Thursday, November 20, 2008

USA Deathwatch has posted a wonderfully wicked reactionary story by William S. Lind.

The last rock concert was held in 2013 in the Cleveland arena. It featured all the big rock bands lift in North America and most of the remaining rock fans too. The Greater Cleveland Garden Club sealed the doors and pumped in a herbal compound, derived largely from Queen Anne’s lace and Viola odorata, that rectified brain damage in the cranial region connecting hearing to taste. The fans were soon holding their ears and whistling "Dixie," and the ancient Rolling Stones ended up improvising Albinoni on their electrical guitars.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Democracies are temporary in nature; they simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. Democracies can exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves generous benefits from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the treasury, with the result that democracies finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy and deficit spending, which is followed by an economic depression and a period of political anarchy or despotism.

This quotation is often attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, apparently incorrectly, but nobody seems to know who really said it. Whoever he was, he was a smart man.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bon Mot from Florence King

Just ran across this typically wicked Florence King remark from a few years back:

"On the new Princess Diana tapes, she says that she threw herself down the stairs even though she knew she was carrying a child. She wasn't just carrying a child, she was carrying England. As soon as the baby was born she should have been beheaded for treason."

Incidentally, this reminded me of the old tradition of a condemned woman "pleading her belly". A pregnant woman was given a stay of execution until the child was born.

A few years ago there was a huge fuss among the pro-abortion crowd when a man was being sentenced for an assault on a pregnant woman that caused her to miscarry. As if it were a terribly difficult question, the press pondered, Should this be treated as a murder? Some politicianette declared that it was "dangerous" to treat a fetus as if it were a human being.

Appalling, yes, but it did inspire a schadenfreude-ish fantasy about liberal brains short-circuiting. Suppose a murderess were sentenced to the electric chair. Naturally progressives are opposed to the taking of guilty lives, it's only innocent ones that can be ended. Next suppose that she was pregnant and requested a stay of execution until she gave birth. Imagine the progressives torn between wanting to prevent the execution of a hardened criminal and terrified of setting the "dangerous" precedent of treating an unborn baby as if it had a right to live!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Democratic Multiculturalism: An Oxymoron

Joseph of Arimathea discusses matters of great interest to me:

Those Jews

A community is more than a marketplace where only the bare rules of exchange maintain order. A political community sees itself as one; it has biological, cultural, and religious connections that tie it together. A multicultural society is by nature a dysfunctional society unless it is ruled by a unified political power. That unified power can rule over the society as a dominant person, family, or class, or it can be the hegemonic population, as with the dominant WASP culture in America. (I deal with related matters in “Genealogical Interest”) Such hegemony displaces the minor cultures and forces them to assimilate or to submit before the dominant culture, and thus, such a society is not really multicultural. Monarchical and oligarchical multicultural empires can exist, but not democratic ones—they unravel through secession or genocide.

For the record, I agree with the blogger that we Jews have tended to go along with destructive liberal beliefs for understandable but ultimately wrong reasons. Also, though I am not a Christian, I am very much in favor of the survival of Christendom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Daylight Savings Time: One more new-fangled thing I'm agin'.

This is a couple of weeks late, but I've been busy and distracted.

Perhaps daylight savings time makes our lives easier, but according to the following study posted on the National Health Institute website, daylight savings time can also be a cruel April fools joke. As we all lose an hour of sleep when our clocks spring ahead each daylight savings time, fatal traffic accidents increase dramatically leading to a deadly spring break.

Oh dear, this nonsense again. California wants year-round daylight savings time, so that evil power-plant building can be avoided for a few more years. Somehow, the California Energy Commission fails to mention that this was tried in 1973 -- and promptly repealed. You see, when you get up an hour ahead of the sun in winter, it's very dark for a long time, especially in the northern part of the country. And as children stumble around in the dark on their way to school, they get killed in increasing numbers in traffic accidents. So tell me, how much kindergarten blood is it worth to you, to accomodate the superstitions of those who think electricity is a bad idea?

Dammit. I was so glad that at least Indiana hadn't given in to this insanity, but as of last year, it caved in and inflicted DST on its residents. Now only Hawaii and parts of Arizona are holding out.

OK, this I have to admit gave me a warm fuzzy feeling: In September 1999, Palestinians living on West Bank were on Daylight Saving Time while the Israeli government had already switched back to Standard Time. When terrorists smuggled in time bombs, they exploded one hour early, killing three plotters instead of two busloads of people.

Case, an economist, said government studies refute the idea that daylight-saving time results in energy savings, which he called a myth.

Congress's logic was simple. If there's an extra hour of sunlight in the evening, people will turn on fewer lights. The Transportation Department once did a study saying daylight savings reduced America's use of oil by 100,000 barrels a day.

But Ryan Kellogg and Hendrik Wolff, who are working on their doctorates in economics, say the reduced need for light in the evening will likely be negated by the increased need in the early morning.

The folks in Washington apparently hadn't considered this. The daylight savings shift was a three-paragraph item in a 550-page energy bill in 2005. And that study from the Transportation Department? It's more than 30 years old.

For most people, getting an extra hour to sleep when Daylight Savings time ends October 29 is a sweeter treat than Halloween candy. Studies suggest this extra sleep yields a more significant benefit: a 7 percent decrease in automobile accidents immediately following the fall time change, according to one. Unfortunately, this study shows an 8 percent increase in automobile accidents the Monday after Daylight Savings resumes in the spring, when we lose an hour of sleep.

I’ll give you an example of just how sleep-deprived we are as a society. Every year in the Spring, we shift to daylight savings time, and on that day the nation loses an hour’s worth of sleep, and because God’s a good researcher, in the Fall we have a control group, so everybody gets an opportunity for an extra hour’s worth of sleep. Now we looked at traffic statistics in Canada for a couple of years on the day immediately following the shift to daylight savings time in the Spring and in the Fall, and what we found is in the Spring when you lose that hour’s worth of sleep, there’s a jump up in traffic accidents by 7%, and in the Fall when you get the extra hour’s worth of sleep, there’s a decrease by 7%. We are so chronically sleep-deprived as a society that a single hour’s worth of sleep gained or lost will shift the likelihood of accidents by 7% in either direction. That’s scary.
I wish to point out here that God did not inflict DST on His creatures. We must hold Him responsible for such things as tornadoes and bubonic plague, but DST we did to ourselves.

This isn’t the 1940s: and homes and businesses keep their lights and heat on throughout the day, regardless of the time displayed on the clock.

It might actually be a good thing to go on DST permanently. I wouldn't mind. But this switching back and forth is Not Okay.

And a drive-in commercial opposing DST:

Finally, this brilliant defense of DST:

Is DST WORTH IT? Boy, Let me tell you a story about the place I come from.

I live in Indiana (a midwestern US state). Up until last year, we'd never done DST before at all (with a few exceptions in towns whose economies were linked to cities across the border in other, DST-observing states).

Before we had DST, it was HELL. All year, it got dark at like 2:00pm. There was no Little League Baseball, no football (american or otherwise) for the kids. Most of our youth joined gangs, who roamed the incessant darkness in large, heavily fortified bad-mpg SUVs, kicking puppies and beating up old ladies just for fun. There was no Christmas and no birthdays, and if we saw the Easter bunny we ATE HIM.

Though many people had the misconception that we were "America's Breadbasket", in fact the darkness prevented us from raising any sort of sustenance crops and most of us resorted to cannibalism to survive. Most Hoosiers (that's what we're called, it means "land of eternal darkness" in a Native American tongue) eventually starved to death, which was viewed as a welcome respite from the hellish, unstoppable night. Dogs and cats, living together, you get the picture.

Then, we elected a new Governor who brought us into the light (literally). With the introduction of DST, and the seemingly random (almost whimsical, really) distribution of our Counties between two time zones, our lives were changed forever. Now, it's light outside pretty much twenty-four-fucking-seven. Our kids are all on at least six sports teams and never shoot each other anymore. They call you "sir" or "ma'am" (these words were not used before, as it was difficult to discern gender in the darkness), shine your shoes for you, and present you with ice-cold lemonade from stands with amusingly misspelled signs. We discovered oil everywhere, we grow more crops than the world could ever possibly use (which has ended hunger globally) and we're all filthy, stinking RICH. All the women have big perky boobs, all the men are RIPPED, and everybody has an IQ of at least 160.

Yes Sir, I don't know what we'd do if it weren't for good ol' DST. I have to assume that with the new DST-extending rule from our good friends in the US Congress, we'll probably just evolve to a higher state of being and shed these silly, out-dated husks to become super-intelligent beings composed of pure energy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bhutan crowns young king to guide young democracy

THIMPHU (Reuters) - With mediaeval tradition and Buddhist spirituality, a 28-year-old with an Oxford education assumed the Raven Crown of Bhutan on Thursday, to guide the world's newest democracy as it emerges into the modern world.

As the chief abbot chanted sacred sutras to grant him wisdom, compassion and vision, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned Bhutan's Fifth Druk Gyalpo, or Dragon King, by his own father, who imposed democracy and then abdicated two years ago....

Freed from the burden of government his father bore, Wangchuck remains an important symbol of national unity and stability in a country of just 635,000 people undergoing a sometimes traumatic and divisive transition to the modern world.

Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley, as well as describing the king as "strikingly handsome," also calls him "the guarantor of democracy."...

Five decades ago, Bhutan was a feudal, mediaeval place with no roads, proper schools or hospitals and scarcely any contact with the outside world. Today education and healthcare are free and life expectancy has risen to 66 years from less than 40.

For most Bhutanese, credit goes to the outgoing monarch, the 52-year-old Fourth King, who saw that his tiny country, perched precariously between India and China, had to be stronger to survive in a dangerous neighborhood.

He was also the architect of Bhutan's widely admired national philosophy, Gross National Happiness, the idea that spiritual and mental well-being matter as much as money, that material gain should not come at the expense of the environment or culture.

But the Fourth King's rule was not without controversy.

In the late 1980s, tens of thousands of ethnic Nepalis, mostly Hindus living in the southern lowlands, protested that their language and culture were being crushed by the Buddhist north.

Many were forced into exile, and today 100,000 live in refugee camps in eastern Nepal, excluded from this new democracy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership by Arnold M. Ludwig is a work of evolutionary psychology. Dr. Ludwig studied all of the heads of state of the 20th century for this book, and inevitably came to conclusions that did not gladden him. For the most part, the book brings massive data to support what we conservatives already knew: that this world is a vale of tears and humans are tragically flawed.

The book contains several graphs demonstrating the way that different types of head of state vary. By the criteria Dr. Ludwig chooses, in most of the graphs, (small-d) democrat leaders, such as presidents and prime ministers, always rate the best, with monarchs usually a distant second, with dictators of various sorts off the charts in degrees of disaster. This did not dishearten me, because I have different criteria from Dr. Ludwig about what makes a desirable ruler. The graphs I would have liked to see would have charted numerous subjects which Dr. Ludwig never mentioned: the tax policies, immigration policies, crime rates, government control of education, and degree of regulation of commerce and daily life. With these criteria, I don't have to tell you that European monarchs, at least, would have effortlessly exceeded democrats, under whom all of these things have become an avalanche over the past century.

Another quibble I have is that Dr. Ludwig points out that of all the types of leaders, democrats are the least likely to engage in war. While this is in itself true, I have to point out that the 20th century was the most democratic century in history and also the bloodiest. Before then, while monarchs were constantly declaring war on each other, European wars were mild compared to the horrors that democracies were to unleash upon each other in the 20th. Monarchs may wage more wars, but democrats wage far worse ones.

In his final chapter, Dr. Ludwig tries to find hope for his democratic, probably left-leaning ideals, but admits himself that there isn't much basis for it. He points out the increase in democracies over the past century, but then writes:

Despite these encouraging trends, it is hard to remain confident about their permanence. The problem is that autocratic rule seems to represent the more natural state of affairs among all higher-order primates. The overthrow of fledgling democracies by fascist, authoritarian, and other totalitarian regimes during the past century suggests that representative democracy, a relative parvenu on the historical scene, tends to thrive during stable political times and economic prosperity. When social crises that threaten the livelihood or lives of people arise, they become more prone to lapse to more primitive modes of responding in their selection of leaders and the kinds of government they will tolerate, much as those who learn a second language later in life tend to revert to their native tongue during times of confusion or stress.

One need not agree with all of Dr. Ludwig's premises to see the truth of his conclusions here.

Quotation of the Day

"The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five kings left: the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds."
~King Farouk of Egypt in 1948, four years before he was overthrown.

The Metric System: Tool for Fascism

Whistle-blowers say council targeted 'metric martyrs' - Telegraph

Three former Hackney Council inspectors have told how they were instructed to single out Colin Hunt, 60 - one of the original metric martyrs - and his sister, Janet Devers, 64, for "enforcement action" because the pair had campaigned against the ban on imperial measurements.
One ex-inspector, who worked for Hackney for four years, said: "The manager told us that we had to teach Janet and Colin a lesson and focus our enforcement efforts on them rather than any other traders who used imperial measures or sold goods by the bowl. We knew it wasn't fair, but if we objected the managers just said we should do as we were told.

Hat tip An Englishman's Castle.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Elected government scientifically proven bogus

Caltech-led researchers find negative cues from appearance alone matter for real elections

PASADENA, Calif.-- Brain-imaging studies reveal that voting decisions are more associated with the brain's response to negative aspects of a politician's appearance than to positive ones, says a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Scripps College, Princeton University, and the University of Iowa. This appears to be particularly true when voters have little or no information about a politician aside from their physical appearance.

The research was published online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience ( on October 28.

Deciding whom to trust, whom to fear, and indeed for whom to vote in an election depends, in part, on quick, implicit judgments about people's faces. Although this general finding has been scientifically documented, the detailed mechanisms have remained obscure. To probe how a politician's appearance might influence voting decisions, Michael Spezio, an assistant professor of psychology at Scripps College and visiting associate at Caltech, and Antonio Rangel, an associate professor of economics at Caltech, examined brain activation in subjects looking at the faces of real politicians....

In some experiments, the volunteers had to make character-trait judgments about the politicians--for example, which of the two politicians in the pair looked more competent to hold congressional office, or which looked more likely to physically threaten the volunteer. In other experiments, volunteers were asked to cast their vote for one politician in the pair; once again, their decisions were based only on the politicians' appearances.

The results correlated with actual election outcomes. For example, politicians who were thought to look the most physically threatening in the experiment were more likely to have actually lost their elections in real life. The correlation held true even when volunteers saw the politicians' pictures for less than one tenth of a second.

Importantly, the pictures of politicians who lost elections, both in the lab and in the real world, were associated with greater activation in key brain areas known to be important for processing emotion.

In sum: people choose who to vote for based on their subconscious first reactions to the candidate's facial features.

That is, people who don't just vote a straight party ticket.

Hat tip: FuturePundit.