April 29, 2014


I comment:
GayPatriot reports:
Republican Leadership: “If you elect us, we’re not going to repeal Obamacare but we will pass Amnesty”
I’ve said it repeatedly: A nation that refuses to protect its borders does not deserve to survive, and won’t. Sooner or later its luck, like the dodo’s, will run out.

A government that refuses to protect its borders is not a legitimate government. A government that undermines its own laws is not a legitimate government. A government that sabotages the general welfare on behalf of kleptocratic elites is not a legitimate government.
The paragraph about the dodo is something I've repeatedly posted before; the final paragraph presents the implications.

Also this:
If the GOP puts up Jeb Bush, I will turn in a blank, write-in, or third-party Presidential ballot even if the D’s nominate Trotsky.
Come to think of it:
None of the major GOP factions (e.g. the kleptocrats, the religious kooks, and the chickenhawks) appeals directly to the welfare of the overall middle classes. Those factions have agendas that many voters disagree with.

The danger in something like a Warren candidacy is that the Stupid Party, thinking the outcome is assured, will choose a ticket that will make Betty look like the lesser evil. Such an attitude is already evident in the GOP Establishment’s lust to pass amnesty.
Here's a thought: why not only vote for a political party when it makes my interests a priority? I've had it with affirming the lesser evil.

No way do I support the Democrats, but it's crossing my mind that they lie less than the post-Reagan Republicans do.

Afterthought: In the GOP's "minority outreach", why don't they tell Latino voters that illegal immigration threatens their jobs and depresses their pay? Because they don't want their middle-class Anglo dupes to know. No, Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public, family values don't stop at the Rio Grande: the illegals may take your job, but they oppose abortion hallelujah!

NB: America should not be a closed shop whose labor costs make us globally uncompetitive. Not only do I support immigration, but it may well be indispensable. However, regarding the tradeoffs, I have not seen discussions that I consider intellectually honest.

April 26, 2014

Awww, Did I Lose My Temper?

Not every contemporary Palin supporter is a loutish, deceiving, stupid, and/or willfully ignorant kook, but that’s my baseline assumption unless contrary evidence emerges in any given case.
No, I didn't lose my temper. I decided to stop trying to meet halfway people who have no intention of meeting me halfway.

April 24, 2014

Remote-Controlled Killer Drones Robots

A benchmark along the path to autonomous Terminators? If the optimal design is humanoid, maybe the operators will wear virtual reality suits.

The thought, which presumably is not original, occurred to me upon seeing Increasingly, Robots of All Sizes Are Human Workmates (a step toward the integration of human & machine?).

A possible itinerary: from human-operated drones to human-operated robot warriors to autonomous robot warriors with a human overseer. Whereupon some genius will claim it's perfectly safe and more cost-effective to give the things full autonomy...

Added 20140426: The Russians are going directly to Terminator mode (HT: Instapundit):
Armed Russian robocops to defend missile bases

THE West has always been a little squeamish about the idea of arming robots. Despite decades of development, no systems have ever been deployed and a vocal human rights campaign means it's unlikely to happen in the near future. The Russians, on the other hand, appear to be rather less concerned.

Last month, Dmitry Andreyev of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces announced that mobile robots would be standing guard over five ballistic missile installations. These robots can detect and destroy targets, without human involvement. Russia, it seems, is taking the lead in a new robotic arms race.

April 23, 2014

Russia and...What's It's Name...Cathay?

I comment:
I was just wondering about China. In particular, I’ve been wondering why our governing elites—the very best people from the very best schools, y’know—apparently haven’t been wondering about China post-Crimea. I’m guessing that our ruling class’s timeline doesn’t run past the next election, so it’s irrelevant to them that a shoe might drop by November 2016. (The Chinese leadership may suspect that, left to its own devices, America will unravel itself more effectively than anything they could do to undermine us, but they cannot entirely ignore their nationalistic populace.)

If getting caught flatfooted by a bear was bad, wait till we’re caught flatfooted by a dragon.
To be fair, Obama supported Japan in its island dispute with China.

Ooo! Chelsea Clinton!! Ooo!

Fast Company swoons and sucks up here and here. Ace and Geraghty comment.

Given her parents' genes, Chelsea Clinton is almost certainly not a stupid person. At this time she also does not look like a bad person...but power tends to corrupt.

April 18, 2014

The Precautionary Principle Encroaches on Science

(The following is extremely crude and needs elaboration & iteration, which I'd never do if I didn't hold my nose and post the current version. I need to connect this to, among other things, The End of Science and remarks like Higgs's that he couldn't survive in today's academia.)

This is what happens when an unchecked bureaucracy is created. (HT: Instapundit.) First some benefits, and then Pournelle's Iron Law takes over. See also "Suffocating Science Harms Everyone".

April 17, 2014

Decadence, Pure and Simple

Finland's new sadomasochistic homoerotic stamps. (Via Althouse, who too often seems to feel that the Role of Art is to gross people out shatter boundaries, be transgressive, and challenge preconceptions.)

I thought Finland was relatively sane and levelheaded.

The Onion Gets It

"...Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States"

Well played, AQ. It's unlikely the US would wake up if you went around blowing stuff up, but why take chances?

April 13, 2014

White Privilege and "White Privilege": Cui Bono?

In response to this, my opinion:
IMO the whites who benefit most from so-called white privilege are white elitists who declaim against it.
Addendum 2014040421: Victor Davis Hanson on Clive Bundy:
He is no Jay-Z or Sean Penn. He is a world away from the Kardashians and the BMW meets Mercedes crowd of the California coastal corridor or the psychodramas of brats at Dartmouth. Bundy does not have the white privilege that those who have it — mostly liberal, wealthy, and seeking an apartheid existence — damn in others.
The whole thing is worth reading.

Addendum 2014040423: Should, heaven forbid, a race war happen in the US, the cushily ensconced white leftists whose policies are pushing us in that direction will get a surprise if their side wins and they're still around. (The trick to living large by ruining your society is to time things so the chickens don't come home to roost during your lifetime.)

Supplements to O'Sullivan's Law

The original form of the law states:
All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.
I add:
Conservative organizations tend to get captured by religious kooks.
That is, by people who care about little besides banning abortion (even during a rape, Bog can do a miracle!) and gay marriage. Furthermore:
Every centrist conservative organization tends over time to be captured by crony capitalists.
That is, by "job creators" for illegal aliens and workers abroad. No Irish American citizens need apply.

April 11, 2014

What, Specifically, Has Hillary Achieved?

It's funny watching the question of Hillary's greatest accomplishment asked and laughingly rejected as ridiculous at first, then having it slowly dawn on the panel that none of them has an answer.
Alas, achieving nothing gives her a leg up on the last two Presidents.

Added 20140411. The Hillary machine's responses are received with laughter. Yes, that's the Hillary machine that blew the nomination to Barack Obama.

Caution: no doubt there are Democrats who are eager to be even worse than the bad President that Hillary would be.

I repeat:
A Hillary Presidency would be the Tantrum Boomers’ last chance to exact revenge for their inadequacy to the Great Generation. (Maybe those Americans who are zealous to tear down the country are driven, in part, by the knowledge that they lack what it took to build it.)

STDs Rampant In USA

A third of the population. (HT: Instapundit.) Good grief.

I had accepted sexual liberality as part of progress and modernity, but this gives me pause. Is Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor, somewhere, saying I told you so?

April 9, 2014

Jeb Bush Is a David Cameron Wannabe

He gives me the same vibe, i.e. blueblooded but soft. He tried to act corageous: "Jeb Bush: Many illegal immigrants come out of an ‘act of love’". My reaction:
1. This is the same as George W. Bush’s Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande. Old BS in a new package.

2. Iirc some time ago I posted that, next to the Kennedys, no post-WW2 family has damaged the country more than the Bushes have. spit

3. So what’s Jeb’s plan? It’s to alleviate the desperation of the illegals by making life harder for law-abiding ordinary Americans—and thereby enrich the moneyed caste to which, mirabile dictu, the Bushes belong. TR’s phrase malefactors of great wealth comes to mind.

4. Political orientation aside, I am sympathetic to the plight of many illegals who, in effect, were lured here by powerful Americans conspiring not to enforce the law. However, the interests of American citizens come first.

5. I’d love to find a way to throw those powerful Americans in jail. I acknowledge that will never happen short of revolution because they are shielded behind too many layers of deniability and tailor-made laws.

6. I’ve posted it before: a country that refuses to enforce its borders does not deserve to survive, and won’t. Sooner or later its luck, like the dodo’s, will run out.

7. (Afterthought.) It is despicable to use “love” and “family values”, i.e. the Judeo-Christian virtues, to persuade Americans to set aside their legitimate self-interest and vote to make the Bushes and their ilk richer.

April 8, 2014

The Confederate Flag

I agree with this commenter:
1. What’s all the fuss about? Just a few patriots expressing their support for individual liberty and states’ rights.

2. Besides, people fought bravely for the Confederacy. We’re just commemorating their courage.

3. I mean, people fought bravely for the Third Reich too. You wouldn’t criticize people parading around with swas…okay, nevermind.

4. In case it needs stating, the above points are sarcasm. I have never been thrilled about the Confederate flag, but my mind became fully made up when someone pointed out that slavery was hardwired into the Confederate constitution.

5. This is not to deny the valor, though misguided or perverted, of many who fought for the Confederacy. If a way can be found to acknowledge that valor without a linkage to slavery, that would be okay with me.

6. The heroism of the Thermopylae 300 is honored, notwithstanding that Sparta was a slave state. Maybe someday the Confederate flag will be decoupled from its association with slavery, but not in the foreseeable future.
In fact, if the GOP is serious about outreach to minorities---a big if---it would be sensible to develop an alternative to the Confederate flag for those who wish to honor Confederate valor. Ideal would be if Southern Republicans developed such a symbol from the grassroots.

April 7, 2014

Crisis!! Sexism in Silicon Valley!

Instapundit links the NYT and TPM.

Ia another Great Moral Crusade sprouting in the astroturf?

(Though I have no sympathy for the colluding monopolists in Silicon Valley...no more than I do for tobacco companies which thought they were buying long-term support from politicians.)

Militant Elites

Dinocrat posts and I comment:
There certainly are a lot of angry people in the upper crust today.

“Transformative justice.” It turns out that what Privileged Angry Youth are angry about is that they’re not running things.

Wadda surprise.

There are many reasons to dislike corporations, government, and crowds of all sorts.

Afaic some of increased wealth inequality is legit because technology leverages high performers. Afaic some of it is illegitimate because of crony capitalism and corruption.

Afaic the increased concentration of wealth is just one aspect of an increased concentration of power: political power, economic power, cultural power, social power,… Factions in our society advocate concentrating forms of power that are favorable to them, and the opposite for unfavorable forms. I don’t foresee that process ending benignly.
Dangerously (fatally?) many would say with a straight face that the problem is not the overconcentration of power; the problem is that the right people don't have it.

Addendum 20140421: Yale economist Robert Shiller claims the solution is to raise taxes on the rich. Transfer money and power from one metastasized part of society to another. Yeah, that'll work. (Why am I not surprises that Shiller is a Brookings participant?)

If I were king, I would tinker with the boundary conditions for antitrust, regulation, and monopolies like IP to abet the private sector in reducing the concentration via creative destruction. Government fiat should be a last resort. I fear, though, that the country's misgovernance, shortsightedness and corruption are so bad that growth of government power will continue until collapse or, at best, stagnation.

Addendum 20140424: If I were king, I would tinker with the boundary conditions for antitrust, regulation, and monopolies like IP...

And I'd order the Royal Antitrust Enforcer to take a very hard look indeed at those cushy compensation committees composed of overpaid executives who set each others' remuneration.

Nurture Your Children Or Go To Jail

Who decides if you're nurturing properly? The State, of course. And they're not "your" children.

Same thing over and over: an imperfect reality is compared to the utopian ideal which increased government power will create.

(A pessimist might claim that teaching children the world is a harsh unpredictable dishonest place is the best thing to do for them, given that corrupt hypocrite elite buffoons are steering our civilization toward ruin.)

April 6, 2014

Made the Switch, Finally

SARAH HOYT HAS A NEW BOOK OUT. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to buy it.
I can.

Before dumping Firefox, I mulled it for some time. Ditto for Instapundit.

As of recently, the first place I go on the Internet is now Ace.

April 5, 2014

More About Mozilla

1. In the medium term, the Eich defenestration may well cripple the organization's capacity for innovation.

In fact I've developed a growing frustration with Firefox and have been reading about other people feeling the same way. Is the Eich affair a symptom of a deteriorating organization?

Afterthought. If Mozilla goes south, the company culture can overlook its own deficiences and blame The Bigots for dropping the product. Win-win for the gaystapo?

Added 20140406. Aggressive groupthink in a culture of innovation? Something will have to give.

There are those who will get malicious pleasure from watching layoffs at Mozilla. I suspect that it's a matter of when, not if.

2. I wouldn't trust Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker with any issue public, private, or personal.

A Modest Proposal for Mozilla

Keep your products free, provided the user warrants no to contravene various leftist dogmas. To break the pledge exposes one to liability.

Don't worry, folks, the Mozillans would never ever use your private information against you. They're tolerant and enlightened.


A first step toward rationing.

The link smacks of apologetics for the socialist government, and yet...

I'm not reading about the Venezuelan poor and working classes joining the anti-government demonstrations. That's an inconvenient truth that Venezuela's US critics seem to avoid. What gives?

April 2, 2014

NASA Suspends Relations With Russia

Except for the Space Station. They use the occasion to whine for more funding.

Not surprisingly, the Russians have several responses available (short of letting the American crew run out of supplies) and we have few. They can refuse to carry any more Americans to the Station, in effect taking it over. They can raise prices. They can abandon the Station and let it plunge into the atmosphere.

A move which leaves you with fewer options than it offers to your opponent is a dubious move. Backing down in front of the whole world is one of those very few American options.

The World Economy Disengages From the Dollar

Gently, gently (HT: GayPatriot).

Businessweek: Bundesbank, PBOC in Pact to Turn Frankfurt Into Renminbi Hub. Xinhua:
BERLIN, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China and Germany on Friday signed a memorandum of understating (MoU) on establishing an RMB clearing and settlement mechanism in Frankfurt, moving the German city closer to becoming an offshore RMB center.

The document was inked here by China's central bank, or the People's Bank of China, and its German counterpart, the Deutsche Bundesbank, in the presence of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, March 27 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would develop its own credit card system to reduce reliance on Western-based companies and soften the potential blow from U.S. and EU sanctions.

Putin voiced his support for plans described by senior officials to create a domestic-based system in response to restrictions placed on Russian banks last week by Visa and MasterCard, which are widely use by Russians.
There's a lot more to be found in non-mainstream sources whose credibility I am unsure of (which is not meant as endorsement of mainstream sourcews).