Iranian connection in the Boston bombing

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the terrorist who died in a firefight with the Boston police with a kettle bomb strapped to him, had a YouTube page. Examining an image of it, I found an approving link to a movie titled “The Black Flags of Khorasan”.

Because, unlike the politically-correct idiots who infest our nation’s newsrooms, I’ve actually studied the history of Islam in some detail, that title had immediate resonance for me. I thought I knew what it meant, and I googled.

What I found confirmed my hunch. Not just that Black Flags from Khorasan is a jihadist propaganda movie, but that it’s a jihadi movie of a particularly interesting kind – Mahdist, and almost certainly radical Shi’a. Mahdism is present in Sunni but much less central, and in any case the region of Khorasan has been the heart country of Shi’a for nearly a thousand years.

Domestic terrorism, my ass. As usual, the mainstream media was slavering to pin this on some Richard-Jewell-like native-born conservative (bonus points if they get to say “Tea Party”). As usual, it’s a jihadi atrocity in which fundamentalist Islam was causal.

But that film is a more specific clue. If the investigators have even a microgram of brains, they’re looking for an Iranian connection now.

462 thoughts on “Iranian connection in the Boston bombing

  1. Good eye! Congratulations.

    Give ’em the scoop, I bet they’ll air it and give you lots of credit.
    |
    |
    o
    (dripping with sarcasm)

  2. Actually, the second the word “Chechnya” was mentioned, it was obviously a Muslim thing. Then “Kyrgyzstan” was added, which made it certain. An Iran connection? Not necessarily. Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan have enough home-grown nastiness that they don’t need Iranians (or anyone else) to help them be assholes.

    The Khorasan movie? I’ve watched a few movies and read a few books about Emiliano Zapata, but that doesn’t make me a Mexican or mean that I follow Subcomandante Marcos.

    Those boys are/were just screwed up. As the uncle and other have noted, the U.S. has been good to Che

  3. hit the wrong button – anyway, most Chechans I’ve met liked the U.S. and were good dudes. Some have been nominally Muslim, but the kind of Muslim who split a bottle of Scotch with you because, you know, the prophet said WINE was forbidden & didn’t mention whisky. Or beer. :)

  4. The bombers seem to be from the Causasus, so David Sirota and company can still get some comfort by calling them “Caucasian.”

  5. I was expecting the Boston terrorists to be Caucasian. I wasn’t expecting them to be, literally, Caucasian (from the Caucasus)! When I read they were from Chechnya I thought, “aren’t they predominantly Muslim over there?” Curiouser and curiouser…

    Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism. So when two white chav-looking dudes with baseball caps materialize as the suspects, it’s logical for the media to suspect them of being the former until they get more information.

  6. “…America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.”

    Even if we stipulate without evidence that this is the case, can we agree that we’re under relatively little threat from any sort of terrorism? Can we not hire a bunch of cops and throw away a bunch of civil liberties (yea, even those of the great unwashed flown-over masses) as a result of this event?

  7. To be honest, I’d been thinking domestic terrorism myself until I heard they were Chechens (without really listening to what the media was saying one way or the other). The “gunpowder and shrapnel in a pressure cooker” description of the bombs sounds more like a lone wolf than an organized terror group, and one tends to think of domestic terrorists as lone wolves and Islamic terrorists as being better organized. That line of thought still has me thinking that the perpetrators were acting on their own (rather than being funded by Iran or whoever else), but I was wrong about them being domestic vs. Islamic terrorists so I could be wrong on that too. But if Iran was funding them, I’d think they’d have a budget for a bit more than pressure-cooker bombs.

  8. As usual, the mainstream media was slavering to pin this on some Richard-Jewell-like native-born conservative (bonus points if they get to say “Tea Party”)

    This is a pretty stupid example, since after mercilessly hounding Richard Jewell the real Atlanta bomber turned out to be a native-born conservative, not an Islamist.

  9. Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism

    Oh, bullshit. How the hell is that a fact? Domestic, maybe, in that some of the threats are residents or citizens. Right-wing? No. That’s about the least likely threat and as usual everyone jumped to the “must be a bitter white male” conclusion. Like with the DC sniper.

    I just got done doing the “I told you so” on someone on another site who posted on the same day “Income tax day, in Boston. I’m betting extremists who call themselves Tea Party members. Way to put the final nails in the coffin of that political movement, guys.”

    The jury is still be out, but I’ll stick to my opinion that right-wing terrorism isn’t that big a threat. I suppose arguably you could define Islam as conservative, but I doubt that’s what you meant.

  10. To follow up on Roblimo’s point, my first thought on seeing the reference to Khorasan was to remember that Tamerlan’s namesake kicked around in that region for much of his illustrious career. Whether he was stealing horses, losing fingers, or slaughtering Persians, Tamerlane is naturally associated with Khorasan. I’m not familiar with the movie, but based on its name it could have appealed to Tamerlan based on its location. Personally I don’t rob trains but I’m keen on dramatizations of the exploits of Jesse James.

  11. Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    How did you come to this conclusion? What is your data?

  12. Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    Nonsense. By what measure? Not by body count. Not by support among populations at large as measured by any poll I’ve ever seen. Not by support from public figures.

  13. >Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    Really? When’s the last time domestic right-wing terrorists killed 3,000 people in a single event? When’s the last time a domestic terrorist attack was conducted by an organization rather than an individual or ad-hoc small group?

    Also, be careful making statements like that lest they be self-fulfilling prophecies when far-right paranoids take them as confirmation that the godless pinko commies *are* out to get them.

  14. And yet, the fact that he grew up in the United States says something (not too pleasant) about our public education.

  15. Pingback: Iranian connection in the Boston bombing • bring back unix

  16. ricin Elvis is a democrat. doesn’t sound very right wing nutty.

    the ada, da and wife killed in texas recently we were told would be white supremists. nope. wacked by a judge and his wife to settle a personal score. btw, also democrats and not very right wing nutty.

    the narrative is rather hollow and worn out.

  17. I’m suspicious of an Iranian connection. Right now the US is in the “bad doggie” phase of their relationship with Iran. Problematic enough we take the time to say mean things about them, not caring enough to do anything other than assign interns to draft nasty memos to be passed in secret at the UN.

    If Iran was to have directed this attack, they’ve basically signed their own death warrant. The US is tired of military occupation, but *loves* a good bombing campaign (esp. with the bombs with video feedback that looks so great on CNN). Notwithstanding the public idiots in the government, their intelligence and military operations seem too professional to let something like this be directed. It is the worst type of terrorist attack – the US gets more sympathy points than anything else, and they’d get little in response. Without any hard evidence, I’d be more likely to believe the wacko conspiracy theories than this. Trained or inspired by Iran … maybe. Under their control – not likely.

  18. My first thought was North Korea. Distract everyone with the sabre rattling and then sneak a bomber in. Wouldn’t be a smart move but if all you’re looking for is to score some short term points…

  19. That the bomb was reported to be made of gunpowder with misc projectiles in a pressure cooker would seem to point toward ordinary materials and homemade construction rather than more formidable stuff available to a state-sponsored (e.g. Iranian) operative. Tho some early reports described the bomb as “sophisticated”.

  20. “Homemade construction” doesn’t really say much, because terrorists who get training from Iranians etc. are trained to build homemade bombs with local materials. Certainly if I were an Iranian terrorist trainer, I wouldn’t be supplying my students with any materials that could be traced back to Iran.

    Iran has been known to train Chechens, by the way.

  21. > Jeff Read says Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    Jeff, you need remedial math – let me help
    Terror attacks resulting in death by Islamists since 2011: 20,730
    Terror attacks resulting in death by Right Wingers since 2011: 3 ?

    http://thereligionofpeace.com/ or as I call it, “the religion of Peas”

    Dunno why we let islamic chechens, pakistanis, iranians, arabs, or somalis immigrate into the USA – our leaders are either REALLY stupid or have a death wish

  22. > Jeff Read says Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    Jeff, you need remedial math – let me help
    Terror attacks resulting in death by Islamists since 2011: 20,730
    Terror attacks resulting in death by Right Wingers since 2011: 3 ?

    http://thereligionofpeace.com/ or as I call it, “the religion of Peas”

  23. A wonderfully ironic detail: the Mercedes SUV they carjacked had one of those “Coexist” bumper stickers.

  24. I saw the news reports and the cheering crowds now that the second of the suspects has been apprehended in Boston, and I’m glad that there is a chance that some small measure of justice will be done. Nevertheless, my scalp is crawling, and I am filled with a deep sense of foreboding that I have not felt since the attack on the USS Cole.

    Step back for a minute. From a purely operational perspective, yes, two of the people who executed this were caught. Given the distributed way that some of these terrorist attacks work, they may very well have been the only two.

    For now.

    The death toll, and the number of injuries are nowhere near as severe as 9/11. Combined with the visibility of the event at which the attacks occurred, the Boston Marathon is known to the entire country even outside of the running community, it has caused a huge and dramatic shock.

    The initial attacks effectively closed down the business center of a major metropolitan United States city for a day or two. The manhunt completely shut down the city for another .4 or more hours. Several police lost their lives, and law enforcement support was brought in from surrounding towns, cities, and states.

    It was precisely this litany of all of the outside supports it was brought in (in a chipper “wow” tone of voice), juxtaposed against pictures of the empty streets from earlier in the day that I was looking at one my scalp started to crawl.

    Given the logistics and efforts required to get a handful of people and to initiate attack like this, two lives treated for roughly a dozen, with roughly hundred injured is not much of a trade-off. The propaganda value, and the ripple effects, the various economic shocks as the city was shut down, and the redirected resources; An entire city police force plus massive outside aid to capture two people.

    So yes, I’m glad some justice may be done, but part of me is very, very concerned for what this may portend.

  25. “Terror attacks resulting in death by Right Wingers since 2011: 3 ?”

    Actually, at least 6 (Wisconsin, August 2012)

  26. I had similar worries after 9/11, but they didn’t pan out, because Al Qaeda didn’t seem to have follow-ups planned. At the time I found myself thinking of how I would attack San Francisco if I was a terrorist, and soon I had a plan that I think might well have worked, would have been not too difficult or expensive to carry out, and had the potential to easily cause hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) in long-lasting damage to the city, and freak out many people for a very long time. I just hope that our counter-terror people had similar thoughts, and have taken appropriate precautions.

  27. Good points papaya. Let me add the caveat that I am NOT expecting a near-future followup. It may be, like 9/11 following the Cole, a long time. It may be a cmplety different organization.

    And yet, I look at the news, the shutdown city, the national tragedy, the total obsessiveness of the news cycle, and I think “All that from just a couple kids who didn’t even really have a plan to get away. How can this be used and manipulated?”

  28. The mainstream media reported the Black Flags of Khorasan connection hours ago. The Guardian had it. Mother Jones had it. The Boston Globe has it.

    It took me all of five minutes to Google a bit and find those; I knew they were there because I make a point of reading both news sources I like and news sources I don’t like. This helps keep my preconceptions from flavoring my perceptions.

  29. As long as we’re speculating on possible connections/ramifications regarding these two, I think the very fact their family hails from Chechnya is itself potentially of much greater concern than a possible Shi’a Islam connection with Iran.

    Recent history shows that Chechen (insert your euphemism of choice here – I’m going with the generic “gangs”) have proven themselves ruthless and effective at combating organized state forces in Russia (and the previous iteration as USSR) in both straight up military conflict and in “direct action” (Beslan, etc). If Chechen gangs have begun to take up the notion that the US is an opportunity for them to advance their ideological (or simply criminal) strategy, then we may be in for a rude comeuppance indeed. The statement-making examples of terrorism we in this country have experienced have all been contrived as unique acts; “professional” (as in this is how the members make their living) ideological killers (as opposed to outright crime gangs of limited scope and predictable operation) with organization and experience are entirely beyond the scope of American law enforcement organization and training.

    We’ve already seen posse comitatus go out the window (only drug-related police actions are allowed the direct involvement of .mil assets afaik – I doubt Boston PD owned all those Blackhawks zooming the Common and environs earlier today), the citizenry having their 4th Amendment rights arbitrarily revoked and all the rest the people of that part of Mass. experienced from their government these last few days. Imagine the reaction to an actual organized, experienced and equipped group carrying out an actual strategy to defeat Russian military success in Chechnya from here in the US. That would seem no more implausible than turning airliners into autonomous cruise missiles.

    It’s too easy to get all wrapped around the obvious axle of a shared religious connection and thereby ignore the other also likely-seeming possibilities this event offers.

  30. only drug-related police actions are allowed the direct involvement of .mil assets afaik – I doubt Boston PD owned all those Blackhawks zooming the Common and environs earlier today

    National Guard under the direction of the governor. Permitted under the law, although one could argue that this exemption shouldn’t exist.

  31. “The mainstream media reported the Black Flags of Khorasan connection hours ago.”

    You’re missing the point, man. esr has been a jihadist target since 2006. He’s the public contact for the revolutionaries.

  32. National Guard under the direction of the governor. Permitted under the law, although one could argue that this exemption shouldn’t exist.

    I wasn’t aware that martial law had been invoked by the Governor. With the before-mentioned exception, I believe a formal declaration is still required to allow even limited exception to posse comitatus.

  33. For a little context, here’s a table of “Terrorist attacks and related incidents in the United States” dating back to the Lincoln assassination. Most attacks are from domestic sources.

    People like BioBob who cite suicide bombings overseas as evidence are using the wrong prior; the right question is, “there was a bombing inside the United States; what are the odds on the perpetrator being foreign or domestic?” Since these are such rare events, the data’s pretty bumpy, but the ratio is certainly not 20000:3.

    And in any case, I’d prefer to Keep Calm and Listen to Bruce Schneier than start another fucking land war in Asia.

    ww: You’re missing the point, man. esr has been a jihadist target since 2006. He’s the public contact for the revolutionaries.

    (a) Huh? (b) How often is an American living in America assassinated by “jihadists”? Exactly how credible is this whole “target” thing? Is this like Eric’s brilliant “everyone should carry sniffers to the airport and demand to see people’s underwear when they go off” idea?

  34. Will, do us both a favor and go read the law before you assume you know what it says. You want this and this, paying close attention to the organizations named.

    Then read Perpich v. Department of Defense. There’s the National Guard of each individual state, and then there’s the federal National Guard. When you enlist, you enlist in both, and you’re acting as the former until or unless you’re called to active duty. You are not part of the Army when you’re acting as the former.

    Hutchings v. United States extends that principle to discuss posse comitatus. So there you go.

    Or cut to the principle of the matter, which is that posse comitatus was a reaction to federal occupation of the states. If the governor of the state is making the call to use the forces and is the ultimate commander of those forces, it is very hard to argue that posse comitatus should apply.

    If your concern is really about any government using military force against the people, well, that’s a pretty important concern and a good discussion, but posse comitatus has no interest in protecting people from the government. It’s an agreement between governments to protect the states from the feds.

  35. Jeff Read and Winter were hoping the terrorists would be caucasian, to provide justification for more Waco style massacres and Detroit style ethnic cleansings.

    And, they were indeed caucasian, more caucasian than any of us, but not in the way that Jeff and Winter were hoping.

    This is yet another reminder that Islam is a religion, not a race, a religion that supports rape and mass murder, a religion that intends to rule.

    When you have religions that intend to rule, sooner or later, holy war will ensue.

    The progressive program was and is to convert Muslims to progessive islam, like that of Obama. To this end, Obama embraced numerous Muslims as moderates. Many of these moderates are now on his kill on sight list, and I assume Obama is now on their apostate (kill on sight list) also.

    Progressivism denounces Christianity as theocratic, because it is not theocratic, and denies that Islam is theocratic, because it is theocratic. Apart from the fact that lies are always more progressive than truth, this is part of a rational strategy: Christianity is utterly defeated, and has, except for a few tiny remnants, denounced and repudiated Jesus and the New Testament, (Your church will tell you that Jesus is now another community organizer, and the New Testament is sexist homophobic hate speech) thus progressives denounce it vehemently to crush what little remains, whereas Islam, being a serious threat, is reinterpreted as progressivism, in the hope that this reinterpretation will become true.

    Islam is supposedly the religion of peace, while Christianity is supposedly the number terrorist hate threat.

    This tactic is conspicuously failing.

  36. Thanks Bryant, I should have remembered at least some of that from the local discussions I took part in following USMC involvement (thankfully mostly limited to displays of preparations by them prior to actual deployment if memory serves) during the LA riots in 1992 when I lived there (well, in the San Fernando Valley anyway) at the time. The links are helpful in clearing up the confusion (maybe not just my own).

  37. @ ww
    Wade Michael Page was a moronic neo-nazi — nazi = national socialist = left wing who thought he was targeting the religion of peas.

    In any case, rightwingers or even anarchists are chump-change compared to Islamists.

    you only THINK nazi or classical fascist equal right wing but they are NOT.
    Commies are left wing as well.

    right wing would be libertarian or small government conservatives these days but monarchists/aristocrats in the old days.

  38. Society will not allow such a gruesome attack go to waste, and will surely increase increase the invasion of individual freedom. Possible devolution (towards a “police state”) includes:

    1. more surveillance cameras (possible future tie-in with facebook database and face recognition s/w)

    2. increased surveillance of financial transactions (capital controls hidden in anti-money laundering laws)

    3. increased militarization of the police

    4. increased use of checkpoints (not only disquised as ILlegal immigration enforcement jokes)

    5. terrorist profiling can no longer exclude white skin with long noses

    Etc…

    I won’t believe any “facts” presented by the government, unless an independent third party investigation is allowed (impossible in this case), similar to one for signed by 1,881 architects and engineers at ae911truth.org

    A 9/11 scale attack could not be done now, because the independent investigators are alert and ready to collect evidence on the ground.

    It is too convenient to blame everything on Islam (although the jihad form plays the role well), when another plausible explanation is the power elite are playing the Middle East to achieve their objectives to maximize chaos in order to discredit individual freedom in favor of statist world government solutions (destroying and discrediting the nation-states fundamentally with debt and capital misallocation via the centralized control over issuance of credit). The ramping up of carbon fuel production in the USA to now rival Saudi Arabia, so conveniently coincides with chaos in Middle East due to revolution caused by fundamentally by food price inflation.

    It is economics, not religion that is at the fundamental root of all of this (although religion plays the role well to keep the sheep defocused on the economic rape via statism). I will explain my logic on this more with a comment in the prior blog on the loss of the moderate middle.

    Terrorism would be must less practical if we did not live concentrated in cities. Given the internet, the economic need for dense cities and gatherings is declining. If I must choose between a statist police state or the loss of large gatherings, I already chose the latter (for interim time until the economics shifts from this peaking global statism to the next frontier of a total internet economy with robotics, 3D printing, etc).

    I am not going to defend what is dead economically.

  39. If all we can throw around here is conjecture or “facts” that we can’t independently verify, here follows an extremist scenario. A hypothetical trillionaire cartel that planned to take full advantage of coming crash of the global economy (due to the massive misallocation of capital resulting from maximizing debt and welfare statism), probably wouldn’t want those independent millionaires to be able to compete to buy up the distressed assets. Anti-money laundering laws and other forms of capital controls can serve this purpose. Such a cartel might obtain total wipeout of independent (free market) wealth. Pervasive surveillance would probably be a useful asset for enforcement of such a hypothetical plan.

  40. @JAD
    “Jeff Read and Winter were hoping the terrorists would be caucasian, to provide justification for more Waco style massacres and Detroit style ethnic cleansings.”

    Have you become so delusional that you invent comments from me? I think you are projecting your own holocaust fantasies on us.

    I immediately expected the attack to be “home made” (amateur) because of the improvised nature of the bombs. For the rest, I followed Bruce Schneier in wait and see.

    Btw, Islamic fundamentalists alway grow a long beard at some stage ;-) So that pleads against islamic fundamentalism. And Chechen gangs know Moskow is just looking for a excuse to clean the Caucasus of Chechens. They feel they cannot afford to make yet another enemie.

  41. I wonder how long it will take before the question is raised whether this was one of those FBI plots to lure people into becoming a terrorist. Only to be arrested at the last moment. But this one went wrong.

  42. Lol…you accuse the media for jumping to wild asses conclusions based on little data by jumping to a different wild assed conclusion based on a like on a movie?

    That’s funny. The probability of you being right is no better than theirs was.

    Actually less. This smells more lone wolf than an state sponsored op. Any Iranian connection, if any, strikes me to be likely to be very loose.

  43. It was me. I admit it. I did everything. You can now stop persecuting these poor innocent people.

    Also, innocent until proven. Don’t jump to conclusions. A sign of a civilized society is accepting that you take people to trial and try and determine to the best of your ability what actually happened, and who was responsible.

    Also, anyone who thinks that a nazi is a left-winger is a fucking nut-case. Biobob. Tell me where you live so I can come blow up your shitty hole next.

  44. Will — you’re a gentleman. Thanks!

    The whole day was weird. I really don’t know how I feel about the lockdown. I wonder how much the BPD was influenced by the mess the LAPD made of the Dorner manhunt?

  45. @Winter

    I wonder how long it will take before the question is raised whether this was one of those FBI plots to lure people into becoming a terrorist. Only to be arrested at the last moment. But this one went wrong.

    You mean like Fast and Furious?

    The government told firearms dealers to allow illegal gun purchases that the dealers did not want to make, so that … um … well …No one can quite explain exactly what the point of that one was. The only demonstrable results were that criminals (who already should not have guns under the existing law) were able to obtain guns and use them to kill people, and that fact has been used to promote “tougher gun laws”.


    @ESR

    As usual, the mainstream media was slavering to pin this on some Richard-Jewell-like native-born conservative

    They need their Reichstagsbrand. Without it, they can’t have their Ermächtigungsgesetz.

  46. @Jeff Read

    I was expecting the Boston terrorists to be Caucasian.
    </blockquote?

    Fucking typical.

    I wasn’t expecting them to be, literally, Caucasian (from the Caucasus)! When I read they were from Chechnya I thought, “aren’t they predominantly Muslim over there?” Curiouser and curiouser…

    Really?

    Everything about this attack stank of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome, from it’s minimal body count from the inept bomb building to the bizarre target selection. The only odd thing was the lack any organization stepping forward to claim it.

    Still, the fact remains that America is under greater threat from domestic right-wing terrorism than from foreign Islamic terrorism.

    That is not even wrong.

    You should probably go see a shrink about your delusions. Seriously. They probably have some medication for that.

    So when two white chav-looking dudes with baseball caps materialize as the suspects, it’s logical for the media to suspect them of being the former until they get more information.

    Yeah, except that The Media (Wolf Blitzed, tingly Christ Matthews, David Sirota) and pundits like Micheal (very much) Moore were asserting and hoping that it was a white american/right winger before the smoke even cleared.

    Just like they’ve done EVERY FUCKING TIME something like this happened in the US.

    It’s called projection mate.

  47. grendelkhan on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 1:09 am said:
    > (a) Huh? (b) How often is an American living in America assassinated by “jihadists”?

    Observe that no one is afraid to offend right wingers, while everyone is terrified to offend Muslims

  48. If the rumblings in the following two links come to fruition and $20 trillion in pension plans are confiscated in the USA after 2016, it matters not much whether liberals successfully shift the mainstream political thought, i.e. whether we expect Muslim attackers, wish for non-Muslim attackers, and love Muslims more than conservatives. All these examples of social insanity are coincident with the peaking of the theft of statism.

    http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/04/17/will-pension-funds-be-the-target-after-2016-to-seize-for-our-protection/
    http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/04/17/the-next-seizure-coming-u-s-consumer-financial-protection-bureau/

    Empires always devolve into forced “self-immolation” of the citizens, when they are bankrupt and the vested interests have bought off a majority of the populace.

  49. Jack Rabbit on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 9:15 am said:
    > Also, anyone who thinks that a nazi is a left-winger is a fucking nut-case. Biobob. Tell me where you live so I can come blow up your shitty hole next.

    Your post demonstrates that left wingers are nazis.

    As to whether Nazis are left wingers, the original Nazis were more or less New Dealers, left wing by the standards of the day.

    Subsequently, to differentiate themselves from Nazis, progressives declared Nazism the earthly incarnation of eschatological evil, and discrimination the ultimate evil, thus Nazism is no longer left wing – because what is left wing has moved. But then the Obama of 2008 is no longer left wing either. The policies he proclaimed a year or two ago are today, as what is left has moved, ultra essence of extreme right wing evil, scarcely distinguishable from the extreme right wing evil of Nazism.

  50. @Jack Rabbit “Also, anyone who thinks that a nazi is a left-winger is a fucking nut-case.”

    Lefty progressives always proclaim Nazis to be right wing. But I’ve never seen a coherent explanation of such. Care to give it a go?

    And please don’t do the typical self projection of nazi==racist==right wing. Give us something better than just laughable rhetoric.

  51. The whole “Nazis are right wingers” thing is a map problem. We have narrowed our political discourse down to one simple dimension — left and right — when the reality is much more complicated. I agree with the left on many issues such as gay rights, opposition to the surveillance society, a view that we are not the world’s policeman, pro abortion rights, pro privacy rights, yet I agree with the right on many issues too: low taxes, low regulation, pro gun liberation and so forth.

    The Nazis were probably far more left than right — after all the basic premise of the fascist state is the heavy handed state manipulation of the economy and industry, and they were definitely very pro surveillance society. In fact you might say they took the worst of everyone’s ideas. I suppose in a sense that Nazi Germany was very, very patriotic, and that is a strong link with the right too. You could argue that some of these things were war measures, after all the did the same in Britain, but with the Fascists we are always at war.

    So when measuring this, it is very much a case of “if you have a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

    It always struck me as odd that in the United States, when asked political positions, nearly everyone is a very strong defender of the first amendment, and a very strong critic of the second, or the other way around. (Though nobody actually opposes either, they just agree that, for the sake of the children, strong controls should be placed on the rights of one or the other.)

    Me? I am in favor of doing what the Constitution says in both cases.

  52. Jessica: Yes to nearly all of that, though Communists are also often quite patriotic.

    My short explanation: a revolutionary, collectivist, socialist, modern, “efficient,” anti-traditionalist, anti-religion ideology is not in any sense “conservative,” so it makes little sense to call fascism “right wing.” For a longer explanation, see Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg.

  53. I don’t agree with not allowing me to opt out of funding wars to free other people from their religion’s abuses. Their religion and their abuses may have no bearing on me, and/or I may think the war has ulterior motives. If you feel repulsed enough or see your role as a sheepdog, then you should be free to opt in. Remove the ability of society to tax and confiscate, then everyone can opt out of collectivism.

  54. @Jack Rabbit:
    > Also, anyone who thinks that a nazi is a left-winger is a fucking nut-case. Biobob. Tell me where > you live so I can come blow up your shitty hole next.

    Nazism == National _Socialism_

    In a local version of Pol. Sci. class in primary school I was taught that leftright distinction has many different dimensions, like central planning (left) free market (right), or internationalism (left) nationalism (right); or federal state in USA case.

    I think Nazi is much more left than right…

  55. Winter on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 6:24 am said:
    > So that pleads against islamic fundamentalism.

    Their uncle, who piously said this has nothing to do with Islam, referred to them as Jihadis. The FBI had previously investigated these guys for Jihadi activism.

    Their uncle explained their Jihadism as because they were losers, because they were living on welfare. In one sense this is obviously untrue. Jihadism has everything to do with Islam, and if their uncle does not think so, he is probably one of those Muslims who has noticed that Mohammed prohibited wine, but never mentioned whiskey or beer. In another sense, it is probably true, in that men need a purpose, need meaning, which living on welfare does not provide. Purpose is easy for women, for women produce children. Harder for men. Islam provides that purpose – Jihad.

  56. Yes, Jessica, it IS more complicated but at it’s root, the analysis is simple.

    If we create a 2 dimensional scaling system like the Pournelle Chart and use Power of the State over the Individual as one axis, Nazi National Socialism, Communism, will be well skewed to the Max Power side of the box. If we use laissez-faire capitalism / Free markets versus state control of markets as the other axis, Nazi National Socialism, Communism will ALSO be skewed to the right or more control by the state of the economy.

    Therefore, there is obvious evidence of the fact that Communism and Nazism are essentially related in concept but of course everything is in the eye of the beholder.
    Certainly the commies and the nazis were intolerant like Jack Rabbit.

    To Jack Rabbit all I have to say is — I am in Bozeman, Montana motherfocker, come n get me but 5 bux says (which is all you are worth) I will double-tap you before you open your big mouth and the cops will say “Well Done Dood” so bring it on !!! esr is not the only one around here who is armed and dangerous.

  57. “Wade Michael Page was a moronic neo-nazi — nazi = national socialist = left wing who thought he was targeting the religion of peas.”

    No true Scotsman? Really ?!? Are you new here?

  58. JustSaying on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 3:08 pm said:
    > Remove the ability of society to tax and confiscate, then everyone can opt out of collectivism.

    You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

    Let us suppose that society is approximately anarcho capitalist, as Mecca was when Mohammed was a young man, as much of Arabia was at the time. Within this society you have a large religious group that insists that any disputes between members of the ingroup and members of an outgroup should be judged by members of the ingroup, in accordance with rules that explicitly and overwhelmingly favor members of the in group.

    What are you going to do?

    Historically, successful resistance to Islam has involved conflict on every level, state, clan, family, and business. Faced with small scale resistance, from families, clans, merchant adventurers, and so forth, Muslims would make war as states. Faced with strong Christian states, Muslims would make war as pirates, brigands, and terrorists. Success against Islam has always required states to make state level war, and states to also delegate war making to private adventurers, to sponsor piracy and brigandage against Muslims, and private defense against Muslim piracy and brigandage. Decentralized feudalism, that could be statelike when necessary, and anarchic when necessary, seems to have had the best record in fighting Islam.

    Islam was designed from the beginning to infiltrate and make war upon societies that were anarchic and approximately anarcho capitalist, to fluidly switch between centralized and decentralized warfare, between statelike and piratical forms of conflict.

    Faced with this threat, Charles the Hammer invented feudalism to give Christians similar capability.

  59. Jessica Boxer on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 2:15 pm said:
    > It always struck me as odd that in the United States, when asked political positions, nearly everyone is a very strong defender of the first amendment, and a very strong critic of the second, or the other way around.

    Really? Who is this person who is a strong defender of the second, but not a strong defender of the first.

    It is those who want to ban guns, who also want to ban people who speak out against Islam, who engage in “racist” speech, and so on and so forth. Whosoever opposes the second amendment, opposes the first also, and vice versa.

  60. The Nazi’s are Right Wingers is a mapping issue that has proven convenient to the Progressives, so they maintain it, and they don’t like admitting the fact that the Progressive movement in the US was a major influence on Mussolini, and through him on Hitler, Mussolini was a major fan of Woodrow Wilson. And the Progressive movement in the US was again influenced by the Russian-Italian model during the decade of 1925-1935, which of course was the Communist & Fascist model (which was considered by both sides to be very compatible right until competing agendas got them on different sides back in 1941)

    Fundamentally Europeans match their parties on a left/right spectrum by nationalism (it’s not the only criteria, but it is the primary one). This ends up with Nazi’s on the extreme Right and International Communists on the Extreme left. Over here in North America the primary mapping is far more complex, primarily economic (socialism & government-directed corporatism on the left, lassez-faire economics & pure corporatism on the Right, and yes the Corporatists win either way). That puts the Nazi’s purely on the left (where they belong, government-directed corporatism is in fact the actual definition of Fascism).

    Note most European Right-Wing parties would be considered far left here in North America due to their hefty dose of socialism (there are a few exceptions).

  61. Racist pig,

    Actually when I first heard about the bombings, I thought to myself “this was a Luke Helder type”. He hit a MARATHON. A jihadi would have targeted a symbol of Western power — perhaps the Old State House or the Pru. A right-winger would have targeted a symbol of his own society’s debauchery — an abortion clinic, a nightclub that caters to gay patrons, etc. The Boston bomber gave off every whiff of simply wanting to cause mayhem, destruction, and bloodshed, simply for attention and perhaps some pretty fucked up lulz. “Some men just want to watch the world burn” and that.

    I’m still not entirely certain this is not the case, Chechen connection notwithstanding.

  62. Oh, and just as an aside, if you want an entertaining read go find a copy of the British Union of Fascists platform from the 1930’s. It’s nigh-interchangeable from the current Labour Party platform (or the NDP platform here in Canada) and very close to the Democratic Platform. The current Progressive parties are Fascist in most regards (they however are NOT National Socialist, which was distinct from Fascism although heavily influenced by the latter. Fascism lacks the racism and aggression that is a core portion of National Socialism)

  63. I Read many book about Iran,muslim and … but anytime i never saw connection between Black Flags from Khorasan and Iran! i googled about it and not found any things that connected to iran!

  64. Jeff Read on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 7:55 pm said:
    > Actually when I first heard about the bombings, I thought to myself “this was a Luke Helder type”. He hit a MARATHON. A jihadi would have targeted a symbol of Western power

    Your ignorant and hate filled ideology is blinding you to reality.

    Muslims hate infidels, not western power. Read Bin Laden’s rant. Remember Beslan.

  65. @ rehb
    You said:

    I Read many book about Iran,muslim and … but anytime i never saw connection between Black Flags from Khorasan and Iran! i googled about it and not found any things that connected to iran!

    In the link provided in ESR’s post, the first paragraph on the page says:

    Description: According to the prophecies of prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), a non-stop army will rise from the land of Khorasan holding Black Flags of Islam in the end times. This army will conquer several occupied lands of Muslims till it reaches to Jerusalem. Then it will pledge its allegiance to Imam al Mahdi (alyhe salam).

    This page has a map showing the historic area of Khorasan, which included parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.

    Khorasan is also the name of what used to be a province in North East Iran but which has since been divided into three provinces: South Khorasan, North Khorasan and Razavi Khorasan.

    From Wikipedia:

    In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi… is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years- (according to various interpretations) before the Day of Judgment and will rid the world of evil.

    It seems that the Mahdi concept comes (at least partly) from the Christian concept of a redeemer (Jesus).

    • >It seems that the Mahdi concept comes (at least partly) from the Christian concept of a redeemer (Jesus).

      Possibly. One of the things that pointts at Shi’a is the phrase “Imam-al-Mahdi”. While there are imams and Mahdism in Sunni Islam, both terms are far more central in Shi’a. The phrase as a whole strongly suggests the Twelver Shi’a belief in the return of the “occulted” Twelfth Imam to lead the army of Islam against the infidel.

  66. James A. Donald: Observe that no one is afraid to offend right wingers, while everyone is terrified to offend Muslims

    There’s a whole media establishment with jobs and stuff that doesn’t seem too terrified. You don’t seem terrified. Eric doesn’t seem terrified. This is all evidence that people–public figures who have to care about these things–are scared of being called bigots, not that people actually think the jihadis are going to knife them in the night.

    As an aside, this makes it really easy to thump one’s chest and proclaim one’s bravery for standing up to the jihadist threat of assassination; as far as I can tell, in the United States, random killings by jihadis are very rare, and actual assassinations are pretty much nonexistent; this threat is essentially imaginary.

  67. James A. Donald:
    > > Observe that no one is afraid to offend right wingers, while everyone is terrified to offend Muslims

    grendelkhan on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 2:16 am said:
    > There’s a whole media establishment with jobs and stuff that doesn’t seem too terrified.

    Are you kidding? They wet their pants and weep, prostrating themselves in grovelling fear.

    > scared of being called bigots

    Would anyone have called the mass media bigoted had they opposed the threatened murder and the successful silencing of Molly Norris? Their reaction to the Molly Norris event unambiguous grovelling capitulation to terror.

    Supposedly, according to the Media establishment, Islam is the religion of peace. Supposedly, according to the media establishment, Islam was fountain of arts and scientists benefiting the ignorant and backward west. Supposedly, according to the media establishment, racist bigoted crusaders attacked the poor Muslims for no reason at all.

    Recall “everybody draw mohammed day”? They supported the murder of Molly Norris, the girl who called for “everybody draw mohammed day”.

    When a Gitmo detainee complained that a guard had urinated upwind of a Koran, it was front page news, day after day after day, for over a week. PBS ran daily half hour Islamic sermons as a public apology.

    When the New York Times was reporting on the poor victimized Muslims being oppressed by cartoon depictions of Mohammed, it illustrated the issue not by showing the cartoon, but by showing a vulgar depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung.

    > You don’t seem terrified.

    I bite my tongue, and express myself delicately and euphemistically. If I was not terrified, I would put up some of my collection of Mohammed cartoons on my website.

    > Eric doesn’t seem terrified.

    Seems pretty terrified to me. Eric does not quite prostrate himself and grovel like the mass media does, but he wets his pants in terror, while proudly boasting his terror is less abject than that of the mass media.

  68. @JAD:

    You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

    What are you going to do?

    Hopefully remain invisible to them coding away on a mountain, growing a network of friends and co-workers over the internet, and innovating away from them hopefully with such a resounding economic superiority that their influence in human society withers relative to my robots, 3D printers, etc..

    This is why anonymity of communication and finance is important to me.

    In my view, everything is an economic competition. We programmers should win by orders-of-magnitude. Perhaps this perspective is too simplistic or perhaps it is the yet unrealized future.

  69. @Michael Hipp:
    >Lefty progressives always proclaim Nazis to be right wing. But I’ve never seen a coherent explanation of such. Care to give it a go?

    The full name of the Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. On the one hand they had a bunch of “National”(istic) elements to their platform that catered to the German right wing, and on the other they had a bunch of “Socialist” elements that catered to the left. Complicating this was the fact that Hitler purged some of the elements of the party that most militantly believed in the party platform in 1934 because:

    (A) Those elements were increasingly coming to be seen by dangerous thugs by conservatives (and they had ambitions to replace the Army, which the Army didn’t like), and his seizure of power was not yet complete: Hindenburg still could fire him and appoint a new chancellor, and had done so with previous chancellors.
    (B) Those elements were more loyal to the ideals of the party than to Hitler, and were beginning to question Hitler’s loyalty to those ideals.

    So they were a threat to Hitler both directly and in terms of their potential to destroy his support from the Army and from Hindenburg.

    So the Nazi’s told everybody, left and right, what they wanted to hear, but, as time went on, were more and more a vehicle for doing whatever the heck Hitler wanted to do.

    Neither “promise everybody everything” nor “do whatever Hitler wants” can be pinned down really well to the right-left spectrum. So why are the Nazis remembered as right-wing?

    1) Because they needed the support of the right (especially the Army and Hindenburg) to get and keep power.
    2) As a result of (1) the right wing elements of their platform got enacted most easily.
    3) As a result of (1) and (2), they picked fights with lots of left wing enemies (Hitler spent alot of time ranting about “Bolshevists”).
    4) The elements of the party that most threatened (1) were the left wing elements of the party.
    5) The elements of the party most discontent about (2) were also the left wing elements of the party.
    6) Because of (4) and (5), the elements of the party that got purged in the “Night of Long Knives” in 1934 were the left-wing elements of the party. (At the same time, the Night of Long Knives also involved the killing of the right-wingers outside the party who held it in the greatest suspicion).
    7) Russia had been hard-left since 1917.
    8) Starting in 1932, the US was as far left as it had ever been before Obama took office (possibly even as far left as it’s ever been, period).
    9) As a result of (7) and (8), the US and Soviet governments had an interest in painting the Nazis as right-wing.

    In summary, the Nazis are remembered as right-wing because:
    A) If you are primarily concerned with power at all costs (as Hitler was), you’ll drift in whichever direction gets you power, and for the Nazis, that was towards the right.
    B) History is written by the winners, and the winners were left-wing.
    C) In determining how history remembers where you fall on the political spectrum, the friends and enemies you make are as important, if not more, as the actual positions you hold, and the Nazis made right-wing friends and left-wing enemies.

  70. @JAD
    “Their uncle, who piously said this has nothing to do with Islam, referred to them as Jihadis. The FBI had previously investigated these guys for Jihadi activism.”

    If we follow this reasoning, we must conclude that the UNA-bomber and Timothy McVeigh were true representatives of USA Anarchism or Libertarianism. Which would mean Islam and Anarchism/Libertarianism should be treated the same.

  71. @JustSaying
    “Hopefully remain invisible to them coding away on a mountain, growing a network of friends and co-workers over the internet, and innovating away from them hopefully with such a resounding economic superiority that their influence in human society withers relative to my robots, 3D printers, etc..”

    Sounds like escapism. Learn from the history of the other continents: If a war visits you, the only escape is to become a real fugitive.

  72. Pingback: Daily Linkage – April 21, 2013 | The Second Estate

  73. @JAD
    I wanted to post some examples from French magazine Charlie Hebdo from 2012 and 2013. But it seems the filters do not like links to Mohammed cartoons.

    But you can easily Google them yourself.

  74. @Winter:
    “you are either with us or against us” — Bush.

    I am hoping for sanity to prevail via technology. Slim hope I admit.

    Or that I can remain in congruence with the imploding statism by being aware of all legal options and/or by giving them all my monetary savings (except the really valuable stuff, e.g. code and what it is in my brain).

    Seems most others are hoping that dire predictions are extremist thought. Hasn’t that “cattle herding from danger towards the cliff” happened before.

  75. @JustSaying
    “Hasn’t that “cattle herding from danger towards the cliff” happened before.”

    Yes. But mostly after a heinous or civil war. The problems tend to come after the “peace” returns and the dead are mourned. So you can wait until the civil war you expect ends and then make a run towards a place where they avoided (civil) war. Would have worked most of the time in the 20th

  76. @JAD
    > > “Their uncle, who piously said this has nothing to do with Islam, referred to them as Jihadis. The FBI had previously investigated these guys for Jihadi activism.”

    Winter on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 5:26 am said:
    > If we follow this reasoning, we must conclude that the UNA-bomber and Timothy McVeigh were true representatives of USA Anarchism or Libertarianism

    Their uncle is wrong, or hypocritical, about Islam. His nephews are correct. Islam is what the Koran and the Hadiths say it is. Mohammed was a terrorist, and the Tsarnaev kids walk in his footsteps.

    • >The most famous Mahdi was a Sunnite in Egypt

      That is correct. Well, if you measure by fame to Westerners.

      Nevertheless, Mahdism is more often a Shi’a trope than a Sunni one. Similarly with the term “imam”; while it is found in the Sunni tradition, it is a relatively minor title. It would not occur to most Sunnis that a Sunni “imam” might lead an army, in fact it would seem faintly ridiculous. As though in a Christian context a general were waving around the title “sexton” or “verger”.

      What smells of Shi’a here is the conjunction of “imam” as the title of a great leader, “mahdi”, and eschatology. Shi’a has always been more prone than Sunni to immanentize the Eschaton. If you knew any more about Twelver Shi’a than you do about Naziism (thinking of the Nazis as “right wing” is another sign of serious historical ignorance) you would recognize that “Imam al-Mahdi” is almost certainly connected to the Twelver doctrine of the Occulted Imam.

  77. @Jon Brase “In summary, the Nazis are remembered as right-wing because:”

    You make good points Jon, thanks. But, to me, the question is not why they are “remembered” as right-wing. (We already know that, it’s because the progressives control the history, language, media and the memes and it suits their purposes. And they have never shown any interest in truth for its own sake.) The question is, what were they in actuality.

    Here’s my stab at an analysis:
    – Totalitarian to the core: left
    – Belief that the state is more important than the individual: left
    – Forced state control/ownership of the means of production: left
    – Disarm the populace: left
    – No freedom of speech: left
    – No rule of law: left
    – No security of persons or property: left
    – Tolerate religion only as long as it stays quiet and passive: left
    – Aggressively expansionist (internally and externally): left
    – Aggressive control of the media and culture: left
    – Intolerant of any opposing views: primarily left
    – Intolerant of disfavored groups: primarily left
    – Quasi-religious belief in their own moral superiority and correctness: left
    – Belief in their own ability to create heaven-on-earth: left

    There’s more, but that’s the best my migraine-addled brain can do at the moment.

  78. @JAD
    ” Islam is what the Koran and the Hadiths say it is.”

    Islam is what the believers say it is. All religious scriptures are internally inconsistent and every part will disclaim what some other part claims. So, everything depends on what the faithful make from it.

    @JAD
    “Mohammed was a terrorist,”

    Mohammed was an Arab tribal chief whose tribe founded an empire that ruled from Spain to India.

    In this he was not much different from Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Genghis Khan, or Tamerlane (the original). However, Mohammed seems to have been much less murderous, which might explain his success.

  79. @Michael Hipp
    “But, to me, the question is not why they are “remembered” as right-wing.”

    Please. Those who suffered the Nazis as well as the (neo-)Nazis themselves are agreeing on one thing: Nazism was and is a right-wing movement. I actually have spoken with many people who lived through the horrors.

    Only ignorant people from the USA who do not even have spoken to anyone who suffered the Nazis will ever claim otherwise.

  80. Winter on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 11:15 am said:
    > Islam is what the believers say it is.

    And believers, when speaking in Arabic rather than English, say it requires unending war, that Muslims can never make lasting peace with infidels. All of them say that, in the sense that anyone who disagrees will get his throat cut.

    The Koran is perfectly clear on this issue, saying that any peace treaty must be broken in “months”. “Months” is universally interpreted as hyperbole, and in practice most regimes are prepared to have temporary treaties that seem to go on and on indefinitely, but they are unwilling to admit these treaties are liable to go on and on indefinitely, unwilling to even sign a treaty that promises permanence, except they violate it in short order.

    A substantial proportion of believers say Islam requires treachery, murder, rape, and terror, that it requires war by methods that are exceptionally repugnant. Many, probably most, are uneasy with this conclusion, and reinterpret it away, but the tactics of the prophet were extraordinary, vile, treacherous, murderous, and repugnant, and a good Muslim models himself on the prophet.

    That minority that says the Muslims should fight employing the most dreadful means are correct, and the majority are guilty, uneasy, confused, self contradictory, and find it difficult to condemn the holier than thou minority too harshly, much as progressives are not exactly communists, but they are also anti anti communists, those Muslims that are not exactly terrorists are also anti anti terrorist, as the Indonesian and Turkish elections recently demonstrated yet again.

    > All religious scriptures are internally inconsistent and every part will disclaim what some other part claims. So, everything depends on what the faithful make from it.

    Bullshit.

    The old testament is internally inconsistent. The New Testament is internally consistent, except for trivial and obscure details that no one cares about, and blows off the inconsistencies of the old testament. The Talmud rationalizes away the inconsistencies of the Old Testament with elaborate care in minute detail.

    The Koran, being the work of a single mind, is internally consistent. Where later parts contradict earlier parts, Mohammed tells us, entirely believably, that in the earlier parts he lied for political reasons, and was subsequently able to speak more frankly when victorious through terror.

    The “contradictions” of the Koran are generally of the form: Mohammed says he loves peace and all Muslims should love peace. Shortly thereafter Mohammed makes war. His enemies surrender. After they surrender, he murders them. Mohammed then says that God commands war, but is OK with being less than wholly truthful to one’s enemies. I see no contradiction.

  81. How much of an Iranian connection do you have in mind? Paid by Iran? Trained in Iran? Recruited by agents provocateurs from Iran? They read a bunch of Iranian propaganda?

    One difference between Nazis and Communists is that the Communists expropriated (so far as I know) all concentrations of wealth, while the Nazis expropriated Jewish wealth but left the rest of it in the hands of its owners.

  82. @Winter “Those who suffered the Nazis as well as the (neo-)Nazis themselves are agreeing on one thing: Nazism was and is a right-wing movement.”

    And this proves what? That they are as confused about left-right as all the other lefty progressives? The fact that “they” say it is so gives it no more factual weight than any other random opinion.

    Of those you mention whose opinions you weigh so heavily, how many of them support gun control? That alone should tell you how much credit to give to their opinions.

  83. @JAD
    Most muslims do not speak Arabic. Neither the Koran nor the Hadith were written until Mohammed had died, and then only years (or decades) later.

    The suras originating from Mohammed while still in Mekka are almost pacifist. The ones from the time in Medina are from a tribal chief at war. Those who compiled the Koran did a lot to mix up those suras.

    The canonical interpretation is just that: an interpretation by others after Mohammed died.

  84. @Michael Hipp
    You write as the prototypical armchair ideolog. Not interested in facts and people, only in his own words. In politics, it matters what people think and how they act.

    What does gun control have to do with nazism? Only in the USA is there a sizeable minority against gun control.

  85. Please. Those who suffered the Nazis as well as the (neo-)Nazis themselves are agreeing on one thing: Nazism was and is a right-wing movement. I actually have spoken with many people who lived through the horrors.

    Because you have to remember, “right-wing” has successfully been redefined as “whatever is bad”.

    [quote]Only ignorant people from the USA who do not even have spoken to anyone who suffered the Nazis will ever claim otherwise.[/quote]

    You do sometimes descent into idiocy. You don’t seem to understand or appreciate where war refugees seem to prefer to end up. And when exactly did truth become a popularity contest?

    Anyone who actually looks at what the Nazi’s were, what they called themselves, their actions and policies, and their philosophical roots, everything (even things people normally associate with the ‘Right’) about it screams ‘Leftism’. Just one particular branch of Leftism, that made a mortal enemy of a couple of other branches of Leftism and was therefore extinguished.

    Even the nationalism so popularly associated with the Right, has, in its modern form as expressed in Europe, more to do with the Romantic movement (and therefore thinkers like Rousseau) and therefore the Left than anything else.

    • >Because you have to remember, “right-wing” has successfully been redefined as “whatever is bad”.

      While this is generally true, the re-categorization of Naziism as “right wing” has a much more specific back-trail. It was a staple of Soviet propaganda during and after WWII, and constitutes one of their more successful attempts to rewrite history.

      While the Nazis and Soviets were still allied, Communists were encouraged to closely attend to Hitler’s frequent diatribes against capitalism and free markets and to identify Naziism as a form of revolutionary leftism. This made genetic sense, since the Italian Fascism that inspired the Nazis had been made over into a form of Leninism with snappier uniforms after the ex-Communist Mussolini seized control of the movement from Gabriele d’Annunzio.

      After the invasion of Russia it became necessary to the Soviets that Naziism and Soviet Communism be seen as polar opposites, so they invented the myth of “right wing” Naziism. In reality, Hitler’s most important domestic opponents in Germany had been conservative monarchists. But the SA had fought with other leftists of more explicitly Communist persuasion during the collapse of the Weimar Republic; this could be (and was) retrospectively inflated into ideological conflict when it was really more in the nature of a rumble between rival street gangs.

      It is often the prerogative of the winners of a war to slant its history to their own advantage, and the Soviets were already past masters of the technique by the time George Orwell wrote about it in “1984”, in 1948. From a purely artistic point of view their success at inducing the world to forget that the Nazis had thought of themselves as a socialist party was rather impressive. So impressive, in fact, that it even fooled a significant minority of latter-day neo-Nazis. (Not a majority; modern-day Naziism continues to advocate social control of the means of production and condemn free markets as corrupting, anarchic, and a Jewish plot.)

      Modern accounts of Nazi doctrine focus on the racism and the blood-and-soil nationalism and suppress the socialism, because remembering the latter would have been awkward for the Soviets and their numerous patsies in the Western left. Thus we have been taught to think of “national socialism” as an oxymoron rather than a bald and accurate summation of Nazi doctrine.

  86. @Michael Hipp
    You might have missed the fact that I live in the Netherlands and virtually every adult I met in the first half of my life had lived under Nazi rule, including quite a number of Germans.

    @esr
    Still, there are more Egyptians who know about the mahdi than Shiites.

    And the only way to make Nazism a left wing ideology is to use a a new, libertarian approved definition of “left wing”. A definition used nowhere else. More like the definition of a true Scottsman.

  87. Herder was a Romantic. If he is left of you, you must be rather isolated in historical perspective.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottfried_Herder

    And if you’re trying to tell me that someone who hated the old order (the ancient regime), supported the French Revolution, hated Prussian nationalism in favor of a Romanticized irrational (unreason is not right-wing, my deluded friend it has specific roots) notion of the Volk was a “right-winger”…. Yeah and I’ve got a bridge I need to sell.

    You probably think Byron was a right-winger, too.

  88. @Winter “prototypical armchair ideolog”

    “You might have missed the fact that I live in the Netherlands and virtually every adult I met in the first half of my life had lived under Nazi rule, including quite a number of Germans.”

    You might have missed the fact that your constant appeals to authority (yours and theirs) do not constitute an argument, only the ramblings of someone who has no point to make.

    Come back and explain *why* Nazism is right wing. Rather than “we all say it so it must be true”. And ponder that the quoted phrase is from Kipling.

  89. One point I was trying to make is that even the blood-and-soil nationalism is a relatively new thing (you first see it prominently during the French Revolution), it was shockingly radical at the time and very much a product of Leftist thought, tracing its origins to Rousseau and the Romantic reaction to the Enlightenment.

    Sure the Soviets and their tools rewrote history, but anyone with a brain should be able to dig deeper and actually learn things rather than just accept the conventional wisdom as received truth. One of Winter’s persistent and ongoing failures is his investment in the conventional wisdom he grew up in as the foundation of pure Truth, almost like religious dogma. He’s impressively orthodox (that’s not a compliment).

    • >One point I was trying to make is that even the blood-and-soil nationalism is a relatively new thing (you first see it prominently during the French Revolution), it was shockingly radical at the time and very much a product of Leftist thought, tracing its origins to Rousseau and the Romantic reaction to the Enlightenment.

      I think this is a very weak argument. You were on much firmer ground when you were pointing at Hitler’s repetition of socialist/communist tropes even in his suicide note.

      It’s a weak argument because by the early 20th century blood-and-soil nationalism had changed camps. It’s true that between 1789 and 1848 nationalism was a phenomenon of the left and opposed to aristocracy and monarchy. But after 1848 it was increasingly recruited by monarchists and anti-socialists in reaction to the internationalism of Marxian socialism.

      It took Georges Sorel to reclaim blood-and-soil nationalism for the left, in his philosophy of political irrationalism. This became one of the theoretical foundations of Italian and (through it) German Fascism, but Sorel was considered shockingly heterodox for this move.

  90. Read Hitler’s political testament. He wrote it right before ventilating his cerebellum, with the Red Army turning Berlin into gravel above him. And who does he blame? “International conspirators in money and finance.” It could be repurposed into an Occupy Wall Street pamphlet with just a few changes in place names and dates.

    Here’s the link: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/documents/poltest.htm

  91. > > You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
    > > …
    > > What are you going to do?

    JustSaying on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 2:59 am said:
    > Hopefully remain invisible to them coding away on a mountain, growing a network of friends and co-workers over the internet, and innovating away from them hopefully with such a resounding economic superiority that their influence in human society withers relative to my robots, 3D printers, etc..

    Assume, as seems quite possible, an underground, anarcho capitalist, cypher punk economy, develops decisive economic and technological superiority over the moribund decaying state managed economies.

    All the poor low IQ foreigners want to immigrate to the anarcho capitalist economy, to mow lawns, pick up the trash, etc. Unfortunately a large proportion of these outsiders are unwilling to play by the anarcho capitalist rules. They insist on rules that give them supremacy.

    The anarchic solution to this problem is unthinkably reactionary: profiling, pogroms and ethnic cleansings.

    Strangely, no one gets worried when working class whites are ethnically cleansed.

  92. Nazis were quite popular with high finance and industry. They were also funded by the likes of Krupp and Ford. And that was before they came into power.

    I could go on and on, including the all kinds of militias fighting and murdering socialists and communists. But why? All evil must come from the left.

    I could just as well argue that all anarchists are extreme left-wing, as European anarchists tell me.

    Simply put, USA Libertarians have zero experience with nazism, but are the only people in the world that insist nazis are left wing extremists. Funny.

  93. BioBob on Saturday, April 20 2013 at 5:55 pm said:
    > If we create a 2 dimensional scaling system like the Pournelle Chart and use Power of the State over the Individual as one axis,

    Progressivism has a thousand points of doctrine. Whosoever disagrees on any one point of a thousand points is a rightist, much as in the holy wars of the sixteenth century, whosoever disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church on any one point of a hundred points was a protestant.

    Since progressivism is high status, and rightism low status, because progessivism commands, and rightism obeys, all sorts of rightists are concocting naming schemes to make them not rightists.

    But it does not work.

    Nazism is right wing because it was defeated – but its program was, pretty much, New Dealism, which was the mainstream leftism of the day. Libertarianism is defeated, therefore right wing. Christianity is defeated, therefore right wing. Whereupon Christians, like libertarians, reinvent themselves as progressives and start campaigning to import a bigger underclass from Mexico to live on welfare and vote democrat. Jesus would have wanted it, because he was a community organizer too.

    • >Here’s a proposed listing of all the recent right wing domestic terrorist events.

      It might be better thought of as a list of all the attacks by people the left wing doesn’t want you to think of as left-wing. At least two of those listed wrote suicide notes full of hard-left cliches; several others were neo-Nazis, and it’s an open question whether they were sufficiently ignorant of Nazi doctrine to fall outside the “left” camp.

  94. Jay Maynard on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 9:39 am said:
    > Eric is about as unafraid of Islamic terrorism as anyone I know.

    Then everyone you know wets themselves in fear. Where was Eric on “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”?

    • >Where was Eric on “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”?

      I don’t think I knew about it until afterwards. Besides, I can’t draw.

      You bluster a lot. But until you have voluntarily exposed yourself as the public contact for a group of anti-jihadists effective enough to get multiple death threats, I don’t think you get to accuse me of wetting my pants at the thought of reprisals.

      I won’t pretend that I felt no fear at all; I’m not an idiot. But I keep a good antidote for that kind of fear near my right hand – the kind of comfort that travels at 600 feet per second and tends to leave a nice big hole when it hits.

      The zealots of Mohammed the Childfucker[1], upon whose name be infinite shit[2], will find a really warm welcome in Malvern.

      [1] Yes. Her name was Aisha.

      [2} There will those who will consider this needlessly provoking. But as a polytheist, I’m already in shari’a law’s category of those any Muslim may kill on sight. And somebody has to set an example of what non-appeasement looks like.

      See, being afraid doesn’t make me run away – it actually makes me more likely to attack. This is rational, because I can’t run very well.

  95. “Where was Eric on “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”?

    Serving as the public face of the movement to give Iranians unfettered net access. AFAIK, he can’t draw.

    Next?

  96. Ken Burnside on Sunday, April 21 2013 at 5:23 pm said:
    > Here’s a proposed listing of all the recent right wing domestic terrorist events. I present without comment, other than to list it.
    >
    > http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/terror-arizona-just-another-isolated

    Which begins “Today, in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting” Recall that Gabrielle Giffords was a far leftist who was shot by an even further leftist for not being far enough left.

  97. esr:
    > The zealots of Mohammed the Childfucker

    You are complaining they don’t obey our rules? That is not the problem. The problem is that they want us to obey their rules.

    Making Muslims into progressives, after the fashion of Obama, is the progressive solution to the Muslim problem. Not working. Further, that is the aggressive solution, likely to provoke major resistance and legitimate outrage, while profiling, pogroms and ethnic cleansing are the defensive solution.

    The Islamic position on child brides is reasonable and defensible. Here in the west, girls often become sexually active at ten, taking advantage of the fact that they unlikely to become pregnant until fifteen. One can plausibly argue that it is better to be married off at nine, than sexually active at ten. Further, our laws on underage sex are unequally, inconsistently, and hypocritically enforced, being erratically enforced on high status white males, (if you can afford a reasonable lawyer, you can probably get away with sex with an underaged girl) and not enforced at all on low status blacks, with low status white males being, as usual, the biggest victims.

  98. From the story linked to by Michael Hipp…

    Investigators will interrogate the bomber, still seriously ill last night, without reading him his rights – using special “public safety” powers.

    I suppose that this is better than shipping him to some secret prison outside the US and water-boarding him (which, of course, may still happen), but…

    People bitch that “rights” seem to provide more “rights” to the criminals than the victims. Of course, this is how it should be. In the US, rights are supposed to define limits to the power of government – naturally, this is going to apply to those on whom the government is exerting its power.

    The government may not want people to die and get hurt, but parts of the government sure like reasons to increase their powers.

    I said this before in a different context… Which country is the scariest depends on who and where you are. Sitting up here in Canada…

  99. I said…

    Which country is the scariest depends on who and where you are. Sitting up here in Canada…

    Actually, the US doesn’t pose much of a threat while I am sitting up here in Canada. But if I came to the US and innocently became entangled in some situation like this due to some coincidence and circumstantial evidence, as a foreigner… I like to stay in Canada.

  100. I have spent some time in the US, vacationing in Glacier National Park and working in Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina as a consultant. I have found American people to be great… in some ways friendlier and more out-going than Canadians. When I told anyone that I was from Calgary, they just thought that was great.

    The rudest, most offensive people, on an official basis, that I have ever come across were the US customs and emigration people in the Calgary airport (where I can clear US customs in Calgary). And that was before 9/11.

  101. Winter commented:
    > The suras originating from Mohammed while still in Mekka are almost pacifist.

    Every Muslim everywhere correctly believes those verses were abrogated, which is a polite way of saying that Mohammed lied with the intent of killing those he deceived. And any Muslim who doubts it will find his throat cut from ear to ear.

    • >Every Muslim everywhere correctly believes those [early, pacifist] verses were abrogated

      Considering the recent conversation, this is an entertaining time for me to be pointing out that JAD is correct in this; he is describing perfectly orthodox Koranic interpretation well understood by all scholars. It is just barely possible that there is some minor, weird Islamic sect somewhere that does not accept this doctrine of supercession, but if so its views are neither of historical nor any present consequence.

      The interesting part is why the sayings of Mohammed “progress” from peaceful to bloodthirsty. The conventional view (among historians of Islam who are not religious apologists for it) is that Mohammed’s views changed during his lifetime in response to the Hegira and other formative events.

      There is an alternate interpretation, which I find rather convincing, that “Mohammed” as a unitary figure never existed at all. That is, there was somebody, possibly by that name, who was a Monophysite Christian zealot and uttered the early surahs (the ones in which the Faithful are told to pray facing Jerusalem), but the later “Mohammed” and the later surahs were a propaganda creation of the Ummayad Empire constructed to justify religious conquest.

  102. @Jay Maynard:

    9/11 truther? *plonk*

    I will submit to your criticism, if you refute the succinct evidence. I will not agree to “facts” that are not open source and thus can not be independently verified. I am very surprised that open source proponents would accept closed source science as fact. I would be happy to discover that the government’s account is verified by independent analysis.

    http://www2.ae911truth.org/downloads/graphics/AEstreet_3-beam.pdf

  103. I think this is a very weak argument. You were on much firmer ground when you were pointing at Hitler’s repetition of socialist/communist tropes even in his suicide note.

    That wasn’t me. :)

    It’s a weak argument because by the early 20th century blood-and-soil nationalism had changed camps. It’s true that between 1789 and 1848 nationalism was a phenomenon of the left and opposed to aristocracy and monarchy. But after 1848 it was increasingly recruited by monarchists and anti-socialists in reaction to the internationalism of Marxian socialism.

    There are several problems with that. An idea that is Leftist in origin and an outgrowth of Leftist philosophical thought… is Leftist (A ‘phenomenon’… it wasn’t just an accidental, one might almost say ornamental, trait. It derives from fundamental Leftist thought.) That others might later try to borrow it later out of pragmatic opportunism, doesn’t make it not Leftist. That would be like claiming that coercive redistribution wasn’t a Leftist idea, because some subset of Republicans tried to borrow the idea in its practical form of buying votes by handing out free shit paid for by others’ taxes, because they wanted to ride that pony too. (Yes, that’s ‘compassionate conservatism’.)

    You also seem to be treating Leftism as more monolithic than it is in fact. Just because one school of leftist thought opposes a particular idea doesn’t mean it isn’t still leftist. Go down that road far enough and you’d have to conclude that Nazi’s were not actually leftist because they were opposed to Stalinist orthodoxy, and did not share all of the same ideas. No.

    It took Georges Sorel to reclaim blood-and-soil nationalism for the left, in his philosophy of political irrationalism. This became one of the theoretical foundations of Italian and (through it) German Fascism, but Sorel was considered shockingly heterodox for this move.

    Couple of problems with that, too. One is that it never left (no pun intended). A good example- the Italian unification project was one of the poster children of late 19th Century leftism, and had (and needed) broad international leftist support. It couldn’t have happened without timely interventions from both France and Great Britain.

    Also, you seem to be perilously close to allowing the Marxians to define what leftism is. It wasn’t shockingly heterodox for all schools of leftism. If you aren’t going to let their descendants get away with doing it actively in the 20th Century, you shouldn’t let them get away with doing it passively in the 19th.

    I don’t see any impossibility in different strains of leftism cross-pollinating. Doesn’t make any of them not leftist.

    • >An idea that is Leftist in origin and an outgrowth of Leftist philosophical thought… is Leftist (A ‘phenomenon’… it wasn’t just an accidental, one might almost say ornamental, trait. It derives from fundamental Leftist thought.)

      For the pre-Marxian period this is mistaken essentialism. There wasn’t anything coherent for “Left” doctrines to be an outgrowth of, just a strange salmagundi of disparate movements (phalangism, Saint-Simonism, syndicalism, romantic nihilism, Bakuninite anarchism, etc.) It was pretty much all accident.

      I allow the Marxists to define “leftism” because that’s exactly what they successfully did in period. All the pre-Marxist flavors of leftism are either dead curiosities or have been so heavily invaded by Marxist theory that they could no longer exist independently of it. The history of syndicalism is a notable example of the latter.

      Whether pre-Marxian Italian nationalism should be considered “left” is accordingly a debate over labels, not substance. At that time the label “left” could only have told you that they were anti-establishment, and maybe not even that much; consider St.-Simonism as a counterexample. It didn’t have any other generative meaning, nor did it enable you to predict anything about their program, their political economics, the style of their propaganda or anything else.

      One can only speak of “outgrowth” when there is something to grow out of. Accident implies an essence. These didn’t exist until Marxian rhetoric and theory transvaluated the “left”.

  104. esr
    > the later “Mohammed” and the later surahs were a propaganda creation of the Ummayad Empire constructed to justify religious conquest.

    Historical revisionism is usually less reliable than older texts. While science mostly gets more accurate with the passage of time, history gets less accurate.

    Our records of Mohammed reveal enough screw ups, misconduct, and opportunistic changes of course to suggest that he was man, not myth.

    Mohammed shows up in the Byzantine records, written during his invasion of Byzantium, which depict him as personally leading the Arab invasion of Byzantium, and gives us the first known condemnation of the infamous Islamic method of evangelism. Mohammed also shows up in the history of Armenia, which records him when he was preacher, before he was a general. In these early non Muslim records is the prophet, preacher, general, terrorist, swordpoint evangelist, and double crosser that we recognize from Muslim sources.

    Of course official religions are usually manufactured retroactively. Some king, to create social cohesion in the ruling elite, regularizes their religions, and demands that they all subscribe to the same religion whose main points are that everyone should obey the King, and that members of the ruling elite should refrain from robbing and killing each other. That is how we wound up with odd proposition that “God is One and God is Three” An emperor found that some of his ruling elite believed God was one, and others that God was three, so proceeded to do the obvious thing.

    Thus it is likely that both are true simultaneously, that Mohammed did much of the stuff attributed to him, including swordpoint evangelism, double crossing everyone, and invading Byzantium, and also true that Islam is a retroactive creation of the Ummayad Empire.

  105. @BRM:

    I suppose that this is better than shipping him to some secret prison outside the US and water-boarding him (which, of course, may still happen), but…

    But what?

    I don’t know why they’re blathering about the public safety exception (which is really pretty narrow).

    ISTM they have enough evidence to convict him many times over already. Now it’s just about finding other people.

  106. @ Patrick Maupin

    The newspaper story said…

    Investigators will interrogate the bomber, still seriously ill last night, without reading him his rights – using special “public safety” powers.

    I said:

    I suppose that this is better than shipping him to some secret prison outside the US and water-boarding him (which, of course, may still happen), but…

    And you asked:

    But what?

    In a way, the situation is an “imminent threat” in that there could be more guys with more bombs, but if they are questioning him days later, it doesn’t seem to me to be an “imminent threat” for the purposes of using the “public safety exception”.

    What I was thinking was: but since he is (apparently) a terrorist, they are planning to use the “public safety exception” inappropriately to get around rights that other suspected criminals have – that, in effect, terrorism trumps rights, which is a bad thing.

  107. My personal take on this incident is that it is “shrapnel”: semi-random damage driven by an explosion somewhere else.

    There is a lot of talk about Chechen terrorism. What most people don’t know is that Chechen terrorism appeared after the incredibly brutal Russian invasion of Chechnya. The apartment house bombings that were used as casus belli for the invasion were almost certainly false-flag operations by the FSB.

    Chechens aren’t particularly nice people. They were conquered, fairly harshly, by Imperial Russia. Under Soviet rule they got hammered some more, especially by Stalin, who deported most of them to Siberia for a while. They learned how to survive. In the Brezhnev Era, they were noted black-market gangsters. During the period of de facto Chechnyan independence in the 1990s, there was a lot of smuggling and semi-warlord activity on the borders.

    Then came the Russian invasion, with massive traumatic stress, including rape, robbery, extortion, and murder by Russian troops, and internecine feuds among Chechens. Those “survival lessons” got reinforced.

    Also, during the Russian invasion, some foreign jihadi volunteers came to help fight. (And for once, they were justified.) After the conquest, many Chechens ended up as refugees in jihadi areas in Pakistan and elsewhere and became jihadis themselves. (There were Chechen fighters with the insurgents in Fallujah.)

    Others drifted to various countries. Some of these are not entirely civilized any more. Immersion in a violent, un-civil milieu leaves many people traumatized and desocialized – trusting only in force. Some young Indochinese refugees in the U.S. turned into street gangsters. The Chechens have been in bad places for generations, and recently it got much worse.

    Some have turned to militant Islam as a guide. Part of that is the influence of the jihadis, who did after all come to their aid. There’s a fetid pool of jihadi propaganda on the Net for rootless youth to wallow in.

    The result has been a few incidents (there was one in Germany a few years ago) of a young Chechen male deciding to kill some random infidels.

    I call this “shrapnel” – these men are flying debris from the violent destruction of their homeland and society.

    As to an Iranian connection: I doubt it. Chechens are Sunni Moslems, and the “Black Flags” link may just be something these particular Moslems thought was cool. The pressure cooker bomb is an al-Qaeda classic – but anyone could read the recipe.

  108. @esr
    “There is an alternate interpretation, which I find rather convincing, that “Mohammed” as a unitary figure never existed at all.”

    I stick to the most straightforward explanation: When a lone visionary in Mecca, a message of peace was appropriate (ie, most useful). When a chief-at-war in Medina, a message of war was appropriate. At different phases, Mohammed adapted his message to his current, parochial, needs. After all, he was an Arab tribal chief from the middle ages, and that is reflected in his message.

    The rest is what I claimed earlier: A religion is what the faithful make of it. Those who succeeded Mohammed molded his message to their own needs. The direct successor of Mohammed compiled a first version of the “Koran” that was even completely rewritten by his successor.

    That practical streak has been a very fundamental property of (Sunni) Islam. The current breed of nationalistic terrorism is just a modern (1950s) perversion of the supposed 8th century “conqueror spirit”.

  109. @esr
    “Modern accounts of Nazi doctrine focus on the racism and the blood-and-soil nationalism and suppress the socialism, because remembering the latter would have been awkward for the Soviets and their numerous patsies in the Western left.”

    Just as you are suppressing the period before 1936 (1938?), ie, before the Nazis got absolute power. After they obtained absolute power, they devolved into a cleptocracy lead by a madman. Obviously, they confiscated everything, just as every other tyrant has done before and after. That is why you become a tyrant after all.

  110. @Michael Hipp
    “You might have missed the fact that your constant appeals to authority (yours and theirs) do not constitute an argument, only the ramblings of someone who has no point to make.”

    Indeed, eye witnesses never count, especially not if they all agree. And there are more personal documents, letters, reports, diaries, and original publications available from that time than you can read in a lifetime. However, that is an “appeal to authority” in your view. The only thing that counts is your personal, arm-chair ruminations.

    But I understand the tactic. People here come up with their own private, one factor, definition of left versus right, which is defined to put their breed of Anarchism at the single, pure right end-point of the scale. By design, everyone else then must be to their “left” politically.

    These other people might still be right wing extremists, but they are to the left of the pure anyway, because by design, their is no room to its right.

    And then cheap rhetorical tricks are used like words (left/right) in new meanings, guilt by association (every socialist is nothing better than a WWII nazi because both are lefties) etc.

    What is most funny is the complete denial of anything contemporaries said. The opinions of eye witnesses are considered lies and propaganda. Only you, with your 21th century hind sight can know what they meant, without listening to what they said.

    Has it never appeared to you all that the constituency of the German Nazi party in the 1920s might not have looked up “Socialist” in Websters? That they just might have used the word “Socialist” in some different manner than 21th century USA Libertarians. Obviously not, and as facts seem to be considered just an opinion (especially if they are different), so it would be useless to investigate how 1920 political activists used the word in their own language.

    • >People here come up with their own private, one factor, definition of left versus right, which is defined to put their breed of Anarchism at the single, pure right end-point of the scale.

      Breaking news for you: libertarians don’t want to be considered “right-wing”, either.

      But there is a generative definition of “left” that matters and is relevant; look for the Marxist DNA. When, as in Naziism, you see the combination of hostility to markets, exaltation of the collective over the individual, and doctrinal approval of revolutionary terror, it’s really not difficult to know what you’re dealing with.

      And that’s even before you learn that Mussolini got his start writing for a Communist newspaper, and Hitler was a deputy battalion commander in the Bavarian Soviet Republic who wore a Communist armband at Kurt Eisner’s funeral. It is really too bad the Freikorps didn’t shoot him when they retook Munich.

  111. “One of Winter’s persistent and ongoing failures is his investment in the conventional wisdom he grew up in as the foundation of pure Truth, almost like religious dogma. He’s impressively orthodox (that’s not a compliment).”

    I know. I am one of those people who, when their parents and grandparent tell them about their life, actually believe that these relatives saw what they recount.

    I am sure you would never make such a mistake, especially when your relatives tell you things that you know were not possible according to your conviction.

    Reality is hard work, I am told.

  112. Winter on Monday, April 22 2013 at 3:08 am said:
    > At different phases, Mohammed adapted his message to his current, parochial, needs. After all, he was an Arab tribal chief from the middle ages, and that is reflected in his message.

    No he was not Arab tribal chief. Indeed, Arabs of that time and place did not have chiefs.

    Allegedly he was a bastard, father unknown, with his mother’s brother acting acting as his father. Regardless of his parentage. His first jobs were the lowest status job of all, shepherd. He subsequently got a job as an accountant.

    He got his first leg up in the world by marrying his boss, an older woman who was a merchant. This is partly confirmed by a contemporary Christian source, that reported him to be a part time preacher and full time merchant. No mention of him being an Arab chief in any sources, Arab or Christian..

  113. @JAD
    “No mention of him being an Arab chief in any sources, Arab or Christian..”

    It might come a surprise to you, but social roles are not genetically determined. He acted as the leader of a tribe. I do not care how the locals called their leaders at the time, “tribal chief” is just a generic term from anthropology:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_chief

    Given that they still use their tribal allegiance in the region and still call their leaders sheik, I consider this again one of your diversion tactics.

    @JAD
    “He got his first leg up in the world by marrying his boss, an older woman who was a merchant.”

    As far as is known, he was a good husband to his first wife. And she was devoted to him.

  114. Rich Rostrom on Monday, April 22 2013 at 2:39 am said:
    > There is a lot of talk about Chechen terrorism. What most people don’t know is that Chechen terrorism appeared after the incredibly brutal Russian invasion of Chechnya. The apartment house bombings that were used as casus belli for the invasion were almost certainly false-flag operations by the FSB.

    There are about two hundred Chechens in the US. So at least one percent of US Chechens are terrorists, which pretty similar to the level that got the Russians pissed off.

    During the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chechens seized independence, and Russians were inclined to let them be. Then the Chechens invaded Dagestan, which ticked the Russians off, because although Dagestan is majority Muslim, only a minority are of the same version of Islam as Chechens were imposing. Only three percent of the population of Dagestan is Chechen, so the invasion was Islamic imperialism and terrorist aggression. They had to be quelled. To quell Muslims takes extreme measures.

  115. Winter on Monday, April 22 2013 at 4:28 am said:

    @JAD
    > > “No mention of [Mohammed] being an Arab chief in any sources, Arab or Christian..”

    Winter:
    > It might come a surprise to you, but social roles are not genetically determined. He acted as the leader of a tribe.

    And what tribe was that? None of the historical records, Muslim or Christian, depict Mohammed as acting as the leader of a tribe.

  116. @esr
    “But there is a generative definition of “left” that matters and is relevant; look for the Marxist DNA. When, as in Naziism, you see the combination of hostility to markets, exaltation of the collective over the individual, and doctrinal approval of revolutionary terror, it’s really not difficult to know what you’re dealing with.”

    The development of 19th century political philosophy is a tangled mess. The fact that Marx and Herder share a common disgust of “bourgeoisie” and “capitalism” does not make them seek solutions in the same direction, on the contrary. Furthermore, the left-right scale is not one of inheritance, but one of current political though relative to other political philosophies.

    @esr
    “And that’s even before you learn that Mussolini got his start writing for a Communist newspaper, and Hitler was a deputy battalion commander in the Bavarian Soviet Republic who wore a Communist armband at Kurt Eisner’s funeral.”

    A Stalinist who converts to your strand of Libertarianism does not make you an instant Stalinist. In the same way, a communist who discovers he prefers blood-and-soil corporatism more (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism) might convert to fascism, like he could have converted to become a free market thinker if that appealed more to him.

    It is quite common that people with strong convictions convert to different faiths with equally strong convictions, from Catholic to Marxist or Islam, from Fascist to Communist and back, from Smoker to Non-smoker. From Anarchist to Terrorist to Jesus. That does not make a Smoker a Non-smoker, nor makes it every Catholic a Communist, or every Anarchist a Terrorist.

    And Nazism is not the personal believes of their leader, but the collective believes of those who consider themselves (or are considered) Nazis. That is complicated, I know, but so is reality.

  117. @JAD
    “And what tribe was that? None of the historical records, Muslim or Christian, depict Mohammed as acting as the leader of a tribe.”

    So, what did Mohammed actually do in the desert and in Medina? Was he elected mayor?

    “Tribe” and “Chieftain” are descriptions of social organization. But that is too much historical reality for you, I see. Worse, these are words used by those disgusting people who do actual field studies.

  118. @esr
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics

    The political terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution (1789–99), and referred to where politicians sat in the French parliament; those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Ancien Régime.[12][13][14][15] The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the Left, and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition, and clericalism.[16] The use of the expression la droite (the right) became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, when le droit was applied to describe the Ultra-royalists.[17] In English-speaking countries it was not until the 20th century that people applied the terms “right” and “left” to their own politics.[18]

  119. @JAD
    > > “And what tribe was that? None of the historical records, Muslim or Christian, depict Mohammed as acting as the leader of a tribe.”

    Winter:
    > So, what did Mohammed actually do in the desert and in Medina? Was he elected mayor?

    Medina is not a tribe. It is a city.

  120. For the pre-Marxian period this is mistaken essentialism. There wasn’t anything coherent for “Left” doctrines to be an outgrowth of, just a strange salmagundi of disparate movements (phalangism, Saint-Simonism, syndicalism, romantic nihilism, Bakuninite anarchism, etc.) It was pretty much all accident.

    If you think of the Left as practitioners of the ideas of Rousseau, things make much more sense and a number of historical incidents become much less “surprising”.

    • >If you think of the Left as practitioners of the ideas of Rousseau, things make much more sense and a number of historical incidents become much less “surprising”.

      An interesting proposal. Not hard to see Rousseau’s ideas about human nature reflected to some extent in St.-Simonism. romantic nihilism and the Bakuninites. More of a stretch to read them into Fourierism, though, and I think syndicalism is especially difficult for your theory.

  121. Problem is, that the USA foreign politics pissed off so many people and nations in the world, that now everyone seeks their revenge, personal or general. Shame is only that the innocent people got killed. I see many of you mentioning 9/11. More I research about that event, more I am sure that was the action of USA goverment itself. Maybe you do not see it, but you are becoming more and more slaves of your own goverment. Especially economical, because capitalism is meant to be “not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists” (G.K.Chesterton), so the real power has slipped from the hands of the people to the hands of minority “behind the curtain”.

    As for concepts of political “left” and “right”, they are sooo outdated by now. Original (from French revolution) left has become right and right has become left many times after that historical period.

  122. “And what tribe was that? None of the historical records, Muslim or Christian, depict Mohammed as acting as the leader of a tribe.”

    That is probably the most important fact of Mohammed’s life. He became the leader of just about all the tribes in Arabia. Islam became the unifying factor that made all those conquests possible.

  123. But if Iran was funding them, I’d think they’d have a budget for a bit more than pressure-cooker bombs.

    It’s not just about what they can afford but also about what they could get past all the security present at the Boston Marathon, and about what the brothers could reasonably build given their expertise. Police stopping vehicles to search them at checkpoints often overlook pressure cookers, since they are commonly used in the kitchen. Aside from being cheap and easy to miss, pressure cooker bombs are drop-dead simple to make and are made from any number of items that could easily be purchased at many stores. Al Qaeda itself has used pressure cookers bombs as IEDs on at least several occasions.

    Also, the Iranian government would want to divert as much attention away from themselves as possible. If a well-made military-grade Semtex or C4 bomb were used instead of a pressure cooker bomb, authorities would immediately begin looking for ties to Al Qaeda or Iran or Syria. That’s far less likely with an improvised pressure cooker bomb.

    Although, I’m absolutely sure the FBI has already begun looking into these brothers’ backgrounds, tracing their whereabouts before and after the bombing, and have undoubtedly gotten a warrant for their banking records and financial history by now. This would be standard investigative practice anyhow.

  124. Darko: Another 9/11 truther, and one apparently motivated by a desire to explain away Islamic terrorism.

    I don’t care if the US pursuing an America-first foreign policy pisses off Islamists. Those who use that as an excuse to wage war on American civilians deserve only sudden, violent death, in any way it can be administered.

  125. You say “as usual”. I do not think the statistics support this. Pretty sure home-grown dominates number of attacks and number of attackers, and the only reason it doesn’t dominate number of victims is that 9/11 was stunningly effective compared to small-scale attacks.

    Our impression of which events are common or typical does not necessarily reflect the statistical nature of reality.

  126. By what measure?

    Number of successful terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

    When an incident occurs and the FBI and press need to give answers to the question “who’s responsible?”, the most likely answer — in the absence of information to the contrary — is “a domestic terrorist”. And the Tea Party is a revival of the same right-wing anger that produced Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, so they’re going to be in the crosshairs.

    Of course this doesn’t pass the sniff test for a right-wing hit. If it were an LGBTQ run, maybe it would. Still, the balance what’s attributable to malice on the part of the press and what’s attributable to stupidity is farther in favor of the latter than Eric (esr) would have it.

  127. Muslims hate infidels, not western power. Read Bin Laden’s rant. Remember Beslan.

    Infidels can always be converted by the sword. The more extreme Muslims are just butthurt that they’re not the ones with the political and cultural hegemony, which they feel should be their right — Islam having been revealed, of course, as the one true and final religion for all mankind.

    So, thinks the jihadist, take out the satanic Western power structure, move in and conquer, and the infidel problem goes away.

  128. @esr:

    Breaking news for you: libertarians don’t want to be considered “right-wing”, either.

    But there is a generative definition of “left” that matters and is relevant; look for the Marxist DNA. When, as in Naziism, you see the combination of hostility to markets, exaltation of the collective over the individual, and doctrinal approval of revolutionary terror, it’s really not difficult to know what you’re dealing with.

    The problem is that for *most* Europeans hostility to markets and collectivism is “normal” or “sane”. Those things don’t exist on the left/right spectrum, they are like the sky, or the air. Part of life.

    Winter has heard all his life about the Nazis killing people because they were different. Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Homosexuals that didn’t have high-ranking boyfriends etc.. He has also heard a lot about the Nazi and Fascist party’s focus on tribe or nationalism.

    What Winter, and the rest of Europe refuses to internalize is that Lenin, and to a greater extent Stalin was *WORSE*. How many non-ethnic russians were in power in the USSR? How many Jews and non-ethnic russians got set to the “labor camps”.

    And let’s not even get into the left’s behavior during the Spanish Civil war (Catalonia anyone?).

    The problem is that in Europe this is the political spectrum:

    |--------|
    ^         ^
    S        F 
    

    Where S is socialism and F is fascism.

    There is no 2 or 3 dimensional axis over there, they never *really* left feudalism, just reorganized it for more efficiency. Between the founding of the colony at Plymouth Rock, and today almost all of the individualist ideologies left Europe for The New World. Thus giving us a spectrum that (if you insist on a 1D line) looks like:

    |----|----|--------|------|---|
    ^    ^    ^         ^       ^   ^
    S   C   F        M      L   A
    

    Where C=communitarism, M=Minarchist, L=Libertarian and A=Anarchist, for the individualist/non-syndicalist version.

    EVERYTHING to the right of the F is incredibly rare on The Continent (although becoming less rare, witness samizdata.net and some of the younger French)

    To put it another way, see this: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp .

    Those around, or to the left of the F on that line only have 2 color receptors. Those of us that are down near the M and the L have three or four.

    Oh, and Winter, as to knowing people who suffered from the Nazis, getting shot or kicked in the ditch or shoved into a camp is common from both Fascists, Nazis, Communists and Socialists. Even FDR put the Japanese in camps. The soft-left you’re used to is because for about 40 years after WWII there simply wasn’t enough “others” left in Europe to matter. Now Germany’s got issues with the Turks (or did in the 90s. I don’t know how well they’ve assimilated), France has it’s ghettos where it shoves the muslims, and Denmark is getting increasingly unhappy with 3rd worlders coming in to suck up benefits and degrade the culture.

    As to us “not knowing anyone”, I’ve got one or two friends who’s grandparents had REALLY ugly tattoos on their arms, and do recall that it was American GIs who first got to the prison camps.

  129. “And the Tea Party is a revival of the same right-wing anger that produced Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, so they’re going to be in the crosshairs.”

    No.

    Rudolph was an anti-abotionist; McVeigh was unhappy at the government’s actions at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Neither motivates the Tea Party.

    Of course, you’re happy to smear any conservative movement with Rudolph and McVeigh, justified or not.

    Fuck off and die.

    • >Neither motivates the Tea Party.

      I think that’s putting it too strongly. It’s true that the Tea Party has nothing to do with these nutjobs, and that it’s a target of many unfair smear attempts by the left and the media (but I repeat myself).

      However…I’ve had a bit of contact with the local Tea Party here in Southeastern PA, and the reason I haven’t had more – despite being in broad agreement with its constitutionalist message – is that religious conservatives have more influence on it than makes me happy.

      In a way it’s kind of interesting to watch. I think they’re trying really hard to stick to tax policy and economic issues and a pro-freedom agenda. They won’t overtly touch abortion (as far as I know, anyway) because they know that’s too divisive. They don’t go near 2A stuff either, in part because they don’t have to – there’s already a pretty effective network of advocacy organizations for that.

      But. The people they recruit are natural conservatives of the small-mouth variety, the kind a Marxist would call petits bourgeoises. They’re not intellectuals and they’re not really good at separating their economic issues from their feeling that they’re the target of an overclass culture war against their values (many, I’m sure, own firearms). So cultural conservatism sort of leaks in around the edges.

      I found this out when the local Tea Party mailing list was used to invite people to a prayer meeting. I pushed back good and hard, calling them on the fact that religious advocacy should have *no* place under their stated goals.

      Maybe that did some good; I have not seen any repetition of similar behavior. But I wouldn’t be surprised to; the sociology of the group favors it, even if the ideology doesn’t.

      Oh, and by the way: violent nativism, not. The local leader I’m friendliest with is a Hungarian immigrant. A very good man and a born sheepdog – I wish more native-born Americans had his sense of duty and honor.

  130. @JustSaying: I’d suggest you try playing Pontifex for a while as a way to develop an instinctive version of how structures perform under load. Then consider that in fire, steel looses a huge amount of its strength well below its melting temperature (ask a competent firefighter about that one – this is a major risk they face in office building structure fires). I mention this product only because it was what I was playing in college right around the time 9/11 occurred and it really helped me understand what was going on.

    I took Engineering Statics & Dynamics the summer of 2003 I think. The instructor at that time used the WTC collapse as examples of how a number of different forces work in buildings. The phrase which comes to mind is “impact loading”. I’m more surprised that the building lasted as long as it did, rather than anything else.

  131. Eric: “So cultural conservatism sort of leaks in around the edges.”

    This is the correlation implies causation fallacy in different clothing. Yes, the groups overlap…but as your own example points out, they are not the same, and imputing the social conservative agenda to the Tea Party is not valid. That the Left uses it as a smear tactic does not mean that we should agree with them.

    • >imputing the social conservative agenda to the Tea Party is not valid.

      I wish it were entirely invalid. But it’s only mostly so, in my experience. They did send me that invitation to a prayer meeting.

      The media charge I can acquit them of is racism. Not even a trace of it; no racist behavior, no code words, no nothing. I would have jumped on that harder than I did the gratuitous religiosity.

  132. @esr

    However…I’ve had a bit of contact with the local Tea Party here in Southeastern PA, and the reason I haven’t had more – despite being in broad agreement with its constitutionalist message – is that religious conservatives have more influence on it than makes me happy.

    This is because there is a REALLY big overlap between those who are “economically conservative” and those who are “socially conservative”.

    And a HUGE number of them that are just scared that the rails are going to come off.

    Last stats I saw said that ~80% (78 percent according to the CIA World Factbook) of the people in the US considered themselves to be Christian. They are going to be slightly over-represented on “the right”

    In a way it’s kind of interesting to watch. I think they’re trying really hard to stick to tax policy and economic issues and a pro-freedom agenda.

    They are, generally. But there’s a number of assholes trying to co-opt the movement either to support the mainstream Republicans (who are almost as much responsible for this mess as the Democrat Party. I’d say 55% to 45%)

    But. The people they recruit are natural conservatives of the small-mouth variety, the kind a Marxist would call petits bourgeoises. They’re not intellectuals and they’re not really good at separating their economic issues from their feeling that they’re the target of an overclass culture war against their values (many, I’m sure, own firearms). So cultural conservatism sort of leaks in around the edges.

    No, Cultural Conservatism is their core. Most of them just “get” that if they don’t keep the more controversial positions at bay they’re going to wind up NOT getting what is most critical to them.

    The thing is that you can’t really call them fiscally sound really. They aren’t aggressive about rolling back big government, they *mostly* just want it to stop expanding (which is, IMO a good first step).

    That’s why I’m not a big Tea Party type. They’re too left wing for me.

    • >No, Cultural Conservatism is [the Tea Party’s] core.

      I really don’t think so. I would have a much stronger allergic reaction to them if that were true.

      Maybe it’s different in the rest of the U.S. But here, in southeastern PA, it’s like these people are fumbling towards a sort of patriotic folk libertarianism while frequently being mugged by their conservative imprints. They mean well, but they’re not reflective about their own beliefs.

  133. We are Iranian.
    We are typically Muslims.
    We living in Khorasan (Khorasan is a state of Iran)
    BUT WE ARE NOT TERRORIST!
    we are normal people like as you, we love peace, peoples, freedom and etc.
    we are not equal our goverment

    Iran != Iranian Goverment

    • >Iran != Iranian Goverment

      I think Americans generally understand this.

      I put myself at some slight risk in 2009 to help the Iranian people and oppose the Iranian government. So did some other Americans I know. We’re not your enemies, nor do we think you are our enemies.

      Your government and the mullahs are another matter. With them it may yet come to war.

  134. Your government and the mullahs are another matter. With them it may yet come to war.

    Let’s hope not. American interference in the region to depose a leader we didn’t like — specifically, Operation Ajax — is how the present Iranian government came to power in the first place. I highly doubt that further aggression will bring anything but calamity — to Americans and Iranians alike.

  135. “I wish it were entirely invalid. But it’s only mostly so, in my experience. They did send me that invitation to a prayer meeting.”

    Was it the group as a whole that sent that, or just one member of the list? If the latter, you can’t blame the group for it.

  136. William O. B’Livion on Monday, April 22 2013 at 1:35 pm said:What Winter, and the rest of Europe refuses to internalize is that Lenin, and to a greater extent Stalin was *WORSE*. How many non-ethnic russians were in power in the USSR?

    Read those two sentences again. The answer to the second is in the first.

    How many Jews and non-ethnic russians got set to the “labor camps”.

    Proportionally? Not more than Russians.

    One of the first things the Communists did was abolish the entire mass of invidious anti-Semitic laws in force under the Tsars. The first decade of the Soviet Union was an enormous opportunity for able, previously restricted Jews. Many reached high rank in the Party and security apparatus, among them Yagoda, Stalin’s first top Chekist.

    Ethnic discrimination was never official Soviet policy. Soviet crimes included extreme repression of anyone who bucked the Communist program – peasants, dissidents, the religious, property owners. But the program itself had no concern with ethnicity – unlike Germany’s program, which made ethnicity the supreme concern. If an ethnic group bucked the program as a group, they could be punished as a group – but not otherwise. “Enemies of the state” were defined by social class, not ancestry.

    In the post-Stalin era, ethnic Russians gradually took over the place, but discrimination was always unofficial and clandestine.

  137. Anybody who doubts that the partisan bigotry and ignorance of the establishment mass media was displayed in reactions to the Boston bombings should look at this.

    Australian, but part of the same bien-pensant crowd.

  138. As others have pointed out, ideology doesn’t easily map on a one-dimensional scale. That said, beyond the (somewhat arguable) association of racism with the Right, and a shared opposition to Communism, there is very little about fascism/Nazism which is truly “right wing.” After all, in common political terms today (and since revolutionary France), the “right wing” is the home of “conservatives,” which has a large overlap with “traditionalists.” So where should we put a radical, revolutionary, modern, “efficient,” anti-traditionalist, anti-capitalist, anti-individual, anti-family, anti-religious ideology like fascism? With conservatives and traditionalists, or with the similarly radical, revolutionary, modern, “efficient,” anti-traditionalist, anti-capitalist, anti-individual, anti-family, anti-religious ideology of communism? The answer seems obvious to me, Winter’s friends notwithstanding. (Sorry, but experiencing Nazism doesn’t make them experts in classifying ideologies.)

    A good book on the many links between fascism and the left is Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg.

    A fascinating book on the early history of Islam is Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins by Robert Spencer. There is more than a little evidence for Eric’s suspicions regarding Muhammad. E.g: In the first 80 years of Islamic conquest, none of the conquered peoples mentioned Muhammad, a holy book, or a religion associated with the conquerors. Muhammad’s first biographer wrote 125 years after his death. The Koran shows signs of very heavy editing. Both crescents and crosses appear on early Islamic-era coins. Etc.

  139. Oh, and for the 9/11 Truther above: If the U.S. government wanted to bring down the towers with controlled demolition, why didn’t they just… bring down the towers with controlled demolition? Why bother recruiting a score of Saudis who may or may not succeed in their hijackings, who may or may not hit their targets, and who might hit their targets in such a way as to disturb the demolition wires and charges? Why not just engineer a version of the ’93 WTC bombing and blow up the towers without warning, killing far more people?

    Of course, rigging buildings for demolition is difficult and time-consuming and probably impossible to do without the residents noticing, but demolition-rigging by itself is far easier to cover up than demolition-rigging plus hijacking airliners to use as missiles, and then crashing them accurately. The hijackings make no sense as a “cover story” for any conspiracy involving demolition.

  140. I really do not know “why didn’t they just”… you’ll have to ask them personally. Perhaps they couldn’t clearly make a connection with Islamic terrorists without some of them actually showed on the scene, in form of an airplane hijackers.

    Please, have a look at “9/11 Loose Change” documentary film, and tell me what you think about it, does it have something illogical in it.

    They needeed an alibi for starting a war on the middle east. Exactly like they needed alibi for joining in World War II. Don’t tell me that USA intelligence service didn’t know about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    What Saudis? Their ID’s are not confirmed still to day. And in the public version of the event of 9/11 we can find out about many illogical things that media picture showed to the public. For example telephone calls made from the airplane by passengers in the hijacked plane, in a age when telephone calls were not possible from airplanes. Airplanes that hit towers caused only fire damage. Guess what? There are plentiful examples of large buildings under fire, and none of them collapsed by itself. The towers would be the first. For example, a burning building in Madrid, burned and stood nearly for a week, before the fire was totally extinguished.

    What about the Pentagon attack? Is it really happened or not? The hole in the building that media showed us looks far more like rocket-made hole than any airplane can make. For example, where are the holes that wings of airplane must have made with an impact?

    As I sad, please, have a look at “9/11 Loose Change”, if you didn’t before, then tell me what you think about it. At the end of the movie it’s says that copying of that movie and public showing falls under the domestic terrorism law in America. Is that true?

    Maybe I’m wrong, but everything looks like a big fraud.

    @Jay Maynard

    American foreign politics do not pisses of only Islamist, be sure of that. And interesting thing is how American goverment find only middle-east Islamists as a threat, but for example Bosnian muslim extremist or Albanian islamist extremist do not bother them, actually they are more like allies to them. You didn’t hear that American goverment had excellent relationship with Talibans during Soviet-Afghan war?

    P.S. Sorry for my bad English.

  141. We know the 9/11 planes were hijacked by terrorists because people aboard the planes phoned families and friends.

    We know the planes were flown into buildings because a gigantic number of witnesses saw it happen.

    We know that the planes caused the disaster, because flying bits of plane and human flesh chewed up numerous buildings in the vicinity. If not all of them fell down, several of them looked as if they were about to fall down. They looked as if gnawed on by gigantic rats. A human body or fragment thereof moving at that velocity has an impact like a small mortar.

    We know that the planes caused the disaster, not explosive charges, because if you look at the collapse frame by frame, you see the building has a big hole in it, like a gigantic mouth, and then the top of the building starts to tilt into the gap, as if the mouth is closing. This bending effect is indicative of steel softening and bending, not of explosive charges going off.

  142. There is video of the plane crashing into the Pentagon, and photos of the wrecked engines. Again, it makes no sense to fake a plane crash into the Pentagon as a cover for shooting a missile at the Pentagon. Just shoot the missile, and blame that on terrorists. That way you don’t have to bet on the airliner hitting its target, and then somehow hide the “missing” airliner. (Which your theory must account for… so where did Flight 77 “really” go, by the way?)

  143. @William O’Blivion
    “Oh, and Winter, as to knowing people who suffered from the Nazis, getting shot or kicked in the ditch or shoved into a camp is common from both Fascists, Nazis, Communists and Socialists. Even FDR put the Japanese in camps.”

    People who were inundated in the propaganda, theory, and practice of fascism do get an inside view about what fascism was. Growing up among such eye witnesses does give you a perspective on the matter that goes beyond the claims thrown around here about “media bias” and “left wing propaganda”.

    And, yes, living fascism for half a decade, like my “informants did” does give information about fascism that you cannot get with selective reading and ideological blinds from another continent half a century later.

  144. @James A. Donald

    “We know the 9/11 planes were hijacked by terrorists because people aboard the planes phoned families and friends.”

    Did the mobile phones worked from airplanes at the time? I don’t think so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phones_on_aircraft#In_flight_technology

    “Some airlines have installed technologies to allow phones to be connected within the airplane as it flies. Such systems were tested on scheduled flights from 2006 and in 2008 several airlines started to allow in-flight use of mobile phones.”

    2006. and 2008. is far from the end of 2001. don’t you think?

    IF you look at the collapse, frame by frame, you will see tiny explosions floor to floor, ’till it collapsed totally.

    As I said, please have a look at this:

  145. @esr:

    You are right about one thing. There is possibly an Iranian connection. There is also possibly a Russian connection. Many of the Chechen groups have been infiltrated with russian informers and operators. It is not beyond the Russians to carry out mass terrorism attacks even against their own people (e.g. moscow apartment bombings) and blame it on some kind of islamic terrorism.

    The iranian connection stems from the fact that all islamic terror movements throughout history have been founded in Iran, starting of course with the order of the assassins. In my opinion, this has to do with some of the deepest sicknesses within the persian culture but that is perhaps a separate (and more interesting) discussion. There was little islamic terror prior to the ayatollah regime anywhere in the world. There were other terrorism for sure (nationalist, communist, Maoist etc) but not much Islamic. The ayatollah regime at its core is equal to the order of assasins regieme of the modern era. Both ancient and modern day assasin regieme had very similar shiite religeous cults as their core religeous ideology (Ismaili vs twelver)

    I do not know much of the level of your knowledge of Islam. By and large, the American knowledge of islam is relatively unnuanced even at the highest “most informed” levels of academia (Bernard Lewis anyone ?). Islam has its good sides and its dark sides much like the other abrahamic religions (which at a higher level are all in effect equal to one religion). Good sides of islam: Sufism, spirituality that is second to no other tradition, poetry culture that is second to none, eloquent religeous texts that surpass anything and everything in the western traditions and I could list many more. It’s darkest and most toxic side is its intertwinement with politics which breeds political terrorism. Islam and politics are practically inseparable, and have always been inseparable. Islam is incompatible with the modern secular state, because the secular muslim philosophers throughout history, and the movements they brought along with them, have always ultimately defeated. I see that as the only major problem with Islam with all other problems being secondary.

  146. @esr:

    There is an alternate interpretation, which I find rather convincing, that “Mohammed” as a unitary figure never existed at all. That is, there was somebody, possibly by that name, who was a Monophysite Christian zealot and uttered the early surahs (the ones in which the Faithful are told to pray facing Jerusalem), but the later “Mohammed” and the later surahs were a propaganda creation of the Ummayad Empire constructed to justify religious conquest

    This is a good theory for non speakers of arabic. Speakers of arabic immediately recognize quranic text as such a unique form of literature, that it could not have possibly been composed except by one man. For the devout muslims, the almost unmatchable level eloquence of the text can only be attributed to it originating from one source: “God”.

    In my opinion, Quranic text is simply so unique it could not have possibly originated from more than one man.

  147. Oh. My. God. Are people here actually arguing with truthers? Really?

    In what universe do you believe that you’re going to change their minds one iota with facts or logic?

  148. @Garrett:
    I understand structural engineering enough to know that the chance of random shrapnel and scattered fires imploding the 3rd building in a perfectly symmetrical implosion is impossible. That is why I don’t understand why very smart people here can ignore it. I am flabbergast trying to understand what might be going on in minds here.

    I could also go into the twin towers in detail, but I don’t need to because the 3rd building collapse is a slam dunk.

    @PapayaSF:

    Oh, and for the 9/11 Truther above: If the U.S. government wanted to bring down the towers with controlled demolition, why didn’t they just… bring down the towers with controlled demolition?

    How about forming a rational scientific conclusion based on physical engineering evidence, instead of grasping at conspiracy theories.

    If you want a plausible conspiracy theory, look no further than the anti-money laundering laws we have now as a result and my prediction of the confiscation of all western middle class wealth coming after 2017. And thus the ability to prevent the millionaires from competing with the controllers in buying up all the bankrupted assets of the world. Controllers would need to blame terrorism to develop this financial coup d’etat.

    I reasonably sure I know who is doing this and why, but I only have strong circumstantial motive. But I don’t need to talk about that. Lets first analyze the physical evidence which is more irrefutable. The government’s story can’t possibly be true.

    @JAD:

    We know that the planes caused the disaster, because flying bits of plane and human flesh chewed up numerous buildings in the vicinity.

    1,881 structural engineers and architects disagree with your misunderstanding of engineering. Refer the links in my prior comments.

    you see the building has a big hole in it, like a gigantic mouth, and then the top of the building starts to tilt into the gap, as if the mouth is closing. This bending effect is indicative of steel softening and bending, not of explosive charges going off

    Besides that your engineering analysis is flawed, you did not address the 3rd building collapse. You probably didn’t even look at the succinct (1 page of) evidence I linked to in my prior comment?

    @Jay Maynard:

    Darko: Another 9/11 truther, and one apparently motivated by a desire to explain away Islamic terrorism.

    Science involves evidence.

    I don’t know if you were referring to me, but I can assure you that I am not trying explain away Islamic fundamentalism, but I want proof of what is accused in each case, because I don’t want babble irrationally.

    My observation of your comments over years, is that you and I have agreed on almost everything up to this one. So why the big gap on this one? Which one of us is acting from rationality here?

    Have you looked at the evidence cited?

    I am getting an idea that some here hate Islam so much, they feel it is so hard on the women, that they will latch on to unproven accusations in order to foster their goals to free those women. This is not rational.

    Remember our founding fathers said to avoid entangling alliances. We are not supposed to fix the world. We can actually defeat these controlling idioms with technology and we are doing it already. There is no need to let ourselves fall victim to irrationality to achieve the goals for humanity.

  149. @Nigel:

    In what universe do you believe that you’re going to change their minds one iota with facts or logic?

    Change my mind by refuting the evidence on the impossibility of the government’s story on the 3rd building collapse. Have you even studied what 1,881 engineers and architects have signed on to? This is nothing like all that bizarre nonsense at the other 9/11 truther sites.

  150. Those around, or to the left of the F on that line only have 2 color receptors. Those of us that are down near the M and the L have three or four.

    Mmmm…not from my perspective. It strikes me that many folks down near the M and the L still see things in mostly black and white. They may have a difference set of 2 color receptors but don’t see (the validity of) many different hues.

    This is evidenced by the fact that someone would use such an analogy in the first place where proponents of an opposing political thought are sub-human in “mental” capacity (i.e. lacking the standard three color receptors most humans have) where proponents of their political bent are super-human (i.e. having more color receptors than humans have).

  151. @justsaying

    I’m pretty easy going but anyone that believes that the USG is so fiendishly clever at conspiracy in the face of all contrary evidence might as well believe in the Illuminati or Cthulhu and that I am a member of the Gnomes of Zurich here to trade barbs with the evil Discordians that inhabit this blog and that Area 51 has UFOs in it (in actually all of those had been removed to another location by the mid-70s).

    The probability that UFOs exists in a secret base somewhere I rate as far higher than a competent federal government…and I say that only half in jest. The phrase “Yeah, and monkeys might fly out my butt” comes to mind but probably dates me horribly.

  152. @Nigel
    “Oh. My. God. Are people here actually arguing with truthers? Really?”

    I see people here arguing reality itself all the time.

  153. I remember reports that women can have two different alleles of one of the color receptors with slightly different sensitivity, and might sometimes end up with four different types of cones.

    I welcome our new matriarchal overlords.

  154. @Nigel:

    I’m pretty easy going but anyone that believes that the USG is so fiendishly clever at conspiracy in the face of all contrary evidence

    Why do you shift to a strawman to avoid refuting the physical evidence on the third building collapse?

    I could careless who did what in my debate with you. I only care what was done. Go successfully refute the physical evidence, then I will think you are not being irrational.

    @JAD:
    There was no gaping hole in the third building.

  155. Because you have to remember, “right-wing” has successfully been redefined as “whatever is bad”.

    I found this to be funny as I recall a time when “liberal” had the same meaning. I guess in some circles it still does.

  156. Here is the one page of succinct points on the physical evidence, signed by 1,881 architects and engineers who have degrees. This came much later than the early nonsense sites and focuses on rational, calm, scientifically valid inquiry:

    http://www2.ae911truth.org/downloads/graphics/AEstreet_3-beam.pdf#page=2

    The main claims on the third building collapse are:

    The destruction of WTC 7 has all the characteristics of a 7
    CONTROLLED DEMOLITION with explosives:

    A single, localized failure. i.e., NIST’s unseated girder, could
    not cause the systematic and total FAILURE OF 400 OTHER
    STRUCTURAL STEEL CONNECTIONS PER SECOND.
    The structure of a large, fireproofed steel-framed building
    cannot be completely destroyed by LOCALIZED POCKETS OF
    SMALL FIRES nor by “thermal expansion” as claimed by NIST.

    • The kink in the roofline is characteristic of a demolition
    timing sequence where the walls are collapsing inward.

    • The overall building mass falls uniformly through what was
    the path of greatest resistance. This requires a precisely
    timed, patterned removal of critical columns.

    • The building fell almost symmetrically straight down in less
    than 7 seconds – and at free-fall acceleration for 8 stories –
    admitted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
    (NIST).

    Most of the debris ended up in this compact pile – centered within the original footprint. The 47- story steel-framed structure was dismembered and reduced to a small pile only a few stories high – with near complete destruction – unmistakable signs of a controlled demolition with explosives. a “severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel”– sulfur and molten iron
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) documented in Appendix C of its report
    FEMA’s May 2002 report acknowledged that its hypothesis that fire caused the destruction had only a “low probability of occurrence” and that “further investigation and analysis were required”,
    although by that time, almost all WTC 7 steel crime scene evidence had already been illegally removed and destroyed.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) documented in Appendix C of its report a “severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel”– sulfur and molten iron penetrated into the steel. Office/jet fuel fires cannot account for this. Other research revealed the signature of thermite, which creates molten iron.

    Extremely high temperatures far above those of normal office fires, persisted for weeks in the pile, as indicated by various sources (e.g. infrared images by MTI, EarthData and NASA).

  157. Every person has a weak point in their rationality where their emotions takes over and they don’t even realize it. I have fallen victim to this, as has ever person here. They key is to wake up from the cognitive dissonance and smell the facts. I did this recently on my brief visit with christianity. I wonder if others here can do what I did, on their weakness.

    I stand with you against mind control paradigms. We don’t need the USG to fix that. We have technology.

    I will stand down, and await any rational rebuttal to the physical evidence.

  158. Why do you shift to a strawman to avoid refuting the physical evidence on the third building collapse?

    First, you linked to what was essentially an ad for “informational DVDs”. LOL.

    Second, which part of “I think arguing with you about this is a stupid waste of time” do you misunderstand?

  159. JustSaying: It doesn’t matter. The idea that any part of the 9/11 disaster could be caused by a government conspiracy is so thoroughly unlikely that any attempt to explain it as such marks you as a conspiracy theory kook whose opinions are totally untrustworthy.

    The whole 9/11 truther movement founders on the same basic problem as any other grand conspiracy theory: it assumes that a conspiracy that large can be maintained as a secret indefinitely. The probability of a secret remaining a secret is inversely proportional to the square of the number of people who know it. The number of people who would have to know about a government conspiracy to cause 9/11 in the manner that the truthers argue must have happened is so great that it would have come out within days.

    There’s also the minor matter that conspiracy kooks invariably believe that the conspiracy arises because the government is so incompetent that it cannot accomplish its goals in any other manner. Yet they assume that this government of bumbling, incompetent fools is competent enough not only to pull off something like 9/11, but to keep it tightly controlled for years. This is so unlikely as to be downright impossible.

    Sorry, but by supporting the 9/11 truther movement, all you do is discredit yourself.

  160. @Jay Maynard
    “There’s also the minor matter that conspiracy kooks invariably believe that the conspiracy arises because the government is so incompetent that it cannot accomplish its goals in any other manner.”

    I adhere to the South Park school of thought about “truthers”:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_of_the_Urinal_Deuce

    The 9/11 conspiracy movement was founded by the USA government to hide the fact that they were too incompetent to prevent the attacks.

    ;-)

  161. @JustSaying:

    Other research revealed the signature of thermite, which creates molten iron.

    Refuted findings of thermite signature, refuted findings of molten iron, refuted possibility of using termite in demolishion of said buildings,…

  162. Off topic Around 9:30 AM CEST (7:30 UTC) today my ISP (orange.pl) lost connection to many international sites. What is strange is that I connect to for example this blog (http://esr.ibiblio.net) but not e.g. Bruce Schneier blog (http://www.schneier.com/).

    I cannot connect to LWN.net, Arstechnica, isup.me, fanfiction.net, GitHub (cannot ping also from inside of university network, i.e. different Internet provider; some of sites are pingable when using other ISP), but I can connect to Google services (Search, Gmail, Drive) — which is very fortunate, Amazon Cloud Reader, H-Online, Trello.

    Strange, and annoying.

    P.S. WTF is WordPress having problems with Unicode (non US-ASCII characters) in name…

  163. @JustSaying:

    The thermite theory has been quite thoroughly debunked elsewhere:

    http://www.debunking911.com/thermite.htm

    Some sulfur-containing compounds could produce the same effects as thermites. The problem with that, of course, is that sulfur-containing compounds can be found in abundance in office fires — from, say, tens of thousands of burning computers.

    I agree, @JustSaying, that the government failed to adequately prove its case for WTC 7 and that evidence was removed prematurely from the crime scene. OTOH, no one has successfully proven that WTC 7 was brought down by anything other than the fires.

  164. @Winter ”And, yes, living fascism for half a decade, like my “informants did” does give information about fascism that you cannot get with selective reading and ideological blinds from another continent half a century later.”

    And yet you *still* can’t articulate this information and insight that would so thoroughly prove that Nazism is right-wing.

    Please, please enlighten these far-continent johnny-come-lately ignoramuses with their ideological blinds.

  165. @Morgan Prove its case regarding what? This would be like asking for proof that every nail and every ball bearing came from the devices in the Boston Marathon and not from some super sekrit CIA operation to target the Chinese exchange student in the crowd.

    It’s completely idiotic because WTC 7 was a bizzaro building in its own right being built on top of a Con Ed substation and pretty much none of what he claims is actually true. Folks endlessly show pictures of the building seriously on fire, with a big assed gash in the south face to rebut and Truthers stick their hands over their eyes and cry La la la la SMALL FIRES SMALL FIRES NO DAMAGE NO DAMAGE!

    It’s a waste of time.

    Don’t encourage stupidity with false equivalence between the positions. Even if the NIST study is incorrect in its analysis the probability that it was a controlled demo is still zero unless it was done by aliens or time travelers with invisibility cloaks.

  166. @Michael Hipp
    “Please, please enlighten these far-continent johnny-come-lately ignoramuses with their ideological blinds.”

    Contemporaries defined them as right wing, like the Vatican, gentry (Junkers), big land owners and combined big business and big finance, both national and international. All these supported the fascists often to the end. Unions, socialist, or communist parties did understand this too, as these fought the fascists from the very start. Often with arms.

    So, the contemporaries saw a strong opposition between fascists and “the left”, and the fascists did what their supporters and enemies expected them to do.

    So, what do these contemporaries from both Europe and North America see what you are unable to see?

    The following is a list of treat ascribed to fascist ideology that are commonly ranked as “Right wing” in Europe:

    – Militarism
    – Supports the powerful, land-owners, big business and big industry
    – Fights union organization in opposition of owners
    – Harks back to religion, back to pre-Christian
    – Strong blood-and-soil (ultra) nationalism
    – Racism, serfdom

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    Obviously, theory and practice tend to be not aligned (orthogonal), and we can see that during WWII. the warring parties did everything they saw necessary to stay in power and win. Irrespective of this was based in any kind of political philosophy.

  167. @Michael Hipp
    “Please, please enlighten these far-continent johnny-come-lately ignoramuses with their ideological blinds.”

    (I have to cut a lot of things to get this through the WordPress filters)

    The following is a list of treat ascribed to fascist ideology that are commonly ranked as “Right wing” in Europe:

    – Militarism
    – Supports the powerful, land-owners, big business and big industry
    – Fights union organization in opposition of owners
    – Harks back to religion, back to pre-Christian
    – Strong blood-and-soil (ultra) nationalism
    – Racism, serfdom

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    Obviously, theory and practice tend to be not aligned (orthogonal), and we can see that during WWII. the warring parties did everything they saw necessary to stay in power and win. Irrespective of this was based in any kind of political philosophy.

  168. @Michael

    Folks that insist that Nazis are right wing are trying to sell me something.
    Folks that insist that Nazis are left wing are trying to sell me something.

    Both are trying to play me for a sucker and hope I’m the kind of person that would demonize the opponent and justify/accept whatever it takes to defeat them and buried somewhere under their “logic” is a message of hate or fear or both and not reason.

    The nazis were evil people that successfully played a lot of normal Germans for suckers, demonized their political and racial opponents and ended up killing a lot of people based on hatred and fear.

    You should wonder who’s agenda you are fulfilling when you wish to equate your opponents with Nazis. Fortunately there are few charismatic, smart and evil people in the world with the opportunity for real power or we’d be truly f-ed.

  169. @Jakub Narebski
    Thanks. Citation please?

    Btw, I have seen the aerial infrared images of the super hot zones which burned hot for weeks apparently without oxygen, but I can’t remember if these were also for WTC 7 or just for twin towers.

    @Nigel:
    What part of you failed to refute, do you not understand? If you don’t want to debate the facts, then don’t, but you can’t convince me nor win the debate by being silent. I presented claims.

    @Winter:

    The 9/11 conspiracy movement was founded by the USA government to hide the fact that they were too incompetent to prevent the attacks.

    Facts and evidence?

    @Morgan Greywolf:

    OTOH, no one has successfully proven that WTC 7 was brought down by anything other than the fires.

    Not proving how it was brought down does not make an impossible version of the story credible. So then where does that leave you logically? Come on guys, my logic is not that weak.

    No one has yet refuted the claim that it implosion mechanics claimed by NIST was impossible, c.f. the quoted that mentioned the simultaneous failure of 400 girders to bring it down within 8 seconds at free fall velocity. This is claimed to be physically impossible without explosive demolition.

    @Jay Maynard:
    You ignore the physical mechanics impossibility of the government’s story, because you assert the false flags have never occurred in history. For me that is illogical, because false flags have been accomplished in the past. I do agree with your point about the greater the number of people involved in keeping a secret, the more difficult. But I can easily refute that. Did our special agents give away our secrets during wartime, if they were not double agents. Some people may feel the ends justify the means. Yet I still I was very skeptical for precisely this reason you mention, but the physical evidence just doesn’t line up with the government’s story.

  170. @Winter

    Thank you for finally posting something other than “trust me, it’s true!!!!!”.

    “The following is a list of treat ascribed to fascist ideology that are commonly ranked as “Right wing” in Europe:”

    This raises a red flag already as I fear it’s about to explain how the European definition of “Right Wing” is not very useful. But you write from that perspective, so fair enough.

    “- Militarism”
    So the USSR and the whole eastern-bloc was right wing? This may be “commonly ranked” in Europe as right wing, but it obviously wrong and tells us nothing about the Nazis.

    “- Supports the powerful, land-owners, big business and big industry”
    Nazis either closely controlled or outright confiscated the means of production. No doubt there were plenty of “buddy” deals. But this tells us nothing. China does this, are they right wing? Obama does this, is he right wing? It is a common experience of humanity across time that the powerful stick together as it suits their interests.

    “- Fights union organization in opposition of owners”
    All organized groups outside the Nazi party were considered a threat. Inconclusive.

    “- Harks back to religion, back to pre-Christian”
    I can’t imagine how this is right wing. ESR is a polytheist wiccan mystic … is he right wing? Obama tacks muslim-christian as it suits the moment, is he right wing?

    “- Strong blood-and-soil (ultra) nationalism”
    Neither right or left. USSR? China?

    “- Racism, serfdom”
    Neither right or left. The American left is *very* racist and does everything possible to keep certain groups dependent on the largesse of the ruling party. Counterexamples abound.

    “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism”
    Um. Linking to Wikipedia probably won’t help your credibility. Wikipedia is reliably totalitarian progressive on any topic even remotely controversial. Even before clicking on the link I’d be a fool not to *assume* it contains something extremely biased and mostly wrong.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  171. @Nigel:

    Folks endlessly show pictures of the building seriously on fire, with a big assed gash in the south face to rebut

    Citation please and provably not Photoshopped.

  172. @Nigel
    “Folks that insist that Nazis are right wing are trying to sell me something.”

    Generally true, from my experience.

    “Folks that insist that Nazis are left wing are trying to sell me something.”
    A less conspiratorial explanation is that some just want the truth to be told.

    “You should wonder who’s agenda you are fulfilling when you wish to equate your opponents with Nazis.”
    You presume too much. I don’t recall ever wanting to equate my opponents with Nazis nor many from the right doing so. However, as someone rightward, being compared to (or outright accused of) Nazism is a common experience. It is not symmetrical.

    Setting the record straight on the whole nazi-left-right thing is mostly wanting to defuse the everything-evil-is-right therefore nazis-are-right myth.

    “Fortunately there are few charismatic, smart and evil people in the world with the opportunity for real power or we’d be truly f-ed.”
    I wish. Seems to me such people abound.

  173. @Nigel
    When I recount how Europeans think about the fascists as found before WWII in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and assorted small countries, I am simply telling you what can be easily checked at public sources. Why you think I am selling you something is a mystery to me. Ask any European whether fascists are right-wing, and you have a 99.9% chance they will agree.

    Check yourself.

    @Michael Hipp
    “This raises a red flag already as I fear it’s about to explain how the European definition of “Right Wing” is not very useful.”

    What you might feel useful is completely irrelevant. Europeans have definitions of Right-wing that they feel fits their context and history. Given that you have not shown to possess deep insights in European cultural and political history, I do not see why I should change my opinion
    just because of your feelings.

    The rest of your objections show you failed to separate ideology from implementation. You also mix a lot of history pre-, peri-, and post-war. And you confuse national (enforced) policies from private believes. That kind of “detail” might not matter to you but it matters to “us”.

    (comparing USA “left” racism with Nazi race ideology is beyond remediation it seems to me)

  174. @Morgan Greywolf:

    The thermite theory has been quite thoroughly debunked elsewhere:

    http://www.debunking911.com/thermite.htm

    This has all been refuted. The thermite was nano-thermite. I am not going to go deep into the evidence on the thermite, because I don’t need to. There is no way the 400 girders failed simultaneously to yield 8 second free-fall, without explosives.

    If you are going to provide citations, at least be up-to-date on the claims and evidence that has been presented.

    • > The thermite was nano-thermite.

      I am calling an immediate halt to any furthetrr discussion of 9/11 “trutherism” unless and until I blog on the subject. Stop this now.

  175. @Jay Maynard:
    CIA agents involved in drug smuggling do not speak to us. And their involvement was documented in the San Jose Mercury by Gary Webb before he “committed suicide”.

    At some point in life we have to grow up and realize the world is not the rosy fantasy that we had as children.

  176. @Nigel
    “Fortunately there are few charismatic, smart and evil people in the world with the opportunity for real power or we’d be truly f-ed.”

    You are rather obsessed by Hitler. Franco, Mussolini, Salazar, Gömbös et al. too were all quite unpleasant people to have as your leader.

  177. That site debunks the nano-thermite idea:

    Nano-thermite has been talked about but its uses fall far short of cutting these massive columns. It’s in its research stage. They include possible uses for welding molecular devices and possible use as a heat signature flare decoy.

    Sorry, but until you can answer the objections inherent to any massive conspiracy theory, citing physical evidence is just hand-waving designed to obfuscate the basic impossibility of your thesis.

  178. @Jay Maynard:
    The site does not debunk the nano-thermite evidence. The evidence shows it is no longer only research. But again, I don’t need to depend on the thermite evidence, the physical mechanics of the NIST story is impossible.

    Sorry but as long as you ignore what is impossible, by making assumptions about what you think is improbable, I must assume you have some irrational bias (which is obviously hate of Islam).

  179. @Winter
    “The rest of your objections show you failed to separate ideology from implementation.”

    The burden falls on you to prove how this is relevant to the question. While each is always an imperfect model of the other, each reveals the other in considerable clarity. A wise writer once penned “by their fruits you will know them”.

    “You also mix a lot of history pre-, peri-, and post-war. And you confuse national (enforced) policies from private believes. That kind of “detail” might not matter to you but it matters to “us”.
    (comparing USA “left” racism with Nazi race ideology is beyond remediation it seems to me)”

    And here I suspect is the difference …
    You evidently consider this question a matter of archeological curiosity. I do not. If you got your information from sources other than the Cheerleader Media, you might notice how often the left in the US call for people “like me” to be either jailed or killed or otherwise strongly sanctioned for not holding correct beliefs or not uttering the correct words or not living in the approved manner.

    All totalitarian regimes are similarly dangerous and harmful. And the better we understand how they develop and what the signs of their coming are, the better we can resist them. But I suspect you don’t share that goal.

  180. What evidence? That you claim nano-thermite was used in September 2001 despite it being only research later is not evidence.

    I’m sorry, but you’re just handwaving to support your kookery on this subject.

  181. @Michael Hipp
    I cannot prove anything typing words. A simple search on the internet can point you to extensive sources, some even primary. Just start at the references in the Wikipedia link.

    Your comments about race and persecution in the USA being somehow comparable to that in Nazi Germany cries out that you really should do some reading. For someone who heard the stories from victims such a comparison is simply beyond comprehension.

  182. Anti-unionism isn’t necessarily a feature of the Right. For example, one of the debates towards the end of the Cold War was over whether unions could be formed in Poland under the communist government there. The communists took the approach that they represented the workers and therefore unions were not needed and thus were banned.

    What matters is not specifically *what* was done, but *why* it was done. That opposition to unions was to prevent the formation of a possible competing power-base to the state/Communist party. Much right-wing opposition to unions is based on economic inefficiencies and monopoly economic power.

    A lot of what matters is what you do with it, not what it is. For example both North Korea and India after independence were left-wing governments which focused on self-reliance and isolation. India managed to do well by striving towards democratic ideals. North Korea, not so much.

    Also, just because something claims to be socialist doesn’t make it so. The Baath party of Iraq was ostensibly a socialist party, and may have been when first started. However, by the 80s it was mostly an authoritarian regime dedicated to keeping Sadaam and co. in the Good Life rather than an ideology per say.

  183. @Winter & Michael Hipp

    As others, particularly BioBob and Jessica have noted above, the left-right paradigm does not accurately describe the actual political and idiological landscape. We need a minimum of two dimensions.

    Jerry Pournelle suggested love of the state and faith in rationality, which would put Nazis and Communists in different quadrants while recognizing their many similarities.

    The chattering classes are invested in the left-right paradigm. It makes it easy for them to choose sides. They may think their audience will not understand anything more complicated. They themselves may be impatient of little details like accuracy.

    Winter, are you trying to describe reality, or are you telling us what Europeans say about it?

    Whatever their official idiologies the two ends of the left-right paradigm wrap around to meet in totalitarianism. At that point it’s very hard to tell the difference.

  184. @Winter “Your comments about race and persecution in the USA being somehow comparable to that in Nazi Germany cries out that you really should do some reading.”

    I made no such comparison. Please do attempt to read without projecting your worst biases into what is written.

    The leftist regime in the US is certainly not (yet) as bad as the Nazis were. But only a fool would ignore the signs that it is heading in a direction that could be comparably bad if not worse. It is said that history rhymes but does not repeat. It is a mistake to ignore the rhymes as most people across the globe seem to want to do.

  185. @Winter

    Did you visit Berlin before the wall fell? I was there in the ’60s. I was ten or eleven years old.

    They shot people for trying to leave. This is fundamentally alien to Americans, although the tax laws seem to disagree. Most of our families came here from somewhere else, and many of us have personally changed cities at least once.

    As far as I could tell there wasn’t difference between the Soviets and the Nazis.

    Now, if you identify with the Left, this must trouble you. Either the Soviets weren’t that bad, or the Nazis were not Leftists, or both.

    Or, you can abandon the Left-Right model and free yourself.

  186. @BobW
    “Winter, are you trying to describe reality, or are you telling us what Europeans say about it? ”

    I am not sure how I should describe the reality of a cultural construct.

    What I describe are distinctive categories that are widely shared among Europeans. Distinctions based on widely share experiences (at least by previous generations).

    Obviously, these Europeans say so. That is why you have eye witness accounts.

    So, what is exactly the problem?

  187. The problem is that the Left-Right paradigm is an actively bad map. If you follow it you will arrive at places you do not want to go. Your friends have the same problem.

    This may be one source of the conflicts within NATO during the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is over it may actually be easier for totalitarianism to sneak in from the Left.

  188. @BobW
    “As far as I could tell there wasn’t difference between the Soviets and the Nazis.”

    Those who experienced them tell me there was a difference. Dead is dead, but there were other differences that mattered. On the other hand, there are huge and clear differences between modern day fascists and communists.

    @BobW
    “Now, if you identify with the Left, this must trouble you. Either the Soviets weren’t that bad, or the Nazis were not Leftists, or both.”

    Not at all.

    Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Franco, Suharto, the family Kim, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Castro, South American Juntas, Tudjman, Milosovic, Saddam Hussein,….
    They were all evil on a scale from gruesome to incomprehensible. Some were right-wing, some left-wing, some I cannot even position. But I really do not care how they called their political system.

    @BobW
    “Or, you can abandon the Left-Right model and free yourself.”

    I find the left-right model of very limited use. It gives you a quick-and-dirty scorecard for political issues. I see no use for it to make moral judgments.

    Maybe that is the difference. To me, good and bad are completely orthogonal to left-right. I really see no relation.

  189. @BobW
    “Now that the Cold War is over it may actually be easier for totalitarianism to sneak in from the Left.”

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  190. @BobW
    “As others, particularly BioBob and Jessica have noted above, the left-right paradigm does not accurately describe the actual political and idiological landscape. … The chattering classes are invested in the left-right paradigm.”

    Certainly true. But it is what we’re stuck with and it shows no signs of changing. Unfortunately the Democrat-Republican mono-party system only makes the oversimplification worse.

    Pournelle is also fond of saying that despair is a sin.

  191. @Michael Hipp

    We need better terminology badly. The Left-Right model is dangerous. It’s a kludge. Kludges kill people.

    It must be simple, so the average voter can understand. It must be pithy, to make an irresistable soundbite.

    Smart people read this blog. Suggestions?

  192. @Winter:

    @William O’Blivion:

    “Oh, and Winter, as to knowing people who suffered from the Nazis, getting shot or kicked in the ditch or shoved into a camp is common from both Fascists, Nazis, Communists and Socialists. Even FDR put the Japanese in camps.”

    People who were inundated in the propaganda, theory, and practice of fascism do get an inside view about what fascism was. Growing up among such eye witnesses does give you a perspective on the matter that goes beyond the claims thrown around here about “media bias” and “left wing propaganda”.

    This is so fucking typical when you argue with someone on the left.

    But then what can you expect when they only have two color sensors and litterally CANNOT see.

    Fascism was not soley a EU phenomenon. FDR was, in all but name, a fascist. Father Coughlin probably even accepted the name.

    But the *name* is not the important part. It’s the ideology around it. The top down control, the organization of most or all of the lives of it’s subjects. Sure, both allow you a little space you can call your own, your little area of “freedom”, but even that is illusory.

    And, yes, living fascism for half a decade, like my “informants did” does give information about fascism that you cannot get with selective reading and ideological blinds from another continent half a century later.

    The funny thing is you won’t open YOUR eyes. But you can’t, you weren’t given the mental equipment to develop that understanding, and you didn’t go looking to develop it yourself. Or maybe you are, I have no idea how old you are.

    If the communists like Lenin and Mao nail down the left hand side of the political spectrum the fascists and nazis are inches from them, and folks like Mr. Raymond and myself, while we differ on some core areas, are about a yard away from those fucks.

  193. @BobW
    “Smart people read this blog. Suggestions?”

    You all use a lot of those oppositions (guns, abortion, religion, gays, taxes).

    But what is against using Democrat and Republican for voters? Should be clear and immediately useful during elections.

  194. @esr:

    Me:

    >No, Cultural Conservatism is [the Tea Party’s] core.

    That distorts what I said. It’s not at the *Tea Party’s* core. It’s at the core of the people who identify as “Tea Party” members. They band together on the economic issues because while that’s not all they care about they realize that if the rest of their positions come out it’ll ruin the party and everyone will go home unhappy and the government will grow bigger and bigger the socialists will win.

    I really don’t think so. I would have a much stronger allergic reaction to them if that were true.

    Maybe it’s different in the rest of the U.S. But here, in southeastern PA, it’s like these people are fumbling towards a sort of patriotic folk libertarianism while frequently being mugged by their conservative imprints. They mean well, but they’re not reflective about their own beliefs.

    Most people aren’t reflective about their beliefs, but in middle class America there has developed a *deep* well of tolerance (not necessarily acceptance, tolerance) for folks who are a little different as long as that difference is not being crammed down their throats (they don’t care what you do in the bedroom, they just don’t want you doing it on the park benches). Middle and lower middle class America is where most of the racial integration is going on. Shit man, *my* family looks like a fucking UN convention. There’s more racial diversity in my cousin’s house at Christmas time than in most UN subcommittees, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating by much. There’s certainly (as a percentage of the population) more “diversity” than in Denmark. The other side of my family isn’t quite as diverse, but one of them did marry a Nigeria Catholic Englishwoman.

    The “patriotic folk” part of is the conservatism. Now, maybe it’s me being wierd, but my conservatism is this http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/ten-conservative-principles/, and while I don’t think most “conservatives” are even aware of Mr. Kirk, I think you can map a lot of their principles into that.

    Then again the Tea Party events I was involved in were in STL, and I’ve talked to others around the country. Maybe PA is different.

  195. @Nigel:

    Me:

    Those around, or to the left of the F on that line only have 2 color receptors. Those of us that are down near the M and the L have three or four.

    Mmmm…not from my perspective. It strikes me that many folks down near the M and the L still see things in mostly black and white. They may have a difference set of 2 color receptors but don’t see (the validity of) many different hues.

    That’s a fair criticism, but *generally*, IME those who adopt a libertarian position are capable of distinguishing the variations, but don’t think it’s worth the effort of distinguishing between a fascist, a socialist and a communitarian FOR THEIR PURPOSES.

    Now, folks more “centrist” (from my perspective the folks to the left of minarchist and to the “right” of fascist) tend to not draw the distinctions. To them a liberal is a progressive is a communist is a socialist. This is more out of a complete disdain for politics and political processes. These are (generally) the folks of the Tea Party. These are the so-called “conservative” Democrats and the Republican party base. They don’t *want* to be involved in philosophy and politics, they don’t *want* Washington involved in their lives (beyond their social security and medicare checks).

    This is evidenced by the fact that someone would use such an analogy in the first place where proponents of an opposing political thought are sub-human in “mental” capacity (i.e. lacking the standard three color receptors most humans have) where proponents of their political bent are super-human (i.e. having more color receptors than humans have).

    Dude, analogy. Look it up.

    That wasn’t about *physical* ability–about the brain, it was about *mental* ability–in the mind. The capacity to acknowlege the variety of possible positions. This is more education and exercise (mental) than actual physical structure.

    There is a huge variety of ability and inability in the human experience. I have a buddy of mine who can only see black, white and shades of blue. I have a buddy of mine who is completely bugfuck insane in a relatively harmless (to other people) and amusing way. I have friends who are fine artists and can tell the difference between ecru and eggwhite and acquaintances who couldn’t deviate from “normal” if you used dynamite.

    • >those who adopt a libertarian position are capable of distinguishing the variations, but don’t think it’s worth the effort of distinguishing between a fascist, a socialist and a communitarian FOR THEIR PURPOSES.

      That’s right. The only notable difference is the statistically expected interval before the genocidal murders will begin.

  196. @Michael Hipp

    The Democrats and Republicans are equivalent to long term coalitions in Europe. What are distinct parties in parlimentary governments are wings of the Republicans and Democrats.

    These coallitions change, most recently in the ’60s. They can change again.

  197. Thanks, Winter, but I suggest you concentrate on replacement terms for Left vs Right that actually mean something in Dutch.

    You imply that they actually mean something in English.

  198. @Jay Maynard:

    I’m sorry, but you’re just handwaving

    You conveniently ignored what I wrote is physically impossible, regardless what type of explosive was or wasn’t used.

    What is the point of having a debate if the antagonists are so irrational that they resort to being disingenuous.

    I am only interested in knowing the truth, because I am deeply alarmed about what is happening to the world right now. Because I am a sheepdog of the Nth order– I care not only about Iranian women, but also about you and every person on earth.

    Do you think I prefer to live in a world where I can’t trust my own government? I hate the transition to that reality. It had caused a major emotional adjustment which was not pleasant.

    Also regardless of this issue, I can continue to interact with you and be friends on most other subjects which we appear to mostly agree on.

    @esr:

    Stop this now.

    Acknowledged. I will stop.

    until I blog on the subject.

    Having developed respect for your rationality and insight, I would read such a blog with great interest.

  199. @Michael

    A less conspiratorial explanation is that some just want the truth to be told.

    Truth or opinion? The truth usually lays somewhere other than one extreme position or the other.


    “You should wonder who’s agenda you are fulfilling when you wish to equate your opponents with Nazis.”

    You presume too much. I don’t recall ever wanting to equate my opponents with Nazis nor many from the right doing so. However, as someone rightward, being compared to (or outright accused of) Nazism is a common experience. It is not symmetrical.

    Please, it’s ENTIRELY symmetrical.

    People on the left call people on the right Nazis (who have murdered a lot of innocent people).

    People on the right call people on the left Commies (who have murdered a lot of innocent people).

    So both sides call each other evil and think the folks in the middle are either sheep or idiots or both and at best soft minded tools to use against the other. The real danger is when economic and social pressures make this true (Weimar Republic, Taliban, etc).

    I thought that playing the victim was a liberal trait anyway.

    Setting the record straight on the whole nazi-left-right thing is mostly wanting to defuse the everything-evil-is-right therefore nazis-are-right myth.

    As it happens I agree with Winter that good and evil are orthogonal to left and right. It doesn’t really matter to me if Hitler or Stalin is considered left or right. They were both evil.

    I believe your distress when you attempt to set the record straight that being left is also not equivalent with being communist or a totalitarian. Based on your “analysis” above equating everything evil with the left I’m thinking that’s not happening any time soon.

    It is amusing that both sides claim that the other side’s characterization of them is defamation but their characterization of others is just the plain truth that folks can’t handle.

  200. @esr
    “That’s right. The only notable difference is the statistically expected interval before the genocidal murders will begin.”

    There were many evil fascist regimes in Europe, only one of which started a genocidal campaign. There have also been many evil communist regimes in the world, three of which caused megadeaths in their own population, but these were not directed to genocide (which does not make them less evil).

    So it comes down to accuse all of your political opponents of being “on the road to genocide” for one isolated historical case, that had no predecessors and no followers.

    Since then there have been comparable megadeaths in Indonesia (Suharto) and Rwanda which you conveniently “forget” because there are few ways to link them to the left. Actually, the one in Indonesia was instigated by the USA.

    • >So it comes down to accuse all of your political opponents of being “on the road to genocide” for one isolated historical case, that had no predecessors and no followers.

      You have the causality reversed. I’m not accusing my political opponents of being on the road to genocide; I define my political opponents by their place on that road.

      As I’ve said several times, the central goal of all my political thinking since I was about 12 has always been “How do we prevent the death trains from rolling again?” The only really major change in my thinking came when I concluded that it would be necessary to abolish government to foreclose that possibility.

      “One isolated historical case.” How wilfully blind can you possibly be? Advanced statism has spawned genocides as regularly as clockwork. Hitler was inspired by the eradication of the Armenians (there’s your true right-wing genocide!). Before Hitler got his mass-murder groove, his buddy Stalin had already liquidated somewhere north of six million people in the Great Purge, the Holodomor, and various lesser genocides that nevertheless wiped entire nations off the map so completely that even their names are now half-forgotten. In the following forty years we were treated to the Angkha massacres and the engineered famines in Ethopia and China. Nobody knows how many millions of people are dying in North Korean concentration camps right now, even as you blather about “one isolated historical case”.

      The tale is not done yet. There is an internal logic of totalitarianism that propels it towards genocide: “If you don’t trust the people, why don’t you dissolve them and elect a new people?”. There is an internal logic of state-worship that propels it towards totalitarianism. There is an internal logic of “benevolent” statism that propels it towards state-worship, which is why videos of schoolchildren singing the praises of Barack Obama ought to make the hairs on the back of your neck rise. Genocide is a basin of attraction, and every form of state collectivism humans have ever devised is merely circling that drain.

      Every form of state collectivism, including yours; but Suharto and the Rwandan genocidaires were comic amateurs compared to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Il-Sung, and all the other memetic descendants of Marx. Count the bodies.

  201. Don’t tell me that USA intelligence service didn’t know about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    USA intelligence services didn’t know about Pearl Harbor (until it happened). That’s well-established fact. The Japanese Diplomatic service, whose codes the USA had cracked, didn’t know about Pearl Harbor in advance either. Even most of the Japanese forces used in the attack didn’t know their destination until the last moment.

  202. JustSaying, how old are you? Did you not fly in the 1990s, and notice the ubiquitous (and expensive) airfones on every plane?

    BTW the wikipedia page you linked to does not say or imply that cell phones don’t work on planes. It says they’re illegal, not that they don’t work.

  203. ESR: “That’s right. The only notable difference is the statistically expected interval before the genocidal murders will begin.”

    Winter: There were many evil fascist regimes in Europe, only one of which started a genocidal campaign.

    Stalin was preparing his own Final Solution to the Jewish Question before he died. As ESR said, the only difference was a few years.

  204. Here’s a proposed listing of all the recent right wing domestic terrorist events. I present without comment, other than to list it.

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/terror-arizona-just-another-isolated

    This was posted in connection with the left’s blood-libel against Sarah Palin, attempting to pin Jared Loughner’s attack on her and the right. Ironically it turned out that to the minimal extent that Loughner had any identifiable political opinions, they were of the left.

    I noticed immediately that the list included the alleged Huttarree plot. Not only did those charges evaporate, but the Huttarrees are Democrats, so if the charges had been true it would have had nothing to do with the political right.

    The guy who flew a plane into the IRS building was also, if I recall correctly, a Democrat with generally leftish views on most things.

  205. I read somewhere (no guarantee of reliability) that of the over 300 people arrested in the USA on terrorism charges in the past decade, 80% were Islamists.

  206. @Millhouse
    “Stalin was preparing his own Final Solution to the Jewish Question before he died.”

    The USSR was not a fascist state. Also, this kind of “would have…” reports is completely useless.

    Anyhow, the USSR stayed communist for another four decades and did not go the road to genocide.

    If anything, such an episode only illustrates that the horrors of the Stalin era were indeed Stalin’s personal horrors, not those of some ideology. Stalin dead, megadeaths stop. The same story with Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot. After their fall from power or deaths, the mass murdering stops.

  207. Contemporaries defined them as right wing, like the Vatican, gentry (Junkers), big land owners and combined big business and big finance, both national and international. All these supported the fascists often to the end.

    Excuse me? Neither the Vatican nor the Junkers supported the Nazis.

  208. The USSR was not a fascist state. Also, this kind of “would have…” reports is completely useless.

    There is no meaningful difference between fascism and communism. And it’s not “would have” — he was in the process at the time. The whole world was watching history begin to repeat itself, when he miraculously dropped dead.

    His death changed a lot of things. There was a reaction against him and his legacy that derailed all his plans at the time.

  209. You didn’t hear that American goverment had excellent relationship with Talibans during Soviet-Afghan war?

    No, I didn’t hear it because it’s not only untrue but impossible, since the Taliban didn’t exist at that time.

  210. Darko on Tuesday, April 23 2013 at 3:10 am said:
    > You didn’t hear that American goverment had excellent relationship with Talibans during Soviet-Afghan war?

    You are raving nuts.

    We funded the Mujahideen. The Taliban was created in Pakistan in 1994, long after we had forgotten about Afghanistan The Taliban completely demonized the Mujahideen, the people we had armed, and sought to defeat them.

  211. Winter on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 2:29 am said:
    > Anyhow, the USSR stayed communist for another four decades and did not go the road to genocide.

    Because Stalin killed off all the true believers, except for Mao and Ho, who had bodyguards loyal to them personally. Stalin was the last communist in the Soviet Union. When he died, only careerist time servers, who sort of believed in communism, but without any very great fervor. They were communists the way Ruslan Tsarni is a Muslim. Or perhaps Beria was the last communist, which is why Khrushchev shot him.

    Similarly, Napoleon, the last French leftist, took care of what little remained of the French left. Subsequent leftism in France descends from the Anglosphere left.

  212. Having debated Truthers before, I have come to seriously believe the joke theory proposed by South Park: That Truthism is a false flag operation sponsored by the US government to convince us that they are actually competent.

  213. Sorry, mujaheedin, taliban, all the same to me. What’s the practical difference between them anyway? One being fundamentals and extremists, and second – not?

  214. Darko on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 4:24 am said:
    > Sorry, mujaheedin, taliban, all the same to me. What’s the practical difference between them anyway?

    Mujaheedin on our side, Taliban against our side. Main leader of Mujahideen, Massoud, Lion of Panjshir, plausibly claimed to be friends of the US and free markets. Massoud rejected Islamic fundamentalism. He killed thousands of Al Quaeda forces, and was assassinated by Al Quaeda. His successor subsequently killed three thousand Al Quaeda by sealing them in steel drums to suffocate.

    Massoud got the name Lion of Panjshir for his war against the Soviets and his reversals of forced collectivization.

  215. Darko on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 4:24 am said:
    > > Sorry, mujaheedin, taliban, all the same to me. What’s the practical difference between them anyway?

    I wrote:
    > killed three thousand Al Quaeda by sealing them in steel drums to suffocate.

    I neglected to mention the ones he set on fire. You don’t want to be taken prisoner by Afghans.

  216. @esr
    “Every form of state collectivism, including yours; but Suharto and the Rwandan genocidaires were comic amateurs compared to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il-Sung, and all the other memetic descendants of Marx. Count the bodies.”

    I do not have to. Steven Pinker has tabulated that already in “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, with sources (page 195).

    So what were the most gruesome megadeaths of preventable victims in terms of percentage of world population?

    (*I add the death toll for the top 10 recalculated to WWII world population for comparison)
    1: 429M* An Lushan revolt (8th century)
    2: 278M* Mongol conquest
    3: 132M* Mideast slave trade (7th-19th century)
    4: 112M* Fall of the Ming dynasty
    5: 105M* Fall of Rome
    6: 100M* Tamerlane
    7: 92M* Annihilation of American Indians
    8: 83M* Atlantic slave trade
    9: 55M* WWII
    10: 40M* Taiping rebellion (19th)
    11: Mao Zedong
    12: British India policy
    13: Thirty years war (17th)
    14: Russian time of troubles (16th-17th)
    15: Stalin
    16: WWI

    Where is the prominent place for state planned mass murder? Most I see is war, civil war and entrepreneurship, with a few madmen thrown in for good measure. Now, if you say that in all these states were involved somehow, we can throw in murder rates in, say, pre-state highland head hunting Papua’s, or Indonesian Dajaks, or warring American Indians.

    If you claim the Netherlands are on the road to megadeath state murders. Why did that never happen in the 400 years the Netherlands have existed as a nation? Why should it happen now? Nothing about size. Cambodia and Rwanda are much smaller than the Netherlands.

    • >Where is the prominent place for state planned mass murder

      No figures on those last four items, I see. Pinker’s whole list is pretty suspect; the earlier figures can at best be handwaving guesses.

      >Why should it happen now?

      Because for a really serious genocide you need modern communications and weapons and the apparatus of a centralized state. I grant there’s a partial exception for the Mongols, who used their exceptional mobility, discipline, and shock power to wreak mass death on a scale no other state achieved until about the early 20th century. Before that time, the black swans of human mortality were mainly epidemic infectious diseases.

      The truly deadly combination is the ideology of state-worshiping collectivism with the reach that tyrannies amplified by modern technology can have. Until relatively recently in the history of the Netherlands this possibility didn’t exist. It took Marx and Lenin, building on Christianity, to create the memetic machinery that Hitler and others would exploit to create hundreds of thousands of willing executioners; and those executioners needed gunpowder weapons and the gas chambers to reach today’s scale of mass deaths.

      Now that the Marxist/Leninist template exists it has created a hideous new normal, an easy slide into hell for states under stress. The Netherlands is safe only so long as its inherited cultural capital impedes it from falling into what is now the most natural end state for governments. You will say “It can’t happen here”, but as late as 1930 the Jews thought Germany was a safe and civilized place, too. One hyperinflationary episode later we all know how that turned out. And your debt bomb is ticking.

  217. Sorry, mujaheedin, taliban, all the same to me. What’s the practical difference between them anyway?

    Um, the difference is that one was our ally, the other our enemy. Isn’t that enough for you?

  218. Nope, especially having in mind that they are both driven by same ideology, same methods of work, same level of extremism, and the same religion.

  219. Alliances could easily been broken, and that seems to be your goverment’s speciallity, to abandon a movement they created and supported in the past when it ceases to have it’s function.

    But that kind of “momentary ethics”, in which one extremist is simply “good” while he is “on your side”, and the other on is not, just because he is “against you”, no matter they are the same in every other aspect of existence, will eventually lead your country into the dead end. You’ll see.

  220. @Milhouse
    “Excuse me? Neither the Vatican nor the Junkers supported the Nazis.”

    So, can you tell us with which methods and means the Catholic church opposed the Third Reich and their leaders? What single action or word they spoke against it? Hm?

    Perhaps you don’t know the ties of Vatican and European second Nazi mass-murderers, the Ustasha in Croatia? They were financed from the start by Vatican and had their training camps in Italy from where they spawned into occupied Yugoslavia to commit some of the worse war-crimes in history, which disguisted even their masters, the Nazis?

    Perhaps it is unknown to you that the cardinal of Croatia, Alojzije Stepinac personally kissed the hand of chief of Ustasha movement, Ante Pavelic and also didn’t raise a single word against attrocities? Perhaps it is unknown to you that this man, Stepinac, is a beatified in Catholicism today?

    Perhaps it is also unknown to you that the Vatican served as the first refuge center of that same Ustasha and their chief Pavelic after the war? That they organized their, and many other Nazi’s escape to traditionally Catholic South America after the war?

    Read more about it before you post, pls.

    Sorry about the triple-posting. Won’t happen again.

  221. @Winter

    It is appropriate to adjust for inflation, in economics. I don’t think that it’s valid to calculate death rates as a proportion of the existing population, as if people were as fungible as coins.

  222. @Winter:

    > You all use a lot of those oppositions (guns, abortion, religion, gays, taxes).

    This is pretty simple. For issues which are contentious (that is, there are at least 2 positions on an issue where there is a large amount of support), there will naturally either be two opposite positions or the people involved will realize that joining up with your lesser enemy will get you partway there more reliably. Ultimately, it breaks down into a dichotomous relationship. Hence a two-party destiny in first-past-the-post electoral systems.

    > But what is against using Democrat and Republican for voters? Should be clear
    > and immediately useful during elections.

    Not really. Any position which enjoys support of a substantial minority of the population (say, 10%) will be picked up by one of the parties. It will depend upon the opposition, too. Strong, broad opposition requires a greater percentage, weak, limited opposition requires less. The reasoning for this is pretty simple. If this is an issue that people who are likely to be part of your party are going to support, adding it as a party platform plank increases the likelihood that your natural voters will show up to the polls. If it is an issue which “undecideds” care about, you may be able to lure more voters to your position.

    The problem is that the grouping of issues which comprise a political party are pretty much arbitrary. Personally, it would make more sense if social conservatism and environmentalism were grouped together, and pro-unionization and firearms rights were grouped together, but that hasn’t happened here in the US, at least.

    The types of issues which haven’t been absorbed by a political party in the US are ones which are not currently socially acceptable to people at large: elimination of medicare/medicaid/social security, legalization of heroin and other recreational drugs, legalization of the distribution of child pornography, legalization of nuclear weapons, throwing buses full of nuns into wood chippers, etc.

    Political parties exist as a shorthand for “people who will probably do what I want, or at least suck less than the next guy”. Ultimately, you get to pick one issue which you care deeply about which is aligned with a political party and vote on that issue. If you are lucky, a political party supports 2 or 3 issues you care about. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that the party which supports the position on one issue you care about is right on the other issues of which you are less informed.

  223. >One hyperinflationary episode later we all know how that turned out. And your debt bomb is ticking.
    There ist no better way to demolish your intellectual credibility than dragging up the “hyperinflation, the Hitler” idea. This is historical nonsense on the level of Michele Bachman (or JAD).

  224. @esr
    “Before that time, the black swans of human mortality were mainly epidemic infectious diseases.”

    First, Pinker used the best numbers available. You have no better numbers. Your account would involve an order of magnitude more hand waving then Pinker’s.

    The Lushan revolt and the fall of the Ming dynasty are well documented by the Chinese. And whether there were a few million more or less victims does not make a lot of difference for the final rank order. I am not sure whether you added Tamerlane (a Turk) to the Mongol conquest, which can be argued. But even then they do not reach the level of devastation by the Lushan revolt.

    Indeed, you need resources to get in the percent-of-human-population size. But you can get the same effects on a local scale.

    Earlier and much smaller examples:

    Charlemagne’s campaign against the Saxons, some campaigns by the counts of Holland to exterminate the West-Frisian population (11th), to use a small scale local example. The extermination of the East Frisian population in Northern Germany. The sacking of the Provence. The actions of Cromwell in Ireland.

    In the end, I really challenge you to find some violent action anywhere in human history that killed in the order of 15-20% of the world population, like the Lushang revolt did or the total devastation caused by Mongols and Turks in their “joint” campaign.

    • >In the end, I really challenge you to find some violent action anywhere in human history that killed in the order of 15-20% of the world population,

      No, you don’t get to change the subject and you don’t get to hide behind Pinker.

      You claimed that Hitler was “One isolated historical case.”. That’s not just false, it’s willfully blind to the pattern of state-collectivist atrocities that continues today in North Korea. You asked why the Netherlands hasn’t run a genocide yet and I told you exactly why. The An Lushang revolt is irrelevant to the question of how we should respond to the hideous threat posed by the Leviathan-state. What are you going to do, other than lick its jackboots?

  225. A few more words regarding the Weimar Republic: Hyperinflation happened 10 years, before the nazis came to power. During that time, they never managed to get more than maybe 2 percent of all votes, their program appealed only to a tiny minority of the population. Their success came from protest voters, during a time when the great depression hit, and the minority government under Bruning was doing everything it could to make the economic situation worse. People were desperate, and willing to elect anyone who promised a way out. The times of hyperinflation were long over by then, and the hated policies of Bruning were exactly the opposite: austerity, belt tightening and deflation. You cannot even argue that the depression was an effect of the inflation, since it also hit countries with a completely different history.
    Hyperinflation and Hitler both were salient events in the times before the war, and both start with an “H”, but thats about it.

    • >Hyperinflation happened 10 years, before the nazis came to power

      I’m well aware of this. I also know enough to reject your blithe dismissal of the Weimar hyperinflation as a causal factor in Hitler’s rise. I didn’t pull that out of my butt, it’s an association many economic historians have made for reason I think are sound.

  226. Hey, Winter, Raymond won’t be the only one laughing when your puny country turns into far west korea, you will also have to bear german schadenfreude: “we told you, it’s nazism or barbarism, but you wouldn’t hear, and now you sit in your nightmare state and have to eat wet sand three times a day, no make that only two times, liberal schweinhunds!”
    Absolutely inevitable.

  227. Could you elaborate more on where the Netherland gets its cultural capitol, or point me to a source? I’d be interested.

  228. Winter on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 6:25 am said:
    > I do not have to. Steven Pinker has tabulated that already in “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, with sources (page 195).

    Stephen Pinker is a commie liar, and an apologist for mass murder and terror. He wants to believe we are making progress.

    Thus he excuses democides by comparing them with wars. They are not comparable. In one case you are killing your armed enemies, in the other case your unarmed subjects.

    But because past wars were not as big and destructive as twentieth century wars, he has to make past wars bigger, so he lumps together hundreds, or thousands, of wars and calls them a single war, while to make today’s democides smaller, he breaks them down into each tiny separate incident of democide.

    > 1: 429M* An Lushan revolt (8th century)

    Here he lumps together dozens of wars involving dozens of nations. and no one actually knows how many were killed. A dynasty fell, another dynasty rose, the new dynasty promptly fell. There were rebels, there was a dynastic conflict, there were multiple foreign invasions.

    In that a multitude of separate powers each killed large numbers of people in separate nations for separate reasons, does not belong on the list.

    When Pinker comes to twentieth century democides he breaks out each act of killing in a separate heading, to make it seem small, while lumping groups of dozens or thousand of past wars together to make them seem larger.

    2: 278M* Mongol conquest
    Hundreds of wars. Several different Khans built an empire over long period by summoning one city state after another to surrender. When a city failed to surrender, would slaughter them.

    3: 132M* Mideast slave trade (7th-19th century)

    Ten thousand small wars occurring over a thousand years all added together. Also the figure comes straight out of his ass, or at least the asses of his fellow progressives.

    Since each of the small wars was typically very small, for example a Tutsi rancher rounding up a dozen hutu because one his cattle was killed and eaten, this does not belong on the list at all.

    4: 112M* Fall of the Ming dynasty
    Approximately a hundred wars all added together, so this figure does not belong on the list at all. This was like the fall of Rome. A slowly darkening dark age led to large numbers of deaths in large numbers of tiny conflicts over a very long time.

    5: 105M* Fall of Rome
    Ten thousand wars occurring over four hundred years added together, Does not belong on the list. When the City of Rome fell, it fell because no one would defend it, so when Rome fell to Alaric, and was sacked for three days, he killed perhaps thirty people.

    6: 100M* Tamerlane.
    Possibly. Tamerlane fought lots of different wars against lots of different powers.

    7: 92M* Annihilation of American Indians
    Mostly disease, also ten thousand separate conflicts by Spain, Portugal, France, and English colonialists.

    8: 83M* Atlantic slave trade
    Ten thousand conflicts by ten thousand people over several centuries. See mideast slave trade and Tutsi ranchers.

    9: 55M* WWII
    Hey, Hang on, We are lumping killings by several different tyrants together, further Mao killed 72 million in the great leap forward famine alone. Why is not Mao higher up on the list.

    10: 40M* Taiping rebellion (19th)

    OK, fair enough, at least that is a single war with two main sides instead of thirty sides, but the casualty estimate is way inflated

    11: Mao Zedong
    As I said, Pinker lies. Communist party investigation indicates seventy two million in the great leap forward famine alone.

    So let us redo the list so that only wars with two main sides are listed.

    1 Mao Zedong. 72 million democided in one operation, his artificial famine against the peasants. I am sure we could get the figure a fair bit bigger by adding in every conflict with which Mao Zedong was vaguely associated, Pinker style.

    2 World War II. 55 million. But hold it, there were at least three major tyrannical sides each separately killing lots of people in World War II, so let us cut that down to what can plausibly be blamed on the Nazis, which is twenty million, most of which was war. So let leave out war, and focus on democide: Nazis, six million.

    3 Taiping rebellion Allegedly forty million. But again, Pinker is lumping together war and democide, and there were two despotic tyrants and several sides in the Taiping Rebellion

  229. Pinker’s number one figure, the An Lushan revolt, is of course enormously inflated to make the past look bad, while his Mao figure comes out of the mouths of communist apologists mad with lust for terror and murder. The Chinese Communist Party figure, which comes from people who are still piously building statues to Mao, is seventy two million.

    Supposign the An Lushan revolt figure to be true, the primary cause of death was that a dozen different armies answerable to several different leaderships, in the course of two dozen different campaigns, over the course of two different dynasties, would support themselves as they marched hither and yon by confiscating all available food from the peasants, in order to feed themselves and deny food to opposing armies, with the result that the peasants starved.

    When you are on the march, and you are going to suffer defeat and death if you don’t feed your troops, it is a different case from confiscating all available food in peacetime to build a glorious future, as Mao did.

    All things are permissible in war. In peacetime, not so.

    Mao tops the list even if we include wars, because all Pinker’s high death wars involved multiple leaders operating over several generations, except for Tamerlane and World War II.

    But we should not include wars.

  230. Winter on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 11:00 am said:
    > First, Pinker used the best numbers available. You have no better numbers. Your account would involve an order of magnitude more hand waving then Pinker’s.

    No, Pinker did not use the best figures available. His figures for Mao come from commies driven mad with lust for terror and torture. The best figures available come from the Chinese communist party archives that Dikötter was recently allowed to use.

    Pinker’s figures for his favorite collection of one hundred separate crimes, arbitrarily bundled together and called by a single name, “the An Lushan revolt”, are “controversial”.

    His argument is that after a long period of disorder, banditry and warlordism, the population fell. But even supposing that the population fell as much as Pinker thinks, no one leadership, not even any one pair of conflicting sides, can be blamed for this fall.

  231. @JAD:

    Assume, as seems quite possible, an underground, anarcho capitalist, cypher punk economy, develops decisive economic and technological superiority over the moribund decaying state managed economies.

    All the poor low IQ foreigners want to immigrate to the anarcho capitalist economy, to mow lawns, pick up the trash, etc. Unfortunately a large proportion of these outsiders are unwilling to play by the anarcho capitalist rules. They insist on rules that give them supremacy.

    The anarchic solution to this problem is unthinkably reactionary: profiling, pogroms and ethnic cleansings.

    Strangely, no one gets worried when working class whites are ethnically cleansed.

    You are right, statist, thus believe that there must be conservative rules enforced by society. My model claims that all forms of statism are not a meritocracy and thus result in wars, pestilence, and sometimes megadeath. Thus I believe all prosperity comes from subverting statism via technology (c.f. linked comments), and that statism is along for the ride and claims benefits which it not only doesn’t create, but actively attempts to destroy. This boggles the mind of most people, because they can’t understand that delaying corrections to misallocation by legislating constants, increases the severity of the latter corrections. Statists can delay corrections for generations, thus society cheers. But the payback is horrific when it comes.

    An anarcho capitalist economy would by definition subvert statism (probably by subverting taxation), thus there are no rules except a meritocracy. Similarly as I pointed out for liberals, you as right conservative would be uncomfortable with a meritocracy, because it would not enforce all the “perfection” you want. Hint: it is not perfection, rather a misallocative illusion. Perfection is diversity because without diversity, the economic system is doing fitness to diverse opportunity costs in a diverse and complex universe. This is related to the concept that most breakthroughs in science comes from doing, not from theory. The Europeans might claims they have a superior education system because of some statistics (e.g. number of higher degrees or literacy), but xerox copies educated is not what advances knowledge, technology, and thus prosperity. What advances knowledge is the diversity of doing with the ingenuity of the human mind when faced with a plurality of opportunity costs for a plurality of motivations. The statist educator will not understand this model for if they did, they would not be a statist.

    In short, I am not alarmed by mexicans driving chaotically if they can earn more moving lawns with an unregulated economy, because I see the problem as public highways in the USA. With private toll highways, this problem would be instantly resolved. The contract would prevent such habits, if necessary by confiscating the vehicle and person until all damages had been paid, because otherwise the toll road is less profitable.

  232. @JAD:
    Add that this conflation of highways with non-meritocracy is an example of why statism can never do just one thing, thus it is impossible unwind just a portion of the statism, and thus corrections require wars, pestilence, and possibly megadeath.

  233. @Milhouse:

    USA intelligence services didn’t know about Pearl Harbor (until it happened). That’s well-established fact.

    I forget the details, yet I vaguely recall an insider who died recently authorized the release of some revelations on this. My vague recollection is that FDR made an order that interfered.

    I really don’t bother any more to keep all this information catalogued, because if people can ignore the absolute physical impossibility of the things they’ve seen on video, then we certainly won’t change any minds about history. The only productive use of my time and skills is to create technology. People believe what they want to believe. Period.

    I will be 48 in June.

    @JAD:

    I have come to seriously believe the joke theory proposed by South Park

    You haven’t debated me. Yet it is pointless, even if I win the debate, you won’t change your mind. I would change my mind if anyone could explain to me how something impossible can be possible. Let’s save that debate for if ever esr blogs about it.

  234. @JAD:
    There are two ways to travel by vehicle from Makati City, Manila to the airport. The elevated toll road is uncongested and takes 20 minutes and costs $1. The public roads are stifled with traffic and consume an hour or two, and costs much more than $1 in lost time, upset stomach from all the jarring stop and go, etc.. Yet the filipinos I speak to prefer the public roads, because they are “free”.

    Nothing is free.

  235. @esr:

    but Suharto and the Rwandan genocidaires were comic amateurs compared

    Without know the facts, my intuition would say that is because the economies were not as statist; the government only had limited force relative to the masses who possessed pitchforks, bolo knives and a jungle battlefield. Perhaps the pervasiveness of public roads is another metric of the level of statism and ability of the government to move their forces into the battlefield against the people.

    Imagine the limitation of a government that needed confiscate private roads and overpower the private security, especially if the government was not allowed to maintain standing armies that were not volunteer citizens. Our founding fathers in the USA did not intend to allow this humongous federal apparatus we have now, because they were escaping from the outcomes of statism in Europe.

    videos of schoolchildren singing the praises of Barack Obama ought to make the hairs on the back of your neck rise

    +1!

    Also it is too late. The only thing any one can do now is to prepare for what is certainly coming. Yet I bet most are not willing to give up the comforts of statism in order to find the means to survival.

  236. @BRM:

    How about you shut up about the trutherism before ESR bans you from the blog.

    How about stop insinuating that my rationality is like some joke on South Park. Then lets save the debate for the future (if ever) as esr has requested.

    One thing to note is that hatred of a religion is as irrational as being a follower of the religion.

  237. @Norbet:
    People latch on to totalitarians when they become desperate for the impossible promises made. Hilter nationalized everything and instituted massive make-work public works (e.g. the Autobahn) projects, universal health care, etc.. which the population cheered. But it was statism and not a meritocracy, so it failed. One of the first failure modes was the inability to source enough fuel, so Germany had to lash out to obtain it. The universal health care system was rationed by killing the weak. This ideological transformation slid into death camps. The foundational genesis was economics and statism.

    @JAD and Winter:
    Tyrants and war don’t occur if the general public hasn’t turned over the private means to protect themself and the private means to transport and other resources that war needs.

    Apologies for the multiple posts, but I come here once a day or less often (as I am traveling in third world rural conditions now), and catch up on all the prior comments.

  238. Norbert on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 12:34 pm said:
    > A few more words regarding the Weimar Republic: Hyperinflation happened 10 years, before the nazis came to power.
    And in the ten years following hyperinflation, could not put together a legitimate democratic government capable of ruling, so increasingly employed increasingly drastic, undemocratic, and unconstitutional measures. Nazism was prefigured by the use of article 48, rule by decree, which set in with hyperinflation

  239. @JustSaying
    Suharto murdered in the order of a million communists in a couple of years. That would be around a percent of a then population of Indonesia. Recent reports have corrected these figures upward.

    @JustSaying
    “Tyrants and war don’t occur if the general public hasn’t turned over the private means to protect themself and the private means to transport and other resources that war needs.”

    You obviously never visited head-hunting societies?

  240. @JAD
    “An Lushan revolt”

    Funny as always. And obviously, facts that do not fit your prejudices cannot be true.

    Even you yourself describe the An Lushan revolt as a protracted civil war. As usual, most people starved to death because their food was stolen and/or they were prevented from producing their food by roving armies. Just like French during the Hundred Years War, Germans during the Thirty Years War, Irish and Bengals from the hands of the British, Ukrainians by the hand of the Soviets, Chinese by the hands of the Communists.

    People were not individually murdered. Still, these were all preventable deaths as these people would not have had to die had they not violently been prevented from producing their food in the normal way.

  241. @esr
    ” What are you going to do, other than lick its jackboots?”

    Normally, we vote them out when we do not like them. You should try it. It is very satisfactory.

    @esr
    “You claimed that Hitler was “One isolated historical case.”. That’s not just false, it’s willfully blind to the pattern of state-collectivist atrocities that continues today in North Korea. ”

    North Korea is itself an isolated case. Since its inception in the 1950s, there have not been more, but less such cases. Also, before and after Hitler, where have the trains been rolling? Not in Europe.

    @esr
    “You asked why the Netherlands hasn’t run a genocide yet and I told you exactly why.”

    Sorry, I must have missed or forgotten that response. Still curious why these predicted genocides never seemed to happen in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, even thought they had their evil rulers.

    World wide, all over history, I know of no case that compares in size and scale to Hitlers madness, or it might be Pol Pot. Even Stalin was just a paranoid who killed indiscriminately to stay in power. What is most striking in the four most evil leaders of the 20th, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot is how closely the atrocities were linked to their personal madness. In every case the madness came and went with them personally. Their supposed ideological comrade heirs never even tried to continue or repeat it.

    So much for ideological determinism.

  242. @Joshua
    “Could you elaborate more on where the Netherland gets its cultural capitol, or point me to a source? I’d be interested.”

    I am Dutch, so I am maybe the worst person to ask. However, I have been told by outsiders that living below sea level gives you a very acute awareness that you should never ever allow the pumps to stop or the dikes to crumble. Flood protection is a public good, that cannot be parceled out and is needed by everyone, rich and poor, alike.

    I see no reason to doubt this explanation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control_in_the_Netherlands

  243. @JAD:
    > > Assume, as seems quite possible, an underground, anarcho capitalist, cypher punk economy, develops decisive economic and technological superiority over the moribund decaying state managed economies.
    > >
    > > All the poor low IQ foreigners want to immigrate to the anarcho capitalist economy, to mow lawns, pick up the trash, etc. Unfortunately a large proportion of these outsiders are unwilling to play by the anarcho capitalist rules. They insist on rules that give them supremacy.
    > >
    > > The anarchic solution to this problem is unthinkably reactionary: profiling, pogroms and ethnic cleansings.

    JustSaying on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 11:00 pm said:
    > I am not alarmed by mexicans driving chaotically if they can earn more moving lawns with an unregulated economy, because I see the problem as public highways in the USA. With private toll highways, this problem would be instantly resolved.

    Indeed, private roads solve the Mexican problem. Mexicans are not trying to rule, they are just disinclined to get insurance and a driver’s license, and the Californian state is unwilling to make them. The problem I had in mind, however, was the Muslim problem. Muslims are trying to rule.

  244. Winter on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 3:31 am said:
    > Even you yourself describe the An Lushan revolt as a protracted civil war.

    Several civil wars, and a major foreign invasion. To get big wars, wars comparable to the twentieth century, Pinker has to pile together numerous separate crimes by numerous separate actors and chains of wars weakly connected together.

    > As usual, most people starved to death because their food was stolen and/or they were prevented from producing their food by roving armies. Just like French during the Hundred Years War, Germans during the Thirty Years War, Irish and Bengals from the hands of the British,
    Ukrainians by the hand of the Soviets, Chinese by the hands of the Communists.

    But the Ukrainian and Chinese famines happened in peacetime. Not comparable.

    In war, all things are permissible, including making the countryside into a desert to feed your army or deny food to the enemy army. In peace, such measures are not permissible.

  245. Charles the Great created a desert between the Holy Roman Empire and Dar al Islam, to prevent an Islamic army from entering. He must have caused the deaths of a gigantic number of people, but no one remembers and no one cares. He is rightly remembered as a hero for saving western civilization from Islam.

    Those are the rules of war. Different rules apply in peace.

  246. @JAD
    “In war, all things are permissible,…”

    I see a fundamental difference in world-view starts here.

  247. Winter on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 3:49 am said:
    > World wide, all over history, I know of no case that compares in size and scale to Hitlers madness, or it might be Pol Pot. Even Stalin was just a paranoid who killed indiscriminately to stay in power.

    You live in a world of your own.

    Hitler murdered around six million, Compared to the Soviet Union or Mao, that is a rounding error.

    Another big difference between commies and nazis, is that while nazi killed commies, commies killed commies. The Khmer Rouge was systematically eradicating the Khmer Rouge by torturing each other to death.

    You know that trope where the evil overlord horribly murders a loyal minion for some trivial offense to inspire fear and loyalty in all the other minions, and all the other minions become fearfully loyal instead of killing him?

    That is every recently existent communist regime.

  248. @me:

    One thing to note is that hatred of a religion is as irrational as being a follower of the religion.

    Because then that religion has some mind control power (at the expense of unbiased rationalism vis-à-vis the evidence) the person harboring hate.

    @JAD:

    Muslims are trying to rule.

    And thus they (religion and include statism) are ultimately bankrupt. History has shown that freedom lovers can’t win by fighting a centralized failure with another centralized failure. We win economically by fighting with technology or paradigms that privatize (increase the degrees-of-freedom for) access to information, capital, social networking, monetization of creativity, and even monetary transactions. All of my current projects revolve around these sort of goals. No victory will be perfectly resolute in any case. Lets be realistic.

    Starve the beast of (human, monetary, and theory of firm) capital.

    I read a short story recently about a recent college economics professor whose students insisted that Obama’s policies of fairness and equal sharing of burdens is correct. So he relented and told the class they would receive an average grade. After the first test, those who had earned 90+% were pissed off that they received an 80 average grade, and those who scored less than 80% were happy. On the second test everyone received a D, because those who had received a 90+% on the first test, decided there was no benefit to trying to achieve higher than 80%. Predictably this worsened on latter tests and everyone failed the class. Statism can never be a meritocracy and thus is always failure as the incentives are distorted.

    It is not only that we have to deal with the global failure of the current statism until a weary end of attrition perhaps around 2033, then after that we have to deal with all the wrong solutions that will be enacted by those youth being indoctrinated now in state schools to believe man-made global warming, Malthusianism (peak carbon fuel, overpopulation, low IQ masses not prevented from making babies, etc), that insufficient regulation caused the crisis, and other wacko concepts. This will be similar to how Europe was transformed after the last bout in the prior century with such “solutions”. These youth will blame all the wrong things for what happened.

    The only wins we will gain will come from technology that the youth can’t morph into their incorrect understanding of causuality. The youth today love technology that makes them more efficient.

    @Winter:

    That would be around a percent of a then population of Indonesia.

    1938-1944 6 million:

    http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/holocaust.htm

    Technology and transportation apparently played an important role in that increased number.

    I assume in these jungle countries, the determined could at least flee into a difficult life of subsisting on wild root crops where the government’s power was difficult to project.

    This is why I am concerned about Homelove’s rising capability to kill. Arguing about intentions does not prevent a future tyrant from taking control of what the people handed over.

    You obviously never visited head-hunting societies?

    That is not megadeath. Megadeath requires efficient means to access and overpower the population. Societies hand over this power via statism.

    Hitler convinced the population to build the infrastructure in make-work statism which was cheered by the cows, that was later used to efficiently exterminate them as the statism failed economically.

    Normally, we vote them out when we do not like them. You should try it. It is very satisfactory.

    They didn’t vote out Hilter. They voted for Hitler.

    The minorities can’t vote out what we don’t like or more importantly what we think will result in economic failure. Statism can never be a meritocracy. It is unarguable.

  249. @JustSaying
    “They didn’t vote out Hilter. They voted for Hitler.”

    My ancestors never did. Maybe a third of the Germans ever did.

    Actually, never Fascist nor Communists were ever voted into power in the Netherlands, France, and the UK. So why are you continuously claiming we are all Nazi murderers? Where is the evidence?

  250. @JustSaying
    > > “They didn’t vote out Hilter. They voted for Hitler.”

    Winter on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 6:18 am said:
    > My ancestors never did. Maybe a third of the Germans ever did.

    Then your ancestors probably voted for the commies, since the overwhelming majority voted for one totalitarian or the other.

    37% of Germans voted for Hitler, a plurality.

    Similarly, 34% of Germans voted for Angela Merkel, the current chancellor, also a plurality.

    Hitler won the elections fair and square, in that the only way to form a government was with the Nazis as the major party.

  251. @JAD:

    The Khmer Rouge was systematically eradicating the Khmer Rouge by torturing each other to death.

    Valid point. Ideology is more powerful than even handing over the power vacuum with statism. Islam is dangerous because it promises something that can’t be falsified, e.g. “virgins in heaven”. Islam recruits the weakest (even in jails or those had a failed divorce, etc), as did the peasant utopia ideal for Cambodia. My visit with Christianity was induced by my own failures.

    But people are magnetized towards private technology that increases their personal economic status, i.e. enlightenment and power realized on earth. The key to subverting these ideologies is the internet and the network effects coming from the personal computer revolution.

    This is my Paul Revere midnight ride call to technology arms. We’ve got a bulkhead, now let’s CHARGE!

  252. >I also know enough to reject your blithe dismissal of the Weimar hyperinflation as a causal factor
    > in Hitler’s rise. I didn’t pull that out of my butt, it’s an association many economic historians have
    > made for reason I think are sound.
    The argument for that is usually, that inflation destroyed the trust of germans in their new democracy. Of course it did this, but probably not more that the signing of the Versailles Treaty, the occupation of the rhineland and the economic devastation 10 years later. Hitler’s election victory would be inconceivable without the events from 30-32. What do you think makes one vote nazi, the need for revenge for policy failures 10 years earlier, which were a consequence of the peace treaty anyway, or the desperation about the present policy?
    The connection between inflation and nazis is usually made by opinion writers that constantly warn of the coming hyperinflation. A friend of mine is a german historian, and he cracked up laughing when he heard that there exist people who make that argument.

  253. JAD, our resident genius at work, wrote from the alternate reality he inhabits:
    > And in the ten years following hyperinflation, could not put together a legitimate democratic
    > government capable of ruling, so increasingly employed increasingly drastic, undemocratic, and > unconstitutional measures. Nazism was prefigured by the use of article 48, rule by decree,
    > which set in with hyperinflation
    This list
    http://www.documentarchiv.de/da/fs-notverordnungen_reichspraesident.html
    shows that the first use of artikel 48 was in january 1920, about 18 months before the inflation crisis. But maybe not in your timeline.

    The irony is that this newly invented institution, the liberal democracy, works astoundingly well. In the case of weimar, it was brought down by the same kind of people that spew their hate against the state here in the comments: they refuse to take part in actually solving problems, they sabotage any attempts by the rest of society to do so, slander politicians as a class and declare the existing, working system as doomed. They try to destroy the old in order to replace it with a power vacuum, so that everybody gets the pink pony that was his birthright, but denied to him by the democrats.
    In Weimar they were successful.
    I was actually surprised, JAD, how many of your ideas date from the 19th century, when women and blacks had to be kept in check, and the advent of general suffrage and political participation threatened old, cozy authoritarian power structures. You are the archetypical death camp’s employee of the month, well integrated, full of hate for the fringes of society, wouldn’t mind killing as long as it’s legal – where duty and disposition coincides. But you’re probably nice to children and dogs, i guess.

  254. @JAD
    “Then your ancestors probably voted for the commies, since the overwhelming majority voted for one totalitarian or the other.”

    Mostly Christen-Democrats. I await with fascination how you will be able to transform pre-War Christen Democrats into commies or fascists. People called “communist” or “fascist” never attained a majority in Dutch parliaments.

    Btw, 37% of the votes does not give you a majority in parliament. Neither today nor in 1933. Hitler became chancellor with the support of other right-wing parties. However, the Nazis were able to take over the state using their own type of Homeland Security.

  255. @Norbert
    “But you’re probably nice to children and dogs, i guess.”

    Actually, not long ago JAD has professed that he would rather safe his dog than a train full of people.

    And I get the pun.

  256. About Weimar, another one:
    >But it was statism and not a meritocracy, so it
    >failed.
    Nope, it failed because they lost the war. And nazis would have been the first to denounce statism and claim being a meritocracy (with emphasis on genetic merit).
    > One of the first failure modes was the inability to source enough
    > fuel, so Germany had to lash out to obtain it.
    The failure was starting the war.
    > The universal health care system was rationed by killing the weak. This ideological
    > transformation slid into death camps.
    I have to remember this, it’s by far the most bizarre claim coming out of the US debate about health insurance. I want to have this as a vanity plate.
    > The foundational genesis was economics and statism.
    I always thought the fundamental problem was Hitler’s inability to get up before noon, it made coordination with the prussian military apparatus extremely challenging.

  257. Statism can never be a meritocracy. It is unarguable.

    “I am the Government, Your Argument Is Invalid”

    — Foo Quuxman

  258. In war, all things are permissible, including making the countryside into a desert to feed your army or deny food to the enemy army. In peace, such measures are not permissible.

    “‘All’s fair in love and war’ — what a contemptible lie!” –Lazarus Long

    “You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food.” –Ishmael

    (fyi, Western culture is Taker culture par excellence, which is why it is doomed to extinction)

  259. I read a short story recently about a recent college economics professor whose students insisted that Obama’s policies of fairness and equal sharing of burdens is correct. So he relented and told the class they would receive an average grade. After the first test, those who had earned 90+% were pissed off that they received an 80 average grade, and those who scored less than 80% were happy. On the second test everyone received a D, because those who had received a 90+% on the first test, decided there was no benefit to trying to achieve higher than 80%. Predictably this worsened on latter tests and everyone failed the class. Statism can never be a meritocracy and thus is always failure as the incentives are distorted.

    In what way is this a valid implementation?

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/23/pf/taxes/obama-taxes/

    It is still a meritocracy. I guarantee you that everyone would rather be in the $1M/year+ income group than any lower income group.

    Actually this economics professor is an ass because this happens all the time with grades. Many profs will grade on a curve, not to get a normal distribution, but to help students get a C who otherwise would flunk. You throw out the top outliers (our top 1% that f-up the curve) and move the C+ grade down to the median. Typically because you screwed up the test and made it too hard in the first place.

    To implement Obama’s plan for tests is to first grade on a curve (already done since the median household income is $52K/year) and then make 52 a C+ grade (aka a middle class living income). This is common grading practice.

    Then for folks getting A+++ in the raw score range take some small fraction of the excess points that don’t matter much since they are topped out and help the folks in the F range of the curve (starving) to get up to the D range of the curve (surviving).

    Or in this case cover their portion of the tax bill. The dollar amount which is insignificant to the rich is a huge fraction of the income of the poor and greatly improves their standard of living if this burden is not increased by an across the board tax hike.

  260. @Nigel

    If the teacher gradeed on the curve when I was in school it got me hassled after class. Everyone blamed me for “raising the curve”.

    *Your* example shows that the professor and school are more interested in getting money from the marks than in teaching them.

    A test is properly a diagnostic of the quality of instruction and student comprehension. It is a sample, not an inventory, which is why “teaching to the test” is so pernicious.

  261. Suharto murdered in the order of a million communists in a couple of years.

    You might as well say that Churchill, FDR, and their allies murdered all those Nazis.

  262. The austerity program that so angered the German voters might not have been necessary without the previous hyperinflation. The voters then felt they had gone from the frying pan into the fire.

    I still think that the biggest problems with government come from scale and lack of competition.

    The Netherlands may be small enough to avoid the worst problems of scale. The local governments are at least partially responsible to the local people. Everyone in government knows somebody who is directly affected by their policies.

    China, on the other hand, is extremely centralized. Local officials are responsible to the central government, not the local people. Many do whatever they think they can get away with while still meeting central government directives. China is so large there is very little adult supervision of the local officials. The draconian punishments merely make local officials more desperate not to be caught.

    The USA is somewhere in between. Local governments get an increasing proportion of their budgets from the federal government. Local officials spend more and more of their time complying with federal directions on how to spend that money. This distracts them from their responsibility to the people who elected them.

    The virtue of USA style federalism was that state and local governments handled most matters. People could move to where the local government suited them better. They could move away from local governments that treated them badly. This tended to reduce the worst excesses.

    The civil rights movement in the ’60s was preceded by a mass migration from the south to the northern cities. The mostly Democrat political machines in the north saw their voter demographics change drastically. It was either embrace the civil rights movement or lose power.

  263. Even you yourself describe the An Lushan revolt as a protracted civil war. As usual, most people starved to death because their food was stolen and/or they were prevented from producing their food by roving armies.

    That’s not murder. It’s an unfortunate and unintended side-effect of the armies’ legitimate operations.

    Ukrainians by the hand of the Soviets

    That was deliberate murder. Those deaths were the point of the whole operation.

    Chinese by the hands of the Communists.

    Ditto. This was a deliberate crime by one specific gang, and thus not comparable to all the deaths, intentional or unintentional, that occurred in the course of a whole series of wars, that can be traced back to the actions of all armies on all sides, legitimate or illegitimate, good or evil.

    People were not individually murdered. Still, these were all preventable deaths

    Preventable death is not necessarily murder. That’s like charging Churchill with the murder of every Englishman who died because the doctor who could have saved him was at the front, or the hospital he could have been taken to had been bombed by the Germans who were only doing that because Churchill chose to try to prevent them from taking over Europe.

  264. @Milhouse
    “Preventable death is not necessarily murder.”

    This is not a criminal court. Dead is dead.

    And preventable deaths due to force and violence is what war actually has been for all of history.

    @Milhouse
    ” Chinese by the hands of the Communists.

    Ditto. This was a deliberate crime by one specific gang, ”

    The Great Leap Forward was, evil, stupid, disastrous etc. But the intention was not to kill that many people. But I see this as an illustration of the depth of you historical insights.

  265. @Milhouse
    “You might as well say that Churchill, FDR, and their allies murdered all those Nazis.”

    You do not value human life much, don’t you.

    These Indonesian “communists” were unarmed civilians and they were murdered by the army. If that is your vision of a “just society”, thank you for warning me.

  266. If the teacher gradeed on the curve when I was in school it got me hassled after class. Everyone blamed me for “raising the curve”.

    Grading on a curve never materially hurt your grade though did it? And one outlier doesn’t push the curve up or down much anyway.


    *Your* example shows that the professor and school are more interested in getting money from the marks than in teaching them.

    A test is properly a diagnostic of the quality of instruction and student comprehension. It is a sample, not an inventory, which is why “teaching to the test” is so pernicious

    A test measure a student’s ability to answer subject matter questions on a test and is generally a poor “diagnostic of the quality of instruction and student comprehension” and I agree that teaching to the these is bad.

    Grading on a curve is simply a mechanism to offset the fact that most tests aren’t written very well and they aren’t all that important anyway.

    *My* example shows that the econ professor was deliberately misrepresenting the scenario to browbeat his students rather than teach anything. The fact is the scenario is still meritocracy hugely weighted in favor of high performers. There is no disincentive to perform because being rich is still a hugely better than being anything else by an immense margin.

    Making it into the top 25% means money isn’t a worry (or at least shouldn’t be unless you’re trying to live like a top 5%er).

    Making it into the top 1% means that money has become a non-issue for almost any desire. The only things that might cost too much are things like a trip to outer space ($20M is still a significant chunk of change).

    The financial incentive to succeed is not altered significantly by the proposed tax change.

  267. esr on Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 10:22 am said: …as late as 1930 the Jews thought Germany was a safe and civilized place, too. One hyperinflationary episode later we all know how that turned out.

    That’s a common historical error. The hyperinflation episode was 1922-1923. German democracy actually came through that pretty well; neither the Nazis nor the Communists made significant electoral gains afterward (6.5%, 12.6% in May 1924; 3.0%, 8.9% in December).

    The Weimar Republic broke down and the Nazis came to power because of the mass unemployment episode of 1930-1932. (2.6% vote in 1928, 37.4% in 1932).

  268. @Nigel

    No, the curve never hurt my grade.

    A test is supposed to be a quality check. The fact that a particular test is badly designed does not invalidate the idea.

    The curve is supposed to be a check on the quality of the test. Unless the material is too easy or too hard the scores on a well designed test will have a normal distribution.

    In an ideal world all the students would master the material, and score 100% on the test. This is not the ideal world. We do what we can.

    The professor and the school in your example are selling the credential, not the instruction.

  269. Winter on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 8:00 am said: Btw, 37% of the votes does not give you a majority in parliament. Neither today nor in 1933.

    It depends on the electoral system and the political context. In a “first-past-the-post” system, with a multiplicity of parties, 37% can win a majority of seats. It helps if, for instance, the 37% party has zero support in a part of the country, concentrating its vote in the remainder. There can also be special rules that have unexpected effects. For instance, Turkey’s election law formerly required that a party must draw 10% of the nationwide vote to win any seats. In 2002, four parties drew 6.2% to 9.5%. All were disqualified, and AKP, with 34.3%, won 363 of 550 seats.

    But even without that, it’s possible. In 2001, the British Labour Party got 35.2%, and won 356 of 646 seats.

    Hitler became chancellor with the support of other right-wing parties.

    Only because the Communists refused to join a coalition to exclude the Nazis. The Nazis and Communists between them had just over the seats. One or the other would have to be included to form a government. The Nazis demanded the Chancellorship for Hitler; the Communists refused to join on any terms.

    This situation persisted for seven months, with a conservative emergency government in power and a second election called, which shows how reluctant the conservatives were to deal with Hitler.

  270. No, the curve never hurt my grade.

    No problem then.

    A test is supposed to be a quality check. The fact that a particular test is badly designed does not invalidate the idea.

    /shrug

    Tests are one form of quality check with so-so accuracy.

    Hence the actual quality gate being a thesis and defense. In the case of computer science another important quality check was working cumulative project like a functioning operating system in your 400 level OS class.


    The curve is supposed to be a check on the quality of the test. Unless the material is too easy or too hard the scores on a well designed test will have a normal distribution.

    Many tests don’t show a normal distribution. Hence a curve.

    The professor and the school in your example are selling the credential, not the instruction.

    Or simply acknowledging that the tests are not always correctly balanced for the time allotted or the class is inherently heterogeneous. For example i recall several of my 400 level theory classes to have a double bell curves because there were grad students in our class.

    But even some of my freshman classes curved because they were designed to be weeder courses. It’s not the absolute score that matters as much as the ability to work through the problems so having an excessive number of problems or excessively difficult problems to solve is in there by design. Our CSMC 100 level course had algorithmic proofs of time and correctness problems on the final.

    Needless to say they curved heavy and still weeded out a lot of candidates. An A was exceedingly hard to get but if you could grok the concepts at all a B or C was possible.

    But this is a digression.

    The assertion that even moderate levels of statism is devoid of meritocracy is incorrect.

  271. JAD,
    > > And in the ten years following hyperinflation, could not put together a legitimate democratic
    > > government capable of ruling, so increasingly employed increasingly drastic, undemocratic,
    > > and unconstitutional measures. Nazism was prefigured by the use of article 48, rule by
    > > decree, which set in with hyperinflation

    Norbert on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 7:57 am said:
    > This list
    > http://www.documentarchiv.de/da/fs-notverordnungen_reichspraesident.html
    > shows that the first use of artikel 48 was in january 1920, about 18 months before the inflation
    > crisis.

    In December 1919, 6.7 marks could buy you a dollar. By march 1920, 67 Marks could buy you a dollar.

    So it looks to me that hyperinflation set in December 1919. Tenfold fall over a couple of months should be hyper enough for anyone.

    The first use of Article 48 happened with the first hyperinflationary shock.

    As inflation accelerated, so did the use of Article 48.

    Hyperinflation starts as not as smoothly and slowly increasing inflation, but as a series of abrupt hyperinflationary shocks, separated by shorter and shorter periods of seeming stability. The seemingly smooth graph is the result of the difficulty of measurement. If you focus on exchange rate, gold, or some common commodity, such as big macs, you see that at first you have normal inflation, then there is an hyperinflationary shock, then a period of seeming normality then another hyperinflationary shock, and another, and another, until they come so frequently as to blur into each other.

    The first use of Article 48 was a reaction to the first hyperinflationary shock. Each use of article 48 destroyed demoncracy, so that pretty soon you had the appearance of democracy, election campaigns and all that, without the substance, the substance being the rule of law and tolerance for dissent.

  272. Winter on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 8:00 am said: Btw,
    > 37% of the votes does not give you a majority in parliament. Neither today nor in 1933.

    The choice was coalition with the commies, who promised to murder their coalition partners, and coalition with the nazis, who promised not to murder their coalition partners, and were reassuringly vague about murdering the opposition.

    Not really much of a choice. The vast majority of the electorate had voted totalitarian, the nazis being by far the largest totalitarian party of numerous popular totalitarian parties. So you got totalitarian government. The people spoke, and they got what they wanted.

    And, in truth, democracy had failed. It needed to be abolished. The people were right about that. It should have been abolished in favor of a return to the Monarchy, the restoration of the Kaiser, but instead, we got further movement left.

    I hope that after the coming hyperinflation in the US, we get in one of the more manly descendents of Charles the second, tell him all is forgiven, and the American Revolution has been cancelled. The alternative is likely to be Hitler or Lenin, though I hope for a Sulla.

  273. The Netherlands may be small enough to avoid the worst problems of scale. The local governments are at least partially responsible to the local people. Everyone in government knows somebody who is directly affected by their policies.

    But now the most important decisions are made in Brussels.

  274. This is not a criminal court. Dead is dead.

    The whole point of this discussion is assigning blame. The same principles apply, just not the same standard of evidence.

    And preventable deaths due to force and violence is what war actually has been for all of history.

    Huh? This makes no sense at all.

    The Great Leap Forward was, evil, stupid, disastrous etc. But the intention was not to kill that many people.

    The number of deaths may have been underestimated, but the intention was to kill millions. And even if no deaths had been intended, the purpose of the whole program was to enslave all the farmers, so the deaths would have been the result of a crime and the fault of those who committed it.

  275. Rich Rostrom on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 2:53 pm said:
    > That’s a common historical error. The hyperinflation episode was 1922-1923

    Hyperinflation is a series of hyperinflationary shocks. The first hyperinflationary shock, a fall in the mark to one tenth its value, was at the beginning of 1920, and caused terrible and irreversible damage to democracy – the first use of Article 48.

    In 1922-1923 the shocks came so close together that you could not tell where one ended and the next began, but the middle class, the people that make democracy work, was wiped out at the beginning of 1920.

  276. These Indonesian “communists” were unarmed civilians and they were murdered by the army.

    They were guerillas and their accomplices, attempting to overthrow the government and impose communism on the whole country. Killing them prevented that, and was therefore a good thing.

  277. @Norbert:

    this newly invented institution, the liberal democracy, works astoundingly well

    I had already replied before you wrote that.

    @me:

    they can’t understand that delaying corrections to misallocation by legislating constants, increases the severity of the latter corrections. Statists can delay corrections for generations, thus society cheers. But the payback is horrific when it comes.

    Statists love to boast how they are able to delay the corrections due from misallocation, and then when the horrific corrections come as a result, then they still refuse to admit that statism is the cause. They are not entirely insane, because it is indeed true that in the absence of technology to subvert the power vacuum that gives rise to statism, there is no other option but to try to make the statism work as well as it can’t.

    @Norbert:

    people that spew their hate against the state here in the comments: they refuse to take part in actually solving problems, they sabotage any attempts by the rest of society to do so, slander politicians as a class and declare the existing, working system as doomed. They try to destroy the old in order to replace it with a power vacuum

    In my case, I want to create technology that privatizes and removes the power vacuum. These are solutions that both sabotage the deadly state, and empower prosperity for the individual. Pushing the power out to the grassroots individuals, prevents insane power grabs. I agree that eliminating the state while leaving the power vacuum open, could replace a functioning “democracy” with perhaps a tyrant.

    I had mentioned several examples of such technology in my recent comments. For example, digital signature technology enables enforcement of private food safety labeling without the need to enforce trademarks. An hypothetical general purpose robot that can be programmed anonymously to perform abortions, would eliminate the statism involved with abortions. A digital currency that lives in the cloud, could eliminate the power vacuum to tax and redistribute income (although this could cause the statism to embed a chip in every physical person to reacquire the power to tax). Etc…

    @Winter:

    Hitler became chancellor with the support of other right-wing parties. However, the Nazis were able to take over the state using their own type of Homeland Security

    Power grab enabled by statism. The only way to prevent this is for the people to retain all (or most of) the physical and technological power. Because the people are not insane.

    As BobW pointed out, your country may not have the scale to drift into these horrific outcomes, but your neighbors have and will again, and thus NL can suffer from external statism again.

    @Norbert:

    Nope, it failed because they lost the war.

    I assume you are referring to WW2. The war was brought on by economic failure as I explained. If you view it any other way, you are deluding yourself. You Europeans are free to live in the fantasy that economics doesn’t matter, and repeat the experience again.

    @Nigel:

    In what way is this a valid implementation?

    […]

    help the folks in the F range of the curve (starving) to get up to the D range of the curve (surviving).

    Obama’s plan is not yet as insane on the productive rich as France’s (but the “sharing” constituency in the USA is just warming up, stay tuned), yet still it encourages people to not work. I personally know people who are taking full advantage of 3 to 5 government programs with excuses about why they can’t work, when in fact they play and/or do drugs all day. A majority of the population now receives some assistance from at least one government program.

    Nigel, that I know you are a left, statist, it means if there was not technology to enable me to route around you in order to survive, I would have to exterminate you. This is why I love technology. I don’t want to be forced to hate you.

    @BobW:

    A test is properly a diagnostic of the quality of instruction and student comprehension

    Indeed. If the LISP students don’t know what a lambda is, they should not get a C grade. How could I trust the quality of any of the graduates from such an educational institution.

    @Milhouse:

    That’s not murder. It’s an unfortunate and unintended side-effect of the armies’ legitimate operations.

    Perhaps you missed the up thread point that megadeath can only occur when the state is given the power by statism. There is no legitimate megadeath. Replace the statism with individual empowerment technology and eliminate all forms of megadeath, because the grassroots individuals are not insane (not without some insane viral ideology, which hopefully is subverted by access to information, capital, and personal empowerment technology).

  278. @Nigel:

    The fact is the scenario is still meritocracy hugely weighted in favor of high performers. There is no disincentive to perform because being rich is still a hugely better than being anything else by an immense margin.

    Not in France. The rich are leaving, because the government wants to take a lot more than 1%.

    Also there is no meritocracy in giving people a C when they don’t work.

    And the incentive to get rich is eliminated when the rich are forced to capture the statism in order to prevent the statism from stealing all, then the middle class is gutted and prevented by the capture of the statism.

    Making it into the top 1% means that money has become a non-issue for almost any desire. The only things that might cost too much are things like a trip to outer space ($20M is still a significant chunk of change).

    The financial incentive to succeed is not altered significantly by the proposed tax change.

    The financial incentive is altered by statism, because the rich must capture the statism or perish. The “sharing” in the USA is only in the early stages. Before 2033 (probably a decade sooner), the USA will have confiscated all private wealth that isn’t hidden from anti-terrorism money laundering laws, other than those in the rich cartel that have captured the statism and will be free to become the owners of everything.

    most tests aren’t written very well

    For subjects which haven’t changed that much over the years, the test should already be stable. Either the student knows the required material or not.

    @JAD:

    I hope that after the coming hyperinflation in the US

    There is no hyperinflation coming in the USA. Hyperinflations only occur when the country has no functioning bond market, no significant public gold, no participation by the external financial sector, and is insignificant to the global economy. Instead we will see massive confiscation of wealth in the USA in order to keep the financial sector whole– remember who really controls the statism (and thus the US military). I will take an 80% bet that the USA confiscates all $20 trillion of pensions and gives in exchange a receipt for an “investment” collectively managed by the government. This will be theft by another name.

    @Milhouse:

    They were guerillas and their accomplices, attempting to overthrow the government and impose communism on the whole country. Killing them prevented that, and was therefore a good thing.

    Without statism, the people wouldn’t have reached such a state of failure that such an insane viral ideology could ferment. When the means are with the people, the people anneal the economics. For example, without statism, Indonesians could travel freely to the USA and participate where they can earn the most income. We are moving to a global economy. There are two choices. It can be managed by statism, which means captured by trillionaire cartel and slavery run from Brussels, or it can be complete freedom and empowerment at the grassroots.

    The reason I am bothering to expend my scarce time writing this is here, is because many of you are the technologists and the creators of the internet. You all can make that choice for humanity.

    I am hoping you all help to make the correct choice and work for it.

  279. @me:

    without statism, Indonesians could travel freely to the USA and participate where they can earn the most income

    The reasons to resist migration are all due to statism:

    1. The other state doesn’t reciprocate.
    2. The immigrants game the welfare system.
    3. The immigrants alter the political balance.
    4. The immigrants bring into some dangerous ideology.

    Personal empowerment technology can subvert the statism and even the viral/systemic ideologies that suppress personal empowerment.

  280. JustSaying on Thursday, April 25 2013 at 10:28 pm said:
    > The reasons to resist migration are all due to statism:
    >
    > 1. The other state doesn’t reciprocate.
    > 2. The immigrants game the welfare system.
    > 3. The immigrants alter the political balance.
    > 4. The immigrants bring into some dangerous ideology.

    Reason’s 1, 2, and 3 are rendered irrelevant by anarcho capitalism.

    However, reason 4 is not only important in anarcho capitalism, but becomes much more important.

  281. @Norbert:

    I was actually surprised, JAD, how many of your ideas date from the 19th century, when women and blacks had to be kept in check, and the advent of general suffrage and political participation threatened old, cozy authoritarian power structures. You are the archetypical death camp’s employee of the month, well integrated, full of hate for the fringes of society, wouldn’t mind killing as long as it’s legal – where duty and disposition coincides. But you’re probably nice to children and dogs, i guess.

    You make a common mistake in that you misunderstand JADs refusal to sugar coat what he sees with a desire to dehumanize them.

    I deal with a lot of low intellect/low education/low information types. To call them idiots, either by birth or breeding is not to wish them into the showers or to oblivion any more than acknowlegding that testosterone builds muscle density and therefore men (as long as they are recognizable as such) will always be stronger than women, modulo genetic freaks.

    There is no reason why *a* woman shouldn’t be in an absolutely critical position that requires a great deal of brute force and agression, but there are very good reasons why *women* shouldn’t. There is no reason why any particular person cannot do advanced theoretical physics, but there may very well be reasons certain definable phenotypes are less likely to produce people capable of doing it. Acknowledging this isn’t racism, it’s dealing with the world.

    That said he probably could be a bit less of a dick about the way he says it.

  282. William O. B’Livion on Friday, April 26 2013 at 12:01 am said:
    > That said he probably could be a bit less of a dick about the way he says it.

    Consider for example, the word “slut”.

    If we think it is a bad idea to for ten year old girls to be sexually active, why are we punishing male adults rather than ten year old girls?

    The underlying theory, the reason we are doing it this way, is the early nineteenth century theory that women are pure angels, which theory, as we move ever leftwards, has become ever more extreme. Now women are allowed to get drunk in public without putting their angel status in doubt. Today women are supposedly so perfectly incorruptible that if a drunken male has sex with a drunken woman, the male is a rapist and the woman a rape victim.

    Why are we teaching nine year old girls to put a condom on a banana and to be slut positive? We should be teaching them that sluts are not allowed on the cheerleader team, and make sure that sluts never get to sit at the cool girl’s table.

  283. @Milhouse
    “The number of deaths may have been underestimated, but the intention was to kill millions. And even if no deaths had been intended, the purpose of the whole program was to enslave all the farmers, so the deaths would have been the result of a crime and the fault of those who committed it.”

    @Milhouse
    “They were guerillas and their accomplices, attempting to overthrow the government and impose communism on the whole country. Killing them prevented that, and was therefore a good thing.”

    In both cases you show you did not even try to understand what happened.

    The Great Leap Forward was an insane modernization program that went awfully wrong. It was implemented on the personal insistence (and power) of Mao against the wishes of most of the party top. When it failed so miserably, Mao was sidelined and the party top was trying to mend the shard together. When things had calmed down, Mao started a new successful revolution to get back in power again. When Mao die, the old guard party got back to the restoration program from the 1960. The rest is history. In none of these “revolutions” was the plan to actually kill tens of millions of people. Mao was such a devious and evil person because he did not care how many people died.

    In Indonesia, any armed resistance (which was and still is scattered over the islands, politically from the right to the left) was just an excuse to murder *all* of the peaceful opposition. With help of the USA.

    But, hey, yell communist and the USA will condone any and all atrocities.

    But the funny thing here that you condemn communists for killing non-communist people and applaud non-communists for killing communists.

  284. @Milhouse
    “The whole point of this discussion is assigning blame.”

    So you say it is states are to blame for megadeaths, I say it is the breakdown of the states that must be blamed.

    In the top ten of periods of historical violent megadeaths, it is the breakdown of the state during war and civil war that is to blame, or else some kind of entrepreneurship. Evil tyrants are only three out of the top 20 cases of megadeaths (four if we include Tamerlane).

    All this rubbish about “it was not one war” is just an excuse to divert the attention from the fact that it was the breakdown of the central state that caused so much havoc in China (3 cases in top 10) and Rome, and the inability of populations to protect themselves in the conquests of the Mongols and WWII.

    The slave trades and the megadeaths caused by Spanish and British Imperial colonial politics shows us how devastating entrepreneurship can be.

  285. Winter:
    > it was the breakdown of the central state that caused so much havoc in China (3 cases in top 10) and Rome,

    We don’t have accurate information for any of these cases, but the case we have the best information for is the eradication of the Romano Britons by the Angles and Saxons. It is clear that after the Roman legions departed, the population drastically diminished, presumably due to Angles and Saxons killing the previous inhabitants to clear the land for their settlers.

    In this case it is perfectly clear that the problem was not so much the disappearance of the central state, but that the central state had deprived the Romano British of the capacity to defend themselves. Those areas where Roman influence had been least, Scotland and Wales, did OK. The Scots perceived the retreat of the Romans as a huge relief and great benefit, and the Welsh seems to have been pretty happy about it also.

    Similarly, if when Brussels collapses, Britons are wholly exterminated, and wholly replaced by brown skinned Muslims, as seems quite possible, it would be ludicrous to say “Ah, proof that a Europe run by Brussels was a good idea”.

  286. Winter:
    > it was the breakdown of the central state that caused so much havoc in China (3 cases in
    > top 10) and Rome,

    The case we have the best knowledge of the is the decline of the Roman Empire in the West.

    Population decline did not start with disappearance of the central state. It started with the rule of Diocletian.

    Thus, a more accurate account of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in the west is that large highly centralized states cause dark ages, and dark ages cause population decline, and, eventually, collapse of central authority.

  287. @JAD
    “Those areas where Roman influence had been least, Scotland and Wales, did OK. The Scots perceived the retreat of the Romans as a huge relief and great benefit, and the Welsh seems to have been pretty happy about it also.”

    At the time, the Scots were living in Ireland. The people who lived north of the Hadrian wall had been starved to death in a genocidal campaign by Roman armies destroying their food every fall. So, when the Romans left, the Scots could easily move in. (keep your names straight)

    And there is ample evidence that the collapse of the Western Roman empire and the influx of Germanic people during the migration period following it (Völkerwanderung) lead to a collapse in population in Gaul and the Mediterranean countries. As Gaul was then one of the most populous countries in the world (second only to China I believe), that alone was a disaster of epic proportions (rank 5 in the top 10).

    Even your British example shows you detachment from reality. The Roman army was filled with people from outside Italy. The Brits themselves were quite well represented in the armies.

  288. @JAD
    “Similarly, if when Brussels collapses, Britons are wholly exterminated, and wholly replaced by brown skinned Muslims, as seems quite possible, it would be ludicrous to say “Ah, proof that a Europe run by Brussels was a good idea”.”

    So even you think that it is only the EU that keeps the people in the UK safe.

  289. As I’ve said several times, the central goal of all my political thinking since I was about 12 has always been “How do we prevent the death trains from rolling again?” The only really major change in my thinking came when I concluded that it would be necessary to abolish government to foreclose that possibility.

    Part of what Winter is trying to say is that a strong state reduces violence, it does not increase it — and that incidents like Hitler and North Korea must be viewed against a backdrop where normally, acceptance of state authority is one of the major factors that prevent us from killing each other.

    This is a point made by Pinker and he uses the example of the American south, where state authority is viewed with distrust and contempt; far from being a libertarian paradise, the antebellum South was downright feudal and much of that feudal way of looking at the world persists to this day.

    As for preventing the death trains from rolling again, the Germans seem to be doing a pretty good job of it — by banning certain memes and remaining vigilant against their ever re-infecting the population.

  290. Pingback: Daily Linkage – April 26, 2013 | The Second Estate

  291. Jeff Read on Friday, April 26 2013 at 4:52 am said:
    > Part of what Winter is trying to say is that a strong state reduces violence, it does
    > not increase it

    The fall of the Soviet Union clearly led to an increase in armed conflict. But firstly, death in armed conflict is not murder, and secondly, the Soviet Union murdered far more people than died or are likely to die in the armed conflicts following its fall.

    Similarly, for the fall of Yugoslavia.

    The decline in population of the Roman empire in the west set in with the reign of Diocletian, well before the fall of Rome.

  292. @JAD
    “But firstly, death in armed conflict is not murder,”

    A peculiar view, unlikely to be shared by the victims and their relatives.

    @JAD
    “”secondly, the Soviet Union murdered far more people than died or are likely to die in the armed conflicts following its fall.”

    Stalin “only” makes rank 15 in the top 20 of megadeaths.

    @JAD
    “The decline in population of the Roman empire in the west set in with the reign of Diocletian, well before the fall of Rome.”

    Indeed, probably due to plagues of various kinds. On the other hand, the population collapse after the fall of the empire was not due to some hideous plague, but to famine and violence.

  293. >Part of what Winter is trying to say is that a strong state reduces violence, it does not increase it

    Read The Gulag Archipelago

  294. > So you say it is states are to blame for megadeaths, I say it is the breakdown of the states that must be blamed.

    From what I’ve seen here, I’d say that the anarcho capitalist view is that states, by definition, are an inevitable march toward financial breakdown. Meaning that you’re both correct.

  295. @JAD
    > > secondly, the Soviet Union murdered far more people than died or are likely to die in the armed conflicts following its fall.”

    Winter:
    > Stalin “only” makes rank 15 in the top 20 of megadeaths.

    So saith Pinker. Who lies. He massively understates communist deaths, overstates other deaths, and classifies megadeaths in ways that are not comparable: For example one of his megadeaths runs for eleven centuries. All of his non communist megadeaths display similar forms of creative accounting. If it takes eleven centuries to make a megadeath, it is not very violent at all. If you had eleven centuries of the troubles caused by Ghandi, you would have a Ghandi megadeath greatly exceeding all the other megadeaths.

    @JAD
    > > “The decline in population of the Roman empire in the west set in with the reign of Diocletian, well before the fall of Rome.”

    > Indeed, probably due to plagues of various kinds

    Pinker attributes the entire population decline to the fall of Rome, even though it set in before the fall or Rome.

    In fact, what happened was that Rome was in financial trouble because, like much of Europe, it was taxing well above the Laffer limit. Well, thought Diocletian, if overtaxed people will not work, make them work. So he in large part instituted a command economy, which probably caused rises in the death rates for the usual reasons that we observe command economies killing people today and during the twentieth century. Basically, in a command economy, you have to murder people to get stuff done.

  296. @Roger Philips
    “Read The Gulag Archipelago”

    How many of those exist in the world? And how do their life expectancies compare to those in, say, state-less head hunter societies? We also are talking about ~100M megadeaths.

    I keep repeating it. You claim my country is heading for one massive Gulag/Auschwitz. I claim that has not happened in 400 years in the Netherlands. So why should it happen during my lifetime?

    @JAD
    You always claim other people are lying. I think you are simply projecting your own attitudes and behavior on your “opponents”.

  297. But the funny thing here that you condemn communists for killing non-communist people and applaud non-communists for killing communists.

    Yes, for the exact same reason that I condemn nazis for killing non-nazi people, and applaud non-nazis for killing nazis. There is no significant difference between communists and nazis, or between communism and nazism, and insisting that there is one is itself a sure sign of having been corrupted by communist propaganda.

  298. @Milhouse
    “Yes, for the exact same reason that I condemn nazis for killing non-nazi people, and applaud non-nazis for killing nazis.”

    So, I understand: Killing unarmed peaceful people is ok, as long as the victims can be assigned to the correct ideology. Nice thing, Libertarianism.

    I am glad the allied forces did not ascribe to your philosophy and let all those nazis live after they defeated Germany.

    (note that subscribing to an ideology in some form or another, or being accused of subscribing, is not the same as being a fully armed homicidal maniac)

  299. I keep repeating it. You claim my country is heading for one massive Gulag/Auschwitz. I claim that has not happened in 400 years in the Netherlands. So why should it happen during my lifetime?

    I’ve seen claims that lots of countries are headed for the same conditions that produced death camps. And they are. Redistribution, collectivism, and the command economy that the first 2 cause to eventually be needed to get any work done… This has all been documented elsewhere and people here are just pointing it out. And it’s not just the Netherlands, so don’t feel so singled out and put upon.

    But the rest of what you say is a series of logical errors.

    I’m not sure how saying something hasn’t happened before in a particular place is proof that it can’t happen. It *has* happened, in other places, under certain conditions that can reasonably be described as causal (or at the very least contributory). Your place is more and more closely approximating those conditions as time passes. Good luck.

    And that’s a very solipsistic outlook there. If it doesn’t happen in your lifetime, it won’t happen? Or doesn’t matter? How does someone suggesting a series of events is becoming increasingly likely mean it has to happen in *your* lifetime?

    Not to pick on you too much, I can understand how arguing with JAD can make a person crazy, even (or perhaps especially) seeing as how he often has a better command of the facts than his opponents. But I’ve noticed certain odd mental patterns that seem almost universal in the Leftists I’ve come across. (Is this universal? Is it a Leftist thing, a not-very-bright thing, an innumerate thing, an approaching-the-world emotionally thing, I don’t know but I see this most in leftists.)

    Their world view is very static, almost as if the world has been and will always be in an extended eternal now. They have difficulty with the past having been very different from the present, and what that implies (Medieval Warm Period, anyone?). Simultaneously, they also have trouble imagining that something that hasn’t happened recently could possibly happen again. And if it doesn’t happen *now*, it isn’t going to happen (they have a very close time horizon for predictions). And any hint of change that isn’t happening by their direct command, absolutely terrifies them like the end of the world (which is lunacy, *nothing* ever remains absolutely constant).

    Their mental models of action and behavior are crude and linear. They also have trouble with feedback. Witness their almost universal beliefs in the effects of tax policy (they can’t accept that raising tax rates will not simply increase revenue linearly, their minds cannot accept that everything else doesn’t remain constant), their inability to predict the effects of various social policies (welfare, the minimum wage, etc) that non-leftists had immediately pegged (and were proven correct).

  300. “Unarmed” is hardly the same thing as peaceful. Those communists were engaged in an attempt to take over Indonesia, just as their fellow communists were engaged in similar attempts in every South-East Asian country.

  301. Also, the allies let the remaining nazis live after defeating them. They didn’t spare them before that defeat.

  302. @Milhouse
    Exactly what is the difference between your murderous ideas and those of the fascists? Kill whomever is in your way.

    But it is nice of you to illustrate why we need the law to protect us against the likes of you who want to create a pure nation of the like minded.

  303. @JAD:

    Consider for example, the word “slut”

    Evolution of panties:

    http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1293991/Evolution

    Filipinos in the hot rural areas let children run around naked, yet when girls have their first menstruation (there is even a name for them “dalaga” which they retain until married), they are encouraged to cover up and women will not wear sexy clothes in public in their rural communities, because they will be accused of being prostitutes and unmarriageable.

    I disagree with all forms of social moral judgement. People should be free to do what ever they please, as long as it doesn’t bodily harm another person. And I go so far to say your neighbor should be able to raise pigs and play his music so loud that you can’t sleep and your residence stinks. If you don’t like it, buy a larger plot of land or in a private community with a homeowners constitution that has the rules you want. I learned this while losing my Western preconceptions. It is more important to be free, than to bind each other in statism to get what we can’t afford.

    > 4. The immigrants bring into some dangerous ideology.

    Reason’s 1, 2, and 3 are rendered irrelevant by anarcho capitalism.

    However, reason 4 is not only important in anarcho capitalism, but becomes much more important.

    You want to stop ideology at boundaries, but Coase’s theorem will route around you. The only way to defeat ideology is by defeating the economics that is causing it. The way to defeat Islam is for example smart phones and rising incomes. I guarantee you the middle class women in the middle east have smartphones and they are learning ideas that Islam doesn’t want them to see.

    Don’t fire with fire. Silly. Silly also to hate a religion. Rise above with rationality and economics.

  304. @Jeff Read:

    Part of what Winter is trying to say is that a strong state reduces violence, it does not increase it…

    As for preventing the death trains from rolling again, the Germans seem to be doing a pretty good job of it — by banning certain memes and remaining vigilant against their ever re-infecting the population.

    I wrote up thread and repeated to Norbert, that statists love to boast, but then fail to claim responsibility for what they create. The point made up thread is that handing over power to the state, means when the economy goes into the abyss due to the gross avoidance of frequent corrections due from the misallocation of capital that persist in a non-meritocracy that is statism, then the resultant tyrants have the means for totalitarianism and extermination.

  305. JustSaying on Friday, April 26 2013 at 8:44 pm said:
    > I disagree with all forms of social moral judgement. People should be free to do what ever they please, as long as it doesn’t bodily harm another person.

    Does this rule only apply to females? How do you refer to “rapists” who have not actually committed rape rape, or “deadbeat dads”?

    People do not agree on what is bodily harm. As I and esr observed, when a guy and a girl gets drunk together and have sex, the guy may well be deemed a rapist, and the woman a rapee. And as I observed and esr failed to observe, this is because official truth starting in the early nineteenth century has been that women were naturally chaste and pure, and as we move ever leftwards, this official truth has been getting ever more extreme. Woman can now behave ever more unchastely, and still be presumed chaste and pure.

    Similarly, when a ten year old girl seduces a forty year old male, the male has committed a crime, but the ten year old supposedly remains chaste and pure – even if she promptly seduces another forty year old male.

    And, suppose a fully sober and adult male impregnates a fully adult and sober female. The female has “the right to choose”. She owns the baby, can kill it, can give it up for adoption, etc. Or can hit the male up for life long support. He lacks the right to choose, a situation that reflects the fact that we may use terms of denigration for the sexual activities of male heterosexuals, but not female heterosexuals.

  306. Winter on Friday, April 26 2013 at 11:16 am said:
    > So, I understand: Killing unarmed peaceful people is ok, as long as the victims can be assigned to the correct ideology. Nice thing, Libertarianism.

    In war, all things are permitted, so hard to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. The difference between the good guys and the bad guys becomes most obvious by the way they act when they are in power and no longer facing major violent opposition.

  307. @JAD
    Your “in war all is fair” is what destroyed Europe twice in a century. But I know you are imune to empirical evidence. If you do not believe in reality, why even bother to look at facts?

  308. @JustSaying
    “The point made up thread is that handing over power to the state, means when the economy goes into the abyss due to the gross avoidance of frequent corrections due from the misallocation of capital that persist in a non-meritocracy that is statism, then the resultant tyrants have the means for totalitarianism and extermination.”

    Great story. And where exactly are all these tyrants exterminating their own subjects? Not in Europe or North America. Not in China, Japan, or South Korea at the moment. Not in India.

    And if we look at history, there are pretty few of such tyrants. For an “inevitable course of history”, there seem to be a dearth of examples to point at.

  309. Nigel, that I know you are a left, statist, it means if there was not technology to enable me to route around you in order to survive, I would have to exterminate you. This is why I love technology. I don’t want to be forced to hate you.

    Lol. To my liberal friends I’m a war machine loving right winger that’s not quite as insane as tea partiers. To my conservative friends I’m a left leaning civ that’s not quite as insane as most liberals.

    Truth is I’m somewhere in middle, hold positions across the political spectrum, and insane in other ways.

    As to the latter my tech toys are significantly cooler than yours and I’m a better coder anyway. Even if I’m not, every coder worth their keyboard believes that anyway.

    And finally most important: no one is ever forced to hate. People hate because they want to. And of course that leads to suffering…

  310. Winter on Saturday, April 27 2013 at 3:36 am said:
    > And where exactly are all these tyrants exterminating their own subjects? Not in Europe or North America. Not in China, Japan, or South Korea at the moment.

    At the moment.

    Our current institutions become ever more extreme, ever further left, and ever less solvent.

  311. Winter on Saturday, April 27 2013 at 3:36 am said:
    > And if we look at history, there are pretty few of such tyrants. For an “inevitable course of history”, there seem to be a dearth of examples to point at.

    Most of the world was at one time or another ruled by Stalin, the Committee of Public Safety, Mao, Hitler, and their assorted puppet rulers such as Ho Chi Minh and Kim.

    Their rules where preceded by an ever leftwards movement. And, we now see the anglosphere which largely rules the world suffering an ever leftwards movement.

  312. @JAD
    “At the moment”

    And since the dawn of time have such “states” been the exception and not the rule.

    @JAD
    “Our current institutions become ever more extreme, ever further left, and ever less solvent.”

    That is just the way you seem to define “left”, ie, as a kind of entropy that can only increase if the population increases. Not as a political movement like other people use it.

    @JAD
    “Most of the world was at one time or another ruled by…”

    Only once. Not for millenniums, nor centuries, but roughly 3 decades between 1925-1953. And that was not even most of the world. Not before, and not after that. Your example of Ho Chi Minh shows your insincerity. You yourself claim that all is fair in war. Apparently not when it is

    @JAD
    “we now see the anglosphere which largely rules the world suffering an ever leftwards movement.”

    That idiotic comparison means you do not even understand what it meant to live in the USSR under Stalin, or the other examples you mention.

  313. @JAD
    > > “Our current institutions become ever more extreme, ever further left, and ever less solvent.”

    Winter:
    > That is just the way you seem to define “left”,

    Regulation increases, government spending increases, freedom diminishes. Observe the unending thousand page bills, which no longer contain laws, but rather lists of headings for which bureaucrats shall later fill in the laws. Affirmative action increases, even though women are already overrepresented in the accreditation system, efforts to give them even more accreditation continue to accelerate, followed by increasing efforts to give them jobs for which they are accredited, but not in fact qualified. Political correctness becomes ever more restrictive. Sex laws become ever more repressive of male sexuality, since the official truth that women are angels is enforced with ever more vigor.

    Is this not leftism?

    Further, all of these are on a steady track increasing rapidly, starting from around 1830 or so. Is this not leftism?

    > Your example of Ho Chi Minh shows your insincerity. You yourself claim that all is fair in war.

    Ho Chi Minh murdered eighty five percent of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the one hundred percent of the Vietcong. He used artificial famine to crush the peasants.

    That you promptly endorse him admits what is denied: You implicitly admit where anglosphere leftism is headed.

  314. @JAD
    “Is tha not leftism”

    No, not according to 90+% of humanity. That is your definition.

    @JAD
    “Ho Chi Minh”

    They were at war, and you endorse that all is fair then. Whats sauce for the goose….

    I, on the other hand, do object to murder irrespective of whether they are committed under the guise of war.

  315. James A. Donald:
    > > “Ho Chi Minh”

    Winter:
    > They were at war, and you endorse that all is fair then. Whats sauce for the goose

    Ho Chi Minh was not at war with the North Vietnamese communist party, and he killed eighty five percent of them, not at war with the Vietcong, and he killed all of them, not at war with the peasants of North Vietnam …

  316. @JAD
    Read back, you wrote that in war you endorse laying waste to the country, turning it into a desert.

    And there was war with the French. And you wrote it, all is fair in war.

    Personally, I think Ho was a war criminal and a criminal in other senses too. But to you, the end, winning the war, seems to justify the means.

    It is hypocritical of you to apply this rule only to your own side.

  317. @Winter

    You claim my country is heading for one massive Gulag/Auschwitz. I claim that has not happened in 400 years in the Netherlands. So why should it happen during my lifetime?

    But democide has happened in the Netherlands in those 400 years.

    Although no one in the Netherlands explicitly voted for the Nazis to rule them, the people who did get elected pursued policies that failed to sufficiently resist the Wehrmacht when it came calling. No one in the Staten-Generaal presented a resolution “in favor of being Nazi”, but that was the practical effect of their policies. Perhaps the leadership thought their alliances with larger nations would have been sufficient to deter German aggression. But that didn’t work out all that well.

    The prime justification for governments to exist is to punish aggression, whether foreign or domestic. The Netherlands failed to maintain the capacity to punish Germany for daring to violate its sovereignty, and roughly 100K of the 140K pre-war Jewish population of the Netherlands died due to that impotence. Note that I do not say that the government of the Netherlands is exactly the same as that of Germany when it comes to assigning responsibility for the democide, but neither (heh) is it as innocent as pacifist thinking dictates.

    The astute reader will note that this is is a minarchist, rather than anarchist, critique. If a government is too weak, then the vacuum will be filled. In absolute anarchy, thugs and warlords may eventually evolve into some sort of stable arrangement, which is a de facto government. (One big difference between minarchists and anarchists is that the latter deny that such arrangements are governments.) “That government governs best which governs least” I interpret to mean that the best government is the one that reduces the role of force in human relationships to the lowest level possible, neither using excessive nor insufficient force against aggressors.

  318. @The Monster

    I am at a loss here. I have seen the odd hare brained accusation here, but making the Netherlands an accomplice to the holocaust for failing to stop Nazi Germany must top them all.

    I do not know where to start answering such an accusation.

  319. @Winter

    You might start by not erecting a straw man at which you can express your righteous indignation.

    I didn’t say “accomplice”. I went out of my way to say I’m NOT equating weakness with aggression. I said the government failed to do its job, because a sin of omission is not the same as one of commission, despite the popularity of asserting such equivalence. The smug moral superiority of “pacifists” (who insist that weakness brings peace, while in the real world it invites aggression) is not just wrong; it’s dangerous. That they continue to claim that they’re somehow “better” than we war-mongers are, is a testament to how well they’ve been able to control the cultural institutions that define “better”.

    Your outrage does not change the fact that government policies that leave the nation too weak to resist evil are responsible for those consequences. The good intentions of those who thought weakness would keep them out of trouble are irrelevant.

    If a mother leaves her toddler exposed to danger, we have the sense to recognize that negligence can cause harm, and may prosecute her for the crime. Since statists love telling us the government is our mommy and/or daddy (depending on the exact flavor of statism) it’s only fair to take them at their word, and indict “pacifist” governments for the crime of endangering their populations.

  320. Winter:
    > Read back, you wrote that in war you endorse laying waste to the country, turning it into a desert.

    That is completely different from what Ho Chi Minh did. What Ho did was abhorrent.

  321. @JAD
    I agree that Ho did abhorrent. War tends to be horrific.. Therefore I would never write that “all is fair in war”. You did, even to justify murdering a million unarmed Indonesians by Suharto..

    If you did not mean it, why did you say it?

  322. @The Monster
    I see I did not understand your reasoning. Sorry for misrepresenting it.

    @The Monster
    “Since statists love telling us the government is our mommy and/or daddy (depending on the exact flavor of statism) it’s only fair to take them at their word, and indict “pacifist” governments for the crime of endangering their populations.”

    I think I understand what you are going at. First, contrary to popular myths, our pre-WWII government was not pacifist, the country was just small and lacking the industrial power to arm up (with an administration not up to the task, I admit).

    Second, your point was well noted after the war. That is why my fellow country men started the EU.

    So now the chances of getting into war, and losing, with German are vanishing. Seems like a success, as the EU countries have just had the longest period without a war among them in recorded history. Meanwhile, wars have raged as before beyond the borders of the EU.

  323. @The Monster
    “The prime justification for governments to exist is to punish aggression, whether foreign or domestic. The Netherlands failed to maintain the capacity to punish Germany for daring to violate its sovereignty, and roughly 100K of the 140K pre-war Jewish population of the Netherlands died due to that impotence.”
    (emphasis mine)

    I forgot. This is a very serious misconception.

    A government must prevent harm to its subjects. Punishment after the harm is done is wholly inadequate. Punishment is very costly and causes a lot of harm itself. Punishment is only acceptable as it works as a deterrent against future harm.

    Note: Absolutely no one beyond maybe a few people high up in the Nazi party had any suspicion about the extend of the genocidal plans of the Nazi’s. Until the pictures came back after the war ended, almost all people in the occupied territories, even Jews on transport, were convinced the deportees would end up in some kind or labor camps in the East. You cannot use hindsight to condemn people for taking the wrong decision.

  324. Winter on Monday, April 29 2013 at 4:02 am said:
    > I agree that Ho did abhorrent. War tends to be horrific..

    But Ho’s crimes were not war related. They were committed to serve the requirements of a command economy.

  325. Pingback: Daily Linkage – April 29, 2013 | The Second Estate

  326. (previous comment was accidental, please delete)

    @JAD
    “But Ho’s crimes were not war related.”

    To defend the murder of a million political opponents by Suharto you wrote:
    “In war, all things are permitted,”
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4927&cpage=1#comment-400057

    Ho was “more” at war at the time, so his atrocities would be a more integral part of the North Vietnamese war effort than any war Suharto was involved in at the time.

  327. @JAD and co.
    For the last time, Weimar and hyperinflation:
    After the forced resignation of the emperor as a condition of the peace treaty, germany got a new, democratic constitution by the end of 1919, During this time, several groups tried to fill the power vacuum created by the fall of the monarchy. There were several coups attempts, from the left as from the right (a meaningless distinction, i know…). §48 was used to keep the central government in control, and especially to crack down on general strikes, which were used mainly by the left in repeated struggles to assume (at least) power in the german states.
    Inflation clearly destabilized the general situation, however, to reduce the political chaos to this single fact is nothing but motivated reasoning. In 1919 / 1920 there was no established, liberal democracy in the sense we understand it now, because it had not had the time to establish itself, therefore this period is simply not a good example with which to compare the situation of modern western industrialized states. If you want to convince us statists that this is the way totalitarianism will show its bloody fangs again, you will not only need
    – better arguments why there should be a massive increase inflation or whatever in the next few years (without resorting to crackpot economics)
    – but also explain just how for example the netherlands resemble the weimar republic in 1920-1930? They cannot even send their monarchs to exile in holland!

    I better not respond to the guy who sees all power come from the barrels of digital signatures, lest my sarcasm overpowers me again.

  328. someone should send this whole comment thread over to lesswrong, just to see how many would finally despair and lose their faith.

  329. @Winter

    A government must prevent harm to its subjects. Punishment after the harm is done is wholly inadequate.

    That is an impossible goal, the pursuit of which can only infantilize the subjects as their liberty is further constrained in the name of prevention. Because there will always be some harm done by people whose impulses exceed their self-control (including whatever appreciation they may have of external controls that may be applied) there will always be a perceived need to apply additional restrictions to “prevent” repeat offenses. That doing so itself can harm people won’t even enter into the debate, because WE MUST DO SOMETHING!™ (I lost count of the people who responded to Newtown with “to do nothing is not an option”, which logically means that even if every action that could be taken caused more harm than good, one of them would nevertheless be pursued.)

    BTW, citizens are much better than subjects.

    While it’s true that police and military can sometimes be able to prevent harm to those they protect, more often than not they’re reacting to an act that has already done harm, such as the Marathon bombing. If the punishment is sufficient to discourage potential perpetrators from violating the person/property of others, then it reduces (that is to say “prevents some”) such harm. In order to be an effective deterrent, the crime and punishment must be defined in advance.

    The question of how one deters those who believe their acts will earn them a half-gross of virgins in Paradise is the one we desperately need to answer.

  330. You might start by not erecting a straw man at which you can express your righteous indignation.

    I didn’t say “accomplice”. I went out of my way to say I’m NOT equating weakness with aggression. I said the government failed to do its job, because a sin of omission is not the same as one of commission, despite the popularity of asserting such equivalence. The smug moral superiority of “pacifists” (who insist that weakness brings peace, while in the real world it invites aggression) is not just wrong; it’s dangerous. That they continue to claim that they’re somehow “better” than we war-mongers are, is a testament to how well they’ve been able to control the cultural institutions that define “better”.

    Your outrage does not change the fact that government policies that leave the nation too weak to resist evil are responsible for those consequences. The good intentions of those who thought weakness would keep them out of trouble are irrelevant.

    Lol…in which universe is the Netherlands supposed to successfully resist the Wehrmacht ever? Pacifism was strong in the early 1930s but started fading fast when the German threat became more immediate.

    Netherlands’ declaration of neutrality worked in WWI. Its armed forces were weak in 1940 but even if they had manage to modernize their defensive lines (Waterdrop and Grebbeline) it wouldn’t have fared any better than the Maginot line did either given the Germans attacked using paradrop on key objectives. As it was the Dutch gave as good as they got in terms of casualties.

    Given the threat of devastating bombing attacks on their cities they capitulated and the government, most of the navy and some of the air force went into exile.

    The allied countries, even the more prepared ones, were all caught by the paradigm shift from trench warfare of WWI to the maneuver armored warfare of WWII and airborne troops (notably the Belgian Fort Eben-Emael was neutralized via paratroop forces).

    That wasn’t the result of pacifists as much as the General Staff of the various militaries not adapting very well from which we now have the meme “Generals always fight the last war”.

  331. @Nigel
    The whole idea the Dutch would assume their government would protrct them against the German armed forcesvisva straw man.

    The Dutch see their government as US. WE were unable to defend OURSELF. OUR sons fought and died for US.

  332. @Nigel
    >That wasn’t the result of pacifists
    I didn’t say it was. I said it was the pacifist mentality that damns as “war monger” etc. those who seek peace through strength.

    We seem to agree that by the time the war actually started, the Netherlands lacked the ability to effectively resist German aggression. As you said, in WWI, the neutrality worked, because the Germans were willing to work with a modified Schlieffen Plan that overran Belgium but not the Netherlands. It didn’t work out that way in WWII though.

    @Winter
    > The whole idea the Dutch would assume their government would protrct them against the German armed forcesvisva straw man.

    You just got done saying governments are supposed to prevent harm to their subjects. Make up your mind.

  333. Winter on Monday, April 29 2013 at 6:20 am said:
    > Ho was “more” at war at the time, so his atrocities would be a more integral part of the North Vietnamese war effort than any war Suharto was involved in at the time.

    Ho Chi Minh murdered most of his communist party before he engaged in open conflict with South Vietnam. His immediate successors murdered the Vietcong after the South was conquered.

    The communists in Indonesia openly attempted to overthrow the regime, thus initiated a state of war. The communists in North Vietnam were the regime.

    The indonesian killings were as if mob of black people invade your largely non black area and and start setting buildings on fire, and you respond by killing every black on sight. Ho’s killings were as if you suspect your business partners are planning to oust you, so you cut their throats from behind.

  334. There are several problems with his argument.

    First, that a government failed at defending against evil does not mean that governments in general are failures against defending against evil.

    Second, his wierd indictment of pacifist government in favor of minarchist thought is simply stupid because many of them are just selfish pacifists…just enough force to defend me and mine but not enough to defend others. To me that is essentially the the position of isolationists.

    The problem is that “maintaining just enough force to deter” requires a huge amount of force against countries like Nazi Germany in 1939 or even a small (but equally insane) country like North Korea today. Something that no minarchist “state” would maintain out of fear of a “large” government and military.

    I suspect that dikes or other major sustained engineering feats are possible either.

    For the Netherlands dependence on treaties with larger neighbors was and is the only viable course. Even the Swiss would have fallen if the Nazis wanted them enough. Even Finland had to capitulate in the face of Russian invasion.

  335. Norbert on Monday, April 29 2013 at 9:40 am said:
    > – better arguments why there should be a massive increase inflation or whatever in the next few years (without resorting to crackpot economics)

    Mainstream, respectable, orthodox economics being that the national debt can increase a trillion dollars a year indefinitely, and no very alarming consequences will ensue. Whosoever doubts this will fail his economics degree.

    Because of such dubious accounting methods as holding mortgage backed securities on the Federal Reserve Books at face value, the actual debt is probably increasing at substantially more than a trillion dollars a year.

    A government runs an impossible deficit because it is trying to buy off enough voters, power blocks, whatever, to govern. When it runs out of money, therefore cannot govern.

  336. I suspect that dikes or other major sustained engineering feats are possible either.

    It’s amazing how many people here fall for one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly less well-known is this: “never take the anarchist or minarchist position against a man whose land, without benefit of a strong central state apparatus, would be underwater”.

  337. @Nigel

    Nice straw men:

    First, that a government failed at defending against evil does not mean that governments in general are failures against defending against evil.

    I am not talking about governments in general. I am talking about the specific allegation that the Netherlands has done such a lovely job of not having people slaughtered in death camps as some sort of proof that statism does not necessarily have to produce megadeath.

    Second, his wierd indictment of pacifist government in favor of minarchist thought is simply stupid because many of them are just selfish pacifists

    I did not indict pacifist government, which is very oxymoronic. In order to be called “government”, an organization must exercise force, which from time to time will be lethal.

    I indicted the pacifist thinking that holds deliberate weakness as somehow morally superior to the use of force in defense/retaliation. That thinking, enshrined in cultural institutions, combined with the revulsion at the death toll of WWI, led governments to make certain decisions that prepared the ground for WWII.

    And the people who push the pacifist thinking to this day insist that they’re better than we are. They’ve learned nothing.

    Even the Swiss would have fallen if the Nazis wanted them enough.

    I’m not so sure about that. Since it didn’t happen, I think the burden of proof is on you to find some military experts who have analyzed the sort of tactics that could have been used against the Swiss. Blitzkrieg would have been right out.

    I think that if Hitler had been stupid enough to send the Wehrmacht into Switzerland, he might have lost too much to make it worth the effort. And that’s exactly what you want your neighbors thinking before they attack you.

  338. Nice straw men

    In keeping with Jeff…”You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”.

    I did not indict pacifist government, which is very oxymoronic.

    These words are yours are they not:

    Since statists love telling us the government is our mommy and/or daddy (depending on the exact flavor of statism) it’s only fair to take them at their word, and indict “pacifist” governments for the crime of endangering their populations.

    Yes, it’s in quotes but it’s still bizarre to take offense over a term you used yourself or call them straw men.

    I didn’t say it was. I said it was the pacifist mentality that damns as “war monger” etc. those who seek peace through strength.

    And these are your words too:

    The smug moral superiority of “pacifists” (who insist that weakness brings peace, while in the real world it invites aggression) is not just wrong; it’s dangerous. That they continue to claim that they’re somehow “better” than we war-mongers are, is a testament to how well they’ve been able to control the cultural institutions that define “better”.

    Your outrage does not change the fact that government policies that leave the nation too weak to resist evil are responsible for those consequences.

    This statement seems to indicate that you do believe it was the fault of pacifists that Germany was very successful.

    I indicted the pacifist thinking that holds deliberate weakness as somehow morally superior to the use of force in defense/retaliation. That thinking, enshrined in cultural institutions, combined with the revulsion at the death toll of WWI, led governments to make certain decisions that prepared the ground for WWII.

    You mean like building the maginot line? Or declaring war on Germany for the invasion of Poland? Or actually having more tanks than Germany (3,254 vs 2,439) and tons more artillery, men, etc?

    Yep the allies had be so hamstrung by pacifist elements they had completely disarmed.

    We seem to agree that by the time the war actually started, the Netherlands lacked the ability to effectively resist German aggression.

    No, we don’t agree. Your assertion is that the Netherlands lacked the ability to effectively resist German aggression is the fault of pacifistic statists. My opinion is that it didn’t matter if they had spent the same amount as the French and Belgians. They were screwed regardless because of terrain and the military thinking of pretty much all Anglo-French aligned nations. None of which were pacifistic.

    I’m not so sure about that. Since it didn’t happen, I think the burden of proof is on you to find some military experts who have analyzed the sort of tactics that could have been used against the Swiss. Blitzkrieg would have been right out.

    The Swiss army in 1940 was 10 infantry divisions plus a dozen or so mountain brigades. 88 Bf 109s and 44 MS-406.

    When the French surrendered Germany had two million soldiers and 102 divisions. The Swiss were surrounded by the Germans and Italians.

    After the central lowlands and population centers taken it probably doesn’t much matter that remnants of the Swiss army fought on in the Schweizer Reduit (Swiss Redoubt). Once the invasion has occurred, your families taken prisoner there’s not much point to continue to fight just so the Germans can conduct massive civilian reprisals.

    The military experts in question were the German 12th Army staff that did the planning for Operation Tannenbaum.

    I think that if Hitler had been stupid enough to send the Wehrmacht into Switzerland, he might have lost too much to make it worth the effort. And that’s exactly what you want your neighbors thinking before they attack you.

    It wasn’t worth the effort which is why they never bothered with Operation Tannenbaum. The fact that the Swiss pretty much toed the line (I suppose in your eyes, played the role of appeasing pacifists collaborators) made it even more pointless. Had Germany proceeded it might have been a costly endeavor but ultimately a successful one if Germany had the leisure of time.

  339. @JAD
    “After the fall of Saigon”

    Catholics believe in saints who perform miracle cures long after they died. In your faith, you believe in dead Communist Leaders who perform mass murders long after they died.

    @JAD
    “The communists in Indonesia openly attempted to overthrow the regime, thus initiated a state of war. The communists in North Vietnam were the regime.”

    Said General Sugarto after he staged an armed coup overthrowing the legitimate goverment. It was used as an excuse to set up death camps and murder a million (+?) political opponents.

    It is obvious to me that your objections to the trains rolling to the death camps are limited to the selection of the victims. Here you advocate the death camps for those who oppose you.

    It seems your hate against Hitler and Stalin is based on envie. You are just jealous that you are not in their position to get rid of all those whose ideas you object too.

  340. @The Monster
    “I am not talking about governments in general. I am talking about the specific allegation that the Netherlands has done such a lovely job of not having people slaughtered in death camps as some sort of proof that statism does not necessarily have to produce megadeath.”

    That is blaming the victim. So according to you, the Chinese are responsible for the rape of Nanking, and the Jews and every other European for the holocaust.

    That is the magical thinking where the king was blamed for any and every natural disaster or even the appearance of comets.

  341. @Nigel
    Have you ever heard of “scare quotes”?

    It wasn’t worth the effort which is why they never bothered with Operation Tannenbaum.

    Like I said, it wasn’t worth the effort.

    @Winter
    That is blaming the victim. So according to you, the Chinese are responsible for the rape of Nanking, and the Jews and every other European for the holocaust.”That’s what she gets for dressing like a whore!”? The phrase “blaming the victim” short-circuits thinking. It implies that the person doing the “blaming” also holds that the victim(s) deserve their fate, and a whole lot of other unstated baggage. It declares that any conclusion that could possibly be framed in those terms must be avoided.

    In this respect, it’s much like “racist” or “homophobic”; it effectively means “You say mean things. SHUT UP!”. But it depends on equating things that are not the same, simply because different senses of the same word can be applied to them.

    No, I’m not blaming¹ the victims. I’m blaming² (in the sense that I would blame² an inept fire department response to an arson fire, which I blame¹ on the arsonist [and in this sense I blame the Holocaust on the Nazis], but the “blames?” are not the same thing at all) the governments that disarmed those victims in return for the promise of “protecting” (see above discussion about punishment and deterrence) them against aggression, then failing to deliver on that promise.

    To repeat myself, that is how governments justify their very existence. They can provide every other service imaginable, but if they fail so utterly at their core responsibility, they cease to be able to do any of the things they promise to do.

    I “blame” these governments just as I “blame” those who have created “gun free zones” that are better understood as “victim disarmament zones”.

  342. It’s amazing how many people here fall for one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly less well-known is this: “never take the anarchist or minarchist position against a man whose land, without benefit of a strong central state apparatus, would be underwater”.

    That really depends on what you mean by “strong”.

    If you’re talking about “strong” as in “competent”, or “focused”, “dedicated” then I am all for it. If you’re using “strong” as a wedge for “large” or “overbearing”, “intrusive”… then hell no.

    Whether you want to accept it or not, the existence of real life-or-death mission critical governmental responsibilities is an argument in favor of the minarchist position. Because the more things a state attempts to do, the worse it becomes at its critical core functions.

  343. @JAD, resident doomsday cult of one:
    > Mainstream, respectable, orthodox economics being that the national debt can increase a
    > trillion dollars a year indefinitely, and no very alarming consequences will ensue. Whosoever
    > doubts this will fail his economics degree.
    If this is what economics looks like in your dimension, I can understand why you’re grumpy.
    Here in the real world, national debt in the US or the EU does not grow by trillions indefinitely, and no economist would think it cool if it did.
    >Because of such dubious accounting methods as holding mortgage backed securities on the
    > Federal Reserve Books at face value, the actual debt is probably increasing at substantially
    > more than a trillion dollars a year.
    Thank god at least the US is decreasing its debt in this quarter:
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9594f870-b113-11e2-9f24-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2RxATs5xc
    But maybe they simply lack your mad statistics skillz…

    > A government runs an impossible deficit because it is trying to buy off enough voters, power
    > blocks, whatever, to govern.
    In the real world, unfortunately, we have to make do with possible deficits, but are full of envy of the JAD-World, where logic and physical laws make way for the JAD-law and colorful new ways of reasoning. In the real world, buying off voters becomes a reconciliation of competing interests – as long as voters actually understand what’s going on, instead of being mislead by crackpots who would rather spew hateful misinformation, maybe as the result of an unfortunate personality defect, maybe because they are victims of disinformation themselves. People who profit from this call them “useful idiots”.
    > When it runs out of money, therefore cannot govern.
    You are thinking of countries, that – unlike the US – cannot create their own money? Like Holland? But we already saw that holland is not like the weimar republic, because although Beatrix abdicated a few hours ago, she cannot – in any non-preposterous way – follow Wilhelm into dutch exile, therefore their way to fascism is barred, or at least not seriously expected.
    Excuse me for saying so in public, but you are making less and less sense.

  344. @The Monster
    Who blames the Australian fire department for failing to stop the massive forest fires after the record draughts?

    What sane person would blame the administration of a small country for failing to stop WWII? Not their citizens. Only people who want to make a stupid political point.

  345. Have you ever heard of “scare quotes”?

    Yes. Your objection to what I wrote is not valid regardless of whether I included your scare quotes or not since you still wish to blame statists, especially pacifistic ones that look down on you. My presumption is that you disagree with the term pacifist as not actually being very peaceful as opposed to simply anti-military. Either way, STILL your words.

    Like I said, it wasn’t worth the effort.

    No, you challenged my assertion that if Germany had wanted to conquer Switzerland it could. Not that it wasn’t worth the effort.

    Again these are your words:

    I’m not so sure about that. Since it didn’t happen, I think the burden of proof is on you to find some military experts who have analyzed the sort of tactics that could have been used against the Swiss. Blitzkrieg would have been right out.

    Not that it wasn’t worth it but that you didn’t believe that it was possible. Blitzkrieg was in fact not right out given the fact that most of the population was in the lowlands. In fact the largest problem the Swiss faced was the majority of their defenses were facing Germany and not along the French border and the Panzers would have swept through the Swiss infantry defenders. Which is exactly why Guisan withdrew the majority of his forces into the Alps abandoning the population centers and gave his famous Rutli speech (well, famous to the Swiss and some military geeks anyway).

    So everyone, from von Menges (Op Tennenbaum planner) to Guisan (C-in-C Swiss Army) knew that if Germany wanted to take Switzerland proper (population, industry, etc) it could leaving only the army to resist in the alps. The Germans wouldn’t have tried to pry out the Swiss army if the first few attempts failed. It simply would have forced them to capitulate by killing civilians until the Swiss Army surrendered. Or not.

    The threat of the destruction of strategic railways and Swiss appeasement (i.e. the continued shipment of coal to Italy and other supplies via those railways) prevented this.

  346. @Nigel
    The story going around in my youth was that the Nazis made extensive use of the “neutral” swiss banks for their more shady money transactions. That use might have factored into the equation. Sweden and Vichi were other “neutral” enclaves that collaborated extensively with the Germans during the war.

  347. @winter I think there was a lot of transference of guilt from the losers to those that were allowed to stay on the sidelines since The Monster is right about one thing: the Western Entente powers failed to halt the advance of Hitler and the Eastern Entente power collaborated with him.

    If the US had stayed isolationist and not provided aid to Russia and England it is my opinion that Germany would have won.

  348. @nigel

    If the UK had been able to stave off an invasion until after Stalingrad, and kept the Germans out of Arabia, I believe the Russians would have won in the end. The difference in population size was too big. And Russian resources out of reach from the Germans were too vast.

    If the Germans had reached Arabia, they could have gotten a truce. In the end the third Reich would have collapsed anyway. All European invaders that implemented a form of apartheid have disappeard over history.

  349. “All European invaders that implemented a form of apartheid have disappeared over history.”

    Could you unpack that a little further?

  350. Without US aid to the UK they would have surrendered having lost the Battle of the Atlantic in ’40/’41 without the 50 US destroyers in 1940 and Lend-lease aid starting in ’41.

    Without US and UK bombardment of German production or the huge amount of infrastructure given to the Soviets the Soviets would have lost. Ignore the 14,000 aircraft, 8,000 artillery pieces and 7,000 tanks. What was really important were the 375,000 trucks, 1,981 locomotives, 11,000 freight cars, 8,000 tractors, 2.6M tons of petrol, 3.7M tires, 15M boots and 4M tons of food.

    Without that there was no soviet transportation network. Without a transportation network there’s no industry. With no industry there are a lot fewer T34 tanks. With fewer T34 tanks there’s no Operation Uranus, no encirclement of the German 6th Army and the loss of Stalingrad.

    Not to mention that the several mechanized divisions sent to the Western Front would have remained in Russia and it would have been them protecting the 6th Army flanks and not the Romanians and Hungarians.

  351. @Nigel

    No, you challenged my assertion that if Germany had wanted to conquer Switzerland it could. Not that it wasn’t worth the effort.

    Again these are your words:

    I’m not so sure about that. Since it didn’t happen, I think the burden of proof is on you to find some military experts who have analyzed the sort of tactics that could have been used against the Swiss. Blitzkrieg would have been right out.

    You conveniently omitted the following paragraph of what I said on the subject

    I think that if Hitler had been stupid enough to send the Wehrmacht into Switzerland, he might have lost too much to make it worth the effort. And that’s exactly what you want your neighbors thinking before they attack you.

    There is no perfect defense that prevents all harm. (That isn’t my standard; it’s what Winter offered in its stead.) There is only making enemies believe it isn’t worth the cost to attack you, failing which you must see that they are punished severely, pour l’encouragement des autres.

  352. @Monster:

    the people who did get elected pursued policies that failed to sufficiently resist the Wehrmacht when it came calling.

    Are you thinking specifically of the failure of the citizens to (be non-statists and) have “a gun under every blade of grass” as was the reason the Japanese provided for the impossibility of a land based invasion of the U.S.A. during WW2?

    If a government is too weak, then the vacuum will be filled. In absolute anarchy, thugs and warlords may eventually evolve into some sort of stable arrangement, which is a de facto government.

    You’ve made me realize I am a min-anarchist. However, on a domestic policing level, I am leaning more anarchist, because otherwise the state are either the thugs (e.g. in USA with 10x higher incarceration rate and near 99% prosecution rate) and/or they are incapable of protecting the citizens as you pointed out above.

    I am thinking the main power vacuum is the ability to tax (or extort). If this could be removed with technology, the economic structure of politics would be radically altered.

    @Winter:

    That is why my fellow country men started the EU.

    So now the chances of getting into war, and losing, with German are vanishing. Seems like a success, as the EU countries have just had the longest period without a war among them in recorded history.

    This is a quintessential example of statist illogic. Instead of arming your citizens individually to make it nearly impossible to invade on land, you opt of a non-meritocracy, uneconomic binding, that will fail horrifically before 2033 (if not a decade sooner). And even though this has been proven numerous times in the history of the world, statists love to boast about the perfection they’ve achieved before it collapses into a heap of economic defaults that lead to widespread anger and discontent, which usher in the tyrants, who then grap the absolute power handed over by the statists to the central authority. Without armed citizens, there is no way to nullify and reject the central authority once the economic abyss is realized and the tyrants are fulfilling the insane despair-induced lust for “solutions” by the economically trampled population.

    You cannot use hindsight to condemn people for taking the wrong decision.

    Even we tell you in advance now, you still won’t listen. There were many historic examples before the Nazi case. With the information spread on the internet, you have no excuse this time.

  353. Norbert on Tuesday, April 30 2013 at 12:02 pm said:
    > Thank god at least the US is decreasing its debt in this quarter:
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9594f870-b113-11e2-9f24-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2RxATs5xc
    But maybe they simply lack your mad statistics skillz…

    No, the US is not decreasing its debt this quarter. The enacted budget spends more than three dollars for every two dollars of revenue, and its connection to reality is slight. Actual expenditures are substantially off the books, so that no one really knows what the actual expenditures are like.

    > > When it runs out of money, therefore cannot govern.

    Norbert on Tuesday, April 30 2013 at 12:02 pm said:
    > You are thinking of countries, that – unlike the US – cannot create their own money

    At some time not long distant, the ability to create its own money will expire in hyperinflation. That is what hyperinflation is.

  354. @JAD:

    when a guy and a girl gets drunk together and have sex, the guy may well be deemed a rapist, and the woman a rapee.

    I would prefer there are no rape laws, and women will then appreciate the role of a male protector or carry a gun. Then there is no debate– a dead rapist doesn’t need to be tried in court. I want the state out of our personal lives as much as possible, because as you point out, they don’t provide a solution, rather just shift the goal posts to another field and cause social and economic misallocation (e.g. everyone games the system, even the females).

    when a ten year old girl seduces a forty year old male, the male has committed a crime

    A 10 year old is incapable of sexual innuendo, and any man misinterpreting her actions as such, will be dead in a well armed citizen society.

    The female has “the right to choose”. She owns the baby

    In the Philippines, the male and his family will steal the baby in this case. I like the way it works. It isn’t perfect (because life isn’t), but it keeps the incentives localized, and people deal with choosing mates with realism and not the distortions of the state.

  355. @Norbert:

    Inflation clearly destabilized the general situation, however, to reduce the political chaos to this single fact is nothing but motivated reasoning.

    […]

    I better not respond to the guy who sees all power come from the barrels of digital signatures

    I did not assert that inflation was the cause. I wrote that the foundational genesis was economic and statist– a monarchy is not an exception to statism. The desperate statist nationalization under Hitler worsened the economics to insured totalitarianism. The politic chaos was driven by statist economics pervasive in Europe from even before 1919.

    Politics is driven by economics. The ability to extort (tax is one form) is essential to all forms of statist power and thus politics.

    Thank god at least the US is decreasing its debt in this quarter:

    Nonsense. There is emmigration of capital from Europe and China to U.S.A. and dollar investments to hide assets and seek return in advance of the collapse of the former two, which is temporarily lifting some stats, but the underlying statism in the U.S.A. is accelerating.

    There won’t be a hyperinflation of the global reserve currency, rather there will be massive confiscations via nationalization of all savings. This will result is massive austerity and will repeat the economic conditions that lead to Nazi Germany, but on a global scale.

    @The Monster:

    more often than not they’re reacting to an act that has already done harm, such as the Marathon bombing. If the punishment is sufficient to discourage potential perpetrators from violating the person/property of others

    I agree with Winter, that punishment is counterproductive. The solution that does the least harm and prevents the most is an armed citizenry– has a huge damping factor on the extent of harm that can be realistically done. A powerful state police (U.S.A.) and/or pacification through giving everything away for free (EU) lead to horrific final outcomes.

    @Nigel:

    Given the threat of devastating bombing attacks on their cities

    You make a strong point about a small-state power vacuum that gives rise to the EU. Clearly an armed citizenry wouldn’t help here. One would need to prevent statism in Germany, but the EU is just putting German statism every where in Europe, to end up horrific again.

    The only solution here is technological. Thus we need to get to work. Talking won’t help, except to motivate us to work.

    just enough force to defend me and mine but not enough to defend others. To me that is essentially the the position of isolationists.

    With the technology to eliminate the power of the statists and/or thugs who aggregate power, isolationism could in theory be rational.

  356. Winter on Monday, April 29 2013 at 4:51 am said:
    > So now the chances of getting into war, and losing, with German are vanishing. Seems like a success, as the EU countries have just had the longest period without a war among them in recorded history. Meanwhile, wars have raged as before beyond the borders of the EU.

    Warsaw Pact countries never went to war with each other either – except when one of them wanted to leave the Warsaw Pact.

    All the EU countries are state department muppets. When the US empire goes down the tubes, then we shall see Europe return to form.

  357. > slight. Actual expenditures are substantially off the books, so that no one really knows
    > what the actual expenditures are like.
    So if a government employee spends more than was in his respective budget, where do you think the money comes from? Does he have a special government credit card with an overdrawn account? Do you know how public spending works? And why are treasury yields falling, as the articel on ft.com explains?
    No wonder your vast knowledge angers liberals. Simply inventing whatever is convenient at the moment makes arguments quickly pointless, even if it impresses the simpletons. Of course it’s not “inventing”, you deduce these “facts” from the rest of your superior knowledge.

    >At some time not long distant, the ability to create its own money will expire in hyperinflation.
    Let me guess: only societies that keep their wealth in righteous gold will escape their destruction by horrible things that start with an “H”? Is the market blind to that, or why are yields for 10 year treasuries also low? Trust no1?
    > hyperinflation.That is what hyperinflation is.
    Exactly, hyperinflation is hyperinflation. A=A. Western Philosophy at the apex of its vigour.

  358. @JustSaying:
    > I did not assert that inflation was the cause.
    Yes, I did not claim you asserted that.
    > The desperate statist nationalization under Hitler worsened the economics to insured totalitarianism.
    You wish! About the only positive thing one can say about the nazis is that they ended the depression in germany. And Hitler was not radicalized during his time as Führer, he was radical from the beginning. This is really not something you should contest without looking him up in wikipedia first.
    > The politic chaos was driven by statist economics pervasive in Europe from even before
    > 1919.
    Nope, also wrong. But a cute idea.

    > Politics is driven by economics. The ability to extort (tax is one form) is essential to all forms
    > of statist power and thus politics.
    Are you sure you’re not a marxist?

    > There won’t be a hyperinflation of the global reserve currency
    Yep, very probably not.
    > rather there will be massive confiscations via nationalization of all savings.
    Why? Who would profit from this?
    > This will result in massive austerity and will repeat the economic conditions that lead to Nazi > Germany, but on a global scale.
    I think if all US savings were, for example, kidnapped by angry raving liberals who just lost a rhetoric duel with JAD – then investments will have to be financed through international markets. Taxes would be a little bit lower, but – why is everyone here so obsessed with nazis? Practically everything seems to necessarily lead to Hitler. JustSaying, where did you get the confidence with which you interpret and extrapolate history?
    (Is this the memetic equivalent to the “rage”-virus from “28 days later”?)

  359. Norbert on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 12:20 am said:
    > So if a government employee spends more than was in his respective budget, where do you think the money comes from?

    Comes from the Federal Reserve. Here is an example:

    Acorn is an organization with a thousand names, doing thousand different things – supposedly it is a thousand different organizations, each of which strangely happens to have the same postal address as all of the others. One of the things it does is get out the vote. Another of the things it does is stuff ballot boxes.

    In your job as public servant, you need some ballot boxes stuffed, or some legs broken, or some such. Or perhaps you need Femen to send some naked sluts to harass a Roman Catholic Bishop who is adhering a little too closely to Roman Catholic doctrine that has recently become obsolete. So you ask Acorn to do the ballot box stuffing, leg breaking, or make a donation to Femen’s naked slut fund. Acorn says, “sure, but we need a small favor. Here is list of people who need some mortgages, a few million each. Make sure they get their mortgages.” So you pull some strings, and of course the banks are eager to please their regulators, and so Acorn’s list of special borrowers get to borrow lots of money, no problems, no inconvenient questions. And, surprise surprise, do not pay it back. This, of course, did not surprise the banks all that much,and so they had already arranged for Freddie and Fannie to take the mortgages. Although Freddie and Fannie are fully funded by the Federal government, and fully guaranteed by the federal government, and continuing to lose money hand over fist, money lost by Freddie and Fannie is off budget and does not count as part of the deficit, with the result that Freddie and Fannie wind up indirectly funding all sorts odd things that frequently have a rather strange relationship to housing mortgages.

  360. James A. Donald on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 1:41 am said:

    Norbert on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 12:20 am said:
    > So if a government employee spends more than was in his respective budget, where do you think the money comes from?

    My previous explanation was probably too complex to for you to follow:

    Here is the simple version:

    An increasing number of federal bureaucracies, such as Fannie May, have no budget limit. They can spend as much as they want, and it is not counted.

    As a result, such organizations wind up indirectly funding all manner of strange things, often with a very slender connection to their supposed objectives.

  361. @Justsaying
    Germans simply killed whole villages or neighborhoods if someone killed a German. They did not need the population, just the land.

    @nigel
    Both Germany and Japan betted the US would stay out of their continent. But there is a huge range of levels of involvement between isolationism and leading an invasion. But as I wrote, if the Germans had reached an oil supply, they could have kept hold of Europe.

  362. A 10 year old is incapable of sexual innuendo, and any man misinterpreting her actions as such, will be dead in a well armed citizen society.

    I really don’t want to get involved in your discussion again, but this one needs a response.

    You are incorrect. Dangerously incorrect. For whatever reason, in the US (as well as much of the rest of the developed world, I believe) girls have been entering puberty MUCH earlier recently. As in, a 10 year old with full secondary sexual characteristics is not uncommon.

    One of the unfortunate side effects of the various (feminist, sexual, what have you) revolutions our poor culture has been forced to endure, is that young girls are becoming more sexualized at a younger age than ever before. A large percentage of the population is increasingly concerned at this- it is surprisingly difficult to go to a clothing store to buy clothes for a pre-teen girl that don’t present her as a cheap prostitute.

    Take the two together, earlier puberty and earlier sexualization of clothing and behavior… you bet your ass (literally, if you get caught) a 10 year old girl could engage in sexual innuendo, and *be convincing*.

  363. @JAD
    “Warsaw Pact countries never went to war with each other either – except when one of them wanted to leave the Warsaw Pact.”

    War is war. But the Warsaw Pact was a Super-State too. Worked much worse than the EU, but still, it worked. After the Warsaw Pact collapsed, we had plenty of wars.

    @JAD
    “All the EU countries are state department muppets. When the US empire goes down the tubes, then we shall see Europe return to form.”

    Promises, promises. Never delivered.

  364. An increasing number of federal bureaucracies, such as Fannie May, have no budget limit. They can spend as much as they want, and it is not counted.

    As a result, such organizations wind up indirectly funding all manner of strange things, often with a very slender connection to their supposed objectives.

    Quasi-governmental entities like Fannie and Freddie are an enormous scam. Among other things, they allow the connected to privatize gains (look who earned huge salaries and bonuses as the gov’t appointed executives when the bubble was inflated and things were going “good”) and socialize losses.

    And yes, those socialized (meaning they get passed on to the taxpayer) and unaccountable losses can be and have been used as an enormous untraceable slush fund. And no the losses aren’t budgeted, they’re “business losses”, these things happen. (Yes that was sarcasm.)

  365. But the Warsaw Pact was a Super-State too. Worked much worse than the EU, but still, it worked. After the Warsaw Pact collapsed, we had plenty of wars.

    You are an embarrassment. You know who made the trains run on time, too?

    Not only are you morally repugnant, but weak on the facts too. What was Hungary? Czechoslovakia?

  366. @Greg:

    girls have been entering puberty MUCH earlier recently

    I agree that after menstruation, the girl can. I didn’t realize that a significant percent of 10 year olds were reaching puberty.

  367. I agree that after menstruation, the girl can. I didn’t realize that a significant percent of 10 year olds were reaching puberty.

    Oh yes. It’s getting scary. When I was that age there was exactly one girl in my age group in school who had well-developed breasts and hips, she was (for the time) freakish. Now that sort of thing is everywhere, and nobody seems to fully understand it.

    Combine that with the feminist “empowerment” (which means acting like what would previously have been described as a whore is now liberating and empowered) in our culture… Young girls are being taught to be, almost *expected* to be, much more sexually aware at a much younger age. Long before they are mentally and emotionally ready for it, IMO. It’s basically child abuse, but that’s just me.

    Anyway, you often now see girls that look and act like sexually precocious 16 year olds and they’re 10 or 11, or girls you think are legal (18+) who are 13 or 14. And they’re all dressed like streetwalkers. It’s disgusting, and that’s not just an old “get off my lawn” oldster talking. Those kids go on to become the Generation Y ‘hook up culture’ types that have been in the media so much lately, as having so much and so much constant availability to sex, yet are dying inside from desperate loneliness and self-loathing.

  368. @Greg & JustSaying
    If I understand you correctly, to you the solution to every transgression is to shoot the one you think is guilty.

    I think I prefer an old fassioned state where not so many people have to be murdered. Especially as there is at least some level of due process.

  369. @Greg & JustSaying
    If I understand you correctly, to you the solution to every transgression is to shoot the one you think is guilty.

    Nope, not me. I have no idea what this is referring to, it must be to one of JS’s tl;dr posts that I neglected to try to follow.

    I think I prefer an old fashioned state where not so many people have to be murdered. Especially as there is at least some level of due process.

    Hmm. That’s another one (just like Jeff Read the other day) pining for the lost minarchist ideal night-watchman state, that was actually competent (becoming increasingly impossible today) and didn’t murder anyone. ;)

  370. >> So if a government employee spends more than was in his respective budget, where
    >> do you think the money comes from?
    > My previous explanation was probably too complex to for you to follow:
    Ah, let’s make this a bit more transparent, in case there are innocent children watching:
    You write a confused answer to my last post, and then immediately quote an old – rather socratic – question of mine, in order to give the impression that i could not follow your explanations. A nice trick to conceal the fact that you could not express yourself clearly at first and had to start again, while suggesting you did this for my better understanding.
    How liberating to have the facts on my side, which i only have to arrange in logical sequence to show how little substance and reason there is to your fears. I start with exorcising your concerns about hidden liabilities in consequence of the GSE bailouts. To return the courtesy, I’ll keep it simple too, but in addition it will make sense and help you over a few misconceptions. With minimal snark, i promise!
    > An increasing number of federal bureaucracies, such as Fannie Mae, have no budget limit.
    Fannie Mae is not a federal bureaucracy, but a public company under conservatorship of the FHFA. It is a private enterprise irrespective of the current ownership relation, that is the US Treasury holding about 80% of their shares. This implies that its accounting is that of a public company and therefore completely different from the accounting and budgeting rules of a government institution, so “budget limits” make no sense here. I know nothing about this “increasing number of federal bureaucracies without budget limit”, but my guess is you make this up as you go along (due to the mistaken notion that mysterious prophecies of doom make you more interesting to the other sex?).
    > They can spend as much as they want, and it is not counted.
    An incorrect oversimplification of the accounting process in public companies
    > As a result, such organizations wind up indirectly funding all manner of strange things,
    > often with a very slender connection to their supposed objectives.
    Just like any other private enterprise.
    I would guess that through these simple, yet incoherent statements, you express the fear that you will personally have to pay back a part or all of Fannie Maes significant obligations for mortgage defaults, which appear fathomless and threatening to you, because you don’t know
    – that the government lent less than 200 billion USD to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is about the amount the government could lose in the worst case
    – that the government does not back any outstanding obligations that both GSEs might have
    – that it cannot lose much more than the 200 billion mentioned above
    – that – quite the contrary – Fannie Mae was the most profitable US insurer in 2012 and has already paid the treasury 35 billion in dividends, Freddie earned it 10 billion more – and this year looks even better.
    I would be happy if, the next time you try to be patronizing in public, you remember how wrong you were this time, and simply ask yourself “am I absolutely sure about this thing, or is this just my ego tripping me up”.
    I’ll get my red flag now and show a little solidarity to my comrades in the streets, before the sun is completely gone. When I’m back, I’ll dissect your previous post – unless the revolution does something surprising and actually shows up this year.

  371. @Norbert:

    Do you actually believe any of that, or are you simply very credulous?

    Because as odd as some of JAD’s interpretations are, he is much closer to correct on the facts of quasi-governmental entities like Fannie and Freddie than the press releases you’re pushing.

  372. It’s getting scary.

    Scary for whom?

    When I was that age there was exactly one girl in my age group in school who had well-developed breasts and hips, she was (for the time) freakish. Now that sort of thing is everywhere, and nobody seems to fully understand it.

    I think most folks understand it has to do with our diet. I suppose we could make our daughters go vegan and that would help solve the issue. Or at least go organic chicken without hormones, avoid plastic food containers and maintain a healthier weight.

    Combine that with the feminist “empowerment” (which means acting like what would previously have been described as a whore is now liberating and empowered) in our culture

    No, it means having an education and a career.

    Young girls are being taught to be, almost *expected* to be, much more sexually aware at a much younger age. Long before they are mentally and emotionally ready for it, IMO. It’s basically child abuse, but that’s just me.

    I see no evidence of this. That kids are more aware due to our entertainment choices but “taught”? By whom? Expected to be? By whom? Not the parents.

    Unless you are referring to the earlier age that parents need to talk to kids about sex because simply ignoring the topic isn’t a viable solution since it is out there. Especially if they are hitting puberty around 10.

    Anyway, you often now see girls that look and act like sexually precocious 16 year olds and they’re 10 or 11, or girls you think are legal (18+) who are 13 or 14. And they’re all dressed like streetwalkers. It’s disgusting, and that’s not just an old “get off my lawn” oldster talking.

    Except it probably is an old “get off my lawn” mentality talking. We have a bus stop in front of our house. Mostly it’s jeans and some kind of top or sweats. At the mall I see about the same. Either you live in a different sort of place or you have exceedingly tame streetwalkers in your town.

    I suppose you would be more comfortable if we simply made them all wear burkas…

  373. I think most folks understand it has to do with our diet. I suppose we could make our daughters go vegan and that would help solve the issue. Or at least go organic chicken without hormones, avoid plastic food containers and maintain a healthier weight.

    I suppose you’d suggest they eat more soy? Heh.

    No, it means having an education and a career.

    You’re not very culturally literate, I understand. Try buying and reading a copy of Cosmo.

    I see no evidence of this. That kids are more aware due to our entertainment choices but “taught”? By whom? Expected to be? By whom? Not the parents.

    You are also naive, and/or a very poor parent. What do you think our entertainment choices ARE, and DO? They teach what we find culturally acceptable. And expected, yes, by many parents and also by the trendsetters of popular culture, and the people who give those trendsetters their trendsetting status.

    Except it probably is an old “get off my lawn” mentality talking. We have a bus stop in front of our house. Mostly it’s jeans and some kind of top or sweats. At the mall I see about the same. Either you live in a different sort of place or you have exceedingly tame streetwalkers in your town.

    Go to a mall in NJ. (My ‘standards’ for streetwalkers are what I saw growing up in NYC and spending my young adulthood in Boston. Not quite as flamboyant as some other locales, but still pretty representative.) Then get back to me on that.

    I suppose you would be more comfortable if we simply made them all wear burkas…

    JAD been rubbing off on you, or are you having a bad day?

    I wouldn’t object, if the younger generation I see would restrain themselves to the tasteful standards set by the various Hispanic groups. (Anyone aware enough to laugh at that?) But more seriously, many Hispanic immigrants have standards that appear rather tacky to what used to be the American mainstream, but that’s largely because of a “if you’re not flaunting it you haven’t got it” streak in their culture that their women are not immune to. That and their women like to be noticed. But they draw a line, beyond which lies lack of respectability. Our new popular culture doesn’t understand, derides understanding, any thing like ‘standards’, or ‘respectability’.

  374. > > An increasing number of federal bureaucracies, such as Fannie Mae, have no budget limit.

    Norbert on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 1:40 pm said:
    > Fannie Mae is not a federal bureaucracy, but a public company under conservatorship of the FHFA.

    Fannie May is wholly owned and run by the federal government. Whosoever works at Fannie May is a federal employee, with the usual secure employment guarantees, a federal employee who conveniently has no budget limit, which convenience every bureaucrat everywhere wants a piece of, which convenience he usually finds some convoluted and bizarre way to get, legally or illegally.

  375. Norbert on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 1:40 pm said:
    > Fannie Mae is not a federal bureaucracy, but a public company under conservatorship of the FHFA.

    Fannie May is allowed to use the famous no limit credit card of Uncle Sam the Big Pimp.

  376. @Winter:

    Germans simply killed whole villages or neighborhoods if someone killed a German

    Notwithstanding Germany’s bombing capabilities, I assume that a gun under every blade of grass in Europe in responsible armed citizenry, would have halted Hitler’s land advance.

    The point to Norbert which I have stated 2 or 3 times, is that statist power vacuum of giving all the power to the state, can be gamed by tyrants.

    If I understand you correctly, to you the solution to every transgression is to shoot the one you think is guilty.

    I live now which in many facets is one of the least statist countries of the world (Philippines) with a well armed citizenry (even if these are only bolo swords), and I assume the incidence of murder is much lower than the U.S.A.. A foreigner was complaining to me yesterday, that Angeles City has less police per capita than it had in 2006, and the police only act if they are paid. I was thinking, “perfect”. Sane societies arrive at a truce and violence is only employed by the citizens for crimes that are so repugnant or agreed upon by most, as deserving it, e.g. rape or murder. A habitual thief will get severely beaten if he can’t reform.

    @Norbert:

    Nope, also wrong. But a cute idea.

    I rebutted you above in my reply to Winter.

    >Politics is driven by economics. The ability to extort (tax is one form) is essential to all forms
    > of statist power and thus politics.

    Are you sure you’re not a marxist?

    How on earth did you conflate communism with less governance?

    I can only guess that you somehow erroneously think tax has something to do with capitalism.

    > rather there will be massive confiscations via nationalization of all savings.

    Why? Who would profit from this?

    The financial sector that owns the government.

  377. @Norbert:
    As well as the unarmed citizenry promoted by statism, the statism also created a bankrupt society in Europe, which provided the political demand for violence. The massive unemployment was caused by the technological disruption of the cottage industry by mass production, and we have this again with robotics and computer automation. The cycle is repeating. The negative role of statism w.r.t. to the 78-year technology disruption cycle, is it delays the adjustment of the society, and further bankrupts the society. This ends with war and horrific destruction which accomplishes what earlier bankruptcy would have in a free market economy with much less pain.

    @Greg:

    Combine that with the feminist “empowerment”

    Rather I would expect the causes to be more in use of steroids and growth hormones in our meat and dairy, the TV, and the lack of family closeness caused in large part by statism which allows people to ignore family and rely on the state as the backstop.

    I have no problem with it if it is occurring in naturally diverse (robust and resilient) societies, yet I assume this is creating a less diverse society and thus less resilient and less free market. Sorry but I can’t agree with a right, statist cultural “police”.

    I read some time ago that length of skirts is inversely proportional to the health of the economy. If true, we will soon see a reversion to conservative dress.

  378. @JustSaying
    “Rather I would expect the causes to be more in use of steroids and growth hormones in our meat and dairy, the TV, and the lack of family closeness caused in large part by statism which allows people to ignore family and rely on the state as the backstop.”

    I think you are describing “civilization”. Children growing up fast because they are healthy and well nourished and dressing up because they can do so safely. It is a common historical pattern that old men cannot stand free and independent women (girls), hence the cry out for burkas etc.

  379. @JustSaying
    “Notwithstanding Germany’s bombing capabilities, I assume that a gun under every blade of grass in Europe in responsible armed citizenry, would have halted Hitler’s land advance.”

    You assume wrong. The Nazis were depopulating whole areas towards the east. The whole point of an army is to face a fully armed opponent.

  380. @Winter:

    Children growing up fast because they are healthy and well nourished

    Although I am skeptical that hormones in our meat is healthy, even if it is, then why is the hypocrite state not allowing 10 year girls to marry and have sex freely? If their minds are not maturing as fast as their bodies, is this healthy?

    There are studies showing the detrimental psychological effects of TV. However, I wouldn’t argue for regulating it. A free market (unlike statism) will punish all those who waste their learning time on TV.

    You assume wrong. The Nazis were depopulating whole areas towards the east. The whole point of an army is to face a fully armed opponent.

    How can you prove that my assumption is wrong, when there wasn’t a gun under every blade of grass in Europe in a well armed citizenry, and in fact this was the reason given by Japanese commanders for never seriously considering a land invasion of the U.S.A.?

    The whole point is that well armed citizens can not be depopulated, not by an external army nor a domestic one run by a tyrant power grab.

  381. Greg on Wednesday, May 1 2013 at 7:22 am said:
    >. As in, a 10 year old with full secondary sexual characteristics is not uncommon.

    Girls develop an interest in men well before they develop the secondary sexual characteristics that lead men to take an interest in them.

    And when I say men, I mean men, not boys.

  382. @JustSaying
    ” the hypocrite state not allowing 10 year girls to marry and have sex freely? If their minds are not maturing as fast as their bodies, is this healthy?”

    The girls and boys are healthy (the whole meat hormone thing is a myth). Still, the presence of full secondary sexual characteristics has little to do with the safety of childbirth nor with their neural and mental development. So I really do not see your point. A fertile “fully developed” 10 year old is still a 10 year old child.

    @JustSaying
    “The whole point is that well armed citizens can not be depopulated, not by an external army nor a domestic one run by a tyrant power grab.”

    Bombing works like a marvel. Armies have been known to conquer cities armed to their arm pits.

    Your error is that you assume the existing population is actually needed. The Germans did not consider the original population required. They were perfectly willing to clear the area and repopulate it.

    And any plans of the Japanese (~30% of USA population) to conquer the USA (biggest industrial power at the time) must be purely fictional. I read somewhere the Japanese navy immediately realized the war was lost when those morons of the air force attacked Pearl Harbor.

  383. @JustSaying:
    >Notwithstanding Germany’s bombing capabilities, I assume that a gun under every blade of
    > grass in Europe in responsible armed citizenry, would have halted Hitler’s land advance.
    A popular error among gun owners, that also shows how much simply carrying a gun can give people delusional feelings of power and control.
    Nothing can touch me as long as I got this…
    It does not surprise you that *millions* of people, some of them much tougher than you will ever be, with *much* bigger guns, could not stop Hitler for several years?
    Similar to the idea that armed jews could have stopped the holocaust. At least the civil war in libya should have been enough to put an end to these ideas: The rebels got their hands on heavy infantry weapons, and still ended up being slaughtered until the french took out Gaddafi’s artillery and tanks.
    That one voice in your head that tells you your handgun is the great equalizer between you and some evil state actors is one of those you should learn to ignore.

    > The point to Norbert which I have stated 2 or 3 times, is that statist power vacuum of giving
    > the power to the state, can be gamed by tyrants.
    What’s a statist power vacuum supposed to be? The lack of centralized state power?
    Look, I’m not gonna convince people like you, Jad or Raymond of the error of your ways, but if some impressionable youngster comes across this stuff I want to give him at least a chance to see through this consensus of madness. Raymond keeps his hand very close to the table, so he can keep every critique in that “I have shown years ago that your argument wrong and only used by communists, and anyway unnamed … agree with me” tarpit. Now, Jad – everyone can see that he has an axe to grind with practically everything, and everyone can speculate about his reasons – workplace experience, sex life, black guys in high school never passed the ball to him, whatever – BUT he’s pretending to be the rational science guy, never afraid to look truth in the face, capable of doing his own thinking etc etc (and it seems some people actually fall for this), while practically *everything* he writes is complete and utter bullshit. Really everything is verifiably wrong, and it only works for him because he produces so much of it that nobody bothers to correct him anymore. The expectable result is, that too many people conclude from the lack of objections that there is a general agreement with his theses. The loudest guy, or better, the guy who most often repeats himself, wins.
    Ok, now what about you? Let me cite that quote of yours again:
    > The point to Norbert which I have stated 2 or 3 times, is that statist power vacuum of giving
    > the power to the state, can be gamed by tyrants.
    There is nothing I can write that would be an adequate answer to your arguments, sorry.

  384. Kicking the tires part II:
    > Acorn is an organization with a thousand names, doing thousand different things –
    > supposedly it is a thousand different organizations, each of which strangely happens to
    > have the same postal address as all of the others.
    That is called an “umbrella organization”, an absolutely normal and rational way to bundle lobbying efforts, especially for grass root organizations. About as sinister as a federalist state with a central government.

    > One of the things it does is get out the vote.
    Yes.
    > Another of the things it does is stuff ballot boxes.
    No. Will you point me to actual criminal convictions or is this the usual “I know it but I can’t prove it because left media conspiracy”?

    > So you ask Acorn to do the ballot box stuffing, leg breaking, or make a donation to Femen’s
    > naked slut fund.
    Again, nothing but – really crazy – ramblings.

    > Acorn says, “sure, but we need a small favor. Here is list of people who need some
    > mortgages, a few million each. Make sure they get their mortgages.”
    I guess you have that list right in your hand, next to the list with the communists

    > So you pull some
    > strings, and of course the banks are eager to please their regulators, and so Acorn’s list of
    > special borrowers get to borrow lots of money, no problems, no inconvenient questions.
    Your mother is paying those brats next door money so they turn up the music extra loud on weekends. Why? To drive me crazy of course!

    > And, surprise surprise, do not pay it back. This, of course, did not surprise the banks all that >much,and so they had already arranged for Freddie and Fannie to take the mortgages.
    Tries – hard! – to create a connection to current events…

    > Although Freddie and Fannie are fully funded by the Federal government,
    Nope, it’s a stockholder, F&F earn their own money
    > and fully guaranteed by the federal government,
    “Fannie Mae received no direct government funding or backing; Fannie Mae securities carried no actual explicit government guarantee of being repaid. This was clearly stated in the law that authorizes GSEs, on the securities themselves, and in many public communications issued by Fannie Mae.”

    > and continuing to lose money hand over fist
    …had their best earnings ever last year…
    Really, why do I bother?

  385. Winter on Thursday, May 2 2013 at 9:15 am said:
    > Bombing works like a marvel. Armies have been known to conquer cities armed to their arm pits.

    If so, the Soviet Union would have won in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, with the result that it would still exist.

    The problem is that to maintain political control, you need a political apparatus that extends through the countryside. When the contras started off they had only hunting rifles, bows, and Molotov cocktails, but these sufficed to herd the governing apparatus of a commune into a building, and keep them inside as the building burned down. The Soviets could kill people, but they could not stop their opponents from killing people.

    So couple of dominoes fell, on the far distant periphery of the Soviet Union, which led to the fall of a few more dominoes a little closer, troubles in various not quite European stans on the boundary between Christendom and Islam, then troubles in Eastern Europe, until the chain of falling dominoes reached Red Square.

  386. James A. Donald:
    > > Although Freddie and Fannie are fully funded by the Federal government,

    Norbert:
    > Nope, it’s a stockholder, F&F earn their own money

    James A. Donald:
    > > and fully guaranteed by the federal government,

    Norbert:
    > “Fannie Mae received no direct government funding or backing; Fannie Mae securities carried no actual explicit government guarantee of being repaid. This was clearly stated in the law that authorizes GSEs, on the securities themselves, and in many public communications issued by Fannie Mae.”

    Fannie and Freddie have been delisted from the stock exchange, removing the fig leaf that they were private corporations, which was always a mere pretense.

    The July 30, 2008 law rescuing Fannie and Freddie increased the national debt ceiling and provides that the authority of the U.S. Treasury to advance funds for the purpose of stabilizing Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac is limited only by the amount of debt that the entire federal government is permitted by law to commit to. The bailout almost instantly ran into that limit. Subsequently this limit was massively bypassed by the Federal reserve directly buying Fannie’s debt, thus not limited by the amount of the debt that the federal government is permitted by law to commit to.

  387. @Winter:

    A fertile “fully developed” 10 year old is still a 10 year old child.

    Not if her hormones are causing her to (even unconsciously) act sexually.

    Bombing works like a marvel. Armies have been known to conquer cities armed to their arm pits.

    We were talking about depopulation, not capturing geographic control. Can you cite one example of depopulation of a well armed citizenry?

    @Norbert:

    It does not surprise you that *millions* of people, some of them much tougher than you will ever be, with *much* bigger guns, could not stop Hitler for several years?

    A small gun under every blade of grass is much more impenetrable against depopulation than big guns at strategic bulkheads.

    The rebels got their hands on heavy infantry weapons, and still ended up being slaughtered until the french took out Gaddafi’s artillery and tanks.

    My guess is that there were not millions who were armed and in environments with much natural cover for sniping and where tanks can’t go or go more slowly where they can be land mined. Again we were talking about depopulation, not strategic victories for control over geography.

    What’s a statist power vacuum supposed to be? The lack of centralized state power?

    I admitted up thread (and in prior blogs) the people will game the power vacuum where it can’t be eliminated with personal empowerment technology.

    I am not trying to convince you that the power vacuum doesn’t exist, rather that we recognize where it leads and this should motivate us to develop personal empowerment technology.

    It doesn’t help if you are disingenuous about the ramifications of the power vacuum, e.g. claiming depopulation is realistically possible in a well armed citizenry. Or claiming that the non-meritocracy of the power vacuum is not the enabler of the tyrants (by handing over power to the central authority and bankrupting the society with wrong incentives).

  388. > Fannie and Freddie have been delisted from the stock exchange, removing the fig leaf that
    > they were private corporations, which was always a mere pretense.
    A corporation stops being that when its shares are not traded on a stock exchange? Btw, the definition of a “private company” is basically that its not publically traded (like Koch Industries, for example). Being “not run by the government” is completely independent from this classification.

    > The July 30, 2008 law rescuing Fannie and Freddie increased the national debt ceiling and
    > provides that the authority of the U.S. Treasury to advance funds for the purpose of
    > stabilizing Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac is limited only by the amount of debt that the entire
    > federal government is permitted by law to commit to.
    Quite many companies were bailed out during that time, but that does not mean that any of these companies were handed blank checks for spending money as they like. And the money was not simply given away, but lend.
    > …is limited only by the amount of debt…
    So the US government can borrow money up to the debt ceiling, and do stuff with with it. It could borrow trillions and give the money to me, but that does not mean it has the obligation to do so, and nobody but you worries about it. Likewise, this mere possibility it doesn’t mean I can pay my bills with it.

    > The bailout almost instantly ran into that limit.
    Because the limit is calibrated to allow for the expected annual expenditures of the government, and does not take into account crisis situations.

    > Subsequently this limit was massively bypassed by the Federal reserve directly buying
    > Fannie’s debt, thus not limited by the amount of the debt that the federal government is
    > permitted by law to commit to.
    The limit was not “bypassed”, because this is monetary policy which has (almost) nothing to do with the government budget or it being funded with taxes and debt.
    You are always implying that F&F are simply given money, while actually only the creditor of the debt changes. All kinds of parties can profit from such an operation, usually through lower interest rates, and thereby supplying liquidity to an economy as a whole.
    Monetary policy is how the stork brings new money to an economy, and also how it is taken away again. Happens every day, and it makes absolutely no sense at all to single out F&F as a participant in such a transaction and paint them in a bad light. If you dislike monetary policy interventions by themselves then say so, but you characterisation auf F&F as a cesspool of overpaid government employees that can spend money without regard for profitability and cost effectiveness is pure fantasy. A fantasy which you are repeating again and again without giving the slightest reason beside your gut feelings.

    Don’t you understand what monetary policy is or do you simply not care?

  389. Different topic, but also not
    >> (Winter) Bombing works like a marvel. Armies have been known to conquer cities armed to their arm pits.
    > (Jad) If so, the Soviet Union would have won in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, with the result that it would still exist.
    The Soviet Union did not try to conquer Afghanistan, but to support its government against rebels. Otherwise it could have just killed everybody and be done with it. All victorious freedom fighters in every time period only won because they were hiding among civilians.
    And the SU dissolved as a consequence of internal liberalizations, which finally ended the almost century long abomination of stalinism. They were not defeated or anything like that.
    (Why this liberalization? Because it was Karl Marx who said “the freedom of a society is based on the freedom of each of its individuals”, and finally the right people remembered this).

  390. > > Fannie and Freddie have been delisted from the stock exchange, removing the fig leaf that
    > > they were private corporations, which was always a mere pretense.

    Norbert on Friday, May 3 2013 at 10:12 am said:
    > A corporation stops being that when its shares are not traded on a stock exchange?

    Rather, a corporation is not private when its board is appointed by the government, it is fully funded by the government, and its employees cannot be fired except by act of the legislature, no matter how much money the corporation loses or how badly they mess up, by which measure Fannie and Freddie were part of the federal government from day one, and their employees federal civil servants from day one.

    Listing on the stock exchange was always merely a fig leaf, to maintain a legal fiction of being non governmental, which fig leaf has now fallen off.

    > You are always implying that F&F are simply given money, while actually only the creditor of the debt changes.

    The federal reserve “lends” money to F&F that they cannot possibly repay, that no one expects will ever be repaid. This is simply a gift, and it is an off budget gift.

    F&F borrow money to cover operating expenses, but, for the most part they borrow money to make loans, usually worthless politically motivated loans.

    A political loan is a gift, since no one expects them to ever be repaid. So they are given money politically, off budget, and they give out money politically, off budget.

  391. Norbert on Friday, May 3 2013 at 10:31 am said:
    > The Soviet Union did not try to conquer Afghanistan, but to support its government against rebels.

    Immediately after moving its troops in to “support” the government, it arrested and executed the entire government (fellow communists) and installed a new government of more pliable communists.

  392. @Greg:
    >>Combine that with the feminist “empowerment”

    >Rather I would expect the causes to be more in use of steroids and growth hormones in
    >our meat and dairy, the TV, and the lack of family closeness caused in large part by
    >statism which allows people to ignore family and rely on the state as the backstop.

    Go back and read it again.

    I mention both physical and cultural factors to explain how a 10 year old could act in a sexual role, and be convincing. You are taking one of the cultural factors and trying to interpret it as a cause of the physical ones, which is… not correct.

  393. @Norbert:
    > You are always implying that F&F are simply given money, while actually only the creditor of the debt changes.

    Please stop now, it’s embarrassing. If you assume someone’s debts, you are giving them money. Afterward, they are richer and you are poorer.

  394. >> You are always implying that F&F are simply given money, while actually only the creditor of the debt changes.
    > Please stop now, it’s embarrassing.
    But still you don’t stop, so the urge to be right seems to be stronger than your fear of being embarrassed.
    > If you assume someone’s debts, you are giving them money. Afterward, they are richer and you are poorer.
    Only if you tear up the IOU. Whole businesses revolve around buying somebody else’s debt and then trying to get the money. This article
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/opinion/a-140-billion-iou.html?_r=0
    complains, that there is no plan at the moment when both GSEs will repay the principal (although they seem to pay interest) – but this also implies that the money is treated as outstanding debt to be repaid, and not as gift or whatever you’re thinking. Of course this is a very good deal for F&F at the moment, that’s why it’s called bailout. Nevertheless the amount is strictly limited, and not to be confused with both companies stock ownership, and also not with the Fed buying securities as a monetary instrument. I don’t know if they will ever pay the principal back, maybe not, but if they keep making money like the last 12 months there’s actually a good chance of that.
    Is I am really surprised how many people seem to get this wrong, not only here in this forum, but also in the general population. This stuff really shouldn’t be debatable, I guess you just read headlines and then fill in the blanks with your mental model of “how the government works”. Not that I expect you to take this serious and actually look for information that might contradict your beliefs.

  395. >> The Soviet Union did not try to conquer Afghanistan, but to support its government against rebels.
    > Immediately after moving its troops in to “support” the government, it arrested and executed
    > the entire government (fellow communists) and installed a new government of more pliable
    > communists.
    Which they then supported. I’m not saying it had a legitimate government before or after the invasion, or whatever you’re reading into this.

  396. Only if you tear up the IOU. Whole businesses revolve around buying somebody else’s debt and then trying to get the money. This article
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/opinion/a-140-billion-iou.html?_r=0
    complains, that there is no plan at the moment when both GSEs will repay the principal (although they seem to pay interest) – but this also implies that the money is treated as outstanding debt to be repaid, and not as gift or whatever you’re thinking.

    Wow, that article is shockingly honest- it only has a few direct falsehoods, and those thrown in just as gratuitous Bush bashing (like a ritual PBUH).

    I have to ask the question… are you seriously of the belief that all loans get repaid?

    The question of loans being repaid is important. If you lend money and the other guy doesn’t (or can’t) pay, that IOU in your pocket is not an asset, but your liability (the money you lent out) is very real. Thus lending standards are critically important.

    The whole POINT (which with your – is it deliberate? – childlike overly literal and credulous understanding of the issues, you seem to be missing) of the housing/lending crisis is that money lent out with no reasonable expectations of it being repaid, is money wasted, money that is *gone* and will never come back. Like making a “loan” to your alcoholic brother-in-law, who has a gambling problem.

    If money lent out cannot be expected to be repaid, then treating the IOU as if it had value is, to be blunt about it, fraud. And F&F’s ‘business model’ throughout the whole period of the housing bubble, was to buy up these bad IOU’s from other lenders, so those lenders had liquidity to lend more. Lather, rinse, repeat. So F&F spent enormous sums of money collecting effectively worthless IOU’s in the process of enabling banks to keep on with the process of bad but politically desirable lending.

    After the housing bubble, the entire banking system is in trouble because many institutions hold vast quantities of “assets” on their balance sheets that are really bad IOU’s. Banks are, dishonestly but out of necessity (because otherwise they would have to admit they’re insolvent) valuing these IOU’s at their face value- what they would be worth if the loans were repaid on schedule – rather than their real expected value – what creditors can actually expect to get paid. F&F are just extreme examples of this, and when they finally have to admit that the money is gone and they’re not going to get repaid the losses will be (already are, but the issue is *admitting* it) stupendous.

  397. @Norbert:
    Which they then supported.

    You’re funny. You may not realize it.

    It doesn’t work here, sorry.

  398. > Rather, a corporation is not private when its board is appointed by the government,
    I don’t think they replaced the whole board, but even if, what do you expect majority stockholders to do?

    > it is fully
    > funded by the government,
    They own less than 80%, operating expenses are financed by revenue

    > and its employees cannot be fired except by act of the
    > legislature, no matter how much money the corporation loses or how badly they mess up,
    This
    http://www.americanbanker.com/bulletins/-1029882-1.html
    talks about layoffs in 2011 in both companies, presumably to lower operating expenses. They are expecting a new round of layoffs at this very moment:
    http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/dailybriefing/2010_237/freddie-begins-layoffs-1022466-1.html
    There were much bigger changes in 2009, 500 people lost their job when Fannie Mae changed their business strategy:
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-01-23/business/36869377_1_home-foreclosures-fannie-plans-fannie-mae
    The last sentence in this article reads:
    “Many people went to work there for decades, lured by a job related to housing and a steady income in the *private* sector.”
    Here a website where people rate current and former employers:
    http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Fannie-Mae/reviews
    Interestingly, on employee lists on of the downsides of his job there
    “belief that the government owns the company and other misperceptions that go unchallenged”

    So not only do they fire lots of employees, they even do it with the explicit goal to increase their profits. Is this typical for government jobs?

    > by
    > which measure Fannie and Freddie were part of the federal government from day one, and
    > their employees federal civil servants from day one.
    Since the description of F&Fs characteristics you gave are clearly and demonstrably wrong,
    – will you accept now, that they are not part of the government and their employees are not civil servants
    – or simply keep your beliefs, start talking about a media conspiracy and damn the torpedoes?

    >Listing on the stock exchange was always merely a fig leaf, to maintain a legal fiction of being
    > non governmental, which fig leaf has now fallen off.
    Yeah, thought so.

    >> You are always implying that F&F are simply given money, while actually only the creditor of the debt changes.

    The federal reserve “lends” money to F&F that they cannot possibly repay, that no one expects will ever be repaid.
    Why not? They are quite profitable at the moment.
    > This is simply a gift, and it is an off budget gift.
    No, read up on “lender of last resort” and “monetary policy”.

    > F&F borrow money to cover operating expenses, but, for the most part they borrow money
    > to make loans, usually worthless politically motivated loans.
    Like many companies they borrowed money during the crisis, while you seem to suggest that they are no “real” business that earns money. They buy, insure and sell mortgages. They have very explicit rules for what mortgages they judge OK and will buy, and the rules are even embodied in a piece of software, which mortgage sellers can use to determine if F&F will buy.
    If you know of any acts of corruption, where these rules were circumvented for political gains, name them. Due to their size and transaction volume I’m sure there were irregularities, but it’s silly to claim that this is their business model.

    > A political loan is a gift, since no one expects them to ever be repaid.
    You have shown yourself completely ignorant of the actual facts of the GSE bailout, their relationship to the government, their legal status, the status of their employees, their business model and earnings, yet you are very sure about which loans F&F are going to pay back or not.

    > So they are given
    > money politically, off budget,
    They were bailed out, and the Fed is buying securities they issue, both in response to the housing crisis, so what? That you have wrong ideas about their business model is neither the fault of F&F nor the governments. Using your own definition of “political” is a cheap trick to suggest sinister motivations, and will be noted, indexed and judged by the google god.

    > and they give out money politically, off budget.
    A completely new, surprising and baseless claim. Whom are F&F “giving” money to that they won’t be able to recover? Let me guess – blacks?
    And if it’s “off budget” then your are claiming knowledge of a crime, so be a little bit more specific, please. More specific than “Fannie and Freddie are giving money to minorities so they vote democrat” or similar nonsense.

    I think I have demonstrated well enough, that in this case your criticism is not grounded in facts, but the result of ideological beliefs together with a lack of knowledge of economics and simple political facts. As I said, I’m not going to convince you of anything, but it should serve other readers as an exemplary warning that your unusual convictions and opinions really have no connection with reality whatsoever, that your arguments are logically weak and that you invent whatever facts seem convenient to support your claims.
    Be glad that I have a life and will refrain from taking apart your “statistic skillz” as you present them in your blog.

  399. Norbert:
    > or simply keep your beliefs, start talking about a media conspiracy and damn the torpedoes?

    In the case of Fannie and Freddie, official truth was always glaring contrary to actual observable truth. You keep citing official facts, I keep pointing at observable facts. Fannie and Freddie were never private corporations. They always lost stupendous amounts of money, and no one ever cared, because it was government money from day one and everyone knew it was government money from day one.

    Peter J. Wallison was worrying about the huge off budget government deficit that they were piling up back in 2003. In 2004 he was proposing privatizing them, in order to stop the off budget losses, which presupposes that everyone knows perfectly well that they are not private and never where.

  400. In the 2004 debate on privatizing Fannie and Freddie the deficit hawks complained that Fannie and Freddie were running up one hell of an off budget deficit, which implicitly presupposes them to be a branch of the government, and some of them, in particular Peter J. Wallison proposed to privatize them to stop the losses, which explicitly presupposes them to be a branch of the Government.

    The Democrat response was that if Fannie and Freddie were privatized, the government would not be able to help the poor and perform various worthy activities, without the costs of those activities appearing on the budget, which implicitly admits what they explicitly denied – that Fannie and Freddy branches of the government that were pissing away lots of money.

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