A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

The Gold Standard as a fatalistic religious dogma

by pdxblake

Next time someone tells you the gold standard was good and we should return to it as a way to help the economy or whatever, just remember this (from Matt O’Brien at the Atlantic):

“This libertarian worldview is fundamentally a religious one. The Market metes out its punishment for our speculative sins with the quite-visible hand of recessions. And we must accept its judgment. Doing anything to avoid our penance is just blasphemy against the one, true faith.”

And then remember that economics is not a morality play.  We don’t have to accept unnecessary suffering in the economy. This is what frustrates me so much about the Bitcoin/Gold Standard/Ron Paul/Rand Paul/Austerian viewpoint.  It’s a fatalistic outlook on the world.

UPDATE: Here’s a similar take down from Neil Irwin who writes: “Pause for a minute to consider how fundamentally nihilistic Stockman’s view of the economy seems to be: that basically anything the state does to try to fix things is undermining some elegant capitalist order and will inevitably lead to chaos.”  More here.

Mixed Metaphor of the Day

by evanmcmurry

 Four other political figures also were charged in what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called “an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself.”

That’s a smorgasbord corridor, for those of you scoring at home. (via)

Republicans Will Yell At Silicon Valley Execs Until They Rand Up

by evanmcmurry

Alicublog finds RealClearPolitics asking a serious question: whycome ain’t the Silicon Valley nerds Randians?

Yet the biggest failure of the right is that it has lost the economy’s technological elite.

Today’s John Galts and Hank Reardens are not in a valley in Colorado. They’re in a valley in California. The Hank Rearden of Silicon Valley, an innovator who started out in a garage and built a company which became the most valuable in the world, was Steve Jobs. But Jobs was—let’s be honest here—kind of a hippie. He had many of the virtues of an Ayn Rand hero, but a very different personal philosophy.

That brings us to what I think is the most important question to take away as the right examines how to reform itself. How does it win Silicon Valley? How does it get the best, most innovative segment of the youth, the ones who are actually plugged in to a vital and growing area of the economy, to see the value of free markets and to want to fight for them? I put it this way because I think that if the right learns how to win over the young innovators and entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley (and its many equivalents across the country), it will go a long way toward learning how to win over the youth vote.

It’s amazing what a semester at Reed College can do to you. And I like the “he’s totally like an Ayn Rand character except for the ideas” line; that’s like telling someone they have the persuasive charm of Iago.

Anyhoo, what liberal brainwashing is keeping our Steve Jobseses from their natural home on the right? Michelle Malakin, hit it:

“Yep. While two billion Christians around the world celebrate Easter Sunday on this 31st day of March, Google is using its famous ‘Doodle’ search logo art to mark the birth of left-wing labor leader Cesar Chavez. For real,” Twitchy’s staff wrote. “Google’s Doodle logo overlords sure have a way of rubbing their politics in people’s noses.”

Gratuitously narrow religious constrictions, calling harmless graphics employees “overlords?” I don’t see what the turnoff could possibly be.

The Political Website Politico on the Pop Singer Beyonce

by evanmcmurry

At what point in the editorial process did Politico decide that the following reference needed to be explained?

Chiming in on the same-sex marriage debate, Beyonce says: “If you like it you should be able to put a ring on it.” The singer posted that message (a reference to her song “Single Ladies”) in a handwritten note on Instagram Tuesday, adding the hashtag: #wewillunite4marriageequality!

Princeton Student Gets Unsolicited Anti-Feminist Pro-Bro Backup, Probably Wishes He Were Dead

by evanmcmurry

In case you were dying to read a conservative amen to Susan Patton’s “Hey Princeton girls, fuck my son“—and I can’t imagine Susan Patton’s youngest son was—here it is. It’s a toss-up as to the stupidest paragraph, but behold the runner-up:

If you think it unjust that our social institutions tilt the sexual playing field even further to the advantage of high-status men and the detriment of everyone else, then your quarrel is with those who espouse the ideologies that have produced that result: feminism and sexual liberationism.

(It’s also Elena Kagan’s fault, but I’ll let you read for yourself how he gets from Ivy League heterohumping to DOMA.)

And the winner:

One more bit of advice for Susan Patton’s son: A lot of your mother’s detractors seem gleeful at the thought that her notoriety will rub off on you to your disadvantage–that you’ll be embarrassed and women will shun you. As long as you take it all in stride, nothing of the sort will happen. You are now slightly famous. That won’t repel women, it will make them curious about you.

The only thing worse than having your mother advertise your datability to your campus is becoming synonymous with anti-feminist alpha-male status mugging as a result. Susan Patton’s son must be transferring to a college in Siberia at this point.

(Also: wouldn’t it be great if Patton fils has been sitting in his room up until this point reading Foucault and Judith Butler, and writing papers on queer theory?)