I don’t consider the transgender mania, lockdown policy and mask mandates, or the “climate change” hysteria to be all that different in form.

And I believe every earnest supporter of these crazes to be dupes at best, and much, much worse . . . at worst.

It’s all based on a deeply misconstrued understanding (a misunderstanding) of “science,” which in each of these cases is dominated by social pressures to conform to norms and an authoritarian, elitist view of knowledge acquisition.

I understand how “normal” people can get caught up in this nonsense, but when I see smart members of my own political tribe, I just shake my head.

I suspect these are all in part the result of a feature of human beings we gained an inkling of in Fifties’ and Sixties’ rat and mouse studies, about the effects of crowding (high-density populations) and hedonic feedback loops in contrived circumstances. 

This element is not unrelated to risk homeostasis, where our personally acceptable risk levels retain a baseline even as levels of risk change, and we, at the margins of behavioral change, become more risky in our behavior. This accommodation to changing circumstances seems perverse, but as economist Sam Peltzman demonstrated, it goes on without our conscious awareness. And it is rational, in a sense: in that it is explainable in rational terms and to the individual in any given instance likely appears a reasonable reaction.

The process of cultural decadence goes on at a micro-micro level, but exhibits its perversities at the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. On the macro level it appears as full-blown cultural decline, sending our civilization, pel-mel, into destruction. 

The only counters to this, as far as I can tell, is better understandings of reason and norms. And criticism of the lazy, evil, witless, and perverse.


After the Freedom of Information Act was established, government officials were surprised by one of the most persistent sets of FOIA requests: UFO inquiries. Though not all requests have been met with release of information, an astounding amount of documentation has indeed been made public on UFOs.

From my reading, “UFO skeptics” ignore most of this.

Here’s the deal, though: FOIA’d documents include memos to and from top brass in the military for over seven decades: generals, admirals, etc. Also released have been many UFO reports from military bases, particularly nuclear missile installations. These make for astounding reading.

I’m more than willing to concede that these are all fakes, as apparently UFO “skeptics” must insist. But then I insist that we hold the military and bureaucracies into account for faking documentation of a UFO presence on the planet that is not there. 

It’s one way or the other: the Deep State has been mostly hiding and lying about UFOs for nearly a century, or, instead, it has been faking UFOs, “pretending” to hide them, and then “revealing” their fakeries in leaked and FOIA-released documentation which then never receives official discussion.

It’s a deep psy-op either way.

The FOIA-released information either shows a puzzling and perhaps alarming UFO presence on the planet, or the released documents are fakes and elements within the Deep State want SOME of us to believe in weird SOMETHINGS, leaving us to speculate wildly.

Either way: conspiracy.

This is indeed a conspiracy theory. But it is more than that. It is a logical puzzle, the evidence pointing to one kind of conspiracy or another. The evidence is such that no other conclusion is viable.

For UFO “skeptics” not to confront this strikes me as a shameful cowardice and dishonesty.

But one of the things that most interests me about the psy-op (whichever one it is) is how it divides society into in-groups and out-groups. It has been a point of cultic behavior in academic circles, for example, where inquiries are routinely ridiculed, and disbelief in UFOs has been used as a shibboleth.

This makes academics — and all who pass through the academy — morally compromised in interesting ways, and has contributed to the current ideological division in society.

But it has been part of the mechanism by which the Deep State has controlled the minds of intellectuals, and increased their allegiance levels.

The extent to which these effects were planned, or just “evolved,” would be worth careful study.

But of course we cannot trust academics with this, for they are still deeply, deeply compromised. Morally. Intellectually. And in the realm of manners. The military-academic-industrial complex, of course, is wholly unreliable in terms of truth. Secrecy and disinformation are integral to these enterprises.

I contend that UFOs are only the most intellectually puzzling element of this disinformation complex. I also believe that the medical-industrial complex is also now deeply into disinformation, even as its mavens complain about the dangers of “misinformation” by those outside its tight embrace.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the dribs and drabs of “UFO disclosure” now ongoing from the Pentagon have been released in such small bundles of information that it allows those intellectuals who have prided themselves on their intellectual purity by scoffing at UFO reports to continue their campaign of ridicule, if at muffled levels. Thus the disclosure remains a psy-op, stringing along of past useful idiots — the useful ones being those who call all who take UFO reports seriously “UFO nuts,” the inutile ones being those who believe every last allegation and report. But those useless idiots are also useful, in a way, for they allow the useful idiots to puff themselves up with pride, and thereby support the Deep State and its insidious presence in our pseudo-republic.

twv (2022-03-26)

Scott Adams, in the first segment of his recent Coffee show (#2052), speculates that VP Kamala Harris comes off so badly because she has a fear of public speaking, and uses alcohol to get through it — which is why she often seems drunk. She is!

He confesses to having been initially impressed by her in the primaries because of her interrogation techniques. She was fine as a prosecutor, blaming people; she was fine in Senate hearings, blaming people. But it’s the only public speaking she can do well: blaming people.

She needs to drink to get through the rest.

Seems plausible.

But back in the primary days I was impressed with Kamala Harris too — but not for any of her putative excellences, but because she ticked off the boxes that DNC power players require: she was darker skinned but not African-American (big plus for several reasons); she was a woman, of course; she was a ruthless prosecutor with no sense of justice; she mouthed stupid enough shibboleths of a socialistic nature that could rally Democrats, who are almost invariably stupid about socialism. But mainly she was corruptible.

She seemed more Hillary than Hillary!

That, I figured, was why she would get ahead. I predicted that she would win the field.

But she didn’t. She, being unlovable, was unloved by Democratic partisans.

But she did get ahead, for Biden and his team saw her checked boxes, and bit, placing her on the ticket.

And the rest is history.

Glug glug.


Image concocted by the PicFinder AI.

Is Libertarianism a utopian model that only works in theory?

. . . as answered on Quora. . . .

A great humanist instructed us to distinguish between the ethical and the utopian imagination. This is an important distinction.

Libertarianism, I posit, is more a moral than a utopian construct. It rests upon a particular handling of ethical principles regarding force in a universalistic manner, emphasizing reciprocity. It places a regulatory view of law against organizations and groups by nullifying claims to special privileges regarding the legitimacy of coercion, especially on class and group grounds. Liberty is radical, true enough, but only insofar as it bars state operatives from claiming special status, except, perhaps, in very limited, legally circumscribed ways. It is commonplace and unexceptionable in disallowing individuals as such from staking such claims.

Many people consider this utopian. I can see why. By taking on the state, the liberty principle is . . . bracing in its daring and consistency. This is so ‘not done’ that it seemsutopian.

But I regard that as a parallax illusion. The principle is homely and familiar; the state as it normally operates is not.

The best reason to absolve the liberty principle from a charge of utopianism is that it is not salvific in nature or intent.

Liberty relieves no one of responsibility.

The freedom libertarians offer guarantees no one of relief from the need to work, or be of use to others. Benevolent acts of generosity and unburdening (and non-reciprocal aid in general) remain relegated to communal and family action in a free society, and, of course, to private charity. But these are not guaranteed. The State, if it exists under liberty, is not there to serve as Messiah or offer anyone special dispensation. Utopian yearnings for cosmic justice have no place in the libertarians’ conception of law. Demands for godlike, magical fixes have no place in the liberal/libertarian imagination.

What libertarians offer in place of coercively guaranteed equality, or salvation, or advantage, is an environment where quality can more readily progress and evolve, practically achieving that which non-libertarian utopians demand as an indemnity.

What liberty provides is not utopia but, as Robert Nozick famously argued, a ‘framework for utopias.’ For we all have our various schemes for improvement. Experiments in living are what we expect in a free society. Liberty provides a playing field for our attempts to create a better social life. But utopian guarantees with recourse to legitimized aggressive, initiated coercion? Prohibited.

In my experience, most folks reject the libertarian idea not because it is too utopian, but because it is not utopian enough.

Libertarianism has so little to do with religion or ends-specific social scheming that it robs politics, in most moderns’ minds, of ‘all the fun.’

So, back to the question. Does it work only in theory?

Well, libertarianism is a reciprocal morality, arguably the most honed and refined such vision. We human being, whether ascended from apes or created by the Anunnaki, are prone to certain grifters’ plays in our value systems. Our basic moral instincts are, as Herbert Spencer noted (The Inductions of Ethics), to split morality in twain, simultaneously nurturing some with an ‘ethics of amity’ and harshly abusing the rest with an ‘ethics of enmity.’ We moderns jigger with words and principles and values routinely, trying to hide this basic dichotomy, often secreting it into the basic structures of convoluted statist institutions, all protected from scrutiny by some basic cognitive biases. These jiggerings often take the form of something very much like a confidence game trick, and we end up sneaking exploitation and predation and parasitism into our nobly expressed ‘ideals.’

This being so ubiquitous, built into the warp and woof of political life, we cannot know for certain if human culture and character can progress to the libertarians’ refined idea of law as applying equally to all.

We may be too baboonish.

That remains to be seen.

But our defects as a species, whatever their extent, would not scuttle the regimen of equal freedom because it is too utopian, but because too moral. Our desire for the advancement of self and our kinds (whether clan or class or some other clade) at the expense of others may be ineradicable, and the existence of state hierarchies too enticing a shiny (if illusive) savior to forgo out of respect for reciprocal rights.

We will see. Right now, we are so far into the current confidence game of the churning state that more honest regimes seem murky.

What we do know is more liberty is workable. How do we know? Well, one reason we know is that liberty’s current illiberal opposites are not working for the general benefit. We have big hints.

. . . as answered on Quora. . . .

What do you think of post-scarcity? Will we ever have a society like that?

Lionel Robbins, the British economist, defined his discipline in an interesting way:

Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.

I have encountered many arguments about the possibility of living in a post-scarcity society, but they all seem to really refer only to an “abundance society.”

And abundance is relative to ends conceived and stressors encountered — and over time, too.

I have not seen any of our post-scarcity prophets explain the concept in precise terms of ends and means. They seem to wave their hands, airily. But even with matter-transfer tech and zero-point energy production, I still see a world of a multiplicity of ends (goals) together with a vast cosmos of possible means to achieve these many ends while continuing to sport alternative uses. And this all amounts to scarcity.

Post-scarcity? It seems Edenic thinking, way to vague.


Pointers; setters: picture the two relevant dog breeds . . . their images adorning the usual set of restroom doors. Men and boys are pointers; women and girls are setters. Get it?

Such humorous, quasi-vulgar noms les toilettes for sex-segregated restrooms were brought to mind this week, after the squabbles regarding urinals in New Hampshire’s Milford Middle School and Milford High School.

The regulations that the New Milford School District placed upon restroom and locker rooms in the New Hampshire public school were indeed bizarre, goofily bizarre, but entirely in accord with woke transgenderism. That they had to be rescinded, because of protest, is a good sign. But the premises of wokist demands are still held by most “earnest” people, and the consequences of those premises will keep resurfacing so long as they are held by people with some sort of power, legal, political, or “merely” cultural.
So this is what had been done:

  1. urinals in boys’ bathrooms and locker rooms were covered over with black plastic garbage bags;
  2. the number of students allowed in a restroom was limited to the number of stalls; and
  3. physical ed. students were required to change in toilet stalls, not publicly by their lockers.

All this was protested. And the school board caved to the protests. But the threat of some new goofy policy was not removed.

What our pathetic post-moderns cannot accept is that sex is more important than “gender,” and hetero-normativity better served than the demands of the neurotic. They also do not see that sex is a Schelling Point issue on matters like who gets to use what public restroom, while “gender” is far too flapdoodlish to serve, and trying to make it do so causes huge problems, like the threat of rape and gross inefficiency of restroom use — and general “grossness.”

What is especially interesting are issues like modesty and shame, both huge drivers in all this. The trans “boys” apparently experienced shame, or at the very least modest repulsion, over actual boys using urinals. Hence the original complaint. This element is bad enough for boys and girls with members of their own sex (we’ve all seen Woody Allen discuss urinal etiquette), but add in members of the opposite sex pretending to be members of their sex, and the micro-social negotiations become quite difficult. Surely we can all sympathize.

Or pity. At least.

One thing the transgender crowd hasn’t accepted yet is that some men will game their new system.

Earnest transgenderists set up gender-segregated rather than sex-segregated bathrooms. They say it’s to honor and respect and acknowledge the dignity of trans boys and trans girls, trans men and trans women. But that’s not to say that all men who pretend to be women or all boys who pretend to be girls will be in earnest.

Cross-dressing transvestite men have long been a separate, quite distinct class from “transsexuals” (as we used to call them). For them, it’s about “the kinks” . . . it’s very sexual, and it’s not at all respectful. I say their behavior and comportment is parodic of women and disrespectful of members of the sex; it is indeed astoundingly sexist; and it is brinksmanship in this context.

Until the transgenderists can distinguish earnest from the malign gender-benders, the whole issue is, well, problematic.

Meanwhile, real pointers and setters — the canines — do their “business” outside. Is that where we’re headed?


The enduring appeal of destructive utopianism

I know, let’s take from some folks and give the loot to others, turning the most deserving into — millionaires!

This variety of political reasoning is so popular that, instead of being laughed out of the public arena, add in a dollop of “race” and it’s a headline.

At least in California.

“San Francisco’s reparations committee has proposed paying each Black longtime resident $5 million and granting total debt forgiveness,” explains the Fox News Digital story. 

But why just “Black” residents? 

Oppression. Racism. The Usual Suspects of the woke: “due to the decades of ‘systematic repression’ faced by the local Black community.”

What happened to “systemic”? Why “systematic”? Maybe the inconvenient fact that there was no long tradition of chattel slavery in California requires that extra syllable. 

The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee’s notion is, we’re told, “to address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.”

So Blacks in former slave states should get ten million each? 

Or fifty. 

Do I hear $100 million?

Fortunately, the report will likely be shelved, as feared by its supporters.

Unfortunately, sufferers of commonsense deficit syndrome don’t realize how their all-too-familiar program negatively affects the actual people they say they serve. When you look at San Francisco’s mass lootings, which group of people do you see stealing garbage bag loads off Walmart shelves? 

The looters are mostly racial minorities who’ve been encouraged to believe they “are owed.” 

So they steal.

But any person — man or woman, black or white — who resorts to open theft throws a monkey wrench into his or her future. It’s no way to get ahead.

Which increases the wealth and income gap.

The utopians themselves make sure the cycle of dysfunction never ends.


With Martin Luther King’s birthday having just passed, my interest turns to the next month’s holiday. Here’s something from Office Holidays dot com:

Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. At a state level, it may be called President’s Day, with an apostrophe that moves about from state to state.

Though it may be technically incorrect, the federal holiday is often colloquially referred to as Presidents’ Day. The Associated Press Stylebook, most newspapers and some magazines use the form “President’s Day” as an alternate rendering of “Washington’s Birthday.” The name Presidents’ Day is also the more common version of the name when used internationally.

This confusion as to the name is that despite its status as a federal holiday, states are free to name this holiday as they wish or even whether or not it is observed as a public holiday in that state.

I live in Washington State, named after George Washington. I checked the state’s website. The celebration is called “Presidents’ Day.” I kid you not.

The politicians and government functionaries in my state are not to be honored. They cannot even muster the quantum of intelligence (or courage) to formally honor the man the state is named for.

From The Daily Wire we learn that Chelsea Handler once believed — or, at least, she said she once believed — that the Sun and Moon were the same object. “I didn’t know until I was 40 years old that the sun and the moon were not the same thing.” Her belief was that, “Honestly, I just assumed when the sun went down, it popped back up as the moon.”

What an odd belief. I guess she was trans before it was cool, and for her the Moon was just the trans-Sun, and vice versa.

What I don’t really understand is how, as a child, she was not inquisitive enough to research astronomical issues by herself. But this apparently never crossed her mind. She appears to believe that encyclopedias and other books are not relevant to childish inquiry: “at a certain age when you don’t know, you know, the answers to questions, it’s too embarrassing to ask questions. You know, you just have to pretend, you know.”

I find the incurious nature of most folks utterly off-putting.

But then, for my part, I never gathered around with friends for group masturbate-o-thons, like she famously did in her youth. So I guess she would think my modesty utterly puzzling and off-putting.

In honor, it is said, of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King: a new statute in Boston . . . so ugly that I hazard it must reference the preacher’s rapes.

Headless in Boston.

The woke, once again, send me into the cadre of anti-postmodernists.

If you are going to make a celebratory statue, make it classical, where the artist salutes and the art exemplifies achievement, nobility, justice, courage, and the like, not … whatever this … does.

But there is an “explanation”:

If a statue needs unfamiliar outside material to be understood what it represents, it is terrible public art.

This is a horrifically bad sculpture.


I’ve lost track of two of the novels I’m halfway through reading, one by William Dean Howells and the other by Poul Anderson. Both are likely in my office, which I guess I’ll have to tidy up soon. So here I am well into the night and approaching morning, still wide awake, but tired, looking at a Poe collection, an elegant miniature hardcover from Könemann. I’m thinking of embarking on a formal essay on Nabokov’s Lolita, so Poe not surprisingly came to mind. There is a mystery behind Lolita, one uncovered a decade or so ago, and most of what has been written about it has been pishposh. And here it is, half after the beginning of the new day’s fifth hour, and I cannot remember having read Poe’s longest detective story. I know I read “The Gold Bug” in my teen years. But the others? I forsook Poe’s crime and horror fiction for his comedies, “The Imp of the Perverse” and “Never Bet the Devil Your Head.” Now it is time, perhaps, to return to my reading roots. 

Or finish this whiskey. I am not awake because of missing books, but because of pain. There is no position of recumbency that evades pain, tonight, so every position prevents sleep. So how to sleep? The whiskey may help. 

Or maybe Poe’s prose’ll do it.


“Died suddenly” would not possess memetic traction were excess deaths not running way above ten percent, and those deaths not attributable to COVID.

It’s the context of high profile on-air collapses and demises within the post-pandemic statistical reality that provides teeth to the speculation about the Pfizer and Moderna products’ adverse effects.

If there were stats but no anecdotes, or anecdotes but no stats, then there’d be reason for corrosive skepticism about either. But we find them together, and must deal with them as bolstering each other; skepticism means you should apply some of your cultivated dubiety against the medical protocols rushed through by Trump and foisted upon the world.