Archive for the ‘liberty’ Category

Freedom in Russia and the US

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Let us compare the career of journalist and writer Yulia Latynina, with the career of Dinesh D’Souza.

Yulia Latynina is a Russian megaphone for the Harvard microphone.  Supposedly Bush was a moron, Putin is a tyrant, Putin is a homophobe, Putin murders his political opponents, or jails them on vague laws, selectively enforced.  Putin is a sexist, Putin is a criminal, and friend of criminals, and so on and so forth.

Yet she has not been murdered, nor, unlike Dinesh D’Souza, charged under vague and selectively enforced laws.  Has not even had to face a SLAPP suite, unlike Mark Steyn.

Seems to me that Russia could do with a whole lot more repression.  The reason that Yulia Latynina needs a bullet in the head, while Dinesh D’Souza should not have been charged is that Putin’s repression is arguably protecting Russia, or at least is not obviously stupid, whereas Obama’s repression is destroying America (more…)

The cause of social decay

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Prosperity is not the problem.

Many great nations have declined before we did, showing much the same symptoms as we are showing, and none of them were as prosperous as eighteenth century America.

I suggest the root of civilization is patriarchy.

Firstly, patriarchy with monogamy gives men posterity, and civilization is what men build for posterity. In a society where most men do not have children or do not know who their children are, do not raise their sons, they have no reason to work, to save, to invest, to build, nor to fight, to defend, to conquer, so their society leaves behind nothing for future historians to remember them by.

Secondly, patriarchy where marriages are arranged between families rather than lovers links families, creates tight knit extended families, links families through marriage, marriage in patriarchy being between families rather than purely between a man and a woman. The resulting society is able to create public goods, good government being one such public good. Instead of government creating the public good of the road serving your homestead, you contribute to getting the road built, because otherwise your father, your father in law, your brothers, and your brothers in law would disapprove of you.

Women get liberated, marriage and the family break down, society becomes atomized, a sea of isolated individuals. Becoming incapable of creating public goods, society looks to good government to create them – but who will create the public good of good government? (more…)

The real charge against Zimmerman

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Supposedly, the state’s theory is that Zimmerman followed Trayvon, jumped him, beat him up, then shot him.

Of course no one believes this. When the prosecution questions prosecution witnesses, they make no attempt to support their supposed theory. Every prosecution witness bar one, while being questioned by the prosecution, has shot down that purported theory one way or another. It is clear from the prosecution witnesses while being questioned by the prosecution, even Trayvon’s girlfriend, that Trayvon jumped Zimmerman from the shadows and beat him up, motivated in part or whole by racial hatred. Rather, what the prosecution does attempt to argue, by the questions that it puts to its witnesses, is that Zimmerman was not hurt all that much, that he should have just put up with being beaten and mugged, that he should have just sucked it up.

Obviously, were the situation reversed, no one would suggest that a black man should just suck it up. Were the situation reversed, that a dead white assailant was in part or whole motivated by racial hostility would have been reported in headlines the size of tombstones.

The basic issue here, the real, though unspoken, prosecution claim, is that blacks are entitled to attack white people without being resisted by lethal force, even though no one would propose the converse. It is that simple.

All your skypes belong to Microsoft

Friday, May 17th, 2013

All Your Skype Are Belong To Us

Microsoft is reading everything you write

Skype used to be the most secure instant messaging system and I have frequently recommended it on this basis. Microsoft, under Bill Gates, used to be the big company most willing to protect user’s privacy. Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft.

Heise Security then reproduced the events by sending two test HTTPS URLs, one containing login information and one pointing to a private cloud-based file-sharing service. A few hours after their Skype messages, they observed the following in the server log:

65.52.100.214 – – [30/Apr/2013:19:28:32 +0200]
“HEAD /…/login.html?user=tbtest&password=geheim HTTP/1.1″

… In visiting these pages, Microsoft made use of both the login information and the specially created URL for a private cloud-based file-sharing service.

(more…)

The cause of the decline

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Lately there as been a lot of concern about the increasingly visible decline of the west, notably Peter Thiel on “The  End of the Future”: (more…)

No democratic solution

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Doctor Zero has a carefully thought out proposal on how to save America through mass democracy, through getting 50% of the voters plus one behind the measures necessary to save America, behind measures that are carefully pruned to be the minimum  possible measures that could save the country, measures that are as “moderate” as possible, which is not very moderate at all.

No way Jose.  Democracy is doomed, or the country is doomed, or, quite likely, both. (more…)

The past is always changing

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Only the future is certain.  The past is always changing.

The Congo was the poster child for the dreadful evils of colonialism.  We were supposed to look at how cruelly the Belgians treat the poor natives, look at how many natives colonialism has murdered to maintain its savage rule.  In 1961, it got independence.  The whites fled rape and murder.  Two or three weeks after independence, the Congo became a savage hell hole, and has remained that way ever since, Zimbabwe in fast forward.  The whites fled the Congo faster than they have fled Zimbabwe, so the descent into savagery was faster.  Yet now, the outcome of decolonization has been forgotten, and the Congo is back to being the poster child of the evils of colonialism, and we repeat the same disaster over and over again:  Haiti foreshadowed the Congo, the Congo foreshadowed Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Until the Soviets collapsed, 99% of Academia enthusiastically agreed that the Soviet Union’s command economy was growing much faster than the US’s old fashioned semi market economy, and the remaining 1% agreed that it was growing at least as fast – or at least that is what they said when anyone was listening. Since the general consensus outside of Academia was that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case whose central plan existed only on paper, collapsing into disorderly pillage in actual practice, one wonders what happened to any academic inclined to say that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case, whose plans and statistics were utterly disconnected from the chaotic and destructive reality.

Before 1972, every historian of science agreed that Darwin’s big idea was natural selection, and those of them that addressed the issue of Lamarck and common descent agreed that Lamarck proposed common descent.

Natural selection, however tends to lead to disturbing thoughts and disturbing words, for example “Once the superiority of races with a prevailing aversion to incest had been established by their survival …” Superior races! Oh the horror, the horror. Natural selection suggests endangered species have it coming to them, that women are not naturally equal to men, that genocide is, if regrettable, nonetheless natural and in the long run frequently inevitable, and lots of similarly horrifying stuff like that, and I have left out the really shocking stuff to avoid offending the readers too much. So it was progressively de-emphasized to students in the textbooks. But if you de-emphasize natural selection, this leaves a mysterious gap. What was Darwin famous for?

So in 1972, history was corrected, Winston Smith style. Darwin got common descent to fill the gap left by the de-emphasis of natural selection, just as Winston Smith invented comrade Ogilvy to replace the vaporized unperson Comrade Withers, and common descent was taken away from Lamarck. The textbook “Biology today” page 638

… in the Origin of Species. The central claim of that book can be fairly simply stated. According to the Darwinian theory, any natural group of similar species-all the mammal species, for instance-owe their common mammalian characteristics to a common descent from a single ancestral mammalian species.

And as for Lamarck, he got the shaft. Page 641

Lamarck’s theory is not a hypothesis of common descent, which ascribes the common characteristics of a particular species to their common descent from a single species. … He claims that … although all mammals are descended from reptiles, they are not descended from the same reptiles

Somehow, after 1972, no one in Academia was able to mention that before 1972 everyone thought that Lamarckism is the doctrine “that all plants and animals are descended from a common primitive form of life.” (Century Cyclopedia)

Before 1972
After 1972

Just as one wonders what happened to academics before 1980 who were inclined to doubt the great success of central planning, one wonders what happens to academics after 1972 who remember that before 1972, the history of science was different.

We have always been at war with Eastasia

Someone in Academia received an order like that given to Comrade Winston Smith, and all of Academia fell into line, and remains in line to this day, a thousand megaphones attached to one microphone.

The reporting of Big Brother’s Order for the Day in The Times of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.

… Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist: he had never existed. …

… To-day he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.

Mission accomplished

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

But has everything goes to hell in a handbasket, it will all be blamed on free markets, despite what Brutally Honest calls “change some continue to believe in”.

The fundamental political strategy is that the more moochers, the more votes there will be for mooching.

Natural law and natural rights

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Doc Zero attributes the modern idea of natural law to Hobbes.  This is backwards.  Hobbes originated the modern idea of facism.  It was John Locke that originated the modern idea of natural rights deriving from natural law.

How many CRA loans, how much affirmative action payout?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

From 2000 to 2007, blacks and hispanics received six hundred and thirteen billion dollars more in home purchase mortgages than they would have received had they received the same proportion of the money that they received in 1999 – a figure that strikingly resembles the total cost of the bailout.

In 1999, people warned that CRA loans, affirmative action loans, racial quota loans, began to endanger the financial system

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people …

…These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, …

… “If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

1977 was the start of turning the finance industry into a political slush fund, and with each regulatory  intervention, the amount of money at risk increased  exponentially

How many CRA loans, affirmative actions loans, racial quota loans, were there?

Fortunately the data for new house loans by race is available, and from this data we can calculate that CRA loans, affirmative action loans, racial quota loans, for new house purchases, in the period 2000 to 2007 were at least  six hundred and thirteen billion dollars, which is pretty close to the total US bailout cost.

613 billion dollars.

So this was an affirmative action financial crisis, and we are for the most part bailing out financial institutions that were forced to lend to unqualified borrowers by race, and perhaps also bailing out the culture of corruption that results from rating mortgage securities AAA that were generated in the course of signing up people to vote democrat with a bottle of cheap whiskey and a million dollar mortgage – because rating them differently would be racist, much as Princeton was corrupted because when it graduated Obama’s wife, fearing that it would have been racist had it failed to pass her thesis merely because it was a barely literate rant against racism.  We are required to pretend Obama’s wife is educated, and we are required to pretend that these borrowers are credit worthy.  It corrupts the universities, and it corrupts the financiers.

There was a massive increase in the value of loans to black and hispanic borrowers.  To the extent that these loans grew much faster than loans to white people, this most likely represents affirmative action.  This is a conservative estimate, since affirmative action lending has been enforced by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) since 1977.  What was new in 1999 was not affirmative action lending, it was affirmative aciton lending on a scale that threatened the financial system.

In 1999, mortgages to black and hispanic new house borrowers were 10.4% of mortgages to white new house borrowers.

In 2006, mortgages to black and hispanic new house borrowers were 36.5% of mortgages to white new house borrowers.

I calculate what new home mortgages would have been had new home mortgages to black and hispanics remained 10.4% of new home mortgages to whites.

The excess, the difference between hypothetical mortgages and actual mortgages, is a conservative estimate of CRA loans, affirmative action loans, racial quota loans.

In this table, the first column is new housing loans to whites, the second column is new housing loans to blacks and hispanics. Estimated CRA loans are the difference between the actual and hypothetical loans, and at the bottom I total numbers.

The numbers for new house mortgages in billions of dollars come the government racial quota monitoring website.  The number for affirmative action loans is my estimate, calculated as new house mortgages to blacks and hispanics minus 10.4% of white new house mortgages

The numbers for new house mortgages in billions of dollars come the government racial quota monitoring website.  The value for affirmative action loans is my estimate, calculated as new house mortgages to
blacks and hispanics minus 10.4% of white new house mortgages

Home Purchase Mortgages in Billions of dollars

Year Black and
Hispanic
White estimated
CRA
1999 37.60 359.90 0.00
2000 43.72 364.54 5.63
2001 51.18 381.41 11.33
2002 89.44 469.03 40.44
2003 128.40 537.96 72.20
2004 135.26 547.41 78.07
2005 236.06 757.33 156.94
2006 247.55 678.20 176.70
2007 129.53 547.41 72.34
Total 1098.75 4643.20 613.65

Unfortunately, no racial breakdown on default rate is available, but the Hispanics I saw buying houses in Sunnyvale in 2005 and 2006, looking at them from twenty paces, you could tell in two heartbeats that the chances of them making payments was very poor indeed.

Implicit government guarantees produce a vast river of easy credit to the too-big-to-fail beneficiary of that guarantee, and inevitably politicians are tempted to direct that river to political voting blocks – sometimes political voting blocks that are unlikely to repay the money.

It is a fundamental moral hazard problem in government regulation and intervention, which cannot be regulated away.  Instead of regulating, the beneficiaries of these guarantees must be shrunk – regulated to become small enough to fail, instead of regulated to benevolently hand out money to the politically favored.  Instead of sending that mighty river of money in the direction of desirable voting blocks, politicians must shrink it – which, like dieting, is hard for them to do.

The financial crisis in America was one of affirmative action and the community reinvestment act, of Black and Hispanic deadbeats robbing honest hardworking whites, but thinking of it in those terms of the particular voting blocks is not useful, will not get us to a financial system that moves savings from honest thrifty savers to honest hard working investors who can put the money to profitable use.  Such thinking, thinking in terms of voting blocks, will at best merely change the skin color of the deadbeats robbing the honest folk.  The financial crisis in the rest of the world had different beneficiaries with diverse skin colors, but the common factor was political favor sending funds to political voting blocks, rather than to people able to put the money to profitable use.  It is more useful to think in terms of moral hazard – that politicians cannot regulate, for they have perverse and dangerous incentives, and therefore corrupt financiers.

That politicians dispatched our money to cat eating wetbacks should enrage us, but we should be enraged at the politicians, rather than at migrants looking for work who have difficulty affording meat from a butcher, migrants who are prohibited from honest work by those politicians, and then offered welfare and a million dollar mortgage no money down by the same politicians.  The politicians corrupted Hispanics and financiers alike.