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Friday, June 23, 2017

Housekeeping, and sad news about Bob Wallace


A few changes to the blogroll:

Happy Acres' Tumblr account got yanked for hate. Apparently the musings of a married, retired software engineer with two kids living near Lake Tahoe are dangerous! Follow this despicable thoughtcriminal on Twitter.

The Anarcho-Monarchist has been silent for a long time and locked up his content.

Radish has not posted in a while. I hope he's okay and I'm leaving him up for now. He last posted on Twitter on March 1 of this year.

Per the comments, Bob Wallace at Uncle Bob's Treehouse passed away unexpectedly this Spring. He used to post articles at lewrockwell.com before getting banned for hatespeech. He seemed to have lived a pretty hardscrabble life in the Midwest, driving a taxi and working for a newspaper. Judging from his commentary, he despised newspaper work and the broken people doing it. It's a zombie-industry at this point, which is probably why he left it and started posting on the internet. He was apparently just doing menial work in warehouses toward the end. That sort of life-arc is hard on reflective people and I hope he was at peace. God rest his soul. No spouse, no children. He was 60 years old.

Finally, a voice from the past has resurfaced. Please visit Generic Views. He needs to retire from the Department of Defense so he can really let loose. I've referred to him before as one of the few people who grasps that international law is the law of sovereigns, not citizens.

I'd like to have a news site in the blogroll but I'm not sure actual news reporting exists any more. The sites are full of misleading headlines, content by incurious people who don't know how to ask a question, and irritating click-bait.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Anarcho-Capitalism


In September 2016, I posted on the conundrum faced by Clayton County landlords given explicit policy choices by juries to hold them responsible for acts perpetrated by criminals on their premises:

In summary, whites are fleeing, vibrancy is moving in, and incomes are stagnant and declining, despite the unmitigated boon of cheap immigrant labor. I know white rednecks who just up and left, dropping their keys off at the bank. Central American stoop laborers, paid in cash, stumbling around drunk, are easy marks for black predators.

The security measures necessary to keep Bradford Ridge Apartments predator-free would likely price the unit costs out of the reach of the late Perez-Hernandez. The tactics necessary to keeping his assailants away would be illegal. This is quintessential anarcho-tyranny: the property owners are placed between the Scylla and Charybdis of pricing out their own customers thereby eliminating their income stream, or assuming the full expense for the general criminality of Clayton County and its dysfunctional demographics, which is frankly uninsurable and impossible.

Let me unpack this a bit more: a Clayton County jury (none of whom, I assure you, were landlords) apportioned practically no fault to the actual trigger-pullers (that's what the "post-apportionment" means) and simply speculated that something could have been done to prevent a group of human predators from preying on their unfortunate marks (machine guns? Ghurkas? a crocodile-filled moat?). Note also the strange tale of the survivor: they hit him over the head, and apparently drag his buddy 50 to 100 feet away where they shoot him, then conveniently disappear, allowing Perez-Lopez to regain consciousness, return to the apartment, then go looking for the decedent whom (hey, presto!) they find shot dead. I'm not an actor on Law & Order, but this story stinks to high heaven.

Which gets me to my Anarcho-Capitalist Proposal: If the costs of general criminal activity in counties are going to be socialized on to the county's property owners, why not just give the property owners the county?

I also posted this meme, which needs to be spread far and wide, and shoved up the effete snout of every libertarian and "anarcho-capitalist" you encounter:


Now, the Georgia Supreme Court has enthusiastically piled on, in the recent case of Martin v. Six Flags Over Georgia, a decision issued June 2017.

First some context: Six Flags is an amusement park on the far south side of Atlanta. I went there a number of times as a child and as a teenager in what were, as we shall see, much more innocent times.








"Never again!," as the saying goes, and the Martin opinion dutifully underscores, laying out in excruciating detail the lengths to which we have distanced ourselves from these embarrassingly idyllic photos:

On July 3, 2007, Martin went to Six Flags for the day with his brother, Gerard Martin, and a friend, Devon Carter. As the park’s closing time approached, the trio exited the park, walked to a nearby hotel to use the bathroom, and returned to Six Flags property in front of the park entrance to await the arrival of a Cobb County Transit (CCT) bus. The three sat on a guardrail in an area adjacent to the park’s main entrance along Six Flags Parkway, the roadway leading into the park. The bus stop, which was visible from the guardrail, was situated just around the corner of the intersection of Six Flags Parkway and another public road, some 200 or so feet from the Six Flags property line.

During the course of the day and early evening, a throng of young men were roaming the park. Throughout the day their numbers ranged from 15 to 40. The young men in the group, which included several off-duty Six Flags employees, were dressed similarly, most in some combination of white or black T-shirts, jeans, and bandanas. The men were observed running through the park, yelling obscenities, and otherwise causing commotion. In the early evening, park patrons John Tapp and Eric Queen, who were visiting the park with their families, were accosted by the group after one of its members nearly knocked over Queen’s young son. Tapp testified that, after he diverted the near collision and admonished the man who was running, approximately 15 men surrounded him and Queen, “fixing to beat the sh*t out of us.” The confrontation lasted five to ten minutes, until park security appeared. As security approached and the group began to back off, they made “finger gun” gestures and admonished Tapp and Queen to “watch your back,” “we’ll get you in the parking lot.” Tapp and Queen reported to the security officer what had happened, including the parking lot threat. The officers confronted the assailants they could locate, reprimanded them, and released them back into the park. A Six Flags security officer testified at trial that this response was contrary to Six Flags’ policy, under which the assailants should have been ejected from the park.

Shortly before closing time, as the Tapp and Queen families prepared to exit through the park’s main gates, they noticed the same group of men, whose numbers had grown to approximately 40. Surveillance video footage filmed at that time showed a group of similarly-dressed men running to the front gate in what one witness described as a “frenzy.” The group exited the park, followed by security guards, who then stood outside watching. Once the guards reentered the park, the families, believing the group had left, exited the gates towards the parking lot, only to find the same group congregated on the sidewalk, outside the gates but still on Six Flags property. Despite their efforts to be inconspicuous, the families were spotted by the group, who began following the families and yelling at them. Alarmed, the families hurried to their cars; Tapp heard one man say “drop the hammer,” which Tapp believed was a reference to a gun. The families reached their cars and were able to depart without further incident.

The group of young men then made their way back to the area outside the park’s main gate where Martin and his companions were sitting. Two members of the group testified that others within the group were actively planning a fight. One stated that when he met up with the group he “found out that they were going to fight people at the bus stop”; another said that he heard the group planning for the beating and that the group “knew they needed to fight somebody.”

Aware of the group’s presence, and overhearing talk to the effect that “some guy’s going to get messed up,” Martin and his companions got up from the rail to move away, proceeding towards the bus stop. The group followed the trio to the bus stop, where, without any provocation or delay, defendant Franklin approached Martin and began beating him with brass knuckles. Others among the group joined in on the attack, with one witness estimating that nine people participated in Martin’s beating. This same witness testified that the attack began only five minutes after the group concluded their pursuit of the Tapp and Queen families; Franklin, similarly, testified that “it happened so fast.” Carter and Martin’s brother Gerard were also victims in the attack. The beating and stomping inflicted on Martin rendered him comatose for seven days, and resulted in debilitating permanent brain damage and other injuries.

The ensuing police investigation revealed that the assailants were affiliated with a gang-like group called the “YGL,” and other evidence established that the park was routinely the site of gang congregation and activity. Multiple witnesses testified to the presence of gang members at the park, both as patrons and employees; one witness, who was himself a Six Flags employee, testified that the “majority” of Six Flags’ park employees were affiliated with one gang or another. Evidence of gang “tags” and similar graffiti in the male employees’ locker room, and the testimony of a Cobb County police officer who worked off-duty as a park security officer, indicated that Six Flags’ management was—or should have been—aware that many of its employees were gang members.

A Six Flags security officer testified that, during the park’s daily security briefings, gang-related issues were reported, on average, at least once a week. Following the attack on Martin, one Six Flags employee was reprimanded by her superiors after reporting to the media that gang members frequented the park, often bullying others. Nearly one year to the day prior to the attack on Martin, Six Flags had been the site of a gang-related drive-by shooting. According to the Cobb County police officer who investigated the incident, a fight involving gang members had erupted in line at one of the park’s rides, and the fight continued as the participants left the park. Approximately 20 minutes after the fight began, the intended target of the shooting was standing at a bus stop located within Six Flags’ west parking lot and was approached by a car whose passenger, a member of the “Southside Mafia” gang, called out, referring to the earlier incident. The passenger then fired a pistol, missing his target but hitting three Six Flags employees who were standing nearby. Remarkably, despite their injuries, none of these employees were willing to make a statement to police.

The investigating officer testified that, a few days after the incident, a Six Flags official contacted him seeking assurances that the police would “not release any information that would lead the public to believe that Six Flags Over Georgia was anything but a safe, family atmosphere.” This officer further testified that he had refused to make any such commitment, and that he had told this official that he would not take his own family to Six Flags, “[b]ecause of the numerous incidents that I’ve responded to there, the criminal gang activity that goes on there.” According to this witness, 18 to 20 percent of the Cobb County Police Department’s call volume per day comes from within a two-mile radius of Six Flags.
On the above facts, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the jury's verdict against Six Flags for 92% of a $35 million award for an attack that occurred off its property. Of course, the Court scrupulously avoided discussion of the legal whipsaw under which Six Flags as an employer and property owner operates, pursuant to which platoons of lawyers can sue under Title VII for Six Flags' refusal to hire or allow entry to certain "young men," while simultaneously sticking them with the tab when these same young men beat another such young man nearly to death.

Also left unanalyzed by the Court, what is really going on here is that the State is too broke, too dysfunctional, and too inept to enforce a stable civil order. Therefore, idealistic judges resort to banging their gavels and yelling "Fix it!," like spoiled children, insisting that Six Flags bear the liability and expense for generalized civil breakdown and rending of the social fabric.

The obvious solution is to depose the inept and ineffectual government and turn over the public commons and order to the business and property owners who are going to get stuck with the tab for all of this in any event.

Anarcho-capitalism, that is, neo-feudalism is coming, whether the statists and, not least, the anarcho-capitalists themselves, are ready for it or not.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My problem with the Benedict Option


Rod Dreher has spilled a lot of ink on this. I have a lot of sympathy for Rod's vision but ultimately, I think the "Ben Op" is the same approach to rapacious secularism as that taken by the Middle Eastern Christians in response to rapacious Islam. That is, in exchange for payment of taxes and pledges of loyalty to their Arab overlords, the Christians were allowed to raise their children in the Faith and function as mercantile middlemen. This has not worked out well as Christianity slowly goes extinct in its former homelands. In like fashion, Rod Dreher begs to be left alone with his nuclear family and a few close friends in rural Louisiana as the world goes to Hell and our children slowly slip away from us.

There is also the ahistorical understanding of St. Benedict's mission and his context. The early Christians practiced their faith and seized the levers of State power as soon as they could. Modern Christianity by contrast practices secularism as the first and greatest Commandment.

Contrast Christianity's endless cession to its enemies with the robustness of Islam in the West: when they need their cultural space, they simply carve it out, and nobody lectures them about the lack of female imams or refusal to recognize gay marriage. In similar fashion, the Amish are expanding into the American Southwest and Mexico, and the Hasidim maintain their millenium-old bloodlines. Even the Mormons with their bizarre creed have managed to insinuate themselves into much of the United State's national security apparatus.

The future belongs to those who show up, and the "Ben Op" doesn't seem to be a strategy for showing up. Rather, it strikes me as a rear-guard action by aging converts begging to be allowed to die in peace.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

In case you were wondering if the Age of Ideas is over,


It's over.

I'll just let Steve Sailer carry the ball on this one:

From the NYT’s new columnist Bret Stephens formerly of the WSJ and Jerusalem Post.

Only Mass Deportation Can Save America

Bret Stephens JUNE 16, 2017

In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down as strongly pro-deportation. The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system.

They need to return whence they came.

I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.

On point after point, America’s nonimmigrants are failing our country. Crime? A study by the Cato Institute notes that nonimmigrants are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of illegal immigrants, and at more than three times the rate of legal ones.

Okay, so you want to deport African Americans. Got it. …

Because I’m the child of immigrants and grew up abroad, I have always thought of the United States as a country that belongs first to its newcomers
In other words, if your ancestors started arriving as slaves in 1619, American doesn’t belong to you in Bret Stephens way of thinking.

— the people who strain hardest to become a part of it because they realize that it’s precious; and who do the most to remake it so that our ideas, and our appeal, may stay fresh.

That used to be a cliché, but in the Age of Trump it needs to be explained all over again. We’re a country of immigrants — by and for them, too. Americans who don’t get it should get out.

I’m sure Bret wrote lots of editorials when he was editor of the Jerusalem Post about how Israel needs lots of non-Jewish immigrants. Right?

_________________________________________________

A little context on Stephens:
Stephens was born in New York City,[3] the son of Xenia and Charles J. Stephens, a former vice president of General Products, a chemical company in Mexico.[4][5] His parents were both secular Jews. His paternal grandfather had changed the family surname from Ehrlich to Stephens (after poet James Stephens).[6]

How does one reconcile these competing worldviews? Is the middle ground we only deport 25% of native-born Americans?

According to Stephens' crazed vision, America is and must always be a nation of immigrants, and must never be allowed to become a nation of natives. Thus the categorical imperative to import evermore remote, exotic future-Americans to whom we can bequeath our birthrights.



Stephens' absolutist view leaves no room for debate: it really all boils down to Who gets to live Where and Run things.

The Age of Ideas is over. The great Glubb Pasha saw it all coming.

Intersectionality



Immigrants, welfare, and inflation.

Twenty-four stories of public housing erupted into a Roman candle on Wednesday, as sacrifice to the Great God Equality, who decrees that impoverished Third World immigrants must be vertically housed in some of the most expensive real estate on Earth. The tower was built with public funds in the awful 1970's, from the same Satanic mindset which built Cabrini-Green.

Cash-starved municipalities in the U.S. figured out some time ago that it is much more lucrative to tear down these vertical cesspools and give the tenants Section 8 vouchers to go be somebody else's problem. Britain, still in thrall to post-World War egalitarianism, has not yet deduced that salutary measures to eliminate poverty in expensive cities would include encouraging the impoverished to move to less expensive cities.

This cheap relic should have been torn down long ago of course. But with an endless flood of Third Worlders desperate to live in the lap of social democratic milk-and-honey, the local council thought it could slap on some cladding and hey presto, everybody gets a bourgeois, British lifestyle!

The cladding was apparently an aluminum composite product with a polyethyene core. Polyethylene burns hot and beautifully, enough to melt the rebar inside of concrete.


The cladding also enabled chimneying for red-hot gases to race up the exterior of the building. And there were probably a lot of free-standing propane stoves favored by people trying to avoid a utility bill, which would explain the blue flame in units reported by residents. And of course the local council has neither the incentive nor the resources to retrofit this monument of Peak Boomer democratic socialism to current industry standards.

Fix it!

So much to deconstruct here, I can't even. We can start with the unchecked movement of immigrants into this small North Sea island. (If anybody has any luck finding actual numbers, let me know.) London is a center of global capital and expensive even for the natives. Why move barely afloat, net tax-consuming immigrants there?

Welfare is hopelessly dystopic. Has anybody ever made it work? Greenfell Tower is owned and managed by local government with no pricing signals, no profit-and-loss discipline at all.

Great Britain, like every place else in the Anglosphere, is printing money to keep its debt marketable, distorting the cone of production and incentivizing crap products, crap workmanship, and a race-to-the-bottom by producers. This is rampant in all sectors.

The over-arching tragedy is how little difference our beneficent One World vision will all make in the end. The teeming Global South masses will die by fire, violence, and neglect in the ruins of Western capitals as readily as in the urban fever-swamps of their homelands. And all the current virtue-signalling by Occidental social democrats will have been for naught.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pentecost


One week late. I need to focus more on the spiritual life.



Political Science 101, cont'd.


Broke, joke, woke, bespoke, in a single Twitter thread:


Commenter Bert asked for thoughts on Year Zero, Anno Trump. My first thought is gratitude to the States of Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Otherwise it would be Justice Sista Souljah and Attorney General Sally Yates cementing a dry-foot/dry-foot immigration policy into the law of the land, and "hate speech" getting carved out of the First Amendment and "assault weapons" out of the Second. Also, theater-level warfare in the Middle East to save the children from the chlorine barrel bombs.

By the way, there is no such thing as a chlorine barrel bomb. If the Syrian government wanted to make cheap, homemade bombs to terrorize their populace, they'd just combine gasoline and styrofoam in 50-gallon drums to make napalm, attach a fuse, and roll them out of helicopters. Chlorine is noxious, comparatively expensive, and much more unpleasant for your unmotivated conscript troops to handle.

Getting back to Trump, I really wish he'd be more Trump-ian, but with the entire media, bureaucracy and much of his own party arrayed against him I'm not sure there's that much he can accomplish. I'm told the Republican Party has majorities in both the House and Senate but I've seen no evidence of this. For now, I think Trump is doing the best he can on his agenda.

One area of disappointment is foreign policy, but I think he's hedged in by decisions made back to post-World War Two. Jews wield a lot of influence in American society, and a New York real estate developer would be especially sensitive to this. The Sunnis have made their peace with Israel but the Shia have not, so Trump aligns with the Sunni pole. A commenter at iSteve offers the following realpolitik analysis:

To his credit Trump is certainly “putting America first”. Whether it is really in America’s long term interest to buddy up to Saudi Arabia and alienate the Europeans is a different question. The funny thing is that Trump is actually executing the pivot towards Asia that the Obama team kept talking about but couldn’t really pull off.

Trump’s foreign policy moves make no sense if he were really a “white nationalist” but make a lot of sense if he and his team are cynical realists who see the world this way:

1. China is clearly the next world power.
2. Europe is in terminal decline, and the EU is doomed to failure
3. Russia will remain a strong regional player but has no hope of regaining superpower status and becoming an equal player with China and the US.
4. China’s Achilles heel is energy. Controlling energy resources will keep the US dominant for the foreseeable future.

If you accept those premises than Trump’s seemingly crazy actions all makes sense. It makes sense to cozy up to Saudi Arabia and Russia in order to keep them out of Chinese orbit. It also makes sense to cut Europe loose in order to strengthen ties with Russia.. If you need Erdogan to help keep order in the Middle East and watch Saudi Arabia’s flank, then you make friends with Erdogan and let him continue to blackmail Europeans with refugees and to fund Islamic cells throughout Germany.

This suggests Trump has really been a great power conservative all along, which is probably why the military seems to be solidly behind him. If true then Trump is going to disappoint idealists – both leftists who want the US to stand for human rights and “progressive” values, as well as white nationalists and fundamentalist Christians who want the US to stand up for “traditional” values.

I like especially that Trump consigned the horrid Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to Hell, and rescinded Obama's pointless signing of the Paris Accord. The optics are fantastic: America First! But with respect to the Middle East, Trump is trapped in convention: Israel must be the strongest power in the region, Iran and Shia Islam threaten that status, therefore Iran and its allies (including Russia) are the perennial enemy. This aligns us with the odious Wahabbists.

In the long run of course, the US has too much debt, too many restive, resentful ethnic minorities, and half the white people hate the other half and wish they were dead. Trump is either the next-to-last or next-to-next-to-last President of the US as presently constituted.

In case you're wondering about the title, here's the first post in "Political Science 101."