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Monday, February 20, 2017

Today's Politics


As Winston Churchill, years ago (hat tip to Mike's America):


  1. It's occurred to me recently that the left will insist on a first amendment right to shut up your first amendment right.
    That Milo guy:
    He's gay, give him a voice.
    He's "conservative", shut him up.

    1. Milo is the perfect foil for the left's charade of supporting free speech. And they know it.

    2. CI,
      All of them don't know it.

      Recently, I pointed out to a liberal, MSNBC-devoted homeschool mom that Milo is gay. She was gobsmacked. Had no idea. She gets most of her "news" from "Morning Joe." This is an educated woman -- Ph.D. Sheesh.

    3. Now might be as good a time as any, AOW, to review Daniel J. Flynn's remarkable book INTELLECTUAL MORONS.

      The Poison Ivy League has produced thousands of them, and every one of them is totally blind and deaf to any flaws that may exist in his logic or character.

      ~ Durward Fieldstone III

    4. Seems the American Conservative Union doesn't want him at CPAC, something about a tape with him supporting pedophilia.

      But as long as this kabuki continues it provides excellent cover for the congress to steal the silverware.

    5. Looks like Milo got himself booted.

      Cheer up Milo, NAMBLA may be looking for speakers.
      15 minutes is up Milo.

    6. "The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions."

      ~ Socrates (470-399 B. C.)

      The Quacking Bastards on the Left want nothing more than to DROWN OUT all OPPOSITION with their tireless ASSERTION of LIES, DISTORTIONS, MISREPRESENTATIONS and BITTER DENUNCIATION of everything Mild, Gentile, Kind-Hearted, Virtuous, Patriotic, Reverent, Respectful, Noble, Excellent, Constructive and Benign.

    7. Flynn's book book is available at Amazon.

      From the blurb at Amazon:

      Why do well-educated antiwar activists call the president of the United States “the new Hitler” and argue that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11 attacks?

      Why does Al Gore believe that cars pose “a mortal threat to the security of every nation”?

      Why does the Princeton professor known as the father of the animal rights movement object to humans eating animals but not to humans having sex with them—and why does PETA defend that position?

      In other words, why do smart people fall for stupid ideas?

      The answer, Daniel J. Flynn reveals in Intellectual Morons, is ideology. Flynn, the author of Why the Left Hates America, shows how people can be so blinded to reality by the causes they serve that they espouse bizarre, sometimes ridiculous, and often dangerous positions. The most influential social movements have spawned ideologues who do not care whether an idea is good or bad, true or false, but only whether it can serve their cause.

      It is startling how many Americans—and particularly how many media, academic, and political elites—fall for bad ideas. The trouble is, their lies become institutionalized as truth, and we all suffer as a result.

      In Intellectual Morons, Flynn reveals:

      •How rabid anti-Americans simply parrot the delusional claims of a few gurus

      •How the environmental movement, spawned by a “scientist” whose doomsday predictions are almost always wrong, has bred fanaticism, stupidity, and dishonesty

      •How the hero of the animal rights crowd is a crank who promotes infanticide and euthanasia

      •How a scientific fraud—and pervert—launched the sexual revolution

      •How abortion rights activists ignore (or cover up) the fact that their matron saint advocated eugenics and concentration camps

      •How our universities have become hothouses of leftist ideology

      •How historians and journalists have airbrushed history to turn a racial separatist into a civil rights icon

      Filled with jaw-dropping lapses in common sense from even our most celebrated opinion leaders, Intellectual Morons is a welcome reality check for the glaring excesses of today’s political and cultural debates.

    8. the book earned this two-star review (along with another two five-star reviews, admittedly):

      I don't hold any brief for Marcuse or Kinsey or indeed any of the intellectuals derided in this really nasty book. I also believe that new paradigms can produce cult behaviour in followers. However it is curious that only those on the left appear to.be guilty of this failing, according to Mr Flynn. His method of criticism is to heat things up by first finding something reprehensible in the life of his victims and to demolish their reputation not by careful analysis but by using the aggressive techniques familiar from American far right interviewers. Racy his prose certainly is, but he also reveals his own ideological bias, a distrust and dislike of non-Americans, liberal ideas about sex, abortion,women and anything critical of the righteous goodness of the USA. No doubt he is right about the hypocrisy of some of his targets but that does not invalidate their arguments: it just shows that they're human. This is a subject that deserves a less rabid author

    9. Jez,
      I just reserved a copy at my local public library. I want to evaluate the book for myself.

    10. Brief excerpt from a very long blurb at the library's web site:

      It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you don’t use your mind. Ideologues forgo independent judgment in favor of having their views handed to them. To succumb to ideology is to put your brain on autopilot. Ideology preordains your reaction to issues, ideas, and people, your view of politics, philosophy, economics, and history. For the true believer, ideology is the Rosetta Stone of everything. It provides stock answers, conditions responses, and delivers one-size-fits-all explanations for complex political and cultural questions. Despite the conviction and seeming depth of knowledge with which ideologues speak, they are intellectual weaklings—joiners—who defer to systems of belief and charismatic gurus for their ideas. Why bother thinking when the guru provides all the answers? What’s the use of examining the facts when the system has already determined the real truth?

    11. Ideologues forgo independent judgment in favor of having their views handed to them. To succumb to ideology is to put your brain on autopilot. - Despite the conviction and seeming depth of knowledge with which ideologues speak, they are intellectual weaklings—joiners—who defer to systems of belief and charismatic gurus for their ideas.

      That's one of the more concise portrayals of the state of American political thought, that I've seen in quite some time.

      - CI

    12. You'll probably enjoy it; it's red meat AFAICT.

    13. Milo is the perfect foil for the right's charade of supporting free speech. And they know it.

      ps - Ideologues don't favor having their views "handed to them". They like the way the views they purport to adopt make them look to others (as "virtue signals"). They like the way that the views they purport to adopt appear to fulfill their own personal dreams of who they are, or who they can come to be. They are "wish fulfilling" wish-fulfillments.

    14. How is that different from just "trying to be good"? I take it you don't object to virtue itself.

    15. Jez,
      You'll probably enjoy it

      Oh, I dunno. Can't say until I take a look.

    16. @Thersites - was there some point in altering what I wrote? Second hand views can just as easily be adopted and used as cheap virtue signaling.

    17. The Truth is very painful when it doesn't letter your cherished notions. That is why mankind spends probably 90% of its time either running from the Truth or using every trick in the book to try to refute or deny it.

    18. was there some point in altering what I wrote?

      I thought that it missed the "Wish"/"desire" motive underlying the ideology's adoption. Its "why" we need to "change/censor our dreams" (why communism failed). Fantasy is what underlies the Lacanian Real, NOT "truth".

      Now, group dynamics sometimes involve suspending judgement and deferring moral judgement to a "leader" (ala Hitler) and behaving in a mob as if "hypnotized" (Freud), but that doesn't address "why" we allow the leader to hypnotize us to begin with.

    19. I don't object to virtue, I object to fulfilling fantasy's posing as virtues.

    20. What is the difference between a fantasy and a genuine virtue which you don't happen to share or respect (not that you're a coward, but for example a coward would be quicker to dismiss bravery as foolishness). Ah, is it "virtuous" behaviour/expression divorced from the "virtue" character trait that worries you? (But is not the character trained through frequent practice of the behaviour?)

    21. As Plato said about "virtue" in his "Laches" (on Courage):

      Soc. Then courage is not the science which is concerned with the fearful and hopeful, for they are future only; courage, like the other sciences, is concerned not only with good and evil of the future, but of the present and past, and of any time?

      Nic. That, as I suppose, is true.

      Soc. Then the answer which you have given, Nicias, includes only a third part of courage; but our question extended to the whole nature of courage: and according to your view, that is, according to your present view, courage is not only the knowledge of the hopeful and the fearful, but seems to include nearly every good and evil without reference to time. What do you say to that alteration in your statement?

      Nic. I agree, Socrates.

      Soc. But then, my dear friend, if a man knew all good and evil, and how. they are, and have been, and will be produced, would he not be perfect, and wanting in no virtue, whether justice, or temperance, or holiness? He would possess them all, and he would know which were dangers' and which were not, and guard against them whether they were supernatural or natural; and he would provide the good, as he would know how to deal both with gods or men.

      Nic. I think, Socrates, that there is a great deal of truth in what you say.

      Soc. But then, Nicias, courage, according to this new definition of yours, instead of being a part of virtue only, will be all virtue?

      Nic. It would seem so.

      And what is the "good" to be produced?

    22. from Plato's "Philebus"

      SOCRATES: And there is no difficulty in seeing the cause which renders any mixture either of the highest value or of none at all.

      PROTARCHUS: What do you mean?

      SOCRATES: Every man knows it.

      PROTARCHUS: What?

      SOCRATES: He knows that any want of measure and symmetry in any mixture whatever must always of necessity be fatal, both to the elements and to the mixture, which is then not a mixture, but only a confused medley which brings confusion on the possessor of it.

      PROTARCHUS: Most true.

      SOCRATES: And now the power of the good has retired into the region of the beautiful; for measure and symmetry are beauty and virtue all the world over.

      PROTARCHUS: True.

      SOCRATES: Also we said that truth was to form an element in the mixture.

      PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

      SOCRATES: Then, if we are not able to hunt the good with one idea only, with three we may catch our prey; Beauty, Symmetry, Truth are the three, and these taken together we may regard as the single cause of the mixture, and the mixture as being good by reason of the infusion of them.

      PROTARCHUS: Quite right.

    23. Beauty, Symmetry, Truth...a veritable "Pagan Trinity". ;)

    24. In the "Moral" chopping board and blender of "Progressivism", it doesn't matter. Everything is relative. The garbage and the food are interchangeable.

    25. Warren,
      As are the fecal matter and the food. Heh.

    26. Plato's "truth's" were Objective. Social "justice" (progressive "truth's") is subjective and expose the "limits" of objectivity. So isn't it high time to procede to the Hegelian "Absolute" truth, to acknowledge the "falsity" inherent in BOTH forms but also drop the fantasy elements associated with "subjectivity"?

    27. As an example: In his critical reading of Hegel, Badiou proposes his own materialist rendering of the quadruple structure of the dialectical process: "indifferent multiplicities, or ontological unbinding: worlds of appearing, or the logical link; truth-procedure, or subjective eternity," plus the Event itself, the additional "vanishing cause, which is the exact opposite of the Whole." As we have just seen, we can find this materialist version of the dialectical process already in Hegel- apropos the British colonization of India, first there is the "indifferent multiplicity" of pre-colonial India; then the British colonizers brutally intervene, imposing the transcendental structure of the colonial order, justified in terms of Western universalism; then the Indian resistance to colonization develops, pointing out how, in colonizing India, the West is betraying its own legacy of egalitarian emancipation. The anti-colonial struggle thus refers to the Idea of India as a secular democratic state, an Idea which originated in the West. The Indian version of this Idea, however, is not a "synthesis" of the Western secular-egalitarian spirit and the Indian tradition, but a full assertion of the egalitarian spirit by way of cutting the roots that ground it in the Western tradition and affirming its actual universality. In short, only when the Western Idea is "ex-apted" by India does it achieve actual universality: when Indians embrace the European democratic-egalitarian Idea, they become more European than the Europeans themselves.

      So in America, instead of giving minorities "social justice", we give them the "justice" (objective) that we previously refused to afford them so that they can become "Americans" vice hyphenated "African/Hispanic/Asian -Americans".

    28. this hasn't helped me much.

      Of course some people are insincere, but not all, and I can't imagine a world where everyone, even just the sincere ones, agree with you about what is or isn't virtuous.

      In this specific case, it seems like there's something about the right's pleasure in, and/or the left's dislike of, Milo's discourse that reveals each faction's insincerity regarding freedom of speech. Is that right? I don't see the contradiction in either case.

    29. Identity politics being completely subjective... the Left is averse to criticize Milo because he's gay (because he's a "victim" who deserves to be heard). The right is averse to support Milo because he's gay (a "vice" their religions abhor). Neither side want him to speak, but BOTH sides scream about a person's right to "free speech" and speaking "truth to power". Isn't "free speech" supposedly a "Western/ universal" right (virtuous)? Yet each side seeks to "punish" his practice of it. Both seem to believe that "free speech" should be reserved for those on "their" side.

      A Voltaire(?) once remarked, “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”

      Yes there can be consequences of engaging in free speech. But as Nietzsche once remarked, "Beware of those in whom the will to punish is strong."

    30. ps - Nobody hates an erastes/ eromenos relationship like I do. But why should Milo be permanently silenced for stating the reasons why they exist. The topic needs sunlight if we are to "judge" the "goodness/ badness" of non-cisgendered relationships.

    31. FJ,
      "Beware of those in whom the will to punish is strong."

      And a lot of people have a very strong will do punish "the other." Perhaps that's human nature?

    32. There are many legitimate reasons for "punishing the other". But speaking your mind, IMO, shouldn't be one of them. The "virtue" of speech is that we can still simply "choose" to ignore it.

      The executioner/ punisher forms the underlying basis for all "power". As Nietzsche also said, (WtP), "This world is the will to power—and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power—and nothing besides!”

      But the whole point behind having "money" is to purchase social distance for one's self FROM the "other's" arbitrary jouissance/power. There's a LOT to be said for having "F You money". But then, nobody is more jealous of power that the poor weak soul who doesn't have power (Shylock).

      Nietzsche's point, "those with the need to punish are the weaklings". The powerful man shows "mercy". And we all appreciate the qualities of mercy.

    33. I'm sure Voltaire criticized his contemporaries just as readily as I criticize people like Milo.

  2. Liberalism is dead in America. Killed by the left.

    1. Your Doctor of Democracy said

      I wish you'd stop calling it "Liberalism" when it is in fact TYRANNISM, and has been ever since the Progressives began to make inroads in their campaign to "reform" us by the circumvention, subversion and destruction of the Constitution.

      One of the depredations the Left has wrought has been to introduce a deliberate reversal and subsequent perversion of the true meaning of words in common parlance. Our body of knowledge and our thinking has been irrevocably CONTAMINATED by this despicable tactic.

    2. Doctor of Democracy,
      One of the depredations the Left has wrought has been to introduce a deliberate reversal and subsequent perversion of the true meaning of words in common parlance.


      David Horowitz has opined several times on that very topic.

    3. Your Doctor of Democracy said

      And so have I, dear lady. So have I! I may even have noticed and commented on it copiously before Horowitz published any of his findings on the net.

  3. Would anyone that says that Donald Trump is "not their president" be willing to give up their passport. Either shut up or stand up and be American.
    If you are American, then He is your president. We only have one president and someone, whether or not we like it or not, has to be that person. If you don’t like it then Shut the Hell up and go somewhere else where you’ll be happier!

    1. Plenty of folks on the right said the same thing (not my President) during the past eight years. I reckon they're still here with their passports though.......

    2. HEY,HEY the good thing is that Hillary isn't our President-REJOICE! Right, CI ?

    3. Sure...but why waste the breath with petulant whining about the very same you're own side is guilty of? What's the values added? Emotional gratification? That's the currency of the Left.

      - CI

    4. CI,
      why waste the breath...

      Catharsis, I think. Get the frustration out before it eats one up from the inside.

      I speak only for myself and can't say why others waste the breath.

    5. CI,
      Emotional gratification? That's the currency of the Left.

      I don't disagree.

      But that gratification has permeated our culture for decades are. Indeed, it has been exalted -- particularly in the public schools system. I lived through the change from "suck it up" to "whine it out." I watched it happen -- particularly in the core readers (when they used to be the norm)! Contrast what the readings were K through graduate level back before the 1960s with earlier decades.

  4. ______ Constipated Colloquy _____

    Our hope would be to take the roadblocks down
    No more to have to hide behind the walls
    Negativity built with a frown,
    Even though she smiles in gleaming halls

    Welcoming all with fawning falsity,
    Yet yearning all the while for something solid.
    Excitement dies in stuffy halls at tea,
    As hypocrisy makes discourse witless, stolid.

    Rarely may we speak without a filter.
    ‘Tis safer not, lest someone take offense.
    So, fearing to be thought bizarre –– off kilter ––
    Daft –– depraved –– or simply too intense ––

    A fear of ostracism serves P-C,
    Yielding a moribund society.

    ~ Il Penseroso

  5. The Enemy of Derisiveness said


    Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself:

    Intolerance of any point of view not one’s own.

    Bias, prejudice, fanaticism, chauvinism, provincialism, narrow-mindedness

    The practice of holding very strong, unreasoning opinions coupled with an unwillingness to consider the views of others

    Obstinate or blind attachment to a particular creed, or to certain tenets; unreasonable zeal or warmth in favor of a party, sect or opinion; excessive prejudice.

    Guess who displays ALL of these objectionable characteristics in a relentless series of obnoxious assaults on this and other blogs. However, like most raging fanatics of a certain kind this one seems blissfully unaware it has faults, and must, therefore, be regarded more as an object of pity than contempt.

  6. I don't care whether these anti-Trumpers say he's "not their president." He IS the President of the United States. They don't have to like it. What they can not do is act illegally to undermine his lawful government. Whether that's riot or leak classified information they have no right to do any of that. As Hilary Clinton said, it was a "horrifying" prospect that anyone would fail to accept the results of the election.

  7. Replies
    1. I agree as well with undeserved.

      Worth a read:

      - CI

    2. Deserved in general, probably... but I'm not prepared to research this chap deeply, as I find him immediately unpleasant, so who knows? Not I. But I do know that this wasn't his worst statement, I've heard Stephen Fry I think it was, make similar remarks. Louis CK has drawn attention to society's hysteria over this too. These are both personalities who remain at large, proving that it is possible to say the "unsayable", but such rhetoric is as difficult as any other similarly extreme sport. Milo is like an overconfident novice base jumper, lacking the athleticism, skill, and knowledge required to survive, should we be surprised that has landed with a crash?

      How great a loss is he? What was he adding to our discourse?

    3. The irony is that if the protesters just let Hoser Boy talk, he'd disappear into the background hate noise.

      Instead the protesters enter into a synergetic relationship with this clown.

    4. I see that Milo has resigned from Breitbart.

    5. And that Simon & Schuster has rescinded his book contract.

    6. Te deadliness of the vicious Tyrant PEEE CEEE strikes yet again.

    7. Milo owes his career to "PC". If it weren't for an audience hungry to hear unpleasantries and convinced that he wasn't allowed to say the things he went around openly saying, publishing and broadcasting (a paradox quite) he would have had no appeal whatsoever.

  8. So far so good AOW with the book getting past the "Sensitivity Readers." Borrow it while you can... I am sure the special snowflakes will find it causes them heartburn.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Frankly I'm surprised that the book is still available at the public library -- especially here in Northern Virginia, where special snowflakes abound.

  9. As always the Left answers Reason and the presentations of Facts they don't like with Insult, Accusation, and relentless attempts at Obfuscation with lies, distortions, half-truths, irrelevant questions designed to distract and derail the discussion, and omission (incomplete information designed to present a more flattering image of their agenda).

    Unfortunately, too many on the the Right are adopting the same disingenuous tactics in order to win little skirmishes. This serves only to befog and muddle our understanding of Truth.

  10. Don't be so hard on them...

    Against [empiricism], which halts at [observable] phenomena—‘There are only facts’—I would say, no, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations. We cannot establish any fact ‘in itself’: perhaps it is folly to want to do such a thing.

    ‘Everything is subjective [for example, a figment of your reasoning mind],’ you say; but even this is interpretation. The ‘subject’ is not something given, it is something added and invented … [Is] it necessary to posit an interpreter behind the interpretation? …

    In so far as the word ‘knowledge’ has any meaning, the world is … interpretable, otherwise it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings—‘Perspectivism’.

    It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives … Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm.

    [D]eception, flattering, lying and cheating, talking behind the back, posing, living in borrowed splendor, being masked, the disguise of convention, acting a role before others and before oneself—in short, the constant fluttering around the single flame of vanity is so much the rule and the law that almost nothing is more incomprehensible than how an honest and pure urge for truth could have arisen among men. They are deeply immersed in illusions and dream images; their eye only glides only over the surface of things … their feeling nowhere leads into truth, but contents itself with the reception of stimuli, playing, as it were, a game of blind man’s bluff …

    The true world is unattainable, it cannot be proved, it cannot promise anything.

    You are aware of my demand upon philosophers, that they should take up a stand Beyond Good and Evil … This demand is the result of a point of view which I was the first to formulate: that there are no such things as moral facts. Moral judgment has this in common with the religious one, that it believes in realities which are not real. Morality is only an interpretation of certain phenomena: or, more strictly speaking, a misinterpretation of them. … [M]oral judgment must never be taken quite literally: as such is sheer nonsense. As a sign code, however, it is invaluable: to him at least who knows, it reveals the most valuable facts concerning cultures …
    - Nietzsche, "Will to Power" ;)


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