Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

World’s happiest countries

just happen to be mostly white. I just cannot imagine why there is a relationship. Can you?

The happiest of countries — many of which are in Scandinavia according the latest World Happiness Report — have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices and lower perceptions of corruption. By analyzing happiness data, officials hope to improve the world’s social, economic and environmental well-being.

World Happiness Report 2013 (PDF)


A target-rich environment (2): microaggressions

I wrote recently about how feminist discourse on the Internet was being poisoned by the impossibility of saying anything that did not offend someone well-versed (usually black and lesbian) in finding aggression, homophobia, gender-fixation, able-ism and other thought crimes in the writings of some other person  -preferably white and middle class. (Tone Policing, January 31st, 2014)

Now tone policing  has come to broader public attention through the antics of the McGill University students’ association. There is even a non-ironic site called McGill micro-aggressions (I am not making this up!) where everyone’s little senses of hurt can be set out for the cosmos to see and be concerned about.

Excellent coverage of the event is given at Legal Insurrection here.

The image in question was an extension of the cultural, historical and living legacy surrounding people of color—particularly young men—being portrayed as violent in contemporary culture and media. By using this particular image of President Obama, I unknowingly perpetuated this living legacy and subsequently allowed a medium of SSMU’s communication to become the site of a microaggression; for this, I am deeply sorry.”

Of course, the last thing ever to be discussed is whether the portrayal of young black males, or African American males, as more aggressive than other races is true. That remains undiscussable. Or as Thomas Sowell said in Race and Culture (at p.227):

“History itself has become the target of a desperate attack by those for whom truth threatens devastating consequences to their visions, their egos, or their projects. A whole new class of intellectuals has arisen to supply history geared to what people currently wish to believe, rather than to record the past”.

But no one is fooled. To make an issue of the fake gif of President Obama kicking a door only shows the power of the stereotype. Yet the stereotype of the aggressive black male is founded on reality, not on someone’s unfounded racial prejudice.

The equity policy says that if someone is offended, that is the fact which has to be addressed. Reality has nothing to do with it, indeed, reality may have to be denied, because the fact of comparative differences constitutes the offence.

-I believe you are a witch. Therefore, according to the rules of the campus equity policy, you must defend yourself against the accusation of witchcraft. The burden of proof is on you.

-But there are no witches because witchcraft is scientifically impossible!

-Your assertion that witchcraft is impossible is part of the hetero-normatve, phallocentric, able-ist  white logical mindspace which is the offence!

Fortunately, the occasional eruption of this sort of shit provokes the necessary and beneficial social reaction against it.

Anyone for an explicit political purge of universities? Volunteers, anyone?

Dark Enlightenment

For those who are curious about the places where you really should not go on the Internet, to taste the dubious fruits of seriously reactionary thought – I do not mean conservative, I mean reactionary – you can start with this rather dispassionate survey here from Vocativ, which is an interesting site in its own right.

What is the Dark Enlightenment? As the term suggests, the Dark Enlightenment is an ideological analysis of modern democracy that harshly rejects the vision of the 18th century European Enlightenment—a period punctuated by the development of empirical science, the rise of humanist values and the first outburst of revolutionary democratic reform. In contrast, the Dark Enlightenment advocates an autocratic and neo-monarchical society. Its belief system is unapologetically reactionary, almost feudal.

Having braced yourself for your encounter with stuff so far from electoral politics that it has disappeared through the event horizon, the  definition of which is surprisingly apt:

a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer…

you may now safely observe the blogs I am about to direct you to. Start with Occam’s Razor, which is frankly anti-democratic and reactionary, and in particular to “The Dark Enlightenment/NeoReaction gets Mainstream Notice”.

There are enough links for and against for you to follow that you can waste your time productively in the murkier recesses of reaction, and hysteria about reaction.

The essential contention of the reactionaries is that there exists an established church of opinion, which is called the Cathedral, whose laws are to be obeyed.  The laws of the Cathedral are the summary of the generally anti-white, anti-Christian, and antinomian beliefs that animate contemporary political discourse. Whether you agree with the reactionaries or not, you will probably recognize that the Cathedral represents  the core beliefs of the far political Left.

I exclude from the category “far Left” people who might want more government spending, or higher taxes, or less social inequality. Many people to the left of me are in the zone of reasonable political disagreement. I am talking about the people whom I believe to be morally deranged by anti-white racism, anti-male sexism, and anti-Christianism, among other symptoms.

The Left is hysterical about the existence of political differences. It drives them bonkers that there can be difference of opinion on, say, anthropogenic global warming, and people writing in the obscure corners of the opinion environment who believe that liberal democracy is heading us all straight to hell, or keeping us locked up there, as the case may be.

I remain much more confident about the capacities of public discourse to hold back and eventually reverse the Leftist tide, than either the reactionaries doubt or the far Left fears. In this I may utterly mistaken. I am creature of the Enlightenment in many senses:  I have no use for atheism,  I remain confident that reason will prevail, and these two beliefs are not contradictory. I am also confident that representative democracy is the only one suitable for sustaining self-government. I am a conservative, rather than a leftist,  because I believe we must govern ourselves well or else we shall be governed by others, and that requires serious education of the soul. I am a liberal, rather than a reactionary, because I believe that, more often than not, we are able to govern ourselves.


Happy delving into the depths of genuine political debate. Do not forget to come up for air.


Liberalism and Hate -2

Talking with Duggan’s Dew this morning, I related my excellent annual lunch with an estimable friend of mine: Liberal, liberal, and a good man. We disagree on everything except good manners, paying one’s bills, avoiding vulgarity and the other fundamentals of civilized existence.

You name it, we disagree: Obama, the plight of males in a female-dominated world, anthropogenic global warming. The list could be longer but there were only so many subjects that could be discussed in the course of a quite pleasant lunch.

In reciting my discussion,  Duggan’s Dew pointed out that the one thing the liberals can agree on is a vehement dislike of conservatives. All the world’s problems could be solved, one is led to think by liberals, if only conservatives, especially those of their own race and social class, did not exist. Our habit of pointing out things we consider to be facts and implications of race, class, nature, tribe, sex, rank, age, intelligence and stupidity aggravates them. The only arguments they can muster, when reduced to facing these facts, is to accuse of the various forbidden “isms”. It prevents thinking, reduces debate to name-calling, and established to their satisfaction their moral self-congratulation on being so  superior. (My lunch companion is and was eminently free from such habits, which is why we still lunch together.)

As Thomas Sowell once called it in the subtitle to “The Vision of the Anointed”: “self-congratulation as a basis for social policy”.

I opened this book to a random page and read:

 Among the amazing rationales for compensatory preferences for selected minorities to be imposed by courts is that such preferences merely offset previous preferences for members of the majority population….

But this again raises the question which arises in so many other contexts: is the law to attempt intertemporal cosmic justice or simply apply the same rules  to all in the only temporal realm to which it has jurisdiction – the present and the future? Moreover is the decision to opt for intertemporal cosmic justice one for which judges have any authorization, either from the Constitution or from statutes passed by elected officials? Such straightforward questions are often evaded by being redefined as “simplistic”….

“As in so many other contexts, the word “simplistic” was not part of an argument but a substitute for an argument. (at pp233-234)

I think the facts of life are conservative, in the sense that there is much more limited scope for remaking ourselves than many imagine. The arguments which ignore the facts of life, and particularly human inequalities,  are wrong, however benignly intentioned. We have the better arguments, but we have a massive uphill battle to fight to create the conditions for being understood.

I like treating people as equals. I like being treated as an equal. I want to live in a society where we do so.  But to live in a society that denies the implications of all the differences among mankind, and treats those who point them out as thought-criminals, is to live in a totalitarianism. I will not have it. And  if this means not going along with contemporary follies, so be it.

America at a new low, says poll

Why are we, who thought Obama a nullity, not surprised?

A new Pew Research Center poll found that 53 percent of people believe that the U.S. is playing a less important role as a world leader than a decade ago, the highest figure since 1984.

Worse: 70 percent said that the U.S. is respected less than in the past, almost matching the high reached under former President George W. Bush, whose foreign policy Obama pledged to reverse.

Other key highlights from Pew’s release:

— By a 56 percent to 34 percent margin, more disapprove than approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. The public also disapproves of his handling of Syria, Iran, China and Afghanistan by wide margins.

A friend of mine and a fan of Obama’s (yes, I have one) cited Bill Clinton on the subject of the mighty O. Clinton said that “Obama does the hard things well, but not the easy things”. That was a kind way of saying that he has disengaged American troops from Iraq, is doing the same in Afghanistan, and has arrived at a deal with Iran that fails to forbid it from enriching uranium to make nukes. On the other hand, with the basic business of politics, such as making allies, stroking your friends and intimidating or befriending your enemies, as may be needed,  Obama neither tries nor engages.

The unfailingly optimistic friend said he hoped that this would not be the last black American President. He said he looked forward to more being elected, and women too. The nagging feeling I have is that he does actually believe that there are objective criteria for the job, or that being black can get you, if not a free pass, then a benign once-over. If that were so, it would be a frivolous position.


I have a billion prejudices and their number grows weekly with every new experience. Unless you are completely incapable of learning, your prejudices are growing too, with age and experience. One of the first counter-intuitive experiences you are warned against is running into the street chasing a ball. Failure to learn that results frequently in squealing tires and the appalling hurt of a full body slam into the hood of a car. Prejudices are good. They can keep you alive. Remember that the next time someone tells you that you need jail time or therapy for distrusting Gypsies.

You are taught that prejudices are wrong. On the contrary, prejudices tell you that an area of town is risky, that the date you are with is psycho, that your boss is probably inept, that this situation is not for you. Every cell in your body exercises exquisitely accurate discrimminations against foreign substances trying to get past your cell membranes. Prejudices are just the mental equivalent of semi-permeable cell-membranes at the physical level. Too open, you die of infection. Too closed, you turn into North Korea.

Of all the prejudices against which you are warned, and which bring down official state penalties, is racial prejudice, and its more narrowly targeted sister, ethnic prejudice. Thus at various times in the past I have listened with amusement  to Cree and Ojibway Indians trashing the Mohawks, and the Mohawks trashing the Cree, like Prussians talking about Poles. Yet learning from experience is how we navigate through a world of possibly deadly risks, enemies, and psychos.

Well I have another prejudice to confess. Hungarians (Magyar). I have met Catholic Hungarians, Jewish Hungarians, and even Protestant Hungarians. I have not yet met stupid Hungarians. Think of the contributions of Hungarians to physics and mathematics: John von Neumann, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner, Leo Szilard and the rest. Their contributions have been as powerful and as important as those of the Germans, excluding perhaps Einstein. Not bad for an ethnic group that numbers about 4-6 million people. Or think of the Canadians of Hungarian origin. Robert Lantos started serious television and movie production in Canada, while George Jonas provides great wisdom in the pages of the Post. Keep your eye for Hungarians. You could learn much by observing them.

Now we learn that the founder and creator of Bitcoin, the revolutionary currency that is not controlled by state printing presses, is of Hungarian origin:Nick Szabo. He blogs here, rarely but well.

I suggest you watch Magyars in a spirit of admiration. As the Germans say of them, they are the only people who go into a revolving door behind you and come out ahead of you. Be aware of your favourable prejudices, and act on them.

The elephant in the room

No, I am not talking about Rob Ford. For the past many years, and especially since Obama’s presidency, I have been reading of targeted black on white violence in the States, and this of a kind more akin to sport than home invasions and robberies “gone bad”, to use a euphemism.

It is so prevalent in so many instances that even the colour-blind national media are being forced to pay attention. When I use the term “colour-blind” I mean that the obviously racial motivation of the attacks is ignored.

I notice that nhe news readers says the police are looking for “two teenagers” rather than “two black teenagers” because, one, this insulates them from unpleasant charges of racism from noticing facts, and two, the audience knows that black teenagers are subjects of the search anyway.

The murder is described as a “robbery gone wrong”. The victim “was in the wrong place at the wrong time”. It was if lightning had struck, rather than the calculated (?) act of a criminal. And the racial aspect is wholly ignored, not just the black-on-white aspect, but the obviously anti-white racial motivation in many, many cases. That is the elephant in the room.

As Voltaire did not say, “to learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you are not allowed to criticize.”

Other links:
CBS New Yorkwhere the racial element is alluded to
New York Post – and notice how the racial element is not discussed

As usual, Stuff Black People Don’t Like (SBPDL)  is way more trenchant than I would care to be. It makes me uncomfortable to read, not because I think he is wrong in essence, though he might be wrong in near-obsessive emphasis on the racial aspect, but because I fear he is correct in his analysis.  I am just waking up to the elephant, since I do not live in the States; the author of SBDL, Frank Kersey, has been pointing fingers at American black dysfunction for years.

“We do not live in ideal world; we live in a world governed by a concept known as Black-Run America (BRA), where the dysfunction of black people is explained away as merely being a symptom of pernicious, ubiquitous white racism.
It’s an ideology alone that could birth the conditions of Philadelphia in 2013.
And though those who profess to value life hate Dr. Gosnell, [an black abortionist in Philadelphia] it’s a city where black people hold no value of life (or regard for the same morality as that which birthed white civilization), which will ensure to ultimately terminate any civilization in Philadelphia. 
” The blight in Philadelphia, ever boarded up house and empty business, the violence found in the majority black Philadelphia Public School System, and the continued abandonment by corporations and white middle-class validates Dr. Gosnell’s concerns about the true sin and the insufficient system of support black people create for their children.

“This inefficiency on the part of black parents (don’t absolve black women – or white women – who have a child out-of-wedlock by a black male… no one forced them to have sex) in Philadelphia was the reason black Mayor Michael Nutter excoriated black youth for partaking in violent flash mobs in 2011 [Philadelphia mayor talks tough to black teenagers after ‘flash mobs’, Washington Times, 8-11-13]

The ruin has gone on for so long in so many once-thriving US cities, that people are reluctantly being forced to awaken from their politically-correct slumbers.

The whitest jobs in the United States

The Atlantic is bemoaning racial stratification and self-segregation in the workforce, as usual.

Sources: The Atlantic on-line and American Renaissance. AmRen says

 Whites account for about 81 percent of the workforce. But there are 33 occupations counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (particularly those on farms, around heavy machines, in doctor’s offices, and in C-suites) where whites officially account for nine in ten of all workers, or more. Here they are.

The chart is legible at American Renaissance, but not here, I regret to say.Jobs

Unless you have read The Bell Curve and Thomas Sowell’s Race and Culture, these kinds of phenomena will always seem like the results of white racism, or low educational attainment, or the results of living in ghettos. In other words, results will always be mistaken for causes.



Gun ownership versus homicides

Breitbart says that maps made by the U.N. office on Drugs and Crime (circa 2007) clearly show that where gun ownership is highest in the world, crime is lowest on a per capita basis. Not! It is more complicated, and interesting than that.

gun ownership

It is surprizing to find how well-armed Canadians and Europeans are. The Americans lead the way with more than 75 guns per hundred people. But Canadians and the supposedly disarmed Europeans (France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia have over 50  guns per hundred people, which translates into high household ownership of firearms.


homicides per hundred thousand

The homicides per hundred thousand figure  is even more surprizing. On this scale, Canada’s murder rate shows the same as the States’ (0 to 5 per 100,000), Europe’s level is equally low, regardless of the gun ownership figures, with the exception of Finland and Russia. The Balkans, of all places, show low murder rates, which means the prosperity may be ending their tribal feuding. Muslim North Africa, India and China look safe, if not exactly peaceful.

South America’s rates  outside of the largely white Argentina and Chile are bad to atrocious; East Africa, South Africa, and West Africa are good to avoid. In Papua-New Guinea they really are coming out of the stone age. Burma has several ethnic wars ongoing. Greenland has murder rates similar to those in other Inuit settlements in Canada’s north, which are drowned statistically in the rest of Canada’s population.

Another relationship is visible: the proportion of black Africans and African immigrants indicates high murder rates. Brazil is more than 40% African. In Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Peru, the drug trade and high class tensions lead to high rates of crime.

While there is not a simple relationship between gun ownership and murder rates, it is evident that the US is much more safe than its image would suggest.





No demagoguery needed

The US census speaks.

Blurred in this chart below but clearer in the original, 26.5% of white households receive means-tested assistance, 50.9% of black households, 27.9% of Asian, and 53.3% of Hispanic households received means-tested government assistance.


means tested assistance US

The American Thinker comments:

“The government figures were broken down by race. While 20.5% of White and 27.9% of Asian households receive some form of means-tested benefits, 50.9% of Black households and 53.3% of Hispanic households receive welfare assistance. The figure for Hispanic households should dispel any notions that the Republican Party will gain any advantage from immigration reforms that increase the size of this voting bloc. Communities with a high dependence on welfare will vote for the party that promises to keep the benefits flowing. There is a reason every Democrat in Congress supports comprehensive immigration reform that would open a path to the voting booth to those who came into the country illegally.”