Returning to the Moon

Trump recently announced that the United States will return to the moon:

President Donald Trump signed his administration’s first space policy directive yesterday (Dec. 11), which formally directs NASA to focus on returning humans to the moon.

But the question remains, how will the United States return to the moon without Nazi scientists?

I thought it would be fun to use this announcement to segue into an interesting footnote in history. The interesting parts of history are too often skipped over in school so while most people are familiar with the early space program many people are unaware that the space program received a significant boost from Operation Paperclip. Operation Paperclip was a secret United States program to recruit Nazi scientists after World War II. There was a brain race at the end of the war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both sides wanted to claim as many Nazi scientists as possible. Many of those claimed by the United States worked in rocketry and aeronautics and they found their way into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

This interesting tidbit of history has lead to some fun jokes. For example, Sputnik is often referred to the time where, “Their Nazi scientists outdid our Nazi scientists.” It also lead to some embarrassing situations such as the Strughold Award, an award named after the pioneer of space medicine that was the highest award that could be granted by the Space Medicine Association, being retired when the Wall Street Journal unveiled that Strughold was a Nazi scientist.

A Politician Who Solved a Problem

There is apparently only 31 grams of the element astatine on Earth, making it one of the rarest elements on the planet. Rarer still is the politician who actually solves a problem. But now we can say that one such politician existed. In 2013 a Bible thumping holier than thou preacher sexually assaulted a teenager girl. She reported her assault to the police but they did nothing. Yesterday that assaulter was killed by a politician:

Dan Johnson, a Republican politician in Kentucky who was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl, has died in an apparent suicide.

It’s too bad Johnson first created the problem that he solved. Breaking somebody’s leg then handing them a crutch doesn’t make one a hero.

The Government Can’t Even Be Trusted to Carve Up Cadavers

People often ask me if there’s something innocuous enough that I’d be willing to let government do it. I always say no because if an entity can’t even be trusted to carve up cadavers what can you trust it with?

Two San Joaquin County, Calif., medical examiners have resigned in the past two weeks, alleging that Sheriff-Coroner Steve Moore pressured them to change their autopsy results for deaths in police custody. In other instances also involving deaths at the hands of police, they say, the sheriff ignored their conclusions completely.

Bennet Omalu, the chief medical examiner for the county, tendered his resignation on Nov. 28, as did a colleague, Susan Parson. (Notable aside: Omalu is the medical examiner who exposed the degenerative brain condition found in many former NFL players and was the inspiration for the movie “Concussion.”) Omalu was hired in 2007 to help professionalize and modernize the county medical examiner’s office. In his resignation letter, he said that Moore “has always made calculated attempts to control me as a physician and influence my professional judgement.”

Government coroners suffer the same conflict of interest as crime labs. In the case of the former the government is the coroner’s employer and in the case of the latter the government is the crime labs primary (and oftentimes only) customer. That being the case they have a vested interest in pleasing the government and oftentimes that is accomplished by helping it gets a conviction even if the accused party is innocent.

What makes the position of coroner especially bad is that it is often an elected position:

As it turns out, this is a fun little artifact of the coroner system, which the United States inherited from Britain. Coroners are often confused with medical examiners, but they are two very different positions, and they rarely overlap. A medical examiner is a doctor who performs autopsies after suspicious deaths. The county coroner is an elected position. In most states, you don’t need any medical training, police training or crime investigation training to run for the office. There are only a few states where the coroner must be a physician, and even in those states there’s a big loophole — if no doctor wants the office, anyone can run for it.

So the coroner is often a position filled by an individual who isn’t qualified to be a medical examiner tasked with the job of a medical examiner and influenced by other elements of the government to determine causes of death in a manner favorable to their agenda. What could possibly go wrong?

This is another example of the layers of redundancy built into the State. If somebody questions the accuracy of a law enforcer report on an incident that resulted in a death, that law enforcer can fall back on a coroner report that they helped write by manipulating the coroner. It provides “third-party” verification of the law enforcer’s story so everybody can wash their hands of the mess and move on to other things.

This One Weird Trick to Make Alabamans Vote Blue

Last night America learned the one weird trick to make Alabamans vote blue. That trick is having the Republican Party choose a kiddy diddler as its candidate:

Doug Jones has become the first Democrat in 25 years to win a US Senate seat for Alabama, after a bitter campaign against Republican Roy Moore.

His unexpected victory deals a blow to President Donald Trump, who backed Mr Moore, and narrows the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49.

Of course this one weird trick barely works:

Mr Jones won with 49.9% of the vote, to Mr Moore’s 48.4%. All votes from precincts around the state have been counted.

The margin of victory is well above the half a percentage point which would have triggered a recount.

Considering how big of a piece of shit Moore is, this race should have been a slam drunk for the Democratic Party. Its victory should have required nothing more than an option on the ballot that said, “Not Moore.” However, its candidate won by a narrow margin. Team loyalty can run very strongly in politics even when a team picks an absolutely deplorable candidate.

Almost Utopia

The Venezuelan government has announced that opposition parties will be banned from the 2018 election:

Venezuela’s President, Nicolás Maduro, says the country’s main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year’s presidential election.

He said only parties which took part in Sunday’s mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

Leaders from the Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action parties boycotted the vote because they said the electoral system was biased.

President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.

In a speech on Sunday, he said the opposition parties had “disappeared from the political map”.

“A party that has not participated today and has called for the boycott of the elections can’t participate anymore,” he said.

By my calculations Venezuela is just a couple of steps away from creating a socialist utopia!

Eliminating opposition parties is nothing new for democratic nations. It’s especially common in socialist nations where democracy is promoted the most. While socialists tend to talk a big game when it comes to democracy, the devil is in the details and while socialist nations often let the proles vote they only let them vote for parties that push a socialist agenda. Oftentimes the number of approved parties is whittled down to one so, while the proles do get to vote, there is only one candidate for any position to vote for (which is where Venezuela is probably heading).

Mutual Aid in the Real World

As an opponent of statism I’m often confronted with statists who want to know where welfare would come from without a government. Explaining how mutual aid has worked before governments involved themselves in the industry doesn’t appease them because they can simply write such examples off as archaic solutions that cannot work in the modern world. I therefore keep my eyes open for examples of mutual aid being practiced in the modern world.

I’ve been reading Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles. So far it has been a really good overview of modern history in various African countries. The opening of the chapter on Senegal introduced a fascinating Islamic Sufi order. From pages 255-256:

In 1895 the Senegalese Islamic mystic and poet Cheikh Amadu Bamba Mbacke got out of the boat that was taking him to exile in Gabon and, kneeling on a mat that appeared miraculously in the water, prayed to Allah. Then he walked across the water back to Senegal and founded a global African trading company based on Islamic principles. Those who work for it are known as Mourides. In any city in the world today, if an African street trader offers you jewellery, belts or bags, he is almost certainly a Mouride, a follow of Amadu Bamba.


The movement he founded is based on three rules: follow God, work and provoke no-one.


Later his followers founded dahiras, prayer circles where they could meet, socialize and read the Koran and Amadu Bamba’s poems. They were also required to pay a subscription to help follow members in trouble and to contribute to the expenses of the whole movement and its leader.


For rural people arriving in town for the first time, the dahira provides a base and a network. The subscription enables new members to find accommodations and work. If one of their number dies, it gives money to bring the body home for burial.

Furthermore, taxes aren’t paid in the city where the order was founded, an autonomous zone in Senegal. From pages 257-258:

One shopkeeper in a long robe and Muslim kufi, selling music CDs and tapes, tells me that he came here and joined the Mouride because no-on pays taxes in Tourba. ‘Touba is not part of the state,’ he says.

If there is a problem that requires money the Marabout calls a committee and they ask everyone to contribute. And immediately everyone gives, it’s called Adiya. They give because they follow the Marabout but also because if they give, people know the road will be fixed and the water will run again. This is not like Dakar … It’s all one family here. If you believe in the father, you believe in his sons. Then there is the money you pay for the poor here — two and a half percent of your profit, so no-one suffers.

Entrepreneurs who have setup a network of mutual aid to help other members of their entrepreneurial order? And membership in the order is voluntary? I’ve been told that such a thing is impossible.

I’m not claiming that Tourban is an anarchist utopia or that the Mouride are anarchists. But they are practicing a way of life that provides the commodities most people ascribe to statism without statism. The Mouride are demonstrating today that there is more than one solution to the problems statists mistakenly believe can only be solved by governments.

The Pentagon Will Investigate Itself

Not too long ago it was revealed that the Pentagon has been unable to account for a few trillion dollars it spent. This revelation lead to a predictable outcome. Some critters in Congress feigned outrage, some hearings were held, and legislation was passed that claimed to be the solution to the problem. That legislation has instructed the Pentagon to investigate itself:

The Defense Department will conduct an agencywide financial audit for the first time in history, following requirements in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. In a conference yesterday, the Pentagon committed to annual audits, with reports to be issued in November.

Just as Congress’ respond to the Pentagon misplacing trillions of dollars was predictable, I’m sure the Pentagon’s investigation into itself will predictably find that the agency did nothing wrong. But the self-investigation will appease Congress so everybody can wash their hands of this without having to actually fix anything. Since this issue will remain unresolved the Pentagon will be able to continue misplacing trillions of dollars. In the end a lot of money and time will be invested into ensuring business will continue as usual.

Racist Socialists are Finally Admitting That They’re Socialists

Libertarians get accused of a lot of things. They get accused of hating the poor and elderly, having an unrealistic view on foreign policy, and being an arm of the alt-right. While I can understand where the first two of those accusations come from, most people mistakenly believe that welfare and defense can only be provided by the State, I don’t understand where the last accusation comes from.

If you spend any amount of time listening to the drivel that the alt-right calls philosophy, you will quickly concluded that they’re fascists. However, fascism has another name and that name is national socialism. While the alt-right has been keeping their socialist tendencies on the down low, and this has allowed some so-called libertarians to convince themselves that the alt-right supports capitalism and free markets, a few of its leading personalities are finally dispensing with the camouflage:

When we finally got to the winery that Spencer’s National Policy Institute had booked, Mike Enoch of the Daily Shoah podcast, who promulgated the slur “dindu nuffins” for African Americans, was holding forth on the horrors of “corporate neoliberalism.”

Then Eli Mosley of the campus group Identity Evropa, who calls Jews “oven-dodging…kikes,” took Enoch one further: “We need to be explicitly anti-capitalist. There’s no other way forward for our movement.” As 60 mostly young, male racists gathered around him, Mosley, whose real name is Elliott Kline, confidently predicted, “Twenty eighteen is going to be the year of leftists joining the white-nationalist movement!”

This is a smart strategic move for the alt-right. As any libertarian knows, there aren’t a lot of libertarians in the United States. Furthermore, libertarianism is at odds with fascism so the only “libertarians” the alt-right can reliably draw in are the edgelords who only claim to be libertarian because they think doing so is controversial. Drawing from a subset of a small group isn’t a winning strategy. However, there are a lot of anti-capitalists in the United States and, even though a majority of them probably aren’t white supremacists, drawing from a subset of a far larger group is likely to net more new members.

I hope discarding its anti-capitalist camouflage will also put the myth of Nazi capitalism to rest. It’s damned annoying hearing international socialists claim that national socialists as somehow supporters of capitalism. I want to see the fight between the national and international socialists return to its true form of an internal fight amongst socialists.

A Bad Portent

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has been quite about its investigation into the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk. What we do know is that Officer Moor, the man who killed Justine, has refused to talk with the BCA, which is probably wise considering the fact that the evidence against him is pretty damning. But despite the damning evidence the question remains, will charges be pressed against Moor? A recent statement made by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has me concerned that charges won’t be pressed:

There are no new witnesses or new evidence; only two people know firsthand what happened, and only one of them has spoken to investigators.

And yet, months after he received the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s investigation into the July 15 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by a Minneapolis police officer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has not made a decision on whether that officer, Mohamed Noor, will face criminal charges.

Freeman continues to insist that he will make a decision before the end of the year, and Minneapolis’ new chief of police said he’s bracing for backlash no matter what Freeman decides.

“There’s going to be a reaction from certain segments in the community regardless of what decision is made,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Emphasis mine.

That wording makes me think that Freeman has no plans to press charges and he realizes what kind of shitstorm his decision will make. In order to deflect responsibility for his decision though he has decided to say that things are going to be bad regardless so don’t get made at him with shit hits the fan after he announces that Hennepin County won’t be pursuing charges. I hope I’m wrong about this. I can’t fathom any justification for Moor’s actions but I also know that law enforcers usually avoid the consequences of their actions.