing returns, and now serve mainly to put selection pressures on viruses to evolve into more potent strains.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Graham seems to have a particular burr under his saddle for Ron Paul and libertarian politics, warming again to this theme here: Graham: GOP not going to be the party of angry white guys.
And if there remained any doubt, this statement from a Republican politician establishes the dialectic from now on. Low taxes and limited government are policies espoused only by loathsome, racist white guys.
One expects this sort of thing from Democrats, but to hear a white Republican senator tell it to his own electoral base is just absurd. Who does he think is going to vote for his prissy old ass when those 'angry white guys' are a demographic minority? More importantly, who's going to pay for all the swill Graham and his new Democratic overlords will be ladling out when those angry white guys are a demographic minority? On second thought, don't bother answering.
It's all enough to make this white guy, well, angry.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Even in his death row cell, satanic serial killer and rapist Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker,"receives bags of mail. And of the dozens of people who try to contact him each year, officials say, about 90 percent are women.
It's not just Ramirez who gets the attention, nor is Scott Peterson alone in the way he attracted admiring women even after he was sentenced to die for killing his wife and unborn child.
Death row prisoners often join the horde of grooms married in group ceremonies such as the one planned Saturday at San Quentin State Prison.
It's a phenomenon that's little understood and seldom studied: Women who fall hopelessly in love - or at the least become wildly infatuated - with the most feared killers.
From the comments thread:
I've been a regular reader of yours for years and have posted, always anonymously, for that same time, especially now.
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I may be your only reader who can honestly say that her mother did fall in love and have an affair with a murderer while he was in prison.
It's an extremely interesting story, of course, but I'll try to keep it brief as I don't have much time. I want to touch on who she was and which men did, and did not, find her attractive.
Much of the folk wisdom about alpha/beta and dad/cad has some truth, but there is a lot that is missed. From experience, I can confidently tell you that the "missed" parts will not be welcomed.
My mother was very beautiful, though well past her prime and in her '40s; she had been captain of the cheerleader's squad in h.s. She was surprisingly intelligent with an I.Q. in the 140s. She was also very liberal socially: she was pro-choice; pre-marital sex was fine; and divorce was fine; even if it was only because the woman had put on some weight. She believed that when one wasn't happy one needed to take whatever measures necessary and an intact family just wasn't something that should be so enshrined as holy. Families are nice, but not that nice. She had always been faithful to her three husbands and cooked them two meals a day (they were at work during lunch) and very good ones at that. She was never in love with them though, despite her affirmations that she was; I picked up on this at an early age.
Who did she attract? In short, men like her. With the exception of my father, her first husband, they were all socially liberal men with the same views. The difference between her and them, until she met the prisoner, was that while they were selfish, they didn't quite match her. She always did the leaving. My father stood out with his conservatism and high intelligence, but was not a brave man; he wouldn't stand up for or defend anything or anyone.
So up to this point, most of your readers will be nodding their heads in recognition of this pattern.
What they miss is that she was far more liberal than the average woman. She was, as the cliche goes, turned on by the excitement of this aggressive prisoner. For a person to willfully overlook all the warning signs is by definition someone who doesn't live in reality, a liberal.
I will be brutally honest. Some of the bloggers who write about game and all remind me so much of her admirers that I got to observe close up as a teen-ager: they love the bad and loose woman and want her to be "bad" with them and then miraculously become faithful Suzie homemaker. As such, they are liberals. The good girls are "boring" and "repressed".
Other bloggers are much wiser and realize that that such a woman doesn't transform, but they completely inverse the situation when it comes to themselves and can't understand why they can't find a good woman; I believe they put it thus, "There are no good women". That's for another time :)
BTW, which men did not come around: well-to-do conservative men who fought for whatever they believed and whomever they believed in.
I believe this happened with my mother: she had a tragic childhood, with a dash of MacKenzie Phillips type stuff, and slutted it up as did many other baby-boomers. She met my father and cleaned up her act and hoped to fall in love with him. He was a timid type and if she said she regretted her past, hey, who was he to judge? He wanted so desperately to believe she would be a good wife and mother, all evidence to the contrary. I believe she never realized and accepted how unattractive she made herself by her promiscuous ways and social liberalism and was so delusional that she felt she could do better than this weak, but loyal man. She left and did worse. She left again and did even worse. She fell for Mr. Murderer who, finally, was the person who outdid her in being a psychopath (not hateful, but careless with others emotions). Today, she is alone, in her fifties, and has been for years.
Years ago, a very nice girl I was steady with told me that a female friend of hers had been corresponding with an inmate, and had invited her to go along for a prison visit. Solely out of raw, 20-year old male instinct, I forbade it. In later years, having been exposed in a small way to that bizarre sub-culture, I am sure glad I did.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Let us return to the original question: What is money? The best answer to this continual question was provided in 1912 by the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises. In his book, "The Theory of Money and Credit," he provided an answer in six words: money is the most marketable commodity. He had in mind gold and silver coins, but his theory encompassed any commodity that can or has served as money in history.
By defining money as the most marketable commodity, Mises integrated monetary theory with general economic theory. His theory of money was an extension of his theory of the free market. He rested his case for the free market on the right of private ownership.
It follows that attempts to fix the price for the time-preference for money, i.e., the rate of interest, will introduce the same distortions as attempts to fix the prices for medical care, labor, steel, or any other commodity. The Federal Reserve board members are engaged in the same Sysiphean task as the Soviet Gosplan.
Still the Stupid Party by Tom Piatak,
Yesterday on Meet the Press, Bill Clinton said this when asked if the “vast right wing conspiracy” that Hillary claimed was the source of all the Clintons’ political troubles was still around: “Sure it is, it’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was.” In other words, because mass immigration is decreasing the white share of the electorate, opposition to liberalism is decreasing. In fact, as all the outrcry over the “racist” nature of the tea parties shows, the future promises to be one where the mere fact that a policy position is held mostly by whites is likely to make it suspect, if not toxic. If the Democrats have figured this out, why does the GOP keep nominating for President men who haven’t?
To which Kevin DeAnna responds,
Conservative explanation—Because social acceptance, as designated by a left wing elite, is more important than winning. As Burkeans, we must bow before established elites, even if they hate us. What’s important is that we lose slowly so people don’t get upset.
Libertarian explanation—Because admitting the existence of cultures, nations, peoples, families, religions, and ethnicities is collectivist and one step away from Stalinism.
Kevin DeAnna has previously eulogized movement conservatism, i.e., the Republican party. And truly, this has been the problem all along: how does one reconcile conservatism with the modern ideal of universal suffrage? If control over the levers of State power is determined by majority vote, the battle for the State necessarily means you must cede the battle for the larger Culture. The Republicans, perforce, chose the former path and are losing the war. Libertarians are similarly aligned with a high time-preference, libertine majority. In short, electoral politics are a dead end for conservatism at this point.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Read it all, and then watch the only known video footage of Rick Rescorla, head of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, recorded at the World Trade Center on July 28, 1998:
Voice Of The Prophet
Friday, September 11, 2009
Experts say Semenya should be allowed to race as a woman and they cringe at how her case is exploding publicly in the news media. They worry about psychological scars. Two years ago, a star female track athlete who tested male attempted suicide.
Unless she took some illicit substance, Semenya is a female with a birth defect, simple as that, said Dr. Myron Genel, a professor emeritus of pediatrics at Yale University. He was part of a special panel of experts convened by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1990 that helped end much, but not all, genetic gender testing.
Dr. Louis Elsas, chairman of biochemistry at the University of Miami and a member of the IAAF panel with Genel, said he had hoped the genetic gender testing issue was over after the 1996 Olympics, when most major sports abandoned regular testing. He recalled having to talk to a female athlete and reveal that she had XY chromosomes and that she'd be infertile. It's something that shouldn't splash onto television, newspapers and the Internet, he said.
"It's a severe emotional trauma," Elsas said.
The concern that women with XY chromosomes have a competitive advantage "is malarkey. We don't segregate athletes by height," said Genel, speaking from an international endocrinology conference in New York that has sessions on intersex issues.
Remarkable stuff. And why is Semenya a "female with a birth defect?" Isn't he (XY chromosones, male shoulder and pelvic structure, elevated T-levels, etc.) a male with a birth defect: undescended testes and a malformed penis?
One last money quote:
Simpson, associate dean at Florida International University, said the issue should be simply whether men are masquerading as women. Semenya is clearly a woman, he said.
"Clearly?" With no mammary glands, uterus or ovaries? And XY chromosones? One wonders to what lengths Dr. Simpson would have men go to prove they were not female. And this is from a man whose specialty is medical genetics.
Modern worship of the gnostic ideal prevents even extremely intelligent people from admitting what science and their senses tell them: Semenya is a man with undescended testes and malformed genitals. This is apparent from even the most superficial observation of his physiology and mannerisms. (Just click on the pictures to get the full frame. The Fox Sports photo gallery is here).
And the statement that XY chromosones don't confer a competitive advantage can only be described as breathtaking; there is simply no such thing as "women with XY chromosones."
And here's a picture worth at least a thousand words.
Postscript: I'm going to add Steve Sailer's wonderful tag for such items, political correctness makes you stupid.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The main objection I read in various comments was that the photographer should have respected the privacy of LCpl. Bernard and his family. I am not sure where such arguments come from. LCpl. Bernard, God rest his soul, was a public employee hit by enemy fire in a war funded by taxpayers. I think he and his family can legitimately insist he not be photographed in the trauma unit after all of his clothes have been cut off. But short of that, the people funding the war and voting to approve its continuance should be able to calculate the cost from, among other sources, the visual depiction of young men reduced to bleeding, spastic flesh. There is a lot further that such photographs can go, for that matter.
One particularly deluded commenter I read was outraged that Joshua's family had been robbed of any belief that their son had died quickly and painlessly. Folks, weep instead for the fact that this son of America died without offspring, and weep also over his last moments of appalled shock that his young life was being snuffed out.
Another common sentiment was that the photographer should have deferred to the notion that LCpl. Bernard was "fighting for our freedom." At best, one can say he died so that Islamic militants trained in Afghanistan wouldn't make their way over here. Now, the objective merits of that statement aside, why haven't we stopped at a few training bases in Afghanistan that were destroyed eight years ago?
Isn't the real source of the problem the Open Society's insistence that, as it chooses sides in overseas inter-tribal conflicts, it simultaneously welcomes the protagonists from both sides over here?
And forbids its members from carrying the most basic tools for self-defense on to airplanes?
And will sue folks like the Bernard family into the dirt if they reject the premises of the Open Society?
This gets back to my question of last month: when does the Christian, homeschooling Bernard family realize they are sending their sons to die for an entity that hates them? And what happens then?
Christ our eternal King and God, You have destroyed death and the devil by Your Cross and have restored man to life by Your Resurrection. Give rest O Lord to the soul of Your servant Joshua who has fallen asleep, in Your Kingdom where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. In Your goodness and love for all men, pardon all the sins he has committed in thought, word or deed, for there is no man or woman who lives and sins not. You only are without sin.
For You are the Resurrection, the Life, and Repose of Your servant Joshua, departed this life O Christ our God; and to You we send up glory with Your Eternal Father and Your All-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Now, there are several things going on here (and I'm not there so I don't know) but I'm guessing what it really boils down to is this: there are no serviceable females for these lads for miles in either direction. Any European or American honeys who might otherwise qualify are behind ten feet of concrete block being swooped by CIA and State Department staff. And what is also very likely, there is a two-inch thick binder full of rules that keeps the mercs from getting within ten feet of Afghan women who would party-hearty for some cash and cheap beer. And food. And medicine. And some diverted building materials. And a shot at convincing one of these saps to marry her and take her to the US so she can increase her lifespan by 20+ years.
And any tub-thumper out there who doesn't like how this is sounding, let me suggest we shouldn't be in the business of imperial war to begin with.
Of course, I'm happy to concede that my guess as to what this really boils down to is just plain wrong.
Maybe the State really is reduced to paying homoerotic thugs $100K a year to guard its imperial palaces.
Maybe it really can't find enough competent men among its 2.3 million active and reserve troops to accomplish the task.
Or maybe the State is just spreading the wealth around rather than oh, I don't know, paying its E-3's more than $20K a year.
But in any event, the State is proceeding apace towards anarcho-tyranny, with its gang of homoerotic thugs taking their place among all the other gangs of homoerotic thugs victimizing peaceful folk.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Jeff Snyder's essay takes its title from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities," wherein a French aristocrat utters the phrase to a crowd that gathers after his carriage runs over a child. Dickens notes that the aristocrat acts out of a sense of complete impunity, reinforced by the seemingly cowed state of the lower classes. What happened next, as we now know, was the French Revolution.
Mr. Snyder makes the point in his turn that the American elites are engaged in an increasingly blatant and massive expropriation of wealth from taxpayers and downstream dollar-holders.
It is not morning in America.
Within the last year, the Treasury Department has bailed out AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and forced Bank of America to acquire Merrill Lynch while promising that Treasury would take care of Merrill’s losses on its mortgaged-backed securities. The Federal Reserve, a government-sponsored private bank, has provided hundreds of billions in credit support to faltering or insolvent banks. Details not provided. With letters from voters to Congress running hundreds to 1 against, Congress approved $700 billion in TARP funds for the Treasury Department to purchase banks’ toxic assets. It now turns out that no one can say, or is willing to say, how the first $350 billion or so of those funds were used or to whom they were paid.
To deal with the toxic assets it is purchasing in order to save the banks, the Treasury Department created a program under which companies can form public-private enterprises (PPEs) to buy pools of these assets from the Treasury and resell them. The Treasury or other government agency set up for this business will put up 7%, the private company will put up 7% and the PPE can obtain 86% government financing to purchase these toxic assets at a discounted price determined by the FDIC. The financing is nonrecourse, so if the PPE does not make enough money to repay the loan, the private company is not liable for the deficiency, and the losses are absorbed by the taxpayers. The result is that, after the taxpayers absorb the initial losses in value on the toxic assets in an amount determined by the FDIC, for 7% of the discounted value down, the private company in the PPE gets the chance to make a profit reselling the same toxic assets that it or its comrades in finance helped create in the first instance. Is this a great country or what?
The Administration forced a cram down of General Motor’s creditors and, with 67% of the American people opposing the plan, acquired a substantial ownership interest in GM and bailed it out. The federal government is now in the car as well as banking businesses.
With only about 37% of the American people supporting it and 43% opposing it, Congress passed a $787 billion spending spree bill to caffeinate the zombie economy. It’s money we don’t have. By its own estimates, the federal government is going to run a deficit this year of about 1.6 trillion dollars, and projects a ten-year estimated budget deficit in excess of $9 trillion. That’s on top of our existing national debt, and doesn’t include the interest costs the government is going to incur to pay on the bonds it issues to obtain that money.
The theft is so massive, in fact, that it is economically unsustainable. And one must wonder, as I have, how long the parasitic elite can rely on the forbearance of their hosts. The obvious answer is, "Not forever," and Mr. Snyder's clever tie-in is that in pre-Revolutionary France, the unsustainable state of affairs persisted, until the day it didn't. A tipping point is surely being approached, and upper class snickering at the illogic of Medicare beneficiaries raging against socialized medicine becomes quite irrelevant.
[A]fter a year in which the members of Congress have continually disregarded the voters’ wishes and committed them to trillions in debt to save the rich, the members of Congress, on return from the capital to the provinces this summer, have been caught unawares, completely surprised at the vitriol that has been directed at them in this summer’s town hall meetings. Some of the voters are calling them socialists or fascists, and waving the swastika at them! Some of the voters are spluttering with rage, are incoherent, or saying contradictory and stupid things, like telling their representatives that they don’t want government involved in health care, but don’t take away our Medicare! The folks at Comedy Central are having some fun with that. Look at these morons rage! Ah oui, c’est très amusante, cela!
Not everyone sees this as a source of hilarity or, like some pundits, a reason to bemoan the sad, infantile state of political "discourse" in this country. Trends forecaster Gerald Celente, citing the anger at this summer’s town hall meetings, says that we are in the early stages of "The Second American Revolution." Whether it is true remains to be seen, but the prediction certainly echoes a vibrant chord of dissension running through the tenor of the times.
Celente’s name for the developing conflict is potentially misleading, in that it suggests, by implicit reference to the mythology of our first revolution, that the eventual outcome may be more freedom, not less. But as Bertrand de Jouvenel pointed out in his examination of the growth of power, historically, revolutions have always resulted in greater centralization of power, greater control over society’s resources by the state and greater tyranny, as some strong man or group found a way to harness and ride the rage to a new position of command.
The fact of the matter is that for all their illogic and incoherence, the protesters are more right than wrong.
Is the anger we see in town hall meetings limited to Congress’ attempt to reform our health care system? Are some of these people mad just because Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have whipped them into a frenzy about socialism? Yeah, it’s possible, but then again, why were they able to do that? Some commentators have noted that the anger is being fueled by people’s anxiety and uncertainty over their jobs and what’s going to happen to them. No doubt that there’s something to that, but I suspect that it has a lot more to do with something they are not uncertain of at all, some fundamental truth that’s just been really rammed home, namely, that whatever happens, they’re the ones who pay. They’re the ones who must not only bear their own losses but recompense the losses of the architects of the disaster. They’re the ones who must adjust and whose income and lives must diminish, so that those who are too big to fail continue to receive their due, and can continue to live in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. They’re the ones who are supposed to be consoled by President Obama’s assurances that "our best days are ahead," apparently coming right after they’ve finished paying a few trillion dollars to assure that our financiers’ best days continue to be right now.
And if you think these people are mad now, just wait until it becomes clear that tax-deferred 401(k)'s and defined-benefit pensions are a sucker's bet, on top of the already bankrupt Social Security and Medicare funds.
The final aspect of Dickens’ portrait that I wish to highlight is the blindness of the upper classes to the coming bloodbath, and the apparent unshakable security of their position almost right up to the day it breaks. They have no sense that they are pushing people closer and closer to the brink, and never have the slightest doubt but that they are secure in the power that their position and wealth confers, and their insulation from the conditions of the rest of their society. As Dickens portrays it, even at the edge of the precipice, there is still no sign of their danger or impending doom, and it seems that things will just go on the same way forever.
We see this in the second part of the chapter, where a Marquis’ carriage runs over a small child in the streets of Paris, and the carriage stops to secure the horses. A crowd forms around the Marquis’s carriage, but Dickens notes that "[t]here was nothing revealed by the many eyes that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness; there was no visible menacing or anger." The Marquis is imperial and speaks to people in the crowd, but does not doubt for one instant the security of his position. Nor would he have any cause to do so for, as Dickens notes, "[s]o cowed was their condition, and so long and hard their experience of what such a man could do to them, within the law and beyond it, that not a voice, or a hand, or even an eye was raised." It seems such people could never rise up to overthrow anything. The people have been brought so low, so reined in that they have no option but to continue paying, carrying and kowtowing to this predatory and useless class. But the reader knows, as the Marquis does not, that this is an illusion, that the pressure is growing, that the tighter the controls, the worse they are treated, the harder they are squeezed, the greater the coming explosion will be. The reader knows, as the Marquis does not, the dam will soon break and these people, silent and cowed today, will be part of a bloodthirsty mob tomorrow.
The facts that there are no rumblings of revolt, no outbreaks of hostility, no displays of anger, that the people are as subdued and tractable, as fully under thumb as ever, are absolutely no indication that all is well, that matters are not coming to a head. This, of course, is what makes the disconnectedness and self-absorbed, self-regard of the upper classes all the more dangerous and, ultimately, fatal.
Dickens sees that, for those living at that time, the French Revolution was not a gradual, unfolding series of events, each more clearly foretelling the horror to come, but a sudden, complete rupture of the social order, cataclysmic, like an earthquake. The ground is solid, permanent, fixed and unmoving; nothing is more stable or certain. Yet underneath the pressure is building until one day it reaches a point where the plates suddenly slip. The earth moves, a chasm may open beneath one’s feet, and the landscape is forever altered.
It is because Dickens shows life shortly before the Revolution proceeding the same as ever, that the concluding words of his chapter are so powerful: "all things ran their course." The aristocrats are attending their Fancy Ball and "the rats," meaning the people, "are sleeping in their dark holes." Nothing has changed. There are no new developments that give cause for concern. Life is proceeding in the same way, everything is as it should be, all’s right with the world and it’s bright and wonderful and marvelous. Yet, as readers with the hindsight of history, we know where this course leads, and how it ends.
In November 1989, I along with everybody else watched the newscasts of Germans tearing down the Berlin Wall. I remarked to my roommate at the time that the Soviet Union would be gone in five years. He said ten. It took less than two.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
On Friedman, Iraq and War For Democracy:Why does Tom Friedman's supposed great and good "Open Society" never come in for criticism?
At this point these "wars for democracy" are the endgame stage of an intellectually bankrupt totalitarian empire. Thinking people in Iraq ought to be asking some questions by now. What the hell is in store for us?
Here is a list of questions about a possible future of Iraq. But it's a future that is only attainable in the best case scenario (meaning akin to the utopia we experience here in modern America, of course!)
Q: How long until the State of Iraq is reconceptualized not as a sovereign nation but as a commercial component of the future Middle East Union (so-called "economic cooperation zone")?
Q: How long until Iraq's borders are opened to any and all immigrants?
Q: How long until the Iraq government is forced to adopt "free trade" policies and the country is flooded with cheap labor?
Q: How long until the Iraqi taxpayers are saddled with a "federal reserve system" (non-transparent central banking scheme that debases the currency and stealthily skims untold wealth from the national treasury)?
Q: How long until a culture-cracking PC media regime is installed in Iraq nationwide that continually bashes and marginalizes the "nativist" and "bigoted" ethnic Iraqi people?
Q: How long until abortion and birth control are readily available across Iraq?
Q: How long until the Iraq population birthrate crashes far below replacement levels and the media demands mass immigration as a solution to save the natives' social security system?
Q: How long until Iraqi women are protected by special laws and earn more college degrees than Iraqi men and hold the power in divorce court and child custody disputes?
Q: How long until Iraq government surveillance cameras are installed throughout every Iraqi city and town?
Q: How long until the entire Iraq phone system software architecture is controlled by foreign intelligence agency contractor fronts?
Q: How long until Iraqi schools are saturated in slick anti-Iraq propaganda designed to distort and defame Iraq's historical figures, which demoralizes patriots and energizes alien immigrants harboring grudges?
Q: How long until the religion of the vast majority of Iraq citizens is relentlessly ridiculed by politicians, writers, journalists, celebrities and entertainers, and the Islamic crescent is displayed submerged in a glass of urine at big city art museums?
Q: How long until the Iraq Armed Forces are sent off to far corners of the globe to participate in other Wars for Democracy?
Q: In other words, how long until Iraq is transitioned into New World Order police state society - uh, a modern Western-style democracy?
Domestically, the Open Society criminalizes consensual acts and provides the most depraved among us with scrupulous subsidies and legal protections. Internationally, the Open Society spends blood and treasure projecting its gnostic gospel into countries that have made clear they want no part of it.
For Heaven's sake, who can blame them?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
By MICHELLE RINDELS (AP) – 39 minutes ago
LOS ANGELES — The morning after Jonathan Miller became the first Anglo-Saxon golfer to win a major championship, Peter Smith was too excited to go to work.
So he grabbed his teenage son, Michael, and headed for the driving range.
The Smiths were hitting balls Monday morning at Majestic Golf Land, a three-story golf center near the city's Anglotown neighborhood.
For Anglo-Saxons, Miller's stunning win — over Tiger Woods, no less — in the PGA Championship was inspiring, even though many are Tiger fans.
"When Tiger wins, England's happy. When an Anglo-Saxon wins, England's happier," Smith said. "It couldn't be any better for us."
The golf world was still abuzz Monday after Miller's astonishing victory. The Anglo-Saxon who grew up on a root-vegetable farm and had frustrated ambitions of being a body builder beat the world's best golfer.
And did he ever do it in style — fending off Tiger with a couple of seriously ice-cold shots. First there was that 60-foot chip for eagle after Woods threatened to make birdie on No. 14.
And on the last hole, clinging to a one-shot lead against the man who had never before lost when he started the final round of a major atop the leaderboard, Miller hit the shot of his life. His 3-iron hybrid cleared a bunker and settled 12 feet away.
Miller finished off the birdie for a championship he — and new fans all over the world — won't forget.
At the urban island of Anglotown, rising green above a busy city center, most of the patrons are Anglo-Saxon. Signs are written in both English and Spanish, and the newspaper boxes at the entrance carry the local Anglo-Saxon dailies.
Some of the golfers said they called home to England and heard about celebrations — not unlike the commotion in 1999 when England's David Howell won the Dubai Desert Classic.
Alfred Brown, an English-born golf pro at the range, said he knew that someday, someone would beat Woods.
"He's not a god," said Brown, 44. "I'm happy the Anglo-Saxon guy beat him."
Thursday, August 13, 2009
... which leads me to observe,
The US is a social democratic matriarchy, offering up emasculated weenies like Ken Burns as male role models.
But feminized, cerebral men are an indulgence of civilization, which itself exists only because men like this are willing to defend it against thuggery. And while they're doing that, Ken Burns gets CPB grants to make documentaries that pretend men like them don't exist and never contributed.
In more blunt terms, the US elite is protected by tough men willing to undergo hardship, and the elite take advantage of their cocooned existence to mock and subvert their defenders' values. And it doesn't stop there. The US elite throws up immense barriers to entry, primarily in education costs and other government policies that hamper affordable family formation. (I could go on, because it's a very long list.)
How is such a situation sustainable? When do the defenders tell the elites they're taking their service rifles and all the ammo they can carry, and leaving the elites who despise them to the thugs?
Somewhat related, on which of two kinds of men must weaker members of society rely for protection, or even just to assist them down some steps?
At some point, the guy on the far left has to wonder why the ectomorph in the foreground gets the lion's share of the take.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Attention single, divorced, and widowed individuals between the ages of 38-55: if you are interested in forming a “single Orthodox Christians Group,” please email your contact information to: __________________. Please state whether you would be willing to help with the organization of such a group or if you would be interested in being a member, and please also mention what kind of activities you would like the group to organize. If there is a sufficient response, the first meeting will be either in August or September.
Thus the post-modern West forges ahead with the radical social experiment of creating large cohorts of single people in their 40's and 50's. And QED, membership in an ancient and pro-family spiritual tradition is no guarantee you won't participate.
We are only about the second generation into this, and from personal experience I can say that nobody knows what to tell newly single, middle-aged people to do, just like we don't teach our children what to do if they're hit by a car. Rather, we teach them to avoid cars.
The desire to socialize individuals in this cohort is a good one, because the usual aftermath when the financial and social atomic bomb of divorce goes off is some form of domestic exile. On the other hand, a social dynamic with intense pair-selection pressures is one in which most of us have not found ourselves for twenty or more years, and perforce one from which children will not result. Like I say, you don't get a lot of advice on middle-aged mating rituals.
Speaking of social experiments without precedent in human history, we await the results of two others: 1) putting men and women in head-to-head economic competition with each other; and 2) moving large numbers of people across national borders as a matter of deliberate policy.
The 20th Century sure was an innovative one.
Friday, July 31, 2009
One impression I have of Orthodoxy in America is that so many people I meet in Orthodox parishes, people from all sorts of backgrounds, love culture in a manner and with a sustained intensity that I have seen in no other ecclesial order. They often want to see vibrant, livable, local cultures develop in and around their parishes, and they seem to want to cultivate a coherent Orthodox subculture in America and Canada. Culture is celebrated and lived with gusto in American Orthodox churches - not just the traditionally Orthodox cultures, but any culture that the parish might have some connection to. I have been in Orthodox parishes with Latinos in the "core group" of the parish and seen this play out naturally as a part of the parish life. I have seen Suth'run embraced in Orthodox parishes in the South. Consider the work of Fr. Moses Berry. There is something about the Orthodox intuition regarding culture which seeks diligently to preserve what is good wherever it is found. I think that Orthodoxy in America is unique in its position to preserve and cultivate love for culture and cultures. We live in this land of contradiction - in so many respects a cultural wasteland, but at the same time this melting pot in which peoples of decidedly different cultures must learn to live together, and sometimes do. Perhaps Orthodox here can be an image of that "little" and real America, an America focused upon living communities and loving what is close at hand, by recognizing this as part of our spiritual genius, our charism, and, frankly, perhaps as our gift to the rest of the Orthodox world. It is in this land, more than any other, that the old vestiges of phyletism have the greatest potential be exorcised.
Orthodoxy presents an organic vision of society that has long been absent from American life. It probably won't happen, but God grant I live to the day I can stop off in any little Southern town to venerate a local shrine.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In his first prison interview, a buff-looking Bernie Madoff said he couldn't believe he got away with his massive Ponzi scheme for so long.Bernie Madoff, as revealed by this lawyer who seems to have a serious case of man-love, exemplifies what I call 'Herman Goering syndrome.'
"There were several times that I met with the SEC and thought 'they got me,'" Madoff told Joseph Cotchett, a San Francisco lawyer threatening to sue his wife, sons and brother on behalf of a group of victims.
Cotchett said he and his partner, Nancy Fineman, met with Madoff for four and a half hours Tuesday afternoon at the federal prison in Butner, NC, where Madoff is serving his 150-year sentence.
"He looked pretty good and seems to be working out," said Cotchett. "He looked a lot better than he has in some months since I've seen photographs of him."
In the past, I've defended liquor liability claims. Bar serves a customer until he's stinking drunk. He meanders into the parking lot and gets behind the wheel. Disaster ensues. Drunk goes to jail, bar gets sued. We would end up deposing the drunk driver in prison. Often it would be a young guy and, with a manslaughter charge, he'd be in a medium security facility. He stops smoking, stops drinking, counsels with the chaplain, eats three squares a day, and works six hours in the great outdoors. By the time he leaves, he's tanned, fit and telling everyone prison's the best thing that ever happened to him.
Towards the end of Hitler's Reich, Goering too was a bloated, debauched wreck.
Then he gets captured by the Allies and put in prison. He reads, he takes walks, he eats three Puritan meals a day, and he plans for a trial he knows will end with his death sentence. By that time he's clean, sober and ready to eat the US member of the prosecuting team for breakfast.
Thus with Bernie Madoff, who's apparently got this guy eating out of his hand instead of teeing up to sue everybody named Madoff into the ground until they're coughing up that last cuff link or bit of cubic zirconium they tried to smuggle out in their stomachs.
"I was surprised at how candid he was," Cotchett told ABCNews.com after the session, the first time Madoff has talked with outside lawyers. Madoff refused to cooperate with the FBI after his initial, largely untruthful confession last December.So now it's 'Ruth.' Quite the fire-breather, is Cotchett. If it were me, she'd be 'the prisoner's wife,' 'the wife of Bernie Madoff, convicted swindler,' 'Mrs. Bernie Madoff,' and some other choice stuff every time there's a microphone on.
Cotchett said Madoff "did not dodge" any of the questions he asked and that Madoff's lawyer did not object to any of the questions.
"He obviously wanted to speak with us because in his opinion, certain members of his family knew nothing about it, had no involvement of it," said Cotchett who was able to arrange the unusual session after threatening to sue Madoff's wife Ruth.
"He cares about Ruth," said Cotchett, "but he doesn't give a ---- about his two sons, Mark and Andrew." The sons have not spoken with their father or mother since Madoff's arrest on December 11. They say there were unaware of the fraud scheme until he confessed to them as his money was running out and it appeared the crime would be exposed.
Cotchett said he did not yet know if he would name Ruth or the sons in the lawsuit, but that he was almost certain to name Madoff's brother, Peter, who served as the firm's chief compliance officer.
The part about the sons sure strikes me as interesting. Doesn't give a s--- about them? What a putz. On the other hand, maybe they told him to take the whole fall in exchange for helping to provide cover for Ruth. So understandably, nobody's returning anyone's calls. But assuming this quid pro quo exists (and if it doesn't, Bernard Madoff is the most multi-tasking superhuman who ever lived), what could possibly hold it together? Madoff knows he's dying in prison. The whole family will be sued into oblivion: no way a bunch of formerly-rich New Yorkers are settling so long as anybody named Madoff has a stick of furniture left, and short of that, their defense attorneys are positively salivating over their future invoices. Somebody will eventually crack.
A Joint Terrorism Task Force had been tracking Boyd at least since 2006, interested in his growing stockpile of armor-piercing assault weapons and his rural training expeditions on the Virginia border with young Muslim men, as well as the networks he used to finance and plan trips overseas.
His 'crime' appears to be being Muslim while owning and training with firearms, and participating in a US-funded guerrilla war that its sponsors now find embarrassing.
White Christians who train with firearms: they're next.
Here's another article on this doubleplusdangerous group: Neighbors defend U.S. man accused of plotting jihad
Thus the State continues its process of delegitimization, prosecuting non-crimes and sending young men to fight for foreign governments while Mexican drug cartels conduct low-grade warfare on US soil and vast stretches of US cities are no-go zones for the law abiding.
I mean really, the cops have everything so nailed down here, what conceivable reason could anybody have to engage in martial skills training?
Quite frankly, I think this guy's a much bigger threat to me and mine:
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
And, some YouTube trailers from a film made at North Carolina State:
Monday, July 27, 2009
From Taki's Magazine:
Enoch Powell may have argued that he would fight for his country even if it had a Communist government. At a certain point though, it is no longer a question of a different form of government for a country, but a different country altogether. The position of American conservatives regarding the regime they live under is approaching that of a pagan Roman after the eternal fire of Vesta was extinguished, or a Catholic Frenchmen after the slaughter in the Vendee. An appeal to a shared past will no longer work because that shared past does not exist. The legacy of the Founders can only be defended by incorporating them into a universal progressive history that ignores their actual beliefs. A legalistic identity based on a murky conception of universal human rights has not sufficed to hold together other regimes, and I doubt it will be able to do the same in America.
The Ron Paul movement must be credited for opening up space for conservatives on ideas such as the Federal Reserve, secession, and the accepted narratives about American history. Even more remarkable is the seeming refusal of the mainstream conservative movement to engage with the emerging liberty movement, even though it is huge potential source of activists, donors, and serious candidates.
Perhaps the reason behind this disconnect is that the Paul movement is the beginning of the post-conservative era for the American Right. If conservatism is about defending established institutions, Paul is not conservative. The liberty movement fundamentally challenges the legitimacy of the state, and implicitly challenges the cultural regime that supports it. A group that can cheer wildly when Abraham Lincoln is denounced as the worst president in American history is certainly a radical departure. The Paul movement’s historical revisionism, anti-state line, overt hostility towards the corporate (as opposed to capitalist) and government establishments, and indifference towards questions of respectability and permissible associations suggest that a decidedly anti-system Right is emerging.
The attacks on the liberty movement from the Left seem oddly divorced from reality. Left-wing sneers at Paul, the Tea Parties, and the Right (such as it is) generally have little to do with inflation, federal power, and government spending. The federal and state governments, with the clear help from the Fed-like, pseudo-private “watchdog” groups, have been issuing warnings about the danger of organizations like the Constitution Party and the Campaign for Liberty morphing into “militias” dedicated to–of course—white supremacy. The inevitable move towards European-style speech codes is justified by similar fears, that cries of “End the Fed” will somehow turn into “Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!” And of course, we have the claims by innumerable leftists that the Tea Parties are actually white-power rallies. There is no engagement with the Right on the issues that they are actually talking about and organizing around.
Movement conservatives (that is, the Republican Party) find themselves in the conflicted position of vying for control of an atheistic State with shelves upon shelves of laws devoted to correcting the 'wrongs' of free society. They are trapped by the Left's dialectic: any attempts to roll back the State become cast in terms of racial struggle.
The ugly truth is that an inorganic institution must be destroyed, root and branch, if any 'conservative' ideals are to be realized at this point. Not exactly a vote-getting message after two hundred and twenty years.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It was an informal homily. He was in a cassock and gave no opening prayer. It was a good, dense talk. My middle-aged brain struggled to grasp all the points at that time of evening. It was also well-attended: probably 250 people with a number of clergy.
His topic was spiritual maturity and the centrality of prayer--and in particular the Jesus prayer--to that process. Again, dense stuff; I felt like a novitiate getting his first lecture on asceticism.
This process starts with the virtue of detachment, loosing yourself from the things of this world: passions, material goods, relationships (to the extent we define ourselves through them), and also the superficial 'trappings' of Orthodoxy. In his words, we need to 1) sit down, 2) shut up and 3) know that God is present. We begin by saying the Jesus prayer, but at some point this process must move from saying the Jesus prayer to praying in Jesus. In other words, as we say, "Come Holy Spirit" in the Liturgy, at some point we must be silent and acknowledge that the Holy Spirit has come.
He spoke at length on the nature of prayer, and the fact that it is not so much intercessory by us, as it is the Spirit praying within us. The process is one of apotheosis: we move from "me and God" to "only God." He exhorted the audience to do this for at least a few minutes every morning and evening, but no longer than twenty minutes without circumstances allowing that degree of rigor, and even then under the guidance of a spiritual father. As noted, in many ways it was a technical lecture, practically a primer on ascetic prayer.
The intended result of this daily spiritual discipline is a spiritual stability that nothing can shake, least of all the passions stirred by recent scandals and controversies (this was his only reference to governance issues). From this place of individual spiritual maturity, the community of the Church can become the transparent image of the Kingdom of God. This was another launching point, and he spoke at length on Christian community, describing a vision of the local Churches as places of unconditional love for all members. He referred to the efforts of an apparently prominent OCA cleric (I want to say 'Dmitri') to restore widespread practice of the kiss of peace in the Liturgy, and a number of clergy grunted their approval. He stressed that this vision of community in the local Church takes ascetic effort on the part of lay members. He reminded everyone that, quoting one of the Russian fathers, my neighbor is the criterion of my salvation.
A couple of highlights from the Q & A:
A young seminarian wanted to know what he thought of dreams as vehicles for divine inspiration. He agreed there have been instances of this, but that the demons can speak to us through dreams as well. The monastic fathers warned against them.
He regards Father Thomas Hopko as his biggest theological influence. I believe also that +Jonah remains deeply impressed by his monastic experience. There were frequent references to monastic practice and livelihood in his talk.
Asked what advice he would give parish priests, he again quoted a Russian father who told parents to pray for their children ten times as much as they speak to them. This prayer will become contagious through the community. His former abbot has prescribed a rule of two hours daily private prayer for the brothers in addition to their four to six hours of public prayer and worship.
He recommended all Orthodox study the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, as in really read it, take notes, get a commentary and track down the Scripture references, etc. He called it the sum of all Orthodox dogma.
He warned against compartmentalization. We are as much Orthodox and in Christ when we go forward to commune as we are (or should be) when we go into a business meeting. We must not divorce our spirituality from our day-to-day life: work can be sanctified. He knew of one congregant who went on a Holy Week pilgrimage and spent the whole time laying brick with the brothers. Our whole lives are to be made holy.
Many years, Master!