Tuesday, June 29, 2010



Could one of parapsychology's most bizarre, least understood, and least researched phenomena also be among the most common?

We're talking about jottles.

Never heard of such a thing? It's not surprising, since "jottle" (a diminutive form of JOTT, "Just One of Those Things") is a rarely used term, even in parapsychology.

Nicola Holt, writing in the April 2004 Paranormal Review (a publication of the Society for Psychical Research), reports on an SPR study day dedicated to jottles.

A jottle is described as "a general term for discontinuities with time and space." More specifically, six variants have been identified, Holt says:

Walkabout. "The basic jottle, where an object disappears from a known location and reappears in a new location."

Comeback. "An object disappears and later reappears in the same place."

Flyaway. "The object disappears and never comes back."

Turn-up. "An object appears in a location where it couldn't have been before." Not to be confused with a turnip, a bulbous root vegetable.

Windfall. "An object appears that has never been seen before."

Trade-in. "An object disappears, and is replaced with a similar object."


One characteristic of a jottle is that it happens in otherwise normal circumstances, unlike the apports (
materialized objects) that occur in some séances. Since SPR is a scientific-minded organization, Holt points out that "it is essential in all cases that there be an exceptionally clear perception and recollection of where the object had been before, and/or that an object had not been in a particular place before. Good cases are subject to usual quality criteria that strengthen the 'evidence,' such as the presence of second witnesses, reliable witnesses, immediate recording and reporting, physical restrains, and seeking to rule out normal explanations."

The article gives examples of each type of jottle. I'll include only two to give you the flavor. The people quoted are SPR members who spoke at the study day.
David Rousseau cited a number of 'comeback' jottles. One concerned Manfred Cassirer [author of several books on parapsychology], who reported that on 9th October 1987, he went to his desk to get some wooden toothpicks, only to find they were not there. The next day he bought a new packet of toothpicks and placed them in the same spot, and was confronted with the original packet. Manfred lived alone, and although his next-door neighbour had keys for his home, she could not be implicated due to timing. The involvement of mundane objects seems to be typical of jottles.
Maurice Grosse told the tale of 'new keys for old', which may best be described as a 'trade-in'. The lock on the front door of Maurice's house was changed after his wife's keys for it had been lost on an outing. The old lock and its remaining keys, which were 40 years old, were kept. Of four new keys, Maurice and his wife took one each and two space keys were kept in the study.

However, there were soon two new keys on his wife's key ring, one of which did not fit the new lock! One new key was in the study, which also did not fit the new lock! The keys had the name of the most recent locksmith on them, who affirmed that they were the keys he had recently cut. However, they were stamped with an old telephone number, which was two years out of date. When Maurice tried the new, unworn keys in the old lock, they fitted it perfectly. The locksmith was never in possession of the old lock. [When] asked if the old keys were still upstairs with the old lock, Maurice affirmed that they were.
I have no data to prove it, but I suspect that most people have experienced a jottle. Usually it makes no impression, or is quickly forgotten, precisely because it concerns a "mundane object." And even if no ordinary explanation comes to mind, well, it's "just one of those things."

Recently I experienced what may have been a "flyaway" jottle. A pair of Levi's Dockers went missing. I looked in the obvious places — the bottom of the closet, drawers, the laundry, etc. Puzzled, I looked in un-obvious places: under the bed, under the sofa (even though it seemed like an absurd place for the pants to be hiding), behind things, inside things … now, I can't claim I turned the whole house inside out, but it was a thorough search that I think would have satisfied a detective team looking for a murder weapon.


Our playful cats like to move objects around, but I can't imagine them moving trousers very far, let alone depositing them somewhere secret. I put it to you that almost everyone has experienced something simply disappear when they weren't looking, but because it was small or insignificant, they just wrote it off as lost. That too happened to me yesterday with a contact lens that I was fairly sure I put in its case. It was nowhere in the vicinity of where I had (I thought) transferred it to the case.

Doesn't the "comeback" ring a bell with most of us? Haven't we looked for an object where it should be, unable to find it, and then later discovered it in the exact place we looked?


The study group discussed two basic explanatory "models" for jottle phenomena. First, "internal force," in which the mind of the witness interacts with and influences the "world of objects," producing observable effects; and second, "external force," or "spirits" playing jokes.
That jottles often appear to be mundane and without obvious meaning to the experiencer, made some question the role of 'intention' [by the witness] in their genesis. However, Julie Rousseau warned us against assuming therefore that an external force might be responsible, and Maurice suggested that in some cases the two might interact.

Describing the jottle as 'the everyman's PK [psychokinesis, moving objects by mind power]', David Rousseau argued that the jottle is an under-reported member of a continuum of psychic phenomena involving the teleporting of objects, including apports in
séances and poltergeist events.
If you think jottles are an odd business, wait till I tell you about apports …

June 30 I found my contact lens hanging in the closet and the Levi's wadded up in the contact lens container. I knew there had to be a normal explanation.


Friday, June 25, 2010

This could be the last time

June 28: I'm leaving this posting up for another day or two. I want everyone interested to have a chance to read it and comment.

Well this could be the last time

This could be the last time

Maybe the last time

I don't know. Oh no. Oh no.

— Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
The Rolling Stones, "The Last Time"

This could be the last posting I ever write about politics. Sono molto serioso. There are other subjects of interest I've neglected.

But mainly, I think my entry for June 24 says all that can be said or needs to be said.

The political future of the United States is down to demographics. Period. I can appreciate a well-researched, eloquent argument about the Constitution, or federalism, or insane bail-outs, all that and more. But the arguments are futile.

If you find yourself in a heated discussion about our clueless presidential impostor, consider whether you would be better served saving your breath to cool your oatmeal with.

Don't believe me that demographics is all that matters anymore? Very well, let's step a few years into the future. A future that already exists.

There'll always be an England.
Here it is, today.

Britain has been building a soft tyranny to enforce multi-culturalism with great gusto, and the results are in.
England is in the middle of a profoundly disturbing social experiment. For the first time in a mature democracy, a Government is waging a campaign of aggressive discrimination against its indigenous population.   
In the name of cultural diversity, Labour attacks anything that smacks of Englishness. The mainstream public are treated with contempt, their rights ignored, their history trashed. In their own land, the English are being turned into second-class citizens.
One example will serve for many. Abigail Howarth, an 18-year-old lass, was not even allowed to apply for a training position with the Environmental Authority. She was told that "there was no point in her submitting an application because of her ethnic background."

Abigail Howarth

Her disqualification? She is not only white, but English. If she'd been Welsh, Scottish, or Irish — or, it goes without saying, African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, etc. — she might have had a shot.

No white English need apply.

The population replacement that the globalist left-wing Establishment finds so convenient all over the Western world, and is chugging along in the United States, has passed the tipping point in Britain. A tight little island is more overcrowded by the day, and not because of the indigenous population. Where reproduction is concerned, the indigenes work to rule. Immigrant groups have the virtue of being neither English nor white, and the further virtue in the ruling elite's eyes of breeding enthusiastically (at the taxpayers' expense). They are the only future Britain has.
Immigrant baby boom drives up British population
by double the rate of previous decade

Numbers of people in the country went up by 394,000 to reach 61,792,000 by the middle of last year, the Office for National Statistics said. The increase of 0.6 per cent on the previous year means the population has been rising at the same rapid rate since the Millennium, mainly driven by high levels of immigration.

The latest leap in numbers has been pushed by growing birth rates more than immigration, the ONS said. It said that 45 per cent of last year’s population rise was brought about by immigration and 55 per cent by ‘ natural increase’ – the greater number of births than deaths.

But the rising birth rate is itself a product of immigration – one in four births last year were to mothers who were born outside Britain.
This is what our corporate/liberal Establishment would love us to emulate.

So you can bang on about the Failed Messiah's taste in generals, his gormless dealing with the oil spill, his love affair with regulations, and the congressional mob's profligacy. I might agree with you; most Americans might agree with you. But it doesn't matter.

Demography trumps everything.


Noted without comment


World Cup brings Mexican flags
back to streets of Los Angeles

— L.A. Times, June 25

White House Picks Critic of Local Immigration Enforcement
for Key Role at ICE

— Fox News, June 25
The Obama administration has tapped an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue. …

As a police chief, Hurtt was a supporter of "sanctuary city" policies, by which illegal immigrants who don't commit crimes can live without fear of exposure or detainment because police don't check for immigration papers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Demography trumps everything

Regular reader MnMark and Sheila have offered thought-provoking comments to the previous posting. I'll wait here while you read those, if you haven't already.

Now, I want to emphasize something that doesn't get enough attention, even in the conservative precincts of the blogsophere and media.

Ultimately, it's all about ethnicity. The failure to recognize that means that about 98 percent of current political discourse is irrelevant. Meaningless. DOA. Noise. Void. Am I getting my point across?


Look: if you went to grade school more than 30 years ago, you were taught something called civics. It was about how government in these United States works. You were taught, among other things, that politicians and parties sought to win elections by appealing to what they hoped was a winning combination of interests. To some extent, they relied on argument to convince you to vote for them.

You learned about the debates between Stephen Douglas and that other guy — it's on the tip of my tongue — oh, thanks: Abraham Lincoln. They were opponents in the 1858 contest for Senator from Illinois. No TV, of course, or microphones, just two people debating the issues, in strong but gentlemanly terms. And people not only gathered to listen and judge, they traveled from many miles away, sometimes from other states, on horseback and in carriages.

Your teacher probably implied that something similar, making allowances for communications advances, still took place. Electioneering was about strategy and voting blocs and whatnot, but at the leading edge it was winning votes through making points that people could agree with or accept.


That was then. This is then converted into a sham. Oh, politicians carry on making speeches aplenty, the parties still have "platforms" (albeit no one even pretends to take them seriously). But, as I said, all that is meaningless now. Because demography is the only real playing field left.

Why spend energy convincing voters when all you have to do is import populations from the rest of the world, preferably the uneducated and poor, who know only one thing about the U.S.: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Simple as a circle.

Who cares what the law says? Borders, what borders? Just get the Somalis and Mexicans and Salvadoreans and Hmong here, make sure they know what's good for 'em, bus 'em to the polls, and Bob's your uncle. Millions of reliable voters, even if they happen to have left their identification (other than identification with their tribe) at home in their other pair of pants when they get to the voting place — how dare you ask for ID, you racist! Oh, yeah, amnesty, that's cool but it can wait. First things first.


Almost without exception this system benefits the Democrats. So why don't the Republicans object? Because they have their own constituency, corporations, who want coolie labor. So the two parties, who heap invective on one another till they're blue in the face, are actually hand-in-hand on immigration — come one, come all, it's a win-win!

But however much liberals try to pretend otherwise, you can't separate immigration from ethnicity. The more immigration, which is now almost entirely from the most backward parts of the globe, the smaller is the proportion of white, middle class citizens. Ergo, the smaller the proportion of the group that invented the United States of America and was still the majority preserving it through crises like the War Between the States, World War II, and the Cold War. Thanks, folks, but your day is over. We don't need you any more. Why don't you all just f-f-fade away?


And, unless things change bloody fast, they will. Not because they're talked into it — although the Left Establishment has done a fair job of convincing white people that they should be ashamed to consume oxygen.

No, convincing will be unnecessary. Population replacement is so much easier. It works amazingly quickly, once the majority of "Americans" are Third World immigrants with nothing to do but produce babies at prodigious rates, wipe tables and work the fast food drive-in window, and vote for their masters.

Demography. Ethnicity. Numbers. The future, until you change it.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let's file a class action suit against Mexico

To hell with Afghanistan. And Iraq. Give 'em back to the wogs and let them fight their own turf wars. I want all American military out now and I want them stationed on the Mexican border with orders to shoot every taco bender that crosses the line.


Overheated? You bet. I've had it up to here with Mexicans invading my country and two governments — Mexico's and the United States's — acting as if Mexico already owns it. In its latest profile in arrogance, Mexico — are you ready for this? — is going to court in the United States to stop Arizona from enforcing federal law against illegal immigration. That is, the same kind of law that all countries, including Mexico, and even the European Disunion, have.
Mexican officials previously had voiced opposition to the Arizona law, with [Mexican President] Calderon saying June 8 that the law "opens a Pandora's box of the worst abuses in the history of humanity" by promoting racial profiling and potentially leading to an authoritarian society.
The worst abuses in the history of humanity? Please welcome a new variant of Godwin's Law, applied to rationalizing international aggression. This top dog of one of the Western world's most corrupt countries tells us that enforcing U.S. sovereignty against immigration criminals, including drug smugglers and gang members, is right up there with the Spanish Inquisition, the Muslim conquest of northern India, Pol Pot's regime, and the Holocaust.

I want to counter-sue Mexico for dumping its least productive, least educated, most criminal population on the United States and pursuing legal action against an American state for resisting. Arizonans, will you join me in a class action suit? Do you have a lawyer who is brave enough to fly down to Mexico City or Chihuahua or wherever and petition a Mexican court on our behalf? (Make sure he or she knows the risk of being assassinated.)

While we're getting that organized, let's boycott Mexico in every way possible. I intend to put a flea in the ear of anybody who says they're vacationing in Mexico.
I won't even go to Mexican restaurants, and I don't care if they're owned by Mexicans or Tibetans … they're part of the "softening up" of the American population to accept hispanicization, along with store signs and packaging in English and Spanish.

Let's get on with it. No Iraqi ever called us "gringos."


Monday, June 21, 2010

Corrupt president refuses to plug the leak in Arizona

Oil is spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico is spilling into Arizona. And there's an immense gulf between the Failed Messiah and the United States.

According to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl,
President Obama personally told him that the administration will not secure the U.S.-Mexico border because doing so would make it politically difficult to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “I met with the president in the Oval Office, just the two of us,” Kyl said. “Here’s what the president said. The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.”

“In other words,” Kyl continued, “they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.”

Of course, the White House issued a denial. I wasn't there, so I don't know who is telling the truth, except it isn't the Obama Gang.

Is nothing beyond this utter disgrace to the presidency, a man with the ethics of a street gang member? He swore an oath that he would "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Where in the Constitution does it say that he can hand over control of a part of the United States to a foreign country as a bargaining chip to get the amnesty for illegals he wants?

Obama's boundless lust for power and remaking the U.S. in his image is an insult to all who strove to create a nation proud and free. He should be resisted and removed from office in accordance with the Constitution he would subvert.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Faithful in his fashion

The first step in defending Western culture is to enjoy it.


One of the many ways journalism corrupts is its obsession with the new. Yes, of course, "news" is by definition what is new; but in a medium where all that counts is the most recent, a tiny fraction of what is accessible becomes monstrously out of proportion.

Sadly, "news," the thirst for novelty at all costs, is how many people interpret the world. The loss is greatest in the realm of arts and ideas. New books and musical recordings have their proverbial 15 minutes, then disappear into archeology. Unless someone has an urge to dig for them (which entails being aware of them in the first place), they are gone, fossilized.

Yet they live, and are as present as you like, as long as you don't take journalism for your cues to what is interesting.


Consider, for example, this recording of Dvořák's Symphonies 7 and 8, with Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was recorded in 1989 or 1990.

What is most notable about it is the "Philadelphia sound" that its former conductor, Eugene Ormandy, built into the orchestra. It consisted especially of silken strings. Unfortunately, during Ormandy's tenure at Philadelphia, which lasted 44 years (1936-1980) -- can you imagine anything like that span today? -- recordings failed to capture what made the orchestra such a marvel to those who heard it in concert. From, I believe, the '50s through the late '70s, the Philly was signed to the Columbia label, whose sound engineering was poor, and RCA, which was worse. What Philadelphia sound?


Well, listen to this.

By the grace of God, the English label EMI caught Ormandy's musicians in a few performances. EMI was doing some of the most accurate recordings of any label at the time. I have a treasured EMI disc of Ormandy conducting Sibelius tone poems; and here, although it was several years after Ormandy's death, it is obviously still his orchestra, captured in sound that is still very respectable, if not up to the best of today's recordings.

Sheer tonal beauty, exquisite refinement, are not much valued today. As with everything else, performances are supposed to be "edgy," whatever that means -- sloppy? Insensitive idiots put down Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic, which on the evidence of recordings was the greatest orchestra that has ever been or probably ever will be, as a "well-oiled machine." Ormandy is under the same cloud. The playing is too beautiful.

Well, if you are not swayed by contemporary anti-aestheticsm, check this out if you get a chance.

Am I recommending this as a Dvořák performance? No, not really. It's a fantastic performance, mind you, but it's not my idea of Dvořák.


Sawallisch was very much in the Germanic tradition. Born in 1923, he was among the last generation of conductors who absorbed a regional style of interpretation. There's no such thing anymore; our modern jet-setting conductors have no aesthetic homeland. They don't know if they're in Brooklyn, Salzburg or Napoli.

So this is very "Germanic" Dvořák, sort of like what Beethoven might have written if he'd lived another half century. Huge orchestral climaxes, mystical slow sections, unsentimental. Wrong, wrong for Dvořák. Sawallisch doesn't want to know when it comes to that indefinable but immediately recognizable Bohemian lilt. I don't have the musical knowledge or language to explain it, but Czech music is sort of Viennese ("situation hopeless but not serious") with an added sadness, resignation ... and a touch of the sweet eroticism Mucha (almost a contemporary of Dvořák) captured to perfection in his posters. A lot of it comes via the woodwinds, not prominent here.

Sawallisch's performance is string heavy, or maybe that's just how the Philadelphia Orchestra played and no guest conductor was gonna tell them different. (Sawallisch later became Philly's music director.)


But don't get me wrong: this isn't bad music making by any means. It's often thrilling. The slow movements are profound. Sawallisch is a top-class musician, and within his own stylistic realm, he led a splendid Dvořák 7 and 8 and we can thank EMI's producer and sound engineer for bringing it to us in all its glory. Sawallisch was faithful in his fashion to Dvořák.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Two's a crowd, if the government is one of them


Few Americans today expect that Social Security is going to carry them through retirement, but many still believe that retirement accounts like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, IRAs, plus taxable investments will provide financial security. Before the investment "lost decade" of the noughts and massive federal government economic intervention, that was a reasonable assumption.

Daniel R. Amerman, in an article published at the Financial Sense web site, makes a persuasive case that current ultra-Keynesian, quasi-Marxist government spendthrift policies will "crowd out" the private sector on which growth in retirement funds depends.

The problem isn’t that the US economy fell by $300 billion in real terms between 2007 and 2009. The more relevant issue for long-term investors is that the private economy fell by $1.3 trillion, even while total federal, state and local government spending rose by $1 trillion. “Crowding out” is an obscure term if you're not an economist – but this replacement of the private economy with government spending may end up being one of the largest determinants of your standard of living during retirement.

On the most fundamental of levels, stock market valuations and traditional long-term investing are based upon a growing economy. However, when government spending is surging at rates sufficiently far in excess of economic growth, this means that the private economy is necessarily shrinking. And because the investment models that drive conventional financial planning assume a rapidly growing private sector, this fundamental competition between the government and private investors for a limited pool of future real resources may lead to a collapse of stock market values and conventionally invested retirement portfolios.

Amerman says, in other words, that the government is competing with the private sector.


In that situation, the government "wins." A few large and well-connected corporations will thrive, but business as a whole can be crippled by whatever new taxes, regulations, and restrictions the government imposes, nor can it match the salaries and benefits a bloated and triumphant public sector is able to offer the ambitious.
… What the government is doing is grabbing a much greater share of an overall economy that is shrinking in real terms, as a result of the so-called Great Recession. The US economy was $14.52 trillion in 2007, and it was $14.25 trillion in 2009 in real dollar terms. Federal government spending rose by $700 billion, state and local government spending rose by $300 billion, and the private economy shrank by $1.3 trillion. (Inflation adjustments are based upon the official GDP deflator as of 7/1/07 and 7/1/09, which I and many others believe to understate inflation. With a higher and more realistic rate of inflation, the shrinkage in the real economy is significantly greater.)

Government spending as a share of the real economy rose from 35% to 43% in only two years, a dramatic increase of 22.1%.


In Keynesian theory, government spending can stimulate the private economy. That seems to be true — we've had gigantic government stimulus in the past two years, and at least the stock market has gotten a contact high from it, although not the poor sods trying to find jobs that aren't there. But even classical Keynesianism sees government intervention as temporary, taking up the slack until the normal economic cycle kicks in and the private sector starts


But that's the bit our current masters in Washington don't get, or don't want to think about. Never let a crisis go to waste, and all that. "Stimulating" the economy is a Trojan horse under this regime, a way to expand federal control over the economy … and in turn, over all of us who aren't independently wealthy.

Back to Amerman:
Not only retirement planning, but the very fundamentals of stock valuation are based on the exponential mathematics of endlessly compounding growth. While many people don’t realize it, from a financial mathematics perspective most of the value of the stock market is generally based not on today’s earnings, but expectations about increases in future earnings. With no growth or negative growth, it’s not just that future stock price increases don’t occur – but most of the value of the stock market today implodes. Taking everyone’s IRAs, Keoghs and pension plans with it.
Although he doesn't say so, I suspect that crashing retirement plans are not an unforeseen consequence of the Failed Messiah and His Army of Marching Marxists. They're part of the strategy.

Scupper the counted-on retirement funds of most people and you're well on the way to making those irritatingly independent middle-class folks into government dependents. If the Failed Messiah has his way, in a few years we will be reading breathless headlines and watching moving lips keening about Baby Boomers whose golden years have turned to lead. But wait! Your rich Uncle Sam is going to save you!


All you'll have to do is convert your IRAs, 401s and 403s, pensions, brokerage accounts, and of course any precious metals you might be holding, into U.S. Treasury debt instruments. Have to do; you'll get no choice. In turn you'll receive whatever in the way of an annuity the government believes you are entitled to.

If you don't like that scenario, it's past time to think about ways of heading it off. It won't be easy — 40 percent of the population now receives government benefits and pays no taxes. As in other Western countries, there is a huge welfare constituency that will dig its heels in against any reduction in government spending. Three people in Athens were killed in riots against proposed austerity measures. Don't imagine it can't happen here.

But we're Americans. A self-serving, bloated government — even "ours" — is vulnerable if enough of us make sure that it is.


June 15

I have just received a radio message via a tooth filling from the Army of Marching Marxists. The spoken words were a little hard to make out because of so many background voices muttering "TV speech" … "Bush's fault" … "BP at fault" … "their fault" … "watch the teleprompter" … "kick some ass" … and various obscenities from someone whose name seemed to be Rom E. Manual. However, I was able to discern this much:

"We won! We love the little people so much we going to make them littler! We won! You're a racistsexisthomophobicislamophobic unaccredited journalist. Your dog no riding in my taxi. What wrong with you? We won! We take retirement savings and redistribute so everybody wealthy! Your IRA help pay off national debt, we give you food coupons and doctor visit coupons! Everybody wins, you know what we're saying? We're Army of Marching Marxists, don't you forget! We dangerous for racistsexisthomophobicislamophobics, Constitution-quoting extremists, and farmyard animals! We won!"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tea Party "patriot" supports population replacement

The diversity squad is again trumpeting their glee in the mainstream media, and they have the numbers on their side. It's all over, they insist. Non-hispanic whites will be a minority in a few years. Get used to it, gringo.

USA Today:
Minorities accounted for almost 49% of U.S. births in the year ending July 1, 2009, a record high, according to data released Thursday. They make up more than half the population in 317 counties — about 1 in 10 — four states (California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas) and the District of Columbia. …

Much of the rapid growth in diversity is driven by an influx of young Hispanic immigrants whose birthrates are higher than those of non-Hispanic whites, creating a race and ethnic chasm and a widening age gap. "There are more than 500 counties which have a majority of minority children," says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute. "The population is changing to minority from the bottom up."
The Wall Street Journal:
Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority among newborn children in the U.S., marking a demographic shift that is already reshaping the nation's politics and economy. …

Charlotte, N.C., and surrounding Mecklenburg County offer a microcosm of the diversifying nation. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands in front of the historic county courthouse, a gift from the Charlotte Asian Heritage Association. Food Lion, a supermarket chain in the Southeast, spent the past year adding thousands of Hispanic food items to 19 Charlotte area stores. In 1990, 70.3% of the county was white. Today, it is 54.6%, and Mecklenburg County's youngest whites are a minority among their peers.
Journal, of course, is pleased as Punch. More cheap labor. More customers. Forbes agrees:
America should open its borders. Anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. should be allowed to, with the bare minimum of bureaucracy. Those already here illegally should be legalized. Open borders would make this country richer, more entrepreneurial--and more secure.
The federal government encourages population replacement, while putting up a verbal smokescreen:
The nation's top immigration enforcement official vowed on Thursday to process many -- but not all -- of the illegal immigration cases referred to his agency by the state of Arizona, something he said his agency has continued to do even while federal attorneys wrangle over the Grand Canyon state's new immigration law.

"The truth of the matter is we do not have sufficient resources to identify, apprehend and remove every single person that's in this country unlawfully," John Morton, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said at a morning press conference. "So we'll continue to accept the referrals from the state of Arizona, just as we do today, but we will continue to make a decision on a case-by-case basis, in light of our resources and in light of our priorities."

Resources: Toy border guards. Priority: Zero minus.

But wait! What about the Tea Party? Don't its New American Revolutionaries have something to say about population replacement?

Yes, and in the case of Carol Negro, writing at American Thinker, it's "Hell, yes! Bring it on!"

America is not a plot of land. It is not a culture. It is not a nationality. It is not a set of traditions or customs. It is not a government. It is not a people. It is not a book of laws. And it certainly isn't a race.

America is an idea.

That's why anyone can become an American. Embrace the idea (and fill out a few forms) and you're an American. You're one of us.

Thank you, Carol, for setting me straight. I was under the retrograde impression that America is a particular piece of land. That it has its own traditional culture. That it was created by and prospered under certain people with certain habits of mind and values. That, unlike so much of the world, it was designed to work under a Constitution and laws in tune with it. That saying, "I want in!" (an idea) isn't enough.

Silly old me, I actually thought American citizenship involved more than filling out a few forms.

Is Carol Negro — "Founder & Director of MyLiberty, the Tea Party Patriots of San Mateo, California" — parodying the likes of the USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, et al.? Or is she, too, assuring us that resistance is futile? Apparently her commenters assume the latter, and almost all agree with her.

It may be that Americans, including the dwindling percentage of whites, think the USA is nothing but an "idea" and that race and cultural background are irrelevant. If they want to live in a balkanized country, that is what they will get. From their silence and collaboration with the diversity lobby, it seems that is what they want.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Entrepreneurship at its finest: bash for cash

If you can beat 'em …

Verizon Launches Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program in New York State

Barron's, June 9


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

News release from the Stopped Clock Foundation

Salon.com, the Left's Web version of Timeweek, was right twice in one day. Being Salon.com, and of the Left, it also got a lot wrong.

Our text for today — please open your books to the issue of June 8, 2010 — is an article by Michael Lind titled "Goodbye, bullet trains and windmills."

Are you ready for this?
The center-left consensus favors massive government investment in an uneconomical form of transportation -- fixed-rail, in the form of light rail or high-speed intercity passenger rail -- and in uneconomical renewable energy sources: solar, wind and biomass. Why these particular infrastructures, rather than others? The answer is the fusion, in the last decade, of two previously distinct post-'60s activist movements on the left: urbanists, who despise suburbs, and Greens, who despise automobiles and airplanes. …

High-speed rail in America is perpetually discussed and never built. There are two explanations. … The less dramatic but real reason is that federal and state officials repeatedly have concluded that the costs of high-speed rail proposals outweigh the benefits.
It is questionable whether any "center-left consensus" favors "massive government investment" in rail transportation; at most, it's an idée-fixe of little Green men and women. But Lind's argument strikes a rare note of common sense in Salon.com's ideological neighborhood.
A train is a kind of expensive, pre-modern bus or truck caravan that can never change its route because it is fastened to the road. As nations grow more affluent, their people prefer the convenience of personal automobile transportation to the inflexibility of mass transit. … People in rich countries like Germany and Japan are much less likely than people in poor countries to use mass transit. Mass transit is used least by the inhabitants of the U.S., Canada and Australia, where low population densities make long-distance air and car travel more practical than passenger rail at any speed.
To put it more bluntly, no one in his right mind uses ground-based mass transit unless he has to. It is likely to be uncomfortable, tedious, behind schedule, and — as Lind says — inflexible.


Flirting even more dangerously (for someone in his position) with pragmatism, he adds:
There is no public support in the U.S. or any other industrial democracy for the combination of self-imposed austerity and massive subsidies that would be necessary to create an economy based on renewable energy. What about global warming? Natural gas and nuclear energy, not wind and solar, should be central to the shift toward clean energy. Natural gas emits less than half the greenhouse gases that coal does and no particulate pollution. Nuclear energy emits no greenhouse gases at all.
Right again. No nukes is bad nukes. Those are fighting words in Left World, and I congratulate Lind on his courage. But he'd probably do himself a favor by going to ground for a year or two till the lynching fever subsides.

For one blinding moment I thought he was seriously going to speak truth about power.
Unless the U.S. shuts down immigration, the U.S. population is likely to grow to 400-600 million by 2050. If anti-sprawl campaigners try to prevent the construction of new roads to accommodate a few hundred million more Americans, they will fail.
Good night! — is Lind actually going to get to the root of the problem, uncontrolled population growth, which in turn is down to uncontrolled immigration? Forget it. Windmills may not be sacred to someone of his persuasion, but immigration is. "Unless the U.S. shuts down immigration" is just his little rhetorical joke. He means, "Of course we're not going to stop immigration, so there is no question that the U.S. population will grow to 400–600 million."

He's back on comfortable leftist ground after his death-defying windmill bashing: We must keep the immigration door wide open, it's our sacred duty. We are the world.


His big picture is also standard liberal orthodoxy:
All of this strengthens the case for more government spending for years to come. After bailing out the states, the best use of federal dollars would be massive public investment in infrastructure that increases long-term U.S. economic growth. Like other capital improvements, infrastructure investment should be financed not by current taxes but rather by federal, state and local government or agency bonds. In the case of infrastructure assets that deliver benefits for generations, it makes sense to borrow in order to build them and to pay down the debt over decades.
This is so flipping crazy that it's hard to know where to begin responding.

"More government spending for years to come" — does the figure $13 trillion (our current national debt, climbing like a rocket) mean anything to Lind? Another federal bailout (the states) — well, after the big banks and two automobile mega-companies, why not the states? Why not the whole world while we're at it? Let's just write a check to cover every country's national debt!

" … Infrastructure investment should be financed not by current taxes but rather by federal, state and local government or agency bonds." Does this financial wizard from the other side of the looking-glass not comprehend that someone has to be willing to buy bonds? That no individual, institution, or sovereign state is going to buy bonds from governments sinking in a tar pit of debt unless the interest is raised to Mafia-like rates? Which in turn means that government debt will soar to yet greater heights, and the only solution other than declaring the nation bankrupt will be a flood of money supply, causing Weimar-style inflation?

"In the case of infrastructure assets that deliver benefits for generations, it makes sense to borrow in order to build them and to pay down the debt over decades." And we're going to pay down the debt when? Once the U.S. population has grown to 600 million? Of which the vast majority will be suckled by government welfare, if present immigration is anything to go by?

Mr. Lind, I salute you on your two moments of sanity. As for the rest, get a grip.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

The tear stops here (or should)

I am about to defend Obama -- a limited warranty only; read the fine print.

He has done enough mischief and is planning more, and there is so much ground for legitimate criticism that there is no need to bash him out of pure partisanship and ill-will.

One of the themes raising its brainless head lately on conservative radio and in the blogosphere is that King Obi is failing the country, not (only) because he is a Marxist ideologue domestically and childish naif in foreign affairs, but that he isn't showing that he cares enough that oil and water don't mix.

I have been listening to drive-time talk radio a fair amount lately because the CD player in my car has packed up. In the evening, that means a choice between Mark Levin and a newbie named Jeff Kuhner, a right-wing loon. Yes, a right-wing loon.

This Kuhner item -- he modestly bills himself as "the last honest man in Washington" -- was banging on last week in his grating, plebby New York accent (he makes Michael Savage sound like Franklin Roosevelt) about how Obi didn't show enough fee-eee-eeling when he dropped in to check out the tar balls on the Gulf beaches. I've heard and read the same elsewhere. Obi is too controlled, too cool. He should be tearful on our behalf.

Bollocks. I don't want a weeper for a president. He is not the leader of an emotional support group for oil spill victims. Federal officials are charged with various responsibilities in helping stop the oil disaster. The country's top executive should be knocking heads and taking names to make sure those in charge do their jobs.

Whether Obi actually is doing that, I doubt. Predictably, his response seems mainly to ladle out blame. But that's a different issue.

The primary concern isn't about fairness to the president. It's about the overgrowth of the therapeutic society. Of course the Gulf spill brings up feelings -- the pictures of the poor birds covered in oil are heartbreaking -- but they aren't the qualification for high-level officials. They should be judged on the quality of their actions in dealing with calamity, not as hosts in a celebrity telethon.

Imagine Winston Churchill going on the radio after the Dunkirk evacuation. If he behaved the way Mr. Last Honest Man would like, he'd sound like this:

"It is a terrible day for Britain and our empire, so terrible that I can hardly bring myself to speak. I know that you will pardon me if I sniffle a bit during this broadcast. Our troops in France have ... have ... excuse me, I need a moment to control myself. ... Thank you. Our troops in France have had to be rescued and the enemy, which has taken France as a result of my predecessor, Neville Chamberlain, is now threatening our coasts and its wildlife.

"My heart is so heavy, beating arrhythmically, that I had an extra tot of whisky with breakfast. I cannot tell you how devastated I am. No! I can tell you! A-gain and a-gain, my eyes have misted so strongly that my cigar had to be re-lit.

"Never have I felt so helpless in witnessing the course of events. Ladies and gentlemen, as our great Bard wrote, 'If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.' My heart is on the beaches with our lads, brave in defeat, and I must pause till it return.

"In response to this crisis, I have ordered that all drilling should cease on this island, both among our armed forces and the civilian home guard, until a full and thorough investigation has taken place. If there was incompetence in the retreat ... sob! sob! ... from Dunkirk, those responsible will pay the price. If laws were broken, those responsible will be brought to justice. That means you, Neville old boy."


Thursday, June 03, 2010



Patrice Leconte probably couldn't make a conventional film if he wanted to, which he obviously doesn't. That in itself doesn't distinguish him especially — practically every indie director aspires to be more "out there" than the other boundary pushers — but Leconte adds brains, and often heart, to the mix. None of his films I've seen follow a tested formula. I'm especially fond of The Hairdresser's Husband and The Girl on the Bridge, offbeat and touching modern romances.

Dogora was released in Europe in 2004. It is now making its debut in the U.S. on DVD. It's a pure visual and auditory experience that consists almost entirely of scenes of daily life in Cambodia, and you probably wouldn't even know the exact location if you didn't read about it. No dialogue, no narration, no captioning. And no political posturing. You can draw your own conclusions from what you see, without a narrator hectoring you about environmental damage or interviews of carefully selected Cambodians telling you they're hard done by, as there would be if this were a PBS or BBC program.

Artistically, a film that deliberately limits itself to sights and sounds (mostly music) is taking a risk because there's no overt drama. (The French poster has the subhead, "Ouvrons les yeux" — let's open our eyes.) Dogora's obvious model is the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi, much praised for its images showing "life out of balance," which is what the title signifies in the Hopi language. I was originally impressed with Koyaanisqatsi too, but less on subsequent viewings, although that may be partly because the novelty has worn off. But the "message" aspect also became annoying, and Philip Glass's musical score, although an asset, now sounds pretty much like every other he's done since.


Dogora's lack of an ideological theme is a virtue, but a negative one. A sense-experience film needs to have positives going for it as well. Dogora does.

The cinematography, by Jean-Marie Dreujou, offers much pleasure. He varies the tonalities with filters, creating moody lighting effects, and often goes with a slightly oversaturated color palette (not a criticism; it's a legitimate artistic technique).

Everyone will find their own memorable images. Here are a few of mine.
A children's playground, multi-colored balloons in the foreground, an animal — perhaps a water buffalo, I'm not sure — casually wandering through the frame. Fishing boats in the twilight (or made to seem like in the twilight), the shot suffused with gradations of blue, accented by delicate salmon-pink wisps of clouds. Buddhist monks, deliberately filmed out of focus, gliding like ghosts in their nasturtium-orange robes.


We see lots of Cambodians — young, old, in-between — in close-up or medium close-up. They are, on the whole, an attractive people, the faces slightly rounded, noses gently sloping, prominent cheekbones. They appear to carry themselves with considerable dignity, even when forced to do undignified things. The younger generations don't remember the horrors of the Pol Pot regime, although anyone over 50 certainly does, and it's admirable that the culture appears to have held together and avoided further psychopathology.

But the movie, to Leconte's credit, isn't just eye candy. He shows everyday life — storekeeping, factory jobs, riding motor scooters — but also ugly and disturbing scenes. We see a large group, including children, scavenging in a trash dump as bulldozers chug around them. We see the grungy, meager accompaniments of poverty, ghastly slum housing. Lots of the Cambodians have their mouths covered, some with surgical masks, many with scarves. Why? Is the air that polluted, like in China?


The images are not an unmixed blessing. Even at a relatively short 80 minutes, there is footage that could have been cut to the film's advantage. People washing cars, riding in pickup trucks, staring at the camera, and doing common things occupy too much of Dogora. Editing and music don't necessarily make routine actions fascinating.

The musical score is very odd. It's performed by a Western orchestra, with a vocal chorus, which for some reason lost on me is shown (using black and white film) performing in a concert hall at the film's beginning and end. The music has no Cambodian influence that I can detect (maybe the sung language is Cambodian), rather a Slavic spiciness. Although there are restrained lyrical interludes, a good deal of the writing is muscular and rhythmic. Think of a World War II victory anthem by a third-rate Soviet composer and you have the idea.


But despite occasional missteps and draggy bits, Dogora is more than the sum of its parts. It is a revealing portrait of a culture that is probably as un-Westernized as anyplace in Asia, full of sights that will be exotic and occasionally unsettling to most Americans. Impressionism in painting dazzled the art world in the late 19th century, and its cinematic equivalent could become equally influential in our own time. Dogora may not make the greatest possible use of its own style, but it's more sophisticated and less tendentious than Koyaanisqatsi. Once again, adventurous audiences have reason to thank Patrice Leconte.

Disclosure: The organization publicizing Dogora's U.S. release supplied me with a "screener" DVD and background material.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dog licenses, Room 14. Journalist licenses, Room 15.

Figure 1.
Example of unlicensed journalist,
Thomas Paine.

A Michigan state senator believes that journalists should be licensed if they are to report on, for instance, Michigan state senators. (Tip of the hat: Franklin Center.)
Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation. …

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust. …

According to the bill, reporters must provide the licensing board proof of:

--"Good moral character” and demonstrate they have industry “ethics standards acceptable to the board.”
--Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent.
--Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information.
--Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.
--Three or more writing samples.
Your blogger believes this to be an excellent principle. It will not do to have just anyone writing about public issues; that is a job for the experts, such as reporters for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and others with no taint of moral turpitude such as plagiarism or bias.

Whenever unlicensed journalists and commentators are allowed to spread their views to the suggestible masses, only harm can result. Consider the hindrance to the orderly adoption of the progressive agenda by unapproved blogs and unknown publications.
The senator said that he feels that there’s no way to tell who’s a legitimate journalist and who’s just rewriting other reporters’ reporting and twisting facts.
Absolutely. Jayson Blair documented this thoroughly in his series on oppression of minorities in the newsroom, published by the New York Times in 2003. It was also the subject of an op-ed piece in the 1930s by Walter Duranty, also of the New York Times, titled "Soviet Union Leads the Way in Holding Journalists Responsible."

The licensing of hairdressers and journalists makes such good sense that I recommend it be expanded to include lawmakers. This is a little avant-garde at the moment, but to encourage the adoption of a license for state and national legislators, I have ginned up a rough draft of a licensing exam.


(Note: This questionnaire refers to the qualifications for a political license only. If you are seeking to be an accredited literary writer, you are in the wrong pew. Apply for poetic licenses with the Bureau of Approved Creative Writing.)

1. Are you now, or have you ever been, a lawyer?

2. If you answered "yes" to the above, do you know any non-lawyers who can testify to your ethical standards?

3. Are you familiar with a document known as the United States Constitution?

4. If you answered "yes" to the above, have you read it?

5. Have you ever been diagnosed with, or in intimate contact with a patient infected with, Pelosi Syndrome?

6.Do you have any skills, talents, interests, or knowledge outside the realm of law?

7. Submit three examples of a bill that you have yourself read in its entirety.