Monday, January 19, 2015

Restoring the Caliphate is an imperial project

Words have meaning. It seems perfectly obvious to me that the Caliph leads the Caliphate and that the caliphate is the multi-national collection of islamic states. In general terms, the Caliph is an emperor, which makes restoring the caliphate an imperial project, and radical islam, which wants to restore the caliphate, an imperialist venture.

Then the world turns upside down.

The putatively anti-imperialist forces in the west on the left tend to be the softest when it comes to radical islam. Bill Maher has made left wing softness on radical islam a major theme of his career. But even Maher doesn't look at radical islam in terms of empire. For him, his opposition is part and parcel of his deep commitment to atheism. To him radical Islam is just religion on steroids.

Finding anti-imperial critiques of radical islam arising from the left is tough going. This provides an opportunity to call out the left and for a new left to arise that is authentically anti-imperialist no matter where imperialism arises.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Linus promotes competence, attacked for it by Social Justice Warriors

 This is in response to a Q&A session in New Zealand where Linus made it very clear that competence and good code are most important for him and everything else is just an also ran when it comes to the Linux kernel. For him, diversity didn't rate at all. In the inevitable partial walkbalk followup, Linus tosses more salt in SJW wounds by raising the importance of diversity along other poles. The importance of genital equipment to programming continues to elude him.

At least @shanley gets one thing right. When you're launching an attack on the Internet, attack someone bigger and more important than you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An Idiot's Guide to Distinguishing the Baga attack from the Paris attack

It seems someone needs to write this because some writers have exposed themselves as idiots who can't tell the difference between the attacks in Baga and Paris without making ugly racist accusations

1. Paris is a world capital in a country that generally believed itself not at war on its own territory. Combat breaking out in such a capital is big news. When capitals fall, regimes fall. Baga is a remote border town that is not even the capital of its local state. It has come under attack within the past two years and it's likely to happen again during the next two years as things go. 

2. Boko Haram is a significant military force that at least sort of fits within the standard framework of how people go to war in the modern age. The irregulars attacking in Paris are an example of a systemic threat to the Westphalian system that has undergirded how nations interact with each other since the peace of Westphalia in 1648. If Westphalia goes, a lot of things change. If Boko Haram takes even a province or two, nothing systemic changes. 

3. Nigeria's rulers have decided that it is in their interest to minimize the tragedy of Baga. France's rulers have decided that it is in their interests to play up the tragedy of Paris. The rest of the world's leadership rightfully take cues from the leader of the country in which the attack has taken place. 

4. There is a political affinity between France's governing party (socialist) and the marxists that put out Charlie Hebdo. There is a political rivalry between the muslim north (where Baga is) and the christian south (where the current government is drawn from). This naturally leads to different treatment. While it's unfortunate, race has nothing to do with it in either case. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Education

Is it just me or are people looking to expand the time spent on preparing for life while shrinking the time spent actually living life productively? Instead of proposing free community college, turning the secondary education system into grades K-14, wouldn't it make more sense to work to stuff more learning into the present time available?

The problem with my proposal is that we'd have to pay attention, seriously ask what is school for, and take action to fix what ails the education/employment system. There are entrenched interests standing in the way of that conversation and the likelihood of success is low. So why not just whistle past the graveyard as another year is lost by kids being taught inefficiently and ineffectively?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

Islamic radicals, with their usual style, have asked the world to repeat Everybody Draw Mohammad Day. As before this has caught me by surprise so I will simply repeat my earlier entry.

Is it draw Mo day already?

Here's something from the Mohammed Image Archive, a reproduction of Islamic art. 
 

Ok, I'm ready for my fatwa now.

This sort of image of Mohammed, illustrated by muslims, is just as blasphemous to the iconoclastic primitives who just murdered a dozen french satirists in Paris as any of the other cartoons and drawings floating around. I picked it because we should not forget that these barbarians want to murder Islam's past as much as our present.

#IAmCharlie

Free association

This is going to be an occasional series of notes to help me fix half formed thoughts, and nail down concepts that sound pretty good inside my head.

The inaugural one is this:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State
What are the necessary and proper 10th amendment rights retained by the people that are implied by this clause of the 2nd amendment? 

The anti-gunners never ask this question and I've never seen the pro-gun side ask this either. Is there any literature on this subject? 

Monday, January 5, 2015

How parts of the US manifest getting poorer

My local municipality monthly newsletter came in the mail over the weekend along with the local utility bill. News You Can Use put out a new snow policy and it's a statement admitting growing financial problems (at least between the lines).

Mains and secondaries will only be salted at intersections, railroad tracks, school zones, curves, bridges and around hospitals. Once the snow event has stopped, we will salt the mains and the secondaries all the way through and then we will move into the residentials. We will only salt residentials at stop signs once the snow event has stopped. We will no longer salt mid-block of the residentials
It's in little statements of service cutbacks and quietly deferred maintenance that between the lines often announce financial decay in the US. During the recent fiscal crisis, miles and miles of asphalted road were converted back to gravel. The trend is getting push back but even oil booming Texas tried it out in 2013 on two roads before public anger made them permanently shelve the idea a year later. The Texas case might be a matter of a fiscally responsible state running into the high depletion nature of shale oil wells but that circumstance seems to be an outlier.

So keep an eye out for those little announcements. Lowered salt usage on icy streets, asphalt going back to gravel, changes like these that can be pushed through relatively quietly are going to be more frequent signs than big changes like government pension cuts and municipal bankruptcy.