Proposal: a carbon tax on voting
February 5, 2016 § 11 Comments
This is just a theoretical exercise, so the specific numbers aren’t all that important: I’m just spitballing here. Basically what I am proposing is (say) a $1000 tax per voter, paid by the voter, to cover the carbon footprint of that person voting.
Suppose 100 million voters average 2 miles to get to the polls each at 20 miles per gallon. That is 10 million gallons of gas.
Polling places consume another 5 million gallons of gas or equivalent keeping facilities open, setting up and tearing down, running computer equipment, and the like.
The politicians these voters elect consume about 1 billion gallons of gas or equivalent in the process of providing for their own facilities, transportation, perks, interns, hookers, bribes, kickbacks, drugs, and alcohol.
Elected politicians also consume the equivalent of about 1 trillion gallons of gas in the process of providing goodies back to the voters, who elected them in order to receive those goodies.
Again I am just spitballing here, but I think is it pretty easy to see how a $1000+ carbon tax on everyone who votes could be straightforwardly justified.
I think I am getting the hang of this poetry thing
February 2, 2016 § 15 Comments
A commenter posted a link to an article which I found to be quite inspiring. Excerpt:
Laurie Woodward, the director of the Student Union, said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”
“Diversity is so much more than race. Obviously race still plays a big role. But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that,” sophomore architecture major Mia Ashley said.
Here is the result of my muse:
Black is the new white
niggardly niggardly niggardly noobs,
militantly tolerant of men with boobs,
heckle and snark administrative rubes,
until MLK day goes down the tubes
Trump for President!
February 1, 2016 § 83 Comments
As a notorious and outspoken non-voter, I definitely plan to not vote for Donald Trump. I have to say that I really, really appreciate what he is doing for American politics.
Once we grant the premise of American politics – that government should represent the people of the United States, should be the political incarnation of the current American zeitgeist – well, I am hard pressed to think of a viable candidate who comes even close to representing the American people in 2016 as well as the Trump. Who could possibly be more appropriate than a crass billionaire reality TV star, a hotel and gambling magnate with a new blonde on his arm every time we see him? His defining political position, his unprincipled exception designed for mass appeal, is just that he will keep America from getting dissolved by the dilutive power of mass immigration, making sure that America stays American by rejecting the ideology of white people. All hail the Donald, archetypical representative of our greatest aspirations!
Folks who think he can’t win are, I think, stuck in the past and do not understand the society in which we live. I don’t predict a win, mind you, but the notion that the Trump cannot win is just ridiculous. Modern effeminate Americans love to look up to a bad boy showman. Even if he slaps them around a bit and cheats on them we know they’ll still end up back with him. He’ll smile at them and say something that makes them all hot and bothered, and then they are his.
Establishment Republicans are so cute, the way they take the political process seriously (for values of ‘seriously’) — unlike the vast majority of voters, who do not have the intellectual resources or the inclination to take it seriously in the same way. For the great majority of people voting is just a signal of allegiance, a doffing of the cap, an expression of emotion, an outlet for frustration. The stereotype of the thoughtful voter on either the left or the right is one of those quaint things that certain people believe despite their lying eyes.
Another thing I appreciate about Trump is that he has introduced us to a new phase in the Hegelian Mambo. All the usual suspects will perceive this new step as the arrival — finally! – of the revolution we’ve really been waiting for! Pay no attention to what gets dropped on the floor as the dance proceeds.
The last few decades of American politics have involved a dialectic between nominally Christian liberals and anti-Christian liberals. In this new phase we can leave Christianity behind entirely, even that pesky nominal Christianity. This new phase ushered in by the Great Salesman with Fantastic Hair and Lots of Money will be one of nationalist liberalism versus globalist liberalism. Just watch that dowdy old religion disappear without a whimper!
And this could be a good thing for at least some, perhaps some small number, of even modestly serious Christians who have been stuck up until now, lured by the siren song of supposed personal relevance into lighting a pinch of incense. Though I suppose if decades of abortion rope-a-dope with the Republican party hasn’t cut the cord yet it must be a pretty thick cord.
An army of clowns in floppy jack boots
January 14, 2016 § 15 Comments
A number of folks believe that I am not interpreting some of the authors I am citing and linking to correctly: that I just don’t get it, in a phrase. That is certainly possible. In fact it would be astonishing if I managed to always interpret what other people are saying correctly, let alone fit that interpretation into a correct understanding of reality. That’s one reason why actual citation is important.
Language is a fragile medium to begin with, and combined with my own very fallible humanity it may be that I am interpreting incorrectly when Foseti says that “the one key tenet of the neoreaction … [is that] Progressivism is a nontheistic Christian sect” and “Instead of arguing against Christianity, [atheist Richard] Dawkins is arguing for one sect of Christianity over all others,” or when Moldbug says “If there is one general weakness in the conservative strategy, it strikes me as this unwillingness to admit that ‘liberalism’ is actually mainline Protestantism, which is actually Christianity,” or when Nick B Steves says “Better a godless Japan than a Jesus-luvin Baltimore,” or when Gary Pettersen says “…most of us [on the ‘alternative right’] are consequentialists …”.
Examples can be multiplied. The point is that it is possible that when people say these things, I am not interpreting them correctly. There are a number of reasons why this could be the case. I will discuss a few of them, with no pretense of making an exhaustive account.
For example, it could be that the people saying these things are nominalists. A nominalist can say ‘a is a B’ but he cannot really mean it, because to him there is really no such thing as B. B is just a convenient label which we apply to similar particular things for our own purposes; but actual categories of things with essences – essences which determine the categories to which a thing does or does not belong – don’t exist. In practice nominalism tends to be a ‘for me but not for thee’ thing, since nobody can be consistently nominalist and remain sane. Nominalism, as with many perverse ideas, cannot come in a pure form: it must be doped by unprincipled exceptions to avoid winking out of reality entirely.
Another problem though may be that taking these words seriously is to misinterpret them. When Jerry Seinfeld equates cheering for a football team with cheering for the team clothing, what he says is humorous precisely because it is not to be taken seriously. He is making a joke, not describing reality accurately. So part of the problem may be in taking what people actually say seriously when they don’t really mean it seriously, either because they are intentionally unserious or because they don’t really have any idea what they are talking about. They are just clowning around.
If they do not actually mean what they say seriously, it would be a mistake to take what they actually say seriously.
Bonald recently wrote on a different topic:
This reminds me of an afterward of one volume of Father Copleston’s history of philosophy, regarding Marx’s and Nietzsche’s theories of everything. If you say that economic relations or the will to power determine everything, that’s clearly wrong. But if you weaken the claim to say just that these things are important forces, that sometimes they motivate actions, then you have a statement that is true but obvious and uninteresting. So the theories of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud (the latter being a very similar case) are either interesting but false or true but uninteresting.
Peter Blood observes that some of the alt-right appeal is that:
… argument with other such sociopaths will at least be more interesting. Arguing with run-of-the-mill liberals sucks the life out of you, it’s so boring.
And it is all fun and games until someone actually takes the ideas seriously.
Pithiness is a virtue
January 3, 2016 § 3 Comments
Logorrhea is a vice.
Ode to imaginary wealth
November 19, 2015 § 25 Comments
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I’m no poet
But I’ll inflict this on you.
They confuse us about usury
by treating a personal guarantee
as if it were their property
and charging us a rental fee
now this is modern slavery
which rests on unreality
that banks turn into currency
for paying your transaction fee
Those Vogons have got nothing on me. I blame this on Bonald.
Different ontologies of property in action
October 4, 2015 § 10 Comments
When you buy something from Amazon, they treat you like the thing you bought now belongs to you.
When you buy something from Apple, they treat you like the thing you bought still belongs to them.
Google and Facebook own you.
Discrediting ultramontanism by practicing it
June 19, 2014 § 16 Comments
Peter Blood made the clever quip “discrediting democracy by practicing it” in a comment thread a while back. A discussion at Dalrock (my first comment on this in particular is here) got me thinking that “discrediting ultramontanism by practicing it” might be an accurate thematic description of the current papacy as a social phenomenon.
(See also this post.)
June 17, 2014 § 3 Comments
Homophobia (n): the irrational debilitating fear that George Michael and Elton John are hiding under your bed.
If you just wet yourself in terror, you might be a homophobe.
(HT Kevin Jones in an old comment).
April 15, 2014 § 25 Comments
Inspired by this thread I did a little experiment and got the following result: