Senior educated white male.

Senior educated white male.

Jews, Hindus and Anglicans

Explanations are sought. They can be racial, cultural, or selective on any basis whatever, such as recent immigration policy in the US.


I got an immediate response from Arran Gold, from his mountain fortress.

His explanation for the rankings are:

1. Subterfuge

2. Affirmative action

3. White privilege

Tobermory responded:

Hilarious, Arran! And yet, Episcopalians are privileged beyond whiteness (like most “old money” in the US, the Bushes attend that church). For those who have had the pleasure of a visit to Maui and taken the 10,000-ft drive up to the top of dormant volcano Haleakala, you may have noticed that at sea level are store-front evangelical churches attended by native Hawaiians, at 1000 ft are Baptist churches, at 1500 foot elevation are Presbyterian, and at a balmy, eternal-spring 2500 ft are Episcopalian churches, surrounded by large Tudor-style homes with rose gardens, i.e. exactly mirroring their ranking in the chart 🙂


Tacitus on the Germans


Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian, prose stylist, senator, consul and provincial governor.  He lived roughly from 56 AD to after 117 AD. He wrote a famous description of the German tribes, their lives, and customs, called Germania. Read it.

“For myself, I accept the view that the peoples of Germany have never contaminated themselves by intermarriage with foreigners but remain of pure blood, distinct and unlike any other nation.  One result of this is that their physical characteristics, in so far as one can generalize about so large a population, are always the same: fierce-looking blue eyes, reddish hair, and big frames – which, however, can exert their strength only by means of violent effort. They are less able to endure toil or fatiguing tasks and cannot bear thirst or heat, though their climate has inured them to cold spells and the poverty of their soils to hunger.”

What I most admire in books written before late 20th century governmental and self-imposed censorship is the treatment of different peoples in terms that are always more accurate than not because they are racial, tribal, or national, as appropriate.

It is not racist to discuss races in racial terms. What is so shocking to us is that people did so freely and without malice or condescension before about 1960. This is what they were like, these authors tell us.

You can read the same unselfconscious frankness in Thomas Jefferson’s discussion of black people in his Notes on Virginia or Francis Parkman’s descriptions of the Hurons, Iroqouis, French and English in his great works of early North American history.

That is what was so surprizing about these authors: their complete freedom to describe people as they saw them, without a Human Rights Commission on their back.

We are not living in a time of intellectual freedom. We are living in a time that future generations may well call a Great Darkness.

50 million years ago

The Daily Mail has carried an article which says that:

Scientists today announced that levels have reached record highs of 410 parts per million which could snowball over the coming years causing global catastrophe.

If the trend continues experts say by 2050 we will have levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that have not been seen for 50 million years.

By 2050? Despite all observed warming being consistently less than IPCC estimates, let us just take this fable for truth, shall we? Let us just ignore how much ice there is still to melt in Greenland and Antarctica, and contemplate what it was like when the earth was much warmer than it is now.
How hot was in back there in the Eocene era? And how much CO2 was in the atmosphere?

The graph above serves as a proxy for what has happened to the earth’s climate, though it measures only polar ocean conditions. It immediately establishes on gigantic fact, that they do not tell you about in newspapers.

The world has been getting colder for about 50 million years.

For the early Eocene there is much discussion on how much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere. This is due to numerous proxies representing different atmospheric carbon dioxide content. For example, diverse geochemical and paleontological proxies indicate that at the maximum of global warmth the atmospheric carbon dioxide values were at 700 – 900 ppm[7] while other proxies such as pedogenic (soil building) carbonate and marine boron isotopes indicate large changes of carbon dioxide of over 2,000 ppm over periods of time of less than 1 million years.[8] Sources for this large influx of carbon dioxide could be attributed to volcanic out-gassing due to North Atlantic rifting or oxidation of methane stored in large reservoirs deposited from the PETM (Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum) event in the sea floor or wetland environments.[7] For contrast, today the carbon dioxide levels are at 400 ppm or 0.04%.
When was this thermal maximum? According to Wikipedia, 49 million years ago. Close enough to 50 million for the purposes of the discussion.
What were the conditions at this thermal maximum?

The poles were largely or completely ice-free.There was little or no glaciation anywhere.

The middle to late Eocene marks not only the switch from warming to cooling, but also the change in carbon dioxide from increasing to decreasing. At the end of the Eocene Optimum, carbon dioxide began decreasing due to increased siliceous plankton productivity and marine carbon burial.[7] At the beginning of the middle Eocene an event that may have triggered or helped with the draw down of carbon dioxide was the Azolla event at around 49 million years ago.[12] With the equable climate during the early Eocene, warm temperatures in the arctic allowed for the growth of azolla, which is a floating aquatic fern, on the Arctic Ocean. Compared to current carbon dioxide levels, these azolla grew rapidly in the enhanced carbon dioxide levels found in the early Eocene. As these azolla sank into the Arctic Ocean, they became buried and sequestered their carbon into the seabed. This event could have led to a draw down of atmospheric carbon dioxide of up to 470 ppm.[12] Assuming the carbon dioxide concentrations were at 900 ppmv prior to the Azolla Event they would have dropped to 430 ppmv, or 30 ppmv more than they are today, after the Azolla Event
Thus, plant life in polar oceans caused a sequestration of carbon dioxide, thus reducing temperatures.

Another event during the middle Eocene that was a sudden and temporary reversal of the cooling conditions was the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum.[13] At around 41.5 million years ago, stable isotopic analysis of samples from Southern Ocean drilling sites indicated a warming event for 600 thousand years.

Six hundred thousand years – longer than there have been anatomically modern humans. We only left Africa 50-30 thousand years ago.

A sharp increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide was observed with a maximum of 4000 ppm: the highest amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide detected during the Eocene.[14] The main hypothesis for such a radical transition was due to the continental drift and collision of the India continent with the Asia continent and the resulting formation of the Himalayas. Another hypothesis involves extensive sea floor rifting and metamorphic decarbonation reactions releasing considerable amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.[13]

At the end of the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum, cooling and the carbon dioxide drawdown continued through the late Eocene and into the Eocene-Oligocene transition around 34 million years ago. Multiple proxies, such as oxygen isotopes and alkenones, indicate that at the Eocene-Oligocene transition, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration had decreased to around 750-800 ppm, approximately twice that of present levels.[15][16]

Observe that, in conditions utterly without human influence, CO2 levels were ten times what they are now, and then reduced by natural actions to twice what they are now.

The article also shows that fossils of cold intolerant reptiles and tropical plants have been found in the high Arctic. Axel Heiberg Island is possessed of a large petrified coniferous forest. Imagine feathered dinosaurs stomping about in polar darkness through sequoias and palm trees.

Again from the Wikipedia entry on Axel Heiberg island:

Over 40 million years ago during the Eocene era, a forest of tall trees flourished on Axel Heiberg island. The trees reached up to 35 metres in height; some may have grown for 500 to 1,000 years. At the time, the polar climate was warm, but the winters were still continuously dark for three months long. As the trees fell, the fine sediment in which the forest grew protected the plants. Instead of turning into petrified “stone” fossils, they were ultimately mummified by the cold, dry Arctic climate, and only recently exposed by erosion.[7]

Alas, this happy story of a warmer earth comes to an end about 49 million years ago>

The Eocene is not only known for containing the warmest period during the Cenozoic, but it also marked the decline into an icehouse climate and the rapid expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet. The transition from a warming climate into a cooling climate began at ~49 million years ago. Isotopes of carbon and oxygen indicate a shift to a global cooling climate.[12] The cause of the cooling has been attributed to a significant decrease of >2000 ppm in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.[7

Further information on the fascinating subject of how it was so warm and got so cold can be found in the Wikipedia article on the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) which is a Big Deal in for scientists seeking to understand that earth’s history and the relationship of CO2 concentrations to climate change.

Sequoias on Axel Heiberg island? Alligators in Great Slave lake? Maybe in 20,000 years. Or maybe, as is more likely, we shall have ice sheets covering North America as far south as Manhattan.  Remember, Long Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are the moraines left by continental ice sheets that covered our country until a trivial 11,000 years ago.

Are we about to resume global cooling as this current interglacial comes to an end in a couple of thousand years, or next winter?

Or will we see heat such as we have not seen since the middle of the Eocene?

The earth has survived both extremes.




Coming Apart: The French Version


The French situation is described here in terms that make America’s situation look mild and reconciled by comparison. I have seldom gained so much insight from an article, anytime.

The French: coming apart, by Christopher Caldwell


Guilluy {a French social scientist} has tried to clarify French politics with an original theory of political correctness. The dominance of metropolitan elites has made it hard even to describe the most important conflicts in France, except in terms that conform to their way of viewing the world. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Western statesmen sang the praises of the free market. In our own time, they defend the “open society”—a wider concept that embraces not just the free market but also the welcoming and promotion of people of different races, religions, and sexualities. The result, in terms of policy, is a number of what Guilluy calls “top-down social movements.”

In France, political correctness is more than a ridiculous set of opinions; it’s also—and primarily—a tool of government coercion. Not only does it tilt any political discussion in favor of one set of arguments; it also gives the ruling class a doubt-expelling myth that provides a constant boost to morale and esprit de corps, much as class systems did in the days before democracy. People tend to snicker when the question of political correctness is raised: its practitioners because no one wants to be thought politically correct; and its targets because no one wants to admit to being coerced. But it determines the current polarity in French politics. Where you stand depends largely on whether you believe that antiracism is a sincere response to a genuine upsurge of public hatred or an opportunistic posture for elites seeking to justify their rule.


In a French context, he would be seen as among those in left-wing circles on whom certain civilizational truths once considered “conservative” have dawned. These include the novelist Michel Houellebecq, the philosopher Michel Onfray, and the political philosopher Jean-Claude Michéa, who has been heavily influenced by American historian Christopher Lasch. Guilluy, too, acknowledges Lasch’s influence, and one hears it when he writes, in La France périphérique, of family and community as constituting “the capital of the poor.”

Since Tocqueville, we have understood that our democratic societies are emulative. Nobody wants to be thought a bigot if the membership board of the country club takes pride in its multiculturalism. But as the prospect of rising in the world is hampered or extinguished, the inducements to ideological conformism weaken. Dissent appears. Political correctness grows more draconian. Finally the ruling class reaches a dangerous stage, in which it begins to lose not only its legitimacy but also a sense of what its legitimacy rested on in the first place.

The inducements to ideological conformity are weakening, even in mellow comfortable Canada. Nowhere is rebellion more required than in respect of the supposed benefits of racial and cultural diversity.

Who says “multiculturalism” and “diversity” is the enemy of the nation-state. Those who oppose nationalism of any kind, even the mildest, hold the whip hand, and are not shy about flogging the natives to make them comply with our Brave New Order. The natives are beginning to rebel.

What they don’t tell you about capitalism


I have been dipping into Ha-Joon Chang’s “23 things they don’t tell you about capitalism“. I recommend it. Its author, Ha-Joon Chang, lectures at Cambridge. He provides a useful corrective to a lot of economic myth-making we have absorbed of late. He seems neither Friedmanite nor Marxist, so much as an acute observer of the gap between theory and reality and an exponent of the political element in economics.

I pulled him off the shelf this morning while trying to find a place for Fawcett’s book on Liberalism. (Bookshelf space provides the necessary Darwinian selective pressure in these parts).

I opened to chapter three, and read:

The wage gaps between the rich and poor countries exist not mainly because of differences in individual productivity, but mainly because of immigration control. If there were free migration, most workers in rich countries could be, and would be, replaced by workers from poor countries. In other words, wages are largely politically determined. (p.23)

[Westerners’] high productivities are possible only because of the historically inherited collective institutions on which they stand.

First, will someone tell me why Trump is not exactly right in enforcing US immigration law at US borders in order to protect the US working class?

Second, is not his observation perfectly consistent with what Vdare, American Rennaissance, Razib Khan, and jayman argue from their respective points of view about “inherited collective institutions”?

It is amazing what agreements are possible among thinking people when one escape’s the narrow strictures of political correctness.


Discrimination is the basis of life


The need to feel oneself morally superior is the basic flaw undermining life in the liberal democracies today. As Satan (dressed as Al Pacino) says: “Vanity: my favourite sin.”

Discrimination is carried on by every cell of your body  billions of  times a second, or trillions. That is what keeps you alive. This is what keeps societies alive. I favour the restoration of (appropriate sorts of) discrimination to its proper place: the basis of morality. No right judgment can take place without the capacity to discriminate.

Camille Paglia predicts trump re-election


Discussions of “bubbles” of opinion ensues. We must all fear our own confirmation biases.

Why is Camille Paglia so effective, even as she is scorned by the political left? Even as she supports Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein? Why does the outrageous dyke receive so many marriage proposals from elderly white Republicans?

Because she cuts through the bullshit. Because she possesses a power of analysis that consistently proves to be correct and insightful. An American original.

Camille Paglia’s obsessions, insights, and attacks are published in Free Women, Free Men. Anyone who can take Madonna as seriously as Paglia does amuses me. Anyone who can slaughter Lena Dunham as mercilessly as she does  deserves my support. “Oscar Wilde was my very first intellectual interest”.

Liberalism: a broad church



I have bad news for most readers of Barrelstrength. According to Edmund Fawcett’s comprehensive and insightful review of liberal thought, Liberalism, the Life of an Idea, we are all liberals.

Not Liberals, as in the Supreme Governing Party of Canada. And not ‘liberals’, that assemblage of social justice warriors, grievance identitarians, statists, and special interest groups that compose the left wing of the US Democratic party.

That’s okay with me. I am not a throne-and-altar reactionary, a racial supremacist, a Marxist, a Muslim supremacist or any species of totalitarian.  Any label that can encompass Friedrich Hayek, J.S. Mill, Karl Popper, J.M. Keynes, Isaiah Berlin, Milton Friedman, and a host of practicing politicians of the 19th and 20th centuries, encompasses me.

Fawcett in his introduction writes:

“…There is no uncontested and purely philosophical test I can think of for the descriptive adequacy of an account of liberalism, and looking for one strikes me as a level confusion. Rich as liberalism is in ideas, liberals in history were not pursuing a philosophical theory. They were not doing applied philosophy. The philosophy of liberalism is an exhilirating, fruitful endeavour, but is beyond the range of this book, which is to tell an undertold political story.

“Looked at from the point of view of citizens, liberalism is a practice of politics for people who will not be bossed about or pushed around by a superior power, whether the power of the state, the power of wealth or the power of society . Looked at from the point of view of government, liberalism is a practical response by state and law to the predicament of capitalist modernity. From either point of view , my story takes liberalism naturalistically as a norm generated adaptation to historical circumstances, not as speculative anthropology, politico-moral philosophy, or social biology.” (pp.24-25)

Fawcett says it is pointless to seek enemies within the liberal tent; they have enough without.

His views of what constitutes liberalism is more akin to a pack of dogs each pulling one sled in loose fan-shaped harnesses, than a team harnessed in one direction. Sometimes one dog prevails over the others, sometimes they run smoothly together. “I take liberalism for a practice governed by four loose ideas” (p.11).

  • Conflicts of interests or ideas are inescapable;
  • Human power cannot be counted on to behave well;
  • Human character and human society are not static but dynamic;
  • Power is obliged to respect moral limits on what it compel people to do

His views of conservatism are  less important and  significantly misguided, but his focus is not on that topic.

Conservatives, to schematize, believed in the unchallengeable authority of rulers and custom. They thought of human character as largely set and of society’s scope for wholesale improvement as small or non-existent. They took liberal respect for people’s chosen enterprises and opinions. especially of they took unfamiliar or disruptive form, as harmful to orthodoxy and social order. It shortchanged duty, deference and obedience. Conservatives took society for a harmonious, orderly whole  before critical modernity promoted self-seeking disaffection and liberal capitalism sowed discord between the classes.

By far the best analysis of the emotional bases of political differences is set out in Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind and we need not dilate upon Fawcett’s impoverished understanding  of what makes ‘conservatives’ feel and think differently than ‘liberals’. From the point of view of Fawcett, it is highly likely that everyone reading this article is a ‘liberal’, as he understands the term, including all the people who consider themselves ‘conservative’. Each book has a different subject matter, and Haidt’s examines the differences among the sled dogs, not their common harness.

Insofar as Fawcett situates liberalism as an ongoing political response to the technological, social, and economic revolutions we have been experiencing since 1800, I think he is broadly right in the catholicity of his understanding of the phenomenon.

In short, Edmund Fawcett has produced a richly informative, concise, and badly needed review of the main streams of western thought since 1800. I urge any self-identified conservative not to concern himself with Fawcett’s limitations, and to enjoy a well-written, stimulating expansion of one’s understanding of two centuries’ worth of history and progress.


Democratic party blues: people are taking the red pill

The distribution of electoral strength in the United States is such that urban areas vote strongly Democratic, and most rural and suburban areas vote Republican. The article hyperlinked here shows the extent to which the Democrats are in deep trouble, and getting more so. The fact that they led in popular vote this time around must be a consolation.

Credit: Ryne Rohla/Decision Desk HQ/Independent Journal Review


US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2016





US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2012



US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2008






From the same article:


Here is an amazing statistic. Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years (2004-14). Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.

Also, the Democratic Party has lost seats from coast to coast on every level. According to Fox News, the last eight years have proved disastrous for the Democratic Party, handing them over 1,000 losses nationally:

The Democratic Party suffered huge losses at every level during Obama’s West Wing tenure. The grand total: a net loss of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts, including congressional and state legislative seats, governorships and the presidency.

I will leave it to others to explain why these figures mean very little, why the Democratic party’s strength is great, why these losses at the state level can be safely ignored. If I were they, I would be concerned with the long term trends.

Trump, Syria and Korea

  1. Bomb a Syrian airfield on principle to express displeasure at the use of nerve agents in warfare.
  2. Make sure you are seen eating dinner with the Chinese Premier at the time, and not breaking a sweat.
  3. Obtain approval of most people left, right and centre for doing so, across several continents.
  4. Impress your allies and enemies that you will take military action for moral causes.
  5. Explain to your Chinese guest, its head of state, that unless the Chinese solve the Korean problem of the Kim regime, you (Trump) will.
  6. Move naval assets to Korean waters.
  7. Watch with satisfaction as 150,000 Chinese troops move towards the North Korean border.
  8. Make Kim Jong Eun nervous for his regime and his life.

Is there something about this you do not understand?

Trump was not trying to depose Assad. He is enforcing a norm of warfare: blast and fire, okay; starvation of citizens maybe, nerve agents no.

But he also adds much-needed credibility to the use of force by the United States in other circumstances.

I am sure there is some expression in some language or other about being seen to eat a dog in front of the other dogs, just to remind them who is atop the food chain.

In the meantime, Bill Maher, the politico comedian, is worried by the positive press obtained by Trump.

“The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” he wrote. “War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.”

 I have bad news for you Bill. Public relations is the basis of popular support for wars. In a democracy, wars must be supported by large segments of the population. Support comes from people believing in the rightness of the cause.  Consider the fate of  Lyndon Johnson as support for the war in Vietnam declined.
More importantly, Trump’s action kills two birds with one stone. Review points 1 through 8 above.