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2018-02-12 18:42 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 292 references
[Comments enabled]  

So spake a snake.

Jeff Sessions to the Union League, marking Lincoln Day: “Slavery was the cause of the war. It was not states’ rights or tariffs or agrarian versus industrial economies….The cloud, the stain of human bondage—the buying and selling of human beings—was the unsolvable problem."

Bah.

There's so much bullcrap that is run on Lincoln and the Civil War that comes from indoctrination in government schools that it's puke-inducing.

Don't get me wrong on this, and before you get out the rotten eggs and start the virtue-signalling nonsense just shut the **** up, sit down and read.

Then decide, for I have an intellectual assignment for you that you should, if you believe the common narrative, have no trouble completing.

First, let's note that importation of slaves was halted in 1808 under the Jefferson Administration.  There were contraband vessels that from time to time came in anyway, much as there are today with drugs, but since people are relatively large and hard to hide, there was little of that post 1808.  Most slave population growth from that point forward, in other words, was "indigenous"; existing slaves had children which were the property of the female's owner (and the responsibility to provide for at their expense until they were able to perform a usable amount of labor, at which point their economic output rose above zero.)

Ironically, Eli Whitney's cotton gin patent was validated in 1807, and it dramatically increased the ability to clean raw cotton of its seeds -- and by doing so made plantations far more viable than they had been before.  This of course drove demand for the ability to pick all that cotton.  You see, cotton as a crop is much more difficult to harvest in the time available than it is to sow or cultivate, so the limiting factor on acreage planted for a given amount of labor was that which you could harvest -- the rest of whatever land you had was planted with less labor-intensive crops such as corn.

There are plenty of arguments over whether or not slavery was doomed for economic reasons.  But among those who argue it definitely was not there are a couple of severe flaws in their logic that none of them adequately explain.  Chief among these is that all of said proponents both recognize and admit that extending slavery into the new territories of the west was critical for the southern states, and without it slavery would have collapsed under its own weight.  This is a classic piece of evidence that in fact slavery was a Ponzi scheme in that it was not so much maintenance of an existing "customer base" (if you will) that made it work on an economic basis but an ever-increasing, exponentially-so, customer base that was driving the economic value of the item in question -- in this case, slaves.  Of course all such schemes inherently must collapse because indefinitely exponential expansion is mathematically impossible; the only argument that remains is when they will collapse, not if.  In other words if expansion of slave-holding territory was essential to the viability of the US slavery system then no, slaves were not economically viable on the basis of their labor contribution .vs. cost.  It was only through grossly-expanding demand that the illusion of a "growing and stable" market was presented.

The second, and far more-serious flaw in said reasoning however is that again, by the proponent's of "it was economically successful" numerical figuresthe vast majority of free southern adult males were not slaveowners.  In fact about 80% of said households (women didn't have property rights, by and large, at the time) owned no slaves whatsoever.  Nearly half of the remaining 20% held fewer than five.  In other words the "big plantation with lots of slaves" was a rarity, and those people were incredibly wealthy indeed.  By today's standards if you held over 100 slaves, depending on how you choose to treat inflation (trust me, that's a snakepit over time periods of this length) you were probably a billionaire.

The implication of these figures is staggering when you think about it.  For the narrative taught in government schools to hold it must have been true that fewer than one in five adult males committed the other 80% to "defend" the 20%'s wealth, and ultimately many of them died, for damn few of those who were slaveholders took up arms as infantry -- those most-exposed to winding up dead on the battlefield.

Let that sink into your 'noggin for a minute.

Now consider this, which is perhaps where you really ought to spend your time and mental energy when evaluating the above: The most-accurate estimates we have are that fewer than 10% of those fighting on either side were conscripts; nearly all volunteered!

To put figures on this there were about 2 million free adult men in the Confederate South at the start of the war.  Best estimates are that somewhere around half of them fought and close to a third of them died between battle injuries, disease (which killed 50% more than battle did!) and a sizable number died in Northern prison camps, probably of privation and disease while interned.

So what the proponents of "it was boomtown city economically in the slave states" and "the Civil War was all about slavery and nothing else of consequence mattered" demand you believe is that less than 20% of the adult male population, which were the only adult males with any economic interest in slaves at all and were filthy rich as a result, managed to get 50% of the adult male population, which were mostly those without slaves (and thus were not filthy rich) to pick up guns, willingly enlist and fight -- and which ultimately ending in the death of a third of those who did so.

As soon as you can explain to me why 20% of the population with an economic interest can manage to convince the other 80% to voluntarily take a great and known risk of getting killed and being dispossessed of everything they owned when there was no economic benefit to be personally maintained or gained by doing so since they did not own slaves in the first place then we can probably agree that slavery was the defining issue that led the South to both secede and continue down the path of events from there that led to shooting -- and that nothing else was a serious factor.

Your assignment is to first look up data (and assumptions made) from those who are most favorable to the case that slavery was the real issue of the war, and without it no other factor would have motivated men to shoot and die -- that is, those who argue that slavery was both very economically viable at the time and would continue to be into the reasonably indefinite future. With such data as the predicate and backstop to your argument you must then explain how 20% of the adult male population managed to convince more than half of the other 80% to go out and commit suicide, both economically and literally, for no economic or personal benefit whatsoever.  In other words, you must explain how that 20% managed to convince the 80% to voluntarily both destroy everything they had and then die solely to protect the wealth of said 20% with none of the reasonably foreseeable benefit, if they had won, going to those who actually did the fighting.

You may begin your assignment in the comment section.

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2018-02-12 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 157 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's gore a few more sacred cows, sever their heads and eat their hearts while still beating, shall we?

I'm going to go after one here that nobody's going to like -- at all.

American mainstream media outlets delivered plenty of propaganda on North Korea’s behalf this weekend.  Somehow, as Kim Jong Un’s totalitarian regime continues to starve, torture and murder its own people—western news outlets are mesmerized by the dictatorship’s presence at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Take, for example, the following headlines – ones you’d normally expect to find in North Korea’s state-run media. On Saturday, I found them in my Twitter feed:

“Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the winter Olympics”

“The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South at the Olympics”

“North Korea’s cheerleaders steal spotlight at Winter Games with synchronized chants”

“North Korea is winning the Olympics—and it’s not because of sports”

Anyone care to place a bet on the common factor with all of these?

Oh, c'mon, you know damn well what is is, so stop with the smiley eh?

All of the above, just like the Kardashian garbage, the Jenner garbage, and the entire industry out there in WierdoLand known as Hollysexassault, is simple: Those getting all the press are cute and have a vagina.

The rest doesn't matter.

Like, for instance, in the case of North Korea, that the people who run the country, including one of the pretty VJ-possessors brotherlikes to murder people by putting them in front of anti-aircraft guns.

Or starving them.

Or putting them in plastic chippers.

Or any one of a number of other ugly, nasty ways to dispose of people you don't like very much -- or who you just think are "lesser" and don't deserve such basic things as air to breathe.

But it's all ok because those cheerleaders and said sister are both cute and have a VJ.

Just like it's all ok that HollySexAssault is all ok because so many of those "starlets" are also cute and have a VJ.

And Fox Snooz along with all the other media puts the latest little baby from one of the Jenner clan up as a "big reveal" because she's cute and has a VJ!

Hell, Bruce gets to parade around and get plenty of press because he dressed all cute and pretended to have been born with a VJ!

Or how about our favorite traitor, Bradley Manning?  He dressed up all cute and pretended to have been born with a VJ tooand guess what -- he gets press coverage as well on-demand!

How about we cut the crap about so-called sexism aimed at "derogating" women until the media, the left, and everyone else stops with the lies and nonsense.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with the underlying merits -- or lack thereof -- of the people being given the press coverage.  Those fawning over South Korea's cheerleaders and sister-of-the-grand-jackass-with-a-tiny-penis are not doing so because they are actually newsworthy, just like having a kid isn't newsworthy -- millions upon millions of people have a child every year.  It's an utterly ordinary, and not-newsworthy event.

No, the truth, which nobody wants to talk about, is simply this: Raw, naked, unbridled sexism -- as a rank advantage for those who happen to be pretty and have -- or can pull off pretending to have -- a VJ.

Lack either and.....  no press.

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2018-02-11 09:40 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 284 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's no longer considered acceptable to make an inquiry, or to compile mathematical or scientific facts, when race is at issue.

A science fair project at a California high school faced criticism earlier this week after it compared race and IQ levels in connection to participation in an elite program at the school, The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.

The project, titled “Race and IQ,” was put together by a C.K. McClatchy High School student who is part of the school’s elite Humanities and International Studies Program. It was displayed in the fair on Monday, the outlet said.

In comparing intelligence levels, the project reportedly questioned whether particular races were smart enough for the school’s magnet program and whether a racial disparity was justified.

The hypothesis under test was that if the average IQ of various subgroups of the population is lower, then a disproportionate representation in a particular gifted program is justified.

That sounds like something quite worth studying.  See, there are multiple reasons for such a disproportionate representation in a program in which an admission criteria is to be materially on the right end of the bell curve of intelligence.  Some of them implicate discrimination.  Others do not.

One that would not is that the centerpoint of said bell curve for a given subgroup of the population lies either higher or lower than the overall median (100, in the case of IQ.)

This, apparently, is no longer a testable hypothesis in America: The exhibit was removed from the science fair and, apparently, the school says they're taking the fact that it was present "very seriously", implying that there is some disciplinary action coming for the mere fact of making scientific inquiry.

This nation is done folks, and as for California and Sacramento, they just earned a permanent blackball for any of their students, past, present or future, irrespective of their race, in any firm I ever have a hiring role in from this day forward.

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2018-02-05 09:30 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 197 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is some sort of a surprise?

A report based on conviction data suggests that illegal immigrants in Arizona commit crimes at twice the rate of other residents.

No, really?

And....

“There appears to be a huge difference between the two groups,” he said. “The type of person who goes through the process to legally immigrate in the United States appears to be very law-abiding versus even the U.S.-born population."

Why would this surprise and more to the point, why hasn't this been reported before?

I have a friend who was naturalized.  People who go to that sort of trouble and expense -- and it is both difficult and expensive -- have every reason to be law-abiding citizens, even more-so than someone who is native-born.

Among other things if you do it "the right way" (rather than relying on some "amnestry") you must submit proof that you have paid all of your taxes -- which means all your 1040s with all supporting schedules and attachments.  You must show that you are not likely to become a "public charge" (e.g. not taking any form of public assistance.)

And you must have a clean criminal record.

Oh, then there's the time and money investment, neither of which is cheap or easy, never mind learning English and how our government actually works, with a requirement to actually pass a test on that at the end.

Illegal invaders do none of the above.  They cheat on their taxes by definition.  They steal public resources by definition.  They hide in the shadows by definition.  Their first act upon setting foot over the border is an illegal one, in fact, which sets forth exactly how much they "honor" our legal system and framework -- that is, not at all.

You have to be a special brand of stupid to not understand the difference between these two groups of people without having to have it explained to you.

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2018-02-03 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 159 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well who could have ever seen this coming....

Sugar is having a tobacco moment, not just here, but around the world.

Urbanization, falling poverty rates, and growing global trade have changed the diets and expanded the waistlines of the world’s poor, with processed food and sweetened drinks becoming household staples. Even very low-income communities are seeing rising rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease as a result. But many countries lack the tax revenue and medical infrastructure to treat such conditions, leading to a burgeoning global-health crisis. To tackle it, a new task force of well-known academics and advocates is encouraging developing nations to treat candy and soft drinks as many of them treat alcohol and cigarettes—and to tax them.

There's never a mention about the other way to handle this: Stop financializing medicine, stop "guaranteeing" access, stop socializing it all, in short and let people make their own choices and pay the consequences.

My late aunt smoked like a damn chimney her entire life and the tobacco never got her.  I'm sure her lungs looked like the interior of a coal mine, but she died of old age (and ripe at that) without ever getting lung cancer or heart disease.  She's the exception, of course -- most people who smoke do wind up getting screwed by it, and hard.

Further, it is true that taxing something, especially if you heavily tax it, does reduce consumption.  This makes such an approach look very attractive to government wonks and those who love socialism.

But the secondary effects are either ignored or worse, get dismissed with a "so what" attitude.

Let me give you an example.

Take an elderly person who has one of their kids "boomerang" back.  Maybe add a boyfriend to that.  Said boomerang'd "kid", now very much an adult, smokes and is not working.

Who's going to pay for the smokes?  Said elderly person will -- one way or another.  You'd say "well they could just say no" but the "saying no" means kicking that boomerang'd kid, who has no job and perhaps has some serious health issues themselves, out of the house.

Should they do that?  That's a clean argument to have but the reality of it is that it's pretty easy between one or two such parasitical individuals that get attached in this fashion to run several thousand dollars up on the other person's tab every year.  If that person also has an issue with alcohol or some other drug then it's even worse, but absent that -- just on tobacco -- it can be enough for someone on fixed income to be completely screwed economically.

The people who put these tax systems in place don't care about this.  They call this "choice" and on a purely-technical level they're right -- it is personal choice of the person being exploited to tolerate it and not toss those who are cost-shifting this crap out on their ear.

But look at the alternative -- instead of giving the adult boomerang Medicaid or Medicare+Disability, how about if you cut off both and at the same time break the medical monopolies?  Now the person who today can "attach" themselves like a parasite and drain someone's finances through throwing a pity party, which can be very effective, is left with (1) tobacco that can be had for a tiny fraction of the current price so the financial exploitation ends but (2) they get nothing in terms of medical support on everyone else's check.

This makes it possible for them to pay their own bill in all respects but if they choose not to, and also choose to continue to trash their health, we do not get the bill for it, they choose not to spend it, and they die.

Oh, and the elderly person in question?  They're not financially destroyed either; instead of their "boomerang" smoking up all their money they can take a cruise with it and enjoy some sun and adult beverages -- several times a year.

This is where "socialism" has its rubber meet the road.  It is so seductive to simply say "well, we have all this cost in medical care due to these bad habits, so tax the habit to both reduce it and pay the bill for the care."  The problem is that this simplistic answer doesn't work because especially with addictive behaviors like eating carbs, smoking or drinking too much the person doing it will find a way to cost-shift the tax to someone else and thus you not only don't get the reductions you think you would you also financially assrape people who are not doing the bad thing!

The better answer is to get rid of the subsidized "fixing" (e.g. health care) and kill the monopolies which takes the cost pressure off both the person doing the bad thing(s) such as smoking or eating carbs and stops screwing those who would otherwise have their heartstrings manipulated into paying for it.  The people who choose to kill themselves anyway still suffer the mortality and morbidity but the damage stops with them instead of being shifted onto myriad other people through emotionally-abusive tactics -- which, I remind you, includes parading around children and adults who "need subsidized health care."

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