Worthwhile Reading

A long but interesting essay about Peter Thiel, who is IMO one of the more thoughtful and creative among the Silicon Valley set.

The politicization of everything…including websites like nextdoor.com, “designed for people to share useful information within a neighborhood like dates of bulky trash-pick, locations of road closings, and postings of lawn equipment for sale”…as seen by a woman who is a music historian, with a particular concentration on Russia.

Dispatches from the front lines of the knitting wars.  Can these people be trusted with knitting needles? Those things can be dangerous, you know.

A post by a police officer’s wife.

Violent protest and the intelligentsia.  Disturbing parallels between pre-revolutionary Russia and contemporary America.

A walk across a beach in Normandy.  Today, June 6, marks the 76th anniversary of the Normandy invasion..I haven’t seen much remembance of this today.

22 thoughts on “Worthwhile Reading”

  1. very enlightening, of course direct action only worked so far, that was the lesson lenin derived from the social revolutionaries failures,


    remember the frankfurt school was following the comintern’s directives in targeting the social democrats, so that the nazis were their only rivals, a costly mistake for those involved, this is why their modern equivalents target the hawaiian shirted ‘boogaloo’ menace,

    one must bury all that is noble and uplifting, so normandy in the atlantic and two years and two days earlier, midway
    cannot be remembered, it goes down the memory hole, as much as they able to,

  2. I’m fine with D-day getting little attention this time, as I’m pretty sure it would have been hijacked by comparisons of the men of my father’s generation (a vet, but no overseas service) to the Antifa scum that have been trashing our cities.

  3. I will not back down in this BLM/Antifa pandering on social media; I nailed my own manifesto to the Wurttemburg Church door yesterday with my “I’m Tired” post.
    Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise.

  4. Interesting times, its not often I see Martin Luther being channelled.;) I like Peter, but he is pretty crazy. He is one the reasons I only own gold and silver though. A little cash for day to day, and that’s doing very well.

  5. Brilliantly argued attack on the hysterical response

    to police malfeasance. From Glenn Loury

    Last week, in the aftermath of the national fury that has erupted, and continues, over the apparent killing by a Minneapolis police officer of a black man, George Floyd, while he was being taken into custody, a letter appeared in my inbox from Christina H. Paxson, president of Brown University, where I teach. The letter, sent to thousands of students, staff, and faculty, was cosigned by many of Brown’s senior administrators and deans.

    “We write to you today as leaders of this university,” the letter begins, “to express first deep sadness, but also anger, regarding the racist incidents that continue to cut short the lives of black people every day.” It continues:

    The sadness comes from knowing that this is not a mere moment for our country. This is historical, lasting and persistent. Structures of power, deep-rooted histories of oppression, as well as prejudice, outright bigotry and hate, directly and personally affect the lives of millions of people in this nation every minute and every hour. Black people continue to live in fear for themselves, their children and their communities, at times in fear of the very systems and structures that are supposed to be in place to ensure safety and justice.

    I found the letter deeply disturbing, and was moved to compose the following response, which I shared with a colleague. I’m happy now to share it as well with City Journal’s readership.

    Dear ____:

    I was disturbed by the letter from Brown’s senior administration. It was obviously the product of a committee—Professors XX and YY, or someone of similar sensibility, wrote a manifesto, to which the president and senior administrative leadership have dutifully affixed their names.

    I wondered why such a proclamation was necessary. Either it affirmed platitudes to which we can all subscribe, or, more menacingly, it asserted controversial and arguable positions as though they were axiomatic certainties. It trafficked in the social-justice warriors’ pedantic language and sophomoric nostrums. It invoked “race” gratuitously and unreflectively at every turn. It often presumed what remains to be established. It often elided pertinent differences between the many instances cited. It read in part like a loyalty oath. It declares in every paragraph: “We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident.”

    And just what truths are these? The main one: that racial domination and “white supremacy” define our national existence even now, a century and a half after the end of slavery.

    I deeply resented the letter. First of all, what makes an administrator (even a highly paid one, with an exalted title) a “leader” of this university? We, the faculty, are the only “leaders” worthy of mention when it comes to the realm of ideas. Who cares what some paper-pushing apparatchik thinks? It’s all a bit creepy and unsettling. Why must this university’s senior administration declare, on behalf of the institution as a whole and with one voice, that they unanimously—without any subtle differences of emphasis or nuance—interpret contentious current events through a single lens?

    They write sentences such as this: “We have been here before, and in fact have never left.” Really? This is nothing but propaganda. Is it supposed to be self-evident that every death of an “unarmed black man” at the hands of a white person tells the same story? They speak of “deep-rooted systems of oppression; legacies of hate.” No elaboration required here? No specification of where Brown might stand within such a system? No nuance or complexity? Is it obvious that “hate”—as opposed to incompetence, or fear, or cruelty, or poor training, or lack of accountability, or a brutal police culture, or panic, or malfeasance—is what we observed in Minneapolis? We are called upon to “effect change.” Change from what to what, exactly? Evidently, we’re now all charged to promote the policy agenda of the “progressive” wing of American politics. Is this what a university is supposed to be doing?

    I must object. This is no reasoned ethical reflection. Rather, it is indoctrination, virtue-signaling, and the transparent currying of favor with our charges. The roster of Brown’s “leaders” who signed this manifesto in lockstep remind me of a Soviet Politburo making some party-line declaration. I can only assume that the point here is to forestall any student protests by declaring the university to be on the Right Side of History.

    What I found most alarming, though, is that no voice was given to what one might have thought would be a university’s principal intellectual contribution to the national debate at this critical moment: namely, to affirm the primacy of reason over violence in calibrating our reactions to the supposed “oppression.” Equally troubling were our president’s promises to focus the university’s instructional and research resources on “fighting for social justice” around the world, without any mention of the problematic and ambiguous character of those movements which, over the past two centuries or more, have self-consciously defined themselves in just such terms—from the French and Russian Revolutions through the upheavals of the 1960s.

    My bottom line: I’m offended by the letter. It frightens, saddens, and angers me.



    Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Economics at Brown University.

  6. Ferreira’s ultimate goal, though, is to automate training—allowing workers to prepare for jobs without excessive bureaucracy intruding. “I still would love to live in a world where I could maybe download an app, watch some training videos, and then go do it,” she muses

    I tried to do this with medical education about 15 years ago. The concept, which preceded broad band, was to register nurses and MDs for continuing education courses, provide registrants with a CD Rom/DVD of the audio-visual material, then have registrants log on for a course with testing at the end. A certificate could then be printed for completion. I spent time learning some rudimentary animation skills. I tried to interest a UCLA faculty cardiologist who had a great heart sounds disc with animation. He told me his son had done the animation and then had gone to work for Genentech.

    About the time I was getting ready to look for an animator, some people at UCI sold a similar concept to WebMD but they have never done anything I am aware of with it.

    When I was working on it, I scheduled a program at the American College of Surgeons meeting showing what we could do with animation and online education. The College put the program in a small lecture room at Moscone center, assuming limited interest. The room was packed with standing room only. Oh well.

    The last word on the Floyd case, as far as I am concerned is Jack Dunphy’s take.

  7. “Ferreira’s ultimate goal, though, is to automate training—allowing workers to prepare for jobs without excessive bureaucracy intruding. “I still would love to live in a world where I could maybe download an app, watch some training videos, and then go do it,” she muses”

    For jobs that involve anything physical, that’s not sufficient. If someone is assembling a complex product or overhauling a jet engine, for example, an app and a video may be helpful…but at some point, you need to actually try doing it, and the guidance of someone who has done it before will be worth its weight in gold.

  8. The neck restraint was more risky to the suspect but in this case the autopsy showed that the structures of Floyd’s neck were not injured. A middle age, out of work, would be “Rap artist” mixed Methamphetamine, Fentanyl and panic and won a heart attack. The repeated yelling made it clear that he was breathing just fine, up until the heart attack, that is.

    The cell phone video was cute but just a snap shot of the drama and tradgedy of drug abuse that keeps Emergency Rooms busy every day. The looting and violence is a replacement for the hoped for chaos from Winnie the Flu, the Avery death, the “Impeachment”, etc. Gotta keep the ghetto folk voting to keep the Corruptocrats in power.

    Blame “Whitey” for the desolation brought by the Democratic Party. With the usual legal shuffle, the cops will be free well AFTER the November election. Then, Floyd who?

  9. Mike-SMO…pretty clear to me that the cop’s behavior was extreme, out of control, likely sadistic. And, given the shooting and killing of the Australian woman not long ago, also seems there are serious general problems in the Minneapolis police department.

    There do need to be better processes for getting rid of bad/dangerous cops.

  10. Dave — The white cop was following his department’s guidelines for restraining violent suspects. Saint Floyd couldn’t breathe because the meth was wearing off and the fentanyl in his system was beginning to affect his diseased COVID-positive heart. He died of heart failure, not asphyxiation. Also, he was a violent five time felon and I give a rat’s arse about him.

    The black cop was a Somali affirmative action hire. When he was finally arrested, his local tribesmen dutifully rioted to try and spring him.

    You are taking enemy agitprop at face value and spreading it about. Stop that.

  11. David F: “There do need to be better processes for getting rid of bad/dangerous cops.”

    Indeed. First we have to identify the source of the problem. It is clear that the source lies far above the “man in the arena” — the police officer in a situation where his life could be on the line. The problem lies with the head of the police department — these days, often an affirmative action hire. (Remember the female police officer who gave the order to shoot the innocent Brazilian electrician in a London Tube station in 2005? She was later promoted to head of the Metropolitan Police).

    And who chooses these less-than-stellar performers to lead Police Departments? Why, it is elected officials; they are the real source of the problem. And we already have a process to get rid of inadequate elected officials — it is called elections. And elections are obviously not working, because “We the Peop[e” are not taking our responsibilities seriously.

    It is a lot easier to blame the guy at the bottom of the pyramid trying to balance real-world situations versus dumb Politically Correct policies than it is to look straight at the heart of the problem — our own reflection in a mirror.

  12. If anybody wants a good explanation of the Deep State, here it is. Ric Grennell in a great video. He makes my exact argument about term limits. All that would do is empower the bureaucracy even more. He also supports the dispersal of the bureaucracy across the country.

    “Trump has always been an outsider,” and that makes him attractive to gays and blacks.

    Before the inauguration, Trump had never spent a night in DC.

    Talks about the “gay thing.”

    Great interview.

  13. https://thepostmillennial.com/nyc-mayor-de-blasio-defunds-the-police

    This is just all kinds of awesome. I too miss the good old days when NYC had 3,000 murders a year. Actually, I do think that police department funding miss allocates a lot of money. The paper pusher to
    cop on the beat ratio is way out of whack. I doubt very much that Mayor Bane will address that problem, though. Maybe Wall Street will respond to this nonsense by decamping the Empire State. Go some where with no state income tax.

    Well, one can dream, can’t one?

  14. Hi David.
    To your “russian history” link: watching the news, an Isaac Babel’ story comes to mind to many of us(“The story of my dovecot”)
    …”in the lane on one side a young peasant in a waistcoat was smashing a window frame in the house of Khariton Efrussi. He was smashing it with a wooden mallet, striking out with his whole body. Sighing, he smiled all around the amiable grin of drunkenness, sweat, and spiritual power. The whole street was filled with a splitting, a snapping, the song of flying wood.”

  15. David, try this link.

    I should have checked the preview.

    Blame “Whitey” for the desolation brought by the Democratic Party. With the usual legal shuffle, the cops will be free well AFTER the November election. Then, Floyd who?

    Yes, the cop is probably creepy if the story of him doing porn flicks is true. Anybody that watched Jerry Orbach on “Law and Order” knows cops have screwed up personal lives often. My sister has been married to a Chicago cop over 40 years so not all are.

    The true story of that incident will be hard to find among all the lies. My suspicion is that body cam video in being suppressed because it shows him struggling and resisting until shortly before his cardiac arrest. We may see it at the trial although, like Epstein’s cell video, it might “be lost.”

  16. On the topic of the “Nextdoor” web sites, we had a nice one for our little foothill community north of Tucson AZ. I used to look to see stuff about local wild animal sightings and the like. The last time I tried to log on (I hadn’t in a while) it was gone.

  17. I think we all know that some Saudis were involved in 9/11. The Deep Staters are still on the Saudi payroll, like Joe Wilson was when he disputed the “Yellow Cake”story. It was probably a faction of the family and not policy but we might know in the second term. All we have to do is look at Mattis and Kelly to see how little support Trump has. The Saudis spent decades hiring retired FSOs to keep them sweet. My friend who retired as a Colonel in the USMC, in spite of being the greatest fighter pilot since WWII, spent some time in Saudi selling McDonnell Douglas jets. He said he spent an hour in a sauna with Idi Amin one time.

    Now, we don’t need the Saudis for oil and soon can get out of the Middle East in spite of Mattis, Kelly, Powell, etc.

  18. indeed, as I’ve surmised, prince salman has tried to get out of the family business, that his father now king set up with the high commission on bosnia, one is struck how much from afghanistan to yemen, intersects there, tim golden and rotella, are pretty good at actual reporting with some editorializing,

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