Monday, May 29, 2017

The Calm of Real-World Liberals, and the One-Sidedness of Parental Signaling

This blog has been cold this weekend as the writer found himself blissfully distant from any sort of internet connection. We spent our weekend camping at a hippie music festival in eastern Missouri with lots of day hiking mixed in. A couple things to mention from that. First, Hawn State Park and Pickle Springs Conservation Area are well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the St Francois Mountains. Second, the music festival, full of people who are probably leftists (if you asked them), was surprisingly devoid of politics. The most I saw was a single Bernie bumper sticker. I didn't encounter one iota of Trump bashing, which I pretty well expected. The closest I got into politics was with an older fellow decked out in tie-dye whom my girlfriend recognized as a regular from the now-defunct festival Schwagstock. (In fact he lived on the property.) We got into a conversation about how that land had been essentially stolen by the government (it is now Echo Bluff State Park). I decided to test the waters a bit and throw out the analogy with the Oregon standoff, where a group of armed right-wingers -- who were vilified by the media and liberals -- stood ground against the very same sort of shady theft of private land by the government. He understood the comparison and was in complete agreement with me. I don't have any sort of analysis to offer on all this, but I thought the observations were worth sharing. It does seem to me that leftists in the real-world may not be so consumed with the rabid anti-Trump hysteria that we see when we observe the media and even social media. This is a promising observation, of course, and would seem to be counter-evidence to my conviction that the country is headed fast to schism and civil war. Or perhaps the observation is moot. Missouri hippies tend to be people-of-the-woods types who aren't really comparable to the coastal liberals that dominate the left.

Today we picked our daughter up and we're all back home, which is really the happiest aspect of the whole long weekend, and that joy reminds me of the signaling I receive as a parent. Of all the advice I've received as a parent, the most common is that parents need to make sure they fully embrace the joys of parenting while their children are young. We are doting parents and we appreciate the advice and we think it is a worthwhile sentiment. But what I realize is that I very rarely encounter the counter-balancing message. The call to enjoy parenting is representative of the typical theme in modern America: embrace of pleasure. Make sure that you see parenting as pleasurable rather than stressful. Parenting is both pleasurable and stressful, and the advice is somewhat superficial. Does it really matter whether or not I enjoy parenthood? This is the sort of über individualism that permeates our society. I get very little signaling on what matters more: raising a good human. It seems to me that society should be much more concerned whether I raise children who will benefit society rather than whether or not I enjoy the process. I also find that society doesn't help me to counter my natural weakness as a parent. Our tendency (the mother more than me) is to want to indulge the child. To spoil her. We try not to, because of our own convictions. But society doesn't generally help us in that aspect. I find myself being careful not to appear too strict while in public. It seems that society should serve the opposite role. It should encourage proper and, at times, difficult parenting. This may seem like a silly rant, but I can't help but think that the signaling young parents receive might be the most significant observation one can make about a society.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Expansion and Contraction of Equality

Mark Zuckerberg (do you ever dislike someone so much you cringe at having to type their name?) gave a stump speech at the Harvard commencement. There are many rumors he is toying with the notion of a presidential run in 2020. His approach is to mimic the strategy that made Bernie Sanders so successful: communism.
If we can develop a strong grassroots movement which says that every man, woman and child in this country is entitled to a minimum standard of living — is entitled to health care, is entitled to education, is entitled to housing — then we can succeed. [...] We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.
It's certainly socialism. Free healthcare, free education, free housing, free money. Communism is not a precise term. He's not advocating that the state seize the means of production, but advocating for a cradle-to-grave welfare state is about as far left as you can get before you hit undeniable communism. Is there an increment in between that I'm missing? Zuck (I can type it that way because it kind of sounds like yuck) has discovered the secret to political success: offer the people free shit. Or, more accurately, promise people to give them other people's shit.

But whatever, that's not the point of this post. That the left is openly advocating for communism or almost-communism is quite obvious and not a terribly interesting observation. [What is slightly more interesting is the established pattern that successful democracies end in a brief era of socialism followed by autocracy.] Zucker (rhymes with fucker) also had this to say on the subject of equality.
Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract.
He corroborates the remarks I made in Equality and Other Founding Myths, where I described the same phenomenon. The expansion of equality from the Declaration of Independence has looked something like this.
  1. Equality of non-divinity. No man has been granted a divine right to rule over others.
  2. Equality under the law.
  3. Equality of opportunity. The justification for public education, non-discrimination laws, workplace safety regulations, etc.
  4. Equality of outcome. The justification for massive wealth redistribution schemes, affirmative actions laws, etc.
  5. Equality of being. No human shall be permitted to be tangibly better than another in any regard.
We're so close to #4 you can almost taste it. We're partially there, of course, but the new hip trend is full-blown equality of outcome. Equality of being is the last remaining possible expansion of equality, save perhaps for human extinction. Because #4 is always disastrous, both theoretically disastrous and empirically disastrous, #5 is also hypothetical, because society will never be able to progress beyond #4. The big question is not what is the next expansion of equality (as Zuckerborg asks), but to what level of equality will we regress after socialism destroys our society?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

European Terrorism: Relax Everyone, It's Homegrown

He's just like us

The media, predictable as ever, is running with headlines like this.

Note his image has been altered to make his skin appear lighter. He looks whiter than the blonde news anchor.

To see these kinds of headlines as predictable you have to understand two things about mainstream journalists. First, they are primarily concerned with propagating a certain political narrative. Second, they're mentally deficient and don't even know what a Muslim is. The narrative is dominated by two influences: global corporatism and liberal ideology. Liberal ideology is something of a misnomer because they don't truly have an ideology. What they have is a psychological disposition to reject their own nations, and everything falls out of that. Most of the time the liberals stance consists of identifying the "other" side and opposing whatever it is they support.

Donald Trump has made this a very simple task for them. He has come to personify everything they oppose. He is, in short, the boogeyman. Because he's been widely portrayed by the leftist media as a villain, he is assumed by all on the left to be an extreme far-right ideologue. I've been in discourse with one liberal friend who has decided that Trump is not really an ideologue and even tries to use that as a rhetorical attack against Trump and his supporters. At least he can partially see through the curtain: there's hope for him. Because Trump is framed as an extremist, whenever he takes a moderate position he forces his leftist foes to adopt an opposing position that is either extremist itself or contradicts other aspects of the liberal narrative.

When it comes to immigration Trump is not really an extremist. As far as I know his only strong stances are to end sham refugee programs and to enforce the laws on the books. Enforcing federal law is not an extremist stance. It is the primary duty of the president. Trump has not advocated for reducing legal immigration, which many of us want. Trump has not suggested that immigration should not alter the national demographics, which is the alt-right stance. How do I know Trump isn't an immigration hardliner? Because I am one. We support Trump because at least he fought the open-borders lunacy. He's still miles away from where we stand on the issue.

The media knows the big battle right now is with illegal immigration and refugees, so their headline is crafted to slant towards their position in that battle. No, we can't blame this one on refugees because he is second-generation. He was born and raised here just like you and loves soccer just like you. He's not a foreigner so your xenophobia is totally irrational. This would not have been prevented by ending refugee programs.

That he was second-generation is much, much worse. They're basically saying, even though they don't realize it, that the problem isn't with unvetted refugees, but with all Muslims. Right-leaning Europeans have explained the situation. The first wave of Muslim immigration to Europe (in modern times) was in the 1970s and 80s. These immigrants were heavily vetted and immigration was selective and many were, indeed, doctors and lawyers, as the left think of immigrants today. These immigrants were generally high IQ, conscientious, and grateful to their host nations. They were in smaller numbers and tended to disperse amongst the Europeans and to integrate with them. In short, they were a success story.

The second and third generations have been a different story. Not having been raised in the hardships of the third world, they don't share their parents' gratitude. Their IQs are closer to the racial mean than that of their parents. And as their numbers have grown, they've tended to isolate themselves into homogeneous neighborhoods and to identify by their race & religion. These are the ones becoming radicalized by Islam. The conclusion is becoming clear: we can't even allow well-vetted mass immigration. The left, in their zeal to disprove conservatives on refugee terrorism, are helping make the case against Muslim immigration altogether. Sure the bomber wasn't a refugee. But his parents were. Sure most of the European terrorists have not been refugees. That they're homegrown is a much deeper problem with much more sinister implications for how to deal with the problem. As far as I can tell, the only solutions are a strong heavy-handed police state or removal of Muslims from Europe. Both are problematic, to say the least.

Muh lone wolf

Also predictable has been the media's reflexive insistence that the attack was done by a lone wolf. Which is their roundabout way of saying Islam had nothing to do with this.

Isn't it weird how they always end up making multiple arrests in these lone wolf attacks?

The accused, shortly after working on his tan.

The Bloody Shovel blog suggests that the attacker was a dork who was probably resentful towards white girls and that's why he targeted this particular crowd. Surely all the Islamic terrorists have personal reasons for becoming radicalized.

Children targeted

As predicted, many of the victims were teenagers or even younger. 22 now dead, with 64 remaining in the hospital, 20 of whom are in critical condition. Many of them are young girls who will never become mothers. This is a war to displace Europeans, but only one side is fighting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Why Muslims Keep Committing Terror Acts in Europe

It has puzzled me for some time why we keep seeing large Islamic terror attacks in Europe. Logically it doesn't make much sense. Assuming the goal is to displace the native population and eventually take the lands for themselves, making very loud noises is the worst strategy possible. The ideal strategy is to lay low, smile and pretend to assimilate (the Islamic act of taqiyya, which was suggested in the Quran) while making demands on society to bend towards the preferences of Islam. Once they have 50% of the population then they effectively own the country and can then become as violent as they wish. They don't even need that many, as the default behavior of r-selected liberals is treason and they will reliably vote in favor of invaders. If we assume the native population is made up of $\frac{1}{3}$ liberals, $\frac{1}{3}$ moderates, and $\frac{1}{3}$ conservatives, then the foreigners need to only make up 25% of the total population to dominate it politically. At that point, they can control immigration and work towards becoming the true majority of the country.
Las of immigrant domination 
To take over a democratic nation through immigration, the invaders must amass a voting population equal to $\frac{1}{3}$ of the native voting population to achieve political dominance.
But they aren't there yet. The last official numbers had some European countries approaching 10% Muslim. That was before Merkel's great gift of cultural enrichment, which brought millions of new Muslims in from all over the world, and they are still pouring in. Europe is bracing for a secondary wave, as the established "refugees" -- mostly young men -- begin importing their families as well. They may well be at more like 15% by now. But certainly still far short of 25%. They should consider that to be the minimum threshold for violence. At 25% violence can begin at a minimal level, throttling up as their percentage increase towards 50%, at which point they can be as repressive and genocidal as they wish. It would seem then that, with all this blatant terrorism, they are letting the cat out of the bag far too soon. Why?

The answer, which took me quite a while to comprehend, is very simple. It's so simple it's tautological. The reason they're engaging in terror is because Islam is a violent religion. Islam is founded on the principle that if you can give cover to men's more sinister urges by giving them holy sanction, and if you can also direct those urges in unison against a common enemy, then you wield enormous worldly power. Just look at what happened under Mohammed's direction. The Arab world exploded from a tribal backwater to the major world power in just decades. What Mohammed did was something akin to discovering how to release energy from the atom. The only other examples of a nation springing forth to prominence so abruptly that I can think of are the Macedonians and the Mongols. All three civilizations were united under great leaders, but Macedon and Mongolia crumbled within a couple generations after their leaders' deaths. Mohammed's leadership was codified into a theological-political machine and to this day it not only survives but is the fastest growing religion in the world.

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote on the matter nearly 800 years ago.
He (Mohammed) did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms – which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.

[Mohammed] seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teachings also contain precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men.
Islam allows its adherents to engage in carnal delights without shame. Plunder, rape, and torture of enemies are not only tolerated in Islam, they are encouraged. Some time ago there was an interview of an ISIS operative who explained that the soldiers did not enjoy the brutal tortures they inflicted on their enemies and apostates, but that it was necessary for their holy objective to build the Caliphate. He reasoned that by inflicting those tortures they would so weaken the resolve of their enemies that expansion of the Caliphate could continue with less overall violence. The logic is there, but don't believe for a second that most of these people are not very sadistic men enjoying their work. There's no real logical reason for them to keep all the Yazidi girls as sex slaves except that it is the reward to the men who fight for Islam.

It should be noted that this is nothing like Christianity. You might even call the two religions to be opposites. Liberals love bashing Christians and will routinely allege that it is no different from Islam. But their arguments invariably either reference the Old Testament or some later addition to the religion. It hardly matters what is stated in the Old Testament, which is the Hebrew Bible. While the Old Testament is included in the Christian Bible, the whole point of Christianity is the New Testament. Christianity without the New Testament is Judaism.

Christianity did not explode into the world under Jesus's leadership. It took centuries to rise to prominence and only after it was bent and molded in ways that allowed followers of the pacifist religion to serve in the military. Many criticize the Christianity of later centuries for its threats of eternal burning in hell. It does come close to the level of Islam in focusing on the physical, but that was never core to the religion and has largely disappeared. Similarly, even though Jesus was anti-materialism personified, a great many Christians today have fallen prey to American materialism and consumerism. But there is nothing in the religion that can really justify that. They are living counter to the religious teachings. In Christianity they are tolerated; in Islam they'd risk being killed as Apostates.

At any rate, Islam's inherent violence may actually be hindering its ability to conquer Europe. The Eastern world is known for being strategically cunning and patient, but Islam can no more extract masculine expansionism than Christianity might extract eternal salvation. It's the core of the religion. Much of this is caused by ISIS, who encourage and instruct all living in the Muslim diaspora to attack soft targets in western countries to inflict the greatest numbers of casualties. ISIS has also live-streamed to the world just how ugly the fight for the Caliphate really is. This is a questionable strategy. But it's not really a strategy all. They are merely attempting to follow the religious texts to the letter, to build the Caliphate as Mohammed did. If ISIS fails it will be more a failure of Islam than of their particular strategy or execution. Trump's policy regarding Islam is singularly focused on defeating ISIS. Likewise, it is not a strategy. It is merely responding to the most egregious threat facing humanity. But I have to question if it is the best long-term approach. The worst thing we can do is to make Islam just barely tolerable while their numbers in Europe ratchet upwards towards 25%.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Muslims Kill Liberals pt 5

There was a massive terror attack in Manchester England this evening at a concert. At the time of this writing, the toll is 20 dead and 50 injured. I'm not familiar with Ariana Grande or her music (Chicks on the Right were against her months ago) but, by the look of it, I imagine her concerts are attended mostly by teenagers. I suspect this story will become much more tragic as the details emerge. As bad as political terrorism is, intentionally targeting children is beyond an outrage. And for a country to allow wanton acts of violence against their children is the most disgraceful failure. If protecting children from outside violence is not the primary duty of society, then I don't know what is.

Even the musk ox understands the primary duty of society.

How the Russians respond when you fuck with their kids.

As the trend goes with Islamic terrorism, they're attacking liberals. I'd like to share a couple more images. First is Miss Grande's (that can't be her real name) response to the great tragedy. No, not the murder of children, but the election of Donald Trump. Second is a screenshot from her own website.

If you read here regularly then you're familiar with r/K political theory (if not visit the Anonymous Conservative blog link in the sidebar) and that the r-types are represented by rabbits. Here we have a young lady dressed as a sexy rabbit in front of a pink backdrop with a GIRL POWER! tour slogan. And one cannot overlook the phrase Dangerous Woman nor its accuracy. Once feminism takes power society becomes very dangerous indeed. What has struck me about the last few months & years is how much it all feels like an exhilarating but perhaps cliché novel script. Here we have the scantily clad diva pop star -- driven to tears at the election of the evil racist who wants to end unlimited immigration -- having her performance and her fan base blasted by the same cultural enrichment she apparently enjoys. Could there be a better metaphor for the dangers of a degenerate, effeminate, and irrational society? The left seem to have lost all sense of irony, which is sad. That's just no way to go through life.

Also, many on reddit are reporting that, instead of covering the terror attack, CNN chose to cover the elusive Trump-Russia connection. You really can't make this shit up. They briefly announced the attack and went back to Muh Russia conspiracy. For an hour! How can you talk about a politically motivated conspiracy theory without evidence or even a hypothesis for an hour? By sheer necessity, if you're CNN and the other option is covering radical Islamic terrorism. I almost respect their dedication and devil-may-care attitude.

UPDATE: one victim was sure to let us know beforehand that most victims of terror attacks are Muslim.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Unnamed and uncredible news sources, right in your living room

Mike Cernovich posted on Medium today that he doesn't think Trump is handling the media situation very well. The gist of the article is: why is Trump spending so much time defending from the constant mainstream hit pieces when he could be going on the attack himself. His supporters don't follow the mainstream news anyway, so why does he even bother with them?

He's not wrong that Trump should be attacking more and defending less. But the notion that he could change the media narrative experienced by the segment of the society that aren't rabid Trump-hating lefties is not practical, for a very specific reason. Perhaps you've figured it out already from the title of this post.

If Trump starts ignoring the New York Times entirely, what will change? Cernovich is probably right that most Trump supporters are not regular readers of the NYT. Trump's Twitter account has more direct reach, I'd imagine. But what happens when they run a story? Look at the recent one where allegedly Comey wrote a memo saying bad things about Trump. The source for that story is a guy with a Twitter history of calling Trump supporters racists and saying they should be deported. Not exactly a solid source. So why does the story get so much traction? Is it because so many people have NYT subscriptions? No. Is it because so many visit their website? No. Is it because so many share their stories on social media? That's definitely a factor. But the big reason, the real reason their stories have so much impact, is because the TV networks cover them.

It hardly matters whether or not Trump supporters read liberal newspapers. The TV tells people what the news is. The TV sets the agenda. And the TV thinks that the New York Times and Washington Post are premier credible news organizations. If it weren't for the TV the newspapers would have practically no impact at all. But their stories get covered by the TV. Millions of Americans see the news and that becomes the big issue that everyone is talking about. It gets spread on social media, the radio people then have to talk about it, and soon everyone is talking about what the NYT wrote because the TV made it a story. It's not as easy as just saying Trump should get off the defensive. The problem with Big Narrative is that it's beamed into the retinas of millions of brain-dead zombies all over the country. That's a much bigger problem.

On another note my favorite pro-Trump online hangount, r/the_donald, has gone dark for the evening in protest of the admins' recent purging of top mods there. I decided I'd make the risky venture to Reddit's hub of liberal insanity and check out r/politics. Here's what I found (red texts are my edits).

Of the top ten posts, eight are links to articles where the headline is information attributed to an unnamed source. This is evidence of just how detached they've become. While r/politics may be a special place, it is fairly reflective of the liberal mainstream narrative where a torrent of Trump scandals is dominating the news cycle and is all unverified. It could be made up for all we know. So far no major scandals have been verified with any evidence and several have been shown to be false. The tax return nonsense got blown up by Rachel Maddow. The PissGate thing was a farce. The Russian thing is clearly conspiracy theory but it hasn't blown up on them yet. So what we have is a pattern of the media being wrong about Trump scandals, and yet the left is going nuts over scandal allegations brought by liberal mainstream media outlets citing source that are either unnamed or without credibility. This is not healthy. This is madness. Utter madness.

I agree with Cernovich that there are serious questions about how well Trump is handling all this but they simply pale in comparison to mass hallucination from the voting public . You don't worry whether you paid the electric bill when your house is on fire. You deal with the big problems. Trump's competence might be a problem, but it's not the big problem. The big problem is that we live in a democracy where half the citizens are brainwashed by the TV.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Peak Delusion

The good and the bad news is that we seem to have hit peak insanity. Good because it can't get any worse (right?) and bad because it is really hard to retain much faith in humanity in the face of such widespread lunacy. The thing about peaks is we can't even really be sure we've hit the top. (Or maybe it's the bottom in this case.) I thought we had already hit peak lunacy after the PissGate / Russian dossier fiasco. I believed that is was so clearly insane that the rabid left would surely realize how carried away they have become. But that didn't happen. I guess it's a bit like supposing that this time the schizophreniac will surely realize the voices aren't real. They've basically memory-holed the entire incident. They can't update their worldview to accommodate the new information because they reject it like a failed organ transplant.

For the last couple days I've been engaged in a long -- and highly unproductive -- debate with a couple of left-wingers on facebook. The argument is in regards to someone who posted the recent Washington Post article about Trump revealing sensitive information to the Russian Foreign Minister. My major point has been that, because this is wholly unsubstantiated and refuted by every known involved party, that means we have to question the sole source of this information: the Washington Post. This isn't complicated logic. It's an understanding that all humans innately possess. If someone tells us something and we can't independently verify it, we must consider the integrity of the person giving the information. Naturally I try remind the other party of the false Trump stories with which the mainstream media has already been burned and humiliated, such as the dossier. Never do they respond directly to my mention of those past embarrassments. They either respond only to other points of the statement I made or indirectly as if I had made an entirely different argument altogether. The major evidence at hand -- that the media has provably lost credibility in the matter -- doesn't even seem to register at all.

If you read the Anonymous Conservative blog (linked in the bloglist on the sidebar) then you are familiar with Bob, the case study that led AnonCon to many of his viewpoints on the functionality of the amygdala as well as how it can malfunction. Bob suffered routine humiliation during childhood, and his amygdala became so sensitized, the pain pathways so reinforced, that his psyche seems to have responded by routing painful stimuli away from the pain pathways. AnonCon would experiment on Bob. He deduced something of a formula for what would trigger Bob's amygdala. When used to full effect, Bob would become completely overwhelmed, announce he felt ill, and have to isolate himself and lie down for a spell. When he returned he would be completely refreshed and seemingly incognizant of the interaction that had driven him over the edge. His brain seemed to be coping with the painful stimulus by rejecting it altogether.

This is all eerily similar to what I observe going on with hysterical leftists. All the information that should help them balance the reality of world events against their internal biases isn't there: they've rejected it. All that is left is bias. They respond irrationally when you remind them of the facts regarding the repeated failures of the mainstream liberal narrative because they truly are confused by what you are saying. They filter out the painful part and what is left doesn't make any sense.

The psychological disorder identified by AnonCon has now become a sociological malady which infects a disturbing portion of the voting public. Democracy and rampant hallucination cannot coexist. Not for a very long time, anyway. Reality always catches up in the end. So where does that put us in the context of the Russia investigation? Sociologically it's a disaster. Politically it might be a godsend for the embattled Trump presidency. As mentioned in yesterday's post, it is unlikely anything significant will come out against Trump's team but there are multiple opportunities for the liberal narrative to be routed or for their own scandals to re-emerge. Also, it lowers the threshold for conservatives to push for their own independent investigations. The threshold is either mass hysteria or none at all. Think of how thin the justification for investigation is. There is no evidence of collusion. They say we need to investigate to find the evidence. We need to investigate to find the evidence that might justify an investigation. But it's even worse than that. Not only is there no evidence of a crime, there is no hypothesis for a crime. I've not been able to get a single liberal to even try to explain what exactly the collusion would be. The scenario is something like this, where a policeman knocks on your door.

Police: We'd like to talk to you. You're under investigation for a murder.
You: Okay, do you have any reason to believe I might have committed the murder?
Police: No, but we need to investigate you to see if any evidence exists.
You: Okay, well whose murder are you investigating?
Police: We're not sure yet. We need to investigate to see who you might have murdered.

This is, of course, ludicrous, and is canonical state tyranny. There is no evidence of collusion. There is no hypothesis for collusion. But it will be investigated anyway. The really troublesome aspect of all this is that even if the investigation ends up as a complete routing of the left's accusations; it won't even faze most of them. They'll just move on, still enraged by Trump's Russia ties, still incognizant of the abundance of countering reality. I guess we can only hope that there are enough rational people in the middle that this will allow us to finally marginalize the hysterical left. If that isn't the case, and a majority of the population exhibits incurable delusion, then we are, generally speaking, in a whole lot of trouble, and the world's first modern experiment with democratic self-rule will have reached its conclusion.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Deputy AG Appoints Independent Counsel

The Justice Department just appointed former FBI Director Mueller to oversee an investigation into the Muh Russia conspiracy theory. There have some rumors, not to mention a lot of clamoring from the left about it. I've been a little torn on the idea. I would like to see the whole conspiracy theory get nuked out of orbit in a glorious fashion, but I've been hesitant to allow the left to control the narrative like that. We should be focused on building a wall, or renegotiating trade deals; not a year-old conspiracy theory with no evidence. This is just a drag on the Trump administration, a way to tie him down and drain energy.

From the perspective of the left it might appear to be a no-lose arrangements. They never pay the price when they're humiliated; they just scoot along down the news cycle and send the whole affair down the memory whose. And still, I love watching their antics blow up in their faces. One thing we've learned in all this is that any time the Democrats are really giddy about something, it's about to blow up in their face. Think election night when they were sure their win was a mathematical certainty, or the giddy arrogance of Rachel Maddow and her viewers before her epic tax-return dud, or their self-assurance that the PissGate dossier was going to end Trump. Every time they'r really excited about something it ends up a disaster for them. This investigation is scoped to include the accusations as well as similar matters. Lets look at all the ways this might blow up on them.

Disproves Comey was fired to stop investigation

Right away The Narrative takes a blow to the shins from the bat of truth. Remember the nonsense from last week. After crying for months that Comey should be fired, they were outraged when Trump fired him, per the request of Deputy General Rod Rosenstein, who had recently been confirmed to his position and was highly recommended by Chuck Schumer. This would seem to indicate that all the hand-wringing being done that he had swung the election, even made recently by Hillary herself, were false. If he really lost them the election then there's no way they should object to his firing. But they did, and they claimed it proved that Trump was trying to kill the investigation. That's all we heard last week. That it was "Nixonian". That it was obstruction of justice. And yet the same Deputy AG who advised the firing is now blowing open the investigation, which destroys that whole theory, which has been their major narrative for about a week now.

FBI was zeroing in on Trump

The Muh Russia conspiracy theory includes the notion that Trump fired Comey because he was getting close to cracking the case. (Don't get me wrong, if that turns out to be the case, and that's why Trump fired him, then of course he should be impeached.) They're also quite convinced now that Trump was actively obstructing the investigation, based on a phone call received by the New York Times by an alleged associate of Comey reciting he recollection of a memo that Comey had written about a meeting with Trump. (Does this sound like journalism?) And this all presupposes that there was in investigation into Trump at all, or which there has been, as always, no evidence.

Muh Russians hacked the election

And at the core of all this is the supposition that the Russians hacked the election. It is assumed (without evidence) that Russian hackers broke into the DNC computers. downloaded the files, and then gave them to Wikileaks. (Even though Wikileaks denies that they did, and have hinted heavily that murdered DCN employee Seth Rich was the leaker.) How exactly this chain of operations would have required collaboration with the Trump campaign is beyond me. As far as I know they don't even have a specific hypothesis for their allegations of treason.

Here are all their narrative points that have been discredited already, or stand to be discredited by the investigation.
  1. Election lost because of Comey's actions
  2. Trump fired Comey to kill investigation
  3. Trump was obstructing the investigation
  4. FBI investigation was closing in on Trump's misdeeds
  5. There was an active FBI investigation into Trump himself
  6. Trump colluded with the Russians to hack the election
  7. The Russians hacked the election
  8. The election was hacked
Besides the false narratives that may be destroyed by this investigation, there are also some very uncomfortable issues the Democrats might not want to see brought back into the media spotlight.
  1. The DNC & Podesta emails show rampant fraud and corruption from the DNC and Clinton campaign.
  2. The Democrat primaries were rigged
  3. Seth Rich's murder is still open. The family's private investigator has concluded that he was in contact with Wikileaks and there is a police cover up of the alleged robbery where no valuable items were stolen.
  4. Trump's team was being spied on during the election and while he was President-elect
So by my count we're at 8 major leftist narrative points that stand to be discredited, and 4 major scandals that may be brought back to light. There's really only one way for this to work in their favor: if Trump really did collude to rig the election. There are 12 ways this can blow up in their faces. The only thing for us to do is to help ensure that this sinks the Muh Russia conspiracy for good, and discredits the mainstream media for good. (Although like always, they'll probably all just pretend it didn't happen.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Absurdity Incorporated

The mainstream media and Democrats as a whole have so normalized the promotion of logical absurdities in their highly emotional war against Trump that one could reasonably come to the conclusion that peddling absurdity is their primary function. In fact if we consider that the vast majority of political expression by the left is absurd, we are left with only three possible root causes to explain the phenomenon, which aren't necessarily mutually exclusive: absurdity is the de facto charter of the leftist media, the liberals are literally going insane, or there is some context in which their absurdity is consistent.

The ostensible charter of the media is to promote knowledge. We will refer to this belief as the standard context. (Although mainstream delusion or mass hypnosis would all work interchangeably.) If that was the media's driving agenda, they sure seem to fail a lot. The failed to predict the election. They failed to see the ridiculous PissGate as a scam. They failed to see the tax return fiasco as a scam. (Can you believe Maddow actually went on air with that?) They failed to see the Russian conspiracy theory for what it is. And on and on. So either the mainstream media is very bad at its primary function, or it's primary motive is something different, and overrides the motive to propagate the truth, or even not to propagate obvious absurdities.

Let's not ignore the possibility that liberals generally seem to be losing their minds. I've seen Trump haters on my facebook feed post 16 anti-Trump articles in their first hour awake. These people are absolutely obsessed with the man. It's crazy. Keith Olbermann is clearly insane. I don't think all liberals are insane, but I suspect the vast majority are brainwashed. I don't really now any that are consistently calling out media absurdities, and those that did end up becoming Trump supporters themselves.

The thing about determining absurdity is that it is something like calculating probabilities: it depends on the context of the observer. The usage of probabilities themselves indicates a lack of knowledge of the situation, and is a way of rounding out the uncertainties. If you flip a coin, the probability of heads is 50%. But if you had a way very precisely measure the forces exerted on the coin and the environment of the flip, you would be able to assign a probability of any given flip that was different than 50%. Because we normally don't have enough information to distinguish one coin flip from another, all we can say is that there is a 50% chance. (We could not remove probability altogether. Modern physics suggests that we can't possibly have perfect knowledge of even the simplest physical systems.)

Absurdity shares an analog; it changes with new information. A man running into a burning building seems absurd. Given new information -- there are children inside the building -- would cause us to reassess the appearance of absurdity. Proving that a single act is absurd is equivalent to proving a negative: the burden is to enumerate all possible contexts and show that the act is illogical in all of them. We are faced with the same situation as with probabilities: we typically don't have perfect knowledge of the environment in which the act occurs. The best we can really do is the same as with assigning probability: observe a number of acts and determine the odds that the acts are absurd. So really this is all analogous to assigning probability because that's exactly what we're doing. What is the probability $P$ that action $A$ is absurd given the context $C$? The assessment of absurdity is a conditional probability, and really all probabilities are conditional probabilities.

With all that said, let's look at the incident which motivated all these thoughts on absurdity, which has since been buried by two or three new fake news scandals.

We've Never Been at War with Director Comey

The liberals were railing against Comey right up until the point he was fired. They were demanding he step down or be fired, yet cried foul when Trump fired him. Remember it doesn't matter what Trump does. If he fires the FBI Director they hate they call it a conspiracy. If he nominates the judge they previously had no problem with, they filibuster. What we saw before our very eyes was an Orwellian moment where the narrative transitioned to: we've never been at war with Director Comey.

Comey Didn't Throw the Election

Democrats outraged by Comey's firing seem to be making a big implicit statement: that Comey wasn't actually responsible for Hillary's loss. If they want him to stay, that's an endorsement of his tenure. That would contradict the claims, most notably made recently by Clinton herself, that she would have won the election if it weren't for Comey's actions. By largely condemning Trump's actions to fire Clinton specifically because he botched his handling of the investigation -- including his late October announcement -- they are saying that Clinton is wrong and that Comey did not skew the election outcome. Can the even still claim the leaked emails (muh Russia conspiracy) is even valid if the announced re-opening of the investigation did not impact the election?

Trump Nix(on)ed an Ongoing Investigation

We were told that this was "Nixonian" because Nixon was the last President to fire an FBI Director was (brace your sense of irony) Bill Clinton. Then were were told that Nixon was the last one to fire an FBI Director while under active investigation. That claim was triple wrong.
  1. Nixon didn't fire an FBI Director. He fired a special prosecutor after a year and a half of a publicly acknowledged investigation. Perhaps he was shady, but it's hardly equivalent to Trump's situation because:
  2. Trump is not acknowledged to be the target of any known investigation.
  3. Clinton actually was under investigation for the TravelGate scandal.
You have to wonder if they're actually trying to be as wrong as possible.

The Election was Rigged

And the real clincher of all this: the election actually was rigged. I believe the world has just been unable to grasp the irony of the situation where all the rage is Muh Russia scandal, when they are accused (without evidence) of being responsible for leaking proof that the DNC, Clinton camp, and media establishment all colluded to rig the election. Most notably when DNC Chairman / CNN contributor Donna Brazil leaked questions from the CNN-hosted debate to Clinton, which she then used without alerting anyone, but there were plenty other actions. That's a lot of words, so let's review just what it is they are accusing Trump of, in meme form.

That's really it. What else could there be? I've still not heard a single hypothesis from the left. Only accusations of the abstract and shrill variety.

All the major claims regarding the Comey firing made by the left are absurd in the standard context. This is a scientific outcome, and can only be explained by the hypothesis that the media's political motivation outweighs its motivation not to promote obvious absurdities. The problem is that their viewpoint is so removed from reality that absurdity becomes their natural state. As mentioned before on this blog, The Left Can No Longer Be Satirized.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Trump-Russia coverage

It was a busy weekend and I didn't get any posts in, but I do have a couple in the works. One thing to mention real quick is that I'm taking notice of the coverage that Trump is accused by the Washington Post citing an anonymous source (as always) that Trump gave Lavarov highly classified information. Remember when the PissGate dossier scandal blew up the media backpedaled that they were merely "covering the coverage." It's a bullshit excuse, but just the same it's what they'll use if this story backfires. Here's the screencap from my google news feed.

There can be no similar excuse made in this iteration. I'm pre-emptively calling them out. At best the headlines tag a disclaimer to the end. Many go without it entirely. The outlets are clearly running the story that Trump revealed critically classified information to the Russians; it's not coverage of coverage.

This is likely to be fake news. The Washington Post, who illegally fundraised for Hillary during the Democrat primaries and then hired her failed campaign manager as soon as the recount dust had settled, is in no way an impartial source. Also, let's look at the possible hypotheses here.
  1. It's valid, American source
  2. It's valid, Russian source
  3. It's a fake leak by Team Bannon
  4. It's completely fake
There were only 4 US officials in the meeting: Trump, McMaster, Tillerson, and one I've unnamed (as far as I know). So that's a very narrow scope for determining the leaker. We assume the Washington Post isn't colluding with the election-hacking Russian government. It's hard to imagine the Post completely made up the story, but possibly they were duped by notorious Trump team double agent John Miller. 

There are two things that must happen for this story to pass muster. First, the source must go on the record. Second, we have to verify that information was actually conveyed in an irresponsible manner. According to the only other individual named in the WaPo article, McMaster, it was not. Here's the thing: the president inherently owns all classified information. He is legally authorized to share it with the Russians. The question is whether the act was responsible. To make that determination one must have access to the information. So for the American public to really judge they must be granted access. So there's the rub: the only way to really verify that sensitive data was "leaked" would be to broadcast the same sensitive data! So the WaPo is in the position that they can't really be contradicted. This assumes, of course, the stance the left has taken with Trump, in that he is an exception to the rule that people are assumed innocent if no evidence can be made to substantiate claims against him.

The only way around all this is if a person who is considered trustworthy corroborates the story. But the source is anonymous, and WaPo cannot be trusted in the matter. So we only have McMaster as a verified source of information, but he refutes the claim. The liberal media has decided McMaster's testimony is not credible. Which is funny. Do you think they would dismiss his comments if they corroborated the claims? Of course they wouldn't! We'd be hearing all about how he is a man of integrity and a great patriot. These people are so biased it makes your head spin.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Prediction Confirmation: College Racism Hoax

A week ago in May Day Violence I wrote:
Olaf College was shut down yesterday by racial activists. The actions were in response to a racist note left on a black student's car. There is no proof, of course, that the message is genuine. In fact, we might apply a little bit of logic to the issue. There have no been over a hundred and twenty fake acts of white racism in America since Trump's election. In comparison, there has only been one genuine instance that I'm aware of. So judging on the evidence at hand, it is a hundred times more likely that the note was faked by leftists. And now they're using that as an excuse for misconduct. A rule of thumb is this: if an alleged incident has less than a 1% chance of being true but you use it to incite mob rule, then maybe you're just looking for any excuse to engage in that behavior, to the point of fabricating it yourself.
The argument was pretty straight-forward. Based on prior evidence I determined that in general there was around a 1% chance that any vandalism appearing to come from white racists was actually valid. Because liberals are pro-science, they must have determined for themselves what the causal probabilities were based on the same evidence. By ignoring that evidence they indicated they were merely waiting for any excuse to act out.

At any rate, my claim that the attack was almost certainly a hoax has been validated, as the "victim" (identity protected) has admitted to the forgery. While I didn't mention it here, I was quite convinced the note was a forgery for reasons outside the general probabilities. Here was the text of the letter.
I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less nigger this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.
This is written like someone faking a note. Their own psychology is projected into it. "You have spoken up too much, you will change nothing." Does that sound like something a white supremacist would say? A white supremacist would be very unhappy with our current culture, and thus wouldn't think to be opposed to change. It sounds like something a Ku Klux Klan member from the early-middle 20th century would say. The letter has the mindset of the social justice warrior, convinced that the world is horribly oppressive, and evil forces are conspiring to keep it that way. It's like a caricature of how the SJW sees the world. The believe they are agents of positive change in the world and evil [racists|sexist|homphobes|...] are working to stop them.

The campus saw several fake racist incidents in the past few months, many with the same handwriting. They were all fake. Everything about the left is fake. Fake news, fake science, fake racism. Well, not all the racism. This was the black students' response to fake racism.

Hey look, real racism! I'll venture a second prediction. None of the instigators here, either of the fake or the real racism, will suffer any consequences of significance. I'll make a third prediction too: if a white student ever gets caught crafting racist notes or signs on the order of "fuck your black [whatever]", they will be expelled, possibly charged, and blasted throughout mainstream media, and their identity will not be protected.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The 3 Laws of Moral Equivalence

Perhaps the most ubiquitous and oft-stated logical fallacies I hear from our friends on the left are moral equivalence arguments. Those viewpoints drive me up the wall for reasons I ranted about in The Uselessness of the Neutrals, which probably wasn't the best title given the presumption that the moral equivocators are in fact neutral. On this blog I sometimes deconstruct liberal counter-arguments to show how they could be applied to any argument made. For example, in a recent post on r/K political theory I showed how the author's argument was essentially that, because r-types are naturally in conflict with K-types, then there can't be any r-types at all! It is of course a flawed argument (it assumes support of conflicts and avoidance of conflicts are mutually exclusive), and these kinds of super arguments are always flawed. There must be some logical principle that there is no such thing as an omnipotent argument. In case it hasn't been described, let's do so here.

The Omnipotent Argument Theorem

Let $V$ be a viewpoint in some domain of discussion. Let $A$ be the set of arguments that supports $V$, and $C$ the set of arguments that counters $V$. Let the notation $ \neg a$ indicate that the argument $a$ is false. Thus if a counterargument $c$ invalidates argument $a$ it can be notated as $c \implies \neg a$.
$$ \nexists c \in C \mbox{ such that } \forall a \in A, c \implies \neg a $$
It might seem silly to go throught the trouble of writing out all the math notation, but writing it down it such a manner can be illuminating. It is quite apparent that the theorem can easily be disproven by a simple counterexample. For instance, I might have a viewpoint that the oven is 450°, my sole argument being that the display reads 450°. However the counterargument stating that the oven reads ten degrees high would invalidate all arguments in favor of my position. So we haven't proven that it's not possible for the existence of omnipotent arguments in more complex subjects. It's a matter we'll have to pick up later on a slow news day so that we can get to the point of this post.

Laws of Motion

Our laws will parody the 3 Laws of Motion. 
  1. An object at rest will stay at rest unless acted on by an external force. An object in motion will tend to stay in motion unless acted on by an external force.
  2. F=ma
  3. For every force there is an equal an opposite force.

First Law of Moral Equivalence

A moral equivocator will tend to stay at rest unless motivated by The Narrative. A moral equivocator in action will tend to stay in action unless they run afoul of The Narrative.
Application of moral equivalency is more of a tactic than a philosophy. I don't doubt that people believe in universal equality, but they never apply the principle unless it benefits them. I've experienced this myself because I like to argue with liberals on the town newpaper's facebook page. In response to an article that the local university was stepping up some diversity office to fight campus injustics, I bemoaned that it was sad to see SJW-culture showing up in town. Of the three lefties that responded to me, all 3 made sure to note that I am white and male. Apparently some are more equal to speak on certain subjects than others.

As an exercise keep an eye out, for the next month, of examples where liberals invoke their cherished beliefs of universal equality even though it would tend work against their benefit. I predit you won't encounter any.

Second Law

$F= \neg F$ 
This should appear to be something of a tautology in a discussion on logic, since we're always deconstructing opposing arguments towards something like $F= \neg F$ to demonstrate logical absurdity. Yet for moral equivocators $F= \neg F$ is often their primary argument. Where are told to celebrate diversity. Diversity implies difference. Yet we're told that the diverse cultures are all morally equivalent. So things that aren't equal are actually equal. $F= \neg F$. Except for the case of white culture of course, which is always oppressive. When it comes to positive attributes of a culture, we can't say we are any better than anyone else. We all have equal value. Thus, $F= F$. But in considering the negative attributes of a culture there is no culture nearly so evil as the West. Thus, $F > F$. The only thing consistent in this is logical absurdity, and hatred of the West.

Third Law

For each argument I don't like, there exists an equal and opposite argument I do like.
If, in a forum including numerous liberals, one makes any critique of a liberal, one will invariably encounter a response of the type: well so does the other side. If you point out that a politician is corrupt or ignorant, and they happen to be a Democrat, you will be reminded that there is a Republican equally as corrupt or ignorant. If you call out media absurdity, you will be reminded that conservative media is equally absurd. And so on. It is impossible to make any argument to their detriment because in the leftist mindest there is always an equal and opposite arguments that applies to the other side. The don't even specify most of the time, but merely speak in abstracts. If argument $a$ harms the left, then by the Third Law there must exist argument $b$ that cancels it out. They often won't even attempt to make the argument; only assure us that it exists.

The truly sinister aspect of this is that it does not allow us to point out evil or unethical behavior where it exists, because the point is always moot since it is assumed to be countered. Now it's not that conservative partisans never engage in the same behavior; the difference is that this viewpoint is invariably displayed by those on the left.

This is the ultimate example of an omnipotent argument, which earlier I was unable to disprove the existence of. There is no argument in the world that could possibly put the left at a disadvantage, because there always exists a mirror counterargument. It doesn't go both ways, of course. Arguments that damage the right are unassailable, but that is more of a partisan bias, and not what we're interested in here, where there is a perception of the world that one faction can never be morally superior to another since the universe is assumed to hold some perfect counterargument.

I encourage you to pay attention to the 3 Laws of Moral Equivalence in your own (hopefully limited) interactions with the far left. We will revisit the notion of ominpotent arguments in a later post.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Response to a comment on pre-existing conditions

Here is a response I made to a comment on social media regarding pre-existing conditions in the new healthcare bill, which went so long it forced me to neglect the blog for another evening. For context, the commenter is a friend of mine who, last I knew, identified as a libertarian.
Rant about the Trumpcare bill passed by the House last week.

I keep hearing the quote that, under the new bill, "you cannot be denied insurance as long as you do not have gaps in coverage".

This seems like a suckers bet to me. This is just like a late fee, albeit a very costly one. How many people pay all their bills on time every month for their entire lives? Just one slip up means that you are re-evaluated and may be denied coverage.

What is even more crazy is that so many opponents of the ACA say "I don't want the government telling me I have to buy health care." The new law says the same thing, only now it is private companies that decide the penalty.

Rant over
My response:
Generally you can't make much headway in healthcare debates because it's a conflict of principles. On one side people believe that humans have a fundamental right to healthcare, and the other people believe the have a fundamental right to not have their money taken for the benefit of others.

However there is another way to view the issue that side steps the moral dichotomy, which is to analyze the internal contradictions of the system in place. We must make a distinction between health insurance versus comprehensive healthcare. Insurance inherently implies uncertainty and risk. Comprehensive coverage includes aspects of healthcare where there is little uncertainty. For instance, insurance plans that cover routine checkups have transcended the fundamental role of insurance. Whether one views healthcare in the insurance sense or the comprehensive sense will determine how one criticizes such a plan. Someone who thinks purely in terms of insurance will complain that covering routine visits doesn't really insure against anything. Their counterparts will complain that the healthcare plan is only partially comprehensive.

The same dynamic can be applied on the national scale. People have different criticisms of national healthcare depending on how they view the scope of healthcare (not to mention the larger moral/political debate). As such our policies are a mashup of different intentions and viewpoints sort of lumped together. Because we can't agree on whether healthcare means insurance of comprehensive coverage, and because we don't even make the distinction, what we are left with is an approach that is often at odds with itself and is utterly disappointing to those on both sides of the issue.

You can pretty much tell if someone views healthcare as insurance vs comprehensive coverage by their stance on pre-existing conditions. If a plan covers pre-existing conditions it is definitively not insurance. You wouldn't expect to be able to purchase homeowner's insurance while your house is on fire. The "no-gaps-in-coverage" clause is quite understandable to those with an insurance mindset of healthcare, and in fact it is a necessary requirement in order to run healthcare as an insurance program. Otherwise you can just wait until your house is on fire to buy an insurance plan. Someone with the opposing viewpoint sees the no-gaps clause and assumes it is some deceitful scheme to find loopholes to deprive people of their right to comprehensive healthcare. The issue at hand isn't whether someone misses a bill (and I've never lost insurance over a single late payment). The issue is about avoiding a moral hazard where people are incentivized to delay their purchasing of insurance until it's needed, which destroys the entire point of insurance to begin with.

Last I knew you identified as a libertarian. I have to ask is that still the case? I no longer identify as libertarian but as far as healthcare goes I'm right in line with them. I don't imagine a libertarian could possibly be content with (a) the government forcing its citizens to buy a product, or (b) the government forcing companies to accept customers whom they know will cost them money. Maybe there are arguments to be made for that, but none are libertarian-friendly. Is it so wrong that the private companies decide the penalty? As a motorcycle owner I'm sure you realize that having gaps in coverage does cost you money in the long run. They run their numbers on the expectation that your bike will be garaged during the winter and, if you try to drop coverage just during the winter, they will raise your rates to make the numbers work again, plus a little more out of spite. It might seem contradictory that you are okay with coverage-gap penalties in the automotive sector but not in medical, but it's not. Because you don't view healthcare as insurance, but as comprehensive care, which means effectively adopting the liberal stance on the issue.

It is troubling to me that so many people naturally assume that the answer to the problems in our healthcare sector, largely caused by government interference, should be solved with more government involvement. Look at the issue of healthcare-employment coupling. Most people are troubled that they can lose their health coverage if they lose their job. So they've largely demanded that the government adopt an array of protective measures so that people won't face potentially life-threatening consequences when already suffering the misfortune of losing employment. The solution is to regulate the coupling. But the coupling is completely absurd in itself, and only exists because of government action to begin with. Can you imagine if one lost his homeowner's or auto insurance when they left a job? It doesn't make sense. Yet we're entirely too accustomed to it in the medical sector. Another example is the tendency for health insurance companies to try to wriggle out of their responsibilities, and to vastly outspend plaintiffs on legal representation. The response of the government, seen clearly in Obamacare, is another vast array of regulations dictating what the companies must cover. There is a clear libertarian solution to the problem: force companies to honor their contracts. The whole ethos of libertarianism is that the government primarily exists to protect property rights and to enforce legal contracts. If the government would just satisfy its duty, to ensure customers of insurance are getting what they paid for, then there would be no need at all for the government to delve in to the impossible task of decreeing what constitutes satisfactory health coverage. And what have they changed? If the insurance companies were able to cheat their contracts by finding any available excuse to deny coverage to customers, why would they behave any differently in response to regulation? The solution has been merely to shift the problem around, while giving the government an excuse to bloat its bureaucracy, funding, and regulatory labyrinth.

This is a good example of the reason why many bloggers on the alt-right are fed up with libertarians, because so many are just more principled liberals (oxymoron alert). Perhaps "previously principled" would be a better phrase, at least in this case. This commenter seems to have discarded libertarian principles entirely, but, last I knew anyway, still identifies as a libertarian. Which brings up a couple questions.
  1. Is our problem with libertarianism, or just with libertarians?
  2. Are most libertarians just liberals who don't want to be called liberals?
  3. Is there something innate in libertarianism that drives its acolytes to adopt liberal positions? 
The last question can't be answered with a general yes, since so many on the alt-right were formerly libertarian. And perhaps the first has been answered by many already, who see libertarianism as admirable in theory, but something that requires a certain type of society to be pragmatic.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Prediction Failures

A few predictions I made don't seem to be panning out.

In Trump Traps & Integrity I put forth the notion that Trump was deliberately conditioning his opponents with his Twitter feed so they'd be more likely to take "bait" whenever it is laid out there. I don't follow his Twitter, but I do tend to see the more significant ones in social media. While I can't provide an acute analysis, I've not seen anything to indicate this strategy is in play. Even if it was, it would be difficult to prove anyway.

In a similar vein, I predicted in Saturating the Media Bandwidth that Trump's initial executive blitz would be a cyclical pattern we'd see that would attempt to control the media narrative. While it's possible there is a longer cycle, there is no indication that the Trump team is engaged in temporal control of the media. Occam's razor indicates that the initial blitz was merely the Team starting on their agenda from day 1, as promised. However it still leaves an interesting concept for political theory. If rogue campaigns are not intentionally operating to outmaneuver the establishment media's OODA loop, they should be.

Finally, I made a prediction on social media in a group dedicated to discussion of r/K political theory. In regards to a story of immigrants in Sweden burning something like 8 grocery delivery trucks, I put forth the theory that what we were seeing was potentially the beginning of a direct attack by the foreigners on the resource supplies of their hosts. I predicted we would see more similar incidents. No evidence of that has surfaced. At this point it seems more likely that it was just a random act of lawlessness.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Today in Fake News

Fake Recycling

The story today out of Fort Smith, Arkansas is that they were operating a fake recycling program. It wasn't an entirely fake program. The city was collecting recycling and sending it to a processor, but the processor stopped taking recyclables about 6 months ago. As they looked for a new solution the city neglected to inform the public and kept collecting the recycling as normal, only to throw it into the landfill with the rest of the refuse. Can you blame them? The local lefties would scream themselves a hernia if they knew their sacred saving-the-Earth ritual had been taken from them. And indeed their response has been something like that.

They thing about recycling is that it's bullshit. Not entirely, of course, but it's not this panacea that it's made out to be. Think about a plastic bottle. If it costs more to make one out of recycled plastic than molding new plastic, what does that mean? Recycling junkies will focus only on the fact that one less plastic bottle makes its way into the landfills, which is true. (They'll invariably talk about plastic in the oceans, but nearly all that comes from Asia, and certainly not from Fort Smith). However, if the costs of using recycled materials are higher, then it must mean the energy costs of recycling are higher than sourcing new material. Recycling means cleaning the product, sorting, and engaging in some sort of smelting process to get the desired material. That all takes energy. Energy has its costs, most notably CO2 emissions, which the liberals love to hate.

The more economical solution tends to be the more environmental solution. With the exception of aluminum and copper, recycling is not economical and ultimately is harder on the environment. If recycling was economically feasible then industry would be willing to pay for those materials, like they do with aluminum and copper. If someone is adamant about reducing plastics and other materials in the landfills -- a laudable goal to be sure -- then they must be willing to pay the costs of engaging in a less economical activity. The article states that the trash collection in the city runs at $13.28 a month -- a low fee -- and that recycling is included at no additional cost. Here is what happens when you deny reality for too long. The people demanded a recycling program so they could feel like they're doing their part to save the world, but they want it to be free, even though it inherently has costs. The residents are now furious with the city for failing to achieve an impossible task: letting them engage in uneconomical virtue signaling at zero cost.

To me the real kicker is just how minor the impact of the program is anyway. The article states that the recycling collected amounts to 1.25% of the total haul. These people are going nuts about a 1.25% increase in landfill use. That's just about a rounding error; hardly worth considering in the big picture. Families and businesses can easily reduce their trash output by half if they're willing to be conscientious and make some sacrifices. But if they were willing, they probably wouldn't be so attached to the recycling program to begin with.

Fake Legislation

The AHCA passed the House today. It's uncertain if it will make it through the Senate. What's not too surprising is that Republicans are touting it as the promised repeal & replacement of Obamacare, when in reality it takes us from 100% Obamacare to about 90% Obamacare. Of course the Republicans would do that; hyping your own effectiveness is standard politician behavior. It's still fake legislation. A minor step in the right direction to be sure, but it comes nowhere close to reversing Obama's impact on our healthcare woes.

More interesting is the Democratic response. They're hyperventilating like the Republican legislation is the worst thing in the world. I believe Nancy Pelosi actually said something to the effect of it being the worst possible legislation. Bernie Sanders is pronouncing that thousands of people will die. But it's 90% Obamacare! If 90% of Obamacare is the worst legislation imaginable, then 100% Obamacare can't be all that great after all, now can it? As I mentioned the first time around in response to RinoCare, this is about the best that Democrats -- who control nothing -- could ask for. But to them even fake change, even the appearance of compromise, is evil and equivalent to murder. 

They're despicable. And it gets worse. I intended to lay into the Republicans in this post for their childish behavior in Congress. Mark Levin played a clip on his show of representatives singing the "hey hey goodbye" song in Congress. I assumed this was Republicans saying goodbye to the hated Obamacare legislation. I was surprised they would be so tacky. But after looking up a source to post I realized it was actually the Democrats singing it to Republicans, for reasons that aren't clear to me. These people have reached levels of childishness that shouldn't be possible. They're nothing but adolescents who call names, throw tantrums, and engage in subsophomoric displays of their immaturity. I could not possibly respect them any less.

And that's your fake news for the day.

Flashback to the 2016 Democratic Campaign

As a reminder of what the Democratic campaign against Donald Trump looked like, here is a message Elizabeth Warren posted on Facebook a year ago today.

While we're having problems now with Trump seeming to flake on his campaign promises, let's never forget why he won the election. Trump was out there talking about major policy issues: immigration, trade, national security. The Democrats were name-calling. Look at all the insults this US Senator hurled in a brief and public post.
  • racism
  • sexism
  • xenophobia
  • KKK
  • incites supporters to violence
  • praises Putin
  • authoritarian
  • dictator
  • attacks
  • puts our servicemembers at risk
  • cheerleads illegal torture
  • a collection of charlatans
  • contradictory
  • nonsensical
  • incoherent
  • truly bizarre
  • narcissism
  • divisiveness
  • toxic stew of hatred and insecurity
223 words written, and 20% of them are insults. The rest serve merely as scaffolding, a place to hang the insults like little ornaments of angst. They are just overhead. The only item in the whole post that communicated any information  was the phrase "toxic stew of hatred and insecurity," which seems to be a projection of Senator Warren's own psychological condition. Other than that, there is nothing of substance to be found in this rant. Remember, we were told constantly that Trump was the vacuous candidate, the know-nothing who would disgrace our political system. And yet this sitting senator, one of the leading Democrats in the country, could do no better than string a series of insults together.

The American public picked up on this, to some extent. Enough to give Trump a strong electoral victory, at least. And if in the next three years the Democrats can't find someone to do any better than just string insults together, a task for which most playground children are qualified, then I wouldn't suppose 2020 will be very pleasant for them, whether or not Trump abandons his base.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Day Violence

Imagine, if you will, the following headlines.
  • White Supremacists take over campus, issue racial slurs, shut down classes
  • White Alt-Right activist stabs four minorities on campus, killing one
  • Right-wing riots turn to lethal violence
Imagine if even one of those headlines was true. It would be breaking news for days, at least, would it not? All other news stories would be sidelined. There would be a cacophony of cries to the extent of: this is what Trump represents, this is proof of systemic injustice, we need to have a national conversation on racial justice, et cetera and so on.

Yet if you reverse race descriptions and political stances of those headlines, then they are actually all headlines from yesterday.

Olaf College was shut down yesterday by racial activists. The actions were in response to a racist note left on a black student's car. There is no proof, of course, that the message is genuine. In fact, we might apply a little bit of logic to the issue. There have no been over a hundred and twenty fake acts of white racism in America since Trump's election. In comparison, there has only been one genuine instance that I'm aware of. So judging on the evidence at hand, it is a hundred times more likely that the note was faked by leftists. And now they're using that as an excuse for misconduct. A rule of thumb is this: if an alleged incident has less than a 1% chance of being true but you use it to insight mob rule, then maybe you're just looking for any excuse to engage in that behavior, to the point of fabricating it yourself.

Three whites and one Asian were stabbed yesterday by a black anti-white racist affiliated with a black bloc group similar to Antifa. So far the media has not demanded that any Democrats disavow or apologize in response to left-wing violence.

And finally, we have yesterday's firebombing of French riot police, which was mentioned here yesterday.

If these incidents were inverted, it would be wall-to-wall coverage of resurrection of Nazism or some other hyperbole. But since the roles of all the instigators is politically uncomfortable to the rabid lefties in the media, it's been largely ignored. Here's a screenshot of my google news feed at the time of this writing.

No mention of the pattern of lefty violence on May Day. No holding figures of the left accountable. No calls for a national conversation. The mass stabbing at UT is still in the headlines at least. But look at the headline, thanks to the Chicago Tribune. No mention that the culprit was a member of a leftist political action group and had made racist videos depicting violence against whites. No, just that he had "mental health trouble." Of course he had mental trouble! They all do. It's implied by going on a stabbing rampage, or by being Antifa. It's the least interesting detail of the whole incident. And it's one of the few details that doesn't throw a monkey wrench in The Narrative.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sometimes Just Showing Up Isn't Enough

"90% percent of life is just showing up." So goes the advice. Here's another. "It's better to try and fail than to never try at all."

These phrases make for wonderful motivational posters. I would say that the message is something people should internalize. I don't think it's a bad message. But, let's not make the mistake of believing it is universally true. Sometimes just showing up is a bad idea. Sometimes trying and failing makes things much worse than they would have been.

As an example, take the French riot police. Here they are, policing riots. Or trying to.

While I feel for the individuals forced into the melee with limited means to actually enforce order, the comedic quality is undeniable. You could just about speed this one up and set it to Yakkity Sax. (Do we have a video editor in the house?) The police are out there getting humiliated by any yokel who decides to throw bottles, some of which contain burning accelerants. What effect could this serve but to encourage additional uncouth behavior? "Don't act up kids, or the crowds will cheer and the authority figures will look foolish!"

This follows a series of hilarious European policing videos, most notably the Swedish female police officers unable to apprehend an aggressor (link). If the goal of these police actions is to demonstrate to the public that the state is unable to enforce order in culturally enriched Europe, then they are doing an impressive job of conveying the message.

Update: as it turns out one of the officers in the video was horribly burned, including 3rd degree burns to the face and hands. That is a disfiguring, life-changing, and immensely painful injury. What a blow to the morale of the French police. I wonder if we'll soon see them start to abandon their posts the way the Swedes are. Police officers knowingly put their personal safety at risk to enforce order. But this -- being permanently disfigured while an out-of-control mob cheers on your attacker -- is just beyond the pale. It's hard to imagine a more humiliating and enraging experience.

Critique of the r/K Selection Theory is Rubbush Critique

A recent blog post attempted to dismantle r/K selection theory. Let's take on his arguments one at a time.
The author of the essay then writes: 
"Since group competition will not arise in the r-selected environment, r-type organisms will not exhibit loyalty to fellow members of their species, or a drive to sacrifice on their behalf. "
This is dumb. 
First, no animal will sacrifice itself for a random member of its species. At most the animal will sacrifice itself for relatives who have some of the same genes. Genes are the unit of selection because they can be copied. A species cannot be copied and so is not the unit of selection. This is basic biology. The author could have worked out this was a dumb thing to say by reading “The Selfish Gene”.
Author's lead-off pitch and it's.... a strawman. Bold strategy. Notice he had to insert the word random in order to make the argument work. At what point does AnonCon ever say that K-selection involves defense of random members of the species? The context is clearly always in regards to one's own tribe. The difference is that if I attack a wolf his brothers will come to his aid. Rabbits...not so much. It adds nothing to the conversation to mention that the species is not a unit of selection. Of course we're talking in the context of gene selection. An individual shares more genes with members of his own tribe than an outsider. The only thing he has correct is that this is, indeed, basic biology.
Second, the author sees sacrifice as positive. Humans can create explanatory knowledge. Sacrificing yourself gets in the way of you developing better knowledge that could improve your life and the lives of others: it is a bad idea. The death of some random rabbit isn’t a big deal because the rabbit can’t create explanatory knowledge. All of the knowledge it has is instantiated in its genes. So if a copy of those genes is destroyed to preserve five copies in other animals this is a gain for the genes not a loss.
I don't understand this. After reminding us about basic biology he goes on to refute basic biology by insisting humans are different because we create "explanatory knowledge". Because humans are different, the normal rules don't apply. His argument that explanatory species don't benefit from sacrifice is specious and projects the author's own superiority complex onto the debate. He asserts that one shouldn't sacrifice himself because that limits his ability to "create explanatory knowledge." That only assumes that one is superior at the task to begin with. He can't imagine the scenario of his own theory where it would make sense: in sacrificing for others who are better at the task.

Luckily for us, he goes ahead and disproves his own theory for us, by showing that his theory indicates that r-selection should drive a species to be more inclined to make sacrifices. Because that is not what we see in nature, clearly the theory is invalidated. The only disappointing aspect of the essay so far is that he has deprived us the fun in dismantling his arguments by doing so himself.
"Here in the r-strategy, we see the origins of the Liberal’s tendencies towards conflict avoidance, from oppositions to free-market capitalism, to pacifism, to demands that all citizens disarm so as to avoid any chance of conflict and competition. "
This is also dumb. Liberals are in favour of the government increasing taxes. They are are in favour of escalating conflict with productive people. And liberals want citizens disarmed partly to make it easy for the government to prey on them. So liberals are in favour of conflict.
Let's take his whole paragraph one sentence at a time.
This is also dumb.
This seems to be his favorite argument.
Liberals are in favour of the government increasing taxes.
Yes, duh. Why? Why are they in favor of taking money from productive peoples and giving it to unproductive people? Gee, that sounds like a role in reducing the benefits of competitiveness, doesn't it?
 They are are in favour of escalating conflict with productive people.
What utter rubbish. Because taking money from the productive and giving it to the unproductive might antagonize the productive, the liberals are actually K-selected! Also, lazy kids who don't do their chores are K-selected because they're tempting conflict with their parents. And wives who sleep around are K-selected because they know there will be conflict if they are caught. In fact, because their entire existence is likely to lead to conflict with the K-types, all r-types are by definition K-types! It's a magic bullet where liberals can't be r-types because he decided r is impossible.
And liberals want citizens disarmed partly to make it easy for the government to prey on them.
Close, but not necessarily the government. But yes they want the citizenry disarmed so that being preyed upon does not convey a survival advantage to any group.
So liberals are in favor of conflict.
They are in favor of conflict that doesn't give Ks a competitive edge, sure. But that's the same nonsense argument all over. Communists tend to kill lots of people, so they must be K-selected! This doesn't prove anything. r-types are conflict-avoidant, so they support a heavy-handed government that will do the conflict for them. Supporting conflicts and avoiding conflicts are not mutually exclusive behaviors. I would suggest the author investigate the term cowardice.
Another strategy emerges if a species is in an environment where resources are very scarce. The animals are in favour of being willing to fight for resources. They are ranked by their ability to compete. And such animals will tend not to sleep around as much because they only have a limited number of chances to copy their genes and have to try to weed out bad genes in advance of having offspring. An example of this might be lions. Lions have to hunt for food. So the strategy for lion genes to get themselves copied is to rank other holders of lion genes according to their ability to hunt. And a lion may be more willing to die to preserve copies of its genes in its offspring or other relatives because dying would free up resources. This is called k selection.
He does at least understand that, in biology, K-selection arises when the species hits the carrying capacity of the environment.
The conservatives are allegedly k selected, which explains their habits like faithfulness to spouses and competing for resources instead of begging the government for stuff. This analogy also fails. Conservatives want to reduce taxes, which reduces violence used by government and the government’s ability to use violence.
Again with the specious argument that advocating a strong-handed government to level the playing field is somehow a trait.
Also conservatives are taking the side of makers: people who make new stuff.
No, they're taking the side of the K-selected community, who tend to be more productive. The people who make "new stuff" tend to be r. Innovation often comes from the r-types. If that wasn't the case we'd have no use for them in society whatsoever.
This position requires thinking that we have not reached the limits of what resources are available and so we can experiment with new ideas to make progress. This contradicts the premise of this r/k selection stuff.
At this point, I really lose track of what point he is driving out. I can only address the statements in isolation. We have not hit the limits of what resources are available. We'll know we have when starvation becomes commonplace.
This is the most serious defect of the r\k selection theory, it denies the possibility of an open-ended stream of knowledge and resource creation.
The hell it does. It says nothing about the ability of society to generate additional resources. It only comments on the natural selection pressures in regards to the resources a society has available. We do predict that as r-selection degenerates the society resource production will wane and scarceness will be introduced. (See for reference: every example of Communism ever.) We certainly don't deny the possibility that a society could increase its resource production perpetually. However, without paying attention to the degenerate societal consequences of continuous resource abundance for long periods of time, the progress will eventually exhaust itself.
The reason to take the side of the makers is you want new and better stuff and ideas. It is not because you want to scrape by in a world where you have to murder other people to survive. This r\k selection political stuff is evil shit.
Another straw man. Nothing in r/K theory advocates murder. Survival advantage isn't murder. In fact, to equate survival advantage with murder shows just how deeply r-selected this author is.
The real reason for parents to take responsibility for their children is that children can create an open-ended stream of benefits.
No, it's to pass on their genes. I though he said he read The Selfish Gene.
Children and the adults they grow into can create new explanatory knowledge including knowledge about how to do stuff better. But to create knowledge people need to have good ideas about critical discussion, how to test ideas, how best to try them out and that sort of thing. To convey such ideas to their children, parents have to be willing to spend a lot of time and resources on their children rather than spending lots of time on sex. As such, responsible parents don’t spend a lot of time sleeping around. Since conservatives favour personal responsibility, they will tend to sleep around less.
A near description of K-parenting. But it still misses the "basic biology" he likes to talk about. Humans don't engage in K parenting because of explanatory knowledge. They do so for the survival advantage. At times where K-selection is induced by resource availability (most of human history), most children don't end up reproducing, so raising the most fit children possible gives the best reproductive odds. If resources are plentiful and most children survive, then having the most children possible is the optimal strategy. That is the essence of r/K theory, and the author demonstrates he misses the point entirely.
All biological explanations of differences of ideas and behaviour among humans are garbage, including the r\k theory.
Just in case anyone had missed out that the author has adopted the liberal anti-science position when it comes to human biology, here it is. To use his own favorite argument: this is dumb. He also does the job of making our job incredibly easy. All we have to do to refute him is to provide a single example of a biological cause for human behavior. If we can't, then the author has successfully dismantled the validity of other fields of study as well, most notably psychiatry.
We should expect behaviour differences between people to be a result of different ideas, not different genes.
So he predicts there cannot be any evidence of behavior differences between the genders. That race has no effect on behavior. That psychological conditions like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's have no genetic correlation whatsoever. He really makes this all too easy to rebut.