Chaos Manor View, Thursday, March 24, 2016
“This is the most transparent administration in history.”
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.
Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.
Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.
Apparently the Brussels attackers were – or should have been – well known to the Belgian authorities, as was the coming attack on a major European city. Of course liberalism political correctness is in keeping with the philosophy of consolation for the west as it commits suicide, so there should be no surprises here.
They can say they meant well, trying to rehabilitate the terrorists who have nothing but contempt for them; and meanwhile darker sentiments boil among less sophisticated citizens who think that they have a right to some protection from this sort of thing.
This is known as sowing the wind.
Liberalism encourages diversity, and freedom, but there are limits. After all. There is a consensus on weather and climate change, and it’s important, so we can’t have people presenting arguments against saving the Earth. It’s far too important .
Punishing Climate-Change Skeptics
Some in Washington want to unleash government to harass heretics who don’t accept the ‘consensus.’
David B. Rivkin Jr. and
Andrew M. Grossman
March 23, 2016 6:29 p.m. ET
Galileo Galilei was tried in 1633 for spreading the heretical view that the Earth orbits the sun, convicted by the Roman Catholic Inquisition, and remained under house arrest until his death. Today’s inquisitors seek their quarry’s imprisonment and financial ruin. As the scientific case for a climate-change catastrophe wanes, proponents of big-ticket climate policies are increasingly focused on punishing dissent from an asserted “consensus” view that the only way to address global warming is to restructure society—how it harnesses and uses energy. That we might muddle through a couple degrees’ of global warming over decades or even centuries, without any major disruption, is the new heresy and must be suppressed.
The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.
Assuming the mantle of Grand Inquisitor is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.). Last spring he called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a “coordinated strategy” to spread heterodox views on global warming, including the energy industry, trade associations, “conservative policy institutes” and scientists. Mr. Whitehouse, a former prosecutor, identified as a legal basis for charges that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the federal statute enacted to take down mafia organizations and drug cartels.
In September a group of 20 climate scientists wrote to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch encouraging them to heed Mr. Whitehouse and launch a RICO investigation targeting climate skeptics. This was necessary since, they claimed, America’s policy response to climate change was currently “insufficient,” because of dissenting views regarding the risks of climate change. Email correspondence subsequently obtained through public-records requests revealed that this letter was also coordinated by Mr. Whitehouse. [snip]
Use of government to ruin one’s opposition with legal fees and time spent in courts is a very old practice. You’ll see a lot more of it in future. The debate is not over, of course. Mann’s “hockey stick” is still not accepted even by a number of his fellow climatologists, and perfectly respectable people continue to believe that the Earth has been both warmer and colder than it is now even ion comparatively recent time: almost certainly warmer during Viking periods and probably in some Roman periods; and certainly colder during the Little Ice Age, which fact allows Mann to pretend that there has been this sudden warming period. The obvious answer to this heretical skepticism is the auto-de-fe, but perhaps financial ruin will be as good, and doesn’t add to global warming.
Stefan Molyneux on Language, Race, Nationality and the Problem with Europe-
I have rarely heard this much truth in one hour, though the heavens fall and the earth cracks.
Is ISIS really succeeding?
In a recent post, you suggested that every successful attack strengthens ISIS’s position. And the recent successful attacks in Paris and Brussels have certainly drawn lots of media attention. But at the same time, ISIS seems to be losing ground with respect to its own homeland, the territory claimed for the Caliphate:
Some have suggested that the shift toward attacks abroad is a sign of weakness, rather than strength, that ISIS is trying to shift attention away from setbacks in holding the territory that they had previously acquired. If the Caliphate does, in fact, eventually collapse or is soundly defeated, I would expect attacks abroad to escalate, as the survivors of the grand experiment return home to vent their anger and frustration. Should we read these European attacks as a sign of success and growing power, or a sign of failure, that ISIS has been driven back to the tactics previously employed by Al Qaeda?
ISIS losses of territory are not exploited by the West, whereas marginal gains are trumpeted; but one cannot expect the Caliphate always to be victorious. Allah does not directly intervene in these matters and thus rob The Faithful of that share of glory which is rightfully theirs.
You may or may not be correct in assuming that if the Caliphate collapses there will be more, not fewer, attacks on the West; but I can assure you that so long as it exists, there will be more, and better planned, attacks in Europe and the United States. Destroying ISIS will not bring about the end of conflict with militant Islam; but letting it grow more powerful will not either. We could wish we had not kicked over the hornet’s nest, but we have; it now remains to deal with the enraged hornets.
You won’t need a CAP against Iran for your A 10s, as Iran is also fighting ISIS. This is
The subs etc. You should understand that Putin views the situation between the US
and Russia as a cold war. You have done enough to Russia with the Ukraine nonsense,
and breaking promises made, to make him understand, that no rules hardball, is the only thing you understand.
I would not trust the lives of American Nation Guardsmen to Iranian pilots, and I would not assume that the Caliphate cannot buy SAM missiles, either from Iran or someone else.
Putin certainly views current US policy as a variant on Cold War and has done so since Madeleine Albright gratuitously chose the anti-Slav side in the Balkan affair, and set the United States to killing Slavs – and very nearly getting into a shooting war with Russia.
I am unsure what is the referent to your pronoun “you”. I have certainly done nothing to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. I do understand that Putin does not approve of the effort to encircle Russia with NATO, nor would I were I he. As to breaking agreements, particularly on the disposition of nuclear weapons in exchange for territorial guaranteed, that is a larger subject than we have time and space for at the moment; and both sides have cases to present. If you mean that Putin has what he considers good reason to believe that he did not start the new phase of the Cold War, we are in agreement, but the stakes are different; the Comintern is not a factor.
Dear Mr. Pournelle,
You are probably correct that depriving Daesh of territorial control would destroy their claim to legitimacy; and I would support that. The questions would be: How? and “What then?” Perhaps, as you suggest, we could impose a division of the territory they claim. I would halfway trust the Kurds to manage their part. But I doubt we are going to run out of monsters in the Arab world any time soon. So the question I’d like to see addressed is: do we have a good strategy for Whack-a-Mole?
Saddam Hussein was a monster. Whacked. Bin Laden, though I am not convinced I could call him a monster, was certainly our enemy. Whacked. Into that vacuum steps Daesh. Who’s next in line? And does the line end?
I find myself disheartened by the results of the Arab Spring. It seemed so hopeful at first. Well, Tunisia survives, though under threat from jihadists. But elsewhere, we don’t look like running short on monsters.
Is this a combat in which *there is no end game?* If so, how would that affect our strategy?
Allan E. Johnson
First, I opposed going into Iraq the first time as well as the second time. I did say that once we were committed, we had to do it right, and we needed to give our troops full support. I didn’t think they should be there, but once there they deserved our full efforts.
Saddam Hussein did not declare war on us, and he did not send airplanes crashing into the world trade center. We had no right to invade his country. Perhaps driving him out of Kuwait was a treaty obligation, but I’m not even certain of that. Restoring the Kuwaiti Royals to power was not our job.
The Caliphate is not just another mole; it stands and defies us, and has declared war on us; and has acted on that declaration. This is both a necessary and sufficient reason to make their destruction a just war. What we do with the fruit of that conquest is a matter to be determined; but ignoring their threat is not a viable option.
Well, the Associated Press claims that ISIS claims that 400 trained men claim they’re ready to attack Europe. Let’s assume this is correct; that’s a couple companies; nearly half a battalion.
To a military planner, it may not seem like much. To a special operations soldier, that’s enough to do some serious harassment.
Governor Ventura, former Navy SEAL, claimed he could shut down the entire country with 5 coordinated sniper teams and I think he’s probably correct.
Will these 400 attack in a coordinated fashion? Probably not because the necessary logistics and communications could reasonably be expected to be detected. A stream of smaller cells seem more effective.
Notice, however, their tactics lately focus on economic targets. This is par for the course in Islamic warfare and we noticed Al Qaeda’s targets are nearly always military or economic. ISIS seems to be shifting toward that approach.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
That speaks to the disposition of the fruits of our conquest of ISIS, and also gives another reason for not putting it off much longer.
Time Warner Opposes Georgia Religious Act (B&C)
Other media companies threatening to boycott production in state
3/24/2016 09:27:00 AM Eastern
Time Warner on Thursday joined a list of media companies criticizing a religious liberty bill that’s passed the legislature in Georgia that opponents say encourages discrimination.
“At Time Warner, diversity in all its forms is core to our value system and to the success of our business. We strongly oppose the discriminatory language and intent of Georgia’s pending religious liberty bill, which clearly violates the values and principles of inclusion and the ability of all people to live and work free from discrimination,” said Time Warner, whose Turner Broadcasting unit is based in Atlanta.
“All of our divisions – HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner – have business interests in Georgia, but none more than Turner, an active participant in the Georgia Prospers campaign, a coalition of business leaders committed to a Georgia that welcomes all people. Georgia bill HB 757 is in contradiction to this campaign, to the values we hold dear, and to the type of workplace we guarantee to our employees. We urge Governor Deal to exercise his veto.”
Georgia gives generous tax credits for TV and movie production, and many shows are now shot there.
The bill was protested by other media companies, with some threatening to boycott production in the state if the bill becomes law.
The Walt Disney Co. and its Marvel Studios unit stated its opposition, as did AMC Networks, which produces The Walking Dead in Georgia.
“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a Disney spokesman said on Wednesday.
The Motion Picture Association of America called the pending legislation “discriminatory,” but expressed confidence that Deal would not sign it, according to Reuters. “We are confident that Governor Deal will not allow a discriminatory bill to become law in Georgia,” said Vans Stevenson, MPAA senior VP of state government affairs.
I have heard about a million things about this, but I still don’t know what is unique about the Georgia law. As I understood it, the intent of the bill was to protect small businesses from lawsuits brought by people they have declined to serve. Other states have such laws; many other do not. I gather the starting incident that impelled the introduction of the bill had to do with a baker being put out of business because he and his wife wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a gay marriage.
I tend to the side of freedom. I grew up in the segregated south, where there was no choice in the matter: like it or not, you could not serve blacks and whites as equals; there had to be separate facilities. I did not care for that law when I was in high school, but not because of the segregation so much as because the shop owner had no choice in the matter. I went to a black barber shop which prominently had a sign outside: “For White Folks Only.” It was located on Main Street. The proprietor advertised on my father’s radio station and we got some sort of discount, which is why I went there; but the black barber had no choice in the matter. He could serve White Folks or Black Folks (I think he would have said “Colored”) He could not serve both. That was the law. I found it absurd.
But it was absurd because he had no choice in the matter. I would not have approved a law requiring him to serve black and white; I would leave it to his choice. But then I have always favored freedom.
Obviously public facilities are different. But I have always thought private concerns were private: you can choose to serve only red headed Irish females, or Choctaw Indians, or whatever takes, your fancy; it’s a free country. Clearly my idea of liberty is not shared by all, and probably very many, but forcing diversity on people in their private lives seems more of an interference with our lives than I would think the Constitution requires. “But what if your store is the only one in town?” is always the immediate question, sometimes asked sincerely, sometimes more bitingly.
“Why do you want to live in a town with one store and the storekeeper doesn’t like you?”
“Don’t I have that right?”
“Sure, but why does that give you the right to enter that store against the will of the owner?”
“I can’t live there any other way.”
“Well, I have the right to live in Chickasaw Gardens (a community somewhat like Belle Aire in Beverly Hills but in Memphis) except I can’t afford to.”
“Black folks can’t live there even if they can afford to.”
“By law. Probably a bad law. But take away that law still you have to be able to afford it.”
This imaginary conversation took place about 1944 in Memphis, and something like it was real, not imaginary . I didn’t believe in legal segregation, not then and not now. I thought then and think now that the law ought to be colorblind. Didn’t make me popular with my dad’s friends. Isn’t very popular with some people now.
My point being that freedom, to me, is the absence of compulsion. You want a cake for your gay affair, go buy one; someone will sell it to you. I would were I a baker; but I sure won’t be party to making some other baker sell it to you.
And that is what I understood the Georgia bill to say; I hear now that it has changed since it was first introduced, and that’s why the boycott; I don’t know. But it’s a matter for the states, and while I certainly approve ending legal segregation, that’s not quite the same thing as forcing you to socialize with me. Or sell me a cake. If you want to open a gay Irish store, for gay Irish folks only, I suspect putting that limit on your clientele will bring you to bankruptcy, that’s your business. It’s a free country.
Enough for the night.
[ 1140 Friday: Found a few typos, also that Florida has had a law similar to the Georgia bill one the books for years, so I am unable to comprehend the sudden furor.]
Some thoughts on free trade
Some thoughts on free trade:
Allow me a Pollyanna moment. If all the world achieved First World status, meaning everyone in the world had what we used to call the “American Way Of Life” , what would free-trade look like?
Wouldn’t comparative advantage in labor costs largely disappear, barring egregious currency manipulations by states seeking to create artificial advantage? What natural comparative advantage remained would be based on factors such as natural resources, location/access to cheap transport, varying levels of efficiency and varying educational levels of each nations workforce and so on. No?
Okay, so we aren’t there yet. The curves seem to suggest we’re going to get there, in the long run. Not forgetting John Maynard Keynes is dictum
(paraphrased: in the long run, were all dead!), if we’re not there but we are going to get there, then the problem is how to best manage the transition. No?
Wouldn’t a good First Principle in managing such a transition be to seek whenever possible to not take action that will significantly delay the achievement of my Pollyanna “Level Playing Field” world?
Attempts, such as mine above, to define the problem and some principles of how to manage/solve the problem, seem a wise first step towards a fruitful debate on the thorny matter of Free Trade.
As an aside, developing the resources of the solar system might be a good way to achieve my Pollyanna world, no?
I will wait for comments.
Flogging the Clinton email horse, yet again
You posted a letter from Joshua Jordan today that contained these quotes (Mr. Jordan quoting from his linked ’New York Post’ story):
“FBI chief James Comey and his investigators are increasingly certain presidential nominee Hillary Clinton violated laws in handling classified government information through her private e-mail server, career agents say.
Ya think? We have thousands of emails and irrefutable evidence that Clinton conducted her entire reign at the State Department ‘off the books’, using a private email server to avoid the FOIA requirements levied on official government communications networks and the FBI chief THINKS that she MAY HAVE violated the law?
Exactly what that evidence is — and how and when it was uncovered during Comey’s months-long inquiry — has not been disclosed.
Uhhhh, the ‘evidence’ has been in the public domain for well over a year. It is an undisputed fact that Hillary conducted official business over a private communications network to avoid the record keeping REQUIREMENTS—not suggestions or recommendations—of the FOIA during her entire tenure as Secretary of State. All the hoopla over whether the hundreds of classified emails with no classification marks SHOULD have been classified and who was responsible for classifying them and whether Hillary knew that they should have been classified (So her argument is that as Secretary of State she had no idea what information should have been classified and therefore she should bear no responsibility for the hundreds of classified emails that were found on her private server. AFTER she purged the emails of self-identified ‘private’ messages?) is all a smoke screen to avoid addressing the fundamental crime: bypassing the FOIA for four years. And the media thinks she would be just a spiffy president and anyone who questions her fitness over little things like four years of serial felonies is ‘engaging in the political of personal destruction’ and should be ashamed of themselves?
Just to flog the email horse a bit more, when are all her State Department sycophants who knew about and used her private email server and ALSO knew of the FOIA requirements but didn’t report her actions going to be fired and jailed?
And how about her ‘off the books’ cabal of nominally private citizens with no clearances with whom she shared the highest level classified material? Anyone going to jail for that? Rhetorical, of course.
The fact that Hillary Clinton is not only walking the streets after the revelation that she used her ‘private’ email server to conduct her State Department business for four years, but is almost certainly going to be the Democratic candidate for president, with more than an even bet to WIN is all the evidence needed to confirm that our run as a Democratic Republic governed under a Constitution and an evenly applied body of Constitutional law is long over. While I find the above to be upsetting, to say the least, the population at large apparently has no problem with electing rulers who overtly commit multiple felonies with no legal repercussions. At least not leftist ones. They are sticklers for the law however when it comes to ‘leaders’ who exhibit even a mild bent toward conservatism.
We are now a Thugocracy ruled by a legally untouchable nomenklatura which no longer even pretends that they are subject to the same laws that apply to the proletariat.
I’m sure that in spite of historical difficulties with that form of government it will turn out just fine, THIS time.
Andy Grove: How America Can Create Jobs
Something worth remembering with the passing of Andy Grove, when a manufacturing process is offshored the knowledge base goes with it. Related trivia, Bendix, among other things, built a very good bicycle coaster brake, they also managed a facility said to build nuclear initiators. I don’t think the two items are unrelated.
Good health to you and yours,
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.