A lefty contemplates his banishment

For the moral crime of questioning aspects of the AGW/CC charade:

For better or worse I have a much better sense of how the liberal slime machine works in practice, having been inside now a bit. This is all the more ironic because I consider myself to be cut from a similar political cloth to many of those who are engaged in all out war against me. Here are a few reflections.

Here is how it works. The really giant fish — public intellectuals like Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman — confer authority on the big fish of the liberal blogosphere. They do so by applauding the work of the big fish and saying that they trust them. This is a useful exchange because the big fish amplify the writings of the giant fish in the blogosphere and do the dirty work of taking down their political opponents by playing some gutter politics that the giant fish would rather not be seen playing. This has the effect of establishing the big fish as people to be listened to, not because they are necessarily right about things, but because the giant fish listen to them and the giant fish set political agendas…. The giant fish then get plausible deniability from engaging in what might seem to be less-than ethical behavior, the big fish get the ego-strokes of acknowledgment from the giant fish and the occasional top-line billing among favorable-leaning media. Similarly the minnows get to parlay inexpertise into a small role in the politics of personal destruction, and are cited by the big fish, but never by the media or the giants, which would be unbecoming.

On a tangential note, I always find it a little peculiar how often an item is published by WND, or occasionally, even posted on my blog, and then shows, completely unattributed, on one of the more nominally mainstream sites. I think Steve Sailer is probably the most surreptitiously cited but least-quoted writer on the right.

Anyhow, it shouldn’t surprise the professor that the left relies so heavily on personal attacks and appeals to authority. First, they’re authoritarians. Second, they certainly aren’t going to argue the science on the subject, because none of it supports their position. And third, if they were informed and capable of arguing logic, they wouldn’t be leftists in the first place.

The facade crumbles

The era of Fed extend-and-pretend appears to be fast approaching an end:

On Monday the Federal Reserve held a major reverse repo test, as was announced by the NY Fed and by Zero Hedge. We have subsequently received several unconfirmed reports that the conducted test has been a disaster (we have calls into the Federal Reserve to confirm or deny this, we are eagerly awaiting their reply).

In related news, Karl Denninger reports that JP Morgan/Chase is down to only $21 billion in actual cash. But don’t worry, they have lots of other assets… unfortunately, most of them are the sort that keep showing up at only 50 percent valuations whenever a bank is seized by the FDIC. All of the professional economists have been saying that the crisis is over for months now. I, on the other hand, don’t think that the next stage has even begun yet. But surely all the experts can’t be wrong… again!

Of might and right

One of the tangential topics that has come up in relation to yesterday’s discussion of the mistitled and oft-misapplied Euthyphro Dilemma is the question of whether the concept “God’s Game, God’s Rules” is equivalent to declaring that “might makes right”. Setting aside the obvious and unproven assumption that might inherently does not make right, I think it is quite easy to demonstrate that the authority of the Creator God to establish a code of rules that make up human morality does not derive from His might, however great that might be, but rather from His act of creation.

Consider, for example, the National Football League. The NFL organization owns and creates the rules of the game, by which the players on the field are expected to abide. Now, the NFL certainly possesses greater might than any one player and arguably even more than all the players combined. But, the NFL is significantly less mighty than, just to pick one example, the People’s Liberation Army. Now, no one disputes the right of the NFL to change the rules so that the penalty for offsides is fifteen yards instead of five, even if we think the change is a ridiculous one. But is this right determined by the NFL’s might? I don’t think so.

Why not? Because if the right to determine the rules was simply a matter of might, then it would be entirely proper for the PLA, which already owns vast quantities of corporations around the world, to land a division in Manhattan, forcibly seize the NFL offices and unilaterally declare a change to the offsides penalty. There would be no rational justification for complaining about this action, except of course for the same objections to the desirability of the rule change that would have applied in the previous scenario. So, unless you are willing to accede to the right of the PLA to change the NFL rules on the basis of its might, it is obvious that there must be a significant distinction between creative ownership making right and might making right, even if might is a necessary component of the original creation.

I also think it is relevant to point out that one cannot reasonably subject the NFL to its own rules. I am certainly unaware of any sitting commissioner ever being penalized for holding or pass interference.

RGD: the second review

Chad the Elder of the Fraters Libertas reviews RGD:

Let me start by passing on a shocking piece of information: Vox Day is not an economist. That may lead some to discount his views on matters economic, but in this case it proves to be beneficial. He approaches the subject as an outsider and is not wedded to any particular school of economic theory from his background. This allows him to be rather dispassionate in his analysis and also forces him to be more vigorous in his research since he doesn’t come into it with a great deal of experience.

It also makes The Return of the Great Depression a more understandable and entertaining read than your average economic tome. That’s not to say its been dumbed down or overly simplified. Vox takes on some rather weighty and complicated economic topics. But, as he previously did in The Irrational Atheist, he does so in his own unique voice (Vox’s vox?). Even while explaining the inner workings of the money supply or the components that make up GDP, he maintains his straight-shooting style infused with the mix of cynicism and sarcastic humor that readers of his blog have come to expect.

I have to admit, after the complete, utter, and admitted failure of mainstream economics to foresee or forestall the present crisis, or to present potential solutions beyond increasing the amount of debt-funded spending, I would think that not being a credentialed economist would be seen as a strength rather than a weakness these days. If the basic theory is bad, learning more sophisticated ways of playing with it is not going to help you understand anything.