In New York City, which has seen better days, statues are once again in the news.

Not statutes, but statuary.

“The New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday to move a controversial 188-year-old statue of Thomas Jefferson from the City Council chambers a City Hall,” informs the city’s ABC affiliate.

You have guessed the reason: racism, slavery and … pedophilia? What?

“Assemblyman Charles Barron, the former councilman who tried to get the statue removed in 2001,” doesn’t want it just removed and given to the New-York Historical Society, as planned, explains the New York Times. “I don’t think it should go anywhere. I don’t think it should exist,” proclaimed Mr. Barron — who also accused Jefferson of pedophilia.

Meanwhile, over at Bowling Green Park, a seven-foot-tall statue of the late gorilla Harambe was installed “directly across from the famous Charging Bull statue, which was surrounded by 10,000 bananas (that will later be donated to local food banks and community fridges) to make a point about wealth disparity,” according to reporting by the Big Apple’s NBC affiliate.

Whereas I can sorta see a case for removing Thomas Jefferson’s statue — if I am being ultra-charitable — this stunt is not merely silly, its symbolism is ultra-opaque. Bananas under a bull statue being stared down by the effigy of a gorilla executed years ago in Chicago? What? 

The idea by the perpetrators is that the Wall Street Bull has more bananas than the gorilla does. Apparently, poor people are gorillas. It is rather amusing how old racist “tropes” keep coming back.

Bananas!

Is someone supposed to be moved by this? I mean, more than to snicker?

There is a theory that this sort of symbology obsessions is being encouraged by elitists behind the scenes — the folks with so many bananas! — to get us mere peons fighting amongst ourselves, the better to distract us from the horrors of said elitists.

The statuary-obsessed should look into this theory. They might have occasion to feel used.

For we have bigger problems to handle than the symbolism of public art.

And the third president as pedophile? What?!?

twv

…a year ago on Facebook….

Much of today’s political tribal warfare strikes me as superficial and stupid, and my friends here on Fb and elsewhere no doubt often note that I sport no great respect for most participants, especially the movers at the top, but also anyone who is relentlessly partisan.

One reason is that I do not think very many people reason their way into their ideologies. Reason appears later in the filiation of ideas, as rationalization. And of course it does to some extent with me, too. But I read Jefferson, Locke, Nozick, Plato, Nietzsche, Peirce and a lot of political philosophy and economics and even sociology and anthropology in my teens before I adopted my current perspective. So my occasional gloating is rationalized on the excuse of past reason. (And in my defense I never have really stopped reading or reasoning.)

So what is really behind political ideological “identification”? It is “tribal,” yes, but more important is that it is sexual.

Usually I bring up the religious nature of political ideology, but a few of my friends may note that I not irregularly bring up sex.

Why?

Well — It is almost all about sex.

And honor.

Sexual honor is a main standard of hierarchy legitimation.

Which is why people take it all so personally. Why is Trump so awful? He is sexually icky! Why is he so great? He is just so tough and impressive! Sure, ideological discord sure looks like it should be seen as a technical policy matter — at least from a superificially reasonable perspective. But it is not. Because fundamentally it is really about sex, family, work, and honor, and the idealized styles of same.

It always has been, and probably always will be, about Our Sex versus Theirs. “We do sex right” while “They do sex wrong.”

And this is why leftism, hollowed out by the failure of so many socialist and technocratic programs, now is reduced to a husk of thought, obsessed with gender and trans activism and things like that. Because all the left really has left is the defense of non-heterosexual sexual activity and its lurking-in-the-background anti-natalism. Meanwhile, the right is on the verge of reviving a defense of full-blown heteronormativity. Wait for it, wait for it….

I find this rather funny. A comedy of ideas reduced to sex farce.

Time to read Tom Sharpe again.

N.B. A few weeks ago I read Sharpe’s latest
Wilt sequel. It was not very relevant to this subject, alas.
Perhaps The Gropes’ll be more relevant.

As you can see by the image of my Goodreads review, it took me a while to finish reading it. But since there is no story, no plot, it doesn’t much matter. Little “violence” is done by intermittent reading, as is also the case with Impressions of Theophrastus Such and The Book of Disquiet.

In my reading, though, this long span of occasional picking up and putting down of the book was the result, mainly, of repeatedly losing track of it. My library is too large, my reading spots too numerous, and my office is too messy: it is easy to lose track of books. There was no plan — or even economizing of effort — going on in my seemingly studied inattention.

Gissing’s reflections on the British national spirit.
Gissing was not very “pro-science.”
Back cover to the edition I read.
This reminds me of Pessoa’s reflections.

Since it is mainly just a series of reflections it is not an autobiography. So what is this genre? Belles lettres, I think.

twv

I started a new channel on Rumble. I will be putting future videos up on that platform. For now, this one from a few weeks ago is uploaded there:

Paul Jacob, with whom I make a podcast every weekend, is now on that platform, too, after having a video taken down on YouTube. His channel is This Week in Common Sense, and here is his first video on Rumble:

My favorite game in game theory is Chicken. While in political science and Public Choice the Prisoners’ Dilemma gets the most attention, Chicken is a simpler game, and does indeed lie at the heart of many paradigmatic relationships that undergird the State as both organization and institution.

In high school, my friends and I used to play Chicken with knives and feet on the green grass of the football field. Great fun. No one was hurt.

Now we have a big, more dangerous game begun in earnest: the establishment fires people for not taking the jab, and the anti-establishment walks out in protest of the mandatory jab. Mass firings versus the strike! A classic case.

Which side’ll give in first?

Let me go find a knife.

twv

For home-made knives, see OffGridWeb.com.

Over a year ago I began talking up the idea that lockdowns would yield shortages and poverty. The government cannot just “write checks” and expect “the economy” to hum along nicely. Wealth depends on goods and services, not money. Force people not to work, and less will get done.

When I wrote and spoke these thoughts — before Elon Musk encapsulated the idea more pithily — a few people mocked me and I am sure many rolled their eyes. They had the illusion of free fall: everything seems fine until you hit the pavement.

Now that supply chains are coming up short in sector after sector and misery and conflict come out in the open, Democrats are doubling down and firing people en masse for not accepting the mandated leaky vaccines that cannot induce herd immunity: herd vaccination will not produce the effects promised, but progressives have the faith of true believers in their failed god.

Things will only get worse until folks like Inslee, Whitmer and Biden are removed from office. Their unconstitutional affronts can only be met with mass resistance and outright pressure, or everything goes to tyranny — and at some point there will be probably be fighting in the streets.

As I expected in 2015 when Democrats backed Antifa and BAMN in open violence.

Once a political movement embraces open initiatory street violence, there is no easy way to prevent the slide to tyrannical barbarism. Democrats gave up reason long ago, and are now openly pushing anti-democratic totalitarian measures such as concentration camps.

They must repent, but seem unlikely to do so. Proud fools, convinced of their moral purity, they have embraced evil. Every Democratic voter who does not loudly oppose current insanity is no better (and perhaps worse) than the worst they have accused others.

They are the fascists they warned us about.

twv

Is this the kind of government we have now?

Seems plausible.

See the memevigilante.com page.

twv

Universal and mandatory “vaccination” with an experimental set of gene-therapy-based concoctions that sport very limited utility in the cause of developing immunity strikes me as crazy. I mean, not even worth considering beyond the first brush with the notion. Yet most of the cultural elite and masses of their dutiful sheep have fallen for it, and now push it with alarming force.

And some of my favorite libertarian writers and leaders are so “pro-vaxx” that they spend most of their time ridiculing those of us who are beyond skeptical of the whole government-business alliance. This makes them, I hazard, instruments of totalitarianism. They have assumed the position of useful (pseudo-)opposition and thereby help the cause of statism, as academic libertarians tend to, and have done so for decades.

Be that as it may, the terminological question remains: what do we call this push? The struggle to find the right words continues. But Dr. Bryam W. Bridle, of the University of Guelph, has offered one useful term: herd vaccination. That is the goal. “Herd immunity” is not the goal, for it cannot be achieved by the method chosen. Yet it is strenuously and tyrannically pushed.

They push herd vaccination. A great term. And they push herd vaccination for reasons other than what they state.

This includes the “pro-vaxx libertarians.” But I will leave the dissection of their motives for another occasion.

But, for the record, I have a term to offer, too:

But “daft” is a gross understatement.

twv

From Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008), streaming on Amazon Prime.

The Case of Caitlín R. Kiernan

My problem with ‘trans’ is not primarily political, and it is not personal either — I’ve known a many people who have tried to look and act as if they were of the opposite sex, and I’ve certainly not been “offended” — as so many people are these days, by so many things.

My main concern is lying.

Here is a case in point, an author whom I’ve not read but whose work looks really interesting: Kenneth R Wright.

Oops. That was his name as a lad. According to Wikipedia . . . well, according to the online encyclopedia, author Caitlín R. Kiernan’s early life as a boy is not worth mentioning. Now he is all woman, and his past as a boy and his ontic status as a natural-born male is just not worth acknowledging:

In an encyclopedia entry, this seems deceptive; it is obviously intentional, and driven by the recent and dominant form that leftist ideology has taken.

The current position in etiquette is that a person gets to define his or her own sex: it is no one else’s business. You can see where this comes from, and I’m all for individuality, etc., etc. But etiquette isn’t about truthfulness, and a truthful people have to maintain places and contexts wherein full truths are acknowledged.

And the “trans” issue is certainly not the only domain of contest where this comes up.

Consider another tricky matter in manners: intelligence. While it would be bad manners to call attention to either the greatest excellences or greatest failures of a person in everyday encounters — it is rude to call a genius one of the genii or a mentally challenged person a “retard” — there are many contexts in which either truth must be acknowledged. One of them would be in an encyclopedia article. We can argue about where else the truth must be allowed, or required.

Same for those who try — with wildly varying degrees of success — to appear as if they be members of the sex they are not. I would likely call Ms. Kiernan by the name she wants in most everyday contexts, but I am not obliged to think of ‘her’ as a woman.

This is an extremely interesting situation, though, because it gets to the heart of our philosophical culture. It is a matter of truth. Do we live in a truthful culture, or one in which fantasy plays the dominant role?

Far be it from me to oppose fantasy. But my philosophy valorizes truth. I regard the people who fear (or for whatever other reason refrain) to state in an encyclopedia article the truth about Caitlín R. Kiernan as liars.

And where lying is culturally enforced, great crimes will be committed.

A pluralistic society would accept disagreement on the extent to which manners would protect the weak from the truth. But we do not live in a pluralistic society.

The liars I look upon with deep suspicion. Sure, they will call me names like ”trans-phobe,” and cast aspersions upon those like me who will not cave to their fairly recent innovation in manners. In a free society, both sides would accept each others’ rights to think and act differently. But the contest now is that one side (the “trans-accepting” side) demands that the other speak exactly as they wish, while the other — my side — is willing to let them make fools of themselves as they so urgently wish, but we are not willing to grant them the justice of their effrontery, to imperially enforce their etiquette of fantasy on us.

They balk at being called liars, though. You see, they have re-defined the terms, and have theories that back up their re-definitions. So call them “trans-honest.”

twv

The most recent episode of the LocoFoco Netcast is up. You can find it on LocoFoco.Locals.com, via your favorite podcatcher, or as hosted on SoundCloud (LocoFoco.net):

In this episode of the podcast, I echo Paul Jacob’s most recent effort, “Are We in La-La Land?” Paul Jacob is best known for his work in the 1990s on term limits, and, in this millennium, for defending initiative and referendum rights. Paul Jacob serves as President of the Liberty Initiative Fund.

I help Paul with his weekly podcast. I chime in every now and then with one of my “theories.” On this episode from October 1, 2021, Paul Jacob takes on the biggest issues of the week:

Unmasking the Mask Debate (on sense and nonsense and pure b.s. about masks)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/27/unm…e-mask-debate/

Catastrophic! Calamity! The Debt (on setting the b.s. artists at CNN straight about the debt)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/28/cat…mity-the-debt/

The Age of Octogenarians (on why it’s not Chuck Grassley’s age that is the problem with his 40-odd years as a senator)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/29/the-age-of-octos/

Stossel Sues Facebook (on the case against social media — in the courts)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/30/sto…sues-facebook/

Biden Blames Business (on inflation and debt and b.s.)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/10/01/bid…ames-business/

Oh, and Ludwig von Mises to Ayn Rand

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/30/lud…mises-aynrand/

twv

A Thought for the day of September 30, 2021.