Sunday, April 29, 2012

The real significance of Trayvon Martin's killing...

... is that there's not really much significance, as revealed in a Washington Post article referenced by iSteve.

The Official Narrative of course is that Trayvon Martin's death just underscores how black people everywhere are cowering in fear of white supremacists gunning them down as they walk home from the convenience store.  When 'George Zimmerman' shoots 'Tray Tray' in 'cold blood' we have our Great White Defendant , instead of the exponentially more common thug-on-thug violence among those Americans who look like the son Obama never had.  However, it turns out Zimmerman isn't exactly, well, white, and a prosecutor trying to prove the violent racial animus lurking beneath his brown-toned skin will have an uphill fight.  Indeed, as the Post article reveals, in a lot of ways Zimmerman is really a poster child for "post-racial America," a man of mixed Jewish-Peruvian-African ancestry living in an ethnically diverse socio-economic sphere.

Zimmerman was also what some people in his father's demographic would call a shlemiel or a nebbish, hanging on to middle class status by his fingernails.  The neighborhood experiences a rash of burglaries, and a civic-minded but not-very-bright George Zimmerman styles himself as the night watch, standing between his (financially underwater) neighborhood and anarchy.  He confronts a young black man (which describes the six percent of the population who commit half the violent crimes), gets more than he bargains for, and fires his handgun.  Manslaughter, maybe.  Murder, ridiculous.  It was a typically thoughtless, this-can't-end-well encounter between an armed man conscious of his tenuous social status and a high-T, high time-preference teenager.

As larger numbers of Meso-American and mestizo immigrants push into the only neighborhoods they can afford and attempt to better their lot, we can only expect such encounters to become more common.  In sum, it's beginning to look like proximity killed Trayvon Martin, not racism.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Some thoughts on global warming

A comment from the thread "You don't say," at Vox Popoli.
I'm a believer in old fashioned pollution. You know, smog, rivers that catch fire, top soil erosion, that sort of thing. Let them fix that crap first then I'll listen to this end of the world stuff.

I'm with this guy. Get to work on the heat islands full of steel, glass and asphalt with a million cars going in and out every day, then I'll consider whether 'global warming' is an actual problem or an artifact.

Focus on public health practices that result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the US, then I'll worry about avian flu in China.

Explain to me why drug use and exponentially promiscuous anal intercourse wouldn't harm the immune system, then I'll fund your research on the great mystery virus.

Science, like capital markets, education, real estate, and on and on, is so full of externalities nobody can discern where the real value is. So they just settle on whatever's being subsidized at the moment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hidden agenda

I came across this blog post via Ad Orientem's sidebar to Vivificat.  The Catholic blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf details the activities of his Church's women-religious (i.e., nuns) over the past few decades. There are pictures.  Here is a sample:

It's pretty striking how the most enthusiastic activists for "reproductive choice" seem to be older and/or uglier women.  And even lesbians, who I would think don't have a dog in the fight.  I'm approaching 49 and can't imagine being an activist for, well, just about anything, so my advice to such women would be save your energy sisters.  Your age and low-sexual market value have already made your reproductive choice for you.

"Reproductive choice" a/k/a feminism strikes me as more an attempt to change the game by low-sexual market value women who want to compete for male attention without having nubility imposed as a metric. (Analog: Sailer's law of female journalism).

At the other end of the spectrum, feminism benefits polyamorous women who can't have an unplanned pregnancy slow them down in their hunt for The Big One.

In summary, feminism benefits high-status women by allowing them to displace men from high-status jobs (and/or facilitating their ability to get high-status men to impregnate them) and low-status women by convincing somebody to grant them sinecures which their looks and attitude would otherwise render unattainable.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Indeed He Is Risen!

The blur of Holy Week and Paschal services capped by the libations that undo 47 days of clean living in a single 24-hour period don't leave much time for posting. Selections for the season:

Rejoice O Bethany:

Today is hung upon the Tree, He who suspended the land in the midst of the waters (Arabic):

The Angel Cried:

The Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom:
If any of you is a wise servant, enter with delight into the joy of your Lord.

If any of you have labored long in fasting, now receive your recompense.

If you have wrought from the first hour, today receive your just reward.
If you have come at the third hour, keep this feast with thanksgiving.
If you have arrived at the sixth hour, have no misgivings, you shall in no wise be deprived.
If you have delayed until the ninth hour, draw near, and fear nothing.
If you have tarried even until the eleventh hour, be not alarmed at your tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of His honor, will accept the last even as the first.

He gives rest unto the one who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has worked from the first.

He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.

He both accepts the deed, and welcomes the intention, He honors the act and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord, and receive your reward, both the first and also the second.

You rich and poor together, hold high festival.
You sober and you heedless, honor the day.

Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have ignored the fast.

The table is fully laden; let all feast sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy the feast of faith; receive all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shone forth from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free: He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into hell, He made hell His captive.
He sickened it when it tasted of his flesh.

Isaiah, foretelling this, cried: “Hell was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions."

Hell was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell before the Unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

A blessed season of Pascha to all the faithful.

Christ Is Risen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fred on Trayvon

We Are Screwed, via Ad Orientem

Fred focuses on the bigger picture:
In all the outpourings of fury from blacks over the shooting, I have not encountered the slightest appreciation that it might have been a matter of self-defense. Not the slightest recognition that blacks indeed commit a great deal of violent crime and that whites might reasonably be wary of hooded young black males. The races are on utterly different pages.

Where does this leave us? The racial impasse is just that, an impasse, and not getting better. The hatred is deep and wide-spread. Television encourages it.

The very names of blacks reflect a profound distaste for European civilization, a desire for separate societies. Trayvon, Lateesha, Keeshawn—these all form part of an insuperable wall erected against a polity that blacks don’t like and don’t understand.

The divide extends to the White House. Obama said nothing unreasonable about the shooting, only that the country needed to get to the bottom of it. But he says nothing of the constant series of beatings and killings of whites by blacks. Various commentators have called him the first post-racial president. No. He is the first black president.

The policy of integration and the cult of diversity haven’t worked. Over and over the hatred boils up and underlines the immiscibility of black and white. OJ, Rodney King, Travon, the Duke case, Towana Brawley, all the gang. Racial crimes against whites are buried, but now show up on Drudge in cell-phone videos. The races are not melding culturally. We have hate crime laws, unidirectional as they are, because we have hate crimes. We have to have laws forcing togetherness because we don’t want togetherness.

Multiculturalism is a failed modern experiment. As Peter Brimelow says, it will all end in tears.

There is simply no way for so many biologically and culturally diverse peoples to form a coherent nation. There may, may be a way forward if the nuclear-backed bureaucracy can somehow be convinced to repeal every civil rights law everywhere, restoring the safe harbors of property rights and allowing people to interact or not interact as they please. Of course, there is practically no precedent for a government volunteering to put itself out of business.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How the other half thinks

This half of this island.

(From NYT via Tyler Cowen's Marginal Revolution).
Recently, just behind the base’s barbed-wire periphery, Dieula Sénéchal squatted with her skirt hiked up, scrubbing exuberantly colored clothes while a naked 6-year-old girl, Magalie Louis, defecated by the bank, gnawed on a stalk of sugarcane and then splashed into the water to brush her teeth.

Approaching with a machete on his way to hack some cane, her gap-toothed father, Légénord Louis, said Magalie had contracted cholera late last year but after four days of “special IVs” was restored to health. He knew the river water was probably not safe, he said, but, while they brushed their teeth in it, they did not swallow.

For drinking water, Mr. Louis said, his family relies on a local well. But he lives from hand to mouth and cannot afford water purification tablets; the free supply he got in 2010 ran out long ago. So he gambles.

“If you make it to the hospital,” he said, “you survive the cholera.”
Tyler Cowen, being an academic economist, is intrigued by the cost-benefit analysis performed by Mr. Louis, hence the title of his post. What he and others overlook is how the analysis is warped by the father's high time-preference and free medical care. It's cheaper to rush your daughter to the hospital for four days of antibiotics and IV's from Doctors Without Borders than bother with digging a proper latrine and teaching your children basic hygiene. The daughter, being a child, perfectly illustrates high time-preference: run around naked chewing on sugarcane and just poop right where you are, next to the river, where you wash your clothes, and brush your teeth.

All welfare suffers this same flaw: the subsidy of poor lifestyle choices. Mr. Louis's energy would even be better spent getting his friends and their machetes together and marching to the UN base or the office of his town's "crisply dressed" deputy mayor and demanding a sewer system. The billions of dollars in foreign aid and thousands of clueless busybodies milling around the place might think first we'll build a wastewater plant, then we can teach them to read. But that's just crazy talk.

The article is also noteworthy for how it gingerly violates journalists' Rules For Writing About Haiti. You would never know without looking at a map, for example, that Haiti is the western part of an island which also houses the Dominican Republic, a place that's not nearly as interesting to the New York Times. The Dominican Republic doesn't seem to share everybody else's preoccupation with her perenially crisis-ridden neighbor, other than to make sure Haitians stay in Haiti. I've seen articles about the Haitian cholera epidemic for months now, and this is the first one I've read which mentions that Haiti has a cholera epidemic because people are shitting in the water supply. This hatefact would not generally be discussed in polite company, because it implies that Haiti has a people problem, not a lack-of-potable-water problem.