Back in the real world … the truth about income inequality

In the current leftist parallel universe, the media elites try to figure out if a guy, whose favourite daughter is an Orthodox Jew,  is a closet Nazi, and Blacks, who were never slaves, are fighting Whites who were never Nazis, over Confederate statues erected by Democrats whilst blaming Trump. Meanwhile in the real world, this was the state of income equality in 2014, when Obama held the reins. It is doubtful much has changed since then.

With serious issues like income inequality on the front burner, it is strange to see that the Left is instead focused on trivialities like this, Man stabbed after haircut gets him mistaken for a neo-Nazi, but as CNN stated, before hastily deleting the headline, “Activists seek peace through violence

McCarthyism was sane by comparison

Last night I bet a friend $50 that Trump will win the next US Presidential election, if there is one, in 2020. I explain why below.

A couple of weeks ago, I began composing an attack on Google’s totalitarian social cult.

Then it got worse. Charlottesville riots. Trump further demonized.  Statues of Confederate generals being  removed or vandalized. Then my own experience with American institutions.

It made an appalling coherent sense. The United States, and not just Google, is falling into a totalitarian leftist nightmare.

The firing of James D’Amore for the most mild remonstrance against Google’s hiring practices said to me, as nothing else could, that Google was in the grip of a militantly intolerant leftist belief system. Leftist, insofar as it is predicated on the view that the failure of each sex to want to be in each and every walk of life, in each profession, in exact proportion to their presence in the population, is the result of personal, cultural and systemic discrimination. Thus if the proportion of pediatric surgical nurses is 90% female, this is not the result of self-selection but is the result of unlawful or undesirable discriminations. To argue otherwise, as D’Amore did, is to engage in thought crime. I was blandly told by a senior Google representative that D’Amore had engaged in “stereotypes”, and though, in his personal opinion, Google went too far in firing him, D’Amore was guilty of a grave offence.

The second element is “belief system”, because the evidence, to the extent there is valid evidence, shows that humans do not seek to be in certain lines of work in equal measures or proportions, but according to their tastes and their conceptions of their self-interests. Further, these tastes and conceptions are statistically related to, or predictably associated with, their sex. (I emphasize that this material is found in standard treatments of the topic in Wikipedia). Thus to maintain these tastes and conceptions are mere stereotypes is un-scientific. All of which is freely available in the works of mainstream psychologists. The sexes differ, and to predicate one’s hiring policies on the belief that women want to be career obsessed workaholics in the same proportion as men do, is contrafactual. Belief in the factual is now, according to Google, a firing offence.

This brings us to the claim I make that Google shows evidence of being totalitarian.

of or being a political system in which those in power have complete control and do not allow people freedom to oppose them:

I leave it to you to judge whether “totalitarian” is applicable. For myself, “totalitarian” means that, in addition to an intolerance of opposition, there exists a corresponding theory of legitimation of this exercise of power. As Marxism and National Socialism ought to have taught us, these theories do not withstand critical scrutiny, and hence the need to suppression discussion. In the case of Google, and many others, a half-truth can become a lie when it is held to be unquestionably the whole truth. Yes, there are doubtless social and cultural factors why women do not want to be elite engineers in the same proportion as men. But when discussion of the biological factors is excluded, or when consideration of the racial factors are excluded (not the same things in my view),  then differences can only be explained by “discrimination”. In consequence corporations and society spend great energies trying to make water flow uphill. Those who point out the futility of this effort are held to be propagating “stereotypes”.

Then the riot in Charlottesville occurred, which was another part of the ongoing attack on white or historic America, as statues of all those Democratic and Confederate generals have to be hidden from public view. I do not hold with racialist agitations, any more than anti-fascist leftist hooliganism, which has gone unchecked for several years. President Trump’s condemnation of all sides in that riot has drawn the wrath of the majority of commenters, it seems.

Yet the entire episode needs to be seen as part of the continuing Democratic assault in Trump for having had the gall to win the election. The United States is unhinged. The Google incident is just a microcosm of an ongoing lunatic episode.

Rex Murphy wrote about this brilliantly in the National Post this weekend.

 

“The madness manifests itself everywhere. Such is the rush of hot news these days, that folks have forgotten last week’s excommunication ceremony, performed by the high-priests of Google’s diversity temple. One of their number issued a pallid memo merely querying whether Google had all the right policies on the holy concept of diversity. He actually favoured diversity. But he raised questions about its best pursuit. Fired in a day. A pure thought-crime, not to be tolerated in these dangerous times.

“America is in a very delirium of unhinged total politics. It is the sheerest folly to believe this is all because of Donald Trump.”

Would you like some examples?

The path of the forthcoming eclipse is passing over states that are disproportionately white.

“My lab/office door in the physics department at Berkeley uses a key card. During the day it’s a hassle so someone cleverly made up a nylon rope to wrap around the door knobs to keep the door open (see pic).

“Someone walking down the hall complained to the administration that the rope made them uncomfortable on behalf of black people. Admin asked us to figure out a way to minimize the rope’s visibility.
Berzerkely.”
  • “Confederate-looking” wall tiles to be removed from New York City subway.
  • My own experience with an American institution has indicated to me that the desire to make the place safe from Title VII anti-discrimination lawsuits was driving legal counsel to propose standards of behaviour for staff and board more stringent than the case law required. At the point where one’s legal counsel is advocating a nearly arbitrary  set of rules – a contradiction in terms actually –  to be driven by the complaints of the most sensitive snowflake, and to be investigated without recourse to standards of natural justice, that was my sign to get out, and I did.

“A very delirium of unhinged total politics”. Lefties like to complain of “McCarthyism”. That occurred when a US Senator Joseph McCarthy was going after Communist agents in the US government, in the wake of World War 2, without sufficient regard for the niceties or the facts, they said. (It turned out that what were believed to be the most extravagant claims by alarmists about Soviet Communist infiltration of government were ultimately substantiated by the publication of the KGB’s archives – see the Mitrokhin Archives). By contrast, today’s heresy sniffing is society-wide, concerns the abolition of all normal moral discourse, and seemingly will not stop until there is a revolution.

Or until Trump beats them badly in the 2020 election. Contrary to most people, I believe he will win handily in 2020, for the reason that otherwise this anti-white racism will only get worse. I just placed a $50 bet on it last night. Now you know why.

Has the Confederate statue issue reached peak stupidity?

In the 1980s and 1990s the concept of Repressed Memory attained wide public awareness after percolating in the academia since 1896, when it was identified by Sigmund Freud in his essay Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie (“On the etiology of hysteria”). All went well till the people started recalling encounters with UFOs and visiting aliens on other planets. That was the start of the end of Repressed Memory concept and it died completely after a series of scandals, lawsuits, and license revocations.

Perhaps this whole Confederate statues issue is reaching the same point of absurdity. Here are some examples.

Traveler, USC’s mascot, comes under scrutiny for having a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse

Confederate flag ‘looking’ tiles to be removed from subway

Joan of Arc statue in French Quarter tagged with ‘Tear It Down’ graffiti

Group calls for removal of Christopher Columbus statue downtown

Black Pastors Ask Smithsonian to Remove Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder

Work crew removes Taney statue from Maryland State House grounds

Who knows what examples tomorrow’s news will bring us. Perhaps redesign of the Roman numeral “X” because it looks too similar to the Confederate flag below? Perhaps remove the statues of Malcolm X because his last name is lifted right off the Confederate flag? Oh sorry, it is already in the works! Statue of Malcolm X in Oakland Should Be Removed

As for those guys walking around with tiki torches, anybody who walks around with those torches without serving Mai Tai is a fool.

US 2018 election factoid

From the liberal pollster Nate Silver.

Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.

This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP gerrymandering and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts has moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Part of it is bad timing. Democrats have been cursed by a terrible Senate map in 2018: They must defend 25 of their 48 seats1 while Republicans must defend just eight of their 52.

Trump and the illegal vote

One oft-cited remark about Trump is that he lost the popular vote. Given that lot of Republicans in California don’t even bother voting because they don’t have any candidates to vote for, with the following fact, perhaps the outcome could have been different.

Based on our review of 2016 EAC EAVS report , the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California total active and total inactive voter registration records , California is failing to comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA. For example, a comparison of the 2011- 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California active and inactive voter registration records shows there were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11)counties : Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%),Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%),Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

Our own research shows that the situation in these counties is, if anything, worse than the foregoing data suggest . For example, we contacted Los Angeles County directly this past June. At that time, county officials informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age. In our experience, these kinds of registration rates indicate a failure to comply with the vote.

Muslim origins of Statue of Liberty

With CNN’s Jim Acosta taking his immigration policy inspiration from the Statue of Liberty, it is instructive to recall the origins of the statue.

The United States has debated immigration since the country’s founding, and the Statue of Liberty—a potent symbol for immigrants—is often invoked as an argument for why we should usher in those who seek safety and opportunity with open arms. A little-known fact about Lady Liberty adds an intriguing twist to today’s debate about refugees from the Muslim world: As pointed out by The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly in a recent op-ed, the statue itself was originally intended to represent a female Egyptian peasant as a Colossus of Rhodes for the Industrial Age….

artholdi envisioned a colossal monument featuring a robe-clad woman representing Egypt to stand at Port Said, the city at the northern terminus of the canal in Egypt. To prep for this undertaking, Barry Moreno, author of multiple books about the statue, writes that Bartholdi studied art like the Colossus, honing the concept for a figure called Libertas who would stand at the canal. “Taking the form of a veiled peasant woman,” writes Moreno, “the statue was to stand 86 feet high, and its pedestal was to rise to a height of 48 feet.” Early models of the statue were called “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia.”

Edward Berenson, author of Statue of Liberty: A Translatlantic Story, writes that Bartholdi’s concept morphed from “a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant” into “a colossal goddess.” But Egypt, which had invested enormous amounts of time and money into the landmark canal, was not as eager about Bartholdi’s idea. Isma’il Pasha, the reigning khedive, rejected the plan as too costly.

Eventually, a 180-foot tall lighthouse was installed at Port Said instead. But Bartholdi was not discouraged. He eventually repurposed his concept into “Liberty Enlightening the World”—the official name for the statue that has been overlooking New York Harbor since 1886.

As for the poem “The New Colossus”, which contains the phrase ” “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”, the background to it is as follows.

“The New Colossus” was the first entry read at the exhibit’s opening, but was forgotten and played no role at the opening of the statue in 1886. In 1901, Lazarus’s friend Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem, which succeeded in 1903 when a plaque bearing the text of the poem was put on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Wasserman Schultz and the DNC Imbroglio – Continued

More on the Pakistani IT support crew of the Democrat party.

Family members of a staffer for the former Democratic National Committee chair who was arrested this week while attempting to leave the U.S. for Pakistan once worked for several Southern California congressional offices.

Imran Awan was fired Tuesday by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the same day he pleaded not guilty to a bank fraud charge in connection with a $165,000 home equity loan, authorities said.

His brother Abid Awan, was employed earlier this year by Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu, Tony Cardenas, and nearly 30 more House Democrats as a “shared employee”, according to Legistorm, a website that tracks congressional employment.

Wasserman Schultz and the DNC Imbroglio

 

Several relevant articles collectively enjoin the question: why is this not the subject of a special prosecutor?

  1. Media Blackout on class action suit against the Democratic National Committee and Wasserman Schultz

Lawyers in DNC Class-Action Suit ‘Perplexed’ by Media Blackout

2. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT scammers

3. Imran Awan case needs special prosecutor 100x more than  Russiagate

For all of Trump’s faults, and they are many, we have to keep reminding ourselves what a plague the United States recently avoided.

 

 

Luttwak again

From Edward Luttwak’s recent articleWhy the Trump Dynasty will last 16 years” on the root causes of Trump’s win, in case you missed it:

……..That gathering of lean and hungry Clint­onians is the world mercilessly exposed in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s doomed campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Meticulously researched and strenuously un­biased, it is the most useful book published so far on the 2016 Presidential election as a whole, as well as the Clinton campaign specifically. It certainly convinced me that Clinton did not understand in what country she was running for election: not one populated by black women (they dominated her convention), environmental activists, patriotic Muslims, vegans, committed free-traders and social engineers, but chiefly a country of car owners and bitterly frustrated would-be new car owners, a far better categorization than Clinton’s own “deplorables”.

That is why the car affordability numbers revealed in June 2016 were so vastly significant in determining the outcome of the elections. Going by metropolitan areas, they extracted maximum affordable car prices from median incomes. The latter ranged from the stellar $87,210 of San Jose in the opulence of California’s Silicon Valley, all the way down to the $24,701 of deindustrialized Cleveland, Ohio, numbers that in turn yielded maximum affordable price limits of $32,855 in San Jose, and $7,558 in Cleveland – not actually the lowest number, which was Detroit’s $6,174, owing to high average insurance costs in that crime-afflicted city (at $1,131.40 per annum, as compared to Cleveland’s $659.47).

What made these seemingly obscure numbers nothing less than momentous was that the cheapest new car on sale in the United States in 2016 was the Nissan Versa sedan at $12,825, twice the level that average households could afford in Detroit or Cleveland, and more than average households could afford in cities ranging from Philadelphia, Orlando, Milwaukee, Memphis, Providence, New Orleans, Miami and Buffalo, as well as, a fortiori, in a very great number of smaller localities across the United States, even in high-income states such as California and Oregon, as well much more commonly in the lower-income Southern and rust-belt states.

The mass exclusion of Americans from new car ownership is the result of two converging phenomena, only one of which was recognized by Hillary Clinton, though scarcely emphasized in her identity-focused campaign: wage stag­nation. Sanders and Trump did not hesitate to blame that relative impoverishment on the exposure of the least agile of Americans to international competition, with the resulting de-industrialization that translated millions of Americans from $20-to-40-an-hour factory jobs to miserably paid service jobs. Beholden to the sanctity of free trade, the Clinton crowd even more than the candidate herself blamed the lethargy of the TV-watching, beer-drinking, gun-owning, church-going, and cigarette-smoking “deplorables”, who unaccountably failed to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity to leave boring assembly-line jobs or downright dangerous coal-face or oil drilling jobs to become fashion designers, foreign-exchange traders, software engineers, or even political campaign operatives.

 

Wolfgang Streeck on Trump

 

The bloggers at Barrelstrength continue to try to understand what is going on. If that means some or all of us start sounding anti-capitalist, please be advised: any theory pushed to extremes becomes a tyranny, including even our own ideas. We are as firmly pro-market as we can be in the circumstances. The relevant question these days is: what is the nature of our circumstances?  We are each of us searching for answers to what has gone wrong: income stagnation for the masses, coupled with fantastic increases in wealth of the top one tenth of one percent. Whether it be Peter Thiel, Chrystia Freedland, Edward Luttwak, or today’s guest columnist, Wolfgang Streeck, every thinking person is actively considering how much internationalization [free trade + semi-open borders] is good for our own countries.

An excerpt:

Those aggrieved by the accelerated internationalization of their societies felt abandoned by their national state. Elites in charge of public affairs were judged guilty of having handed national sovereignty to international organizations. These charges were largely true. Global neoliberalism has enfeebled the nation state, and with it, national democracy. Citizens most affected by these events had only their votes to express their displeasure.

Trumpism took off, fueled as much in the United States as elsewhere by popular irritation at the vast public celebration of internationalization. Economic and cultural elites entered an international space rich in their rights, at ease both in and out of national states. If democracy is understood as the possibility of establishing social obligations toward those luckless in the marketplace, the global elites had entered into, or created, a world in which there was a great deal of lucklessness and not many obligations.

For those plotting to take advantage of growing discontent, nationalism appeared as an obvious formula both for social reconstruction and political success. The winners and the losers of globalism found themselves reflected in a conflict between cosmopolitanism and nationalism. The old left having withdrawn into stateless internationalism, the new right offered the nation-state to fill the ensuing political vacuum. Liberal disgust at Trumpian rhetoric served to justify the withdrawal of the left from its constituents, and to explain its failure to help them express their grievances in civilized public language. Discontent grew fast.

The Trump presidency is both the outcome and the end of the American version of neo-liberalism. Having commenced crumbling in the era of George W. Bush, the neo-liberal regime managed to regain an appearance of vitality under Barack Obama. With his departure, it was bound to collapse under the weight of its contradictions, and, indeed, absurdities.

Clinton’s daring attempt to present herself as advocate of those Americans “working hard and playing by the rules,” while collecting a fortune in speaker’s fees from Goldman Sachs, was destined to fail. So, too, was Clinton’s insistence that it was the historical duty of American voters to elect her as their first female president. Transgendered restrooms infuriated everyone except those seeking access to them, no matter the Obama administration’s attempt to depict bathroom access as a civil right.11 Deep down, no one cared.

Wolfgang Streeck

“If Trumpists feel bound by their electoral promises, they must put an end to neoliberal reform. This will not end the impasse between capitalism and society. In the absence of a stable class compromise between capital and labor, policy is doomed to become capricious. Perhaps Trumpism will make its departure from neoliberalism and free trade palatable to capital by increasing credit, debt, and inflation—another policy intended to buy time and little else. Nobody knows what Trumpists will do to shore up their political support if economic nationalism fails to produce the promised results.”

In Systems of Survival, the late Jane Jacobs spoke of two moral systems, or syndromes, the guardian and the market.. The relevance of the two systems never diminishes, though the strength of the institutions  influenced by each system can vary at different times in history. What we have witnessed in the past forty years has been the increasing dominance of the market system over the guardian system of morality. If people are feeling adrift and bereft, they turn to the only guardian institution they know, the state, to help them get through the crisis.

Jacobs’ thinking on these matters is of permanent importance. Despite Trump’s chaotic, incompetent governing style, the forces that brought Trump to power cannot be ignored, although the internationalists will do their best to whistle past the graveyard – pointing to Putin and Russia as to why Hillary lost. It looks as if they are setting themselves up to be beaten again at the polls.