Tuesday, May 31, 2016

- Dear National Review...

An Open Letter to Rich Lowry, and the Editorial decision makers at National Review:

Rich,

I still cannot understand why NR obsesses with throwing all of the Alt-Right babies out with the tiny fringe of anti-Semitic bathwater. Had you been prepared to accept and deal with some of the facts of the behavioral differences between white, Asian, Hispanic, and black Americans, and convinced America's 'establishment right pols to fight that cultural fight, none of this would have been necessary.

There are awful people who are a small but vocal part of the Alt-right. OK. Got it. There really is no need to tell me 10,000 more times. But that label doesn't apply to me. You say the alt-right dreams of camps and ovens. It's not my experience, (and I know someone like Bob Weissberg would certainly disagree). But if it will get you to finally move on I'll happily concede that some of their supporters do.

But if the Alt-right is so homogeneously awful, why don't you guys try looking at the same evidence that the Alt-right does and giving someone like me a better solution? I'm open to it - I really am. But it has to be made up of something other than a tacit endorsement of the view of the left, with a finger pointed in a different direction.

Embracing identity politics won't work? OK... great. You convinced me. But ignoring it won't work either, and the left has already chosen it's battlefield. Every time you call someone like me a 'racist' or a 'misogynist' you are endorsing the definitions of those words, given to us all by the left. So if you don't want to fight on my side, then at least get out of the way while I fight for yours.

I hate no man. I deserve none of your labels. But when I look at the intellectual leaders of the Alt-right I see the only people who are willing to admit that the leftist narrative with regard to race and sex is utterly false. You are all so desperate not to offend, that you won't call the advocates of those views the unmitigated liars that they are. You'd rather obsess with a tiny (and politically irrelevant) minority of people on the internet who are stupid enough to blame Jews for their problems. But no-one is coming for the Jews (and if they want to they'll have to get past me first). But people's lives are destroyed every day, right now, by totally unsubstantiated charges of racism and sexism.

I will not be convicted in advance of some sin I've never committed. I will never "confess my privilege" like a defendant in some cold war kangaroo court simply because of my skin color. I will not let all the hard work involved in my climb from the trailer park to an executive suite be invalidated by someone's feelings of resentment. And if you people aren't interested in being on my side in this argument (and by all accounts you still are not) I'll put up with whatever I have to in order to find someone who will. right now... that's the Alt-Right.

If you believe this stuff you write, then you believe that bad ideas will die on their own right? Well I don't find antisemitism persuasive at all so there you go. You've won. Congratulations. Can we now please talk about the places where the Alt-right has a perfectly valid (and incredibly obvious) point?

There is a cultural war going on. And you can't imagine how happy I would be if you little girls would finally grow a pair and participate in it. I'll leave the Alt-right in a heartbeat, as soon as I get the idea that there is someone else on my side.

Tom From RFNJ

When women are in charge, does society degrade? Black Pigeon Speaks

I stumbled upon a channel called 'Black Pigeon Speaks' on Youtube recently.  BPS has been covering the invasion of Europe in particular and the decline of Western civilization in general.  He covers some of the themes of Tom's more recent posts.

Below are the two videos that have stirred up a bit of a hornets nest in the comments section.  Watch and decide for yourself the validity of BPS's point of view.








Friday, May 27, 2016

- The NRO Trump Tantrum

Liberals see themselves as the eternal good guys fighting against the forces of injustice and hate. This is technically called ‘ego investment’. And it distorts their vision in just the right way so that when things change they lack the ability to see that they have actually become the forces of injustice and hate.

As examples, Liberals advocate for those with certain politically preferred identities to receive blatant preference in University admission (providing injustice to the more deserving taken exclusively on merit) or rage with anger and violence at those that disagree with them ( advancing the promotion of hate).

But Ego investment is not the exclusive domain of Liberals. Conservatives we have discovered, are capable of the same kind of investment in their political beliefs. And it makes it just as impossible for them to see when they’re making a mistake too.

I believe we’re seeing this ‘ego investment’ at National Review.

There are principled reasons to dislike Trump the candidate, and I agree with most of them. But I’ve read them all in the pages of NR along with many other unprincipled reasons as well. They HATE the man. They hate how he sounds. They hate the way he presents himself.

But judged in the single dimension terms that politicians are usually assessed, Trumps actual positions simply aren’t challenging enough to justify the rampant and deeply personal hostility I read there. They are not ideal perhaps, but they aren’t that far outside the lines. He’s not proposing camps and ovens, like the folks at NR seem to envision. He may not be within the acceptable bounds of the chattering classes, but as has been demonstrated by the voters, he's well within the bounds of most of the American public.

So what’s setting them off this way? Why have they become so shrill and so emotional? I believe they aren’t thinking rationally because they are emotionally invested in their idea of what a candidate should look and sound like, and Trump just ain’t it.

They are blue pill men, accustomed to blue pill communications. That is to say that as Feminism has redefined the way we communicate with one another and made it much more feminine, they have boiled along with the rest of the frogs. This is no sin mind you. The vast majority of American men have done the same. But Trump is changing that dynamic, and the shock to their system from that change seems very jarring to them.

Nothing brings this to light for me as much as this extremely thoughtful piece from John O’Sullivan. He’s in his 70’s, lives in eastern Europe, and can remember when this is how men sounded. To him, the Nationalism of the Alt-right doesn’t seem quite as out of place as it seems to for the rest of the much younger NRO crowd:

Another group of alleged invaders are so-called nationalists. It’s been a surprise to me to discover that nationalists are not conservatives in good standing, since they used to be the third leg of the conservative tripod, alongside social and economic conservatives. Some years ago when no one was looking, however, this tripod underwent a transplant, and national conservatives were quietly replaced by “defense conservatives.” That is an absurdly thin and tepid concept (unless you happen to be a defense contractor, in which case the concept becomes a fat and passionate one.) It probably reflects the nervousness of mainstream parties and moderate politicians about the full range of national conservative issues that include, as well as foreign policy and defense, crime, multiculturalism, Ferguson-like social disorder, and immigration. National conservatism has a domestic concern for the social fabric as well as an outward-looking one for the national interest. (Indeed, I once suggested “social-fabric conservatives” as an alternative to national conservatives.) But because it takes a critical or skeptical view of leftist positions on crime, multiculturalism, etc., it is likely to invite accusations of racism, xenophobia, and much else from the very same leftists. These accusations apparently paralyze thought. For very few conservative politicians have shown enough nous to reply that an accusation of white racism requires more evidence than that the person accused is white. Instead they remain more or less quiescent, avoiding controversy, in the face of mob violence to shut down political opponents and openly racist campaigns to delegitimize the police.

That does not sound like a man raging emotionally against Trump or Trump’s supporters. It doesn’t sound like a temper tantrum, or a refusal to play with the other children because they don’t like how the game is going. That sounds like a thoughtful man. A man. A man who isn’t threatened or challenged emotionally, and is ready to engage in worthy debate. If the Nationalists of the Alt-Right can’t make their case, then so be it. But unlike most at NRO with their focus on the worst of Trump's supporters, he strikes me as a man who is willing to listen.

We on the right need NR to be more engaged in this debate. But for them to do so persuasively, they need to quit acting like angry spoiled children, and quit thinking like women. They need to realize what specifically is driving their animosity, and face that with a clear eye like O'Sullivan is.

Back in the day, the older wiser members of the tribe were much admired for their perspective. I hope the kids at NR can do the same because O’Sullivan is pointing the way. There is a legitimate debate to be had here about policy. And it’s time for NR to stand up to the left’s idiotic accusations of racism and misogyny, and start engaging in it. We'd all be better off if they did.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

- Breaking: Katy Couric Is A Propagandist

I almost didn't say anything about this because it hardly passes as news to me, but Katy Couric has produced and Anti-gun piece of propaganda disguised as a non-partisan documentary about gun culture. Shocking I know. The story itself though is almost as egregious as what NBC news did to George Zimmerman, when they edited the 911 call to make it sound like he was attacking Trayvon.

The Story is here. Watch the video taken from the Documentary as produced, and then listen to the unedited audio below it. What you'll hear is a lucid discussion of prior restraint, and some other thoughtful commentary from America's gun owners. But Katy couldn't show it that way. Instead she edited the video to make it seem like no one had any answers.

Journalists. They are all undiluted scum.

- Charles Murray's Rationalizations

There is no one in public policy that I find more continuously persuasive, than Charles Murray. His NR piece today makes the case for people like him, public policy ‘experts’ of the right, continuing their public opposition to Donald Trump. His points, as always, have at least some validity. But in my opinion he’s missing something critically important.

As you know, the #1 rule of RFNJ is: “How we decide is who we are.” And one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that what we all convince ourselves is free will, often isn’t. We tend to go with our strengths, the things that are easiest for us.

So in my case for example, without realizing it at the time, my insecurity about my modest upbringing pushed me in the direction of quant work. “My numbers are every bit as good as their numbers” I thought. (They being the Exeter - Harvard/MIT/Yale guys I was competing with.) I never imagined that someone with my modest lineage would be taken as seriously as those guys, and to some limited degree I was right.

I also have a friend (a former coworker) who is a much better mathematician than me, but who does similar work. He is the second son of a Spanish baron, and attended (and excelled in) the most elite schools in Europe. His upbringing was very different than mine, but he ended up in the same place. And when I got to know him, I discovered that the reason this was so was because he couldn’t trust his family emotionally, and as a second son he was seen as something less valuable for very amorphous reasons. He was drawn to mathematics because it allowed him to get ‘the right’ answer. Life is complicated but math has rules that can be learned and mastered, and this was a great comfort to him.

So here are two guys, with almost diametrically opposed life experiences, but came to the same place at roughly the same time, and ended up doing the same work. So what did we have in common? In terms of experience, not a thing. But we were both born with brains that made complex mathematics easier for us than most. So when presented with the gazillion life choices that make up a childhood, we both went to the areas where we were mentally strongest to come up with a solution. And by doing so over a lifetime, our strengths became even stronger and more likely to be chosen.

So where is the free will in that? Both of us were born with brains for math, so in effect that skill is what drove us. Whatever the problem we were facing, we tended toward our mutual strength to solve it. That’s not free will, that’s almost Taoist in its determinism. Our genes defined how our brains worked, and our brains put us on a path, which although they followed completely different routes, inevitably led us both to the exact same place.

So back to Charles Murray and Trump. Dr. Murray is urging his colleagues not to make any rationalizations about the reason Trump is saying the things he is, and to only judge him on the content of his words. Is this because that’s how Charles Murray thinks and speaks? In my opinion probably. And since it’s worked so well for him over the years, he’s urging others to do the same. But Donald Trump is not a personally risk averse policy expert. There is nothing about him which is academic. All the decisions in his life have come with an element of risk that Charles Murray has never had to face. And to treat his words in the same way, in my mind, is categorically incorrect.

I’m not a Trump fan, and I feel that way for some of the reasons Dr. Murray mentions. But to me, what Donald Trump looks like he’s doing with his public words is negotiating. He’s doing exactly what anyone in the private sector would do. He’s taking an extreme position in all things, and will then get all he can from the other interested parties. Is he going to pursue goals which are in the best interests of the country rather than himself? I have no clue. But neither does Dr. Murray. And if we’re both going to be speculating on something like that, then I think it’s going to be more helpful to judge Donald Trump for what he is, than to judge him for what Dr. Murray is. This isn’t a rationalization, though Dr. Murray would probably describe it as such. It’s simply trying to understand someone on their own terms.

So who is Donald Trump? He’s a man who was born with a huge safety net and has limited success compared to others in similar circumstances. Bu that same safety net gave him the chance to pursue highly risky strategies for success which he did not fear to do. In the meantime he’s been wildly successful at self-promotion and persuasion. I know half a dozen men who could buy and sell Donald Trump, that no-one has ever heard of. That lack of self promotion on their part may speak to some weaknesses of theirs, but it certainly speaks to Donald Trump's strengths. All these facts would tell me he has a big ego, and considerable courage. He is also probably of something less than a top tier intelligence, but not stupid either. Many a silver spoon has been the last thing hocked when the money was all gone.

All in, I share Dr. Murray’s view that he’s a man of dubious morals, dubious intelligence, and dubious character. But in my mind, so too is everyone in Washington. And this is not a multiple choice question. We don’t’ vote for the best person, but the best person available.

There is another issue which I think is deeply relevant here. The only way that Donald Trump seems meaningfully different to me is that his emotional message is very masculine, rather than the feminine message we typically see from right leaning pols. Those that are accustomed to the soft spoken pol would be taken aback by that confrontational style, and I believe this is having a meaningful effect on Dr. Murray in all the ways that he has been taught to ‘think’ like a woman.

I’m not impugning his character, intelligence, or motives. I’m not calling him effeminate in any way. But he has lived in a culture so steeped in Feminine propriety that I believe he can’t see around it. More than that, I believe that ‘thinking like a woman’ (to use my own shorthand) in some respects, is more natural for Dr. Murray than others. He isn’t irrational like many women, but he did choose a career where he is relatively insulated from personal risk of being incorrect, and where masculine dominance is frowned upon at the very least. His career path is one where his substantial intelligence and irreducible logic would be a huge driver of his success, but where he didn’t have to compete directly with other men.

It’s just speculation on my part, similar to his own about Donald Trump, but I think that sentiment is blinding him to the truth about the nominee. I think his horror at someone who communicates so differently than anyone who has come before, is forcing him to make a categorical error. And I think his advice to judge Trump on his public statements alone, while perfectly logical, is in fact incorrect.

How we decide is who we are. And that goes for Dr. Murray and Donald Trump both. If you want to understand how they decide, look at what they’re good at and the path they’ve chose in life. Look at the story, and see where success and failure have come to them. Then you can see who they really are, no matter if they try to hide it behind intellectual talk, or emotional bluster or both. It doesn’t matter where they started nor for that matter where they ended. Life and luck play a part in that for us all. But if you want to know them just look at how they got wherever it is. There is no lying about that.

If you apply the same standard to Hillary, it quickly becomes clear that she is a FAR worse choice than Trump.

PS - Guys, if you think it's worthy, please forward this one around. I've spent my whole life in the capital markets where suppression of the ego is critical to success, so I lack strong self promotion skills as well. But I really do think this piece speaks to how Trump should be best viewed to judge him accurately.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

- "Consent Of The Goverened" Required

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the deep web, but if not, let me clue you in.

It’s a fully encrypted version of the internet that runs on the same infrastructure, and can be accessed from your normal computer with a specialized encrypted browser. Do a little reading, get a copy of the Tor browser, a bitcoin account at coinbase, and that's it. you're all set to buy or sell in a global market, with total anonymity.

There are all sorts of vendors already up on the deepweb, and you can buy all sorts of things that would be illegal to buy normally, but since you make purchases in total anonymity (even from the seller) the government will never know it's you.

There is some risk of course. But most of the risk will be when you actually take possession of whatever it is you’ve bought. If you want REAL anonymity you need to do that without leaving a paper trail, which is harder than it actually seems. But, assuming you can jump all the hurdles for managing delivery, it’s completely possible to buy anything you want, so long as you don’t care about breaking the law.

Most of what they sell on the Deepweb markets is illegal drugs. I don’t do drugs so I don't much care about that. It’s kind of interesting to see people quoting heroin and cocaine by the ounce for bitcoins, but in my case, that's really just a kind of perverse window shopping. (It is perfectly legal to browse by the way, so long as you don’t buy anything.)

I thought this was particularly interesting though because I’m something of an aficionado on firearms regulation. In NJ I know every idiosyncrasy of every law concerning the right to keep and bear, and I’m learning the laws in NYC. And it sets up what I thought was an interesting dichotomy.

In NYC where I live, if I wanted to buy a gun to keep in my home, it would be a real challenge but possible. I have an impeccably clean record, and the resources and determination to pay the fees and jump through the hoops. It’s a few hundred in fees, some fingerprints, some copies of some of my personal paperwork, an investigation by the police, and a few other odds and ends including registration of my firearms (I assume that’s so they can come confiscate them later when they feel the need.) All in, it takes somewhere between 3 to 6 months.

On the deepweb, I can buy a fully automatic FN-LAR machine gun in less than 15 minutes, and they promise delivery anywhere in the world, in less than 4 weeks. Price in US Dollars: $3,650.00.

Isn’t that interesting? So long as I’m prepared to break the law, I can get a fully automatic machine gun which is illegal everywhere in the country, nearly instantly. I’m no hardened criminal or gang banger. I have no ‘connections’ in the illicit trade of anything. I don’t even smoke pot. There is no Russian mafia involved, or some guy named Vinny. All I need is a bitcoin account, a Tor browser, a location to drop ship, and presto, I’m a really well armed felon.

The FN-LAR isn’t my gun of choice of course, but I am hardly the great expert on deepweb technology either, and I’m sure I could be pickier if I spent a bit more time. It took me a grand total of 10 minutes to find someone willing to sell me a used, reasonably good condition, military issued machine gun that fires NATO spec ammo, from a prominent and completely reliable manufacturer.

Now obviously I’m not going to do it. I have far too much to lose. But if I ever decided I no longer have too much to lose, it’s very interesting to me that the problem is so easy to solve. When things fall apart you can set yourself up as your neighborhood armory with little more than a laptop and some technical knowledge.

So how in the world can the gun banners actually believe that they can ‘prohibit guns’ in an environment like this? They can’t crack the deepweb. The math for the encryption is rock solid. Bitcoin? Good luck. They can try to watch every single drop location with some sort of security camera system, but I don’t see how. And if I were really paranoid about it, I could just buy someone else’s identity on the deepweb first. Use that to rent the mailbox, and send the enforcers of our gun laws running after them.

Forget about your ghost guns and 3D printed receivers. If you have the resources you can go online, right this second, and buy surface to surface missiles left over from the Bosnian war, and the government will never be the wiser. How do you ‘regulate’ in an environment like that?

I have no big issue to raise here apart from the impossibility of the liberals in government ever getting what they want. You simply cannot disarm 300 million people if they don’t want to be. Especially when they can be re-armed as easily as this. The only real strategy that the government has then is in actually obtaining the full consent of the governed.

All the rest is just wishful thinking on the part of the tyrannical.

- Continuing To Insult Donald Trump

Kevin Williamson’s view of Donald Trump and the Alt-Right is, by the standards of even this odd ball election, very strong. This morning at about 5:00 AM I read that Kevin called Trump:

“A corrupt, venal, backward, moronic psychopath”.

Hard to walk that one back, not that Kevin is particularly inclined to. Not a ton of ambiguity there.

Regarding the Alt-right he’s been somewhat more circumspect. While he’s said enough in public to more than make his feelings known, he did stop somewhat short of calling them psychopaths. And let’s all be fair here, there are a few guys out there who claim to support the alt-right, who are using it as a forum for some less frequently heard from political corners – at least since they got that guy out of the doorway at the University of Alabama.

But there are a few crazies in any movement, and if you ask me the Alt-Right has been far cruder and more unfair with Kevin Williamson than he has with them. His famous bit about how people should move from their failing towns to ‘a place where the jobs are’, was widely misquoted in the same style that made Roosh into a “pro-rape rally organizer”. But some of the same people who defended Roosh were more than happy to verbally burn Kevin at the Twitter stake. And if you ask me the Alt-Right hasn’t only been much harder on Kevin than he has on them, they’ve also been much further from the mark.

Kevin is a strong individual. A man of intense will, genuine courage, and occasionally bull headed opinions which he is never shy in expressing. You may disagree with him, but it won’t be because he’s vague about it. And even if you do, even if everyone does, he isn’t going to change his mind about a single god-damned thing. He’ll change his mind if you can convince him he’s factually incorrect, but he’s not the kind of person to reverse a view only because it’s become unpopular.

What’s more, I don’t think Kevin is completely wrong. At the very least he’s not nearly as wrong as his critics. But that puts me in kind of a tough spot because on a personal basis, he thinks I am wrong. Very wrong. Fundamentally wrong as a question of principle. The kind of wrong that makes you believe you’ve completely misjudged a person’s character. So I find myself in the difficult position of defending a man who is totally disgusted with my opinions, and joining him in attacking a man who for better or worse, represents the last dismal grey hope of preventing catastrophe.

Kevin has a totally legitimate view of Trump. Trump benefited from Real estate deals where government was heavily involved, and resulted in investors losing money. He has a carnival barker alter ego that he whips out whenever the red light on the camera goes on, and has extremely questionable and deeply dangerous ideas about America’s role in the world, financial and otherwise. That’s corrupt, venal, and backward, so I’ll score Kevin as more or less correct for 3 out of 4.

But the currently serving president scores at least 2 out of 4 (corrupt and backward) and several former presidents are generally viewed to have embraced the others. So when I look at Trump and see a man not appreciably different in quality than anyone else involved politics. Certainly Hillary Clinton is every bit as venal, corrupt, and backward. So why is Donald Trump so much more deserving of Kevin’s rage?

Kevin is no Republican shill. He isn’t even a Republican. And to my knowledge he’s never lived ‘inside the beltway’. He’s a Texas boy of modest origins, who spent a bit of time in NY and Philly, but currently resides in greater Houston. About half the time he lived in NYC he actually resided in the south Bronx. Elitist hack for the ruling classes? I don’t think so. I can’t think of anyone who less fits that bill.

“The Derb” said in a podcast that he believes Kevin is cultivating a ‘Donorist-Capitalist-Neocon bad boy’ image. But I wonder about that too. If Kevin were speaking his mind with great passion publicly but was more reserved in private, then I’d be more convinced. But I can assure you, that is not the case here. If anything he seems to me like he’s holding it back some in public. I am convinced that his hostility to the change in the sentiments of the electorate is genuine and heartfelt.

Here’s one possible cause, and certainly the one we’ll be hearing from team Hillary. In modern politically correct America, the reason Trump’s supporters like him is an easily indictable thing. You can claim that he is a xenophobic, racist, hater of haters, who is supported by haters who dream of camps and ovens. You can say that he hates Muslims and Mexicans, and is inhumanely trying to punish them. You can say he and his supporters are the leftist caricature of their deepest enemy come to life, with their Klan hoods and nooses just now being dug out of storage for the inaugural celebrations.

But I don’t personally believe that Kevin really buys into that. In my whole life I’ve met exactly one (white) person whose opinions were motivated by racial hatred, and no one I know thinks anything of him. It’s more the stuff of prison yard politics than actual public discourse. And just because the left is convinced it’s true, doesn’t mean it actually is, so I doubt that Kevin is really persuaded by it. Besides, the left was calling Kevin Williamson and everyone else to the right of Noam Chomsky a racist two seconds ago so it takes a considerable amount of sting out of the accusation. Certainly enough for conservatives like Kevin to ignore it.

OK. So if a very smart guy that I know holds an opinion diametrically opposed to mine, maybe I am missing the mark. Maybe this was a great missed opportunity for conservatism or something. Maybe there really is something more awful about Donald Trump in terms of character than Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Maybe the carnival barker – build a wall populism really will end the Republic as we know it. Maybe the fact that Trump is as ideologically unmoored as … Richard Nixon, Tom Delay, or Kelly Ayotte really does represent some heretofore unknown risk to the world order.

Or maybe, Kevin Williamson doesn’t like it when stupid people do things for stupid reasons, and then call him a blood sucking, elitist, traitorous bastard for trying to call them out on it. I know it would annoy me. Or maybe he truly believes (contrary to current momentum at least) that the battle has already been lost, and there is no harm in announcing himself as the first of the conservatives to give Trump what he would therefore have coming. Maybe sees himself as already working on what comes after him.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the ‘intellectual wing’ of the Republican Party has been summarily rejected by the electorate, and Trump is cheering them on. But it’s hard for me to imagine that these deeply personal attacks on Trump the man are still a product of political principle. The nomination is settled business so we’re past that now, or at least should be. But Kevin still wails away on Trump the man as vigorously as ever, that’s not principle, that’s personal.

As for his criticisms of the idea of Trump rather than the man, I agree with Kevin in some places and disagree with others. I don’t think throwing up obstacles to trade is a good idea, but changing our immigration policies and how we deal with the Muslim world absolutely is. Has Trump got the right ideas? I have no clue. I’d bet probably not. But probably is a very big and very important word when the only alternative that we’ll ever be presented with is Hillary Clinton. And at this point it’s well beyond any academic discussion of what we could do, and has become a discussion about what we are going to do.

Hillary is, first and foremost, a woman. She was born and bred in the neo-Marxist traditions of Feminism, and believes in the Duluth model. She has stated that all (female) rape accusers should by default be believed (except of course those that accuse her husband). She has specifically said in her policy publications that she will do whatever she can to eliminate the second amendment, even if she must resort to executive actions to do so. And she is already on record advocating for the wholesale admittance of ‘Syrian’ refugees in the continental US. No one who is as smart and clear headed as Kevin Williamson can be under any illusions about Hillary. So why exactly does he think it’s still a good idea to use all his energy to attack the one and only thing standing between America and THAT?

I confess, it’s a mystery to me. I can see why he stands by his past statements as a matter of principle, but I don’t understand why he thinks the best thing he can do for America is to continue to go back to the well for more invective. Surely America has bigger problems than the sturdiness of Donald Trump’s recent conversion, or the fact that his character is as questionable as anyone else in Washington. Sure, he has some bad ideas. Everyone in Washington does. Certainly Hillary does. And if offered a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, I’m a pretty strong swimmer so I’ll take my chances.

This is for the most part a defense of Kevin, but I think he’s dead wrong about one thing. Trump for all his faults, has benefited the Republic by his treatment of the media, and his unwillingness to be cowed. He’s acted like a man. He’s ridiculed, ignored, and dismissed all the standard leftist expletives and ‘gotcha’ points that have sunk other candidates. He’s ‘pushing back’ on the culture, which as we know, is upstream of politics and where the fight should have been happening all along. If the Republican insiders had done so, there would have been no room for Trump.

And I think we’d be much better off if National Review and Kevin in particular, began to engage in that fight for the culture. I wish they’d push back, Trump like, on the idea that only women can save us, and that we can only see progress if our men behaved more like them. When it comes to the words racist and misogynist, only the left with its near total control on our culture is defining what those mean. And the result is all that nonsense about privilege and implied guilt by race. So to continue to pound away on the presumptive Republican nominee seems to me to be a total wasted effort. At this point I think Kevin Williamson is harming his own credibility and depriving the rest of us of his combative nature where it might do the most good. I think we’d all be better served if Kevin were to put down his gun, and take a new look at the battlefield, so he can see where our real enemies are.

I’m not arguing he should change his position, or let bygones be bygones, or admit that “The Derb” is right about a great many things. I’m not asking him to change his views or recant his statements. He’s already told me to go f*** myself once, and if I tried to get him to change his mind, he’d probably just do so again. All I’m saying is, there are greater dangers to America than the few nasty troglodytes in the deepest dungeons of the Alt-right, and the Republic would benefit greatly if Kevin stepped back and noticed a few of them.

I don’t hate women, or blacks, or Mexicans, or Muslims. I don’t hate anyone. And I don’t deserve the guilt trip that the left is trying so desperately to lay at my feet. I don’t deserve to be found guilty by a jury of my accusers. And I wish there were better voices in the public sphere coming to my defense than Donald Trump and his supporters. But they’re all still too busy insulting Donald Trump.

Monday, May 23, 2016

- My Most Important Pre-Election Post

Ok... you don't like Trump. Neither do I. You think he's potentially dangerous and can end the western world. I do too. And you've decided you're going to just 'not vote' because you live in a state where you think it won't matter, and you can just vote for a 'real conservative' next time. Don't do it. You need to hold your nose and vote for the guy, just like I will. you need to go out there and convince your friends, your family, and every man you know to do the same. Why? Because of this issue so effectively highlighted by "The Heartiste":

Austria had an election recently, pitting a nationalist, immigration restrictionist patriot (Hofer) against a globalist, open borders nutjob (Van der Bellen). The vote results confirm a pattern seen all over the Western world: White women are voting in the shitlib traitors who will drown White nations in a polluted sea of third world misery.

Allowing Hillary Clinton to win this election is going to result in the end of the United States of America.

National Review and the Never Trump folks are wrong. If we allow (another) woman to hold the Whitehouse for 4 (more) years, she will pursue a position of peace through unconditional surrender. And what they've been seeing in Belgium, Paris and across Europe, will be happening in Orland, Cleveland and Minneapolis. And for your trouble, American society will begin to look like an American college campus. No second amendment rights, no presumption of innocence for men accused of sexual harassment of women (think false rape accusations) and more 'fairness' where if your white or Asian, you will be forced by law to check your privilege, so someone less qualified can be treated 'fairly'. and if you ask me... THAT's when they'll be coming for 'the Jews'.

I don't know if there are enough men left in America to matter. But if there are, you had better get the guys together... all of them... and go vote for Trump. He's probably a bad choice, but the other option is to see the end of America.

- The Key Is Personal Agency

There is a pretty good gun piece above the fold in the NY Times today where they come right out and admit, that most shootings are a black on black phenomenon:

The divide is racial as well. Among the cases examined by The Times were 39 domestic violence shootings, and they largely involved white attackers and victims. So did many of the high-profile massacres, including a wild shootout between Texas biker gangs that left nine people dead and 18 wounded.

Over all, though, nearly three-fourths of victims and suspected assailants whose race could be identified were black. Some experts suggest that helps explain why the drumbeat of dead and wounded does not inspire more outrage.

Clearly, if it’s black-on-black, we don’t get the same attention because most people don’t identify with that. Most Americans are white,” said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University in Boston. “People think, ‘That’s not my world. That’s not going to happen to me.’ ”

The key of course is agency. To the left, the black man is not a man at all, he's an object. An object who is tugged hither and yon by the feelings of the white society he lives in. He has no personal agency, and therefore no responsibilty. He is a 'victim' of the white biases and white 'hatred' that the broader society feels for him. Silliness.

To me, a black man is a man. He may not be a smart man, or he may be a genius. He may not be a good man, or he may be a saint. He may be lazy, or hard working, or any number of other things. But whatever he is, his sins and virtues belong to him. He is accountable for his actions. That's what being a man is. What's more, I think most men (including black men) agree with me. It's only women who 'feeeeel' differently.

There is much wisdom in the comments section of the Times piece. The Times position that we need to feel their pain so we can then ban all guns, doesn't seem to be resonating at all. Take this comment from a black woman:

As a black woman who immigrated to the US, I simply don't understand what action the American black community is hoping for and from who. The article mentions that some African Americans feel that whites don't care but what are they to do even if they did care? It is clear that the overwhelming majority of gun violence is within black communities and gangs. Their guns are probably obtained illegally. I honestly can't think of a gun law that would prevent that violence.

There is a woman who can see the forest for the trees. It's a shame there aren't more like her.

For all it's faults, the Times piece is a good start. At least they are admitting the facts of the problem. Now maybe we can all have a rational conversation about what to do about it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

- Carry Permits And Corruption

“May issue” as opposed to “shall issue” is the legal doctrine used by some states in order to impose procedural bans on 'concealed carry permits' and the American citizens’ right to protect themselves. That’s the best I can do to get the pro-gun position into a single sentence. The Anti-gun position is somewhat less reducible.

The main problem is that the stated goals of liberals move around so much. There’s always a bunch of moral sounding nonsense about preventing violence and death, but the proposals they make never pass any sort of rational analytic muster. Unless you’re prepared to make every decision with your heart instead of your head, which Americans are notoriously uninclined to do when it comes to guns, they fall flat.

The right to defend yourself from those who would do you harm is not just enshrined as the law of the land in our country, but even more, it’s recognized by virtually everyone as a high risk decision. And because that’s so, people tend to see getting a ‘correct answer’ to the question as being far more important than how frightened they are of guns.

So “May Issue” is dying a slow but steady death. Last week it was struck down in DC as a valid reason for preventing someone from obtaining a concealed carry permit, and there is considerable political pressure being brought to bear on the few remaining holdouts. Even Charlie Cooke at National Review has finally decided that NJ’s abuse of this process could use a little tuning.

Charlie has always been an adamantly pro-gun guy, but has always been more interested in a logical legal framework for such a change than the kind of ‘any means available’ position of someone like me. This is a fair and reasonable critique, especially for someone like Charlie who isn’t as intimately familiar with how NJ bureaucrats have abused the existing process as I am. To me the law already looked broken, and at that point my view is that you aren’t going to break it any worse by something like a Federal law for concealed carry reciprocity.

But for the record, I agree with Charlie and think a Federal CCR would be a bad law, albeit with a good result. I don’t like it when the Federal government bullies the states into one size fit’s all solutions, and the fact that I’ve lived in two local communities (NJ and NYC) who all seem to have some sort of mental illness with regard to self-defense doesn’t change that. But knowing what I do about the process in NJ, and the degree to which it’s actually designed for the kind of abuse we’re seeing, has always put me in the position that Charlie has only now just come to.

I don’t mention this much, but I’m related by marriage to a NJ superior court judge who denies carry permits as a matter of course. He’s no anti-gun liberal, quite the contrary. He’s a gun owner, and a right leaning judge who lives in a strongly Republican district (yes, remarkably NJ has a few... remember, both Scalia and Alito are from NJ). I cornered him at a family event once and asked him to help me skirt the ‘procedural ban’ on CC that NJ imposes. He told me it couldn’t be done under any circumstances.

He said that unless I could provide strong ‘officially documented evidence’ of an imminent threat (meaning a police report or something) then he was powerless. He said that the treatment the ‘may issue’ rule receives was specifically designed to ban all concealed carry, and that they only allow it in the most egregious conditions to limit the liability of lawsuits when someone gets killed. He said he knew for certain that I was not a risk, and even agreed that if someone like me with experience and training had a carry permit, the world would be safer not at greater risk. But he said that if he broke the precedent of denial, his career would suffer irreparable damage. And when it came out that we were related by marriage, his career would almost certainly be over.

This is all actually far worse than it sounds. NJ is a very corrupt state. In some respects it’s built on corruption. Without that corruption, the sclerotic bureaucracy would be so obstructionist that virtually nothing would ever get done. Locally the residents have a kind of blasé attitude about it. “It’s NJ… of course there is corruption” they say. And virtually every longtime resident knows someone somewhere who can get them into or out of something that they want. The corruption is seen merely as a way to keep the gears greased and to keep all the power in the hands of a few. But it’s so widespread and so many of the citizens are so well connected, that it isn’t really seen as that big a deal. But here I was, talking to a family member with exactly the juice I needed, and he made it clear that this was an un-greasable wheel.

So when it comes to CC, the NJ system is not only broken, but it’s even broken for NJ. And in a situation like that, I’m prepared to seek any remedy that won’t land me in jail with a 2 year minimum sentence. A Federal CCR law seems to me to be the least bad option in this case. If there were any chance that those in power in NJ would begin to take a rational view of gun ownership on their own, I’d feel differently. But I just don’t see it happening.

In NYC where I now live, it’s a similar set of rules, and a similar set of corruptions, with the line drawn just a little differently. In NYC, the ‘may issue’ clause is used to keep guns out of the hands of the ‘little people’. If you’re rich enough or famous enough, they’ll be happy to rethink things. The metric I’ve always heard used was something like 60K in ‘contributions’ to the right political organization who supports the right city councilman, and you will get an exemption. I’m willing to overpay for a CC permit, but if they want that kind of money, they’ll have to speak to my ex-wife who's had a windfall recently in family court.

But the good news is, “may issue” continues to decline and be replaced with ‘shall issue’ where the state must be compelled to provide a valid reason for denial, instead of the permit applicant providing a valid reason for approval. This I think will inevitably be very good news for those responsible citizens of NY and NJ. And I hope I live long enough to see it.

And the well intended pols and bureaucrats in those states would probably do well to remember that in a time of crisis, it isn't really a debate whether guns will be owned or carried, concealed or otherwise. The only question is whether it will occur legally or not.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

- David French: It's Not Wrong To Be Black Either

I simply couldn’t let this piece by David French slip by without comment. In NR yesterday, he published a piece called “It’s Not Wrong To be White” :

Since my law-school days, the problem has only gotten worse. Now the true cultural and historical demons are white — gasp! — “cisgender” males, and any white cisgender woman who doesn’t appropriately check her privilege. The ticket to white acceptability in progressive politics is a form of self-loathing: a constant attitude of repentance not just for the sins of the past but also for the benefits of the present, which are presumably enjoyed only or mainly because of the plunder and exploitation of “brown bodies.”

For starters, David is absolutely correct, and I’m grateful to him for finally taking NRO where no writer dared go before. (Hopefully this is a change of political direction rather than an isolated incident that he slipped by the guardians of the “racist!” gates.) He offers a thoughtful critique of the left’s obviously racist demagoguery, and does so in a way that is socially acceptable for the milquetoast NR editorial staff that has traditionally been very frightened of this topic. It’s a good start.

But from my perspective the issue isn’t about race at all, it’s about behavior. Many of my friends have brown skin (oh spare me) and as a lily white Anglo-Norman Irishman who dares not go into the sun, I’m envious of them for it. Two hours unprotected on a Mexican beach turns my Taiwanese girlfriend into a golden brown delectable little morsel of femininity. It turns me into an emergency room candidate. So while she frolics in the warm surf, I cower under an umbrella trying to find the sunblock with protection factors measured in scientific notation. SPF 6.1x10 to the 24th.

This means that I more than agree with David. Not only is it not wrong to be white, it isn’t wrong to be brown, black, or anything in between. For me, the issue is, and has always been, about behavior rather than skin color.

Black and Latino men commit something like 95% of all the violent crime in NYC. That isn’t about the color of their skin. They do poorly in school and are a disproportionately large percentage of the prison population. That isn’t about skin color. On virtually every social metric they do more poorly than whites, but they also do more poorly than Taiwanese, Koreans, and Japanese. This isn’t a mystery even to the left. But as is typical for them, it’s more convenient to blame the people who are doing it right than to blame the people who are apparently doing it wrong.

The left has also changed its tactics. In the past they would confront the facts and say “It’s not their fault!” They would blame poverty, dysfunction in the home, and the dangerous environment in which these poor performing minorities live. But as the data has become more incontrovertible, they have begun totally ignoring the facts that contradict their view as if they didn't exist, and focusing solely on the emotions those facts bring to the fore for them. Now a discussion of virtually every social problem of any type is met immediately with charges of Racism and “hatred”, and accusations of a view distorted by “white privilege”. Contradictions inherent in this position are totally ignored.

To those of us less interested in feelings than data, this has the sound of someone desperately flailing about to spare their ego the burden of admitting a mistake. That’s the state of the left now. They have greeted the indisputable facts pointing to a quantifiable difference in behavior between social groups, with even more outlandish charges against those who are successful, and even more emotional outrage supporting an increasingly fictional worldview. They have in effect given up ‘thinking’ all together, and have instead fallen back exclusively on their ‘feelings’.

For conservatives like me, (increasingly Alt-conservative I have to confess) this is tragic. To me there has never been a single moment in my life when I have ever judged someone by the color of their skin, and I think this is true of the vast majority of conservatives and at least the leadership of the Alt-conservative movement. I have always judged individuals by their behavior. But to ignore the fact that black people (typically) act one way while Koreans and Japanese (typically) act another is to pretend there is no difference between success and failure. And that’s something I can’t abide.

Barak Obama is more successful than me. He is the perfect example of a black man who has chosen to behave in a way that leads to success. And the left would call it racist of me to say so but if I saw someone who dressed and behaved like Barak Obama walking down a dark lonely street in late night NY, I wouldn’t cross the street to avoid him. Why bother? He’s obviously a man who has figured out the same things I have about the world. He too has something to lose by behaving anti-socially.

But if Obama were walking toward me dressed in ghetto style with a half dozen other men, all behaving aggressively, I’d think about avoiding them. (Ok… not me maybe, but my girlfriend certainly would). So it isn’t the skin color that matters, it’s the behavior. I (… well she) would do the same if a half dozen white men dressed in similar style and with similar behavior were doing the same. The potential threat is the same, only the skin color is different. But it would produce 'exactly' the same result. The problem with this model though, and the real fact that most liberals ignore, is that most white men simply don’t act that way.

Barak Obama’s success should be an excellent example for all black men. The same could be said of Thomas Sowell, or Clarence Thomas, or even Eric Holder. If you work hard, follow the rules, and behave in a way that western society finds acceptable, you can quite literally become the most powerful man in the world and your skin color won’t stop you. Believing it will is just an excuse. A cop out. An accidental admission that there is really something else holding you back apart from the color of your skin.

There is nothing wrong with being black or brown. There is something very wrong about behaving the way that black and brown people typically behave in America. If the left were to figure a way to make that change, all the imagined ‘white privilege’ would disappear like mist.

With all that said, I’m very glad NRO has finally decided that it might be worth fighting the cultural fight. Unfortunately it’s also probably a sign that we’ve reached the saturation point on the charge of ‘Racist!!!!’. But you know what they say, nowhere to go but up.

%%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%%

I guess Rich Lowry slept late this morning. National Review has since changed the inflammatory title of David's piece to "Identity Politics Are Ripping Us Apart". As much as they may be dipping a toe into the culture was over race, I guess it's still important to them to avoid taking a side on the whole 'objective truth" vs "subjective fiction" war of debating styles. Or to put it another way, NRO is still married to the 'left leaning emotional message' communications style that that Mitt Romney used to such glorious effect in 2012.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

- America "Man's Up"

In the comment thread of a post below, TheRob625 made an interesting observation regarding Donald Trump:

I share your concerns about the man, but would still vote for him because he seems to be one of the few on the right who seems willing to directly confront the left. When attacked, he doesn't back down, he fights back. The left is absolutely hating it, while huge numbers of people on the right are loving it, which probably explains how he has got this far, against the odds and the predictions of the so-called pundits.

I think this pins it exactly. We are accustomed to center right pols giving a specific kind of message. Since all messages contain information content and emotional content, I’d like to say something about it in that light.

I think Mitt Romney would have made an excellent President. He’s smart, he’s strong, and he’s a leader of men. Our common acquaintances (mine and Mitt’s – there are a few) say great things about him and his character. He’s a man who “walks the walk”. He doesn’t lie, he doesn’t cheat, and he believes in the kind of moral world where masculine solutions to problems are at least as important as feminine ones, often more so.

But when Mitt spoke, he did it in the way that we’ve come to expect from center right pols. He offered a message with a strong conservative informational content, but a weak leftist emotional content about ‘caring and nurturing’. Seeing the way our society has been going, the voters of the right rejected him. They wanted someone who would ‘push back. Someone who would recognize that the barbarians are already at the gates of academia. In fact they have set up shop, own the ground utterly, and are trying desperately to fight their way out in to the rest of American culture. When we didn’t get the message we wanted from Mitt, the voters gave up on him because they assumed he lacked the emotional commitment to deliver for them. And in the face of Obama’s historic turnout of the black vote, and weak and middling turnout for Mitt, he never had a chance.

We got the same kind of messaging from George Bush’s ‘compassionate conservatism’. And in this primary cycle we saw exactly the same from all of the candidates on the right, even the ‘outsider’ Ted Cruz. And all of them were rejected for it. But Trump totally inverted the communications style we typically see from Republicans.

He doesn’t know that much about policy. So he provides (at best) a weak kneed centrist (or maybe even liberal) information content. But his emotional message is all about crushing our enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentation of their women. He is portraying himself as a man’s man in terms of emotional message. That may be a good thing and it may not. Electoral mathematics aren’t my strong suit. But he’s wowing them at the union halls, the elks’ lodge, and all the places that are absolutely fed up with conservative pols sounding like little girls.

His contempt for the press is the best example. Trump will not bow down to a bunch of pansy liberal wordsmiths just because they claim they can help him. He sees them as camp following whores who lack the strength to actually join in the battle, and would rather stand on the sidelines clutching their skirts before eventually fawning over whoever wins. He doesn’t call them liars in most cases. But he definitely gives the rest of us the impression that he feels that way. That ‘impression’ is provided by the emotional content of his message.

To some this seems discourteous or offensive. But those people are either women, or blue pill men so drenched in our deeply feminized culture that they have forgotten what men sound like when allowed to speak to each other in our own terms. Think of every conversation Trump has as taking place in a men’s locker room during half time, and it fits in much better. And if that idea is offensive, let me remind you that just a hair under 50% of the people in this country are men, so there is no reason we shouldn’t be allowed to speak to each other in this way. Only Feminism and the Feminist agenda becoming the standard of American discourse is preventing it.

I don’t like Trump as a candidate. I’m frightened of what he might do (as opposed to being frightened of what Hillary WILL absolutely do as a matter of principle.) But I love his tone. I embrace it for myself, and for America. In the future I hope other more qualified candidates learn it and use it. And if our leaders begin to speak this way, hopefully the rest of America will remember their testicles and ‘man up’ a little as well. We have a shortage of men in America, and since our enemies surround us both within and without, we need all we can get.

%%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%%

I just read this post from Nate Silver, who in general I respect because he's at least trying. Making incorrect predictions is no sin if you own up to them, which he seems to do.

But it brought the issue into stark relief for me. Trump's success is quite literally about the failure of Feminism.

In academia third wave Feminism is collapsing. It's an unsupported set of allegations and assertions lacking all evidence, and is unable to withstand even the slightest objective empirical examination without collapsing in on itself. It is, to use a technical term we in the data sciences embrace occasionally, utter nonsense. And people are seeing that. Even people who don't appreciate the subtleties of cultural shifting know that White Male 'privilege', Rape Culture, the Patriarchy and the rest of it, is ridiculous. And women, seeing it's backlash in the form of the marriage strike, and the rise of the PUA movement and other men's focused ideologies, are recognizing that it may be the thing preventing them from having a happy life instead of delivering one to them. It's increasingly seen as the rantings of the bitter, angry totally undesirable women who created it.

And Trump, probably without realizing it, is a manifestation of that. He's a reaction to Obama's total embrace of Feminism, and his rise as America's first woman president. Men are ashamed of his weakness. Trump is giving them 'strength'.

The jury is very much out on whether it will be enough. He might still lose in the general. Certainly the blue pill men don't say anything else, but they may know what they're talking about. Unless our society is ready to take the red pill, there might not be enough 'men' in America to push Trump over the top. What I mean is, there may be more men who think like women out there supporting their sister Hillary, than men who are prepared to tell the girls to F*** off.

But I'll be ridiculing them for it when they do.

This image (which I clipped from the corner) really says it all. A gleeful masculine woman (with a delusional glint in her eye) and a disappointed and effeminate man. This is Hillary's America. (Though the man should be wearing a dress.)

- Things Journalists Hate (But they're the only ones)

Interesting little blurb from NY Magazine:

Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone gave this weekend with Breitbart News Saturday. In the interview, Stone denounced CNN and warned, “When Donald Trump is president, he should turn off their FCC license.”

"The people" hate Congress, the Republican party, and the Democrat party. All of them having approval ratings in the basement. But compared to the way 'the people' view journalists, they are walking on sunshine. According to a poll from Gallup, the media continues to set new lows in trust and approval:

Journalists famously hold themselves in extremely high regard. But my experience is that they are the single most homogeneously awful human beings on the planet. They slant EVERYTHING, and are functionally illiterate in most of the disciplines they hold themselves up as experts on. But it isn't their arrogance or their ignorance that galls me the most. It's their massive disregard for the opinions of others - even experts.

When I was designing my trading system (which was a natural language AI that successfully read and traded by 'reading the news'), I had been working on Wall Street and in Hedge Funds for 12 years. At the time, I was a senior research staffer at one of the most successful Hedge funds in history, and was already an 'expert' in derivatives. In the process of an interview (I was interviewing him), I had a reporter from Reuters who was 6 years out of journalism school say to me "Well you Hedge Funds are all just out to break the market. It would work much better if people who are as knowledgeable as journalists were running things." It was his belief that generating a profit from Trading 'broke' things in the market, and the real purpose of the financial markets was to have everyone come out equal.

If you think this was an isolated incident that left me with some personal resentment, you're wrong. I can't even remember the little dirtbag's name. And his only real sin was revealing to me the opinion that was more discreetly held by every single one of the journalists I spoke to in the process of building that system, many of whom eventually validated his view, albeit more discreetly. It isn't that they believe they know better than some people, they believe they know better than everyone, and are the only people who do.

Meanwhile, like many insular and devotedly liberal institutions, they scream into an echo chamber and what comes out is this horribly distorted world view. If we took every journalist in America and threw them all in prison, the quality of news would instantly rise.

Beyond that, they are reprehensible people. I have on occasion ranted a little about what a back stabbing political culture the big banks are when compared to the relatively honest world of Hedge Funds. Reuters, Bloomberg, and the other news generators I spoke to make the big banks look like a bunch of altar boys. They are conniving, back stabbing, deceitful, reprobate bastards. Especially the women. I believe you cannot survive in Journalism unless you are.

They are people who chose a career with no consequences to being wrong. So they are wrong all the time, and when they are they call the system 'broken'. If Donald Trump decides to pull their licenses, I'll complain about the practice, but celebrate the result.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

- The American Right Wing Explained

I've met Gavin McInnes briefly. I like him. He's mispronounced Tom Sowell's name, but apart from that, he's the main reason I occasionally forgive facial hair. I confess, there are a few of these guys I don't actually know. But mostly he's right in my wheelhouse here.

- Feeling The Bern!!!

To paraphrase Kevin D. Williamson, the Democrat party is a criminal conspiracy masquerading as a political movement, so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. But it's an enormous amount of fun seeing Bernie and his economically delusional supporters continuing to cling to that last thread of possibility:

Roughly 150 other superdelegates—positions given to party leaders and elected officials—have so far decided to remain neutral in the presidential race. Some are from states that haven’t gone to the polls yet, such as California, New Jersey and South Dakota. But others have dug in, regardless of who voters in their states supported, refusing to take a side yet because of personal, professional, or political considerations.

This cohort is only a fraction of the more than 700 superdelegates nationwide, but it's an important fraction: there are now more than enough uncommitted superdelegates sitting on the sidelines to push Clinton over the nomination finish line. If they all supported Clinton today, the Democratic primary race would effectively be over, allowing Clinton to shift her focus sooner to her awaiting Republican opponent, Donald Trump, who has already started efforts to rally his party against her.

The odds of Clinton not coming away with the nomination are tiny. All the occupy idiots and racial grievance mongers in the world won't change that if they burn Philadelphia to the ground. But I have to admit, it's fun seeing an outsider do to the left what has so recently been done to the right. And it reminds me how much fun a bar brawl is to watch, so long as it's not being held in your bar.

In the end the left's posturing about 'the will of the people' is all nonsense. They hold 'the people' in utter contempt, both opponents and supporters alike. And in the end, I'm quite certain the political operatives will all do as Hillary commands, and the 'will of the people' be damned. But I am so enjoying watching Bernie rub their noses in it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

- Who Is The Bully Again?!!

The thoughtless lack of self-reflection in this Slate piece astounds me. That a devoted supporter of the Obama Admin policy of strong arming every public school in the country could write something like this, shows a deep disconnect from reality on the part of the author. It was so utterly lacking in self awareness, that before I read it I knew it had to be a woman:

Early data hint that it might be more difficult to get popular perpetrators to stop bullying, perhaps—though it is not proven—because of the social status gained through this behavior. Through this lens, it’s slightly easier to make sense of Trump’s persistent bullying: His popularity, at least within his party, has been confirmed as he’s scooped up wins in primary elections during the past several months. If anti-bullying programs are to become more effective, they need a specific way of overcoming the particular problem of popular bullies.

So Obama? He’s just the savior of the American dream for boys who like to wear women’s clothing. But Donald Trump – a man who has no power except the bully pulpit and a smart mouth, is a bully. He is the only man pushing back on the lefts non-stop propaganda war of equalist cultural homogenization and the feminization of American men, and he’s the bully. He’s the only man in my lifetime to treat the press with the kind of dismissal that based on their lack of thoughtfulness, their shameless group think, and relentless liberal bias that they actually deserve, and he’s the bully.

The piece goes on in a pseudo-cerebral way to describe the various social engineering data available from academia to good progressives everywhere who want to stop bullying behavior by changing society. It treats individual humans as so many cogs in a great societal machine to be tinkered with here and there until the right balance of equality is reached. On its whole this piece seems to me to be a kind of liberal escapism. It's the fantasy that yes, even the most primal human instincts and group interactions can be changed if we just force enough individual Americans to stop thinking for themselves. And the piece utterly ignores the fact that the Omaba administration has been bullying the American public into a whole host of extra-constitutional social nonsense since ttook control of the Whitehouse.

The author, without any irony whatsoever, keeps making comparisons to the movie “Mean Girls” without ever realizing that she is one of the mean girls of the fawning liberal media who cowardly hovers around the president who is the real bully. And Trump isn’t the villain in this story, he’s the guy who won’t be pushed around. He’s the one kid who stands up to the bully whether the bully likes it or not.

Anyone who moved as often as I did in his youth has dealt with bullies. I was the new kid in a half dozen schools where outsiders were considered something you brought to heel right away, and have had to stand my ground to plenty of bullies. And for all the authors’ nonsense about social engineering, there is only one way to ever really be rid of a bully. You give him a good beating. Do your level best to do as much damage as you get, but even if you don’t, so long as you don’t back off, the bully will. All you really need is to have the courage to call him out, and don’t back down when he comes at you. That’s what Trump is doing.

He may turn out to be a shitty President, and he may have the arrogance to end western civilization. But one thing he has done which America will absolutely benefit from is that he hasn’t backed down when the bullies of the liberal media came at him. And in the process he’s taught a great number of aspiring conservative politicians that they can stand up for themselves as well.

There is no way to socially engineer humans to ‘end bullying’. But if you stand up to them, they will at least eventually stop bullying you. That’s what Donald Trump is doing. And I couldn’t be happier to see it.

- The TSA Lobbying For More Funding

(There is some well deserved swearing at the end)

This security line at Midway airport in Chicago looks like just another morning at Kennedy to me. One interesting air travel fact is that 50% of the flight delays across the entire country, can be sourced to the greater NYC airspace (Kennedy, Newark and Laguardia) If you want to fly into NY, you need to ideally be on a direct flight, and take the very first flight of the day from wherever you are. Otherwise it's the 737 equivalent of what you see here.

Friday, May 13, 2016

- A Thank You Note To Feminists

Jake Was Drunk. Josie was drunk. Jake and Josie hooked up. Josie really wanted a boyfriend but the next day when Jake said he wasn't into a commitment, she changed her mind about her consent, and Jake was charged with Rape.

Jake's name was dragged through the mud by his University who investigated him for a crime. Since there was no actual evidence he was never charged by police. But Social Justice warriors took up Josie's banner, and the press and internet pressure was too much for the University to bear. So his University suspended him anyway while they investigated, and Jake's life and future were irreparably damaged. When he was finally cleared of all charges two years later, no one cared.

Josie's life at school went on as normal and she graduated on time with a degree in Gender Studies. She couldn't get a good job so she moved back into her parents house and works as a waitress. She's 'totally stressed out' about paying her 120K student loans with so little income, so she begins drinking too much, overeating, and gaining weight. She still can't find a boyfriend or a husband because men don't trust women anymore and they don't think Josie is as cute as she was in college. Josie thinks all men are 'asshole misogynists' who are just intimidated by strong independent women like her.

Jake eventually finished his degree, and married a girl from the Philippines who has never heard of Feminism. They have three gorgeous kids and prenuptial agreement. Their family income is supplemented by the money from his lawsuit against the University, of which the lawyers took 30%.

- The Gun That Killed Trayvon: Part 2

So I'm looking at the auction for the gun that killed Trayvon Martin, and according to the website, the current high bid is a hair over 65 million dollars. Call me cynical, but I suspect that might not be a legitimate offer. Among the other 'bids' on the site are 2 from a user named Shaniqua Bonifa in the 200K range, and another set from Tamir Rice in the range of 430K. I think there may be an issue here.

Now I never for a minute thought I'd be able to buy this gun for my sub 10K budget. but at least I'm prepared to put up real dollars and am a real bidder. I won't bid any more than I know I can afford. I suspect if the gun could honestly be sold at auction, the winning bid would go well into 6 figures. But without advanced validation of the users there is simply no way to ensure that phony bids aren't entered using the internet alone.

For the auction of high value items like this one, there will have to be more structure, and more cost. George will need to get a lawyer involved, and require that perspective bidders post their money in advance in an escrow account. When they do, they receive a bidder ID and that ID is used for the bids. Anyone who doesn't put up their cash in advance, doesn't get to bid (sorry Shaniqua).

My thinking is that the gun will sell in the mid-six figure range. somewhere between 100K and 500K, maybe a bit more. It really is a piece of history, and represents the moment when America's black community decided that the truth of race relations was now irrelevant to 'our discussion of race', and the only thing that mattered was how oppressed they feel. As such, it's going to be a very important marker in US history, and will probably be a great investment for the purchaser. How much do you think you could get today for the cap and ball pistol that killed Lincoln?

And I'll be honest, I'm more than a little disappointed with gunbroker.com. I've bought several guns there, and have been a happy user on the site for a decode or so. They have always been a paragon of legality, and have voiced their strong support for second amendment issues. To see them back away from an auction just because it contains a political element makes me think their spines aren't quite as sturdy as I always imagined. That's deeply disappointing, and I imagine it is a product of the 'chilling effect' brought on by the Obama Justice Department's flexible take on the meaning of the word 'justice' when racial issues are involved.

But none of this changes the facts of the Trayvon case.

The facts are that Trayvon Martin was a juvenile delinquent raised to believe that white people hated him as much as he hated them. He was raised in a separate culture from white Americans where violence is used to settle personal disputes much more frequently than they are with whites. If he was the innocent and sweet peace loving honor student the media tried to portray him as, he could have easily avoided the whole conflict with Zimmerman. In fact Zimmerman had lost site of him when Trayvon circled back to confront him. Even at that point the whole thing could have been settled with a little polite discussion. It was an easy conflict to avoid, but Trayvon saw a smaller older man, and took the opportunity to 'teach him a lesson'. It didn't go the way he had planned.

The true fault of all this lies at the feet of America's liberals and the media who carry water for them. They are the ones that taught Trayvon that he needs to be part of a separate community instead of assimilating into 'white American culture'. They are the ones that told him that none of his problems in life were his fault and were really the fault of the 'oppression' he gets from whites. They are the ones that took the seething resentment of the black community and turned it into rage for the sake of winning more votes.

And lest we forget, this was turned into a media circus because the first reporters on the scene mistakenly saw that thing they seek above all else, but never seem to find - a peaceful unarmed black man who was killed for no good reason by a violent, racist, hate filled white man. Zimmerman turned out to be none of these things, and when the narrative collapsed, the media did what they always do. They lied about it, and repeated their lie to the point where it's become part of the mythology of our culture.

Take a look at the comments section of any news site covering the story of this gun auction. You'll find a number of semi-literate commenters who still believe that Zimmerman is a murderer in spite of being acquitted by a jury. In spite of the evidence and testimony of witnesses who saw Trayvon beating Zimmerman. And in spite of all the 'truth' of the case. That - the ill informed public - is solely the fault of our news media, who continue to be America's worst, most reprehensible citizens. Round up every single member of the NUJ and throw them all in prison, and you'd make the world a better place.

George Zimmerman is no hero. He's a guy who did exactly what he was allowed to do under the law when his life was threatened by a bigger, stronger man. I defend him because in the same situation I would do the same thing, but that's not enough to make me a fan of his. Still, he has broken no law, and was the unfortunate victim of one of the worst political witch hunts in modern memory. He's allowed to sell this gun under the law, and he should do so with pride. I hope he gets a fortune for it. And if he ever get's to sell it honestly, I'm personally going to make certain that he gets at least $7,500 for it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

- The Gun That Killed Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman is going to auction off the gun that killed Trayvon Martin.

Since I suggested he do that very thing a while back, I'm pleased to hear it. Though it seems the item has been pulled from the gunbroker website. I don't know precisely why. I'm hoping that's because of a private offer, but we know what it probably is. It's probably a reaction to the racial mob that is no doubt showering gunbroker.com with hate mail, and probably attempting a DOS attack.

George Zimmerman is entitled to auction off his firearm. Liberals may find this tasteless, but it's perfectly legal. When it goes back up for sale, I plan on entering a $5,000 bid (the opening amount) and if I win the auction, (which I confess is unlikely given my budget) I intend to present it as a gift to John Derbyshire, who lost his job at National Review for an article he wrote discussing the issue of Race in the immediate aftermath of that event.

%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%

The Keltec PF9 has been pulled from the gunbroker.com website owing to the publicity and political pressure brought down on the site. It has been relisted for sale at unitedgungroup.com And I'm still thinking very seriously of bidding. I tried to enter a valid bid a few minutes ago, and it doesn't seem to be active just yet.

- Feminism: What's In It For Them?

In the end, I don’t believe anyone does anything unless they believe that there is something in it for them. This may seem like a generalized endorsement of the ‘rational man’ theory, (often jokingly referred to as homo-economicus) but that’s not actually the case. It’s my belief that people act rationally sometimes and irrationally other times, but never without cause. As an example, some people will react with terror at a perfectly harmless mouse, but since mice very occasionally carry disease, this is not a totally baseless fear, just a potentially overestimated one. So rather than being totally irrational, it’s actually just an error of intensity.

Which brings up my central theorem of all human behavior, henceforth known as RFNJ Rule number one:

“How we decide, is who we are.”

There is an analogy about the human mind that says it’s like a man riding an elephant, where the man is the rational portion of the mind and the elephant the emotional portion. So long as the elephant is calm it goes where the man tells it and does what it’s told, but when the Elephant gets riled or frightened, it’s going where it goes, and the man is going with it. This take is also peripherally supported by that masterwork of social psychology, Thinking Fast and Slow.

According to ‘Thinking Fast and Slow”, the faster intuitive portions of our mind, which are much more closely tied to emotions, use few calories in our brain, and can provide snap decisions using estimations against patterns seen in the past. But they are also much more often incorrect than the analytical portions of our mind which are slower, more calorie intensive, and much more often correct than intuition.

And if you haven’t guessed, I think the most important part of my opening statement is not whether someone is acting rationally, but rather, whether they believe they are acting rationally. This is a meaningful deviation from the ‘rational man’ idea which, in most of the research I see, is just assumed to be either true of false. They are applying a single dimension to thinking where they should be applying a second. They assume that all actors are either rational or not for a particular class of decision, and when the decisions studied don’t lead to successful results, they call the theory of the ‘rational man’ invalidated.

My thinking is that across a spectrum of humans, some will be willing to invest more calories in their analytic decision making than others. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Imagine a very, very big strong man on a very tiny elephant as compared to a very tiny man, on a very large elephant. In extreme cases where the Elephant is totally out of control, it may not matter how big the man is. But in the normal course of human events the big man on the small beast should have nominally more control over the creature he rides, than the small man on the huge one.

So in any specific study of behavior, it’s my assertion that there will be spectrum of people across which some will by default act more analytically and produce seemingly more rational results, and some will act intuitively and therefore produce what seem to be ‘less rational’ results. Like any normal distribution, a very few will act all one way or the other, but most will be somewhere in the middle combining their emotive “thinking” with their analytic thinking. The only catch to this is that depending upon how strong their individual emotions are to the behavioral event being studied, it will tend to favor intuitive and seemingly ‘less rational’ reactions.

I believe the distribution of people across this dimension explains much about how the world works, and can be applied to large groups as well as to individuals. For example, if an individual is particularly insecure, their emotions concerning their ego will probably rule much of their decision making, particularly in an area where their specific insecurities lie. I’m stealing a base there with cause and effect since I don’t really know if it’s the excess emotional breadth that causes the insecurity or the other way around. But I don’t think many would contest the correlation. And I think that theorem can be very tightly applied to thinking about politics, particularly the workings of the liberal mind.

Liberals are personally very fearful, insecure, and are much more emotional than conservatives. So much so that when they ponder the political right, they tend to project their style of ‘thinking’ onto them. We all assume that other people think the way we do, but liberals are particularly prone to the misconception that a conservative’s ideas are a product of their individual emotional state. This is why they are always baselessly accusing them of ‘hate’.

To liberals this seems obvious because the policies proposed by conservatives often lack that self-congratulatory ego boost that is a fixture of liberal policy proposals, even though they are designed to meet the same publicly stated goals. In essence, liberal policies are designed not to exclusively accomplish the stated goal per se, but to also make liberals ‘feel better’ about the actions being taken toward the goal.

Conservatives are bound by no such constriction, and are therefore free to apply more analytic thinking to their proposed polices. The result is that liberal ideas often seem stupid to conservatives because they don’t meet the muster of analytics, and the conservative ideas seemed to be either cold hearted or driven by hate to the liberal because they lack any emotional ego boost.

This gap between how we make decisions has always led me to believe that there must be some as yet unknown way to communicate with liberals. They don’t respond to reason. What terrified or deeply threatened person would? But there none the less must be some way for Conservative arguments to be framed with the right kind of emotional content so that liberals would find them persuasive.

But the same thought can be applied to the other side of the coin. Even the most irrational and destructive views of liberals must hold the promise of some emotional satisfaction for them. It may lead to utter disaster, but as far as they and their emotions are concerned, there must be some payoff. And when it comes to liberal views, it’s very hard to find something that is more destructive at its core and more obviously leading to disastrous results, than Feminism.

The stated goal of Feminism is to eliminate the ‘oppression of women’ by “the patriarchy”, a malicious set of social constructs specifically designed by men to keep women under the thumb of men politically and socially, and ensure their availability to men for the occasional ‘rape’. But through the lens of analytic thinking, that’s just gibberish. What it’s really about is undoing the perceived differences between men and women, and to encode into both law and custom, explicit advantages for women at the expense of men. Its advocates will tell you it isn’t about that. That it’s really about ‘equality’. But when you dive down to the specifics, it becomes clear that equality is irrelevant to Feminists. What they really want is all the positives of being a man without any of the costs, and to keep and maintain all the advantages of being a woman as well, without having to cope with the restrictions on their behavior that created them in the first place.

I won’t get too deep into the specifics of it because it really isn’t germane to this discussion, and it’s a conversation that’s occurring all over the place in the manosphere already. My question is why? Why do women cleave to a philosophy that requires the denial of their basic nature? Why would they reject a natural and normal way of looking at the world, all for the right to behave in a manner that’s totally antithetical to their long term happiness? That brings them more stress, more loneliness, more misery, and in the end, more responsibility? What emotional gain could be so big for them, that they are willing to sacrifice everything in a woman’s life that provides real fulfillment, and that utterly destroys western society in the process by transforming women into something that no man would be willing to emotionally invest in?

The answer of course is sex. What Feminism is first and foremost, is an ideology specifically designed to break down all the social mores which may otherwise prevent or discourage women from being as sexually promiscuous as men. All the rest is smoke and mirrors. Everything it’s advocated for since the arrival of the birth control pill has been designed to delegitimize society’s objections to women being as promiscuous as their imagination allows. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. That’s the emotional payoff that for them that is justifying the dismantling of the very core fundamentals of western civilization.

It isn’t about the vote or equal pay or ending oppression. It isn’t even really about politics. All that is just means to an end. What it really is at its core, is a dismantling of the historic constraints that have been placed on women’s behavior with regard to sex. Every social standard, every cultural habit, every law of nature that has even the smallest effect of limiting women’s choices with regard to sex – Feminism is dedicated to seeing it all burn.

And to do so, Feminists will use every trick in the book. They will cherry pick research, lie about their motives, impute the motives of others absent evidence and cite dis-proven statistics. They will demonize their opponents, misrepresent their arguments, and oversimplify and reframe arguments to keep other views out of the discussion. They will impose laws preventing free speech and create wholly new standards of acceptable discussion (hate speech) to prevent their view from being questioned. They’ll do whatever they must to prevent their worldview from being examined in the light of analytic thinking, because the removal of the emotional goals of Feminism, shows it for the self-contradictory and destructive ideology that it really is.

Failing all that, in an effort to bring emotion and the emotional boost they get from their position back into the discussion, they’ll scream nonsensical vitriol at anyone who presents a differing view, or splash themselves and others with red dye, or quite literally beat people in the street and claim “harassment” if anyone dares to physically defend themselves. There is no one in the western world more dedicated to raising the level of emotional argument than a Feminist who’s being called out on their misstatements, fallacies and lies.

In my opinion, a society should not be utterly without emotion. It’s an important part of our decision making. And assuming that we share like values, those emotions can be very useful in guiding our decisions. I’ve helped my friends and family on occasion not because it was likely to make things better for me, but because I felt I had to. That was my ‘payoff’ in those decisions. The view that I was living up to the standards that I set for my own personal behavior. But to an analytical thinker like me, the emotional sphere is a place for ‘personal’ decisions not public policy. Public policy should be about doing the thing that is most likely to do the most good for the most people, not the place where personal feelings should hold sway. But Feminism has been so successfully spread as a worldview, that it completely dominates public policy as well.

The greatest triumph of academia in the age of Obama has been to make personal feelings relevant as a point of discussion when determining ‘truth’. “You hurt my feelings, therefore you are guilty of violence” isn’t just the watchword of the social justice warriors. It’s the banner of an entire philosophical position regarding the collapse of reason and the triumph of subjectivism. If we’re going to engage in that debate, we need to begin ‘calling things out’ for what they really are. And as a core component of the liberal position Feminism, is an excellent place to start.

And just because it's proponents won't admit to themselves what their true motives are, doesn't mean we can begin labeling them as we see them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

- Not Like The Others...

The link above is from Chateau Heartiste. And I have to confess, I think there is more here than meets the eye. If White pride is only used by bad people who lord their superiority over others, while all the other pride movements are considered noble and worthy fights against the powerful, isn't it a tacit admission by the authors that white people really are seen as 'better' than everyone else? How is it exactly that only white people can be guilty of racism, simply by failing to be adequately ashamed of who they are?

The leftist view on race is just silly really. If the cause of being downtrodden is 'hate', then why isn't black people's hate as effective as white peoples? In my experience black people hate white people FAR more than the reverse. How many Rotary club members and Elks Lodge types do you see standing in the street screaming in red faced, spit flecked rage at total strangers, just because of the color of their skin?

Why is it only the hate of white people which seems to have the effect of 'oppressing others'? And why do we think giving even more power and influence to the people who seem to be the most angry about it, is going to result in less hatred for everyone? To me it seems an awful lot like trying to trim your hair with a bullet fired from a revolver. It's noisy, ineffective, and likely to result in someone getting hurt.

- How Donald Trump Can Destroy The World

At the request of commenter JRG, I’d like to restate my view of Donald Trump’s plan for addressing the national debt.

This may sound thoughtless, but I hope he’s lying. I hope he’s crafted his policy based on what his advisers are telling him plays well in the focus groups. Because if he puts any serious effort into the plan as written, the most likely scenario is that he brings the entire economy of the developed world down around our heads.

Donald Trump has a very basic understanding of debt as an issuer but none as a purchaser, and understands the markets in which they are traded no better than your average guy on the street. He gets the absolute basics that things are bought and sold, but he understands nothing about how, and why. And if you want to predict the behavior of participants in that market, you had better have a very deep understanding of both. Otherwise you’re a toddler playing with a loaded machine gun.

I say this after having spoken to the man on this very topic. It’s possible he’s learned something since we spoke, but it isn’t possible for him to have learned enough to be able to launch a credible plan for the resolution of our debt. Short of cutting Federal spending and dismantling what he can of the bureaucracy, I think his best bet would be to stay the hell out of it and do something less dangerous like, sleeping with the Chinese premier’s wife or playing with the box that holds the nuclear launch codes.

I used the word credible above because markets, particularly over the counter markets, are all about credibility. The institutions who buy our debt need to have confidence that they are going to get paid. When you think of those people you may be imagining some third world Despot or a Chinese state official sitting in a big office somewhere, or some plotting and scheming evil banker, but that’s not who owns our debt. The people who own the vast majority of our debt, is you.

Of the 19 Trillion in US debt currently issued, 13.75 trillion is held by the ‘public’, and the rest is held by other branches of the government including ‘Social Security’. The payments of that debt pay peoples light bills, their food bills, and their medications. The breakdown on holders of US debt is something like:

- Social Security: 2.78 Trillion
- Office of Personnel Management (Federal Pensions): 873 Billion
- Military Retirement Fund: 601 Billion
- Medicare: 187 Billion
- Other gov Agencies: 696 Billion

The rest of the Debt is held by “The public” but that breakdown is equally ominous:

- Foreign Holders (your despots and dictators) 6.17 Trillion
- Mutual funds: 2.46 Trillion
- State and Local Govt pensions: 803 Billion
- Private Pensions: 403 Billion
- Insurance Companies: 293 Billion
- Other (held by individuals, corporations, Hedge Funds, and other private investors): 1.2 Trillion

Donald Trump can imagine ‘renegotiating the debt’ but if he tries it, all the other parties with whom he isn’t negotiating will react by selling their debt and driving the price of all the rest down.

Which brings up an elusive term in market finance: Liquidity. At the moment you can buy or sell about 80 million dollars’ worth of US debt without affecting the price. But that’s on a ‘normal’ day. A normal day would be defined as one where each of those investors is looking at their own priorities and their own agenda to determine whether to buy or sell. Some will be buying, some will be selling, and the gap between the two will drive the market slightly up, or slightly down.

But the day Donald Trump announced his intention to ‘renegotiate’ even a part of that 13.75 Trillion of debt in the public market, everyone who owns the rest of it will all be looking at exactly the same thing… Donald Trump. And when you give that many people the same precise incentive, you will get the same precise action. You cannot just ‘screw the dictators’ because credibility will be shattered, and everyone else will then believe that they are next. And they very likely will be. It will make the mortgage bond crisis and subsequent aftermath look tiny by comparison.

There is no chapter 11 (reorganizational bankruptcy) for the US government. What there is instead, is half a million soldiers with live ammunition, spread across 2/3 of the globe. The Trump plan to ‘renegotiate the US debt’ could be the greatest plan ever. It could be a statement of unparalleled market brilliance. He could have obtained it, dictated to him by an ephemeral voice, through the parted clouds, in the middle of the national mall, on nationwide live TV, and it would still result in an economic cataclysm of unprecedented proportions. And in truth, that would only be the beginning.

The day all the sellers of US debt showed up in the market at the same time, the Fed would buy a bunch of it (at first) and then order the market closed. No further trading in US debt would be possible. But no selling also means no buying, and that means in very short order we would have no funds available for US operating expenses of the Federal government. In a functional market the dollar would plummet in value, but it won’t in this one because dollars are only tradable through another currency. Since the value of the dollar is backed up by a stable, lawful country that is responsible for 50% of the globes’ military spending (see the soldiers mentioned above), people would sell other currencies first. But with the market for US Treasuries closed, it begs the question, what would the buy?

Assets. Hard assets. Commodities would skyrocket. Gold will be stratospheric, as would silver, copper, corn and crude. Anything you can buy that can be put in a hole in the ground and surrounded by armed guards will instantly become extremely valuable, and therefore be in very short supply. Then the infrastructure begins to break down. Do you know what ‘just in time’ logistics is? The hoarding of commodities (even just illegal hoarding) will produce shortages of everything, everywhere, in less than 30 days.

There is much, much, more. Even if the bond markets aren’t open, the value of the bonds can fall. Even if it only falls in the minds of the risk managers who manage our banks and pension funds, it will still fall. In anticipation of a lower bond value, Banks and other financial institutions will ‘de-lever’. Those Treasuries aren’t bought for their own sake, they barely produce any income these days anyway. They are bought to serve as riskless collateral for other loans which are used for a whole bunch of other buying. An enormous portion of those purchases will have to be sold out.

I've written before about the 'notional value' of the Derivatives market and how the only time anyone ever mentions it is when they're trying to scare someone. This is the one and only moment when that number would become relevant. 19 Trillion in currently issued US Treasury debt is used, directly and indirectly, as the collateral for 1.2 Quadrillion in nominal loans and derived products. A major change in the value of US debt would put a substantial potion of those loans at risk. How much? No one knows. And because they don't, 'better safe than sorry' will become the order of the day.

If a stock market anywhere on the globe dares open, it will be hit with simultaneous selling from everyone, everywhere. And that’s when things get really bad. In 60 days you can put together a pickup hockey game in the middle of the golden gate bridge and hold a barbecue in the middle of Fifth avenue (in front of Trump Plaza if you like) without worrying about oncoming traffic. Panic will be everywhere, so martial law if a given. But the really big question is: who will be controlling it? With no federal funds coming in except from taxes, it’s entirely possible that we won’t have money to pay our troops. We have the best Army in the history of the world. Highly trained and deeply devoted. But when you stop paying them, they are just a bunch of relatively uneducated guys with guns. There will be no such thing as a ‘safe space’.

So how can he avoid all this? He can’t. His only option is to stay the hell away from the whole thing in the first place. A big ego, and some modest financial acumen are not nearly enough to pull this off. The only good thing I can think of about Hillary is she won’t have the unmitigated arrogance to try something like this. Instead she’ll try something less risky like confiscating all private firearms or declaring herself President for life. Each of those will have less serious consequences.

I hate to say it, but we’re too far down this road. There is no ‘fixing’ this. It’s a Gordian knot, and can only be cut. And when it’s cut, we had better be in a position to deal with the consequences of that. For too long we’ve indulged the fantasy that a majority of the people can somehow get more out of the system than they put in, and the difference has always been made up by debt. So what Trump’s real plan should be is to undo some of that thinking and make modest incremental improvements in our willingness to accept putting in more, and getting much less for it.

Slash Federal spending, lower taxes to fuel growth, and dismantle some of the Federal bureaucracy that stand in the way of that growth. Change the direction of the country in a way that leaves us more psychologically prepared to deal with its destruction. To the degree that he is successful, we would be better off having it all fall apart at some time in the future than having it happen today. None of that will be politically popular, but as an outsider, it’s the one good thing he may bring to the table.

I don’t believe the patient can be saved any longer. Not by Trump, or any politician, or anyone else. By addicting ourselves to debt we have planted the irretrievable seeds of our own destruction. The only thing we can worry about, is how we survive the process when our Uncle Sam dies. Because the disease, like it or not, is now terminal and inoperable. It doesn’t matter who holds the knife.