Randoms of the past few days

Pax Dickinson: "Voting to fix what’s wrong with America is like drinking whiskey in an attempt to cure your alcoholism." I’d argue that voting is worse. If you’re drinking whiskey, you at least get the benefit of drinking whiskey.

I’ll be impressed when crime hits a 120 year low. If it doesn’t outperform the 1890s, I’m not impressed. For some reason, I suspect that all discussion of crime rates will, forevermore, start in the ’60s. Any time before that "won’t count."

This chart on school performance in New Orleans has been making the rounds on the progressive blogs. However, as all good progressives know, New Orleans isn’t the same since Katrina because many of the black people have been removed from the city. I’m still waiting for someone to tie these two pieces of information together . . . Matthew Yglesias alludes at it, but doesn’t say it. (This is the second HBD-sympathetic post from Matt in last two weeks, what’s going on?)

Ever since bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and everyone was talking about Pakistan’s "deep state," I’ve been wondering how long it would be before people started talking about America’s deep state. This is the first example I’ve seen (though I don’t think they really understand how America’s deep state works).

"The trend is clear and consistent–atheists make the best Gaiaists. As belief in God goes up, adherence to the beliefs of the Gaia Cult go down, with the only real aberration being agnostics’ assigning relatively low priority to protecting the environment."

Ulysses on morality.

Apparently Americans think a lot of people are gay. I’m not so sure this finding is an example of Americans being dumb. I went to a top 15 university and, during our freshman orientation, we were told that 12% of people were gay (it’s necessary to explain this sort of information to freshman at top universities because otherwise these institutions might become hot-beds of anti-homo sentiment). I remember saying that there was no way the number was that high. I was told to be quiet (not for last time during the ensuing four years). I therefore conclude that overestimating the percentage of the population that’s gay is a way of status-signaling. In the future, everyone will believe that everyone is gay.

Is this progress by any standard?

California and Rhodesia (h/t Mangan).

Rapes in Oslo (h/t Ilkka).

GLP was the first place I saw any significant discussion of the lead/crime issue.

WWII revisionism.

Children are really weak.

Lots of game bloggers like to criticize Laura Wood, but if they can’t find room to agree with someone who writes stuff like this, then they’re writing only for themselves: "ALL of civilization depends on the father. As goes the father, so goes society. When fatherhood as an institution is strong, when a man governs his commonwealth in obedience and submission to God, order radiates throughout society."

Winterspeak: "The Government doesn’t ‘have’ or ‘not have’ money. It prints money when it spends. It unprints when it taxes. Its goal is to have printed as much as the non-govt sector wants to save." In other words, money is equity to USG.

19 Responses to Randoms of the past few days

  1. Erik says:

    typo: “eludes to it” should probably be either “alludes to it” (hints at it) or “eludes it” (avoids it).
    (feel free to delete this post afterwards)

  2. Red says:

    The anti-war piece on the American deep state was hilarious. The American deep state is: Bribes to to spend money on the military? No concern for power and who wields it, they just focus on the roaches trying to grab their little bit of the pie. Deep sates are first and foremost about who has power and how they can wield it. Of course anti-war.com is a client of the larger deep state so it’s not surprising they try to project their own gig onto their enemies.

    They are 100% correct about the corruption though. If the press was really interested they could fill the papers with nothing but corrupt deals and dirty contracts from all parts of the USG for the next 25 years. But of course those type of things only happen under the outer party and the inner party should never be investigated.

    The gay thing is not really surprising. Most people base their view of the world on 3 things: What they encounter, the news, and what’s on their favorite TV shows. With people you encounter you generally don’t ask if they are. The new is mostly bad news so they don’t bring up gays much. But if 1 out of 4 people in the shows they regularly watch is gay, then the world must be 25% gay. Hence why progressives pushed for so long to have competent blacks and other minorities on TV all day long. It’s brain washing for the masses.

  3. Handle says:

    1. Let’s see the equivalent chart on school performance in the places where the Katrina “evacuees” kids are now enrolled (Houston?). Specifically, I want a population-adjusted analysis of the trend-discontinuity. Hypothesis: Nothing actually happened except to move a certain fixed population of lower-than-average performance children out of one district and into another.

    2. As someone who would happily be part of a True Deep State if we actually had one, and who thinks we would be better off as a nation if we did, I can tell you that Mr. Antiwar gets the whole concept completely wrong. The High Level Government Official-Corporate Revolving Door-Complex is a real phenomenon, in the Military and Civil Services alike (Isn’t Orszag earning $2M+Bonus at Citigroup now?), but it’s not a “deep state”.

    3. True Progressive-era Radical Pacifism has been suppressed lately, but you know the Left is bringing it back with a vengeance (as they have always wanted to) when they turn against Krugman’s “Two Great Moral Wars” – WWII and, of course, The Civil War. When the Blue Historians start claiming a negotiated American Partition would have been a morally-superior strategy which would have saved countless civilian lives, then everything will have gone full circle.

    4. I don’t think the gay numbers are based on status signalling – that’s too elite. Sailer points out how people, even highly educated ones, tend to be pretty ignorant and wildly wrong with demographics information.

    Most average people get their ideas on demographics by osmotic absorption from exposure to popular media, the internet, and pornography, and – except for sports – these tend to give inordinate attention to homosexuals.

    Here’s a report from UCLA law school. Summary:

    2.65 Million Bi Women (2.2% of women)
    2.49 Million Gay Men (2.2% of men)
    1.54 Million Bi Men (1.4% of men)
    1.36 Million Lesbian Women (1.1% of women)
    0.7 Million “transgendered” (0.3% of .. um ..)

    At any rate, we’re talking a total of 8.75 Million Americans (2.8%) who are willing to call themselves something besides straight heterosexuals to a pollster. 3.85 Million of them (1.2% of Americans) fit under the traditional conception of “gay / homosexual”.

    So, considering those relatively small numbers, you’ve got to conclude, “Wow, those guys sure do punch politically far above their weight-class!”.

    Here’s the deal though, the Gays actually get things done. I mean, major, real, significant political power realignment and changes in law and policy and ideas.

    This should provide hope and counter-pessimism to Reactionaries about what future success may be possible with persistence and time. They’ve got tiny Libertarian numbers but huge coalition-scale influence. Outcasts to king-makers, in only two generations. Inspiring! Look to the gays!

  4. K(yle) says:

    This should provide hope and counter-pessimism to Reactionaries about what future success may be possible with persistence and time. They’ve got tiny Libertarian numbers but huge coalition-scale influence. Outcasts to king-makers, in only two generations. Inspiring! Look to the gays!

    I personally know more gay people than is representative of the population by a huge margin, and I don’t know any that are politically active.

    Gay people have benefactors with political clout that has nothing to do with anything gay people themselves have done. That they are viewed as aberrant by traditional culture is a valid reason to shove them down the throat of that culture by people who hate it.

  5. Winterspeak: “The Government doesn’t ‘have’ or ‘not have’ money. It prints money when it spends. It unprints when it taxes.

    It would be far more correct to say “It prints debt when it spends. It unprints it when it taxes.” My major problem with the Post-Keynsians (mostly I’ve just read Wintermute) is that they freely conflate debt and money, which makes thinking about their theories difficult.

  6. Tschafer says:

    Reactionaries Beware! WWII Revisionism is nothing more or less than a part of the ongoing Leftist attempt to delegitimize Western Civilization, and we reactionaries join this campaign of lies at our peril. In particular, Grayling and other critics of Allied bombing of Germany and Japan are buffoons, with no understanding of either morality, history, or the laws and customs of war. Under the rules of war as recognized at the time, German and Japanese cities were perfectly legitimate targets. They were full of war industries turning out tanks, guns and Zyklon-B, they were heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns, fighters, and searchlights, and civilians almost always knew that they were in target areas. Curtis LeMay even dropped leaflets warning Japanese civilians that their cities were scheduled to be bombed. Anyone who can’t see the difference between air attacks on heavily defended military targets, attacks which cost almost 100,000 American, Canadian, and British lives, and the Holocaust, or the Harvest of Sorrow, is a moral idiot. And as for the morality of collateral damage, I’ll leave that to Francisco De Vitoria, the Jesuit who created modern international law, and first codified the moral laws of war: “Sometimes it is right, in virtue of collateral circumstances, to slay the innocent even knowingly, as when a fortress or city is stormed in a just war, although it is known that there are a number of innocent people in it and although cannon and other engines of war can not be discharged or fire applied to buildings without destroying innocent together with guilty. The proof is that war could not otherwise be waged against even the guilty and the justice of belligerents would be balked.” I think that about covers it…

    As for Stalin, yes, he was a murdering son of a bitch, but as Robert Conquest has pointed out, Stalin had killed about as many people as he was going to kill – Hitler was just getting started. Conquest believes that the Allied de facto allience with Stalin was a grim necessity of the time, and I’m almost certain no one could call the author of “The Great Terror” soft on Communism.

    As for Churchill, the Bengal Famine was brought on by the Japanese invasion of India, which no one could accuse Churchill of supporting, and if Winston fought for Empire as well as Freedom, well, there are damned few reactionaries who would fault him for that. The Indians have always been oddly loath to give the British any credit at all for what they accomplished during the Raj, as opposed to the murdering Mogul and Maratha tyrants, which I guess just shows that people will lick the hand of a despot before they will take the hand of a man who seeks to be an (older, wiser) brother. Understandable, perhaps, but hardly complimentary to our Indian friends, or to humans in general.

    In conclusion, most WW II revisionism is based on misperceptions, misunderstandings, and outright lies, and can only serve the interests of our enemies. Reactionaries should have nothing to do with it. Lord knows that there are enough actual misdeeds to charge the Allies with (Yalta, Operation Keelhaul, Operation Dragoon, etc), without slandering those who used legitimate (if harsh) means to defeat a monsterous National Socialist tyranny.

    • Foseti says:

      Good points and I agree . . . mostly.

      However, I think the question of why we fought WWII is important and without some revisionism, you can’t answer than question. The idea that we teamed up with Stalin to save democracy is absurd – and it’s basically the standard story.

      The standard story has its value and I don’t think we should casually disregard that value. Nevertheless, I’m not sure I can support lying to ourselves about what happened.

  7. sardonic_sob says:

    For some reason, I suspect that all discussion of crime rates will, forevermore, start in the ’60s. Any time before that “won’t count.”

    This is, for progressives, a fairly reasonable position, much as it irritates. Our criminal justice system was forever changed by various factors in the 1960’s that simply make it unreasonable to compare it to prior eras. Not to mention societal changes at any number of levels with any number of effects large and small. It was, if you’ll forgive the verbal geekery, a singularity.

    • Foseti says:

      Progressives changed the system in the ’60s to make crime more common – I don’t see why they deserve a pass on that.

      • sardonic_sob says:

        They don’t deserve a pass, and I’m all for making sure everybody understands exactly why it is we can’t compare crime rate changes from prior periods. But some of the changes were good ones even from a fairly non-progressive standpoint – making the police respect the Fifth Amendment is a Good Thing. It’s in there for a reason.

        Be that as it may, while we will experience expansions and contractions, the portfolio of rights which apply to those suspected of crime vastly expanded in that timeframe and it won’t ever go back, so at least one factor makes comparisons less relevant even in a non-progressive sense. My personal opinion is that the social changes of the period had way more influence on crime rates, but those aren’t going away either. About the best you can hope for, to be reasonable, is to say, “[Whatever data] represents the lowest crime rate since the radical social and legal changes of the 1960’s”

  8. Tschafer says:

    I certainly agree, Foseti, examining why and how we got into WWII is certainly important, and we should certainly not be afraid to follow the truth, whereever it leads us – when we lie to ourselves, we always end up benefiting the enemy. But this business of there being moral equality between the Axis and Allies is just leftist nonsense – even Moldbug admits this. And with all due respect, allying with a less dangerous enemy in order to defeat the more (proximately)dangerous one would seem to be good, realistic, reactionary statecraft – Tallyrand would certainly have understood it, and that is what we did with Stalin. I say this as a guy who hated (and hates) Communism more than I can possibly express. Anyway, revisionism can serve a purpose, when done honestly. But its a favorite tool of the left, and when dining with such a company, we should always sup with a long spoon…

    Great website, by the way. Keep up the good fight.

    • Foseti says:

      Maybe Patton was right that once we got Berlin we should have just kept going to Moscow.

      I think the question of how we got involved is still valid. Pearl Harbor didn’t necessarily require is to invade North Africa.

      • sardonic_sob says:

        Germany and Italy declared war on the US after the US declared war on Japan subsequent to the Pearl Harbor attack. The US then declared war (actually just formally recognizing that a state of war already existed) on Germany and Italy. Once we were at war with the European Axis Powers, their resource centers in North Africa became legitimate and vital military targets.

        The attitude of the American people toward the USSR, after hearing about “Uncle Joe” and his brave countrymen’s incredible sacrifices in winning the war on the Axis Powers, is hard to comprehend for anyone who grew up after that time and especially for we children of the Cold War and the Age of MADness. Patton was right, and Churchill was of the same mind, but the citizenry of the US would very likely not have supported our attacking the USSR, especially since there was no way even the old butcher in Moscow would ever have been dumb enough to accept even a deliberate provocation to take up arms against the US and England. We had the Bomb, undamaged national industrial infrastructure, and a Navy that could have kicked seven kinds of Hell out of the rest of the world combined. He HAD to have time to rebuild and his propagandists and fifth columnists in the US would have made any such attack political suicide.

        Have you ever noticed that no matter how you try to spell “propagandists” it never looks right?

      • icr says:

        Here’s a handy list of FDR’s various provocations against Germany and Japan leading up to US entry into the war:

        FDR’s fondness (“some of my best friends are Communists”) for the Soviets shows that he had no strong objections per se to dictatorship and mass murder. Of course the Old Right and the Buckleyites documented in great detail how the New Dealers saw the Reds as basically part of the progressive team. Hell, Marshall returned Chou En-Lai’s
        lost agent list to him without even examining it first.

  9. Tschafer says:

    Certainly, the road to war in WWII for the U.S. was a murky one, filled with more than the usual level of Rooseveltian duplicity, and trying to figure out what actually happened is certainly interesting and important, but it is also important to remember that Germany did declare war on the U.S. first. Why Hitler did this insane thing still puzzles historians, but that is how Pearl Harbor led to Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.

  10. Tschafer says:

    No, Dresden wasn’t about terror-bombing civilians – it was about knocking out one of Germany’s last intact industrial centers. Whether this was necessary or not at this point in the war is arguable (Eisenhower didn’t think so) but the goal was not to kill or terrorize civilians. Michael Burleigh’s new book “Moral Combat” makes this pretty clear. Both Nazi and Communist propaganda tried to turn Dresden into something to tar the West with, and it’s very sad to see that this campaign has so largely succeeded. By the way, I’m certainly not trying to defend Roosevelt in all of this – there is no doubt that he was trying as hard as he could to get the U.S. into the war through extra-constitutional means, and the Axis was foolish enough to take the bait. But there can be no doubt that the Allies were not the moral equals of the Nazis, nor was Roosevelt the moral equal of Hitler or Stalin. Reactionaries play into the grubby little hands of the left when we forget this.

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