Alpha Mail: alpha watching

In which a woman interprets her friends’ fascinated reaction to a young buffoon:

Jill: Still bragging! This guy is out of control and he can’t swim for shit though he is totally talking like he can. His buddies were laughing at him behind his back. Its ok, a girls swim team just showed up, all business. They make him look like the chump he is. Girl power! Haha. I think he just joined the army, lmao, no wonder John is getting out, I would too after I saw this jackass joining.

Kari: Love the Douche Bags they let in! And most likely he’s an officer lmao!

Me: A kid with that kind of confidence will land himself a hottie.

As an added bonus, Susan notes how female hypergamy shapes modern film and fiction and confirms its trans-cultural nature in addition to sharing her thoughts on the USC rooftop sex scandal, complete with a video of a hilariously futile attempt by two women to somehow shame Tucker Max. Tucker’s effortless domination of the two women is an object lesson in Displaying High Value; note how they get increasingly bitchy, but submissive as the “debate” continues.

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Obama is not eligible

It is becoming increasingly clear that Obama is not eligible to hold the office he is presently usurping. This nominal debate between two San Diego columnists clearly demonstrates that the pro-Obama side has no defense for its position that Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore Constitutionally eligible for the presidency other than snark and nonsensical appeals to conspiracy theory. The claim that doubts about Obama’s eligibility might lead to another Holocaust even though the writer can’t figure out how that might come to pass is particularly noteworthy.

Question 2) Where is the controversy today?

WL: With the failure of the courts to allow any examination of the merits based upon forensicly obtained evidence, birthers have turned to various other ancillary investigative venues to obtain disclosure.

Recent documents substantiate that Obama only attended Columbia University for 9 months in 1982-1983, contrary to official accounts.
FOIA and other requests have been submitted to the State Department for passport and travel records.
The Selective Service and Social Security Administrations have been asked for documentation regarding Obama’s Connecticut-based social security number 042-68-4425.
Investigators have traced the number prior to Obama’s [ending in 4424] to Newington, Conn. resident Thomas Wood, deceased at age 19.
To date no government agency can explain how Obama obtained the Connecticut number when at no point in his child or early adult years was he a resident of the state.
Investigations continue into Hawaiian infant-death records for sequential relationships with Obama’s COLB record number 151 01961 010641.
The Nordyke twins have made public their long-form certificates with numbers ending in 37 and 38.
There are several infant-death candidates that may have had birth certificate numbers issued during the August 1961 time frame. These efforts hope to yield more information now kept from the public.

DE: Today, birtherism is a matter of right wing political convenience. Besides the fact that the birther thing is one big ridiculous distraction from all the actual and very real problems currently facing our country and our world, it is useful for politicians as a dogwhistle. It isn’t 100% politically correct or fashionable to call someone a dirty stinking UnAmerican brown shit stain who hates Jesus and apple pie. That kind of talk is simply not allowed, but it’s possible to allude to that kind of thing. It’s very easy to thanks to the f**kwitted, evidence-free birther conspiracy theory. That’s why it’s beneficial for Donald Trump, a man who has got to be smarter than he looks, to imply that – golly gee willickers, guys, you know, hyuck, I just don’t know if Obama is an American or not since nobody from his childhood remembers him at all – excepting of course, for his kindergarten teachers.

In summary, while it is still possible that Obama is Constitutionally eligible, you have to be an ignorant fool to believe that he has offered any conclusive evidence on his own behalf. And when one considers all the actual evidence that has been amassed along with the mass of information being hidden from the public, the logical conclusion is that there is something very unusual about the man that likely goes well beyond his probable lack of Constitutional eligibility.

Whatever the truth turns out to be, one thing is perfectly clear. The man is a fraud from start to finish and will be a strong candidate for the most inept president in U.S. history. I will be extremely surprised if he can manage to obtain the Democratic nomination next year, much less the election.

A verdict on TARP

Pronounced by a TARP executive:

[T]he country was assured that regulatory reform would address the threat to our financial system posed by large banks that have become effectively guaranteed by the government no matter how reckless their behavior. This promise also appears likely to go unfulfilled. The biggest banks are 20 percent larger than they were before the crisis and control a larger part of our economy than ever. They reasonably assume that the government will rescue them again, if necessary. Indeed, credit rating agencies incorporate future government bailouts into their assessments of the largest banks, exaggerating market distortions that provide them with an unfair advantage over smaller institutions, which continue to struggle.

Worse, Treasury apparently has chosen to ignore rather than support real efforts at reform, such as those advocated by Sheila Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to simplify or shrink the most complex financial institutions. In the final analysis, it has been Treasury’s broken promises that have turned TARP — which was instrumental in saving the financial system at a relatively modest cost to taxpayers — into a program commonly viewed as little more than a giveaway to Wall Street executives.

Commonly viewed? A giveaway is all it ever was. Of course the banks were “saved” by it, the buggy whip industry could have been saved by having sufficient government billions funneled into it too. The problem is that because nothing of any significance has been changed, the financial meltdown of 2008 will be repeated and sooner than any of the mainstream economists believe possible.

As housing prices continue to fall – which you may recall I correctly anticipated at the beginning of the year – there will be an ever-increasing divergence between what the banks have on their books and the actual value of those assets. The fiction cannot be maintained indefinitely, but it is impossible to know what will be the spark that will set the gasoline-soaked wooden wreckage of the financial system alight.

But it is incorrect to say that the banking bailout went wrong. The banking bailout was wrong from the start.

Color me dubious

In which the latest excuse for an expanded crackdown on American liberties is unveiled:

The threats came in the mail and to date, there have been 25 letters that warn of nuclear bombs destroying America…. The letter inside said, “The Al-Qaeda organization has planted 160 nuclear bombs throughout the U.S. in schools, stadiums, churches, stores, financial institutions and government buildings.” It also said, “This is a suicide mission for us.”

As we have learned from the details released about Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF’s gun-running operation into Mexico, if anyone is planting bombs around the schools and shopping malls of America it is probably a federal agency.

Has the Tea Party given up?

I don’t know if they have, but it is clear that they would be perfectly justified in doing so. An Instapundit reader emails:

“Can’t speak for the whole tea party but I can speak for many of those with jobs, kids, limited resources and true love for this country. The issues facing this country at the federal level are so large and complex that only honest people have a chance of fixing the problems. We all know that we are not dealing with an honest opposition. We are dealing with people who are only trying to maintain their disgusting grip on the levers of power. See Shumer just today. This country is about to crash in a horrible “Man caused disaster” and we can not get that message to the vast majority of people. Our leadership plays games while we know the Titanic is sinking. The question is do we actually get pitch forks and march on Washington and gig them (If we did we would be terrorists) or do we hunker down and prepare for the worse. Unfortunately, most people are doing the later and it is only a matter of time before they will be proven right. If you publish this, I want our leaders in Washington to hear only one thing. Stop the games and the power grabs and do what it right. The future of your country and your children/grandchildren are depending on you and you are play politics. Shame on you. Wake up and do your duty.”

The problem is that it isn’t just the Democratic opposition that isn’t honest. It is the majority of the Republicans who were endorsed by the Tea Party as well. Even worse, the same accusation of dishonesty – or at least logical incoherence – can be directed at the greater part of the Tea Party itself, since most Tea Partiers support the expensive military occupations and kinetic actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. It is impossible to simultaneously argue that the nation is near bankruptcy and that it can afford to continue its foreign military adventures and foreign aid grants. As long as the Tea Party attempts to do so, we will know it does not merit being taken seriously.

Speaking of unserious, a Tea Party darling, Sen. Marco Rubio, demonstrates that he is not to be taken seriously either: “I will vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit unless it is the last one we ever authorize and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

In other words, he’s willing to throw away a concrete limitation on the size of government for nebulous promises of future responsibility. I can’t help but be reminded of Reagan’s last-ever 1986 immigration amnesty… and given that Florida is now represented by a Hispanic senator, I think it is fairly obvious how much credence should be placed in the effectiveness of those promises.

Why women don’t want nice guys

A woman provides twelve reasons:

Not real: Nice guys are too nice. No one can always be that nice unless they’re a saint. They are busy being nice instead of being real and women instinctually don’t trust that. Bad boys “keep it real”. Nice guys don’t want to upset the apple cart.

Respect: No one respects a doormat. Nice guys don’t set boundaries or make any real demands. A bad boy doesn’t let a woman walk all over him or control him. Women can’t respect a man they can control. No respect = No attraction.

Predictable: Most people lead boring, predictable lives, so they’re attracted to people who are exciting and a bit unpredictable. Bad boys are always a challenge. Nice guys are never a challenge. Predictable + No excitement + No challenge = I prefer a bad boy.

I think there is another, more important reason that young women in particular tend to prefer bad boys that is omitted from this otherwise extensive list. When women just want to “have fun” and are not in a relationship-seeking mode, they will tend to avoid sexual relations with men they believe will be inclined to push them for a more lasting relationship. They know the bad boy won’t stick around, which is not the downside that it is usually assumed to be, but is actually a large part of his attraction for them. And better yet, the bad boy can quite convincingly be blamed for not sticking around afterwards, so that the woman is subsequently able to absolve herself of any blame for the relationship failing to go anywhere.

The amusing thing is the way in which women often attempt to hide their casual flings with the bad boys from both their female friends and the men who are potential long-term relationship material alike.

Mailvox: reservations about libertarianism

SE asks about libertarianism vis-a-vis conservatism:

I have enjoyed your blog for many months, and find your work both insightful and refreshing. Over the last few months, I have been pushed from standard conservatism to libertarianism. However, I have a few reservations about the latter. It is clear that, in theory, libertarianism is ideal to a certain extent. But I cannot get rid of an instinctive feeling that something is wrong with the libertarian movement (not the theory itself).

For example, many articles seem to simply enlarge on how things go wrong when government gets involved in just about anything. I cannot disagree with the sentiment, and it has been a revelation to me to find out just how useless and destructive governments can be, but I think that libertarians can concentrate on this too much, and ignore the deeper realities of human nature. They seem to think that once government is cut down to size and most things are left to the market, everything will fall into place. I agree in part, but I cannot help thinking things are not so simple. (I am of course not suggesting that more government power is a good idea.)

The heart of my doubts, however, is in the similarities I can perceive between some libertarian and leftist writings. I know that libertarian opposition to wars, imperialism, police heavy-handedness etc. is based on principled and reasoned arguments, but it’s the rhetoric that bothers me, as it reminds me strongly of the standard liberal line. There are two sorts of anti-government movements, but it is possible to confuse the two due to their similar rhetoric. And how many people may have just looked at the basic ideas, concluded that they like a system which is anti-government and wants to legalise drugs and so on, and have called themselves libertarian on that basis without thinking of all that it necessarily involves?

There is overlap between libertarian and liberal policies, although the principles behind them are completely different, eg. liberals are obviously not really anti-government, just anti-certain governments. I worry that some libertarians may actually be motivated by the same mindset as those on the radical left. It seems to be becoming quite a common label people give themselves, and unfortunately, when a good idea gets to be widely known and popular, it often loses its original purity. Couple this with the emotional appeal to the ideas of revolution, tearing down the system etc. and the libertarian movement may get apparent support from people who are not truly sympathetic to it in all its ramifications.

It is my belief that libertarianism should encompass every aspect of life in order to avoid this danger. I don’t mean there should be a set of, for example, religious beliefs associated with it; I just mean that it shouldn’t just be something you tack onto your other beliefs, or merely pay lip service to. We need a strong moral basis for libertarianism to work, as well. The minds of the majority of people need to be thoroughly made pro-liberty. The human mind is constantly in danger of abandoning liberty, and falling prey to statism, and perhaps libertarians do not concentrate enough on this crucial problem.

Touching on specific issues, I know that many libertarians support abortion, for example. This may be totally at odds with their advocacy of protection of individual rights, but you have to concede that, as yet, not that many have admitted the contradiction. Is it a simple oversight or something deeper? Again, a lot of libertarians support open borders. In an ideal world where there were no cultural or religious differences, this might be an admirable position. But human nature is such that allowing mass immigration will almost always be a disaster eventually, as I have come to accept from reading your thoughts on the topic. And yet the policy of open borders seems to follow from libertarian principles.

However, the biggest problem in my view is a feeling that I cannot get rid of no matter how much I agree with the libertarian arguments. Feel free to ridicule but I just have this sense that something is wrong when I read their writings – not with the facts or reasoning as such, but with the way it sounds. Perhaps it is the economic focus in some cases, obscuring the moral or behavioural aspects. It is significant that I have never once got this feeling when reading your blog or columns, but often have when reading on mises.org, or Rothbard’s essays, for example (although I agree with most of his arguments). I was looking into this thought, and found that in The Betrayal of the American Right, Rothbard says “The book was written after the end of our alliance with the New Left, which had begun promisingly in the early and mid-1960s but had ended in the mad if short-lived orgy of violence and destruction at the end of the decade.”

Such an alliance just seems strange to me, and indicates either a very naive move, or a deeper relationship between the two movements. This fact bothers me, as on an intellectual level I cannot think of a better system than libertarianism. It does not help when libertarians confuse things by claiming theirs is a leftist ideology. Or is this actually true? I would have thought that, in theory, despite their non-conservative views on such things as drugs and homosexuality, libertarianism is of the right. I had believed that it was at least related to conservatism; and this seemed verified when I noticed that many libertarians seemed to originate in conservative circles. But I was surprised to see an entry on Wikipedia for ‘left-libertarianism’, and unnerved to find links to the anarchist movement.

This is my dilemma: now I have been exposed to libertarian ideas, I cannot with integrity remain loyal to the conservative movement, whatever that may be, and I find their views too vague and statist. But although I find libertarian ideas on many topics so intellectually convincing, I cannot take the leap and give it my wholehearted support because this undefined, but very real, feeling gets in the way. (However, I would vote for the UK Libertarian Party despite all this, if I thought it would make any difference, having given up long ago on the Conservatives.)

Of course I am new to libertarianism, so there may be a perfectly good explanation for this. It is possible that as I learn more, I will see something I missed. I also realise that conservatives have their own problems, mostly a fatal attraction to government intervention when it suits them, and an irritating lack of strong principles, whereas libertarians seem to have a much better ordered system of thought.

I sincerely would like to believe that I am just imagining things. Do you think this niggling doubt is based on reality? Is there a conceptual link between the two ideologies?

The first thing that always has to be kept in mind when considering a political ideology is that one should never judge the ism by the ist. MPAI applies to libertarians every bit as much as it applies to conservatives or liberals. Because ideology is neither logic nor science, most ideologies are self-contradicting to a certain extent. Thus, we have libertarians who simultaneously support both open borders and the concept of the sovereign nation-state, liberals who support both free speech and hate speech laws, and conservatives who support both a strong military and rampant foreign intervention.

Few libertarians trouble to think through the rational consequences of all their positions. But human liberty is not a justification for ignoring either gravity or population demographics. And as for abortion, that is a simple matter of whether the unborn child is considered a human individual or not. It is both unscientific and irrational to insist that it is not, but few people are actually capable of grasping the relevant science or reason with regards to the subject.

The important thing to understand about libertarianism is that it is not ideals that drive it, but rather a cynical view of human nature. It is the anti-progressive ideology, because it is predicated on the idea that humanity cannot be improved and that government will always eventually turn on the people over whom it governs. While some libertarians wax lyrical about liberty and the free market, libertarianism is ultimately about preventing the government from killing its citizens by refusing to permit it the means or the justification to do so.

As for the similarity of liberal and libertarian rhetoric, that is easily dealt with. Modern “liberals” are liars. Even their stolen name is dishonest, as there is nothing liberal about the average “liberal”; it would be much more accurate to label them statists as their preference is almost uniformly in support of more state interference in the economy and the lives of the citizenry rather than less. Since they are intrinsically dishonest and deceptive, there is no reason to take their rhetoric seriously.