Category Archives: Politics

5 Reasons Gun Owners Should Join the NRA

Luke McKinney at Cracked has an(other) idiotic article lacking that substitutes snark and insult for anything resembling logic or reason over at Cracked on why we should hate the NRA (Spoiler alert: Because they think you should be free to own a gun). So, I’m going to reply to his distortions:

#5. They’re Paid By Gun Manufacturers

In 2013, Business Insider reported that less than half of the NRA’s revenue came from membership dues and fees …

Which means almost half of its funds come from member dues and fees (it has 5 million members according to wiki). Compared to other lobbying groups, that’s pretty high. For example, the AMA (the second largest lobbying group next the the Chamber of Commerce) supposedly represents physicians. It gets only 16% of its fees from dues.

In this section, Luke throws out a bunch of random unrelated trivia, but never gives any reason why they matter. Why is it bad that the NRA is half-funded by the industry? Luke never explains, he just says it is. In fact, I’m happy that the gun companies support their customers and their freedoms.

Also, notice how Luke links an article saying the NRA engages in illegal activities, when the article’s big findings (after the updates are taken into account) were that a website page was accidentally improperly routed, that taxes were properly paid but incompletely documented, and that a single box was left unchecked on tax papers (not effecting taxes paid).

So, Luke McKinney believes that if your webmaster screws up a link and you screw up your tax forms, nobody should ever associate with you again. I’ve done both, you all must never read my blog again.

#4. They’re Allowed To Casually Talk About Shooting People

Ted Nugent made a joke about shooting senators, therefore the NRA is evil. (That is literally his argument).

Cracked made multiple jokes about beating retarded children, therefore Cracked is evil. If Luke McKinney has any decency at all he will quit writing for Cracked. Or does Luke support beating developmentally disabled children?

#3. NRA Board Members Are All Kinds Of Scary

According to McKinney, because one NRA member argues for school paddlings you should leave the NRA. Maybe you don’t agree with school paddlings, but it is a normal practice and is hardly that frightening to support. 26% of the US supports school corporal punishment: so Luke literally thinks a quarter of the US is so evil you should not interact with them.

Fellow board member Don Young, a congressman from Alaska, described the BP Gulf oil spill as a “natural phenomena,”

What he actually said, right where Luke links is:

Young said: “This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a national phenomena. Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it. During World War II there was over 10 million barrels of oil spilt from ships, and no natural catastrophe. … We will lose some birds, we will lose some fixed sealife, but overall it will recover.”

If you are not retarded (sorry Luke) you can easily read, even in that conveniently clipped quote, that it is referring to oil spilling into the sea is a natural phenomena, not that the BP spill itself was.

Then Luke just flat out lies:

and thinks wolves would be a great solution to the homelessness problem.

Actually, if you read the article Luke linked, you can see that he wasn’t talking about solving the homeless problem at all. He was talking about how wolves are dangerous and how urbanites who never had to deal with the danger of wolves are making laws to prevent rural folk from protecting themselves. Of course, Luke, being an ignorant urbanite, has no idea about the danger of wolves in rural areas where their aren’t a lot of police and where animal control is far away. It almost seems like he supports wolves killing people.

So, if you are one of the quarter of the US who support paddling in schools and believe that rural people don’t deserve to get eaten by wolves, you are so scary that everyone should disassociate from you.

#2. They’re Pretty Racist

The NRA’s 2015 annual meeting featured a presentation on how whole swathes of American cities had been turned into Muslim “no-go zones,”

It seems Luke McKinney thinks Muslims are a race. I think that makes him a racist, not to mention just plain ignorant of biology, sociology, and religion.

“Demographically symbolic” is a masterpiece. Nine syllables that would be less obvious if he’d just screamed, “Racism sexism racism!” It’s a code word, but not a disguised code word;

He links to this:

Eight failed years of one demographically symbolic president is enough. Eight years of the Obama-Clinton regime has sent our nation into a tailspin of moral decay, deceit and destruction.

I guess Luke McKinney thinks the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is racist for thinking of the emotional symbolism of Obama’s victory, or Habib Aruna for thinking of the sybolism of an African American winning resoundingly twice, or NBC news, or CTV news, etc. The symbolism of the first African American winning the presidency was a huge topic in 2008. I guess Luke’s ignorant of recent political history as well.

He went on to blame the president for all problems, to describe how guns solve all problems, and to explain, “For that right, NRA will always fight and, believe me, the fight is coming.” Of course, there’s no possible problem with the leader of an armed group blaming a single named individual for all the problems in the world in public and insisting “the fight is coming.” Not even in a country where a Cracked writer can be placed on the No-Fly list for writing a satirical article. Right now the only difference between NRA talks and Al-Qaeda videos is production value.

Do I honestly need to explain how retarded this is?

Maybe I do. Luke believes that using a fighting metaphor to describe a political battle (oh no, a war metaphor, I must be Hitler) is exactly equivalent to to literally talking about blowing thousands of other people, and yourselves, up. (But only when the evil NRA does it).

I am sure Luke has never used a war metaphor before.

#1. They Blame Victims (And Everything Else)

The NRA makes the very accurate point that if you vote against people’s ability to defend themselves they won’t have the ability to defend themselves. This makes them evil (somehow, he doesn’t exactly explain how).

After Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre blamed music videos, movies, video games — they’re on course to blame every object in existence for shootings except for objects that actually shoot. Blaming everything except the gun is their only job, and the angrier it makes people, the better it works.

Luke McKinney believes guns are magical objects that have their own agency and willfully kill people. People who don’t share this belief are implied to be evil (for some unexplained reason).

****

Finally, though, through all the distortions Luke finally gets to his real point:

Their sole function is to prevent rational debate…They’ve buried the country under so much bullshit that even intelligent Americans start talking about individual rights and waiting periods, as if there was any sane sequence of words that ends with a peacetime civilian holding an AR-15

He wants to limit any discussion of guns to “rational debate” and by “rational debate” he means people who agree with him that guns he doesn’t like should be banned being able to talk and everybody else should shut up. He wants to control the discussion and he wants to limit your ability for self-defence. And he is willing to distort the truth and slander others to do so.

The whole point of his rambling, illogical, unconnected anti-NRA rant was that he hates the fact that civilians can own a semi-automatic weapon. He wants to take them away from you.

Join the NRA so he can’t.

Join the NRA: where business and citizens work together to protect freedom, where celebrities make jokes, where people don’t believe rural dwellers deserve to be eaten by wolves, where people make and understand common metaphors and use basic communication skills, and where people don’t believe inanimate object have agency.

If you value sanity, join the NRA!

Hail the Donald!

Land is wary of the Trump enthusiasm from some of the NRx crowd, and rightfully so, we can’t become demotist around here. Being one who occasionally joins in on the Trump enthusiasm, I thought I’d respond. I should note that I’m Canadian and can’t vote in the US and that I wouldn’t vote even if I could, but here’s why NRx should support Trump.

Before I begin, Trump won’t win and even if he does, not much will change (except maybe the wall). No matter how popular Trump becomes, he won’t win the presidency. I doubt he’ll even win the Republican primary. There is no way the Cathedral will let him win; they will do everything in their power to destroy him, and it will work. If, by some miracle, their efforts fail, Trump will lose against the bureaucracy and if he manages to get past the bureaucracy, the Supreme Court will shut him down. Nothing real will change (except maybe the wall). Whatever minor changes he gets through will be reversed a decade later.

#1: lulz: Everybody worth hating hates Trump. Lapping up their tears as he succeeds beyond what anybody expected is a worthwhile endeavour in its own right. There are two things that makes me consider voting and liberal tears is the second (gun freedom is the first). Sure voting means nothing, but it sure is fun to watch liberals suffer when their candidate loses.

#2: The destruction of the Republican Party. The Republican establishment are afraid and are doing what they can to try to stop him, but Trump speaks for the base. By trying to destroy him the GOP will destroy itself. If Trump somehow wins the nomination, the establishment will have suffered a huge blow and maybe the base can use it to clean house and heighten the ideological conflict. But in the more likely event the GOP rigs things against Trump (as they did with Ron Paul) and Trump loses, the GOP’s credibility will be destroyed. How many libertarians were alienated by the GOP’s treatment of Ron Paul? (How much did his treatment do to drive some to NRx?) And he was just a small side candidate. How fully will the base be alienated when the GOP destroys Trump? Unless Trump pussies out (and he does not seem the type to do so), Trump’s run could spark a bloodbath in the GOP no matter what the result. One of NRx’s goals is to get conservatives to realize that the GOP is no more than the controlled opposition who exist to lose and Trump could be a catalyst for endarkenment.

#3: Immigration. Immigration is the issue all the elites try to suppress. Trump is bringing it to the forefront and the people are responding. When he gets shut down and it is further drilled in that their elites hate them, how much endarkenment will that engender among the masses?

#4: Flowing from this: the truth of democracy. If the Trump train starts chugging for real: the Cathedral will bring all the rigging, all the slandering, all the viciousness, all the lawfare, etc. it can against Trump and his supporters and he will almost inevitably lose. How many of his supporters will realize how much of a sham democracy is as this occurs? How many people will people will come to understand the Cathedral and its ways through this?

#5: The Wall. If against all odds Trump wins, the wall will go up. There is no way I could see him back down from it, as the wall is his campaign, and I can’t see anybody who will be able to bring a clear enough threat against him to stop him. Once the wall is up, bureaucratic self-preservation will keep it up.  The wall is good because collapse is coming; it is nigh unavoidable. The question is the conditions under which the collapse comes. Living out in Asia, Land may be mostly insulated when the American Empire (and its dependencies: the Commonwealth and the EU) implode, but for those of us who refuse to leave our homeland the on-the-ground conditions when the collapse occurs do matter quite a bit. There are two main issues relevant to collapse: immigration and guns. Guns is obvious: will we have the ability to defend and hold our own when the happening goes down? This issue has mostly been won in the US and is the only real victory conservatives have ever achieved. When the happening occurs, people will inevitably split along tribal lines: when this happens how many of them will there be at war with us? The wall will lessen the number of them and maybe savagery can be prevented or at least mitigated.

#6: The punishment. Trump is both rich enough and bombastic enough to punish those activists attacking him. He’s already suing Univision for $500M and is threatening to sue the Hispanic Media Coalition and NBC for dropping him. Trump has the resources to really bring the heat against those who cave to activists and show that there are consequences for bowing to liberalism.

#7: The fluke. Have you read Caliphate by Tom Kratman? In it, a future-history tells of not-Patrick Buchanan winning the presidency and establishing a dictatorship through manipulation of presidential powers that freezes the decline. While he probably won’t do that, Trump is a wild card. I wouldn’t put much past him if he had the opportunity. If somehow he wins, you never know what could happen. (King Trump, anyone?)

As for the man himself:

Sure, Trump may be clownish, arrogant, and self-aggrandizing, but it’s an honest arrogance. The entire system holds you in contempt and wants to destroy your culture; every wanna-be chekist, SJW, bureaucrat, and politician is arrogant enough to think they should be able to dictate what you think, what you say, what you eat, what guns you can own, what you buy, what you drive, etc. Compared to that contempt, that insufferable, smug, all-consuming arrogance hidden under a thin veil of ‘the greater good’, a bit of honest old-fashioned arrogance is a breath of fresh air. As for clownishness, nothing Trump has done or could do could possibly compare to ‘a thrill up my leg’ and the outright worship everybody bestowed upon Obama 8 years ago. Democratic politics is clownish by its very nature; Trump is the only influential person awake enough to see it.

Sure, it’s hard to tell what is theatre and what is real, but it’s honest theatre. Everybody knows Trump is playing to the audience and he’s not even trying to conceal that he is. Compare that to the democratic theatre we regularly have. The GOP pretending to stand for something, the barely concealed corruption of the iron triangle, the farce of a democracy where Judge Roberts can single-handedly rewrite the law, the delusion we are free when we pay taxes even serfs and slaves of bygone days would think harsh. At least Trump’s show is a fun spectacle, rather than mind-killing, soul-draining drudgery of lies that is our normal politics.

So, however much you hate democracy, however useless you know politics is, however doomed you think we are, you should still agree:

Viva la Trump!

Safe, Affordable Housing

Sailer has pointed out that the federal government is trying to use housing vouchers to get poor people out of public housing and bad neighbourhoods and into good neighbourhoods in the suburbs.

This will fail.

I will state what should be obvious, but nobody ever seems to state:

Neighbourhoods aren’t dangerous, neighbourhoods don’t murder people. Building aren’t dangerous, buildings don’t rob people. Homes aren’t dangerous, homes don’t rape people. Look at this picture of the infamous Cabrini Greens:

How many people did those buildings murder? How many drugs did they sell? How many people did they rob? None, because the Cabrini Greens buildings didn’t move, they were inanimate objects.

However convenient a shorthand it might be, neighbourhoods aren’t dangerous, the people in them are. Housing isn’t safe, the people in them make a safe environment.

It is the people in the neighbourhood who make it safe or make it dangerous.

****

With that bit of self-evident obvioussness out of the way, it is easy to see why this will fail. When you start moving people to new neighbourhoods, the people stay the same. Because the people make a neighbourhood good or bad, the people moving from a bad neighbourhood will make the new neighbourhood the same as their old one (over time).

You can not use vouchers to make safe neighbourhoods, because the kinds of people who use vouchers are the kinds of people who make neighbourhoods unsafe. The poor, the unemployed, the shiftless, the criminals, the single mothers, the addicted, the drunk, the high time orientated, etc. are the types who receive vouchers, they are also the types who make neighbourhoods unsafe.

Safe, affordable housing is an impossibility, because as soon as you make housing affordable, the type of people who make neighbourhoods unsafe move in. These unsafe people then cleanse the neighbourhood of safe people and the neighbourhood turns becomes just like the ones the people were trying to escape.

****

There are two possible exceptions.

The first is discrimination. A neighbourhood can remain safe and affordable if the neighbourhood is allowed to discriminate to keep the safe poor (college students, young married families, large traditional families, struggling entrepreneurs, etc) while keeping the unsafe poor out. The safe poor though, are likely not going to be on vouchers. Vouchers select for the unsafe poor. As well, discrimination is evil, so it can’t be allowed no matter how much it would improve the lives of the safe poor.

The second is dispersal and selection. You could select desirable candidates on an individual basis from the unsafe poor to give vouchers and then then disperse them, no more than one family per a block, in safe neighbourhoods. If the selected individual is not naturally an unsafe person, they could fit into the neighbourhood and be uplifted by it, while not adversely effecting the neighbourhood.

But it’s risky. If the selected family turns out not to be a safe one or if their progeny regresses to the mean, they could start causing trouble, starting a downward spiral that drives safe people out, lowers home prices, and brings unsafe people, turning the neighbourhood into an unsafe one. As well, if the voucher families are not dispersed enough, they could come into contact and feed into each others’ weaknesses and start the downward spiral, even if one family alone might not.

But either way, the second method is, of course, is not going to happen. To select safe individuals and not select unsafe individuals is discrimination and discrimination is evil.

Cultural Evolution Response

Scott has a post where he fails to see the dangers of gay marriage to cultural evolution:

First, he distinguishes between two types of cultural evolution and concludes:

Consider: one Inuit tries the red berries and discovers they make her sick. Out of pure self-interest, she decides not to eat them again, and tells her friends the same. Also out of self-interest, they decide not to eat them; those who think they can get away with eating them anyway are quickly disabused of the notion. The taboo against eating red berries quickly spreads throughout the culture.

Marriage doesn’t seem to work that way. If one person decides not to marry in the usual way, it doesn’t necessarily hurt that person. They might have lots of affairs, and enjoy them. Or they might get gay married, and enjoy that.

Here he misses the obvious: STD’s.

About 1.2 million Americans have HIV; about 658,000 have died.

On gays specifically, one-fifth have it.”Although MSM represent about 4% of the male population in the United States, in 2010, MSM accounted for 78% of new HIV infections among males and 63% of all new infections. MSM accounted for 54% of all people living with HIV infection in 2011, the most recent year these data are available… Since the epidemic began, an estimated 311,087 MSM with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 5,380 in 2012.”

About 1.8% of men identify as gay, which would mean that about 2,725,200 men in the US are gay. Over about thirty years, over a tenth of the homosexual population has died of AIDS. Most of that was front-loaded in the 80’s; currently there’s a yearly mortality rate of about 2 in 1000. The only reason this isn’t massively worse is because scientists developed drugs to combat the disease.

The yearly death rate in 1995 before the drugs was about 17 in a 1000. (Assuming gays still accounted for 54% of cases and were 1.8% of the population). By comparison, the death rate due to OD by cocaine addicts is about 4 in a 1000, while the death rate of smokers due to smoking-related disease is about 11 in a 1000. That’s not even including other STD’s, which are also not as deadly/disfiguring as they used to be thanks to modern medicine.

Homosexuality is a huge health risk kept mostly in check by modern medicine.

Not to mention that Scott ignores reproduction entirely.

But beyond that, we can go to the second type, the group selection form of cultural evolution.

So I interpret it as a different claim: a culture that allows gay marriage will, for various reasons, become weak and unsuccessful. Then it will be crushed by other cultures, either militarily, economically, or in a sort of marketplace of ideas where people convert to or assimilate into the other culture because it’s more attractive and successful.

Note that THIS IS REALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST TYPE OF CULTURAL EVOLUTION. In fact, it might be diametrically opposite. For example, gay sex may be lots of fun – and as people figure this out and tell their friends, it will be positively selected through the first type of cultural evolution. But it might weaken a culture’s Moral Fabric – in which case it will be negatively selected through the second type of cultural evolution.

There is no distinction between the two, which is obvious when he talks here:

How long is a “generation” in cultural evolution? Rome lasted a thousand years, Byzantium another thousand. It took about three hundred years for Christianity to replace paganism in Rome; Enlightenment values have been replacing Christianity for three hundred years already and aren’t nearly done. Any sort of evolutionary process that involves waiting for Rome to fall is a process that will take way longer than human history to come to any sort of conclusion… Communism, which basically took all of the worst ideas in history, combined them together into a package deal, and said “Let’s do all of these at once”, took almost a century to collapse, and still hasn’t collapsed in a couple of places.

These were not static societies; they went through numerous dynasties, governments, wars, coups, splits, expansions, and so on. Cultural evolution never stopped: his ‘generation’ had uncounted evolutions. These civilizations adapt to outside pressures. failure to adapt leads to doom, but having a failing policy then fixing it internally can stop doom before it occurs.

For an example, take Rome in the Punic Wars. They were at a disadvantage because they had no fleet when they started. They adapted by creating a fleet, then eventually won. Had they not created a fleet, it may have been Carthage destroying Rome.

Cultural adaptation is different than genetic adaptation and can not be calculated the same way. Genetic adaptation necessarily happens one generation at a time because genetics can only be transmitted by procreation. Cultural adaptation does not as it is not bound by procreation; there are no generations.

(Not to mention that ‘coming to a conclusion’ would put Scott’s generation as the equivalent of an extinction. How long did it take for the Dodo’s to ‘come to a conclusion?’ As well there is survival bias. Scott is only looking at the major, successful, civilizations.  What of all those city-states Rome conquered or destroyed? Rome was the one that survived; the life of the conquered was probably shorter. But these are tangential to the real error).

Finally, he acknowledges a third type:

Actually, this leaves out a possible third kind of cultural evolution, where cultures try good ideas, learn to like them, and stick with them; or try bad ideas, learn to hate them, and stop… Likewise, there’s a cultural evolution argument that we tried traditional sexuality, that made a lot of people unhappy, and now we’re trying something else. It’s unclear how this is different from the Maoism example in a way that makes jettisoning Maoism good, but jettisoning traditional sexuality bad.

The difference is traditional sexuality is not an idea being tried. Traditional sexuality is (in some form) how every civilization that has been successful has made itself and how our civilization has been for millennia. Traditional society is a healthy dog; Maoism is the bright idea to chop off 2 of its legs and see what happens; gay marriage is removing of one of its testicles and seeing how that works out. The latter might no be as immediately debilitating, but if his other testicle is already gone, he won’t be reproducing.

****

For a taste of gay marriage cultural changes, just look at all the effects of other similar evolutions (divorce, acceptable fornication, etc). High bastardry rates, plummeting marriage rates, and a plummeting birth rate. We’ve gotten to the point where simply to keep things running because we’re not having enough children, we import foreigners with different cultures to work for us; foreigners who are gradually replacing us.

That’s cultural evolution in action. White Americans have adopted policies that have made them evolutionary dead ends and will soon be replaced in their own country, after adopting the other peoples’ cultures through multiculturalism.

****
Scott put another post up with some responses after I had written this one. It doesn’t address the issues I raise. Also, I know I still have to respond to Scott from about a year back. I have the post half-written, I just never quite finish it.

Jim Crow

Lynching Deaths 1882-1968 (87 Years)

Whites: 1297 – 14.9/year
Blacks: 3445 – 39.6/year

Homicides 2013:

Black on Black: 2245
Black on White: 409
White on Black: 189
White on White: 2509

Homicide Rates 1964 (per 100,000)

Nonwhite: 22.9
Whites: 2.7

Homicide Rates 2015 (per 100,000)

Black: 31.4
White: 4.5

Imprisonment Rate 1926 (per 100,000)

Black: 106
White: 36

Imprisonment Rate 2012 (per 100,000)

Black: 463  (198251/42,750,000)
White: 88   (172,843/195,148,000)

Poverty Rate 1959

Black: 55.1
White: 18.1

Poverty Rate 2013

Black: 27%
White: 10%

Bastardry Rate 1965

Black: ~25%
White: ~5%

Bastardry Rate 2013

Black: 72%
White: 36%

Children in Broken Homes Rate 1965

Black: 25%
White: ~8%

Children in Broken Homes Rate (Unmarried minus Cohabiting) 2013

Black: 44%
White: 13%

****

During Jim Crow, blacks were generally safer, had stronger families, and were less likely to commit a crime or be jailed, but had double the poverty rate they do now. If so, how can the social dysfunction be blamed on poverty? Also, are they necessarily better off?

Nakedly Corrupt

Here’s a NYT article about the quest to legalize a women’s libido pill. I don’t really care much either way on the issue, other than a general dislike of the FDA, but the view into this fight is a fascinating just how nakedly corrupt the process is.

To summarize some firm has developed flibanserin, a ‘female viagra’, and the “women’s health community” (ie. the people dedicated to sterilizing women and murdering babies) is in a minor civil war over the drug, with the FDA approval process as the battleground. The pro-pill side is arguing SEXISM!, the anti-pill side is arguing SCIENCE!

The drug was rejected once in 2009 because “it was not very effective and had side effects,” which in reality means that “women taking the drug had about one more satisfying sexual event per month than women receiving a placebo” at the cost of “fatigue, fainting, dizziness and nausea”. Is one more sexy time a month worth it, not mine but to, but I will note that these are women, so if they just said yes to their husbands a bit more, they could probably have one more sexy time a month without a pill. But I digress.

After the rejection our main player, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, bought the drug, which was again rejected in 2013. In response, Sprout rallied. They put a women in charge, solely due to merit I’m sure.

Some critics speculate that the company wanted a woman as the face of the brand.

It seems that you can reject affirmative action without being sexist if you are also a feminist.

This is where the fun begins.They then started to rally feminists to to fight for their barely effective pill. Some saw the ploy for the blatant commerical hijacking it is:

From my perspective, that was a really inappropriate strategy, and I really didn’t like it,” said Susan F. Wood, director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University. She said the company had “made the rounds,” asking for the support of women’s health organizations, including hers. “There are some very important issues around ensuring that women get studied and women’s health needs are addressed,” she said. “This trivializes that work.”

But a bunch of other feminists were more gullible and signed up to fight for this pill.

Advocates who support the libido drug, flibanserin, say they believe it has the potential to improve the lives of millions of American women and strongly reject the charge that they were in any way co-opted by the company. They say passionate supporters are needed to move impassive federal agencies to action, and cite Act Up, which pushed the F.D.A. on AIDS drugs in the 1980s.

It was not clear what role, if any, the company had in the trip. Ms. Scanlan, who was among the participants, said they “went out there under our own steam.” Ms. Greenberg said her nonprofit group had paid for the bus. Dr. Anita Clayton, a paid consultant for Sprout who helped in the drug’s testing and who is a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, said she had accompanied the participants as a medical expert.

A “medical expert”. Here’s a nice HuffPo piece by her where she advocates against the FDA’s “discrimination” while neither mentioning neither the drug nor her getting paid as a consultant, although, her HP bio has a nice list of paid consultancies.

To help in their fight Sprout enlisted PR firm Blue Engine Message and Media, which if you check their source-watch is pretty much an independent PR arm of the Democratic Party.

Audrey Sheppard is one of the spearheads of the campaign and the one who approached Blue Engine. She was the director of the FDA Office of Women’s Health appointed by Clinton and has been deeply involved in Democratic politics for decades. She is also a paid advocate for Sprout.

Together they created a campaign called Even the Score. Take a look at the site; it’s all vague pablum about equality for women. Not one specific mention I could find of the drug they are actually campaigning to support, and the only mention of Sprout is on the supporters page, which is itself amusing. It contains a bunch of random medical-sounding organizations nobody has ever heard of such as the International Society for The Study of Women’s Sexual Health (Dr. Anita Clayton is a director), two pharmaceutical companies (Sprout and Trimel, who are creating their own ‘pink viagra’), and, for some reason, Jewish Women International.

Susan Scanlan is chairing Even the Score and is the other leader of the campaign. She’s neck-deep in the Democrat Party and the bureaucracy, as well as having been a lobbyist for the defence industry in the past. Her husband (who I mention primarily because I could not pass up linking to his insane website) has a work history that reads like a typical Cathedral worker.

The Blue Engine spokeperson for Even the Score is Jaime Horne, who’s also worked the Democrat machine, as well as progressive Air America Radio and some progressive non-profits.

So those are a few of the players in this campaign, I have no time or will to go more in-depth, maybe someone paid to can do so, but here’s how the players describe fighting for the pink pill:

“I’ve been accused of bullying the F.D.A., and I say, ‘No, it’s called advocacy,’ ”

They barely conceal that they’re nakedly mau-mauing the flak-catchers. I like that quote though as it sums it up quite clearly: there is no difference between bullying and advocacy other than if the cause if righteous or not.

Continuing on, here’s what Scanlan has to say about her pay:

She said she believed in the drug’s potential, and was not doing it for the money, which she described as an “extremely modest stipend.”

“I’m not going to be taking any vacation to the Riviera on it,” she said.

Maybe it’s just my blue-collar roots but to me the term “modest stipend” conjures up the thought of ‘not quite covering your gas expenses‘, not ‘not quite covering a fancy vacation to France.’ Maybe I have different definitions of modest from the denizens of the iron triangle.

Beyond the luncheon, which took place at the restaurant Ris, Even the Score paid for dozens of people, including patients, to get to a public workshop on female sexual dysfunction at the F.D.A. last fall. It also gave them teal scarves.

At this point I’m surprised, Ris is more expensive than where I usually eat, but is less ritzy than I thought, cheeseburgers are only $13, $20 with a side and entrees cost $25-50. But Even the Score seems to have deep pockets coming from somewhere (Sprout?) to feed, transport, and house that many people.

Daniel Carpenter, a scholar of regulatory policy at Harvard University, called the campaign for the drug’s approval “the most extreme case of companies using social lobbying to get a drug approved in years.”

He disputed the advocates’ analogy to the AIDS movement, saying Act Up was as suspicious of the drug companies as it was of the F.D.A. “How independent are these groups?” he asked. “Would they turn their backs on the company if the price was really high or if there were safety issues? If all they are doing is greasing the wheels to approval, it’s kind of one-sided.”

Heh. If you want more, here’s a sexologist and a psychiatrist on the claims of Even the Score from last year.

Ms. Horn of Even the Score strongly disputes the contention that the campaign put pressure on the agency.

Yes, there’s absolutely no impropriety here. None at all. But the next quote clinches it:

“People who claim that the F.D.A. advisory committee’s decision was based solely on a public-relations campaign are giving us too much credit,” she said in an email. “If the science didn’t support approval, the F.D.A.-appointed advisory committee of doctors, clinicians and other safety experts wouldn’t have approved it.”

Too much credit.” She doesn’t even dispute the charges of pressuring the FDA, in fact she seems almost flattered by it, she just says that they helped but not as much as you might think.

Painting the F.D.A. as sexist did not sit well with some potential supporters. Stephen T. Wills, the chief financial officer of Palatin Technologies, which is also developing a drug to increase women’s libido, said the company asked this month that its name be removed from Even the Score’s website.

When even other pharmaceutical companies think you’ve gone too far…

Palatin had declined several requests to contribute to Even the Score, including one for $5,000 or $10,000 to pay for patients to travel to the F.D.A. workshop last October.

Many people wanted to testify, the vast majority in favor of the drug.

Absolutely nothing untoward here.

There was loud applause when some people spoke in favor of the drug, and when the vote was announced at the end. There was less applause for people testifying against approval.

That last line just kills me. That has to be intentional dry humour.

So, to summarize the situation, a pharmaceutical company has rallied the Democratic political machine, the feminist community, the women’s sexual health community (which somehow exists), and a Jewish Woman’s organization for some unknown reason, to bully the FDA into approving an ineffective form of female viagra. The separation between these bureaucracy, the lobby groups, the Democratic Party, industry, the feminists, the media, and the women’s health groups is practically non-existent; almost everybody involved has worked for most of them.

The major players pretty much define the iron triangle. It’s almost astounding how openly corrupt of the process is.

How often does this sort of stop go on that the NYT doesn’t write about because it isn’t as sexy as ‘libido pills’?

Just War and Breivik

A couple of Ask.fm questions and a Twitter convo with Mandrake have prompted me to post on just war and Brievik.

Just war has two aspects jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Jus ad bellum governs whether a particular military conflict is justified, while jus in bello regulates proper action in war. I should note that I reject the concept international law, as it violates subsidiarity, as international organization aren’t sovereign and therefore can’t make law, and as law is and should be made by a government of a people for that particular people, making one set of laws applicable to differing peoples is harmful. So I am talking about moral law here, not ‘legal’ law.

Before we even get to just war, we must define war. War is conflict between nations, for a war to be a war it must be waged by a people against another people, not by a person; if a person is waging war on their own, they are simply committing murder, not committing war.

For a war to be just a state of war must be entered by the people. To do this a legitimate authority over a people must declare the war on behalf of the people he represents. Someone who is not an authority for his people can not declare a war. This declaration need not necessarily be a formal declaration of war. A surprise or pre-emptive attack may be just declaration of war depending on the circumstance. (I am unsure on the question of whether an illegitimate authority can justly declare war on the people he has authority over; it will require more pondering).

For a declaration of war to be just, it must meet three conditions:

First, it must be defensive, either in defense of your own nation, in defence of another nation, or in defence of justice. Defence is not used in its strictest sense, and goes beyond simply warding off an invasion. For example, an invasion to rescue a national citizen kidnapped while visiting a foreign nation would be a valid defence of the nation, while an invasion to stop mass murder or to punish the guilty may be a valid defence of justice.

Second, the war must have some real chance of success. If a war would have no realistic chance of success, then the war is unnecessary, and would therefore be unjust. A small chance of success is still a real chance.

Finally, war must be proportional. The expected benefits of a war must be greater than the expected evils of war.

Once in war jus in bello should be followed:

First two principles are necessity and proportionality, unnecessary violence is to be avoided and violence enacted should not be disproportionate to the goals.

The third is the avoidance of deliberately targeting non-combatants. Violence should only be enacted upon legitimate military targets.

Finally, there is the proper treatment of POW’s. It should be noted here, that spies, saboteurs, and the like are not POW’s and can be dealt with harshly.

Those are the basics of just war.

So, now we get to Breivik. I think Breivik did have a just cause for war; the rapes, violence, and slow genocide of his people by foreigners and hostile elites are just causes for war, but he was not carrying out a just war.

The first reason was that he was not engaging in war. He acted alone, not as a part of a people; there was no war, simply murder. As well, he was not a legitimate authority, so his act of ‘war’ could not be a legitimate declaration of war to begin a war.

Secondly, his actions had no real chance of success. Given that propaganda outlets are almost entirely in the hands of his enemies, the most realistic outcome was that his actions would actively hinder his cause.

He also failed to meet jus in bello principles. The targets of his attacks were not legitimate military targets. Given the nature of the conflict in Norway, I think a legitimate case could be made that the ruling elite and politicians are legitimate military targets, but the spawn of the ruling elites were not. He should have targeted the politicians, media, and bureaucrats, not their children.

A just war in Norway, would require the Norwegian people, or at least a significant minority of them, to have (or appoint) a legitimate authority to declare war on behalf of their community in order to expel (not genocide) the foreign invaders and remove the internal traitors supporting them from positions of power.

If this community can not be found, no amount of lone wolf attacks will matter. The Norwegian people will, sadly, have chosen their own subjugation and extinction.