Saturday assorted links


(3) I wish it would include the option to short certain resources as well. I found myself wondering if the relative prices of silver and gold varied over centuries-long horizons, and especially after large finds of silver like Potosi and Comstock.

#3 - I too was disappointed by the short-term nature of these resources graphs, only going back to 2000. charts are much better, often going back to 1970 (still too short for me, but at least better than this site).

Simon pummels his detractors so resoundingly, so regularly, that to read of these too much, is to engage in academic babble/tech esoterica.

As does the Dow, which conveniently changes its composition when it wants, such as dropping a company like AIG - 'American International Group (AIG.N) will be replaced by Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI, Dow Jones Indexes said on Thursday.

The index provider said the change was forced by the "effective nationalization" of AIG and its very low stock price.'

Oops, Dow Jones Industrial Index, to be more precise.

5. Well that certainly had some positive and negative things to say about the human spirit. Even when humans do well, it may be after trying the less positive alternatives.

(( 5. The history of “And then they came for me…” ))

....NO, it was a cynical hit piece on Trump, thinly disguised. Very typical of the WashPost.

Notice the immediate tie in to Trump in the very first paragraph. The whole point of the article was to indict Trump as a Neo-Nazi/Nazi. The "history" of Pastor Niemöller was just a cover story -- Trump was the objective/purpose of writing this extremely biased article.

So did these people say anything about what happened at Google last week?

... but I said nothing, for I don't "reply all" like a dumbass, or talk publicly about gender and biology, for that matter.

Any politician who cannot get on the right side of the Niemöller story has an "unforced error" problem. An "own goal" problem.

I mean how hard is it to say "wow, those Nazis were bad, and I can't get anybody who wants to carry their flag around in this day and age."

"I mean how hard is it to say “wow, those Nazis were bad, and I can’t get anybody who wants to carry their flag around in this day and age.”"

Basically what Trump said.

One of the many things he said, the sum total of which did not really sell that line. Marketing genius?

That's stereotyping! You're fired!

I don't know how many of you are on Twitter, or follow the President on it, but we are witnessing something .. sad.

The second iteration of a post about protests (first post deleted) uses the word "heel" where "heal" should go.

You really can't make this shit up.

"One of the many things he said, the sum total of which did not really sell that line."

Anony2, not really. I started with unforced errors and politicians.

"Selling it" is sure as hell part of that game.

BTW, the third iteration of the Tweet is good, has "heal" and an adjacent Tweet sides with the counter-protesters in Boston. I applaud that Tweet.

Here is the Trump Tweet I endorse without reservation:

What is funny about those press conferences is that almost without exception those people are deathly afraid of two things: saying something about Islam that will end up with them being mopped off the floor a la Charlie Hebdo, or to raise the ire of leftist radicals that will cause such a fuss that they would be fired, a la James Damore.

A few noisy and annoying Nazis don't worry them, they are a very handy bludgeon to beat the President with.

Such courageous defenders of all that is right!

derek, seriously.

don't score any own-goals yourself

Your point being?

I hear far worse every day. You give jackasses a bullhorn and they will display their jackassery to more people. That is why free speech is such a gift that keeps on giving.

Who is making a vigorous defence of free speech here?

I will give this tacit approval:

I do think it is a confusion in terms to say that "anarchist groups are far left." In my day the "far left" wanted a totalitarian socialist state, and anarchists, by definition, share more with libertarian extremists, but YMMV.

"Tacit" because I think this expectation of violence is perhaps useful warning but perhaps behind the curve. We might be over it, with the death of Heather Heyer, we as a nation might not want any more of it.

Now that we've apparently switched hysterical narratives from "Trump colluded with communist KGBer Putin" to "Trump is a nazi," here's something that Trump has never said:

"Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels."

That's middle-aged Democrat Robert Byrd expressing his views on blacks. Guess who gave the eulogy at his funeral just seven years ago?

Bill Clinton. And before you say, oh well, Byrd changed later in life. No. His memoirs equated American cities to the "jungles of Africa" among other jems.

Antifa, Mueller, Russia, the media, leaks, Nazis etc etc are all little soldiers in the resistance to the last election. None of it makes logical sense but mob mentality never has.

Do you know that the KGB considered Whataboutism a formal propaganda technique?

True story.

(Byrd was never my bud.)

Trump is not a Nazi, but that doesn't mean he's not horrible.

What's with the use of double rather than triple parentheses?

So, Mansfield, just noticed - is (( )) how we now mark Lutheran pastors on the Internet? Good to know, I guess. Does Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, get one or two parentheses?

You know, if you are holding onto the anchor rope, and the big anchor falls overboard, let go.

On this page, and in the White House, we saw people holding on, as the rest of the nation woke up and remembered just how bad the KKK and Nazis really are. Along with their new buddies, the alt-right.

You are going to argue "free speech" and "good people on both sides" as your big main message this week?

Enjoy that anchor ride.

People like you are much scarier than a bunch of LARPing kids because there are so many more of you and because nobody seems inclined to worry about what mayhem people who claim to support the side of the good might cause.

Hahaha. Explain that Josh. How does someone who eschews violence, who supports democracy, who loves the Constitution, and loves America, become scary?

Mostly it's their astonishing lack of self awareness.

Well if you can't explain, I will.

The anchor is seductive. You fall into the trap that anyone not defending Nazis this week must be worse. Which of course makes the Nazis your side.

Blub blub.

Explain that Josh. How does someone who eschews violence, who supports democracy, who loves the Constitution, and loves America, become scary?

The number of prominent people in this country who fit that description is small. Ted Cruz is one of the few that comes to mind. He's a busy man and isn't knocking about at 'protests' in Chvillville or anywhere else.

I faved Ted when he said the right thing.

#4: as if Fintan O'Toole is or ever was some sort of detached observer. How many of Ireland's chatterati were just hoodlums hurling rocks through plate glass windows?

6. I want ice that does not melt.

It would be great to put ice that does not melt into drinks to keep them cool on hot days no matter how many times the glass is refilled.

The Japanese have impressive 'tropical engineering'. About ten years or so ago, they came out with chocolate that does not melt, useful for sales in Africa where it's always 90 degrees plus in the daytime. I bought one of their refrigerators for the Philippines that had a sticker on it "engineered for the tropics" and it works fine.

And while they're at it, how about inventing some photovoltaic cells that work in total darkness. That way, we could have 24 hour solar energy. Good during eclipses, too.


It's called a cooling coil. Not really portable (although just as portable as other refrigerator/coolers of similar capacity). They also have those silly plastic ice cubes - the idea is to avoid diluting the fluid they're cooling, I guess. They (also) have "ice that does not melt". It's called "dry ice" and it sublimes... Although, I gotta admit that "eternally cooling ice" is above "eternally reusable toilet paper" on my list of impossible-products-that-I-wish-I-had.

"But many of Ireland’s most basic institutions – schools and hospitals in particular – are still owned by one church ..."

Not changed all that much then.

Sounds like the UK.

We need many more articles like #2 and far fewer like anything published on vox, huffington, slate, salon, and others.

Ahem (or inshallah) to that, sister (and/or brother) or whatever ze may be.

Amen, stupid irreligious spell check

#4 - "4. Does Ireland’s story still make sense? Does anyone’s?" - let me be unambiguous: yes and no.

#2) Why does neo-Communism survive so much more easily than neo-Nazism? The answer is not simply "left-wing bias" because then the question would become why is there a left-wing bias, at least among those that shape public thought? Apparently, it is easier for humanity to overcome racial, anti-Semitic (and I would add gender) prejudices than to overcome whatever flaws lead to flirtations with Communism. As the article points out, Communism has killed 100M. (The Holocaust killed 6M-17M.) Yet, otherwise respectable people in the West, even recently, whitewash the atrocities of Fidel Castro and, at least initially, looked fondly on Hugo Chavez. That same bias seems to be at work in our cavalier willingness to infringe so-called "economic" liberty but not "fundamental" liberty. Again, ignoring economic liberty killed 100M, "fundamental" liberty 6-17M.

Neo communism is Cuba and Venezuela? It doesn't seem to be surviving so good. Where are all these neo communists anyway?

Anyone care to enumerate the 100 million?

40 million in China around 1960
20 million in the Soviet Union, particularly around 1932 in the Ukraine
2 million in Cambodia starting in 1975
1 million in Vietnam
1 million in Ethiopia/Somalia in the 1980s

These are the big ones. It doesn't quite add up to 100 million, but that 's a good order of magnitude.

Better formatting:

40 million in China around 1960

20 million in the Soviet Union, particularly around 1932 in the Ukraine

2 million in Cambodia starting in 1975

1 million in Vietnam

1 million in Ethiopia/Somalia in the 1980s

So 65 mil or so? Even if those numbers are correct that's not 100. Still, communism sucks.

It's not too hard to get to the 100M. Mao himself is credited with 65M.

It depends on the particulars of one's estimates, and also what one considers 'communism'. How many people died in Holodomor? 3 million? 7 million? How about in the Cambodian killing fields, or in Maoist purges? Who knows? Do we even assign the deaths from, say, the Guatemalan Revolution and subsequent civil war to an ideology, or do we consider it incidental? Do we count deportees, exiles, political prisoners? Do we count Soviet Army deaths as part of 'communism' as well as the holocaust? What to do in the case of 'wars against communism', like Vietnam? With broad enough interpretations, and using 'official estimates', I'm sure I could get to 100M.

A pretty clear case of "neo-nazis are bad, so I will have to think up some balancing bad thing ward them."

There are no analogous neo-communists. They would have to be out there with Soviet flags chanting "open the gulag" or some such shit. There is no such thing.

Mao and Stalin didn't start by calling for mass killings of their own people, they started by shutting down dissent more and more and subverting the institutions of government toward purely political purposes. Sounds a little more familiar, perhaps?


If you dilute it far enough Shepard Smith is a sign of the apocalypse.

A more patient answer here:

No, no "balancing" here. The article is about the NYT's whitewashing of communism. I don't ever recall seeing any comparable whitewashing of Nazis in National Review or Weekly Standard. The fringe is the fringe, and I would not attribute anything that the white nationalists, alt-Right, Breitbart, Workers World Party, antifa, etc. does to the mainstream Right or Left. Presumably, though, the NYT is part of the mainstream Left, no?

The article stands pretty well by itself, as an indictment of the sort of salon socialism literary elites find attractive. I just don't see the connection to neo-Nazis.

In fact I see a key difference. Cocktail party socialists imagine a world without those atrocities, where their dream is humane. Neo-Nazis are the opposite, reveling in the inhumane.

It is much harder to find a "you gotta break eggs" socialist there days. Certainly there are none, nor friends of them, in the US government.

I guess I'm referring to sentences like this one in the linked NYT article: "This generational divide between daughters and mothers who reached adulthood on either side of 1989 supports the idea that women *had more fulfilling lives* during the Communist era." (Emphasis added.) The author does criticize Stalin though...for "outlawing abortion and promoting the nuclear family".

I have no idea what the NYT is thinking, but I don't think that is, or can become, mainstream left. No.

Hipsters where, or at least wore a few years ago when I was last in a position to observe CCCP t shirts and Mao shorts not to mention Che shirts. At any left wing political rally or protest, there will be an official Maoist contingent handing out literature. Fifteen years ago the communist party was still handing out fliers and holding meetings on my college campus. There are way morenof these people than there are self proclaimed neo-nazis, and if we extend it to fellow travelers, supporters or those who refuse to denounce there actions, there are order of magnitude more neo-communists.

OMG the illiterate kids who think a shirt looks cool are the real danger!

"There are no analogous neo-communists"

You think a kid in a t-shirt is "analogous" to this?

The Nazi's ignored BOTH "economic" liberty AND "fundamental" liberty. Not that there's really a meaningful distinction.

Again, I loathe the idea that Nazis are in any way on "my" end of the political spectrum. Communists and Nazis are two breeds of collectivist totalitarianism both of which are entirely alien to liberalism/libertarianism. It's bizarre to me to think of right-wing neo-Nazis as if I was obliged to own them or apologize for them. It doesn't bother me one whit that people think Nazis are worse. Who cares? Why do you care?

I guess I would have to say that Nazis ARE worse because their philosophy violated more fundamental liberties than communists did. At least the communists considered everyone a human being, even if they were all property of the state. To the Nazis, not only are you property of the state, but if you were a jew, you were a subhuman who had to be exterminated to boot. Really bad economic philosophy killed millions, and really bad economic philosophy plus a total disregard of human life killed even more. The only reason the Nazis killed fewer people is because their philosophy self-destructed so much faster. You know, if you think you're the master race and assume you can therefore conquor the world, and then it doesn't quite work out - because LOL, you're not really the master race - that's what happens. Nazi Germany destroyed itself by trying to wage war on the rest of the world. The USSR had the sense to not try that so they lasted a few decades before the inevitable economic collapse.

So, the numbers for communism piled up higher because it took longer for them to self-destruct. Simple as that.
They're both horrendous evil philosophies. But a horrendous evil philosophy that's based on waging war on everyone else is doomed to self destruct almost immediately - which is a blessing in disguise. Can you imagine how many people would be dead if Germany had actually won???

The point is that Nazis are not on your end of the spectrum. Nazis are universally condemned, which is why Trump's response was so outrageous. Every other Republican condemned unequivocally. I care because I am both anti-Nazi and anti-Communist, and Communist sympathies are the ones that seem most difficult to stamp out. Again, the article in question was in the NYT. Are we to believe that the NYT is the symmetric counterpart to Brietbart and the alt-Right? Of course not. Yet, try to imagine an article in the WSJ or even National Review or Weekly Standard talking about how women in Nazi Germany had better sex lives. Unimaginable.

Despite my natural contrariness, I find myself unwilling to mount a defense of leftist gymnastics in defense of communism. You are correct, nobody makes excuses for Nazis - except maybe the alt-right which seems to have absorbed the left's assignment to Nazis to their side and decided that therefore Nazis must not be that bad after all. But the left goes into contortions regularly in respectable print publications to explain how communism wasn't really that bad and nobody bats and eyelash.

I see plenty of eyelash batting, but this was a tough week for any other outrage to break through into the headlines.

Whataboutism ultimately failed:

Stabbing and mass assaults from the left in Boston.


Philosophically, I'm not sure Marxism recognizes the ontological reality of categories like Human being. Practically, marxists have always have a concept of false consciousness that distinguishes the free and equal supermen ( i.e. The "Woke" ) from the counterrevolutionaries like the kulaks. Both nazism and communism are about promoting "authentic" freedom and equality for the ubermensch.

Because "from each according to ability, to each according to need" is a more appealing creed than "hostility toward outsiders."

Prices of agricultural commodities going down because of increased deforestation. Yep. There's no cost in razing the Amazon to keep the price of corned beef low...

Actually, the planet has more forests not less over the last 10 years or so. A rare benefit to global warming (more CO2, trees love it).

>A rare benefit to global warming

Ha! Still in the cult, I see. I am unsuprised.

To anyone under 40: there has been no global warming in your adult lifetime.

If you were sane, you would take that as good news, but instead I expect most of you to take it with screaming hysterical denials.

Have a good day.

See that's just stupid, way more than your usual. Most AGW deniers have at least gone from denying the planet is heating up (no question, sea ice in the Arctic alone is a smoking gun) to denying human activity causing it.

And I did say one GOOD thing about it, reforestation. I'm actually kind of Bjorn Lomborg about it, I don't believe we will see catastrophic problems with warming, and there will even be some benefits. But there will be problems such as low lying countries flooding etc.

But again, to deny warming is just Trump-level dumb.

There is more CO2, which is what trees care about.


Not all trees

6.Our current president actually dreamed up drip-proof ice cream back in 2002, rendering the ice cream glove totally obsolete.

2. Is Tyler saying "sure, the article is correct, but it doesn't address the question: was the sex better?" Perhaps it was the "patriarchy."

#2 "The Western sexual revolution passed the communist bloc by, and ex-communist countries remain much more patriarchal than their Western counterparts to this day."

But from my annecdotal perspective, it seems like people in Eastern Europe have attitudes to sex that is almost identical to that of their Western countries. Probably feminism is further along in Western countries, but that is not the same thing as the sexual revolution.

I have it on good authority (i.e., by people who lived it) that the dominant mode of sex behind the Iron Curtain, right up to when it dissolved, was "wham bam thank you ma'am."

Well I can't speak for against the factual accuracy of that. But what strikes me is the "right up to when it dissolved" part. If the sexual revolution was a big change in cultural attitudes that took a decade or so to play out, how is it that the communist bloc can just come out from under its rock and carry on as if as if they were keeping up with the shift all along?

It seems to me the answer must be some mixture of "the sexual revolution was not a big deal", and "it was a big deal, and the communist bloc kept up with it all along".

You may have misinterpreted part of my comment; I said "right up to when it dissolved” because that's where my data points end - once it was possible, my sources moved to the West.

If you impose a curfew, don't have movie theaters, permit only boring state TV and hardly any restaurants or cafes, outlaw many books, people will have more sex. What else are they going to do?

Like religion, sex thrives in repression. The sexual revolution and now the flood of internet pornography are a disaster for real erotica.

'and ex-communist countries remain much more patriarchal than their Western counterparts to this day.'

East German women find West Germany to be considerably more patriarchal than the DDR - but then, the DDR no longer exists, and it isn't as if most West German men care about any East German women complaining about the patriarchy at all.

#4) I found this interesting in itself but using the same methods to apply to other cultures, including our own. I assume that was the point of the second question. I'll answer by saying stories we tell ourselves are easier to see in hindsight. In 50 years Ireland's story will be clear, and at that time modern thinkers will bemoan the fact that the old stories which saw Ireland through the first half of the 21st century don't work anymore.

Is the story of Ireland 100 years ago clear today?

Was it an oppressed satrapy that just recently fought off the British invader? Or was it a formerly oppressed satrapy that had almost succeeded in peacefully overcoming the oppression, until the process was scuppered by terrorists.

I tend to think the answer is "both". But what that means not clear.

Ireland is really a province of the UK, for instance there have never been any barriers for Irish citizens to work (and even vote) in the rest of UK. As a province the politics were always petty and provincial, anyone who had any get up and go left for the UK or US. Those who remained were the conservative minded, religious, grudge holding people, this explains everything about Ireland until they joined the Euro and got the windfall of German interest rates for a while and became a Euro tax haven.

And the scores from the judges panel are

4.9 4.8 5.0 4.2 4.0 5.1

Sorry chum, John Derbyshire's still got the obtuse-British-jack-wagon gold medal.

One of the results of the independence of the Irish Free State was that it showed that subsidies flowed from Britain to Ireland and not vice versa.


Without the 'subsidies' Irish GDP blew past the UK's. Think you got it backwards.

4. tl;dr is that the Irish want to be "European," to spite the British(always a good reason to do something) but they aren't quite sure if they want to go all the way with the White guilt/virtue signalling/immigration agenda, given that they are a relatively socially conservative society with a long history as a "colony" rather than a colonizer.

#5. It makes me sick that we are having this conversation around white supremacy and naziism. I wonder what my late grandpa, who was a WWII vet, would think today seeing that Germany is the leader of the free world and the US is led by a fascist.


Your grandpa would not approve of his grandson sucking up to propagandists. I have known a lot of WWII vets and am a vet myself. Stop lying about what the conversation is really about. There is more to life than making little Steve Colbert happy that you believe his lies.

Orrin Hatch makes it plain - 'We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH'' Of course, he is clearly another person 'sucking up to propagandists.'

'Stop lying about what the conversation is really about'

Yes, it would be great if people like you would stop lying about what this conversation is really about. 'Blood and soil' chanted during a torch lit procession is not really all that hard for anyone to understand. And the U.S. crushed such chanters the last time they were in power. The only people who believe that the U.S. will not do so again are those who chanted another equally charming slogan, 'Jews will not replace us.'

Grandpa would probably kick your ignorant little ass.

#5 Nowadays, "And then they came for me" is the catch-phrase of anyone who thought themselves a reasonable tolerant person who found themselves publicly excoriated by the PC Police.

#3 What about waterfront property?

2. Socialism=Communism=Democratic Socialism. Be afraid. Sex will be bad if we suddenly adopt more egalitarian positions?

"were run by men" and "the woman, in addition to having a day job at a factory, was expected to clean the apartment, shop for food, cook dinner, and raise the children" and "socially uber-conservative". Is this different from the 20th or 21st Century American woman born in the South?

3. Poor Mr. Ehrlich is always the butt of the joke. He is a lesson to all scientists to keep a lower profile. Ultimately time has improved his standing.

6. Ice cream should melt. The fun is in chasing the deliciousness before it escapes. Would I still get a headache?

"Poor Mr. Ehrlich is always the butt of the joke. He is a lesson to all scientists to keep a lower profile. Ultimately time has improved his standing."???

The guy was literally wrong about everything (and remains consistently so), and plus his supposed mitigations involved murdering 9/10'ths of the human race. I hope his standing isn't improving because that would be a very bad thing.

Loved the Knausgaard. By the book is not as interesting a feature as it used to be, but I learned some things reading this one.

Big surprise, a search of Turgenev on MR turns up nothing. Shocked that TC hasn't commented on him yet. Any opinions Mr. Cowen?

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