Statewrecked

The next stage in the financial crisis must be coming sooner, rather than later, for the NYT to publish an open warning like this one by David Stockman:

As the federal government and its central-bank sidekick, the Fed, have groped for one goal after another — smoothing out the business cycle, minimizing inflation and unemployment at the same time, rolling out a giant social insurance blanket, promoting homeownership, subsidizing medical care, propping up old industries (agriculture, automobiles) and fostering new ones (“clean” energy, biotechnology) and, above all, bailing out Wall Street — they have now succumbed to overload, overreach and outside capture by powerful interests. The modern Keynesian state is broke, paralyzed and mired in empty ritual incantations about stimulating “demand,” even as it fosters a mutant crony capitalism that periodically lavishes the top 1 percent with speculative windfalls.

The culprits are bipartisan, though you’d never guess that from the blather that passes for political discourse these days. The state-wreck originated in 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt opted for fiat money (currency not fundamentally backed by gold), economic nationalism and capitalist cartels in agriculture and industry….

The United States is broke — fiscally, morally, intellectually — and the
Fed has incited a global currency war (Japan just signed up, the
Brazilians and Chinese are angry, and the German-dominated euro zone is
crumbling) that will soon overwhelm it. When the latest bubble pops,
there will be nothing to stop the collapse. If this sounds like advice
to get out of the markets and hide out in cash, it is. 

This would appear to be some sort of warning shot across the bow of Wall Street.  And when he talks about getting out of the markets and hiding out in cash, don’t forget that leaving your money in the bank is absolutely NOT getting into cash.


Cheerful Chavez Day!

While it is obviously intended as some sort of stupid snub to Christians, Google is only managing to look petty and underline the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by pointedly refusing to acknowledge the worldwide holiday:

On Easter Sunday, Google is honoring the birthday of the late labor organizer Cesar Chavez by placing a Chavez portrait within the middle “o” of the Google logo that appears on the homepage of the popular search engine. While Google frequently decorates its logo to celebrate various holidays and special events, it is unclear why the company chose specifically to honor Chavez’s birthday, instead of Easter Sunday.

No doubt some Christians, and even some sympathetic non-Christians will be outraged about this.  I’m not, because regardless of what the godless lords of Google may intend, I know that on thousands of Google-hosted sites, the Resurrection is being proclaimed and celebrated today.

Remember, sooner or later, EVERY knee will bow.  Sooner or later, EVERYONE will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. Obviously, this will be later in the case of Google. So what?  I’d much rather see a company in Google’s position illustrate the significance of Easter by this sort of intentional and painfully glaring omission instead of providing some sort of token nod in the form of bunny rabbits and painted eggs.

And really, what can you expect of a company that has to remind itself on a regular basis to not be evil?  If you worked next to a man and had to listen to him repeatedly telling himself, “don’t be evil, don’t be evil”, what would you conclude about his tendencies?

But in light of Google’s effort, if not their success, to control their natural instincts, I should like to wish everyone, not merely those readers who happen to belong to the United Farm Workers union, a Cheerful Chavez Day. (raises fist) Sí, se puede! Stay strong, my brothers!

UPDATE: The amusing thing is that, as Steve Sailer demonstrates, the sanctimonious seculars at Google couldn’t even find a picture of the very important man whose birthday they are celebrating today.


Christ is risen

“On the evening of that first day of the
week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear
of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But
he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my
finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

A
week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with
them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and
said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””
– John 20:19-29

The other day, Moonshadow wrote: “I’m looking forward to your Easter blog post. My circumstances are difficult and I’m in need of some hope. My trust in God has been sorely tested over the years, but it still remains.”

One of the great misconceptions of the various flavors of Churchianity is that Jesus Christ is some sort of icon, a magic token that will Make Your Life Better so long as the proper incantations are uttered. The Prosperity Gospel proclaims that Jesus will give you a bigger house and a nicer car. The Liberation Theology declares that Jesus is a divine socialist who came to redistribute wealth on the basis of everyone’s needs. The Feminist Gospel asserts that Jesus will relieve women of the oppressive burden of household and sexual drudgery. But regardless of his particular flavor, the Churchian is known for neither his love nor his faith, but his tolerance and his conformity.

This is not Christianity.

We are, all of us, infected by the Churchian disease to some extent. We have all listened to women pastors tell us how safe they feel cuddled in Jesus’s strong and protective arms, to televangelists with slicked-back hair promising miracle cures and new jobs, to priests who promise that if we only endorse homosexuality with sufficient enthusiasm, the Church will rise in the estimation of the world and both pews and coffers will be filled again to overflowing.

This is not Christianity.

Christianity is about the Divine becoming Man amidst blood and animal shit.  Christianity revolves around an innocent man rejected by his people, despised by the elite, declared a criminal by the court, and murdered by the government under the false color of law. Christianity describes a world that is fallen, sinful, and ruled by an evil, sadistic, prideful, immortal liar.

We Christians today are weak. We are soft, fat, and flaccid in our faith. We are the beneficiaries of the greatest explosion of global wealth and one of the longest periods of peace in the history of the world, and we are quite understandably daunted by the sober realization that this Golden Age is rapidly coming to an end. We are lotus eaters, hedonized if not entirely hedonistic, and the soothing whispers of Mammon have enervated our will, our strength, and even our faith. We are the sad and pathetic heirs of the Church Militant, an embarrassment to our predecessors and eminently unworthy of our Lord and Savior.

And yet, we are who we are. We, who worship Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, are the remnants of the victorious Divine Invasion.

On this day many centuries ago, there was little more than twelve frightened and despairing men.  From that small and unprepossessing foundation, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ constructed a Church that brought the Good News to all mankind, that civilized barbarians around the world, that remains the oldest and greatest human institution, and that, despite its corruption and decadence, continues to resist the every-hungry Gates of Hell.

If God could do that with men like Peter, the denier, and Thomas, the doubter who believed only what he could see, what can He not do with those He has blessed because we have not seen and yet have believed?

Jesus never promised us a rose garden on this earth, ruled as it is by the wicked prince who killed him. He promised that we would be hated. He promised that we would be condemned. He promised that we would see our families and our nations divided. He promised that we would be persecuted. He promised wars and the rumors of wars. And yet, somehow, when what he promised comes to pass, we find ourselves troubled and our faith shaken by the very things that should serve to confirm it.

It is not hard to see why so many people of every culture and creed around the world are frightened and losing hope. If you are not concerned, deeply concerned, about the state of the world today, you are either in denial or you are not paying attention. The rule of law is dissolving and the collective illusions upon which our civilization depends are rapidly fading away.  We have lost our trust in our institutions, in our traditions, in our icons, and in our leaders. We have lost our confidence in the certainty of the Worker’s Paradise, in the exceptionalism of America, in the inevitability of the shiny, sexy, secular scientopia, and in the idea of peace on earth through the good will of the globalist bureaucracies.  We have lost our faith in Progress.

We are rapidly coming to understand that there is no hope to be found in Man or the things of Man’s making. But the truth is, the observable historical reality is, there has never been any hope but one. And the foundation of that hope is precisely what we Christians are celebrating today: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

He is Risen! Christ is Risen!


This should go over well

More news out of Cyprus:

With banks confiscating up to 80 percent of uninsured
deposits over 100,000 euros ($130,000) and the country facing a deep
economic crisis, Cyprus has forgiven loans to politicians and companies
while others are generally being required to pay in full, media reports
said, setting off fury on the island country. The Greek newspaper Ethnos and the website 24h.com.cy said that
loans to Members of Parliament from the three major political parties
and other officials in the public administration from the Bank of Cyprus
and Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) will be written down or off.

Not a bad deal.  The correct conclusion by the average Cypriot, I would imagine, is that there is no reason they should not insist on all of their debts being written off as well.

UPDATE: Forget Spain and Italy. CANADA could be next:

As part of the 2013 budget in Canada, the Minister of Finance tabled the Economic Action Plan 2013 which included the newest buzzword ‘bail-in’.

Source: budget.gc.ca/…/… Page 145
“The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.”


A heart-warming tale

Of frustration and giving up:

Somewhere out there is a literary agent (who shall remain unnamed
here) who asked for science fiction submissions on Twitter the Friday
before last. I was in bed at the time, reading my Twitter feed on the
iPad (as one does), so I got out of bed again to send that agent a query
letter that followed the requirements of the agency in question.

I woke up the next morning to find a form rejection in my inbox. That
agent had rejected the query without having asked for sample pages–without even having read a single word of the novel. And
it was a nice, short, courteous, and professional query letter, not two
lines of HAY U WANT TO B MY AGENTZ? CHK YES OR NO LULZ.

I said a very naughty word at the computer screen and felt something
in my head go SNAP. Then I had Scrivener compile the ebook files for the
novel, bought some cover art, made a book cover, uploaded everything to
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service, and told people on my blog
that the novel is available for sale.

I haven’t read Terms of Enlistment yet, but it came to my attention because apparently some of the people who have been buying The Wardog’s Coin also picked up Marko Kloos’s book and appear to think rather well of it.  (Marko, if you happen to read this, send me a review copy and I will reciprocate.)

I’ve been published by a major New York publisher.  And I’ve been published by a small independent publisher in a manner that very nearly amounts to self-publishing.  And while the people at Pocket always treated me very well, and I have absolutely no complaints about my experience there, I will say that I VASTLY prefer the independent publishing.  Simply the ability to select the cover artists with whom I prefer to work alone makes it worthwhile to me; I’m still convinced that what wrecked the Eternal Warriors series was Pocket’s disastrous decision to abandon the Rowena covers for a stock-photo, pseudo-Left Behind look that only managed to get the trade paperbacks banished from the Science Fiction and Fantasy section.  And it’s wonderful to decide to publish, pull the trigger, and see the book reviews appearing the very next day instead of waiting more than two years for the finished book to be completed.

My support for self-publishing doesn’t mean I won’t ever publish with a conventional publisher again.  I’m talking to a few of them right now since it would be good if there were ways for people to buy the beautiful doorstopper besides sight-unseen from Amazon.  But I’m not in any particular hurry to do so, (my main priorities are a) the game, b) Book Two, and c) the stories for the Summa hardcover), and I’m only going to partner with a publisher who truly understands my objectives and is willing to work with me in the same constructive and mutually beneficial manner that Hinterlands does.


Mailvox: the failed metaphor

Congratulations to A. Man, who is the 150th commenter in the last five years to announce that I have, yet again, jumped the shark.  It’s amusing how often that metaphor has been heard from overly optimistic critics during the time when the readership has grown from 240k to 930k per month, especially when these critics are often the very same individuals who demand to know where they can find any indication of the economic and societal collapse I have predicted:

“Feminists are objectively worse than Nazis”

It’s nice to see that you were able to fully clear the shark.

“This
is what the feminist’s vaunted concept of equality means. This is what
it has always meant: the legal protection of a woman from all and any
consequences of her actions. This includes a woman’s ability to break
any contract at will, to steal from anyone as she pleases, and murder
even the most innocent without having to even hear a whisper of protest
to make her uncomfortable.”

The odd thing is that you know this
isn’t true, you know this statement cant be defended…and yet you make
it still. How does that work? What kind of reconciliation do you do in
your mind?

First, feminists are objectively worse than National Socialists.  I have demonstrated this in both logical and empirical terms.  The unborn and the recently born are much more helpless than international Jewry. The cost in human lives of feminism is quite clearly greater than the cost of National Socialism or Fascism ever was.  It could be debated whether feminism or communism has been more costly in those terms, but the mere fact that the matter is debatable suffices to prove what a terrible and evil ideology feminism is.

Second, the statement not only is true, but it can be easily defended. There is no reconciliation necessary to defend it because it is based on straightforward observation.  I direct the following questions to A. Man.

  1. Did American women not demand, and do they not presently possess, the right to break marital contracts at will?
  2. Have feminists not defended the right of women to kill men who abuse them?
  3. Does the feminist definition of abuse include non-physical abuse?
  4. Have feminists called for ban on actions that make a woman feel uncomfortable?

Feminists are sub-civilizational

I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it again.  And each time, more people recognize the truth in the statement.  Calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to the National Socialist German Workers Party:

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion. Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor….

“If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion,
what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is
struggling for life?”

“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the
woman, her family, and the physician,” said Planned Parenthood lobbyist
Snow.

This is what the feminist’s vaunted concept of equality means.  This is what it has always meant: the legal protection of a woman from all and any consequences of her actions.  This includes a woman’s ability to break any contract at will, to steal from anyone as she pleases, and murder even the most innocent without having to even hear a whisper of protest to make her uncomfortable.  Feminists are objectively worse than Nazis.  They are demonstrably worse than Fascists. They are provably worse than Communists.  Their insane ideology has a higher body count than any of those three evil ideologies and comes with more costly, less sustainable societal consequences.

Civilization has always depended upon the collaborative effort of men and women to restrain the darker and more chaotic aspects of women’s nature. Women are more important to the sustainability of a society, which is why a society that can survive the bad behavior of its young males cannot survive similarly bad behavior on the part of its young females.

Islamic society is one example of the result of the civilizational burden falling upon men alone.  It isn’t ideal, but it is observably preferable, and observably more sustainable, than the catastrophic state in which Western society presently finds itself.  Victorian expat society appears to be about as close to leaving the civilizational burden in women’s hands as I’ve been able to determine.  Even that is a vastly more functional system.  But now, both men and women alike have washed their hands of the burden and we are seeing the results of hypergamy and solipsism run amok.

There are no limits.  That is the key.  Or rather, there are no INTERNAL limits to them, and so in the absence of external ones being imposed, there are no limits.  “Women’s rights” requires nothing less than sacrificing every other right that Western civilization has achieved, including the right to life itself.  Only the sub-civilizational, the nihilistic, and the stupidly short-sighted can support them.

This isn’t a theoretical observation.  This isn’t mindless mysogyny.  This is simply called “paying attention” to the ongoing societal collapse and its sources.  The Doctor Panglosses of the various statistics departments are already openly willing to admit to a “triple-dip recession.” Deposit heists of up to 80 percent are being openly discussed. College enrollments, even those funded entirely by debt, have peaked.  The nation is on the verge of becoming a genetically Third World one.  We are rapidly approaching a fifth year of debt deflation/disinflation.  The government is arming and asserting its right to assassinate anyone.

And you think everything is fine?  You think this is going to last?  You think this even has the possibility of continuing in the intermediate term?


He is a madman!

North Korea reveals its plans to attack US cities:

The photos appeared in the state-run Rodong newspaper and were apparently taken at an “emergency meeting” early on Friday morning. They show Kim signing the order for North Korea’s strategic rocket forces to be on standby to fire at US targets, the paper said, with large-scale maps and diagrams in the background.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered strategic rocket forces to be on standby to strike US and South Korean targets at any time (EPA)

The images show a chart marked “US mainland strike plan” and missile trajectories that the NK News web site estimates terminate in Hawaii, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.

What sort of complete lunatic plots an attack on the United States and leaves out New York City?  Especially when he has sufficient insight to put Austin on the list.  I mean, even the cartoon supervillains who kept the Justice League of America busy understood the importance of taking out New York City and the UN headquarters there.

We truly live in an age of tin.  Even the quality of Man’s reclusive supervillains has declined.  A missile launch at the USA by Kim is about as likely as the current Supreme Court overturning the judicial ban on Proposition 8.


The descent of fantasy

The extent to which fantasy is in decline can be seen in this list of the 20 Best Paranormal Fantasy novels.  If this is the best, one shudders to think what could be the worse:

3. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (2005)
Butcher’s Dead Beat—the seventh installment in his Dresden Files—was a blockbuster book when it was first released. Not only was it the first Dresden Files novel to be released in hardcover, it was a clear indication of just how much the series had expanded to embrace mainstream fiction readers. The first printing sold out in a just few days! The commercial success of the Dresden Files paved the way for countless other noteworthy protagonists, including Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt and Mario Acevedo’s Felix Gomez.

2. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (2009)
An in-your-face fusion of fantasy, horror, and hard-boiled mystery. It’s Kadrey’s biting wit that makes this novel so unforgettable. His blunt and acerbic writing style makes for simply addictive reading. For example, here’s how he describes Los Angeles: “L.A. is what happens when a bunch of Lovecraftian elder gods and porn starlets spend a weekend locked up in the Chateau Marmont snorting lines of crank off Jim Morrison’s bones. If the Viagra and illegal Traci Lords videos don’t get you going, then the Japanese tentacle porn will.” Classic.

1. For a Few Demons More, by Kim Harrison (2007)
The fifth installment of Harrison’s phenomenally popular Hollows saga featuring endearing gray witch Rachel Morgan and company, this novel was the first hardcover release in the series and, at least for me, heralded its ascension to elite series status. With only two novels to go until the series concludes, there is no doubt in my mind that the Hollows saga will go down as arguably the very best paranormal fantasy series ever written.

Now, I like the Dresden Files.  They’re good.  They were signed by my second editor at Pocket. But they are not great. Harry Dresden’s character development was apparently arrested at the age of 15; the ineptitude of his interactions with women have gone from clumsy and awkward to “I am so embarrassed for the author that it is seriously distracting from the story.” Kim Harrison’s books are not terrible, they are merely mediocre. I have to admit, the Kadrey sounds interesting, but I haven’t read it.

If the very best of the genre doesn’t rise to the level of Agatha Christie – and it does not – there is clearly a problem.

The coup de grace, though, is the fact that Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton, (the K stands for Krazy), is actually listed in the top ten.  I actually kind of liked the first Anita Blake book, back when she was a voodoo chick and vampire hunter, rather than the central figure in an ongoing interspecies orgy.  There may be worse books out there than Hamilton’s, but if there are, I haven’t read them.

The fact is that paranormal fantasy is actually much worse, as a sub-genre, than the Regency romances that attempt to pass themselves off as science fiction in skirts.  With a few notable exceptions, it is outright chick porn; the claim that it is fantasy literature in the same genre as Tolkien, Lewis, and even Alexander is about as convincing as asserting that Booty Pirates XII should have beaten out Argo for the Academy Award.

There are few things I enjoyed twenty years ago as much as spending my Friday evenings with Spacebunny, circulating through the shelves at Barnes and Noble armed with fifty bucks and a coffee.  But considering that these are the sort of books they have been trying to push on the public for the last decade, even I have to conclude that the bookseller fully merits its incipient demise. It’s one thing to go out because technology has changed or because an increasingly vulgar market prefers television to books, it’s another thing to do so while trumpeting the merits of The Nymphos of Rocky Flats.


This is why you won’t have time

A lot of people are assuming that they’ll have sufficient warning of the next stage in the banking crisis to act to protect their savings, their pension funds, and their investments.  But the recent events suggest you won’t, because as the following chart from Zerohedge makes clear, those who are managing the crises are very good at keeping things under wraps until they’ve gotten their own money out of danger, which requires making sure that everyone else is still doing business as usual.  After all, the markets cannot be exited without the greater fools to be left holding the bag.

In looking at this chart of depositor outflows, remember that the news of the imminent banking collapse and subsequent deposit heists were a complete shock to most people earlier this month.  But not, quite clearly, everyone.

The suggestions were right out in public a month before. “There have also been suggestions that private depositors with investments of more than 100,000 euros should be obliged to endure a “haircut”.” –   BBC, Feb 15, 2013

But they won’t be sufficient to inspire most people to action, given that the suggestions will be viewed as nothing more than remote possibilities until they actually happen.