October 25, 2017

Some Thoughts on the Politics of the Moment

He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
— Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.
— Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
— Christopher Dawson

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
— George Orwell: Animal Farm (Last line)

I may elaborate on this later. 

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September 22, 2017

Something That Reassuringly Bucks the Gestalt of the Age

Here's a right-winger and a left-winger who disagree on much, having a rational and friendly conversation about the issues of the day.

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September 04, 2017

It is Not Entirely Clear When or Why They Dropped the "Don't" From Their Mission Statement

...but assuming it was ever really there in the first place, I imagine that the conversation between Larry Page and his underlings was something along these lines...




Yeah, I'm revisiting this, but it seems a topic of legitimate concern in light of yet more recent events and revelations

It's especially troubling given the nature of Google in the context of certain developments abroad...

 Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how "trustworthy” you are.

In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticising the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points. And in this world, your score becomes the ultimate truth of who you are – determining whether you can borrow money, get your children into the best schools or travel abroad; whether you get a room in a fancy hotel, a seat in a top restaurant – or even just get a date.

This is where we're heading, as soon as the party most in tune with the techweasels regains power, and when that happens I fear the yoke may be too heavy for society to throw off. 

Orwell, was writing cautionary tales, the tech giants see them as utopian fantasies. 

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July 05, 2017

...and They Did it on the Fourth of July

Let me just put this here...




...because, yeah, it needs to stay up.

So, in the aftermath of some recent CNN scandals, including CNN employees being caught on camera admitting that the Trump/Russia story is pretty much a nothingburger set up to garner ratings and undermine the administration AND CNN not only retracting a rather libelous story about Trump and his associates, but firing the reporters and editor involved, one Trump fan took this clip from some WrestleMania and photoshopped in the CNN logo. Trump retweeted it. 

One might think that CNN would (after such a dreadful series of self inflicted credibility debacles) react to Trunp's crude but silly victory lap with a bit of good natured contrition. 


CNN is staffed by aristocrats who dine upon free range pheasant and whose lips will never touch crow.

No. CNN tracked down the Trump fan who made the .gif and....

 CNN's 'KFILE' publisher Andrew Kaczynski wrote the network would not be publishing the identity of the user "because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, [that] showed his remorse."

"CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change," Kaczynski warned in his article.  
Emphasis mine...obviously.

Lets see if we can...translate this.

Nice life you've got there...be a shame if someone were to uhh..doxx you and let all 'dem people in the black masks with the bike locks and the,uh, lettah openahs know where your family lives, where your kids go to school, and where you work. It'd just break our hears if your employer suddenly became the subject of a twitter mob and found employing a suddenly unpopular fellow like you....bad for business. But, hey...we gots an offer for youse...One ya can't refuse. 


Meanwhile...

North Korea just fired off a missile that can hit Alaska. If it was a 2 stage missile, then a three stage version ought to be able to hit anywhere in the U.S.A.
Russia is up to no good.
China seems to be basing their foreign policy on the East India Company. (oh the endless ironies of life) and are a major strategic foe. 
The various subsets of radical Islam seek to kill, convert or enslave us all.
M-13 and other gangs rampage across our country and kill our citizens. 

None of those threaten our freedoms like the notion that our lives can be ruined by weaponized social media because we said something that a powerful person found offensive. 
I don't know who this guy is other than that he apparently shitposts on Reddit. 
There is a high probability that he is a douche.  
That's not the issue. 

 
Now, Trump's tweeting is cancer. It is an oozing zit upon the face of the presidency. Many of his tweets are ill considered stupid and counterproductive. While this was not one of those tweets in my opinion, opinions may vary on that point.
It doesn't matter, because that is not the issue.

This is... 

A massive media conglomorate decided to hunt down a private citizen and destroy his life because he published a crude commentary ON THEIR MISBEHAVIOR. Furthermore, the implied threats they use, of censure, becoming unemployable and, (never directly expressed, but very much understood) extrajudicial violence and intimidation are not how we do things in a republic.

 This sort of thing has been going on for at least 5 years....

 
...but it seems to be picking up speed now. 

This is how totalitarian societies come about. 

When people become to afraid to exercize free speech, free speech is dead.
 

CNN is a private corporation This cannot be fixed by legislation, as the ability to interfere editorially is exactly the power we don't want the government to have. Extortion is a possible existing charge of course, but such a prosecution might have worrisome precedents. 

This needs to be met with public outcry. We as a society need to make it plain that this will not stand. 

Whether we still, as a society possess the understanding of Civics to grasp the importance of this is unclear. 

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May 22, 2017

Minor Nobles of Exquisite Breeding and Dubious Charachter

Sarah Hoyt has a thoughtful piece up on aristocracy and class. 

Mostly because Europe still largely thinks in "Classes” — I know, I was born and raised there — and those of us in whose mind it doesn’t fit easily always felt weird about it.

Guys, we’re starting to feel weird about what the US is doing too.
I do urge you to read it in full. Like a lot of the products of Hoyt's MENSA mind it goes down a lot of different paths before before having them all begin to merge. 

Her piece brought to mind an exchange I had with a professor this past semester. 
The professor in question is a damned good one and teaches an extremely interesting class on the history of technology, which she comes at from very nonintuitive and thought provoking directions. At one point we were discussing the politics of late 19th century tech and she asked "Who is the left?" After a brief back and forth, she provided her answer "Cosmopolitans!" Her position was that the left is constitutionally cosmopolitan as they are able to make common cause with people around the world without regard to national boundaries. This is not actually that far off, though it glosses over a bit. In particular she was very keen on pushing the internationalist aspect as opposed to any meaningful connection to the the origins of the word in the French Revolution. However, both are entwined closely. 

For centuries Europe had a feudal system where a lord would run a small fiefdom and there would be various interactions with other aristocratic families, usually power related, but these guys ran the place. However, as fiefdoms merged into principalities and principalities into kingdoms and occasionally empires the power of the nobility waned. As the early policy in some regions of kings being elected gave way to primogeniture, the nobles became locked in, unable to advance, except at the expense of some other family, or perhaps in the event of a succession crisis, an invasion or coup. Then some of those damned commoners began making far more efficiently than any conceivable taxes on one's tenants. This was the merchant class, and they began creating wealth hand over fist and in some cases, like the Hanseatic League surpassed kingdoms in wealth, and certain aspects of power. Of course, to the nobles this was a great injustice. After all, they had legitimacy through their bloodline. These dirty capitalists selling cod of all things and gaining wealth without having first secured noble parentage were...CHEATING! 

 This being based on accident of birth,  a litany of effete' social standards were set up to distinguish themselves from those who could not appreciate the magnificent blueness of the noble's blood. Their identity was not being common and so they shunned all things that had any trappings of the average people of their kingdom. On the other hand they tended to resent the upper aristocracy, who were a hard limit on their ascendance, indeed, an invasion or power struggle where a noble chose astutely to change loyalties could result in a major increase in stature. And of course these people had a white hot burning hatred for what we now refer to as capitalism as it enable even the basest people who were clever and assiduous to rise most distressingly...with no regard to ancestry. 

When speaking of groups it is important to remember that they consist of unique individuals with the God given potential to develop their characters in any direction. However, in general, the minor nobility (of Europe in particular) became  an insecure, status-obsessed group of inbreds whose social position above the hoi polloi was based on...not being of the hoi polloi. They were inclined to deeply resent their leaders and despise free markets, the latter because they threatened them by allowing an alternative avenue to mobility that did not pass through the nobles social register. They flaunted social mores to the extent they did not alarm the upper aristocracy because they could get away with it in a way that the commoners and the merchants (who were mostly commoners themselves) could not, this becoming a marker of their status and further establishing their position above those hated groups.

Obviously, this is a gross generalization, this class of people who had leisure time and nothing to do did produce some who applied themselves to non-despiseable eccentricities. (See Newton, Issac). 

However, by and large we are talking about a social class that was pretty much worthless and hated everything. 

Well not quite. They had much more in common with their fellow members of the minor nobility club in their country and others. So you had this group of people who had far greater affinity for people of similar status in other countries than they did with their own countrymen who they tended to despise as base and provincial in comparison to the ever so interesting different trappings of other countries...nobility.

 Now even the most venal of us want to feel that we are good and noble. So the minor nobility twisted their noblesse oblige into a contemptuous pity for and desire to "help" (but not actually grant respectability to) the commoners. Now they often had no actual comprehension of how these people lived or what would help them. However, if the nobles were ever presented with the opportunity to remove their mask and express their sincerest and most heartfelt impressions to the king and his upper level aristocrats then the hoi polloi had the potential to not merely be objects of pity and charity, but could be most useful. If, after such a transpiration of events, the commoners were ungrateful or forgot their place, well, ' if the Vendee can't be a good example they can be a teaching moment'.

Fortunately, even before the Vendee was bathed in cruor, the founders of our country had provided us with a way to avoid this unfortunate societal dynamic. Title of Nobility Clause means we don't have nobility. For generations our upper classes tended to be people who moved up through hard work or at least astuteness. Now this is no foolproof filter against jerkwads achieving success. However this denied the upper middle class the permanence and persistence of a title. This break from historical norms produced an amazingly productive economy, that in 130 years went from a bankrupt backwater far from the center of civilization to an industrial giant less than a decade behind the most advanced nations on Earth in most technologies (and a world leader in a few). One of the factors here was that our successful people had to keep producing or, well, it wasn't like they could fall back on their titles 'CAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEM!

This often vexed the children of the successful as they were suddenly expected to be productive. Going back to even before the days of Caroline Webster Astor setting up "The 400" there were attempts by people to secure their position an eliminate competition (the trusts of the 19th century for instance). Astor's mean girl snobbery was an overt attempt to create a de facto aristocracy, but, without the titles there was nothing to enforce it and, indeed, families that produced children obsessed with such trivialities did not compete well. Thus there was intense churn amongst the upper class as new people came in bringing new technologies and the children of the previously successful proved to be a tad too comfortable to achieve the spark needed to compete and their families were frequently replaced by people bringing new ideas. 

However, in recent years, a combination of factors that include regulations raising entry barriers to start up businesses, the inordinate weight placed on credentialism and in particular credentials from a few universities that only accept people from the upper echelons of society and a few new comers who think as they do. These factors mean that the credentialed class is now, for the first time in the U.S., largely self perpetuating. Elite credentials as titles of nobility certainly seems to be a superior arrangement to primogeniture, but in practice, the credential, seems to nullify any sense of noblise oblige, just as the group is becoming increasingly hereditary and it seems, far more credentialed than meritocratic.


 This is an extremely status-conscious group and like the Astors of old they have found a kindred spirit in their hereditary counterparts of the old world. The upper classes of developing nations as well are drawn to this and this trans-national class of jet-setters who scold us on our carbon footprint are arguably more international in makeup and outlook than even the Third International. Despite being, in some ways a successor to the old Comitern, this transnational class is, while generally leftist in its politics, quite hostile to and contemptuous of the working classes in general. Indeed, their identity, at least in the U.S.A., is based on not being working class. Futhermore, while this group is want to proudly tout their cosmopolitan outlook, they seem to be, from the outside looking in remarkably provincial. That is, they talk to people from the same social  strata from around the world, who are thus similarly socialized. Their diversity is thus superficial at best. 

Likewise, their policies, while leftist are far closer to the black shirts than the brown. They are explicitly corporotist in outlook, forming cartels that rival and potentially surpass the American gilded age trusts in scope and power. The main difference between them and the Rockefellers, Carnagies and Morgans is that they frequently have enjoyed indulgence by the government from the get-go and those considerations are based to a large extent on social acceptability and political loyalty. This has resulted in the regulatory agencies  becoming a weird hybrid of the Cultural Revolution, the Court of Versailles and Tammany Hall. 



 Like the minor nobles of old this group has set up elaborate rituals, ceremonies and byzantine social codes to differentiate themselves from the average Joe.

"Because "Joe", as a name for a "male", is cis-normative and also an example of patriarchal oppression given that "Joe" is being used as an example rather than Jane, unless, "Joe" is actually a girl which might make it barely acceptable, though bland and non-exotic except in cases where "Joe" used to be a guy named Felix but has transitioned. This is especially true in cases where Felix was a white male and now identifies as a Black tree-squirrel named Joe who demonstrates freedom from the patriarchy by marrying xerself. "

That digression brings us to Political Correctness, which is not merely a totalitarian movement to squelch and instill fear in political opposition, but is a modern equivalent to the old powdered wigs, courtly graces and appreciation for the latest fashions which required social connectedness in the pre-internet age. It is a barrier to entry for those who do not live and breathe it, and only someone who has considerable leisure time or is working in circles where the ever changing rules are being discussed can hope to navigate this minefield covered in eggshells. It's a useful way to differentiate the nobles from the plebs.

The upper middle class/minor nobles have been the strata that has given history its Catalines, Robespierres and Che Guevaras. Now they pretty much run the world. 

Of course these guys face a problem that the vicecounts and barons of old never contemplated. The plebs still have a vote, which is why they have been bringing in lots of foreigners to their respective countries with which to cancel out that annoying fact. That this has deleterious effects on the average citizen is not seen as a bug to these latter day aristocrats. This, of course is why we got Trump, who while odious in his own ways is the working class equivalent to Churchill siding with Stalin against Hitler. It is a singularly desperate, hail Mary pass by the working and middle classes to save themselves from serfdom. 

It should be remembered that he notion of a republic of free people equal before the law is an aberration in the history of humanity. It is a concept that we struggled to live up to and only embraced as a society in the last 40 years. We are in danger of loosing it, to a new variation on history's most perennial concept of governance... aristocracy.

Update: Fixed some typos and a completely incoherent sentence in paragraph 19.

Update 2: Gracious! It's an Instalanche! Thanks for stopping by! This blog is mostly fluff, but we do occasionally rant about politics, science and defense

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April 24, 2017

On This Day, as We Reflect Upon a Singular Evil, Let Us Not Forget Those Who Were Virtually Powerless and Still Risked Everything to Oppose It.



More here and here.

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March 20, 2017

Deflation Declination and Dungeon Crawling

The other night, my friend BOB!1! and I were discussing current events, in particular, we engaged in a back and forth over the theory that the reason we've seen limited inflation from the various rounds of quantitative easing over the years is that a majority of the inflation they created has been masking a destructive deflationary cycle. This is a disturbing notion as it puts the world economy on a bit of a tightrope. 


Those of us of a certain age remember inflation and the memory is not a pleasant one. The inflation of the 1970s was an anomalous event, coinciding as it did with a general contraction of the economy (stagflation). 

Inflation is normally an inevitable byproduct and indicator of a growing economy. More economic activity and more money in circulation means that the real value of any unit of money goes down. After a certain point, this actually encourages investment, since inflation reduces the value of money that is just sitting, eventually overtaking any reasonable interest rate. This means that in order to grow or even maintain one's savings one must invest them in moneymaking enterprises. This is hard on everyone, but especially the poor with no savings, those on fixed incomes and the inert, but having that money reinvested in business ventures expands the economy overall, and that increases job opportunities which mitigates some of the problems. 

The '70s were unusual due to a series of problems including the fact that the Johnson administration had printed scads of money specifically to devalue the currency just as the first round of World War Two bonds was about to come due, thus effectively cheating the bond holders out of their investments, but freeing up cash for the great society programs. This was followed by Nixon taking the U.S. off the gold standard and printing yet MORE money while the oil crisis damaged the economy by raising the cost of energy and therefore, industry. This was a dreadful situation, but paled in comparison to events like Weimar Germany and Zimbawe.   

Inflation is intuitively bad and we have examples of why this is so. 

However, except perhaps in cases of runaway inflation like Weimar or Zimbabwe, Deflation can be much worse than inflation. 

Deflation is insidious. The value of whatever is currency increases because the amount of money in circulation decreases (is deflated). This is great in the very short term, especially for the poor, those on fixed incomes and the inert. The problem is that over the long haul money actually gains value when hoarded EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INTEREST RATE and thus the risk associated with investing with a business becomes exceedingly unpalatable. 

People with money cash out, their businesses close which results in fewer paychecks, which further reduces the money supply causing businesses to go bankrupt or their owners to liquidate them before that happens. People hoard, rather than invest money and the economy slowly, over time, comes to a crawl. The tax base evaporates because there is no money and things like roads, bridges, canals, ports and other infrastructure stop getting fixed, further putting a pressure on businesses and the economy. Gradually, over time everything grinds to a halt, and only those with money in personal hoards are in any way well off, their hoards appreciating in relative value as the rest of the world slips into darkness...but such people would be increasingly isolated by the inevitable uptick in lawlessness and ultimately only those who could defend themselves and have access to food would manage to eek through. Of course, with unemployment rampant labor would be cheap, perhaps as cheap as room and board, and such people could probably be put to work growing food in exchange for  protection from the rising tide of lawlessness.

Our back and forth at this point took an unexpected turn. What the end state of our worst case scenario ended up in was...

...Feudalism... 

... which, as my friend BOB!1! pointed out, brings us to Dungeons and Dragons.


"Because...of course it does."


This scenario explains the D&D world.

There are ruins EVERYWHERE. There was obviously a great and prosperous civilization (or group of civilizations that shared a transnational economy) and then deflation hit. Most of those dungeons are the hoards of increasingly paranoid rich people who hid their money vaults behind traps and guard animals, eventually, either through the 4 or 5 generation process in which marrying to obtain a dowry self selects for infertility, straight-up inbreeding, or stepping on one of their own damned rot worms, the affluent who did not offer protections to their neighbors or were too autistic to socialize died out and left these "dungeons", ruins of their former mansions and money vaults which have, in addition to their traps, developed their own deadly ecosystems evolved from the guard animals and invasive species. 

Feudal lords and the occasional collection of such fiefdoms in a kingdom or duchy, are stable but inherently resistant to change, innovation, and any disruptive developments in thought or technology.

There is only one bright spot economically.
 
The aforementioned rising transportation costs might serve to juice the economy a tad, but only if the infrastructure was privately owned and only if the return on investment was perceived as good, which might well not be the case with businesses going under left and right. However, an association of businesses in need of transportation services might well band together as a co-op to maintain a transportation infrastructure for their interests and provide mutual protection much like the old Hanseatic League did. These became the guilds. Which are the only (sort of) free market that is not completely the plaything of nobles. 
 
It occurs to me, that there are darker aspects to this too. 

As people grow more desperate and fearful, they tend to stay with their own kind, so in many locales, the races self segregated. Those that did not eventually became the "mutts" that are described as human in the game. The differences might be accentuated by starvation selection putting pressure on some groups for small bodies, (Halflings, Dwarves) and in more affluent groups sexual selection favoring beauty (Elves). Such racial balkanization would, in general, be non-conducive to most trade.

However...

What all this means is that adventurers in D&D, whatever level, or even alignment  that they are, actually happen to be, by their very nature, saving the world! Everytime they loot a dungeon, they are placing into the economy currency that has not been in circulation in millennia. When adventures begin D&D at level one, the coin of the realm is copper. Then as a party prospers, things get better in whatever locale they frequent and more and better goods become available.

All this money is stimulating trade and competition between the guilds and encouraging wiser feudal lords to invest in and support their resident merchants. 

The fact that the most effective parties contain a wide variety of races, classes and skillsets that normally do not interact in any meaningful way only serves to further breakdown barriers put up by an eons long deflationary cycle.

Adventurers ROCK!

So what have we learned today?

Deflation is, in the long run, far worse than all but the worst inflationary events due to its insidious nature and the extreme difficulty in reversing it due to its self reinforcing system on perverse and societally destructive incentives. 

Against this, when conducting a risk assessment and cost benefit analysis must be considered the potential for providing future generations with elves.


Art by Houtengeki (also here)

May our economists choose wisely.

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March 16, 2017

A Roundup of Links that Caught My Eye

Jerry Pournelle relates an interesting exchange on the Science Fiction Writers of America boards that concerned what, if any, constitutional limits there are on federal regulatory authority. (Yes: "if any"...let that sink in for a minute.)

Refreshingly, it doesn't appear that Hitler was ever invoked. In his stead, Henry the VIII makes an appearance. 

Read the whole thing (Scroll down about half a page. It's below the WSJ link.) Note that the conversation was declared...traumatic...and deleted by SFWA.

ACE has some very prescient thoughts on the POTUS (trigger warning: Trump)

 

Via Rand Simberg: A recent judicial decision in Hawaii is not just asinine, it could foment a constitutional crisis

Oh look. Google is going to down-select anything that they determine is upsetting or offensive. Since progressives take umbrage at vast swaths of what I happen to like, I suppose no one will ever find this blog via Googling again. 

Peter Beinart has an interesting piece which suggests that if you remove the thing that most that holds a society together, feeds the better angels of its nature and restrains its darkest tribal impulses, bad things might happen. Who'da thunk it? 


Finally, as a cisgendered honkey male, I'm told I can't have an opinion on the utterly 'woke' Rachel Maddow and her Al Capone's Vault moment. So I'll let these two express it for me. 









Note: The linked image encompassing many of the things I like is by Sukabu. The young ladies expressing thoughtful journalistic critiques are from the underrated, yet excellent, Sound of the Sky.

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March 10, 2017

Oh Wow. We Really ARE Living in the Crazy Years.

What disgracious 'channery is this?

CIA documents published by WikiLeaks show that the CIA kept a database of "Japanese style faces” to utilize in online forums.


Exclusive sources (so secret and exclusive that they may not even exist) tell us that in contrast to the impassive public response, the reaction inside Langley to this news was uncharacteristically straightforward...


However, thanks to this completely unexpected development we are now able to accurately recreate the Wikileaks heist of the CIA's secrets!


Have you seen this person?

The database seems to consist mainly of ASCII emoticons. The complete list can be found here.

Do note that the CIA somehow missed one...
more...

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February 26, 2017

Milo

The Milo story broke as I was preparing to go into the hospital and I only became aware of it in the waiting room. I was horrified...though not as much as I was 2 days later.


A bit of background:

Milo Yiannopoulos is an exuberantly gay Catholic Briton of  Jewish decent with a black boyfriend. Milo is also a loud, obnoxious, rude and crude advocate for free speech and vocal opponent of both government and corporate censorship. 

Naturally this assortment of characteristics got him pegged as a NAZI. 

Obnoxious, rude and crude don't actually do him justice, as he has had a tendency to be sadistically catty in a way that only urbane queens can pull off. In his case this caused some anxiety because as we all know, gay men are not actually people, but a variety of animatronic fetish dolls whose only legitimate functions are to provide upper middle class white women with affirmation of their grandeur and opportunities for virtue signaling. 

Sadly, Milo did not fulfill this important societal niche, at least not in the approved way. He did not turn his poison tongue against working class pizza waitresses of limited means, but rather against hollywood celebrities, as well as powerful lobbyists and activists in the gaming industry. He said some things that I think were rude and unescessary, and he hurt his argument sometimes through the exquisite sadism of his insults.  

He also tended to be on the bad side of some truly loathsome individuals as seen in his habit of going after pedophiles and exposing them. Amongst those were Sarah Nyberg, and Chris Leydon and he was an early voice sounding the alarm about Jimmy Savile.  

So it was pretty horrifying to learn that an interview of Milo with him advocating for pedophellia had turned up.

It's at least as horrifying that this story appears to be bunk, yet has cost this man his job, his book deal and his good name. 

Here is what was expertly excised from the tape:

 Milo’s money quote, which was edited out of the video, is this:
The law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who are sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world by the way. In many cases actually those relationships with older men…This is one reason I hate the left. This stupid one size fits all policing of culture. (People speak over each other). This sort of arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys you know understanding that many of us have. The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -” 

Well, Milo's been an ass again, but that's hardly a new development. Milo, himself a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, did NOT advocate for pedophelia. He's said numerous times that he considers it to be possibly the worst crime possible. 

Milo Yiannopoulos is often not my cup of tea, but he's been nuked from orbit by a false claim and his job, book deal and reputation are currently smouldering ruins. 

That bothers me for some reason. 

There are a few others who have opinions that diverge from the "It serves him right!" school of thought.

The charges against Milo are contrived from a) video editing and b) rumor and innuendo and c) pretending no one ever used the word "boy” to mean man, thereby meaning playboy is for 10 year olds and "playing with the big boys” means middle schoolers.
IF the attack on Milo were about, say how outrageous he got before the election (he’s been walking it back since.  I suspect he gets a little battle mad as I tend to.) I’d shrug and say "whatever”.  However this is a contrived and false attack and one that apparently came from the right but is teaching the left the way to take every one of us down.  You might not like Milo or his lifestyle, but you should not under any circumstances, applaud this means of taking him down.  And if you do, I hope you experience likewise and get to experience what you like so much.  There is a good chance you will.  They’ve tasted blood with Milo.  We’re next.

John C Wright (Who, it should be noted is a fairly hardcore social con, going to bat for the gay guy whose being accused of child molestation.)
I have been on the receiving end of a coordinated libel Campaign like this but smaller and not this vicious.

The tactic is simple: simply edit what the victim says to make it sound like he said what you want him to say.

Then you have your Newsmen and paid trolls repeat it.

By the time the truth comes out, everyone already believes the narrative and it’s too late.

I realize that if you have never seen a fake edit job before, it will fool you. What you do to do a fake editing job is take parts of one sentence parts of one conversation and clip them to another. In this case you take a conversation about how many times two college students engaged in copulation are required to ask each other about the continued ongoing state of their consent, and then you clip in a discussion of the consent between a 17 year old and a 27 year old gay couple.

You take a sentence where the speaker uses the word ‘boy’ to refer to a seventeen-year-old and you clip it to a question when someone is asking about a 14 year old boy , clever editing makes it sound as if he is talking about lowering the age of consent to 14


Having unloaded these truths, Milo nevertheless completely agreed that the legal age of consent is a good thing and lands on the right age. The unspoken conclusion driving that statement had to have been that, given the broad spread in age of sexual maturation, it’s appropriate for the law to err on the side of caution to protect the maximum number of children from sexual predators.



Neo Neocon hits on what I think is the real problem with Milo's nosehair curling rant...
As an abuse survivor, Yiannopoulos thinks he can say that consent can be given in such a case, apparently because he thinks he gave it. But that shows one of the problems with sexual abuse, and it’s not just the problem of an adult exploiting a child sexually. It’s the problem of an adult messing with a child’s mind. Because the relationships Yiannopoulos describes are actually betrayals of the child/teen in the guise of "helping” the child, betrayals that may even feel good to the child/teen in certain circumstances but exploit the child/teen’s psychological, emotional, and physical vulnerability.

Kate Paulk's piece contains this brief passage that's almost free of obceneties.
Let me be absolutely clear here. The stickybeaked moralists who are claiming that Milo Yiannopoulos somehow brought this shitstorm on himself because his lifestyle squicks them are endorsing lying to eliminate a person. They are endorsing show trials and guilt by association and all the evils of every fucking Communist regime ever. They are endorsing the tactics both the Soviets and the Nazis used to crush dissenting voices and enemies of the regime.

I'm a southerner and, arguably,  a variety of social conservative, so I'm not exactly a Milo fanboy, but I do note that in general, Milo, as a reporter, as well as a rabble rouser, gave considerable discomfort to the powerful, and defended the innocent.

He may well deserve criticism's. Lets make damned sure they are for things he actually did. 




 




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February 14, 2017

A Study in Civic Integrity


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November 27, 2016

Does Anyone Know...

...what this picture represents?




It was picture for the headline at Drudge yesterday which concerned Hillary effectively withdrawing her concession and going with recounts in multiple states. I am struggling to find the connection.
more...

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November 09, 2016

A Few Quick Thoughts on this Mornings Upset

I was pleasantly impressed with Trump's magnanimous acceptance speech, which has, at least for a time, tempered the very mixed emotions I had voting for him.

In fairness, I was also pleasantly surprised with Madame Secretary's prompt and congenial concession.

The U.K. Independent, which is certainly NOT on the Trump train, has some surprisingly reassuring thoughts.

Sarah Hoyt, who, like me held her nose tightly and voted for the fellow, has some very somber thoughts that deserve to be read in full.

(Update: Kelly Anne Conway really is the acme of political consultants.)


I should note that as much as we here at Brickmuppet Blog disagree with President Obama, when he was elected, we  did not mock him and we defended or spoke up on his behalf on those rare occasions he did something we thought to be good, proper, sensible or at least defense-able

So we can only react with mockery to this.

"Mock mock mockety mock."

A lot of people are worried. Even many of us that voted for him believe that Trump warrants considerable vigilance. Rest assured though that the press will provide that oversight with verve and a sense of urgency in exactly the same way that they wouldn't have for his opponent.  

So lighten up.

Finally, 

Takumi Yanai's work may not be the only evidence of time travel....


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HOLY CRAP!

We are actually less utterly screwed than I thought we would be this morning!




I remain deeply skeptical of Trump, but credit where it is due, he has done what most thought impossible. Whatever his flaws (and they are legion) I can, with considerable confidence, wholeheartedly and without reservation agree that by far the lesser of two evils won this election.


Hillary Clinton wasn't just singularly corrupt. She was the standard bearer for a group, a party and an self-appointed faux aristocracy that not only feels unwarranted entitlement to rule over us, but despises us with every fiber of their being. 

We're in for a rough ride as a nation. Trump quite scary in his own ways. However, there is another bright side to this; the intensity with which political correctness got a kick in the groin this morning. 


And that, at least, unambiguously rocks!


***********************

On a rather less serious note. It is infinitesimally less improbable that Takuni Yanai, is in fact a time traveller.


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November 05, 2016

Good Hunting, but do Be Careful

J.C. Carlton (whose blog you should be following) has a thoughtful disquisition on the state of political discourse. Out of consideration for our readers, we'll post our quibbles below the fold and post a picture of Best Oni here. 




Because she's relevant. 
more...

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November 03, 2016

Hoyt On The Election

Sarah Hoyt has thoughts on next Tuesday's Russian roulette session.


My own thoughts on the matter are that...

What?

"Oh God...Not politics PLEASE!"

Oh.

They're brief, but out of concern for those who are suffering from induced politicophobia, they are below the fold.
more...

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August 08, 2016

The Talking Heads Are Pondering

...if Trump is a symptom of a larger issue facing the country.


After Saturday's post on one of Trump's apparent...eccentricities, I'm wondering if these brilliant minds are focusing on the right issue.



















Well, I guess we now know what H-15 is. 

If, gentle reader, you feel this post to be in poor taste, please place the blame where it belongs...on Dustbury, who irresponsibly linked to this site, from which I shamelessly nicked these pictures. 

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August 06, 2016

Endorsement, Or Warning?

You be the judge...

When people on the news call Donald Trump a racist, I find that statement difficult to believe. Like myself, Donald Trump is a life-long New Yorker. Donald Trump lives, works, eats and employs people of all races and religions. Like many of my fellow New Yorkers, Donald Trump speaks his mind and that type of behavior can easily be misunderstood by people who are not New Yorkers.  

Emphasis added.

"So...Trump...Steaks..."


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July 05, 2016

Pithiest Take on The Days Events That I've Seen


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June 25, 2016

Two Middle Aged Women Sitting Down For an Hour Talking About Girl Stuff

No, we've not been hijacked or changed out format, despite the fact that the post title is mostly true.. 


It's Christina Hoff Summers and Camille Paglia, two first class minds chatting about the state of education and free speech for 57 minutes. 


I fear we as a society will soon reap the whirlwind over this mess.

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