Sunday, September 28, 2014

Andrew Montford ,,, Hockey Stick illusion,, climate gate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science
The hockey stick illusion.jpg
AuthorA.W. Montford
CountryUnited Kingdom
SubjectClimate change
PublisherStacey International
Publication date
The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the 
Corruption of Science is a book written by Andrew 
Montford and published by Stacey International in 2010. 
Montford, anaccountant and science publisher who 
publishes a climate sceptic blog[1] provides his analysis of 
the history of the "hockey stick graph" of global 
temperatures for the last 1000 years and the controversy
 surrounding the research which produced the graph. The 
book describes the history of the graph from its inception 
to the beginning of the Climategate controversy.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Development of will power, self discipline, character and faith?


By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
September 21, 2014
During the 19th century, when England was largely populated by Bible-believing Christians, Thomas Henry Huxley was ahead of his time. He invented the word 'agnostic' to explain himself and later devoted his life to promoting what he thought of as "scientific rationalism" rather than religion. Among his writings is this paragraph:
"Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly."
It serves to show how even smart people can say foolish things. Huxley is suggesting that education can give us the ability to do what we should do, when we ought to do it, whether we feel like it or not. In other words, he believes that will power and self-discipline can be academically taught. If this were true, there would be some correlation between education and successful living. However, many people with advanced academic degrees exercise no willpower and demonstrate no self-discipline whereas many people who failed to graduate high school possess those characteristics.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What is politically feasible?
Overton described a spectrum from "more free" to "less free" with regard to government intervention, oriented vertically on an axis. As the spectrum moves or expands, an idea at a given location may become more or less politically acceptable. His degrees of acceptance[4] of public ideas are roughly:
  • Unthinkable
  • Radical
  • Acceptable
  • Sensible
  • Popular
  • Policy

Monday, September 22, 2014

Voting and Funding Issues

The Proposal

     ~The Proposal was this: eligibility to vote for school budgets shall be limited to those who pay the school property taxes from which the budget is funded. Members of the school board must also be property tax payers lest they proselytize among the citizenry and studentry to the disadvantage of the taxpayer. Further, eligibility to vote for prospective school board members shall be limited to those who pay school taxes. That's it.
     The proposed method was this: payment of property taxes shall be recorded with a receipt made out to one person, an actual person, that person being the property tax payer, by name. A section of this tax receipt shall be a voter registration certificate made out to the same name. No person shall be issued more than one registration certificate even if they own multiple parcels taxed separately. No voter registration certificate may be transferred to, or used by, a person other than the one named. The principle is simple: one school tax payer, one vote.

      #"But, but,"  "we renters pay property taxes, albeit indirectly, and our children are as affected as any others by school budgets."

      ~ "Indirectly doesn't count. Shall your employer also be eligible to vote, however distant he may be, he being the source of your income, and by extension his customers and stockholders as well? If you move to another town

A modern thought of no spiritualism from the BIble

Id, Ego and the Bible
Posted on September 20, 2014 by Baron Bodissey
Our Israeli correspondent MC sends this meditation about the deracination of the West, and the consequent empowerment of destructive evil, such as that manifested by the Islamic State.

Id, Ego and the Bible
by MC

Many people purport to love God, but we must ask ourselves: Do I love God with all my ego? Do I love God with all my id? Or do I love Yahovah with all my heart?

Let us delve into this, because it is quite vital. The Bible asserts that man was cut off from Yahovah in the Garden of Eden because, by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, he too became a God in his own right and independent of Yahovah.

Man’s godship can thus be a godship of the ego (self), a godship of the id (intellect), or a godship of Yahovah where one seeks to restore the perfection of the pre-fall Adam.

Most people are worshipers of their own ego and build ‘God’ in their own image and likeness, others build intellectual ‘gods’, usually from a model ‘God’ defined by a ‘prophet’(who may be an ego-worshipper). One can also be inclined to both, in a grey area of constant see-sawing between me and my God as opposed to my God and me.

We must consider the question: Who or what created all things? We do not have a rational answer to this, and many people just don’t care one way or the other. These are people who have built their God around their own essence; their God is themselves and the world exists to serve that God.

Others look around for a more logical explanation, seeking for the wisdom of other men to absorb into their lives. This is an id level of godship where a human or group of humans have defined a discipline with which a searching intellect can identify comfortably.

Of the two, the former is mostly harmless to everyone but the egotist himself. But the latter can be malignant and evangelical at the same time. Over time this latter group has caused death and destruction on a grand scale, and as weaponry becomes more effective, so they become even more dangerous.

The ego-driven person exists in his own bubble of awareness, not at all independent of the other bubbles around him, but in a symbiosis with them as is required for survival and comfort. On the other hand, the id-driven person lives in a group bubble, having to share and to conform to the ethos of that bubble or be cast out, dead or alive.

Judeo-Christianity is based upon an old book, written a long, long time ago and which purveys a claim to be a text of a Creator God. Now it is not the purpose of this essay to argue the truth (or not) of the Bible, but what I will do is argue the effectiveness of the Bible. Bible-based societies prosper as no other societies do or have done. The Bible produces ‘civilization’.

At worst, Bible-based societies are just ‘id bubbles’ with a ‘good’ formula. At the other extreme, the Bible is the Creator’s ‘workshop’ manual and gives us the nuts and bolts of Creation and how to make it work for us.

In this world today, we can see these influences at work, but there is something else going on as well.

Countries economic liberalization Paths

Here you go.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

cannabis decriminalizing issues

Is This the Most Clueless Politician In the Country?
Just when I think things cannot get any more bizarre, debauched and moronic, I keep finding myself being surprised – big time. You think the amount of moonbattery has reached the outer limits, and then something comes along and makes you realise that the level of idiocy must be infinite.
And when this mental and moral meltdown comes from our politicians, then you really got to be worried. I refer to one of the most ridiculous and stupid things I have heard of in a long time from a politician – in this case recently elected David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats.
drugs 6He wants complete open slather on drugs – all of them. And let’s even sell marijuana in our supermarkets. Yes, he actually said that folks. Here is how a news item run with this story:
Cannabis should be sold in supermarkets and hard drugs be available from the Government for heroin, cocaine and ice addicts under a federal MP’s radical drug reform plan. Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm wants to kill the power of organised crime in Australia by decriminalising drugs, opening up the market and bringing down prices.
Senator Leyonhjelm said while it might not be smart to use marijuana, it was a harmless, non-addictive drug and should be openly available. His party’s philosophy is that if a person is not hurting anyone else, the Government should stay out of their business.
Like in the fruit-and-vegetable industry, farmers should grow cannabis for sale in supermarkets and other shops, he said. And anyone should be able to grow it in their garden. Senator Leyonhjelm believes the same open slather availability could be possible for party drugs, such as ecstasy, as long as it can be proven the only real risk is to the person taking it.
“I’m not saying they’re safe, I don’t recommend them, advise them, endorse them, no,” he said. “All I’m really saying is it’s an individual, adult choice.” For hardcore, addictive drugs, the NSW politician suggests the Government stop wasting millions on chasing crime gangs peddling drugs and peddle them itself. Under a “harm minimisation” model, registered addicts would get replacement drugs, such as methadone or “other options”, erasing the need to pay up big to criminals.
In the days of legal opium smoking, people lived their whole lives addicted to heroin, he said. “Because supply was never restricted, they lived a normal life and they functioned quite well.” He said while being an addict was “not ideal”, it wasn’t destructive until you added in the desperate behaviour of scoring a fix.
Wow, where do I begin with this utter buffoonery? Marijuana is harmless? Just what planet is this guy living on? And he wants to lead this country? Be gone! The truth is, there are well over 10,000 scientific studies about marijuana and its effects.
The findings of this research reveal a host of alarming facts. This is a dangerous drug, with acute effects of cannabis use including: anxiety, panic, paranoia, cognitive impairment, psychomotor impairment, and increased risk of low birth rate babies. Chronic effects include: respiratory diseases, attention and memory loss or impairment, and cannabis dependence.
As an article in Pediatrics stated: “Marijuana is an addictive, mind-altering drug capable of inducing dependency. . . . Marijuana should not be considered an innocuous drug. . . . There is little doubt that marijuana intoxication contributes substantially to accidental deaths and injuries among adolescents”.
Yet he says it is harmless and non-addictive. He might as well say the moon is made of cheese and there is no such thing as gravity. How can any politician get away with making such utterly absurd and blatantly false claims. There should be a law against politicians telling porkies to the public.
And he uses the stale yet standard mantra of the moonbats on all this: choice. An adult can do what he wants. No he cannot. There are all sorts of things an adult cannot and should not do. These are not activities which have no impact on others.
For example, as just stated, the number of people steadily being harmed or killed because of other drivers using drugs continues to rise. This is not a victimless crime. Try telling the families who have lost loved ones due to a drug user that it is just all about choice, and none of their business.
Then this guy who has obviously been smoking way too much of this stuff tells us another incredible porkie: making things like opium legal will make everyone happy with no problems. Um no, not even close bub. We know perfectly well that keeping an activity illegal deters people from partaking in that activity.
Remove the penalties or sanctions, and many more people will take up the activity. We can learn from history here. After Europe imposed the opium trade on China in the mid-19th century, by 1900 there were an estimated 90 million opium addicts in the nation. When British physicians could write prescriptions for heroin in the 60s, the nation’s junkies increased thirty to forty-fold.
And then, incredibly, he claims that addictions were not “destructive until you added in the desperate behaviour of scoring a fix.” Is this guy for real? Addiction to dangerous mind-altering drugs is always dangerous and deadly. And since this guy is obviously clueless about the most basic of facts here, let me inform him of a few home truths.
Crime is a function of drug use. When people are on mind-altering drugs, they engage in more crime at greater rates. For example, most US prisoners serving time for drug-related crimes were in for aggravated drug crimes, that is, crimes committed while on drugs (murder, armed robbery, theft, assault, child abuse, etc.).
In fact, the US Department of Justice has found that criminals commit six times as many homicides, four times as many assaults and almost one-and-a-half times as many robberies under the influence of drugs as they commit in order to get money to buy drugs.
And if full legalisation is achieved, it will simply increase the pool of drug users. There is no way to enact the legalisation of drugs without greatly increasing the number of users. By removing the penalties for usage, and by (in theory) reducing the costs, demand will increase. This is a simple function of supply and demand: make something easier and cheaper to obtain, and you increase the number of people who will try it.
Yet this politician thinks all this is just a peachy idea. Just who elected this guy anyway? The “harm minimisation” model is a failed model, and countries which once had huge problems with drugs and crime, such as Sweden, have remarkably turned this around by implementing a just-say-no approach.
If he wants to spend his life lying around getting stoned, endangering his life and that of others, let him do it elsewhere. We don’t need his vacuous and failed counsel here.
[1155 words]---------------------------some comments with links after the breaik

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Charity attack dogs formula

The love song of Saul Alinsky


Conservative MP Brooks Newmark has got himself into trouble with the leftist political activists who dominate Britain's charities sector by telling them to "stick to their knitting" and stay out of politics.
Problem is, in the case of many charities these days, political meddling is their knitting. Hence, for example, this email from former CND agitator Liz Hutchins who is currently working for the Political and Legal Unit of Friends Of The Earth - as leaked via Guido.
In it, Hutchins writes to various fellow left-wing charity bods suggesting various ways they can punish Newmark.
These vary from the template for a suggested letter...
Dear Minister/ Dear editor,
It was very ill-considered for you/the Minister for Civil Society to tell charities to “stick to their knitting”.We are pleased that you have/ he has clarified your/his view that “charities absolutely have the right to campaign but should stay out of the realm of party politics”.
Charities, by law, cannot and do not take part in party politics and it is misleading to suggest this is a problem that needs to be tackled. We are proud to be party politically independent and to speak truth to power – even if that is uncomfortable for politicians.
The Lobbying Act, coming in to force on 19 September, was opposed by over 150 charities and campaign groups – from Cancer UK to the Quakers, Water Aid to WWF. We are concerned that it contains provisions that may well limit the ability of charities and other organisations to speak out on some of the most important policy issues facing the country and the planet.
From women’s suffrage to stopping the sell-off of our forests, campaigning on politically contentious issues is vital to democracy and to Governments making the right decisions. No ill-considered new laws or comments by ministers should stop charities and campaign groups from this important work.
Signed lots of NGOs.. some suggested ways to harass Newmark on social media.
If you can take a photo of yourself knitting that would be great. (We actually have a box of knitting in the Edinburgh office. It turns out charities really do like knitting!) If you can’t get hold of any knitting a text tweet will do! Just remember the hashtag! Some examples:
In between knitting, I like to help solve youth unemployment in Scotland. #stickingtomyknitting
After a hard day’s knitting, I like nothing better than to help get disempowered people get online #stickingtomyknitting
European Funding Policy is fun and all, but I’d rather be knitting! #stickingtomyknitting
These techniques are, of course, classic Saul Alinsky. ("Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it"). Newmark is being singled out here for an orchestrated bullying campaign (masquerading as an authentic, unprompted, grassroots response) designed both to intimidate him and ridicule him as well as to act as a shot across the bows of any fellow politician tempted to take his side.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Consensus arranged


"Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous."
Remember that statement, a while back, from some bloke on Twitter? What we now know with more than 97 per cent certainty that this guy - or whoever is in charge of running his Twitter account - is either wilfully dishonest or woefully ill-informed.
The "97 per cent" claim is an utter nonsense. This report released today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation explains exactly why.
First, that word "dangerous". This is a concept that was never mentioned in the study responsible for that 97 per cent claim. The paper was written by an Australian warmist activist called John Cook (and others). It drew its conclusions having allegedly reviewed 12,000 papers on climate change and found - so it claimed - that the vast majority of them supported the "consensus" on global warming.
But here the watch-the-pea-under-the-thimble game begins. The "consensus" which the Cook et al paper supports is so banal and trivial as to scarcely be worth stating, viz:
• that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas;
• that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent.
Since even the vast majority of sceptical scientists agree with this statement you might wonder why, when Cook et al released their findings they got so much attention in the global media. (And they really did. That tweet of @barackobama's helped, of course. But you only have to recall how many occasions you've heard that "97 per cent" figure cited as unquestionable "proof" of the existence of man-made global warming to appreciate how effective this propaganda exercise was; and also to realise just how ineffective the world's media generally is at subjecting such claims to any kind of rigorous analysis).
But this fudge, of course, was always part of the plan. We know this because John Cook's internet home is an alarmist propaganda website called Skeptical Science. Unfortunately for Cook, a security lapse at his site in 2012 led to the disclosure of private email exchanges between Cook and his co-conspirators.
Here's one from Cook himself, explaining the purpose of the paper:
It's essential that the public understands that there's a scientific consensus on AGW. So [Skeptical Science activists] Jim Powell, Dana [Nucitelli] and I have been working on something over the last few months that we hope will have a game changing impact on the public perception of consensus. Basically, we hope to establish that not only is there a consensus, there is a strengthening consensus."
Two things are immediately apparent from this email.
1. Cook had decided even before he began his investigations what those investigations would reveal.
2. This was always going to be a PR exercise, not a scientific one.
Next we find Cook digging himself still deeper by referring to a chosen methodology - its name coined by one of his associates, Ari - as the "porno approach." What he means, presumably, is that rather than allowing for rigour and nuance, his paper will be researched in such a way as to deliver the most dramatic, headline results possible. Not just tasteful nudie pix, then, but hardcore with donkeys...
Okay, so we've ruled out a definition of AGW being 'any amount of human influence' or 'more than 50 percent human influence.' We're basically going with Ari's porno approach (I probably should stop calling it that) which is AGW = 'humans are causing global warming'. e.g. - no specific quantification which is the only way we can do it considering the breadth of papers we're surveying.
Under these criteria even an otherwise arch-sceptical paper conceding that, say, the methane from the farts of beef and dairy cattle might have a marginal influence on climate, could be claimed by Cook et al as being in support of the "consensus."
As Andrew Montford's GWPF report goes on to reveal, this is more or less what happened. He cites two  examples of scientists who had written highly sceptical papers which - much to their mortification and irritation - they discovered had been graded by Cook and his team as endorsing the "consensus."
"It is not an accurate representation [of my work]" wrote one, Nir Shaviv.
Statistically and scientifically, as Montford goes on to detail, Cook et al's survey was a dog's breakfast. ("This is garbage, and a crisis," wrote one critic, all the more damningly because he self-describes as a believer in man-made global warming, "It needs to stop, and [such] papers need to be retracted immediately, especially Cook, et al (2013)")
Elsewhere in the report, Montford finds space to chronicle dodgy goings-on at the University of Queensland, where Cook is the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute. Rather than 'fess up to the scandal, the University responded with blustering threats and a press release containing a pack of lies.
But for me the most interesting part of Montford's report is the light it sheds on the modus operandi of the wider climate change alarmist establishment, from the Guardian journalists who disseminate this naked propaganda to the politicians, from Barack Obama to UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, who use it to justify their dubious policies.
Here is Davey, talking last year on the BBC's Daily Politics Show, to Andrew Neil:
We've had a complete unchallenged view of the climate change deniers. I think we need to have rather more balance in the debate, particularly when we saw a recent analysis of 12,000 scientific papers...and of the scientists who expressed a view - these were climate change papers - of the scientists who expressed a view 97 per cent said that climate change was happening and that it was human-made activity.
Most neutral observers on hearing such a claim would, I imagine, find it highly persuasive. "12,000 scientific papers? Sounds a lot! 97 per cent? Wow!" And while they might find Davey a fairly slippery character, they would have no real reason to question the analysis he is citing. As a senior government minister heading a department full of experts in the field he must surely know what he's talking about. Right?
So this is where we're at in the climate wars. (And where, indeed, we have unfortunately been at for a very long time). You can be the biggest, most risible assclown in the history of junk statistics and pseudoscience but so long as you can somehow cobble together a half-way plausible paper, no matter how inept your methodology, which helps prop up the vast man-made global warming industry then you have it made: the President of the USA will Tweet you; your University will back you to the hilt; your colleagues will rally round you; you will get a very favourable write-up in the Guardian (and myriad other alarmist publications); your critics will be sidelined and ignored.
But wait. It seems that Cook and his friends have now produced a response to these criticisms almost as devastatingly convincing as that original report. Over a period of 97 Hours Of Consensus, his website will be showing cartoon caricatures of climate scientists from around the world, each with little speech bubbles coming out of their cartoon mouths explaining exactly why global warming is more real and dangerous than ever before.
For further updates don't watch this space because I'm afraid, cynic that I am, I find this all a bit desperate, childish and silly. Instead, why not check out @barackobama's Twitter feed? I'm sure he'll be reporting on this exciting development in our understanding of the climate change phenomenon any second now.....

What is cooking?, accelerator or brake,,,

The leftists say the secular slowdown is caused by the growth in old-age dependency. That growth is peanuts compared to the growth of dependency on government.

 The three biggest brakes on growth since LBJ have been the growth of debt (household and government), the growth in the number of people who get all their income from the taxpayer, and the growth of Federal regulation.

The Fed has given us huge amounts of cheap capital. The Dems have given us huge amounts of cheap labor. Land has not been destroyed or rationed

Why should an economy slow down when it receives huge amounts of stimulus from labor and capital? Because the brake is stronger than the accelerator.

Shrink the scope and size of government and the private sector will rebound.

Absolutely. And yet it is impossible to shrink the government because anyone who even hints at the first doable steps in that direction is immediately vilified as a racist-sexist-bigot-heartless-fascist-hater and rendered unviable as a political force. Therefore, since the weight of debt is unsustainable and increasing the economy must and will implode. The result will be horrific suffering. And at the end of the tunnel the people may well turn to a draconian form of dictatorship to save the little they have left. But there is a chance that a lesson will have been learned: that worship of the state (an idolatry) must end in catastrophe.

It's not that complicated...

Government has expanded more quickly since the 70's, and all western civilizations have experienced this. All productive economic growth comes from the private sector, which funds the government. As government grows and consumes more of the available resources, the private sector necessarily must give ground and grow more slowly.

Shrink the scope and size of government and the private sector will rebound.
plus more comments

Feelings verses Thinking

Thomas Sowell on the population at large:
“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
He nailed that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Old thinking, Modern thinking

Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses

Our Culture
By Theodore Dalrymple
Published May 25, 2005
Ivan R. Dee
ISBN-10: 1566636434
ISBN-13: 978-1566636438
Official Website
View at Amazon

This is, quite simply, one of the great books of our time. Its 26 essays are each a gem, with insight and urbanity that make them individually enlightening and enjoyable to read. They address a variety of subjects — from art and literature to drugs and colonialism, from Shakespeare to rock singer Marilyn Manson — all with regard to the declining culture of the West. Like “Life at the Bottom”, this book is a collection of many of Dalrymple’s City Journal essays, and while the essays of that previous book were selected to testify to the increasingly debased lifestyle resulting from new Western ideas, this collection outlines in greater detail the intellectual sources of those ideas.
Dalrymple provides example after example of intellectuals who advocated the destruction of standards of behavior that had proven reliable and useful. “The Rage of Virginia Woolf” explains how she embraced a victimhood that justified the destruction of all social convention. Her rage was fed by a convenient distortion of historical fact that Dalrymple describes in “The Dystopian Imagination” as having made us ashamed of our own history so that we replace its teaching with “academic resentment studies, in which history is nothing but the backward projection of current grievances, real or imagined, used to justify and inflame resentment”. In “The Frivolity of Evil”, he explains how the consequent rejection of Western social convention has decreased civility and increased crime by teaching people that power is the sole guide to one’s actions. “Instead of one dictator… there are thousands, each the absolute ruler of his own little sphere, his power circumscribed by the power of another such as he.”
“All Sex, All the Time” is a tour de force in which Dalrymple details the ways in which academics like Alfred Kinsey and Havelock Ellis devoted themselves to the removal of all sexual constraints. In one of the most poignant moments of the book, Dalrymple recounts from his personal experience as a doctor how the resulting sexual revolution has thrown the relations between the sexes into chaos and caused mass illegitimacy that ruins the lives of generations. “How many times have I heard from my patients of their aching desire to settle down and live in a normal family, and yet who have no idea whatever how to achieve this goal that was once within the reach of almost everyone!”
“What’s Wrong With Twinkling Buttocks?” illustrates how D.H. Lawrence and his ilk’s arguments against basic standards of decency has caused our art to become ever more coarse and trivial, with obscenity replacing truth or beauty as a standard. Elsewhere, Dalrymple explains how political thinkers like Karl Marx and Fidel Castro valued ideas more than people and as a consequence generated ever more complex theories in support of ever more simplistic and abstract ideas — ideas that demanded the sweeping away of all existing political arrangements and which reached their inevitable conclusion in the horrors of the twentieth century.
Dalrymple is often criticized for failing to provide solutions, but throughout the book he holds up by comparison the ideas of other intellectuals and artists who advocated or represented higher standards. “How — and How Not — to Love Mankind” contrasts Karl Marx’s hatred for and lack of interest in basic humanity with his contemporary Ivan Turgenev, whose writing evinces great respect for the thoughts and feelings of individual people. Two essays compare the triviality and vacuity of the art of Joan Miro and modern shock artist Damien Hirst with that of Mary Cassatt and Pieter de Hooch. And lest anyone think Dalrymple a spoilsport, “Gillray’s Ungloomy Morality” asserts that, “You can have both fun and a moral standpoint.”
Above all, Dalrymple holds up Shakespeare as representing not only the epitome of truth and beauty but also the height of human self-knowledge, surpassing by far the latest advances in neuroscience, for example. “Why Shakespeare is For All Time” details the myriad ways in which “Macbeth” evokes universal human nature. “Sex and the Shakespeare Reader” and “All Sex, All the Time” demonstrate that his understanding of human sexual relations are far deeper than our own. The latter essay contains what is to me perhaps the greatest passage in the book, when Dalrymple quotes a Shakespearean sonnet and concludes:
“The subtlety of this understanding of the human heart, to say nothing of the beauty with which it is expressed, has never been excelled. Everything is there: the human need for deep companionship throughout life, the inevitability of compromise if such companionship is to last, and the acceptance of the inherent limitations of existence that is essential to happiness. Shakespeare’s view answers the needs of man as a physical, social, and spiritual being — and no one with the slightest acquaintance with his work could accuse him of being anti-sexual.”
Perhaps the penultimate essay in the collection is “What We Have to Lose”, a moving work which Dalrymple wrote shortly after September 11 and in which he describes the universal human tendency toward destruction. “Our intellectuals should realize that civilization is worth defending”, he says, and “the adversarial stance to tradition is not the beginning and end of wisdom and virtue. We have more to lose than they know.”

Who has the answers economically?

University economics teaching isn't an education: it's a £9,000 lobotomy

Economics took a battering after the financial crisis, but faculties are refusing to teach alternative views. It's as if there's only one way to run an economy
Students from the Post-Crash Economics Society pictured at Manchester University
The Post-Crash Economics Society at Manchester University has arranged an evening class on bubbles, panics and crashes. Photograph: Jon Super for the Guardian
"I don't care who writes a nation's laws – or crafts its treatises – if I can write its economics textbooks," said Paul Samuelson. The Nobel prizewinner grasped that what was true of gadgets was also true for economies: he who produces the instruction manual defines how the object will be used, and to what ends.
Samuelson's axiom held good until the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which triggered both an economic crisis and a crisis in economics. In the six years since, the reputations of those high priests of capitalism, academic economists, have taken a battering.
The Queen herself asked why hardly any of them saw the crash coming, while the Bank of England's Andy Haldane has noted how it rendered his colleagues' enchantingly neat models as good as useless: "The economy in crisis behaved more like slime descending a warehouse wall than Newton's pendulum." And this week, economics students from Kolkata to Manchester have gone on the warpath demanding radical changes in what they're taught.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Individualism to Collectivism to Elitism

John Stuart Mill and his essays "On Liberty" and "On Socialism." The essential authoritarian-collectivist thesis was taken up by the organized forces of post-Great-War America; they did not originate them.

The core ideas that united those progenitors and their propositions were simple and stunning:

That the proper end of politics is "the greatest good for the greatest number;"

That this can only be achieved by centralizing essentially all human enterprise and centrally apportioning its benefits;

Therefore, that such centralization is morally mandatory;

Furthermore, individuals, who act to to maximize their own good rather than that of "the greatest number," cannot be trusted with freedom;

Therefore, individuals must be controlled to bring about that end.

That there exists in any society a "wise minority" intellectually and morally qualified to do so, which should be trusted with all the necessary authority to do it.

In other words, those proto-Progressives posited superior intellectual and moral qualities for themselves, that others don't share and are not capable of appreciating. Their later inheritors perpetuated that postulate without explicitly saying it...and they continue to do so to this day.