David Thompson


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April 22, 2014



Mr Piketty also writes things like this. Let that one sink in for a moment.

Do you have a link for the article that's from?


Do you have a link for the article that’s from?

It’s from Tyler Cowen’s review.




the things you can be taught in a creative writing class

Another joke course students are getting into debt for. The bubble's going to burst.


The bubble’s going to burst.

And Professor Terry is much too busy inflicting his paranoid leftism on captive students to register the irony of his own claims. If departments like his start shutting down and “liberal” universities start closing, it will most likely be because he and other liberty-taking tools have made huge swathes of tertiary education utterly disreputable and unworthy of the expense. Are Professor Terry’s absurd political views worth students’ time, to say nothing of a five- or six-figure sum and decades of debt? But arrogant, narcissistic, self-martyring types may have trouble apprehending that concept.


Heh. I am a former adjunct lecturer at Easter Connecticut State University and I'm proud to say that I never invoked political discussion in my classes on digital photo editing and web design. So for the record, it can be done.

Bob Down

in which the power to say no is the only non-monetary reward

Also the "no" is quite possibly the only measurable output of the "productivity" from these pricks, or at least the only thing they do enough of to be measurable.
That could, and probably is, linked to monetary reward.


So for the record, it can be done.

It’s like the stories of men who arrive in A&E with some bizarre object inserted somewhere odd. They didn’t mean to do it, they just fell apparently. Repeatedly and quite hard. And so Professor Terry rails against “these people,” these awful non-leftists, who want to close down universities like it’s 1855 all over again. Because he, Professor Terry, has such “dangerous” ideas.

The vanity is staggering.



I've become highly intrigued by this petition , started at the weekend, which asks:

    We would like public libraries to replace the Sun newspaper with a publication that does not promote misogynistic images of women or promote and eroticise violent crimes against women.This is not censorship,, councils choose which publications they buy based on the needs of the local community …
    We believe that in buying [the Sun, Islington] Council are promoting gender stereotyping that can lead to discrimination, we also believe that such sexualised imagery is inappropriate in a family environment and a community environment that caters to a multitude of religious and cultural beliefs …

I tend to agree that page 3 is a bit naff and gratuitous (not to mention anachronistic), but whatever my own views on it may or may not be, I think this petition is incredibly short-sighted – how is it not censorship as the petition asserts?

Figures for 2013 in the Press Gazette show that the Sun is by far and away the most popular newspaper in the UK and 42% of its readers are women (according to Media UK). If true, that actually means that more women – just women – read the Sun in print or online in 2013 than all readers, male and female combined, read The Guardian in the same year.
So given its popularity, the Sun seems likely to qualify as a publication that meets 'the needs' – or at least the interests – 'of the local community'. I don't see what sensible justification a library could give for not stocking it – certainly not the tendentious claim that having the Sun in public libraries promotes 'gender stereotyping that can lead to discrimination'.

In view of what the petition describes as 'a community environment that caters to a multitude of religious and cultural beliefs' if the campaign succeeds in having the Sun removed on the grounds they have given (which I think unlikely to be honest), what kind of a precedent would they be setting for other vocal and well-organised minorities to impose their own will on library selection?

If the Sun were to be removed, what would go next? New Scientist (for 'promoting' Darwin's ideas)? The Art Journal (for including images of nudity, or worse, e.g. Milo Moire)? OK, so I'm exaggerating to make a point but still … I really don’t think the petitioners have thought this one through at all.


First Rule of the left.



but bondage heavy 50 shades of chick-lit gets a free pass.


Theodore Dalrymple is being a tad hard the bureaucrats. They only do what the people, directly and via their elected representatives, tell them to do. Do you think it was the career civil servants who decided to, say, delay a decision on the Keystone pipeline past the 2014 US election?



For Science!


"Theodore Dalrymple is being a tad hard the bureaucrats. They only do what the people, directly and via their elected representatives, tell them to do."

Not completely true: Most federal agencies are staffed primarily with leftists of one sort or another, who will pursue their own agendas regardless of who is elected in any year. When a Reagan is elected they will resist, by all bureaucratic means, following any policies set by the new administration. And will continue to actively do all they can to enact and extend regulations that suit their ideologies, up to and including fraud. When an Obama is elected they will joyfully cooperate in building a fascistic apparatus, because that is what they love.


If nobody is allowed to do anything at all, then no legally-allowed action will lead to harm, and the regulatory bureaucracy can proudly say that it was completely effective.

Non-legal actions leading to harm are not part of the regulatory bureaucracy's problem. That's for the SWAT team to handle.


"Before we can learn to efficiently organize public financing equivalent to two-thirds to three-quarters of national income… it would be good to improve the organization and operation of the existing public sector."

Piketty is the left's Great White Hope? God help them. God help us all. His ideas are working *so* well in France.


Guy Sorman on Mr Piketty’s sleight-of-hand:

Piketty’s statistics are superficially impressive, but they can’t be taken at face value. His gross income figures, for instance, exclude redistribution and social programmes. The inequality figures he cites would be much less striking if he computed them — as is commonly done —based on net income after redistribution.


Most federal agencies are staffed primarily with leftists of one sort or another, who will pursue their own agendas regardless of who is elected in any year.

While the problem of bureaucracy continuing to do it's own thing regardless of higher direction is an old one, "I do not rule Russia, 10,000 clerks do." as Czar Nicholas famously complained, that problem is inherent in having intelligent beings in the bureaucracy. They've been doing the the job; they see what's going on around them; and they don't necessarily believe that those above them know what they're doing, for example Kennedy's "best and brightest" pulling air support from the bay of pigs, Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson pulling funding from the American Black Chamber on the grounds that "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail." When the stupid rains down from above, sometimes it burns like molten sulfur.

Bureaucracies are made of people and develop their own personalities. Yes, some agencies get politically captured. State will always be staffed with people who got a degree in International Studies or some such. But to a large extent, it's just people trying to do their jobs the way they know to do them. They can be as stupid and wrong as anyone else, but the petty tyrant/stormtrooper for the proper politics view is a caricature.


Ate prof, I once tried to explain that to my father when I was a young man. Then he told me about the time our struggling middle class family was audited by the IRS in the early 70's. I was a child at the time and totally oblivious. I also have a friend who went to work at the Florida dept. of revenue. He certainly developed his own personality while there, much like a friend's daughter, once Republican but after graduating from Cornell with a law degree and then clerking for a district judge, developed her own personality as well.

Granted, what I relate here is empirical, yet still...


Damn spell correction...above addressed to Atempdog, not Ate prof. Lest someone accuse me of cannnibalism.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

I hope you American chaps, chapesses, and miscellaneous pangendered trans* giant blue smurf people from Avatar had a suitably stern and sober Earth Day**, in which you grimly donned a hair shirt made from recycled pubic follicles and flogged yourself or a loved one silly with a biodegradable organic hemp cat o' nine tails while crying "Mea culpa!" and meditating on what a selfish plague on planet Earth we humans are. Particularly the pale, male, English-speaking ones.

(** Not to be confused with Earth Hour, in which you're supposed to do all of the above in the dark. That's later this month. Save the date!)

Despite Greenpeace's efforts, Earth Day isn't really a thing in this sceptred isle. But I try to incorporate environmental awareness in my daily life so I, for one, had an excellent Earth Day.


Morning: sinfully long hot shower, then started a tyre fire (don't worry, it wasn't near the house. I was fly-tipping.)

Mid day: drove the kids to the sea life centre in my SUV and taught them to throw empty cans of Vimto into the habitats of endangered species. If you won't fight back it means Darwin wants you dead, leatherback turtles!

Early afternoon: me and the kids, no longer welcome at the aquarium, had McDonalds for lunch, then went around the house turning all the lights off and on and pretending it was a school disco.

Late afternoon: Showed the little ones the futility of green energy policy using our neighbours' fancy new subsidised solar panels as a pedagogical aid. How are those silly things going to save the planet when they can't save themselves from an air rifle?

Then we had a round table discussion on overpopulation, in which we agreed that there are indeed too many stinky hippies on the planet and not enough cool Dads and air rifles.

Dinnertime: red meat and pate de fois gras, because flock the geese. They'd do the same to us if they weren't so stupid.

Evening: some light astronomy in the garden. You're next, The Moon!

Bedtime story: The kids love the pop-up version of Atlas Shrugged but seeing as it's Earth Day, we decided to read The Lorax and have a good laugh at silly Dr Seuss and his moustachioed tree-botherer.

Sometimes it's not easy raising environmentally-conscious children. But on Earth Day, I try to make a special effort to make sure the wee ones retain humanity's reigning championship as the dominant species on this pale blue dot.

Today is St George's Day so be sure to kill any lizards you come across. It's what he would have wanted.

R. Sherman

If you won't fight back it means Darwin wants you dead, leatherback turtles!

Quite so. Ditto smallpox virus.

Actually, my Earth Day epiphany came on the banks of the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park when I saw a dozen or so bison take tremendous craps in the middle of a pristine trout stream. I realized, if the bison don't care, why should I?





I've become highly intrigued by this petition

Yes the endless fight against "misogyny" - meaning any perceived (and misunderstood) attitude that feminists take exception to.

The demands won't stop if they get page 3 banned from libraries. They'll want page 3 banned altogether, and then.. well whatever they can think of.


Regarding that “meagre US social state” that Mr Piketty denounces, this seems relevant.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Nikw211 and Henry - this is NOT censorship, but those ladies should shaddap and bake me a carrot cake. And bring me a copy of the Sun. I like how those girls on page 3 discuss current events.

R. Sherman - it's only a matter of time before they tell us viruses and moquitoes have rights.

Are bison the same thing as buffalo? I'm no animal expert, I only know they're some sort of horny land cow. One of my teachers was an American hippy. I liked her stories about how Red Indians were early conservationists who would carefully use every part of the buffalo and responsibly manage their consumption while being all noble and spiritual and stuff, until I realised she was full of well meaning nonsense. I've since been to Indian reservations and the most enlightened thing about them was the tax free gasoline.

The deification of the Native American in modern US culture would make Rousseau blush.

Even in Star Trek: TNG, where you'll never see any hint of mainstream human religion surviving to the 24th century - no Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists or Jews bothered showing up for the future - and where various ethnicities are treated clumsily (the Space Jews aka Ferengi, the interplanetary Irish gypsies, that African planet where Geordi looked mortified behind that hairband over his eyes, the Scottish planet where Dr. Crusher was pleasured by a ghost), the Red Indian stands alone as being uniquely venerated.

In Star Trek's godless, rationalist utopia, the Native American's rituals and spirituality aren't treated as primitive superstitions, but quite literally as magic. In one episode, Wesley goes on an honest-to-goodness spirit quest. Granted, this episode saw the welcome departure of Wesley, but it was still incredibly silly.

I have nothing against Red Indians, but I watched this stuff and thought - really?.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention Star Trek.

Ac1 - It's funny that Mr Hayes calls it the New Abolitionism, when his plan would enslave us all. But I suppose Freedom is now Slavery.

R. Sherman

Steve, yes bison are the buffalo of yore. And your point about the American Indian is well-taken. I recall visiting a local art museum for an exhibit of Plains Indian art. The vast majority of it consisted of elaborate bead work on various hides glamorizing the "horse culture". I eavesdropped on a very earnest woman bemoaning "white cultural hegemony" which destroyed the same "noble savage." I couldn't help but point out that the noble, "indigenous" culture and artwork which she praised was due to a) the horse which arrived via the Spanish and b) beads traded by French trappers in exchange for beaver pelts. By the look on her face, you would have thought I'd wrapped her a smallpox infested blanket and poured trader whiskey down her throat.

One of my best trips to the art museum ever.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

R. Sherman - How cruel! :)

That lady could have been Native American princess Senator Elizabeth Warren, also known by her Indian name, Panties-on-fire.


I can’t help thinking there’s a moral to this story.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David -

Blue-Haired Lawyer: What about that tattoo on your chest? Doesn't it say die Bart die?

Sideshow Bob: No, that's German
[unveils tattoo]
Sideshow Bob: for 'The Bart The'.

Woman on Parole Board: No one who speaks German could be an evil man.

The original Mr. X

Another good piece from Mr. Dalrymple:

"Worse still, the social trend to these kinds of relationships is self-reinforcing: for the children they produce grow up supposing that all relationships between men and women are but temporary and subject to revision. From the very earliest age, therefore, the children live in an atmosphere of tension between the natural desire for stability and the emotional chaos they see all around them. They are able to make no assumption that the man in their lives—the man they call "Daddy" today—will be there tomorrow. (As one of my patients put it when talking of her decision to leave her latest boyfriend, "He was my children's father until last week." Needless to say, he was none of the children's biological father, all of the latter having departed long before.)

A son learns that women are always on the point of leaving men; a daughter, that men are not to be relied upon and are inevitably violent. The daughter is mother to the woman: and since she has learned that all relationships with men are both violent and temporary, she concludes that there is not much point in taking thought for the morrow as far as choosing men is concerned. Not only is there little difference between them except in the accidental quality of their physical attractiveness to her, but mistakes can be rectified by the simple expedient of abandoning the man, or men, in question. Thus, sexual relationships can be entered into with no more thought than that devoted to choosing breakfast cereal—precisely the ideal of Kinsey, Mailer, et al."


Dr Cromarty

In Star Trek's godless, rationalist utopia, the Native American's rituals and spirituality aren't treated as primitive superstitions, but quite literally as magic.

That's true in Canada. Being scrupulously secular, you don't have any bishops, Cardinals or ministers of any religion Intoning a petition to the effect that the Almighty keep Canada strong and free. Yet the local Native dude gets up on stage to 'summon forth the spirits of the Earth and the ancestors' with much beating of drums and keening ("Hey ya! Ho ya!") like a bad Western movie. In the meantime the assembled RCMP look awkwardly at their shiny boots.

The point being that if the authorities thought the Native stuff really was a religion, their own rules would ban its involvement in Canada Day ceremonies and the like. So it's kind of patronising to Medicine Hat Pete or whichever 'elder', implying its a pretendy religion of the kind acceptable on Star Trek.


And via Kate, some more “public” art, chosen by our betters to make us better people:

“The question of beauty has been brought up a lot in this debate, which is a really provocative and sometimes problematic conversation,” she said. “I don’t think all work that is made in a public setting should necessarily be made with the mandate of making a space more beautiful.”

The locals don’t seem terribly impressed.


The locals don’t seem terribly impressed.

"The tarp and sign were both gone within 24 hours."

They've used $4000 of taxpayers' money to pay for this eyesore *and* they're paying someone (with taxpayers' money) to stop it being covered up. Value! Every pothole in the every road must have already been filled in then.


Every pothole in every road must have already been filled in then.

It does rather capture the ethos of so much public art, which is to say socialised art. What with beauty being so “problematic” and, more to the point, difficult to achieve by people with no real talent. The indigenous population - who have to walk around the object and whose taxes are being pissed away - will get what they’re given.


It's rather rude of them to make the visual metaphor so obvious, though - you would think that someone hoping to 'raise awareness' about an otherwise banal issue would embrace more obscurantist, deconstructed language; perhaps by re-contextualizing the paradigms of perceptual engagements or something.

But literally garbage? And not just that, but compressed garbage? Densified, distilled crap? A nigh-immovable heap of waste, in all senses of the word? Truly, this is a new level of audacity to which today's artists should aspire.

Extra credit to the photographer for photographing the piece for maximum dreariness and wind-sweptitude.


>Every pothole in the every road must have already been filled in then.

Oh dear I bet you're giving them "art" ideas.


It seems we’ve barely scraped the surface of Ms Haftner’s talent.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Dr Cromarty - that sounds like the worst episode of Due South ever.

Dr Cromarty

Steve2: I was there: Coquitlam town centre. It was shite. The RCMP marching band was good though.


That Dalrymple article is proceeding quite nicely, then abruptly and strangely lurches into a rant about fat working class people. Odd.

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