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…from the last few days on social media….

As anyone may have noticed, I’m not very big into “protests.” I turned on the idea of mass protest pretty thoroughly when I stumbled into Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests by accident, and then watched (from a safe distance) as the protests spiraled into mass violence.

Since I also opposed the WTO, you might think I would have been simpatico with the protesters. But no: they were mainly left-anarchist poseur hippie boys and their earnest, professional girlfriends, spouting contradictory and incoherent gibberish, unlearned and anti-factual and rather stupid.

The biggest difference never receives official attention: “right-wing” protests almost never lead to violence, “left-wing” protests almost always do. 

This wasn’t always the case, and much depends upon how you define left and right, which I blogged about once again today. But in recent memory, left-wing protest tends to lead to rioting.

Remember just a few months and then weeks ago normal Americans — mostly but not all white — were promoting the Second Amendment in Virginia and then protesting the lockdowns in Michigan? In both cases the major media freaked over the weaponry on display. But there was zero to scant violence, during and after.

The main complaints were “I saw a Confederate Flag!” and “They aren’t social distancing!”

But media folks — they don’t mind seeing commie and anarchist flags, pointing their cameras elsewhere, and I haven’t heard any umbrage taken about the protesters in Minneapolis not wearing medical masks.

There were mask-wearers, of course, but those appeared to be rioters — and the Men in Black who were instigating mayhem.

So, one reason there may be violence associated with left-wing protests is that right-wingers sabotage them. But that isn’t the full story, for the anarchists at the WTO riots, and antifa and BAMN at more recent protests, are very, very left-wing, and very, very violent. 

And do a lot of instigating.

While being institutionally supported by George Soros.

Further, masses of leftists seem more violent than masses of rightists.

The lack of objective reporting by the press is interesting. 

It could be ideological: we rah-rah our side, we boo their side! 

But it may be more craven: the media likes to cover violence, so encourages the protests that give corporate heads the stories that help with the bottom line.


I have never denied that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely dangerous. Why, it makes even the uninfected go mad.


Does it need to be said? No matter who instigates a destructive riot, riots are bad. No matter who casts the first stone, so to speak, does not let off the hook the second thrower, or the third, or the fourth. We can make judgments about people who attack innocent people and their property. Condemnation is the standard, traditional, and quite justified judgment.

“Outside instigators of violence” should worry those who think their protests are legitimate. If they go ahead and protest, and do not patrol their ranks, and their peaceful protest breaks out into looting and arson and street violence, then that’s a tragedy. If, however, every time a protest of your cause ends up that way, and yet you organize protests, you become complicit (to some extent) in the horrors of the crime wave.

I have seen credible (but not certain) accusations of instigation to violence in Minneapolis and elsewhere of undercover/off-duty police and of antifa and other anarchist groups, and much speculation about criminals, political groups, etc. What if it were a perfect storm of influences, from left, right and center?

Would it matter to protesters? If what they do is set off violence, then what they do is at best counter-productive.

Something other than protests need to be thought. I have suggestions.

But because they are rational suggestions, irrational people will not engage in them, now, will they?

Defending “peaceful protest” is fine, but if it always ends up violent, the defenses are inapposite.

Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.? Somehow, he took a lot of care to make his marches peaceful.

Today’s protests generally repudiate the principles of MLK. Yet everyone claims to admire him.

Par for the current course, though: seemingly earnest pieties are regularly repudiated in action.


Were you aware that notorious pick-up artist Roosh V. has repudiated his past and now preaches traditional Christian ethics?

I first became aware of him as he began undergoing his transition. It has been interesting to watch. I was of course aware of “the game” for many years, but had never really followed it. Roosh, however, is an interesting case.


So, the challenge is here: the famous anti-HCQ study is probably a fraud.

I had seen someone else make the case yesterday. On Twitter or Gab. Somebody else other than this linked author who deals with data on a regular basis was utterly incredulous about the data set described:

If you’re following at all the search for COVID-19 treatments, and possibly even if not, you will have seen the flurry of media coverage for the observational study in The Lancet ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis. It made the news not least because hydroxychloroquine is the drug President Trump says he is taking in the belief that it will reduce his chance of catching COVID-19. This view is not backed up evidence until some randomised trials come in. Getting in before the trials, the Lancet study used propensity score matching to try to control for the non-random treatment. It found that taking hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were associated with an increased risk of heart problems.
I am highly skeptical of the powers of hydroxychloroquine with relation to COVID-19 (‘skeptical’ in the sense that I have suspended judgement for now – there simply isn’t evidence either way). But I want the test of its properties to be done properly, with random controlled trials. And if we are to use observational studies (which I do not object to, they just aren’t as useful as an experiment where you can manipulate the treatment), they have to use real data.
The data in that study, and in at least one preprint on a second treatment, were provided by an Illinois firm called Surgisphere. Allegedly the data represents the treatment and health outcomes of 96,032 patients from 671 hospitals in six continents. However, there is simply no plausible way I can think of that the data are real.
I’ll say that again – I believe with very high probability the data behind that high profile, high consequence Lancet study are completely fabricated.

Peter Ellis, “A health data firm making extraordinary claims about its data,” free range statistics, May 30, 2020.

So, a major journal accepts a study on a highly politicized subject and — if this charge holds — scandal ensues.

This is par for the postmodern course, from what I can tell. We do not have as much actual science going on as we are led to believe. Much of it is scientism — pseudoscience. I assume you are aware of the replicability problem that has been dogging the heels of institutional science for the last decade. Many journals have also become corrupt or, at best, inefficient. (I just read the abstract of a paper co-authored by Dan Klein about “the paucity of theory in the Journal of Economic Theory.” Hilarious.) Much of the academic world has lost its way. The “scientific method” is not in practice when the “public testing” element is institutionally scuttled.

The problem, I believe, is government funding. For that puts science into the whorl of special interest incentives, and makes the subject area liable to something very much like “regulatory capture.”

Whole domains of science seem untrustworthy to me:

climatology
paleontology
ancient history
economics

. . . I could go on and on.

Only when academics are held accountable on objective grounds can they be saved from corruption by politics and funding. And since the academy is by definition an exclusionary institution, accountability has to be imposed. It is imperative that non-academics speak up. 

And let us be frank: this case is in part about TDS.


To what extent is COVID-19 panic driven by class insecurities? Most illnesses the well-off can avoid or pay for. The panic began when being rich did not seem to help, while lockdown mania grew as it became clear that the well-off were less negatively affected than the proletarian middle and lower income groups.

twv

The startling horror of wearing stripes with plaid made me go crazy with the filter. Still: stripe v. plaid!
The leftist definition of fascism — corporate take-over and tyranny — has been enacted not by self-professed fascists, or the Alt-Right, or Donald J. Trump, but by leftists themselves.

For years leftists told libertarians that corporate power could be suppressive, oppressive, tyrannical. Libertarians scoffed. Demanded evidence.

So leftists provided that evidence: they developed major social media (with a little help from the alphabet soup of U.S. “intelligence” agencies) and then used their leverage to censor information, inquiry and opinions that run counter to their narrative and party line. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter now routinely censor opinions on the coronavirus they (and the World Health Organization) don’t like. And more.

They proved their point. They became the oppressors they warned us about.

Libertarians lost the argument, and are doubly unhappy about it: they were proven wrong and they are oppressed. But leftists? Their win must be . . . bittersweet. I mean, to win by losing: by becoming the very thing you most hate!

twv

I keep forgetting to mark, here, the short stories I read. Well, I just read a blogged story from long, long ago, “The Human Brick.”

It is short, and though hardly a masterpiece, it is worth reading, perhaps. What do you think?

On a not unrelated note, on Fb I made a list of the Top Ten Most Memorable Short Stories I Have Read and Can Recall Without Looking at Any Book or Listicle.

I ordered mine as they popped into my head:

1. The Dead, by James Joyce (Dubliners)
2. Homecoming, by Ray Bradbury (October Country)
3. The Sword of Welleran, by Lord Dunsany
4. Family Happiness, by Leo Tolstoy
5. The Upper Berth, by F. Marion Crawford (Wandering Ghosts)
6. The Blue Background, by Brian Aldiss (Isaac Asimov’s — but this is not sf)
7. Unaccompanied Sonata, by Orson Scott Card (Monkey Sonatas)
8. Leaf by Niggle, by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Tolkien Reader)
9. The Imp of the Perverse, by E. A. Poe
10. Think Like a Dinosaur, by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s)

Runners up (meaning only that I thought of them after the above—many are better!):
Never Bet the Devil Your Head, by Poe
Hunting the Unicorn, by Lord Dunsany
The Lady of All Our Dreams, 
The Wedding Jest, and
Concerning David Jogram, by James Branch Cabell
Mortal Gods, by Orson Scott Card
A Clean Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway
Blue Moon, by Connie Willis
The Indian Uprising, by Donald Barthelme
Redemption, by John Gardner
The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet, and
The Body, by Stephen King (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Back in the Eocene, by T. Coraghessan Boyle
The Moon Moth, by Jack Vance
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, and
Vaster Than Empires and More Slow, by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Grove of Ashtaroth, by John Buchan
Problems, by John Updike

I read Raymond Carver and John Cheever and other authors so long ago I forget their titles, but many great stories can be found in their work.

I was set to post to LocoFoco.us, one of my Facebook pages, a link with a question. But Facebook warned me:

The article was from LewRockwell.com, “Vitamins C and D Finally Adopted as Coronavirus Treatment,” by Joseph Mercola. I have no opinion on the information, misinformation or disinformation in this article. I was going to ask for opinions. But Facebook has an agenda: when you publish too much wrongthink, no matter what the framing, the social media site is going to downgrade your page and hide it from visitors.

Indeed, it has already done so, to the LocoFoco page. I did not post the above article, for fear of an utter take-down, suppression.

No way to run a railroad, Facebook.

For instance, I would love to have seen Facebook’s fact-checkers to provide me INFORMATION or ARGUMENTATION about the article in question. I would not even mind if a ’bot did that.

But the current quasi-censorship method is not acceptable.

So, because of that, I’m going to spread another questionable source:

This man sure doesn’t approve of the medical establishment!

Take that, Facebook, you evil a-holes.

If Bernie gets the nomination he seeks, then we should overturn Tim Russert’s psy-op and label, as traditional, the GOP ‘Blue’ and the Democracy ‘Red.’

My own color would remain off-spectrum; perhaps, per David Lindsay, ‘Jale’ or ‘Ulfire.’


If environmentalists really believe the world is ending in 12 — no, that is so last year: eleven — years, I expect lots of savvy folk to renegotiate their mortgages to obtain lower rates in exchange for a balloon payment due at the end . . . after our prophesied enviro-Armageddon.


Of course, as is often noted, were catastrophic global warming with massive sea-level rises and hurricanes abounding really in our future, in-the-know folks like Barack and Michelle Obama would not be buying multi-million-dollar beachfront property.

Climate change cultists would head for the hills.


My checkmark for Tulsi will not be counted, for I cannot honestly say I prefer the Democracy or am a Republican. So this goes into the trashcan.


The Following Comment Led to a Debate Requiring Me Actually to Order a Book on “Gender Theory” — Sad Day

I have a different take on this [joke image below], as many of you know: while gender is said to be a social construct, the very idea of gender is an ideological construct, and I reject the groundwork ideology on multiple grounds. We can pretend there are four genders or a thousand, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is sex, and how we handle it. So, this joke is not quite as funny for me as it may be for some others.

If you admit the official definition of gender, though, you cannot then decisively state that there are only two. The word you are looking for is sex.

But because we were all timorous/obnoxious children once, we tend to wince at that word, or blush, or guffaw, so we have unthinkingly let ‘gender‘ gain ground as a euphemism, wreaking havoc on thought and culture.

Still, marginally funny joke. But of most interest as a sign of the times.


I will not be using this on my tombstone:

Epigraph to In the Valley of the Kings (2009), by Daniel Meyerson.

This epigraph is more apt for me:

With the majority at last.

twv

Evidence of life, by the Pacific Ocean, November 28, 2019.

A stopped clock may be right twice a day, but a stopped military clock is right only once per day.


Just a reminder: the Russia investigation “was a nothing,” as my father used to say. No evidence advanced to show that any American solicited aid from Russia, and no evidence that the meagre “interference” on social media by a bunch of Russians affected any outcome, not so much as one vote:

There is no allegation in the indictment of any effect on the outcome of the election.

. . . There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge, and that the nature of the [allegedly Russian] scheme was that the [Russian] defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists, even going so far as to base their activities on virtual private network [VPN] here in the United States so if anybody traced it back to that first jump, they appeared to be Americans.

Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as recorded by CNBC, February 18, 1018.

The build-up to the final indictments in the Mueller Probe was relentlessly breathless, saying that Trump was doomed. And then? Nothing. Zip. Nada. All we had were pathetic prosecutions, the most ludicrous being of the named Russian “hackers.”

It is worth mentioning that the United States regularly intrudes on other countries’ elections far more thoroughly and effectively. The clutched pearls of the anti-Trumpers is so disingenuous.

And remember, one of the more recent elections that the U.S. Government interfered in was in the Ukraine.

So, naturally, as if led by an invisible hand with a wicked wit, Democrats, Deep State operatives, and the corporate media have pushed a bizarre Ukraine “interference” and “quid pro quo” and “bribery” allegation against the president for allegedly soliciting Ukrainians to “interfere” in our elections by investigating Joe Biden, Trump’s “political competitor.”

This is worth remembering as we gear up for the great fizzle that seems imminent regarding impeachment.


Although we do learn some of our history from hoaxes, we learn far more of it from sources that are unabashedly fictional. Rather than our quest for ammunition or enlightenment, it is our yearning for entertainment that most often leads us astray. A 2001 study, for instance, found that nearly two-thirds of high school students surveyed based their understanding of the Vietnam War on the movie Forrest Gump. The same pattern might hold for the First Thanksgiving if only Hollywood found it more interesting.

Robert Tracy McKenzie, The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History (2013) .

The “freedom of assumption” lies at the heart of human ontology, and it is our consideration of non-facts that make us who we are, and even allows us to act:

Dale Jacquette, Alexius Meinong, The Shepherd of Non-Being (2015).

Note to praxeologists and “objectivists”: our values are determined by fancy as well as facts.

Meinong’s innovation is very similar to George Santayana’s doctrine of essences — which Santayana referred to as “promiscuous” in that the objects of our thought require no existence to be meaningful.

And from this line of reasoning we can see where the Ontological Argument fails.

This was my Thanksgiving message on Facebook, expressing my gratefulness for all the important objects of consciousness that do not exist.


The Fourth Estate relentlessly pushes political power, but has no interest in uncovering the truth for our benefit. If the journalists/papers/news channels were really interested in Story they would be all over some of the biggest stories of our time. But their interest in Story is circumscribed by their interest in partisan power-mongering. What they offer, instead, is Ideological Narrative. Not quite the same thing. Because of this, they are easily influenced by the CIA and the rest of the Deep State, and side with it.

Off Reddit.

And they have no interest in ‘protecting women’ or #metoo or anything even slightly noble . . . if it disrupts their narratives of expanding secular power and the subjugation of a free people.


As I understand the current impeachment case, it seems to have problems:

1. Neither the infamous quid or the notorious quo of the quid pro quo actually occurred — at best the case has it that Trump wanted to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for a promise to investigate the corruption of the Bidens, but the aid was eventually given and the investigation did not happen.

2. The Ukrainian president was most interested in a meeting with Trump, and appears not to have realized at the time of negotiations that aid was on hold. Negotiating for meetings is trivial b.s. not worthy of review by Congress. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying in a deposition, not for his special White House hotel grift.

3. Testimony from the prime witness has Trump explicitly denying, upon a request for clarification, the withholding of aid as a negotiating tactic.

4. Rep. Schiff and the pro-Deep State press (CNN, MSNBC, et al.) continually characterizes what Trump wanted as ‘investigating a political rival’ and not as investigating obvious and frank and even boasted-about [‘well, son-of-a-bitch’] corruption on the part Joe Biden and his son.

5. The continual denials of any evidence for Biden wrong-doing by Democrats and the Deep State press, is mere stonewalling and denial — lying.

6 The principle of the Double Effect is at play here: we expect more than one motive to go into any complicated maneuver like the disputed Ukraine negotiation. Since investigating corruption is entirely legitimate, that provides more than enough cover even to get what Trump may have wanted regarding his ‘political rival’ Biden.

7. The irony of charging Trump with trying to get foreign powers to help get dirt on a political opponent is PRECISELY what Hillary Clinton did with the Russian Dossier — how pot-and-kettle can they get?

8. And as for the sheer horror of investigating a political rival, that is what Barack Obama did to Trump’s campaign. Quite clearly.

9. The whistleblower heard nothing himself — it was all hearsay, and after the testimonies, that ‘heard said’ turns out to be mere unheard suspicion.

10. It is obvious from the very words and grimaces of testifying Deep State operatives that what they really objected to was that their beloved ‘interagency consensus’ was being derailed by the new president’s very different approach. Anyone with an ounce of skepticism about the FBI, CIA and ‘the interagency’ should not give one vermin patootie for their commitment to their policies — they are not supposed to be in charge. Why any American would be sympathetic to this crowd of professional liars and incompetents I don’t know.

There is more, but this is enough to make me utterly incredulous about the charges, which seem weaker and more indicting of the side marshaling the indictments than of Trump.


Talk about ‘interfering in our elections’! This story is out there, but does not seem to be getting much play:

The story seems interesting, anyway:

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota-5th) was recruited by a foreign government, received funding from a foreign government, and passed sensitive information through intermediaries to Iran, a Florida court has been told, as The Jerusalem Post confirmed.
Speaking to the Post, the office of the Congresswoman denied the allegations.
The claims came during testimony by Kuwati-born Canadian businessman Alan Bender, who was giving evidence in the trial of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani. The Qatari emir’s brother stands accused of ordering his American bodyguard to murder two people, and of holding an American citizen hostage. His deposition, obtained by Al Arabiya English, was authenticated by the attorney for the plaintiffs, according to the publication.
Speaking from Toronto by video link, Bender told the Florida District Court that he met with Qatar’s Secretary to the Emir for Security Affairs Mohammad bin Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Masnad and two other senior Qatari officials.
According to his sworn deposition, the three officials told him: “If it wasn’t for our cash, Ilhan Omar would be just another black Somali refugee in America collecting welfare and serving tables on weekends.”Bender testified that the officials asked him to recruit American politicians and journalists as Qatari assets, and that when he objected, was told that several prominent figures were already on the payroll. Omar was described as the “jewel in the crown,” he said.

Donna Rachel Edmunds, “Ilhan Omar denies being ‘Qatari asset,’ witness confirms Jerusalem Post report,” Jerusalem Post, November 28, 2019.

But, that being said, if these accusations prove true, many crimes may have been made in all this. But not treason, since America is fighting no declared wars.


It is well known that the title Benjamin R. Tucker gave to Steven T. Byington’s translation of Max Stirner’s great German work, Der Einzige und sein Eigentum, is far from a perfect analog of the original. The Ego and Its Own does not suggest the original meanings in anything like its fullness. That being the case, what would be a better title? Something, I think, like

  • The Self-Owner and His Property
  • The Self-Owned Self
  • The Properties of the Self-Owned Self
  • Oneself as Owned Self
  • The Self’s Own Liberated Property

A lot of self-help book titles come to mind:

  • Disowning Servility
  • De-Slaving the Self
  • Freer Selves Self-Owning
  • Taking Ownership of Oneself

And perhaps more scholarly visions could hail from the title:

  • Selfism from Max Stirner to Jack Woodford
  • The Properties of Property and the Ownership of Self
  • Oneself as Self–Proprietie: The Ownership of Personhood

And one that I’m working on:

The Self and Its Aptness

A friend suggests “aptitude” is a better word than “aptness,” but the primary definitions of “aptitude” scuttle the intended meaning, and so is not apt.


The above squibs have all been culled from my personal and professional Facebook page, from the last few days’ postings. The photo at top is something I snapped at Long Beach Peninsula today, a bright, sunny, cold day: seagull prints in the sand.

According to Steve Scalise (R-La.), every other impeachment inquiry in the House has had bipartisan participation, and had made room for responses by the target of the impeachment.

None of that is happening now.

Now, Republicans generally are decrying the ‘unfairness’ of Adam Schiff’s efforts. But I do not see in the Constitution any real direction for how an impeachment should proceed. The complaint seems to be just about tradition. Surely the Democrats are within their bounds to proceed as they are — as foolish as that may be.

The question of ‘unfairness’ is especially idiotic, it seems to me. The place for a defense from the President is in the Senate trial, not in the House impeachment.

Were I a Republican, I’d drop the umbrage and take up laughter. The House Democrats are doing this wrong — IF (and that ‘if’ could not be bigger in iffiness were Facebook to allow me 122-point type) they want to get rid of the President. But that is almost certainly not what they are trying to do. They have to save their reputations, especially after the debacle of RussiaGate and the inanity of The Ukrainian Phone Call charge. Perhaps more importantly, they are desperate, considering the pathetic nature of their presidential hopefuls — Elizabeth Warren in the lead!!! The very idea!!!!

But we will see. 

Incidentally, every time the Prez tweets about ‘unfairness’ I wince. Winners don’t bitch about unfairness. Losers do.


The sophisms of statism are fairly easy to understand. They come from the common errors and biases of limited human perspectives.

One of the most important of these is the problem of dispersed costs and concentrated benefits. Others include opportunity cost (in which we cannot see what was not chosen in any act or policy, no matter how important the given-up opportunity was in leading to the choice), the social science equivalent of the pathetic fallacy (in which we impute all social order to society-wide intentionality and planning), and over-reliance upon handy-dandy cognitive categories (which we then reify, treating as operative in the real world as causal agents that explain social events rather than as patterns of results that need to be explained). The superficial sense that statism makes is a matter of limited perspective, and the illusions of those limited relations. Think of it as parallax.

Statism is akin to the Flat Earth doctrine. We cannot see the roundness of the Earth from where we normally walk and sit or stand. Just so, piecemeal statist policies have the everyday common sense that the Flat Earth explanation has. 

But, just as there is something worse than mere statism, there is something stupider than Flat Eartherism.

And that is Flat Moonism. 

The three-dimensional roundness of the Moon is shown during its phases, by the curved shadow on its surface — while it might seem a flat disk during its Full phase, in all other phases but the New the spheroid is quite evident. Only rarely, when in eclipse, is the round-edged nature of the Earth evident in the same perspective — and only after one has watched lunar eclipses from different locations and at different times is the three-dimensionality of the Earth’s roundness directly observable, for ease of extrapolation.

So while Flat Eartherism should be seen as a tolerable error among the naive and unlearned, Flat Moonism is just stupid. 

And what is the Flat Moonism of social thought?

Socialism. The doctrine of the Total State. Communism, if you prefer.

If statism be the Flat Earth fallacy, socialism is Flat Moonism — the evidence of socialism’s failure being ready-at-hand at almost any moment. There is no excuse for a careful observer of social life to be a socialist.

Lunacy!


How do you define “government bloat”?

It’s easy for someone like J.H. Levy, the fin de siècle economist from Britain. He argued that there should be no more government than is required for “freedom to be at a maximum.” 

But how can a person who thinks there are no natural limits to government regard bloat?

Bloat is more than is necessary for good operations. But if everything and anything may be done, what is bloat? 

You see, it is commonplace, in our time of barely restrained government, to pass new laws and erect new government programs not only without destroying old ones, but also without specificying what success or failure may be. Any program or law that gains a constituency of beneficiaries is therefore “necessary,” because no metric has been advanced to judge them. And since every program benefits SOMEONE, what is bloat?


What are the biggest, most neglected stories right now?

My nominations:

1. Deficit growth and debt ballooning. Trump and the Republicans somehow prove once again how much Republicans like spending.

2. Google caught admitting (behind closed doors) to working to hack the next election. An astounding attempt to game the system by rigging Google’s market dominance in search and online video. Yet almost no one talks about this.

3. Two branches of the U.S. military have admitted that military craft almost routinely encounter astounding physical craft not of any publicly known design or technology — that is, UFOs that are truly U for Unknown or Unidentified. These admissions mark a new turn in how our government handles UFOs. It is almost certainly the biggest story of our time, for whatever the explanation is, it tells us something that transcends normalcy. Something VERY WEIRD is going on. It could mark a civilizational moment. Yet people treat it as a curiosity at best. Sheesh. It solidifies my suspicion that humans are programmed irrational creatures, or at least beings of such limited intelligence and courage and astounding commitment to maintaining ideological stasis.

All in all, these three stories show that moderns in general and Americans in particular are quite narrow-minded, incurious fools.

So what stories compare?


My first nomination for a Fourth Big Story would probably have something to do with America’s relentless warfare posture, despite policy incoherence and repeated negative outcomes.

Another nomination is the possibility that our planet goes through repeated, cyclical catastrophes of an extraordinary violence . . . and we may be nearing one that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ‘MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING. My deepest suspicion is that Anthropogenic Climate Catastrophism of the “global warming” variety is a psy-op designed to distract us from the science that is accumulating to demonstrate such catastrophes.


And we should share procedures of inquiry and challenge.

The inability of progressives to pass Ideological Turing Tests is well recognized. It has even been definitively studied, and not just by Jonathan Haidt. My own experience with progressives, in argument, often shows to me their utterly em-bubbled brains. Take a recent Facebook interchange about a Tweet. A friend posted the following, and I responded (in the first two screenshots below, my name shows but my interlocutors’ do not):

What I am trying to show here is that the shared tweet is utterly wrong-headed. I even understate the case, engaging in respectful argumentstion in one of my not-infrequent attempts to reach out to ideologues. This woman, Geraldine, does indeed state that the “penalty for getting an abortion” . . . is in play. It is not. The Alabama law would only punish someone for performing an abortion.

This means that this Geraldine either does not understand the basics of the law, or is a liar.

What she is doing is appealing to the same instinct that the Alabama legislators were allowing for when they exempted abortion-seeking pregnant women from prosecution. As I suggest in my response, this makes scant sense. If abortion be murder, the abortive mothers would be as guilty as the doctors, nurses and coat-hanger specialists who perform the abortions.

I think this should give “pro-life” anti-abortion activists pause.

But the utter witlessness of Geraldine’s tweet far outshines the cluelessness of the pro-lifers. For she also misses the painfully obvious point that murder always has and should be considered worse than murder.

And I think that provides us with a clue about the nature of the issue. But, be that as it may, her inability to retain an obvious point of her opponents shows that she is utterly confined by her ideology. She is not dealing rationally with the issue and the debate. She is defensive and foolish.

What her witlessness shows, though, is that she cannot keep in her head the notion that abortion might be murder. Killing fetuses just seems different from the murder of adults, children and (presumably) infants.

The responses to my corrective comment were predictable:

My friend marked over in Red cannot wrap his head around the ideas of his opponents. I suspect he never listens to them. He just works up hatred. My response to him makes a simple point about who supports pro-life positions: lots and lots of women. Note how he evades this, not seeing that he must be charging a majority of women in this country with wanting to control women. He is in his bubble, apparently, and only talks to women who are pro-choice, like the female Fber I’ve marked in Blue who took the tolerance angle. The problem with her gambit is that it, too, ignores the basic charge, that killing fetuses might be murder (that is: unjust; wrong). Would she say also say that “this woman, mother, friend, would never murder anyone, and this is right FOR ME . . . but I am also aware that if other people want to murder that is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!”?

In both of these cases, no arguments against the pro-life position are offered. What we see, instead, are clichés brought up to provide an alternate way of thinking about the subject. And in both cases the clichés border on the inane. My Red friend reverts to the “men shouldn’t have a say” gambit, which he does not realize is an awfully weak reed to flail against the abortion-is-evil position. And, once again, does nothing against the argumentation of pro-choice women.

But, alas, messing up this debate is the norm, even for super-smart non-leftists. Take Kat Timpf, a Fox News-employed libertarian who is as clever as anyone on Twitter:

Taking Ms. Timpf’s lead, I did not read the many comments either.

Here she sets up two issues, gun control and abortion prohibition, and shows, she thinks, that both right and left contradict themselves on these two issues. And it almost works . . . except that the two turn out not to be parallel.

Laws prohibiting abortion are not like laws prohibiting gun ownership. Prohibiting abortion is like prohibiting murderous shootings. Both of these are laws against killing. And neither are designed to STOP the bad acts from occurring, but, instead, to punish guilty parties and thereby provide the standard and indirect disincentive to the crime. Deterrence is not the only goal, though. Retribution establishes a moral order, and sets the boundaries of rights.

Gun control, or firearms prohibition, is an attempt to prevent a crime by taking away the ability to commit it. It is not deterrence as such, but an attempt at incapacitation. The parallel with gun control would be fucking control. Or the castration of all males. Or telling women they must give up their eggs.

Progressives who defend “abortion rights” would be parallel to those non-existent people who defend killing innocents.

Conservatives who defend the right to own guns would be parallel to all those people (everybody) who defend the right to keep their penises, testicles, uteruses, and eggs, and think people should be allowed to engage in non-forced coitus.

Maybe the reason progressives think such awful thoughts about those conservatives who want abortion made illegal is that they expect conservatives to hanker to do what they themselves want to do regarding violence: engage in intrusive, preëmptive control of personal life, just to get the social results they want.

But that is not how conservatives think. Progressives, it seems to me, have a controlling mindset, and tend to go overboard. So when they defend a grisly activity like abortion, they become unhinged and impute their worst instincts onto conservatives.

It seems to me that on so many issues, people in general and progressives in particular lack the ability to think clearly about the transactional nature of human life.

As for me, I regard abortion with moral horror, and think it quite an evil thing. But for reasons almost no one cares to hear, I doubt the horrifying, disgusting practice should be treated as unlawful killing. As murder.

But no one asks. I guess they just want to keep making lame arguments and screaming at each other. Asking a question about a novel argument? They might have to change their minds!

twv

A Facebook post.

I am glad I waited a few days to comment on the Christchurch shooting. It is apparent that one of the big takeaways from the atrocity is that center-left opinion makers are wildly mischaracterizing the opinons of the mass murderer. And, had I shot my mouth off early, I may have missed this, the biggest story.

John R. Lott, Jr., clarifies:

The shooter wrote: “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.” And the political figure with whom he most closely identifies? England’s Sir Oswald Mosley, who self-identified as a member of the “left” and proponent of “European Socialism.”

Ever encountered a right-winger who pontificates about the need for minimum wage increases and “furthering the unionization of workers”? Or who denounces “the ever increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit.” He goes on to declare that “conservatism is dead” and “global capitalist markets are the enemy of racial autonomists.” He called himself an “Eco-fascist.”

Media Calls The New Zealand Shooter ‘Right-Wing,’” Townhall, March 18, 2019


The shooter was a self-declared leftist.

That being said, very few people are wholly left- or wholly right-wing in political bent. And I am very tempted to call murderous racism a rightist obsession. It is just inconvenient in this case, as in so many others, that the shooter was basically leftist . . . except in his racism.

But even that is not quite correct, for being against Islam and third-world immigration is not, in the shooter’s case, really racist: he opposed both because of population growth fears. Eminently a leftist canard.

He frequently uses the term invader, but his reason was an environmentalist one. “The environment is being destroyed by over population.” Did he hate minorities? He certainly did: “We Europeans are one of the groups that are not over populating the world. The invaders are the ones over populating the world. Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment.”

You certainly won’t find any of the media, including CNN, blaming environmentalists for the carnage at the mosques.

And it is worse: one reason for his rampage was to spur New Zealand and America to establish further degrees of gun control.

The media also conveniently ignores what the killer hoped to accomplish by his attack. He did it to help achieve “the removal of gun rights” for New Zealanders and Americans. And within a day, politicians in both countries were doing what he wanted. The New Zealand government has already promised a complete ban on semi-automatic guns. American gun control advocates such as Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, quickly applauded the move and suggested that it is a model for United States lawmakers. 

Of course, this isn’t the first time that mass public shooters have supported gun control. The Columbine school killers were also gun control advocates.

This armament regulation position is preëminently left-wing, in that socialism (and leftism in general) denies the individualist foundation of government legitimacy as expressed in Anglo-American liberalism, which rests on the very idea of self-defense. Government is said to gain its just powers from the rights and consent of the governed. To deny self-defense is to find a different source for government legitimacy. Which is far, far left — not liberal or conservative.

So, the murderous ideologue is a leftist, confessedly so. Anyone holding the leftist line that this massacre provides a good reason to confiscate guns is actually siding with the murderer in his own intent. Arguably, if you use this event to push for greater gun control, you have chosen a side: mass murder.

Propaganda by the deed, a century ago, was notoriously counter-productive. The anarchists who engaged in terrorism, way back then, miscalculated. They thought that by attacking the institutions of business and government — and, most specifically, the people who run them — that they would undermine general support for those institutions. But the opposite was the case. Anarchists, not surprisingly, did not understand human nature.

Nowadays, anyone with a lick of sense knows that committing acts of terrorism against individual persons will unite most people against either the murderer’s cause or the murderer’s weapons. Or both. Which is one reason why I expect to see more leftists engage in more shooting: they can count on leftist media and politicians to focus attention away from the cause and against the weaponry.

The only defense, really, is to arm ourselves with the weapons . . . and target the lies of the leftist media and political class, shooting them down one by one.

One of the odder works to bubble up out of the political landscape in the days of anarchist terrorism. More standard fare? Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.
Democratic Congresswomen wore white, to celebrate the centenary of the 19th Amendment.

Much is being made about the Democratic women in white, and their bizarre self-celebration of privilege. Well, maybe I am the only one who sees their position as one of privilege. But if you have been elected to Congress, you do not inhabit your rank or wield your power by right, but by privilege.

Further, the much-vaunted “right to vote” is not and cannot be a basic right. Is voting itself a privilege? But you can see why politicians might wish to upgrade the status of the political act, for our votes mean more to them practically than any single person’s vote could mean to that person practically. That is, our votes elect them. But not one of our individual votes elect anyone, have any effect. It is a problem of marginal productivity. Our votes thus mostly have symbolic meaning to us. So politicians have a strong and quite natural interest in managing the symbology.

It is one of the many ways in which politicians’ interests are at odds with ours.

For the rights that have practical importance for our lives, like the rights to free speech, a trial by jury, or to self-medicate (one we wish to obtain legally that we retain informally), trump all others. It is these that matter directly. They are about us, and they secure what liberties we can achieve in our government-run world, separate from political whim. So to witness anyone aggrandizing a mere privilege as a fundamental right is breathtaking. Their agenda is almost (but apparently not quite) obvious to everyone: it allows politicians and political factions (voting blocs) to expand the reach of the State, and undermine our basic rights.

Which is why it is all-important for politicians to upgrade the legality of voting above more fundamental, more basic rights, the better to shore up their privilege.


The scowl B.S. displayed after Trump promised an anti-socialist American future, and … horror … a heritage and future of freedom!

The great moment in President Trump’s State of the Union speech this week regarded his decisively negative statements about socialism. Nancy Pelosi weakly clapped; Bernie Sanders scowled . . . until he composed himself. Alexandria “Occasional Cortex” yammered on after the events in a pointless manner, not addressing the horrors that come from socialism. Not understanding why.

And why? Why does socialism so regularly dissolve into poverty and tyranny?

Because it cannot work as promoted. What is impossible but nevertheless attempted has real effects distinct from fantasy.

F. A. Hayek on a problem not often recognized. Especially by “socialists.”

If you do not understand and cannot reasonably answer Hayek’s argument about the calculation problem, you shouldn’t be pushing for socialism. Frankly, you probably shouldn’t be voting.


All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.

President Donald Trump, State of the Union address, 2019

I do not see why we should “be proud” of having “more women in the workforce.” Do we think working on the job market is better than managing homes for families, than raising children, than — not contributing to federal income tax revenue?

Female workforce participation is not an outcome to congratulate ourselves about. Or, perhaps, worry about. It is an outcome not any of government’s business. And as a standard set apparently to judge social engineering, it has a huge problem — what if we should not be engaged in piecemeal social engineering? What if that is precisely the wrong thing to do?

It is certinaly no good way to judge politicians’ speeches.

Yet Republicans cheered.

We live in a sick society. Too much government is the problem. It is into everything. Including life choices of men and women.

And it is not just feminism that is to blame, either.


Shills selling poison as panacea look like this when confronted.

Is Socialism easier to sell than Capitalism?

Magic beans are sometimes easier to sell than real beans.

You know to whom.

The droll thing about capitalism vs. socialism in the current context is that the capitalism we have is not the capitalism usually identified. We live in a heavily dirigiste capitalist society, a neo-mercantilist kludge-fest. Yet I have met many socialists who say we suffer under free markets. It is bizarre.

Truth is, laissez faire capitalism is not what we have but what a few of us want. Our markets are heavily regulated, taxed and subsidized — though not equally, sector by sector. And not a few institutions are run upon socialist and quasi-socialist lines, complete with public ownership and political-bureaucratic control. Everyone with a brain in his head recognizes this. Yet we regularly encounter arguments to the effect that “capitalism has failed” this group or that, with a prescription ready at hand: socialism. But this is just one alternative to our mixed economy. The other option, a free society with extensive private property, free markets, limited government and a simple rule of law, is just as logical and promising on the face of it.

Why socialism so often seems the more obvious option is quite fascinating. It has something to do with cognitive biases, the tribal nature of Homo sapiens, etc. The full story and wider perspective are much too vast to relate here. So let me end by returning to the original thought:

Magic beans are remarkably easy to sell to those who don’t know Jack about history or social science.


From my Facebook author page.

Philosophy celebrates three deaths: Socrates, Epicurus, and Seneca. Two are political suicides.

I am not exactly as impressed by such suicides as are others. You know, philosophically. As literature they are great.

I am trying to remember other famous deaths of philosophers. I cannot recall any others of note. Not off the top of my head. There are other startling moments of biography, of course: Abelard’s castration and Nietzsche’s catatonic stupor come immediately to mind. But for the most part philosophers do not impress us with the drama of their lives. Not even the good ones do. 

And then there are the scoundrels, like Rousseau….


A Tweet from someone who thinks “liberals” exist, and are “liberal.”
Gotcha arguments often get you.


Patton Oswalt Gets Attacked By Troll On Twitter, Turns His Life Upside Down After Seeing His Timeline

That was the headline on Bored Panda. Another self-congratulatory progressive celebration of . . . what, exactly? Sneakily winning an argument?

The Bored Panda account is basically a bunch of Tweets.

Trump’s Tweet wasn’t much. But what was Oswalt’s? A stupid bit of mockery.

For some reason, Bored Panda did not regard this as trolling. Only one angry response was so characterized.

Remember, Oswalt was “spreading hate.” But is not so designated.
And everybody celebrated! The ailing “troll” repented! Jubilation!

I confess. Sometimes I am amazed at people’s credulity.

Most people reacted to this as a heartwarming story. But making Oswalt the hero after painting him as a non-troll strikes me as only possible with a truncated psychology.

Surely this is Pharisaic posturing on Patton Oswalt’s part, as his publicly giving alms to demonstrate his virtue and “caring” nature. Whether he actually possesses any virtue or empathy — something his original Tweet disinclines me to believe — does not really matter. The incentive to do this should be obvious to a half wit. But we are so programmed by the Culture of Caring — by prodigals masquerading as liberals pretending to charity trumped up as justice — that even bright people fall for this ploy.

And ploy it is. Has no one read Nietzsche? Can no one see that gift-giving can serve as a form of revenge? Is the Will to Power hidden so carefully behind the walls of ideology and politesse that only philosophers and cynics can see it?

The cream of the jest, though, flows over when you realize that Patton Oswalt used charity as a way to win an argument.

Win. An. Argument.

Sure, the comedian won. But everyone else lost. Everyone — except maybe for the guy who inadvertently (?) bilked a bunch of Pharisaic progressives into paying his medical bills.

Contemplating the mass of humanity, fooled by serpents and comedians.