Sunday assorted links

by on January 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Millian January 31, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Trump, the anti-decadence candidate? Get out of town.

2 Horhe January 31, 2016 at 5:42 pm

As Georges Bernanos wrote, when Europe was caught between Bolshevism and Fascism:
“To be a reactionary means simply to be alive, because only a corpse does not react any more – against the maggots teeming on it”

3 Thiago Ribeiro January 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm

As an old Brazilian rock band used to sing: “I love myself. I adore myself. I can’t live without me.” And, if “masturbation is sex with someone you love”, sologamy is marriage with someone you (hopefully) can live with. However, be advised, divorce may be a terrible experience (and paperwork will be harrowing).

4 Alain January 31, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Trump and Sanders are, IMO, responses to two entirely different phenomena.

Trump is a response to the PC movement. He speaks his mind and does not give the liberal censors one itoa. Anyone other than a billionaire would have had their will broken on this issue.

Bernie is a response to the rabble rousing of the Piketty school of economics. It has great traction with liberal members of the media who believe that they have gotten a raw deal, that their eliteness should have automatically entitled them to great riches, so it has gotten a tremendous amount of media time over the last few years and Bernie is the result.

5 prior_test January 31, 2016 at 1:31 pm

‘Bernie is a response to the rabble rousing of the Piketty school of economics’

Or he is a stick in the mud boring sort of Christian Democrat/Socialist (CDU/CSU) of the sort so common in Germany. Bernie looks staid compared to many in the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands), much less the true leftists of the Die Linke.

6 Art Deco January 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

OK, Germany has a rancid political culture. This should interest us why?

7 sam January 31, 2016 at 1:41 pm

I’d say they’re responses to two sides of the same phenomena – the two-tracked nature of the US. There is the economic/work track and the educational/empathetic track.

Both sides believe that they have played by the rules and the system has sold them out, and they are angry.

Trump voters (blue-collar men) played by the rules of their system. They believe in hard work, grit, and patriotism. They’ve worked tough jobs in bad weather in the middle of the night. They are angry at welfare (people who don’t exhibit hard work), illegal immigration (people who lack patriotism), and having their lives run by the educated PC (people who lack grit and live in comfortable desk jobs)

Trump voters are most fired up by welfare benefits for illegal immigrants. They say “I love this country and I worked hard, why should these people who do neither get my money?”

Sanders voters played by the rules of their system. They believe in empathy, inclusion, and education. They volunteered for causes, they cared about people, and they got liberal arts postgraduate degrees. They’re angry at capitalists (who lack empathy), blue collar workers (who lack education), and nationalism.

Sanders voters are most fired up by student loans. They say “I worked hard for my degrees and I cared, and now I’m stuck with student loans while some Trump-voting truck driver makes twice what I do”.

Each side looks at those on the other side and resents them.

8 asdf January 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Indeed. Most of America is getting screwed by the system, and only a tiny elite committed to nothing but ruthless striving (whether a right or left powerbase to that striving) is getting anywhere.

9 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Yes they are being screwed by the AMA and other professional organizations’ successful work to keep their members income high. They are screwed by so many county Government having slow growth policies.

They are also may be unhappy because they value environmental improvement less than the more affluent do.

10 david s January 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

One of the best posts I’ve read here in a long time.

11 Alain January 31, 2016 at 4:29 pm

So by your analysis one side wants to steal more resources and one side is fed up with being stolen from.

I agree.

12 JWatts January 31, 2016 at 7:04 pm

A good post, but one part seems off:

“illegal immigration (people who lack patriotism),” “They say “I love this country and I worked hard, why should these people who do neither get my money?”

That should read: “illegal immigration (people who broke the rules)”

The blue collar workers are mad because illegal immigrants came in illegally and undercut them for their jobs. What percentage of American house construction and lawn care workers are US citizens? At the very least the influx of low skilled immigrants has increased competition and lowered wages in that sector. The elite just seem to offer the same old tired advice to go back to school and get better training. The average 40 year old construction worker with an IQ of 90 is not going to be able to go back to school. The advice is patently ridiculous.

13 Joan January 31, 2016 at 10:33 pm

This could be why, but not why now, since the number of illegals in the U.S has not increased over the last 8 years.

14 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

How would the average voter know that median compensation has grown at a slower rate than higher incomes? Bernie told them he could have told them if it was not true. In fact and Bernie likes to use household income which is already deceptive because of more retirees, more people staying in school longer and more single earner households.

15 John L. January 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm

“It has great traction with liberal members of the media who believe that they have gotten a raw deal, that their eliteness should have automatically entitled them to great riches.”
Stagnatingincomes for everyone except the rich has nothing to do with at all!

16 Adam January 31, 2016 at 4:02 pm

This is a serious question: has there ever been a problem as imaginary as “the PC movement”? I mean, the threat of terrorism might be massively overhyped, but it definitely exists and requires some sort of response. Illegal immigration might not be the downfall of America, but even those of us in favor of immigration can acknowledge that the present status quo isn’t ideal. But the PC movement, there’s just nothing there at all, and so many are just so angry about it. It’s a head scratcher.

17 Asdf January 31, 2016 at 4:17 pm

1) People lose their jobs and businesses because of PC, so it’s obvious why people care.

2) The assumptions behind PC are the backbone of policies that people disagree with: immigration, section 8, etc. You can’t kill those things without killing PC. In the past unprincipled exceptions (ideological inconsistencies) were allowed so that one could be PC without enforcing PC to its logical conclusion, but unprincipled exceptions can only hold so long. At a certain point there comes a time to choose.

18 Alain January 31, 2016 at 4:22 pm


19 Tony January 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

People lose their jobs these days for creating a “hostile work environment”, in other words, for deliberately making it difficult for other people to do their jobs. Which happens to be a more principled policy than losing your job because you had a same-sex relationship, or needed to see a psychiatrist, or expressed “communist sympathies”, or any number of entirely inappropriate causes for dismissal that were common in the recent past. Give me “PC” any day, it beats the hell out of what came before.

20 So Much For Subtlety January 31, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Tony January 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

A hostile work environment has nothing to do with PC. If you were a violent creepy stalker, you would always have been fired.

PC means that Brendan Eich gets fired for an entirely private, legal and small contribution to a political campaign. Something no one would have even found out about if the Social Justice Warriors had not got the official records and gone through them destroying lives.

You may be fine with destroying your political enemies because you can. But in the end that will back fire. Once the Right decides to fight back.

21 Cliff January 31, 2016 at 10:05 pm

People lose their jobs because they are normal but one of their co-workers is secretly an ex-student protester and, like the ex-news anchor who decided to kill his colleagues because their statement that they would “swing by” some place for lunch was “racist”, incredibly thin-skinned and irrational and bent on generating grievances.

22 Alain January 31, 2016 at 4:20 pm

You are both hilarious and adorable!

23 John L. January 31, 2016 at 5:13 pm

I see, America has no problems new tax breaks for the rich won’t solve. It worked so well from Bush’s recession to Bush’s jobless recovery to Bush’s America’s greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression.

24 Roger Sweeny January 31, 2016 at 6:25 pm

George W. Bush has not been president for 7 (seven, VII) years. If Obama had fixed the economy and ended the wars, neither Trump nor Sanders would have much support today.

25 Art Deco January 31, 2016 at 4:47 pm

has there ever been a problem as imaginary as “the PC movement”?

I can see you pay no attention to the education sector or the HR department where you work. Ignorance is not strength.

26 josh February 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

Everyone is thinking too small here. Yes, you can get fired for violating PC, but the Adams of the world will never care about such people they consider subhumans. European nations have abolished themselves and no longer feel they have a right to exist, the US military has deliberately weakened its morale and even its fight force, scientific research institutions have deliberately become less capable of producing new knowledge, educational institutions have deliberately become less effective at educating, for profit enterprises have deliberately become worse and making a profit, philanthropies have become deliberately less effective at charity, churches have become deliberately less able to bring people to the Divine, dialectics have become less capable of discovering Truth, governments have become less able to promote the general welfare, all because, for whatever reason, they do not want to offend the Gods of Political Correctness.

27 Nathan W February 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Yes, Josh, everyone is deliberately trying to make everything worse. Because that’s what people actually are like.

28 Dan Weber January 31, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Racism and sexism do exist, and are problems, so there is a kernel of truth to the movement.

29 So Much For Subtlety January 31, 2016 at 7:48 pm

I doubt racism and sexism exist. The fact that they are turning to racist microaggressions suggests that they cannot find any macroaggressions and the reliance on lies and distortions about sexism suggest it doesn’t exist either. At least it doesn’t exist where the Left is looking – I am sure there is a lot of rape going on in the world; just not a lot in mainly White fraternities or on Ivy League college campuses.

But even if they did exist, firing and then blacklisting people for thinking that marriage ought to be between a man and a woman is insane.

30 Dain January 31, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Except that pointing out the sexism of certain minorities (Cologne!) is part of the problem that’ll land you in PC hell. So even a commitment to stamping out racism and sexism can often run afoul of PC pieties.

31 Cliff January 31, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Racial prejudice certainly exists on the individual level, but what astonishes me is how every claim of racism alleges that it is “systemic”. But I never hear any explanation of what makes the racism systemic. All the racist incidents (against minorities anyway) appear to be rare isolated incidents carried out by individuals. In contrast, systems openly discriminates against whites and sometimes Asians and men in may ways- for admissions, for tenure, for employment, etc. NAMs go around in groups yelling at and harassing random people in libraries and at brunches because of the color of their skin. It’s bizarre to me.

32 asdf January 31, 2016 at 10:41 pm

It all comes back to disparate impact, which is what people really mean by racism and is the fundamental basis of much of our non-discrimination legal code. As long as outcomes are different, people will say there is systematic racism.

However, we have different outcomes not because there is racism, but because the races have different levels of genetic* capability. We aren’t allowed to say that, so we have to come up with other explanations for continued NAM underperformance such as systematic racism, micro aggressions, etc.

The only ways to process continued disparate impact is to either acknowledge genetics, assume there is massive institutional racism we can’t detect, or just not think about/follow disparate impact to its logical conclusion (without genetics). The third option was our solution the last few decades, but unprincipled exceptions can only hold up so long. If genetics aren’t true, differences should be temporary, so the longer they aren’t temporary the more sinister and alternative explanations have to be devised.

*Don’t shove Jared Diamond in my face, his conclusions have so many holes he’s only useful to people trying to find rationalizations for what they already want to believe.

33 josh February 1, 2016 at 9:48 am

PC is the single most powerful force in the world. One might think that the US military is the most powerful, but PC somehow forces it to deliberately weaken itself repeatedly. How can you not notice this and a million other similar instances?

34 Nathan W February 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm

How does PC make the US army weaker? Do soldiers fight better when it is tolerated for them to treat each other like shit?

35 Blake January 31, 2016 at 1:56 pm

#3) Gender balance seems entirely absent from the immigration debate, but may be much more important than the typical economic matters that get frequently discussed, especially given how it appears immigrants tend to be majority male. Steven Pinker has done some work showing for example, that the American old west was a very violent place because it had a solid majority of its population being male & when women arrived in substantial numbers things calmed down. Violence is strongly disproportionately committed by unattached 15-30 year old males & we need to avoid having too many of our young being male.

36 John L. January 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Quick, someone send some can-can dancers to Sweden!

37 Moreno Klaus January 31, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Hello, family reunion anyone?

38 dsgntd_plyr February 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Family reunification would make it worse because the population would grow faster while being disproportionately Muslim/African. And non-Europeans have much higher crime and welfare usage rates.

The actually solution is not letting them in/mass deportation.

39 David H. January 31, 2016 at 6:45 pm

I imagine that magnitudes matter with regard to violence. The Swedish imbalance is nowhere near as bad as how I picture the wild west. But yeah, I’m just speculating here.

What I do know is that a modest excess of males has effects on relationships and pairing that would please both feminists and social conservatives. Sexual violence *decreases* by a great deal, attitudes about women having high value go up a lot, and pair relationships are very stable.

The very opposite has been found in places where women are in excess, like college campuses and African American communities. In the very few colleges where men are in the majority, relationships between students last far longer, and often turn into marriages. Some colleges are 2/3 women, and there, heterosexual relationships are far more brief, more focused on sex, and associated with ugly misogyny – even though these are some of the most politically correct communities in the world. But though male students there have many more sexual partners, they are less likely to meet a wife in college than they would be if there studied with *fewer* women.

What I’m saying is that an excess of men has several benefits. I’m not saying it’s worth it, but it might not be a catastrophe. I’d be more worried about the future of Syria, which will carry the burden of the opposite end of the imbalance.

40 tokarev February 1, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Islam ensures there are never too many women. Men can have four wives and unlimited concubines as long as they are infidel rape-slaves.

41 tokarev February 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Great point, Swedes need to bring in millions of women from Muslim countries to calm these wonderful immigrants down. Hopefully they will all have massive families so Swedes can enjoy watching their formerly boring countries blossom into vibrant, dynamic utopias like Syria, Libya and Saudi Arabia. Inshallah.

42 Nathan W February 4, 2016 at 1:02 pm

More likely, it would resemble Toronto, which is really quite a decent place.

43 Andre January 31, 2016 at 2:03 pm

The concept that there is symmetry between the left and right in their extremism has lead to so many pitiful think pieces over the last few years. If you think of the Republicans as an elite who only cares about tax rates and will humor a rotating cast of characters in their base to get the cuts then nothing is confusing. That base is revolting because they’ve been hoodwinked at the state and federal level for years. Trump and Cruz are just going to the next logical extreme to fool people, but they also only care about tax cuts for the top payers as their published plans clearly show.

Sanders has some people excited, but Hillary is still leading. I don’t really think she is in as much danger as the media would believe, and she certainly hasn’t been cast aside like Jeb!, Christie, Kasich, etc.

44 asdf January 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm

The best way to think of the elite is as ruthless strivers. There are fewer elite positions then there are elites, so they will do anything to claw their way to the top. A naive and shallow way to read elite cosmopolitanism is as empathy for strangers in another country. A more accurate way to read it is as moral cover for not having to give a fuck about the welfare people in your own country, so you can continue to go on striving in the most efficient way possible.

If people want to make progress on economic populism, they have to give up on immigrant/racial universalism. Its realistic to get a decent deal for the white working class. It’s totally unrealistic to think you can uplift a few billion NAMs. Sander’s understands this a bit, coming from lily white Vermont, and viewing open borders as a “Koch brothers proposal”, but he’s ideologically and politically committed to underclass groups that are going to drag down the bottom half in America.

45 Cliff January 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Your post lacks clarity. How can there be fewer elite positions than there are elites? What makes someone elite?

The U.S. is enough of a meritocracy that someone who works hard and is gifted will make it if they want to. I went to law school because I understood that if you were a good student you would make a lot of money. And indeed I make a lot of money. It’s wasn’t a difficult code to crack. Look at what is well paid that you can do and then go do it. Not that I’m your average Joe schmo, but you make it sound like everyone is screwed except for the “elite” who are battling it out in the thunderdome for CEO positions.

46 chuck martel January 31, 2016 at 10:53 pm

You’re a parasite.

47 asdf January 31, 2016 at 11:01 pm

I’ll give a simple example, but this could be extrapolated to all sorts of area.

Harvard many years ago had about the same # of undergraduates as today. However, population in America, application rates, and foreign student competition have all gone up. As a result acceptance rates are way down, and acceptance criteria has gone up. Demand way up, supply constrained. That seems to be the definition of increased competition for limited spots.

There are lots of people that try to go to law school and make it in BIGLAW. However, they don’t all have high IQ, or are lucky to win admission when plenty of people with their grade and test scores that don’t get admitted, and plenty more that don’t snag that BIGLAW job. And when they don’t snag that BIGLAW job they are facing this with a ton of debt:

If you were blessed with good heredity, upbringing, and a dose of luck that’s great. One should be self aware enough to know such anecdotal evidence can’t be used more generally.

Truth is, even people I know with fairly successful lives seem to have been on a very stressful treadmill to get there, stay in place, pay the sky high rent in “winner” cities where the jobs are, etc. Then they have to stress out shuttling their kids around to all the activities necessary help them win all the admissions games as well. It’s a Red Queen race.

48 Dain January 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm

“But they also only care about tax cuts.”

Not at all. What’s odd about movement conservatism is that they’re committed to being against things that are NOT inherently in their self-interest to be against, like single payer healthcare or government pouring money into scientific research. Or teachers unions. If they were consistently self-interested, they’d be for lower income taxes and deregulation of whatever business THEY are in but otherwise have no opinion about the government taking up all manner of endeavors.

The Silicon Valley rich have no ideological beef against NASA or the CDC, you’ll notice:

Trump is actually a more thoroughgoing selfish kinda guy, which means he says things to voters that have no obvious bearing on his wealth. Cruz and the broader libertarian/business conservative ideologues are the weirdos shooting themselves in the foot by strangely NOT being self-interested.

49 Heorogar January 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm

#! – Coincidentally, Number Three Son informed he’s in the market for an engagement ring. After six years dating, her Mother is okay with it. And, she’s part of the family.

So it goes.

50 Dan Weber January 31, 2016 at 4:07 pm

I couldn’t read #1 because it kept on insisting I have malware and to download updates to fix it.

51 djw January 31, 2016 at 5:07 pm

You didn’t miss anything.

52 jim jones February 1, 2016 at 12:40 am

Do not turn off your adblocker, ads contain malware.

53 Chris Weber January 31, 2016 at 6:17 pm

I’ve been down the sologamy road twice, but no more: the divorces were vicious.

54 education realist January 31, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Trump isn’t a response to the PC movement, although his ability to taunt the press with incorrect opinions and get away with it is essential to his success.

Trump’s popularity is due almost entirely to a desire among the people to drastically restrict immigration, and their (correct) perception that Trump is willing to run on that issue.

Americans are rarely given the chance to vote on immigration, and large chunks of the population want to reduce or end it entirely.

55 HL January 31, 2016 at 8:50 pm

great essay, ty

56 Paul January 31, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Maybe because we copied the Bismarckian welfare state, the German PhD, system, Bahous, Central Bank, Combined military arms and General Staff models, the rocket programs….and on and on.

In short, after the death of English common law, we’ve been on a hap haphazard copy of much German ideas and institutions.

57 HL January 31, 2016 at 8:56 pm

maybe it was the german immigrants who assimilated us…

58 chuck martel January 31, 2016 at 10:56 pm

It’s certainly true that Bismarck has a had a greater influence on the US than Alexander Hamilton or Millard Fillmore.

59 Mike W January 31, 2016 at 7:12 pm

As the meme the “anger” on the left and right that has given rise to Trump and Sanders gets articulated more in the media it seems to be getting articulated more in the media. Maybe it’s just not true.

60 HL January 31, 2016 at 8:20 pm

Trumpeteering down the walls of Jeb&co

61 BC January 31, 2016 at 10:05 pm

#5) Trump trails Cruz 53-35 in a two-man race []. Maybe, the simplest explanation for Trump is that strange stuff can happen when there is a crowded field and factions’ votes are split unevenly.

Paradoxically, in a crowded field the fact that Trump is leading may mean that his views are *not* popular. If they were more popular, then more candidates with similar views might have entered the race, splitting votes with Trump. For example, there are at least four candidates in the establishment “lane” (Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich), and Cruz is at least a Republican officeholder even if he doesn’t count as “establishment”. The anti-Trump wing of the Republican party is large enough to produce five times as many candidates as the Trump wing.

62 Cliff January 31, 2016 at 10:38 pm

This. I am very interested to see how quickly others drop out and what the result is.

63 Dzhaughn January 31, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Does one really need a third party to perform a self-marriage? Don’t need the photographer anymore, I hear.

And then there is the question of adultery. “I ask myself if maybe I am to blame in someway. I neglected me, so I got lonely.” You got lonely, indeed.

64 Rob February 1, 2016 at 12:15 am

This explains how the 16-17 age stats are very misleading:

Almost all refugees under 30 are claiming to be 16-17 because of more favourable treatment.

65 M February 1, 2016 at 6:15 am

#5 – The disappointment and impatience that people feel in a decadent era is legitimate, even admirable. But the envy of more heroic moments, the desire to just do something to prove your society’s vitality — Invade Iraq to remake the Middle East! Open Germany’s borders! Elect Trump or Sanders president! — can be a very dangerous sensibility.

The conflation of these things is a good signal that Douthat is not on track. They’re obviously not driven by a similar impulse.

People generally just want elites that say they’ll do things that are in the people’s interest, as a whole, then will actually do it. People are not willing to believe in offers of trickle-down globalism and expanded educational opportunity any more, as they haven’t given impressive results.

It’s not apparent that globalism has benefitted the absolute position of Westerners other than giving them cheap, false economy tat to buy that they didn’t need (more interchangeable cheap clothes of poor quality, more interchangeable cheap toys of poor quality); it’s not apparent that educational opportunity has done much more than increase the pressure on college age kids – the college track is just something everyone enters, and because everyone enters it (except a few who fall out of it for more or less arbitrary reasons) it means nothing, but sure as hell costs a lot.

66 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 10:27 am

With all the early male death in the Arab countries maybe their is an upside to Arab migration to Sweden.

67 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

I should have said:
With all the early male death in the Arab countries maybe their is an upside for Swedes to Arab migration to Sweden.
The upside to Arabs is obvious though probably not as big the migrants assume as they often end up not doing as well as Swedes in Sweden.

68 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 10:33 am

Now that I read the link I got it exactly backwards. So reverse my prior comments it is extra bad for swedes though not so bad.

69 Floccina February 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

#5 Douthat makes some good points, but before one says why people are voting for a candidate they should ask them. Like here: . People lie but is the place to start and one should explain why he thinks they are lying .

70 February 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm

#3 Strictly correct but meaningless. The stats included all asylum applicants but latest news was that about 50% will be rejected and deported. Also applicants less than 18 yo have special treatments allocated, hence almost claimed to be 16 yo (application will take 2 years to complete) even for many adults. The stats is only for the 16-17 yo category.

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