Jack Ziegler is dead, and the New Yorker is getting worse and worse

 

 

 

 

“The only solution I can see is to hold a series of long and costly hearings in order to put off finding a solution.”

 

Jack Ziegler was the sharpest, funniest New Yorker cartoonist. I have been missing him for over a year now and I had wondered whether the New Yorker was purging male cartoonists of talent. That would be consistent with its rabidly anti-Trump political posturing. Alas! It was worse than this. Jack died last year at the early age of 74.

If you ever want to buy a great, and enduringly funny, book, get yourself a copy of his hardback collection about drinking alcohol, Olive or Twist? My wife and I found it in a Halifax bar chained to the counter, and I know why it was guarded so carefully. We laughed steaduly for half and hour as we perused the cartoons. I ordered a copy immediately. Do yourself a favour, and buy one. It will bring joy to your heart for years, and a good guffaw every few months when you re-read it.

His New Yorker obituary is here.

I had thought that New Yorker cartoons had fallen in quality under the editorship of Bob Mankoff, but he is no longer in that position. The recent decline is matched by the increasing number of twee female cartoonists. I also ascribe the decline to the New Yorker’s pervasive leftist mindset, which is infecting the cartoons. When I say I only read the New Yorker for the cartoons, I am not kidding, and only slightly exaggerating.

 

 

Non-corporate mentality

Susan Ray’s kitchen, Nantucket, 1875 and Bill Gates

Occasionally a picture is worth a thousand words. This painting would have been made sometime in the latter half of the 19th century, around 1875, on Nantucket, a prosperous whaling island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts,

You will note the absence of everything that makes a modern kitchen convenient. Start with the absence of pipes and of cold (not hot) running water. No sink. No wood stove, only an open fire. Mrs. Ray emerges from a larder in which  food is stored.

No electricity: and thus no dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer or lights. Scarcely a counter-top on which to cut and prepare a meal. In case you wonder about what is hidden at the other end of the kitchen, the painter did the other end too. You can see a sideboard, a small table, a mirror, a sconce for a candle, and the fireplace. Not even a wood stove!

These were prosperous people of the time. Not rich, but not suffering either. Note the fine piece of furniture below the mirror. Note the wide (16-18  inches?) sawn planks of old growth pine and the lack of water stains on the whitewashed ceiling. They lived in a comfortable house, by the standards of the time.

All this is a world before fossil fuels or electricity. Doubtless it had a very low carbon footprint.

When I read about carbon taxes, and rich magnates like Bill Gates saying we have to get carbon neutral by some date in the near future, I ask myself, do these fools understand what it was like to prepare a meal in Susan Ray’s kitchen?

Says Bill Gates:

To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to get to zero net greenhouse gas emissions in every sector of the economy within 50 years—and as the IPCC recently found, we need to be on a path to doing it in the next 10 years. That means dealing with electricity, and the other 75% too.

50 years is nearly twenty years less than what I have lived already. Two hundred years would be a more reasonable time horizon.

Read him, he exemplifies a kind of insane rationality that fails to understand that the world cannot get to carbon neutrality at any price we can afford, political or economic, in fifty or a hundred years, if ever. Insanity is not the absence of rationality, but the excess of it. Just think of Susan Ray’s kitchen when you think of a low carbon footprint, but  you should take out the fireplace and replace it with a wood stove, if the authorities will permit it. That is a low-carbon footprint kitchen. Why is it so difficult for the intelligent of our time to understand that they have embarked upon a course of folly and destruction?

Global warming catastrophism is a disease of the intelligent, like Communism in the 1930s.

_____________________

Wikipedia relates

Eastman Johnson, (July 29, 1824 – April 5, 1906) painted “Susan Ray’s kitchen”. Hewas an American painter and co-founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, with his name inscribed at its entrance. He was best known for his genre paintings, paintings of scenes from everyday life, and his portraits both of everyday people and prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His later works often show the influence of the 17th-century Dutch masters, whom he studied in The Hague in the 1850s; he was known as The American Rembrandt in his day.

Whiter than White


How sweet it is, sometimes. Watching Senator Elizabeth Warren make an absolute fool of herself and demonstrating liberal hypocrisy in spades at the same time was a delight.

She gets a job as a professor at Harvard, the premier anti-White race-conscious university in the US, posing as a “woman of color”, the “color” being claimed is Native American Indian, Cherokee in particular. Saying “colored woman” would, of course, be a hate crime as Newspeak is changed every day to suit the Commissars.

The standard leftist drone is that race is not biological, is a “social construct”, is only skin color, everyone is the same, and other obviously nonsensical piffle. That may work when the object is to land a well-paying sinecure at an institution of higher ignorance, where the standard modus operandi in matters of race is to deceive, but in the real world one has to realize that race is real.

Every day modern genetics is discovering more facts about the human genome and the variations in the genome that can clearly be associated with racial differences. So Senator Warren takes a DNA test which results in showing her heritage to be about 1/1024 th Native American Indian. [It may be less than that as, apparently, the comparison sets involved South American Indians too.]

So Senator Warren puts Ivory soap [99.44% pure!] in the shade—she is as White as they come.

Here’s the doublethink. Like all liberals, she claimed the non-existence of race as a biological reality, then, when caught lying about her ancestry to get a job, immediately appealed to the reality of race as shown in her DNA, albeit no more than the average White American. Two contradictory thoughts at the same time, the very definition of doublethink. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from recognizing the reality of race is that genetics may affect all manner of differences between races, including the taboo subject of intelligence. That of course must be suppressed.

Anyhow, it’s interesting that she appeals to a 1/1000 th part Indian ancestry as justification for her absurd claim of being an Indian. This degree of racial differentiation is about one hundred times as fine as that practiced by the most race-conscious state in modern times–the Third Reich! Way to go, Liz.

I was glad to see that the Cherokee Nation told her where to go.

Rebel Yell

Let me now praise a forgotten Liberal

I have been mildly dismayed by the paucity  of public recognition and outpouring for Donald Stovel MacDonald on his death this past Sunday October 14th, at the age of 86.

Donald Macdonald exemplified a certain code of public service which used to animate the upper reaches of Canadian society. He had been Minister of many important portfolios in the first Trudeau governments. He was a modest, accomplished, self-effacing, and highly capable man.

I think his most important accomplishment was his chairing of the Macdonald Royal Commission on the Economic Union and the Prospects for Canada. Its conclusions reversed a century of Canadian protectionism and opened the door for Prime Minister Mulroney to advance the negotiations that led to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has led to a vast increase in Canadian prosperity, and opened Canada’s conception of itself. I think it took a Liberal of his status to point out that the nation had been following the wrong path and to recommend the necessary change. He did not fail to encourage necessary reforms.

We do not appreciate these sorts of people enough. They are the backbone of the nation.

Andrew Cohen has recollected his life more completely here.

His family’s eulogy is here.

 

Stages in the acceptance of Bannonism

JBS Haldane wrote

“The four stages of acceptance:
1. This is worthless nonsense.
2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
4. I always said so.”

(Review of The Truth About Death, in: Journal of Genetics 1963, Vol. 58, p.464)”

I have noticed that the arguments of Steve Bannon are gaining traction in broader and more polite circles. Essentially, Bannon claims that the working class of the United States had been abandoned by governments of the right and the left, and that while globalization and its attendant philosophy of globalism have benefitted the top 1%, the people who actually compose the United States, fight its wars,and serve in its factories and police forces, have been abandoned to excessive immigration, held up for ridicule as “white”, “male” and old, and have been the subjects of an opiod crisis that, if it had occurred in a sexual or coloured minority, would have been treated as a second AIDS crisis.

The average age of death of American whites was declining: people are dying younger. As the study hyperlinked above wrote:

“The unfavorable recent trends in premature death rate among non-Hispanic Whites outside large urban areas were primarily caused by self-destructive health behaviors likely related to underlying social and economic factors in these communities.”

Bannon calls the policies and the situation he opposes the product of Davos man.

Steven Harper has taken up the same message in his latest book, Right Here, Right Now, excerpted here. Harper is a much more respectable figure than Bannon, and the fact that the same arguments are being propagated by both men is a sign that Bannon’s analysis is seeping through the defences into higher plateaux of acceptance. As Harper writes:

Trump, Brexit, and the European populist movements are exposing a fault line in modern Western societies. The division is between, as David Goodhart describes: those who live “anywhere” and those who live “somewhere.” The rise of globalization in the past quarter-century has transformed an element of the population. Segments of urban and university-educated professionals have become genuinely globally oriented in their careers and personal lives.

 

Harper cleverly speaks of the gap between the ‘anywheres’ and the ‘somewheres’: those who might work anywhere on the planet and those who could not work outside the country of their birth.

Imagine yourself as someone who works for an international consulting firm or in a globally focused academic career. You can wake up in New York, London, or Singapore and feel at home. You may rent or even own regular accommodation in all of these places. Your work is not subjected to import competition or threat of technological dislocation. You may attend (or aspire to attend) the Davos conference. You probably read The Economist and, like Thomas Friedman, believe that the world really is flat. Your spouse or partner has a similar professional background, although he or she is from somewhere else in the world. You are motivated by climate change and suspicious of religion. You are unequivocally pro–free trade and support high levels of immigration. Your values can broadly be described as “cosmopolitan.”

Such cosmopolitans, or “Anywheres,” or just plain “globalists” have an increasingly weak attachment to the nation-state. Their professional, personal, and even familial relationships are increasingly with people like themselves from a range of countries. 

Harper correctly predicts that populist movements will only grow. “My diagnosis is simple: the populist trend will not stop until the issues driving it are being effectively addressed.”

Amen. Yet the resistance to realization is extremely powerful. This brings me to the second theme of this essay, that the Democrats are still at stage one: “This is all worthless nonsense”.

I continue to be amazed and not a little disturbed by the degree of heat, denial, snobbery, and plain mendacity in the reaction of the bien-pensants to what is going on. For them, it appears to be something about Trump. Bad boy! Rude man! Going into the kitchen and breaking dishes. Fighting with NATO allies. Being too cozy with Putin (for which there is no evidence whatever). I can understand why Trump is not one’s cup of tea, but I have greater difficulty understanding why the opposition to him is so slow to understand why he came to power. I do not mean the technical reasons of campaigning and messaging; I mean the underlying economic and social malaise to which his policies were appearing to be remedies.

The Democrats have been in complete denial that they even lost the election. The last time this happened, during Bush Junior,  they withdrew into The West Wing, where a Democratic President Jeb Bartlett ruled an imaginary United States as an all-wise avatar of decency and enlightenment. This time they have no West Wing to occupy their minds. Now they find themselves in the wrestling ring with a mad orange-haired troll in a weird suit who keeps slamming them into the floor and throwing them against the ropes, while the mob howls for more.

The Democrats will be equally shocked when they lose the midterms. I fail to see is any sign that they have a capacity to understand and adapt to what has hit them. They seem to prefer the fictional world of a Putin-Facebook- targeted ad campaign that deprived them of their rightful place as the permanent government of the United States. On the face of it, the claim is absurd: that a few hundred thousand dollars, if that much, of targeted Facebook ads could overcome the billion or two that Hillary Clinton spent on her campaign, the bad messaging, the self-regard, the bad campaigning, and the complete inability to see that the world she thought existed, did not.

Drowning men clutch straws, we are told. I do not see the Democrats recovering until they come to grip with why they lost.  Right now, they are both denying that they lost and asserting that that any argument that they lost for a reason is worthless rubbish.

 

Right Here, Right Now: Politics And Leadership In The Age Of Disruption by Stephen J. Harper

 

 

I work for government

Scene: Ron Swansons’s office in Parks and Recreation

Secretary opens door and asks: “Am I interrupting anything important?”

Ron Swanson: “Impossible, I work for the government”.

While not exactly true, Ron Swanson still delivers a good line. Lower layers of government can use a few staunch libertarians. Higher levels of government can use some conservatives, if by that you mean people with the tragic view of life. The limited vision of government praised by Thomas Sowell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Males woes: Charles Murray, Francis Fukuyama, and Heather MacDonald

Charles Murray is the author of The Bell Curve, Human Accomplishment and Coming Apart, among other works. Any conservative minded person ought to have read these books, and liberals who want to inquire into why we think them mostly wrong. His insights into why things are getting worse, for men, for family formation, for society, and then for women, provides a necessary corrective to Steven Pinker’s rosy view set forth in Enlightenment Now.

There is a moment in the interview below which prompted a blog posting this morning. The issue was the sorting of society on the basis of cognitive ability, which is the essential claim of The Bell Curve. Murray remarks (at 15:30) that “What we are doing now is creating a world which is congenial to people of high IQs. People of high IQ love complexity. They think complexity is fun. That’s why you have Kohlberg at Harvard coming up with his seven stages of moral reasoning….. But, a world governed by that kind of complexity is difficult to deal with if you are not very smart”.

The interview is well  worth watching. He preaches the idea that the point of law should be to provide a clear moral compass so as to allow people the maximum moral autonomy which is what he calls “libertarianism”.

I bring up this issue of simplicity and complexity because I spent an evening with liberals last night, possibly wrecking their digestion and certainly providing them with a memorable conflict. At the basis of much of the disagreement was the idea that social democracy – assuming we know what that means  – is a morally superior system because it displays the highest levels of compassion. Hence belief in social democracy means necessarily that one is morally superior, because one has more compassion. Thus if I hold that 53% of GDP should be spent by government, and my political opponent says 46%, or 36%, I do not have to think hard about the consequences of a bloated state sector because I have a superior measure of compassion.

Since the criterion of political virtue is compassion, and compassion is best judged by how well society takes care of the poor and the indigent, and thirdly, that this compassion is accomplished through Scandinavian style state intervention, then in substance there is not much further one needs to think about politics.

Forget for a moment the doubtful superiority of Scandinavian welfare statism for showing compassion. My objection is deeper, and less fact-based.

I find such a one-dimensional view of the purposes of political life repugnant. What about virtue, accomplishment, achievement, belonging, and greatness, collective or individual, in a society that understands and appreciates what greatness is?

I have just begun reading Francis Fukuyama’s Identity, the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, and already it is evident that he is talking about the real issues of our time.

“But as important as material self interest is, human beings are motivated by other things as well, motives that better explain the disparate events of the present. This might be called the politics of resentment. In a wide variety of cases, a political leader has mobilized followers around the perception that the group’s dignity has been affronted , disparaged, or otherwise disregarded. This resentment engenders demands for public recognition of the dignity of the group in question. A humiliated group seeking restitution of its dignity carries far more weight than people simply pursuing their economic advantage”. (at page 7)

And what group has undergone a persistent social decline of status in the past thirty years? All men? Men of the American working class? Take your pick. This leads us to what Scott Adams and I have been talking about in relation to the Kavanaugh witch hunt. It is not merely the American working class male that is taking a beating, it is all males.

Heather MacDonald writes about the feminist industrial complex  in City Journal:

Our booze-fueled hook-up culture has made relations between men and women messier than ever, leaving many girls and women with pangs of regret—but those regrets do not equal rape. If we were actually in the midst of an “epidemic of sexual assault,” as New Jersey senator Cory Booker asserted the evening of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, we would presumably have seen women and girls take protective actions, such as avoiding frat parties and flocking to single-sex schools. None of those protective actions has occurred, however. Either women are too clueless to avoid patent danger, or the epidemic of sexual assault is a fiction. All evidence points to the latter conclusion. Judge Brett Kavanaugh may be the latest male to have his life torn apart by that fiction, but he won’t be the last.

Accordingly, I think a male backlash is finally going to manifest itself, not just by dropping out, as young men have been doing, but by male identitarian politics at the ballot box. It cannot start too soon. Compassion and social democracy will take back seat to a necessary social change that is long overdue.

Fukuyama on Identity

 

 

 

Reality is Hate!

Looking for the most insane, cuckoo nonsense these days is tough, the competition is pretty stiff. Speaking of which, in the UK recently, a student was fired from his position as an editor of Durham University’s philosophy journal Critique for saying “women don’t have penises” [here]. A row erupted about the “transphobic” comment and the former chair of the LGBT Humanists (!) said that the statement “was factually incorrect”.

Well, well, Heavens to Betsy! Now we have university crackpots saying that fundamental biological and medical facts relating to female pudenda are “factually incorrect”. Truly, as Orwell remarked, some ideas are so stupid, only intellectuals will believe them. Even he could not have foreseen the absurdity of the madness gripping the educational establishment.

“Transphobic” is, of course, another fake word invented by the aspiring tyrants on the left to suppress any criticism of any particular weird sexual fantasy that is the rage of the day. Naturally, if they want to identify as goats, and you don’t agree, then you are “goatphobic”.

Delingpole on Breitbart, one of my favorite reactionaries, produced a delicious quote from Germaine Greer, of all people…

“Just because you lop off your penis and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a fucking woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel.”

But wait, there’s more. Funny and stupid these antics may seem, but there is a sinister side to it all. As you know, everything in Britain is policed, except crime, and the new hi-tech Thought Police, iPlod, are getting in on the game. The Merseyside Police “…are aware of this matter and are making enquiries”. In the UK, your home can be invaded by a SWAT team for displaying a sign “Islam out of Britain”, and you may now be hauled before a commissar for stating a medical fact. This perversion of justice must stop. It’s institutional insanity. The police are way out of line; they have no business policing what people say. They are becoming tyrants and must be treated as such.

We have now reached the stage in 1984 when Winston groans, after being tortured for weeks in the Ministry of Love, “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.” O’Brien (the Diversity officer of the Inner Party) then says, “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

Then you can graduate from a British university with a degree in State-Approved Thought.

Rebel Yell