Archive for the ‘Collapse’ Category

Report from a Madhouse

When you throw your last scraps of civilized incentive-architecture in a dumpster and set it on fire it looks like this:

Cities across the country, beginning with the District of Columbia, are moving to copy Richmond’s controversial approach because early indications show it has helped reduce homicide rates. […] But the program requires governments to reject some basic tenets of law enforcement even as it challenges notions of appropriate ways to spend tax dollars. […] … when the elaborate efforts at engagement fail, the mentors still pay those who pledge to improve, even when, like [violent criminal Lonnie] Holmes, they are caught with a gun, or worse — suspected of murder. […] … To maintain the trust of the young men they’re guiding, mentors do not inform police of what they know about crimes committed. At least twice, that may have allowed suspected killers in the stipend program to evade responsibility for homicides. […] And yet, interest in the program is surging among urban politicians. Officials in Miami, Toledo, Baltimore and more than a dozen cities in between are studying how to replicate Richmond’s program. […] … five years into Richmond’s multimillion-dollar experiment, 84 of 88 young men who have participated in the program remain alive, and 4 in 5 have not been suspected of another gun crime or suffered a bullet wound … […] Richmond’s decision to pay people to stay out of trouble began a decade ago during a period of despair. […] In 2007, Richmond’s homicide tally had surged to 47, making it the country’s sixth-deadliest city per capita. In the 20 years prior to that, Richmond lost 740 people to gun violence, and more than 5,000 had been injured by a bullet. […] Elected leaders of the heavily African American city of about 100,000 began treating homicides as a public health emergency. … [DeVone Boggan] who had lost a brother in a shooting in Michigan … had to raise the money because he couldn’t persuade officials to give tax dollars directly to violent firearms offenders. […] Boggan and his streetwise crew of ex-cons selected an initial group of 21 gang members and suspected criminals for the program. One night in 2010, he persuaded them to come to city hall, where he invited them to work with mentors and plan a future without guns. As they left, Boggan surprised each one with $1,000 — no strings attached. […] “This is controversial, I get it,” Boggan said. “But what’s really happening is that they are getting rewarded for doing really hard work, and it’s definite hard work when you talk about stopping picking up a gun to solve your problems.” […] So far, the attention — and money — seems to be working for Holmes. Although the $1,500 he has received since getting out of prison last fall has not led to a miraculous transformation, it enabled him to make a down payment on his black 2015 Nissan Versa — something meaningful for a young man who for many years was homeless. […] He now spends hours each day in the car, driving around with friends, often smoking pot but not “hunting” — Vaughn’s term for seeking conflict with rivals. […] “The money is a big part,” Holmes says. “I can’t count the number of times it has kept me from . . . doing what I’ve got to do. It stopped me from going to hit that liquor [store] or this, you feel me, it’s a relief to not have to go do this and endanger my life for a little income, you feel me?” …

That’s as much as I can take. The phrase subject to XS emphasis describes the core principle of the scheme. Maybe it should count as a relief that these gangstas aren’t being directly rewarded for whacking shop-keepers.

There’s a term for this kind of scheme: Dane Geld. It’s not something civilizations with a future tend to engage in.

ADDED: Highly relevant. “… there are entire classes of people who can get more from the world by being unstable and dangerous …”

March 29, 2016admin 19 Comments »
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Quote note (#230)

Lucidity:

Things are going to get a lot more ugly, before this is over. This is high amygdala, on all sides, from the conservatives who can’t take the delusions that are leading us to doom and failure, to the liberals who are panicking and breaking mentally, as reality becomes unavoidable.

As crazy as it is to contemplate, this is barely a smidgen into the apocalypse. We are still swimming in wealth compared to what is to come.

When the real apocalypse hits, I’d bet on mortality, and a fair amount of it.

March 13, 2016admin 13 Comments »
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Sentences (#46)

Anne Applebaum on our interesting times:

Right now, we are two or three bad elections away from the end of NATO, the end of the European Union and maybe the end of the liberal world order as we know it.

March 5, 2016admin 16 Comments »
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Sentences (#44)

Succinct insight from Lind:

Within the Beltway, the failure of national policies is not important.

The whole (short) article is highly recommended, and not only because it converges on the cybernetics of the NRx Cathedral concept almost perfectly:

… the only thing that really matters is remaining a member of the establishment. This completes the loop in what is a classic closed system, where the outside world does not matter and is not allowed to intrude. Col. John Boyd, America’s greatest military theorist, said that all closed systems collapse. The Washington establishment cannot adjust, it cannot adapt, it cannot learn. It cannot escape serial failure.

The very success of the establishment at perfecting machine politics — i.e. desensitization to performance-based feedback — guarantees concentrated idiocracy and collapse.

February 19, 2016admin 13 Comments »
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Sentences (#41)

Charles Hugh Smith on the perverse effects of (understandable) macroeconomic panic:

What NIRP communicates is: this sucker’s going down, so sell everything and hoard your cash and precious metals.

Oh, look

20160211_goldoil_0

Expect the war on cash, in all its forms, to massively intensify.

ADDED: Fernandez, on the road to NIRP. “While NIRP and $4.1 trillion budgets may represent the last throw of the Keynesian dice, John Maudlin warns that even failure will have no effect. Like negative interest rates itself, orthodoxy is prepared to venture into negative sanity rather than admit to error.”

February 12, 2016admin 118 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#48)

I don’t think the diagnosis is seriously questionable at this point. The question is: What to do about it?

ADDED: “Despite the reassuring words that the ‘European way’ is sound and will prevail, both the rampant jihad and the mounting protests from the core of Europe point to the same thing and have the same cause: Europe is rotting and dying.”

February 4, 2016admin 60 Comments »
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Quote note (#213)

Bolivarian Socialism has made a truly crucial contribution to Marxist-Leninist-Guevara-Penn-Chávez Thought — the idea of food-line rationing:

Venezuela’s government has tried to deny economic reality with price and currency controls. The idea was that it could stop inflation without having to stop printing money by telling businesses what they were allowed to charge, and then giving them dollars on cheap enough terms that they could actually afford to sell at those prices. The problem with that idea is that it’s not profitable for unsubsidized companies to stock their shelves, and not profitable enough for subsidized ones to do so either when they can just sell their dollars in the black market instead of using them to import things. That’s left Venezuela’s supermarkets without enough food, its breweries without enough hops to make beer, and its factories without enough pulp to produce toilet paper. The only thing Venezuela is well-supplied with are lines.

Although the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.

The genius of that. You think anyone should just be allowed to stand in a food-line, bourgeois imperialism-style? The Revolution has moved beyond such reactionary ideas.

(The Gnon-bliss XS receives from this regime is hard to communicate without wandering into tentacle-porn.)

January 30, 2016admin 48 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#42)


Continue Reading

January 8, 2016admin 5 Comments »
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Quote note (#205)

In an alternative, fantasy universe Richard Fernandez is an Outside in guest-blogger. … and on the topic of fantasy:

If it takes 17 years of unbroken failure, misery, violence and ruin to persuade once-rich Venezuelans that left wing promises don’t work it will take a whole lot more than a few deaths at a San Bernardino community center for true believers to abandon Barack Obama’s ideology. The forces which enabled global terrorism are so invested in their fantasy world that little is likely to stop it until it burns itself out. […] One can only hope the fever drives out the disease before it kills the patient.

Exactly right, as usual. (Hope being scarcely more than a hairs-breadth away from idiocy.)

December 4, 2015admin 19 Comments »
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Quote note (#201)

Apologies for the Quote note spam, but this is just too exquisite to pass over. It’s Žižek melting-down spectacularly under pressure. Quasi-random sample:

What should people in Haiti and other places with food shortages do? Do they not have the full right to violently rebel?

— Oh sure, you’ve got the solution right there.

This is the true squeal of anguish:

… corporate capitalism has triumphed worldwide. In fact, the Third World nations that embrace this world order are those now growing at a spectacular rate. The mask of cultural diversity is sustained by the actual universalism of global capital; even better if global capitalism’s political supplement relies on so-called “Asian values.” […] Global capitalism has no problem in accommodating itself to a plurality of local religions, cultures and traditions. So the irony of anti-Eurocentrism is that, on behalf of anti-colonialism, one criticizes the West at the very historical moment when global capitalism no longer needs Western cultural values in order to smoothly function. In short, one tends to reject Western cultural values at the very time when, critically reinterpreted, many of those values (egalitarianism, fundamental rights, freedom of the press, the welfare-state, etc.) can serve as a weapon against capitalist globalization. Did we already forget that the entire idea of Communist emancipation as envisaged by Marx is a thoroughly “Eurocentric” one?

“Comrades! — We’re obliterating ourselves.” Indeed, yes.

ADDED: Another piece of delicious high-IQ Leftist meltdown. Everything is there — but the equations just won’t come out right left. “Rather more difficult is to conceptualize a radically different mode of production, and how to represent the sociopolitical transition required to take us there.” Quite.

November 17, 2015admin 25 Comments »
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