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Many of the regular commenters here had decided to continue their discussion on the generic Open Thread, but had thought they might be unhappy about some of the other commenters there. Also, the auto-approval list that AE had previously set up wouldn’t be operative, introducing some delays and also placing extra work on our moderators.

Therefore, I’ve to split that Open Thread and establish this separate one for the AE community, conveniently located with the other AE posts and having all the regular benefits. I’ve also relocated those initial comments here. This thread will be restricted to the AE Community of approved commenters, and others will not be allowed to post here. — Ron Unz

 

***Note to readers and commenters*** The blog is now archived and inactive. Ron Unz has created a comment thread for the intellectually diverse community of commenters to continue open discussions on whatever topics they deem interesting. The blog and thread will no longer be moderated and will only be accessible to previously approved commenters who have been active in past threads. As long as it is regularly participated in, it will remain open. When–or if!–it dies down, it too will go dormant.

Turn pressure to power, turn stress to strength, and never lose your curiosity or your playfulness!

Isonomy yes, but respect? It is earned, says rebel yell:

If someone can run faster or do better math than me, they have superior skill and I can respect that definition of meritocracy. “Honors to the strong,” as the Romans said. But no one should have superior rights to mine or claim that their life has more moral value than mine or anyone else’s. Our elites like to hold up their Ivy League degrees as proof they should rule over the rest of us. Nonsense. My rulers should be people I choose, who represent my interests, and are accountable to me.

Auctoritas is on life support. Maybe it’s just as well. Rulers are overrated.

Triteleia Laxa makes an astute if crass observation:

In an age when vibrators are sold on the high street, I am astonished that people can convince themselves that women merely like sex as something to trade for romance.

After acceding to the assertion that men and women aren’t necessarily from different planets when it comes to enjoying sex, we won’t get too carried away. Wency on why the general experiences of men and women differ on dating apps:

I think women in our society just don’t go after men nearly to the degree men go after women. A woman saying, “I *need* a man!” is viewed as somewhat gauche nowadays, while in yesteryear it might have been as obvious and non-controversial a statement for a maiden to make as “My car *needs* gas.”

Instead, men are viewed as more of a “nice to have”. “I’d *like* a man. And I’d *like* a coffee maker that also does espresso.”

Men, for one, aren’t really given this message that finding a mate is unimportant. And two, even if we were, it’s not in our nature to listen to such things as much as women do.

What’s the male pro-independence equivalent to a woman needing a man like a fish needs a bicycle? Rhetorical, I think.

And again on the about leftism’s century-long twirl:

Leftism started out the 20th century more on the side of order and conformity (seeking to regiment and rationalize society according to scientific/industrial principles and pushing back against somewhat chaotic and organic traditionalism), then sometime in the mid-20th flipped to the side of chaos and nonconformity (pushing for free speech and free love and a thousand wacky ideas against a modernist gray-suited conservative consensus) and in the form of Wokeism is now once again on the side of order and conformity (restricting free speech and free thought and allying with Woke Corporations and the Woke Military-Industrial Complex).

In a touching tribute to a man’s love for his wife, Twinkie provides an excuse to cover three different marital situations:

My wife and I are in our early 50’s. We both feel strongly that, were one of us to die, the other would not remarry, but would devote himself or herself to the children.

She and I had a “start-up” marriage (as opposed to a “merger” marriage). She married me when I was penniless and was nothing but potential (the first time my parents visited us in our 1 BR apartment, they told me that we looked like children playing house). I love her so intensely and she is so much a part of me and I of her that I don’t think I could ever give the same kind of love, affection, or trust to another woman. And if I couldn’t have that kind of a powerful bond, I don’t think I’d want another as a wife.

Were she to die before I, I would do my best to raise our children well, hopefully watch them have families of their own, and then I would be happy to see her again, God willing.

In addition to start-up (both partners are unestablished, starting out and generally younger) and merger marriages (both partners are established, financially independent and generally older), there is also the acquisition marriage. One partner is established (and probably older) while the other is getting started (and probably younger). The acquisition marriage is presumably the most challenging of the three to maintain over time.

This COTW roundup will be the blog’s concluding act. After many years through various iterations and authorship, it has run its course. When the comment window closes on this post, it will move into the archives. See you around the interwebs, friends.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, Culture/Society • Tags: COTW 

On the fourth of July, Americans celebrate the freeing of their country from the binds of the British. In the same way whites cannot be victims of racism because racism equals prejudice plus power, the idea of one group of whites attaining freedom from another group of whites is an affront to the concept of liberation. The freedom blacks gained from the abolition of slavery is a more significant form of liberation than the freedom colonial aristocrats gained by breaking away from the British empire. So of the two American independence days, Juneteenth is more important.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, History, Ideology, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: History 

Free expression and isonomy are foundational to a functioning liberal democracy. Without free expression there is no liberalism and without isonomy there is no democracy:

Is our age the first in the country’s history wherein younger cohorts are less classically liberal than their elders are? There is no clear racial, gendered, or political confound. To the extent that it is anything, it is generational.

 

A century ago, it was easy to tell Catholics and Protestants apart in America. Unless they are coming out of church, it’s difficult to do so now. One major reason for this is the high rate of intermarriage between Catholics and Protestants over the last few generations. Is a similar trend taking place among Jews and gentiles today (excluding the Orthodox, who constitute a bit under 10% of the American Jewish population)? The data suggest so:

To oversimplify, half of Jews under the age of 50 are half-Jewish. That’s an oversimplification because it assumes Jewishness is ethnic rather than religious. There are of course those with one ethnically Jewish parent who consider themselves to be Jewish and others who have one ethnically Jewish parent but do not consider themselves to be Jewish at all. The latter will have been largely excluded from the survey this data is drawn from.

That technical consideration aside, this is a sea change from sixty or seventy years ago. It helps explain why there is some convergence in test scores among younger Jews and gentiles compared to older cohorts and also why younger Jews tend to be less politically left-leaning than older Jews do.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Jews, Polling, Religion 

The cup overflows with thought provoking reactions for this COTW. Wency on the drop in the stock price of liberal white women:

White feminists have endured a series of intra-left losses these last few years. World War T has cost them on both sides: MtFs (for whom abortion is at most a theoretical issue) have labeled them “TERFs” and taken much of the feminist high ground from them, while a number of butch left-leaning would-be lesbians have instead gone FtM and “non-binary” and attached themselves more to the LGBT wagon than the feminist one. All the while blacks (whose prestige within the Democratic Party is as high as ever) remain wary of white feminists and label them “Karens”.

Democracy is a zero sum game. That’s why it generates so much anger and resentment.

Wency again on the two most famous dystopian novels of the 20th century (with Fahrenheit 451 occupying the Bach position as a third option against Mozart and Beethoven):

Which dystopia rings more true as a possible vision of the future: the quasi-Communist 1984 or the quasi-liberal Brave New World? I read both of them as a teen in the Clinton years, and I had little doubt: the latter, even though it was written earlier. A couple of decades later, and that appears even more true to me today. I remember being astonished, at first, how old Huxley’s book was, that it predated the Sexual Revolution. Only the weird references to “Ford” really gave it away.

I could perhaps argue though that Huxley’s vision is less evil: I suppose I would prefer to live under it than Orwell’s. But then again, maybe that’s what makes Huxley’s world most threatening to the soul. If a boot is to stamp on our faces forever, then 1984‘s ending aside, maybe I could find it in myself to hate Big Brother and yearn for what could have been. But if we’re merely provided with a crass but comfortable life of selfish hedonism, and never allowed or taught to value attachments like family, then perhaps I’d find myself content with it, and I hate that idea even more.

Unless an authoritarian sadist, 1984 is pure dystopia. On the other hand, there are more than a few people who, if honest with themselves, might view Brave New World as something closer to utopia. They live like it is.

Drawing from his own fieldwork, nebulafox offers insights into hard drug addiction and approaches to help people break free of it:

Many junkies are sincere when they tell you they want to clean up. They aren’t lying to you or attempting to manipulate you. They believe it: in that moment. But their brains are “short-circuited” from addiction. Some junkies do become aware of this dynamic over time, and it’s often a highly depressing realization that leads to further abuse. If you don’t even trust yourself to that extent, you aren’t likely to think you are worth saving.

Detox, in many ways, is the process of repairing and rebuilding neural networks necessary for performance that the addiction destroyed.

So, the good news from that is, it’s possible for the junkie to clean up. They have to want it and know the responsibility lies with them, of course, and some don’t. But many sincerely do. The bad news is, the average person with average willpower who is dealing with a severe addiction is unlikely to have the faculties necessary to break it on their own, especially if they lack meaningful social networks or support. They need a highly regulated environment surrounded by people who care in the “right” way in the right amount: i.e, they genuinely want to see the junkie detox, but don’t have emotional ties that might lead to indulgence. They also can’t just sit around and focus on detoxing constantly: which is a mistake a lot of programs make. They need to rebuild the psychological scars that led to and/or fueled the addiction.

For men in particular, lifting weights is a great therapeutic tool because it emphasizes control and power.

The vulpine again on why an Iranian desire for nukes is rational:

Gaddafi: gave up his nukes. Sodomized and left in ditch.
Saddam: had his nuclear reactor blown up by Israel. Eventually lynched.

The Kims: successfully develops nukes. Endures the horror of mean Hollywood movies and YouTube videos being made about them.
Pakistan: successfully develops nukes. Actually gets away with harboring Bin Laden.

The mullahs draw the logical conclusion from the above about how much nuclear programs are worth, and (given what happened to Mubarak, a guy who was America’s friend for almost as long as the mullahs have been America’s enemies) how much you should trust anything Washington DC has to say.

John Johnson on how the reigning neo-liberal order of the brave new world we’re living in manufactures consent:

I saw this in college where very few students could conceive of professors being dishonest for the sake of politics. Most people assume that really smart people somewhere have already done all the work and it isn’t their place to question the result. This is argument from authority which is a logical fallacy that liberals have not only mastered but have entire areas of study entirely built around it. We saw this with the Wuhan virus where the liberal media said that it couldn’t have come from a lab because the WHO and all kinds of other experts said so. That actually isn’t an argument.

Riffing on the observation that it was not the existence of slavery but the ending of slavery that made America rich, TomSchmidt notes not only is slavery immoral, it’s also inefficient:

The bill was being paid even while it was active. It’s like hiring employees with intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation: you have to keep upping the dopamine dose for the latter. With slaves, you have to turn your energies to controlling them, a negative task, from the ones of innovating and growing.

That’s why Alexis D’T noted the extrinsically motivated slave lands as largely barren. They were suffering, but the elites that benefitted from the system kept it in place. Just like English commoners were kept a lot poorer by the Empire using the wealth of the industrial revolution to control India. The common man got no economic dividend from it, but the grifter class at the top of the British Empire did.

Dfordoom provides a pithy outline of weaponized wokeness in action:

[Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden] put the interests of bankers and billionaires ahead of the interests of the rest of us. That makes them pretty far right economically in my book.

To me that’s what neo-liberalism amounts to – looking after the interests of bankers and billionaires while using social left policies to distract us from the economic issues. With most neo-liberals the social policies (antiracism, LGBT nonsense, etc) are motivated by pure cynicism.

The doomer on how echo chambers are a feature of rather than a bug in social media:

Social media is re-creating the conditions of pre-industrial society in which people would spend their whole lives in a tiny social bubble and never have any exposure whatsoever to the wider world or to anyone outside their own immediate social circle. Ironically for most people the world of social media is like living in a tiny village and never interacting with outsiders and never becoming aware that such things as history and culture exist.

V.K. Ovelund on how neo-liberalism is neither purely capitalist nor socialist, but something more like crony capitalist with occasional showers of helicopter money for the rabble, managed by elites convinced they’re doing good:

I suspect that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden see socialism through the Cold War prism of their generation and, thus, are sincere in their regard for capitalism as they understand it. They are also sincere in their desire that capitalists repay that regard with campaign cash and other favors. (If the CEO gets to retire with a net worth of \$300 million, then what’s a mere \$30 million for a good friend?)

Working Class on how on an all volunteer military allows the empire to wage its forever wars in ways it could never get away with under conscription:

With the abandonment of conscription after VietNam and the fall of the Berlin Wall, endless war became something that happens on television. For Americans, with the notable exception of our veterans, endless war abroad is a background noise forgotten in the midst of domestic culture wars. The woke are mostly silent regarding war and peace. They are engaged with real problems like pronouns and of course, white supremacy.

What’s the over-under on US troop presence in Afghanistan at the end of September?

Notes

[1] Something Noted Here.

[2] Something Else Here.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, Culture/Society, Economics, Ideology, Science • Tags: COTW 

In a few generations, that is. The Orthodox don’t yet comprise one-in-ten American Jews, though they will soon and their representation will continue to increase from there. In many respects, non-Orthodox Jews view the Orthodox like liberal whites view white Trump supporters–as deplorables. Orthodox Jews voted for Trump by a 2-to-1 margin.

But while the fertility and outmarriage rates of liberal whites and white Trump supporters are roughly similar, these things are not comparable between non-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews.

Here are three graphs comprised of data taken from Pew’s extensive recent report on Jewishness in America illustrating as much:

Outmarriage is extremely rare among Orthodox Jews. Among married non-Orthodox Jews, though, fewer than half marry other Jews. And the trend towards outmarriage has accelerated rapidly over time. Among Jews married before 1980, 82% married someone who is Jewish. Among Jews who have married in the last ten years, however, only 39% married another Jew. The outmarriage rate is likely to keep increasing, as most non-Orthodox Jews have no problem with their descendants marrying non-Jews:

Not only are non-Orthodox Jews mostly marrying gentiles and are fine with their progeny doing the same, they aren’t making many progenies. Non-Orthodox fertility in the US is well below replacement (indicated by the horizontal green line):

It’s even lower than significantly below replacement white gentile fertility. Strange strategy for world domination, that!

 

One thing BlackRock’s voracious acquisition of residential real estate across the country at rates far in excess of market listings indicates is that the econoclysm we’re early on in won’t be a repeat of 2008. Inflation isn’t transitory, it’s perennial. If the Fed had any intention of raising rates, BlackRock wouldn’t be paying 30% above asking for houses.

If the Fed raises rates, the housing bubble bursts. Large numbers of adjustable rate mortgage rate holders default. They’re only a small fraction of borrowers. What about all those homeowners who have locked in rates?

They’re still unable to sell for what they’re able to now. Homeowner A would like to sell his \$300k house with a 3% mortgage rate to prospective buyer B. A’s monthly mortgage payment is \$2,000. New mortgage origination rates are a lot higher now, though. B’s monthly payment on that \$300k home, at 8%, is \$3,000 a month. That’s a grand more than A is paying for the same property. For B to afford A’s life, the \$300k house is going to have to sell for \$200k so B can get the same \$2,000 monthly payment A currently has. Though A has a great rate for the times, if his house will only sell for \$200k now and prior to the price drop he only had \$50k of equity in the house, he’s underwater on his fixed rate mortgage. There will be many such cases.

Is BlackRock or JP Morgan really going to pay \$400k for A’s \$300k house when monetary tightening will push the listing of that house down to \$200k in a few years? If Big Finance knows the Fed isn’t going to fight inflation–and the incestuous nature of these the Fed and the banks that own it is legendary, so they know what the Fed has in mind–it also knows nominal prices of everything will go up. Prices will increase at accelerating rates. There will be an abundance of dollars and shortages of everything else, including residential real estate.

The important thing in that situation–the situation we’re in now, because the Fed not only won’t fight inflation, it can’t fight inflation–is to gobble up as much of the real estate market as possible, whatever the price. The money to buy is borrowed for free anyway.

Free money to acquire residential property and then rent that property out for? Sounds like a pretty nice perpetual income stream for asset management conglomerates to get their hands on. Those perpetual income streams are lucrative, very lucrative. Just ask Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, or Pfizer! And if it doesn’t pan out the way BlackRock would like it to, they’ll just get bailed out by their friends at the Fed and the Treasury.

You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy. UBI will cover the subscriptions you need to live, albeit with nothing left over at the end of the month. It’s a new spin on an old arrangement. Get used to the term “neo-feudalism”. It’s going to come up a lot in the coming years.

 

Consumer prices beat consensus estimates for the fifth consecutive month. Again, we’re told it’s transitory. It was another bad month of weather for the harvests just like it’s another bad month for the cost of cars. Even if the annualized rate falls back from 6% to 2%–which it won’t–it wouldn’t be transitory. Transitory requires the second part of the year to come in at a deflationary -2%. That’s how things get back 2% for the year. Easy peasy, ha!

Or maybe not ha!. Treasury yields fell on the CPI beat. The 30-year is down on the week, paying a measly 2.15%. The Fed is going to tighten so hard nominal prices will fall! If consumer price decreases are coming, a guaranteed 2%+ return is the perspicacious play!

In seriousness, tie your money up for 30 years to earn an equivalent real yield of -4%? Who would possibly be so dumb?! AT&T dividends are thrice that. Nobody who isn’t a central bank is going to buy long-term treasuries. Lender of last resort takes on a new meaning!

The TreasureFed is holding rates down because if they were allowed to clear the open market, rates would fly up to 5% or 10%, sending the economy crashing in a way that makes 2008 look like a walk in the park by comparison. The longer rates are artificially held down despite ever-increasing trade and budget deficits, the more the rest of the world will pull out of the dollar market.

The dollar’s demotion will be painful. Americans’ monetary standard-of-living will decline. It’s been a year now and it’s still hard to know if the things you’re looking for at the grocery store will be there. As it becomes increasingly clear that the perpetual shortages of products and labor are no more transitory than inflation is, prices will rise substantially to reflect reality. It’s nice when the house or the 401(k) goes up 10% in a year. It’s not so fun when the price of bread and milk do.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Economics • Tags: Economics 

As America becomes less culturally and ancestrally Western, the orientation of the country’s foreign policy will correspondingly move away from the West and towards the rest:

Zoomers and millennials are modestly less favorably inclined towards Western leaders than older generations. And they’re much less hostile towards putatively authoritarian–putatively because Ontario, Canada is locked down harder than just about anywhere else on the planet at the moment–non-Western countries than their elders are.

The last item on the x-axis shows the mean favorability advantage the leaders of the four Western countries have over the leaders of the three non-Western countries, by age cohort. The differences are stark. They will manifest substantially in the future, particularly once the boomers pass on.

 

The following graph shows why American men and women use dating sites and applications. Respondents were permitted to select as many reasons as they wanted to:

Dating apps and websites probably aren’t as debauched as you think they are, especially if you came of age before the internet swallowed up all social interactions. Not all sites are the same, of course, but the predominant reason both men and women use the services in general is to find a monogamous partner.

As for empirically assessing the validity of stereotypes, well, here are the things men are more driven by than women:

– Casual sex
– Non-exclusive romantic partners (it’s easier for men to have strong physical and emotional affection for multiple women simultaneously than it is for women to have for multiple men at the same time)
– Cheating on a current partner

And here are the things women are more enticed by than men:

– Forming platonic relationships
– Finding an exclusive romantic partner
– Boosting one’s own self-esteem (women’s profiles generate a lot more interest than men’s do)
– Being entertained by perusing through profiles (women go for the articles, men go to see articles removed)
– To test out the application (this is the only one that doesn’t seem to fit–maybe it’s psychological, a way of telling oneself “I’m just here to take a look, I’m not necessarily into this objectifying”)
– To matchmake

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Science • Tags: Love and Marriage, Polling, Sex 

The crony isn’t just in the capitalism. It’s in the alleged meritocracy, too. As nebulafox explains:

What we have is a sort of crony meritocracy, not too dissimilar from the crony capitalism that is our economic system. There’s enough of a sheen of merit and hard work so that people who make it feel no sort of obligation to people who don’t, hence the American political class’ attitude toward the rest of the country, but the system is riddled with inconsistencies, rigging mechanisms, and a reliance on heavy doses of luck that nobody dares acknowledge because it would invalidate the “moral” legitimacy of the mandarinate.

After legacy admissions and affirmative action, what place for genuine merit remains? The former is an intractable problem so long as the process retains any semblance of discretion. Explicit race-norming with a Woke spin–ie, systemic oppression favors whites and since they have an unfair advantage they don’t get to compete directly against blacks and Hispanics–could make the process more palatable. Backing legacy admissions out, that is effectively what happens now anyway.

Nebula again, on Wokeness as the 21st century’s will to power:

In the classical world, the strong openly based their morality on being strong. There’s enough of the worst aspects of Christianity in the Western consciousness-without any of the good stuff-left that the current powers-that-be instead legitimize themselves on public weakness and victimhood. While underneath the hood, there’s a reinstitution a blithe lack of concern for those being crushed by the machine, because they deserve it. Learn To Code is just the 21st Century version of scorning a slave on the grounds that if he were a moral, correct person, he wouldn’t be a slave. And all this leads to is a more neurotic populace because of the insistent denial of reality coexisting with a Saved vs. Damned situation in which the former are precarious and the latter have nagging fears that it’ll all blow up in their face due to forces beyond their control, actively acting against their autonomy, dragging them down.

Dfordoom observes:

Many on the far right seem to be in favour of abortion because they believe (or at least hope) that it will reduce the black population of the US. So it’s not a position based on any kind of moral arguments. It’s simply an expression of their visceral hatred of blacks. They seem quite happy about the idea of unborn white babies being killed as long as more unborn black babies get killed.

And then they wonder why so many people regard them as dangerously unhinged.

In fairness, they’re probably not all happy about white abortions–some presumably view it as an acceptable cost to abort non-whites. On the other hand, some bring the horseshoe theory to life by celebrating abortion as a way of ridding the world of undesirables. It is simultaneously Sangerian and monstrous.

I find it difficult to comment clinically on the subject. The idea of snuffing out human life in its most precious, vulnerable form–whatever the color or sex–is deeply saddening to me. I confess to being led entirely by the heart when it comes to the question of abortion. Having cradled a newborn, I suspect I’ll go to the grave led thusly. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I know I’m not the only one.

Wency shakes the heart in an appeal to the head:

The political Schelling Point around abortion is based on the location of the child (inside the mother or not) and not the child’s cognitive capabilities, which increase continuously from conception to adulthood. There is no step change when a child leaves the womb, which is an arbitrary and flexible moment in time.

But I hadn’t thought much about the question of an abortion slippery slope, so I’ll speculate on it a moment. Again, I think the political matter is bound up in location of the child, so I doubt it could “slip” to infants and beyond (which is not to say our enemies would never start murdering our children, only that they’d justify it in other terms). The most probable direction of a slippery slope, then, is leading towards mandatory abortion of undesirables. Something like this may already exist in the PRC, or so they say, so it’s not so great a stretch.

If Down’s Syndrome is a genetic malformation that must be cured by culling, then how much more important is eliminating the genetic disease known as “whiteness”, the cause of all humanity’s troubles? Though really, I don’t see them saying such things entirely out loud. More likely fetuses receive a social credit score partly inherited from the parents but affected by features of the child’s genome (calculated by an algorithm that is less than fully transparent), and those below a certain score face mandatory abortion. Which, as we know, is morally equivalent to removing a tumor, so what are the grounds to really object?

Peter Singer argues–or at any rate argued–infanticide up to the age of one or so should be permissible on the grounds of total dependency, whether the dependent be inside or outside the womb. Wency’s is a good riposte to that macabre argument.

Regarding mandatory abortions for the socially pathologized–that’s many of us, folks–it still feels like a stretch. Then again, so did the idea that color blindness would go from being the liberal ideal to a reactionary position in the span of a few years, yet here we are. If my body, my choice fends off mandatory Covid shots, forced abortions are still a long way over the horizon. If they make the poke a must though, look out.

Jay Fink on diversity and shortism:

I am short (5’7) and it’s one reason I enjoy living in a Hispanic majority city. Most Hispanics are short and even the taller ones don’t seem to be obsessed with height the way white people are. Whites will make comments on me being short but Hispanics never do.

What is the ‘ideal’ height for a man? When it comes to normative traits with roughly normal distributions, my sense is two standard deviations above the average tends to be the sweet spot socially. That’s about 6’4″. Past that threshold, it becomes the first thing people notice and in the process transforms from being a nice attribute to being a defining characteristic.

Ask a new acquaintance about his religion, income, or ethnicity? That’s considered to be in poor taste. If he’s on the tail of the height distribution, however, it’s socially acceptable to ask if he plays basketball–even though you’re the fourteenth person who has asked him that today!

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Race/Ethnicity, Science • Tags: COTW 

The young are at much lesser risk from Covid-19 than the elderly. That doesn’t appear to be the case with the vaccine shots, though. If anything, the opposite is true:

Rogan was right, or at least eminently reasonable, when he hypothetically advised a healthy man in his twenties to forego the shot. There is a one-in-three chance the jab comes with unpleasant side effects. Compare that to a slight chance of contracting the virus at all and an infinitesimal chance of having a rough go of it, and it’s difficult to find fault with young people who want nothing to do with it. Mandating children get the shot is arguably abusive.

 

The assessment Facebook banned and the corporate media destroyed people for holding looks to be the correct one. Oops, looks like the fact checkers effed up again. Despite more than a year of the merchants of mendacity running cover for the US and Chinese establishments, most Americans see through the lies:

Virtually every aspect of Covid-19 has been lied about by the regime and its Trust The Science enforcers.

They said it came from wild bats or pangolins. It didn’t.

They said it spread through physical contact on inorganic surfaces where it could remain virulent for weeks. It doesn’t.

They said sanitizing surfaces, both retail counters and your knuckles and everything in between, over and over and over again was the way to slow the spread. It wasn’t.

They correctly predicted 67 of the last 0 supers spreader events. It was a baseball game in Texas this Spring that finally routed the super spreader sentries. The massive George Floyd protests nearly a year before had shown those paying attention that the super spreader sensationalism was just that, but a lot of people weren’t paying attention. They are now.

They said masks did more harm than good. That was to keep proles from buying protective gear so the medical establishment could have first dibs. Leveling with the public and asking them to do their patriotic duty by making homemade masks or foregoing them for a few weeks wasn’t part of the plan. Why would it be? You think we have an actual country? What year do you think this is, 1941? Excuse me while I empty two years’ worth of toilet paper off this WalMart shelf to store in my basement. Wipe with leaves, loser.

Then they said a mask was good, two masks were better, and wear them everywhere if you don’t hate humanity. They said wearing masks outside made no sense. Then they said wearing masks inside doesn’t make much sense. Guess they were right before they were wrong before they were right again in this case. Or maybe they were wrong before they were right before they were wrong again. Who knows?

They said states that didn’t lock down were going to experience carnage. Didn’t happen. There are no discernable differences in outcomes between states that never mandated lockdowns and states that have kept them in place for over a year now.

They said restricting travel from Asia was racist. A month later, foreign travelers from anywhere to anywhere were quarantining for two weeks going to and from because you can never be too careful.

They said an effective vaccine within the year was impossible. Donald Trump was lying about its potential for political reasons. A week after Trump’s election loss, Big Pharma announced the vaccines were ready to go. And not one moment later than we knew, they assured us, as they stuffed Joe Biden’s coffers with cash.

Those whoppers are off the top of the head. It’s not an exhaustive list.

Collapsing trust in every major institution in society is a real head-scratcher, isn’t it?

 

The following graph shows how American Jews perceive the importance of various things in defining what it means to be Jewish. The figures are computed by taking the percentages who rate a thing as essential and subtracting from it the percentages who deem it unimportant. The percentages indicating a thing to be important but not essential are netted out:

Israel is of middling concern. Distinctly religiously and ethnically Jewish activities, like observing halakha, being around other Jews, and eating gefilte fish are viewed as even less important than caring about Israel is. Secular victimization and the future prevention of victimization are considered to be the central aspects of what being Jewish means.

Questioning the Holocaust hits Jews in way similar to how questioning Muhammad’s existence hits Muslims, questioning the right of whites to have a distinct future hits white nationalists, and questioning the predominance of lowering corporate tax rates hits Conservatism Inc. The Holocaust is fundamental to how American Jews view the world. What happens to Israel is not.

Jay Fink, a regular commenter who is Jewish, recently counseled readers to “keep in mind American Jews are liberals first and Jews second”. The data appear to be bear him out.

 
• Category: History, Ideology, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Jews, Polling 

The following graph shows the percentages of Jewish Americans and of all Americans who perceive there to be “a lot” of discrimination against various groups:

Michael Savage and his friends are about the only Jews who think evangelicals are seriously put upon. Evangelicals are the strongest supporters of Israel in the country–stronger supporters of Israel than Jewish Americans are, as we’ll take a detailed look at in a subsequent post. The solidarity evangelicals have with Israel is not reciprocated by Jewish Americans.

Actually, reciprocity probably isn’t the correct way to view it. While 72% of American Jews say “leading an ethical and moral life” is an essential part of being Jewish, only 45% of American Jews say “caring about Israel” is. To the majority of American Jews, especially irreligious ones, Israel isn’t central to their identity.

Muslims have supplanted blacks at the top of the oppression tower. The discrimination perception gap between Jews and the total US population is widest when the putative victims in question are Jewish and narrowest when they are gay.

The Pew survey does not break down discrimination perceptions by race, but it’s plausible that a majority of non-whites do not perceive Jews as being more discriminated against than evangelicals are. To many people of color, Jews aren’t victims–they’re especially privileged white people.

 

The following series of graphs show contemporary American views on past (and present) US wars by partisan affiliation. Pat Buchanan was fighting an uphill battle with Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War:

Vietnam is the least popular war over at least the last century and change, the second world war perceived to be the most justified.

That one-third of Republican voters are anti-war is mildly encouraging. That only half of Democrats are is not. At the end of Bush’s second term, just 17% of Democrats favored the Iraq war compared to 73% of Republicans. As neoconnery continues to morph into Woke cultural imperialism, the electoral realignment will complete. Democrats will be the messianic party of war, Republicans the ineffective opposition to it–kind of like it was the last time America First was a thing.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: History, Military, Politics, Polling, War 

One man, in this case dfordoom, calls it an echo chamber. Another man might call it a sanctuary:

The purpose of any kind of political activism is to target the normies, the majority who don’t have rigid opinions. To try to persuade the normies to start thinking a little bit. You can’t do that in an echo chamber. So joining echo chambers like Gab is an admission of defeat. It’s an admission that you’ve given up trying to reach the normies, which means you’ve accepted defeat.

Maybe. On the other hand, the presumption that there should be a designated place where people of disparate beliefs and sensibilities congregate is an odd one. It isn’t borne out in other media or entertainment trends. A generation ago, it was easy for someone only casually plugged into mainstream American culture to know what the top shows, movies, books, and video games were. Because of the proliferation of media over the last few decades, most people have no idea what they are today. Cultural civil war, like political civil war, is bad. Cultural secession, like political secession, is the way to go.

Coming from someone who predicted a Biden victory and who thought that while the election fraud claims were intriguingly indicative of a decaying political process the fact that the alleged kraken turned out to be a water lily confirmed the validity of that prediction, it’s hard to find fault with Mark G.’s assessment of what is going on in Arizona:

It does seem a tad suspicious that the Democrats are so eager to block an audit of the vote in Arizona. What are they worried about if there is nothing to find?

The Constitution gave the role of certifying the election results to state legislatures. Since they are in charge of that they also need to be in charge of setting the procedures for how the voting is done and how the votes are verified as being accurate after the voting is over. Some of these decisions were made in the last election by state governors, the secretary of state for individual states and even city government officials. In any situation like this, the Constitution says it should have been the state legislature making the decision. Now that the election is over, the Democrat controlled Congress should not be taking over and trying to stop attempts to uncover voter fraud.

Democrats control the presidency and both chambers of congress. If Republican losers want to bark up a tree for a cat that isn’t up there, why not let them further discredit themselves in the process? It’s almost as though they’re worried a cat really is hanging out in the branches. What conspiracy theorists!

Nebulafox loquaciously adapts a common expression about politics to offer a profound insight into how modern Americans weary of empire might reflect upon the middle of the 19th century:

You wish to destroy everything Confederate in an age where there is increasingly reluctance to make your own stand on things, to not obey nagging schoolmarms who wish to dictate what history *is*, you don’t have a heart. You actually think the Confederacy was a good idea with over 150 years of hindsight, you don’t have a brain.

RSDB notes the humble blog is in good company observing that slavery isn’t responsible for America’s wealth, ending slavery is. Alexis de Tocqueville, writing nearly two centuries ago:

The more progress was made, the more was it shown that slavery, which is so cruel to the slave, is prejudicial to the master.

But this truth was most satisfactorily demonstrated when civilization reached the banks of the Ohio.

That which follows the numerous windings of the Ohio upon the left is called Kentucky, that upon the right bears the name of the river. These two States only differ in a single respect; Kentucky has admitted slavery, but the State of Ohio has prohibited the existence of slaves within its borders.

Thus the traveller who floats down the current of the Ohio to the spot where that river falls into the Mississippi, may be said to sail between liberty and servitude; and a transient inspection of the surrounding objects will convince him as to which of the two is most favorable to mankind. Upon the left bank of the stream the population is rare; from time to time one descries a troop of slaves loitering in the half-desert fields; the primaeval forest recurs at every turn; society seems to be asleep, man to be idle, and nature alone offers a scene of activity and of life. From the right bank, on the contrary, a confused hum is heard which proclaims the presence of industry; the fields are covered with abundant harvests, the elegance of the dwellings announces the taste and activity of the laborer, and man appears to be in the enjoyment of that wealth and contentment which is the reward of labor.

The money which a master spends in the maintenance of his slaves goes gradually and in detail, so that it is scarcely perceived; the salary of the free workman is paid in a round sum, which appears only to enrich the individual who receives it, but in the end the slave has cost more than the free servant, and his labor is less productive.

Triteleia Laxa on how reaction and revolution map on to perceptions of Israel and Palestine:

People who don’t talk about revolutions, all over the world, like Israel. People who talk about them a lot, like Palestine.

Slogans like “white lives matter” play directly into the Church of Woke’s hands. It’s easy to portray those pushing it as narcissistic jerks. ChrisZ suggests challenging the liturgy in a more devious way:

I’ve come up with “ONLY Black Lives Matter.”

Make the woke temporize on that (which is tantamount to retreating to the verboten “All Lives…” heresy), or embrace it (which would alienate all but liberal college-“educated” Whites).

Forget it’s okay to be white. Go with it’s not okay to be white.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, Culture/Society, History, Ideology • Tags: COTW 

So desperately I sing to thee of good news that may not come as too much of a surprise to readers of comment sections anywhere–left, right, or otherwise:

It’s easy to despair over the increasing intellectual totalitarian absurdity of The Great Awokening. That despair might be justified. But the inanity could also be indicative of a coming blow off top. Here’s to hoping.

The only blemish on otherwise encouraging results is the inverse relationship between age and acceptance of political correctness. The young are supposed to break social taboos, not enforce them.

 

The dam of resistance has burst. Democrat apprehension over reopening society has been washed downstream. Bipartisan majorities support a return to normalcy:

It is truly bizarre to watch national officials still carry on as though the public is looking to them for permission to have a few friends over on the fourth of July. There were large swaths of the country–albeit exclusively red in electoral hue–where scarcely anyone was taking the ever-changing rules and regulations seriously last fourth of July. Ten months on and with the exception of a few big city holdouts everybody is carrying on as though we live in a modern liberal society rather than a leper colony. Have your criticisms of said modern liberal society–it beats a world where everyone is terrified of his own shadow.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology, Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Polling