I have received a death threat

Well, this is novel. I’ve just received a terroristic death threat. From
an idiot who failed to obscure his return path. Here it is, precisely as
I received it mere minutes ago:

From salehizadeh_atc@yahoo.com  Sun May 21 22:44:42 2006
Return-Path: 
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.1 (2006-03-10) on snark.thyrsus.com
X-Spam-Level: 
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.0 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_00,DNS_FROM_RFC_ABUSE,
	DNS_FROM_RFC_WHOIS,UPPERCASE_25_50 autolearn=no version=3.1.1
Received: from snark.thyrsus.com (localhost [127.0.0.1])
	by snark.thyrsus.com (8.13.6/8.13.6) with ESMTP id k4M2igAJ026952
	for ; Sun, 21 May 2006 22:44:42 -0400
Received: from grelber.thyrsus.com [192.168.1.31]
	by snark.thyrsus.com with IMAP (fetchmail-6.3.4)
	for  (single-drop); Sun, 21 May 2006 22:44:42 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com (web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com [68.142.200.79])
	by grelber.thyrsus.com (8.13.4/8.13.4) with SMTP id k4M4Y51D023721
	for ; Mon, 22 May 2006 00:34:05 -0400
Received: (qmail 18608 invoked by uid 60001); 22 May 2006 02:43:29 -0000
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
  s=s1024; d=yahoo.com;
  h=Message-ID:Received:Date:From:Subject:To:MIME-Version:Content-Type:Content-Transfer-Encoding;
  b=lFrB0rAPphpP3Q0wd5pQF1rMjBCYJ5O8pKh0risWlb2KbzXBMfqKQpx/SHq/s1DUJvPATn8XDECDCawxtzr1TokVZPGtbEfmV1BFHO3w6sr83VgcpMPrpf0fxSS6G2rCdMcSm2Xe0c45olKryo3zHIKz8Rygdu1xdES2rK/90Bk=  ;
Message-ID: <20060522024329.18606.qmail@web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Received: from [217.219.56.65] by web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com via HTTP; Sun, 21 May 2006 19:43:29 PDT
Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 19:43:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: hhh hyftyf 
Subject: Islam
To: esr@thyrsus.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-UID: 24454
X-Keywords:                                                                                                    
Status: RO
Content-Length: 343
Lines: 12

We have your address.

               YOU WILLBE KILLED
               YOU WILLBE KILLED
               YOU WILLBE KILLED
               YOU WILLBE KILLED
               YOU WILLBE KILLED

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

http://mail.yahoo.com

I will report this threat to the appropriate authorities. I guess
all my writings about terrorism and Islam struck a nerve somewhere.

Here’s a message to whoever is behind this threat: Maybe you think
you can intimidate me, or that threats like this will stop other
bloggers from speaking the truth about your barbaric mass-murdering
death-cult. Well, screw you and the camel you rode in. I will not
be silenced, and we will not be silenced. All you do
with terroristic threats is to demonstrate your evil nature,
confirm our resolve to resist you, and speed the day when your
diseased ideology will be wiped from the face of the Earth.

373 thoughts on “I have received a death threat

  1. That’s so amusing. Prove ESR’s words against islam wrong by making a threat! And make yourself painfully easy to find on top of that.

  2. Jeez. I wish no harm on esr or his loved ones, but that being said, I’d almost like to see the horriblly painful fate in store for anyone who’s stupid enough to come to his house looking for trouble.

    Don’t let the morons indimidate you. Things like this only help prove their inferiority.

  3. The accidental positioning of the last story before the new one is the best part:

    « Testosterone makes people stupid
    I have received a death threat

    It boggles me that anyone would be so stupid. This is stupid enough that I’d think the perpetrator might be anti-islam. He’s certainly pro-suicide.

    I have been terrorized, you have my sympathy.

    May your hand be steady and your aim true.

    hanzie.

  4. Aw, that’s so cute. Baby’s first terrorist threat! Soon he’ll be old enough to hold a real AK.

    Of course, the address he probably has is the email address he used to Yahoo! you.

  5. >This is stupid enough that I’d think the perpetrator might be anti-islam.

    Nahh, I suspect he’s an Islamist dumbshit who sympathizes with the terrorists but doesn’t have any operational connection with them. The real al-Qaeda would probably have done a better job of covering its tracks.

    As it is — the message contained a domain key, so the sender is verifiable. And “Salehizadeh” has the right phonotactics to be a real Persian name. My best guess is we’ll find some teenager on a CAIR mailing list behind this, a small-time terrorist wannabe trying to stir shit with a threat he has no intention of trying to execute.

    For those of you who have expressed concern — I don’t feel immediately threatened. But I’ve talked with the local cops, and I am well armed. Appropriate measures (which I won’t detail for obvious reasons) are being taken.

    At this point, I’m feeling contempt rather than fear.

  6. We have your address.

    YOU WILLBE KILLED
    YOU WILLBE KILLED
    YOU WILLBE KILLED
    YOU WILLBE KILLED
    YOU WILLBE KILLED

    Kudos to the genius/moron who put this together; I laughed aloud when I read this.

    As for Eric, you claim to be a ‘hacker of social systems’, and yet you can’t see through something so obviously designed to get a rise out of you. Then again, you’re just conceited enough to believe that bona-fide ‘Islamofascists’ care enough about what the pretentious ‘Blogosphere’ writes on the Internet to assassinate you. Is it a coincidence that this validates your ownership of a pistol?

    I will not be silenced, and we will not be silenced.

    Oh, please – this is almost as much of an overeaction as the time Bruce Perens reported you to the cops. Ironically, you were threatening him (albeit doubt non-physically) over things he’d said in public.

    Well, screw you and the camel you rode in.

    Is being consistently culturally insensitive part of your tactical propaganda strategy? Continuing on from the last blog post, where you said:

    I am not quite the wild man I appear to be sometimes, but I have good reasons for not discouraging that misconception.

    That you think people see you as a ‘wild man’ speaks volumes about your delusions. Man in the throes of a mid-life crisis, perhaps. As per usual, you don’t actually cite any evidence to substantiate your claims – in this case, what your reasons are. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d be curious to hear them.

  7. Appropriate measures (which I won’t detail for obvious reasons) are being taken.

    Sounds like you’ve watched Home Alone one too many times.

  8. The IP resolves to Shiraz Iran and Salehizadeh, sometimes Salehi Zadeh, does appear to be a common Persian surname. But I suspect that ESR is correct regarding the nature of the threat.

  9. Big_Hacking,

    You hint, without any evidence at all, at the notion that Eric fabricated this threat to validate gun ownership. So doesn’t your admonition to substantiate claims ring somewhat hollow?

  10. You hint, without any evidence at all, at the notion that Eric fabricated this threat to validate gun ownership. So doesn’t your admonition to substantiate claims ring somewhat hollow?

    No, I hint that he chooses to take it seriously because it validates his gun ownership. I even imply that I believe it’s someone taking the mickey out of him. And I never stated that ESR should substantiate his claims, only that he should stop his obnoxious bragging.

  11. Just a hint to interpret the CORRECT data from the headers:

    Received: from [217.219.56.65] by web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com via HTTP; Sun, 21 May 2006 19:43:29 PDT

    This is the header that should interest you. It shows the message was posted via webmail by someone from IP address 217.219.56.65.

    Now here’s some IP whois information on that IP:

    === cut ===

    inetnum: 217.219.56.64 – 217.219.56.127
    netname: ARYANSHIRAZ
    descr: Aryan1 Company ,Internet Service Provider
    country: IR
    admin-c: OM624-RIPE
    tech-c: OM624-RIPE
    status: ASSIGNED PA
    mnt-by: AS12880-MNT
    source: RIPE # Filtered

    person: Omid Mazareie
    address: Abyari Avenue-behind the Salman Communication Center of shiraz,Iran
    phone: +98 711 8218312
    e-mail: info@aryanco.com
    nic-hdl: OM624-RIPE
    source: RIPE # Filtered

    === cut ===

    Looks like an Iranian ISP, might be difficult to do anything about that… I doubt it that a report will do you any good.

  12. Look up the demographic data for muslims and muslim countries. Unless the west starts chugging out babies a magnitude faster than it is now, we’ll be doomed in a few decades regardless of anything else. Islam is truly humanity’s cancer.

  13. >You hint, without any evidence at all,

    Don’t feed the troll. I’ve refrained from blocklisting BIG_HACKING because I find him kind of entertaining — so utterly certain of his insightfulness and so pathetically wrong. (I especially like the screaming about my supposed “insecurities” and the pose as a brave truth-teller from a boob who lacks the cojones even to cop to his real name.) I suspect he’ll go away when he figures out why the actual effect of his ranting is exactly the opposite of his intention. In the meantime, he’s best ignored.

  14. >The IP resolves to Shiraz Iran

    Thanks, that’s good news. The Iranians’ homegrown terrorists don’t seem ever to have had the capability to operate in the U.S, and judging by past patterns of net activity al-Qaeda would be more likely to issue threats from Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Yemen; besides, it’s run by Arabs who don’t on the whole like or trust Iranians and would be unlikely to use one as a proxy when they have so many useful idiots closer to home.

    Good. I think the probability that I’ll have to educate shaheeds with a Mossberg 500 just dropped by another order of magnitude.

  15. >I’d almost like to see the horriblly painful fate in store for anyone who’s stupid enough to come to his house looking for trouble.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. And my wife, a butt-kickin’ martial-artist babe who’s handy with a Glock 40, thanks you too. :-)

  16. I’m glad they’re sending you death threats now, Eric. Take it as a compliment; you’re in a more horrible kind of trouble when the semen stains on the grand fap-sock of humanity that are Islamists start liking you. Keep it up.

  17. I would pay real, honest money to know how old the person who sent this was. I’m also curious about their education. I like that you’re taking no chances, but agree this is probably the equivalent of a French war meeting: Nothing will come of it.

    This is actually very amusing — responding to complaints about mindless violence by threatening the person making the complaints. Yeah, good job by the jihadi. I have to also agree that it’s a good thing you’re disliked by the crazies. If they liked you… well.

  18. I think the probability that I’ll have to educate shaheeds with a Mossberg 500 just dropped by another order of magnitude.

    Dropping by the house of a well-advertised firearm owner for an exchange of gunfire is probably not the way most of these people operate (and nor is issuing threats, for that matter). It’s a teenager for sure.

  19. Adrian10, be careful applying our culture to a foreign one. In the US, UK, and other western societies a threat like this would be the act of an adolescent. But we are not dealing with a Western culture. This is, if you care about my input, the single biggest mistake I see you make. Your facts are usually right, but your interpretation of those facts is nearly always based on how a western society would behave given those facts. That is a serious mistake.

  20. I’d really enjoy if you could find out the name, address etc. of the guy and publish it on the Internet – it’s time to let THEM have some reason to get scared, for a change… Sadly it’s not likely, even if FBI gets the IP from Yahoo, it’s gonna likely be a dial-up from an Iranian ISP which they would refuse to identify… but at least publishing the name of the ISP would give ‘em some reason to think things over, because then the guy’s details are just one crack away…

  21. This simple-minded, poorly-spaced threat does appear to be from a barely-teenaged terrorist wanna-bee. This type of snarling poodle infests Yahoo! chat rooms too, spewing torrents of badly-spelt and rather unimaginative venom against Jews, militant Christians and anyone else who finds Islam to be in any way contemptible and worthy of being crushed into powder.

  22. Sounds too predictable to me. Maybe someone took a computer over remotely, and sent Eric the email from the Iran computer?
    Is there a way to contact their CIO or administrator?

  23. >I hint that he chooses to take it seriously because it validates his gun ownership.

    Gee, why would anyone take a muslim threat of death seriously? It’s just like the way the government is trying to use 9/11 as a way to validate all of the guns our military has. If it wasn’t for those guns after all, 9/11 would have been an isolated event barely worthy of a mention on the society page of the NYT. Man people make too much of this sort of thing.

  24. TO: BIG-HACKING
    RE: Home Alone

    “Sounds like you’ve watched Home Alone one too many times.” — BIG_HACKING

    A charming and entertaining movie about a kid who is intelligent enough to know that he cannot count on the police to help him. That he needs to be prepared to defend himself.

    And you point in making that quip is….what?

    RE: What You Meant

    “…I never stated that ESR should substantiate his claims, only that he should stop his obnoxious bragging.” — BIG_HACKING

    I don’t see it as ‘bragging’. I see it as ‘fair warning’.

    My point here being that it’s obvious the person(s) making the threat are paying attention to this blog. Now they’ve been warned that they’ve tipped their hand and he’s more than ready to ‘greet’ them.

    Personally, I’d see this communication as justification for getting a concealed carry permit.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  25. Jeez, first Microsoft, and now the Islama-terrorists. What’s next in the ESR-show? (And why hasn’t this appeared on /. yet?)

    Tune in next week for another exciting episode!

  26. Oh yes, of course. The stupid e-mail written by one idiot proves everything right.

    “barbaric mass-murdering death-cult.”
    yeah, right.

    Moron. Both of you.

  27. Here’s the whois. Give them a call, maybe they’ll ban him.

    Yeah, right.

    % Information related to ‘217.219.56.64 – 217.219.56.127′

    inetnum: 217.219.56.64 – 217.219.56.127
    netname: ARYANSHIRAZ
    descr: Aryan1 Company ,Internet Service Provider
    country: IR
    admin-c: OM624-RIPE
    tech-c: OM624-RIPE
    status: ASSIGNED PA
    mnt-by: AS12880-MNT
    changed: ******@itc.ir 20040316
    source: RIPE

    person: Omid Mazareie
    address: Abyari Avenue-behind the Salman Communication Center of shiraz,Iran
    phone: +98 711 8218312
    e-mail: ****@aryanco.com
    nic-hdl: OM624-RIPE
    changed: ******@itc.ir 20040316
    source: RIPE

  28. the herb weighs in…
    We’re all trolls in terms of each other ’round here, no? I think you wrote it best, eric: the cacaphony of the bazaar is preferable to the solemn sanctity of the cathedral (something like that).
    Also, shouldn’t it be “…the camel you rode in ON”? (Even better would be: “…blow it out your saddlebags.”)
    As far as the camel comment being “culturally insensitive,” well, I mean whoopdeedo. The US military has learned from past “shell shock” rates and now teaches warriors to label them or think of them as “gooks, krauts” and now “ragheads.” As long as we keep it in mind that making a “raghead” or a “camel jockey” laugh is the same as making your mom, your sister, your wife or my sister laugh, then we’re all on the same page.
    But you could have my vote, regardless, eric, if.
    If… and it’s a big “if”; and it doesn’t seem to be happening.
    If we win a war over a country that’s little more than a pool of oil, shouldn’t gas prices be going down? Why can’t regular Americans enjoy the spoils of this war? We can no longer travel the world, except to the UK perhaps, because we’re unwelcome, from what I can tell, just about everywhere. We can no longer travel around this country as far or as often because of the soaring price of gas.
    What am I missing here? How in the world did that guy get re-elected??
    Not that I’m in favor of the war against Iraq (or Islam), but doesn’t it make sense that the real war is us vs. them, with the “us” being gas consumers like me and Iraqi citizens who want to maintain ownership of their oil, and the “them” being huge oil people like w and exxon and etc.?
    All I’m saying is you got me on your team if we get a cut of the take. How much closer to the skin does this fleecing have to cut before enough people wake up??

  29. the Herb comments

    “We can no longer travel the world, except to the UK perhaps, because we’re unwelcome, from what I can tell, just about everywhere.”

    What what? The world has almost always made a point of unwelcoming us, though many of them manage to choke it down when they see our money. Current behavior is hardly new. (The complaint in the UK, during WWII, was that the Yanks were “overpaid, oversexed, and over here”.)

    And I recently returned from Thailand, where they actually seemed to LIKE the US. From the memorials, I think it might have something to do with our making the Japanese go away during and after their attempt to create a Japanese empire.

  30. Sadly, there are lots of stupid teenagers who have managed to kill humans, so please don’t underestimate them.

  31. Eric, shout if you need some help. My Wilson 870 might be of some help…

  32. with a Mossberg 500

    Interesting; I’d read that those were too loud to use indoors without hearing protection (and longer than you’ld want for possible close-quarters). Of course, I’d also read the exact opposite. Is this one of those vi-vs-emacs debates, or is there actually a clear concensus on the matter?

  33. herb, is that strange burning in the back of your head the cognitive dissonance that results from simultaneously believing that Iraq was a war for oil and experiencing high gas prices? How much evidence does it take for you to expunge this ridiculously false premise? Are you similarly incapable of understanding why we are spending $100 billion a year to maintain a military force in order to extract at most $10 billion in oil per year? If so, perhaps you might want to consider that your idiotic obsession with the concept of war for oil is hopelessly and unapologetically idiotic. You can’t even come up with a conspiracy that at least is plausible. I think your head is overdue for a violent rupture.

  34. “…Interesting; I’d read that those were too loud to use indoors…”

    Lots of ‘effective’ firearms are ‘too loud’ if we’re being honest. I actually train *without* hearing protection, in short bursts (no pun intended), to acclimatize my nerves to the aural and visual shock of real-world gunfire…I always use eye/ear protection for sustained target practice and tactical stuff, of course. Handgun hunting helps too…

    Yes…if you let that Mossberg 500 (excellent choice btw…it is my preferred tenderizer too – 00 is the law ;-) rip indoors, your ears will ring, but they’ll recover…the dipshit meatsack glugging his last will not…

  35. We can no longer travel the world, except to the UK perhaps, because we’re unwelcome, from what I can tell, just about everywhere.

    Only if you go on about how great Bush is. And you can come to Japan, the Japanese are too polite to tell you what they really think.

    Your facts are usually right, but your interpretation of those facts is nearly always based on how a western society would behave given those facts.

    It’s just that doing those things is kind of dumb if you really want to kill someone. Unless it’s a ploy to lull Eric into a false sense of security.

  36. Sounds like BIG_HACKING has a little “gun” envy. :-D (troll or no)

    Or perhaps he is just stupid enough to believe that not owning guns will stop terrorists. Personally, I don’t need anything to justify my owning and carrying firearms… the Founding Fathers already provided that document.


    Dominic. Nice sentiment, but it’s a little hard to sort cowards from among cowards. We shouldn’t label them all, rather kill them all and be done.


    herb. Yikes! People really are stoopid. (yes I mean you…) I think we should just nuke the entire desert over there, or have Israel do it for us. Give some little crappy piece of land to the Palestinians (nuke that piece again once they move in) and take the rest (along with the oil) as soon as it cools off. I think GW may even go along with that in the Right political climate… bleeding-heart liberals are the ones fscking it up for the rest of us.

    So that really feels like a flame, when I actually agree wholeheartedly with your comment on OUR oil in Iraq.

    Screw humanity. Perhaps if we ‘colonize’ enough foreign countries we will be able to travel with more ease.

    We have the big stick, to the victor go the spoils.
    (Or said more nicely: If We have to clean up your mess, You will pay the bill. I think that is only fair.)

    Yeah, yeah, I know I must be some nut-job who is totally irrational… If there were more people who used their heads, I wouldn’t have to be so extreem in my comments. The whole point is to create debate and shift the balance.

  37. I’d really enjoy if you could find out the name, address etc. of the guy and publish it on the Internet

    Does anyone speak farsi ( +98 711 8218312 )?
    It wouldn’t suprise me to learn that the Aryan1 Company, his ISP, has received similar inquiries in the past.

    Also the ATC in salehizadeh_atc may be an acronym for a Aryan T(?) C(?), as in Aryan Trading Company or Aryan Telecommunications Company. You’ll notice in more recent versions of the ISP’s whois record use of an ITC.IR ( Iran Telecomm. Company ), where aryanco.com had been used previously – Aryan and Iran are cognates.

    Some records also show addresses from a dci.ir, which appears to be owned by ITC and branded as NISN.IR (National Integrated Service Network). I think that I remember reading, perhaps a year ago, that there’s effectively one ISP in Iran. These may be its many faces.

  38. the herb (May 22nd, 2006 at 8:39 am)

    Your entire essay suffers from excessive verbosity plus wandering in search of a point.

    The second half demonstrates functional ignorance and economic illiteracy.

    Your snark is as incisive as a bag of marshmallows.

    Now run along so you can mewl and puke in Kos’ sandbox with the other “special” kids — or I shall taunt you again.

    Alternatively, you could go here: http://www.brookings.edu/iraqindex , and get the beginnings of something resembling an actual education.

  39. What a crummy death threat. He even forgot to tell you to “watch your step.”

  40. Just in case this cretin actually carries out his pathetic threat…and is successful…do you have any last words? ;-)

  41. Have you thought it might be Robert Fisk? Have you thought it might be Robert Fisk? Have you thought it might be Robert Fisk?

  42. Well, my rule for death threats (happily I’m deficient in recieving them) is that a threat is as good as a shot, and the threatener has forfeited his right to life.

    If its just someone blowing off steam, well, they’re dead, and the next idiot will have an instructive example to learn from. This pose of trying to decide if the threatener actually means to carry out his threat, while useful in a tactical sense, is in a moral sense, mostly a waste from my POV.

  43. > Appropriate measures (which I won’t detail for obvious reasons) are being taken.

    Nice. Security through obscurity. The open-source way. I like it. I also like the reliance on the “authorities”, true to principled anarcho-capitalism.

    j/k. I’d do the same thing in your position.

    diablovision: I support the Iraq war (and I think we’re winning it), and I don’t think it’s about oil, but all those objections are very reasonably explained. The Iraq war reduced the global supply of oil, which pushed up the price of oil, which increased the profits of Haliburton and others (since no American oil company had any oil interests in Iraq, their oil supplies were unaffected), who are nice and cozy with Bush and friends. Bush doesn’t care that American consumers are hurtin’ at the pump, so long as he can enrich his oil tycoon friends. He’s no doubt expecting to be rewarded with a rich sinecure after the presidency. Sure, the cost of the Iraq war is far greater than the increased profits to Haliburton (spit), but Bush and Haliburton are paying only a tiny fraction of that cost personally, whereas they get a huge oil profit. Not to mention no-bid contracts, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam. Obligatory moral: The American people get screwed. Again, I don’t actually believe this, but it’s certainly possible to believe it without any cognitive dissonance. Actually, considering the whole bruhaha over “price-gouging” gas prices, I don’t think the lefties believe it either. I have no idea what they must believe.

  44. We can no longer travel the world, except to the UK perhaps, because we’re unwelcome, from what I can tell, just about everywhere.

    I’ve gotten zero grief as an American living in the UK, unless listening to the dumb eighteen year old coworker who went on about how all Americans were stupid, but thought the Bahamas were in the US counts as grief. (I considered it ‘entertainment’ rather than grief, at least before he was fired.)

    We can no longer travel around this country as far or as often because of the soaring price of gas.

    Oh please. Gas here is running about £1/litre — roughly equivalent to $6.80/gallon, and it doesn’t stop anyone around here from driving.

  45. diablovision: You’re misreading the premise. Now, I’m not saying that it’s my premise, or that I believe it, but the idea is that the people who are receiving the $10 billion a year in extra revenue aren’t the people spending the $100 billion to get it in the first place. It would be a stupid idea if you think of the US as a monolithic entity; however, if you consider it as a scheme designed to soak the taxpayer/consumer to fluff the profits of the wealthy oil corporations, it makes the kind of sense you say it doesn’t make.

  46. What’s really interesting is that ESR’s post was linked by Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), but there’s little evidence of this in the comments – unless ESR is still moderating these. An Instapundit link tends to generate a lot of comments, especially where Islam is concerned. You guys must intimidate people ;)

  47. Of course the logic is impeccable if you deep down believe that evil megaKKKorporations run the world; i.e. if you are a paranoid schizophrenic.

  48. I came over from Glenn’s link. Never read this site before.

    FWIW, I’ve felt like I received a death threat too, ever since my classes at GWU (in DC) were cancelled on Sept 11, 2001.

  49. i dont ESR is too scared over some jihadist’s lame threat. ESR has a carry permit and is a pretty good shot with a 1911 from what i hear.

  50. You don’t need ‘validation’ of any kind to own a gun, if you want one you can have one, they’re efficinet, effective, and good at what they do. Can anyone think of another machine that can function in continuous duty for 100+ years. (my .32 colt is 103 and still popin acuratly).

    Most people with any connection to public life either carry a firearm themselves (if they are the self reliant types) or they hire a mess of people to stand around with guns and act as a bodyguard. the simple fact is that public figures have a chance of being targeted that is slightly greater than average joe american. what does it hurt society to let people own what they want without hasseling them about it? If I want to keep a shotgun in the closet next to the bed, it won’t jump up and start shooting people on its own. I also cary a compass when I go walking in the woods, I don’t plan on getting lost, but on the slim chance that I might, who is hurt by my carying one?

    Oh and esr, if you get a chance to try shooting an ithaca M37, it may sway you from the mossberg, not that anything is wrong with those, there’s just no substitute for the under ejecting, smoothe action of the m37.

  51. Yeah, I get these Nimrods in my server logs all the time. Sauds, Iranians, whatever. Sometimes they uncloak and jabber something, and I get to say unkind things about their mothers, and the Prophet, POHUN. No decent threats, yet, but we stay locked and loaded around Bane House, anyway.

    If you always assume the threat, then you reduce the odds against you to just blind, bad luck. And I’ll take those odds.

  52. I visited the Philippines for three weeks in Feburary 2006, and got nothing but smiling faces and amiability from all the people I talked to. Most of them seem to like Americans.

    My politics are best described as right-wing and pro war but low key about it.

    As long as you listen as well as talk, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble in the Philippines, and I’d be pretty surprised if that wasn’t true in most of the rest of the world. People may disagree with you, but they’ll do so politely.

    I’m not planning my visit to Saudi Arabia or Iran any time soon, but otherwise, I think those who say travel is dangerous thanks to the Evil President Bush are just fooling themselves.

    D

  53. I don’t think you need to be a paranoid schizophrenic to believe that evil multinational megaKKKorporations rule the world. Of course, they don’t, but the human mind seems to be remarkably adept at weaving conspiracy theories. Most people just don’t get obsessive over them.

  54. There’s an apache webserver running at the (apparently) originating ip. But it’s just the server’s default page: 217.219.56.65.

  55. Adam – As long as we have laws against implementing anarchist solutions, it would be downright stupid for ESR to do anything other than comply with the law. The law says to notify the authorities. The law says do *not* put a price on the guy’s head. This is for good reason as that’s the sort of thing that starts generalized warfare. If it were legal, people *would* set up funds for the assassination of foreign heads of state, investment funds for private invasion. The money that would come out of the mattresses to rid Cuba of Fidel and his creation would no doubt be awesome.

    But it’s not legal and ESR is not an idiot so you won’t see him publicly announcing on his blog that he’s committing felonies.

    dlb – I regularly read ESR’s blog but this time came via Instapundit because I read him first. Does this count?

  56. OFFTOPIC

    I’m gonna relocate to the UK in a few months, may I ask some questions – in e-mail, in order to don’t flood this forum with offtopic posts – to those of you who know the place well? I mostly mean Tina and Adrian10. My e-mail address is miklos DOT holl NO-SPAM ender AT gmail.com (remove NO-SPAM of course). Thank you in advance.

    ONTOPIC

    I’m just surprised this all did not happen long ago. There are a lot of Islamist cracking groups out there, defacing websites in the name of Jyhad and so on, and they are generally using OS software. From using OS software it’s not very hard to get to ESR’s blog. From reading ESR’s blog it’s not very hard to get to issuing death threaths provided one is a terrorist asshole.

    If ESR has the brain I think he has, he must have expected it and done those “precautionary measures” years ago.

  57. Has anyone considered that maybe high oil prices have less to do with our military adventures abroad than they do with a devastating hurricane that damaged our already paltry refinement capacity *here*, and the repercussions this had in terms of speculative inflation?

  58. “Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1″

    Isn’t it a bit strange to use ISO-8859-1 charset in Iran? It looks more likely France, Germany etc.

  59. Jeff,

    I think neither of the has anything to do with the military “adventures”. I think the game played in Iraq is called “Jyhad-bait”. The point is the following: whenever there are foreign soldiers on Muslim soil, terrorists just can’t go to New York to blow shit up – they are quranically OBLIGED to stay there and fight the Marines, they have no other choice – and the Marines are far more capable of defending themselves than the civilians in the US. The Quran is quite clear in this issue, the terrorists have no choice.I think the whole Iraq war is simply about turning the ideological weapon of the mullahs against themselves this way. Previously, they used the Quran to send folks to US to blow shit up, but now they just can’t do it, because the Quran places a higher priority to defending Muslim soil than going on foreign Jyhad-advantures. The terrorists are now religously bound to fight a war on unfavourable odds, and even when mullahs see they have been tricked, they have no choice – they can’t tell the terrorists to ignore what the Quran says. I think this is a quite clever pull.Dubya must have some really bright advisors, I think.

  60. Yeah… except for the inconvienent fact that gas prices weren’t exactly going through the floor before the hurricane.

    You may not want to sit down for the next few weeks, given that reality just a size 16 bootprint on your posterior.

  61. Eric Cowperthwaite,

    “but your interpretation of those facts is nearly always based on how a western society would behave given those facts”

    Although politically I tend to agree with you in these questions, I still think you should think this statement over. Adrian10 is from the UK, and the speciality of the UK is that they really huge cultural differences between people within one culture that is nominally called one culture, while in reality it isn’t.

    I mean the typical UK people we know, who are quite polite, traditional, gentlemanly, have refined tastes and quite diplomatic way of expression, like Adrian, this is one part of the picture, and there are also those amazingly rude football (for you: soccer) hooligans, and the ones who think it’s fun to beat you up in a music club, and so on. These are really huge differences, I think in the Western society no other country has so huge cultural differences within. It means we shouldn’t try to teach Adrian about cultural differences, he might have enough experience of it. While for most of us cultural differences are inter-national issues, he might have enough experience of it in an intra-national way as well.

  62. TM Lutas: That’s why I said I was kidding. But as far as anarchist measures go, I was thinking more along the lines of having a private security guard than on putting a price on the guy’s head. I really don’t think that the Iranian authorities are going to act on any kind of information or request from the American authorities. And the American authorities probably won’t be providing ESR with a security guard, which makes them next to useless in this instance.

    Jeff Read: Oil prices were high before the hurricane season. The hurricanes just exacerbated the situation.

    Shenpen: He sent it via the Yahoo web interface. ISO-8859-1 is expected.

  63. Shenpen: Could you elaborate on the koranic obligation to attack in Iraq and ignore the US? I want to look into it further. In any case, even if there is a sound basis to that in sharia, I’m almost certain that OBL and company would find a creative imam if they thought that attacks on US soil were tactically or strategically the way to go. If the “flypaper” theory is working, it’s probably because attacking in Iraq is logistically easier and psychologically more salient, not because of a koranic ruling that works in favor of the US. Also, I doubt that Bush’s advisors are responsible for premeditating the flypaper idea. To the degree that that’s what’s happening at all, it’s probably a fortuitous break.

  64. You’re so lucky. I’ve been praying for death threats ever since I started blogging. I’m positive that I am much more ‘inciteful’ than you are. But there you have it. The race really does not go to the swift or the most deserving it appears.

  65. Sorry, I am no Islam expert, only thing I know is that protecting Muslim soil from foreign invaders is the most jyhadic activity of them all, so it must have a higher priority.

  66. Adam,

    Iraq was a phenomenally brilliant, far-thinking, and well executed military operation put together by the best military minds ever to grace the planet. It was however, a disastrous political decision for Bush and (in retrospect) quite damaging for the US reputation abroad. I’ll take that over the opposite.

  67. Flypaper theory” is the name that is normally used for the theory that Iraq is attracting all the jihadists, who are easier to deal with there when they’re concentrated and never make it to the US.

    Eric: Can you check you check the logs to see what the threatener’s IP address did before sending you the email? I always get a kick out it when Charles of LGF posts hate mail and the complete trace of what the sender did before sending the mail, including what search terms he used to find the site.

  68. I truly hate this shit. I cannot stand any religion of submission, but when you attempt to intimidate free-thinking people on the other side of the world just because they say things that you do not agree with, you are crossing the line into threatening free peoples of the earth.

    My next purchase will be my first firearm, because anyone who has threatened the freedoms of a fellow man has threatened me.

  69. >Eric: Can you check you check the logs to see what the threatener’s IP address did before sending you the email?

    No can do. My blog is hosted on a site where I don’t have admin access to the log files.

  70. >My next purchase will be my first firearm, because anyone who has threatened the freedoms of a fellow man has threatened me.

    And another Westerner graduates to ethical adulthood. Congratulations.

  71. This email sounds more like a joke than a real threat. ESR’s response to it is amusing! If I would have received such an email, I would have ignored it instead of responding to the crap by posting it on the internet and being a hero.

  72. diablovision: I totally agree that the execution of the military offensive of the Iraq War was brilliant. In my amateurish and lay opinion, Tommy Franks is among the great generals of history. (Still, for the “best military minds” you have to compare him to Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon. It’s stiff competition.) However, I don’t think that the motivations of the people in the Bush administration went beyond what was known at the beginning of the war; namely, to establish an Arab Muslim liberal democracy, to show the jihadists that the US is dead serious, to establish a base of operations in the Middle East, to get out of Saudi Arabia without capitulating, and of course to keep WMD out of Saddam’s hands. I think the flypaper thing was tacked on afterwards as the US was dealing with the insurgency. Remember, before the war proponents of the war weren’t expecting an insurgency; they were expecting the Iraqis to welcome them as liberators. That the two aren’t contradictory should have been totally obvious, but such is hindsight.

  73. Adam,

    Perhaps you are right that military commanders weren’t certain at the outset that Iraq would come to serve the function of flypaper, but it was most likely at least considered in passing, and in the great hedging of bets that is every military operation, I think that war gamers and planners probably explored it as a possibility. Unfortunately, we don’t have a way of knowing, since even if it was consciously anticipated, it’s unlikely we’d hear even hints of that as a strategy coming from leaders. After all, it’s hard to make a convincing case to your constituents that one justification for the war is to bait the enemy into revealing themselves and being destroyed, particularly in an open society where the enemy also will receive that information.

    So objectively I think that the case for forethought as to the flypaper theory cannot be conclusively proven one way or another, but I like to have some hope that our society can produce exceptional military minds who are capable of imagining many unlikely scenarios.

    I think we have both the military capability and the military genius to win any conventional war on our terms. As to the political will to do so, the jury is still out on that one. We’re learning how to fight an assymetrical war and systematically deconstruct an insurgent, even as the opposition plots pulling the plug. From an amoral standpoint (for a moment), I want to see the results of this experiment and for our military to learn important lessons before the plug is pulled.

  74. An earlier comment has stayed in moderation limbo, and by now, this appears deliberate. It’s a pity, but such is liberty.

  75. Eric … your reaction was a little exagerated.
    There’s too much violence in your words.

    First of all, he may be just a teenager that’s probably feeling very proud right now for being considered a terrorist.
    And what is this ? An eye for an eye ?

    And lets be serious … americans are much more threatened by their current president than they are by terrorists.

  76. When I wrote my previous comments, I really didn’t think that the military planners and Bush administration strategists had come up with the flypaper theory before the start of the war, but I just came across this article by Andrew Sullivan from September 2003 stating that he heard it before the start of the war from “someone close to the inner circles of the Bush administration”, and that he aired it on his blog, so who knows?

  77. Perhaps you are right that military commanders weren’t certain at the outset that Iraq would come to serve the function of flypaper

    I would say that from empirical knowledge, you could say with reasonable certainty that the flypaper effect was not only pre-meditated, it was counted on.

    1) Iran was a known sponsor of terrorism, with a 20 year history of anti-Western machinations and strategies, including the financing of Hezbollah. It is the ultimate state sponsor of terrorism, and it has always been the fight that has to come.
    2) Iraq, while known to sponsor terrorism, was more about positioning forces to deal with Iran, positioning forces to defend the Straits of Hormuz, and interrupt the flow of arms, money, and materiel to lebanon from Iran. Iraq was, in other words, the center of the ME chessboard.

    It seems to be a matter of degree. It’s probably fair to say that the flypaper has surpassed all expectations. Of course, this is conjecture, but in the same way that Hume conjectured that beer was really there.

  78. come n guys1 you know the only reason he made this threat is because he just got home from college level classes he is taking in English, though he did not even make it through grade school in his homeland. he wasn’t going to even go to school here, but our government begged him, and paid his way , so he did it. Now he finds the subject matter is actually hard, and so after looking at some naughty pics of American girls on the internet, he comes to your site, and gets even angrier! The straw the broke the camel’s back, (no pun intended) was he just got called in from his mom to come out of his room and sit down and eat dinner. You see, he is 20 something years old and still lives at home.

    Your host ESR says: rangerruck’s threat model matches mine pretty exactly.

  79. >And lets be serious … americans are much more threatened by their current president than they are by terrorists.

    This, neatly illustrating the reason I’m a reluctant Bush supporter. The Shrub’s competence may be questionable, but his political enemies are barking-moonbat insane.

  80. The Iraq Campaign.

    1. Saddam was unfinished business. We shold have overthrown him and nursemaided Iraq into some kind of halfway decent, consensual government after the First Gulf War in 1991. We’d probably be done by now and nitwits like Osama would be less liable to think the US a “weak horse”.

    2. The Duelfer Report shows that Saddam was prepared to resume his nuke programs just as soon as the heat was off. Saddam is so reckless, so greedy for power and wealth that he started two wars to steal other peoples’ oil even without having nukes. What would he, or his psychopathic spawn, have done once he got nukes? We will never have to worry about that now.

    3. The Iraq Campaign allows us to fight the jihadis on ground of our own choosing.
    a) Geographically. We can fight in the Middle East, not New York, Seattle, Detroit or Los Angeles.
    b) Tactically. We can pit skilled soldiers and Marines against the jihadi terrorists, instead of airline stewardesses and unarmed airline passengers. This results in killing a lot more jihadis.
    c) Strategically. We cannot win a war against radical Islamist jihadis by standing on the defensive. There is too much to defend, the whole of our civilization. We must seize the initiative from our enemies. This is what we did by the Iraq Campaign. It forced the enemy to react to our moves, rather than us reacting to the enemy’s moves.
    d) Ideologically. The jihadis are fighting for their vision of a world-wide Caliphate governed by a totalitarian form of Islam. It is a heady vision, appealing to many Arabs and other Muslims, especially those eaten away by envy and spite. We need to counter this with a big idea of our own, that appeals to other Muslims in order to marginalize, isolate, and defeat the jihadis. This big idea that President Bush has defined is joining the modern world in liberty and prosperity. Liberty is the big idea to counter the big idea of Islamist fascism.

    4. The roots of terrorism lie in the dysfunctional political culture of the Arab and Persian world. To tear them up this political culture must be reformed. Iraq is the best place in the Arab world for starting this modernization, due to the character of its people and their overall culture. This is something Western specialists in the Arab world have thought for decades, that Iraq has the most promise for modernization. Liberating the Iraqis and catalyzing consensual government there was the start of the reform.

    5. We dreaded Neo-cons have considered that the attempt might fail. If so, the war against the jihadis will be much bloodier and grimmer, especially for the Muslims. Bush and the dreaded Neo-cons are the Muslims’ best friends, for they want to put down this vicious idiocy before the nukes start to fly. The jihadis make a practice of attacking everybody in the world. Eventually it will dawn on other powers that it is not just America’s problem. They are likely to be a lot nastier than we have been up to now. If there is a nuke terrorist incident I can guarantee you that we will be a lot nastier than we have been up to now. Muslims should help us put down the jihadis, who have startd attacking Muslims too you should notice, before that happens.

  81. Seeing this kind of stupidity in our enemies always puts a smile on my face. :D

  82. Someone close to the inner circles of the Bush administration allegedly told Ron Suskind that the neocon cabal constitute a 1984-esque Inner Party who create reality for the rest of the world to observe. Whenever I hear about shadowy unnamed Bush aides, it’s grain of salt time.

  83. And lets be serious … americans are much more threatened by their current president than they are by terrorists.

    Category Error: The inability, for whatever reason, to define the problem in a solveable manner.

  84. Oh Christ, you’re not THE Eric S. Raymond? Creator of fetchmail et al? When the fuck did you turn into a Jerry-Pournelle wannabe? Oh man, this is sad. First Tim May, then Jeff Baxter, and now you. Formerly talented guys who woke up one day infected with some kind of right-wing virus, and start quoting made-up quotations from a fictional character written by a wanna-be warrior who didn’t make the cut into Annapolis and mouthing off about invading Iran. I had respect for you. You wrote good software. Now you’re just another fucktard neocon armchair general who wants to send other people’s kids to kill whilst staying safely at home. Well, fuck you and your cowardly wingnut gunfreak dittos and your chickenshit Chimp In Chief.

  85. This is sad. I think I can safely say that the hackers of the world definitely have your back (myself included)!

  86. Congratulations Eric on your new death threat, any chance I could get in on the sweepstake? Is August 12th taken, always thought you were a bit of a low flyer!

    Given your leet self defense skills you could make a few bob here. Of course if the pot gets in the region of $10k you might have to get in help as I hear that’s the starting price for a decent solution.

    Still, what price excitement ehh?

  87. >First Tim May, then Jeff Baxter, and now you.

    Well, that’s maybe three of us that have adjusted to reality. You clearly haven’t, not if you think I can be described as a “neocon” or that Robert Heinlein didn’t make the cut into Annapolis.

  88. You wrote good software.

    If you think Eric’s blog is bad, just wait until you see his programming.

  89. Well, that’s maybe three of us that have adjusted to reality. You clearly haven’t, not if you think I can be described as a “neocon” or that Robert Heinlein didn’t make the cut into Annapolis.

    I dare say the respondent was making use of hyperbole. If emotional outbursts are ok for Eric Raymond, then surely they are ok for others too.

  90. I can see that nobody else has pointed this out, but…

    There’s no hint of an ideological background in this “death threat,” other than the apparent geographical source of the email. When a terrorist makes a statement of responsibility, it’s usually a grandiose, long-winded statement on whatever it is they feel like complaining about. There’s nothing like that here. If the sender’s intent was to stop you from commenting about Islam, he did a piss-poor job of it: assuming you’d get the message without even telling you what he was threatening you over. Sloppy.

    And every bit as meaningless as the entire exchange of comments that followed it.

  91. I came across your site a long time ago, and didn’t realize you were a fellow gunny. Saw reference to it again, specifically the gun parts, and had to make some comment.

    I think most left leaning geeks would find themselves to be at the top of the chart, if they looked into the libertarian mindset.

    You ever find yourself in southeast michigan, a round of sporting clays is on me.

  92. Why do you think they are Islamic terrorists?

    They might be Microsoft as well :-)

  93. Two arguments, to further clarify what I just said, in case anyone missed it:

    1. If the “terrorist” intended his threat to be responded to in any way (e.g. the removal of offending posts about Islam), he would have included such in the threat.
    2. No such instructions were included.
    Conclusion: The “terrorist” does not intend this “threat” to be responded to in any way.
    (Except, perhaps, in exactly the way we have done, by giving someone who is, as ESR has probably correctly concluded, some snot-nosed kid a bigger springboard than he would have had otherwise.)

    1. If the “terrorist” intends to go after publications (blog or traditional) that seem to have damaging things to say about Islam, the most effective tactic, in terms of silencing anti-Muslim opinion, would be to go after the largest such publications first.
    2. There have been remarkably few attacks on Western journalists or opinion leaders over “anti-Muslim sentiment,” the Danish cartoon riots and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh being admitted exceptions. There have been no reported murders of bloggers.
    Conclusion. ESR and his blog, Armed and Dangerous, are pretty damn far down the list of terrorist targets.
    (We have to imagine a terrorist who’s gone all the way from *Iran* to kill somebody over what he says about Islam in his *blog,* without even stopping to kill, say, Pat Robertson, who exhibits similar skepticism over Islam as a religion, and an international television audience of millions, first…)

    Talk about meme war. We’ve just given the poor idiot the biggest mouthpiece he’s ever likely to get for this particular message; in fact, he’s probably writing about how successful he was in stirring things up on his own blog.

  94. The funniest part is this:

    YOU WILL BE KILLED

    Do You Yahoo!?
    Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
    http://mail.yahoo.com

    Death threats kind of lose their edge when being followed by a corporate sig.

  95. And another Westerner graduates to ethical adulthood. Congratulations.

    A digression. Having been implicitly dismissed as some kind of moral infant here, I thought I’d go back and survey Eric’s “Ethics from the Barrel of a Gun” essay, which I’m sure many here will have happily consumed. And I have to say – well, you can swallow such notions if you *like*, but I’m a little disappointed that such transparent self-flattery isn’t regarded with more suspicion just on general principles.

    I should point out that I quite like guns, as sports equipment. I belonged to my university pistol club back in the halcyon pre-Dunblane days (and I doubt there were many non-pistol-owners who were more sickened by the UK government response to that than I was), and although it was impressed upon me as upon all beginners that if I didn’t keep the things pointed at the floor or down the range there would be trouble, I somehow never got terribly impressed with the fact that I had it within my power to waste a few of my fellow club members for no reason and then stay in prison until all my teeth fell out. I mean, obviously the option was *there*, but it just wasn’t very attractive. Probably I was more interested in getting laid, and in more traditional ways than I would have been able to in prison.

    Now, you might say that this is merely a reflection of the moral squalor which decades of socialism have inflicted on the English. Or perhaps you have to actually own the guns and keep them at home, where constantly having to restrain yourself from offing your nearest and dearest should they ask you to take out the trash in the wrong tone of voice or fail to put their toys away will keep you on your ethical toes. But as is pointed out, kitchen knives are perfectly serviceable murder weapons if the appeal of prison cuisine proves insurmountable, and cars are pretty lethal too, even if murdering someone with one would normally take a bit of forethought. Nevertheless, we are invited to contemplate the idea that “the conscious handling of instruments deliberately designed to kill” will raise one towards levels of awareness attained by the Founding Fathers after years of armed revolution against the British.

    Well, maybe.

    Of course, this True-Human-Dignity-Through-Gun-Handling is clearly something you can’t know until you’ve experienced it, so I’m kind of wasting my time casting doubts here. However, I’m thinking that I’d personally prefer the insights of people who’ve actually been shot at in anger, and have shot back (any offers? Joe? Eric C?). I’m not convinced the ethics you learn at the range are all that generalisable.

  96. Also, why is everyone here looking for an excuse to use their guns on someone? I think that part of self-defense is that you should hope you never have to use your weapon against another human being. You guys sound like ignorant redneck bragging high school teenagers.

  97. In Christian countries, the Cathedral was the house of ecclesiastical power, and to some extent it remains so today. As a political power, however, its role has gone from all but central to mostly non-existent. Nobody is building Cathedrals anymore.

    In Islamic countries, the bazaar, remains the center of ecclesiastical power. To sell in the bazaar, you need a license from a Mullah. In Islamic Republics, the bazaar is therefore the center of economic power, period.

    Witness thereof, ESR’s support of the “bazaar” model of software development, and ask yourself, “who is the Mullah?” I think The Who said it best, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    Eric, your continued folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle annoys us all.

  98. Eric, your continued folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle annoys us all.

    Don’t think you can *quite* claim to speak for everyone there…

  99. When the fuck did you turn into a Jerry-Pournelle wannabe?

    He’s not hugely enthusiastic about Middle-Eastern cultural makeovers at gunpoint (and other supposed noeconnery), if you read that thing he calls a blog.

  100. Jim Thompson:

    Eric, your continued folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle annoys us all.

    Eric is a credit-taker and egomaniac first, and all other things come second to that, including sound reasoning. If he can’t misappropriate it, he projects himself onto it. As evidence, witness his characterisation of the ‘hacker’ as someone just like him. If Eric does it, it’s intentional and it’s ‘hacking’, no matter what the outcome.

    That said, you’ve overstretched yourself again, this time by trying to speak for everyone. It’s clear that there are plenty of people who look up to Eric, right or wrong. If you’re trying to get across a valid point on this blog, then you’re wasting your time; it’s read primarily by deluded ESR-fanboys.

    esr:

    I didn’t respond to Eric earlier, but he accused me of not having ‘cojones’ because I don’t post my real name here. Am I supposed to be quaking in my boots at the thought of the flabby, 5’8″ ESR attacking me? We don’t even live on the same continent. I don’t post my name here for one simple reason: I wouldn’t be caught dead posting in the pretentious ‘blogosphere’ community, let alone in the blog of a nutcase of Eric’s calibre.

    Of course, any Red-Herring that helps dodge the issue is sufficient for Eric Raymond.

    He also accused me of taking the pose of a ‘brave truth-teller’. I’ve never made that claim, and I challenge him to quote me where I imply it. His claim is all the more ridiculous given that I’ve stated repeatedly that I’m trolling him for kicks. Although, being so physically insecure, every discussion becomes a contest of manliness for Eric.

  101. “Leon: Is this the test now?”

    btw, I think you are receiving tons of this kind of e-mail a day.
    Is this a way to test our knowledge about smtp protocol?
    so, let’s look at the header :)

    v1nc3nt -englishasasecondlanguage- Fr33man

  102. There’s a song that goes, “you’re nobody until somebody loves you.” I guess on the net it’s the opposite: you don’t rate the bandwidth if you don’t have a detractor or 6.

    BIG_HACKING is obviously not one of Eric’s fans. Fine. Is he an egomaniac? Well, sure. So was Ben Franklin, who also said that vanity was not a vice. Apparently, however, it has become necessary for this individual who “wouldn’t be caught dead posting” here to post here. There’s some sort of disconnect between these two things, but I’m not sure what to make of it.

    Whatever you think of his abilities, his intellegence, his opinons or his physical strength, Eric’s got a strong personality. Ascribe any reason you like to it. I don’t care. I enjoy his company and consider him a friend. That’s good enough for me, and I don’t mind attaching my real name to the post. The world isn’t divided into ESR fan boys and ESR haters, by the way. I fall into neither category. Who knows, maybe Eric’s one of my fan boys. :-)

    Walter.

  103. > It’s clear that there are plenty of people who look up to Eric, right or wrong. If you’re trying to get
    > across a valid point on this blog, then you’re wasting your time; it’s read primarily by deluded
    > ESR-fanboys.

    I’m sure the esr fanboy club here believe Eric when he says that he’s got linux running on a Z/80, that he wrote parts of c-news, and that he gave rms the idea to do emacs as the first GNU project. These are all claims he’s made, and they’re all false.

  104. “Only liberal societies tolerate Pacifists. In the liberal society, the number of Pacifists will either be large enough to cripple the state as a belligerent, or not. If not, you have done nothing. If it is large enough, then you have handed over the state which does tolerate Pacifists to its totalitarian neighbor who does not. Pacifism of this kind is taking the straight road to a world in which there will be no Pacifists.”
    – C.S. Lewis in “Why I am not a Pacifist”

  105. adrian10: Or perhaps you have to actually own the guns and keep them at home, where constantly having to restrain yourself from offing your nearest and dearest should they ask you to take out the trash in the wrong tone of voice or fail to put their toys away will keep you on your ethical toes. – I’ve owned guns for nearly all of my adult life. Not once have I felt that I had to restrain myself from offing my nearest and dearest. You’ve been reaing the European media too much; that kind of thinking pervades it, but is at right angles to reality.

    Eric is as much a neocon as I am a libertarian: there are parts of the agenda with which we agree, and other parts with which we do not.

    BIG_HACKING: Eric thinks I’m a hacker. I’ll take that any day over the common definition, which is synonymous with “computer criminal”. I also wouldn’t want him (or Cathy) deciding they wanted to attack me. Since you’re trolling him for kicks, by your own admission, why should any of the rest of us pay any attention to you?

    Walter: Boy, I must really be somebody, then.

    Jim: re claims: cites? Eric doesn’t even own a Z-80, TTBOMK. (Unless there’s one embedded in his microwave or something.) He did do a news transport about the same time C news was being written, but I don’t know what became of it; it’s not unreasonable to think that parts of it got sucked into C news. I’m not at all sure that inspiring RMS is something of which to be proud.

  106. I know that nothing of what I’ll be posting here will change anything.

    It’s painful, You did hurt at least one FOSS advocate without himself choosing his religion, Name, Place of birth, or anything.

    What camels are you talking about ? Do you really believe it ? Do you think that we really use camels to go from a place to another ? And do you imagine that I’m typing this now while riding a camel ?

    Do you really think that we are all terrorists ? Does it seem logical ?
    Don’t you think that I might have lost a friend in the latest Sinai bombings ?

    This email is crap, I doubt someone will really try to hurt you.

    I just have a question: Why do you blame the majority for actions done by the minority ?

    The fact that you think that we are not valuable doesn’t strike me, I feel bad for you because we are valuable yet you are unable to know this :-)

    All greetings from Egypt,

  107. >got linux running on a Z/80, that he wrote parts of c-news, and that he gave rms the idea to do emacs as the first GNU project.

    What are you smoking? I never claimed the first one at all!

    And where’s my $1000?

  108. adrian10> “where constantly having to restrain yourself from offing your nearest and dearest should they ask you to take out the trash in the wrong tone of voice or fail to put their toys away will keep you on your ethical toes.”
    I guess I’m having a hard time understanding the thought process that brought this forth. Can I attack this from another angle?
    I have a lawn mower. As I’m walking across the carpet in my living room I don’t have to “restrain” my “urge” to use my lawnmower on it. I mean, the mower could in fact cut it.
    I own a saw, by brand it’s a Super Sawzall. When I look at my coffee pot I don’t have to “restrain” my “urge” to cut it in two with my sawzall. It could in fact do that.
    I own a hammer. When my automobile needs the oil changed I don’t need to restrain my urge to smash the windshield with the hammer.

    A weapon is a tool. It has a purpose. I own literally thousands of tools. Does this mean I walk about is some type of haze with a burning need to use them? Well, um, no. You’ve raised the status of weapons from their normal existance to some kind of Hollywood style evil. Media influence on you perhaps? Unfamiliarity? I’d bet on the latter. If you get an “urge” to use a pistol everytime your wife speaks to you crossly, you’d not be a good candidate to own a weapon, kitchen knives, lawnmowers, saws, hedge clippers, or anything else for that matter. You’d be a good candidate for a straight jacket. So your question was kind of invalid. Nutters are nutters and ownership, or lack thereof, of any tool isn’t really associated with that.

    “Nevertheless, we are invited to contemplate the idea that “the conscious handling of instruments deliberately designed to kill” will raise one towards levels of awareness attained by the Founding Fathers after years of armed revolution against the British.”
    I understand that growing up in England, and living in Japan, breeds a certain unfamiliarity with certain objects. It’s normal. Other areas would lend an unfamiliarity with other deadly objects. Grab somebody from London and take them for a walk through the Everglades. They’d be terrified of being near the local reptiles. Are the reptiles deadly? Yes. But there are some huge caveats to that. I grew up in an area with lots of bears. Are they cute? No, they are deadly. If you see one will it chase you down, follow you into your living room, and beat you to death on the sofa? No. It’s just a bear.

    Would it be fair to suggest that you never go to Africa? I hear there are lions there. Very deadly. Designed to kill. So is a sword. Grab a sword, swing it once or twice. Feel the need to off the wife? Thought not. Grab an axe. Feel the need to off a child? No? Hey, it’s just a tool.

  109. There have been remarkably few attacks on Western journalists or opinion leaders over “anti-Muslim sentiment,” the Danish cartoon riots and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh being admitted exceptions.

    A. Richard Perl
    B. In a religiously-validated culture where death is given tremendous value, letting your guard down is stupid and avoidable. Islamo-fascists have shown themselves to be irrational, arbitrary, and capricious in the extreme. Why assume the best, when the worst has been borne out?
    C. Saying “the Danish cartoon riots … being … exceptions” is scaled like “there were two buildings destroyed on September 11.” Specifically, 2M people protesting the world over after being incited by the house of Saud and the King of Jordan over some very ho-hum cartoons doesn’t make the case for civility and restraint.

  110. Eric, your continued folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle annoys us all.

    Jim, your rhetorical flourishes annoy me.

    But that was a nice one about torrents.

    Adrian: “Nevertheless, we are invited to contemplate the idea that “the conscious handling of instruments deliberately designed to kill” will raise one towards levels of awareness attained by the Founding Fathers after years of armed revolution against the British.”

    You’ve said it precisely correctly. Handling a tool on a day to day basis that has severe consequences sets thinking people to mind of the possibilities. When you handle guns, the ethics are part of the regimen – “don’t point it at something / somebody unless you’re serious about killing it.” Make the choice first, based on whatever standards you have, and then the gun becomes an extension of that choice. If it sounds Bushido, that’s because warrior classes the world over come to similar conclusions.

    What the Founding Fathers recognized is that this cognitive path from ethics-to-implementation carried new meaning in an era of personal firearms. Guns were the militaristic OODA loop for the Enlightenment – crafted by reason, placed into the hands of individuals, the great equalizers on the battlefield. In the hands of a populace defending liberty and property, this was an incredible notion. Libertine ethics supported by enlightenment tools. In historical terms, it was nearly unprecedented – it was impossible, say, in a feudal society, like Japan or Germany around 800 AD.

    You seem to snark at the consequences of this notion, but at least you got it right.

    As to being shot at, I can only say that people who handle firearms for a living have tremendous respect for life because they are very aware of death. It’s not abstract conceptualization.

  111. Would it be fair to suggest that you never go to Africa?

    It would be too late, I lived in Botswana for ten months or so back in ’93. The lions weren’t all that. Hippos OTOH, you want to keep an eye on. Hyenas as well, perhaps.

  112. I guess I’m having a hard time understanding the thought process that brought this forth.

    It’s satire. I’m taking Eric’s idea and exaggerating it to a ridiculous extent for a rhetorical effect.

    It doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to, admittedly.

    A weapon is a tool. It has a purpose. I own literally thousands of tools. Does this mean I walk about is some type of haze with a burning need to use them? Well, um, no. You’ve raised the status of weapons from their normal existance to some kind of Hollywood style evil.

    Er…in fact no, I’m fine with weapons as tools. *Eric* has raised the status of guns from that of tools to a source of some kind of enlightenment. In his essay he concludes “It is time for us to embrace bearing arms again — not merely as a deterrent against criminals and tyrants, but as a gift and sacrament and affirmation to ourselves.” “Sacrament”, you see – that’s not about tools in my book, that’s about religion. I was hoping to get an opinion from someone who’d actually served and used weapons for what they’re designed for about this. Didn’t mean you to get hung up on the satire, sorry about that.

  113. >>got linux running on a Z/80, that he wrote parts of c-news, and that he gave rms the idea to do emacs
    >> as the first GNU project.

    > What are you smoking? I never claimed the first one at all!

    Quoting http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=233
    But some eager band of Linux hackers out there should strip Linux down far enough that it can fit in the
    reduced footprint, just to prove it can be done and undercut the idea that proprietary firmware is /ever/
    a good idea. And I have no doubt it can be done; heck, we’ve made Linux run on a Z80!

    I don’t know who you worked with when you say “we’ve”, but its physically impossible to run linux on a Z/80.

    > And where’s my $1000?

    If you’re that hard up for the cash, then please post a JPG or PNG of you and Cathy wearing ELER t-shirts behind a Paypal button, or do what the rest of us mortals do, get a job.

  114. >re claims: cites?

    Provided.

    > Eric doesn’t even own a Z-80, TTBOMK. (Unless there’s one embedded in his microwave or something.)

    I can’t help that.

    > He did do a news transport about the same time C news was being written, but I don’t know what
    > became of it; it’s not unreasonable to think that parts of it got sucked into C news.

    Its completely unreasonable to anticipate that Eric’s code automatically gets used in every successful project.

    > I’m not at all sure that inspiring RMS is something of which to be proud.

    Yet this is exactly what Eric attempts to claim.

  115. Come on Jim, that’s just freakin’ pedantic…and reeks of desperation…you lost the bet, take it like a man for fucks sake.

    It’s perfectly obvious that ESR is referring to the linux community when he uses the word “we’ve”. Now you’re just being lame.

    And given that ESR *did* contribute code to c-news (or prior incarnation) at whatever point in its lifecycle, it was completely *reasonable*, given no word to the contrary, to have assumed that his module(s) were likely still incorporated…given that the general area of functionality worked on is still present, of course.

  116. .45 Glaser double-tap to the torso and one in the head of the scumbag. Should end your worries.

    I fucking hate stalkers…

  117. >And I have no doubt it can be done; heck, we’ve made Linux run on a Z80!

    Yes, we have. See the history of the ELKS project. I wasn’t part of it, but the “we”, as the context makes quite clear, is the entire Linux community.

    >If you’re that hard up for the cash,

    If I were that hard up for cash, I wouldn’t have made the $1000 bet which you then accepted by anticipating taking my money. The point was to punish you for calling me a liar when the facts do not support that assertion. Pay up, or be forever known as Thousand-Dollar Thompson, the welcher and poltroon.

    Yeah, you love to snipe, when you’re safe from all consequences. But now we’re seeing how you behave when you’re called on your responsibility for your own words. So far, your behavior is that of a weasel and a coward.

  118. Scanian…I wouldn’t waste a glaser on the torso…them’s headshot rounds man! ;-) Five in the noggin!

  119. > As to being shot at, I can only say that people who handle firearms for a living have tremendous respect for life because they
    > are very aware of death. It’s not abstract conceptualization.

    Very very true.

    Off-topic, may I assume you’re not a big GW supporter on matters of war and peace then?

  120. I’m not sure I’d categorize guns as tools, except in the sense that they have one particular purpose. But, like all such objects, they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

    This discussion has descended into whether ESR is a liar or a fraud, whether his detractors are weasels or cowards, and whether one or more of them should be shot and where.

    In any case, I don’t see the point in further contribution. I think it sucks big that anyone – BIG_HACKING, Jim Thompson, Eric Raymond, myself, anyone – should be told that their address is known and that they will be killed FOR WRITING SOMETHING. I write SOMETHINGs professionally. Does that mean that the minority (for whose actions the majority is blamed) will come after me too? Mohammed, I agree with your characterization about “the camel you rode in on” – it was crude, an attempt at humor. I don’t think Eric would necessarily say that to your face. But he’d just been threatened. Call the police threatened. I don’t know how I’d react: I have a daughter and a wife, and I’m not as predisposed to deadly-force-tool usage as many of the rest of you. It would scare me. It was a bad attempt at humor.

    OK, I’m done. I’m going to go write and risk offending someone.

    Walter.

  121. “Well, fuck you and your cowardly wingnut gunfreak dittos and your chickenshit Chimp In Chief.” (Former Fan)

    Why do I feel that – just like in other subcultures – as the popularity of the blog is rising, the level of some comments is slowly heading towards the Mariana Trench?…

  122. I also wouldn’t want him (or Cathy) deciding they wanted to attack me.

    Endorsements of bad-assery from people on the Internet are so credible.

    Since you’re trolling him for kicks, by your own admission, why should any of the rest of us pay any attention to you?

    When did I say anyone should ‘listen to me’? I’ve just pointed out the spurious nature of the responses I’ve received. Eric once complained that people had knives out for him now that he’s famous. If you try to take a loosely-knit community and sell your narrow vision of it to the world, you can expect some people to disagree with you. If you frequently brag about your status and contributions to said community, doubly so.

  123. I don’t wish harm on anyone,but I think what has happened here is the logical outcome of advocating violence. Violence generally begets more violence and makes hatreds and divisions grow deeper. It is not surprising to me that somebody in Iran might write a death threat to an American who uses very derogatory language when describing Muslims, attacks their culture and religion, urges his government to invade Muslim countries, and generally advocates the use of violence to solve problems.

    This email also has to be understood in its proper context. The US government is actively drawing up detailed plans with the assistence of Isreal for attacking Iran and the American president regularly vilifies Iran and is trying to get the entire world to embargo Iran. It doesn’t surprise me if some Iranian might feel anger toward the US and people tend to lash out irrationally and make threats when they feel threatened. I imagine that many Iranians are terrified about what the US is going to do to their country. In many ways I see comments of ESR and many in this list as being born out of fear, and I see this death threat as having a similar source. ESR feels threatened by Muslim culture and he turns to violence as a means to conquer what he fears. Muslims in turn feel that they are being assaulted, and they turn to violence in response. It is an endless cycle.

    What bothers me most in these comments is the way that people seem to relish the idea of someone attacking ESR and ESR blowing him/her way. What kind of sickenness does this reveal in people who live by the code of violence? To glory in the killing of others is a sickness, not something to laud and laugh about.

  124. Amosbatto,

    actually, on one hand, I can understand your position – it is one of classical humanism, and it is deeply rooted in the concept of human equality. And I respect this, but I think the problem is that people are equal, but what they are doing is not. I think this is the false concept that’s called multiculturalism, to hold actions of completely different ethical value as equal. Yes, violence begets violence but there is a difference between using violence for defending a civilization of human values and one used for threatening it. There is a difference between civilization where kindness is considered a virtue and where it is considered a weakness. There is a difference between people who can be reasoned with and between those who understand only from being beaten. And this difference if of course not rooted in the nature of the people, but is accidental, is rooted in the circumstances – but the difference still exists, and we still cannot just ignore it.

    The important thing to understand is the difference between the absolute and relative levels of reality. On the absolute level, terrorist are just like us and I actually feel sorry for them – they are just uneducated folks brainwashed and indoctrinated in a religion of hate, and they can’t help being what they are. I can completely understand why you don’t like violence – on the absolute level, I don’t like it too.

    However, on the relative level, we must be practical. As one of my friends put it: “On the absolute level, it’s same whether I eat a turkey or it eats me, but on the relative level I just prefer it the first way I think.” Understanding things on the absolute level must not stop us from acting practically on the relative level, even when we don’t like doing so. What other choice is there, besides using violence? Do you really think they can be negotiated and bargained with? The Afghan talibs got a lot of support from the US for fighting Soviet invaders, especially anti-helicopter weaponry – did it make them behaving reasonably towards the Western World, either out of gratitude or self-interest or anything else? No.

  125. Flypaper theory… excellent. Exactly this is what I always thought the real reason to be behind the Iraq war. I don’t think it has been an afterthought – I think any decision maker with an IQ of somewhat higher than that of mushrooms must have been able to figure out that if the US Army is good but internal security is not (9/11), then it’s best to arrange things so the terrorists would waste their time and lives trying to fight the Army.

  126. There’s no hint of an ideological background in this “death threat,”

    Here’s a hint: the message’s subject.

    I suppose we can all get back to less dramatic exchanges once the subject field is populated by the ever more understood and familiar “screw you a**hole!”.

  127. Every time you make a comment without bashing Eric, I’m going to kill a kitten. Please, think of the kittens!

    Sincerely,
    God

  128. To make my previous point more clear: what are, actually the cultural differences I mean between Western Civilization and Islam? No, it’s not liberty or human rights. These stuff are of course important, but they are rarely got 100% intact in international conflicts. The really important cultural gap is the concept of bargain. After Communism ended here in Hungary in 1989, our general experience with the West is, either political negotiations, or investors, or international trade, or tourism, or NATO or EU accession and whetever else, is that these are folks who generally believe in a fair deal, a honest quid pro quo, and you can generally can negotiate with them, bargain with them, reason with them and either cut a fair deal or when you cannot or don’t want to, then they just leave you alone and you are free to do what you want. This is strongly different to what my granddads told about the experiences in Fascism, what my parents told and my childhood experiences were with Communism, and what now the general situation is with Islam – that those folks have a “No bargain, I do what I want and can and you be damned” way of thinking.

    I think the whole Middle East conflict should be viewed from this viewpoint. The real difference between Israel and Hamas for example is not that Israel observes human rights and the Hamas does not, actually, Israel did a lot of ugly things as well, and the Hamas has a kind of charitable activity as well, so the situation is not black and white. Things are simply not that simple. No, the real difference is that you can bargain with Israel, negotiate with Israel, reason with Israel and CAN arrive to a deal sooner or later. But you cannot bargain witht the Hamas – they know no trade-off, no quid pro quo.

    This is the important cultural difference.

  129. He who lives by the sword etc etc … My take has always been that people who espouse firearms are chickenshit, kinda like most of the right wing.

    Afraid to fight man to man, usually for good reason.

    PenGun
    Do Whta Now ??? … Standards and Practices !

  130. Another thing: Western terrorists like the IRA, PIRA or ETA always had demands that would not be inherently impossible to comply with. This is the reason that the those sitations got finally solved by negotiation. Muslim terrorists still don’t accept the mere existence of Israel, so their implicit demand for Israel is suicide en masse and for America is to stand idly while it happens. They never even tried to make reasonable offers, such as Israel retreating to the UN-sanctioned 1948 borders and leaving the Palestinian state alone in return for peace. This is what I call the impossibility of bargain – America and Israel just can’t make an offer they would accept. This is why all the heart-bleeding of using violence is unacceptable – what else can you do with a criminal who does not accept to take your wallet and spare your life, but insist that you commit suicide or stand idle while your friend is forced to do that? Why is it so hard to accept that sometimes there is no other choice but resorting to violence? Gandhi won one conflict but it does not mean he could have won all kinds of them.

    When I was six years old, I punched a classmate in the mouth so that one of his teeth broke. This was quite an unusual activity from a bookworm like me, and actually had bad conscience for that for long until my dad managed to persuade me that I should not have. This happened after I asked him three times that don’t kick me in the shin whenever he comes near, because it hurts and therefore it’s not fun. Sometimes you do have to decide whether the other party is open to negotiation or not, and if the situation is really unacceptable to you, you have to make your point clear through other ways. That does not make one inhuman, violent, aggressive, boasting, macho, trigger-happy or stuff like that. It’s just a sad necessity. Sometimes diplomacy needs to be continued by other means, whene there is no other choice.

    And when you are not the only possible victim, it might even be an ethical obligation for others, not just a necessity for self-defense. Once a Tibetan lama visited a shooting range in Denmark and people got quite surprised how well he shot. He then told that he is from eastern Tibet, Kham, where there were a lot of criminals, and therefore even the monks always carried rifles. Some people got quite upset, because it did not fit really fit the “peace, joy and sweet cakes” stuff from Dharamsala. And the lama got really surprised – how, he asked, could one responsibly accept the position of a teacher if he has no means and skills to protect his students from harm? Well, this is what I think of violence.

  131. Eric, if I had ever accepted your bet, it would have only been after negotiation of the terms. First, the $1k would have gone to a “worthy cause” (still meets your “pain” requirement, but actually does some good), with an added kicker that the loser had to do something silly, such as having you pose in an ELER t-shirt.

    And, as it says right in the ELKS FAQ, “Note that ELKS is not Linux,”

    Alan Cox (at least) understands the limitations of even attempting to run a linux kernel on a Z/80:

    See also the ELKS site and search for any Z/80: http://elks.sourceforge.net/introduction.html

    Fact: there is no Z/80 port of ELKS, or any other linux.

    But I am amused by your bluster.

  132. There is another reason for the increase in oil and gasoline prices – increased competition from modernizing countries, especially China. As other countries modernize, they will naturally need more oil, competition for a more or less fixed flow (without more drilling) will naturally raise prices. New drilling is going to be limited by oil companies because of their fear of ridiculous “excess profits” taxes. These price increases will **not** be temporary – there will be normal ups and downs, but around a higher base price.

  133. All threats should be taken seriously. Only a moron will think otherwise. It is your responsibility to protect your family and yourself and not the police.

  134. Jim:

    Perhaps you forget that you were the one that first offered to make that bet (“…but I’m willing to bet real money that most of them won’t hold up.”), but some of us haven’t.

  135. billswift:

    Yes, that’s part of it. Another part is the complete lack of new refineries being built over the last 30 years or so. (Or something like that, anyway.) Part of that is due to not-in-my-backyard mentality, and part of it is due to environmental regulation. (Not that either of those are bad, but they’re pretty obviously to blame for the higher gas prices we have now.)

    Gasoline is an inelastic market; the demand curve is pretty much vertical. The only way to elasticize it is to come up with an alternative that actually works (not E85; that ends up costing you more in the end, because you’re buying it more often — and probably not hydrogen either, because at the moment we use more fossil fuels to make hydrogen than we’d save by not using gasoline). But it’s not necessarily required to make it an elastic market, either — if we could raise the supply (get more refineries somehow or other), we could lower prices.

  136. Adrian: “I was hoping to get an opinion from someone who’d actually served and used weapons for what they’re designed for about this. Didn’t mean you to get hung up on the satire, sorry about that.”
    Depends on the person and the situation. In that order.

  137. Big_Hack
    YOU ARE A BIG PIECE OF SHIT.
    You root for the enemy right?
    You are disgusting. Pooping on other people’s blog.
    Disgusting.

  138. BIG_HACKING Says: May 23rd, 2006 at 5:07 am

    “I wouldn’t be caught dead posting in the pretentious ‘blogosphere’ community, let alone in the blog of a nutcase of Eric’s calibre.”

    I only wish that were true…

  139. Depends on the person and the situation. In that order.

    Well, the person is Eric, at home with some guns – possibly a Mossberg, I don’t know the details. And the situation is currently that there’s a slim chance that he’s being stalked by the dumbest jihadi assassin ever, but probably not. But his *claim* appears to be that having the guns (but never having used them in anger) he’s somehow more “adult” than some poor schmuck like me who’s only got a rusty climbing axe to hand in case of the rather rare Japanese Home Invasion Burglary. Someone said they were going to get a gun (because of the jihadi), and his response was:

    And another Westerner graduates to ethical adulthood. Congratulations.

    I don’t know if I’m explaining this very clearly, maybe I’d better ask Eric C.

  140. Shenpen,
    What other choice is there, besides using violence? Do you really think they can be negotiated and bargained with?

    It is important that we understand a few things. First of all, we must understand that much of Muslim terrorism is coming out of modern Western society. It is more a reflection of Western culture than a reflection of traditional Muslim cultures. If you actually look at most of the Al Quaeda terrorists, you will find that many of them either grew up in Europe or spent years studying in the West. All the Madrid and London terrorists had grown up in Spain and Great Britain respectively. As second generation immigrants, they experienced a profound sense of alienation. Unlike most muslims who grew up secure in their culture and their surroundings, they grew up in a place which they felt had rejected them and they turned to violence as the way to lash back. Look carefully at the life of Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 terrorists. He was not very religious or radical as a young man growing up in Eygpt. After he spent 6 years studying architecture in Germany, however, his Egyptian friends report that he returned to Eygpt as a religious fundamentalist and a member of Al Quaeda. If you look at the origin of the Muslim Brotherhood–the first radical islamic party, it was actually founded by people imitating Western radical parties–they even adopted Western dress. The Muslim Brotherhood in turn gave birth to Hamas. Francis Fukuyama recently wrote a book talking about how Islamic terrorism has grown out of the experience of alienation that rootless Muslims feel when living in Western society. When we look at Al Quaeda, it was actually a phenomena deeply entwined in US foreign policy and contact with the US. Not only did the US decide to deliberately get the USSR to invade Afganistan so that they would be weakened by their own Vietnam–read the memoirs of Carter’s secretary of state who brags about doing this. We not helped arm and train the Islamic fundamentalists who operated in Afganistan, we helped provoke the war which forged the future Taliban and Al Quaeda. The 3 places which have served as the training grounds of Islamic terrorism (Afganistan, Palestine, and Iraq) all arose out of policy decisions of the US and Israel. Robert Pape, who has done the most extensive study of Suicide Terrorism to date, also concludes that you can’t blame traditional islamic religion for the origin of suicide terrorism. In his study he finds that suicide terrorism was almost never used as a tactic until 1982 when it was used by Shiites in Lebonon who attacked a US base. This attack caught everyone’s attention, because the US decided to close down the base and go home after the attack. Why did Hezbollah decide to try this novel tactic? Their homeland had been invaded by Isreal and the US decided to set up bases on their homeland. They were feeling very desperate and impotent in the face of all this military power arrayed against them, so they tried a act of desperation and everyone was shocked when it worked and convinced the US to pack up and leave. From that time forward suicide terrorism became a widely employed tactic in a number of conflicts around the world–in almost every case according to Pape, the prime reason is the presence of foreign combat troops on lands that the suicide terrorists claim to be their homeland. If you look at the 3 demands of Al Quaeda they were all three related to moving combat troops out of Muslim lands: US out of Iraq, US out of Saudi Arabia, and Isreal out of Palestine. Read what Michael Scheuer, the guy who headed the CIA’s Osama bin Laden Unit between 1996-1999, has to say about the origin of Al Quaeda. In his book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror, Scheuer argues that Al Quaeda was born as a response to US foreign policy and Al Quaeda’s influence is growing because Muslims hate US foreign policy, not because they hate our culture or freedoms.

    My point is that we need to understand that much of Muslim terrorism arises out of contact with Western cultures and some of it is really part of Western culture. Secondly we need to realize that it is largely a response to our policies. How do we go forward? First of all, we need to understand why Muslim youths growing up and studying in the West are feeling such alienation and turning to radical Islam. I would suggest that this is partly the result of not being accepted in Western society (call it racism if you will). But just as important is the fact that modern Western lifestyles are very rootless and perceived as being devoid of meaning and appeal. When many of the 9/11 terrorists were studying in the West, they found a radical group which offered them an alternative.

    The second thing is we have to change our foreign policy which is causing Muslims to hate us. Invading Iraq and Afganistan, stationing troops all over the muslim world, and supporting dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Eygpt, Algeria, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, while trying to topple the democratically elected governments of Palestine and Iran are all policies which have made us hated through out the Muslim World and feed terrorism.

    Finally, no matter who propaganda you may have read, the fact is that Isreal is engaged in a deliberate policy of stealing Palestinian lands and the US is sending 3 billion dollars a year to Isreal to support it. The question is not whether we can negotiate with the Palestinians, who by all accounts are largely defenseless; rather the question is whether there is any way to negotiate with an Isreali government which determined to steal Palestinian land and who is using overwhelming force to do it.

    I don’t say this lightly. My own father was a victim of a Palestinian suicide bombing in Aug 1995 and was almost killed. I have spent a long time studying why a Palestinian would decide to step on a bus and blow himself up. The more I studied what has happened to the Palestinians, the more I have come to realize that my dad was not just an American tourist who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in many ways my dad was a victim of his own country’s foreign policy which has promoted the theft of the Palestinian homeland and turned many to violence.

    Do I hold that Palestinian man who tried to kill my father responsible? Sure. We are all responsible for what we decide to do in life–otherwise morality is meaningless. But nobody makes their choices in a vacuum and people have reasons for deciding to turn to violence. We need to understand why people turn to violence. I firmly believe that the best way to reduce violence in Palestine is to dismantle the Isreali settlements and dismantle the wall, which is really just a ploy to grab more Palestinian land. Assassinating Hamas leaders will do nothing to stop the root cause of the violence in Isreal, it only feeds it. Similarly, killing all the members of Al Quaeda will do little to stop violent Islamic fundamentalism –in fact it will only feed it. You can’t defeat Al Quaeda militarily. Groups with only minor contacts with Al Quaeda are now carrying out attacks in its name. You can’t kill them all. As fast as you kill them, more will appear. Clearly we need to question a foreign policy based upon violence.

  141. Amos,

    What I hear from you is:

    A. It’s all our fault.
    B. Stop doing whatever it is we’re doing.
    C. Stop being what we are.
    D. Stop supporting anyone but Muslims.
    E. Stop worrying and send terrorists money.

    And this leads to peace?

  142. “…his *claim* appears to be that…he’s somehow more “adult” than some poor schmuck…”

    I think you’ve seriously misinterpreted ESR, Adrian…or maybe I have…but working on the assumption that I’m on the fellas wavelength about this whole ‘gun’ thang…this is *not* a statement claiming some superficial superiority of adult maturity (“I’m all grown up, you’re still a child”), although there is an abstract element of that involved. What I think he’s getting at is the way in which being a responsible gun owner drives a person towards engaging reality head-on. The “adult” aspect reflects how, as through our entire lives (hopefully!) we progress from limited childish appreciations of reality (perhaps hindered in part by our parents’ desires to shelter us), through to a mature, adult awareness of the more uncomfortable truths of life…and by doing so, enabling ourselves to make suitably mature decisions on how to deal with such truths. ESR’s “Ethics” essay is refreshingly honest, and pretty eerily reflects my experience, my ‘enlightenment’ if you will, as I ‘stepped up’ and fully accepted my civic duty as an armed American.

    As for you and your rusty climbing axe…don’t poke your eye out ;-)

  143. The more I studied what has happened to the Palestinians, the more I have come to realize that my dad was not just an American tourist who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in many ways my dad was a victim of his own country’s foreign policy which has promoted the theft of the Palestinian homeland and turned many to violence.

    Amos, this is just pathetic and sad. What shades of grey is your world colored in that murder is excused as a political testament by those who willfully choose to ignore other avenues? By your definition, the acts of madmen are excused by whatever convenient political or social ill can be tied to them with expediency. Kill a cop? It was poverty’s fault. Kill Eric? It was Bush’s fault. Detonate a thermonuclear weapon in NY harbor? We had it coming.

    If we were having a drink, I’d get up and leave.

  144. What shades of grey is your world colored in

    America : where a refusal to see everything as black and white is considered a personality flaw.

  145. Amosbatto:

    I think that you need to be careful when promoting such infection narratives, because if accepted they actually establish a justification for genocide against muslim populations.

    Please Consider:

    If ethnic muslims cannot tolerate contact with western influences, yet their societies have now been infected by western influences, then these societies will remain unreformed and continue to endorse terroristic ideologies. There is no way to return these cultures to the pristine social condition that you hypothesize.

    The influence of leftist doctrines on various terrorist groups and social movements in the region is well documented. But this ‘cross-pollination’ was promoted to engender a similar state of affairs to that you propose – to create ‘authentic’ ethnic muslim societies capable of resisting the imposition of western political and cultural influences, and to relieve these societies of the desperate cultural alienation that purportedly motivates their aggression.

    So, by this reading, ethnic muslim ‘anger’ is a western creation as is its manifestation as terrorism.

    Shouldn’t we therefore expect that any form of interaction, regardless of motivation, between western and muslim cultures may produce unrestrainable violence? An example being the barracks bombing in Lebanon that you mention. Here the attack was motivated by a US presence in the region, and the US withdrawal has inspired a heightened level of violence globally. But were the US to have remained in Lebanon, surely this would have inspired further violence as well.

    This perspective leads to the assumption that the conflict is effectively irresolvable. And though regretable, it may require a ‘final solution’. This is certainly not a position that I advocate.
    ———-
    Excuse me for using your father as a foil, but your conception of his true identity is illustrative of my point.

    If your father was not an innocent bus rider, but a token of American policy, and the man who attempted to kill your father was actually attacking American policy, himself being a token of muslim humiliation, then we needn’t concern ourselves with the morality of violence against muslim people. This is simply a contest between competing effigies of power.

  146. Amosbatto,

    It’s not really surprising to me that the modern form of terrorism grew out of contact with the West, actually, I always suspected that these guys must have learnd something from the Baader-Meinhof group and others. By mentioning alienation, you are actually going towards a very clever direction, I think: I always felt that people who think like me are fighting a war on two fronts.

    One of the front is, yes, alienation, the fact that our societies are growing increasing cold, non-humane, materialist and bad to live in. Maybe in America it’s a less problem, because you somehow managed to maintain a strong sense of community despite (or because of?) your individualism, but here in Europe alienation is really painful. We clearly need some reforms, maybe not political ones, but simply civil movements introducing new ways of thinking. Luckily, it seems Nature favors balance: although a lot of insane left-wing French intellectuals spoilt our way of thinking, there is a very interesting “New Right” movement in France that seems to have some quite good answers to these problems. I think it started with Simone Weil’s book, The Need For Roots, I suggest you to read at least the few pages available online on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415271029/sr=8-1/qid=1148497703/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-6210154-6540658?%5Fencoding=UTF8
    Another interesting solution might be the GRECE society of Alain de Benoist: http://www.alphalink.com.au/%7Eradnat/debenoist/alain9.html – I’d suggest you to read that too.

    The the front of the war is those who – possibly exactly due to these problems in Western culture – think the Western culture is worthless and seek to destroy it: Muslim extremists, and those extreme moonbats who call themselves left-wing in the US and Western Europe and call themselves right-wing here in Eastern Europe but both of them sport a quite direct anti-globalisation, anti-consumerism, anti-business, anti-modernity behaviour. The problem is that they want to throw the baby out with the water: by attacking westernism as a single entity, they are also attacking the merits of it: human rights, liberty, democracy, equality and so on.

    Therefore this problem is not black or white. Sucking up to Bush or supporting people like Michael Moore would both be errors: Western society needs to reform itself, to rediscover the value of people, human exchange, communities, and generally understand that our happyness is inherently rooted in our human relations, cars and houses just won’t make us happy. However, those who think Western society is beyond all repair – and these islamists are in this category – need to be stopped and if there is no other way, need to be killed: because they would destroy that too what’s noble and worthy in our societies and introduce a new Dark Age. And we just cannot let them.

    What I again miss from your thoughts is the clear ethical judgement. Did Muslim immigrants in Europe feel alienated and living in a rootless society? Understandable. I feel that too. But that’s no fucking excuse to murder people. I can’t fucking kill my wife – if I had – if she is fat and annoying. This is the point you should understand. They had all the chance in the world to try legal reforms against alienation or just go home if they don’t think it would be successful. They chose to try to destroy that society that accepted them, nurtured them, taught them in the universities and so on. They are like the spoilt rich kid who tortures animals just out of boredom. They need to face the consequeces. We can understand them, but understanding a criminal should not stop us from stopping him, using whatever force is necessary to do it. We can see the both sides of the situation, but if it makes us forget self-defense and clear ethical judgement between right and wrong, we soon will live in dhimmitude.

  147. >Similarly, killing all the members of Al Quaeda will do little to stop violent Islamic fundamentalism –in fact it will only feed it. You can’t defeat Al Quaeda militarily. Groups with only minor contacts with Al Quaeda are now carrying out attacks in its name. You can’t kill them all. As fast as you kill them, more will appear. Clearly we need to question a foreign policy based upon violence.

    Classic appeasement amos, that reminds me of the story of the shipwrecked
    people at sea surrounded by sharks, and after the eating starts the appeaser
    yells out, They Are Going To Eat Me Last!

  148. “…It sounded cool when you sad you were well-armed LOL! :-)
    I think it is very cool, all this. I hate Islam so much…”

    I take this to mean that your stance on gun control has matured, and you will be updating your website accordingly ;-)

  149. >I take this to mean that your stance on gun control has matured, and you will be updating your website accordingly ;-)

    Aaaah! You checked my web site! That’s funny! :-)

    No, I do like gun control. However, I do not live in USA so that’s not the problem here. Let’s say it should be illegal with guns. Then maybe very less should be killed. Then it’s worth it. I have seen Bowling for Columbine but I’m not totally brainwashed. But let’s say a test for one year without guns in USA. Just a thought…

  150. >> My point is that we need to understand that much of Muslim terrorism arises
    >> out of contact with Western cultures and some of it is really part of Western culture.

    That is one thing The Left and The Terrorists have in common: The “not my/your/our fault” reflex.

    The Left’s favorite excuse, used by terrorists. No wonder they seem so disoriented lately.

  151. this is *not* a statement claiming some superficial superiority of adult maturity (”I’m all grown up, you’re still a child”), although there is an abstract element of that involved.

    An abstract element is good enough for me. Understand, I have no problem with guys tooling up and feeling a little manlier as a result, that’s perfectly natural. It’s when they start to construct philosophies around it that the impulse to…put together a few theories of my own becomes overwhelming. The whole “sheepdog” thing gets on my tits, in fact, although no one here has got quite as carried away as this idiot the tendency is still floating around. But the Muslim hordes will not be riding up the Shenandoah valley burning the homesteads, and the only workout your guns are likely to receive is either ventilating some mentally retarded Hispanic who was hoping to rummage through your garden shed to find something to sell at a flea market or if guys like me turn out to have been right about Peak Oil, in which case we may well all find ourselves living in interesting times, as the Chinese apparently do not say.

    I’d like a military opinion, but it looks like our ex-service contingent here is going to choose the discreet option over whether Eric’s being an arse or not – it wouldn’t be community-spirited, after all.

    As for you and your rusty climbing axe…don’t poke your eye out ;-)

    I’m really looking for a nice baseball bat – maybe one of those aluminium ones…

  152. > But let’s say a test for one year without guns in USA. Just a thought…

    I’ll bite – how are you going to implement this test?

    (1) How are you going to take away existing guns? Are there any relevant differences between the folks who give up guns willingly and the ones who don’t? Are there any relevant differences between the folks who are known to have guns and the ones who have them but no one knows about it? (The latter group includes all convicted felons.) Are you going to search everyone and everywhere? If not, how effective is your search likely to be?

    (2) How are you going to stop new guns from showing up in the hands of the folks that are worth disarming? (The vast majority of with-gun crimes are committed by a small, fairly unrepresentative, fraction of the population. The rest of us aren’t worth disarming.) Remember, the number of gun crimes/year in the US, while seemingly large, is actually small enough that it would take a small fraction of the known drug smuggling volume to supply a new gun for every gun crime. They’re also easy to make. (I’ve done so.) Are you also going to disarm police? (This is important because police leak and gun control won’t make police more trustworthy. An interesting fraction of the with-gun murders committed during the worst of DC’s “murder capital” years were committed with guns that police had confiscated and “lost”.)

    (3) Suppose someone uses a (now) illegal gun to defend herself/her family. What do you want to do to that person? What do you think that you’ll actually be able to do? (Do you think that a jury will convict? If not, how do you plan to do what you want to do?)

    FWIW, massive confiscation has been tried (albeit not in the US). I’ll judge some of your answers based on that experience. If you think that the US will be different, be sure to explain why.

  153. Joakim Olsson Says:
    May 24th, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    “No, I do like gun control. However, I do not live in USA so that’s not the problem here. Let’s say it should be illegal with guns. Then maybe very less should be killed. Then it’s worth it. I have seen Bowling for Columbine but I’m not totally brainwashed. But let’s say a test for one year without guns in USA. Just a thought…”

    I’ve never understood what kind of mindset leads to this sort of conclusion. Criminals don’t hand in their weapons after bans are introduced, only honest law-abiding citizens do. The very ones that need to be able to defend themselves from the ones who didn’t hand them in.

  154. >What I think he’s getting at is the way in which being a responsible gun owner drives a person towards engaging reality head-on.

    Got it in one, Dan.

  155. >My take has always been that people who espouse firearms are chickenshit, kinda like most of the right wing. Afraid to fight man to man, usually for good reason.

    You lose, at least if you think you’re talking about me. I’m a long-term martial artist with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and years of other training in aikido and kung-fu; also, I’m a competent swordsman in two different styles. There are things I’m genuinely afraid of, but man-to-man combat is not one of them, no sirree.

    (Oddly enough, I suspect that rationally speaking I should be more scared of it than I am. But I just don’t seem to be wired to feel that kind of fear strongly. I don’t claim this as a virtue, it’s more some sort of accidental glandular-balance thing. I think I might blog about this.)

    In general, as a group, firearms owners are the least chickenshit people I know. Also, interestingly enough, the best-mannered.

  156. esr:
    >In general, as a group, firearms owners are the least chickenshit people I know. Also, interestingly enough, the best-mannered.

    Heinlein’s “Beyond This Horizon” features the motto: ‘an armed society is a polite society.’

    BIG_HACKING:
    >Keep digging, Eric.

    Why do you bother?

  157. “…Understand, I have no problem with guys tooling up and feeling a little manlier as a result…”

    Errr…why not? I do. And this is precisely the viewpoint/attitude I was challenging…it is *not* about feeling ‘more of a man’.

    “…that’s perfectly natural…”
    Perhaps. For an immature dope. This is not to say that I do not find the experience of mastering such power inspiring, I do…recreational/tactical shooting is *fun*, and I unashamedly admit getting a huge rush out of it…but everything in context…I *do not* therefore feel like a superhuman macho man packing iron. My decision to carry (in everyday life) is one based on humility and sober engagement of reality, as well as my personal belief in the virtues of being responsibly armed.

    “…It’s when they start to construct philosophies around it that the impulse to…put together a few theories of my own becomes overwhelming…”
    ‘The Cult of the Gun’…I guess…I can also see the utility of some of these ‘philosophies’, as effective patterns for communicating (perhaps tacitly) the underlying rationale of an armed citizenry.

    “…The whole “sheepdog” thing gets on my tits…”
    Isn’t there a “Parable of the Sheep” on ESR’s catb.org site? I thought it was excellent…although I had read something similar in Grossman’s writings. My memory is hazy…

    “…the Muslim hordes will not be riding up the Shenandoah valley burning the homesteads…”
    Quite so. They will not. We guarantee it.

    “…the only workout your guns are likely to receive is either ventilating some mentally retarded Hispanic…”
    We do see an alarming increase in hispanic gang presence in these parts…and they are pretty darned retarded…165gr @ 1100fps is probably doing them a kindness. We also have the hackneyed black-on-black violence. However, all of the above tend to confine themselves to wallowing in their own filth, but still…*they* offer no guarantees of neat compartmentalization.

    The workout my guns are most likely to receive, and *do*, is shooting the crap out of groundhogs, feral cats, and plywood targets ;-)

    “…if guys like me turn out to have been right about Peak Oil, in which case we may well all find ourselves living in interesting times, as the Chinese apparently do not say…”
    Given sufficient time, perhaps ‘you’ll’ eventually turn out to be right. I doubt you will be around to gloat and rub my nose in it though…and maybe we’ll all have personal ‘Mr. Fusion’ devices by then ;-)

  158. EXTERIOR: DAGOBAH–DAY

    With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of the many thick vines
    that grow in the swamp until he reaches the Dagobah statistics lab.
    Panting heavily, he continues his exercises–grepping, installing new
    packages, logging in as root, and writing replacements for two-year-old
    shell scripts in Python.

    YODA: Code! Yes. A programmer’s strength flows from code maintainability,
    but beware of Perl. Terse syntax… more than one way to do it…
    default variables. The dark side of code maintainability are they.
    Easily they flow, quick to join you when code you write. If once you
    start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny,
    consume you it will.

    LUKE: Is Perl better than Python?

    YODA: No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

    LUKE: But how will I know why Python is better than Perl?

    YODA: You will know. When your code you try to read six months from now.

    — Lorrie Wood

  159. > Afraid to fight man to man, usually for good reason.

    Yup, women have no right to personal safety.

    Why should my safety depend on whether I spend lots of time training to fight?

    > only workout your guns are likely to receive is either ventilating some mentally retarded Hispanic who was hoping to rummage through your garden shed to find something to sell at a flea market

    Interestingly enough, that’s actually not true, but you’d have to actually know the relevant stats instead of spouting bon mots.

    > or if guys like me turn out to have been right about Peak Oil

    And why would it be bad for us to be prepared for this situation? (However, as above, Adrian10 is assuming something that the relevant evidence suggests won’t happen; economic disruption doesn’t lead to violence in the US. Outside of the war on booze, the US was actually quite peaceful during the great depression. Then again, US violence has always been rather concentrated in ways that most people don’t seem to be aware of, ways which pretty much prove that gun control can’t reduce violence in the US.)

  160. >Then again, US violence has always been rather concentrated in ways that most people don’t seem to be aware of, ways which pretty much prove that gun control can’t reduce violence in the US.

    I’m not sure what Andy is thinking of exactly, but here’s one I know: violent crime is so concenterated in majority-black urban areas that outside them the U.S. has approximately the per-capita crime statistics of Switzerland.

  161. Eric, have you read All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence? The current thinking in the African-American community is that so-called “black violence” has roots that are white as can be. I’d be inclined to hear your take.

  162. Interestingly enough, that’s actually not true, but you’d have to actually know the relevant stats instead of spouting bon mots.

    So quote the relevant stats. I believe Dan’s in VA.

    “Bons mots” are usually standalone quips. Think Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, stuff like that.

    And why would it be bad for us to be prepared for this situation?

    Not bad at all, except being armed would be only a part of it. Being in a community that was capable of being self-sufficient for power, food and water is what you’d have to aim for. Lot of work.

    However, as above, Adrian10 is assuming something that the relevant evidence suggests won’t happen; economic disruption doesn’t lead to violence in the US.

    You’ve never had economic disruption like most of these scenarios produce.

    Then again, US violence has always been rather concentrated in ways that most people don’t seem to be aware of, ways which pretty much prove that gun control can’t reduce violence in the US.

    Who’s talking about gun control? That might be some other conversation. We’re talking about the purposes of being armed.

  163. >The current thinking in the African-American community is that [problem X] has roots that are white as can be.

    Yes, that’s always the case. For whenever time “current” is, and whatever “problem X” is.

    I lost patience with that kind of excuse-mongering years ago. It’s as racist and ultimately degrading as KKK propaganda.

  164. >>And why would it be bad for us to be prepared for this situation?

    > Not bad at all, except being armed would be only a part of it. Being in a community that was capable of being self-sufficient for power, food and water is what you’d have to aim for. Lot of work.

    No one claimed that having a gun was sufficient, just that it was useful. Now we find that it’s approaching necessary. The gun owners that I know are more likely to have extra food and other survival tools, and some relevant experience, than the non-owners. Assuming that correlation not coincidence or sampling error, I don’t know which way the causality runs or if there’s some other cause.

    Or, is Adrian10 suggesting that gun owners are incapable of the community work? If so, why? (They’re, on average, better educated and have higher incomes, which suggests some reasonable level of social skills.)

    Which reminds me – if preparing for such a collapse is a good thing, why is disparaging the folks who do so also a good thing?

  165. > “Bons mots” are usually standalone quips.

    “only workout your guns are likely to receive is either ventilating some mentally retarded Hispanic who was hoping to rummage through your garden shed to find something to sell at a flea market” is stand-alone. It’s arguably too long to be a quip, but ….

    But, if Adrian10 doesn’t like the label “bons mots”, I’m happy to switch to another term to refer to baseless chintugging. Any suggestions?

    One relevant stat comes from the fact that said “ventilation” would be either murder or manslaughter. The above suggests that such ventilation, committed by an otherwise peaceful person, is at least somewhat common. In the US, the vast majority of murders and manslaughters are committed by folks who happen to have a long history of violence. Yes, most murder/manslaughter convictions go to folks who haven’t previously been convicted of murder/manslaughter, but that’s partly because murder/manslaughter convictions typically result in sentences that are long enough to “age” the perp out of the prime murder/manslaughter years.

    The other relevant stat is that folks rarely get shot in that kind of circumstance. A lot of murder/manslaughter involves biz partners/competitors. Almost all of the rest is some sort of criminal assault. While unjustified defense as described is certainly a possibility, it seems to be extremely rare.

  166. > “black violence” has roots that are white as can be.

    Black violence exploded in the 60s and continued to increase through the 80s. What did white folks start to do to black folks in the 60s?

    The crack wars didn’t help, but it’s unclear how whitey forced black folks to fight over crack.

  167. No one claimed that having a gun was sufficient, just that it was useful. Now we find that it’s approaching necessary.

    What for? Eric says it’s like Switzerland out there, as long as you stay out of the rap-music-consuming areas. Is your groundhog population evolving tool use or something?

    The gun owners that I know are more likely to have extra food and other survival tools, and some relevant experience, than the non-owners.

    Having some consumables set by is nice for emergencies, but it ain’t long-term self-sufficiency.

    Or, is Adrian10 suggesting that gun owners are incapable of the community work? If so, why? (They’re, on average, better educated and have higher incomes, which suggests some reasonable level of social skills.)

    Of course they’re not *incapable*. They mostly strike me as too complacent to be bothered, though there are exceptions. And your sample selection process may be skewed if you use the people you know. You may be actively avoiding instructive counterexamples – or vice-versa, alas.

    Which reminds me – if preparing for such a collapse is a good thing, why is disparaging the folks who do so also a good thing?

    All this patting each other on the back and calling yourselves “sheepdogs” ‘cos you’ve got some hardware doesn’t constitute seriously preparing in my book, I’m afraid.

    What it is – in the time o’ the FFs, people had independent livelihoods, and were highly self-sufficient, and guns were an integral part of that. Now Western culture is so massively interdependent that focussing on gun ownership just looks like a distracting anachronism. Nobody wants to talk about scenarios – it’s just shapeless guff about “formation of the social character”. But social character doesn’t matter much until you hit a stressful patch.

    Then we’ll find out what it all means.

  168. “…So quote the relevant stats. I believe Dan’s in VA…”
    Oh crap…didn’t quite expect to be drawn into this in this way, but “that’s life”…lawd luv Esther Rantzen

    I can’t quote stats, not because they’re not available, but simply because this is too sudden…but I can provide testament to the *fact* that around these parts crime reduces to three levels: hispanic gang crime, black-on-black crime, and redneck-on-redneck crime. The latter is prone to involving elements of the prior two…usually in a drug-related sense.

    Nevertheless, the ugly truth (nationwide) is that crime and violence is a dirty stain most heavily borne by a certain subset of black society…something that honest folks like Bill Cosby have been trying to address. This may not fit the neatly sculptured multi-culti nigga-lovin’ left…but it is true…a degenerate cancer is eviscerating black society.

    And nobody around here tolerates it…black or white.

  169. “… Is your groundhog population evolving tool use or something?…”
    Play fair…you have no idea of the damage they do…they all deserve to die…and they’re tasty too ;-)

  170. >Eric says it’s like Switzerland out there, as long as you stay out of the rap-music-consuming areas.

    That’s right, and civilian firearms are a major part of the reason that’s so. In the U.S., just as in Switzerland.

    (Quibble: the “rap-music-consuming areas” include a lot of mostly harmless white teenagers.)

  171. >While unjustified defense as described is certainly a possibility, it seems to be extremely rare.

    So rare that it’s below statistical noise level, in fact. Studying the aggregate statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports is very instructive in this regard.

  172. “…Now Western culture is so massively interdependent that focussing on gun ownership just looks like a distracting anachronism…”
    There’s some truth here…and people like me are trying really hard to help the rest of you overcome it.

  173. >I can provide testament to the *fact* that around these parts crime reduces to three levels: hispanic gang crime, black-on-black crime, and redneck-on-redneck crime.

    Same in Philly, but probably with slightly fewer rednecks :-).

  174. “…Same in Philly, but probably with slightly fewer rednecks :-)…”

    ROFL

    I’ve been through PA…you’ve got your share of rednecks…OK…maybe *slightly* fewer ;-)

  175. “only workout your guns are likely to receive is either ventilating some mentally retarded Hispanic who was hoping to rummage through your garden shed to find something to sell at a flea market” is stand-alone. It’s arguably too long to be a quip, but ….

    It’s not even a complete sentence – you missed the bit about PO – and it’s profoundly not standalone, it’s completely pointless outside the conversation in which it took place (inserting “or in it” would be DUMB here, btw).

    A bon mot is something like “I have nothing to declare but my genius”, or “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think”, which I reckon was a setup. Or even “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, which so annoyed Heinlein.

    But, if Adrian10 doesn’t like the label “bons mots”, I’m happy to switch to another term to refer to baseless chintugging. Any suggestions?

    Not my job. You find ‘em, I’ll let you know when they’re wrong.

    One relevant stat comes from the fact that said “ventilation” would be either murder or manslaughter. The above suggests that such ventilation, committed by an otherwise peaceful person, is at least somewhat common.

    Oh dear…my use of satire is misfiring…again…look, the idea is that it’s pretty *unlikely* that even *very* retarded Hispanics are likely to try such things in VA. Hence the mocking tone “The only workout your guns are likely to receive…” – I’m saying Dan doesn’t have all that much *defensive* need for his guns, except for the groundhogs, obviously.

  176. Adrian: You’ve never had economic disruption like most of these scenarios produce.

    Just by way of comparison, 9/11 caused US Stocks to fall and lower Manhatten to suffer a significant recession / depression. Does that count, given that the fourth largest business district in the US was devastated. I would reckon that this would make it larger than some other countries’ economies.

    eric: Same in Philly, but probably with slightly fewer rednecks

    Rednecks are ubiquitous, thank God.

  177. Andy Freeman asks “Black violence exploded in the 60s and continued to increase through the 80s. What did white folks start to do to black folks in the 60s?”

    Welfare.

  178. Does that count, given that the fourth largest business district in the US was devastated.

    I wouldn’t have thought so. 9/11 wasn’t all that big a deal, other than psychologically. The airlines suffered, of course.

    I would reckon that this would make it larger than some other countries’ economies.

    Yeah, sure, but nobody cares about Luxembourg or Sri Lanka. It’s kind of academic – nearly all you guys are convinced of the ability of the market to pull solutions to energy shortages out of its butt at an ever-increasing rate thanks to the infinite power of human ingenuity. We’re not really on the same page on this one, which is why I brought it in as part of a satirical point I was making about Dan’s ever needing to use his guns on anything human.

  179. >9/11 wasn’t all that big a deal, other than psychologically. The airlines suffered, of course.

    Not a big deal for you unless you lost a family member, friend, or were one of ~3,251 children that lost a parent on that day…

    and next time your on a airline just remember someone with authority has a fire arm, someone that has concern for human life…

    list of victims not including children…
    see: http://www.september11victims.com/september11victims/victims_list.htm

  180. That’s right, and civilian firearms are a major part of the reason that’s so. In the U.S., just as in Switzerland.

    Switz has a pretty different history, though – no big disaffected minorities that I’ve heard of. OTOH, they have let in some astounding number of immigrants in the last decade or two, so perhaps they’ll have one soon.

    (Quibble: the “rap-music-consuming areas” include a lot of mostly harmless white teenagers.)

    Spare me the wiggas, I avoid them on aesthetic grounds.

  181. “…Now Western culture is so massively interdependent that focussing on gun ownership just looks like a distracting anachronism…”
    There’s some truth here…and people like me are trying really hard to help the rest of you overcome it.

    Overcome the truth? Are you going to expand on this at some point?

  182. Andy Freeman asks “Black violence exploded in the 60s and continued to increase through the 80s. What did white folks start to do to black folks in the 60s?”

    Russ Nelson responds: “Welfare.”

    Russ, can you provide a rational arguement that welfare is (was?) the only, or even primary cause? If so, I’d like to hear it.

  183. “Switz has a pretty different history, though – no big disaffected minorities that I’ve heard of.”

    Or, rather, each of the three major ethnic groups there can feel like a minority compared to the other two. It’s interesting that 500 years are not enough for three ethnic groups locked in the same country to really mix: a tourist can instantly feel a definite difference when crossing the line between the German-speaking and francophone areas.

  184. “…I’m saying Dan doesn’t have all that much *defensive* need for his guns…”
    The awkward thing about this whole ‘need’ debate is that it illegitimately places a burden on gun-owners to prove advance knowledge of something unknowable…not to mention the conceit of establishing oneself as an arbiter of ‘need’.

    True, crime around here is pretty low. Good. But it happens…and regardless of ‘probability’, it always happens to *someone*…the fact that it’s a 1 in 10,000 shot is of little consolation.

    And t’other day, it happened on my doorstep, figuratively speaking…a lunatic besieged a local business in a mall that I frequent, near my place of work. It really could have been my ass on the line…had I been there, perhaps only one person would have died (the lunatic) instead of two innocent workers.

    All I have to do to play my part in helping *keep* crime low around here, by providing a serious disincentive, is to remain responsibly armed…and have the criminals *know* what the rules of the game are. We don’t have “castle doctrine” in VA, but jurisprudence makes it pretty clear what our deadly force laws are…and the bad guys know it.

  185. PS. My response to boneheads that blather on about “if you have a need for a gun, you should be allowed one” is along the lines of:

    “Is there any person, or group of people, on this planet that can legitimately underwrite a guarantee of my safe passage through life?”

    Didn’t think so…there’s your ‘need’ ;-)

    I also bake some peoples’ noodles by saying “I fully endorse the 2nd Amendment, and I believe that no American should be allowed to own a gun”. If you ‘get it’, you’ll realize that that sentence is not contradictory…

  186. It really could have been my ass on the line…had I been there, perhaps only one person would have died (the lunatic) instead of two innocent workers.

    The young man in Tacoma, WA who opened fire was stopped and deterred from an extensive killing spree by at least three people who were carrying and drew. The News Trib article that referenced it is off-air.

  187. >> The gun owners that I know are more likely to have extra food and other survival tools, and some relevant experience, than the non-owners.

    >Having some consumables set by is nice for emergencies, but it ain’t long-term self-sufficiency.

    Experience/skills aren’t consumable and consumables buy time to get to self-sufficiency. To put it another way, if you’re going to be marooned on an island, it’s better to start with the professor and several weeks of food per person.

    > They mostly strike me as too complacent to be bothered

    I think that you’re misreading “I’m not going to try to save folks who haven’t prepared”. Selfish, yes, but it does help their odds considerably. If I’ve stashed 100 meals, I can feed myself for 50 days or 50 people for one day.

    In the “bad stuff happens” scenario, lots of people won’t make it. At best, we’re arguing about which ones. At worst, we’re arguing about how many, and equal distribution leads to fewer. Why shouldn’t the ones who stashed get a better shot?

    > Now Western culture is so massively interdependent that focussing on gun ownership just looks like a distracting anachronism.

    How much of that interdependence disappears in the Peak oil nightmare? If it mostly disappears….

  188. > Andy Freeman asks “Black violence exploded in the 60s and continued to increase through the 80s. What did white folks start to do to black folks in the 60s?”

    > Russ, can you provide a rational arguement that welfare is (was?) the only, or even primary cause? If so, I’d like to hear it.

    While we’re waiting, perhaps Thompson can tell us what the primary cause was. If it didn’t significantly change in the 60s or is something that also changed for whites, I’m going to ask how it made a difference then or mostly to Blacks.

    For example, TV ownership by blacks lagged TV ownership by whites somewhat so I wouldn’t be surprised to find that TV ownership among blacks exploded in the 60s, but since increased TV ownership didn’t cause a violence explosion among whites when their TV ownership increased, I’m skeptical that TV ownership matters. However, there is some data that indicates that I’m wrong.

  189. > While we’re waiting, perhaps Thompson can tell us what the primary cause was.

    Must you bait me, Andy?

    I doubt that Russ will provide a statistical corellation as the basis for his assertion. It is more likely that he will defend his statement via “economic theory”, and I imagine that he will assert that welfare causes joblessness (‘because it removes the incentive to work’) and that this joblessness has a strong statistical correllation with increased levels of crime in black communities. Nelson is free to retort if I’ve put words in his mouth, of course.

    In direct answer to your question, I don’t know what the cause is, but I do know that the question has been studied to some depth.

    There is a paper from September 1987 that studies the question titled, “Urban Black Violence: The Effect of Male Joblessness and Family Disruption” by Robert J. Sampson (then of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champange, now at Harvard.)

    This paper examines the relationships among unemployment, crime, and family disruption in the black “underclass.” The main hypothesis tested is that the effect of black adult male joblessness on black crime is mediated largely through its effects on family disruption. The study examines race-specific rates of robbery and homicide by juveniles and adults in over 150 U.S. cities in 1980. The results show that the scarcity of employed black men increases the prevalence of families headed by females in black communities. In turn, black familydisruption substantially increases the rates of black murder and robbery, especially by juveniles.

    Importantly, “these effects are independent of income, region, race and age composition, density, city size, and welfare benefits and are similar to the effects of white family disruption on white violence.”, negating the assertion (which Nelson has not made) that welfare->joblessness->crime.

    The paper concludes that there is nothing inherent in black culture that is conducive to crime. I think this an important result. Rather, persistently high rates on black crime appear to stem from the structural linkages among unemployment, economic deprivation, and family disruption in urban black communities. None of these are a direct (or even indirect) result of “welfare”.

    To be sure, I think that the current welfare system causes a lot of problems, but it also is a structural necessity for millions of people. The question of “welfare” is far from simple.

    But, as I said, I’d still like to hear Nelson’s argument that welfare is a direct (or even indirect) cause of the increased crime levels in urban black America.

  190. I think it is tendencious to assert that welfare (or joblessness, or poverty…) *causes* crime. There are plenty of people on welfare that do not turn to crime, which I imagine would not be the case if there was a truly causal relationship at play.

    I think it is more defensible to suggest that “welfare” is one of many factors that can *influence* environments, and lives, in directions conducive to fostering criminal behavior. If this is what you mean by “indirect cause” then there ya go…

  191. “…The paper concludes that there is nothing inherent in black culture that is conducive to crime…”
    Perhaps this betrays the paper’s relevance due to its age…the modern rise of the ‘gangsta-nigga’ subculture is very much inherently criminal.

  192. Dan,

    I read “Black Rednecks & White Liberals”, but found it a bit to Friedman-ist for my taste. Sowell has some good and valid points. That said, my view of the title essay is that Sowell is (somewhat subversively) trying to get blacks to reject ghetto gangsta culture as ‘a borrowing from poor white trash’, and thus not ‘authentic black’ culture.

    As for the relevance of the 1987 paper (based on 1980 census data), I doubt that the rise of a pop-culture movement (‘gangsta culture’) in parts of black America is a primary contributor to the conditions in poor urban black neighborhoods as much as it is a ‘celibration’ (in extremely poor taste) of the conditions in which poor black urban youth find themselves. In other words, ‘gansta culture’ is an effect of the high crime rates in urban black America, rather than cause of same. Is there feedback? Yes, but I doubt that ‘gangsta culture’ is self-actualizing.

    Regardless, I don’t dispute that welfare dependency can be a contributing factor to high rates of violence in urban black America. My concern is that Nelson appears to inflate the very existance of “Welfare” to a (even the) primary cause of same, and doesn’t provide any justifcation for his assertion.

  193. “…Sowell is (somewhat subversively) trying…”
    I thought it was rather blatant ;-) And timely…

    “…‘a borrowing from poor white trash’…”
    Not simply that, but of low-class Scottish immigrants! I had to choke that one down, my heritage being what it is… ;-)

    “…thus not ‘authentic black’ culture…”
    Quite…although I do wonder why anyone bothers trying to pinpoint ‘authenticity’ in cultures. Is there an ‘authentic’ black culture? What about white culture? Any culture, regardless of roots, is surely ‘authentic’ in its own right…what I think is in dispute is the notion that it is anything other than a shabby, toxic, degenerate, contrived culture of zero worth…and desperately *needs* to be rejected, and adamantly so!

    “…Yes, but I doubt that ‘gangsta culture’ is self-actualizing…”
    I can agree with this…but it is certainly cynical to the foulest degree…and indeed provides a crippling negative feedback.

  194. > I thought it was rather blatant ;-)

    But you (and I) are likely not the target reader, and thus were not subverted via an attack on ‘our’ culture (or one with which either of us tends to indentify or associate.)

    >Not simply that, but of low-class Scottish immigrants! I had to choke that one down, my heritage being what it is…

    Et Tu, Dan?

    > I do wonder why anyone bothers trying to pinpoint ‘authenticity’ in cultures.

    I used the quotes for a reason, likely the same reason you did. The ‘gangsta’ culture was invented (or at least co-opted) in order to engage in marketing and merchandising. While those who participate in “gansta culture” see themselves as radicals, outlaws and anarchists, they are in reality conforming to an image (the gangsta identity) manufactured by mass media, and large conglomerate corporations. They have created it, seizing on certain alternative politico-cultural trends in the African/Latin-American communities and forging this identity of the gangsta, simultaneously elevating it on a very high pedestal, one that is nearly impossible to reach by the youth to which it calls. They have then made it acceptable for this identity to be portrayed in their own channels as being representative of all minority urban youth. While one channel is spewing lyrics and images glorifying murder, rape, drug dealing, looting and lavish wealth as somehow being the only path to success for these youth; another channel is simultaneously reporting how “gangsta rap” is encouraging violent and delinquent behavior amongst these very same youth, and the apparently pressing need to “crack down” and “get tough” with these kids. It wouldn’t be uncommon for these channels to have common owners, stockholders, financiers, backers and investors.

    The news producers, MTV execs, rap artists and record producers, etc will tell us they’re just doing whatever makes the most money for them for the longest time. They are, in the eyes of an “economist”, acting in their own best interest. Maximizing the value of what they created, fuck the human cost or the cost to society, because in the eyes of (some) economists, these aren’t true “costs”.

    I guess it really is hard out here for a pimp, eh?

  195. “…I’m saying Dan doesn’t have all that much *defensive* need for his guns…”
    The awkward thing about this whole ‘need’ debate is that it illegitimately places a burden on gun-owners to prove advance knowledge of something unknowable…not to mention the conceit of establishing oneself as an arbiter of ‘need’.

    I wasn’t making any leap from “you don’t need them that much” to “you shouldn’t have them”. As I mentioned to Andy, I’m talking about the *reasons for being armed*. Nothing to do with gun control.

    Other than implicitly, I suppose…

    PS. My response to boneheads that blather on about “if you have a need for a gun, you should be allowed one” is along the lines of:

    …not reading what they’re actually saying, evidently.

  196. Experience/skills aren’t consumable and consumables buy time to get to self-sufficiency. To put it another way, if you’re going to be marooned on an island, it’s better to start with the professor and several weeks of food per person.

    I think you’re not getting what I’ve been saying about needing to be part of a community. Individual families probably aren’t going to be able to maintain a big enough skillset other than in ideal circumstances, which are unlikely to be the case. And sustainable communities don’t just happen AFAIK.

    I think that you’re misreading “I’m not going to try to save folks who haven’t prepared”. Selfish, yes, but it does help their odds considerably. If I’ve stashed 100 meals, I can feed myself for 50 days or 50 people for one day.

    In the “bad stuff happens” scenario, lots of people won’t make it. At best, we’re arguing about which ones. At worst, we’re arguing about how many, and equal distribution leads to fewer. Why shouldn’t the ones who stashed get a better shot?

    It’s always about watching the unworthy (especially liberals) perish with you guys, isn’t it? You should get along fine with the born-agains, they’re pretty big on that as well. But schadenfreude’s really meant for dessert. There’s something creepy about savouring it too much beforehand IMO.

    How much of that interdependence disappears in the Peak oil nightmare?

    Pretty much all. Everything gets really *local* again. Communications networks start to degrade – nobody’s making new stuff, so you’re just waiting on the MTBF of the old. Moore’s law is really dependent on cheap energy inputs AFAICT.

    But hey, maybe it’s all a fantasy peddled by the usual bunch of Cassandras, eh?

  197. > > While we’re waiting, perhaps Thompson can tell us what the primary cause was.

    > Must you bait me, Andy?

    Thompson “forgets” that he had just responded to Russ’ explanation with:
    > Russ, can you provide a rational arguement that welfare is (was?) the only, or even primary cause? If so, I’d like to hear it.

    If it’s fair for Thompson to dispute Russ’ explanation, how is it unfair to ask Thompson for his?

    > The study examines race-specific rates of robbery and homicide by juveniles and adults in over 150 U.S. cities in 1980.

    That’s nice it doesn’t tell us what changed in the 60s. It tells us what’s true in 1980. But, let’s run with it. Maybe whatever happened in the 60s disappeared and was replaced by something equally effective at inducing black violence.

    > The results show that the scarcity of employed black men increases the prevalence of families headed by females in black communities. In turn, black familydisruption substantially increases the rates of black murder and robbery, especially by juveniles.

    And why did employed black men become less common?

    > The paper concludes that there is nothing inherent in black culture that is conducive to crime. I think this an important result.

    It’s also a non sequitor in this discussion as no one has blamed “black culture”. At most, there’s some blame for “stupid culture” that is disproportionatly popular in the black comunity.

    >Rather, persistently high rates on black crime appear to stem from the structural linkages among unemployment, economic deprivation, and family disruption in urban black communities. None of these are a direct (or even indirect) result of “welfare”.

    Huh? Welfare makes employment less of a priority. AFDC has an even stronger connection to the “few employed men, more crime” theory that Thompson believes because it subsidizes children with little/no contact with employed men. (AFDC can produce this result even if it does nothing more than change the behavior of women who have children from “get a man with a job” to “get pregnant and kick him out”.)

    Yes, we still don’t know why it seems to have a greater effect on blacks. It could be something as simple as “more blacks in the economic rungs where the AFDC effect has greatest impact on male employment”.

    I don’t think that welfare/AFDC are necessarily the whole answer, but if Thompson’s “fewer employed men” theory is true, they’re likely to be a huge part of the answer.

    Thompson seems to disagree. Will he give up the “employed men” theory or his opposition to “welfare/AFDC had some negative consequences”?

  198. > I think you’re not getting what I’ve been saying about needing to be part of a community. Individual families probably aren’t going to be able to maintain a big enough skillset other than in ideal circumstances, which are unlikely to be the case. And sustainable communities don’t just happen AFAIK.

    I’ll ask again – why does Adrian10 believe that gun owners can’t be part of a community larger than an individual family? In my experience, they tend to be very active in networking to find folks with complementary skills/stashes. They are dismissive of folks who aren’t prepping, but that just gets us to our next point.

    > It’s always about watching the unworthy (especially liberals) perish with you guys, isn’t it?

    Nice snark, but unresponsive. I’ll ask again – why shouldn’t folks who stash food and go out of their way to develop relevant skills (and networks) benefit from those activities if stashed food, said skills, and networks become more relevant than they are today?

    > But schadenfreude’s really meant for dessert. There’s something creepy about savouring it too much beforehand IMO.

    Oh, so it’s thought crime. Fair enough. What is an acceptable attitude now? What if “they’re going to be hosed” is a meaningful motivator to prepping now?

    It is somewhat odd that Adrian10 both believes that bad times are coming and disparages folks who are prepping for said bad times in ways that seem extremely relevant. Perhaps he’ll tell us how folks should prepare.

    >> How much of that interdependence disappears in the Peak oil nightmare?

    > Pretty much all. Everything gets really *local* again. Communications networks start to degrade – nobody’s making new stuff, so you’re just waiting on the MTBF of the old.

    Why isn’t that an evironment where guns are extremely relevant? (I know folks who have shooting matches where they’re required to use guns and ammo that is 90+ years old. I’ve little reason to believe that modern stuff is less durable. Yes, they’ll run out, but it will take a while and during that time, they can rebuild the rather low level of tech necessary to produce guns and ammo. One interesting fact is that we now know a lot more about building guns with low-tech than we did before.)

  199. I did not advance the so-called “employed men” theory as my own, but rather advanced it as available from someone who quite likely has more experiance with the question than anyone here.

    I also never advocated a postion that claimed there are no negative consequences for “welfare” (or AFDC). However, there are valid economic reasons to have some welfare available as a ‘cushion’ rather than leaving people to beg or die in bad situations. I don’t support people being on welfare for more than a small number of years (at the maxium), and it would be best if there were some kind of “work it off” (or work while you’re on welfare) program to keep those who need the help “engaged”. Character is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products.

    Economists such as those that Nelson endorses are used to measuring the ‘standard of living’ by the amount of annual consumption, assuming all the time that a man who consumes more is ‘better off’ that a man who consumes less. There is a different economics that considers this approach excessively irrational: since consumption is merely a means to human well-being, the aim should instead be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption. . . . The less toil there is, the more time and strength is left for artistic creativity.

    Simply re-stated, I view ‘production’ as more the measure of a man’s worth than his posessions. Modern economics, on the other hand, considers consumption to be the sole end and purpose of all economic activity. Nelson’s economics endorses (if it does not actually cause) our modern mode of materialism, a society driven by a multiplication of wants. Given this, it is relatively easy to understand the so-called “gansta culture” and its pursuit of “bling-bling”, and “20s”.

    All that said, I’m still waiting to hear Nelson’s explaination for his one-word “answer”.

    As for 90+ year old “ammo”, I shot NRA high-power matches (with my grandfather’s NM M1 (Garand) for a number of years with a very large batch of 1967-1969 “Lake City” match-grade M1-ball that my father had acquired back then. It was still great at 20 years, but by the time it was nearing 30 years old the primers had started to deteriorate badly enough to result in an occasional misfire, (This will really screw your string if it occurs in the in rapid-fire portions of the match.)

    Also, some of the brass had started to corrode from some unknown reason. (It had lived most that 20-30 years in a desert environment.)

    So I broke it all down, tumbled the brass and bullets, re-primered it and re-loaded it with a very similar load of (fresh) powder.

    I understand you’re probably talking about something different, but there are limits, and I wouldn’t want to depend on 90 year old ammo in a life-or-death situation if there was something else available.

    I (too) had a carry permit (in Texas) for a number of years, and found that it was far more hassle to carry than it was worth. Perhaps I should have attempted it with something smaller than a compact 1911, but, as Hawaii doesn’t have a “shall issue” law (and requires registration, damn commies!), the question is fundamentally moot for me. Crime did drop (a lot) in Texas the year following the “shall issue” law, so there are postive effects from an armed society, even though the violent crime rate (per-capita) here is far lower than almost anywhere in Texas, so its not required that the population be armed.

    As for “why shouldn’t folks who stash food and go out of their way to develop relevant skills (and networks) benefit from those activities if stashed food, said skills, and networks become more relevant than they are today?”, quite simply, because it is unkind. Less “I got mine, mutha-fucker” would do our society a lot of good.

  200. “. . . the camel you rode in on . . .?”

    Surely you can do better than stooping to racist gutter-sniping, Mr. Raymond.

    The way we win is by dragging our opponents up to our level, not by descending to theirs.

    I don’t agree with your stance on many topics, but I do admire your ability to defend your point of view with wit, style, and class. Keep that up, and leave the trailer trash talk where it belongs.

  201. Jim Thompson asks “Russ, can you provide a rational arguement that welfare is (was?) the only, or even primary cause?”

    Not one you would understand, comprehend, grokk, or even be able to read without a dictionary.

  202. Jim Thompson speculates on various answers that I might give. I find it terribly amusing, in a sick sort of way, just like that youtube video of the newswoman stamping grapes, falls out, and pitifully moans in pain. Jim months ago forfeited any expectation of a serious answer from me. When I see evidence that he’s staying on his medications, I may consider giving him the time of day.

  203. Hi,
    It’s not bad if you sometimes doubt about what you are saying. About your beliefs. We are all human, we made mistakes.
    Have you ever read the Koran? all of it, not just a few versus?

    I just want to ask you some questions:

    Was it ISLAM who used atomic bombs in japan killing 150,000 people?
    Is it ISLAM providing chemical bombs for IRAQ in war with iran? Did ISLAM support IRAQ in that war?
    Is al-Qaeda an ISLAMIC group? or it’s a doll for USA to do what it wants? Wasn’t it USA who gives strength to al-Qaeda? Is there any real muslim liking them?
    Is it FREEDOM to make others accept your (western) definition of FREEDOM?
    Is it a low in Human Rights to make others accept your (western) definition of Human Right?
    Is it Democracy to make others accept your (western) definition of Democracy?
    How you are sure that your definitions and beliefs are right? You are invading to beliefs of more than 1 billion people, Are you sure it is right? Are you sure you have the right of that?
    I am sure the one who gave this threat is just angry, he can’t and won’t kill anyone. Real muslims are not allowed to do so.

  204. Jim Thompson speculates on various answers that I might give.

    Andy’s third-person affectation spreads like herpes.

  205. Adrian10: It’s just that doing those things is kind of dumb if you really want to kill someone.

    You mean like, say, Osama bin Laden telling us he hates us and intends to kill a bunch of us? Yep, pretty dumb. If we listen.

  206. Shenpen: These are really huge differences, I think in the Western society no other country has so huge cultural differences within.

    I understand what you are saying Shenpen, but I think that Europeans have a pretty monolithic view of the USA, when it comes to culture, that is very interesting. Bear in mind that the USA originally settled by Englishmen, followed by Dutch, Scottish Highlanders and Scots Irish. Then came waves of Germans, Italians, Hungarians (my mother’s family), Poles, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Cambodians and on and on. Not to forget, of course, the involuntary settlers from the African slave trade. You take people from literally every ethnic group on earth, move them to a new location, spread them out across an entire continent, and then kind mix ‘em all together. We have a tremendous amount of variety in cultures. Having lived in Europe and travelled fairly extensively while living there, I would say the cultural variety is greater than that found in going from Germany to Denmark, for example.

    I agree that the UK has a fairly wide variety of culture. For the same reason that the USA has. The UK has been a melting pot of cultures from around the world. Of all the countries I travelled in and spent time in, I felt the most at home in the UK. Not just because of language, or even mostly because of it. I speak fairly fluent German and enough French to get by, so communication was not really a problem for me in most of Western Europe, with three languages to draw on. I would say I was that comfortable because it is much more like the USA. There are people of all sorts of cultures and ethnic backgrounds mixed together on a regular basis.

    In France and Germany there are folks from other cultures, a lot of Turks in Germany and North Africans in France. And they are isolated from the culture around them, shut off into ghetto’s, kept apart from the larger society, barely able to get menial jobs. In the USA and UK, some of the richest and most successful parts of our culture are recent immigrants. Indians who immigrated first to East Africa then the UK are now among the wealthiest groups of people in the UK, for example. Carribean and Korean immigrants in the USA are wildly successful. Colin Powell, for an example of the former.

    No, I think that only an American can presume to lecture an Englishman on variety and differences in culture. What I find interesting is that Adrian, who presumably should understand that you can’t judge someone by applying your own culture as an overlay, does just that, on a regular basis. Perhaps it is the years in a monolithic culture.

  207. Former Fan wrote: start quoting made-up quotations from a fictional character written by a wanna-be warrior who didn’t make the cut into Annapolis

    I presume that you are talking about Robert Heinlein. So, just as some education, although it seems likely that you are a waste of space:

    1. Heinlein graduated from the Naval Academy in 1929 with a class standing of 20th overall, 5th academically, in a class of 243. He was commissioned an Ensign in the Regular Navy. He contracted tuberculosis and was medically retired in 1934. During his service, he was assigned to the USS Lexington and Roper. During WWII he worked on a classified project at Naval Air Experimental Station at Mustin Field, near Philadelphia, along with Isaac Asimov. He first attempted to go back in the Navy and was, naturally, rejected. The characters in several of his stories who try to serve in the military and are found unfit are almost certainly based on his own experience. His wife, Virginia, served in the military during WWII, as a WAVE officer.

    You could have found all of this out easily by googling Robert Heinlein and naval service. Since you didn’t bother, you clearly aren’t worth the effort I just spent writing this.

  208. Eric: but I think that Europeans have a pretty monolithic view of the USA, when it comes to culture, that is very interesting.

    As a boy, my father was restationed to the deep south. Being from New York, he felt like he was in a foreign country. This separation began with the language, especially over the phone, when my father couldn’t understand the multi-syllabic southern drawww-al.

    The country is remarkable in that it can unify into broad collections for, say, elections, given the diversity.

  209. Adrian asked: Of course, this True-Human-Dignity-Through-Gun-Handling is clearly something you can’t know until you’ve experienced it, so I’m kind of wasting my time casting doubts here. However, I’m thinking that I’d personally prefer the insights of people who’ve actually been shot at in anger, and have shot back (any offers? Joe? Eric C?). I’m not convinced the ethics you learn at the range are all that generalisable.

    A few points of interest.

    1. Pre 1991 I did a fair amount of hunting. Since then, I haven’t been hunting at all. It’s just not interesting.

    2. I don’t happen to currently own any firearms. Which doesn’t mean I can’t defend my home. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I have over a decade of military service, including combat service, nearly two decades of martial arts training and something the average criminal breaking into a home doesn’t have. For that matter, very few Westerners have this knowledge in themselves either. I know I can pull the trigger if I need to. I’m talking about this because Adrian asked, I rarely do otherwise.

    3. While ESR’s article on the ethics and guns is rather bombastic, which is not my style (I tend to be more of the “talk softly and carry a big stick” school), there are some essential truths there. Reality is that much of the expansion of liberty in Anglo-American countries from 1600 to 1900 has been due to the fact that citizens owned firearms, which gave them a certain degree of firepower equality with the government. Think of the Scottish Covenant, for example, or the American Revolution. Or the American Civil War, for that matter. In other words, with an armed citizenry, the government could not easily impose its will on its citizens. Contrast this with the outcomes in Continental Europe and a citizenry that mostly did not have weapons. Tyranny and mass slaughter occurred in countries where there was no tradition of weapons ownership and self-defense. While I won’t argue that this the causational factor in the differences between, let’s say, the USA and Germany, or the UK and Russia, I would argue that it is a significant contributor to the development of concepts of liberty and equality. In other words, many of the things we consider ethical are based on the fact that we could fight those who might oppress us on an equal footing.

    4. I have owned weapons in the past, will certainly own them in the future. I just choose, while I have children in the house that are not capable of making mature, moral decisions, to not own them. That said, owning weapons and using them to hunt does, indeed, teach ethics if done properly. I was taught at a very young age (7, IIRC) several sets of rules or ethics that I find generally applicable in life:

    – Never aim at someone, animal or human, you don’t intend to shoot, never shoot at someone you don’t intend to kill
    – Every gun is always loaded, treat it as such
    – Guns are tools, not magical items that do things all on their own
    – I am an individual, morally responsible for the choices I make. I have the ultimate power, to take another’s life. Only individuals and nation-states have this power, which is what makes them sovereign. For more thoughts on this line of thinking, see my essay The Sovereign Individual.

    5. Having people try to take your life and taking theirs in return reinforced those rules to a level that makes them fairly well instinctive. Yes, I have learned ethics from using and owning guns. I was heavily influenced, in large part, by a man I refer to as “the last cowboy”. My grandfather grew up in Nevada in the early 19th century, one of the last refuges for the cowboy as modern, industrial society grew. The cowboy is primarily a descendant of Scots Highlanders and Ulster Scots. Coming from a cultural tradition of independence, individualism, defense of personal liberty and the philosophical traditions of David Hume, Adam Smith, Hutcheson, Lord Kames, etc., is it any wonder that the cowboy (the real thing, not the Hollywood version) developed in America? My grandfather and my father imparted lessons on being an independent and free thinking individual that have stuck with me for my entire life. For my grandfather, a gun was simply part of his toolset, much as his truck, hammer, saw (he worked in construction most of his life) was. He respected the power of his guns. But he didn’t view them as any more, or less, dangerous than a power saw, for example. In fact, he cut off two fingers with a power saw and knew exactly whose fault it was. And was happy to tell you that he fucked up. Later, he accidentally nailed the stump of a finger to the wall (no feeling in the stump) and told it as a funny story.

    The point of all the rambling? Don’t know, just my thoughts on the topic.

  210. Shoot, that should have said early 1900’s or early 20th century, in point 5. Argh.

  211. PenGun wrote: He who lives by the sword etc etc … My take has always been that people who espouse firearms are chickenshit, kinda like most of the right wing.

    Afraid to fight man to man, usually for good reason.

    Oh, please. I’m an advocate of gun ownership (see above). And I have no qualms about dealing with danger without a firearm, if I need to. But, why should I? I’m a tool user. I’m descended from tool users. I have a brain that tells me that it makes much more sense to shoot a threat 100 yards away than risk my own precious skin by engaging in hand to hand combat. This mythical idea that it’s only glorious and brave when it’s at sword point is absolute crap. The point of combat is to kill the other guy before he can kill you. Period.

  212. davidf:

    Either way he sounds a lot like Mr. Ahmadenijad, a nutcase posing as a president.

  213. You mean like, say, Osama bin Laden telling us he hates us and intends to kill a bunch of us? Yep, pretty dumb. If we listen.

    Interesting parallel you got there. Normally, I’d say that threatening to target *one guy* gives you a bit more to work with from a defensive point of view than vague threats against a then-complacent (and now-paranoid) nation. But I haven’t been in the military, so what do I know.

  214. In France and Germany there are folks from other cultures, a lot of Turks in Germany and North Africans in France. And they are isolated from the culture around them, shut off into ghetto’s, kept apart from the larger society, barely able to get menial jobs. In the USA and UK, some of the richest and most successful parts of our culture are recent immigrants. Indians who immigrated first to East Africa then the UK are now among the wealthiest groups of people in the UK, for example. Carribean and Korean immigrants in the USA are wildly successful. Colin Powell, for an example of the former.

    Colin Powell has described himself as pretty minimally black, ISTR. Just as a matter of interest, how many of the super-successful new immigrants in America are practising Muslims? Islam does seem to have defences against assimilation, which in other circumstances you guys might be lecturing me about. Intermarriage tends to require conversion by the non-Muslim – not necessarily for the woman, though a lot of them seem to anyway, but definitely for the man, and I’d have to be pretty crazy about someone to go under the knife for them along with all the rest.

    No, I think that only an American can presume to lecture an Englishman on variety and differences in culture. What I find interesting is that Adrian, who presumably should understand that you can’t judge someone by applying your own culture as an overlay, does just that, on a regular basis. Perhaps it is the years in a monolithic culture.

    You may be underestimating the sheer homogenising power of American mass culture. But seriously, I’m less interested in judging you than I am in getting you to question some of your own judgements about yourselves, and others. Uphill struggle and no mistake.

    I didn’t think I’d lectured at you particularly, but then you don’t tend to come out with that much unexamined stuff compared to some.

  215. and he also has belief in the imminent return of the “occulted”
    Shi’a Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi that will bring absolute peace and justice throughout the world by establishing Islam as the global religion.

    Gotta watch that ol’ Hidden Imam, he’s a crafty one. He’s why we have to bomb Iran to save Israel. Maybe just before the mid-terms.

  216. > To be sure, I think that the current welfare system causes a lot of problems, but it also is a structural necessity for millions of people.

    Necessity? It’s not necessary. It’s just enabling of certain things.

    > The less toil there is, the more time and strength is left for artistic creativity.

    There’s no reason to expect that more idle time leads to more artistic creativity. Besides, there’s we don’t need any more artistic creativity. (Actually, we do, but it’s unlikely to come from “artists”.)

    > As for “why shouldn’t folks who stash food and go out of their way to develop relevant skills (and networks) benefit from those activities if stashed food, said skills, and networks become more relevant than they are today?”, quite simply, because it is unkind. Less “I got mine, mutha-fucker” would do our society a lot of good.

    Ah, so it’s better to die because someone else won’t take care of himself.

    BTW – Preparing for bad times isn’t “I got mine”. My preparations don’t reduce your ability to prepare.

    By not preparing, you’re choosing to spend your resources on what’s valuable to you. You get the benefit of those choices. Is that unkind of you? Why is it unkind for me to get the benefit of my choices?

  217. What I find interesting is that Adrian, who presumably should understand that you can’t judge someone by applying your own culture as an overlay, does just that, on a regular basis.

    Could we have some examples here, btw?

  218. I’ll ask again – why does Adrian10 believe that gun owners can’t be part of a community larger than an individual family? In my experience, they tend to be very active in networking to find folks with complementary skills/stashes.

    Of course they can (this is the second time I’ve said this), but they seem to me to want to base their community around gun ownership, and to live in a world where guns are much more central to everyone’s lives than they are today. This may be…short-sighted.

    Also, those folks should live fairly nearby.

    Nice snark, but unresponsive. I’ll ask again – why shouldn’t folks who stash food and go out of their way to develop relevant skills (and networks) benefit from those activities if stashed food, said skills, and networks become more relevant than they are today?

    If I suddenly advocated Communist redistribution of your baked bean stockpile, I’d like you to point out where. I haven’t said you shouldn’t benefit, I’m saying I have doubts about whether basing it all around guns is going to get you there. In fact, the people most likely to turn up in need are less the feckless Democrat voters from two blocks down than the not-so-forward-thinking members of your own family, and by all means laugh at them from behind the safety of whatever you’ve got.

    It is somewhat odd that Adrian10 both believes that bad times are coming and disparages folks who are prepping for said bad times in ways that seem extremely relevant.

    As I keep saying, it’s the focus. And anyway, what’s your collapse scenario? Most people here have been telling me that the market is going to come up with ways to bypass Peak Oil, and we’re all going to be riding beanstalks to the stars in a few decades with some very shiny Heinleinesque future in front of us, except for the liberals and gangsta rappers who will have slackly developed no useful skills and will thus be left behind to wail and gnash their teeth. Are you training to be able to cover the trek of the worthy south towards the beanstalk bases on the Equator? There may be film rights to negotiate if so.

    Perhaps he’ll tell us how folks should prepare.

    Sustainable agriculture. Medicine, above and beyond the first aid they’ll already be well up on. Herbalism. Assloads of old stuff people used to have to do for themselves before they figured out how to use fossil fuels to do it cheaper.

    Why isn’t that an evironment where guns are extremely relevant? (I know folks who have shooting matches where they’re required to use guns and ammo that is 90+ years old. I’ve little reason to believe that modern stuff is less durable. Yes, they’ll run out, but it will take a while and during that time, they can rebuild the rather low level of tech necessary to produce guns and ammo. One interesting fact is that we now know a lot more about building guns with low-tech than we did before.)

    You’re doing nothing here but convince me that you don’t think a life without guns would be worth living.

  219. DDG:

    “The country is remarkable in that it can unify into broad collections for, say, elections, given the diversity.”

    And exactly this is what the Eurocrats fucked up. They wanted to mimic the success of the USA, and start a kinda USE, but they managed to do it completely reversed.

    I think the success of the USA lies in diversity inwards, unity outwards: for example, the practice of capital punishment is decided on state level, while outwards there is clearly one foreign politics and one army. The EU tries to be unified internally: no state can have capital punishment and it’s decided in Brussels how much corn you may grow here in Hungary or in Poland (can you imagine the federal govm’t telling Nevada how much corn they may grow?), while there is no common agreement, common foreign politics and common military action regarding, f.e., Iraq.

    Sometimes it seems miraculous to me that the USA can keep Frisco and,say, Utah under one goverment, but I think it has historical reasons: the snobbish coast never cared about the rednecks as long as they supply them with food, and the rednecks were badly beaten in the Civil War which made them grudgingly accept one goverment, and later they just got used to it.

  220. Adrian, I gave you an example of making judgements based on overlaying your culture in this thread. You are choosing (as many are) to interpret the email that ESR received from an Anglo-American cultural bias, deciding it’s an angry teenager. In our culture that is likely to be true. I’m not saying that we should consider this the equivalent of Osama’s declaration of war, but we should not overlay our culture on to this and assume that we know what it is. Culturally, the Middle East does have a tendency to communicate in violent and immature ways, at least from our cultural perspective. That does not mean that the people doing the communication are not deadly serious adults, though.

    You are also, I believe, applying your ideas about how nations should act, based on your culture and European experience, to both pre-war Iraq and current Iran. Does that mean I believe that Iran will inevitably acquire nukes and launch a war against Israel, Europe or the USA? No, it doesn’t. It means that I think it is important to consider what the Iranians are saying and doing within the context of a culture that doesn’t behave as we expect. Every time we have discussed Iran, you have applied Western European patterns to the Iranian government.

    As far as rethinking judgements, and such, the same goes in the other direction. Actually, when I have discussions like this, it’s really aimed less at the person I’m “debating” than it is at the silent readers. I doubt that I can convince someone who has enough conviction to take the opposite position publicly. But many of the silent readers are looking for input to make decisions. They are my true intended audience.

  221. One last set of thoughts Adrian, on the mass homogenizing of American culture. I think everyone gets caught up in McDonald’s all over the landscape and misses the fact that Southern culture is dramatically different from New England culture, and both from California. You see the obvious from afar and miss the closer reality. I’ve travelled pretty extensively in Europe (every Western country except Portugal). I find the cultural attitudes between, say, Bonn and Paris to have much more similarity than between New York and Atlanta. The pace and style of life, foods eaten, attitudes towards foreign “others”, gun ownership, religion, government, race and much more is very different in Atlanta and New York. You appear to have seen the surface and lost sight of the substance. Which is not uncommon throughout Europe.

    The point about Colin Powell was not whether he was “black”, or not. I said not a word about skin color. I was using him as an example of the success of recent immigrants within anglo-american culture. His parents are Carribbean, although I forget which part.

    Agreed that Muslims tend to isolate themselves from the larger community, but so do Mennonites and the Amish. The difference is, Mennonites and Amish can integrate into American culture any time they choose to. Do you really think that Turks in Bonn or Nuremberg can do that? I spent a lot of time there, and I don’t. The culture and politics of Germany and France are as much, if not more, at fault for the creation of a new ghetto class as the insular nature of Muslims is.

  222. Adrian:I’m less interested in judging you than I am in getting you to question some of your own judgements

    Thanks bunches. This is a little nauseating, this propensity of the left to “teach” the great unwashed (eg libertines and conservatives). It often happens after most of the facts are out in a discussion.

    Seriously, Adrian, this may not apply to you, but the tone is one that I’m all too familiar with. For a group that gives lip service to individualism and subversiveness, it’s pretty funny when the rhetorical strategy is “you’re unenlightened, but these sheep are right on because they agree with me, so get in the herd.”

  223. Shenpen:I think the success of the USA lies in diversity inwards, unity outwards:

    That’s a pretty fair assessment, but it only goes halfway. Historically, there is a unity inwards as well. This is certainly not in terms of opinion – if you ask two Americans about x, you’ll get two answers. However, through process (voting, referendums, electoral college, federalism, states rights) and a sense of belonging to a great country, most opinions get subsumed into a larger fabric of consensus, and it’s ok. No political term is longer than 6 years, so we have an out if there is bad performance.

    The worst part is in the last 50-60 years as a concerted effort has been made to subvert the system in a number of ways. Nothing is more indicative than the active judiciary that has risen to prominence legislatively – this is a subversion of what was a pretty good process.

    Ultimately, though, you’re about right. Commerce has given most elements of this country a vested interest in the workings of their region and the country as a whole, but not to the exclusion of foreign policy and politics. The immigration issue now is interesting in that it is at the nexus of foreign policy and politics, and it deeply affects every region in bad ways. Yet the pols insist that there are bigger interests at stake than any that have been historically defined. Commerce has never trumped local interest, but this time it’s different, says they.

  224. > Of course they can (this is the second time I’ve said this), but they seem to me to want to base their community around gun ownership, and to live in a world where guns are much more central to everyone’s lives than they are today.

    Perhaps that’s because Adrian10 is fixated on their guns.

    > This may be…short-sighted.

    In which world? In Adrian10’s post-Peak-oil, guns seem quite useful. They’re not sufficient, but they’re better than nothing. Add them to stashed supplies and skills, and you’ve may have the ability to get to a sustainable existence.

    Perhaps he was referring to some other world. In what world is gun ownership a disadvantage?

    > not-so-forward-thinking members of your own family

    Why is Adrian10 assuming that I’d turn down my own family?

    > As I keep saying, it’s the focus.

    And that “focus” is because that’s what Adrian10 wants to talk about.

    >And anyway, what’s your collapse scenario?

    To my mind, the relevant preparations are independent of the cause, so I don’t worry about causes. (There are levels of collapse, but the preparations to surive for a couple of days without the regular food/water/energy infrastructure are a subset of the ones to survive for longer periods.)

    If Adrian10 disagrees, perhaps he’ll be good enough to tell me how I should prepare differently for collapses that differ by something other than duration.

    > You’re doing nothing here but convince me that you don’t think a life without guns would be worth living.

    And yet, I haven’t touched one for years.

    And to think that all I did is take Adrian10 seriously when he admited that guns were useful in big collapses and his comment about artifact perisability.

  225. Eric C.,

    “Culturally, the Middle East does have a tendency to communicate in violent and immature ways, at least from our cultural perspective.”

    There must be some poison in the air in the Middle East, a poison of insanity. If I set aside all my – reasonable – preconceptions against Islam I have to notice that historically and by large, the Arabs have strong trader roots, by history, one can say they were half jyhadists, half traders, and there were ages when the trader part was much stronger. By large and Jyhads set aside, they are a trader nation. The Jews are also a trader nation. Still, it seems, that Middle East somehow makes Arabs completely unreasonable, and to a smaller extent, it makes Jews so too. Could you ever imagine that two trader nations can’t come to an agreement about Jerusalem for example? That they just can’t strike a bargain? Yet, it still seems to be the case. For a long time, the reason behind this was Soviet influence. Now, it’s hard to understand.

  226. It’s good that I remembered Soviet influence. For a long time, the Arab-Israeli conflict was fueled by the Soviets. Amosbatto mentioned that current terrorists had a strong relationship with the West. Isn’t that possible that current terrorism is part of the remnants of the ideological brainwashing of the Soviets? Teenagers tend to relate to parents either by accepting what the say or strongly opposing it, but both situation is one of dependency. Arabs in the Middle East were relating to Soviets as accepting teenagers, while Muslims in Afghanistan as opposing ones – although the freedom fight of the Afghanis against the Soviets I think was a good, reasonable and justified one – but both kind of contact shows dependency.

  227. Shenpen:the Arabs have strong trader roots, by history, one can say they were half jyhadists, half traders,

    Jihad by commerce I could handle.

  228. Thanks bunches. This is a little nauseating, this propensity of the left to “teach” the great unwashed (eg libertines and conservatives). It often happens after most of the facts are out in a discussion.

    Seriously, Adrian, this may not apply to you, but the tone is one that I’m all too familiar with. For a group that gives lip service to individualism and subversiveness, it’s pretty funny when the rhetorical strategy is “you’re unenlightened, but these sheep are right on because they agree with me, so get in the herd.”

    Yer jumping to conclusions. If it was all one-way it would be pretty disgustingly patronising, but I have to get my own thoughts sorted out and in order in order to debate with people, too, and I’m prepared to work to jettison my own memes when they’re found wanting (though it’s not easy for anyone, previous investment and all that). Are you sure you mean “libertines”, btw? I don’t see where Teddy Kennedy comes into this.

  229. Adrian, I gave you an example of making judgements based on overlaying your culture in this thread. You are choosing (as many are) to interpret the email that ESR received from an Anglo-American cultural bias, deciding it’s an angry teenager. In our culture that is likely to be true. I’m not saying that we should consider this the equivalent of Osama’s declaration of war, but we should not overlay our culture on to this and assume that we know what it is. Culturally, the Middle East does have a tendency to communicate in violent and immature ways, at least from our cultural perspective. That does not mean that the people doing the communication are not deadly serious adults, though.

    I can see the violent ways, and I can see the immature ways, but which methods were you thinking of as both? In America, the number of assassinations of public figures for making anti-Muslim statements is AFAIK hovering around the “0” mark. Al-Q are waiting to strike again, but they’ve got to come up with something more impressive than 9/11 or risk being thought of as a spent force, so it’s a long game and whacking random outspoken libertarians probably doesn’t figure very highly. The benefits of such an act to American Muslims…don’t really bear thinking about.

    I suppose a real off-the-meds Muslim lunatic could conceivably decide to undertake a solo operation, in which case something as dumb as warning the target could be explicable.

    I thought you meant judging people rather than situations.

    You are also, I believe, applying your ideas about how nations should act, based on your culture and European experience, to both pre-war Iraq and current Iran. Does that mean I believe that Iran will inevitably acquire nukes and launch a war against Israel, Europe or the USA? No, it doesn’t. It means that I think it is important to consider what the Iranians are saying and doing within the context of a culture that doesn’t behave as we expect. Every time we have discussed Iran, you have applied Western European patterns to the Iranian government.

    I believe in listening to people who’ve studied Iranian culture, certainly. Do you want to treat Iran as some sort of black box randomly emitting unknowable things? The Hidden Imam thing bears watching, but Ahmadinejad isn’t in charge of everything there by a long chalk.

    As far as rethinking judgements, and such, the same goes in the other direction.

    Oh, absolutely. Never meant it any other way. If you only expose your ideas to people who agree with you, they’ll never change much.

    Actually, when I have discussions like this, it’s really aimed less at the person I’m “debating” than it is at the silent readers. I doubt that I can convince someone who has enough conviction to take the opposite position publicly. But many of the silent readers are looking for input to make decisions. They are my true intended audience.

    I’d have thought you were mostly preaching to the choir round here :-)

  230. One last set of thoughts Adrian, on the mass homogenizing of American culture. I think everyone gets caught up in McDonald’s all over the landscape and misses the fact that Southern culture is dramatically different from New England culture, and both from California. You see the obvious from afar and miss the closer reality.

    Florida strikes me as kind of weird as well. I think it and California have been shaped by internal and external migration patterns quite a lot, though. The Pacific Northwest as well, perhaps.

    I’ve travelled pretty extensively in Europe (every Western country except Portugal). I find the cultural attitudes between, say, Bonn and Paris to have much more similarity than between New York and Atlanta.

    Yeah, European capitols tend to pull towards a certain style. Did you spend much time in the hinterlands?

    The pace and style of life, foods eaten, attitudes towards foreign “others”, gun ownership, religion, government, race and much more is very different in Atlanta and New York.

    Well, the South was nearly another country, wasn’t it?

    You appear to have seen the surface and lost sight of the substance. Which is not uncommon throughout Europe.

    I was really talking about the homogenising effects on new immigrants, rather than on the people already there.

    Agreed that Muslims tend to isolate themselves from the larger community, but so do Mennonites and the Amish. The difference is, Mennonites and Amish can integrate into American culture any time they choose to.

    Do they risk rejection by their families when they do? Conversion between Christian faiths isn’t usually that violent in my experience.

    Do you really think that Turks in Bonn or Nuremberg can do that? I spent a lot of time there, and I don’t. The culture and politics of Germany and France are as much, if not more, at fault for the creation of a new ghetto class as the insular nature of Muslims is.

    We talked about this before – America’s a nation of immigrants, and has an assimilation process – you’re kind of expected to diss the old homeland to a large extent, otherwise why did you bother to come? And isn’t this a *great* country? *Well*? Expecting the Euros to mimic all this at the drop of a hat isn’t really reasonable. The guest worker systems were established without much thought, and Europe will undoubtedly pay a price in the future, much to the ongoing amusement of certain parties in America.

  231. Perhaps that’s because Adrian10 is fixated on their guns.

    Oh, well, the guns aren’t that big a deal. OK, my bad.

    I’ve lost track of why we’re having this conversation.

  232. Adrian10: Do they [ed: Mennonites and Amish] risk rejection by their families when they do? Conversion between Christian faiths isn’t usually that violent in my experience.

    As I understand Amish culture, they will be ostracized from their family and social group and essentially treated as dead. Not violent, but complete expulsion from a group can be more effective than violence in producing conformity. Mennonites, which there are quite a few of in central California, will consider you to no longer be part of the “select”. You’re going to hell, in other words. For true believers, that is a fate worse than physical death, of course.

    Adrian10: Yeah, European capitols tend to pull towards a certain style. Did you spend much time in the hinterlands?

    I think Erlangen (where I lived), Nuremberg, Bamberg and two or three extended trips into Tirol, two in the summer, count. Plus, my first wife is from Schwaben, the very small town of Weingarten, whose sole claim to fame is that Rommel lived there for a couple of years. I spent a lot of time around folks from Schwaben, had several good friends from England and The Netherlands. Honestly, I didn’t see as dramatic a set of differences, culturally, between these folks as I would see between someone from California and from New York. I made a point of getting out of the cities and into the towns and villages, meeting people and learning as much as I could. I also spent time on the Mediterranean in Spain and on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. Plus 4 trips to England, each about a week long. Those were all London, though. Interestingly, I found London to be much more cosmopolitan and integrated, culturally, than I found Paris, Bonn, Frankfurt or Munich to be. Salzburg and Vienna had more diversity than the other cities on the Continent that I visited, but not by much.

    The point I was trying to get at was that, for all that Europeans generally view American culture as relatively homogeneous (McDonald’s, cowboys, etc.), I find European culture, at least Western Europe, to have much less diversity than American culture. I will agree, because I pointed it out, that America has a set of cultural forces in play that push for assimilation. But the assimilation is much less towards a monolithic culture than a somewhat monolithic set of politics. Look at the existence of Little Italy and China Town in San Francisco, China and Korea Town in Los Angeles, China Town in New York, and so forth. Cultural diversity without ghetto-ization is tolerated and respected, in general, in the US. Admittedly we are dealing with some issues surrounding immigration right now, but that is because our politicians refuse to bite the bullet and make the law reflect reality. They have, then, let it get out of hand to the point where they are now facing a populist backlash.

    Adrian, I would argue that the guest worker programs fit right into the standard way that the Continent handles “others”. The ghetto-ization of Middle Eastern, Turkish and North African immigrants on the Continent has as much to do with the ingrown sense of superiority and cultural and ethnic prejudice of Germany, France, et al as it has to do with the insular nature of Muslims. The biggest difference between Jewish Ghettos and Muslim Ghettos is that the Muslims, by and large, come from a violent, warlike society that is not going to (in fact already is not) taking their Ghetto status passively.

    Adrian: I’d have thought you were mostly preaching to the choir round here :-)

    I suspect not. First, even the commenters demonstrate a wide range of political and cultural perspectives. Second, with the number of very active commenters, I would say that there are a significantly larger number of readers who don’t comment.

  233. Oh yeah, I did finally give you some input on guns and gun culture. Hopefully there was value in it, although I rambled and didn’t have a single theme to the thoughts presented.

  234. > The worst part is in the last 50-60 years as a concerted effort has been made
    > to subvert the system in a number of ways. Nothing is more indicative than
    > the active judiciary that has risen to prominence legislatively – this is a
    > subversion of what was a pretty good process.

    No, my top of that list – by far – would be House gerrymandering. It pretty much negates the term limit.

  235. Actually, the single worst thing was the Populist Amendments, Income Tax and direct election of Senators. Those undid a separation of powers between popular democracy and the states that has led us inevitably to the problems we face today.

  236. As I understand Amish culture, they will be ostracized from their family and social group and essentially treated as dead. Not violent, but complete expulsion from a group can be more effective than violence in producing conformity. Mennonites, which there are quite a few of in central California, will consider you to no longer be part of the “select”. You’re going to hell, in other words. For true believers, that is a fate worse than physical death, of course.

    They probably wouldn’t be leaving if they were still true believers. The trauma suffered by the young men expelled from a couple of extreme Mormon groups (to leave more girls for the patriarchs to marry) sounds pretty bad, though. But comparing these groups to Muslims is a little strange. If there were a bunch of Amish-Mennonite countries inexplicably occupying Central and South America to provide a big-ass reservoir of new immigrants, and if moreover some of the ideas they were bringing in were a little weirder and more redolent of cultural grievance, I could see it.

    The point I was trying to get at was that, for all that Europeans generally view American culture as relatively homogeneous (McDonald’s, cowboys, etc.), I find European culture, at least Western Europe, to have much less diversity than American culture. I will agree, because I pointed it out, that America has a set of cultural forces in play that push for assimilation. But the assimilation is much less towards a monolithic culture than a somewhat monolithic set of politics.

    I think Europeans see this politics as a large aspect of the culture, possibly more significant than diet or religious festivals or whatnot. That and the born-agains, they tend to figure pretty large.

    Oh yeah, I did finally give you some input on guns and gun culture. Hopefully there was value in it, although I rambled and didn’t have a single theme to the thoughts presented.

    Yes, that was interesting, and sort of what I was expecting from glancing at your blog. Eric has sort of acknowledged that parts of his oeuvre are a little exaggerated for dramatic effect, and this may have been one of them.

  237. >Gotta watch that ol’ Hidden Imam, he’s a crafty one. He’s why we have to bomb Iran to save Israel. Maybe just before the mid-terms.

    Save Israel from what?

  238. davidf :
    I am not a leftist, as I don’t like most of definitions coming from west. I just say what I think is right.

  239. Adrian: I think Europeans see this politics as a large aspect of the culture, possibly more significant than diet or religious festivals or whatnot. That and the born-agains, they tend to figure pretty large.

    Funny, since politics tends to not be a big deal in our society most of the time. Most of us care a lot more about family, friends, daily life, profession, etc. than we do politics.Which is not to say it’s not important, we just don’t quite see it the same as you do. This goes back to our ideas about limited government and separation of powers and such.

    As far as the “born agains” go, they have much less power in American politics and culture than they are given credit for. You guys spend too much time reading the New York Times and not enough time looking at the real power structures in this country, which most of the religious types are fairly well excluded from.

    I think my only point with the Amish and Mennonites was that they were only excluded from our culture by choice, not by practice of our society, which is much different than the Continent.

  240. Save Israel from what?

    A second Holocaust inflicted by crazed Shi’ites who cannot be deterred by MAD because the end of the world is nigh anyway. There are a few similar types in America, but I’m told they’re under adult supervision and can’t damage anything important.

  241. >> To be sure, I think that the current welfare system causes a lot of problems, but it also is a structural
    >> necessity for millions of people.

    > Necessity? It’s not necessary. It’s just enabling of certain things.

    You can only say that because you’ve never been destitute.

    >> The less toil there is, the more time and strength is left for artistic creativity.

    > There’s no reason to expect that more idle time leads to more artistic creativity.

    I did not speak of idle time. I did speak of “less toil”, and less toil is a necessary, but perhaps not sufficient requirement for more artistic creativity.

    > Besides, there’s we don’t need any more artistic creativity. (Actually, we do, but it’s unlikely to
    > come from “artists”.)

    The arts alone give direct access to experience. To eliminate them from education–or worse, to tolerate them as cultural ornaments–is antieducational obscurantism. It is foisted on us by the pedants and snobs of Hellenistic Greece who considered artistic performance fit only for slaves.

    >> As for “why shouldn’t folks who stash food and go out of their way to develop relevant skills (and
    >> networks) benefit from those activities if stashed food, said skills, and networks become more relevant
    >> than they are today?”, quite simply, because it is unkind. Less “I got mine, mutha-fucker” would do our
    >> society a lot of good.

    > Ah, so it’s better to die because someone else won’t take care of himself.

    No, its better to share. The ‘lone survivalist’ is a myth.

    > BTW – Preparing for bad times isn’t “I got mine”. My preparations don’t reduce your ability to prepare.

    Its true, but how will you act if the bad times come?

    > By not preparing, you’re choosing to spend your resources on what’s valuable to you. You get the benefit
    > of those choices. Is that unkind of you? Why is it unkind for me to get the benefit of my choices?

    Did I state that I was unprepared?

    As for Nelson’s non-response, the most important thing in communication is often to hear what isn’t being said. Nelson aparently can’t justify his baseless conclusion that “Welfare” is responsible for the increating violence in black urban areas, so he mis-directs to talking about me instead.

    While its true that Nelson has no “need” to answer me, and even perhaps that I don’t deserve an answer (though I take exception to Nelson’s statement that I would be unable to understand his resposne), what is true is that Nelson has as yet failed to offer any support of his statement to anyone in this forum.

    In any case, I thought my request was polite.

  242. Funny, since politics tends to not be a big deal in our society most of the time. Most of us care a lot more about family, friends, daily life, profession, etc. than we do politics.

    Yeah, but you can hardly blame the Europeans for paying more attention when you elect Bush than when you take your kids to the beach. Did you notice them seeming to take more notice of politics than Americans do while you were there, perhaps to the neglect of those other things?

    As far as the “born agains” go, they have much less power in American politics and culture than they are given credit for. You guys spend too much time reading the New York Times and not enough time looking at the real power structures in this country, which most of the religious types are fairly well excluded from.

    So where should we be looking? Don’t make me read the National Review.

  243. “Jihad by commerce I could handle.”

    Japan and Germany are perfect examples of this.

    Arabs gave the West modern mathematics, they were the leaders of the time. What went wrong?

  244. Adrian: Yeah, but you can hardly blame the Europeans for paying more attention when you elect Bush than when you take your kids to the beach.

    Of course. The thing is, the American political structure was a conscious attempt by a group of folks to make the elites less important. To a great extent, they succeeded. Which is one of the reasons for our fascination with polling. How we, as a society, feel today is likely to determine policy for the four or five years. The fact that Clinton got elected in the 90’s and Bush in 2000 (2004 is a different story) actually reflects the return of a fairly significant isolationist sentiment in America. Both of them were elected in spite of their foreign policy, not because of it.

    Adrian: Did you notice them seeming to take more notice of politics than Americans do while you were there, perhaps to the neglect of those other things?

    I noticed that the amount of attention paid to politics was much greater than in the USA and, like many observers, that family and children was much less of a focus in Old Europe than in the USA. I confess that I didn’t think through the implications at the time. If only I had been that prescient in the 1980’s! I could have written a book and been famous for predicting the demise of traditional culture in Old Europe.

    As far as Europeans focusing too much on politics to explain how America works, I think it’s understandable to a large extent. Europe, especially Germany and France, are focused around elites who run the government. England isn’t, so much, because of the influence of the same philosophers that shaped the thinking of the American Founding Fathers. Since their own countries work that way, they expect ours too as well.

    Adrian: So where should we be looking? Don’t make me read the National Review.

    The real power structures are too diffuse. You do have to read the National Review, as well as the traditional media, the blogs, popular science publications, business publications, local newspapers, etc. to get a feel for it. What happens is that Europeans tend to pay attention to the New York Times (and similar publications) because it reflects their own prejudices and think that represents reality in America. Then you are surprised when it turns out that we don’t agree with our cultural elites from New York and New England. Read a newspaper from St. Louis or Dallas or Kansas City once in a while. Read Forbes and Money and the Wall Street Journal. Check out Popular Mechanics, which is probably the best scientific publication aimed at folks who have an interest in technology but are not scientists or engineers.

  245. Jason: Arabs gave the West modern mathematics, they were the leaders of the time. What went wrong?

    Look at how the Arab and Ottoman Empires worked. One focused on acquisition of wealth by conquest and the other focused on stability.

  246. Eric:Actually, the single worst thing was the Populist Amendments, Income Tax and direct election of Senators. Those undid a separation of powers between popular democracy and the states that has led us inevitably to the problems we face today.

    Quibble … those are outside of the 50-60 year time frame. But I agree with you on Income Tax and the 17th Ammendment. These were horrible notions that stripped the republic of its federating principles and pushed towards more of a pure democracy. IMAO, the repeal of the 17th would positively change things politically in this country, most specifically by giving the decephalized Senate roots.

    Eric:Read a newspaper from St. Louis or Dallas or Kansas City once in a while.

    Actually, you could skip the newspapers and go to the towns, pop into a local Denny’s, and start listening. Newspapers in this country usually have “coast-urban-envy”, wherein their editors want to get promotions to the WAPO, SPI, The SF Chronicle, or the NYT. They aim low.

    But if you have to read the local papers (and this is a good idea, notwithstanding my criticisms), go to the local sections.

  247. DDG: the repeal of the 17th would positively change things politically in this country, most specifically by giving the decephalized Senate roots.

    When people look at “separation of powers”, they get tied up in the various branches of the Federal Government and completely miss the most important concepts, that of separating and putting in opposition to each other the powers of the small and large states, the elites and the people. The idea was to recognize that these were all centers of power and align things so that they were in conflict with each other in order to deliberately create gridlock. It is true that the Founding Fathers were very worried about the tyranny of the majority, but they were not about to hand the country over to an elite with no strings attached just because of that. They just got done with a revolution against an oppressive elite and knew the dangers of the elite with no check on their power. The Senate was intended to be a check on the power of the large states, but it was also intended to be a check on populist democracy. We’ve torn that down with direct election of Senators.

  248. DDG, I think the thing that most external observers miss is that America was deliberately created to have political gridlock and make politics at the national level the least important center of power in the country, rather than the most important. When people complain that business, farmers, newspapers, or whatever has too much power, they are validating Madison’s intentions. What gives Adrian, and just about every other external observer of American politics such a hard time is to recognize that fact. Unlike Europe, in America the elites are fairly constrained to do what the non-political power centers want done. Don’t like Bush? Well, Bush represents the thinking about foreign policy of a good chunk of the USA. This idea that he somehow doesn’t is rooted in a European approach to politics.

  249. Eric C.,

    “The point I was trying to get at was that, for all that Europeans generally view American culture as relatively homogeneous (McDonald’s, cowboys, etc.)”

    That might be because the projected to the outer world about America by the your media and the international corporations is much less diverse than what you have internally. I grew up on MTV – I remember MC Hammer from my childhood – , Spiderman comics and the like, I remember Tom Clancy novels from my teenage years, and when I turn on the TV these days I see the CNN and Bruce Willis films. They all seem to be part of one homogenous culturescape.

    It seems the other parts of American culture just somehow don’t get exported, don’t get projected outwards.

  250. Actually, you could skip the newspapers and go to the towns, pop into a local Denny’s, and start listening.

    This is going to be a little difficult for most Europeans on a day-to-day basis, unless the place has audio feeds.

  251. It is true that the Founding Fathers were very worried about the tyranny of the majority,

    Do most people realise who they meant by “the minority”?

  252. Hey, I asked first.

    Hint – it wasn’t blacks, women or one-legged lesbian single parents.

  253. > Do most people realise who they meant by “the minority”?

    The Founding Fathers probably meant, when they said ‘minority’, ‘anyone with a viewpoint contrary to the majority opinion on a particular issue or set of issues.’ Was this supposed to be a rhetorical question?

  254. I realize I’m late to the welfare discussion, but:

    “I also never advocated a postion that claimed there are no negative consequences for “welfare” (or AFDC). However, there are valid economic reasons to have some welfare available as a ‘cushion’ rather than leaving people to beg or die in bad situations. I don’t support people being on welfare for more than a small number of years (at the maxium), and it would be best if there were some kind of “work it off” (or work while you’re on welfare) program to keep those who need the help “engaged”. Character is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products. ”

    The system you describe is already in place. ADFC has not been in place in 10 years. It has been replaced by TANF. There is a maximum amount of welfare one can receive – 5 years, and that is for your entire life. You are required to do work related activities for 30 hours a week, where work related activities includes working, finding a job (but you cannot spend more than 4 weeks doing so), community service, attending secondary school, etc. “Welfare queens” are a thing of the past.

  255. Likely adrian10 is referring to the wealthy, landowning elite.

    Indeed. The problem with democracy is that the poor (or the relatively poor, considering the property qualification at the time) could actually use it against the rich.

    Fortunately a solution to this has now been found.

  256. > The system you describe is already in place. ADFC has not been in place in 10 years. It has been replaced by > TANF. There is a maximum amount of welfare one can receive – 5 years, and that is for your entire life. You > are required to do work related activities for 30 hours a week, where work related activities includes
    > working, finding a job (but you cannot spend more than 4 weeks doing so), community service, attending
    > secondary school, etc.

    TANF was a huge step in the right direction, but there are holes. You can remain “eligible” for more than 5 years, though the states are incentivized to keep you off the “welfare” rolls. (Tennessee operates under a waiver from the restrictions until next year. Other state’s waivers have recently expired.) In domestic violence situations, no work plan (or personal development plan) needs to be in-place, and DV can be up to 20% of the case load.

    > “Welfare queens” are a thing of the past.

    Indeed, but I didn’t say anything about “welfare queens”. The subject (of “welfare”) came up because Russ Nelson suggested it as causality for increased violence in urban black neighborhoods, starting in the 1960s. He has yet, however, to explain what he means, or to introduce any evidence supporting his statement.

    Given that I disagree with Nelson’s statement, here is a bit of evidence for Nelson to consider; approximately the same number of white and black families were enrolled in AFDC, yet black uban neighborhoods are more prone to violence. For instance, in this paper (PDF), the respondants were approximately 40% white and 60% black. This, along with other results in this study and elsewhere, suggest that something more than (perhaps other than) “welfare” is at play, and that Nelson’s conclusion is inaccurate in the extreme.

  257. OMGWTF! i couldn’t read all the way thru all them headers before it all got too complichticated, but i got far enough to see..

    yor been targitted by the SPAM ASSASSIN!!!!1111oneone
    secint LINE, man! oh, what a giveaway

  258. Reply to the email:
    “Dear Sir or Madame,
    Please be advised that there is a space between the words Will and Be.”

  259. “TANF was a huge step in the right direction, but there are holes. You can remain “eligible” for more than 5 years, though the states are incentivized to keep you off the “welfare” rolls. (Tennessee operates under a waiver from the restrictions until next year. Other state’s waivers have recently expired.) In domestic violence situations, no work plan (or personal development plan) needs to be in-place, and DV can be up to 20% of the case load.”

    True, but there are penalties in place for said states. That said, extending the 5 year deadline is probably very unlikely to lead to situations where people do not have to work, are not encouraged to work, or begin to feel like they can get a “free ride” in society. DV seems to be an exceptional case, but I don’t think this exception leads to the “taxpayers paying for lazy bums who contribute nothing to society” situation. Sure, there are holes, but I think they are acceptable ones that make abuse of the system manageable.

    I brought this up because *I* certainly didn’t know about TANF until recently, and my guess is many Americans don’t realize that the system has already been overhauled. It seemed like the argument was hinging on AFDC still existing (I guess it wasn’t) and it surprised me that (seemingly) informed readers who even knew about the acronym might think that.

    “Given that I disagree with Nelson’s statement, here is a bit of evidence for Nelson to consider; approximately the same number of white and black families were enrolled in AFDC, yet black uban neighborhoods are more prone to violence.”

    I see. Certainly current (2003) welfare recipients do not correspond to urban areas – Tennessee is number 7, ahead of Illinois, which is number 16.

    If you want my opinion on inner city violence, I think it’s as simple as a lack of education and a lack of parenting.

  260. Funny, not so different from this email to Bruce Parens:

    > Damn straight I took it personally. And if you ever again behave like
    > that kind of disruptive asshole in public, insult me, and jeopardize
    > the interests of our entire tribe, I’ll take it just as personally —
    > and I will find a way to make you regret it. Watch your step.

    Hypocrite, much?

    Eric observes: when and if I threaten to kill Bruce Perens and clumsily fail to obscure my return path, you can call me a hypocrite.

  261. You are such a feeble-minded cretin, Eric.

    wow, looky! I’ve got a death threat, I’ve got a death threat,
    I must be SOOOOOOOO important.

    get a life, you boring shithead.

  262. > If you want my opinion on inner city violence, I think it’s as simple as a lack of education and a lack of
    > parenting.

    Point accepted, and (btw, at least for the parenting part) already made (check a lot farther back).

    Eric,

    I’m curious about your mail server setup. The received-by lines show web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com delivering to grelber.thyrsus.com and grelber.thyrus.com delivering to snark.thyrsus.com, yet according to
    the DNS, (and you control the zone for thyrsus.com) snark and grelber are the same machine.

    Is this some side-effect of fetchmail delivering via /bin/mail? If so, why the ESMPT id at the last delivery stage?

    Received: from snark.thyrsus.com (localhost [127.0.0.1])
    by snark.thyrsus.com (8.13.6/8.13.6) with ESMTP id k4M2igAJ026952
    for ; Sun, 21 May 2006 22:44:42 -0400
    Received: from grelber.thyrsus.com [192.168.1.31]
    by snark.thyrsus.com with IMAP (fetchmail-6.3.4)
    for (single-drop); Sun, 21 May 2006 22:44:42 -0400 (EDT)
    Received: from web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com (web30106.mail.mud.yahoo.com [68.142.200.79])
    by grelber.thyrsus.com (8.13.4/8.13.4) with SMTP id k4M4Y51D023721
    for ; Mon, 22 May 2006 00:34:05 -0400

    $ host -t ns thyrsus.com
    thyrsus.com name server thyrsus.com.
    $ host -t a grelber.thyrsus.com thyrsus.com
    Using domain server:
    Name: thyrsus.com
    Address: 66.92.53.140#53
    Aliases:

    grelber.thyrsus.com is an alias for thyrsus.com.
    thyrsus.com has address 66.92.53.140
    $ host -t a snark.thyrsus.com thyrsus.com
    Using domain server:
    Name: thyrsus.com
    Address: 66.92.53.140#53
    Aliases:

    snark.thyrsus.com has address 66.92.53.140

  263. Jim, std, others who are interested:

    The authentic black culture is very family and community oriented. Where do you suppose this lack of parenting came from?

    When formulating your answer do bear in mind that plantation owners had formulated various “psyops” style techniques in order to disrupt the family and community bonds that the black slaves tended to establish, in order to quell slave rebellions, which were common.

  264. “…formulated various “psyops” style techniques…”
    Yup…they were detailed right there in the appendix of the cotton-growers handbook, under the title “How to keep them niggers in line”.

    Blaming slavery for the plight of a subset of contemporary black society is pathetic. Like blacks are somehow ‘special’ in this regard…so *some* of their [several generations removed] ancestors were slaves…big freakin’ deal. Slavery is a global phenomenon, affecting a diverse mass of races, without regard to skin color, and we don’t see the same pattern of degenerate behavior.

    Refering to Sowell again…he points to post-slavery ascension among blacks, along a similar trajectory to whites, right up until the civil rights movement started going haywire (post MLK).

  265. > > Necessity? It’s not necessary. It’s just enabling of certain things.

    > You can only say that because you’ve never been destitute.

    Ah, a mind-reader. Unfortunately, a mind-reader who’s wrong.

    Folks survived being destitute before welfare, so it’s clearly false to claim that welfare is a necessity.

    > The arts alone give direct access to experience.

    Wrong. The arts are an abstraction of experience, a substitute that omits and emphasizes. Paintings don’t fart; women do.

    > > Ah, so it’s better to die because someone else won’t take care of himself.

    >No, its better to share. The ‘lone survivalist’ is a myth.

    The lone survivalist is also a strawman. Share with all doesn’t work. Share with folks who prepare does.

    > > By not preparing, you’re choosing to spend your resources on what’s valuable to you. You get the benefit
    >> of those choices. Is that unkind of you? Why is it unkind for me to get the benefit of my choices?

    >Did I state that I was unprepared?

    We’re discussing the unprepared vs the prepared. Adrian10 dislikes the third person, so I used the abstract 2nd.

    The unprepared get the benefit of their choices; I don’t. Why shouldn’t I get the benefit of mine? Why should they get the benefit of my choices?

  266. > It seems the other parts of American culture just somehow don’t get exported, don’t get projected outwards.

    Since Americans will sell pretty much anything that folks will buy, if we’re not exporting some aspects of our culture, it’s because non-Americans won’t buy it.

    It’s unclear why their bad taste is our fault. (Baywatch?)

  267. > If you want my opinion on inner city violence, I think it’s as simple as a lack of education and a lack of parenting.

    Did those change in the 60s? If so, why/how?

    I’m pretty sure that educational opportunities did not decrease in the 60s for black america. They may not have been adequate in the 60s, but they were better in the 60s than the 50s, when there was far less violence.

  268. The question was asked earlier:
    “Black violence exploded in the 60s and continued to increase through the 80s. What did white folks start to do to black folks in the 60s?”

    Desegregation.

    > I’m pretty sure that educational opportunities did not decrease in the 60s for black america.

    But desegregation sure changed it. So making the assumption that poor education helps lead to violence, in part because it produces poor parents, you have a bunch of black families who had not received proper schooling due to being segregated. Then you have desegregation, where you have those children of poorly educated black families coming into contact with white people who might well be racist.

    Uneducated people coming into contact with an oppressive, hateful force? Sounds like a powder keg to me.

    It doesn’t necessarily prove what I am saying about education is correct, but it doesn’t lead to any contradictions.

  269. Adrian10 dislikes the third person,

    It’s not that I object to deliberate discourtesy as such – I’ve been known to sample the delights of that myself from time to time – just that I find it being done in such a mechanical and jejune way rather disappointing in one who goes on about how well educated gun owners are. OTOH, you haven’t touched one in years, have you?

    Maybe that’s the problem.

  270. > Then you have desegregation, where you have those children of poorly educated black families coming into contact with white people who might well be racist.

    Except that they were already in contact with racist whites. Desegregation did not significantly increase contact. It just meant that it occurred in additional places.

    And, desegregation happened in the 50s and was mostly finished by the early 60s, while the violence exploded in the mid/late 60s.

  271. Adrian10 is just peeved that I’m discussing his ideas and not him.

  272. Alex >>And lets be serious … americans are much more threatened by their current president than they
    Alex >> are by terrorists.

    ESR > This, neatly illustrating the reason I’m a reluctant Bush supporter. The Shrub’s competence may be
    ESR > questionable, but his political enemies are barking-moonbat insane.

    Might want to review the data disputing the fact that the 2004 election was rigged (stolen). Rolling Stone provides a nice (though obviously slanted) cover story: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10432334/was_the_2004_election_stolen

  273. QOTD
    There are a lot of people around who mistake stupidity for conspiracy.

    There are a lot of other people around who mistake their own bipolar tendency to manic ranting, their neurotically skewed perceptions, the ramblings of their mental illness, as high style, insight, even poetic genius. — John Shirley

  274. Jim…you should be embarrassed to proffer such junk. Are you serious? At all?

  275. Except that they were already in contact with racist whites.

    There are some pretty big assumptions in this whole argument, the first of which is the notion that blacks were suddenly put in a position to be discriminated against by racist whites.

    That there was discrimination, there can be no doubt, but it was a lot more institutionalized than some white guy on the corner. In the South, it was baked into the local governments, into the courts, into the culture. This affected more than just white-black relations. It also deeply affected black-black relations, immigrant relations, and whites-from-other-parts-of-the-us-who-figured-out-how-to-exploit-the-local-system-and-black relations.

    What was there from Reconstruction was not good, but it was OK. It was pushy and authoritarian, but not predatory or explicitly socialist. Desegregation went hand in hand with the flourishing of the welfare culture, and the problems with desegregation had a lot more to do with the latter than anything explicitly built in or (even) related to race. It was economic in large part – that wealth redistribution was going to happen at the behest of federal policy rather than a local policy which (after all) was at least comfortable.

  276. Adrian10 is just peeved that I’m discussing his ideas and not him.

    No no, if you think it adds dignity to your presentation you carry on.

    Everybody gots to express themselves.

  277. “There are some pretty big assumptions in this whole argument, the first of which is the notion that blacks were suddenly put in a position to be discriminated against by racist whites.”

    You’re right. This whole conversation of “violence exploding” is pretty vauge as well – by “the 60s” do you mean 1961, 1965, or 1969?

    But I’ll tell you something else about the 60s – that was the heat of the civil rights movement. Starting with the Rosa Parks incident in the mid 50s, Martin Luther King giving his speech in 1963, etc. The black community was rising up against segregation and discrimination, and some of them – I think because of lack of education prior – felt that violence was the way to go about doing this. This isn’t completely responsible for the violence you are talking about, but it created an atmosphere of violence and “us vs. them” that seems far more likely in my opinion to create the violence surge of the 60s than the government giving people money,

  278. Haha wow, the xenophobia here is incredible.

    Uh oh, ESR got a threat from a kid, quick, call the police, get the army!

    It’s sad and unfortunate that someone as old as ESR is still controlled by fear.

    I’m not really surprised though that ESR spouts off such typical racist trash. From what I know he does claim to be a neo-pagan and there is a well documented connection between racists and neo-paganism.

    This blog is funny, I hope it’s not serious.

  279. “QOTD
    There are a lot of people around who mistake stupidity for conspiracy.

    There are a lot of other people around who mistake their own bipolar tendency to manic ranting, their neurotically skewed perceptions, the ramblings of their mental illness, as high style, insight, even poetic genius. — John Shirley”

    I amend that with this QOTD:
    “A brute kills for pleasure, a fool kills from hate.” – Lazarus Long, seen at the top of this blog

  280. > This whole conversation of “violence exploding” is pretty vauge as well – by “the 60s” do you mean 1961, 1965, or 1969?

    It didn’t happen in one year. It started in the mid/late 60s and kept growing through the 70s. It leveled off and then we had the crack-wars. It stayed at high levels until the mid-90s.

    > The black community was rising up against segregation and discrimination, and some of them – I think because of lack of education prior – felt that violence was the way to go about doing this.

    How is black-on-black violence and the rise in single-parent families “rising up against segregation and discrimination”?

  281. “How is black-on-black violence and the rise in single-parent families “rising up against segregation and discrimination”?”

    Do statistics indicate black-on-black violence vs. black-on-white? Sources? In any case, I think that the atmosphere of violence in dealing with civil rights lead to an atmosphere of general violence.

    In any case, black-on-black violence (probably gang-related?) and the rise of single-parent familes doesn’t seem like an effect of welfare – it seems like the effect of poverty. Welfare started in the mid 60s at the same time as the violence did. I don’t think it acted that quickly.

    However, you may be right in that welfare may have helped create a good breeding-ground for say, the crack-wars, where people are idle and get into drugs. But I don’t see how having the government pay your pay check leads to black-on-black violence. I don’t see the logical connection, and the only connection that you’ve provided was that a violenece surge and welfare happened at the same time. It makes more sense that blacks militant about oppression created groups that advocated violence, riots, and so forth, thus creating a violent black society.

    It may sound a bit silly, but it makes more sense than welfare to me.

  282. I’m not sure which I find funnier, the theory that I’m “controlled by fear”, or that I’m a racist. To quote a certain famous toon, “He don’t know me vewy well, do he?”

  283. “…where people are idle and get into drugs. But I don’t see how having the government pay your pay check leads to black-on-black violence.”

    Surely your previous sentence answered your subsequent question? Humans are by nature aggressive creatures. If we have jobs, we’re competing against the clock, against deadlines, against our commercial competitors. If we’re being paid to be idle, maybe we start being aggressive against each other. And the only others in the vicinity at 11am on a weekday are other unemployed black welfare receipients.

    Perhaps blacks copped it worst by way of affirmative-action – whereby the guvmint sought a kind of reparation of sorts by readily giving welfare to blacks. Maybe. Just brainstorming here.

  284. # esr Says:

    I’m not sure which I find funnier, the theory that I’m “controlled by fear”, or that I’m a racist.

    You’re either a poor writer who is unaware of the impression that your writing gives, or you’re a paranoid racist. Or both. That your fanboys don’t see it that way is a case of looking at you through rose-tinted glasses.

    The reason people find you funny is because you claim to be a socially skilled advocate, but you have no idea how much of a dolt you come across as. If you were as talented with people as you claim to be, then even if your paranoia was warranted you would know when and how to communicate it.

  285. std: the trouble with welfare (as constructed at the time) was that it required the male head of household to be absent, or if present, to pretend to be absent. Like all entitlements, it teaches a false sense of the world: that merely by existing, you deserve anything. And because welfare (in some cities) didn’t pay enough to actually survive, clearly many people were cheating. When the government teaches you to cheat, your culture goes down the drain. And, if the head of household found any kind of work, they got their welfare cut off. We white folks taught an entire generation of black folks that working made you worse off. Some moron pointed out that blacks and whites received welfare in equal amounts while ignoring the fact that blacks are only 10% of the population (morons do that kind of thing — they can’t help themselves.) The *culture* of blacks was negatively affected more than whites.

    The problem is worse than that. Besides welfare, we also created well-paying but illegal jobs in the drug trade. The trouble with making anything illegal is that the people who trade in that thing have no access to the legal system. They have to devise their own system of justice — one which often involves violence, since incarceration or restitution is not practical for them. It’s acceptable to make violent things illegal, because that doesn’t create any more violence. It’s not good to make nonviolent things like drugs iillegal, because that creates violence where none existed.

  286. Phil: The Founding Fathers probably meant, when they said ‘minority’, ‘anyone with a viewpoint contrary to the majority opinion on a particular issue or set of issues.’ Was this supposed to be a rhetorical question?

    No, not on my part. I’m curious what Adrian10 thinks they meant.

  287. > Some moron pointed out that blacks and whites received welfare in equal amounts while
    > ignoring the fact that blacks are only 10% of the population (morons do that kind of thing
    > — they can’t help themselves.) The *culture* of blacks was negatively affected more than
    > whites.

    While the black population may have been 10% of the total US population in 1950, has grown steadily ever since 1930. It was 10.6% in 1960, 11.1% in 1970, 11.7% in 1980, and 12.1% in 1990.

    At the same time, the percentage of Census respondants who described themselves as ‘white’ fell. 1950: 89.5%, 1960: 88.8%, 1970, 87.5%, 1980: 83.1%, 1990: 80.3%.

    Most poverty (and therefore, most welfare eligibility) is in metropolitan areas. Interestingly,
    Black-White segregation is declining fairly consistently for most metropolitan areas and cities, and has done so for the past two decades. (This measured at a block level, so we really are looking at a neighborhood level view.) Your apparently presumption that poor blacks and poor whites form separate societies was true in the 1960s, but is far less so today.

    You might also want to look at where people live, as this likely has much to do with economic outlook as anything after education levels.

    http://www.census.gov/geo/www/mapGallery/images/black.jpg

    I don’t know that ESR is racist, though when the spit is flying from his mount its an understandable characterization. Some of his ‘fanboys’, however, seem to proudly play the race card from their suburban or rural encampment.

    But lets look at where these gys live.

    According to the 2000 Census data, racial makeup of the borough of Malvern, PA is 91.11% White, 3.82% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.24% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. About 0.9% of families and 2.7% of the population are living below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

    According to the 2000 Census data, the racial makeup of Postdam, NY is 94.21% White, 1.59% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 2.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. About 13.0% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

    From the numbers, both of these guys in an environment far ‘whiter’ than Spokane, WA., and Spokane (given my recent experience) is a racist nightmare. (It is also is quite near the HQ of the Aryan Nation. ) The racial makeup of Spokane is 89.46% White, 2.07% African American, 1.76% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 3.38% from two or more races. 15.9% of the population and 11.1% of families were below the poverty line. 19.3% of those over the age of 18 and 9.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

    Other than Spokane (which I hated), I’ve never lived anywhere where more than 65% of the population was white. That doesn’t mean I’m not a racist, nor does the data mean that Eric and Russ are racist, but then, I’m not the one claiming welfare causes black on black violence or calling for the eradication of Islam and all those who won’t renounce it. These statements are all to easy to view as racist or religious hatred.

    It also wasn’t me who wrote:
    Love and altruism are wonderful, but they don’t scale up well. So there is only one other kind of thing you can base a society on other than “greed and egotism”, and that is the use of force to compel people to live in somebody else’s One Right Way.

  288. Jim, that wasn’t the point of those sentences. The point was that while the total number of black families on welfare in whatever time period was equal to the total number of white families on welfare (or close to it at least), the total population of blacks was only 10% — so ten times as many of them were on welfare as whites. If 2% of white families were on welfare (I have no idea if this is true, I’m just throwing it out for a point of comparison), then 20% of black families were, by your own population and count-of-families-on-welfare numbers.

    So if more black families are on welfare than white families, isn’t it just a little odd that more violence is committed between blacks? Certainly not ten times more (well… probably not anyway, I don’t know the numbers), but more, and that’s a correlation. (No, it’s not causation; it’s possible that being marginally violent makes you more likely to sign up for welfare for some reason. Or, something else might be causing both.)

  289. No, not on my part. I’m curious what Adrian10 thinks they meant.

    Oh, sorry. Jeff was right, I think they meant the rich – the minority to which most of the FFs belonged IIRC. How about you?

  290. I think that’s too simplistic and fails to account for the idealistic view of many of the American Founding Fathers. They certainly did not hold the populist view that we do today, but they believed in enfranchising far more of the population than any other similar group of leaders did. It is a common trap to fall into, to judge someone of a different era by the standards of today. In 1776, the American Founding Fathers were radical democrats, far out on the edge of politics.

    What did they mean by the majority and the minority? Generally, they meant just what they said. They were mindful of the outcomes in Athenenian democracy and the tyrannies that had resulted. Their primary sources for their political thinking centered around Athens, Rome and the 17th century in England.

  291. Oh, and as far as what “class” they belonged to, some of the key leaders were self-made men. Certainly Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Sam Adams, John Hancock, Alexander Hamilton and quite a few others came from fairly humble beginnings. For the most part, by the time the Revolution began they were all middle class to upper class, but had worked to get there.

  292. > Do statistics indicate black-on-black violence vs. black-on-white? Sources?

    Yes, and if you don’t know this, you really don’t have enough background to offer substantive comments. (They didn’t laugh at Newton or Einstein, they laughed at Bozo the Clown.) And, if you can’t be bothered to exercise your favorite search engine…..

    You’ll also find that most murderers know their victims. (This shouldn’t be surprising – acquaintance provides opportunity to develop motive. And, violent people do know other people; they even have friends and family, and biz associates and competitors, etc. They even wear pants.)

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/violent_crime/murder.html

    > It makes more sense that blacks militant about oppression created groups that advocated violence, riots, and so forth, thus creating a violent black society.

    It’s one thing to say that blacks are/were uneducated, it’s quite another to say that they’re stupid.

    Note that the riots were very short-lived. The violence wasn’t. (You do have to be careful about self-serving “I did it because ….”)

    > the only connection that you’ve provided was that a violenece surge and welfare happened at the same time.

    Actually, I didn’t blame welfare. However, causes do precede effects ….

  293. Bryan,

    Please remember, I didn’t say that welfare causes black-on-black violence, that was Mr. Nelson.

    Most blacks live in the south(east), too, but I wouldn’t attempt to imply any causality there, or by the fact that a higher percentage of them are on welfare.

    And no, its not ‘odd’ at all. In statistics, one learns early that “correlation does not imply causation”.

    Typically, there are three relationships which can be taken (or mistaken) for causation:

    1) Causation: Changes in X cause changes in Y. For example, football weekends cause heavier traffic, more food sales, etc.

    2) Common response: Both X and Y respond to changes in some unobserved variable. Here are three true examples are examples of corellation due to common response.

    a) Ice cream sales and shark attacks both increase during summer.
    b) Skirt lengths and stock prices are likely both controlled by the general attitude of the country, liberal or conservative.
    c) The number of cavities and children’s vocabulary are both related to a child’s age.

    3) Confounding: The effect of X on Y is hopelessly mixed up with the effects of other explanatory variables on y. For example, if we are studying the effects of Tylenol on reducing pain, and we give a group of pain-sufferers Tylenol and record how much their pain is reduced, we are confounding the effect of giving them Tylenol with giving them any pill. Many people report a reduction in pain by simply being given a sugar pill with no medication in it at all, this is called the placebo effect.

    In science, in order to establish causation, a designed experiment must be run.

  294. Interesting that the moron picked up on the comment directed at him …. and got his reply wrong. I don’t know why I waste my time on mental midgits. I think I might not in the future.

  295. I’m just back from London. Two days ago, I’ve seen a Shi’ite preacher in the Hyde Park. Whenever someone asked something about terrorism, he just told that’s the Sunni’s game. Of course it’s false (Hezbollah etc.) but it was interesting that he talked about he Sunni’s with a hatred similar to the way Catholics and Protestants spoke of each other 500 years ago. In the light of this and the recent events in Iraq, there might still be hope for Western Civilization: either by Shi’ites and Sunnis screwing each other, or by having them make peace with each other and accepting each other. I mean religious tolerance is dangerous for religions of blind belief: Christianism started to decline when Catholics and Protestants stopped killing each other, because when the only reason in believing in something is the lack of competition, and if later people have to tolerate competing truths, their faith in their thruths as an absolute one starts to evaporate away. If we can somehow make them accept each other, soon they’ll end up accepting us as well.

  296. Lovely little at snopes.com re: a peaceful Muslim demonstration in London back in February 2006. Some of the pictures might be hard to make out, but I can clearly see some placards that read:

    SLAY THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM
    BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM
    BUTCHER THOSE WHO MOCK ISLAM
    EUROPE YOU WILL PAY EXTERMINATION IS THE ONLY WAY
    EUROPE IS THE CANCER ISLAM IS THE ANSWER
    EXTERMINATE THOSE WHO SLANDER ISLAM
    FREEDOM GO TO HELL
    EUROPE TAKE SOME LESSONS FROM 9/11
    EUROPE YOU WILL PAY 9/11 IS ON IT’S WAY
    BE PREPARED FOR THE REAL HOLOCAUST

    Reportedly the police said had they felt it necessary to make any arrests they wouldn’t have done so, because the mood of the crowd indicated that the police would have had a riot on their hands.

  297. > Christianism

    Huh? What’s the difference between “Christianism” and “Christianity”? If no difference, why the new word?

  298. Back to the ‘blacks->crime->welfare’ thing…a snippet from Sowell’s latest townhall.com column:

    >>>

    The greatest danger to the liberal vision are facts about the consequences of liberalism itself and the laws, policies, and ways of life that the left has spawned.

    That the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare state is only one example.

    Liberals have been driven to the desperate expedient of attributing this and other social pathology in today’s ghettos to “a legacy of slavery” — even though black children grew up with two parents more often under slavery than today.

    Blacks only a generation or two out of slavery also had higher rates of employment and lower rates of crime than today.

    The illogic of the “legacy of slavery” argument only illustrates the desperate attempt to salvage the liberal vision.

    The very people who argue this way would never be guilty of such illogic in discussing something that was not such a threat to their vision.

    One of the most telling examples of the social destructiveness of the left’s welfare-state vision can be found among the white slum dwellers in Britain described in the brilliant and insightful book “Life at the Bottom” by Theodore Dalrymple.

    There it is not possible to blame social degeneracy on slavery, racism or any of the other things cited as causes of the behavior and consequences found among blacks in American slums. Yet the results are virtually identical, right down to children beating up classmates for trying to get an education.

  299. More interesting is that Nelson has nothing to contribute other than angry, tear-blind insults. He can’t defend his argument, so he doesn’t try.

  300. Huh? What’s the difference between “Christianism” and “Christianity”? If no difference, why the new word?

    Like Islam/Islamism? Sounds perfectly useful to me – mere “Christianity” may have unintended positive connotations for some people (though in fact it could well just be the fact that Shenpen isn’t a native speaker).

  301. Oy. Accusations of who is and is not a racist, and much bile and bitterness doth flow.

    What next, an argument on immigration reform, and how we’re horribly racist in that field as well?

  302. Actually, I *can* defend my argument, you’re just not worth it, Jim, or Harvey, or Diane, or whatever you’re calling yourself today.

  303. >Liberals have been driven to the desperate expedient of attributing this and other social
    >pathology in today’s ghettos to “a legacy of slavery” — even though black children grew
    >up with two parents more often under slavery than today.

    Actually very few people who call themselves “Liberals” in the US advocate the idea that the problems in today’s ghettos are “a legacy of slavery”. Most of the people who say this publically are black, and they often don’t call themselves Liberals. Most Liberals talk about creating government programs to lift people out of poverty. They also talk about creating desegregated communities by forcing developers to build both high-income and low-income housing in the same neighborhoods. They talk about busing programs so white, black, and brown kids all go school together. Very few liberals believe that you can blame the ghetto on slavery. Did you notice who was calling for reparations for slavery? It was a tiny minority of blacks, and most blacks dismissed it as silly or pointless. The legacy of slavery rhetoric went out of style for most Liberals at about the same time that they dismissed the 1960s post-colonial theories.

    I’d also caution about using the word Liberal. In the past many progressive people on the left used to self identify as Liberals, but today a large proportion don’t, especially among people who are under the age of 30. I call myself a “leftist” or a “green” or more rarely a “Democrat” but I refuse to call myself a “Liberal” because Liberalism is associated with US militarism abroad and neoliberal economic policies which have been so detrimental to the lower class. Many of the people who listen to leftists like Molly Ivins, Greg Palast, Jim Hightower, Amy Goodman, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Steve Kinzer, Wiliam Blum, and Ralph Nadar no longer consider themselves “Liberals”. It is partly a generational divide, because many older people remember when Liberalism was associated with the Great Society and the New Deal. Today Liberalism means Clinton-style triangulation and staid middle-class security. It is no longer the passionate fight for the rights of the poor and working classes, nor the attempt to transform the world into a more just and equitable place. Plus, the rise of neoliberal economics (free trade) and the anti-globalization movement has made many progressive Americans aware of the international meaning of Liberal, which is closer to a traditional business-oriented Republican.

    >Blacks only a generation or two out of slavery also had higher rates of employment and lower
    >rates of crime than today.

    Most of the Blacks a generation or two out of slavery were sharecroppers or low wage workers. The position of blacks didn’t start to improve until the New Deal and trade unionism and the great migrations from the agrarian South to the industrial North. In the 1940s-early 70s, the employment of blacks improved because there was high demand for unskilled labor in the industrial north. What has destroyed the inner cities has been the closing of the factories and the exporting abroad of production jobs. Today, there is more demand for low-skilled female workers than male workers in many inner-city areas. Male workers have been forced to move into lower paying service jobs. That is the principal cause of unemployment. A black male in the inner-city in the 1960s had a much better chance of finding a factory job or other high paying low-skill job than today. Another major factor has been the rise of undocumented labor which undercuts wages for low-skilled work. At the same time, rising health care costs and rising housing costs have made it very difficult for the working poor to survive. The rise of crack, AIDS, the decreased government funding for the cities (Reagan moved funding from the cities to the states), the fall in HUD funding and Pell Grant funding, the increasing cost of secondary education, and the generally deteriating condition of schools have all caused worsening conditions in the inner-city.

    Liberals generally lament the rise in crime, single-parent families, drug use, self-destructive rap culture, and eroding morality, but they see these as the consequences of the economic and structural factors listed above, and not the primary causes. Frankly, I think the conservatives and libertarians who ignore the economic and structural issues and only advocate individual responsibility have their heads in the sand and aren’t doing a hard study of reality in the inner city. Individual responsibility only works when there are real economic opportunities available. We have a lot of policies which ensure that good paying jobs are not available for low-skilled black male in the inner-city,

    As I see it, the real solution to the problem is to stop pushing neoliberal economics which export production jobs abroad, get rid of zoning laws which are designed to prevent integration of mixed income housing, making sure that public transportation reaches areas where jobs are available, adequately fund inner city schools, create a universal health care system, increase the minimum wage, break up inner city project style housing and move those people into mixed income neighborhoods, and mandate that all new developments must have low income housing intermixed with higher income housing. Housing for low income people is at a critical low right now and the free market won’t provide it–so you have to have government subsidies to build low-income housing because otherwise there is no profit for developers.

    It does no good to tell people on welfare that they should go to work, if the jobs that they can work don’t pay enough to pay for child care. Welfare moms are often rational economic actors. if you want them to work, then you either have to subsidize their health care, child-care, and rent, or you have to raise the minimum wage. Yanking away welfare will only cause greater social problems and won’t address the fundamental problem that they aren’t being paid enough to support their kids.

    Of course, many conservatives and libertarians think that the dead-beat dads should be supporting those kids, instead of dumping all the responsibility on the moms and the welfare state. How do you get dads to pay child-support? The most effective systems in the world are in countries where the government pays for the child support, then the government is responsible for getting the wages from the parent who is supposed to be paying child support. Its actually a very effective system, but most conservatives and liberatarians in America would never vote for such a system although it is proven to be the most effective. Conservative and Liberals love to harp on the fact that welfare has destroyed marriage in the inner city. I think it more likely that more marriages fell apart because the man could no longer find a job, and the woman has become more employable than the man. That placed a huge strain on gender roles and many marriages broke up.

    Another huge strain has been the large number of black males who have been thrown in prison–1 in 4 American black male have served time in prison. Very few marriages survive a prison sentence. I don’t believe that longer prison sentences does much to reduce crime, although some things like going after turn-style jumpers and attacking minor crimes like grafitti writing can help create a climate of lawful behavior. You can trot out statistics that show that crime was reduced by greater law enforcement in the late 1990s, but you can also use the same data to prove that a better economy in the late 1990s raised unemployment and caused less crime.

    None of these solutions are very attractive to conservatives or libertarians, but they are solutions which work. How do we pay for it? We reduce our military budget from 500 billion per year (actually we spend closer to 750 billion per year if you add in all the costs) to 100 billion per year and we use all that excess money to fund social programs and create enterprise zones in the inner-cities. We could also switch to a Canadian style health care system so our health care costs would reduce from 15% of GDP to 8% of GDP. Transforming our parasitic legal system which consumes 1.8% of our GDP would also reduce costs dramatically. Both our health care system and our legal system are huge drags on our economy and we could stimulate growth by just by transforming these sectors. The other critical economic problem is the negative savings rate in America. We have been lucky because foreign countries have been willing to buy our debt and loan us money, but we are rapidly approaching the point were we will have to stop spending more than we earn and stop borrowing money from abroad if we want to avoid a crash of the US dollar. If we want to ensure strong growth which creates jobs in the future, we have to create policies which encourage domestic savings and stop our deficit spending. I figure that we could reduce military spending down to 100 billion–needless to say we need to close down 3/4ths of the 900 military bases which we maintain abroad and stop pursuing a foreign policy which creates needless wars and provokes terrorism. From the 400 billion we have saved from the military, spend an extra 200 billion on social programs, and still have 200 billion left over to pay down the debt. Restoring the estate tax and getting rid of the Bush tax cuts will pay for the rest of our deficit. The cost of Medicare and drugs will also fall because we have created a single payer health care, so the skyrocketing social security costs of the baby boomer generation will also be much less. These are the leftist solutions to the problem,which are shown to work in other countries. Unfortunately, the medical, drug, legal, military sectors all oppose the practical solutions to our problems, as well as most upper-class voters. Special interests prevent practical solutions, so people grow frustrated and say that government solutions don’t work, and they turn to liberatarian solutions or individualist solutions and talk about how personal morality and marital fidelity will solve all our problems. Prattling on about individual responsibility, throwing people off welfare, and telling people to get married are solutions which don’t work in the real world, but they do make nice sound bites.

  304. Taking comments out of order:

    “It’s one thing to say that blacks are/were uneducated, it’s quite another to say that they’re stupid.”
    I said they were violent, not stupid. Simply adding welfare will not make a violent society.

    “Actually, I didn’t blame welfare. However, causes do precede effects ….”
    Well, someone previously did. And saying that the white community had nothing to do with the violence surge in the 60s is probably wrong. Saying they caused it, though, is also probably wrong. In any case, any argument about welfare in the 60s is moot, because as I already said, *we don’t have those programs anymore.*

    “Yes, and if you don’t know this, you really don’t have enough background to offer substantive comments. (They didn’t laugh at Newton or Einstein, they laughed at Bozo the Clown.) And, if you can’t be bothered to exercise your favorite search engine…..”

    Well, let’s just *assume* I’m Bozo the Clown and all combinations of “1960 african american black violence crime statistics” or related words turn up very little on black-on-white or black-on-black statistics. You should be able to cite a source pretty easily if it’s so obvious, yes? Educate your fellow man! I never doubted that such statistics might be available, I just wanted to see them to educate myself.

    In any case, I finally “exercised my favorite search engine”:

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/eop/ca/pdfs/ch7.pdf
    The rate of black and white homicide victims increased twofold from 1960 to 1970.
    The number of blacks imprisoned did not significantly rise from 1960 to 1970.
    The number of blacks imprisoned increased by about 33% from 1970 to 1975, but the homicide rate remained constant.
    White imprisonment numbers decreased during this period.

    The *rate* of black imprisonment decreased from 1960 to 1975. (http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/RACIAL/Oliver%20Focus%202001.pdf)

    From 1960 to 1970, the rate of violent crimes increased ~125%, but the rate of murders ~50%. From 1960 to 1975 it was 203% and 88% respectively.
    (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm)

    The number of black arrests increased only 12% in metropolitan areas from 1960 to 1970.
    For all moderately violent crimes (murder, arson, burglary, theft, B&E), it rose 33%.
    For all “assualt” violent crimes (includes a sketchy “Other Assaults” category), it rose 43%.
    For all “serious” violent crimes (Murder, Manslaughter, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault), it rose 46%.
    Same stats, from 1960 to 1975 (and compared with whites):
    Moderate 94% (101%)
    “Assault” 84% (143%)
    “Serious” 108% (194%)
    http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/ICPSR-STUDY/02538.xml

    Black violence surge? What about the *white* violence surge?
    So it looks like the black increase probably just got more press time.

    According to FBI SHRs since 1976, most crimes are intraracial. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm) So a surge in violent crimes probably would have resulted in mostly black-on-black crimes. However, all secondary sources (I could not find primary source statistics prior to 1976 about criminal-victim relations) I could find said that black-on-white violence did rise during the 60s.

    The homicide victim rate for blacks peaked even *higher* than the 60s in 1990, but by 1995 went back to 1950s levels.
    The number of blacks imprisoned peaked in 1990.
    Imprisonment rates for whites and blacks both grew at the same rate until around 1985.
    Between 1985 and 1995, the fraction of admissions to state prisons that were for drug offenses grew from 13 to 31 percent.

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/race.htm
    This shows that violent crime *rates* for both blacks and whites decreased since 1973.

    By the way, if you look at welfare statistics from 1967, the distribution remains about the same as now: welfare did not correspond with either black or urban areas.
    http://afdc.urban.org/Distribution/AFDC1967.txt

    Other sources and statistics are quite welcome, as well as comments on these.

  305. > I said they were violent, not stupid.

    Let’s review.

    > It makes more sense that blacks militant about oppression created groups that advocated violence, riots, and so forth, thus creating a violent black society.

    Since the victims of said violence were overwhelmingly black, that’s a claim that black militants, intentionally or not, targetted blacks. That’s pretty much an accusation that black militants were stupid.

  306. > Simply adding welfare will not make a violent society.

    And the evidence for that claim is…. Self-evident conclusions should be the easiest to support by something beyond bald assertion.

    >>“Actually, I didn’t blame welfare. However, causes do precede effects ….”
    > Well, someone previously did.

    So? “someone previously” did almost anything that’s possible, but that doesn’t make it relevant.

    > And saying that the white community had nothing to do with the violence surge in the 60s is probably wrong.

    Actually, I asked what the white community did to cause the violence surge. (Nelson answered “welfare”.) Maybe the answer is “nothing”, but something did happen.

    > In any case, any argument about welfare in the 60s is moot, because as I already said, *we don’t have those programs anymore.*

    That’s nice, but the relevant question is whether we have programs with the relevant properties, not whether we have the same programs.

    And, arrest rates, while interesting, aren’t violence rates. Perhaps what the “white community did” was to not scale up arrests/convictions as the violence increased. (Warehousing is disabling.)

  307. “Since the victims of said violence were overwhelmingly black, that’s a claim that black militants, intentionally or not, targetted blacks. That’s pretty much an accusation that black militants were stupid.”

    Wow. That to me is proof *you’re* stupid. I said that the black militants advocated violence, and this in turn *created a culture of violence, which lead to a violent society where blacks were killing each other.* I never claimed black militants advocated violence on other blacks. You asked “what happened to the black community in the 60s?” And the simple answer isn’t welfare, it was the civil rights movement. I simply explained how that could lead to a surge of violence. In any case, I couldn’t find any victim/aggressor stats prior to 1976.

    “So? “someone previously” did almost anything that’s possible, but that doesn’t make it relevant.”
    Just explaining WHY I was arguing against that point, that’s all.

    “And, arrest rates, while interesting, aren’t violence rates. Perhaps what the “white community did” was to not scale up arrests/convictions as the violence increased. (Warehousing is disabling.)”

    I find it very difficult to believe that a surge in violence did not also result in a surge in arrests, especially with the very sensitive nature of the police and FBI towards blacks. (I would expect the number of black arrests to be *too* high.) All violence statistics are either reported crimes or things like National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which are quite flawed and have a small sample size. I also think that arrests is a good metric because it is more a measure of actual violence than just what Joe Schmoe says. I have yet to see *your* sources on there being a specfic black violence surge, as well.

    Warehousing was certainly not taking place: as you can see in the stats above, the number of arrests skyrocketed, but the *number of prisoners did not increase along with it.*

    I’m still not convinced at all that welfare has any direct effect on violence (want violence? add welfare!). There’s just no good evidence.

  308. >>And, arrest rates, while interesting, aren’t violence rates. Perhaps what the “white community did” was to not scale up arrests/convictions as the violence increased. (Warehousing is disabling.)

    > Warehousing was certainly not taking place: … but the *number of prisoners did not increase along with it.*

    Hint – I’m “blaming” the white community for NOT warehousing. Of course, when they did get around to warehousing, they got slammed for doing so.

    > as you can see in the stats above, the number of arrests skyrocketed,

    Perhaps std will argue this point with his evil twin.

    > I find it very difficult to believe that a surge in violence did not also result in a surge in arrests,

    >>I’m still not convinced at all that welfare has any direct effect on violence (want violence? add welfare!).

    That’s nice, but the claim under consideration is indirect effect and std has previously asserted that there’s no effect. When asked for evidence, he retreates to “still not convinced”.

  309. > You asked “what happened to the black community in the 60s?” And the simple answer isn’t welfare, it was the civil rights movement.

    Actually, I asked what the white community did to the black community to cause an explosion of violence.

    This may be the first time that I’ve seen someone outside the Klan blame the civil rights movement for black-on-black violence.

  310. >> as you can see in the stats above, the number of arrests skyrocketed,

    > Perhaps std will argue this point with his evil twin.

    >> I find it very difficult to believe that a surge in violence did not also result in a surge in arrests,

    I’m saying there WAS a surge in violence, but it wasn’t restricted to the black community, because white people were being arrested MORE than blacks for violent crimes. So the “surge” in the black community did happen, but it’s meaningless, because it was not a function of black communities, but rather the country as a whole. The two statements are not contradictory in the least.

    Perhaps I’m not making my points clear.

    > This may be the first time that I’ve seen someone outside the Klan blame the civil rights movement for black-on-black violence.

    It wasn’t the civil rights movement itself, it was the violence and oppression against the blacks and the retaliation of militant blacks. I’m sure that way above there, where someone says that black violence has white roots, they are probably talking about the oppression against blacks throughout the nation’s history. Clearly I’m not saying that granting civil rights or petitioning for them in a non-violent manner caused violence, and it doesn’t make sense to twist my words into that.

    Assuming there was an explosion in black violence, the chain goes like this: whites oppress blacks, blacks cry for civil rights, white oppress blacks violently, blacks retaliate violently. This is what would have caused the environment it took place in, and was my argument. However, I think I have shown pretty well that there was no violence explosion exclusively in the black community, therefore the very premise of what we were discussing is completely invalid.

    > That’s nice, but the claim under consideration is indirect effect and std has previously asserted that there’s no effect. When asked for evidence, he retreates to “still not convinced”.

    There’s plenty of points against it:
    1) Jim Thompson has made this point very well. “This, along with other results in this study and elsewhere, suggest that something more than (perhaps other than) “welfare” is at play, and that Nelson’s conclusion is inaccurate in the extreme.” This of course, was just talking about blaming welfare for a violence surge in the 60s.
    2) Number of welfare recipients and violence do not even correlate, let alone be a casual relationship. For example, in 1967, Pennsylvania as in the top 5 of welfare recipients. California had so little it didn’t even get on the list. But Pennsyvania had less than half of the murder rate.
    3) Beyond philisophical handwaving (which I am guilty of as well), there is no reason to even suspect welfare is a cause of violence. I have not seen any evidence to support welfare being a cause of violence, either.

    Perhaps welfare doesn’t aid the situation; you might be able to argue that. However, seeing as welfare has been in place since 1935, and violence in the US began to sink rapidly in 1935 to eventually get to late 1950 levels, there seems to be more evidence that welfare *prevents* violence. I’m not claiming that is the case (to do so would be an error of mistaking correlation with causation), but I see nothing that even suggests that welfare *causes* violence in any way, and many signs that it doesn’t.

    I did find an interesting page that claims the “drug war” is to blame for an increase in violence in the country. I haven’t more than glanced at it, so you may need a pinch of salt. http://www.drugwarfacts.org/crime.htm

  311. > > This may be the first time that I’ve seen someone outside the Klan blame the civil rights movement for black-on-black violence.

    > It wasn’t the civil rights movement itself, it was the violence and oppression against the blacks and the retaliation of militant blacks.

    Except that “the violence and oppression against the blacks” went down in the 60s and 70s, not up. It was significantly higher in the early/middle part of the 20th century than it was in the later part.

    Even the violence in opposition to the civil rights movement happened earlier, mostly in late 50s. (Whites in certain northern cities did burn school buses in protest against school desegregation in the late 60s, but blacks were no where near said buses.)

    In other words, std’s theory is basically “whites stopped killing blacks, so blacks responded by killing even more blacks”.

  312. > you might be able to argue that. However, seeing as welfare has been in place since 1935,

    > In any case, any argument about welfare in the 60s is moot, because as I already said, *we don’t have those programs anymore.*

    In other words, we’re supposed to ignore the welfare changes in the 60s but not the welfare changes in the 90s. After all, the 60s changes drastically increased benefits and the 90s changes modestly decreased them, albeit not to where they were before the 60s changes.

  313. Thanks, J. Alan Brown. I will do my best to make these pictures seen by as many people as possible.

    Europe needs to wake up.

  314. You know guys, there is something really hilarious in this talk now. I mean I’m as a typical “international Jew” who became Buddhist being born and living in Hungary talking with a British guy living in Japan and with an American guy with a Hungarian mother and a German wife and many others with possibly similarly mixed background trying to talk really straight-faced and serious about “how the Euros think” and “how the Americans think” … Bwahaha. It’s just absurd. Such categories just don’t exist anymore. Sure, our goverments and elites sometimes tend to be different, but even in that I am not so sure – Sarkozy would make a decent American, and Chomsky is more popular over here, I think.

  315. Andy Freeman:

    Yes, “Christianism” was just a freudian slip, because I spent a lot more time on Hinduism and Buddhism than Christianity, but without any special meaning here.

  316. > In other words, std’s theory is basically “whites stopped killing blacks, so blacks
    > responded by killing even more blacks”.

    If that was truly what I was saying, you’d have to add “and whites repsonded by killing even more whites.”

    You act as if I was saying that the surge in violence was intentional and premeditated. It doesn’t matter who’s killing who: when people rob a liquor store or participate in a gang fight, they aren’t thinking about how to respond to societal matters (unless it is in direct response to an aggression, such as the assassination of MLK). For one reason or another, they’ve merely convinced themselves that violence is the best way to get what they want. And because of the great amount of violence being done to and done by their own community, chances are that more people think violence is a correct solution. Therefore, because of the climate of the 60s, it would not be surprising if black violence surged.

    Let’s review:

    1) Some whites oppressed and caused violence on blacks
    2) Some blacks responded with violent force
    3) 1) and 2) are catalysts for creating a violent community.
    4) Violent Community = rise in violence.

    However, there are two points I’m not making clear enough:
    1) There is no proof, simply conjecture, that the amount of black-on-white violence (or vice versa) did not rise significantly from 1960 to 1975. Statistics as far as I can tell only go back to 1976.

    2) The surge in violence in the black community was part of a nation-wide increase in violence in ALL communities.

    3) Given that violence was surging in all communities throughout the country, something else besides race is to blame. The violent climate of race relations may partly be to blame, because, in accordance with my theory above, it may have had an impact on *both* the white and black communities. But something else was probably more to blame for this, and I’m not sure what it was. I do know that it wasn’t the existence of welfare.

    A question for you: what caused the white surge in violence?

    > In other words, we’re supposed to ignore the welfare changes in the
    > 60s but not the welfare changes in the 90s. After all, the 60s changes
    > drastically increased benefits and the 90s changes modestly decreased
    > them, albeit not to where they were before the 60s changes.

    Welfare in the 90s offers significantly less benefits. AFAIK, the changes in the 60s was simply to add (?) benefits for families, which is why the ADC became the AFDC. Before then, there were still no time limits, and there was no incentive to find work. The 90s dramatically changed the way welfare works in the United States.

    When I said that talking about it was useless now (or “moot”), you insisted that we look at how welfare affected our country so that we can find out what elements of ADC/AFDC (if any!) caused violence or had other negative consequences on our country. I am saying that welfare will not create more violence, but the argument can be made that it does not aid or prevent violence.

  317. Why the “camel” comment? Not all camel herders are terrorist sympathisers. Some might think that the hundreds of thousands of civilians that the US have killed by bombings in the Middle East was a worthwhile sacrifice. (Not that I’ve met a camel herder that thinks that.)

    Eric, you used to be a anarchist, but after 2001-09-11 you’ve been uncritically reurgitating government propaganda.

    Göring supposedly said “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger.”

    When I see two sides bombing the shit out of civilians, I can’t help but think that something stupid — “idiotarian” — is going on. Even the killing of soldiers is such a waste; it’s the leaders we should go after. Bush, Saddam, Cheney, Bin Laden.

    I wish we’d try improving living conditions for people instead of screwing each other over.

  318. >Eric, you used to be a anarchist, but after 2001-09-11 you’ve been uncritically reurgitating government propaganda.

    I’m still an anarchist. And if I were regurgitating government propaganda, I would be repeating the nonsense that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

    Sometimes civilization really is under threat. This is one of those times. It’s a shame we don’t have any force other than governments that can meet the threat on a short enough timescale, and I’d change that if I could, but reality is reality.

  319. Sunnan:

    >it’s the leaders we should go after. Bush, Saddam, Cheney, Bin Laden.

    Nice interleaving of groups there, wise guy.

    You might be happy to know that al-Zarqawi won’t be down for breakfast. Maybe we can improve some “living conditions” now that this rabid dog has been put to death.

  320. esr Says:
    June 8th, 2006 at 8:42 am

    >Eric, you used to be a anarchist, but after 2001-09-11 you’ve been uncritically reurgitating government propaganda.

    I’m still an anarchist. And if I were regurgitating government propaganda, I would be repeating the nonsense that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

    He’s wrong that you’ve been uncritically regurgitating propaganda, but you’re not countering the full point there. You’ve used this technique of making a valid rebuttal to only part of a point in several places on this forum. Is that intentional smoke and mirrors, or are you not engaging in a reasoned argument?

  321. # Walter Hunt Says:
    June 8th, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    Sunnan:

    >it’s the leaders we should go after. Bush, Saddam, Cheney, Bin Laden.

    Nice interleaving of groups there, wise guy.

    You once asked me why I bother calling out Eric. Why do you swoop down to answer this particular comment when it’s such easy pickings?

    You might be happy to know that al-Zarqawi won’t be down for breakfast.

    Just so you drooling morons won’t accuse me of being an anti-American leftie (again), I’ll state here that I believe this is a good thing. But it’s probably not going to change anything in the long-run.

    Maybe we can improve some “living conditions” now that this rabid dog has been put to death.

    “Rabid dog”? It’s ironic that Eric and friends brag about being enlightened regarding the state of the world, and yet they produce nothing but emotional outbursts.

  322. Why the “camel” comment?

    Because Eric does not understand what it means to be funny, professional or pragmatic. This kind of ridiculous bravado is par for the course with Eric, leading some to wonder if OSS should really want to be associated with him.

  323. >You once asked me why I bother calling out Eric. Why do you swoop down to answer this particular comment when it’s >such easy pickings?

    >>You might be happy to know that al-Zarqawi won’t be down for breakfast.

    >Just so you drooling morons won’t accuse me of being an anti-American leftie (again), I’ll state here that I believe this is >a good thing. But it’s probably not going to change anything in the long-run.

    Well, I think it’ll have a long-term positive effect, but it’s the beginning of a change, not the end of it.
    As for why I “swooped in”, it’s because I’m in such a jovial mood due to the news. Guess we “drooling morons” can still experience pleasure.

    >>Maybe we can improve some “living conditions” now that this rabid dog has been put to death.

    >“Rabid dog”? It’s ironic that Eric and friends brag about being enlightened regarding the state of the world, and yet they >produce nothing but emotional outbursts.

    Excuse me? I state my opinion dispassionately. When a person performs acts of evil – for example, but not limited to, beheading innocents on video – that person gets demoted in my mind from human to animal. But I beg your pardon. To characterize al-Zarqawi as a dog is insulting to dogs, rabid or otherwise.

    Walter.

  324. Excuse me? I state my opinion dispassionately. When a person performs acts of evil – for example, but not limited to, beheading innocents on video – that person gets demoted in my mind from human to animal. But I beg your pardon. To characterize al-Zarqawi as a dog is insulting to dogs, rabid or otherwise.

    ‘Evil’ is not dispassionate language. ‘Demoting’ people from ‘human to animal’ has no pragmatic value, and is purely and obviously an emotional response. You fail it.

  325. “Excuse me? I state my opinion dispassionately. When a person performs acts of evil – for example, but not limited to, beheading innocents on video – that person gets demoted in my mind from human to animal.”

    I’ve been thinking, and maybe something that esr and other aggressive atheists find scariest about Christianty and other religions is this bizarre ability Christians have to *forgive* fellow human beings.

    Of course I’m not saying to let him go. But certainly he has the capacity to be forgiven if he truly repents (bloody unlikely).

  326. I’ve been thinking, and maybe something that esr and other aggressive atheists

    IIRC Eric’s not an atheist; he’s just too cool to choose a mainstream religion.

    find scariest about Christianty and other religions is this bizarre ability Christians have to *forgive* fellow human beings.

    I’m sure they’re quaking in their boots.

  327. > 1) Some whites oppressed and caused violence on blacks
    > 2) Some blacks responded with violent force

    Except that the white violence had been a constant up until the time that the “response” occurred, so it wasn’t actually a response. It would be more accurate to say that some blacks responded to a reduction of white-on-black violence by committing black-on-black violence. (There wasn’t significant black-on-white violence.)

    > 1) There is no proof, simply conjecture, that the amount of black-on-white violence

    Huh? No one has made any claim about black-on-white violence (before my statement above).

  328. >> In other words, we’re supposed to ignore the welfare changes in the
    >> 60s but not the welfare changes in the 90s. After all, the 60s changes
    >> drastically increased benefits and the 90s changes modestly decreased
    >> them, albeit not to where they were before the 60s changes.

    > Welfare in the 90s offers significantly less benefits.

    Than what? Than 80s? Yes, than pre-60s, no.

    > AFAIK, the changes in the 60s was simply to add (?) benefits for families, which is why the ADC became the AFDC. Before then, there were still no time limits, and there was no incentive to find work.

    The 60s changes made it easier to “make a living” on welfare. That’s a huge change.

  329. > Except that the white violence had been a constant up until the time that the “response” occurred,
    > so it wasn’t actually a response. It would be more accurate to say that some blacks responded to
    > a reduction of white-on-black violence by committing black-on-black violence. (There wasn’t
    > significant black-on-white violence.)

    First, it doesn’t matter if violence was constant or increasing; when people do something because of it, it is technically a *response.*

    The situation I was talking about was specific incidents of black communities and individuals advocating and employing violence in their struggle for civil rights. Witness the riots of 1968. This was in direct response to white-on-black violence: viz. the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Point #2 was talking about specific incidents which changed the paradigm of violence in black communities. Basically I’m saying that the strife between white and black communities created an atmosphere where violence *unrelated to that struggle* was more likely to occur.

    To say that black people in general “responded” is foolish for the very reasons I pointed out in my previous post.

    You’re clearly confusing my distinction between specific and general events. In specific cases regarding racial issues, yes, white violence did lower as there were less reported cases of protestors being harmed, lynch mobs, etc. However, in general, white violence did in fact increase during that period.

    >> 1) There is no proof, simply conjecture, that the amount of black-on-white violence

    > Huh? No one has made any claim about black-on-white violence (before my statement above).
    The claim was implicit in what you had previously said. You claimed there was an explosion of black crime, and that it was black-on-black crime. That necessarily means you are claiming the amount of black-on-white violence was insignificant.

    >> AFAIK, the changes in the 60s was simply to add (?) benefits for families, which is why the ADC became the AFDC. Before then, there were still no time limits, and there was no incentive to find work.

    > The 60s changes made it easier to “make a living” on welfare. That’s a huge change.

    From what I can tell, the changes made only made more people eligible for welfare. I have not found any evidence that the nature of benefits significantly changed. My guess is that’s just hearsay, or else the Internet sucks.

    But fair enough, welfare did open up to more people in the 60s. But in the face of that evidence, you have the fact that violence decreased when it (and pretty much the entire New Deal!) went into effect. Also there is no correlation with the places with the most welfare and the places with the most violence.

    You also seemed to be worried most about people “making a living” on welfare – it currently is very difficult to do so. I think our government has already realized that giving people no incentive to work (if possible) is a bad thing and can harm a society. But to necessarily link it with the violence explosion in the 60s is, as Jim Thomspon put it, inaccurate in the extreme.

  330. (filling this thread up some more whee)
    >> find scariest about Christianty and other religions is this bizarre ability Christians have to *forgive* fellow human beings.

    > I’m sure they’re quaking in their boots.

    OK, not scared. Offended, threatened, whatever makes them angry.

  331. > white violence did lower as there were less reported cases of protestors being harmed, lynch mobs, etc. However, in general, white violence did in fact increase during that period.

    White on black violence decreased. It’s unclear why black on black violence would increase as a result.

  332. > That necessarily means you are claiming the amount of black-on-white violence was insignificant.

    And, it is.

  333. > But in the face of that evidence, you have the fact that violence decreased when it (and pretty much the entire New Deal!) went into effect.

    And the end of prohibition had no effect….

  334. > You also seemed to be worried most about people “making a living” on welfare – it currently is very difficult to do so.

    “seemed” isn’t based on anything I wrote.

    Std claimed that 30s welfare was just like 60s welfare. However, as he now admits, 60s welfare both covered a greater percentage of the population AND was “a living”.

    Yes, things are different now. Interestingly enough, so is the crime rate.

    Std places too much weight on “same time, different place/welfare” crime rates and ignores “different time/welfare, same place” crime rates.

  335. Welcome in the club, even though it’s sad news.

    Personally I don’t think you have to worry much about the threat, but still – wise decision to let appropriate authorities handle the matter – just in case.

  336. Hmmm… (thinkin’, thinkin’,thinkin’) your name sounds Northern – therefore: are you one of the guys who received death threaths due to the Muhammad cartoons? Is that the club you mentioned?

  337. >> white violence did lower as there were less reported cases of protestors being harmed, lynch mobs, etc. However, in general, white violence did in fact increase during that period.
    > White on black violence decreased. It’s unclear why black on black violence would increase as a result.

    You act as if violence rates can explain everything when really, human motive sheds more light on the situation:

    It doesn’t matter if the amount DID drop. The damage was already done, and the black militant groups that advocated violence certainly weren’t paying attention to dropping violence statistics. All they knew is that the white community had harmed the black community and it was time to fight back.

    Over the years, the effect of these two violent movements (white-against-black and vice versa), to use a metaphor, planted a seed of violence which grew into the surge in violence we saw in the 1960s and 1970s.

    >> That necessarily means you are claiming the amount of black-on-white violence was insignificant.
    > And, it is.

    And I’m saying you have no evidence of that sort. The furthest x-on-y stats goes back is 1976, at least that I can find.

    >> But in the face of that evidence, you have the fact that violence decreased when it (and pretty much the entire New Deal!) went into effect.

    > And the end of prohibition had no effect….

    Let’s see if you can understand an analogy:
    Introduction of Welfare in 1930s : Prohibition :: Expansion of Welfare in 1960s : Civil Rights Movement

    >> You also seemed to be worried most about people “making a living” on welfare – it currently is very difficult to do so.

    > “seemed” isn’t based on anything I wrote.
    Yes, it’s something I wrote because that was an inference I made. Sigh.

    > Yes, things are different now. Interestingly enough, so is the crime rate.

    But the fact remains that the majority of welfare recipients did not live in violent areas. That is evidence against welfare being a cause of violence.

    In addition, no matter where you look, there are always better and more likely causes for increases and decreases in violence. Example: the violence boom of the 191x and 1935 went along with prohibition and the Depression. The violence lull corresponded with the end of prohibition and the beginning of the New Deal – bringing the economy around. The next violence increase was around the end of the 60s – corresponding to the drug war and economic downturn around 1973. The recent decrease in violence was in 1995 (after the peak of violence brought on by the recession of the Bush/Reagan era), corresponding to the booming economy, though imprisonment has remained high because of the continuation in the drug war.

    The previous paragraph is quite hand-wavy, inaccurate, and not very rigorous at all. But the point is that economic highs and lows and increased drug enforcement both correspond better to violence increases and decreases than welfare, in my opinion. That is, the evidence for welfare is even shakier than the previous paragraph. However, you are correct in that it may be the case that welfare in situation X is not harmful, but in situation Y causes violence. However, there is too little information, and theory behind it is weak. Yes, welfare may cause the idleness of the poor and destabilize their families – but another possibilty is that it does what it’s supposed to: give them a chance to increase their lot, get better education, and provide better for their families. So maybe welfare may have caused something, but in looking at the situation, it seems highly unlikely.

    Also, I’m going to stop this thread of conversation because no new ideas are coming out of it; we should stop shitting up Eric’s blog; and you’re clearly just trolling me at this point by shifting arguments and refusing to understand the English language. However, I find arguing with trolls is sometimes an excellent exercise.

  338. this e-mail is probably some idiot who thinks dogmatic murder sounds like a laugh, or just wants to see what you’d do, it would be funny if it weren’t so nasty

    I may be wrong but people who are serious generally don’t warn their victims beforehand, and have at least some competence to be able to spell – perhaps?

    I conclude tis a joker

  339. Erics comments are really embarrassing. I don’t mean to say that he shouldn’t speak his mind, but this whole blog experiment reminds me of Wil Wheaton dot Net: intimacy may not be a good thing. Do we really need to hear about Wil Wheaton’s every fart and piddle? No. Yet there seems to be a few hundred die-hard fans who will lap up anything Professor Wil has to say. They follow his every ‘adventure’. The same with ESR, apparently. It’s not difficult to see how a ready stable of ‘yes men’ fans can distort one’s sense of what is appropriate to public discussion.

    The Internet has invited us to dispose of the distinction between the public and the private, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. Some things are better articulated among friends in private; some things in public, carefully worded. Mixing the two results in the kind of public display of private moderate-extremism we can see in ESR’s blog. The private stable of fans draw one into making increasingly private-type comments, yet the technology is fundamentally public here. What should be carefully guarded, or carefully worded, comes out unfiltered for broadcast to the world.

    My solicited and probably unwanted advice to ESR is to stick to his public advocacy roles on his public blogs, and ditch the moderate-extremism, before his credibility is entirely and permanently blown. He should accept the fact that his blog *does* reflect badly on him for many people, even folks who agree substantially (in a general sense) with his political views, though perhaps not with the vitriol and stereotyping.

    But, hey, who the f*** cares, right? This is the Internet, and one of the fun parts is watching people implode in a very public way. Have fun ESR, in all you do!

    hgl

  340. Finally, someone who shoots from the hip. Good on yer ESR! Its about time someone socked it to these religious fascists. Sadly, as Friedrich Nietzsche (of `God is Dead’ fame) said, “Cows can ruminate, but most people cannot.” Long after we’re gone, people will still be buying into a bunch of crap spouted centuries ago by a bunch of ignorant goat-herders in the Arabian desert (I am also referring to that other `pernicious superstition’, Christianity). I spent a weekend listening to an audio book of Carl Sagan’s `Demon-haunted world’ (http://disgruntledmass.v2.nl/media/) and I was in a foul mood for days afterwards. Perhaps it’s true what Einstein said: only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity…

  341. Eric, you are a good man.. really. But you are blind =( Can’t you see?? America IS an international terrorist #1 (no, not the people, but world’s zionistic government, which rules you and lying to you (same shit is in my country too :E)). Americans should fight for freedom on their own land first..
    You thinking like a child, you simplifying all things.. please look wider

    sincerily yours

  342. Eric,
    I respect your work very much; your grasp of the dynamics of large groups is astonishing.
    However, I find your intolerance and over-generalizations disappointing. Labeling all Muslims as terrorists is simply ignorant. Even generalizing about all terrorists is inaccurate and, in the end, ineffective.

    I don’t propose that we all sit in a circle and sing “Kumba yah”(sp?). I admit that there are real problems facing this world and this country, but railing against another religion or group of people just doesn’t help the situation.

    I propose the following solution to the world’s problem: (Feel free to lambast this in a subsequent posting.)

    Ensure that everyone is part of a healty community, where people are respected (free of opression) and forces are balanced. By “forces are balanced” I mean things like personal power/freedom and personal accountability/responsibility; risk and reward; choices and consequences.

    Why is this the solution? Because criminals are simply people who have found that crime is easy and effective; and crime is best committed against “them” and never “us”. When everyone feels valued and respected, and part of a social order — an interdependent give-and-take relationship with the community — they get their needs met by working within the community, rather than against it.

    Of course what makes a community healthy is the family. It should be the greatest source of love, acceptance, and joy. The definition of “dysfunctional” is when the family doesn’t supply these things to its members. A family is the embodiment of the cycle of life: growing up (being cared for), gaining independence, getting married (interdependence), having children (caring for), and aging (being cared for). It’s always the same play, but we change roles as we go along.

    I guess what I’m asking you to do is to become more emotionally mature, and it’s not something I can expect simply based on my request, nor something with which I can help you.

    I’ve given some thought to solutions to the world’s problems. I’m interesting in knowing your thoughts.

    Jack Meogh

  343. Iraq war still not over; gas prices still relatively way too high for us Americans (lots higher than before the war, all the “hash” from Katrina just about settled and accounted for).

    Perhaps the “cognitive dissonance” pejorative that I was saddled with for considering Iraq a war for oil should be attributed to the one who aimed it at me. I haven’t been presented with evidence that could or should make me change my mind, rather Diablovision is the one who’s been presented with such evidence. I think Diablovision is a low- or middle-income conservative who just can’t believe it that the same people who would fleece Iraq for its oil would also fleece him at the pump.

    Meanwhile, at herboverstreet dot com, I almost always avoid the political. I prefer to launch into many various areas, usually with an eye for the different or the humorous or the beautiful. Quirkiness and variety are much more fun than dry drab politics.

  344. You are the loveliest american I know.Keep up the movement and never step back. We are going to have a great demonstration in a week.

    Eric, really, I will never forget this. I pray for you, good man.

    Mana from Persia

  345. Hi, I just thought I’d post a comment and let you know your website layout is really messed up on the Firefox browser. Seems to work fine in IE though. Anyways keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>