Category Archives: Thinking like a Liberal

How on earth do they do it?

In and Out

Confession time: I’m what you might call a Trump agnostic. Some of what he’s done pleases me, some things about him I find frustrating, and almost everything he does I find entertaining. Someone once asked me who I would vote for and I answered at the time that whatever my disagreements with the man, I had no doubts in my mind that Trump loved America and wanted to do right by her – I still believe that and for me it’s not nothing in consideration for a president.

Still I do try to listen to both sides of the Trump issue on the right, and here I will admit that I find both sides – his fans and his haters – frequently obnoxious. Indeed my feelings towards the man himself are too often influenced by who I read last. If a super-fan, Trump is annoying. If a hater, Trump is the GOAT. Thus i try not to rely on my gut or feelings on the matter but ever seek out the truth. Thus listening to both sides.

Because the problem with humans is that our senses alone collect so much data that our brains can’t possibly store and process all of it. So we have to constantly shift through and analyse this data, our brains prioritizing some while ignoring the rest. But what is really important? The color, make and model of nearby cars? The color, style and make of the shoes everyone around you are wearing? Some data is objectively important (like who is shooting at you) but a lot of data out there is… debatable. That’s why we communicate with others – because the data I picked up and retained is going to be a bit different from what you picked up. By combining all our datasets we can craft a larger picture of the whole truth, like a jigsaw puzzle.

This then is the frustration when I listen to a Trump fan (like Andrew Klavan) vs a Trump skeptic (like Jonah Goldberg). Both sides often make relevant points about important data, and both sides seem to avoid what the other one is addressing leading to a frustration of everybody talking past each other. Yet I couldn’t help but notice that the fans seemed to make an effort to confront the counter arguments a bit more often – the skeptics rarely so. In fact the skeptics seemed to go out of their way to even acknowledge competing evidence. Things just weren’t adding up. Now I’m also a big believer in Occum’s Razor which should be summed up as “don’t add additional factors without evidence.” , so I prefer to take the folks at their word rather than inventing some kind of conspiracy theory.

Let’s then think about like in programming. At root we only have 3 factors: the input, the process, and the output. If the output is wrong, there’s only 2 other places to look. What can we tell about process? Fundamentally – nothing. We can’t read minds so there’s no way to really be sure what’s going on inside another’s. We’ll have to accept their claims about their own process at face value for right now. So let’s look at input.

In fact, let’s look at what happened this weekend.

In case you haven’t heard, there was a March for Life on Washington DC at which point a video & image of an original-American drummer and a boy in a MAGA cap went viral. Shortly after the viral spread, the other shoe dropped.

Turned out there was a lot more to the story and everyone was reacting to pretty much the opposite of what was the truth.

Let’s look at the National Review’s article on it.

Oh wait, that’s actually the SECOND article NRO published. There was a first article before that. It’s captured under “Update IV” at this link.

Now it all began to make sense. The trump-skeptic side was having faulty input. They are believing the media.

There’s actually a term for this: Gell-Mann Amnesia. Michael Crichton described it as:

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

This somehow seems to make it all worse than a simple betrayal.

See, I’m old enough that for most of my political life, conservatives have been bitching about the media. That whenever an article was written about Reagan or Bush or Bush or whatever politician, so many of these figures would be there with an article pointing out all the facts overlooked and complicating factors ignored. Always and forever if the media reported on a congressman’s tie, the conservatives would double check it. Now? Now when they complain about Trump, you can quickly piece together that it’s because they’re accepting the media’s basic premises.

Never mind that nothing’s changed over those years save the republican targeted. Never mind that a few months ago the press did the exact same thing to Kavanaugh (with many of these figures rightly objected to). No this time a video and image go up about a kid in a red hat, and the people who should know better accept the media’s premises unquestioned. It’s a movement-wide Gell-Mann Amnesia.

If you’re a skeptic reading this: Imagine it’s a few years ago and you came across one of your conservative colleagues or heroes complaining about how misogynist Romney was being with his “binders full of women” line. Imagine that no matter how much you tried to correct that person, get them to see the fuller context, they objected. Said they saw all they needed to. Called you a cultist – a blind Romney follower. I remember how most of you fought against that little media deception back in the day. So imagine how you would feel in that situation.

That’s how we feel now.

You don’t have to like Trump. You don’t have to agree with Trump. You don’t have to excuse the worst excesses of his followers.

But MAYBE you could try reapplying your old skepticism, and stop buying what the media is selling. You above all people should know better. Stop and ask yourself why this time you think the habitual liar is being truthful.

As we say in programming.  Garbage in, garbage out.  So if leftism in…

…no self-awareness out.

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The Spirit of ’68 – UPDATED

As hard as it is to believe now, Leftists used to be formidable opponents.  When Orwell described the typical Socialist of tremulous old ladies’ imaginations, he was arguing against a stereotype:

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik….or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

Old habits die hard, and old beliefs die harder, so it’s no surprise that people back then thought real Socialists were bomb-throwing rioters who were one strike away from seizing the factories.  Radical politics was a contact sport well into the 20th century (The Road to Wigan Pier was published in 1937, when the Russian Revolution was barely 20 years old).  One could be forgiven for thinking, even then, that the “prim little man with a white-collar job” had a few working-class bruisers he could call on if things got tough, because for quite a while, he actually did.

The Left was formidable on the other end of the spectrum, too.  Back then, a college education meant something — hell, back then a high school education was an achievement.  Have you ever actually read Communist literature?  It’s dense, full of arcane jargon and Capital Letters, charts and graphs, facts and figures.  Even that quintessential 20th century chimera, the New Soviet Man, seemed to have the imprimatur of science — we know now that psychoanalysis is bunk, but the Frankfurt School sure made it look like Socialism was the scientifically proven high road to mental health.   When all you’ve got is a sixth grade education, when you can’t even pronounce things like “Oedipus complex,” you’re going to feel yourself at an insurmountable disadvantage going up against some egghead with a PhD.

The commies knew it, too, which is why the first thing they did when they signed you up for the Party was get you enrolled in some classes.  I bet most of you don’t know that this is what “community colleges” were for, back when the movement got started at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s no accident, as the Marxists back then liked to say, that schools designed to level up the skills of working men and grammar school teachers were immediately taken over by fellow travelers.  The New Soviet Man was supposed to be something like a street-brawling longshoreman with a Master’s degree, and that’s what they set out to build, all over the West.  And it worked, too, surprisingly well, such that intellectually gifted, courageous men like Whittaker Chambers could become high-ranking Communist cadres.

We all know what happened after that: The Baby Boom.  David Horowitz is a good example of the change.  A Red Diaper Baby, Horowitz got all the heavy intellectual training the Old Left invested in its intellectuals; Horowitz can still argue Dialectical Materialism with the best of ’em.  But though he was technically born right before the Baby Boom (1939), he got swept up in its emotional atmosphere — the Ramparts crowd was interested in cultural revolution, not critiques of the forces of production.  They were the leading lights of the New Left, and all the New Left really wanted to do was flip tables, break shit, and freak out the squares — overthrow “The Man” first; figure the rest out later.

Which is the same position we — Our Thing, the “alt-right,” whatever the hell we’re calling it this week — find ourselves in today, comrades.

Section break!

The reason the Old Right was defenseless against the Old Left was that the Old Right, having facts, reason, and 5,000 years of intellectual history on its side, had no idea how to argue against the jargon-spewing fuggernauts trying to turn the whole world into a Worker’s Paradise.  Leftism looks like an argument — a coherent set of propositions, backed up by facts and reason.  It sounds like an argument, a formidable one.  But it’s not an argument.  It’s a set of tautologies.

That’s why the Old Right’s counterarguments fail so brutally.  A tautology is true by definition — e.g. “whatever will be, will be.”  We all know this is just a proverb, a nifty little reminder not to stress out too much about things we can neither predict or control.  Nobody who says “whatever will be, will be” considers it a serious prognostication on a future state of affairs, so nobody considers techniques for refuting “arguments” based on it.  Because what could those possibly even be?

Annnnnd that’s where the Left gets you, because ALL Leftist “arguments” are tautologies.  We’ve all had a good laugh at things like “false consciousness,” or statements like “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman.”  They’re impossible to take seriously — Sarah Palin is, obviously and undeniably, a woman — so we don’t take them seriously, and we assume the people making them don’t either.  But they do, my friends, they do.  If you don’t believe me, dust off your old Logic 101 textbook and tell me how “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman” differs from “false consciousness.”  They both run exactly like this:

All women (X) are pro-abortion (Y).  Sarah Palin is not pro-abortion; therefore, Sarah Palin is not a woman.  Or, all capitalist societies (X) are miserable (Y).  The United States is not miserable; therefore, the United States isn’t capitalist… but since that statement contradicts the Scriptures, it must be the case that the undeniably-capitalist United States only seems not-miserable… false consciousness, comrade.

I know, I know, my brain hurts too, and once again, that’s how they get you.  It’s almost impossible for a cognitively normal person to “think” this way, and because the falsity is so glaring, so painful, we assume that we must be missing something.  Maybe if we just immerse ourselves in all that jargon — the “modes of production,” “intersectionality,” and whatnot — we’ll find out what we’re missing, so that we can go back and plug the proper terms into the deduction and prove to the Left that they’re being illogical.

It won’t work, comrades, because it can’t.  You can’t argue against a tautology.*  What ends up happening, of course, is that poring over their Scriptures infects you with Social Justice Toxoplasma, exactly as it’s designed to do.  The Buckley, neocon, National Review brand of “conservatism” is really just Leftism with a few tax cuts attached, because they tried to argue with the Left.

What we need to do is to steal the tactics and worldview of the New Left.

Whatever you want to call them now — the New New Left, the CultMarx Cult, the Cathedral, the Poz — the inmates have been in charge of the asylum for generations.  They’re in the same position the Old Right was back when this whole business started — they’ve been in power so long that they take “being in power” as the natural state of affairs.  Not only don’t they have any arguments for their positions, they don’t know that there ever were any, because they don’t see it in terms of “positions” and “arguments.”  This is just the way things are, and anyone who disagrees is some kind of “hater” — mentally ill; not to be taken seriously; to be treated, confined, or shot, as the situation dictates.

Rules for Radicals is a great book; we should carry it around the way the Red Guards carried Quotations from Chairman Mao.  We should read up on Cloward-Piven, and put it into action.  Cloward-Piven is an attempt to overload American social services by signing up as many people as possible, in order to collapse the economy and spark The Revolution.  Thanks to Sen. Warren, aka Little Rounding Error, aka Pico-hontas, we now know that 1/1024th Mesoamerican (not even actual American Indian!) DNA is sufficient to claim all the Affirmative Action perks our Native brothers are entitled to.  Let’s get every single college student in America on full scholarship — adios, higher ed bubble!

Don’t get caught up in heavy theorizing.  Don’t worry about what comes after The Revolution.  Do what the New Left did — at worst, you’ll end up with tenure at an Ivy League law school and have your name tossed around as a potential Democratic presidential candidate.



*Seriously, if you read nothing else in your life, read David Stove’s “Idealism: A Victorian Horror Story,” Parts I and II (available in The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies, and yes, you’ll need to buy it, because you need to read both).  Marxism is Idealism; Idealism rests — totally, completely, entirely — on a false “deduction” from a tautology (from “we can only know things as we can know them” to “we can’t know things as they are in themselves”).  As every single flavor of Leftist nonsense is based on Marxism, this destroys every intellectual pretension the Left has ever had.

UPDATE:  If you’re curious about how one lousy little tautology could generate so much murderous nonsense, I’ve attempted to lay it out on a separate page, here.  I can’t do justice to either Stove’s thought nor his prose, but on the upside, it’s free.

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Permanent Revolution

By the (self-chosen) end of his life, the late great David Stove, one of the fiercest defenders free thought ever had, was arguing in all sincerity that expressing what he called “the equality opinion” should be a death penalty offense.  Admit that “society” will always be “unjust” so long as one person has more than another, and the whole catalog of totalitarian horrors follows, by necessity, as surely as ice follows from water and freezing temperatures.  He mostly meant “equality” in the material sense (this was c.1991), but even then the Left was making the Harrison Bergeron implications obvious — more looks, more brains, more talent, more drive, more self control, whatever it is, we shall never have Social Justice while anyone has more.

He was right.  A Stove-ian look at the history of philosophy forces one conclusion: The whole of Western social thought, stem to stern, top to bottom, is an attempt to change Envy from a vice to a virtue.  (This includes theology).  And the reason for it is simple: Philosophers have less.  Less looks, less self control, less money, less power, and often less brains and drive, too, and they damn well know it.  The only thing they have more of is talk.

Up to about 1500 or so, this didn’t matter, since nobody who had more ever listened to philosophers.  But by 1500 or so, European society was prosperous enough that lots of people had more, such that it was obvious that having more is not due to God’s special favor (which used to mean “blue blood”), but is largely chance.  As the now unjustifiably obscure philosopher Rodericus Stewartus once said, “Some guys have all the luck,” and instead of taking that as proof of God’s special favor like the bluebloods did, your Martin Luthers and John Calvins …

…well, ok, they took it as proof of God’s special favor, too, but they also — in a leap of “logic” that makes sense only to them and modern-day Leftists — concluded that God’s special favor can be purchased by saying the right things.  How do you know you’re among the Elect?  By having more… then feeling the overwhelming urge to lecture everyone about how sinful having more is (see the famous Codex Murus for examples).

But the philosophers still aren’t satisfied, because while the guys who listen to them have more, all right — that part of the doctrine’s rock solid — they themselves still have less.  And that doesn’t follow, because not only do they say the right things, they’re the ones telling everyone else what to say!  But when you point that out to the guys who have more — those Puritan merchants who just bought Manhattan for a handful of beads, for instance — they tell you to go get a job, parchment breath.

I’m sure y’all have noticed the inverse relationship between material prosperity and intellectual rigor, so fast forward a few generations.  Now it seems that “having more” is actually the default condition of mankind.  And yet, the philosophers still have less.  Which can only mean: There is an active conspiracy against the philosophers.  It’s the ____’s fault we don’t have more.  Fill in the blank with whatever you like: Jews, Capitalists, Aristocrats, Designated Hitters, it’s all the same, only the names have changed.

And now we come to the heart of the problem: Material prosperity produces these people, in the same way Stove says “the equality opinion” produces secret police and slave labor camps.  Indeed, it’s the exact same process, because the idea of The ___ Conspiracy simply is “the equality opinion.”  One’s expressed intellectually, the other emotionally, but it’s the same thing.  Objective considerations of emergent historical phenomena compel us to conclude, comrades, that first we must kill all the Kulaks, and then we shall have Utopia.

The only social policy question, then, is: What to do with these people?  A certain level of material prosperity will produce them.  It’ nature’s way of keeping the balance — just as a predator or a pathogen always evolves to kill off an over-abundant grazer, so human over-abundance results in an intellectual pathogen to keep us from amusing ourselves to death.

That’s what college was for, back in the days — a containment room for intellectual pathogens.  When Harvard was just a four-year sleepaway camp for the sons of privilege, letting them sow their wild oats before joining the family firm on Wall Street, it didn’t matter that all Junior’s professors were moron Marxists.  That was probably still the case into the early 90s, when everyone understood what “middle class values” meant — deconstruction and the like are fun to play around with over a few bong hits, but they’re useless out in the ‘burbs, so it doesn’t matter that all the “English” classes at Big State only study Derrida and Zambezi war chants.

The professors got to think of themselves as “revolutionaries,” and we agreed to let them, with our fingers crossed behind our backs — yeah yeah, “revolution,” but only in the sense of spinning around and around and around, constantly chasing your head up your own ass, going nowhere.

But just as material abundance and intellectual rigor vary inversely, so prosperity and pathology vary directly.  Now everyone goes to college, and people really believe this shit.  For proof I give you the Kavanaugh hearings.  That’s a freshman “diversity” seminar, comrades, at any college in the land.  And now we’re on the brink of civil war, though everyone with the power to stop it is too flabby and coddled and stupid to realize it.

What’s to be done with these people, should we ever decide to give things like “indoor plumbing” and “living past 35” another go?  David Stove said we should shoot ’em all on sight.  I’m really hoping someone has a better idea….

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A Brief History of (Liberal) Time

President Trump’s good economic numbers, we’re told, are all due to Obama’s “legacy.”

When that Guardians of the Galaxy guy got fired, we were told that his Tweets didn’t matter, because they were old.

To us Normals, this would suggest that there’s a sort of statute-of-limitations in effect.  Obama policy X, for instance, took Y number of years to mature, such that its beneficial effects are being felt only now.  “Cash for Clunkers,” for instance, began in the summer of 2009.  Trump’s first quarter in office ended in the spring of 2017.  This suggests — again, to neurotypical people — that IF “Cash for Clunkers” is part of Obama’s economic “legacy” to Trump, THEN a “Cash for Clunkers”-type “incentive” plan takes eight years to start paying dividends.  And so on down the line, with all His Majesty’s policies — take the year it was implemented, subtract from 2016 (to give max credit to Obama), and that’s your interval: Liberal policies of X type take __ number of years to mature, so we should expect policy __ to kick in right around the year ___.*

It works backwards, too, as the James Gunn saga has taught us.  He said what he said on March 2, 2012 (or whenever); therefore, only stuff from 3/3/12 forward counts.  I may be an unrepentant reich-wing hatemonger, but you can only use stuff from the 2nd Obama administration on in to make your case against me.  Everything before that is sealed, like my juvenile court records.  At least, that’s how Normals would interpret it…

I’m sure you can find a dozen more examples with a five-second internet search.  The Left has a certain… nuance in their perception of time.  The best explanation I can find is The Z Man’s: while we perceive time linearly (diachronically) and dispassionately, they perceive it synchronically and emotionally.  They’re still going on about Jim Crow and the 1964 Civil Rights Act (and the hilarious Great Magic Party Switch it must’ve entailed), on this understanding, because it still resonates emotionally for them.  There are still a few drops of virtue juice to be squeezed from it, so they keep squeezing.  The sad states of Detroit and Chicago, on the other hand, mean nothing to them, because, well, that’s just history.

Add to this the fact that they never seem to learn, even when doing so would by their own “logic” benefit them immensely (see footnote), and you have to conclude that they don’t learn because they CAN’T learn.  It’s not that cognitive dissonance doesn’t apply to them, or that they’re shameless hypocrites (though, of course, it doesn’t and they are).  It’s that they’re wired differently.  Their brains are broken.

This suggests that the only tactic that will truly work against them is instant massive retaliation in kind.  The Gunn firing was a good start.  It doesn’t matter that Gunn said whatever he said however many years ago — someone on the Left disemployed someone on the Right today; therefore someone on the Left gets it today.  It does no good to put it to them as a general rule — IF one of yours does this, THEN we will do that — because, as we’ve seen, they don’t really grok the passing of time.

They’ll never say to themselves “maybe I shouldn’t do thus-and-such, because look what happened to So-and-So the last time.”  For Leftists, there is literally — literally, Millennials, literally! — no “last time.”  They only “remember” goodfeelz and badfeelz, so the only hope is Pavlovian conditioning — make the badfeelz overwhelming and instantaneous, and they’ll automatically cringe their finger away from the “post” button.

Nuke the site from orbit, every time, right away.  It’s the only way to be sure.



*The obvious, fascinating question this raises: If we know that Policy X takes Y number of years to mature — as we must, since every Liberal assures us that it’s all Obama’s doing — then why don’t they simply enact these wonderful policies to benefit themselves?  Why leave Trump the “legacy” of a great economy, instead of simply having a great economy yourself?  I guess Liberals are right — their greatest weakness is that they just care too much.  They’re so concerned about helping Donald Trump feel better about himself that they’ll take five or six straight “recovery summers” on the chin, just to leave him a “legacy.”
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Haidt’s “Righteous Mind”

I see this cited frequently in cultural/political stuff.  This Jonathan Haidt* guy wrote a book arguing that politics is an expression of our morality, and our morality has several dimensions:

  • Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm
  • Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating
  • Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal
  • Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion
  • Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation

Liberals, according to this, mainly concern themselves with the first two, while conservatives are equally attentive to all five.

Which is horse hockey.  Well, either that, or “liberal” and “conservative” don’t mean what “common usage” suggests they mean.  In fact, in modern political debate, Haidt’s argument is almost exactly bassackward.

Start from the top.  Care?  Liberals very ostentatiously don’t give a shit if their policies actually help or not.  How’s gay marriage going, for instance?  Anyone bother to follow up on that?  Did that loving gay couple ever get those hospital visitation rights that we were told, in story after heart-wrenching story, was the whole reason for gay marriage in the first place?  As I’ve pointed out before, you’d think the Left would at least be doing some victory laps at this point — “haha silly wingnutz, you said the sky would fall if the gays got married, and look!”  But…. nope.  Obergefell might as well have happened in the 17th century, for all the Left cares about it now.  Ditto the Great Society, the War on Poverty, Head Start, and all the other great Liberal crusades of the past 50 years.  They very obviously did the opposite of what they were supposed to, but if Liberals bother to think about them at all — which they only do if you hold their feet to the fire — they just mutter “needs more funding” and change the subject.

Liberals believe, with all their hearts and souls, that they care more deeply than other men.  But they don’t.  Ditto with “fairness.”  Affirmative action is fair?  How about slavery reparations, i.e. punishing people in the here-and-now for something unrelated people did a century and a half ago.  Pick your major that ends in “Studies;” being unfair to entire classes of people is pretty much the entire point.  Here again, Liberals believe, with all their hearts and souls, that they’re all about fairness, but their actions are exactly opposite.

Loyalty.  Haidt says Liberals don’t care much about this.  In reality, it’s pretty much the only thing they care about.  “Argue” with a Liberal on the internet for five minutes, and you’ll have spent five minutes watching your interlocutor trying desperately to outgroup you.  “Point-and-shriek” is the whole of Liberal political discourse; they have no other.  Conservatives care about loyalty, yes, but only to groups in which they have a personal stake.  The Left is always going to the mattresses on behalf of some group they’ve never seen, over “injustices” that exist only in their minds.

What about authority?  This has been a Leftist chestnut since Adorno, but like I always say, you can’t spell “Liberal” without P-R-O-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.  Here are the traits of the “authoritarian personality” on Adorno’s famous F-Scale.  (F stands for “Fascist”).  Any of these sound familiar?

  • Conventionalism: Adherence to conventional values.
  • Authoritarian Submission: Towards ingroup authority figures.
  • Authoritarian Aggression: Against people who violate conventional values.
  • Anti-Intraception: Opposition to subjectivity and imagination.
  • Superstition and Stereotypy: Belief in individual fate; thinking in rigid categories.
  • Power and Toughness: Concerned with submission and domination; assertion of strength.
  • Destructiveness and Cynicism: hostility against human nature.
  • Projectivity: Perception of the world as dangerous; tendency to project unconscious impulses.
  • Sex: Overly concerned with modern sexual practices.

Admittedly I’m so reactionary I make Joseph de Maistre look like a Wymyn’s Studies professor, but that list looks like “How to be an SJW in 9 Easy Steps” to me.

Saving the best for last: Purity.  Remind me: Who is it that’s always passing new rules on what you can eat, watch, hear, say, and think?  I’m pretty sure that, weirdo status whores like Rod Dreher aside, elaborate ritual purity rules are entirely a Leftist thing.  Show of hands: When was the last time you threw, attended, or even heard about a backyard barbecue where someone had to make sure to get soy dogs and gluten-free veggieburgers?  The Left is so all-in on Brahminical purity that they take positive pride in never having read things they disagree with.  They know with metaphysical certainty, for instance, that the “Sad Puppies” are bad writers… and they know this, according to their own words, because they’ve never read the writers in question.

See what I mean?  If I had to adapt Haidt’s theory to the real world, I’d say something like “Liberal morality is based on endlessly congratulating oneself for believing one only cares about care and fairness, using the other three to prop up this entirely unwarranted self-regard.  Conservative morality, on the other hand, pays attention to all five equally.”

Either that, or I’d say “Left” and “Right” are all but meaningless these days…. but that’s a rant for another time.



*How’s this for an unintentionally revealing statement?  Wiki on Haidt: “Haidt himself acknowledges that while he has been a liberal all his life, he is now more open to other points of view.”  Well, better late than never, right?  Though one wishes it took less than earning a PhD, teaching several generations of students, and writing a big book of psychological theory to get liberals to finally open up to other points of view.

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The Right to Flip Off the President

In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post by about “her right to flip off president” by one Juli Briskman who was photographed doing just that and got fired by some company called “Akima”, she concludes thusly (sounds deep, but it’s not):

“Let’s call this “autocratic capture.” Autocratic capture is not new to the world, but it is new to this country, and it is up to all of us to keep it from taking root. Our democracy depends on it. As James Madison warned in the early days of the United States, the “value and efficacy” of free elections “depends” on Americans’ “equal freedom” to examine the “merits and demerits of the candidates.”But if Americans can keep their jobs only when they refrain from criticizing the president, then that freedom is lost. And once the freedom to speak is lost, then the rest of our constitutional rights will not be far behind.”

Wrong, lady. You already have a right to flip off the president. The president isn’t retaliating against you. The government isn’t retaliating against you. And your employer has a right to hold you to certain standards of behavior to remain in its employ (I know this is a opinion that’s increasingly frowned upon, but that’s the way it ought to be.)

Now, you weren’t fired for “criticizing” the president. Flipping someone off isn’t criticism. “Criticiizing” involves pointing out where you differ in opinion with someone and providing an argument supporting your position over theirs.

Flipping someone off is just rude, especially in public. You weren’t “examining the merits and demerits of a candidate”.

An employer has the right to look at that behavior and say, “hmmm, if people know she’s one of my employees and she’s this rude in public and millions of people find out, that reflects poorly on my company. I don’t hire rude people. I hire well-adjusted adults. I don’t need this.”  Which is why the company had the policy you violated in the first place.

Your right to free speech does not protect you from the social consequences of that speech. It just means *the government* can’t do anything about it. That is the extent of your constitutional(ly protected) right.

Now that right is increasingly put in danger, but not from the direction you think it is. “Hate Speech” laws, which people are attempting to morph into “Compelled Speech” laws — that’s where the real danger is. And regardless of what you think of the rest of his politics, that is not coming from the President.

Since you brought up James Madison, yes, he would agree you can’t be fined or put in jail for flipping the president off. But he would not agree your employer couldn’t terminate you over it. In fact, I suspect he himself would have terminated you over it.  People didn’t tolerate public rudeness very well back then, and that was not a bad thing, IMHO.

Here’s a thought question… flipping someone off is a sign of disrespect. Perhaps the ultimate sign of disrespect. And I, at least, think everyone (including you) has the right to show disrespect for people they don’t like. That being said .. isn’t that “hate speech”?

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Freaks and Geeks

I’ve often said there’s a kernel of truth in every crazy idea the academic Left has crapped out.  Here’s one the feminists got right:  Modern technology imposes impossible beauty standards.

Now, I most certainly do NOT mean “swimsuit models make girls anorexic;” “porn turns men off normal women;” etc.  I mean that apps like Facebook, Tinder, OK Cupid, etc. have skewed everyone’s mating expectations, with bad results for everybody.

Skim Chateau Heartiste for the gory details, but the upshot is: Since women are mainly driven by ego-inflation, and since any halfway presentable girl can get scads of attention from doofy hornballs just by posting a cleavage shot, Plain Janes quickly convince themselves they’re hot stuff, and so only the Fifty Shades of Gray guy will do in real life.


Meanwhile, men have been indoctrinated since birth by their let-your-freak-flag-fly feminist teachers (BIRM at least 3x) to believe that the whole “M’lady” fedora-tipping act really works in the brave new social media world:

He white-knighted for you on the Internet, so please for to make with the sex.

She thumb’s-upped your thumb’s up of her cleavage shot, so you’re thiiiiiis close to true love!

Which brings me to this.  I can pretty much guarantee you that the “lesbian trapped in a man’s body” a) isn’t a lesbian; b) knows full well he’s really a dude; and c) would’ve found himself a girlfriend back in my old high school.  No, not because I attended some fantasyland campus, but because I matriculated back in the Jurassic, when the only people who had heard of the Internet were using it to argue about Star Trek and/or exchanging missile schematics with other Defense Department contractors.

While most of us were vaguely aware there’s a big wide world out there, it was entirely theoretical.  Ever seen one of those movies from back when, where the kids all swear that the minute they turn 18, they’re on the first bus out of this lousy one-horse town?  That was really a thing back then… and so was the way the movie ended (for all but the sensitive artistic protagonist): Everyone still stuck in the one-horse town, working shit jobs and making do.  We’re social creatures by nature; inertia is the strongest social force; “making do with the society you have” has been mankind’s default since we first figured out agriculture.

Admittedly my high school was larger than most one-horse towns, but no matter how much of a dork you were, you had at least one peer.  And since they knew the social value of bullying back then, the bonds between peer groups were quite strong.  Short of actual, Elephant Man-level disfigurement or florid psychosis, then, you could find a friend or two (even Jeffrey Dahmer had high school buddies, for pete’s sake).  Math being what it is, chances were good that at least one of those friends was of the opposite sex, and — teenage hormones being what they are — chances were high that one thing would eventually lead to another….

Nowadays, though? Fughettaboudit.  Your “lesbian trapped in a man’s body” has neither the incentive nor the opportunity to go out and make a friend in the real world.  Not to get all Baudrillard here (speaking of another Lefty with a kernel of truth in his metric tons of bullshit), but for folks like this, the Internet’s “virtual reality” is far more “real” than actual Reality.  When you can instantly get in touch with a worldwide community of folks who’ve arranged their entire lives around their socio-sexual hangups, why not embrace it?

Sure, you’ll be miserable in ways nobody stuck making do in their one-horse town will ever understand, but at least you’ll be permanently disfigured by surgery and hormone “therapy”….


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SNUL: There’s a Little Weinstein in All of Us

I commend two pieces to your attention: Agnostic on the outrage (or lack thereof) over Democrats’ victims, and Porter on Liberal passcodes.  Both are worth reading, as are both those sites in general, but they’ll get you fired if you’re caught reading them at work, so be careful.  They’re hateful.  So, so hateful.

Synthesizing the two, I conclude that there’s a little Harvey Weinstein in all of us.  I mean that in both the ethical and physical senses.

The reason there’s not more outrage over Weinstein isn’t that he’s a Leftist, and his fellow Leftists in the Media, Academia, and Politics (henceforth: The Cathedral) are all covering for him.  They are, of course — cf. Our Betters’ Betters, the Europeans, rallying around Weinstein, and have you noticed that everyone else who has gotten fired is a minor-league nobody, or someone already almost put out to pasture?  But that’s not the real reason there’s little outrage compared to the magnitude of the crimes alleged.

Rather, it’s that “everybody does it.”

There’s a reason vaudeville performers used to be considered just a very small step up from actual prostitutes.  The “casting couch” has been a joke since the Restoration; it used to be taken for granted that anyone who appeared in a movie, male or female, got their role via horizontal audition.  Even now, most folks’ reaction to the Weinstein revelations wasn’t outrage, but bewilderment — why did he feel he had to coerce anyone?

Leftism in general works like this.  If you want a ticket to the good life, as Porter notes, you need to let well-connected Liberals have their way with you.  Especially if you’re a non-STEM smart guy.  All the institutions where you can get the cushy life you want — media, academia, politics — are controlled by Liberals; you have to mouth their platitudes if you want in, and you’d better fake a mean orgasm, too.

Time was, you could let the mask slip a little bit once you were in.  Before the Borg took over completely (that is, before the mid-1990s or so), the Elite used to have a little bit of a sense of humor about it — professors, for instance, would joke that the nicest car in the faculty lot always belonged to the wildest-eyed Communist.  But now the Cult has entered its death spiral phase, and facts don’t compute — the Diversoids literally can’t see that their faculty lounges, editorial boards, and gated communities are as mayo-on-Wonderbread white as they can possibly make them.  Even if you’re a STEM smart guy, you’re required to at least keep your mouth shut.

Do you live a nice middle class life?  Do you have a college degree?  You’ve bent over for a Harvey Weinstein.  Maybe just the once, for the grade you just had to have to pass that one required class, but… you did it.  So did I.  Theodore Dalrymple sums it up:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

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Discussing some stuff with e-migos, I got to thinking about those deeply nuanced freethinkers: Our Betters, the Liberals.  Anyone who pays attention to what Liberals do, rather than what they say, knows that Liberals are the most binary critters in captivity.  They behave as if every question that could ever possibly be asked has The One Right Answer (TORA), and of course they — being Our Betters — know it.

This explains most, if not all, of their most annoying tics.  For instance, they instinctively politicize every-fucking-thing…. and yet, seem clueless as to how this “politics” stuff actually works.  E-migo Morgan cited their recent blather about how Congress “hasn’t done anything” about gun control after the Las Vegas tragedy.  He pointed out that yes, Congress has done something about gun control; lots of somethings, in fact.  It just didn’t turn out the way Our Betters wanted it to.  They proposed a bill, they couldn’t get the votes to pass it, it was defeated.

That’s what Congress does.  That’s the only thing Congress does.  “Voting on bills” is literally the only action that Congress, as a whole, can Constitutionally take.  To those of us who use Earth-logic, that’s what “politics” means — you make your best case, you call in all your favors, you make all the deals you can, and when it still doesn’t work, you accept the result and move on.  Hell, even Hillary Clinton pretended to subscribe to this definition back when she thought she was going to win. Of course, that didn’t work out the way Our Betters thought it would, either, and so she changed her tune…

See what I mean?  Our Betters don’t really “get” politics, because when every possible question has The One Right Answer, what’s the point?  Politics is the adjudication of competing preferences.  But with TORA there is, by definition, no competition, because there are no preferences.  How could there be, since it’s unpossible that someone might actually prefer the wrong answer?  It’s the Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism at the ballot box — if you were smart enough to understand what Lefty is trying to tell you, you’d have to agree with him, because he’s telling you The One Right Answer.

And If you’re too stupid to get that, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote anyway…. which is why Our Betters don’t really “get” democracy, either.  Oh, they’ll be happy to “explain” TORA to you until they’re blue in the face (“explaining” things to Dirt People gets them wet), but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter if one million people vote for TORA, or nine weirdos in black bathrobes do, or just one Lightworker does — it is, after all, The One Right Answer, and those who know TORA are duty-bound to implement it, though the heavens fall.


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The Psuedo-Intellectual Myopia of a Trump-Derangement-Syndrome Victim

Our friend and co-blogger Morgan threw out a Matt Walsh quote,

“Tolerance is not a virtue. Diversity is not a goal.”

This makes lefties’ heads explode.

Morgan went on to bring up Chesterton’s Fence, which he instructed us to read up on Ace’s blog.

Left leaning dude chimes in that Morgan must be using Chesterton’s fence to defend Trump’s fence.

Swing and a miss, strike one!  and boy we could feel the breeze from that one in the upper deck behind the third base line.

He said he was struggling with its relevance to … I guess the Matt Walsh quote.

This got me to thinking, and I posted a response that I am posting here … mainly because I think it’s a train of thought worth posting.  So here it is:

If you’re looking for something that has something to do with Trump’s fence, which does not exist, then I would suggest you take a few steps back and shake off your myopia. You are looking too closely.

It has much more to do with the Michael Walsh quote Morgan posted.

I will risk trying to spell something out to somebody who either can’t or won’t see it …

Chesterton’s fence has nothing to do with damned fence. This is a thought exercise where the fence is merely a placeholder. Chesterton’s fence is something that exists that someone who doesn’t know why it exists and doesn’t like it wants to get rid of.

If you don’t know why something that somebody built exists, you MIGHT want to ponder why that somebody or those sombodies built it in the first place in the course of assessing its value.

Of course, when a modern progressive sees a post that questions diversity as a sacred value, they immediately see racists — because that’s what they’ve been taught to see by their clergy.

In this case, the thing that exists is intolerance. Why is there intolerance? What purpose does it serve? If you haven’t thought about this, you have no business instructing us not to tolerate intolerance.   (Never mind that it’s fundamentally hypocritical – an that’s also a clue that might actually get you to start thinking about the purpose it serves).

Diversity is such a catch phrase. If you haven’t considered why every culture has a characteristic realm of relative homogeneity, you don’t understand culture. So you certainly don’t understand its value. And you don’t understand that the whole concept of a “multiculture” is an oxymoron.

Diversity of race is a symptom of a great culture. It is not a cause. Further, the left has conflated (ironically) race with culture, and insist that particular cultures are inherent in particular races, and to reject elements of such a culture is to reject the race. This is an extremely racist worldview. It is dangerous. It is destructive.

Which is why the left embraces it. Postmodernism is about deconstruction, which is a method of destruction. It seeks to destroy what has been built, for it does not see the utility of what has been built. It employs diversion and obfuscation to direct hate at order. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go!” You can get hundreds or thousands chanting that in a couple of minutes at ANY big leftist rally. They have been taught that mindless destruction is a virtue — and they don’t even realize that is at the core of their worldview.

This is key to fomenting revolution, which is ultimately what the bigwigs behind the left want.

They lemmings don’t learn. They ended up with Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Guevara, Moussilini, Castro, Pol Pot and the like.

Do not destroy what you do not understand. The minions do not understand what it is they are helping destroy. The leaders do … in the case of western civilization, they are destroying obstacles to absolute power for themselves.

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