Month: June 2014

A brief programming interruption

I know, I know, this is a place for very serious discussion. But Rob and I have been busy taking the piss out of Salon the last few days:

If you’ve been on Twitter at all the last several days, you’ve likely seen some bizarre headlines coming from handle named @Salondotcom. While that seems like progressive site Salon’s real user name, it’s actually a parody account, and it’s been retweeted and praised by media folk across the spectrum.

In just four days of existence, the account has accumulated an impressive roster of fake Salon headlines, parodying the site’s infamous contrarian-at-all-costs progressive commentary on each and every issue.

Have a look here.

Sacred Harp 79: ‘That Old Ship Of Zion’

From 1980 in Florida:

And here’s a funny, swung version from Poland, in 2013, the second year of the Polish convention. They get the hang of the tune eventually:

What ship is this that will take us all home,
Oh, glory hallelujah,
And safely land us on Canaan’s bright shore?
Oh, glory hallelujah.

’Tis the old ship of Zion, hallelujah.

The winds may blow and the billows may foam,
Oh, glory hallelujah,
But she is able to land us all home.
Oh, glory hallelujah.

She landed all who have gone before,
Oh, glory hallelujah,
And yet she is able to land still more,
Oh, glory hallelujah.

If I arrive there, then, before you do,
Oh, glory hallelujah,
I’ll tell them that you are coming up, too,
Oh, glory hallelujah.

Exit / No Exit



The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day,
There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away,
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide,
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride.
The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars,
With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars,
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above,
The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love.
Feast in my hall, O foemen, and eat and drink and drain,
You never loved the sun in heaven as I have loved the rain.

-GK Chesterton, The Last Hero

This is a developing discussion, of which I feel a great need to take part. As a reactionary-without-portfolio I often find myself in between differing extremes in Outer Right opinion. On the one hand, the concept of Exit is sometimes considered to be “post libertarian” ephemera, which is just a byword for “crypto libertarian” or “insufficiently reactionary”. This is a way of saying it is an idea that does not belong to our Thede or Folk or Religion; foreign and verboten. In this case, we have more of “being in the service of the ideas of foreigners.” Given the recent history of information warfare (Alex Jones’ Infowars site specializes in creating poisonous rumors to insinuate their worldview into the common consciousness) it is not an unwise criticism.

On the other hand, we have among actual Libertarians such an extreme position on Exit as to view it a good over all other goods (see Slate Star Codex’s archipelago.) That logic may lead to a perverse place: A world of quasi-sovereigns that cannot prevent people from leaving their own borders, but where no one can exit the greater entity. This issue is typical of monomania – without another balancing principle, trying to maximize the desired thing often results in negating it. Take for instance the current movement for sexual liberation: in order for some to maximize their own sexual liberation they must by definition restrict the liberation of others (in this case, women->men.) It is the strange idea of ‘guaranteeing’ exit that creates the distortion; this is like if Gideons put bibles everywhere thinking they could guarantee each person access to Jesus Christ. Even if this were true, this access might be to their condemnation, not to their salvation. Imagine a man who has just murdered someone going into a hotel and finding the bible, then reading Revelation. Maximizing one good at the expense of others decreases overall goodness.


Questions and answers on private cities

I was just informed my Freeman piece on private cities was reblogged by Don Boudreaux, Arnold Kling, and Isegoria. First off, thanks! It’s fun to see my piece making the rounds, especially as it is one of the first I wrote. Before writing on why private cities haven’t emerged, I’d like to argue that they are going to emerge.

The most promising development is in Honduras. Honduras passed a law allowing ZEDEs (zonas de empleado y desarollo economico). ZEDEs are granted wide degrees of autonomy, being exempted from Honduran civil and commercial law. Currently the Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices is writing a set of guidelines that ZEDEs will have to meet. At least one company interested in Honduras is trying to start a proprietary community.

Beyond Honduras, there are several other countries that have expressed interest in setting up similar zones. There has also been a resurgence in interest cities, with books such as Glaesars Triumph of the CityI think the trend is toward decentralization and one aspect of that will be private cities.

Kling raises three questions as to why there aren’t private cities:


Secession lagniappe

The Hawaiian restoration movement tell the Obama administration to take its ethno-satrapy proposal and shove it has been one of the more inspiring things to watch in a while:

If the Department of Justice was unclear as to which constitutional power Congress exercised in 1898 when it purported to have annexed Hawaiian territory by joint resolution, it should still be unclear as to how Congress “has enacted more than 150 statutes that specifically recognize and implement this trust relationship with the Native Hawaiian community, including the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act, and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act” stated in its press release.

It is clear that the Department of Justice had this information since 1988, but for obvious reasons did not cite that opinion in its joint report with the DOI that covered the portion on annexation (p. 26-30). To do so, would have completely undermined all the statutes the Congress has enacted for Hawai‘i, which would also include the lawful authority of the State of Hawai‘i government itself since it was created by an Act of Congress in 1959.

This was precisely the significance of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe’s questions to Secretary of State John Kerry. Without any evidence that the United States extinguished the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State under international law, the Hawaiian Kingdom is presumed to still be in existence and therefore under an illegal and prolonged occupation.

The DOI is holding meetings starting Monday and running through August to solicit public feedback about initiating government-to-government relations with the OHA, which seeks what amounts to tribal recognition and ethnic spoils for its list of registered native Hawaiians (the sign above refers to their list). Crabbe bucked that plan with his letter to Secretary Kerry, and the cat’s out of the bag now. More here. Free Hawaii is sounding the alarm, telling people to protest the DOI, with some suggested slogans:

Kamaki Kanahele Is Not Our King
Robin Danner Does Not Speak For Us
SCHAA Shafts Hawaiian Homesteaders
Abercrombie Against Hawaiians
Hawaiians Say NO To Rule Changes
Go Home DOI
DOI Will leave Hawaiians High & Dry
Bye Bye DOI
No Aloha In OHA

It also appears that we may have found the economist laureate of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Dr. Umi Perkins, with a sort of aloha Georgism.


The Turing-Poe test

With the rise of the internet radicals and internet trolls, it would be an interesting exercise to apply the Turing test to Poe’s law. Is that person posting that stuff an idiot? Are they just pretending to be an idiot? Or is it idiots tricked into looking like even bigger idiots by a loose group of people pretending to be idiots? Because that’s exactly what happened with #EndFathersDay on twitter.

straw feminist

This prank originated on 4chan’s news and politics board, /pol/, a board known for its radicalism, offensiveness and free speech, and it’s clear that it was success. What’s more interesting is that this isn’t your typical black propaganda, because it actually fooled the people that it was satirizing into joining in. The hashtag topped twitter’s trending lists, sweeping up thousands of bona fide feminists in the apparently empowering anti-holiday frenzy. Plenty of savvier feminist tweeters pointed out that such tweets needed to stop – not because the rhetoric is fucking crazy, but because of who is originating the hashtag, since the internet is public and any group of people planning such thing will be uncovered with a little digging.