Monday, July 31, 2017

- Why I'm So Proud...

... of my eternally clever daughter. At one point she had a whole bunch of her classmates convinced that Reince Priebus's middle name was Rhombus.

Tell me it wouldn't make you glow with pride too. I can't wait what she's telling her suburban rich kid friends about the Mooch right now.

There are a few movies which the Trading floor guys on Wall Street have embraced fully, and in a way define the culture. There is Caddyshack, of course. A guy I used to work with on the Swaps desk at Deutsche Bank used to be able to recite the entire movie, line by line, in a pretty decent impersonation of every character who said it. (Not just the Bill Murray stuff who everyone does.) Then there is the movie Airplane, which see's it's best lines repeated ad infinitum.

And of course, the movie to define ruthlessness - The Godfather. "Leave the gun, take the Cannolis" is a very common phrase (or used to be anyway), or Clemenza's report back to Sonny on the whereabouts of Pauly, "Oh Pauly, won't see him no more."

Well it seems the Mooch is going back to his roots. 10 days in the Whitehouse, and all it cost him was his wife, his child, his marriage (with 50% of his assets along with it no doubt) and the respect of virtually everyone in America. So much for shooting for the stars huh Mooch?

Somewhere right now, Steve Bannon is asking General Kelly where the Mooch is, and he's hearing those immortal words, "Oh Mooch, Won't see him no more."

- It's Probably Just Me

I think it's kind of funny that in the 70's and 80's while Soviet style Communism was finally blowing apart, it was the likes of Milton Friedman, an Austrian School Economist, whose voice was becoming most prominent, and turning us away from an obviously failed ideology. He taught us all the advantage of individual liberty, and we all reaped the benefits of it. But it was the crowds that chose him among all the other voices. People put that to Reagan, but politics is downstream of culture, and Reagan only said the things he did because he learned them from men like Friedman.

These days, with Social Justice arguably as over-reached as Communism was when it was about to fall, with the University system of the west in ruins and the Europe totally unable to find the will to push back against it's own invasion, it's the voices of Psychologists who are coming to the fore in the mass media. Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, and Jordan Peterson each from their own perspectives, are offering the best counter-points to the psychosis that is social justice.

Where the Social Justice Warriors dishonestly insisting that victimhood is virtue and no one has a valid voice unless they belong intersectionally to victimized groups, these three men are arguing the inherent virtue of individualism, and the importance of balance and honesty.

It's an interesting point-counterpoint I think. When economics was the question economists 'became' the answer. Now that the problem is a kind of mass psychosis, it's psychologist who are 'becoming' the answer.

There might be some wisdom to the crowd after all, it seems to me.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

- What Does That Mean?

Listening to Jordan Peterson has given me some really great language to describe my own thinking. That isn't post-hoc rationalization. I'm not changing my mind about anything. It's more like when I listen to his various lectures I feel like a series of lights are going on in a huge warehouse, and the thing I thought was a part of the structure itself is actually something else - a cruise ship or something. Crappy analogy I know, but how would you describe validation of the biggest ideas you hold?

I can even remember the moments when I made the various decisions to think the way I do, that Dr. Peterson is validating for me. They were all moments of great emotional desperation from my late teens and early 20's, all over a period of about 7 years or so. I have even described one of them in the past, the biggest one, as an epiphany. A transformative moment that came to me totally unbidden, when who I was (or in that case, who I most certainly was not) became revealed to me with perfect clarity. But this isn't about the big moment, this is about the first moment.

This piece on the deplatforming by the left of the new atheists, reminded me of one of them in a strange sort of way. And it showed me a glimpse of what one of the biggest problems with 'leftist' thinkers is. It was this sentence that set me off:

The heart of the Left is Neo-Babelism, which is inherently globalist and Satanic in nature.

Vox is a faithful christian. By his description, I'm not. But I think I know what he means when he says Neo-Babelism all the same. I think he means that the left is centered upon the idea that through their intellect alone they can transcend the concept of 'truth' and make their own truth. It's a big and profoundly mistaken idea, and one which I agree with Vox, accurately categorizes one of the central ideas of the left.

But the real question is how did I come to that conclusion?

Many years ago, in what I think was my very first of my 'epiphany like' moments, walking through a cold cow pasture all by myself, I made a decision about how I would communicate with others. I decided that I couldn't control what people say, but I could control how what they say effected me.

My thesis was that if what they said wasn't intended to hurt me, then it shouldn't. And if what they said was intended to hurt me, then they aren't the kind of people whose opinions I should care about, and it shouldn't hurt me anyway. Either way, I shouldn't be hurt by the things people say to me. I might not be able to control them, but I could control me.

Keep in mind, I was at the time a skinny 16 year old kid - far too smart and too sensitive for my own good, living in a deeply psychologically abusive environment with a dangerous alcoholic. So as modest as it may seem now, this was no small revelation. At the time it felt to me like that moment when you will retreat no further. You would rather live and die on the spot you stand, than to take one more step back into the despair and self hatred that your abuser intends for you.

From that tiny psychological beachhead in that frozen pasture, I began the very long journey to rebuild my psyche and to become something other than what I was being trained to be. All of the successes of my life, however modest they've been, can be traced in some respects to that single moment.

So what does this all have to do with the left?

From that moment on, anytime anyone said anything to me that elicited any emotional reaction, I would intentionally hold off and ask myself - "What did they really mean by that?" That's how I came to the conclusion I did about what Vox, who has a very different experience than me, 'really' meant when he talked about the Neo-Babelism of the left. And that same question "What does that mean?", is one that the left, for one reason or another, never, ever bother to ask themselves.

I haven't figured out why yet, but for some reason they can't see that to fail to ask themselves that simple basic question, is the very first step to making themselves into slaves.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

- Publishing Elsewhere

I've been publishing a few business related articles on other formats, under my own name. Ikaika gave me a 'like' about 10 seconds after I published one this morning, which was nice of him... but it reminded me to leave this note. For those of you who know my full name, you might want to consider looking elsewhere to read them. But this blog is so polemic that I think I'd prefer to keep the two separate for now.

I'm perfectly willing to defend every word I've ever written here. But I see no reason to call down the lightning. I utterly reject and deny that I possess 'hate' for anyone, let alone entire groups of people. But you know how the social justice left loves to take things out of context.

I'm trying to do something professionally right now which will result in, not only a benefit to me and the people I care about, but to society at large as well. And I'd hate to see that derailed by the vengeful left and their desire for scalps.

So if you read my stuff elsewhere, please remember that I would prefer not to have it too directly associated with this body of work for the time being. At least not until I'm in a better position to defend myself for it. Thanks.

Friday, July 28, 2017

- Unpacking Jordan Peterson's Biblical Series

I'm all caught up on Dr. Peterson's biblical stories lectures, and I get it. What's more, I agree with it. let me see if I can boil down 20 or so hours of lectures from a genius into a few concise sentences to give you the gist.

At the end of the day Dr. Peterson is several things - many of them incredibly noble. I already mentioned that I think he's a genius, but I think it's worth mentioning twice in his case.

What he's come up with is a kind of unified field theory of Evolutionary Psychology. And he ties it to the deepest things we know. The deepest theology (as a kind of archetypal mythology), the deepest philosophy, and the deepest science about the brain, the development of personality, evolution, and the nature of western culture and the inalienable rights of man.

The guy has to be stealing a base or two in there somewhere but I'm not smart enough to catch it, and I've listened to some of these lectures several times. My appreciation of it is that he's putting forth a collection of thinking that ties all of that together in a remarkably elegant single set of concepts.

There are fundamental premises that you have to buy into in order to make his view work, but they're remarkably basic. Down at the very bottom is this:

Words are incredibly important. But words don't tell you what people think. What people do is what tells you what they think. How they act in the real world is what they really think. Sometimes the things they say coincide with their actions and that is, for lack of a better term, the truth according to them. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons their words contradict their actions and that would be considered, a falsehood.

More truth in your words and actions leads to positive things happening to you, the people around you, and the people who come after you. More falsehood leads to misery - mostly to you, but often to a great many others as well.

He's not saying that he knows the truth and we all have to follow him. In an important way he's saying the exact opposite. What he's saying is that he's found a way to unpack it all (and I do mean 'all') in a way that reveals the truth to him, and we would all be wise to do the same, especially if it leads us to a different place than him, which I would expect he thinks it would.

His grand advice for a life that is meaningful is to get yourself in order, and then take on the biggest responsibility you can. That, he says, is the secret to a life filled to the brim with meaning, and will lead you to as great a life as you can have. It will be a hard life that is filled with pain, because all life is. But if the thing you've taken on is big enough and meaningful enough, then you'll think it's worth it.

This is a hard statement to contradict. And it appeals to what is at this point my fundamental nature as a trader. There is no costless benefit in life, and all you can ever hope for is a benefit so big that you don't mind the cost. That, it seems to me, is true wisdom. And he backs it all up with such elegant thinking and careful elucidation that I find it very compelling.

In a saner world there would be statues, medals, and dinner with the queen. These days all he gets is Social Justice Warriors calling him a racist misogynist, and screaming at him about their pain.

Ironically, his Biblical Lecture series is him taking his own advice to 'walk the walk'. It's the biggest thing he could think of and he's picked it up and is trying to run with it. He's rented a theatre in Toronto for the weekly series, and is playing to sold out crowds, and hundreds of thousands of others who follow along like me on youtube.

And his SJW detractors seem to be backing up his take on things too because they've all but disappeared. His philosophy is to say and act 'the truth', and the philosophy of the SJW's (it has always seemed to me) has been built from the ground up on a base of anger, resentment and lies. So instead of arguing with him over which view is right, they've run from the battle and hidden rather than have their dangerous thinking and carefully twisted minds, exposed to any truth.

And sure enough, his biblical series continues without any protest. His detractors refuse to debate him. There are no air horns, no cross dressing psychotics, and no raving blue haired fat girls screaming about misogyny. It's just a sane man, giving a deeply profound and thoughtful lecture on the nature of man and a life well lived.

He can't get it down to soundbites. That's too low resolution, and I don't fault him for it. He would be doing the whole thing disservice if he tried. It's a much more persuasive argument in its present form because of it's depth and detail.

For me it's a validation that I've thought (and tried to act) for a very long time, but lacked his ability to verbalize. And watching him makes me feel like I'm witnessing history. I'm seeing the moment when the insanity of the Social Justice world, was finally pushed back.

Time will tell if I'm right. His work will find it's way from his fans on the web to the broader culture, and we'll see what people make of it. In the meantime I hope he stays safe, because the last guy who tried something this big got nailed to a cross for his trouble, And I think there would be much to lose and nothing to gain, if Jordan Peterson were harmed by some psychotic Social Justice Warrior who sees him as the enemy.

I'd recommend the series, but it's awfully deep. It goes way deep down into the dark in virtually every direction you can conceive of. For you to appreciate it, you have to be down for that kind of thing. But if you can make the time, and like me you're inclined to a little depth anyway, you really have to watch this.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

- Oh Captain My Captain

William Shatner boldly goes where few men have gone before... he dumps directly on SJW's.

I always liked the little guy. He is grounded in a way that few celebrities are, and has a sense of humor about himself. My all time favorite 'Star Trek' quote comes from the stupid movie they did about going back in time to save the whales. As the crew strides off into 1987 San Francisco after landing their cloaked (and stolen) Klingon bird of prey in the middle of Golden Gate Park, Captain Kirk loudly says "Everyone remember where we parked." I always hoped it was an ad lib. This doesn't seem to be the case because if it were, one of the multitudes of Star Trek geeks would have figured it out by now and said so.

Shatner is humble in a way, clever in a way, and very good humored. He is by no means perfect, and I suspect he would be the first to tell you so. But if all actors were like him, the country would be a much better place.

- De-Platforming Atheism

Personally I think anyone who calls themselves an atheist is exhibiting shallow thinking. I've even said this about the Derb who is a dear friend and for whom I have nothing but intellectual respect. I feel this way because I don't think you have to have believe in the all powerful bearded man in the sky to be a christian.

Sure, many Christian sects say that yes, you do have to believe in him to 'really' be a christian. But I suspect the range of confidence in that specific component of religious faith waxes and wanes in the minds and hearts of their own congregations. And no one ejects them from the church simply because their faith in the arguably least provable component of their dogma begins to drift a little.

In my mind, the real dividing line for christianity is a belief in christian values. If you value individual responsibility as opposed to say the collective virtue of family or tribe like they do elsewhere in the world, then you believe in part of christianity. If you believe in scientific inquiry and doubt as a path to the truth then you believe in a very specific christian virtue. You may not see it as explicitly christian, in the same way that a fish doesn't see the water he swims in. But we live in a world that was made from the ground up out of our embrace of christian thinking, and you can't be alive without also breathing the air.

Jordan Peterson explains it exceptionally well in my mind, far better than I could. But that's his gig so I would expect nothing less.

And that's what makes the de-platforming of Richard Dawkins fun. I say 'fun' because I know Dawkins can take a punch much better than his opponents, and I suspect he's just getting greased up and stretching for what's sure to be an entertaining battle. He is, like virtually all self described atheists, a religious advocate of 'free speech' (wink) and I'm sure he plans to use it to flambe his de-platformers for their obvious hypocrisy.

Dawkins is mostly famous for offering thoughtful and articulate defenses of atheism which, although I don't find them particularly persuasive, he has been doing so for years and years. It's what he's known for. He has criticized all religious thinking including all the modern religions. And I look forward to hearing his responses to the religion of 'social justice'.

I think they're kicking the wrong dog here. And I can't wait to see the dog bite back.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

- Trump Bans Trans

I'm sure you've heard the news by now. Trump has banned the service of Transgender people in the US military. Technically speaking as leader of the US armed forces he's perfectly entitled to do so. "It's a distraction." seems to be a more or less accurate description of his reasoning.

As a rule, I'm a big fan of the military and military thinking. Not everyone in the military is doing the thinking, but since it's a part of the US government that's just as well. At the end of the day, the first priority of our military is to kill people and break stuff, while keeping other people from killing and breaking ours. That imperative has a way of boiling off all the nonsense. Nothing, but nothing will get you focused on the immediate issue at hand like having someone trying to kill you.

In the best of our military thinkers, this breeds a real pragmatism of thought. They are not concerned with imaginary problems because they have very real problems to address. The left, and in particular the trans members of the left, are pretty much only worried about their imaginary problems. If a person wants to change their sex, it's because of something that is happening in their mind, that only they can see and feel. that, I think, is the literal description of imaginary, and for that reason I think it's incompatible with the military.

Culturally, it's nice to have some pushback on the Trans bullies. Up to now they could do or say whatever they want, and the only response was weakness. They have actually proposed in the media at least, the idea that people should be required to date trans people. That is not a recipe for happiness. But now there is at least one thing that Trans people cannot do. It's a choice, and the choice has benefits as well as costs. And it's nice to see one of the cultural costs so clearly illuminated. I have nothing against Trans people per se. I feel bad for them if their issue is legitimate. But that sympathy doesn't extend so far that I'm willing to suffer greater risk simply to make them feel better about themselves. On the contrary, I think there should be other costs as well. I'd like to see Trans people banned from any high risk public sector position on the grounds that their 'trans-ness' is an indication of emotional instability. Think of it as an act of kindness. They have so many imaginary things to worry about, that we wouldn't want to burden them excessively by giving them real things to worry about as well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

- Statistics Explained Badly

I'm not a professional writer, and will often 'cop' to my amateurish style and skill. But this is so bad I feel like I have to make mention of it.

I'm reading Slate this morning, and there is a story critical of Mayor DiBlasio (OK... right with you there liberals) on his policy for reducing New York City's rat population. (You've still got me Slate.) But with the very first sentence, I knew there was going to be a problem:

New York City is notorious for its large rat population, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is eager to do something about it.

Maybe I'm being a little bit too literal. But are we having a problem with large rats, or their large population? I'm in favor of reducing both, and since the largest rat I've ever seen in my life (I kid you not... it was the size of a small dog - like a Nutria on steroids) was in Washington Square Park just two blocks from where I type this, I can get behind either plan. But you'd think the pros over at Slate could be a bit clearer. Maybe both the author and editor were stoned at the time and didn't much care which interpretation I as a reader embrace.

The piece goes on to describe some mathematical sleight of hand the administration uses to make themselves look better than they truly are. Then a few paragraphs in, I came to this:

Regression here refers to the statistical phenomenon that exceptional events are usually just that: exceptions, not the norm. For example, the genes inherited from tall parents generally produce shorter children. The student with the highest score on one test is unlikely to do as well on the next. And locations with the highest crime tend to exhibit lower crime the following year.

If you want to mis-speak regarding rats, I think I can let it pass. But math requires precision. It is a world where being correct is categorical. 2+2 isn't 'about 5', it's 4. Every time. And the rhetorical liberties taken by the stoner writer have no place in it. So let me offer some corrections.

First, he isn't talking about regression, he's talking about mean reversion, which is the tendency of a numeric series (over time) to deviate back toward the average immediately after an unusual deviation from it. The greater the initial deviation, the more likely the reversion. But the examples offered distort the facts a little.

The child of two exceptionally tall parents is likely to have a child who is shorter than they are, but still taller than average. And their grandchildren are likely to be taller than average as well. The Dutch are taller than average. The Vietnamese are shorter than average. Those trends persists over time in spite of what we call 'local variation'.

What's more, it only applies for 'random' events. A child who gets the best score on a test is very much NOT random. In my daughter's class the same child (mine) gets the best score on very nearly every test, in nearly every class, and has done so in every grade. Her spectacular work ethic, study habits, and innate intelligence see to that. And in those rare occurrences when she doesn't do so, it's always the same two or three other kids who do. No one is 'smart today' but stupid tomorrow.

As for crime rates, it's only those places which see a radical increase in YoY (Year over Year) crime rates that are likely to see a modest decrease the following year, but they will almost certainly be higher in crime than the surrounding areas. This is very much NOT a random occurrence either. Young black men commit most of the violent crime in New York and young minority men commit virtually all of the 'shootings' in the city. The year on year variation may be noticeable, but the overall trend doesn't change in any meaningful way unless you do something about it.

I don't mean to be too hard on the stoners at Slate. It's very much true that the Diblas-inistas are awful at using math tricks to make themselves look good, and I congratulate Slate for being able to detect and report on that. That's certainly a vast improvement over their past efforts, and unless I'm mistaken they didn't mention racism or misogyny once in the whole article. No really! It's amazing right?

But I see no reason why Slate should end their slow march toward realism before learning to speak in factually correct terms. Yes, reality is boring compared to the land liberals live in, And they may have to 'spice things up a bit' to keep their usually hysterical readers engaged. But talking about Statistics is no place for that. If you're gonna say, you should say it correctly.

Friday, July 21, 2017

- Flying Cars And Dumpster Fires

I saw this ridiculous Twitter post the other day:

This is obviously a post by a woman who thinks that because she’s black she understands Africa. Clearly she does not. I’ve never been to Africa, so I wouldn’t call myself an expert either. But I think I’ve read enough, and I understand data well enough to put her claim to the test.

In order to get to the world of flying cars and glowing cities, you would need a lot of smart people. We don’t have those things here in America, so one could assume that you’d need people who are much smarter than we are. That’s something we can empirically test.

You could simply look at group IQ differences. IQ is the single most reliable test in all of social science, and has the benefit of a gi-normous sample size across multiple cultures. There are tests which don't even require literacy and are simply pattern matching of graphical objects. A picture of three different shaped rectangles, followed by a multiple choice selection of a triangle, a circle, a hexagon and a square is typical. These tests have been given to millions of people across multiple cultures and always show similar results.

But none of that prevents those that don’t like the data from making the argument ‘yo test be raciss’. So let's forget about IQ per se, and try something else.

How about literacy rates? If the only thing holding back the brilliant and enlightened people of Africa are the oppressive crimes of violent and aggressive white people, that wouldn’t necessarily prevent a superior life of the mind in those countries right? I think it’s all but certain that you can’t get flying cars if you can’t read the instruction manual for the tools you’ll build them with.

The sharing of information is absolutely essential for building a modern society. Literacy lets you retain information from past generations, and widespread literacy lets many people add their tiny bit of wisdom to the whole. It is in essence, the thing that makes a modern society. Drop a bunch of Ashkenazi Jews or Japanese, or even Irish down on a new planet, and after the immediate needs of survival are met, the very next thing someone is going to build will be a printing press. So literacy is closely linked to the capacity for modernity. I don’t think anyone can seriously dispute it.

Africa has had the same access to the written word as the rest of the planet for centuries, so if it were a priority for Africans, there is really no reason for it to not have made substantial inroads. The Vikings had no written language, but as soon as they were exposed to the idea, they embraced it with gusto. Cultural issues might have delayed the process somewhat in Africa. But they’ve now had centuries to get used to it. And today there is no reason any motivated African man couldn’t learn to read in some language. Type the phrase “building schools in Africa” and you get 57 million hits. I think that makes it clear that Africans learning to read is a big priority for someone, if not for Africans.

So let’s have a look at where African literacy stands today.

I was really hoping to look at literacy rates by primary language spoken (paging Audacious epigone), because I thought that would better reflect the tribal nature of culture. Regrettably the data isn’t available. But I did find some data on literacy rates by country on Wikipedia, so I downloaded it, sorted it, and filtered the countries of Africa.

There are some issues with the data that I take exception to, specifically with women. In many countries, and not just in Africa, women are actively discouraged from learning to read. For this purpose though that would be considered an externality. I’m really only interested in the capacity for reading not whether women are discouraged from doing so, and rather than unfairly bias the data against those countries where women are less literate for political or religious reasons, I excluded the data for Females, and only compared Male Literacy rates.

What you see is precisely what you’d expect. The highest overall literacy rates are in first and second world countries. In fact, the Male literacy rate in countries like the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and so on down to about Poland, is so close to 100% that they didn’t bother to report it at all. Whether their relatively high literacy rate is cause or effect of their advanced economic status is irrelevant to me. So let’s have a look at the would be paradise of Africa.

The Highest scoring nations are those with higher white populations, oppressed former colonies, or those that had greater access to trade with evil and oppressive 'raciss' white men. But the overall rates don't exactly point to African brilliance:

Nation - Male Literacy Rate
Equatorial Guinea 95.30%
South Africa 94.30%
Botswana 88.50%
Cabo Verde 87.60%
Swaziland 87.50%
Zimbabwe 86.50%
Burundi 85.60%
Gabon 83.20%
Namibia 81.90%
Tunisia 81.80%
Tanzania, United Republic of 80.30%
Algeria 80.20%
Lesotho 79.40%
Congo 79.30%
Kenya 78%
Comoros 77.80%
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 77.30%
Ghana 76.60%
Sudan 75.90%
Egypt 75.20%
Cameroon 75%
Sao Tome and Principe 74.90%
Uganda 73.90%
Eritrea 73.80%
Morocco 72.40%
Angola 71.10%
Rwanda 70.50%
Timor-Leste 67.50%
Togo 66.50%
Malawi 65.80%
Zambia 63.40%
Guinea-Bissau 59.90%
Nigeria 59.60%

After Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, things start to look genuinely dismal. No country where 50% of the people lack the intellectual capacity or inclination to learn to read can expect to provide it's own clean water and power, let alone medical systems, advanced engineering and flying car building factories.

Mozambique 58.80%
Senegal 55.70%
Gambia 55.50%
Mauritania 52.10%
Ethiopia 49.10%
Sierra Leone 48.10%
Liberia 47.60%
Côte d'Ivoire 43.10%
Chad 40.20%
Mali 38.70%
Benin 38.40%
Central African Republic 36.80%
Burkina Faso 36%
South Sudan 31.90%
Guinea 30.40%
Niger 19.10%

This data is from 2015. That means that in Niger right now, today, less than one person in five can count to 20 without taking off his shoes. That is a very long way from flying cars.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

- On Being Heroic

Yesterday while chatting before a meeting, someone asked me what I thought was the coolest single line ever, and I suggested that it belonged to Brigadier General Anthony Mcauliffe the commander of the 101st Airborne during the battle of the bulge. When the Germans had his troops surrounded in the Belgian City of Bastogne and demanded his surrender, he replied with a single word: “Nuts”.

(You may have heard this story before. It’s mentioned in the HBO series ‘Band of Brothers’ and the Classic movie ‘Patton’.)

That story got me, at 4:45 this morning, watching the Documentary for the 506th E company that was featured in the HBO series, and I wanted to call your attention to this clip from the documentary. Speaking is Major Richard Winters, commander of the E company on D-Day. You want to watch to about the 29:40 mark:

If you’ve seen the HBO series you already know that these guys were real heroes. And for most of us, there aren’t a lot of opportunities in our day-to-day lives for real heroism. That’s probably just as well. But there are a lot of opportunities for most of us to show that kind of loyalty and commitment. And that in itself can be heroic.

Look at the way Major Winters talks about it – even years later. Can you see how choked up he is by it? And it was the commitment of the man that impressed him, not the act. The beauty he describes is of a man being his best. A man doing all he can to support his ‘brothers’.

I’ve always strived to show that kind of loyalty to the people I care about, and I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of some of it in return. RP, VV, Jose, and a bunch of others, have gone heroically out of their way to help me, and whenever I could I’ve done the same for them.

If you ask me, this is the very best thing about men. Women can’t tell you anything about heroism. To them it all looks like stupidity, particularly if the heroism involves personal risk. Women would never, ever sacrifice themselves in that way for anyone except their children. And how they feel about their children comes from a very different place than the heroism of men.

But men very much can - even perfectly ordinary men, doing ordinary things in their more or less ordinary lives. These days the word Hero is probably considerably overused. But my broader point is that heroism is an ideal. A goal. And a man can be capable of acting heroically, without ever being thought of as a hero.

No one puts up memorials to the day that Robert ‘Popeye’ Wynn was hit by a German grenade. But the men that were with him will never forget his heroism. They’ll never forget that when heroic commitment was required of him, he possessed what was necessary to deliver it. That he was heroic in his heart as he ever needed to be.

That's something that every man should strive for.

- Skinny In Minny

Here is the NYTimes account of what's going down in Minneapolis. It's nice to know they can find a Policeman they can support. It's a shame the only one they can find to support is the same guy who shot an unarmed white woman in her pajamas from the safety of his police cruiser, for 'startling' him. From the tone, You'd almost think the NYTimes doesn't like white people.

As a reminder, PJ O'Rourke in his book "Give War A Chance" spent some time in Mogadishu when US troops were trying to pacify the place. Speaking confidentially and anonymously, an American Army Captain had the following suggestion for the best thing we could do for the Somalis:

"Seal The borders, and arm the population."

Combat soldiers are very clear thinking, or they aren't combat soldiers for long. The irreducibility of having someone try to kill you for a living, has a way of purging all the pretty illusions about the nature of man. Your view either matches reality very closely (the closer the better), or very quickly, you no longer get to play.

Having had some personal experience with Somalis in Minneapolis, (and not particularly caring for the passive aggressive 'Minnesota Nice' nature of the white residents) I say we should heed that unnamed soldier's advice. And if the Somalis there don't like it, there is a whole country in the east of Africa where they can turn it into precisely the kind of society they want it to be without any interference from those raciss Americans.

- My NYTimes Audition

Another day, another riot. In Minneapolis last night another night of riots tore the through the Midwestern city. White people, long known as the most horrible scourge of all human history, tore through the city burning cars, looting shops, and throwing rocks and makeshift Molotov cocktails at the Police. 96,240 police were injured in the riots.

While peaceful Somali immigrants cowered from fear in their homes, mobs of hate filled whites chanted ‘white lives matter’ and ‘no justice no peace’ from the street below.

All of this turmoil comes from the perfectly natural reaction of a Somali policeman who shot an obviously racist Australian who was seen sneaking up on their police car as they sat in dark alley, in the mostly crime filled white suburb of west Minneapolis. Reports say the Australian woman silently crept up on the police in her pajamas and shouted “BOO!” as she came upon them unaware.

“It was a perfectly natural reaction.” said a peaceful Somali on the scene. “I mean, we all know how awful and raciss white people can be. I don't know anyone who doesn’t want to kill a white woman!”

Though women and minorities were obviously the hardest hit by the riots, the Minneapolis police have issues a statement declaring themselves the enemy of the evil scourge of ‘whiteness’ which since the Evergreen State College liberation, has been exclusively known as the worst, most oppressive and violent system ever.

And racism.

- Art Imitates Life

American Horror Story can be pretty good in moments. I liked the season about the witches in New Orleans, but mostly because Emma Roberts spent a lot of time walking around partially dressed and being the sexy bad girl, and who doesn't want to watch that? This time though it promises to be much more truly horrifying:

Lena Dunham is joining the cast of American Horror Story Season Seven

One can only assume she'll be playing herself.

I've never been more grateful for blurring of an image in my life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

- ISIS And Antifa

From 'The People's Cube':

ISIS files 'cultural appropriation' complaint against ANTIFA

Who arbitrates that dispute is a mystery to me. Maybe the Canadian Human Rights council. I can just hear the Antifa girls now ... "but...but... don't you understand that we're on your side? We hate America too!!!"

- Jared Taylor Going Mainstream

A conversation. That's what they call it. In most cases a 'conversation' or 'an honest conversation' means 'shut up you hateful bigot and let me talk about how I feel!' But the video below is a slightly different version.

In this case it means allowing the 'interviewer' to impart their own ideas to the interview rather than having to listen to the interviewee. It's really about the 'journalist' self aggrandizing, and taking what they universally see as their 'proper role as arbiters of the truth'. As if the person asking the questions matters as much as the person answering them. But since that's all the journalist class ever talk about, we all know how they feel already - and we're all pretty sick of listening to it.

With that said, this interview isn't so bad. Jared Taylor has been at this 'honest discussion about race' stuff longer than virtually everyone. He knows all the tricks, and has crafted his manner and message in such a way that he can fend off virtually all of the shallow empty rhetoric that liberal journalists use to shut up their opposition and paint them as the most sinful bigots to ever bigot.

But the topic changes are clearly designed to give the interviewer the last word on everything. And trying to attribute some blame to Jared for Dylan Roof and then denying doing so 2 minutes later is a an obvious dodge and probably over the line. On the whole it's as shamelessly one sided effort as anyone in the 'journalism' class has ever made, and is an excellent example of why we all hate them.

But Jared still does well with it over all.

Here's Jared:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

- A Dangerous Bit Of Propaganda

The Z man has a typically interesting piece on his blog concerning this:

“A Dangerous Idea”

At a glance the movie looks to be a liberal hit piece designed to delegitimize the science of genetics. (I mean … Robert Reich?) And in today's climate I’m sure it will get lots of support from the far left who seem to care less and less each day about any fact that could be described as objective.

But you never know. Facts are persistent things, and this movie looks to me like an admission that the genetic and biological facts are inescapable. A great many others will no doubt see it the same way. And from that perspective the movie could simply be a rallying cry to get the liberal rank and file working on the next generation of sound bites that will be used to counter biology in the great liberal narrative machine.

And you never know. It wouldn't be the way to bet but there may even be something to be said for its arguments. The people I respect on the alt-right don’t advocate anything like the forced march progressive tactics that liberals happily use to crush their enemies. Jared Taylor, who is briefly shown in the clip, advocates for nothing except the right of free association, and treating white people with the same respect that America have always shown to it’s preferred minority groups.

Liberals see an idea like that as self evidently reprehensible. I mean, only a white supremacist would actually say an abhorrent thing like white people should be given all the same rights and privileges as minorities right? And while I know Robert Reich sees that as the same thing as wanting to put Jews in ovens, I'm not at all sure that their viewing audience will see it that way. Oh sure, they could carefully edit and spin Jared's statements, but to make him look like the evil caricature they need him to be, they're going to have to spin awfully hard. And that sort of thing often gets noticed. In the end they might not be convincing to anyone but themselves.

But people like Jared aren’t envisioning camps and ovens, or forced repatriations, let alone compulsory sterilization. And they all recognize that the policies our government puts in place to cope with the reality of bio-diversity should be based on compassion and respectful and decent treatment of all involved. The only place where they differ substantially from mainstream American culture is that they believe our policies should be rooted in facts rather than happy illusions. We should quit pretending that a man with an IQ of 80 can be the bestest Neurosurgeon ever, if we just throw enough money at the teacher’s unions.

That doesn’t sound like a particularly dangerous idea to me. Certainly less dangerous than the kind of anti-white bigotry so commonly on display on the left. The left’s happy illusion of white American ‘hatred’ being responsible for all evils in the world has engendered generations of rabid anti-white resentment by non white groups, and at least some of the violence that springs from that can and should be laid at their door. I don’t mean to equate anti-white hatred by minorities with forced sterilization, but the liberals should have to own their ‘dangerous idea’ too, shouldn’t they?

That quote from the clip by the way – that “we’ve learned nothing from the holocaust” is an interesting one given the liberal position. In Germany, a small fanatical minority convinced the majority of Germans that a small subset of their population outperformed the rest by being devious, cheating, and discriminating against them. To my eyes this sounds like exactly what America’s left wing Jewish population is doing with minorities and whites. Only in this model it's white America playing the role of the Jew, and blacks, latinos, and every other splinter group representing the Germans.

Ask that paragon of virtue Robert Reich or someone who shares his views, why black people don’t succeed in this country. Take his answer and replace the word white with the word ‘Jew’, and the result will sound exactly like something from the Nazi propaganda machine:

“The wealth of Jewish households is 13 times the median wealth of German households. German children represent 18% of the nation's preschool enrollment but make up nearly half of all children with multiple suspensions. Job applicants with Jewish-sounding names are 50% more likely to get called back for an interview than similarly qualified applicants with German-sounding names. And prison sentences for German men are nearly 20% longer than those of Jewish men convicted for similar crimes.”

The linked article is from CNN, long known as a bastion of White Supremacy and racism.

"Every Jew isn't guilty for every bad thing that's been done to every German," Wallis says. "But if we benefit from cooperating with Jew supremacy, then we are responsible for changing it. To tolerate Jewry in our social system is to be complicit."

Who precisely is promoting a dangerous idea? And who is it that hasn’t learned anything from the Holocaust? Maybe Jewish Liberal Americans learned a great deal from Hitler. And what they learned is to make sure the unthinking populace driven by feelings of resentment, identifies someone else other than Jews as their primary enemy. Maybe there really are dreams of camps and ovens in contemporary America. It's just a different group of people than the press imagines, who are the dreamers.

Does anyone know the yiddish word for 'Obergruppenfuhrer'?

Monday, July 17, 2017

- Being Fashionably Broken

Estimates of the total ‘Trans’ population, who have become the most vocal of our counter-cultural leadership, comes in somewhere between 800K and 1.4 million in the US. So who the hell are these people?

OK … Bruce/Kaitlyn Jenner. Got it. That’s an easy one. But what about the rest?

For instance, I knew a guy in College – well… that may be stretching it. I knew him to say hello to, but I really didn’t know anything else about him and today I can’t even remember his name. I only remember him at all because he dated a girl who was in my social circle and she inevitably revealed his secret to the rest of us. During intimate moments, he liked to wear women’s clothing ala Ed Wood. She assured us that he was very much heterosexual, and I have no reason to disbelieve her. So was he Trans?

I once worked with a short, stout, crew cutted women who liked girls and dressed in men’s clothing exclusively. She was pleasant most of the time, and we got along well enough for work. No one cared about her sexual preference at all as far as I could see, and she seemed fine with keeping that part of her life to herself. Mostly she seemed to want her fashion idiosyncrasy to be completely ignored, which as a card carrying member of the ‘leave me the hell alone’ party, I was more than happy to do. Was she trans?

The problem with making every tiny little personal idiosyncrasy into a fashionable anti-establishment movement, is that to the degree it’s successful at making ‘normal’ people uncomfortable, it will attract new followers. So these days in Greenwich Village, where I live, you cannot leave the house without seeing what by all appearances are actually gay men who are testing the trans waters with odd fashion choices. Not a solitary day goes by that I don’t see men with feminine blouses, or carefully made up faces, or one of the many variants on fashion that have traditionally been reserved for ‘women’. Men with full beards, lipstick, high heels, and hoop earrings but otherwise dressed as men, can be seen every single day.

According to the NYTimes, New York City has more gay people in it than any other city in the country, and there is a particularly high concentration in my neighborhood. So obviously my experience is going to be atypically loaded toward seeing more ‘trans’ people than most. These days I think they’re all ‘trying out’ one version of Trans life or another. Or at the very least allowing it to define their dress. But I have no idea if that actually makes the grade for being ‘trans’ or not.

With the increasing need for ideological purity in the social justice space, I would imagine that the more technical you can make the ‘Trans’ identity, the better it would be perceived. So maybe it’s the medical diagnosis that’s important – ala Bruce/Kaitlyn Jenner. But the contradiction there is that you don’t need a medical diagnosis to be ‘normal’ and being thought of as ‘normal’ is definitely what the Gay and Trans lobbies are both after.

Because of that, this is inevitably an endpoint of Social Justice lobbying – a place where the mentally ill demand equal treatment from the non-mentally ill, by virtue of their being mentally ill. It’s quite literally the inmates running the asylum. I don’t much mind that men want to walk around in strange dress and I’m far too secure in myself to be off put by it. But I worry for all those people who have other kinds of mental illnesses but are being culturally dragged into the ‘Trans’ world when they otherwise wouldn’t be, just because it’s an easy and visible way to get people to cut them some slack. Getting on this bandwagon is clearly a priority for New York City's mentally ill residents, because to be Trans is to get special treatment, and the mentally ill would do anything for that.

We're doing all the people who really do suffer from issues like M. Jenner a real disservice I think, by allowing all the other broken things to join their movement in an effort to make their own mental illness just as fashionable. And to the degree we put 'extra' laws in place to protect them, we're actually giving an easily donnable suit of armor to all the other psychos and misfit who wants to hide behind them.

- Meanwhile... In An Alternate Fictional Universe

McKenzie Kyger is a normal kid, stuck in a very abnormal situation. She seems to be of more or less average intelligence. She is more or less average looking - she's not a fashion model, or a spittle flecked 300lb blue haired Feminist. She seems to have a normal vocabulary, a normal temperament, and more or less normal ability to perceive the real world we all live in, without too much Solipsistic Narcissism clouding her judgement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a normal American kid. Unless of course you attend Evergreen State College, which unfortunately for her, MCKenzie Kyger does.

Social Justice Warriors, particularly of the Black Lives Matter variety, probably got a great deal of emotional satisfaction from seeing how upset McKenzie was while offering her testimony at the Board meeting, and in this interview below. She's a white girl with blonde hair. Making her feel bad is big part of the point for them. They want her to feel frightened and disenfranchised. They want to see her cry and cower in her dorm room.

Its hard to imagine restoring reason and order in a place like Evergreen, where the alleged adults have been so quick to capitulate to the forces of insanity. But western civilization is a pretty sophisticated thing. They've stopped being a source of learning so by now they will have lost a meaningful portion of their private funding, and since the demands of the student activists violated US anti-discrimination law, they will probably lose their public funding too. Eventually.

In the meantime, students like McKEnzie will be the collateral damage of a world gone mad. With a daughter about to leave for one of these August institutions, her video only makes me wonder where Mr. Kyger, her father is.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

- Your Choice For Westerosi King?

Since the last post was a fairly serious topic, let me now ask you a seriously silly one. With season 7 of Game of Thrones about to begin, who do you want to see end up on the Iron throne?

Not who do you think will end up on it. Not who do you think will be best for Westeros or for the plotline. Or... actually, those concepts will be fine if you think that's most important. The main question is who do you, personally and subjectively 'want' on the iron throne?

It's easy for me to identify the people I don't want. National Review has come down on the side of Peter Baelish for free market reasons. Though I'd prefer to see him torn to pieces by dogs like Ramsey was. He started the whole mess after all by persuading John Aran's crazy wife to poison him and frame the Lannisters for the crime. He's is absolutely Zuckerberg-ish in his megalomania, and I despise him utterly. No one who wants to rule so badly should ever be allowed to.

I have a special place in my heart for Tyrian Lannister because by his own description, he 'drinks, and knows things' which is how I hope my retirement will turn out. And besides, I met Peter Dinklage the actor who plays him when I was in College (introduced by a friend of mine who grew up in his town) and he now lives just a few blocks from me. I like the man, if not the character.

I don't know why precisely but Sansa Stark annoys me, and I don't think she should ever be given any authority over anything more important than the dinner menu. And though I find Daenerys Targaryen set up as the obvious hero of the story and I think her Dragons are pretty cool, (and if I had to be alone on an island with a single member of the cast, she would be my very first choice) I can't really get behind her as the inevitable ruler. She's just too progressive and a part of the 'establishment' in her opinions and thinking.

As an example, when faced with the challenge of a slave who wanted to sell himself back to his former master, she couldn't put the idea together of wages equal to the cost of room and board. She instead went to indentured servitude and a limited term slavery contract. Clearly she isn't clever enough to be ruler of the whole world.

The guys I think would be fun to see rule, Ser Bron of the Blackwater, and The Onion knight Ser Davos Seaworth, are both wild outsiders and would build very different Westeros's. I'd probably enjoy both of them though, so I like these guys as candidates in spite of their long odds.

But if I have to go with only a single candidate to rule all of the world of men after the destruction of the Army of the dead, I'd have to go with Tormund Giantsbane pictured above. If ever there would be a laissez faire ruler of Westeros, it would have to be him. He does not kneel, or wash, or possibly wipe himself. I can't tell you what it would be worth to me to see him greet the representatives of the Iron Bank as ruler of Westeros.

The Westeros of King Tormond would be a lighthearted place of simplicity with King Tormond solving most problems by saying either "well leave him alone then" or "cut his head off... problem solved." He has no desire to tyrannize the populace. He only wants to drink his ale, eat his venison haunch and chase Brienne of Tarth around the banquet table. For all her indignance (also pictured above) you know she's going to br thrilled with that idea when she finally submits to it, and she can use a little luvin in her life.

Tormond is by far the most 'Trump like' of the possible options, or would have the most 'Trump like' effect on the Westerosi ruling class. The uncouth monster from the north, whose favorite story is a lie about how he once f***ed a bear.. ". I can just imagine their reaction (every night when I turn on CNN). And there is a lot to be said for turning over the ruling class now and again.

So that's my pick. All hail King Tormond. First of his name, ruler of the Andals and the first men. F***er of Bears, and master of the seven kingdoms. Long may he reign.

- Transplant Update

It was a bit of synchronicity, that my "Irish Twin" brother and two of my closest friends all underwent transplant procedures in the same couple of weeks near the end of 2016. I was thinking about them a bit, and thought I'd pop off a little status update for those of you who know these guys and might be wondering how they're doing.

The short answer is amazingly well across the board. I know the most about my brother's situation of course, since I was his donor, and because he's my brother. My friends are important to me but that doesn't quite rise to the level of family. So let's run through his stuff first.

My donorship was by far the least invasive, but for some reason known only to science and defying intuition, my brother's recovery plan was the longest of the three. It will be roughly a year before he's considered 'fully' recovered, but his numbers are putting him near the top of the curve in terms of side effects and external issues. One interesting thing about receiving a donation of what is essentially an immune system, is that it sometimes includes something called Graft vs Host syndrome, which is an interesting phenomenon.

Transplanted tissue like lungs or kidneys are sometimes recognized by the recipient's immune system as being 'foreign', so recipients of those transplants are given immunosuppressants to keep their immune system from rejecting them. Well GVH is when the transplanted immune system recognizes the rest of the body as being foreign to it, and attacks the rest of the recipient's tissue as foreign. It's potentially one of the more serious side effects, and can pose a real and ongoing problem for some Bone Marrow recipients.

The doctors told both my brother and I that a small amount of GVH is to be expected and 'preferred' to no symptoms at all. And my bro has hit that mark perfectly. He has a persistent itch, but no rash, and no other symptoms. But for his complaints (the whiner) his symptoms don't technically rise to a diagnosis of GVH at all, which is precisely where the doctors hope all their patients would land.

In fact, they monitor all manner of biochemical numbers for him and he is consistently at the top of the curve for all of them. We figure this is because he and I are so similar and have such similar histories. Not only were we a perfect match for the genetic markers they monitor, but we are also less than a year apart in age, caught chicken pox within a few weeks of each other, we were exposed to the same environments etc.

His two daughters (ages 21 and 20) were in the city yesterday and came by my place for a few minutes. The older one lives at college, but the younger one is living at home until she leaves for school in a few more weeks. When I asked her how she thought he was doing she said "he has his routine." "really?" I said, "REALLY" she replied with an eye roll.

If your teenage daughter is rolling her eyes when describing you, I think it's a generally good sign.

I talk to RP [pictured above - three to my left] (or text message anyway), usually a couple of times a week. He's here in New York slaving away at his gig at [great big huge money management firm] with no complaints. He donated a Kidney for his dad, and when I ask about how things are, all I get is reports on his father.

My recovery from Bone Marrow donation only involved avoiding all alcohol for a few weeks afterward, which since it was christmas, I elected not to do. The only symptom this created were extremely bloodshot eyes, which only Mrs Derb ever commented on, while I was keeping her company at the Vdare Christmas party.

But it's major surgery to remove a kidney so RP's recovery took weeks longer than my own. He was hospitalized for a bit, worked from home for a bit afterward, and was told to 'take it easy' for an extended time after that. I texted him two weeks ago on a Saturday, and discovered he was out in California partying it up with some work friends, so that's clearly all behind him. He reports that his father is taking the responsibility of carrying around his son's Kidney VERY seriously, has lost weight and is following doctor's advice with regard to exercise and diet - an area where the senior Mr. P had sometimes lapsed in the past.

I met the senior Mr. P a few years ago when I helped them both build a fence around the house where RP and the family P was living. The fence was engineered like a tank trap and will no doubt be standing for generations after the house it surrounds has tumbled to dust. My contribution to the project consisted of holding my thumb up at eye level in line with the fence and saying things like 'looks pretty good to me." But I did have a few minutes between supervisory contributions to get to know the Senior P and I'm genuinely glad he's doing so well.

Finally there is RB [pictured above to my immediate right]. He received what to the most of us would seem to be the most serious of the transplants, but ironically, had the shortest recovery time, coming very close to my own symptoms as a donor. RB received a lovely pair of human lungs, slightly used, at a moment when he was days from death. His donor clearly has the most serious consequences, and though I'd like to make a joke about it, I think it comes off as a little too callous. I find it helps to remember that the tragedy leading to the donation preceded RB's receipt, and would have had the same consequences for the donor whether he also saved my friend's life or not, so the donation itself was only a plus. I think it's best just to move on, and not think too deeply about it.

I spoke to RB on the phone about 3 weeks after his procedure. Amazingly, he was stuck in San Diego traffic, complaining about how late he was going to be, and bouncing a blockchain startup idea off me. At the time my brother was so laid up with post chemo side effects that he could barely pull himself together well enough to raise his head off the pillow and text me about how lousy he felt. But here was RB changing lanes, relishing his renewed ability to climb a flight of stairs on his own, and ranting about the Democrats. For all intents and purposes back to his old self, only without the persistent cough.

RB referred me to a friend of his who is deeply involved with an Angel funding group here in NY, and my partner and I met with them a few weeks later. The first 10 minutes of our pitch meeting was about the two of us sharing our amazement that a man can be (potentially) hours from death, go through such an amazingly intrusive procedure, and be back in traffic cursing social justice warriors, what felt to the two of us like the next day.

His is a life renewed. He has no complaints, no side effects (none he's reporting to me anyway) and a future much brighter, and considerably longer, than he would have had otherwise.

So, three donations, three successes. I do think it's worth mentioning that the more severe the symptoms for the donor, the less severe they seemed to be overall for the recipient and vice versa. I don't think you can extrapolate that but if you could, then I would imagine the first ever brain transplant will one day occur with a patient who is awake, and who hops off the table and walks to the recovery room.

Say what you want about how medical care is paid for in this country. But no one is telling me we have 'bad healthcare' in the US. The reality is that it's so good, that 3 lives I know of were saved, and 6 months later, we all think it's just another day.

Be well all.

Friday, July 14, 2017

- Disavow Your "Intelligence" Privilege

In Academic work, a citation is a kind of meaningful deference. It's a recognition that the point made in the scholarly piece is worthy enough for inclusion in an additional topic on another point. It 'completes an important part of a total picture' is what it implies even if it isn't specifically saying that.

The hard sciences have been fairly resistant to Social Justice Anti-logic. 2+2 = 4 no matter how oppressed you feel about it. But that doesn't mean that social justice imbeciles aren't working hard from the edges to make the oppression of the plus sign (or whatever) apparent to everyone.

In this context, social justice is really just an excuse for fifth rate academics to complain that they are seen as third or fourth rate. First rate goes to the people everyone knows and who occasionally get notoriety outside academia. There are never many of those. But in the hard sciences second rate academics do real work too, it's just not as well known, groundbreaking, or popular as the first rate stuff.

Third and fourth rate academics do nothing, but at least they don't make real science harder. And Social justice academics actively work to undermine the cis-academic privilege of everyone else by point to everything that isn't them, and claiming it's a part of an oppressive system to keep people who are like them down. They are basically claiming that we should all abandon the concept of scientific truth and replace it with 'fairness', which in this case means awarding them specifically, more recognition.

Hence this woman who is as intelligent as she is attractive. check out this nonsensical word salad that was seriously offered as scholarship:

An increasing amount of scholarship in critical, feminist, and anti-racist geographies has recently focused self-reflexively on the topics of exclusion and discrimination within the discipline itself. In this article we contribute to this literature by considering citation as a problematic technology that contributes to the reproduction of the white heteromasculinity of geographical thought and scholarship, despite advances toward more inclusivity in the discipline in recent decades. Yet we also suggest, against citation counting and other related neoliberal technologies that imprecisely approximate measures of impact, influence, and academic excellence, citation thought conscientiously can also be a feminist and anti-racist technology of resistance that demonstrates engagement with those authors and voices we want to carry forward. We argue for a conscientious engagement with the politics of citation as a geographical practice that is mindful of how citational practices can be a tool for either the reification of, or resistance to, unethical hierarchies of knowledge production.

"Unethical hierarchies of knowledge production." What can any rational person say about a bit of delusion like that? It's beyond parody.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

- The Virtue of Self Control

Ace has a really entertaining post about Shia Leboeuf being hailed as a Hero for saving a child from a bear. Go to the link. It's worth a yuk.

Now don't get me wrong I've had my less than completely sober moments, and done a whole host of stupid things. But as far back as I can remember 'act straight' was a mantra with my compatriots of youthful indiscretion whenever a cop showed up. We could be yeehaw'ing away as wild as anyone, but the second someone spotted a cop, you'd easily mistake us for the Vienna Boys Choir.

Good Times.

It looks to me like Shia never learned that lesson. What's more, though I've only been to Georgia a few times, I don't think it's the custom there that tacking a 'sir' on the back of a bellowed "Go f*ck yourself...sir" makes it all OK. Maybe things have changed recently. I haven't really kept up with my friends like I should.

The simple fact is, the cops don't really ever wanna hear your shit. Ever. And the more wild and erratic you are, the less they want to hear it. I always thought this was common knowledge but it is apparently one of the many messages Shia never got. What they want is to control the situation, figure out what's going on, and get home at the end of their shift without getting hurt, or having to hurt anyone else. But make them choose between those two and you should expect the latter.

So I expect Shia is off to rehab again. I wonder how long it will be before the 4chan boys figure out where and paper his windows with Pepe the Frog posters while he sleeps.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

- The Don Jr. Emails

So I've read the liberal view on the Don Jr. Email thread (my god, who could avoid it) and the NeverTrump view. The Trump supporter view doesn't seem to have changed much so far. And here's how it looks to me.

No law was broken base don the data available, even the NeverTrumper legal eagles say so. But it 'looks bad'. In the political sphere, 'looks bad' can have real consequences, which is why I hate politics. "Is bad" or "Is NOT bad". Those things make sense to me. "Looks bad?" That's a reflection of someone's feelings and I don't much care about people's feelings on topics of public policy. I care about what is, or isn't. Little else.

But the political pros all seem to believe that they've finally found a net to tangle up Trump the amateur, and his amateurish team. the law is very different for government officials and candidates, than it is for the private sector. Hillary Clinton would have found a way to properly insulate herself from the whole thing, but still 'do' things which are bad. So far it looks to me like Don Jr didn't do bad things, he just made it 'look bad. Call that his amateurish inexperience with transitioning from the private to the public sector if you like. The private sector is more about results and less 'looks'. But it isn't all 'results', especially at the highest levels. And Trump and Don Jr have been in those waters for a very long time. I don't expect anyhting to come of it.

I do know that you can't listen to the liberals on this, which is virtually any TV news show or major media publication, excepting Tucker Carlson. And you can't listen to the Nevertrumpers about 'how things look', but they will probably give you an honest read on what things are, or are not. The rest, we all have to find a way to figure out for ourselves.

- Jamelle Boiue's Invisible Principles

Any of you guys remember what happened that time that Jamelle Bouie tweeted one of my pieces to show how horrible I was for being willing to ask what language should be included in the gun debate? I was on the side of 'more talk' and he was on the side of "shut up you psychotic racist!" (see the comments section if you're unsure.)

Well these days Jamelle seems more pissed off that we're 'not' having the conversation he wants. He wants to be talking about... wait for it... THAT RIGHT! RUSSIA! and he's very annoyed that Donald Trump doesn't take his cues from a second rate hyperbolically liberal opinionator who is as detached from reality as anyone in media.

That's all I can find in his piece - his horror that Donald Trump doesn't take the issue as seriously as he does. The lack of evidence doesn't matter. The lack of leading innuendo doesn't matter. The fact that CNN producers (who started the whole thing) are on camera saying it's a nothingburger doesn't matter. Even the fact, which Jamelle admits, that if they did try to influence the election it didn't accomplish a damned thing, doesn't matter. If Jamelle Bouie didn't exist, Chuck Schumer would have to conjure him from thin air. Which for all the points that Jamelle's 'thinking' touches reality, Chuckie might as well have.

And since Jamelle has already clearly established that he is firmly on the side of 'shut up you psychotic racist' as a matter of political principle, I find his demand for more talk confusing. I mean, you'd almost think the guy doesn't have any principles whatsoever, and his entire pose is just a will to power where principles can and will be bent and twisted however he sees fit, so long as it serves a liberal agenda. That's the key of course. Liberals want to set the agenda.

The main reason that your worldview should be as close an approximation of real life as is possible, is so that you don't go walking off any tall balconies, or playing tag with a Madison Avenue bus. It's quite literally a survival instinct. And if you let your ego get in the way of that and believe whatever you want to believe, sooner or later, you'll end up bitter, angry and a source of misery for others. Until the bus gets you.

You're past your due date Jamelle. You can't control the agenda when you can't face reality. We will never be as suicidally delusional as the folks you run with, so you'd do us all a big favor if you stopped trying and let the grown ups run civilization.

- The Defenestration of Laci Green

I've been greatly expanding my familiarity with social media personalities for business reasons. So I want to say something about "l'Affaire Green."

I'll be honest, the whole things strikes me as a lightweight version of 'le defenestration de Derb'. Laci Green is a curvy-cute, Feminist youtuber, with a nice smile and a recently acquired alt-lightish boyfriend. She used to do sex ed videos for planned parenthood, but when she hooked up with Chris Ray Gun (an alt-ish youtuber), miracle of miracles, her mind started to change. Now she thinks that most evil of progressive heresies, that there may be something to be gained from 'conversation' with the opposition.

Much hilarity ensued.

Her most recent heresy points out an issue which was bound to bubble over. She pointed out that there are in fact just two biological sexes and no more. (See link above for reaction). The Gay community was always going to have an issue with the 'Trans' community because they've been saying for years that their own sexual preference was biologically (genetically) causal. The evidence for this has not yet been found, but the idea doesn't sound 'crazy' to the pros.

But the Trans people very specifically say otherwise, and even Canadian law mandates it that way. To fail to refer to a Trans person in Canada by the newly invented third person identifier of their choice (even if their choice changes every half hour) is now a crime punishable by 2 years in prison. There then is the contradiction. If you can be any gender you want and it's totally divorced from your biology, then it's learned. And if it's learned, then maybe it can be unlearned? This obviously is not a happy topic for inclusion among the gay community.

Green is coming down on the side of the Gay lobby in this fight, and I think it's the way to bet. Most people these days, even antiques like me, see the gay community as a more or less harmless subgroup of mostly amicable people who just want to lead their lives in peace. I'm all for being left alone to do 'ma thang', and see no reason why the same courtesy shouldn't be granted to homosexuals. I'm not crazy about their bullying of cake bakers or whatever, but in my view we have much bigger fish to fry right now.

But Trans people suffer from mental illness in the view of most people in the country. Maybe some small portion of them can be integrated into society with careful medical and psychological care, and more power to them. I wish ill on no you get the idea. But the 99.7% of Americans who are not trans, have no inclination to being bullied by a group of people who more than anything seem to need a higher prozac dose and a better eye toward fashion. The infinitesimally tiny percentage of people who are confused about their sex should not be driving the cultural conversation. And that's all they seem to want to do.

Green's many fans obviously feel differently. It is dogma among the social justice advocates that whatever the 'oppressed' flavor du jour, one must always stand on the side of the destruction of social norms. Laci Green has made the ultimate progressive faux pas of actually thinking. And that's a sin that the SJW's cannot stand for.

So... she's been defenestrated from the cool kids table just as our man Derb was, and for the very same reason. Granted, she lacks his intellectual heft. But she's young yet, and wisdom has a way of creeping in for anyone who can actually use their brain. It takes time, but it happens. And she has at least shown the same kind of courage that the Derb has. And it's just as serious a thing to be thrown from the window by leftwing idiots as it is to be thrown from it by the right. So Kudos to miss Green for her chutzpah if nothing else. She's a brave soul on the right path. The path of thinking and stating the truth, popular or no. We should all commend her. I'm sure she can use the support.

And on the brighter side, we all remember what happened to the idea of speaking unpopular truth after 'The Derb' was unjustly punished for doing so right? It may not be the end of neo-marxist social justice. But the cracks are now visible, even to the cool kids.

- This Is Fun

Anti-Fascists cheering a speech made of entirely of Hitler Quotes.

- Game Of Memes

The meme war has been a source of some considerable entertainment for my bro. Every few hours for a couple of days, another text message would arrive on my phone from my brother with the CNN logo being smacked about in a cheaply put together piece of video showing Trumps face in place of the hero. Virtually every movie moment you can think of. I figure it's just a matter of time before I see Trump telling Don Jr. to "leave the gun and take the Cannolis."

But when I step back from it a sec, it seems pretty extraordinary.

Think about it. CNN gets their feelings hurt by the disrespectful temerity of the original Trump retweeted gif, which exactly zero people took seriously, and goes off in a series of Feminist like delusional rants on air about how this will put "journalists lives at risk". Hysterical? Of course. Hyperbolic? Definitely. But did they actually believe it? Maybe. Because the very next thing they did was dig up the name of the 15 year old kid (or whomever) who created the original image and demand his contrition. Some nobody teenager who no doubt thought he was just making a joke.

It has a kind of medieval hollywood villain feel to it - we can't hurt the man so let's go grab his children and see how he feels about disrespecting us then! Off goes the henchman with the scar (or whomever) to grab up the kids. It's a very Lannister-esque move.

They grab the kid, or in this case his identity, and then proudly announce to the unwashed that they know who it is and if he makes one false move, his life will be utterly destroyed. In the digital age this is precisely the same as if "Ser Meryn Trant", trembling with near orgasmic glee off camera, was holding a knife to the kid's throat.

The kid was contrite of course - he's a kid. But did the unwashed realize that they can't resist the tyrannical might of house Zucker and go back to cowering in their filth? Did they avert their eyes, think of their own children and quietly go back to scrubbing out chamber pots in the hope that they or their kids aren't next? Or did they realize that any house that has to threaten a kid like they have is probably weaker than they seem?

Almost immediately came the answer. Hundreds of new jokes were created, some of them funnier than the original, and Joffrey Zucker had no choice but to close up the red keep, order bowmen to the parapets, and hope it didn't get so out of control that he can't contain it. CNN did precisely that thing, ordering all their torturous minions off of Twitter for an extended period, in order to avoid more loss of face.

People have said that this shows how 'out of touch' CNN is, but I don't think that's the case. It's not about being out of touch, it's about contempt. Contempt for America, and the people that care about it. It's about seeing themselves as the new aristocracy. It's about a digital Tyranny, and a house that's clearly about to fall. They don't deserve their power any more than the Lannisters do, but they have until now had all the power of their megaphone, and that has been hard to combat.

The CNN team truly believed that this meme represented a serious threat to their authority, or they wouldn't have gone to such trouble and risked so much to silence it. You can blame some of the reaction on jewish paranoia and a Joffrey like level of managerial incompetence. But that doesn't change the fact that they feel deeply threatened. And though the original meme might not have represented what they feared, the rest of them certainly do.

House Zucker is weak. House Zucker is about to fall. But probably not before we see some big green explosion of desperation where they at least try to 'take everyone down' with them.

Monday, July 10, 2017

- In Praise of Modest Expectations

This is one for the young guys.

A few weeks ago we had a 5 alarm fire in my apartment building. Everyone was evacuated and no one was injured, but we were all homeless for 2 days while the city tried to make sure things were safe for occupancy. Some people at the corner of the building furthest from us are burned out and that's awful. But the GF, myself, and the dog all just went over to my sisters on the west side, about 5 blocks away, (we live on 9th, she on 10th) and slept on an air mattress. No damage, not even from smoke. No big deal.

But the thing about something like that is that it really brings you together with your neighbors. People who wouldn't speak to us at all before now greet us on the street, or say hello in the lobby. We're all one big happy family. And I want to tell you about one couple who lives down the hall.

First let me say, they're extremely nice people. They both have ready smiles and are pleasant if somewhat socially awkward. They're both just under 40, and have a small infant. He's a mid level manager in operations at a big bank, which is not a great job but not terrible. It's OK pay, minimal stress, and doesn't require any real level of genius. She works in compliance in a different bank - a common phenomenon in NYC where finance is still a dominant industry.

And it makes me very happy that these two very nice people are together, because it amazes me that they were able to find each other in the first place. She is 5 foot 4 and easily 220 lbs. Some of that may be baby weight she hasn't quite shed - I didn't know her before so there is no way to tell. But their son is 2 now, ad the weight isn't going anywhere. He is no real prize either. Bald, weak chin, bad teeth, thick glasses. He's about 5 foot 6 with a paunch, and if he ever spent a day in the gym, it was because he was working for someone who was thinking of buying the place.

As much as I like them, and I genuinely do, they are not a physically attractive couple. And that's why I'm so pleased that they found each other and seem to have a genuinely affectionate relationship.

On his best day this guy is a low level Beta, and only gets there because of his personality. Based on how he looks, it could have been much worse. Club girls wouldn't look at him twice. Even if he were a billionaire, they'd probably think very long and hard about it (if you could call what club girls do 'thinking'). The wife... I wouldn't be surprised to discover that her husband was her only date... ever. Yet here she is, with a husband, a son, a job, a supportive family, and good future prospects for a happy and fulfilled life.

There is something to be said I think for fewer options and modest expectations. No one will ever mistake the couple down the hall for a master of the universe and his trophy wife. But they'll have stability, comfort, happiness (such as it is) and children and grandchildren to dote over. They will be comfortably upper middle class with vacations in Orlando, or a house at the Jersey shore. But there are far worse ways to live your life - especially when you enter the dating world with as few viable options as those two had.

All the pressure is at the top boys. I know it may not look like it, but it is. You may think that's worth it - I certainly have, and still probably do. But the trick is to choose a career mountain that you have a good chance of successfully climbing, and don't shoot for things you lack the temperament, intelligence or disposition to get to the top of. And when it comes to women, one who will stay is better than any hottie who has a good chance of leaving when things get tough. Because at the top, they are always looking for a better deal.

The couple down the hall has reminded me that for almost everyone, it's possible to find happiness without 'getting to the top'.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

- Joliet Jonah And Elwood Applebaum

You have to give the NYTimes credit where it's due. Yes, they are for the most part hyper-partisan uber left liberals. But they've been at this for a very long time, and they know when the time has come for a 'tactical retreat' from their positions. Trump's Warsaw speech is apparently such a moment.

This piece is an excellent example of this. Rather than continuing to insist absent evidence that they represent the 'center' of American politics (a laughable idea to much of the country) they instead shift to defining both the left and the right, and publishing snippets of both. In my mind I call this the 'Blues Brothers' tactic.

But that isn't the overton window that the rest of the country is seeing. 40% of the country now gets its news exclusively from the web, which is on average FAR to the right of the intelligentsia. Jonah Goldberg, as I very publicly stated yesterday isn't 'of the right' anymore than Anne Applebaum is. He may be to the right of her (and the New York Times in general) but he has totally conceded the moral ground to the NYTimes and the left, and no longer tries to pretend otherwise.

Though this latest tactic from the Times is probably couched in what I would call shabby thinking about 'normalization of ideas' and de-platforming, I can find this forgivable if it were anyone but a major media producer like the New York Times. Solipsism alone makes most people believe that THEY are in the center whether they are or not. Honest to god Neo-Nazis (both of them) believe they're opinion is in the center of 'the real' facts, as does any avowed Marxist.

But this is the ocean which the New York Times swims in. They aren't making this move due to a lack of accurate introspection. If they really were that clueless they'd have been out of business 3 generations ago. They are doing this as a calculated move to define the 'rational' playing field, and to specifically exclude the smart people with real thinking on the 'actual' political right. It's a new kind of conscious de-platforming for people who share the Bannon view, and to keep the dialog' where they want it.

It's probably a mistake to think this is ever going to change. At least not until the NYTimes building is surrounded by an angry mob. But that doesn't mean we all shouldn't be aware of what looks to me like a relatively new play in the game.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

- Come Out Of The Closet Jonah

Jonah Goldberg (I'm not linking there anymore, go find it yourself) says that a little Nationalism is good in small doses and poisonous in large ones. OK. Fine. But can't the same thing be said for Immigration? Or for that matter the much lauded (and very much Liberal) idea of "Tolerance!"? If a man from the neighborhood pats your 14 year old daughter on the head it's certainly a cause for tolerance, if he pats her on the behind is it still good to be 'tolerant'?

We in the west HAVE been tolerant, and for our trouble we were told what awful disgusting examples of Racism, Misogyny and hate we were. All absent any evidence mind you, and the thinkers of the old left, Jonah included, fell all over themselves to tell them how right they were.

The people demanding tolerance of us show us nothing but disgust and demand our absolute contrition, while they do all they can to destroy the world we built. I'm very pro jew. This is not a Jewish thing to me. But I'd love to meet a few of the 'old-right' thinkers who don't think the right response to being publicly reviled and attacked with bike locks is more 'tolerance'.

Should we show tolerance as they cram us into the boxcars? Should we show tolerance when they shave our heads and load us into the gas chamber? Should be be tolerant of their desire to skin our families and make lampshades of them? If (and maybe when) it comes to that, you know who has two thumbs and is going to be very goddamned intolerant? (I'll give you a hint, I'm having trouble typing too.)

My unnamed Jewish academic friend said it well. There are the tough jews, and the psycho-analytic Jews. The tough Jews are the Israelis, and the psycho-analytic jews are... well... they're all liberals.

I know Jonah couldn't care less what a third rate amateurish blogger with dyslexic spelling thinks, but in my mind he should finally take that Editorial job at "The Nation" and quit trying to tell us how to save America by making it into something it's never going to be able to be. Come out of the closet Jonah. It's obvious what you're really about.

You can't cure a body by being against liver cancer, but having no strong opinion of other cancers in a general sense.

- Supporting Tucker Carlson

By the title I don't mean emotional support, which all readers of this post certainly already do. What I mean is that I wish to offer a brief note supporting (which is to say adding detail to) his content.

On Friday Tucker had a Black Civil Rights activist on whose name escapes me for lack of his broader media attention. Since his position was that things have gotten worse for black America because of something other than racism, it's no wonder the media ignores him. What he attributed the decline of black America to was the Cloward-Piven strategy of the American left. Tucker didn't explain it, so I thought I would.

He made the shocking claim that in the 30's and 40's, blacks married at a rate higher than whites. This is true. What he didn't mention is that the unemployment rate blacks was falling faster than whites, and the per household income was rising faster than for whites through the post war era and well into the 50's. The data on this is widely available. Just look it up. The aspirations of the most productive and ambitious blacks were beginning to bear serious fruit.

Then came the 60's and Cloward-Piven, who were at the time, two Social Work professors from Columbia. They advocated a series of policies designed to shatter black families and weaken the structure of black society in an effort to create a crisis moment of social violence, which would then usher in what they saw as the inevitable Marxist revolution. Make things bad enough in America so that American politicians would have no choice.

They certainly got the first half of their plan, and black American culture is not only considerably worse off on a relative basis today than they were in 1959, but thanks to baseless movement like BLM, accelerating their overall downward trajectory. Some would argue that the crisis moment they longed for is almost upon us. Whether they get the second half of their plan remains to be seen.

Taken from the pages of history however, you can get a chance to see some of the great minds of the 20th century take apart the core underpinnings of the Cloward-Piven strategy, right in the face of Frances Fox Piven. It's one of my favorite all time TV moments, and comes from the debate portion of Milton Friedman's 'Free To choose' where a very young and Superfly looking Tom Sowell treats the condescending and resentful Ms. Piven with the kind of disgust that all of us should.

(If you're younger than 35, you should definitely watch the whole 'Free To Choose' series. If the recent graduates I've hired over the last few years are any indication, you'll learn more about Economics in that single program than you will with a BA from most American Universities today.)

Unfortunately, the Democrat Party saw black resentment as a useful tool to gain power, and were more than happy to destabilize America by fostering resentment in a large Minority of it's citizens. But here is what one Black American had to say about the plan, before it was put fully into effect. I give you the eminent Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Friday, July 7, 2017

- The Feminist Ideal For Women

Tattoo, crew cut, overweight, alone, and with a small dog. If that paper cup has Chardonnay in it, her next 50 years are all laid out right in front of her. All hail the Feminist ideal for womanhood.

Don't worry men. We're just collateral damage for Feminism. The real target is any woman who looks better than that, which is very close to all of them.

- More Heartiste Worthy Science!

The problem with these Jordan Peterson talks is that they're the kind of thing I can listen to while I'm doing something else, so long as what I'm doing isn't talking on the phone. 400 hours is a lot of content, and I'm getting through about 2.5 hours of them a day, so I'll be at it a while.

This one got my attention, but you need to listen to it from the 45:20 Mark to hear the "Sneaky F*cker" strategy of mating. (It's not very long) It describes the "Male Feminist" Phenotype to a tee, and argues very strongly for simply hauling off and slugging any "Male Feminist" in the face, the moment he self identifies, and comes anywhere near your women.

That's !Science! supporting the broader Heartiste position, which should surprise none of you.

- A Media Secret From Columbine

This is an interesting look at the more literate of one of the Columbine Shooters. To my ear it basically says that Eric Harris was psychologically the same as any Social Justice Warrior, he just didn't have enough intersectional 'oppression points' to get the sympathy that comes with victimhood in their world. Had he gotten that sympathy, things at Columbine might have gone very differently.

But it does beg the question of how our degrading culture fostered his mental illness. How much does it matter that this kid was treated by all the authority figures around him as a powerless object. He was never told about the personal agency he had to determine the future of his own life. Just like all the social justice warriors, he was instead told that he could do nothing to improve his lot, and he was powerless to change his future. His future was determined by imaginary forces that controlled him utterly, and that he could only oppose them collectively (where he lacked the oppression points for inclusion) or through an act of desperation. In some sense, his rebellion was a reaction to that. An evil attempt to get control of some aspect of his life. A control he really had all along, but no one ever told him so.

The media focused on his love of Nazis, and his obvious psychopathy. But this is a much better, more realistic view of what was actually going on in his head.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

- All The Testosterone, None Of The Guilt

I've always liked the Poles. One of the shapers in my early career was Piotre Karazinsky, the brilliant Polish Economist responsible along with Fisher Black for the Black-Karazinsky Swaptions model. Something of a minor legend in derivatives circles.

Apart from being a brilliant man, he has an encyclopedic knowledge, and is an eminently good natured and accessible. The thing I remember best about the year I worked for him was all the time we spent cracking each other up on the trading desk. He had a very good natured but dry humor. I've never had a job where I laughed so much or so reliably.

I've also often said that I think both the best and worst looking women in Europe are from Poland:

Maybe that's just me. They may not age well, but in their prime, they certainly get my attention. Though I wonder if the distribution of good looks among polish women has some corollary in the distribution of intelligence with Polish men. There were all those polish jokes from childhood at one end, and all the brilliant mathematicians, physicists and scientists at the other. Just a thought.

Trump apparently likes them as well. They've always been a natural ally of America and are a reliable 'conservative' free market nation. And god (literally) knows I like John Paul II more than the commie living in Vatican now. They always seemed to me to have real courage, and are among the most conquered nations in History only because of inconvenient geography. In that respect I wonder if they aren't somewhat similar to the Germans, only without all the racial guilt for having tried to exterminate the Jews. (I like all the Germans I know too incidentally.)

Anyway Trump's Warsaw speech is being hailed as a 'right thinking' bit of political theatre. So I thought I'd link it.

The male way to do diplomacy is loyalty to Family first, but right after that loyalty to friends to the degree of their reliability, and wrath to our enemies to the degree of their belligerence. No more of all that bowing and obsequiousness of the Obama era with Trump. The Poles are our friends. Let's treat em like it.