What It’s Like Living in California Now

What It’s Like Living in California Now, by AwakenWithJP. This is pretty good, in a bitter-sweet way:

Mankind, beginning with England in 1750, only recently escaped Malthusian conditions. For eons, the number of humans grew to match the food supply, and further population growth was limited by starvation. This kept living standards low. There were only minor variations in living standards before 1750, as measured in calories or the time required to obtain those calories.

But then the modern miracle occurred, as technological development powered by WEIRD European people outran population growth. For the first time in human history, there was plenty to eat and mass obesity become a problem. One group cracked the problem, and shared it with everyone.

But since 1970 technological progress has noticeably slowed, social policies encourage smarter women to have fewer kids (“idiocracy”), living standards have been declining slightly in the West, and some parts of the global population continue to grow fast. The group that cracked the problem is increasingly reviled.

 

Black lives matter

 

It is by no means inevitable that humanity will return to Malthusian conditions, and given our current knowledge and technology it seems far fetched.

But still, you have to wonder at times. California is in most ways the most advanced society on the planet. If mankind were on a path leading back to Malthusian poverty after a brief few centuries of flowering, what would it look like? What would be the early signs? They would look a lot like the video above.

Suicide of the Liberals: Revolutions never succeed without the support of the wealthy, liberal, and educated — who are then killed

Suicide of the Liberals: Revolutions never succeed without the support of the wealthy, liberal, and educated — who are then killed. By Gary Morson.

Waiting for the excesses of today’s left to abate as common sense asserts itself? Judging by this historical precedent, don’t hold your breath.

Between 1900 and 1917, waves of unprecedented terror struck Russia. Several parties professing incompatible ideologies competed (and cooperated) in causing havoc. Between 1905 and 1907, nearly 4,500 government officials and about as many private individuals were killed or injured. Between 1908 and 1910, authorities recorded 19,957 terrorist acts and revolutionary robberies, doubtless omitting many from remote areas. As the foremost historian of Russian terrorism, Anna Geifman, observes, “Robbery, extortion, and murder became more common than traffic accidents.”

Anyone wearing a uniform was a candidate for a bullet to the head or sulfuric acid to the face. Country estates were burnt down (“rural illuminations”) and businesses were extorted or blown up. Bombs were tossed at random into railroad carriages, restaurants, and theaters. Far from regretting the death and maiming of innocent bystanders, terrorists boasted of killing as many as possible, either because the victims were likely bourgeois or because any murder helped bring down the old order. A group of anarcho-­communists threw bombs laced with nails into a café bustling with two hundred customers in order “to see how the foul bourgeois will squirm in death agony.”

Instead of the pendulum’s swinging back — a metaphor of inevitability that excuses people from taking a stand — the killing grew and grew, both in numbers and in cruelty. Sadism replaced simple killing. … One group threw “traitors” into vats of boiling water. Others were still more inventive. Women torturers were especially admired.

 

 

The politically correct elite aided and abetted the terrorists, but were the first to be killed after the revolution:

How did educated, liberal society respond to such terrorism?

What was the position of the Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) Party and its deputies in the Duma (the parliament set up in 1905)?

Though Kadets advocated democratic, constitutional procedures, and did not themselves engage in ­terrorism, they aided the terrorists in any way they could. Kadets collected money for terrorists, turned their homes into safe houses, and called for total amnesty for arrested terrorists who pledged to continue the mayhem.

Doesn’t this sound like today’s Democratic Party?

Kadet Party central committee member N. N. Shchepkin declared that the party did not regard terrorists as criminals at all, but as saints and martyrs. The official Kadet paper … never published an article condemning political assassination. The party leader, Paul Milyukov, declared that “all means are now legitimate . . . and all means should be tried.” When asked to condemn terrorism, another liberal leader in the Duma, Ivan Petrunkevich, famously replied: “Condemn terror? That would be the moral death of the party!”

Not just lawyers, teachers, doctors, and engineers, but even industrialists and bank directors raised money for the terrorists. Doing so signaled advanced opinion and good manners.

Too PC to see it coming:

A quote attributed to Lenin — “When we are ready to kill the capitalists, they will sell us the rope” — would have been more accurately rendered as: “They will buy us the rope and hire us to use it on them.”

True to their word, when the Bolsheviks gained control, their organ of terror, the Cheka, “liquidated” members of all opposing parties, beginning with the Kadets.

Why didn’t the liberals and businessmen see it coming? That question has bothered many students of revolutionary movements.

Revolutions never succeed without the support of wealthy, liberal, educated society. Yet revolutionaries seldom conceal that their success entails the seizure of all wealth, the suppression of dissenting opinion, and the murder of class enemies.

Read it all.

The parallels and similarities with the developing US situation are obvious. Different time and place, but human nature hasn’t changed.

Are Liberals Responsible For the Consequences of Their Death Threats?

Are Liberals Responsible For the Consequences of Their Death Threats? By John Hinderaker.

Incendiary and violent language is used constantly by liberals, including the most important Democratic politicians. Thus, no one should have been surprised when Bernie Sanders volunteer James Hodgkinson tried to assassinate a group of Republican House members in 2017, and would have succeeded in killing Steve Scalise but for the miracles of modern medicine.

Since Hodgkinson’s assassination attempt, things have only gotten worse. Implied or explicit death threats from liberals, not just random nobodies on Twitter and Facebook but people with standing in the liberal world, have become rather common.

The latest case in point is Nils Gilman, who may be a nut but is also employed by the Berggruen Institute, which according to Wikipedia has an endowment of $500 million and annual revenue of $17 million. He also has 14,000 Twitter followers. So he is a liberal of recognized stature in the Democratic Party, not just a social media troll.

On Monday, Gilman tweeted a death threat against Michael Anton of the Claremont Institute:

Robert Brasillach was a Frenchman who was executed by a firing squad in 1945. So Gilman said, clearly and unequivocally, that Anton should be shot.

Michael Anton has some interesting things to say, which we’ve quoted from on the Wentworth Report here, here, here and here. The leftist counter-argument is to threaten to kill him. How progressive!

Trump Wants Supreme Court Justice Confirmed ASAP to Counter Democrats’ Election ‘Scam’

Trump Wants Supreme Court Justice Confirmed ASAP to Counter Democrats’ Election ‘Scam’, by Tyler O’Neil.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called for the Senate to confirm his Supreme Court nominee as quickly as possible, insisting that the Supreme Court needs to be at full strength to counter the “scam” Democrats plan to pull in the 2020 election.

“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court,” the president said of the election …

Trump argued that “we have a lot of time” to confirm a justice. If the president submits his nomination on Saturday, he will have 38 days before Election Day. The Senate has confirmed two justices in a time period shorter than that: the body took 19 days to confirm John Paul Stevens and another 33 days to confirm Sandra Day O’Connor. The Senate confirmed Ruth Bader Ginsburg in only 42 days.

Trump referenced the John Paul Stevens window in his remarks. “One justice was picked in 19 days–19 days! We could do four at that rate or five,” he said. “And we have a lot of time–before the election and then you have after the election too.”

“But in terms of time, we can go to January 20th, but I think it’s better if you go before the election because I think…this scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court,” the president added.

If Republicans and Democrats must litigate the election results at the Supreme Court, Trump said he would prefer to have all nine seats filled.

“I think having a four-four situation is not a good situation …”

Mitt Romney gives GOP numbers to confirm Supreme Court nominee, by Cameron Stewart.

Senate Republicans have secured the numbers needed to confirm a new Supreme Court nominee before the US presidential election in a major win for the Trump administration and American conservatives.

Although the confirmation process will be rushed, Republicans believe they will be able to confirm a new conservative judge to the court before the November 3 election, giving the nation’s highest court a 6-3 conservative majority.

Playing for the team, this time

Republicans were all but guaranteed the 50 Senate votes required to confirm a new justice after Republican senator and Trump critic Mitt Romney said he would vote to confirm a new judge to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Senator Romney, who voted to convict the president on one impeachment charge early this year, said on Wednesday (AEST) he was willing to vote on Mr Trump’s nominee regardless of the proximity of the election.

Senator Murkowski, who was also suspected of voting with the Democrats on this, is wavering. In any case, it looks like Trump has the Senate support he needs to ensure a speedy conformation of his nominee.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle test limits of royal protocol by advocating Americans to vote

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle test limits of royal protocol by advocating Americans to vote, by Cameron Stewart.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have tested the limits of royal protocol by advocating Americans to vote in the “most important election of our lifetime’’, in comments that appear to be directed against Donald Trump.

Neither the Duke or Duchess of Sussex mention Trump or his opponent Joe Biden by name, although Prince Harry urges voters to reject ‘hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”.

The comments, in a video to mark Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, follows reports that Meghan Markle has been cold calling Americans to urge them to vote to help elect Biden.

Royal protocol is for members of the royal family to avoid politics although both Prince Harry and Ms Markle have stepped down from their roles and have moved to the US. …

Famed Feminist Gloria Steinem said Ms Markle had been active in helping to elect Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

“(Markle) came home to vote,’’ Steinem told TV’s Access Hollywood in an online video, noting that the pair had met up at Steinem’s home. “And the first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table here, where I am right now, and cold-called voters. And said, ‘Hello, I’m Meg,’ and, ‘Hello, I’m Gloria,’ and, ‘Are you going to vote? That was her initiative,’’ Steinem said.

What further proof is needed that the Left is now the party of the rich and the establishment?

A repeat of 2016 would reveal the centre-Left as having no response to populism

A repeat of 2016 would reveal the centre-Left as having no response to populism, by Matthew Goodwin.

According to the latest snapshots the race is still Joe Biden’s to lose. The Democratic challenger is enjoying average leads of more than six points in the national polls and four points across the all-important battleground states. Today, Trump leads in just three crunch states: Georgia, Iowa and Texas. If the polls are correct, then the path that Trump took to victory four years ago is simply no longer available. …

But the bookies give him only a 54% chance …

What if today’s extreme leftism and identity group politics fail again at the ballot box?

Since the revolts of 2016, liberalism has essentially had two opportunities to reply to the new alliance of cultural conservatives and national populists: the first was through the Brexit culture war; the second is through today’s campaign against Trump’s re-election.

The first went disastrously wrong. Rather than engage meaningfully and seriously with what Brexit represented, a request for change, liberals did all they could to block the vote outright, overturn it or dilute it so that it was largely indistinguishable from the status quo.

Along the way, they repeatedly derided and dismissed the other side as racists and relics from the past. The failure of liberalism to rise to the occasion and chart a more constructive path forward was then reflected in what happened next: Boris Johnson’s comprehensive victory, the worst Labour vote since 1935, and the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If, after four long years, this winter the Democrats similarly fail to articulate a compelling, convincing and successful reply to Trump-ism, then alongside recent events in Britain this will confirm that liberalism is in a much deeper crisis than people thought four years ago.

Aside from exposing the fact that “anti-populist” campaigns are on their own insufficient, a Biden defeat, coming so soon after Brexit, would throw light on a glaring absence of ideas that might otherwise be capable of maintaining or even saving the liberal project.

This is the most significant but acrimonious US election for decades. If the left loses again, will they reverse course on identity politics or any items of grand strategy?

Or will today’s white left continue stacking the electorate with third worlders? If so, they will inevitably watch their country being ruled by the new immigrants, not by them. Will the US then become just another “world culture”, perhaps preceding a slide back towards the Malthusian economy that was mankind’s lot until 1750? Will humanity’s bright spark only last three centuries, before being dimmed and overwhelmed by the new mouths to feed?

The Reverse-Colonization of France

The Reverse-Colonization of France, by Guy Millière.

Lyon, the third largest city in France, July 20, 3 a.m. A middle-class neighborhood. A young woman walks her dog on a quiet street. A car arrives at high speed and crushes her dog. The driver stops, backs up, runs over the young woman and crushes her too. He goes forward again, at full speed, and drags her dead body half a mile. People awakened by the noise write down the license number of the car. The police officers who come to the scene are horrified. The young woman’s body was dismembered. A leg was found on one side of the street; the rest of her body was shredded. One arm was close to the body of her dog. The other was still holding onto the dog’s leash. Her name was Axelle Dorier. She was a nurse, only 23.

 

 

The French Department of Justice asked the police not to release the name of the killer. An anonymous policeman released it anyway on a social network site. The killer’s name is Youssef T. He was driving under the influence, without a license. The prosecutor charged him with “reckless murder”. He is in jail awaiting trial. He risks a maximum sentence of ten years. Residents of Lyon wanted to organize a peaceful march to pay tribute to the young nurse. They asked the government to get tough on crime. The young woman’s parents objected: they said they have “have no hatred” for the killer. …

Just like us??

Equally horrific acts, increasingly numerous, have been taking place every day in France, many times, for years. The perpetrators are usually young adults in their late teens or early twenties. All are immigrants from the Muslim world. They are not Islamists and have no political or religious motives. They generally show no remorse.

They are described by the psychiatrists examining them as “practicing gratuitous violence”: a violence without a goal other than enjoying inflicting violence. They appear to have no respect for human life or for laws. …

Submission:

Sometimes, as with Axelle Dorier, submitting is not possible: she did not have any contact with her killer until the moment he crushed her. Sometimes — if you are, say, a bus driver or part of the police force — your job does not allow you to submit.

The families of the victims, however, can submit, and often do just that. They are then showered with congratulations from political authorities and the media.

Days after the terrorist attack at the Bataclan Theater in Paris in 2015, Antoine Leiris, the husband of a woman horribly tortured and killed inside the music hall, posted a letter to the terrorists on Facebook. He said he understood their motives and does not hate them. He added that he is not angry and has to continue living his life. The letter was immediately shared by hundreds of thousands on social media. A publishing company asked the author of the letter to add elements to the letter and make it into a book. The book, called “Vous n’aurez pas ma haine” (“You Will Not Have My Hate”), became an instant bestseller. …

Asking the police and the media not to give the name of killers is an attempt to hide the truth and prevent the public from knowing exactly who in France is committing these acts. Hiding the name shows a desire to appease the killers: when a killer has a Christian name, it is immediately printed on the front page. Hiding the name shows fear of the communities to which the killers belong and of anger among the rest of the French population.

 

One is a real President, the other merely a resident of the presidential palace

 

The political authorities do the same. They know that Muslim votes matter more than ever. Commenting on the murders of Axelle Dorier, Mélanie Lemée and Philippe Monguillot, President Emmanuel Macron called them “incivilities” and “regrettable”, then quickly fled to another subject.

Only Marine Le Pen, leader of the rightist National Rally Party, sounded firmer: “What level of barbarism must we reach for the French to say stop to this increasing savagery in our society? How many policemen, gendarmes, bus drivers, slaughtered young girls or boys does it take?” Immediately, the mainstream media accused her of pouring fuel on the fire and being an irresponsible extremist.

Immigration without assimilation is colonization:

“France is undergoing reverse colonization,” commented a journalist, Éric Zemmour, on television.

“Populations coming mainly from countries formerly colonized by France have settled in France without any intention of integrating. Most of them live in neighborhoods where the laws of Islam now reign and where imams spread hatred of France. Successive governments have allowed these neighborhoods to grow in the belief that hatred of France and the French would not come out of these neighborhoods.

“The hatred of France and the French did come out and took the form of riots and terrorism. It now takes the form of assaults and murders: a generalized expression of hatred of France and the French. And in a gesture of submission, the French authorities say that hatred does not emanate from those who kill, but from those who want to react and say that we must put an end to assaults and murders. It is a suicidal attitude.” …

The French swamp sides with the invaders:

[In June] in Paris, another demonstration took place: in support of the family of Adama Traoré, an African criminal who died while violently resisting arrest. That demonstration was also banned by the government, and the police again ordered not to intervene.

“Death to France,” the protesters shouted, and sometimes, “Dirty Jews”. Neither the government nor the mainstream media were shocked.

French youths people belonging to Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity), a movement for the defense of France and Western civilization, stood on a roof and held up a banner saying, “Justice for the victims of anti-white racism”. A man climbed on the roof of the building, in an apparent to destroy the banner. During interviews by television stations he was described for days as a hero of the “fight against fascism.” The French youths who had held the banner, meanwhile, were arrested and charged with “incitement to hatred”.

 

 

Some of the assumptions behind rapid immigration and multiculturalism are not working out, and it will cost us dearly. Chalk these victims up to immigration from alien cultures, or to Islam?

hat-tip Stephen Harper

Blue Truth Matters

Blue Truth Matters, by Heather MacDonald.

The Black Lives Matter movement trades on Americans’ ignorance about the demographics of criminal offending. As long as that ignorance prevails, BLM’s anti-cop narrative will continue destroying the institutions of law and order.

Activists and their media enablers present racial disparities in police activity — be it stops, arrests, or officer use of force — as prima facie evidence of police bias. They generate those racial disparities by comparing policing data to population ratios. …

Blacks in New York City commit over 70% of all drive-by shootings, according to the victims of, and witnesses to, those shootings, who are overwhelmingly minority themselves. Add Hispanic shootings to black shootings and you account for nearly 100% of all shootings in New York City.

These numbers mean that virtually every time an officer gets a “shots fired” call over his radio, he is being called to a minority neighborhood, on behalf of a minority victim, and being given the description of a minority suspect, if anyone is cooperating with the police for once. The cops don’t wish this reality into being. It is forced upon them by the facts of crime.

Such disparities exist in every American city. In Chicago, blacks commit about 80% of all shootings and murders, and whites less than 2%, though both blacks and whites are each a little less than a third of the population. In St. Louis, blacks commit up to 100% of all homicides, though they are less than 50% of the population.

Officers cannot use their lawful powers of enforcement, in other words, without having a disparate impact on blacks, since blacks commit the lion’s share of violent street crime. These crime disparities also have large implications for police use of force. Officers are far more likely to encounter armed, violent, and resisting suspects in minority neighborhoods. …

The American public is clueless about how disproportionate violent street crime is. Even hearing the numbers makes many well-meaning whites uncomfortable, though no one seems to cringe when law enforcement is accused of a reign of racist terror. …

To test the broader narrative that blacks are under lethal threat from generalized white supremacy, police departments should publish data on interracial victimization, comparing black-on-white with white-on-black crime. Nationally, blacks commit 88% of all interracial victimization between blacks and whites, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

BLM is a big lie, in the grand Marxist tradition.

‘Front Row Kids’ and values have taken over our courts

‘Front Row Kids’ and values have taken over our courts, by Glenn Reynolds.

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, we heard a lot about America’s division into two mutually hostile camps: a largely coastal, urban party run by educated elites, and a largely rural and suburban “flyover country” party composed of people who did not attend elite schools and who do not see themselves as dependent on those who do. This divide is more fundamental than mere partisan identification, as there are Democrats and Republicans in both groups.

One of the best formulations of this division comes from photographer Chris Arnade, who has spent years documenting the lives of America’s forgotten classes.

In his characterization, America is split between the “Front Row Kids” — who did well in school; moved to managerial, financial or political jobs; and see themselves as the natural rulers of their fellow citizens — and the “Back Row Kids,” who placed less emphasis on school; and who resent the pretensions and bossiness of the Front Row Kids.

While teaching constitutional law after the election, it occurred to me that though the Back Row Kids can elect whomever they want as president, senators or representatives, there is one branch of the federal government (and all state governments) that is, more or less by its nature, limited to Front Row Kids: the judiciary.

The judicial branch has been the domain of people who are not merely highly educated, but educated in the particular way that law schools educate. They are, in short, Front Row Kids of the first order.

After realizing that, my march through the decisions of the Warren court and its successors took on a different flavor. Again and again, seen through the lens of this class divide, important decisions look like decisions on behalf of the Front Row Kids.

In the famous Goldberg v. Kelly case granting due-process hearings before the termination of welfare benefits, the Supreme Court looks to have been holding on behalf of poor and uneducated people. Yet it turns out that the actual beneficiaries are the highly educated: social workers and lawyers who are paid out of welfare agency budgets. Likewise, the court’s treatment of everything from reproductive rights to legislative apportionment has reflected Front Row priorities.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has become more and more elite. Increasingly, judges aren’t just law school graduates, they’re graduates of the most elite law schools. And that goes double for the Supreme Court, where everyone is a graduate of Harvard or Yale except for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who got her degree from that scrappy Ivy League upstart Columbia.

There’s nothing wrong with thoroughbreds as such, and if the court decided only narrow technical issues of law none of this would matter. But some of the most important social issues of the day come before the court, and given its members’ insularity, the problem is not just that Back Row America’s values won’t be considered — it’s that the court might not even realize it’s ignoring them.

Judicial activism now means that the US Supreme Court decides some government policies.

But the members of the Court  are chosen for their narrow technical skills. They do not represent people, or have wide and diverse backgrounds.

The current tool was not designed for its new job. Something has to give.

Minority Rule

Minority Rule, by the Z-Man.

One of the defining features of post-Cold War America is that public policy no longer reflects public sentiment. …

Plenty is done in the name of the people, but precious little is favored by the majority of the people. Instead, public policy debates are about breaking down majority opposition in service to minority interests. …

Much of what vexes the current age is the sense by all factions that their interests are no longer represented. The Left is convinced that nefarious forces are preventing the majority from putting the Left into power. That may be delusional, but they believe it to be true, which is what matters. The Right, broadly defined to mean everyone not on the Left, believes their majority interests are ignored. …

Health care is a great example of how minorities rule majorities. Every comma in the regulatory code has a dedicated constituency behind it. Their existence depends on the part of the code that created them, so they ferociously defend it. The millions of lines of regulatory code have thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of little bands guarding their bit of code from anything resembling reform. The only thing these tribes are sure to agree upon is that change is never good.

This is why both parties intuitively opposed Trump’s wall project. On the one hand, lots of those little constituencies feared it threatened their turf. If we had a really good barrier system like Israel, maybe we don’t need as many border agents. Maybe we don’t need as many bureaucrats in the illegal alien processing system. It may sound far-fetched, but every state has prison guard unions that lobby their state to pass laws, because more laws means more criminals, which means more prisons. …

It is why the Covid stuff could be permanent. In just six months new industries have sprung to life serving the demands of Covid regulations. Businesses have had to reorganize in order to operate under these regulations. They have already absorbed the costs of compliance. They have no incentive to go back to the old way. Of course, an army of “health and safety professionals” are rising up like a zombie army. They will fight tooth and claw to maintain this new environment. …

The majority cannot put their finger on a single thing their government does for them, but is spoiled for choice when looking for things the government does in spite of them. To the natural majority, it seems as if the ruling class is deliberately avoiding that which should be easy. Their incompetence and sclerosis are increasingly seen as deliberate. Like [pre-revolutionary] France, we are drifting from general unhappiness to a crisis of legitimacy that is increasingly personalized.

Which is fertile territory for a party of complaints, like the left.

Young people, especially, are feeling hard done by. Two centuries after we finally broke free of the Malthusian economy, living standards are no longer rising. They probably peaked in about 1971,  and have been falling slightly ever since.

The huge bubble in manufacturing money since 1982 has been great for asset shufflers and home owners, but has frozen most young people out of the property market. With modern technology and productivity, how come a home takes half a career’s earnings to buy? Crazy.

Is it so bad that we should roll the dice on ripping it up and trying something new? A rising number of people think so.