Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Why The Neo Nazi / Fascist Witchhunt?

I hope students are still required to read The Crucible in school. In it, they may recognize an echo from the present: the search for neo nazis and fascists. The Onion, of course, captures it best of all: Antifa Organizers Announce Plans To Disrupt Neo-Nazi Rally Or Whatever Else Going On That Day:
“We will stop at nothing to prevent these vile fucking neo-Nazi hatemongers from gathering, or, if not them, someone else,” said Sarah Jackson, 26, adding that the only way to end the spread of fascism is to physically confront Nazis, peaceful right-wing protesters, or just random people going about their daily lives. “We need to tell these Hitler-loving fucks or whoever else is standing there, ‘Get out of our city!’ Remember, we’re talking about white supremacist terrorists, people running errands on their lunch breaks, or a group of tourists, so if we have to throw a punch or two, then so fucking be it.”
The WSJ also tackles the issue. Hat tip, Viner.
Soon liberalism had become a cultural identity that offered Americans a way to think of themselves as decent people. To be liberal was to be good.
It's nice to be liberal. You get to parade yourself around as a good person without actually having to be good. It's what religion used to be, but cheaper and requiring less work. The drawback to thinking people, however, is needing to toe the party line when in the company of others.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

An Adult in The Room

12 Browns kneel for the national anthem. Jim Brown addresses the team and tells them not to disrespect their country. Next game, they all stand.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trump Was Right

When he condemned taking down Confed statues by saying "Who's next, George Washington?" he was criticized by being insensitive. But was he wrong?

Theater cancels Gone with the Wind screening.

I wish there was someone else to stand up to this PC-tide, but there isn't. So we have Trump.
The Left Has Become A Cult

And is fueled by the internet.

In Boston, 30,000 Americans rallied against Free Speech. Americans in Boston! This is an outrage beyond imaginable. Andrew Sullivan writes about it better than I can:
As Boston, an allegedly liberal city, undoubtedly did. It seems to me that the acid test of whether a “free speech” rally is just a cover for white supremacists is whether it truly upholds free speech (which means inviting a spectrum of opinion, including the far right and the far left), whether it invites people of many races, whether it denounces violence, and whether it invites dialogue and engagement. This one did all of the above — and the organizers were deemed Nazis for it.
In California transactivists have targeted early childhood education as a battleground for transrights. Read this story and prepare to be disgusted.

It seems to me highly plausible transgender people are suffering from a body dysmorphia illness similar to anorexia. I hope we are willing to continue to study this phenomenon to gain a deeper understanding, but until we find some clear consensus, pushing trans-identities on children seems to me borderline child abuse. Children can't possibly grabble with the complexity of the issue. We don't let kindergardeners cross the street on their own, or watch whatever tv show they want, much less wrestle with super complicated notions of sex and gender that most American adults don't know how to distinguish. (and which transactivists purposely conflate).

Furthermore, there are health and monetary consequences to transgrooming. Taking hormones and puberty suppression drugs are dangerous. This is the stuff prison punks are forced to take. And people are giving this stuff to their children. This strikes me as insane. Not even to mention the surgeries later in life. It would not surprise me to discover some transactivism is majorly funded by some groups in the pharmaceutical industry looking for a steady stream of customers (you will take hormones for life as every gene in the human body will be fighting a sex change).

Transactivists, like Islamic Terrorists, are exploiting intellectual fissures in Western thought. Transactivists have successfully framed their argument as an extension of the gay rights movement, when in fact is should be thought as a body dysmorphic disorder. Just like Islamic Terrorists have successfully framed themselves a religious movement, when in fact they are a fascist political movement.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Irving - Isiah

This is what a trade should be. My impression from this static moment: a great move by both sides.

The Celtics get a blue chip in Irving and sell high on Isiah and avoid dealing with the max contract issue next summer for a 29 year old 5 foot 9 point guard who can't play D.

The Cavs get out from under a toxic situation with Irving-LeBron, bring back an All Star to replace at least 80-90 percent of Kyrie, get some wing defensive help in Jae Crowder, and a pick to leverage depending on how the Lebron situation shakes out. Either they keep the pick for the future when Lebron leaves, or swap the pick for something they need later in the season to improve for the now. LeBron leaves and they can build around Isiah, Kevin Love, Crowder, and Tristin T. That's not a terrible team.

If I were Cleveland, I would've wanted to run in back with Kyrie and Lebron, but those two players basically made it impossible to do it. A real smart team would've figured a way to squash the issue with foresight, but I don't think Cleveland is a real smart team.
The Truth Is Out There...

Shady McCoy on Kaepernick: 
McCoy was asked how Kaepernick's situation compares to that of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who became a Philadelphia Eagles teammate of McCoy in 2009 after spending time in prison on federal dogfighting charges.  
"He's 10 times better than Kaepernick," McCoy said of Vick. "You'll deal with that situation, that attention, that media aspect of it. The good, the bad attention you'll get. Compared to Kaepernick, it's like, he's not really that good [enough] of a player to deal with.
...And those who want to find grievance choose to ignore it.
Can They Take A Nobel Prize Away?

Joseph Stiglitz from 2007 praises Venezuela's economic policies.

Boy, you couldn't make a worse call as an economist in contemporary times if you ask me. He should be in economist jail.

Is the big winner of the disappointing GoT season.

To not have previously recognized GRRM was the genius behind the major plot moves is pretty absurd - and this is what I was worried about when the show moved beyond the books. But my angle is a bit different - GRRM has taken a ton of shit for not being able to finish Winds of Winter. But I think the disappointing nature of the show this season validates his decision to take his time and work to get it right. Even if he never finishes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's Not About the Statues

Robert Lee, Asian American ESPN broadcaster, taken off the air for a UVA college football game.

For some, including ESPN, it's about virtue signaling. For others, it's about tearing institutions down and taking as many scalps as possible. It's not about Confed statues, or Colin Kaepernick's job, or whatever. You know how I know?

a) There were actual Americans who actually fought the Confederacy and the evils of slavery and actual Americans who actually fought the Nazis. And yet, the protesters don't talk about these people, don't idolize these people, they don't celebrate these people. They don't propose taking down Confederate monuments and replacing them with monuments of Sherman or Grant. They just want to tear things down and celebrate and move onto the next thing.

b) There are actual Americans and many others (kurds, iraqis, free syrians) who are on the front lines right now fighting ISIS who are actual fascists and actually take slaves (yazidi's), and nary a peep from the Left about this issue. Instead, they are fighting against blocks of granite and Trump.

They aren't serious and shouldn't be taken seriously. And indulging them only makes it worse -- and absurd. See above link.


One interpretation: he protests, therefore he loses his job in the NFL. My interpretation: he's losing his job in the NFL, therefore he protests.

Two years ago, when the Niners went 8-8 under Harbaugh there were numerous reports Kaepernick was isolated in the locker room. Michael Crabtree hated him. He was having serious issues with teammates. This is a guy who was obsessed with his body, working out, instagram, etc. Which was fine -- it was why he was popular initially under the millennial types. The next year, he turns into Martin Luther cornrow, becomes a vegan, loses weight, loses a step, loses muscle, and loses his starting position. And then starts protesting injustice. Others follow suit. You know the rest of the story. He gets a starting gig back, plays with training wheels, pads his stats in games when the Niners are down and goes like 0-7, or 1-6 as a starter. The Niners don't want him back because the gimmick of Kaepernick got figured out 3 years ago by defensive coordinators. No other NFL team wants him either. The SJW types start using him as a symbol of injustice because that is what they do. He, instead, changes agents, and tells teams he won't be protesting any longer because he realizes getting paid millions is better than working a regular 9-5. But NFL teams can't use him because he doesn't fit into NFL schemes. If you roll with Kap, you need to build around his skillset, which is diminished and I'd argue, always a gimmick. So instead of him trying to improve as a QB, he chose to allow himself to get hijacked as a symbol. It's actually a sad story. He's not a bad guy, just shallow, and obviously dealing with identity issues. But this is about him - not about injustice. He could easily go to the Arena League and play if he wanted to play football. It worked for Kurt Warner.

For those who argue it's about the protests - they having nothing to stand on. There are numerous other NFL players who are still protesting. Kaepernick has given up his protests. This is about projecting grievance - nothing more.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Neo Nazis are the New Witches

Been thinking about neo-nazis because I can't help NOT thinking about them as they are the topic de jour. But shamefully, perhaps, I just can't seem to muster the fear of all my brethren. I know, I know, this must mean I'm secretly racist, or almost just as bad, privileged. But that's not really an argument, that's a demand to shut the fuck up. Which I won't abide.

Here is my reasoning:

1. As far as I know, no neo nazi holds any political position in the entire United States.

2. I cannot name a single business run by neo nazis or supported publicly by neo nazis

3. I have never met a neo nazi. Nor have I ever met anyone who has a neo nazi acquaintance. And I've been to 38 or so states and lived in the USA for quite a long time and come across thousands of people in my travels.

For the folks who believe it is 1933 Germany here in the USA, I suggest reading In the Garden Of Beasts, a book by Erik Larson about what was actually happening in Germany when the Nazis you know - actually took over. Living in America today presents exactly ZERO similarities, unless you gather all your knowledge from the internet.

One can point to internet videos/movies/segments and websites. I know. But let me remind you, there are a lot of weird people out there, including: juggalos, people who get dressed up like clowns and follow insane clown posse; Grinders, people who bio hack their own bodies to turn into robots, and others who follow the Official Church of Satan.

My point is, this neo nazi stuff is hysteria and worse, the people spreading it know it and are using it to rouse up political support for their own Leftist political causes.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Confederate Statues

If I thought it was simply about Confederate statues, I see the case for bringing them down one-by-one. I think these are local decisions that should be made in an orderly way. I personally have little sympathy for the Confederacy. It was about preserving the evil of slavery and not about "states rights." In addition - and like most evils - it was also incredibly stupid. The South couldn't win the war and they knew it. Yet, they still decided to fight it, costing over 600,000 lives.

But I am skeptical that for the progressive left that this is primarily about Confederate statues, nor will it stop at the statues. As we have already seen: tech companies are blocking alt-right websites, tiles in the NY subway that look like the Confederate flag are being taken down, and an Abe Lincoln statue was set ablaze, among other stupidities. How do I know this? Because it was already happening before the Confederate statues: see Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the American Flag, see the Portland school board changing the name of Lynch Elementary School, attempts to get Princeton to rename the Woodrow Wilson school,  and the movement to rename the Washington Redskins, among numerous other tedious and cheap displays of virtue signaling.

I also think it's indicative of the times and the dead end philosophy of the progressive Left that their best ideas are about bringing something down than actually building anything up.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bannon is Smart

I honestly haven't read much about Bannon - surprising given how much he's in the news. But this makes me think he's really, really smart.
He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.” 
“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added. 
From his lips to Trump’s ear. 
“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
I think he just articulated something in one brief paragraph that I've been trying to express for years, except I've been coming at it from liberal perspective. And that is: race and identity politics is a dead end political issue for liberals. I've focused on trying to articulate why identity politics is poison, stupid, etc, but that's wrong. The relevant point is that it's bad politics. It's a losing strategy. It is why Democrats outnumber Republicans and yet, the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House.

Here's why - even if you take the premise that affirmative action type of programs are needed and possible to execute well, and you take the premise we need to stop micro-aggressing and man/white splaining in every avenue of life, and take the premise women get paid 70% of men for doing the same work, and every major industry and job needs more diversity in race and gender, and there are all sorts of systemic injustices that need to be corrected - even if you accept all these premises (which I don't necessarily, btw). But even if you did, I still think it's a dead end political idea. Because most Americans do not see themselves of being guilty of these crimes. A vast majority of Americans - on the left and right both - basically believe in equality opportunity. They don't practice systemic racism, or try their very best not to. You may disagree. But the relevant point is that most Americans don't view themselves that way. And if, you're on the Left and you try to insist to the majority of Americans that - No - you actually are racist and sexist and horrible - guess what? They're going to stop listening. You've lost. And you get Trump. Period. End of story.
Investing at Market Peaks

All solid ideas. Also, feels like they all complement each other.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

PayPal Changes Terms of Service

To no longer allow hate groups to raise money.

In a vacuum, this policy makes sense. Unfortunately, we don't live in a vacuum and I personally fear businesses and individuals all turning into idea-police considerably more than I worry about neo nazis.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville: The Future

It does not take much bravery or wisdom to condemn neo-nazis and white nationalists as all our national politicians and media outlets are doing. And notice one can seize the moral high ground by coming out harder and quicker against these fearsome boogymen. Now social media sleuths are going after the livelihoods of protestors and succeeding. This is exactly what I'd do if I wanted more Charlottesvilles. And is why I think we are headed towards more Charlottesvilles: because identity politics is too engrained into our culture to eradicate and adults are no longer tending the store.

Here is a good article about it.

As most liberal college students, I got to flirt with identity politics while in college. Luckily, I was too busy with other things to pay it much mind and being a natural contrarian, quickly found its appeals lacking. But it's come back with a force and nowadays in polite conversation, I often find myself the only one criticizing identity politics from the left and getting dismissed in all the conversations as a closeted conservative. But that is precisely the problem with identity politics: the complete and utter myopia and ignorance of those who subscribe and practice it. It's worse than a dead-end philosophy. It's nihilistic and murderous. All one needs to do is look at recent history in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, or Lebanon, to see where it leads. There is no good outcome. All the the twittering and social ostracism by the sanctimonious left is radicalizing those on the alt-right. This is clear. And the vice-versa.

Let me be clear: both sides are very, very wrong. And very stupid. Both morally and tactically. This is a lose-lose game everyone is playing.

UPDATE: I'll link to a preemptive response regarding identity politics:
White supremacy is not a response to identity politics; identity politics are a response to white supremacy. They’re a response to life in a country that built itself on the theory that “all men are created equal” but a reality where the opposite was true. And they’re a response not just to the outright racism that survives on websites such as Stormfront and at Confederate flag rallies but also to the stubborn structural barriers that still hold back people with darker skin.
Maybe. I still think it's the wrong response.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Trademarking Offensive Words

In an attempt to censor them.

These people worry me significantly more than Donald Trump precisely because they are everywhere now. 15 years ago ideas about policing language that would be openly mocked are regularly brought up within polite company.