Showing posts from October, 2011


The Education Bubble

Flip through enough of the 99 percent signs and you realize that the majority of that demographic aren't complaining about the lack of financial regulation or income inequalities, so much as they're upset that they took on loans to pay for college degrees to get jobs that don't actually exist. The fault here isn't Wall Street's, it's a policymaking apparatus that decided the way to deal with the loss of manufacturing jobs was to get as many college graduates out there as possible to create the industries of tomorrow. This was Clinton's platform and it's Obama's "Winning the Future" platform, pump enough money into education and the jobs will create themselves. The Dot Com boom in the nineties seemed to back up that policy with entirely new companies springing to life with valuations in the hundreds of millions and twenty somethings at the helm. But a good deal of those companies were nothing more than the foam on another bubble-- and

The Colonization of the West

Once upon a time when you wanted to invade another people's land, you built your longboats, got together some young males with few prospects at home and set sail for greener pastures. Today the longboats are jet planes and the invaded use them to ferry over their own invaders. Colonization usually required three elements. Surplus male population, the technology to make the journey and the means to subjugate or drive off the people already living there. Western medicine and aid have helped create and sustain a surplus population which has nowhere to go and nothing to do in its own highly stratified societies. At home they start Arab Spring like revolutions,  which is one more reason for China's One Child policy. With few economic opportunities in an oligarchy, they have to move elsewhere to get ahead. The ability to colonize distant parts of the world usually required a certain level of sophistication. Any barbarian could walk a few miles, grip an axe and smash the heads o

The Materialism of Environmentalism

There is no understanding environmentalism without also understanding the function of religion as a means of infusing spirituality into the material. The politicization of consumerism is an attempt to mimic the religious dimension of life without a guiding deity. Environmentalism provides the believer with the grandiosity of a human centered existence, in which the actions of individuals can lead to massive catastrophes, floods, extinctions and hurricanes. It's the old biblical epic of Noah set in what pretends to be a rational scientific universe, but actually borrows the religious significance of human ethics placed at the center of life. Sin and the Lord will bring a flood, says the Bible. Drive to work and the icebergs will melt and bring a flood, say the environmentalists. The only difference between the two narratives is that the latter has taken G-d out of the equation and replaced Him with a couple of think tanks. Environmentalism rationalizes the "flood"

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Hipsters, Hippies, Homeless and Hopeless

It's been a while since we've done one of these, but before we get into it, I would just like to mention that Glenn Beck will be at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend . As will a far humbler figure, me. THE HIPPIE, HIPSTER, HOMELESS OCCUPATION CONTINUES You can't smell Zuccoti Park from uptown, but if you're unlucky enough you can spot the occupiers making their way there. The Hipsters/Hippies/Homeless ratio has made for very poor hygiene and a fantastic opportunity for the rats to make a comeback in Lower Manhattan. The weather is turning chilly. This morning the temperature was in the 40's and even though tents have been allowed, the hippies and hipsters are about to start discovering how the other third lives. The ones who actually are hopeless. Hipsters may live in walk ups, but they like to have the heat on and there's a reason hippies usually prefer warmer weather and many of the city's guests from the other side of the

The White Aborigines of the Post-Racial Left

If you thought that political correctness was insane in the United States, take a long plane trip over to Melbourne, Australia, where Andrew Bolt, a columnist at the Herald Sun,  has been sanctioned by a judge of the Federal Court of Australia for "insulting, humiliating and offending" that group known as "fair-skinned Aboriginal people". Who might you wonder are these "fair-skinned Aboriginal people"? They are said to come from the Hiberian isle, the plains of Alba, the cities of Albion, the Teutonic forests and even the Hebraic tribes. They boast many fascinating arts and crafts, such as writing dissertations on the structural thematics of metaphor in aboriginal music and receiving aboriginal scholarships to compensate for all the suffering inflicted upon them by the European settlers. The Federal Court decision creates a new protected class of people, "fair-skinned aboriginals", which is to say white people pretending to be black people

The Insurgent Incumbent

Obama's team is nothing if not creative. After running for his first term as a force of change, he's off and running for his second term as... the force of change. Don't like the last change, this will be the change from that change to a whole other change. "We Can't Wait" oddly echoes with Obama's old slogan, "We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For." Now after having waited for three for ourselves... we can't wait for another four years of the same thing. The problem with waiting for ourselves while waiting to vote again for the man who got us into this mess is that it means we'll be waiting a long time. But "We Can't Wait" echoes another slogan that the Obama team was extremely familiar with, the left's "We Can't Wait To Drive the Bush Regime Out." This time around Obama might have called it, "We Can't Wait to Drive Boehner Out", but it's a slogan that would have confused most pe

The Left's Worst Crime in the Middle East

The left's worst crime in the Middle East has been its support for the region's Arab-Muslim majority at the expense of its minorities. It has supported the majority's terrorism, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and repression of the region's minorities. Very rarely has it raised a voice in their support, and when it has done so, it was in muted tones completely different from their vigorous defenses of the nationalism of the Arab Muslim majority. The left is obsessed with the Arab Spring, which rewards the ambitions of Arabist and Islamist activists at the expense of Coptic, African and other minorities. It is dementedly fixated on statehood for the Arab Muslims of Israel, (better known by their local Palestinian brand), but has little to say about the Kurds in Turkey or the Azeri in Iran. The million Jewish refugees and the vanishing Christians of the region never come up in conversation. They certainly don't get their own protest rallies or flotillas.  The Afric

The Tyrant is Dead, Long Live the Tyrant

The tyrant is dead, and the head of Libya's Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil,  (who was also Gaddafi's former Justice Minister), has declared that Libya has been liberated. What a glorious day it is when a country is liberated from its justice minister by its justice minister. If only Gaddafi had been quicker on the ball, he could have staged a revolution against himself and liberated the country from himself. We mustn't laugh. Now that American troops are leaving Iraq and Afghanistan has declared that it will back Pakistan in any conflict with the United States, we must have the highest hopes for Libyan democracy. Didn't we declare an undeclared war on Gaddafi to have a fallback position? Even if Egypt and Tunisia go down the tubes, and Yemen declares an official Bin Laden day, we'll always have Libya. But don't pop the champagne corks just yet. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, who liberated Libya from himself, has also declared that it will be gove

No Victory But Defeat

The most common justification for the Shalit deal is to wear it as a perverse badge of moral nobility. "What other country would exchange a thousand terrorists for one man." This is a close cousin of the argument that says the United States treating terrorists with kid gloves proves that it is nobler than them. Both of these insufferable arguments are symptoms of the moral decline of civilization. If the life of a single soldier is more important than the battle, then why have battles or soldiers at all? We don't send soldiers out to fight because we think that their lives are worthless, but because the objective of war is to save even more lives than those that will be lost in fighting it. Or to preserve that liberty and independence from enemy oppression which are the qualities that make life worthwhile. There is nothing to be proud of in a moral confusion that puts the soldier before the battle. Even less in a country whose commanders and politicians think nothing