Some liberal-left idiot is arguing that 'again' in Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' is a racist 'dog whistle.' The suggestion is that Trump wants to bring back slavery and Jim Crow. Yet another proof that there is nothing so vile and contemptible and fundamentally stupid that some liberal won't embrace it. If you think I go too far when I refer to contemporary liberals as moral scum, it is incidents like this that are part of my justification.
Mark Steyn supplies some other 'dog whistles' for your delectation:
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews declared this week that Republicans use "Chicago" as a racist code word. Not to be outdone, his colleague Lawrence O'Donnell pronounced "golf" a racist code word. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell observed that Obama was "working to earn a spot on the PGA tour," O'Donnell brilliantly perceived that subliminally associating Obama with golf is racist, because the word "golf" is subliminally associated with "Tiger Woods," and the word "Tiger" is not-so-subliminally associated with cocktail waitress Jamie Grubbs, nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, lingerie model Jamie Jungers, former porn star Holly Sampson, etc, etc. So by using the word "golf" you're sending a racist dog whistle that Obama is a sex addict who reverses over fire hydrants.
I must reiterate my principle of the Political Burden of Proof:
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
In graduate school I was friends for a time with a New York Jew who for the purposes of this memoir I will refer to as 'Saul Peckstein.' A red diaper baby, he was brought up on Communism the way I was brought up on Roman Catholicism. Invited up to his room one day, I was taken aback by three huge posters on his wall, of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.
There is a distinctive quality of personal warmth that many Jews display, the quality conveyed when we say of so-and-so that he or she is a mensch. It is a sort of humanity, hard to describe, in my experience not as prevalent among goyim. Peckstein had it. But he was nonetheless able to live comfortably under the gaze of a mass murderer and their philosophical progenitors.
One day we were walking across campus when he said to me, "Don't you think we could run this place?" He was venting the utopian dream of a classless society, a locus classicus of which is a famous passage from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology (ed. C. J. Arthur, New York: International Publishers, 1970, p. 53):
. . . as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
The silly utopianism seeps out of "each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes." Could Saul Kripke have become a diplomat or a chauffeur or an auto mechanic if he wished? Pee Wee Herman a furniture mover or Pope? Woody Allen a bronco buster? Evel Knievel a neurosurgeon? And if Marx has actually done any 'cattle rearing,' he would have soon discovered that he couldn't be successful at it if he did it once in a while when he wasn't in the mood for hunting, fishing, or writing Das Kapital.
On another occasion Peckstein asked, "After the Revolution, what will we do with all the churches?" Like so many other commies he cherished the naive expectation that 'the revolution is right around the corner' in a phrase much bandied-about in CPUSA circles. And in tandem with that naivete, the foolish notion that religion would just wither away when material wants were satisfied and social oppression eliminated, a notion that betrays the deep superficiality of the materialist vision of man and his world.
One night we ate at an expensive restaurant, Anthony's Pier Four at the Boston harbor. Peckstein paid with a bad check. After all, it was an 'exploitative' capitalist enterprise and the owners deserved to be stiffed. But he left a substantial tip in cash for the servers. As I said, he was a mensch.
A few of us graduate students had been meeting to discuss Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. One day I announced that the topic for the next meeting would be the Table of Categories. Peckstein quipped, "Is that table you can eat on?" The materialist crudity of the remark annoyed me.
And then there was the time he wondered why people thank God before a meal rather than the farmers.
We were friends for a time, but friendship is fragile among those for whom ideas matter. Unlike the ordinary non-intellectual person, the intellectual lives for and sometimes from ideas. They are his oxygen and sometimes his bread and butter. He takes them very seriously indeed and with them differences in ideas. So the tendency is for one intellectual to view an ideologically divergent other intellectual as not merely holding incorrect views but as being morally defective in so doing.
Why? Because ideas matter to the intellectual. They matter in the way doctrines and dogmas mattered to old-time religionists. If one's eternal happiness is at stake, it matters infinitely whether one 'gets it right' doctrinally. If there is no salvation outside the church, you'd better belong to the right church. It matters so much that one may feel entirely justified in forcing the heterodox to recant 'for their own good.'
The typical intellectual nowadays is a secularist who believes in nothing that transcends the human horizon. But he takes into his secularism that old-time fervor, that old-time zeal to suppress dissent and punish apostates. It is called political correctness.
And as you have heard me say more than once: P.C. comes from the C. P.
Apparently, nine out of ten American Indians are not offended by the Redskins name, thereby demonstrating that they have more sense than the typical liberal. This calls for a reposting of an entry from August 2013. Enjoy!
'Redskin' Offensive? What About 'Guinea Pig'?
Apparently, the online magazine Slate will no longer be referring to the Washington Redskins under that name lest some Indians take offense. By the way, I take offense at 'native American.' I am a native Californian, which fact makes me a native American, and I'm not now and never have been an Indian.
But what about 'guinea pig'? Surely this phrase too is a racial/ethnic slur inasmuch as it suggests that all people of Italian extraction are pigs, either literally or in their eating habits. Bill Loney takes this (meat) ball and runs with it.
And then there is 'coonskin cap.' 'Coon' is in the semantic vicinity of such words as: spade, blood, spear chucker, spook, and nigger. These are derogatory words used to refer to Eric Holder's people. In the '60s, southern racists expressed their contempt for Martin Luther King, Jr. by referring to him as Martin Luther Coon. Since a coonskin cap is a cap made of the skin of a coon, 'coonskin cap' is a code phrase used by creepy-assed crackers to signal that black folk ought to be, all of them, on the wrong end of a coon hunt.
'Coonskin cap' must therefore be struck from our vocabulary lest some black person take offense.
But then consistency demands that we get rid of 'southern racist.' The phrase suggests that all southerners are racists. And we must not cause offense to the half-dozen southerners who are not racists.
But why stop here? 'Doo wop' is so-called because many of its major exponents were wops such as Dion DiMucci who was apparently quite proud to be a wop inasmuch as he uses the term five times in succession starting at :58 of this version of 'I Wonder Why' (1958). The old greaseball still looks very good in this 2004 performance. Must be all that pasta he consumes.
'Wop' is from the sound pasta makes when thrown against a wall, something excitable greaseballs often do when tanked up on dago red. Either that, or it means With Out Papers.
I could go on -- this is fun -- but you get the drift, and the serious politically incorrect point of this exercise -- unless you are a stupid liberal.
Article here. I reproduce it in toto so that you can read it in peace without being assaulted by advertising. Bolding added.
The problem with Johnson's article is that he does not define 'political correctness' and seems dangerously close to conflating politically incorrect speech with "vigorous, outspoken, raw and raucous speech" and politically incorrect behavior with "vulgar, abusive, nasty, rude, boorish and outrageous" behavior. See below. But this would be to ignore the important point I made the other day, namely, that to be politically incorrect is not to engage in offensive speech or behavior but to oppose the Left.
THE MENTAL INFECTION known as “political correctness” is one of the most dangerous intellectual afflictions ever to attack mankind. The fact that we began by laughing at it–and to some extent, still do–doesn’t diminish its venom one bit.
PC has an enormous appeal to the semieducated, one reason that it’s struck roots among overseas students at minor colleges. But it also appeals to pseudo-intellectuals everywhere, since it evokes the strong streak of cowardice notable among those wielding academic authority nowadays. Any empty-headed student with a powerful voice can claim someone (never specified) will be “hurt” by a hitherto harmless term, object or activity and be reasonably assured that the dons and professors in charge will show a white feather and do as the student demands. Thus, there isn’t a university campus on either side of the Atlantic that’s not in danger of censorship. The brutal young don’t even need to impose it themselves; their trembling elders will do it for them.
The insidious thing about PC is that it wasn’t–and isn’t–the creation of anyone in particular. It’s usually the anonymous work of such Kafkaesque figures as civil servants, municipal librarians, post office sorters and employees at similar levels. It penetrates the interstices of society, especially those where the hierarchies of privilege and property are growing. To a great extent PC is the revenge of the resentful underdog.
Nowhere has PC been more triumphant than in the U.S. This is remarkable, because America has traditionally been the home of vigorous, outspoken, raw and raucous speech. From the early 17th century, when the clerical discipline the Pilgrim Fathers sought to impose broke down and those who had things to say struck out westward or southward for the freedom to say them, America has been a land of unrestricted comment on anything–until recently. Now the U.S. has been inundated with PC inquisitors, and PC poison is spreading worldwide in the Anglo zone.
For these reasons it’s good news that Donald Trump is doing so well in the American political primaries. He is vulgar, abusive, nasty, rude, boorish and outrageous. He is also saying what he thinks and, more important, teaching Americans how to think for themselves again.
No one could be a bigger contrast to the spineless, pusillanimous and underdeserving Barack Obama, who has never done a thing for himself and is entirely the creation of reverse discrimination. The fact that he was elected President–not once, but twice–shows how deep-set the rot is and how far along the road to national impotence the country has traveled.
Under Obama the U.S.–by far the richest and most productive nation on earth–has been outsmarted, outmaneuvered and made to appear a second-class power by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. America has presented itself as a victim of political and economic Alzheimer’s disease, a case of national debility and geopolitical collapse.
TIME FOR A SCARE
None of the Republican candidates trailing Trump has the character to reverse this deplorable declension. The Democratic nomination seems likely to go to the relic of the Clinton era, herself a patiently assembled model of political correctness, who is carefully instructing America’s most powerful pressure groups in what they want to hear and whose strongest card is the simplistic notion that the U.S. has never had a woman President and ought to have one now, merit being a secondary consideration.
The world is disorderly and needs its leading nation to take charge and scare it back into decency. Donald Trump fits the bill. Other formidable figures, including Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, have performed a similar service in the past. But each President is unique and cast in his own mold. Trump is a man of excess–and today a man of excess is what’s needed.
We'll stop appropriating your food when you stop appropriating our mathematics, science, technology, and high culture generally including our superior political arrangements, not to mention our superior methods of cooking food.
One often reads the following definition of political correctness. "Someone who is politically correct believes that language and actions that could be offensive to others, especially those relating to sex and race, should be avoided." Here. Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia, and other sources offer similar definitions.
This is not at all what 'political correctness' means when used by people in the know. The above definition conflates being politically correct with being polite, civil, and respectful of others and it conflates being politically incorrect with being rude, offensive, and disrespectful of others. For example, Donald Trump was not being politically incorrect when he made his vile comments about Megan Kelly and Carly Fiorina. He was being rude and offensive in a politically foolish display of misogyny.
It is worth noting that in some cases rude and offensive speech is justified as a response to same. Justified or not, the politically incorrect and the rude/offensive/disrespectful are separate categories. A Venn diagram may help where the A region below contains politically incorrect statements and behaviors, the B region contains rude/offensive/disrespectful statements and behaviors, and the intersection of the two classes contains statements and behaviors that are both. For example, suppose someone says, 'Broads do not belong in the Navy SEALs or the Army Rangers.' This statement is both rude/offensive/disrespectful and politically incorrect while 'Women do not belong in Navy SEALs or the Army Rangers' is politically incorrect but not (objectively) offensive. Of course, one might take inappropriate offense at the second statement, but that is his or her problem. People, cry bullies and liberals especially, take offense at the damndest things!
One way to define a term is extensionally by giving a list of the items to which it applies. These are the items that fall within the extension of the term. I will now provide a list of some politically incorrect statements and then ask what they have in common. This will allow us to pin down the intension of the term 'politically incorrect,' and from there the intension of 'politically correct.' Here then are some politically incorrect statements:
Blacks are incarcerated in proportionally greater numbers than whites because they commit proportionally more crimes.
Not only do black lives matter; all lives matter including the lives of law enforcement agents and the lives of the unborn.
While Muslims qua Muslims ought not be barred from political office, Sharia-supporting Muslims ought to be.
The killing of innocent human beings is a grave moral evil, and this includes the killing of pre-natal human beings.
At the present time, the majority of terrorists in the world derive their ideological support from one religion, Islam.
The Crusades were defensive wars.
The purpose of taxation is to raise monies to cover the costs of governance, not to redistribute wealth.
Free market economies under the rule of law are more likely to lead to human flourishing than socialist economies.
There was no moral equivalence between the USA and the USSR.
Women are 'underrepresented' in philosophy, not because of 'sexism' or a male conspiracy to exclude them, but because of the following factors: women as a group are not as interested in philosophy as men are; the feminine nature is averse to the argumentative and occasionally 'blood sport' aspect of philosophy; women as a group are just not as good at philosophy as men, where exceptions such as Elizabeth Anscombe prove the rule.
Apart from the STEM disciplines, the universities of the land have become leftist seminaries, hotbeds of leftist indoctrination. They have lost touch with their noble ideals and traditions.
Equality of opportunity is no guarantee of equality of outcome, and it is fallacious to argue from inequality of outcome to sexism or racism as the cause.
Political correctness is a major threat to the values of the West including the West's commitment to open debate, toleration, and free inquiry.
So there you have a baker's dozen of politically incorrect statements. There are plenty more where those came from. I would say that each is true, though I will grant that some are rationally debatable. But whether true or false, rationally defensible or indefensible, they are all clear examples of politically incorrect statements.
Now what do they have in common in virtue of which they are all instances of political incorrectness? The most important common feature is that each opposes the contemporary liberal or leftist or 'progressive' worldview. To be politically correct, then, is to support the leftist worldview and the leftist agenda. It follows that a conservative cannot be politically correct. P.C. comes from the C.P. The P. C. mentality is a successor form of the Communist mentality. To be politically correct is to toe the party line. It is to support leftist positions and tactics, including the suppression of the free speech rights of opponents. Essential to leftism is the double standard. So while the politically correct insist on their own free speech rights, they deny them to their opponents, which is why they routinely shout them down.
There was a dust-up back in 2012 over Chick-Fil-A. But now the company is back in the news because of an attack by the leftist mayor of NYC, Bozo de Blasio. Story here.
You can do your bit in countering these totalitarian bastards by observing my maxim, 'No day without political incorrectness.' Each day you must engage in one or more politically incorrect acts. Some suggestions:
Smoke a cigar
Use standard English
Practice with a firearm
Read the Bible
Enunciate uncomfortable truths inconsistent with the liberal Weltanschauung
Read Maverick Philosopher
Think for yourself
Use the Left's Alinskyite tactics against them
If your alma mater coddles cry bullies, refuse to lend financial support
Give your baby baby formula
Get your kids out of the public schools
Read the Constitution
Cancel your subscription to The New York Times
Use the mens' room if you were born with the primary male characteristic
Find more examples of politically incorrect things to do
For a long time now, leftist termites, aided and abetted by cowardly administrators and go-along-to-get-along faculty members, have been busy undermining the foundations of the West, including the universities. Here Jason Riley reports on an outrage that affected him personally. Excerpts:
Nor is it merely classroom instruction that leftists tend to control. Liberal faculty and college administrators also closely monitor outside speakers invited to campus. The message conveyed to students is that people who challenge liberal dogma are not very welcome. A 2010 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that only 40% of college freshman “strongly agreed that it is safe to hold unpopular positions on campus” and that by senior year it’s down to 30%.
In more recent years the intimidation has not only continued but intensified. A lecture on crime prevention by former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was canceled after Brown University students booed him off the stage. Scripps College in California invited and then disinvited Washington Post columnist George Will for criticizing ever-expanding definitions of criminal assault.
Planned commencement addresses by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice(Rutgers University), human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Brandeis University) and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde (Smith College) were scuttled by faculty and student protesters, who cited Ms. Rice’s role in the Iraq war, Ms. Ali’s criticism of radical Islam and the IMF’s rules for lending countries money.
Yet you don’t have to be in such distinguished company to earn the ire of the campus left. Last month I was invited by a professor to speak at Virginia Tech in the fall. Last week, the same professor reluctantly rescinded the invitation, citing concerns from his department head and other faculty members that my writings on race in The Wall Street Journal would spark protests. Profiles in campus courage.
We need some serious fumigation of the universities. Who will you call for pest control? Donald or Hillary?
Chris Hedges well illustrates the leftist obsession with moral equivalentism in his piece, "We are All Islamic State."
I will quote some portions, then comment. The piece begins:
Revenge is the psychological engine of war. Victims are the blood currency. Their corpses are used to sanctify acts of indiscriminate murder. Those defined as the enemy and targeted for slaughter are rendered inhuman. They are not worthy of empathy or justice. Pity and grief are felt exclusively for our own. We vow to eradicate a dehumanized mass that embodies absolute evil. The maimed and dead in Brussels or Paris and the maimed and dead in Raqqa or Sirte perpetuate the same dark lusts. We all are Islamic State.
Hedges opens with a curious mixture of insight and illusion.
Granted, war opens the flood gates to revenge, and much of what takes place in a war is revenge. There was plenty of revenge in the fire bombing of Dresden by the Allies in WWII. The Brits wanted revenge for the Blitz. Perhaps you know where the V-1 and V-2 nomenclature comes from: they were Vergeltungswaffen, weapons of revenge. But there is nothing in the nature of warfare to require that in every case war be revenge. Revenge is not the same as retributive justice and there are or at least can be just wars. If the state can justly punish a wrongdoer for his wrongdoing, then one state can justly punish another for its wrongdoing, even if this happens only rarely and partially. There are rogue states. German philosopher Karl Jaspers referred to the Nazi regime as a Verbrecherstaat, a criminal state. Surely he was right. A bunch of thugs seized power and unleashed hell on earth. Or will Hedges and his comrades say that Churchhill's England and Hitler's Germany were morally equivalent?
Hedges' moral equivalentism is false and offensive. On September 1, 1939, Hitler's Wehrmacht invaded Poland. Does Hedges really think that the defensive operations undertaken by the Poles were motivated by revenge? Or that the Poles engaged in indiscriminate murder? And how exactly is killing in self-defense murder? Can Hedges think in moral categories? Does he think that self-defense is never morally justified?
Speaking of Islamic terrorists, Hedges claims that "Their tactics are cruder, but morally they are the same as us."This is beneath refutation. So beheading and crucifixion are merely "cruder" than waterboarding, but otherwise morally equivalent? It is already quite a stretch to speak as leftists do of waterboarding as torture. Would C. Hitchens and other journalists have delivered themselves up for torture? Would they have submitted to to the insertion of red hot pokers into their anal cavities?
The Christian religion embraces the concept of “holy war” as fanatically as Islam does. Our Crusades are matched by the concept of jihad. Once religion is used to sanctify murder there are no rules. It is a battle between light and dark, good and evil, Satan and God. Rational discourse is banished. And “the sleep of reason,” as Goya said, “brings forth monsters.”
Hedges is certainly warming to this theme, isn't he? The present tense of 'embraces' renders the first sentence manifestly false. Hedges needs to give some examples of holy wars prosecuted by Christian denominations in recent centuries. He won't be able to do this, which is why he brings up the Crusades. Hedges is making at least three mistakes.
First, he refuses to admit that it is obviously unfair to compare present atrocities by Muslim fanatics to long past atrocities -- if atrocities they were -- by Christians. Islam was and remains a violent religion. Christianity has long reformed itself.
Second, Hedges cannot or will not understand that the same sorts of war-like activities that are morally wrong when deployed offensively can be morally acceptable when deployed defensively.
Third, Hedges is unaware or will not admit that the Crusades were defensive wars and ipso facto morally justified. Thomas F. Madden:
For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.
That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.
Back to Hedges' tirade:
How can we rise up in indignation over Islamic State’s destruction of cultural monuments such as Palmyra when we have left so many in ruins? As Frederick Taylor points out in his book “Dresden,” during the World War II bombing of Germany we destroyed countless “churches, palaces, historic buildings, libraries, museums,” including “Goethe’s house in Frankfurt” and “the bones of Charlemagne from Aechen cathedral” along with “the irreplaceable contents of the four-hundred-year-old State Library in Munich.” Does anyone remember that in a single week of bombing during the Vietnam War we obliterated most of that country’s historic My Son temple complex? Have we forgotten that our invasion of Iraq led to the burning of the National Library, the looting of the National Museum and the construction of a military base on the site of the ancient city of Babylon? Thousands of archeological sites have been destroyed because of the wars we spawned in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.
Amazingly, Hedges thinks he can simply ignore the crucial difference between the unintended destruction of cultural artrifacts that comes about as collateral damage and the willfull, intended destruction by Nazi and Islamist savages of cultural goods. Could this idiot actually think that Churchill's England and Hitler's Germany were morally equivalent? To defeat the Third Reich drastic measures were required, and time was running out: the Nazis would soon have have had nuclear weapons had they not been brought to their knees.
It goes without saying that my opposition to the moral equivalentism of the lunatic Left is no endorsement of moral Manicheanism. No man is without sin, and no state either.
Perhaps you have noticed that radicals are rather less interested in speaking truth to power after they get power than before. Their transgressive speech and behavior becomes curiously 'conservative.' Giving umbrage gives way to taking umbrage.
What happened to shrugging at an opinion with which you disagree and leaving it at that? That notion is history, as communications executives seem to have convinced themselves that they are not censoring dissenting opinions but rather protecting the innocent from crude speech.
Twitter took that phony stance, too, when it announced a "Trust and Safety Council" in February. "Twitter stands for freedom of expression, speaking truth to power, and empowering dialogue. That starts with safety," CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
This is a good example of the sort of Orwellian mendacity we have come to expect from contemporary 'liberals.' War is peace. Slavery is freedom. A defense of religious liberty is a violation of religious liberty. Those who protest being forced by the government to violate their consciences and religious beliefs are imposing their religious beliefs. Curtailment of speech is free speech. 'Inclusion' is the exclusion of dissent.
The Orwellian template: X, which is not Y, is Y.
The open forum is a 'safe space' in which no one's feelings are hurt.
Freedom of speech is freedom from 'micro-aggressions.'
And notice that at bottom it's about money. Twitter and ESPN toe the party line because it is profitable to do so. A curious development: significant numbers of once anti-capitalist leftists are now driven by the profit motive to spread Pee Cee drivel.
If religion is the opium of the masses, then OPM is the opium of the redistributionist.
Bernie Sanders, the superannuated socialist, "and his wife, Jane, paid an effective tax rate of 13.5 percent, or $27,653 in federal taxes on an adjusted gross income of $205,271." This is for 2014. That is less than Mitt Romney paid, percentage-wise, in 2011. But Romney paid more dollars and thus did more good than Bernie, if you assume that Federal taxes do good for 'the people' and not just for state apparatchiki.
For Sanders, a legitimate function of government is wealth redistribution so that the government can do good with other people's money (OPM). So why did Bernie take so many (legal) deductions? Why didn't he pay his 'fair share,' say, 28% of his AGI? Why didn't he fork over 50%? Surely an old man and his wife can live on 100K a year! Why doesn't Bernie practice what he preaches?
Because he smokes the opium of OPM: it is the other guy's money that is to be confiscated, not his. By any reasonable standard, Sanders is a 'fat cat.' But he doesn't see himself as one. And no doubt he thinks he earned his high senatorial salary when he produced nothing, but merely spouted a lot of socialist nonsense while acting the pied piper to foolish and impressionable youth.
There are two characteristics common to popular uses of the term “white”: It is almost always used pejoratively, and it is mostly voiced by elites of all backgrounds — and usually as a slur against the white working and “clinger” classes. So “the Latino vote” reflects shared aspirations; “the white vote” merely crude resentment. Those who benefit from affirmative action are not privileged, but those who do not certainly are. Whites cling in Neanderthal fashion to their legal rifles; inner-city youth hardly at all to their illegal handguns. Buying a jet-ski on credit is typical redneck stupidity; borrowing $200,000 to send a kid to a tony private university from which he will graduate more ignorant and arrogant than when he enrolled is wise. White “evangelicals” are puzzling for their crude hypocrisies; not so the refined paradoxes of Congregationalists and Episcopalians. Smoking is self-destruction, while injecting a strain of botulism toxin into your face is not self-mutilation.
A reader doesn't get the point of my earlier entry:
Dennis Miller: "Melissa Harris-Perry is a waste of a good hyphen."
So let me explain it. Miller is a brilliant conservative comedian who appears regularly on The O'Reilly Factor. If you catch every one of Miller's allusions and can follow his rap you are very sharp indeed. He has contempt for flaming leftists like Harris-Perry. Realizing that the Left's Alinskyite tactics need to be turned against them, and that mockery and derision can be very effective political weapons, he took a nasty but brilliant jab at her in the above-quoted line.
What makes the jab comical is Miller's willful confusion of the use and mention of expressions, one class of which is the proper name. One USES the name 'Melissa Harris-Perry' to refer to the person in question. This person, the bearer of the name, is not a name or any type of expression. The person in question eats and drinks and fulminates; no name eats and drinks and fulminates. But if I point out that 'Melissa Harris-Perry' is a hyphenated expression, I MENTION the expression; I am talking about it, not about its referent or bearer. When I say that the name is hyphenated I say something obviously true; if I say or imply that the woman in question is hyphenated, then I say or imply something that is either necessarily false or else incoherent (because involving a Rylean category mistake) and thus lacking a truth value. Either way I am not saying anything true let alone obviously true.
But what makes Miller's jab funny? What in general makes a joke funny? This question belongs to the philosophy of humor, and I can tell you that it is no joke. (That itself is a joke, a meta-joke.) There are three or four going theories of humor. One of them, the Incongruity Theory, fits many instances of humor. Suppose you ask me what time it is and I reply: You mean now? If I say this in the right way you will laugh. (If you don't, then, like Achmed the Terrorist, I kill you!) Now what make the joke funny? It is an instance of incongruity, but I will leave the details for you to work out. And the same goes for the joke in parentheses.
It is the same with the Miller joke. Everybody understands implicitly that a name is not the same as its bearer, that some names are hyphenated, and that no human being is hyphenated. Normal people understand facts like these even if they have never explicitly formulated them. What Miller does to achieve his comic effect is to violate this implicit understanding. It is the incongruity of Miller's jab with our normal implicit understanding that generates the humorousness of the situation.
But WHY should it have this effect? Why should incongruity be perceived by us as funny? Perhaps I can get away with saying that this is just the way things are. Explanations must end somewhere.
Am I a pedant or what?
But I am not done.
There is also a moral question. Isn't there something morally shabby about mocking a person's name and making jokes at his expense? Some years back I was taken aback when Michael Reagan referred to George Stephanopolous on the air as George Step-on-all-of-us. A gratuitous cheap-shot, I thought.
But given how willfully stupid and destructive Harris-Perry is, and given that politics is war by another name, is there not a case for using the Left's Alinksyite tactics against them? (Is this a rhetorical question or am I really asking? I'm not sure myself.)
Here is a bit of evidence that Harris-Perry really is a a willfully stupid, destructive race-baiter. There is another in the first entry referenced below.
Does it do any good to keep pointing out the obvious, namely, that liberal-left scum have taken over the country and are destroying it? We can't seem to do anything about it. Who will stop the rot? Not establishment Republicans who go along to get along.
Trump? Are you serious? There was a point at which I thought Trump might be the man, despite all his glaring defects. But no longer. He had a shot at the presidency. But he's blown it: his judgment is so bad, or his ego is so huge, that he cannot control his tongue. He possesses an excess of groundless self-confidence, just like Obama. (And like Obama, he is a liar and a bullshitter.) Trump thinks he can just 'wing it' without doing any real work or learning anything about the issues. Thus he thinks he can enter the snake pit with a slimy leftist like Chris Matthews and escape unharmed without having done any real preparation.
As for the existence of leftist rot, here (HT: Bill Keezer) is a taste of The Diplomad:
I have had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jasser speak twice, a few days ago right in my own neighborhood. He is an outstanding American and a Muslim, one who demonstrates that it is possible to be a moderate Muslim who accepts American values including the separation of church/mosque and state. I have reproduced, below the fold, a recent statement of his so that you may read it without the distraction of advertisements and 'eye candy.'
Jasser tells us that monitoring Muslims is not "Islamophobic." I agree heartily with what he is saying but not with how he says it. It is absolutely essential not to acquiesce in the Left's linguistic obfuscation. 'Islamophobic' and cognates are coinages designed by liberals and leftists to discredit conservatives and their views. By definition, a phobia is an irrational fear. But fear of radical Muslims and the carnage they spread is not irrational: it it is entirely reasonable and prudent. To label a person an 'Islamophobe' is therefore to imply that the person is mentally deranged or otherwise beneath consideration. It is to display a profound disrespect for one's interlocutor and his right to be addressed as a rational being. Here you have the explanation of why radical Muslims and their liberal-left enablers engage in this linguistic distortion. They aim to win at all costs and by all means, including the fabrication of question-begging and self-serving epithets.
A conservative must never talk like a liberal. To do so is thoughtless and foolish. For he who controls the terms of the debate controls the debate. When a conservative uses words like 'Islamophobic' and 'homophobic' he willy-nilly legitimizes verbal constructions meant to denigrate conservatives. Now how stupid is that?
What should Jasser have said? He could have said something like, "The monitoring of Muslims is reasonable and prudent in current circumstances and in no way wrongly discriminatory." Why is this preferrable? Because such monitoring obviouslydoes not express a phobia, an irrational fear of Muslims.
To understand liberals you must understand that theirs is a mind-set according to which a conservative is a bigot, one who reflexively and irrationally hates anyone different than he is. This is why conservatives who insist on securing the borders are routinely labelled 'xenophobes' by liberals and by some stupid 'conservatives' as well, an example being that foolish RINO Lindsey Graham who applied the epithet to Donald Trump when the latter quite reasonably proposed a moratorium on Muslim immigration into the U.S. Whatever you think of the proposal, and there are some reasonable arguments against it, it is not xenophobic.
There is also nothing xenophobic about border control since there are excellent reasons for it having to do with drug trafficking, public health, to mention just two. This is not to say that there aren't some xenophobes. It is true: there are a lot of bigots in the world and some of the worst call themselves 'liberals.'
Dr. Jasser is a man of great civil courage and an inspiration to me and plenty of others. If everyone were like him there would be no Muslim problem at all. One hopes and prays that no harm comes to him. Unfortunately, he is a member of a tiny minority, the minority of peaceful Muslims who respect Western values and denounce sharia, but also have the civil courage to stand up against the radicals.
To inform yourself further, see Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, A Battle for the Soul of Islam, Simon & Shuster, 2012.
Perhaps it would be better to say that the view that Mr. Prager expresses coincides exactly with the view I have been developing over a number of posts. His piece therefore earns for him the coveted plenaryMavPhil STOA (stamp of approval).
There is a profoundly fascist element to the American left and the political party that it controls (the Democrats) — from the fascist students and faculty who violently take over college presidents’ and deans’ offices and shout down non-Left speakers to the left-wing thugs who disrupt Trump events by screaming obscenities, carrying obscenity-laden posters, and extending their middle fingers to, and in some cases, spitting on the overwhelmingly peaceful attendees, etc. Having said that, whenever I begin to hope that Trump, even if he continues to act indecently, will at least begin to act intelligently as the possibility of his being nominated approaches reality, he does something so stupid that my heart sinks again.
In the 22 March 2016 attack in Brussels 34 people (31 victims and 3 perpetrators) were killed and 300 injured. Why should anyone care about this? In 2013 in Belgium alone there were 746 traffic-related fatalities. And in 2010 there were in Belgium 197 gun-related deaths. Surely it can't be rational to get excited over 34 dead as compared to the 746 dead or the 197 dead. People kill people. Things happen: things like nail bombings, highway crashes, and gun deaths.
My astute readers will of course detect something severely 'twisted' in the 'reasoning' I presented above. Horribile dictu, this is the way many leftists and some libertarians think! I shit you not. Shit happens.
Fourteen people were murdered in San Bernardino, and almost two dozen were injured, several critically. That is perfectly awful. Since September 11, 2001, I believe almost three score people have been killed in the United States in similar terrorist attacks, or so one television commentator asserted. The number sounds about right. During those same fourteen years, 120,000 Americans have been killed by guns (including those who killed themselves, just to be clear .) I cannot imagine any rational mode of discourse that treats the former number as somehow more important than the latter number. And yet, people who would pass most tests for sanity, if not intelligence, are eager to take dramatic steps to prevent another San Bernardino although they would not even consider equally vigorous steps to diminish, say by half, the number of deaths from firearms in the next fourteen years. [Emphasis added.]
If we're still driving cars despite thousands of automobile accident deaths per year, we don't really set the value of human life so high that attacks in Paris (130 victims) and San Bernardino (22 victims) objectively warrant the massive media attention, revolutions in foreign policy, and proposals to shut the borders completely to Muslims that they evoke. Such events get such attention because of statistical illiteracy.
In light of the Brussels attack and Obama's unbelievably lame 51 second response thereto, in which he once again refused properly to name the source of the carnage, the following re-posting of an entry from over a year ago is justified.
Imagine a history teacher who tells his students that in the American South, as late as the 1960s, certain citizens lynched certain other citizens. Would you say that the teacher had omitted something of great importance for understanding why these lynchings occurred? Yes you would. You would point out that the lynchings were of blacks by whites, and that a good part of the motivation for their unspeakable crimes was sheer racial animus. In the case of these crimes, the races of the perpetrators and of their victims are facts relevant to understanding the crimes. Just to describe the lynchings accurately one has to mention race, let alone to explain them.
I hope no one will disagree with me on this.
Or consider the case of a history teacher who reports that in Germany, 1933-1945, certain German citizens harassed, tortured, enslaved, and executed other German citizens. That is true, of course, but it leaves out the fact that the perpetrators were Nazis and (most of) the victims Jews. Those additional facts must be reported for the situation to be properly described, let alone explained. Not only that, the Nazis were acting from Nazi ideology and the Jew were killed for being Jews.
According to recent reports, some Muslim jihadis beheaded some Egyptian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach. Now beheading is not lynching. And religion is not the same as race. But just as race is relevant in the lynching case, religion is relevant in the beheading case. That the perpetrators of the beheadings were Muslims and the victims Christians enters into both an adequate description and an adequate explanation of the evil deeds of the former.
This is especially so since the Muslims were acting from Islamic beliefs and the Christians were killed for their Christian beliefs. It was not as if some merely nominal Muslims killed some merely nominal Christians in a dispute over the ownership of some donkeys.
Bear in mind my distinction between a 'sociological' X and a 'doctrinal' X. Suppose you were brought up Mormon in Idaho or Utah, but now reject the religion. Your being no longer doctrinally a Mormon is consistent with your remaining sociologically a Mormon.
What did Barack Obama say about the beheading? He said: “No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism."
Now that is a mendacious thing to say. Obama knows that the behavior of people is influenced by their beliefs. For example, he knows that part of the explanation of the lynchings of blacks by whites is that the white perpetrators held racists beliefs that justified (in their own minds) their horrendous behavior. And of course he knows, mutatis mutandis, the same about the beheading case.
He knows that he is engaging in a vicious abstraction when he sunders people and their beliefs in such a way as to imply that those beliefs have no influence on their actions.
Why then is Obama so dishonest? Part of the explanation is that he just does not care about truth. (This is a mark of the bullshitter as Harry Frankfurt has pointed out in his celebrated On Bullshit.) Truth, after all, is not a leftist value, except insofar as it can be invoked by leftists to forward their agenda. It is the 'progressive' agenda that counts, first, and the narrative that justifies the agenda, second. (Karl Marx, 11th Thesis on Feuerbach: "The philosophers have variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.") Truth doesn't come into it since a narrative is just a story and a story needn't be true to mobilize people to implement an agenda.
There's more to it than that, but that's enough for now. This is a blog and brevity is the soul of blog as some wit once observed.
What is to be done? Well, every decent person must do what he or she can to combat the destructive liars of the Left. It is a noble fight, and may also be, shall we say, conducive unto your further existence in the style to which you have become accustomed.
So argues Dennis Prager. For Trump alone among the Republican candidates is willing to stand up to the thuggishness of the Left. The other candidates including Ted Cruz are blaming Trump and his rhetoric. The latter is admittedly less than presidential and Trump is well-advised to tone it down. But which is worse, some harsh language or the total disruption of a speaking event in which thousands are prevented from hearing a speaker they came to hear? The latter obviously since it is an attack on free speech, a central American value.
What enrages so many conservatives is that the typical Republican simply will not fight the Left as it must be fought. You cannot urge civility when you are dealing with leftist scum. Civility is for the civil, not for the enemies of civilization. As for the routine thuggishness of leftists, Prager is right on target, except for a mistake I point out after the quotation (emphasis added):
And the truth is that the left-wing attack on Trump's Chicago rally had little, if anything, to do with the incendiary comments Donald Trump has made about attacking protestors at his events. Leftist mobs attack and shut down events with which they differ as a matter of course. They do so regularly on American college campuses, where conservative speakers -- on the rare occasion they are invited -- are routinely shouted down by left-wing students (and sometimes faculty) or simply disinvited as a result of leftist pressure on the college administration.
A couple of weeks ago conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro was disinvited from California State University, Los Angeles. When he nevertheless showed up, 150 left-wing demonstrators blocked the entrance to the theater in which he was speaking, and sounded a fire alarm to further disrupt his speech.
In just the last year, left-wing students have violently taken over presidents' or deans' offices at Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dartmouth, Providence College, Harvard, Lewis & Clark College, Temple University and many others. Conservative speakers have either been disinvited or shouted down at Brandeis University, Brown University, the University of Michigan and myriad other campuses.
And leftists shout down virtually every pro-Israel speaker, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at every university to which they are invited to speak.
Yet the mainstream media simply ignore this left-wing thuggery -- while reporting that the shutting down of a pro-Trump rally is all Trump's fault for his comments encouraging roughing up protestors at his events.
That the left shuts down people with whom it differs is a rule in every leftist society. The left -- not classical liberals, I hasten to note -- is totalitarian by nature. In the 20th century, the century of totalitarianism, virtually every totalitarian regime in the world was a leftist regime. [Hitler? Mussollini? Franco?] And the contemporary American university -- run entirely by the left -- is becoming a totalitarian state, where only left-wing ideas are tolerated.
Tens of millions of Americans look at what the left is doing to universities, and what it has done to the news and entertainment media, and see its contempt for the First Amendment's protection of free speech. They see Donald Trump attacked by this left, and immediately assume that only Trump will take on, in the title words of Jonah Goldberg's modern classic, "Liberal Fascism."
And if these millions had any doubt that Trump alone will confront left-wing fascism, Trump's opponents seemed to provide proof. Like the mainstream media, the three remaining Republican candidates for president -- John Kasich, the most and Marco Rubio the least -- blamed Trump for the left-wing hooligans more than they blamed the left. It is possible that in doing so Senators Cruz and Rubio and Governor Kasich effectively ended their campaigns and ensured the nomination of Trump as the Republican candidate for president. The combination of left-wing violence and the use of it by the other GOP candidates to wound Trump rather than label the left as the mortal threat to liberty that it is may clinch Trump's nomination.
And if the left continues to violently disrupt Trump rallies, they -- along with the total absence of condemnation by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate -- may well ensure that Donald Trump is elected president. Between the play-Fascism of Trump and the real Fascism of the left, most Americans will know which one to fear most.
Prager speaks of "the First Amendment's protection of free speech." But if you read the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution you will see that it protects freedom of speech from the federal government: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . . The First Amendment does not protect freedom of speech from the canaille (the rabble, the riff-raff, literally a pack of dogs, from the Italian canaglia) or from any other non-government entity.
Nevertheless, free speech is a cherished American value essential for anything worth calling 'civilization' and we are going to have to have it out with these vicious leftist bastards sooner or later. I don't expect it will be pretty.
Trump may well flame out. But the revulsion to RINOs and those who tolerate leftist and Islamist scum is not going away and successors to Trump, better equipped to carry on the fight, can be expected to appear.
It is standard operating procedure for leftists to shout down their opponents, throw pies in their faces, and otherwise disrupt their events. Thuggery is a leftist trademark. But when there is the least bit of push-back, these contemptible cry bullies shout 'fascism'! The double standard once again.
The riot planned and executed by the Left at the canceled Donald Trump campaign rally in Chicago on Friday was just the latest in a long series of mob disturbances manufactured by radicals to advance their political agendas.
Even so, it is a particularly poisonous assault on the American body politic that imperils the nation's most important free institution – the ballot.
"The meticulously orchestrated #Chicago assault on our free election process is as unAmerican as it gets," tweeted actor James Woods. "It is a dangerous precedent."
This so-called protest, and the disruptions at subsequent Trump events over the weekend, were not spontaneous, organic demonstrations. The usual culprits were involved behind the scenes. The George Soros-funded organizers of the riot at the University of Illinois at Chicago relied on the same fascistic tactics the Left has been perfecting for decades – including claiming to be peaceful and pro-democracy even as they use violence to disrupt the democratic process.
Activists associated with MoveOn, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy Wall Street, all of which have been embraced by Democrats and funded by radical speculator George Soros, participated in shutting down the Trump campaign event. Soros recently also launched a $15 million voter-mobilization effort against Trump in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada through a new super PAC called Immigrant Voters Win. The title is a characteristic misdirection since Trump supports immigration that is legal. It’s the invasion of illegals who have not been vetted and are filling America’s welfare rolls and jails that is the problem.
Among the extremist groups involved in disrupting the Trump rally in Chicago were the revolutionary communist organization ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), National Council of La Raza (“the Race”), and the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Rights Reform. President Obama's unrepentant terrorist collaborator Bill Ayers, who was one of the leaders of Days of Rage the precursor riot at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, also showed up to stir the pot.
Here is an extreme example of the leftist's reflexive love of underdogs qua underdogs. A Muslim terrorist stabs an Israeli in the neck. The Israeli pulls the knife out of his neck and stabs the terrorist to death with it. Now anyone who is morally sane will cheer the Israeli for his effective and morally legitimate self-defense. But a left-wing group took the side of the Muslim terrorist! How typical.
Peace Now is a leftist anti-Israel group funded by the EU, George Soros and the usual international gang of creeps and cretins. Its opposition to self-defense against Islamic terrorism is so extreme that it even condemns a stabbing victim for fighting back against his killer.
If Donald Trump is a sort of neo-Calliclean who celebrates the winner qua winner, regardless of how he came to be a winner, the typical leftist is the neo-Calliclean's opposite number who celebrates the loser qua loser, regardless of how he came to be a loser.
One good thing about leftists is that they eat their own. So here is a leftist professor who is attempting to confess her 'white privilege.' She mentions the word 'nigger.' She is not using it any more than I just used it: she is not applying it to anyone. She is talking about the word. She is trying her damndest to toe the party line, but still she gets purged.
If you know the history of communism, you know the historical antecedents of this sort of insanity. The origins of PC are in the CP.
We students in the class began discussing possible ways to bring these issues up in our classes when COMS 930 instructor Dr. Andrea Quenette abruptly interjected with deeply disturbing remarks. Those remarks began with her admitted lack of knowledge of how to talk about racism with her students because she is white. “As a white woman I just never have seen the racism… It’s not like I see ‘Nigger’ spray-painted on walls…” she said.
You should read study my articles infra. Inform yourself and fight back against the forces of liberal-left scumbaggery. By the way, for those of you who went to public schools, infra means 'below.'
David Horowitz is a national treasure. The following is so important and so right that I reproduce the whole of it here. From National Review.
Is the Left Even on America’s Side Anymore?
The progressives have undermined American security and damaged race relations.
By David Horowitz — January 8, 2016
The Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky once described Stalinism as “the perfect theory for glueing up the brain.” What he meant was that a regime as monstrous as Stalin’s, which murdered 40 million people and enslaved many times more, was nonetheless able to persuade progressives and “social justice” advocates all over the world to act as its supporters and defenders. These enlightened enablers of Stalin’s crimes included leading intellectuals of the day, even Nobel Prize winners in the sciences and the arts such as Frederic Joliot-Curie and Andre Gide. But brilliant as they were, they were blind to the realities of the Stalinist regime and, therefore, to the virtues of the free societies they lived in.
What glued up their brains was the belief that a brave new world of social justice — a world governed by progressive principles — existed in embryo in Soviet Russia and had to be defended by any means necessary. As a result of this illusion, they put their talents and prestige at the service of the totalitarian enemies of democracy, acting, in Trotsky’s words, as “frontier guards” for the Stalinist empire. And they continued their efforts even after the Soviets conquered Eastern Europe, acquired nuclear weapons, and initiated a “cold war” with the West. To the progressives seduced by Stalinism, democratic America represented a greater evil than the barbaric police states of the Soviet bloc. Even half a century later a progressive culture still refers to the formative phase of the Cold War as the “Red Scare” — as though the fifth column of American progressives whose loyalties were to the Soviet enemy, whose members included Soviet spies, was not a matter of serious concern, and as though a nuclear-armed, rapacious Soviet empire did not pose a credible threat.
How were these delusions of otherwise intelligent and well-intentioned people possible? How were otherwise informed individuals able to deny the obvious and support one of the most brutal and oppressive dictatorships in history? How did they come to view a relatively humane, decent, and democratic society like the United States as evil, while regarding the barbarous Communist regime as the victim of America? The answer lies in the identification of Marxism with the promise of social justice and the institution of progressive values ( to take place in a magical socialist future). Defense of the progressive idea trumped recognition of the reactionary fact.
To Western progressives, once the Stalinist regime was identified with the imaginary progressive future, everything followed — its status as a persecuted victim and America’s role as a reactionary force standing in the way of the noble leftist aspiration. Every fault of Stalin’s regime, every crime it committed — if not denied outright by progressives — was attributed to the nefarious actions of its enemies, most glaringly the United States. And once the promise of progressive redemption was juxtaposed to an imperfect real-world actor, all of their responses became virtually inevitable. Hence, the glueing of the brain.
The Soviet Union is gone, and history has moved on. But the Stalin-apologist dynamic endures as the heritage of a post-Communist Left, which remains wedded to fantasies of an impossibly beautiful future that collides with the flawed American present. The Left is now the dominant force in the American Democratic party. Its extreme disconnect from realities is encapsulated in the support for the transparently racist movement called “Black Lives Matter,” which attacks law enforcement and defends street predators, excusing their crimes with the alibi that “white supremacists” created the circumstances that make some commit criminal acts. This extremist movement has the “strong support” of the entire spectrum of the “progressive” Left (including 46 percent of the Democratic party, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll).
Black Lives Matter is a movement built on the fiction that police have declared open season on innocent black Americans. According to progressive fictions, police are the agents of a “white supremacist society” — a claim alone that should make one wary of the sanity of those who advance it. The facts belie the very basis of the claim that African Americans are being indiscriminately gunned down by police: African-American males, accounting for 6 percent of the population are responsible for more than 40 percent of violent crimes. But a Washington Post report on all 980 police shootings of 2015 reveals that only 4 percent of fatal police shootings involved white officers and black victims, while in “three-quarters of the incidents, cops were either under attack themselves or defending civilians,” or, as Michael Walsh observed in the New York Post, police officers were “in other words, doing their jobs.”
One incident in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., became the launching point for the Black Lives Matter movement and its malicious claim that innocent blacks were being wantonly gunned down by racist police. The alleged “victim,” Michael Brown, had just committed a strong-armed robbery and refused to comply with Officer Darren Wilson’s order to surrender. Instead the 300-pound street thug attacked Wilson in his vehicle, tried to wrest his gun from him, and then walked away before turning and charging him. Several shots failed to stop Brown, until one killed him.
Ignoring the facts, Black Lives Matter promoted the lie, invented by Brown’s robbery accomplice, that Brown had his hands up and was attempting to surrender when he was shot. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” quickly became the anthem of the movement. But this lie was refuted not only by black eyewitnesses testifying before the grand jury convened for the case and by forensic evidence, but by a review conducted by former attorney general Eric Holder’s Justice Department, otherwise bent on demonstrating the existence of bigotry in the Ferguson police department. Meanwhile “protesters” went about setting fire to Ferguson, causing millions of dollars of damage, because if there was no justice — no hanging of Wilson — there would be no peace, as the now familiar mob slogan framed it.
Black Lives Matter then set about taking its crusade to other cities, most prominently to Baltimore, where a career criminal named Freddie Gray became another cause célèbre. Gray had suffered fatal injuries inside a police van where only another captive was present. As the Black Lives Matter–inspired mobs began to gather in “protest,” Baltimore’s black Democratic mayor ordered police to stand down, allowing them to destroy millions of dollars of property. The state’s black Democratic prosecutor then indicted six police officers, three of them African American, on various ludicrous charges including first-degree murder.
The immediate result of Black Lives Matter’s war on law enforcement was an epidemic of crime, as police officers decided that aggressive law enforcement was dangerous to their lives and careers. Homicides in the Ferguson area and in Baltimore jumped 60 percent. Virtually all the victims were blacks, revealing the hypocrisy of a movement for which black lives didn’t really matter — attacks on the law enforcement and on the “power structure” did.
How could any reasonable citizen — let alone one with progressive aspirations — support a roving lynch mob like the one in Ferguson? How could half the Democratic party support a movement that condemns America as a white-supremacist society, disregarding the reality that the president and chief law-enforcement officer, and thousands of civil servants and elected officials, including the mayors and police chiefs of large urban centers, such as Memphis, Tenn., Atlanta, and Philadelphia are black? (In Detroit the new mayor is actually the first white mayor in 40 years, while its police chief is still black.)
One can embrace the absurdity that America is a white-supremacist society only if afflicted with the illusion that all statistical inequalities affecting African Americans, like high crime rates, are not reflections of culture and character but marks of racist oppression. (This particular absurdity — universal as it is among American progressives and the current U.S. Department of Justice — is easily refuted: If statistical disparities proved racism, the National Basketball Association in which 95 percent of the starting multimillionaires are black would be an association controlled by black racists, as would the National Football League, while the National Hockey League would be under the thumb of white racists.) Progressives are delusional about black racism and black crime because they are in thrall to the vision of an imaginary progressive future in which social justice will guarantee that every individual outcome is the same.
The Left is blind to the responsibility of inner-city populations for their off-the-charts violent-crime rates. The failure to embrace the responsibilities of parenthood is as characteristic of the progressive attitude as is its blindness to the betrayal of inner-city communities by Democrats, responsible almost entirely for the disgraceful condition of America’s cities. Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, and numerous other centers of out-of-control black poverty, failed public-school systems, and black-on-black violence are 100 percent controlled by the Democratic party and have been so for 50 to 100 years. Yet 95 percent of the black vote and 100 percent of the progressive vote continues to go to Democrats who oppress African Americans.
Unfortunately, progressives’ sordid history of supporting criminals at home is accompanied by an equally dishonorable record of sympathy for America’s enemies abroad. The Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was one of the monsters of the 20th century, launching two aggressive wars, dropping poison gas on the Kurdish minority, and murdering 300,000 Iraqi citizens. But when America proposed deposing him, more than a million progressives poured into the streets in protest. At first, the Democratic leadership supported the Iraq invasion as a just and necessary war. But three months later, with American men and women still in harm’s way — and under pressure from the progressive Left — they turned against the very war they had voted to authorize and, for the next five years, conducted a malicious propaganda campaign, worthy of the enemy, to discredit America’s intentions and to obstruct our military mission.
Because the Bush administration chose not to defend itself by confronting the Left’s subversive actions — including the exposure of three national-security programs — leftist myths about the Iraq War persist to this day, even in some conservative circles. To set the record straight: Bush did not lie to seduce Democrats into supporting the war, and could not have done so, since the Democrats had access to the same intelligence reports he did. The war was not about extant stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, as Democrats dishonestly claimed: It was about Saddam’s violation of 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to prevent him from pursuing the WMD programs he was developing. The Democrats’ betrayal of their country’s war effort crippled its progress and, with the election to the presidency of an anti-war leftist in 2008, led directly to the explosion of terrorism and bloodshed that has since engulfed the Middle East.
But it wasn’t just the surrender mentality of the Obama administration that fueled these catastrophes. With the full support of the Democratic party, President Obama embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and America’s mortal enemy, Iran, providing its ayatollahs with a path to nuclear weapons and dominance of the region — causing Sunni Arab states to prepare for a Middle Eastern civil war.
Just as leftists acted as propagandists for the Soviet empire, discrediting America’s Cold War effort and conducting deceptive campaigns to hide Soviet crimes, so the Left today disparages the Islamist threat and opposes the security measures necessary to protect the homeland — most alarmingly the sealing of our southern border. Progressives have created seditious “sanctuary cities,” which refuse to cooperate with Homeland Security and the immigration laws in more than 300 outlaw municipalities under Democratic control. This betrayal has gone un-reversed for years and led to the needless deaths of numerous American citizens at the hands of illegal-alien criminals, of which there are more than 200,000 in our jails alone, and obviously many more inside our borders.
Leftists and Democrats have also joined the Islamist propaganda campaign to represent Muslims — whose co-religionists have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents since 9/11 in the name of their religion — as victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, denouncing critics of Islamist terror and proponents of security measures as “Islamophobes” and bigots. But in truth, 60 percent of religious hate crimes are directed at Jews, with a small minority directed a Muslims.
Exploiting the myth of Muslim persecution, progressives oppose scrutiny of the Muslim community, including terror-promoting imams and mosques. They immediately denounce proposals to screen Muslim immigrants as religious bigotry, and thus close off any rational discussion of the problem. Led by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Democrats have enabled the Islamist assault on free speech, which is a central component of the Islamist campaign to create a worldwide religious theocracy. Most notoriously the president and his operatives cynically spread the lie that an obscure Internet video about Mohammed was behind the Benghazi terror attack. Speaking like an ayatollah before the U.N. General Assembly, shortly after the attack, Obama declared: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” What an American president should have said is: “The future must not belong to those who murder in the name of Islam.”
Our country is at a perilous crossroads, one that is made immeasurably more dangerous by a national party that blames its own country for the crimes of its enemies, and by a political opposition too feckless and timid to hold its fellow citizens accountable for their unconscionable acts.
I saw Chris Hedges on C-SPAN the other night. Four years ago I heard him in the same venue and was much impressed by what he had to say about pornography. Oxymoronic as it may sound, I'd say Hedges is a decent leftist. Decent but delusional, as witness this opening paragraph of The Creeping Villainy of American Politics:
The threefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and the acceptance of hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse signal the morbidity of our civil society. The body politic is coughing up blood. The daily amplification of this hate speech by a commercial media whose sole concern is ratings and advertising dollars rather than serving as a bulwark to protect society presages a descent into the protofascist nightmare of racism, indiscriminate violence against the marginalized, and a blind celebration of American chauvinism, militarism and bigotry.
Who accepts hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse? And, more importantly, what do leftists mean by 'hate speech'? Suppose I call for a moratorium on immigration from Muslim lands, or, more precisely, a moratorium on the immigration of Muslims from any land. Is my call 'hate speech'? Not to any rational person. You may disagree with this proposal but it is reasonable and prudent given the state of the world, and numerous reasons can be given in support of it. It reflects no hatred of Muslims, but a sober recognition of the threat they pose to our culture and values, a culture that we of course have a right to defend.
This suggests that leftists use 'hate speech' in such a broad way that it includes any speech with which they disagree. Should we conclude that leftists are opposed to free speech and open debate and free inquiry? I am afraid so. In this respect they are just like the orthodox Muslims they quite strangely defend. They think they own dissent. And surely it is passing strange for so many of them to defend Islam given the pronounced 'libertine wobble' of so many leftists. Don't these people defend homosexual practices and alternative sexual lifestyles generally? They would be the first to lose their heads under Sharia. Do our lefty pals perhaps have a death wish?
"Here is Rhodes, jump here" (through the hoops of political correctness). A graduate of Oriel College, Oxford University, sent me this statement concerning the Rhodes Must Fall petition. A memorial to Cecil Rhodes, that is. Can you say Der Untergang des Abendlandes?
"Here is Rhodes, jump here." From Aesop's Fables #209, "The Boastful Athlete." A man who had been off in foreign lands returns home. He brags of his exploits. He claims that in Rhodes he made a long jump the likes of which had never been seen before. A skeptical bystander calls him on his boast: Here's your Rhodes, jump here!
The moral? Put your money where your mouth is. Don't talk about it, do it!
Perhaps an erudite classicist such as Mike Gilleland could say more on this topic. He would have to do at least the following: dig up all the ancient sources in Greek and Latin; trace the saying in Erasmus and Goethe; comment on Hegel's variation on the saying in the Vorrede zur Philosophie des Rechts, explaining why he has saltus for salta; find and comment on Marx's comment on Hegel's employment of the saying.
Finally, if Alan Rhoda were to rename his cleverly titled, but now defunct, weblog Alanyzer -- and I'm not saying he should -- he might consider Hic Rhoda, Hic Salta. He is a very tall man; I'm 6' 1'' and had to look up to see his face when I met him in Las Vegas some years back. To jump over him would be quite a feat.
UPDATE 12/19: Dave Lull, argonaut nonpareil of cyberspace and friend and facilitator of bloggers, informs me that Dr. Gilleland has taken note of my call for an erudite classicist. This bibliomaniac, antediluvian, and curmudgeon does not, however, consider himself "truly erudite." If his self-deprecatory consideration is just, then he had me fooled.
Students at Lebanon Valley College (LVC) in Pennsylvania are demanding Lynch Memorial Hall on campus be renamed, due to the potential traces of racism associated with the word “lynch.”
[. . .]
Michael Schroeder, an associate professor of history, said about LVC, “We’re not an island but sometimes it feels like an island because it’s such a rural and bucolic setting. But we’re clearly caught up in the same currents that the rest of the country is.”
Schroeder added he supports the goals of the students making the demands.
“Students here tend to be relatively quiescent, but this year there’s a disproportionately large number of students of color and they’re feeling marginalized and silenced,” he said.
The stupidity of the students making this ridiculous demand, though deplorable, is perhaps excusable, but not the abdication of authority on the part of the history professor. The man is a despicable fool and probably a coward. You don't acquiesce in a demand like this, you point out the obvious. The name 'Lynch' is precisely a name and not a verb, and has nothing to do with lynching.
You point out that critical thinking, which is part of what should be taught in college, is not the association of ideas.
Does this fool think that Loretta Lynch, the present Attorney General of the U. S. should change her name? Does he think she is a 'traitor to her race' for bearing this name?
And then there is the utter incoherence of his final remark. If there is a disproportionately large number of "students of color," how is it that they "feel marginalized and silenced"?
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
Fourteen people were murdered in San Bernardino, and almost two dozen were injured, several critically. That is perfectly awful. Since September 11, 2001, I believe almost three score people have been killed in the United States in similar terrorist attacks, or so one television commentator asserted. The number sounds about right. During those same fourteen years, 120,000 Americans have been killed by guns (including those who killed themselves, just to be clear .) I cannot imagine any rational mode of discourse that treats the former number as somehow more important than the latter number. And yet, people who would pass most tests for sanity, if not intelligence, are eager to take dramatic steps to prevent another San Bernardino although they would not even consider equally vigorous steps to diminish, say by half, the number of deaths from firearms in the next fourteen years. [Emphasis added.]
Let us first note that Wolff conveniently begins his count after 9/11. The Islamic terrorism of that day resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of 6,000 + others. That adds up to around 9,000 casualties. As for the numbers Wolff cites, I will assume that they are correct.
Let us also note the phrase "killed by guns." But of course no gun has ever killed anyone. The plain truth is that people kill people and other animals often with guns, but also with box cutters, jumbo jets, and so on. Surely the good professor will grant the distinction between weapon and wielder. Weapons are morally neutral; wielders are typically not.
The question is whether it is rational to take dramatic steps to prevent another terrorist attack while taking no steps (beyond the many steps that already have been taken) to prevent further non-terrorist gun deaths, given that since 9/11 the number of gun-related non-terrorist deaths is much smaller than the number of gun-related terrorist deaths.
Wolff is maintaining that it is not rational. I say it is rational, and that Wolff's approach to the issue is not rational.
Wolff considers only the numbers of gun-related deaths while abstracting entirely from the motives of the gun-wielders and the effects that the deaths due to terror have on other people and the society at large. But this is a vicious abstraction. Terrorists aim to spread terror and disrupt civil society by slaughtering as many noncombatants as possible in unpredictable ways. They have a political agenda. Terrorism, unlike crime, is essentially political and essentially public. But the sorts of crimes that drive up the gun death numbers often occur in private and the disruption they cause is miniscule compared to that caused by terrorists.
For example, non-terrorist suicides, as opposed to suicide bombers, directly affect only themselves and almost never act from political considerations. And the same goes for mafiosi and other organized crime figures who 'whack' competitors and potential witnesses and 'rats.' The last thing they want is publicity. They are not motivated by political ideals or goals. The Lufthansa heist was about making a big score and nothing more. This holds too for ordinary criminals who kill each other and potential witnesses. And similarly for gang-bangers and drug dealers and gun-related crimes of passion. And there are the so-called 'accidental' shootings as when a careless gun owner leaves a loaded pistol where a child can find it or proceeds to clean a loaded gun.
So while the number of non-terrorist gun-related deaths of Americans is much higher over the time-frame Wolff arbitrarily chose than the number of terrorist gun-related deaths, that fact plays a minor role in any rational assessment of the threat of terrorism. Part of being rational is thinking synoptically, taking in the whole of a situation in its many aspects, and not seizing upon one aspect.
One cannot reasonably abstract from the political agenda of terrorists and the effects even a few terrorist events have on an entire society. Ask yourself: has your life changed at all since 9/11? It most certainly has if you travel by air whether domestically or internationally. Terrorists don't have to kill large numbers to attain their political goal and wreak large-scale disruption. The Tsarnaev attack on the Boston Marathon shut down the city for a few days. Same with Paris, San Bernardino, Madrid, London, etc.
There is also the obvious point that jihadis would kill millions if they could. Would they use nukes against the West if they could? Of course they would.
Why are leftists so insensitive to clear and present dangers? Why are they so eager to deflect attention from them by bringing up gun control and dubious dangers such as 'climate change'?
Here is a theory. Leftists favor losers and underdogs. Terrorists are losers and underdogs both as terrorists and as Muslims. (Not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists at the present time are Muslims.) So leftists downplay the terrorist threat. They downplay it because losers and underdogs are their clients. To them, the terrorist 'frontlash' is as nothing compared to the 'Islamophobic' backlash of the bigots, rubes, and racists of fly-over country. This helps account for why leftists downplay the terrorist threat.
But why do they try to steer the debate away from terrorism to gun control? Part of it has to be that guns and private gun ownership represent everything leftists hate such as self-reliance, individual responsibility, patriotism which they dismiss as 'jingoism,' limited government, rural people and small-town folk, and conservative attitudes which leftists perceive as racist, bigoted, xenophobic, nativist, nationalist, fascist, etc. Private gun ownership stands in the way of their totalitarian agenda. This is why they continually call for gun control when we have plenty of it already. They talk as if there is no gun control. This is because what they mean by 'gun control' is confiscation of all or almost all firearms including all semi-automatic pistols and long guns.
Of course there is much more to it than this. Leftists are anti-religion unless the religion is Islam, "the saddest and poorest form of theism," (Schopenhauer) the religion of losers and underdogs, the gang religion. As anti-religion, leftists are against God, the soul, and the freedom of the will. Not believing in freedom of the will, they don't believe in moral evil -- which is perhaps their deepest error. People are nothing but deterministic systems and products of their environment. Part of the environment is guns. Hence the repeated call to "get guns off the street"as if guns are just laying around on our highways and byways. Not believing in free agency, leftists displace agency onto inanimate non-agents such as guns. And so they think the solution is to get rid of them.
And of course this only scratches the surface. But the sun is setting and battling the Wolff Man and his bullshit has conjured up a powerful thirst in this philosopher. Time for a beer!
Everybody profiles. Liberals are no exception. Liberals reveal their prejudices by where they live, shop, send their kids to school, and with whom they associate.
The word 'prejudice' needs analysis. It could refer to blind prejudice: unreasoning, reflexive (as opposed to reflective) aversion to what is other just because it is other, or an unreasoning pro-attitude toward the familiar just because it is familiar. We should all condemn blind prejudice. It is execrable to hate a person just because he is of a different color, for example. No doubt, but how many people do that? How many people who are averse to blacks are averse because of their skin color as opposed to their behavior patterns? Racial prejudice is not, in the main, prejudice based on skin color, but on behavior.
'Prejudice' could also mean 'prejudgment.' Although blind prejudice is bad, prejudgment is generally good. We cannot begin our cognitive lives anew at every instant. We rely upon the 'sedimentation' of past experience. Changing the metaphor, we can think of prejudgments as distillations from experience. The first time I 'serve' my cats whisky they are curious. After that, they cannot be tempted to come near a shot glass of Jim Beam. They distill from their unpleasant olfactory experiences a well-grounded prejudice against the products of the distillery.
My prejudgments about rattlesnakes are in place and have been for a long time. I don't need to learn about them afresh at each new encounter with one. I do not treat each new one encountered as a 'unique individual,' whatever that might mean. Prejudgments are not blind, but experience-based, and they are mostly true. The adult mind is not a tabula rasa. What experience has written, she retains, and that's all to the good.
So there is good prejudice and there is bad prejudice. The teenager thinks his father prejudiced in the bad sense when he warns the son not to go into certain parts of town after dark. Later the son learns that the old man was not such a bigot after all: the father's prejudice was not blind but had a fundamentum in re. The old man was justified in his prejudgment.
But if you stay away from certain parts of town are you not 'discriminating' against them? Well of course, but not all discrimination is bad. Everybody discriminates. Liberals are especially discriminating. The typical Scottsdale liberal would not be caught dead supping in some of the Apache Junction dives I have been found in. Liberals discriminate in all sorts of ways. That's why Scottsdale is Scottsdale and not Apache Junction.
Is the refusal to recognize same-sex 'marriage' as marriage discriminatory? Of course! But not all discrimination is bad. Indeed, some is morally obligatory. We discriminate against felons when we disallow their possession of firearms. Will you argue against that on the ground that it is discriminatory? If not, then you cannot cogently argue against the refusal to recognize same-sex 'marriage' on the ground that it is discriminatory. You need a better argument. And what would that be?
'Profiling,' like 'prejudice' and 'discrimination,' has come to acquire a wholly negative connotation. Unjustly. What's wrong with profiling? We all do it, and we are justified in doing it. Consider criminal profiling.
It is obvious that only certain kinds of people commit certain kinds of crimes. Suppose a rape has occurred at the corner of Fifth and Vermouth. Two males are moving away from the crime scene. One, the slower moving of the two, is a Jewish gentleman, 80 years of age, with a chess set under one arm and a copy of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed under the other. The other fellow, a vigorous twenty-year-old, is running from the scene.
Who is more likely to have committed the rape? If you can't answer this question, then you lack common sense. But just to spell it out for you liberals: octogenarians are not known for their sexual prowess: the geezer is lucky if he can get it up for a two-minute romp with a very cooperative partner. Add chess playing and an interest in Maimonides and you have one harmless dude.
Or let's say you are walking down a street in Mesa, Arizona. On one side of the street you spy some fresh-faced Mormon youths, dressed in their 1950s attire, looking like little Romneys, exiting a Bible studies class. On the other side of the street, Hells (no apostrophe!) Angels are coming out of their club house. Which side of the street would you feel safer on? On which side will your concealed semi-auto .45 be more likely to see some use?
The problem is not so much that liberals are stupid, as that they have allowed themselves to be stupefied by that cognitive aberration known as political correctness.
Their brains are addled by the equality fetish: everybody is equal, they think, in every way. So the vigorous 20-year-old is not more likely than the old man to have committed the rape. The Mormon and the Hells Angel are equally law-abiding. And the twenty-something Egyptian Muslim is no more likely to be a terrorist than the Mormon matron from Salt Lake City.
Clearly, what we need are more profiling, more prejudgment, and more discrimination (in the good sense). And fewer liberals.
A note on the above image. Suppose all you know about the two individuals is what you see. The point is that the likelihood of the old white lady's being a terrorist is much, much less than the likelihood of the man's being a terrorist. This is what justifies profiling and why it is insane to subject both individuals to the same level of scrutiny. For that would be to assume something obviously false, namely, that both individuals are equally likely to be terrorists.
Again we face the question why liberals are so preternaturally stupid. And again, the answer is that they have enstupidated themselves with their political correctness and their fetishization of equality.
Some lefty scribblers, effete and epicene, have their knickers in a knot worrying about the nativist and xenophobic 'backlash' post-Paris and post-San Bernardino. Even worse, however, is Attorney General Loretta Lynch's disgracing of herself along these lines:
Lynch addressed the Muslim Advocate’s tenth-anniversary dinner and declared that she is concerned about an “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric . . . that fear is my greatest fear.” Her greatest fear is — not terrorism — but a nonexistent Islamophobic backlash? ISIS has demonstrated that it can bring down passenger jets, strike the heart of a great Western capitol with urban assault teams, and inspire horrible carnage in California. We also know that ISIS has pledged to keep attacking the U.S. and possesses chemical weapons. Yet it’s politically incorrect speech that strikes fear into the heart of our attorney general.
To put it in the form of an understatement: Lefties are not very good at threat assessment. I should think that the 'frontlash' is far worse than any backlash that is likely to occur.
To understand the Left you must understand that central to their worldview is the hermeneutics of suspicion which is essentially a diluted amalgam of themes from Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud.
Thus nothing has the plain meaning that it has; every meaning must be deconstructed so as to lay bare its 'real meaning.'
Suppose I say, sincerely, "The most qualified person should get the job." To a leftist that means: "People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race."
Or suppose I describe a black malefactor as a thug. What I have actually said, according to the hermeneutics of suspicion, is that the malefactor is a nigger. But 'thug' does not mean 'nigger.' 'Thug' means thug. There are thugs of all races.
Leftists often call for 'conversations' about this or that. Thus Eric Holder famously called for a 'conversation' about race. But how can one have a conversation -- no sneer quotes -- about anything with people who refuse to take what one sincerely says at face value?
Every day brings further evidence that contemporary liberals have lost their minds.
A yoga class has been cancelled at the University of Ottawa on the ground that participants are complicit in 'oppression' and 'cultural genocide.' By the way, we are talking about hatha yoga here which is essentially just stretching.
So you might think that re-labelling the course 'Stretching' would solve the problem. But no!
This is a good place to observe that stretching is an essential ingredient in a balanced physical fitness program along with aerobic exercise (walking, hiking, running, biking, etc.), anaerobic work (weight-lifting), and activities that maintain good hand-eye coordination (tennis, pickleball, etc.) The Maverick recommends a four-pronged approach.
Why is Canada such a Pee Cee place? I should think that with all that rugged country up there, those vast empty expanses, and the ass-freezing temperatures a tougher breed of cat would live there and not a bunch of pc-whipped pussies.
Another 'interesting' development is the assault on free speech. According to Pew Research, 40% of millennials think it acceptable to limit speech offensive to minorities.
Trouble is, almost anything will be found offensive by the members of some minority or other. Some blacks have shown themselves to be absurdly sensitive to the slights they imagine embedded in such words and phrases as 'niggardly,' 'denigrate,' 'black hole,' and 'watermelon.'
Some take offense at 'chink in the armor.' But if 'chink in the armor' is about Asians, then the Asians in question would have to be rather tiny to hang out interstitially in, say, a coat of mail.
Why not take offense at 'chunk'? Someone might get it into his Pee Cee head that a chunk is a fat chink.
There is no end to this madness once it gets going, which is why we sane and decent people need to mock and deride liberals every chance we get. Mockery and derision can achieve what calm reasoning cannot.
One cannot reason with those who are permanently in a state of self-colonoscopy.
Dr. Ben Carson, the pediatric neurosurgeon who is running for president, is now in trouble with the politically correct for referring to Syrian terrorists as rabid dogs. The comparison is perfectly apt, and only a fool or a liberal could take offense at it. A Syrian terrorist is not 'rabid' in that he is Syrian; he is 'rabid' in that he is a terrorist.
Note the double standard involved here. Carson compares Muslim terrorists to rabid dogs. But Muslims refer to ALL Jews as the sons and daughters of pigs and monkeys. Where is the outrage of the squishy-headed libs and lefties over this, something that is objectively offensive?
But as I have said many times before, there would be nothing left of a Left made bereft of its double standards.
"An Italian man was arrested in Dublin on Sunday and charged with killing his Irish landlord and attempting to eat his heart after an argument about a game of chess." (here)
When the irascibility of the Italian collides with the pugnacity of the Irishman, look out! The above incident adds resonance to a well-known chess title, Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood, by Edward Lasker, not to be confused with Emmanuel Lasker.
Am I retailing stereotypes? Damn straight I am. If you deny that stereotypes have a fundamentum in re, then you are either stupid or a liberal, predicates which may in the end be coextensive.
Voter ID laws have been challenged because liberal Democrats deem them racist. I guess that’s because they see blacks as being incapable of acquiring some kind of government-issued identification. Interesting enough is the fact that I’ve never heard of a challenge to other ID requirements as racist, such as those: to board a plane, open a charge account, have lab work done or cash a welfare check. Since liberal Democrats only challenge legal procedures to promote ballot-box integrity, the conclusion one reaches is that they are for vote fraud prevalent in many Democrat-controlled cities.
I have been saying the above for years. But what I hadn't noticed was the following:
There is another area where the attack on ballot-box integrity goes completely unappreciated. We can examine this attack by looking at the laws governing census taking. As required by law, the U.S. Census Bureau is supposed to count all persons in the U.S. Those to be counted include citizens, legal immigrants and non-citizen long-term visitors. The law also requires that illegal immigrants be a part of the decennial census. The estimated number of illegal immigrants ranges widely from 12 million to 30 million. Official estimates put the actual number closer to 12 million.
Both citizens and non-citizens are included in the census and thus affect apportionment counts. Counting illegals in the census undermines one of the fundamental principles of representative democracy — namely, that every citizen-voter has an equal voice. Through the decennial census-based process of apportionment, states with large numbers of illegal immigrants, such as California and Texas, unconstitutionally gain additional members in the U.S. House of Representatives thereby robbing the citizen-voters in other states of their rightful representation.
It has been over fifty years now since the landmark civil rights and welfare legislation of the 1960s, an example of which is the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But blacks are still not doing very well. Why? There is an explanation below the fold. But I must issue a 'trigger warning' to the PC-whipped. The opinions of the author may cause grave psychic distress. If you venture below you and you alone accept full responsibility for your distress. DO NOT go there if you identify as liberal, leftist, progressive, socialist, Maoist, as politically correct or (what may be the same thing) if you are opposed to free inquiry, open discussion, free speech, and intellectual honesty.
Arthur C. Brooks deplores the lack of ideological diversity and the prevalence of 'groupthink' in academia in an October 30th NYT editorial entitled "Academia's Rejection of Diversity." He is of course right to do so. But this is nothing new as any conservative will tell you. And we don't need studies to know about it, which is not to say that studies are not of some slight use in persuading doubters.
What I would take issue with, though, is Brooks' apparently unqualified belief that "being around people [ideologically] unlike ourselves makes us [intellectually] better people . . . ." I have added, charitably I should think, a couple of qualifiers in brackets.
Interaction with ideological opponents can be fruitful, and sometimes is. That goes without saying.
But I think it is very easy to overestimate the value of interactions with people with fundamentally different views. It is a mistake to think that more and more 'conversations' will lead to amicable agreements and mutual understanding. This mistake is based on the false assumption that there is still common ground on which to hold these 'conversations.'
I say we need fewer 'conversations' and more voluntary separation. In many situations we need the political equivalent of divorce. In marriage as in politics the bitter tensions born of irreconcilable differences are relieved by divorce, not by attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable. Let's consider some examples. In each of these cases it is difficult to see what common ground the parties to the dispute occupy.
1. Suppose you hold the utterly abhorrent view that it is a justifiable use of state power to force a florist or a caterer to violate his conscience by providing services at, say, a same-sex 'marriage' ceremony.
2. Or you hold the appalling and ridiculous view that demanding photo ID at polling places disenfranchises those would-be voters who lack such ID.
3. Or you refuse to admit a distinction between legal and illegal immigration.
4. Or you maintain the absurd thesis that global warming is the greatest threat to humanity at the present time. (Obama)
6. Or, showing utter contempt for facts, you insist that Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri was an 'unarmed black teenager' shot down like a dog in cold blood without justification of any sort by the racist cop, Darren Wilson.
7. Or you compare Ferguson and Baltimore as if they are relevantly similar. (Hillary Clinton)
8. Or you mendaciously elide distinctions crucial in the gun debate such as that between semi-auto and full-auto. (Dianne Feinstein)
9. Or you systematically deploy double standards. President Obama, for example, refuses to use 'Islamic' in connection with the Islamic State or 'Muslim' in connection with Muslim terrorists. But he has no problem with pinning the deeds of crusaders and inquisitors on Christians.
10. Or you mendaciously engage in self-serving anachronism, for example, comparing current Muslim atrocities with Christian ones long in the past.
11. Or you routinely slander your opponents with such epithets as 'racist,' 'sexist,' etc.
12. Or you make up words whose sole purpose is to serve as semantic bludgeons and cast doubt on the sanity of your opponents. You know full well that a phobia is an irrational fear, but you insist on labeling those who oppose homosexual practices as 'phobic' when you know that their opposition is in most cases rationally grounded and not based in fear, let alone irrational fear.
13. Or you bandy the neologism 'Islamophobia' as a semantic bludgeon when it is plain that fear of radical Islam is entirely rational. In general, you engage in linguistic mischief whenever it serves your agenda thereby showing contempt for the languages you mutilate.
14. Or you take the side of underdogs qua underdogs without giving any thought as to whether or not these underdogs are in any measure responsible for their status or their misery by their crimes. You apparently think that weakness justifies.
15. Or you label abortion a 'reproductive right' or a 'women's health issue' thus begging the question of its moral acceptability.
On each of these points and many others I could write a book demolishing the hard Left position that underlies the points and that dominates the universities, the mainstream media, the courts, and our current government. So what's to discuss? What conceivable motive could a conservative have to enter into debates with people who, from a conservative point of view, are willfully wrongheaded and demonstrably mistaken? There are open questions that need discussing, but the above aren't among them.
Robert Paul Wolff over at The Philosopher's Stoneopines:
Ben Carson may just be the most thoroughly despicable person to make a run for the presidency in modern times. So I take particular pleasure in the third quarter financial report that revealed that the good doctor spent 57% of the money he raised -- raising money. I think while he has devoted himself to uttering ugly, contemptible things in his soft, soothing voice someone has been taking him for a ride. I hope his deeply religious supporters appreciate the fact that their dollars are being spent searching for dollars [and running up impressive tabs at expensive eateries -- but that is another story.] Actually, since his biggest fans are faithful attendees at Christian services, they are probably used to this. (Emphasis added.)
Professor Wolff is not just some two-bit blogger, but an accomplished philosopher who has written some good books. But then he posts scurrilous, slanderous stuff like the above. (And this is just one example.)
What explains the Left's hatred of conservative blacks, a hatred so intense that it unhinges otherwise rational people like Wolff? Comments are enabled. I'm interested in your theories.
How is it that if a conservative argues against the ideas or policies of a black leftist such as Obama he is immediately labelled a racist, while if a leftist like Wolff viciously and personally attacks a black conservative while ignoring the content of his remarks, he escapes the charge of racism?
Remove the question mark from the above caption and you have the title for a New York Timeseditorial for 16 October. Here are the first three paragraphs with my comments interspersed:
Lawmakers in Washington and around the country are in an uproar over what they derisively call “sanctuary cities.” These are jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, or try in other ways to protect unauthorized immigrants from unjust deportation.
"Derisively call"? Here is a well-known leftist tactic. Words and phrases that have long been in use, have clear meanings, are descriptive rather than emotive, and are therefore innocuous, are given such labels as 'derisive,' 'insulting,' demeaning,' 'racist,' and so on. 'Anchor baby,' 'illegal alien,' and 'Obamacare' are three examples that come immediately to mind. As for 'anchor baby,' Alan Colmes recently opined on The O'Reilly Factor that it is demeaning because it likens the babies of illegal border crossers to weights that place a burden on American society. I kid you not. That's what our boy said. But the term implies no such thing. Anchor babies are so-called because, if you will permit me to change the metaphor, they provide a foothold in the U.S. for their illegal alien parents. This is because, on current law, anyone born within the boundaries of the U. S. is automatically a citizen of the U. S. Now whether this is or ought to be an entailment of Section 1 of Amendment XIV of the U.S. Constitution is an important question, but not one for the present occasion.
Notice in the second sentence of the first paragraph the phrase "unjust deportation." If you will excuse the expression in this context, it takes cojones to call unjust the lawful deportation of illegal aliens. Cojones or chutzpah, one.
The Senate is voting Tuesday on a bill from David Vitter of Louisiana to punish these cities by denying them federal law-enforcement funds. The House passed its version [hyperlink suppressed] in July. North Carolina’s Legislature has passed a bill forbidding sanctuary policies. Lawmakers in Michigan and Texas are seeking similar laws.
This a distortion of Vitter's proposal. The truth: "Vitter’s legislation would withhold certain federal funding from sanctuary states or cities that fail to comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued detainer requests for illegal aliens." (Emphasis added)
These laws are a false fix for a concocted problem. They are based on the lie, now infecting the Republican presidential campaign, that all unauthorized immigrants are dangerous criminals who must be subdued by extraordinary means.
It takes unmitigated gall to claim that your opponents are lying, when you are lying. I'd like to know who among Republicans has claimed that ALL illegal aliens are dangerous criminals. So who is slandering whom here?
At this point I stopped reading. Three paragraphs, four howlers: first a trade-mark leftist act of linguistic obfuscation, then an outright lie, then a distortion of the truth, then another outright lie.
But of course few if any contemporary liberals will agree with what I have just written. This leads us beyond this particular issue to a strange, ominous, and yet fascinating development in American life which of course has been long in the making: we can't agree on much of anything any more. We are, unbelievably, arguing over what really are beneath discussion, over issues that ought to be non-issues. And every year it gets worse. Suing gun manufacturers? Aussie-style gun confiscation? No photo ID at polling places? Sanctuary cities? Social Security benefits for illegal aliens?
Now you can perhaps understand why I often refer to contemporary liberals as morally and intellectually obtuse. There is really nothing reasonably to debate on these and many other, not all, current hot topics. Those who think otherwise and are willing to use the power of the State to enforce their crazy and deleterious ideas are making a very strong argument, nolens volens, for Second Amendment rights.
Here is what Dr. Ben Carson said about guns and the Holocaust: "The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."
For this and other observations Carson is coming under vicious attack from the Left. What follows is Dennis Prager's commentary:
Those comments were actually labeled anti-Semitic.
Now, while "greatly diminished" is debatable, the general view strikes me as simple common sense: Why wouldn't it have been a good thing if many Jews in 1930s Europe had had weapons? Of course it would not have prevented the Holocaust, but it might have saved some lives; and just as important, it would have enabled armed Jews to die fighting rather than to die unarmed and with no ability to fight. If Jews in Europe had been asked, "Would you like to be armed when the Nazis come to round you up?" what do Carson's critics think the great majority of European Jews would have answered? Indeed, what would the critics themselves answer?
No normal person thinks that armed Jews would have prevented the Holocaust (nor did Carson make such a claim). But no normal person should think that it would have not have been a good thing if many European Jews had weapons. The hallowed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began with the Jews in the Ghetto possessing a total of 10 handguns. Imagine if they had a thousand.
In The Washington Post, David Kopel of the Cato Institute, who teaches Advanced Constitutional Law at the University Denver Sturm College of Law, cited the diaries of Jews who died in the Warsaw Ghetto. They expressed unalloyed joy at being able to kill some of their Nazi tormentors, and deep regret about not having been armed and been able to fight back sooner than they did.
But even if one believes that Carson and Kopel are wrong, how could one characterize Carson's comments as "anti-Semitic" or "blaming the victims [the Jews]"? How could one label statements expressing the wish that the Jews of the Holocaust had been armed "anti-Semitic"? Yet, among others, a contributing editor to the Forward, a leading Jewish newspaper, wrote that these remarks were "profoundly anti-Semitic, immoral and disgusting." And Carson was attacked by prominent Jews in Time and by the Anti-Defamation League.
The left is in full-blown smear-Carson mode. He is, after all, the left's worst nightmare -- a black Republican who is brilliant, kind and widely admired, including by many blacks.
It is a rule of left-wing life that black Republicans must have their names and reputations destroyed. The left knows that if blacks do not vote overwhelmingly Democrat, Democrats cannot win a national election. (Emphasis added.)
So, the smearing of Dr. Ben Carson has just begun.
2. Schools. Most liberals oppose charter schools, support teachers’ unions, and encourage generous immigration, legal and illegal. To further diversity in the schools, create easier integration, and to nullify the insidiousness of white privilege, each liberal should pledge, “I will put at least one of my children in an inner-city public school, or in a school where the white enrollment is in a minority.” What better way to acculturate a young elite to the new world around him? Could not the Obama children attend a D.C. public school?
3. Guns. Gun control is an iconic liberal issue, specifically limitations on handguns and concealed weapons. Too many guns in too many places supposedly encourage violent crime. Again, what better way to make a statement than by having all liberal celebrities, business people, and politicians take the following pledge: “I will pledge that no one in my security detail will ever carry a concealed firearm of any sort”? Surely the pope, of all people, did not need armed guards, with lethal concealed weapons, surrounding his pope-mobile?
4. Illegal Immigration. Liberals support the idea of unlimited immigration, legal or not. But the key for successful upward mobility for newly arrived immigrants, attested in nearly all studies, is integration and acculturation with American citizens. Therefore the following pledge seems ideal for any supporter of open borders: “I will socialize weekly with at least one illegal immigrant, whether inviting him to a sporting event, dinner, or recreational activity.” Were one upscale family to adopt an immigrant family from south of the border, the latter’s health care, legal, education, economic, and culture challenges might be alleviated. There are plenty of empty and mostly unused guest houses behind estates in Malibu and Santa Monica, and very few shelters for new arrivals: why not combine need and idleness — and help the helpless?
5. Sanctuary Cities. Most liberals support sanctuary cities and the idea of open borders, including the right of cities to nullify federal law. Why not pledge, “I will swear support for all American cities that choose to nullify any federal laws that they find oppressive and somehow contrary to the idea of America”? When a cattleman shoots a wolf, and a county sheriff guffaws and claims “that’s a federal problem, not mine,” then we will have come full circle to the sort of disasters that occur in San Francisco.
6. Diversity. “White privilege” and “black lives matters” are slogans that resonate with liberals. Both could be reified with a simple pledge: “I will live in a neighborhood in which at least one of my immediate neighbors is a non-white household.” In addition, why not eliminate the idea of a gated community altogether? Why send not-so-coded signals that the Other is not wanted? (Could not the Obama administration put a $1,000,000 luxury tax on each of a community’s exclusionary gates?)
Having been accused by liberal scum of being a 'racist' for speaking the truth as I see it, let me point out that before moving to Arizona I bought and lived in a house in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, a community which at the time was about 60% white and 40% black. What a 'racist' thing to do! If you want to know what people really think, you don't look to their words, but to their actions, in particular their actions regarding money. The liberals Hanson excoriates are precisely those hypocrites who, while mouthing their bien pensant feel-good rhetoric, hide in lily-white gated communities, send their children to elite private schools, and think that gun ownership is only for them and their guards.
7. Voting Laws. For liberals, driver’s license IDs are unnecessary for registration or even showing up at the polls to vote. Why, then, not cement that pledge by sanctifying the uselessness of such IDs in everyday life? “As proof of solidarity, I pledge that I will not use my own driver’s license ID either during any commercial purchase or at the airport security line — both being far more important than mere voting.”
9. The University. The university is a bastion of liberalism and therefore must reflect such progressive values. “I pledge to support no university whose rate of increase in annual tuition exceeds the rate of inflation or that pays different wages to different categories of professor for the exact same class taught.” Why not boycott Harvard or Berkeley, given that their part-time policies make Wal-Mart’s look enlightened?
If you have been following the news you will have noticed that Dr. Ben Carson, the pediatric neurosurgeon who is running for president, is coming under especially vicious attack from the Left. His being black does not protect him for he is a conservative. GQ Magazine is now running a piece with the title "Fuck Ben Carson." Viciousness on the Left is nothing new of course, but the intensity seem to be increasing. What explains leftist scumbaggery?
One reason that leftists are vicious is that they take to heart Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals #13:
RULE 13: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Study Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals if you want to understand the tactics of the Obama administration, the Democrat Party, and the Left generally.
So Alinsky begins by telling readers what a radical is. He is not a reformer of the system but its would-be destroyer. This is something that conservatives have a very hard time understanding.Conservatives in my experience are all together too decent, too civilized to match up adequately, at least in the initital stages of the battle, with their adversaries. They are too prone to give them the benefit of the doubt. Radicals can't really want to destroy a society that is democratic and liberal and has brought wealth and prosperity to so many. Oh yes they can. That is in fact the essence of what it means to be a radical -- to be willing to destroy the values, structures and institutions that sustain the society we live in. Marx himself famously cited Alinsky's first rebel (using another of his names -- Mephistopheles): "Everything that exists deserves to perish."
This is why ACORN activists for example have such contempt for the election process, why they are so willing to commit fraud. Because just as Lucifer didn't believe in God's kingdom, so the radicals who run ACORN don't believe in the democratic system. To them it's a fraud -- an instrument of the ruling class, or as Alinsky prefers to call it, the Haves. If the electoral system doesn't serve all of us, but is only an instrument of the Haves then election fraud is justified, is a means of creating a system that serves the Have-Nots -- social justice. Until conservatives begin to understand exactly how dishonest radicals are -- dishonest in their core -- it is going to be very hard to defend the system that is under attack. For radicals the noble end -- creating a new heaven on earth -- justifies any means. And if one actually believed it was possible to create heaven on earth who would not willingly destroy any system hitherto created by human beings?
If you are a conservative, don't talk like a liberal! I've made this point before but it bears repeating. We conservatives should never acquiesce in the Left's acts of linguistic vandalism. Battles in the culture war are often lost and won on linguistic ground. So we ought to oppose resolutely the Left's attempts at linguistic corruption.
A phobia is a fear, but not every fear is a phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear. One who argues against the morality of homosexual practices, or gives reasons for opposing same-sex marriage is precisely -- presenting arguments, and not expressing any phobia. The arguments may or may not be cogent. But they are expressive of reason, and are intended to appeal to the reason of one's interlocutor. To dismiss them as an expression of a phobia show a lack of respect for reason and for the persons who proffer the arguments.
There are former meat-eaters who can make an impressive case against the eating of meat. Suppose that, instead of addressing their arguments, one denounces the former carnivores as 'carniphobes.' Can you see what is wrong with that? These people have a reasoned position. Their reasoning may be more or less cogent, their premises more or less disputable. But the one thing they are not doing is expressing an irrational fear of eating meat. Many of them like the stuff and dead meat inspires no fear in them whatsoever.
The point should be obvious: 'homophobia' is just as objectionable as 'carniphobia.' People who use words like these are attempting to close off debate, to bury a legitimate issue beneath a crapload of PeeCee jargon. So it is not just that 'homophobe' and 'homophobia' are question-begging epithets; they are question-burying epithets.
And of course 'Islamophobia' and cognates are other prime examples. Once again, a phobia is an irrational fear. But fear of radical Islam is not at all irrational. You are a dolt if you use these terms, and a double dolt if you are a conservative.
Why does language matter? Because clear thinking matters, and language is the medium of thought.
Why does clear thinking matter? Because clear thinking is truth-conducive.
Why does truth matter? Because living according to the truth is conducive to human flourishing.
My argument against the use of these and related terms is simple and straighforward. A phobia, by definition, is an irrational fear. (Every phobia is a fear, but not every fear is a phobia, because not every fear is irrational.) Therefore, one who calls a critic of the doctrines of Islam or of the practices of its adherents an Islamophobe is implying that the critic is in the grip of an irrational fear, and therefore irrational. This amounts to a refusal to confront and engage the content of his assertions and arguments.
This is not to say that there are no people with an irrational fear of Muslims or of Islam. But by the same token there are people with an irrational fear of firearms.
Suppose a defender of gun rights were to label anyone and everyone a hoplophobe who in any way argues for more gun control. Would you, dear liberal, object? I am sure you would. You would point out that a phobia is an irrational fear, and that your fear is quite rational. You would say that you fear the consequences of more and more guns in the hands of more and more people, some of them mentally unstable, some of them criminally inclined, some of them just careless.
You, dear liberal, would insist that your claims and arguments deserve to be confronted and engaged and not dismissed. You would be offended if a conservative or a libertarian were to dismiss you as a hoplophobe thereby implying that you are beneath the level of rational discourse.
So now, dear liberal, you perhaps understand why you ought to avoid 'Islamophobia' and its variants except in those few instances where they are legitimately applied.