Thus Spoke Irony

Posted June 6, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

After launching a broad criticism of the bewildering, irrational, and cruel ideology of the Nietzsche school of thought, another commentator challenged my interpretation of his views on aristocracy and master/slave morality. I provided a link to the relevant passage that supported my statement. His comeback was, “If you’re only interested in reading fragments, don’t bother reading at all.” In other words, don’t bore me with details or contrary evidence, I have faith in a higher meaning. Alright, I will not argue against a pure faith that denies its origins and conclusions. Let’s disconnect philosophy from its actual written text. That seems like a grand plan.




Low Crimes

Posted May 23, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

If you have not yet digested the impact of the Comey testimony upon the legal community, the excellent Marty Lederman has the rundown here. Basically, it shows how desperate the principal actors in the White House were to protect their illegal spying activity. By illegal, I mean that the top echelon at the DOJ were willing to resign in protest over it and that the administration would not allow any sort of judicial review. The reason for this midnight visit to bypass the Acting Attorney General was most likely done to protect the telecom companies from civil and criminal liability, not to keep government employees from violating the law. Apparently the Executive Branch cannot even comprehend the antiquated notion of rule of law or checks and balances. As long as there was a signature by somebody who could conceivably claim the authority of AG, the telecom companies would keep their data streams wide open for snooping.

Cult of Authority

Posted May 2, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

“When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.” – Thomas Sowell

Well now, isn’t that special? Please remember that only liberals advocate the destruction of a free society and hate democracy.

Chickenhawk Arguments

Posted May 2, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

Some vitriolic lunatic in the aforementioned race and crime argument accused me of being a coward, traitor, socialist pornographer, (etc…) since I had the audacity to not live in a different country or in the heart of a ghetto to show my support of multiculturalism. There are a few things that will get me jumping right up on my liberal soapbox and start a barrage of sarcasm and mockery, and this is one of them. This is my country and I will not let some cretin tell me that I have to live somewhere else. Moving to a white trailer park or a black ghetto would be a ridiculous way to oppose crime, nor do I consider any neighborhood based on economic class to be a representative standard of the entire race of people who live in it.

“Go fight this war yourself.” A common refrain heard around the blogosphere, it has some value as a tactic, since it is hypocritical to suggest a policy in which you expect others to pay the full cost. On the other hand, it primarily serves as a way to derail the discussion and denigrate someone’s motives. The one time I used it, the comment was justifiably removed by the author of the post.

Returning to the argument from genetics, let’s see what is what. According to some statistics that seem biased, but I have no easy way of verifying them, the rate of crime committed by blacks is proportional to whites to the same degree that male criminals are proportional to female. For the sake of argument, let’s assume this is true. Even if you posit that testosterone leads to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically follow that aggressiveness in males equals violence or lawbreaking. It is much more likely that crime among men is a learned behavior, they are taught to channel their aggressiveness through games that mimic violence through most of their childhood and youth. War simulations are about deception and destroying the enemy. The sports related games are less violent, and these seem much better at teaching men how to compete within the context of rules. Considering the economic and cultural disparity that centuries of slavery and segregation wrought, it would be surprising if dysfunctions did not exist in a more serious form within the black community than the white. That does not mean they cannot be reduced over time, just that two generations since the Civil Rights Act is not a lot of time to recover from everything that went before it. I would be remiss if I did not also point out that Asian heritage populations have a crime rate half that of whites, so if the genetic view is correct they are presumably born morally superior to whites.

Crime Data

Posted April 29, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

I was looking around the intertubes for some data on race and crime statistics when I stumbled into the Department of Justice statistics website. Although I don’t completely discredit the idea that genetics has some impact on crime, it is clear that factors like poverty and education magnify whatever innate difference there is to an incredible degree. I disagree vehemently with those who think genetics has greater influence on the causation of crime than these social factors.

For the statistics from 2005 I found these interesting tidbits:

For single offender crimes, 12% are committed by relatives, 40% by friends and acquaintances, and the rest by strangers.

Crimes committed by strangers are more than twice as likely to involve a firearm.

Females are 50% less likely to be the victims of violent crime by strangers compared to males. Females are 50% more likely to be at least casually acquainted with their attacker than males.

Urban dwellers are about 50% more likely to be the victims of violent crime compared to suburban dwellers.

Crimes of violence against married people are less than half the number against people who are divorced or separated.

After living in an area for 5+ years, the chance of being the victim of violent crime falls by a third compared to 1-4 year residency. Living in an area less than six months, on the other hand, doubles the chance compared to 1-4 year residency.

Dual Fronts

Posted April 26, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

I was in a cordial if strange argument with a libertarian who had created his own distinct version of corporate hegemony that he labeled formalism. Basically, it would mean the dissolution of the nation and a return to city-states, each owned by a corporate monarch. The supposed reason to do this was to give incentives for people not to commit violence. I still don’t understand how privatization of every piece of material would stop violence, but he gave a spirited defense of it in the comment thread. Of course, everyone thought it was completely and utterly impractical.

What really stuck in my craw was his dismissal of democracy as being conducive to violence and conflict. As if symbolic violence, in terms of assembling the “troops” to vote for issue X, was in some way comparable to the actual potential for violent tyranny by corporate overlords. Robber barons must never have existed in his revisionist history of the world.

American-style democracy is not perfect, nobody claims that. What I do claim is that it is superior to other forms of governance. Not only does it allow the voice of the citizen to be heard, thus making it more informed and accountable than other types of government, it also allows for flexibility and reform within the governing institution itself.

Between the libertarians and the dominionists, it is a wonder that democracy is still alive and kicking, based as it is on trust and sense of community with one’s own society.  Libertarian “I got mine,” philosophy appeals to the worst in us, and although the dominionists want to save us from…something, their dogma has no faith in the wisdom of man and places myth above reality.

Thoughts on VA Tech

Posted April 25, 2007 by malaproprose
Categories: General

What a terrible tragedy. Despite multiple attempts at guidance and help, some guy succumbs to his insanity and rage and starts a killing spree.

Like we should expect, the valiant courage of Derbyshire and the calm, reasoned response by Debbie Schlussel and her fellow travelers set new standards in improving public discourse. I mean, really. Could Derbyshire possibly have any more contempt for the victims? Could Debbie possibly show a greater degree of Islamophobia?

I don’t think so. For Derbyshire, the fact that kids could not outrun bullets being fired by a crazy person just shows how weak and pathetic students are these days. In his day, no doubt, they would subdue the killer with a stinging quip and a cup of tea. For Debbie, words just about fail me. Inflaming that sort of paranoia is on par, in my opinion, to the way Hitler treated made a scapegoat of the Jews.