Randoms of the day

– Arnold Kling suggests some trends to watch, including:

a trend toward the Diamond Age scenario, in which people with Victorian values (marriage, thrift) accumulate wealth, while people who lack those values can address their basic material needs but otherwise fall behind.

– The Mad Monarchist Awards

– Egypt is going after NGOs and USG defends its NGOs, er, I mean not its NGOs.

– David Brooks on Communitarian Conservativism

– Mencken on freedom

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11 Responses to Randoms of the day

  1. isamu says:

    Those targeted included U.S. groups the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House, which are funded by Congress to monitor elections and promote democracy overseas.

    Haha.

  2. josh says:

    Here are some of the NGOs metioned in the wikileaks cables I’ve read.

    *Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
    *Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
    *Al Andalus Institute for Tolerance
    *National Council on Human Rights
    *Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
    *Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights
    *Arab Network for Human Rights Information
    *Arab-African Human Rights Organization

    Incidentally, NCHR is described as “independent NGO that receives funds from the EU, MEPI and private foundations.”

    MEPI is, of course, officially a State program.

  3. Handle says:

    NGO = “Non-acknowledged Governmental Organization”

    That would be “Covert”. NGO’s require external subsidy and support, and he who pays the piper calls the tune, and so the question is always, “Who is the ‘sponsor’ ?”

    Compare the official military definitions:

    “covert: … so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of, or permit plausible denial by, the sponsor.”

    vs.

    “clandestine: … sponsored or conducted by governmental departments or agencies in such a way as to assure secrecy or concealment. A clandestine operation differs from a covert operation in that emphasis is placed on concealment of the operation rather than on concealment of the identity of the sponsor. … an activity may be both covert and clandestine…”

    Most of our NGO’s are quite open about what they are doing, “promote democracy”, but not honest about who they are doing it for. That’s “covert”. To the extent that an NGO pretends to be merely providing “charity and humanitarian assistance” and is really secretly trying to foment revolution and achieve regime change, that would also be “clandestine”.

  4. aaron@theinternet.com says:

    So the “non” is just ironic then?

  5. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    a trend toward the Diamond Age scenario, in which people with Victorian values (marriage, thrift) accumulate wealth, while people who lack those values can address their basic material needs but otherwise fall behind.

    This is likely genetic. Those who accumulate resources are likely to out-reproduce those who don’t during the hard time.

    • Handle says:

      This may have been true in the past, but I’m not sure it’s true in our combination Idiocracy/“Post-Game” Demographapocalypse. Who is making the babies?

      The evidence of the heritability of certain personality, character, and behavioral traits – the instinctive predisposition to practice the “virtues” likely to lead to success in the modern world – is strong. However, what is materially successful is not “adaptive” if it can’t or won’t biologically reproduce itself and outbreed the feckless.

      Unlike the Idiocracy scenario, and instead a mere, gradual shift to left to the left, I expect the various biometric distribution functions to become substantially bimodal – a large sub-average bell, somewhat skewed, and a smallish, independent and endogamous lump far to the right. Take a look around, the stage is being set – it’s all happening right now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Liberalism is a human right.

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/01/03/010312-news-immigration-strife-1-3/

    But high-ranking USCIS officials said the pressure has heightened after the Obama administration appointed Alejandro Mayorkas as director in August 2009 during an effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, bringing with him a mantra of “get to yes.”

    Internal communications provided to The Daily indicate that the new leadership seemed to fundamentally clash with career agency employees over when to afford the benefit of the doubt, culminating in a whistle-blower investigation into a senior appointee and, ultimately, the agency-wide inspector general inquiry that produced the report.

    “We recognize their right to interpret things as liberally as possible, but you still have to follow the law,” said one high-ranking official who was unhappy with the current push.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry for the double comment but you should read the whole thing, seems the bureaucracy has means to force people to act when it wants to:

      At least five agency veterans seen as being too tough on applicants were either demoted, or given the choice between a demotion or a relocation from Southern California — where their families were — to San Francisco and Nebraska, according to sources and letters of reassignment provided to The Daily.

      Those kind of threats have caused lower-level employees to fall in line, sources said.

      “People are afraid,” said one longtime manager, who requested anonymity for fear of being fired. “Integrity only carries people so far because they’ve got to pay the rent.”

      A rank-and-file officer who was not involved in the investigation claimed he was demoted to working on less technical cases because he had a high denial rate. “They don’t reprimand you, they just move you,” he said.

      “They attempted to basically get me to come into line and approve a bunch of cases. And I just wouldn’t compromise myself because the approvals they ordered, they weren’t in line with the laws,” said the officer.

      These employees’ claims are reflected in the inspector general report, which found that 14 percent of respondents had “serious concerns” that employees who focused on fraud or ineligibility were evaluated unfairly. The report also found that supervisors sometimes take cases away from an unwilling officer and assign them to someone else, against agency rules.

  7. Phlebas says:

    http://rt.com/news/blogs/juha-molari-blog-finland/human-rights-terrorism-russia/

    More on NGOs, this time trying to destabilise the Russian regime.

    RT News provides my news feed; I’d be interested in knowing what others use.

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