Sunday, September 18, 2016

Identity Considered Harmful

An identity is a thing assembled by cops while they look for a perpetrator, and then pin on you in court. The creation of LGBT, thought at the time to be a masterstroke, has metastasized into demisexual/asexual/and the 57 terrible varieties; what was supposed to be booths in a restaurant turned out to be vines covering the floor of a dark forest with too many lost people in it.

We were likely better off before Magnus Hirschfeld, having just People, and then a few who engaged in “perverse” behavior, or sodomy or what have you. Yes, the criminalizing of some kinds of perversity was a giant pain, but we were free of the less concrete, but more widespread and dreadful, terror of identity.

My “identity” is so fragmented that it could never serve me as a key into a community. My identity is purely contingent: a driver’s license here, a job reference there. I’ve never really thought about my identity and that is for the best, I am sure. Milo Yiannopoulos said Feminism is Cancer. So is Identity.

p.s. Do black Americans have an identity? Yes, I think many of them do, and most would be better off without it. Almost all black Americans feel the need to identify (note: verb) with other black Americans for self-defense. This is sensible and patriotic (and sad, for me, but all too understandable), but once children in school denounce studying as “white” you very clearly have An Identity (noun), and identity turns out to be the bullies’ tool. I recommend to my fellow citizens that they maintain their group cohesion but firmly put down any “black identitarianism” among them.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

The New Mercantilism and the New, New Deal

Vox Day mentions Ian Fletcher and the New Mercantilism:
If corporate America pretty much has to make a profit by selling goods to Americans by Americans, this means that corporate America has an intrinsic interest in the productivity of Americans and in their ability to consume. Now, productivity plus consumption is prosperity, I mean, that’s pretty much all it is, so if you have an economy that’s set up that way then corporate America pretty much wants what the rest of us want, and for decades in this country, roughly from 1940 to 1975 there was an arrangement in this country where things were set up that way. It wasn’t perfect, but there was, broadly speaking, a structural alignment between what was in the interests of big corporations in this country and what was in the interest of the average American.
No, I can’t sign on to this. No “New, New Deal.”

America is set up to systematically screw the worker because Congress (95% Democrat-controlled), “roughly from 1940 to 1975,” took more and more money from workers and sold it back to older workers, collecting their votes “in kind.” It was a neat grift, but you can’t jack the rates anymore, and I cannot and will not endorse it. (“Employer-based” “health care”: same grift, different sector.) We need to undo the damage and return Americans to a competitive position by unf–king the system.

Yes, protectionism works in some areas. Defense plants must be built in the US. US agriculture subsidies should be paid out from the Department of Defense, since they protect us from dependence on foreign foodstuffs but D.C. loves denial, so the Ag Dept does it. A small tariff on goods entering the US is probably a good idea for tracking and to stabilize trade between nations. (If your sleeve is being tugged by a Liber-tard mooing about dem ebul $21 bn in ag subsidies, remember $112 bn, 80% of DeptAg budget, goes to SNAP, the new name for food stamps.)

Vox, you’re wrong; so is Fletcher. Yes, we need massive reform, but 85-90% of these wounds are self-inflicted. The GOP has failed all reform; they do not have the ruthlessness to win, or even set up a win.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Review: Republican Party Animal, the “bad boy of Holocaust history” blows the lid off Hollywood's secret right-wing underground

Title: Republican Party Animal
Author: David Cole
Date: 2014
Publisher: Feral House
Shermer suggested to me that we try a scientific experiment, gassing dogs in the manner the Jews were supposedly gassed at Auschwitz, using the type of cyanide gas that was available in 1944.

“You want to gas dogs?” I exclaimed. “We’ll be running Bow-wowschwitz” … when I recounted the conversation to my girlfriend, she came up with an equally good one: “Barkin’ Belsen.” All the same, I nixed the dog-gassing idea. All I needed was to have the animal rights people on my ass.

Republican Party Animal is, firstly, a very funny book; second, David Cole seems not the type to gas anyone regardless of leg count. Cole says he is 5' 6" and like many shorter boys he seems to have sharpened his wit early, telling us a story in the first chapter where he manages to stop a bully by reaching out with his charm. In many ways Cole is a very clever man, which make his serial stupidities more sharply disappointing. He has a good eye for the possible, an appetite for work and common sense in all directions but one.

In 2009, Cole joined Gary Sinise’s glee club for Hollywood conservatives, the Friends of Abe, and ran his own Facebook and IRL group, the Republican Party Animals, during the elections of ’10 and ’12. (Cole writes well enough that I found his election memories gut-wrenching.) The subtitle is misleading: there is little exposure of Hollywood conservatives unless you lived years under a tombstone, and still vote Democratic. His time as a fellow-travelling GOP operative is educational and interesting, but is the trailing half of Cole’s story from 1988 to ’94.

The young Cole was interested in the fringe groups who deny the mass slaughter of European Jews by the Nazi regime. While investigating their claims, Cole became a revisionist: someone who thinks the history books need to be revised with better sources, closer arguments and, often, reduced or modified claims. But Cole would learn the enlightened racial pieties of post-Brown v Board of Education America have lost little of the violent hysteria found in the age of Plessy v Ferguson: still foaming at the mouth and still too myopic to distinguish, say, Holocaust revisionists from Holocaust deniers. (Cole summarizes his views on the Holocaust in appendix A, freeing the book's body to be much more light-hearted. They seem sensible to me, but I am a purely amateur historian.)

It is impossible to detail this book without spoiling the best jokes or ruining the Greek tragedy; I will note only my reactions. First, as I noted, it is witty and mordant, sometimes in excess. Cole seems, on a deep level, utterly alone. When the Jewish Defense League is threatening his life, he is unable to muster the kith and kin that might have protected him long enough to retrench, defend, and avoid long years in the political wilderness. He seems short-sighted when it comes to matters of the heart which, I think, is one reason why he bites sometimes too deep.

As I wrote, outside of the famous secret that the GOP is free of campaign doctrine, political strategy and rudders, this book exposes only Mr Cole. He sounds at times like a semi-professional banqueter for the GOP, but his parties elevated morale, smoothed over online differences face-to-face, and reduced hair-splitting, political or organizational, by keeping people involved and moving. Cole’s missteps (most famously, the GOP funds spent on pole dancers under Michael Steele’s tenure) shrink beside these contributions.

Mr Cole confirms the grassroots’ suspicion that many GOP campaigns look more like ritualized suicide missions and fund raisers. Cole sees paranoia rising from real GOP setbacks, the feckless and distant Establishment, and a base powered mainly by frustration. For example, Cole is anti-abortion, but notes that any progress on digging out from under Roe v Wade is stymied by all-or-nothing candidates like Todd Akin, whose refusal to step down from the Senate race depressed GOP votes in more than Missouri. Republicans like to note the real minimum wage is nothing; we should take our own advice.

David Cole was a valuable asset to the GOP and could be again. His history is worth reading: the breathless conspiratard theories spun over the dissolution of the Friends of Abe evaporate once Cole describes how Sinise was the only animating force behind it. Mr Cole currently writes for

p.s. Amusingly, I note the Weekly Standard is now using the example of Akin, unpopular for his stated views on abortion in the case of rape, against Trump, popular for his stated views on many subjects. Such is war, you might say, but I contend: you may think it magnificent, but it is not war. (As always, I am required to note: Sarah Palin backed another GOP primary candidate; Akin was not a Tea Party error. And Bill Kristol should turn in his crystal ball.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Why not just let China destroy US steel companies?

Economic Policy Journal is having an argument over free trade, managed trade, and outright protectionism. sees this as a non-issue. If China wants to ship cheap steel to the U.S. and severely diminish our steel industry, why would we want to stop them?

You see the problem here is one of enforcement: govenments do not like being told they can not unfairly benefit their domestic industries, whether they originate these penalizing subsidies or adopt them as retaliation. Now, who will do better at forcing the CHICOMs to stop this unfair practice? Trump has business sense but we are unsure how tough he would be at prosecuting a trade war with China without triggering a shooting war, or the seizure of ROC Taiwan. Sanders would probably invite the CHICOMs over to tell Americans how awesome Socialism is and how our steel industry should be nationalized. Cruz is an unknown: he's very smart but we don't know how he would approach this problem. Hillary: well, what a question. Would she be happy with billions in CHICOM bribes to distribute to now-unemployed steel workers or would she push sanctioning tariffs?

Perhaps we could to grant a tax break to US steel industries until China stops their practices, but again, that leaves us open to CHICOM action in the South China Sea.

Or perhaps the true solution is to admit that the U.S. is a costlier place to do business in, admit the government won't get such high tax receipts under a free trade regime at first, and triple the deduction businesses get for employee wages under $30k/yr, keeping those jobs in the U.S. Perhaps we should limit it to jobs subject to loss via trade: steel workers, yes; plumbers, no, but I think this would be subject to broad abuse and perhaps should be flat.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Massive Left Signalling While Admitting the Painful, anti-Left Truth

First: you are not a Liberal. You’re, at best, a semi-democratic Socialist.

Your litany of Proper Left Positions is humorous at best. Wave your little flag all you like: haven’t you noticed how a lot of the Left never cared about consistency? You oppose them on misandry, they hate you. You agree with them on the public health “option,” suddenly they love you. You are personed and unpersoned at need.

You glow with nostalgia over the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War, but this was when principled people first began abandoning the Left over Stalinism: John Dos Passos, George Orwell, Norman Podhoretz.

PIRGIM: I canvassed for them long, long ago. And wow am I heartily ashamed of that. At least Sanders is not anti-gun (so far).

The Left abandoned the working class years ago. What you see in the upper class now is a kind of ritualism: since they can’t hunt a two-legged scapegoat or nationalize the steel and coal industry, they’ve moved onto “cultural issues.”

The word “globalization” is a lie: it is the world's nations updating their economies to a more Liberal stance. Your daddies and grandaddies had it easy: the Soviet Union and the CHICOMs kept billions of people off the labor force, while the Indians imitated Soviet Socialism and crippled their people. American wages stayed unnaturally high and, today, we have a lot of bad habits we picked up then. The bigotry of the Democratic 1944 employer tax breaks for employee “health care” punishes us to this day.

The rest of the world deserves prosperity. And America needs to rework Social Security, Big Healthcare and all the other bad habits to compete. Which we can, in spades, if we allow ourselves.

You noted the SPLC is explicitly operating “on behalf of” minorities from “noblesse oblige.” That would actually be a step up for the Left. The Ivy League is staging a hostile takeover of race issues from Afro-Americans. Nobility is not an issue here.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The GOP Establishment is still too dumb to lead the Tea Party rebellion

The Freedom Caucus is not the problem. The GOP Establishment is unable to learn the lessons the Democrats are teaching for free.

When Buckley endorsed Barry Goldwater for President he understood that Lyndon B Johnson would likely win, but he know Goldwater would push the country and the party to the right. It was not about the candidate who would lose the least (Nelson Rockefeller, then) but the candidate who would be best for America.

It is the duty of the Republican party to message the American People relentlessly: to take Conservative/Libertarian ideas and sell them to the people even if it means losing a few elections now, to win bigger ones later. The Democrats have lost lots of elections for being too Left, but they have also come back to win big. I say that the losses and the wins here are completely related, that the losses set the stage for the wins. Republicans have had no big wins for decades.

Point: a 60% cloture vote in the Senate dates only to the post-Civil War era and was widely supported by the South to protect Jim Crow. It is useless today. If people don’t want huge Democratic spending bills, they can stop voting for so many Democrats.

Point: Since 1944, employer tax breaks for "health care" has been a boondoggle, hurting the aged, children, the unemployed. Obamacare just piles another layer of crap on top of that original 1944 crap. Outlawing employer health insurance in favor of allowing people a tax break for emergency health insurance (what used to be called disability and major medical) and health savings accounts for the rest would be a huge step forward.

Point: the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 gives the Executive the right to pass laws, unless 61% of the Senate disagrees strongly enough to overrule the agency. Eric Cantor sent me a personal fund raising note complaining that Obama was, like, totally abusing all these powers the Congress gave him without once mentioning why they might like to revoke that power.

I could go on, and that is the problem.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The coming Indian net.neutrality debacle?

So, this is what happens when the apparatchiks write about policy:

Noam Chomsky, a famous leftist American philosopher

See, MSM? Not too difficult, even for foreigners.

town square for the global village

Every village needs an idiot.

The telecom operators claim that these applications impact their revenues

Protect their revenues at all costs!!

The debate on Net neutrality, as it is called, has developed into a duel for the ownership cake. Why do we need owners for this wonderful realm? The question in itself is baffling.

So, so baffling. We are so baffled. The question is not over ownership, everyone owns their cables, their fiber, their web servers. The issue is control other other people's stuff and how to use you two to get it, you tools.

The Net neutrality principle simply states that there should be no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritisation of any lawful content on the Internet.

None of these three things are the same. Within the three are divisions. Why not allow prioritized traffic? Why not let the telecoms figure out how much to charge?

Though the recommendation of this committee pitches for a neutral Internet, it has proposed regulations on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) OTTs

“Quick, more boiling oil!”

It suggests that arbitrages on regulations and pricing exist between operators and substitute service providing OTTs, which needs to be removed to provide a level-playing field for both.

Do not be fooled by the word “arbitrage,” which is an import from high finance. What the author just said here is that Indian telecoms are saddled with regulatory burdens and taxes, which create a tax burden-gap benefiting the independent app providers.

This outrage must be ended!

It’s worth mentioning that operators are regulated on call tariff through interconnect charges, tariff ceiling for roaming calls, etc. Such regulations won’t ever allow genuine competition between conventional calling and VoIP calling. This calls for further deliberation on the “solution”.
And will be! This is called “failing upward.”

GOVERNMENT: our regulations and taxes created the problem, now we need more to “fix” it.

While only domestic VoIP services are recommended for regulations, other services are not. It would be interesting to see how a line would be drawn among OTTs, since many offer multiple services packed in one.

More room for more regulations! You need to stop bundling awesome things so we can break them properly.

The DoT committee has failed to address other issues such as data privacy. With OTTs holding huge consumer data, the issue of protecting consumers’ sensitive data is worth a mention. However, the regulator reviewing tariff plans on zero-rating before being launched in public is an optimistic step for consumer protection.

Yes, we saw government consumer protection. It was called the June 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach.

OTTs play a part in promoting Internet adoption and regulating OTTs on tariff may make the free services a paid service. This might impact the pace of OTT-driven Internet adoption. With the Internet penetration standing below 20 per cent, regulations might land a knockout punch on India’s digital inclusion mission.

A price we must pay!

A hurdle to Net neutrality also comes from the existing revenue models of Internet-based services. From Internet search to prioritising data packets on quality of service, the entire network is governed by payments made by companies to avail preferential treatment.

Un scandale! Remember: the first outrage of “preferential treatment” is when you pay a telco to come plug a wire into your house or business. Will this blasphemous perfidy never cease?!

The power of choice should, in any case, rest with consumers and not the operators. Consumer demands vary according to individual preferences. For example, some consumers might settle for an average Internet speed, while others might not. Thus, differential services/paid prioritisation may be provided only on “consumer demand”, but it should be ensured that other services are not negatively impacted.

Note the constant format: start with a sane proposition, then slide in the crazy. Note the complete lack of documentation showing that “vital services” have ever been blocked.

The operators highlight the need of capital expenditure for infrastructure and argue that OTTs, that impact their revenues, hinder their ability to invest on infrastructure. It is undeniable fact that OTTs rely on Internet service, and it’s equally their responsibility to let Internet breath for long. OTTs should lend a hand on building the foundation, for which the question that needs answer is “how”.

Normally, OTTs pay their ISPs for their connection, and their consumers pay yet more to be connected. But not in new, glorious theme park's Statismland!

Thus, the Internet we use is nowhere close to being perfectly neutral.

Note the complete lack of any data to shore up the Big Lie. Note how their “thus” attempts to conceal this total lack of any case by simply presuming it into existence. The Internet is not neutral. It is so completely Balkanized that no one can control the whole thing. Which is the real problem.

We still have to safeguard it from the probable clutches of the prospective owners.

In case you were wondering, the “prospective owners” are in fact all the little players who do in fact own bits and pieces of “the Internet”: ISPs, consumers, businesses, the soi-disant OTTs. The future owner is your happy local community kommissar and apparatchik.

OTTs help getting new consumers on-board and also propel data revenues.

Translation: our regulations turn ISPs into crappy phone providers. Instead of letting telecoms lapse into mere ISPs who compete on price, and letting independents offer new, cheaper and usually better telephony services, and letting the real and natural dual-tension between ISPs and OTTs play out (how they both need and burden each other), we offer more regulations.

So operators should work out on economies of scale strategies rather than cribbing over the competition brought in by innovation.

Sounds pretty.

If regulations seem the only solution, they shouldn’t be based on tagging prices on these apps. The idea is to promote the Internet, not to break it. The need is to make it robust, seamless and for everyone.

Still pretty, but problems persist. First, “seamless?” Nothing a tech sees is seamless, this is a political hack's word. “Robust” would be good enough. Second, the pricing of the apps is the least of the problems. The big part here is the “revenue sharing.” Oh, didn't you read that? That is what the authors meant by sharing the regulatory and tax burden, you know, instead of, oh, I dunno, relieving the suffering telecoms from their obsolete and current burdens!

Because, you know, libertarians are crazy.