Monday, June 26, 2017

Why average IQ matters

Low average societal IQ is how it's possible for a single truck crash to kill 150 people.
At least 148 people were killed as they rushed to collect spilled fuel after an oil tanker overturned and exploded in Pakistan, rescue workers have said. Some 140 more people were wounded, including 40 in critical condition, said Mohammad Baqar, an official with local rescue services, adding that the toll was expected to rise.

The tanker overturned after trying to make a sharp turn on a national highway on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur. It was driving from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the Punjab provincial capital, when the driver lost control and crashed.

“People of the area and passersby had started gathering fuel when the tanker exploded, burning everybody on and around the spot,” provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan told Reuters.

Serious burn victims, several in critical condition, were airlifted by helicopter to hospitals in Bahawalpur and nearby cities for treatment. Witnesses said about 30 motorcycles that had carried villagers to the accident site lay in charred ruins nearby. Eight other vehicles were destroyed, they added.

“According to the initial reports, somebody tried to light a cigarette, and the spilt fuel caught fire, leading to the tanker’s explosion,” said Jam Sajjad Hussain, a spokesperson for the rescue workers service.
The lower the average IQ, the greater the chance that some moron is going to make a catastrophic mistake that compounds the mistakes made by the moderately less moronic. And this is why it is absolutely devastating that average IQs have fallen between 5 and 10 points across the West, and in particular, in the USA.


Dragon Award: Del Arroz's recs

Jon Del Arroz has some recommendations for the Dragon Award:
Ran a poll yesterday on which blog my readers would like to see next, and the winner by no uncertain terms was my recommendation for Dragon Award nominations. If you haven’t seen the Dragon Awards before, they are the premier award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, given at Dragon*Con, arguably the best convention that exists. Please, readers, do take the time to vote as this is really your award choice and your voice matters.

Best Science Fiction Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli

Richard really has created a great science fiction, and I mean that in the classic sense. It’s on the short side, but it’s packed with a lot of ideas and it’s definitely the best sci-fi of the year.

Best Fantasy  A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day

Vox Day is the most underrated fantasy author in fiction. His Arts of Dark and Light series is frankly better fantasy than Brandon Sanderson (of whom I’m a big fan), Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks or George R.R. Martin. The characters are fantastic, the world is a very cool Roman-esque fantasy world, it’s tense all the way through, and it’s got very cool magic and magical beings.
You can vote here. My own recommendations are here. If you're interested in reading an excerpt from A Sea of Skulls, you can find one here.


Supreme Court brings back travel ban

The God-Emperor is vindicated:
In a victory for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court on Monday lifted key components of an injunction against President Trump's proposed ban on travel from six majority-Muslim nations, reinstating much of the policy and promising to hear full arguments as early as this fall.

The court's decision means the justices will now wade into the biggest legal controversy of the Trump administration -- the president's order temporarily restricting travel, which even Trump has termed a "travel ban."

"Today's unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security," Trump said in a statement. "...As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive." He added: "My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe. Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland."

The court made clear that a limited version of the policy can be enforced immediately with a full hearing to come in the Fall.
Next step: full immigration ban and deportations to the travel-ban countries.


"A massive, massive fuckup"

CNN learns the hard way that relying upon Never-Trumpers as sources is a very bad idea:
CNN late Friday deleted a story from its website that claimed Senate investigators were looking into a Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Trump’s transition team, later issuing a retraction in the story's place.

The now-deleted story, by investigative reporter Thomas Frank, was published Thursday and cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a "$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump's transition team four days before Trump's inauguration."

But by Friday evening, the story had vanished from CNN's website. It was not immediately clear when the story was removed, but a tweet linking to the story, from CNN's Politics account, was also deleted sometime Friday evening.

After noticing the story's disappearance, BuzzFeed News contacted CNN. More than an hour later, an editor's note appeared on CNN's website. A company representative sent BuzzFeed News a link to the note, but did not answer other questions about why the story was removed.

"The story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted," the editor's note said. It did not say which parts of the story failed to meet the company's standards. The note also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump's transition team and an adviser to his presidential campaign, who was named in the report.

A source close to the network, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, told BuzzFeed News the story was a "massive, massive fuck up and people will be disciplined." The person said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and the head of the company's human resources department are "directly involved" in an internal investigation examining how the story was handled.
The lesson, as always: CNN is Fake News.

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China and Rome

This is a fascinating, if brief, account of a 3rd century Chinese view of Rome.
Yu Huan was a respected scholar and historian, held in high regard in the Chinese society of the 3rd century. Huan published a long text called Weilüe, or “Brief Account of Wei”, which was originally lost. Some chapters, however, survived and were published in 429. Among others, a part of the surviving text discusses the Roman Empire, which was known as Da Qin — literally, The Great Qin.

It seems that the Romans actually made contact with the Chinese. Chinese sources describe several ancient Roman embassies arriving in China, beginning in 166 AD and lasting into the 3rd century. Archaeological evidence strongly suggests this — archaeologists even found Roman coins in the distant, southeast parts of Asia — though the Chinese themselves weren’t really aware just how big and powerful the Roman Empire really was. No depictions of Rome survive, and many historians believe Chinese scholars were only aware of the areas the Romans controlled in Asia — largely, today’s Syria. However, this text seems to contradict that idea. While Yu Huan never left China himself, he carefully gathered descriptions and stories from Roman sailors. He wrote:

This country has more than four hundred smaller cities and towns. It extends several thousand li in all directions. The king has his capital close to the mouth of a river. The outer walls of the city are made of stone.

…The ruler of this country is not permanent. When disasters result from unusual phenomena, they unceremoniously replace him, installing a virtuous man as king, and release the old king, who does not dare show resentment.

The common people are tall and virtuous like the Chinese, but wear hu (‘Western’) clothes. They say they originally came from China, but left it.

They have always wanted to communicate with China but, Anxi (Parthia), jealous of their profits, would not allow them to pass.


70 is the new 40!

The Baby Boomers are at it again. See, even at 70 they are young, sexy, cool, and fun!
This is a year of big birthdays, for, believe it or not, 2017 is when the baby boomer turns 70. Ever-youthful Joanna Lumley, Bill Clinton and Cher are 70 already and are now joined by a million new septuagenarians this year — more than ever before. To mark this, Channel 4 has a new four-part TV series called The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old. Its aim? To show just how young 70 really is.

The baby boomers have always been rule breakers. Born in peacetime, with the freedom to enjoy the Sixties’ summer of love, they’re now completely redefining ‘old age’. They may be doting grandparents, but they’re also going to music festivals, travelling the globe, wearing skinny jeans, remodelling their houses and feeling fitter and healthier than they’ve ever been.
(rolls eyes) To think they can't figure out why everyone younger despises them. But why, when they are "redefining old age"? And, apparently, the concept of "doting".

At this point, you'd think they'd be getting embarrassed by their generational narcissism. The funny thing is that they are so self-absorbed that they don't even realize how ridiculous they are. I mean, did you see a single article about Generation X proclaiming "40 is the new 20"? For that matter, did you ever see a single article about Generation X turning any age at all?

Of course not. Because we're not a generation of attention-craving buffoons.


Sunday, June 25, 2017


An excerpt from QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted

Murder is the unlawful killing of a sentient corporeal being rated higher than 9 on the Takeno-Turing scale, with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by radiation, genetic manipulation, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any revolution, assassination, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture, is murder in the first degree and is strictly prohibited without the written consent of an appropriate authority. Any other murder is murder in the second degree.
—09 RCJ § 1111: Murder

“Chief Tower? Chief Graven Tower? Is that you?”

He could hear the incredulity in the detector’s voice as she addressed him and grinned to himself as he stood up from where he’d been attempting to examine some of the possible sight lines that Baby was displaying for him.

“None other.” He pretended not to know who it was. “Wait, I know that voice. Hildy, is that you?”

“None other. Now get your grubby mitts off my murder scene! I’m right over you.”

Tower craned his head upward. Sure enough, a black-and-white TPPD aerovar was descending slowly with its nose pointing north, having come from the opposite direction. “You got your zoom on if you can see my hands from up there.”

“Your augment sent me the uplink through Victor when I asked why there was a soldier boy crashing the scene.”

“So the kids are playing well together? Isn’t that nice. Get on down here and join the party. I think you’re going to like this one.”

“Not a jumper?”

“Not a jumper,” he confirmed. “Definitely not a jumper.”

“Well, where is the body? I don’t see a body. You didn’t do anything with my body, did you, Chief?”

Tower shook his head, and with some difficulty, managed to stifle the first three responses that sprang into his mind. Was she flirting with him? He was tempted to respond in kind, and he knew how unlikely it was that anyone downtown or at base was listening in, but regardless, they were being recorded and it was only two months since the last base-wide series of sexual harassment lectures.

He shuddered involuntarily. No woman, not even the lovely Detector Hildreth, was worth the interminable weeks of re-education that would follow an on-duty comment deemed improper by Bio Resources. The suspicious bureaucrats of BR were always on the alert, they liked nothing better than to get their hands on an officer, and they could always be relied upon to put the worst possible interpretation on even the most innocent remark.

“Not guilty, Detector.” He cursed himself for his cowardice and glanced into a window that was just clean enough to let him see his reflection. Thanks to the tac-jacket, he looked dangerous, maybe even dashing. Digging into his pocket, he found a breath-enhancement pill and popped it into his mouth. “Tower out.”

The signal clicked off. Tower swore it was an actual sound, but the techs told him he was over-imaginative. A moment later, the whine of the grav-plates on Detector Hildreth’s aerovar increased in pitch as she, or more likely, her augment parked it on the street, nose to nose with Tower’s own vehicle. Lacking the armor, the anti-personnel rockets, the Meteor air-to-air missiles, the 15mm gun ports under the stub-wing slots on either side, and the pair of Degroet Tactical M165-20 cannons in the nose, her black-and-white vehicle looked sleek and stylishly feminine in comparison with his more heavily armed, dark-grey machine.

“Well, Chief Tower, it seems we meet again. What brings MCID to this humble civilian crime scene?” Derin Hildreth, Hildy to her friends, colleagues, and one-time professional role-play team members, was a little shorter than Tower. She was pretty, slender, and athletic, and wore a thicker, sleeveless version of his tactical jacket. A standard department GHK slug-thrower rested in a brown leather holster that was slung low over her grey pants, and a yellow-triggered shocker that looked like a toy was attached to her belt on her right hip. Underneath the tactical vest she was wearing a white collared shirt. She had a small black satchel slung over one shoulder, and was using both hands to twist her medium-length blond hair back into a looped ponytail as she walked toward him.

“Would you believe an inter-subsector war looms on the horizon and solving this crime may help us stop it and save tens of millions of lives?”

“Not even a little bit,” she said with a grin. Then the amusement vanished from her face as she stared at the dark smear on the ground. “Oh, no. That’s from a military grade disintegrator. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it! Don’t tell me you guys have something that can pick up the discharge!”

Wow, she was quick. She was wrong, but she was quick.

“If we did, you know I can’t tell you.” Tower spread his hands. “And, just so you know, we usually refer to them as disruptors.”

She narrowed her eyes, which he couldn’t help notice were an attractively bright shade of green and glanced at his armored var. “Do you have it in there? Chief, if you have evidence that would help me ID the weapon, I would truly appreciate it. I really would.”

“She’s just shameless, isn’t she?” Baby practically hissed as Hildy patted his arm and started to slide past him. “What are you doing, Tower? Change the subject!”

She was right. He had to distract the detector and fast. Hildy was already making her way toward the driver-side door and he couldn’t remember if he’d locked it or not. Then she froze and cocked her head to one side. She was listening to her augment, he realized. Then she turned around to face him.

“Victor says there is a ninety-seven percent possibility that the vic was killed by a disintegrator given the chemical composition of the latent energy particles. Or rather, a disruptor, I should say.”

Tower tried to nod in a knowing manner, hoping that Hildy wouldn’t press him further about his nonexistent device.

Did you do that? he subvocalized, knowing that Baby could hear him.

“Yeah, I cycled it through the TPPD comm-int; her Victor has no idea where it came from. Those civilian intelligences are cretins.”

That’s my girl.

He glanced up and realized that Hildy had her hands on her hips and was asking him something.

“Did I smell anything when we got here? No, I didn’t, but I’ve seen that sort of thing before.” He indicated the crude body-shaped smear. “The Keleboshi had a few vehicle-mounted disruptors. They burned through too much energy to be relied upon in a firefight, and their power sources were too big to carry around without a gravsuit, but for a one-shot kill, a micro-disruptor is hard to beat if you can get close enough to your target.”

“You’re a combat vet?” She looked up at him with a speculative look on her face.

“I saw a bit of drama here and there. Among other things, I was with the security detail on Basattria.”

“Wow,” she said. Eleven years later, even civilians still remembered what went down at the consulate on that godforsaken planet. “Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time! I didn’t know there were any survivors.”

“A few of us got out. Not enough.” He shrugged and firmly kept his thoughts away from the one individual in particular who hadn’t. “The point is, we know what the weapon was, probably, but we don’t know why or even who, yet. And Baby tells me that based on what the witness says he didn’t see, the killer may have been cloaked.”

“Cloaked? That doesn’t sound like a run-of-the-mill mugger. Neither does a disruptor.” She took him by surprise when she raised her eyebrows and grinned hopefully. “I thought I heard a ‘we’ in there, Chief Tower. Would MCID be willing to assist on this one instead of taking over the investigation?”

“Oh, for the love of Our Father, Tower, are you really going to hold her hand on this one?”

Shut up, Baby. We could be dealing with pros here, maybe even spec-ops. It’s legitimate, you know TPPD isn’t equipped to handle spooks or soldiers. Just make the request.

He shrugged and feigned indifference. “We’ll see about that. Let’s find out who our vic was first.”

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Posterity: TK vs VD

As you probably know, my argument is that the Posterity for whom the Constitution is intended to defend the Blessings of Liberty consists solely of the genetic descendants of the People of the several and united States. Posterity does not include immigrants, descendants of immigrants, invaders, conquerers, tourists, students, Americans born in Portugal, or anyone else who happens to subsequently reside in the same geographic location, or share the same civic ideals, as the original We the People.

Tom Kratman, as part of his series on Civic Nationalism, took a very different stance in an essay entitled Ourselves and Our Posterity. He claims that in this particular case, "our posterity" means nothing more than "succeeding generations". Read the whole thing, it's not an incompetent case, merely an incorrect one. Not only that, but he also claims that the alternative definition to which I subscribe, "actual legal descendants and heirs", is "utter nonsense". He wrote:

I'm not sloppy Vox, you're just wrong, your genetically based posterity argument utter nonsense, start to finish.

He also added, rather confidently, that he can match me IQ point for IQ point.

Vox, since you set store by it, I can match you IQ point for IQ point. Yes, I can... Once again. you have a word in the preamble which doesn't carry it's own definition. The dictionaries of the day do not help you, because they use three definitions. Within the document, itself, you have clear, absolutely unambiguous evidence that they intended immigration and naturalization because they provided from immigrants to eventually, within their lifetimes, be able to hold any elective office in the land but one. You have the 1790 act, which is commentary on the intent, but not actually necessary because the constitution itself, as mentioned above, provides for the ability of naturalized citizens to become senators and reps. ANd then there is the problem of omission. I mentioned Hobbes in my first post in this thread. Why? I mentioned it because he had translated Thucydides 148 or so years before the revolution; they had that in their libraries, and so they knew about more restrictive - genetic posterity-based - rules for citizenship and neglected to use them. Would have been easy. Didn't bother. Did, once again, put in provisions for non-genetically based citizens in the highest office.

Now, I don't mind people calling me out. It adds a certain flavor to the discourse. The problem, however, is that one's ability to match me in the decathalon is irrelevant when the contest concerned is the 100-meter dash. This is particularly relevant if you happen to know that I can't pole vault over my own height. As I warned Tom, his case is an eminently reasonable one, but it is a purely logical argument of the sort preferred by lawyers, the very sort of argument that reliably fails when the relevant evidence is examined. As with many an economic model, Tom's case relies upon imputing a false rationality and coherence to the behavior of all-too-often irrational and self-contradictory human beings. I could come up with a dozen alternative explanations to his logical conundrum, but I won't bother, because I have a considerably more effective response to offer.

The question is this: how do we determine which of the three definitions of posterity should correctly apply to the term "posterity" as it is used in "ourselves and our posterity"? The answer, as I previously suggested, is straightforward. To understand how the term was meant to be understood in the Preamble, we must look at how the same people using it were using it in their other writings. Fortunately, there are more than a few mentions of "posterity" in both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers which are discussing the very constitution in question. There are seven instances in the Federalist Papers.
  1. To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness. (DEFINITION 3: future history)
  2. In framing a government for posterity as well as ourselves, we ought, in those provisions which are designed to be permanent, to calculate, not on temporary, but on permanent causes of expense. (DEFINITION 3: future history)
  3. This dependence, and the necessity of being bound himself, and his posterity, by the laws to which he gives his assent, are the true, and they are the strong chords of sympathy between the representative and the constituent. (DEFINITION 1: descendants)
  4. WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ORDAIN and ESTABLISH this Constitution for the United States of America. (TBD)
  5. No partial motive, no particular interest, no pride of opinion, no temporary passion or prejudice, will justify to himself, to his country, or to his posterity, an improper election of the part he is to act. (DEFINITION 1: descendants)
  6. …upon Congress, as they are now constituted; and either the machine, from the intrinsic feebleness of its structure, will moulder into pieces, in spite of our ill-judged efforts to prop it; or, by successive augmentations of its force an energy, as necessity might prompt, we shall finally accumulate, in a single body, all the most important prerogatives of sovereignty, and thus entail upon our posterity one of the most execrable forms of government that human infatuation ever contrived. (TBD)
  7. Whence could it have proceeded, that the Athenians, a people who would not suffer an army to be commanded by fewer than ten generals, and who required no other proof of danger to their liberties than the illustrious merit of a fellow-citizen, should consider one illustrious citizen as a more eligible depositary of the fortunes of themselves and their posterity, than a select body of citizens, from whose common deliberations more wisdom, as well as more safety, might have been expected? (DEFINITION 1: descendants)
Note that the distinction between "posterity", used in the sense of future history, and "his posterity" and "their posterity", used in the sense of direct genetic descendants. This suggests that "our posterity" is also meant to be understood in the case of the latter. Also note that none of the seven examples are clearly instances of Definition 2: succeeding generations with the possible exceptions of 2 and 6. But there is considerably more evidence to consider. Now let's turn to the Anti-Federalist Papers.
Read more »

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It occurs to me that we're going to need a new name for this debt-based economics that is gradually coming to the intellectual fore. And we're going to need an introductory book to it, given that Steve Keen's severing of the link between micro and macro renders almost completely irrelevant all those Robinson Crusoe stories meant to illuminate the first foundations of the microeconomy.

Everything you know about economics is wrong. Also, everything the professional economists know about economics is wrong.

That may sound arrogant. That may sound crazy. It is certainly a very strong statement. Nevertheless, it is true, because math does not lie.

You see, professional economists make one single very important assumption that underlies their entire profession. This one assumption underlies all of their models, all of their statistics, and all of their fundamental understanding of their studies of human action. They assume that demand is cumulative. What that means is that they assume your preferences, and my preferences, and everyone else's preferences, can be added together to make one giant set of preferences which can then be utilised in their calculations.

Or, to put it in a way that those of you with an economic background will recognize, they assume that all individual demand curves are a) stackable and b) follow the same downward-sloping trajectory.

As it happens, this is not true. What is more, this has been known to not be true since 1974.

Of course, it would be excessively brutal to follow that up by dropping the Sonnenschein–Mantel–Debreu theorem on them without warning and a considerable amount of explanation.

I have elected to call this debt-based economics "kraonomics", from the Greek χρέος, or chréos, which means "debt, duty, indebtedness". Why that particular spelling? For one, English-speakers will instinctively read the pronunciation correctly. For two, never use accents when you can avoid it. For three, as Psykosonik fans are aware, I always prefer using a "k" to a hard "c" or "ch". And for four, it suggests just a hint of the chaos theory that it almost certainly requires.

On a tangential note, I wonder how many people noticed perhaps the most intellectually exciting note of the recent Brainstorm with Steve Keen. The professor mentioned, almost off-hand, that he was currently reading the work of one Robert Prechter. It strikes me that whatever comes out of the meeting of those two brilliant minds is almost guaranteed to be significant, revolutionary, and mind-blowing.

Just for starters, it may well be that outstanding private debt is a more useful metric for measuring social mood than the stock markets.


Access journalism and fake news

The Zman explains the link between the two:
It has been thrown down the memory hole, but Jordan decided the way to help black sports reporters was to give them exclusive access and deny access to honkies. Guys like Ahmad Rashad and Michael Wilbon were given special access. This made their careers, but it also ushered in the era of access journalism. Players granted access to reporters who were willing to sing their praises in their columns and on TV shows.

Something similar happened around the same time in Washington politics. The Clinton machine was ruthless in controlling the media. They would shutout reporters that did not play ball. There’s always been some of this, as people are naturally going to be nice to those who are nice to them and not so nice to people they see as adversaries. The difference was, the Clinton team turned this into a formal policy and the Washington press corp went along with it. They liked being treated like players so they acted accordingly.

The Bush people could not play the same game, as the Washington media is universally liberal, but they did a little bit of it with operations like Fox and the talk radio guys. Rich Lowry of National Review remodeled the magazine to be a GOP mouth piece for exactly this reason. It gave them access to Republicans. The Weekly Standard largely existed as a public relations vehicle for the Bush family. Much of what has gone wrong with Buckley Conservatism is due to the perils of access journalism.

This is why we see the explosion of fake news. The NBA guys want access or at least the illusion of access. To that end, they tweet out rumors and fake news in the hope of getting a reply from an agent or front office guy. That way they can then shoot down their own rumor or fake news with an actual quote from a real person. “After talking with person X, I can now report that the rumor I reported is false.” Fake news about rumors produces gossip that is eventually addressed by a real person in the news.

That seems to be what’s going on Washington with all the fake news. No one in the Washington media bothered to develop contacts in the Trump team. Instead, they mocked and harassed them through the campaign, figuring they were currying favor with the Clinton people. Now, they have no access so they create fake stories hoping to get a response from the Trump people. In lieu of real reporting, it is provocative fake reporting in the hope of gaining access to real people in the Trump White House.
This is all pretty much news to me, but it's as explanatory as anything else I've heard suggested. Personally, I find it a little strange that Fake News has exploded at the very time that it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

The cost of virtue signaling

Some people were feeling sorry for a musician who had a $6k guitar destroyed. Then they found out what happened:
For those of you who do not know we took in 4 Dominican Republic students for the summer. We went through the Houston Embassy and United Travel out of San Marcos Texas. That is who we believe did all this damage to our personal property. With that being said here are the accounts of what happened the last few days........We called the police after finding quite a bit vandalism damage to the interior of our house. In our front foyer we noticed all of our eyes blackened out in our family picture wall to include our 4 children by a permanent marker symbolizing a voodoo curse put upon our home and children.

Next was a precious moments preacher collectable taken from the back of the curio cabinet collection of about 150 figurines with its head ripped off and purposely set in plain sight on the kitchen table for all to see. Only one was pulled out and had its head ripped out.."The Preacher". The only religious figurine in the bunch.

Next was our cabinet door in the kitchen ripped out from the wall. Digging further the washer was marked up with permanent marker. We then noticed permanent marker scribbled on the outside of my acoustic guitar. We then opened the case and found my most precious thing that i own. My limited edition signature cut- away Doyle Dykes Taylor was smashed and put back in its place very meticulously. At the time of the police interview in our house. The police stated he felt all of the boys were being deceitful. Their stories were not matching up.

In conclusion prior discussions with the boys on there rent being too high for them and all of there other friends are paying $325 a month. They wanted their rent reduced to what their friends were paying. I did not move on the rent discussion but i did reduce to paying for their laundry down to zero. Again they stated all of there friends are getting laundry included in there rent of $325.

As far as we are concerned they can leave or transfer to another location at their own expense. No money will be returned to any of them. One of them or all of them vandalized my house. They all deny it!!...i blame them all and no one gets any money back or any of their deposit. We prefer they get out asap at their own expense. If they do not leave i will file in court on Monday an "Emergency Exparte" to have them physically taken out of our home by police force siting we are in fear for our safety and our children's safety.
Reality will always eventually intrude, no matter how firmly you are determined to believe in unicorns. Or equality.

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They broke their oaths

Oathkeepers are no more keeping their oaths to defend the American Constitution and thereby secure the Blessings of Liberty to the posterity of the People of the United States than conservatives have conserved anything.
Rich @itswildrich
White Nationalism - the radically "racist" idea that Whites have a right to preserve their homelands and culture. Just like everybody else.

Oath Keepers‏ @Oathkeepers
That is NOT what white nationalism is all about. They advocate 'saving' their race at expense of harming innocents; i.e. anyone not white.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday  now
Why do you support the elimination of American posterity? A nation is a people, not borders or an idea. You have failed your oaths.
They have broken their oaths. They are rightly dismissed with contempt as "Oathcuckers". They may not like to hear that, but it is obvious to anyone who understands the purpose of the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Posterity is not an idea. Posterity is not geography. Posterity is not paperwork. Posterity is descendance and DNA. Far too many U.S. citizens today are no more the posterity of We the People than they are of the Iroquois, the Cherokee, or the Mohicans, whose ancestral lands they now inhabit.

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A dangerous game in Syria

Fortunately, the Russians aren't biting as the US attempts to slow down the Syrian army's destruction of ISIS and reclamation of its territory. The Saker explains the dynamic.
The dynamic in Syria is not fundamentally different from the dynamic in the Ukraine: the Neocons know that they have failed to achieve their primary objective: to control the entire country. They also know that their various related financial schemes have collapsed. Finally, they are fully aware that they owe this defeat to Russia and, especially, to Vladimir Putin. So they fell back on plan B. Plan B is almost as good as Plan A (full control) because Plan B has much wider consequences. Plan B is also very simple: trigger a major crisis with Russia but stay short from a full-scale war. Ideally, Plan B should revolve around a “firm” “reaction” to the Russian “aggression” and a “defense” of the US “allies” in the region. In practical terms this simply means: get the Russians to openly send forces into Novorussia or get the Russians to take military actions against the US or its allies in Syria. Once you get this you can easily see that the latest us attacks in Syria have a minor local purpose – to scare or slow down the Syrians- and a major global purpose – to bait the Russians into using forces against the US or an ally. It bears repeating here that what the Neocons really want is what I call a “tepid” war with Russia: an escalation of tensions to levels not even seen during the Cold War, but not a full-scale “hot” WWIII either. A tepid war would finally re-grant NATO at least some kind of purpose (to protect “our European friends and allies” from the “Russian threat”): the already terminally spineless EU politicians would all be brought into an even more advanced state of subservience, the military budgets would go even higher and Trump would be able to say that he made “America” “great” again. And, who knows, maybe the Russian people would *finally* rise against Putin, you never know! (They wouldn’t – but the Neocons have never been deterred from their goofy theories by such minor and altogether irrelevant things as facts or logic).

Does the Russian strategy work?

To reply to this, don’t look at what the Russians do or do not do in the immediate aftermath of a US provocation. Take a higher level look and just see what happens in the mid to long term. Just like in a game of chess, taking the Gambit is not always the correct strategy.

I submit that to evaluate whether Putin’s policies are effective or not, to see whether he has “sold out” or “caved in” you need to, for example, look at the situation in Syria (or the Ukraine, for that matter) as it was 2 years ago and then compare with what it is today. Or, alternatively, look at the situation as it is today and come back to re-visit it in 6 months.

One huge difference between the western culture and the way the Russians (or the Chinese for that matter) look at geostrategy is that westerners always look at everything in the short term and tactical level. This is basically the single main reason why both Napoleon and Hitler lost their wars against Russia: an almost exclusive focus on the short term and tactical. In contrast, the Russians are the undisputed masters of operational art (in a purely military sense) and, just like the Chinese, they tend to always keep their eyes on the long-term horizon. Just look at the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24: everybody bemoaned the lack of “forceful” reaction from Moscow. And then, six months later – what do we have? Exactly.

The modern western culture is centered on various forms of instant gratification, and that is also true for geopolitics. If the other guy does something, western leaders always deliver a “firm” response. They like to “send messages” and they firmly believe that doing something, no matter how symbolic, is better than even the appearance of doing nothing. As for the appearance of doing nothing, it is universally interpreted as a sign of weakness. Russians don’t think that way. They don’t care about instant gratification, they care only about one thing: victory. And if that means to look weak, that is fine. From a Russian perspective, sending “messages” or taking symbolic actions (like all 4 of the recent US attacks in Syria) are not signs of strength, but signs of weakness. Generally, the Russians don’t like to use force which they consider inherently dangerous. But when they do, they never threaten or warn, they take immediate and pragmatic (non-symbolic) action which gets them closer to a specific goal.
It's rather fascinating how the Russians, rather like George Washington, keep "losing" the direct engagements, but somehow end up in the superior position a month or two later. But that's why strategy and operations matter more than tactical brilliance.


Those talented immigrants

No doubt it's just their unique South Asian set of skills that accounts for this suspicious statistical anomaly.
Infosys, the India-based information technology consulting firm with an office in Plano, is facing yet another reverse discrimination lawsuit asserting that it creates a hostile work environment for workers who are not from India or South Asia.

Erin Green, a former supervisor at Infosys, filed suit this week in the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman, alleging that he and black and white staffers on his team were denied raises and promotions, and that other "non-South Asian" workers were berated by South Asian company officials.... In filing suit, Green joined a list of Infosys job applicants and employees who have filed suit in courts in several U.S. jurisdictions arguing reverse discrimination.

"Infosys maintains [more than 20,000] employees working in the United States," Green's suit said. While less than 5 percent of the U. S. population is of the South Asian race and national origin, roughly 93 percent to 94 percent of Infosys's United States workforce "is of the South Asian national origin, (primarily Indian)."

"This disproportionately South Asian and Indian workforce, by race and national origin, is a result of Infosys's intentional employment discrimination against individuals who are not South Asian, including discrimination in the hiring, promotion, compensation and termination of individuals," the suit said.
It's all about identity now. It's about time whites started playing according to the replacement rules created by the Jews, Italians, and Irish. The days of the old "give it your best shot, Eddie, and may the best man win" have been over since 1965. The USA is no longer an American nation-state, so the only question that matters is "is it good for the whites".

Or, in this case, Indians.

Realistically, 93 to 94 percent of Infosys's employees should be repatriated. Because not good for the whites.

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Friday, June 23, 2017


An excerpt from John C. Wright's latest, Moth & Cobweb Book 5.

Wilcolac spoke in a soft voice, but made each word heavy with emphasis. “We have gathered certain scattered fragments of lore from the one place whence elfin lords never sought to remove it. In the Night World, which is their own, they can find and quell all who might know or guess their secret weakness. We of the Twilight World all vow when we come of age unbreakable oaths, intertwined with runes and curses, never to rebel. But among men, aha! In the Daylit World, the King of Shadows would never suspect the humans retain in rituals and rhymes, in old toasts or old place names, the clues of hidden things the men themselves no longer know!”

Gilberec moved restlessly. Matthias yet again raised his hand, but now Wilcolac spoke. “Your friend, my dear young man of the cloth, seems to be bursting to say something you don’t want him to say. Let us hear it.”

Gilberec said, “We come in Arthur’s name. In whose name do you speak?”

Wilcolac said, “There are those among the Cobwebs who are dissatisfied with the sneers and jeers of elfin lords and the sly looks of their ladies. The elfin blood is pure, their lives are long, and their magic is by nature what we half-breeds can only learn by art or by the crafting of bad bargains with dreadful entities. Their overthrow would please us. Do you support their reign?”

Matthias said wearily, “No one is going to give you a straight answer, Gil, not anyone who knows you are a living lie detector. You are wasting time.”

Gilberec said to him, “I would rather know for sure that he will not be straight with us than to suppose he won’t, without giving him a chance.”

Wilcolac raised both eyebrows. “Giving me a chance…? Your cross-examination is allegedly for my benefit…? I am not willing to say who my principals are. They are not sure whom to trust. That is why they come through me: the Cobbler’s Club is a bit like Switzerland. I have to be careful. If I even appeared to take sides, I would be ruined.”

Gilberec said, “There could be a simpler reason why you know how to break an elfish spell than all this talk of scattered books and Eskimo wizards.”

“And what might that reason be?” asked Wilcolac, assuming an innocent stare.

“You are an Anarchist. Do you deny it?”

Wilcolac took a moment to trim his cigar with a silver knife. He lit it with a spark of flame that seemed to come from the thumb of his white kid-leather glove. “A strange accusation. Here in my club, from time to time, I deal with parties on the wrong side of the law. I hear rumors of a Supreme Council of Anarchists. The oath we all swore to the elfs for some reason does not bind them. They use their supernatural powers to ruin all the institutions the elfs have erected among men as reins and chains, as hoods and horseblinkers. The Anarchists are said to have eyes everywhere, fingers in every pie, to control railways, shipyards, banks, communication nodes, and computer networks. They are said to be behind all the dark deeds that prevent the elfs from enjoying in peace their utter victory over men. But I hear rumors saying the opposite, that the Anarchists are mere agitators or died in the Great War. Supposing they were real: why would I serve them? Anarchy is bad for business.”

“That is not a denial,” Gilberec said to Wilcolac. To Matthias he said, “Come on. Let’s go. This is pointless.”

Yumiko had been listening very intently, glad that no one was looking at her.

But just then she shivered and glanced down. The collie dog had finished his caviar snack and laid himself down at the foot of Gilberec’s chair, placing his furry head on the carpet between his paws so that his bright eyes were staring straight at her.

When Gil stood up, the dog growled and coughed and made a slight sniffing noise. Gilberec turned his head, saw her in her scanty, snug costume, but this time, instead of averting his eyes, he looked at her face. A thoughtful frown creased his brow.

Wilcolac said wryly to Matthias, “At this point in the good-cop, bad-cop routine, you, as the boy good-cop, are supposed to restrain your hotheaded friend to sit again, and this will make me eager to show my cards.”

Matthias smiled and scooped up some caviar on a cracker. “I wish we were that organized. The Swan Knight is no hothead. He is slow to anger, but once he is angry, he is slow to forgive. He feels about truth the way I feel about forgiveness. Guilt and fear and hate tie men to their sins with heavy chains and long so that when they die, their tormented spirits remain on earth, haunting the scenes of their crimes. Without forgiveness, how can they be set free to go onward to their reward? So I have no qualms about entering the house of a Necromancer. You have more need of my services than any!”

Wilcolac said sharply, “What does that mean?”

“I saw a Jack-o’-Lantern in an upper window when I entered this house and smelled the spoor of many hounds. You flay the flesh of men for the benefit of wolves and expose the flesh of women for the benefit of men. Do you think I do not know who you are? What you do here?”

Wilcolac squinted at the young novice, and a look of true hatred appeared, if only for a moment, in his eye. “I think an innocent soul like yours cannot imagine the vices I sell, not even in your most sordid nightmares, little boy.”

Matthias smiled, but his eyes were sad. “You forget. Saint Jean Baptiste is only two streets away. Your patrons come to our confessional booth. My master has heard confessed every detail of all the sins you encourage. But they have been washed away, removed entirely from the dreadful scroll no man can read. I am familiar with your works and your ways, and familiar with how to undo them. You are bold indeed to invite me into your house. Unlike my knightly friend, my weapons are spiritual and cannot be bound in their scabbards. No do my weapons know any truce, nor rest.”

Wilcolac’s fingers tightened on his walking stick, but he said nothing.

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Castalia Book Club

We're in the process of transforming the New Release mailing list into the Castalia Book Club.

Join the Castalia Book Club

Every month, we send out two or three emails announcing our new hardcovers, paperbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks. We also announce and give away books that are published by bestselling independent authors who have proven to be friends and allies of the Revolution in Literature.

And with almost every email, we include an offer to download a free ebook. Sometimes it is offered as a reward for buying the new release, sometimes it's just our way of thanking you for your support of Castalia House.

This summer, we will be publishing books by Martin van Creveld, Rod Walker, John C. Wright, Jerry Pournelle, Lawdog, Vox Day, Moira Greyland, Peter Grant and other Castalia House authors. We will also be giving away books by Nick Cole, Jason Anspach, and other excellent independent authors as well as books from our own catalog.

If you join the Castalia Book Club this weekend, we will send you a welcome email on Monday along with two free books, The Missionaries by Owen Stanley and There Will Be War Vol. X by Jerry Pournelle. And you'll be on the list for our next Castalia Book Club email, which is expected to go out on Thursday next week.

Later this summer, we will launch Castalia Book Club as a regular show on Gab TV. New Release subscribers - those who are already on the mailing list - please note that you are already Castalia Book Club members and should not sign up again.

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Anti-white hate crime

Trump supporter stabbed nine times in California:
The pro-Trump supporter Tony Forman was right in the middle of a recent protest in Cathay where emotions ran hot over the sanctuary city controversy, but nothing like the violence that's left Foreman now fighting for his life.

"This was politically motivated. That's a concern because he is a good friend of mine," Omar Navarro said. "I'm just really shocked someone would do this. What happened to free speech?"

Navarro is running to unseat the long time Democrat Maxine Waters in the 43rd District of the U.S. Congress, and there are also accusations coming from others.

The stabbing attack on Foreman is a hate crime because of his outspoken support for President Trump and the conservative agenda. "We don't know if it is politically motivated or racially motivated, but we do know there were some racial slurs for him being white that were said to him," Tim Gionet, a friend of Foreman, said.

Santa Monica police did not mention a politically motivated crime, only confirming they arrested  two suspects.
As I have pointed out in recent darkstreams, it is time to take your own rhetoric seriously. This is a cultural cold war that is in the process of turning hot. Prepare accordingly. If you're going to take part in protests and public events, be equipped and prepared for the possibility of violence and don't operate under the mistaken impression that the police are going to somehow magically protect you.

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Portrait of a bad shoot

The police have simply got to learn that if they refuse to punish their own when officers cross the line, good cops are going to become reprisal targets. This killer ex-officer's excuse is almost unbelievable:
The recently acquitted cop who killed legal gun owner Philando Castile at a Minnesota traffic stop last summer claimed a whiff of pot made him fear for his life.

Former Officer Jeronimo Yanez told investigators a day after the fatal July 6 shooting that he was “hit with a odor of burning marijuana” after he pulled over Castile, his girlfriend and her then-four-year-old daughter — an alleged smell he used in justifying why he’d put seven bullets in the St. Paul man.

“I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me,” Yanez told the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
So now smelling like a pot smoker is sufficient legal justification for a cop to kill you? It's pretty difficult to generate sympathy for the murderous Black Lives Matter movement, but between the corrupt legal system that magically excuses bad shoots like this and entitled idiots like this now-former police officer digging the hole deeper, that's exactly what they're doing.

Police must be held to a higher standard by the law, not so much to protect the public as to protect the police themselves as well as their standing with the public. A decline in discipline and accountability has never generated increased respect for the members of any organization.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Open Brainstorm with Steve Keen

Last night, we held a Brainstorm with Steve Keen and discussed his new book, Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? And his answer was clear: that depends upon what you mean by "we", kemosabe. TL;DR: in a global context, no, we cannot avoid it, but it should be about half as bad as 2008. And we'll probably get 6-12 months of warning from his model.

As usual, Professor Keen was brilliant, informative, and entertaining. And now that he's embarked on a paper relating to David Ricardo and free trade, I don't think he'll object to me posting the email he sent me a few months ago when I asked him about the implications for free trade of the demand-based break between micro and macro caused by the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu theorem. Or, as I memorably renamed it last night, Sonnensomething-Niederbopp-Whatever.
In this context the key point of the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu theorem is not the failure to derive a demand curve, but the inability to represent the interests of everyone in a single country using a “Community Indifference Curve”, which is an essential part of the Hecksher-Ohlin model of free trade, which has of course supplanted Ricardo’s original model.

Samuelson’s defence of doing so is frankly comical, and also highlights one of the two key weaknesses of the model: it only works if income or wealth is compulsorily redistributed to equalise the “ethical worth” of every dollar earned/possessed, and he thought this was a reasonable assumption. From "Social Indifference Curves", Paul Samuelson, 1956
  1. It is shown that the various defenses which have been offered for the use of community indifference curves are all open to some serious questioning.
  2. The Scitovsky community indifference contours are shown to be "minimum social requirements" contours of total goods needed to achieve a certain prescribed level of ordinal well-being for all. The dual properties of the Figures Ia and Ib, relating points in the commodity and ordinal-utility spaces, are demonstrated.
  3. By means of mathematical reasoning or by the demonstration of intersections of Scitovsky contours, a fundamental impossibility theorem is proved: Except where income elasticities are all unity and tastes are absolutely uniform for all, it is proved to be absolutely impossible to solve for unique market price ratios in function of market totals; hence, we must lack collective indifference curves capable of generating group demand.
  4. All this is shown to entail the nonoptimality of any shibboleth rule which once and for all and independently of changes in technology and taste data predetermines the initial distribution of income or endowments.
  5. Since most "individual" demand is really "family" demand, the argument can be made that such family demands have been shown to have none of the nice properties of modern consumption theory. However, if within the family there can be assumed to take place an optimal reallocation of income so as to keep each member's dollar expenditure of equal ethical worth, then there can be derived for the whole family a set of well-behaved indifference contours relating the totals of what it consumes: the family can be said to act as if it maximizes such a group preference function.
  6. The same argument will apply to all of society if optimal reallocations of income can be assumed to keep the ethical worth of each person's marginal dollar equal. By means of Hicks's composite commodity theorem and by other considerations, a rigorous proof is given that the newly defined social or community indifference contours have the regularity properties of ordinary individual preference contours (nonintersection, convexity to the origin, etc.).
This is the key problem from the demand side: free trade is only universally of benefit to a given nation if the gains are shared; this requires redistribution mechanisms in addition to the market, which both don’t exist, and contradict the model of free competition if they were to be implemented.

The key problem for the supply side is easily stated: How do you turn a wine press into a spinning jenny (to use Ricardo’s examples). The standard model assumes the costless reallocation of capital between industries in response to a change in relative prices caused by reducing tariffs. But this is impossible. Capital is physical and attuned to specific industries. Free trade therefore makes obsolete some capital in a protected industry, while making that in a benefited industry more expensive, but not more productive.

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Five years? Make it permanent

No welfare for immigrants
President Trump announced Wednesday night that he will soon ask Congress to pass legislation banning immigrants from accessing public assistance within five years of entering the U.S.

“The time has come for new immigration rules that say ... those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years," Trump told a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa.

Trump's proposal would build on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which allows federal authorities to deport immigrants who become public dependents within five years of their arrival. Many of that law’s provisions were rolled back during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, but Trump's proposal would make more categories of federal benefits off-limits to immigrants.
All categories of federal benefits should be off-limits to immigrants.


From Dusk Till Dawn

First time for that song live. Quasi-live, anyhow. I was wondering how they were ever going to perform it when it didn't appear in either Tokyo Dome set, but a backing digital track was really the only way that made sense given all the heavy processing involved. This is what the song actually sounds like. Anyhow, if you're in Mountain View, you may be able to catch them tonight at the Shoreline Ampitheatre. In my experience, it's a concert well worth seeing, even in these smaller venues.

Then again, one of my favorite moments from the Tokyo Dome shows is the first time the girls come down to the stage from the giant tower on the opening Red Night, see that there are 55,000 rabid fans surrounding them, and Yui and Su exchange a great "can you believe this?" look.


Mailvox: nationalism and the Church

A Christian sent this to his naturalized, Canadian-born anti-nationalist pastor. It's interesting how often those who deny identity nevertheless exhibit it in their ideology, and how observably dishonest they are every step along their broad and easy stroll towards worldy approval.

I was moved to provide some response to this Sunday's sermon on America, patriotism, and nationalism.  I'll just go through the line items:

The referenced survey of pastors was based on perceptions of the pastors, of congregants, rather than asking congregants directly about their attitudes.  One could draw generalized perceptions regarding any aspect of people's lives: sports, hobbies, money, work, etc.  The survey is a questionable gage of the real spiritual situation, in my own opinion.

We honor our veterans on Memorial Day and celebrate the country we were blessed with because we are grateful for the freedom we have to worship - which is not available to most of the world.  Veterans have put their very own lives on the line defending it.  This is not true of doctors, teachers, etc.  But it's a stretch to equate this to idol worship.  This is generally only done a few select holidays a year, not every Sunday.  

When Paul says he counts his other identities as nothing compared to his belonging to Christ, there's a rhetorical element to what he is saying.  It doesn't mean that he no longer has responsibilities to his family or his society, as a father, or a citizen, etc.  Are we to argue that all other civic bonds, associations, loyalties should be thrown out as a result of being a Christian - or are they just simply subservient to our Christian ones?

"Love your neighbor as yourself" - who IS your neighbor?  Are you certain of just who Jesus defines to be our "neighbor"?  If everyone is my neighbor, than no one is my neighbor, in the same way that loyalty to everyone is loyalty to no one.

To say that we have more unity with an Ethiopian christian, than say, a biological/ethnic kinsman who is an unbeliever is certainly true in the spiritual sense.  But it stretches credulity when taken to its absolute logical conclusion in an earthly practical sense.

Timothy 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and specifically for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever"

You state that nationalism means "thinking you're superior to others".  This is a mischaracterization if not a demonization of the term.  Nationalism simply means taking care of your own as an extension of Timothy 5:8.  Nations are, by the Bible's own portrayal, extended genetic families, just like Israel. He Himself ordained them when he scattered and divided humanity at Babel.

To do away with this concept may suggest that I'm not supposed to care about my child any more than I should care about any random person anywhere on earth.  Do you believe that?  If not, where is the dividing line?

On "America First": It's a political term to urge our leaders to make trade deals, treaties, etc. that are in the best interest of the citizens of our country. I would expect that Canadian citizens should say "Canada first," Moroccan citizens "Morocco first," etc.

Americans give more to foreign charitable aid efforts worldwide than any other country, yet we have people suffering materially and spiritually in our own country.  Would you care for your own suffering child first - or seek out someone else's child?  How can we successfully help others if our own foundation has crumbled?

We live in a time where global capitalism is spawning runaway materialism, degeneracy is cultivated by curated mass-media pop culture, and Christian societies are being atomized through mass immigration and urbanization.  It's interesting to me that with all of these things the church could be addressing, you attack the natural defense mechanisms against these very things.  It is because we are Christians, that we care about addressing these things not just spiritually, but also materially through political action.

Re Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr: Our spiritual leaders should be speaking out about the direction the country should be going - social issues, etc. One of the reasons we're in the mess we're in is because they have not!  Most of them have instead chosen to bite their tongue, or water down their messages, and market their church with graphic art and praise bands, failing in their primary duty to steer our society away from its ongoing decay, by promoting both the sufficiency of the Gospel and Truth.

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Destroying mosques over there

While they build them over here. The Great Mosque of al-Nuri is no more.
The United States and Iraq said ISIS blew up a historic mosque in Mosul that was the ideological heart of the terror group and the birthplace of its self-declared caliphate. ISIS, through its news agency, said US warplanes were responsible for the loss late Wednesday of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its leaning minaret.

US officials told CNN the ISIS claim was "1,000% false." Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the ISIS act amounts to "an official announcement of their defeat." His military commanders said militants blew the mosque up after troops closed in.
I don't really care who destroyed the Great Mosque of al-Nuri. What I would like to know is why the West's military forces are destroying mosques over there, where they belong, and not over here, where they do not. And even from the Muslim perspective, is an ugly community center building in London or Toronto really much of a substitute for a historic 800-year-old structure?

The only real question is if "backwards" or "retarded" is the more appropriate term for the West's current military response to the third great wave of Islamic expansion. And here is a question: if ISIS shows so little respect for the architectural history and traditions of Islamic culture, why do you think its enthusiasts will show any more for the architectural history and traditions of the West?

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CITY OF CORPSES by John C. Wright

Yumiko Moth has discovered her name, but she still does not know who, or what, she is. What she has learned is that her mother is dead, her master has disowned her, and her beloved has vanished. And she also knows that the Day world is a very dangerous place for a Twilight girl, especially when the dark forces of Night are hunting her.

To discover the truth she seeks, she must infiltrate the enemy's citadel. In New York City, that is The Cobbler's Club, home to the world-famous Peach Cobbler Girls. But how can a girl who stalks the shadows hide herself in the bright lights of the stage? CITY OF CORPSES is the fifth book of MOTH & COBWEB, an astonishingly inventive series about magical worlds of Day, Night, and Twilight by John C. Wright.

John C. Wright is one of the living grandmasters of science fiction and the author of THE GOLDEN AGE, AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND, and IRON CHAMBER OF MEMORY, to name just three of his exceptional books. He has been nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and his novel SOMEWHITHER won the 2016 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel at Dragoncon.

CITY OF CORPSES is available from Amazon and from the Castalia House bookstore. Reviews of the first five books of the MOTH & COBWEB series:
  1. Coming of age story written by of one of the greatest wordsmiths of our times. It is a story of a young man who doesn't fit into society because he is morally upright for the decadence that infests modern society. The young man, who will being morally upright isn't the most introspective fellow or overtly gifted with prudence, follows his path to squirehood and my what a road it is. 
  2. Outstanding! I really don't know how else to characterize it besides simply outstanding! I enjoyed Swan Knight's Son, devoured it in fact, but this one transported me in a way I haven't been since I was a boy and could read a new book every weekend. The setting is feels like all the best parts of Tolkien, with that same depth lent to it by its roots in classical and Christian lore. The story is, as always, deeply moving and wonderfully worded and paced. I am not being hyperbolic when I say that The Green Knight's Squire is shaping up into one of those series a boy could read and find that it deeply shaped his life for years to come.
  3. An excellent book, and worthy sequel to both Swan Knight's Son and especially Feast of Elfs. Mr. Wright continues to amaze with his command of the Western canon and English language, to say nothing of his superlative storytelling. These are books I wish I'd had growing up, and find the wonder diminished not at all by reading them as an adult.
  4. Another must-read from John C. Wright. I didn't know where Wright was going with his "Moth and Cobweb" series, but now I think I have a clue: Perpendicular. As in, still connected but shooting off 90 degrees. With a new female protagonist, a new mystery, new discoveries and new challenges, Daughter of Danger has enough in common with books 1-3 to hook you in, and then goes on it's own storyline. If you're familiar with Wright's style of writing, you'll be pleased to know that he hasn't lost a single bit of talent.
  5. Wright again does an excellent job of incorporating the medieval understanding of the "elfs", presenting their perspective as something alien to humanity: glorious and mighty, but also cold and cruel and haughty. The Christian symbolism he includes is strange to modern ears, but wrapping it in the spy-action story helps to draw the modern reader in to introduce him to a style and focus once more common in the best literature.... Overall, I enjoyed this book (and its predecessor) a great deal and indeed prefer this cycle to the first three books in the series. Wright keeps getting better!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Steve Keen on Brainstorm

We're doing an Open Brainstorm with economist Steve Keen tomorrow night, June 22nd, at 7 PM to discuss his new book. Clear your schedules if you're interested. I'll be sending out the invites to the Brainstorm members later just to make sure no one fails to hear about it.

To sign up for this free online event, please do so here.


Detroit cop stabbing

Feds looking into Flint airport stabbing as 'possible act of terrorism'. Canadian born suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar".

Police say an airport officer was stabbed in the neck Wednesday morning at Bishop International Airport in Flint. The officer was taken to the hospital. Michigan State Police said the officer is in critical condition. Police identified the injured officer as Lt. Jeff Neville. Bishop International Airport was evacuated and is closed.

No doubt the policeman will be relieved to be reminded that Islam is a religion of peace and Jihad means an internal struggle. Remember, cops being stabbed by Muslims only makes us stronger. And immigrants who live off government handouts and shut down airports are good for the economy.

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The Wikipedia of the Alt-Right

Wired acknowledges the existence of Infogalactic:
Vox Day thinks that Wikipedia is the worst. But the things that bug him aren’t the typical complaints you’ll hear about the crowd-sourced encyclopedia—that it’s plagued by trolls, say, or that its pages on Pokémon lore are overly comprehensive.

Day is bothered because he believes that Wikipedia is a Democratic tool, run “by the left-wing thought police who administer it,” he tells me over email. Yet the millions of articles and stubs that make up the end product are used as fact. And that makes the science fiction writer and alt-right personality, who uses Vox Day as his pen name, angry.

So last fall, in the midst of a public debate about what, exactly, constitutes a fact, Day decided it was time to do something about the Wikipedia problem. He chose to launch his own version of it. He made a copy of the entire site and invited his followers to start rewriting its pages. “Wikipedia was the easiest and the most important of the social justice-converged social media giants to replace,” Day told me.

That site, Infogalactic, is made with Wikipedia’s MediaWiki software—so by design it looks a lot like Wikipedia. At first glance, so does its content. On the homepage is a featured article about peregrine falcons; a highlighted image of a Botticelli masterwork, housed in the Uffizi in Florence, is featured underneath.

But break into some of the more contentious topics and differences begin to emerge. On Infogalactic, Mike Cernovich is a respected bestselling author, “independent journalist,” “writer, attorney, and documentary filmmaker.” On Wikipedia, the Twitter pundit is a “social media personality, writer, and conspiracy theorist.”

The idea is that a stringent, Trump-supporting member of the alt-right shouldn’t have to read the same ideas as a Marxist, or a bleeding-heart college professor. (Day initially considered the tagline, "your universe, your view.”) But Infogalactic is only one of a number of crowdsourced encyclopedias tailored to various conservative factions....

On their own, none of these sites draws a huge audience. According to Alexa’s traffic rankings, Conservapedia is the 18,066th most popular site in the US. Infogalactic clocks in at 14,710. Wikipedia, by comparison, ranks fifth. But since last fall—just as the notion of alternative facts gained cultural primacy—such sites have seen a clear rise in traffic and interest.
Not bad, all things considered. I wouldn't say the thought policing at Wikipedia makes me angry, but that's pretty mild as the disqualify-and-discredit game goes. The reporter actually appears to recognize that there is a market for Infogalactic, he's just not sure about the extent of its appeal; there are no gotchas or kill quotes, just an accurate presentation of the current facts. And while it would have been nice if they'd mentioned our perspective filters and other plans for Phase Two, we don't have them up and running yet and so it's entirely fair to leave them out.

I'm just pleased to be informed that in less than nine months, Infogalactic has already surpassed Conservapedia. And if you want to help Infogalactic continue to grow, please support it by joining the Burn Unit and signing up for a monthly donation.

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SJWs claim a tech scalp

Rest assured, they wanted this one badly:
Travis Kalanick is stepping down from his post as CEO of Uber, effective immediately.

Kalanick’s exit came after a shareholder revolt reportedly made it untenable for him to stay at the company he founded in 2009. Investors called for the change in leadership in a letter that was delivered to Kalanick in Chicago and obtained by Times reporter Mike Isaac.

The news was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by TechCrunch.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Kalanick said in a statement to the Times.

He will remain on Uber’s board of directors. In a statement to TechCrunch, the board called Kalanick’s decision “a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.”
There is always more to this sort of thing than meets the eye. Any CEO who professes love for The Fountainhead and served on Trump's advisory council was always going to be an SJW target in Silicon Valley. Watch as Uber will be praised for its newfound professionalism even as it begins to be converged.

Kalanick's mistake was when he signaled that he was a pushover. The key paragraph:

Kalanick pledged to clean up the company culture in response. He asked former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead an inquiry, and got former Huffington Post editor-in-chief (and Uber board member) Arianna Huffington to pitch in.

Once they know you'll give in to pressure, you will never stop feeling it.

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The God-Emperor wins again

Funny, is it not, that Donald Trump keeps winning these "national referendums" on his presidency, even when the media's polls predict otherwise.
Republican Karen Handel won the special congressional election in Georgia on Tuesday, fending off a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff in the heavily Republican House district.

Handel’s victory in the closely fought contest, which drew national interest and was the most expensive House race ever at over $50 million spent by both sides, comes as good news for President Donald Trump. Democrats had promoted the contest as a referendum on the president.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Handel leads Ossoff 53 percent to 47 percent in a race that many expected to be much closer. Handel had 127,021 votes to the Democrat's 114,390 ballots.
The thing is, even if Ossoff had won, that would have changed precisely nothing, except the media would be crowing rather than falling into a surly silence. Except that we would not have further proof that the media's polls are reliably unreliable and we're back to the old days of needing to reweight their reports four or five points in the Republican's direction to predict the result.

Tired? Or still not tired?

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apparently you are amused

Troll not the Dark Lord:
Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
"Theories of solving the problems of blacks and Hispanics by diluting their troubles in the great mass of white children are out of date."
- Steve Sailer

Sean‏ @SeanJuanDaDo
My sister is a white Muslim convert married to a genuinely nice African guy and I am alt-right. What do I do?

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Wish them well on their return to Africa.

Sean‏ @SeanJuanDaDon
Oh geez. Vox's alt-right army is loving this one.


Media Con #2

Philadelphia Magazine is running Media Con #2 on Jack Posobiec: I just want to give you the chance to tell your side of the story.

Here is hoping Jack has the sense to simply tell them no. Or, I expect, we'll soon have a fourth illustration in why you Don't Talk To The Media.


DTTTM: Gavin Mcinnes edition

Gavin McInnes‏ @Gavin_McInnes
I was wrong about @andrewmarantz. He's a propagandist just like the rest of them. No more talking to liberal media #ProudBoys

They are all. It's an act. They usually run one of three cons on you:
  1. I'm a big fan.
  2. I just want to give you the chance to tell your side of the story.
  3. Can you educate me on this thing I don't know about?
They will be your best friend, contacting you multiple times per day and spending hours on the phone with you, right up until the moment they get their kill quote. Then, they'll quickly vanish and only communicate with you via email, if they even do that. They are very good at this; they do it literally every week, if not every day, to all of the people they want to grind for the media mill.

Don't talk to the media. No, your clever strategy won't work. No, recording them won't make a difference. No, you aren't a special snowflake who is going to magically transform the ideology of the mainstream media through the sheer power of your presence.


Clever Takes helpfully provides a cartoon reminder in case you're having trouble remembering why you should not talk to them.


Don't. Talk. To. The. Media.

Tommy Robinson is the latest to learn that it is a bad idea, even when it's live television:
Piers Morgan blasted former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson for being a “bigoted lunatic stirring up hatred” as he clashed with the right-wing activist this morning.

As Robinson pulled out a copy of the Koran on Good Morning Britain, Piers blasted him, saying: “Show some damn respect for people’s religious beliefs.“You’re sounding like a complete lunatic. You’re sounding like a bigoted lunatic.

“You’re stirring up hatred.

“You’re being a complete disgrace.”

Holding up the Koran, Robinson branded it a “violent and cursed book” and said: “This book is the reason we are in such a mess.”

Piers responded: “We’re in this mess because people take Islam, they are terrorists and they abuse the nature of Islam and… perpetrate evil.”

And the former EDL leader refused to accept Islam was a religion, saying: “Islam is an idea – a bad idea.” Asked if he was Islamophobic, Robinson retorted: “There’s no such word as Islamophobia. A phobia is an irrational fear, it’s not irrational to fear these things.”
I don't know if people's egos are simply too tempted by the thought of appearing on camera or if they truly believe they are smarter than almost every single person who has been summoned to play punching bag before them, but it's remarkable how whether a reasonable individual is conservative, Alt-Right, Alt-Lite, or simply nationalist, they are drawn like moths to the candleflame of the hostile media's cameras.

Tommy Robinson complained on Twitter:

Tommy Robinson @TRobinsonNewEra
Piers Morgan usual technique of not letting the person he is interviewing actually answer any questions.  Just...

Supreme Dark Lord‏  @voxday
Do you really not understand that you were there to be a punching bag? He was virtue-signaling at your expense. Don't talk to the media! 

When you are approached by the media, be it Megyn Kelly, Piers Morgan, Wired, The New York Times, or The Atlantic, you must understand that they see you as the content du jour. And the content is always folded, spindled, and mutilated to fit their current Narrative, which is NOT the reason they will give you when they try to get you to talk to them or appear on their show.

Here is the thing. You don't need the media. As Mike Cernovich points out, they need you. It is Piers Morgan whose name is on the headlines because Tommy Robinson was willing to make Morgan relevant today, not the other way around. Who is more relevant and has a bigger platform, Richard Spencer, who leaps to talk to the media, or Stefan Molyneux, who will not even return their emails?

And as both Mike and I have noticed, mainstream exposure doesn't even move the needle. Not in terms of blog traffic, Twitter followers, or book sales. It is probable pain for no gain. Whereas whenever he goes on Infowars or I go on FreeDomainRadio, we see observable bumps in one or more metrics.

In light of this, I should mention that I am modifying my media policy. Previously, I had been willing to answer written questions posed to me by reporters in writing. I have now learned that they will never run those answers because they cannot use them to fit the Narrative. So, I will not be replying to any mainstream media inquiries that do not specifically, and solely, concern Castalia House books, Infogalactic, or games for which I am the lead designer.

UPDATE: had to modify that and add Infogalactic since Wired is apparently doing a story on it. I don't know if it is a hit piece or a tech piece yet, but their questions - which I have answered in writing - were solely focused on tech-related issues. We'll see.


Mike Glyer doesn't like Larry Correia

He really, really doesn't like him:
Ultimately Correia remains enraged at me today because four years ago, I was one of the people (as were some of you) who said no to him when he wanted to help himself to the Best Novel Hugo. Not that I could actually stop that from happening, but when I started covering as news what Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and everyone else had to say about the controversy (in their own words, with links to the rest of their posts), I had an impact by facilitating the growth of a new community of people who wanted to talk about these issues — most of them opposing the vandalism of an institution they had spent years building up.

In 2013, Correia had decided that someone with his sales figures and blog readership, who had twice had a book on the New York Times bestseller list (for a single week) deserved a Hugo, and started organizing his readers to make it happen. He didn’t think of the members of fandom as his neighbors or colleagues; he approached it like the raid culture of ancient times where you go and steal somebody’s cattle if you think you can get away with it. Despite all of the agitation he stirred up among his followers, he got only 101 nominations and failed to make the ballot.

Larry knew that since the previous summer’s raid hadn’t worked out as well as he’d hoped, to sack Troy, he would need more boats and warriors in 2014. He wrapped his nomination campaign in the flag of the culture wars. Literary awards don’t fire people up, but political motivations do. He called on readers to nominate himself plus selected friends and editors as a way to ”stick it to those SJWs”. His book made the final ballot with the third-highest number of nominating votes (184) and lost to Ancillary Justice. Two hundred votes is enough to do any amount of damage to the Hugo nominating ballot — but after two years of effort by a bestselling author, it doesn’t seem like much of a number.

In 2015 Correia gave the project to Brad Torgersen, his Patroclus, who couldn’t wait to don Larry’s armor and lead the Sad Puppies 3 campaign. Torgersen put together a slate composed of both willing and unwilling writers (with some demanding to be removed), and spearheaded his campaign with a series of abusive political tirades against the Worldcon voters. However, his band of award pirates soon discovered that the Agamemnon of their scenario was really Vox Day. His Rabid Puppies slate blanketed nearly all the Hugo categories, and his followers dictated the 2015 ballot. Larry Correia’s latest novel was one of the things on their slate, but despite three years spent jacking up his readers and colleagues to get him this award, at this point he refused his nomination, went back to his tent, and let everyone else go forward without him.

File 770 covered that story and became a place people gathered to discuss it, and correspondingly became a lightning rod for Larry Correia’s wrath. In the past two years, whenever my name or this site’s name is mentioned in comments on his blog he can always be counted on to erupt in a spew of obscenities about me — in fact, one of his followers regularly injects my name into the conversation just to see him go off. And that same spirit controlled what Correia said on Facebook, and wrote in his post. Likewise the blizzard of comments from Correia’s followers, filled with playground taunts and references to Japanese pornography and prison sex. And these things can be expected to continue because of his example and that they’re encouraged in his comment community.
Then again, Larry Correia really, really doesn't like China Mike either:
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the seedy underbelly of fandom, File 770 is a garbage gossip column website run by a scumbag named Mike Glyer. His whole shtick is to be a news aggregator for the sci-fi/fantasy business and collect links from people who actually create things for a living. He play acts at being an impartial journalist, but in reality everything he does is slanted to screw over anybody he doesn’t like.

He chums the water for his horde of psychos so they can go about forming internet lynch mobs, boycotts, and black ballings. But then he pretends to be all impartial and above the fray. If you ever want to lose all faith in humanity, read the comments there. His regulars range between basement dwelling goons, creepy weirdo stalkers, and angry rainbow haired social justice warriors.

If you are in any writer’s groups with conservative or libertarian authors in them, then you’ve inevitably heard about this shithole website. We mostly call it Vile 770 or File 666. At one point or another that page has tried to start shit with every author who gets on Glyer’s bad side. Because when you are ever the nail that sticks up, the File 770 crew are the hammer that wants to knock you back down. Luckily, they’re about as effective as a Fisher Price squeaky hammer. So mostly we just mock them.

No matter how big or small you are, if you write something that draws their ire, Glyer will link to you, write some passive aggressive misleading bullshit, and then his little minions will go out of their way to slander you. You are evil and their side is all goodness and light. Usually the slander is about how insignificant and unimportant their foes are, and how they totally don’t even know who you are, which is ironic coming from comments that are bizarrely fixated with your personal details. Across the board they are jealous, spiteful, and really kind of pathetic.

I drew his ire several years ago with my campaign to show that the Hugos were biased. Since Glyer has like 40 something Hugo nominations he took that personal. Go figure. (Sadly, I wish I was exaggerating that number).  He’s been linking back to me constantly ever since, always muck raking and shit stirring. He’ll usually post some passive aggressive thing about look how evil I am, his flying monkeys get riled up, and then he acts all innocent and says he was just reporting the news.

Since I’ve got nothing but contempt for the two faced bastard, I just delete his track backs and move on. I still come up a lot over there . My guess is he really hates me because unlike most authors I don’t dance around with fake politeness. They love fake politeness. They screw you over with impunity, and when you fight back, then they are all about “tone”.
The thing is, for all their mutual dislike, there is an amount of nuance here that may escape your attention. Larry correctly identifies the real problem at File 770 being the commenters, who are as nasty as they are mid-witted. I've never been able to discern if Mike Glyer truly shares many of their opinions - unlike them, he seems to grasp that I don't care about awards and I'm actually pretty good at what I do - or if he's simply stuck riding the tiger of his readership.

Regardless, the point is that there is more to this than mere personal dislike. The Pink/Blue divide in SF is substantive, ideological, and real, and it is a reflection of the primary divide in the USA that is cultural, ideological, and identity-based.

As for me, I stand by Larry, because he does not throw people under the bus to spare himself. He had every opportunity to do so, indeed, he was actively lobbied to do so by more than a few well-known people, and yet he refused. That is what men of character and integrity do. But I do think there is hope for Mike, if he can ever find the courage to reject the dishonesty and partisanship of his commenters and embrace the objective position that befits the true historian. The ironic thing is that he'd probably a) gain readership and b) never win another SF award if he did so.

Speaking of Puppies, don't forget to get your Dragon Award votes in. My recommendations are here.

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