Saturday, August 23, 2014

Odds and ends 8/23/2014

At VDARE, James Kirkpatrick writes a terrific post about the Ferguson riots. Excerpt:

The “protests” in Ferguson, when not involving looting and throwing Molotov cocktails, simply consist of young black males running at police bellowing obscenities and slurs and making threats... The obvious intent: to provoke a police reaction—which can then be interpreted by reporters and activists as “brutality” and further an artificially created Narrative with little resemble to facts on the ground...

But this pattern of either being at your throat or at your feet is typical of the organized black “community.” It’s why entering a black neighborhood requires situational awareness simply to avoid attack. It’s why non-black residents constantly must ask themselves what petty violence and indignities they are willing to accept, knowing that their government won’t help them if they resist. It’s why whites are so desperate to avoid living in the midst of diversity—and why Ferguson’s white population has dropped from 75% to less than 30% within 20 years.

And it’s why the militarization of the police to patrol these areas is inevitable.

When explaining “anarcho-tyranny,” Sam Francis quoted Edmund Burke:

“Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without.”

But there is no “controlling power upon will and appetite” within America’s black neighborhoods.

I lifted that Edmund Burke quote for use in my own Ferguson pontifications at Red Pill Report.

Jason Riley lowers the boom on Ferguson, exhibiting Milton Friedman-esque logic. Stick around for the last minute, in which he strangles Kirsten Powers’s bleeding heart.

(Speaking of Kirsten, here’s a factoid to nullify her romanticizing the illegal immigrant flood into South Texas: 80 percent of illegals aren’t unaccompanied children.)

ESR writes:

Any cop who treated members of a group with a factor 20 greater threat level than population baseline “equally” would be crazy. He wouldn’t be doing his job; he’d be jeopardizing the civil peace by inaction.

Yeah, by all means let’s demilitarize the police. But let’s also stop screaming “racism” when, by the numbers, the bad shit that goes down with black male youths reflects a cop’s rational fear of that particular demographic – and not racism against blacks in general.

Who knew business insurance doesn’t cover civil unrest? Breitbart reports:

“Several of these businesses and we checked ours—there’s a cause in it that says there’s no coverage for anything pertaining to a riot act. So any of the damage is coming out of the [business owner].”

She added, “So It’s not enough that we’ve suffered for nine days and lost about 70 percent of the business and can’t pay our rent and can’t get anybody here to help us. So what else can we observe here as small business owners?”

There is a solution. Leave.

One looter who came out of a QuikTrip told the Washington Post that he was proud of what he was doing.

“I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community,” DeAndre Smith told The Post. “St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.”

A police officer who asked not to be identified labeled it “looting tourism.”

“It’s like they are spending their gas money to come down here and steal,” the officer told Post.

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. At least two people were shot and 31 were arrested, he said. He did not have condition updates on those who were shot. Johnson said four officers were injured by rocks or bottles.

“It has to stop,” Johnson told CNN.” I don’t want anybody to get hurt. We have to find a way to stop it.”

He could stop it, but that would involve getting blood on your hands. What would the activists say? “He was just stealing. He wasn’t hurting anybody.”

Twin keeper articles on libertarianism at the Federalist. First, Rachel Hu:

I agree that some level of “live and let live” tolerance will be necessary if the culture wars are ever to give way to an acceptable social order. Both liberal progressives and social conservatives have deeply entrenched worldviews and ways of life, and neither will be rooted out without considerable cultural violence such as no liberty-loving conservative should wish to see. Unconditional surrender is not an appropriate goal in a culture war.

But neutrality won’t work either, at least if we’re thinking about the broader conservative outlook. All conservatives agree that government should be smaller than it is. But the culture also needs to recover its moral bearings if freedom is to have a chance. Social conservatives have long understood this, but it’s a point on which many libertarians need to reflect more deeply.

In the short term, the attraction of lumping conventional morals together with technocratic tyranny (as twin evils which both threaten our personal liberty) can seem almost overwhelming, particularly for those libertarian Republicans who have no strong tie to organized religion. Young people always crave freedom from conventional expectations that seem to cramp their style. Presenting statist overreach as yet another overbearing influence is an easy way of recruiting them to the libertarian camp. Twenty-year-olds readily warm to the message that they can manage without presidents and popes.

In theory, this “rally around small government” compromise can look generous and fair to everyone else too, including liberal progressives and social conservatives. The latter tend not to see it that way. But given the present state of society, shouldn’t religious conservatives be grateful for the chance to be peacefully counter-cultural rather than besieged? Isn’t it enough to live in a world in which they are free to preach their conventional views on morality, and to impart them to their own children? Even libertarians who are generally sympathetic to the importance of culture sometimes write missives that seem to imply social conservatives should see themselves merely as supine voting blocks whose only remaining alternative is to choose their protectors (libertarians or statists).

I can see why, looking at the current cultural drift, that might seem like a realistic appraisal of where we are. But if it is, then [David] Frum is right. The war is lost, the libertarian moment will be no more than a flash in the pan, and we’re only a few inconsequential battles away from being blanketed by the pink police state. Soon you will be completely free to exercise your autonomy through exciting choices like: which kind of porn do you prefer? And shall we have geraniums or zinnias in the window boxes? Oh, sweet breath of liberty!

If I were handed a libertarian compromise in which “social” conservatives weren’t besieged by the state, with guarantees that it would last, I still wouldn’t take it, because the people have shown their perfectly capable on their own to enforce draconian political correctness on each other. The powers are wrong, and they’re going to insist that we be wrong with them.

Second, Peter Lawler:

The unjustly neglected political philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenal distinguished between being “libertarian” and being “securitarian.” Many of today’s young people want to be both. They want to practice safe libertarianism in the unfettered enjoyment of the pleasure of sex. Contraception—now an entitlement guaranteed by an intrusive government mandate—is about detaching sex from the hard realities of birth and death. Better than safe sex, from that view, is the virtual sex available on the screen, which, if the film Her is correct, will soon be personalized through a relationship between a biological man and an Operating System that sounds like Scarlett Johansson (the woman judged to have the world’s most beautiful body). Imagining the body, of course, is safer than actually touching it, as no living body can be made compliant enough to one’s own personal preferences to be completely comfortable.

The techno-goal is to subordinate erotic longing to rational control, to keep it from risky business or being the source of dangerous liaisons. So sex, from this view, these days in the name of “relational autonomy” is being freed up for individual enjoyment from repressive cultural or relational restraints. From another, it is driven more by securitarian concerns than ever. Libertarians, especially among the young, aren’t so good at seeing the connection between the liberationist “hook-up” culture not only tolerated but affirmed by our colleges and the somewhat justified securitarian concerns about “the culture of rape” that flourishes on our campuses. That connection is, nonetheless, really there: Our campuses are both more libertarian and more securitarian than ever. One astute analyst, my fellow postmodern conservative James Poulos, has called our burgeoning libertarian securitarianism the foundation of a “pink police state,” a claim that has commanded attention through instructive exaggeration. We may be on road, Poulos rightly worries, to the soft and endlessly meddlesome despotism that Alexis de Tocqueville speculated might be the consequence of a democratic choice for egalitarian security over spirited, risk-affirming political liberty.

Is the amoral view of sex cherished by Left-libertarian kids genuinely libertarian? Tough question, especially insofar as libertarian economists such as Tyler Cowen celebrate the future to come when free individuals are uprooted from culture for productive activity in the services of games and other enjoyments—such as being a foodie. But other libertarians are about mocking every effort by government to protect individuals from the risks embedded in the “spontaneous order” that is social life. Those libertarians, many of whom are found in the Tea Party, are about deploying libertarian means (or freedom from government) for the more natural relationships that make life worth living. They believe we’re social beings—and not free individuals—by nature; they’re, in that respect, more Burkean or Hayekian or Christian than Lockean or Randian.

Gavin McInnes falls victim to the Brendan Eich Syndrome.

The article has been roundly condemned, and his employer, a company which he helped found, has decided to place McInnes on indefinite leave until they can find a solution for the situation. It is my hope that this is not merely a way to temporarily mollify the individuals justifiably offended and hurt by McInnes’ words,especially since this kind of behavior from him is a repeated pattern. Given the fact that McInnes has been quite unapologetic about the piece, it is a pattern that is likely to continue unless decisive action is taken.

Gavin McInnes’ defenders have been painting this as a free speech issue, claiming that the consequences of his actions are tantamount to censorship, but this could not be farther than the truth. McInnes’ freedom of speech was never infringed, and the consequences of his speech are no one’s fault but his own. He said what he wanted to say, and he was privileged to have it published. No one owes him a platform, however, and people are free to condemn him or refuse to associate with him. His place of employment has every right to distance itself from McInnes in the interests of the company’s public image. Ultimately, to claim that Gavin McInnes is somehow the victim of the people that he dehumanized is a deflection tactic and an abdication of responsibility for his words.

When the state silences speech, it’s 1984. When the people silence speech, it’s Brave New World.

Noel S. Williams writes at the American Thinker about transgenderism in the workplace:

Washington State government employees are counseled to keep sex and politics out of the workplace – unless one is an LGBT practitioner.

June was officially designated as LGBT pride month, which includes conspicuous workplace displays and presentations celebrating their ways. But it has backfired, as many employees see the clear hypocrisy of promoting certain lifestyles through a selective application of agency rules.

Government agencies develop rigorous training programs to remove sexual innuendo at work. We’re reprogrammed to believe a friendly gesture or even an innocent wink might be misconstrued as sexual harassment, so don’t tempt fate. So controlling is their behavioral brainwashing that if it could, the bureaucracy would purge our pheromones and make us all androgynous automatons. Ironically, the disproportionately vociferous LGBT community might like that, even as they receive special dispensation.

It’s hard to square sexual harassment phobia with this even newer orthodoxy. More on that here.

At Public Discourse, Russell Nieli writes about Elliot Rodgers’ envy. He compares Rodgers’ autobiography to Dostoevsky in terms of its raw portrayal of a naked man frantic for meaning. I am reminded of the protagonists in Notes from the Underground, The Gambler, and Crime and Punishment.

Rodger explains early in his narrative that he has an unusually envious, jealous nature. He describes this in a matter-of-fact tone, without the slightest indication that there may be something morally wrong with jealousy or envy, or that there might be vicious kinds of human dispositions that decent people should struggle to control.

By nature I am a very jealous person and at the age of nine my jealous nature sprung [sic] to the surface. During play dates [a friend] would have other friends over as well, and I would feel very jealous and upset when he paid more attention to them. . . . I would find a quiet corner and start crying. . . . Jealousy and envy . . . those are two feelings that would dominate my entire life and bring me immense pain. The feelings of jealousy I felt at nine-years-old were frustrating, but they were nothing compared to how I would feel once I hit puberty and have to watch girls choosing other boys over me.

On one of my very last days as a teenager, as I was sitting at my usual place at the food court outside Domino’s, I saw a sight that shattered my heart to pieces. A tall, blonde, jock-type guy walked into one of the restaurants, and at his side was one of the sexiest girls I had ever seen. She too was tall and blonde. They were both taller than me, and they kissed each other passionately. They made me feel so inferior and worthless and small. I glared at them with intense hatred as I sat by myself in my lonely misery. I could never have a girl like that. The sight burned into my memory, and it caused a scar that will haunt me forever.

From that point on, he was stricken by an envious rage whenever he saw popular kids, happy couples, or attractive young men with attractive girlfriends.

In telling us all this, he expects the reader to sympathize with his plight. He is the victim, he wants us to believe, of a great cosmic injustice that has bestowed on other boys an attractiveness to girls that they do not deserve. In one of his videos, he describes how the sight of a happy couple kissing on a bench ruined an otherwise pleasant visit to the California shore:

In front of me, sitting right there on that bench is a young couple, I presume about my age. I was enjoying such a nice view [of the beach] until they came and sat down and started kissing. . . . This is the reason life isn’t fair! Why does that guy get to have such a beautiful girlfriend while I’m all alone? Why? . . . They’re kissing right now. It’s torture for me to watch. . . Look at them. He’s in heaven right now sitting on this beautiful beach with his beautiful girlfriend, kissing her, feeling her love, while I’m sitting here all alone because no beautiful girl wants to be my girlfriend. I hate them! I hate them so much. Why does he deserve to get that experience and not me? I bet he goes to the same college as me. Yet he gets to experience his college life with this beautiful blond girlfriend and I have to suffer this miserable loneliness. It’s not fair! Life is not fair!

The above remarks bring out the nature of covetous envy with a candor and in a form that even Dostoyevsky or Shakespeare would be hard pressed to match. The envious soul is consumed with venom and spite against those who have what it covets and against the cosmic injustice that has allowed such a different fortune to occur.

What is most frightening is that Rodger’s manifesto shows no awareness that his feelings might be immoral or contrary to a nobler imperative that calls us to rejoice in the happiness and well-being of others. When combined with his infantile narcissism, his spiteful envy blinded him to the higher possibilities of human empathy. The demon of envy entered his heart and, meeting no opposition, metastasized to consume his entire being.

Janice Shaw Crouse eviscerates Ann Coulter, who embarrassed herself with an attack on Kent Brantly’s missionary work.

There’s no shortage of commentators on the conservative spectrum. Remove Coulter, and ask yourself: Are we missing anything? I say no. Addition by subtraction.

“Monetary central planning inherently deforms market capitalism by flooding the business sector with cheap debt, thereby turning it into an engine for the redistribution of existing wealth rather than the generation of new growth, jobs and enterprise.” –David Stockman

The New York Times profiles Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Excerpt:

When he first latched on to Al Qaeda, in the early years of the American occupation, it was not as a fighter, but rather as a religious figure. He has since declared himself caliph of the Islamic world, and pressed a violent campaign to root out religious minorities, like Shiites and Yazidis, that has brought condemnation even from Qaeda leaders.

Fighter or religious figure? In Islam, there’s no difference. They call Mohammed a prophet, but he was primarily a war general and a jihadist. His apostles commanded armies and led conquests.

Better late than never, Chris Hayes.

As long as the horse keeps kicking, Steve Goddard will keep beating it. God bless him.

Related: Climate “scientists” have it both ways.

George Gilder presents the sequel to his first Prager University course on economics. I envy this man’s genius.

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.” –Archbishop Amel Nona

Chateau Heartiste reviews the implications of mass-produced sexbots:

Marriage – uncertain. Either marriage will take a body blow from which it will never recover, or paradoxically divorce will decrease as husbands inclined to stray fulfill their cravings for variety with non-human mistresses. With the sequestering of betas to their sexbotatoriums, the price of alphas on the market will skyrocket. They will call the shots in matters of marriage — I see a regression to sanctioned polygamy and overt adultery. This will herald the end of Western civilization.

Love – The virus in the borg. Love may save the day. A man’s need for love will keep him in the game. But not in the same capacity. He’ll be roused to go on a few dates but he’ll feel no pressure to get laid and will probably have unrealistic expectations about what kind of women he deserves based on wistful comparisons with the hot robot he fornicates with daily. Ladies, if you think guys are selfish, egotistical pricks now, just wait until they start showing up to dates basked in the afterglow of sex with their Jessica Alba robots. It is going to take a lot more to win over a guy who is that sexually satisfied.

Like I’ve said, love is dead in Japan. It’s no coincidence sexbots are being developed for consumption in a country death-spiraling into childlessness.

Mollie Hemmingway gives sound advice to people who are considering marriage:

All the options make it hard to man-up or woman-up and make some decisions because we’re so terrified of missing out on the next best thing. But the whole truly counterintuitive point of a happy marriage is that you’re not supposed to be thinking about what your spouse can do for you so much as what you can do for your spouse. That’s why this whole commercialized approach to spouse-picking is wrong. When you’re trying to figure out which yogurt to buy, you’re doing a lot of comparison shopping, but you’re not thinking of what you can do for the yogurt, you know?

By the miracle of no-fault divorce, Chris Martin trades his 41 year-old wife for a 24 year-old. That’s an upgrade by hedonic standards.

“To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.” –Harriet Beecher Stowe

New York subway riders had to deal with the “Breastfeeding Subway Caravan,” exhibitionists politicizing breastfeeding. These types rage at you for suggesting reasonable parameters on public exposure. In my opinion, they’re no different than topless activists, like narcissist Scout Willis.

No one cares how you feed your baby. Don’t bare your breasts in public.

This is the NFL. Only one agenda is allowed in the locker room. ESPN reports Chris Kluwe wins.

The Vikings and Kluwe’s attorney Clayton Halunen announced Tuesday morning that they had reached a settlement to resolve the former punter's allegations of homophobic behavior by the team. It put the issue to rest 7½ months after Kluwe first published his allegations and avoids the prospect of a lengthy legal battle.

The Vikings had initially announced a $100,000 contribution to charities that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender causes, and they will make additional contributions to five LGBT-friendly charities over the next five years. The team will also enhance sensitivity training that is already required throughout the organization.

Only 6 figures? Small potatoes in Michael Sam’s NFL.

Marijuana is unhealthy. Duh. This news won’t remove marijuana from neoliberals’ tolerance for things that don’t affect health and safety.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, which compared high-resolution MRI brain scans of recreational marijuana users aged 18 to 25 with those of nonusers, found significant abnormalities in the left nucleus accumbens and the left amygdala of marijuana users, even those who smoked just once per week. These regions of the brain are responsible for pleasure and reward, processing memory, emotional reactions, and the assessment of negative consequences.

Previously, the only existing studies on the subject had applied to those who smoked excessively—for example, once per day for approximately three years. This study targets those who smoke only a few times per week.

From a moral standpoint, Dr. Taylor Marshall has made a Thomistic argument against the use of marijuana, asserting that it inexcusably inhibits man’s most God-like faculty—rationality—thus diminishing users to the level of beasts.

A good reason to oppose feminism, too.

R. Emmett Tyrrell writes:

Recent polls indicate increased tolerance for a drug that until recently was considered malum prohibitum across the nation. In January a CNN/ORC International study found 55 percent of Americans favoring legalization of marijuana. Most consider it harmless. I would not be surprised if they adjudged it less harmful than scotch and soda. Yet in a very instructive piece in the Wall Street Journal, former drug czar William J. Bennett and attorney Robert A. White wrote that “while almost all the science and research is going on one direction—pointing out the dangers of marijuana use—public opinion seems to be going in favor of broad legalization.” In sum, the studies show that in teenagers and young adults regular use of marijuana—which means about once a week—leads to cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and a decline in IQ of about six points—and our young people’s IQ rates are low enough already. This mental impairment seems to last for years. One study found that teenagers who smoked marijuana daily developed abnormal brain structure. Moreover, there are psychiatrists who for years have argued that extended use of marijuana was linked to psychosis and to permanent brain damage.

I saw one of my neighbors leaving the building with a big marijuana leaf printed on his T-shirt. I assumed he was a pothead and proud of it. Without a full and convincing recant, I’ll never trust such an individual.

“Even acting on a sincerely held false belief can realize the good of religion.” –Ryan T. Anderson

I don’t think Anderson appreciates what false beliefs are capable of. I think he makes his argument because the alternative—that there can be no peace among plural truths—is too terrible to consider.

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