1. Freedom-Fighting Isn’t Free
For those who believe that the only just path forward for Palestinian Arabs is turning Judea into a third independent Palestinian Arab state, here is another reminder that not all “peoples” realize their dreams of self-determination.
But, you reply, at least the Biafrans get to be minority citizens in a majoritarian/authoritarian regime, with the privilege of being dominated by a majority that loathes them! Palestinian Arabs, by contrast, are citizens of no country (ever since Jordan rescinded their citizenship) and that’s just the pits! Well sure, Jordan should give them their citizenship back. But more broadly, I think most people would choose disenfranchisement in a country like Israel over the franchise in many parts of the world . . . and lots of Africans, Central Asians and Latin Americans agree with me. That doesn’t mean it’s all roses, but the lack of citizenship/self-determination is hardly the humanitarian crisis it’s made out to be — particularly for Palestinian Arabs, who have no shortage of places to enjoy majority status.
So why all the fighting? Well, here’s another reminder that conflict will persist for as long as conflict pays — and at the end of Obama’s Long Arch of Justice, conflict currently pays handsomely. “The Occupation” is just the tail that (most recently) wags the dog:
The money that the Palestinian Authority pays to reward terrorists now amounts to seven percent of the PA’s approximately annual $4 billion dollar budget. Over 20 percent of the annual foreign financial aid that the PA receives is now dedicated to the salaries of imprisoned terrorists as well as to the salaries of prisoners who are released from prison. Released Palestinian terrorists continue to receive salaries for terrorism, as do the families of those who died in their “struggle against Zionism.” The total payment was roughly 1.5 billion shekels for fiscal year of 2016.
Money is fungible, folks. The international technocracy has blood on its hands. At least private companies get something tangible in return when they deal with terrorists, like oil or minerals. What does the UN get? The satisfaction of a life well led?
My definition of evil is the spread between perceived goodness and actual goodness. International technocrats are pure evil.
2. A Lobster is a lobster is a lobster
Bloomberg published a truly action-packed piece on the surplus of lobsters in Maine. It rings a bunch of my favorite bells:
(a) Unwitting progressive bias: The tragedy of the commons is misconstrued as an argument against freer markets, but it’s precisely the opposite: the commons are over-fished because there is too little private ownership, i.e. rights to exclude. In those conditions, conservation faces the same freeloading problem that plagues all “shared” ownership regimes.
(b) Regulation as cartelization: If independent lobstermen colluded to set shared rules for their catches, they would run afoul of antitrust laws. That collusion doesn’t go away just because those shared rules gain regulatory imprimatur — and yes it’s the industry (not the technocrats) that came up with the rules. It’s just that sometimes there are exceptions to the rule that anticompetitive behavior is more bad than good. Finding those rare exceptions is the correct way to think about regulation, with the burden of proof properly borne by the regulator-proponent of the exception.
(c) Complexity and unpredictability of Patterns of Sustainable Specialization and Trade (and here): The unintended consequences of a lobster boon has been a spike in Herring demand (and Herring prices). Not only has that hurt the lobster bottom line, it has effected markets outside the lobster community, up and down the Atlantic coast. It has also set in motion processes far away from the locus of lobster-fishing to drive down the cost of herring and/or increase the supply. In other words, the would-be Minister of Lobster Fishing, with her Harvard PhD in Technocracy, wouldn’t stand a chance against the decentralized processes that actually “manage” THE economy.
3. Emboldened by Obama
While the Lefty coalition continues to grapple with its increasingly violent and intimidating rank and file, there is finally (and tragically) some evidence that white ethnocentrists are becoming violent, as well. This white nationalist, however, was a Bernie supporter. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
4. Schrodinger’s Cat Is Alive! I Just Know It!
Self-parody and the climate culture wars. Complexity is a fact of life. You can oversimplify for a bit, but eventually you will lose all credibility with people who are not already primed to agree with you. The best way to create a united front against climate change would be to concede that the issue is quite complicated, but that the risks of ignoring the least charitable interpretations of the evidence are very high. That strategy, however, is inconsistent with the broader needs of political coalitions to remain ideologically steadfast and concede nothing.