Well, it seems as if Hillary Clinton has won some campaign support from the most unlikely of places: Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, where the forces of Sauron, long oppressed by the so-called “free” peoples, have made common cause with the Witch-Queen of New York. Sauron could not be reached for comment, but his emissary, the Mouth of Sauron had this to say:
Long have we suffered under the yoke of the white-skinned Elves. Indeed, they have oppressed Orcs of Color (OoC) for all of the ages of Arda. Orcs, Goblins, and Men of the East have been enslaved and oppressed for generations, having their wealth stolen from them by the Elves and their treacherous Numenorian allies in Gondor. Did you know that the men of Gondor once had a land of their own? Numenor it was called, but they were not content with it and so the Imperialists colonized and oppressed Orcs of Color. Orc Lives Matter! Enough of this bigotry and hate that the white Elves and white Numenorians spread!
Then, through poor environmental management, why, the Numenorians sunk their own island! And now they come to Middle-Earth and pollute the environment from their capital of Minas Tirith. Mount Doom continues to spew toxic waste into the air because Aragorn refuses to give Sauron back the One Ring, which was forged to provide a stream of carbon credits to offset the pollution of the mountain. So the dark days are the fault of Gondor. We want to fight against bigotry, oppression, and Climate Change. And for that, we need the One Ring.
Only one candidate for the Supreme Leader of Man offers to mend this grave injustice, these centuries of enslavement and oppression of orc kind. Sauron the Great bids thee to vote for Hillary Clinton!
And so many enlightened souls from Middle-Earth have made their statements heard:
Smeagol speaks up for Hillary: “Mean, nasty, tricksy Republicans. False! Hillary is Precioussssss.”
Smeagol is a fine, upstanding citizen of Middle-Earth whom the bigoted hobbits have stolen from. Why, Bilbo freely admits stealing Smeagol’s most prize possession! “They stole it, tricksy ShitLords,” Smeagol said. “Gollum, gollum, gollum, but we know voting for Hillary will hurts them, those bigotses. Oh yes, it will hurts them. Then maybe we will be master of the precious again.”
“Hillary understands that we dragons are creatures of peace, love, and understanding,” says Smaug.
Republicans have long associated dragons with violence, murder, and pyromania. Yet only a fraction of dragons have ever committed acts of terror. Dragons worship peace, love, and understanding. Smaug himself unequivocally condemns the acts of violent terror committed by a very small fraction of dragon-kind. “There is no truth to the rumors that I have billions of gold coins,” Smaug said in a statement last week. “These are lies meant to tarnish the impoverished, selfless reputation of dragons. It is pure Dwarven bigotry. We have ever been a peaceful folk.”
Denethor, Steward of Gondor, favors Hillary: “Like me, Hillary understands the needs of the common man.”
Poor Denethor has been terribly maligned by the upstart, so-called King of Gondor, Aragorn. Hillary understands that Gondor needs a caring, kind-hearted Steward with real political and leadership experience, not some warmongering populist ranger from the north.
“The Elves have long discriminated against my kind,” says the Wraith, “Hillary will fight for my rights.”
RingWraiths have been unfairly painted by racist, bigoted Republicans as committing more crimes than the average resident of Middle-Earth. While technically true, it unfairly omits the oppressive activities of the Elvish Patriarchy, which has continually impoverished them and kicked them out of their homes. Why, RingWraiths are driven to crime by poverty and extreme circumstance, not because they are innately violent.
Cave Trolls for Hillary: “Hillary good. Humans tasty [something unintelligible].
They are painted as dumb brutes by ableist Right-wing ShitLords because of their cognitive disabilities. But this is only because the bigots can’t see past the low math scores to the loving, kind-hearted souls within.
“I gave gifts to the peoples of the Earth, and they stole from me. Hillary will correct this injustice.”
He forged a great ring, designed to fight bigotry, hate, and Sauronophobia. And what did the racist white Elves do? They stole it!
The Goblin King Speaks: “Fat liberation and body positivity are central planks of Hillary’s campaign.”
“Just because I have an eating disorder,” the Goblin King further explains, “doesn’t mean I’m any less beautiful. Why, those stick figure Elven women need to eat more! Nobody wants skinny Elvish women when they can have fat goblin men with skin disorders! Big and covered with pimples is beautiful!”
“As a feminist, sometimes violence is necessary to oppose the Patriarchy,” Shelob explains, “That’s why .”
“Sexism is privilege + discrimination. So female spiders cannot be sexist against men,” Shelob explained in an interview with Salon magazine. “And murder similarly is privilege + killing. And it’s totes justifiable, my Gender Studies professor told me. Spiders have no privilege, so when I kill a sexist Hobbit and drink his blood, it is just speaking truth to power, baby.”
Residents of the Dead Marshes agree: “Hillary ensures that even the votes of the dead are counted.”
“In the Dead Marshes, we have been forgotten and disenfranchised by Republican bigots, who care nothing for the life-disadvantaged,” one resident of the Dead Marshes explained. “Yeah, we even light candles to light their path, and the wingnuts don’t even come down to say hello. It’s like they think they are too good to hang out with dead people,” another answered.
“Just ’cause we eat different than you,” the troll explained, “doesn’t mean you get to make fun of us!”
Our reporters tried to get in contact with the Trolls again, but it turns out that Bilbo Baggins had turned them all into stone! Such closed-minded bigotry! These poor, gentle creatures will never strip the flesh of racist, sexist homophobes to the bone again. A candlelight vigil will be held next Thursday in memory of these loving souls and fighters of the White Supremacist Patriarchy.
Balrogs for Hillary: “I don’t understand why the Republicans don’t let us pass. So racist!”
“I thought that segregation ended decades ago,” the Balrog told Huffington Post journalists. “But every time I try to cross the bridge to get some fresh air, that damned wizard denies me passage. He tells me to use the other crossing, you know the ones white folks don’t use. Why, I can’t even call for a cab in Moria anymore. Taxi drivers are always rolling down their windows, mimicking the wizard, and saying ‘you shall not pass!’ Then they go drive off to pick up Elvish women. It really hurts me inside, you know?”
Uruk Hai for Hillary: “We’ve long suffered bigotry in Rohan. All we want is some flesh redistribution.”
“It’s not right,” the Uruk Hai said, declining to be identified. “We’re always so hungry, and the Rohirrim won’t share their flesh with us. How come they get all the flesh? It’s just the 1% again, taking all the wealth. We’re just trying to raise our children, beautiful Orcs of Color, and these citizens of Rohan go on about, warmongering, and starving us. We want better wages! We want to be paid in flesh! So we’re going to Helm’s Deep to strike and demand our rightful due.” The Uruk Hai claimed to be a member of the Isengard Worker’s Union, Local 666.
“The ableism of Men and Elves is sickening,” Gothmog says, “Hillary will fight for victims of lookism.”
“All bodies are beautiful,” said Gothmog, captain of the Peace Brigade of Mordor, demonstrating peacefully outside Gondor. “You know, every time I approach the white city, filled with racists, they say ‘look there, he’s a hideous orc.’ Those words hurt me inside, they make me feel excluded. And lookist exclusion has no place in a civilized, inclusive, open-minded society.”
Saruman switches sides: “At first I opposed Hillary. But now I see the way forward is to join with her.”
Saruman the White explains his change of heart for the benefit of The Guardian’s readers: “…yes, I was once a white racist. A homophobe and sexist, too. Maybe even a pedo EdgeLord like Sarah Butts. But the day came when it hurt too much, when the love in my heart expunged this hateful bigotry. I know I can never make amends for all the hurt I have done to Orcs of Color, loving Goblin families in their terrible poverty, and beautiful feminist death-spiders. But I will try. I know in my heart that Hillary can help other evil racists find truth and open-minded inclusiveness, if only they embrace the love and peace of Mordor.”
“People need a President they can trust,” Grima Wormtongue explained, “Hillary is that woman. Trust me.”
It is rumored that Grima Wormtongue will be accepting a cabinet post from the Hillary campaign. When questioned about his forced resignation from King Theoden’s company, Grima had this to say: “I tried to counsel the king to choose the way of peace and inclusiveness, but his racism against Orc-kind could not be extinguished. But now we have a new leader, a wiser, more trustworthy leader. Someday they will say of Hillary that a more honest woman never breathed air.”
“The Hobbits refused to share the flesh with us,” says the Orc, “we’re starving, and they are so fat.”
“Everybody knows that, under a Republican Congress, the food stamps have grown thin,” the orc told us. He refused to be identified for fear of reprisal from Gondor. “We asked the Hobbits for a small sacrifice, just a bit of wealth redistribution from their legs. They didn’t need legs, because we carried them, we served them. But they refused! And they even poisoned some of the Uruk Hai against us, making the poor Uruk Hai self-loathing. Hillary will help us, and the rich 1%, lording in their splendid Shire, shall finally be made to pay their fair share of flesh.”
“You fools,” the Witch-King of Angmar told Fox reporters, “no man can earn my vote.”
The Witch-King’s speech impediment sabotaged the rest of the interview — WE INTERRUPT THIS CAPTION TO NOTE THAT THE ABLEIST REPUBLICAN WHO WROTE THAT HAS BEEN SACKED — the beautiful music coming from the Witch-King of Angmar soothed our souls, even though it sounded like a bag of cats being banged together repeatedly — SORRY THE RACIST WHO REPLACED THE MAN WHO WAS SACKED WISHES YOU TO KNOW THAT HE HAS BEEN SACKED — The beautiful wraith of color had no further comment.
And so The Mouth of Sauron endorses Hillary Clinton: “It’s time we selected a President with real values.”
“And as an aside,” the Mouth of Sauron told us, “STDs are a badge of honor. I’m tired of people pointing and laughing at my Herpes infection. It’s not my fault that the Orc woman I went down on last year was poisoned by rangers from the north. You know, those rangers invented Herpes to kill Orc-folk. And meth, too. They made meth. That’s why my teeth are so screwed up. I hate the rangers, I really do.”
And so our interviewers have determined that the realm of Mordor, a bastion of animal rights, climate change activism, hope, change and inclusiveness will most likely favor Hillary Clinton. It is said that through pure voluntary community organization and grassroots efforts (no coercion of any kind), early predictions indicate a 100% favorability rating for the Witch-Queen of New York in Mordor, Mirkwood, and other areas where Sauron is seen not as a Dark Lord, but as a liberator for the oppressed peoples of Middle-Earth.
His eye couldn’t be reached for comment. Because it was a fucking eyeball suspended in space at the top of a gigantic penis-shaped tower of death. Sauron assures us that the shape is purely coincidental, of course. “Sauron is a good feminist,” the Mouth of Sauron explained, “if his tower looks like a penis and his eye is positioned at the top of it, well that is just because the sexists of Gondor have forced him to do it through peer pressure. Nobody pays attention to you in this society if you don’t have a giant phallic tower of doom. Even Saruman, back when he was racist scum, knew THAT.”
Historically, I’ve described myself variously as a Conservative, a Libertarian, a Right-winger, and a number of other such titles. However, these are merely intellectual shortcuts, so that someone who does not know me can make some basic judgments about my viewpoints. Truth be told, each issue is considered independent of the ideological spectrum. It is merely that elements of Conservatism and Libertarianism line up more properly with observable reality and human nature than that of Leftism (especially the Marxist variety).
However, not all elements do. Let’s take a look:
Libertarianism, especially according to the Libertarian Party website, posits that strict border enforcement and restricting trade with other countries is anti-Libertarian. This is a Libertarian Reality Hole. If a country is your enemy, you should not trade with him. For one, it is likely that he will cheat you rather than deal fairly and honorably with you. But even supposing he does not cheat you, the trade may benefit him in opposing you. A classic example would be selling arms to your enemy. It’s generally not a good idea. Same with border controls. Libertarianism is highly opposed to Marxism. In some ways, it may be seen as explicitly a form of Anti-Marxism, wherein everything is in direct opposition to it.
So if you open your borders to Marxists, you destroy Libertarianism. You categorically cannot do this if you expect your Libertarianism to survive.
Thus Free Trade and Open Borders is a contradiction within Libertarianism. It is an unacknowledged Reality Hole.
Consider Conservatism, also. As Donald Trump surges in the polls, many Conservatives tell us that he is not a true Conservative. And in this, they are most likely correct. So why is Trump winning the hearts and minds of so many? It is because of a Reality Hole in Conservative thought. Conservatives, you see, are very respectful of the law. This is why it is rare to see a Conservative mass shooter, or a Conservative prison inmate. Being Conservative is having respect for rule of law, for tradition, and other such things.
One such tradition is to do battle with honor. In war, they will obey the dictates of the Geneva Convention. In political battles, they will use dialectic instead of rhetoric, and they will treat their enemies with fairness and respect. Mostly, they do not cheat. But if exposed as a cheat, the other Conservatives will shame them. This is as opposed to their Democrat enemies, who will use any tactic, honorable or not, fair or not, to obtain their political goals. And they cynically use the notions of honor and fairness against Conservatives at every opportunity.
This is a Conservative Reality Hole. For if your enemies ignore the rules of war, why should you consider yourself beholden to them still? Indeed, the violation should be punished, so as to convince the enemy to return to observance of them. Conservatives are wont to say things like “we’re better than that.” No, the enemy is using your principles against you, and you should not allow them to do that.
Trump refused to play by these rules, and surged as a result. He broke the back of the media in the process, for they did not know what do about a man who casually ignored their charges of racism-sexism-homophobia. The usual tactics used against Conservatives bounced off.
Now, I have said before, that I would have preferred a better and more moral man than Trump for the GOP nomination. But the fact remains that until the rest of the Conservatives fix this Reality Hole, and stop playing nice with the Left, only unprincipled men like Trump will be able to shatter the Leftist control of media and culture, because only Trump says “why should I play fair if they do not?” Imagine if, say, Ted Cruz had done likewise.
That being said, most of the rest of Conservative and Libertarian ideology better aligns with reality. Most of the Reality Holes on the Right are tactical holes, not strategic ones. On the Left, Reality Holes are gaping maws of contradiction. Socialism will work, they say, if only we try it one more time, and, interestingly enough with globalism, with the entire planet. If at first your experiment fails, keep trying with bigger experiments, they say. The premise cannot be false, they believe.
No, Leftists, this is a bad idea. For you have conducted the Socialist experiment across many countries, peoples, cultures, and nation-states. And each time it has failed, delivering to the Reaper an enormous heap of bodies. The Marxist harvest is bitter and soaked in blood. Perhaps this is why they favor red as their color.
Leftism has also created such contradictions as “Islam is a Religion of Peace” combined with demands to cater to Islamic sensibilities so that they will not be spurred onward to terrorist activity. Drawing cartoons of the prophet, you see, enrages them. But how can they be enraged to kill by such things if they are peaceful?
The only thing in which Leftism acknowledges reality is in the tactical. Their strategic vision is utter nonsense. It is a utopia that defies every natural law known to man (this, from the ideologues that claim to be paragons of scientific virtue). But in their tactics they are relentless realists. They will bar the admittance of their enemies, and open the door for allies. They will seek to disemploy those who oppose them, to shame those who waver from lockstep. They will lie, and cheat, and accept support from the worst sort of people on Earth, so long as those people hate their enemies. They will use the ideals and principles of their enemies against them.
The Alinsky playbook is ever their holy tome. And behind closed doors they laugh at our tactical ineptitude.
Conservatives and Libertarians must close their own Reality Holes, before the worthlessness of Marxism can be exposed to the rest of the world. They must force their enemies to either play by the same rules, or they must stop playing by those rules themselves. This is the only way a better man than Trump can be elected to high office, and it is the only way elitist control over the government and the people will be broken.
Dystopic: KodeTen is back, folks. And his piece below is very important – the Second Amendment is the cornerstone of this country.
It’s not often I weigh in on the gun debate. Trying to engage in thoughtful conversation with someone vomiting “common sense gun control” is an exercise in… well;
But after California, and now a strike too close to home for Dystopic in Orlando, I’ve been able to put my entire gun control argument into four simple words:
“I will die trying.”
There’s a mentality we developed in Afghanistan, fighting the Al Quaeda and the Taliban. You see, we watched the news, we combed through YouTube, and LiveLeak, we watched al-Jazeera. We had our Intelligence officers brief us on what was going on. We planned for the worst.
We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if we ever found ourselves overran, cut off, and alone, we had two options. Allow ourselves to be captured, where we’d be put in front of a camera and butchered, or die trying.
We made up our minds, each of us individually, that if we were met with that situation, we would do everything in our power to take out as many of those bastards as possible. We would force them to kill us in battle, because if we didn’t, the alternative was torture and our families potentially subjected to the horror of watching our murder broadcast around the world.
And so, we come to the simple conclusion of my gun control argument.
I will never stop battling against it. No worthless semantics like an “assault weapons” ban. No “hi-cap” magazine restrictions, absolutely no ban on concealed carry. Nothing. The laws we have in place are effective enough. I have a gun. If that makes you uncomfortable, fuck off!
Maybe I will be killed. Maybe, God forbid that moment comes and I’m face to face with a psychopath, maybe he’ll get the upper hand and slay me.
Maybe that will happen. I have to be realistic, I have a gun, not invincibility, but if that should happen, I will not die in a ball on the floor, begging for my life.
I will die trying.
Weep for those we lost in San Bernadino, in Orlando, in Paris. Weep for the children we lost in Sandy Hook. But do not presume to use their deaths as leverage to deny me the ability to try and put a stop to violence like this if I am ever met with it. You cannot legislate crazy, and I will not allow you to legislate my ability to level the playing field against crazy.
Because in the end, it’s not about having a military grade weapon as a civilian. It’s about having the chance to stand up and raise my weapons against evil, and actually have a fighting chance.
We have more important things to be focusing on than laws that ban ownership of inanimate objects, if only we threw so much effort at tackling the out-of-control medical costs in this country, maybe we’d start getting to the root of this problem, rather than slapping a band-aid over it.
You want to die curled up in a corner and begging for the police to show up, that’s fine, but do not presume to tell me I have to do the same. I’d rather stand up and die trying.
I had to think long and hard about tackling this particular subject, because Tom Nichols is a smart man and I often agree with what he has to say. Even in this, there are some points of agreement. I’ve long noted the dumbing down of America, most poignantly demonstrated in the under-appreciated film Idiocracy. When Tom speaks of the death of expertise, he is commenting on a phenomenon that is real, pervasive, and at least partially responsible for the mess America finds herself in. After all, if the average voter is a complete moron, should we be surprised when he votes for morons to represent him?
Yet, Tom and I got into a bit of a flame war on Twitter surrounding this issue. It started when the 911 transcripts for the Orlando shooting were released with the now-famous [omitted] redactions plastered throughout. Now, as my readers are aware, I have a very personal interest in the Orlando shooting. So I found this transcript rather insulting. Even the idiots Tom is wont to rant about are likely able to make the connections the redactions were supposed to suppress. The government wasn’t fooling anybody, but they did demonstrate just how little they think of the American people.
Even the redneck from Podunk is likely to understand that much. I suggested that they ought to release the 911 transcript without such redactions, and release any other such materials that were not classified. Daylight, I said, was the best disinfectant for terrorism. Tom vehemently disagreed with me, and framed the resulting argument as a sort of anti-intellectualism. The flame war continued for awhile, and some choice words were exchanged. I won’t get into it here, but you can view it on my Twitter account, from a couple of days ago, if you wish.
One of the things that struck me as odd, however, was that Tom explicitly trusted the intelligence community to handle this matter. He stated as much, likening my suspicion of them to desiring a random layman to pilot an airplane. Yet therein lies the problem with Tom’s argument. I trust the pilot not merely because he has credentials, but because the safety record for commercial airline travel is impeccable. You are far more likely to die driving a car, than in an airline crash.
So unless the pilot is shouting “Allahu Akbar” I have little reason to doubt him. On matters of intelligence analysis, however, we have more reason to doubt. In this specific instance, the Orlando shooting, the FBI had been watching him for some time. He had been on and off of terror watchlists. A gun store reported him as suspicious, also. The analysts categorically failed with him.
Furthermore, the Obama administration often characterizes right-wing terrorism as the grave threat which America faces. Is this a failure of intelligence, or just a failure on the part of the chief executive? I don’t know, but it’s worth investigating. Other intelligence failures abound. Everything from Benghazi, to 9/11, to the Iraq war indicate failures in intelligence.
And, apart from those failures, it’s worth noting that even if you accept the expertise of the government in these matters, that doesn’t mean you trust their motives. The airline pilot and his passengers have no conflict of interest, generally speaking. All involved desire that the plane land safely at its destination (the rare suicidal pilot being the noted exception). So, with the documented safety record of commercial airline travel being good, his credentials and expertise, and with the alignment of our interests, I am pleased to trust the pilot.
That does not mean I should trust the government experts. Their interests do not necessarily align with mine. The government has a record filled with intelligence failures. The administration is on record saying the most blatantly untrue things, be it either out of ignorance or malice (or both). So, while I am not an intelligence expert, I do have good reason not to trust them. If you hire an electrician to fix your breaker box, and after he leaves the breakers keep tripping, you know that he failed, even if you don’t necessarily know what, specifically, he did wrong.
Tom explains his view for us:
I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.
This is a very bad thing. Yes, it’s true that experts can make mistakes, as disasters from thalidomide to the Challenger explosion tragically remind us. But mostly, experts have a pretty good batting average compared to laymen: doctors, whatever their errors, seem to do better with most illnesses than faith healers or your Aunt Ginny and her special chicken gut poultice. To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.
To some extent, I agree with his first statement, that there are all too many people who will think themselves knowledgeable on a thing merely because they looked it up on Wikipedia. I tire of them. I have spent much of my adult life studying Byzantine history, and I once found myself in a debate regarding the Pirenne Thesis, a theory put forth by Henri Pirenne in the 1930s regarding the then-innovative idea that it wasn’t the Germans who were responsible for the Fall of Rome, but rather the Arabs. Several of us educated on matters of Byzantine history were discussing the finer points of the thesis when a Wiki-idiot decided to butt in and explain that Wikipedia said the Roman Empire fell in 476, and Arabs didn’t come until later, so we were all wrong.
To say I wanted to throttle this person until his head popped was an understatement. It didn’t help that his proclamation was followed by the sort of Jon Stewart smugness such people are naturally inclined to. So in this, I understand and agree with Tom completely.
It is the second paragraph where Tom starts to go awry. He declares: “…and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.”
Here’s the thing, they do have a right to their opinion. If someone wants to ignore the advice of his doctor, and go get acupuncture treatment instead, that’s his right. Indeed, perhaps a little natural selection might improve the gene pool. Even the smug Wiki-idiot who interrupted our discussion on Byzantine history had a right to his opinion.
In politics, too, the problem has reached ridiculous proportions. People in political debates no longer distinguish the phrase “you’re wrong” from the phrase “you’re stupid.” To disagree is to insult. To correct another is to be a hater. And to refuse to acknowledge alternative views, no matter how fantastic or inane, is to be closed-minded.
In this, I must tell Tom that we have reached a pot, kettle, black situation. When I confronted him on his assertion about the 911 call, his approach was to frame me as being stupid for disagreeing with him. He did the very thing which he accuses others of doing. That’s okay, I still respect him. God knows I’ve gotten angry and called people morons when they didn’t deserve it, also.
Critics might dismiss all this by saying that everyone has a right to participate in the public sphere. That’s true. But every discussion must take place within limits and above a certain baseline of competence. And competence is sorely lacking in the public arena. People with strong views on going to war in other countries can barely find their own nation on a map; people who want to punish Congress for this or that law can’t name their own member of the House.
Here is where I start to peel off from what Tom is saying. He suggests that discussions must take place within certain limits. Who decides these limits? Who decides who the experts are in the first place? The Climate Change debate is a famous example where criticism is automatically shut down, because disagreement with the premise is taken to be stupidity. The sort of intellectual protectionism which Tom is suggesting here can be very easily perverted into intellectual elitism wherein alternative views are automatically dismissed because they did not originate from the properly orthodox.
There’s also that immutable problem known as “human nature.” It has a name now: it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says, in sum, that the dumber you are, the more confident you are that you’re not actually dumb. And when you get invested in being aggressively dumb…well, the last thing you want to encounter are experts who disagree with you, and so you dismiss them in order to maintain your unreasonably high opinion of yourself. (There’s a lot of that loose on social media, especially.)
This Dunning-Kruger effect is touted widely by SJWs who, ironically, think they are smarter than they actually are. They use this notion to shut down debate. If you prove them wrong, it’s not really because they were wrong. It’s because you’re not smart enough to understand the nuance of their position. Then the Jon Stewart smugness makes its appearance, and the Wiki-idiot relishes in his imagined superiority.
No, I’m not accusing Tom of being an SJW. But he’s walking on a knife edge here. Once, in the Western world, a dreadful insult was considered worthy of a challenge to fight, often to the death. The gauntlets would be thrown, and if the challenge was not accepted, then one was considered a coward. But it was permissible for a man of high stature to ignore a man of sufficiently low stature. A great lord need not accept a challenge from a stable boy. Yet this exemption had to be used very carefully, so as to avoid the appearance of cowardice. It was better to default to accepting the challenge, unless the difference in station was demonstrably great.
So, too, must the notion of Dunning-Kruger be used carefully, and in circumstances where the other person is clearly of far lower intelligence. Do not bring it out immediately, or use it defensively.
None of this ignorance stops people from arguing as though they are research scientists. Tackle a complex policy issue with a layman today, and you will get snippy and sophistic demands to show ever increasing amounts of “proof” or “evidence” for your case, even though the ordinary interlocutor in such debates isn’t really equipped to decide what constitutes “evidence” or to know it when it’s presented. The use of evidence is a specialized form of knowledge that takes a long time to learn, which is why articles and books are subjected to “peer review” and not to “everyone review,” but don’t tell that to someone hectoring you about the how things really work in Moscow or Beijing or Washington.
Peer review is a great theory. But in practice, there are problems with it. Like all human institutions, orthodoxy can creep in, wherein questioning the accepted narrative is considered heresy. Your peers may suppress you, even if you are completely correct. In other examples, the peers may become lazy, and accept things that are clearly false merely because they haven’t bothered to thoroughly review your work.
Now, again, I’m not saying peer review is all bad, either. Rather, I suspect Tom puts too much trust in these things. One thing that any scientifically-minded person should practice is a healthy dose of skepticism. Experts can be wrong, also. Here is a professor of Byzantine Studies who wrote an error-prone book laced with falsehoods and carelessness (her arguments torn to shreds by Dr. Kelley Ross):
Herrin returns the neglect, if not the contempt, with a certain shocking carelessness for Roman history of Late Antiquity (despite her being a professor of “Late Antique” as well as Byzantine Studies). Thus, she says:
“…and the last Roman Emperor in the West was deposed in 476, leaving a half-Vandal, half-Roman general, Stilicho, in control of Italy.” [p.13]
Unfortunately, Stilicho had been assassinated in 408. Herrin is thinking of Odoacer. Similarly, she says of the original Constantine, who was proclaimed Emperor by his father’s troops in 306, that “he was not recognized by Licinius, the senior emperor in the East” [p.4]. Again, unfortunately, Licinius was not made an Emperor until 308, and he was at that point junior to Galerius (d.311) and Maximinus II Daia (d.313).
Judith Herrin was acknowledged as a credentialed expert, subject to peer review from other historians. She was also very wrong, and you categorically did not need to be an expert to understand that.
Tom recovers himself a bit in the end, though:
But when citizens forgo their basic obligation to learn enough to actually govern themselves, and instead remain stubbornly imprisoned by their fragile egos and caged by their own sense of entitlement, experts will end up running things by default. That’s a terrible outcome for everyone.
At last we get to a point I can strongly agree with. The experts running things is a bad scenario, not a good one. The fact is, there is a strain of intellectual elitism in the West, wherein those who do not run in the proper circles are dismissed arbitrarily. The technocrats determine what is best for you, and in doing so strip you of your freedom and self-determination.
The most common excuse for their removal of your rights is that people are stupid. They are so stupid, say the elites, that they must surrender control over their lives to smarter, wiser men.
Socrates would have known them for the fools they are.
But an expert is far more likely to be right than you are. On a question of factual interpretation or evaluation, it shouldn’t engender insecurity or anxiety to think that an expert’s view is likely to be better-informed than yours. (Because, likely, it is.)
Is that the case? What if the expert decides to lie to you? Technically, in his own mind, he is correct. But he would be using his acknowledged status as an expert to hoodwink you. Politicians do this all the time. Trust us, they say, because we’re the experts. Don’t send a regular guy to Washington, send an experienced, expert politician…
An engineer or a doctor has a much harder time hiding a lie or a mistake. For if an aeronautical engineer makes a mistake, maybe a plane crashes, and people die. When a doctor does likewise, people die. When a plumber makes a mistake, the pipe bursts and your house becomes a lake. You may not know much about plumbing, but you know that he did something wrong.
Politicians, analysts, and other government cronies can hide their mistakes. They can pass off the blame. They can lie, cheat you, steal from you, and use you. So, even supposing they are competent, you still have good reason to mistrust them and to question them.
Tom takes a parting shot:
And how do I know all this? Just who do I think I am?
Well, of course: I’m an expert.
I find this one particularly amusing. There was a book I read sometime ago called Tales of New America. There was an amusing scene in the book, wherein a very attractive, intelligent, and sophisticated man finds himself being questioned by a border control guard. The man is naturally dismissive of the guard, for what else could he be but a low-level flunky? He was fat, and plain in the face. He did not use higher, educated language.
The guard books him quickly, after discovering the man’s illegal activities. The sophisticated man is confused and angry. The guard explains that, while he didn’t have the money to go to a good school or the good looks to garner a high station in life, that didn’t mean he was stupid or uneducated. Intelligent people are everywhere, and often where you least expect them.
After all, does anyone expect a club DJ to be an expert in Byzantine history? Probably not…
Be careful about underestimating people, Tom.
I’ve spoken at length previous about why it is important to eliminate debt, and cultivate multiple sources of income. The most common and effective tactic in the SJW arsenal is to attack your income. They have tried it with me, though the perpetrator of that attack has since moved on to other targets, it would seem. I still suspect he’s out there, watching me (and others), for Facebook never shut down his group page despite many people reporting him for attempts at extortion.
In my case, the threat has lost much of its potential steam due to the explosive growth in my freelancing business of late. And my DJ business similarly remains strong, though it is possible the shooting in Orlando may cause a drop in the future. Who would have thought DJing a gay club would become a life-threatening proposition? But the point is, the weapon is still very potent for them. This is how they attacked Brendan Eich. This is how Tim Hunt found himself at the wrong end of an SJW crusade.
SJW attacks almost invariably focus on one’s income, be it a business, a regular job, or both. The owners of that coffee shop in Asheville sure found out the hard way. So did Justine Saccos, who made a dumb tweet and wound up at the forefront of an Internet crusade to have her fired before the plane she was on even landed.
There is even an entire website dedicated to ‘getting racists fired’. I won’t post the link here, but you can find it on your own easily enough if you’re brave enough to venture into the wretched hives of the Internet.
The point is, everything that SJWs do revolves around attacking your income. And every normal human being on Earth, without exception, has done something, said something, tweeted something or otherwise that could be spun into a Social Justice crusade. Perhaps you wore dreadlocks as a white guy? Maybe you attended an art show featuring a painting of kimono-clad people? Maybe you made a cheap joke about USB dongles?
Nobody knows what will set off the SJWs next, or whom they will target. But the attack vector is the same every time. It’s always about the money, you see. For a bunch of self-declared Communists who hate “greed”, they sure seem awfully focused on money. And the media pressure they command means that their cries of speaking Truth to Power are largely false. Most often, their charges are false. But even when the charges are accurate, it is they who command Establishment power. They have the favor of the ruling class, not us.
That’s why attacking the money works for them. If there was really a great big white supremacist patriarchy around, does anyone seriously think it would fire its own people merely because SJWs demanded it? That doesn’t even pass the sniff test. No, the powers-that-be clearly favor Social Justice, and desire its dictates to become de facto law.
For is one truly free to speak his mind if he is to be blacklisted and disemployed for uttering it? De jure freedom of speech is meaningless if not commonly acknowledged by the populace.
There is a far cry between people getting fired for saying something stupid during the course of their job, while representing the company or otherwise, and this behavior perpetrated by SJWs mobs. For they subject one’s private life to endless, hyper-vigilant scrutiny for potential thoughtcrimes, and then presume to stir up hate mobs for the express purpose of suppressing the speech they don’t like. It is de facto censorship.
What good is the written law giving you the right to speak, if the court of mob rule answers to a different code? So, where Socrates had to drink the hemlock for uttering what was unpopular, you merely have to suffer destitution and poverty. Gee, thanks SJWs.
I can’t say that I have ever, in the course of my life, tattled to someone’s employer because I didn’t like a joke, or a political statement, or anything like that. The thought didn’t even occur to me until SJWs started doing it. And even now, I find it to be the most reprehensible, ill-conceived, censorious, intellectual filth. The perpetrators of this behavior are human slime, certainly unfit to be lecturing the rest of us on moral uprightness and politeness as SJWs are wont to do.
And yet, for all this, they ask us the most ridiculous of questions: ‘why do you hide behind anonymity? What, are you a coward or something?’ Mr. X on Twitter mentions that one even asked for his client list.
The truth is, I don’t hide behind anonymity. Not anymore. My SJW attackers already know who I am, and while I generally don’t publish my personal details explicitly, further attempts to suppress this are probably in vain. So the choice is no longer open to me. And the damage they can do to me has been mitigated. But anyone not already personally known to the SJWs should stay that way.
Of course, they are trying to end anonymity anyway. They say such things as “On the Internet, no one can see that you’re a racist coward.” Clearly, they want to know who you are so that they can attack you post haste. Where they had to do some digging to locate me, they want it to be easier to enforce their mandated groupthink.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a racist or not, it only matters whether or not they like you. For if they do not like you, they can spin anything as racist. Did you, perhaps, say something a little hasty after you were robbed at gunpoint decades ago? I mean look at the transcript for Paula Deen:
Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Deen: Yes, of course.
Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
Deen: Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple … I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
Lawyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Deen: Absolutely not.
Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
Deen: I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
Lawyer: Can you remember the context in which you have used the N-word?
Lawyer: Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you’ve used it?
Deen: No, no.
Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
Deen: I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Lawyer: Like a joke?
Deen: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know. But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ‘60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.
We have reached a point where a woman can be condemned for calling a violent criminal who holds her at gunpoint by a racial epithet. If that can be spun into a charge of racism, what else could be? There is no protection from an SJW taking issue with you and attacking you this way. The authorities will not help and those who run Social Media platforms will not help either, for they tacitly support Social Justice causes and do not want to run afoul of them. The government is more likely to side with them, also.
So, in summary, you cannot prevent them from leveling a charge of x-ism against you (regardless of veracity), the charge would require a very strong burden of proof on your part to dispel, and the authorities, the media, and Social Media platforms will be arrayed against you.
And SJWs wonder why people want to stay anonymous? It would be utterly insane to support any other position. But even being anonymous is only a partial shield against their activity. If one overhears your joke at a conference, or another takes issue with your chosen attire or hair style, there is nothing you can do to stop them.
The best defense there is two-fold. First, address your debt-to-income ratio by keeping your debt-load light (zero if at all possible) and your savings large. Second, have multiple sources of income, or hardened sources that will not fall easily to SJW attack. If you have a business where your clients are unknown to your attackers, you will have an extra layer of security between you and impoverishment. If you have multiple jobs, one job can pick up the slack if another is taken from you. If your employer is staunchly opposed to SJW activities, even better, for your employer may leap to your defense.
To some extent, I cultivate SJW rage by commenting on the social and political issues of our time, and so it is probably more likely that those who do likewise will be attacked. But I doubt the USB dongle joke guys thought they would be subjected to a hate mob, nor did Justine Saccos understand the potential implications of her tweet. Anybody, no matter how innocent and far removed from the den of vipers that is politics, may be subjected to SJW assault.
Best to be prepared at all times.
As someone who exists somewhere on the Right-wing spectrum, I am often asked how I could be so homophobic, or hateful to trans folks. SJWs and other radical Leftists think that to be Right-wing means you hate (in no particular order) women, non-whites, gay people, trans people, poor people, and pretty much everyone on the planet. Of course, this doesn’t even pass the sniff test. If anyone on Earth perpetrates crimes against the aforementioned peoples, it certainly isn’t Conservative white guys.
Nonetheless, the perception remains. And worse, even those of a generally moderate or Left-wing persuasion who even listen respectfully to a Right-winger are denounced as hateful bigots. I know many moderately Left-wing people who are denounced just for talking to me. Especially if they are of the aforementioned demographics. Social Justice demands that each group stay on its assigned ideological reservation. They call it “staying in your lane”. Here is a classical example, sent to someone who is trans:
The SJW admits something fascinating here: they legitimately think they own people. In other words, they demand absolute compliance, a form of slavery. Original Reddit Post Here.
Now, an SJW might say something like this: ‘well, Dystopic, you are a Christian and so you hate gays and want to hurt them. You are transphobic because you are cisgender.’ The thing is, I have DJed for the gay community for most of my adult life. Not because I am particularly supportive of gays, mind you. But rather because I just don’t care enough to make an issue out of it.
SJWs think each individual is either an absolute ally, entirely with the preferred narrative in all respects, or they are a hateful enemy. Yet the vast majority of human beings (in the West, at least – the Islamic world may be a little different) just don’t care strongly one way or another. Are you gay? Good for you. Mind your own business, and I don’t care. I will neither praise you incessantly for your gayness, nor lob you off of a building for it. I think likewise of trans folk, or any number of other demographic groups. I have friends who are gay, even one or two who are trans (or at least perform in drag shows, anyway). Their gayness, or transness, or whatever you want to call it is irrelevant to me one way or the other, because they posses other characteristics that make them worthy of friendship.
Of course, such friends also know that I generally don’t want to hear about the graphic details of what they do at home, either. But, to be fair, I don’t want to hear about what my parents do behind closed doors either. Or anybody, really. It’s not necessarily a gay or straight thing so much as it is people these days often disclose more than they ought to about their sex lives. Generally speaking, I don’t want to know.
The problem, of course, is that SJWs categorically fail to mind their own business. The comic artist Patriarchie explains for us:
Mind your own business and don’t act like an obnoxious asshole and most people won’t care what you do with your sex life.
Now, this is the part of the story where the SJW will assume that, because I am Christian, I must hate gays. No. For one, that’s not how it works. Anyone with even a cursory understanding of the Christian faiths knows that the idea is to hate the sin, not the sinner. Sinners are to be saved, if at all possible. But there is a valid point in that Christianity doesn’t look favorably on the practice. The Christian will not kill you for being gay, or think of you as less human for your gayness. But if you ask him if he personally approves of the practice, the answer will be no. If asked to participate in your explicitly gay activities, he may decline. Then again, he might act as I have, and be perfectly happy to DJ a gay club for reasons unrelated to your homosexuality.
In my case, the clubs I have spun for have treated me very well, enjoy my music, and have been very loyal to me over the years — even when opportunities existed to screw me over. The music business is a tough, competitive world, and loyal people are very hard to find. Whether they are gay or not is meaningless next to that (and to be fair, a good deal of my club business is still from straight clubs, also).
The point being, the worst a Christian will do is suggest that promoting the behavior at church isn’t a good idea and, perhaps, he may decline to bake a cake for your ceremonies. Big whoop. Why do you need his approval anyway? None of these things hurt you. A Muslim beheading gays, or shooting them in a club, is a very different matter from a man who doesn’t want to participate in your ceremony.
Yet SJWs demand this approval. They require that I step off from my largely neutral position, and bow before them, dedicating my life to the pursuit of whatever political goal they fancy. Anything less is hateful, they say. Everything is black and white with them, no middle ground, no grey exists.
However, the truth of the matter is far worse. For where I may care little one way or the other about your sexuality, I am at least honest about this neutrality. SJWs pretend to care for these groups, but then kick them to the curb and purge them as soon as their political use has expired.
Consider that many decades ago, the political Left was very enamored with white working class union workers. These were manufacturers, makers of widgets and things. They were typically lower middle class, not wealthy, and were thus the darling of a Left that concerned itself constantly with the plight of the workers. Today, you will find SJWs decrying these evil, hateful bigots. Rednecks and trailer trash, they will be called. SJWs will suggest that they are racist, sexist, homophobic, backward troglodytes and if someone killed them all (or at least prevented them from voting)… why wouldn’t that be dandy?
This was once a group as adored by the Left as Muslims are today.
Today, we are seeing the first indications that white gay men are being expelled from membership in the oppressed classes club. They are still white, you see, and cisgender. And white gay men tend to make more money than women, so they must be sexist, also. It was even suggested that gay men refusing to date women is, paradoxically, discriminatory. Sorry gay white men, you are being expelled, just as white working class men were once expelled, likewise. Trans folks, how soon before your white members are expelled from the club? Or, perhaps, it will be black men who are expelled next. You never can tell with them.
This should come as no surprise to anyone with sense. Support for mass Muslim immigration is incompatible with support for gays, trans folks, and a whole host of other demographics anyway. The obviousness of this is overlooked constantly. Blacks suffer more from illegal immigration stealing jobs than any other demographic. So how can the SJWs simultaneously support both groups? The political Left cannot cater to all of these separate groups without contradicting themselves. But they try, so long as a demographic is useful to them politically. Whenever the inherent contradictions assert themselves, they just blame white men, a convenient scapegoat and perpetual boogeyman.
The point is, they don’t really care about you. All of this rhetoric about oppressed classes is just a tool to make you a slave of their ideology. Like the screencap posted above, they literally believe that they own you. When I say I don’t care, I genuinely mean it. When they say they do care, they are lying.
Who, then, is truly hateful? I speak truth to you. They speak lies, in the tongues of legalese and plausible deniability. And when you are no longer useful to them, they will dispose of you, treating you just as they now treat me.
They claim to have fought and won rights for all the oppressed peoples of the world. But what have they done, truly? Was it illegal to be transgender before the SJWs came? No. Were gays lobbed off of buildings before the coming of Social Justice? Not in America. They may say that they have won for you the right to marry, but even this is, pardon the pun, a queer thing. You see, I long advocated that the government didn’t need to stick its hands in the marriage business in the first place. Why must I have the blessing of the State to marry?
No, many Conservatives and Libertarians would have been happy to expel the government from this thing, and let people do privately as they wished. Have a notarized and witnessed contract to handle matters of inheritance, property, contract termination, and who may decide for you life and death decisions at the hospital. The rest is a matter between individuals, family, God, or whomever you wish to involve.
This would have legalized gay marriage by default without requiring the tyrannical provision that others must participate against their will in the thing. They didn’t fight to grant gays the right to marry, they fought to expand the reach of the government into the lives of gays, where they already had such reach into the lives of straight people. Congratulations, SJWs subjected you to more government, then claimed this as victory.
SJWs might say, alternatively, that they have won acceptance for you. That now people are de facto forbidden from insulting you for your gayness, or transness, under penalty of denunciation, defriending, loss of job, etc… But is this a good thing? Those who don’t like what you do still don’t like what you do. You have not changed their minds through reasoned debate, you have merely forced silence upon them. Those who are neutral on the matter are still neutral on the matter. Indeed, the tyranny of SJWs forcing their opinions upon those who are not involved may have actually made enemies of some of those previously inclined to neutrality.
Consider this matter of trans folks and bathrooms. Previously, bathrooms were governed by a pretty reliable set of customs. If you were male, you went into one room. If female, you went into another. But small children were often exempted, and were customarily allowed to enter with either parent. Those individuals who might suffer rare genetic disorders (XXY or Intersex), or who were transgender, generally used the restroom which most closely corresponded to their appearance. This arrangement worked fine. If there was the occasional exception to the rule, well most people figured out how to get along anyway.
Oh, the occasional violent asshole might object. One of my friends related a story to me wherein he was at a biker bar in a bad part of town, as he was wont to frequent dive bars, and a very effeminate gay man wandered in. It was not a good place for an effeminate man of either orientation, but his gayness definitely did not serve him well in this place. When he went to use the bathroom, a trio of bikers went in after him. My friend knew well enough what that meant. He and a few others followed the bikers, and saved the gay man from a beat down.
But, answer me this SJWs, do you believe demanding special bathroom laws will prevent bikers in the bad part of town from acting this way? Or will your actions inflame them more, when the trans man, about to receive a beat down, states “but the law says I can go to the bathroom I want!” The fact is, as with anything, that the assholes who hate you are still going to hate you after such demands are made because your actions did not change their minds.
Meanwhile, my friend, an ex-bouncer, will readily defend a gay man under assault, not because he particularly likes them, but because he doesn’t think a man deserves to be beaten down just because he accidentally wandered into a bar full of assholes.
SJW demands are trivial. They change nothing. Every bit of progress they claim to have made is suspect. And you are not beholden to them for such marginal assistance, given grudgingly by a group of elitists using you to further their political agenda. They don’t own you. And they will betray you sooner or later. It’s what they do.
At least we are honest when we say that, while we don’t necessarily personally approve of all the things you do, we acknowledge you as human beings worthy of the same rights and responsibilities as any other of our countrymen. We don’t see you as political tools. And the people that truly hate you, those who want to harm you, are our enemies, also.
Don’t listen to the SJWs and other Regressives. Or, in a few decades, they will call you by the same names they now call me. You will be trailer trash to them. Scum. Bigots. Because they will have found a new class to pretend to agitate for, and you will be old news.
Meanwhile, us Right-wing folk will be in the same place we are today: “hey, I don’t really want to hear about your sex life, but if you need a friend, or maybe a good DJ… you let me know, okay?”
Francis, over at Libery’s Torch, touches upon a very important topic in America, that frequently gets overlooked: treason. I will allow him to explain for us:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. [Constitution of the United States, Article III, Section 3]
Isabel Paterson noted the treason clause, in combination with the Constitution’s prohibition of bills of attainder and “corruption of blood,” as supremely important protections for the lives and property rights of Americans. Understanding this requires knowledge of how charges of treason were used by monarchies to destroy those who opposed the king. For all practical purposes, if the king charged you with treason, you were automatically guilty – and no one dared object, for reasons that should be obvious. “Corruption of blood,” another monarchical practice banned by the Constitution, extended the penalty from the accused to his family: it “justified” the attainting of the accused’s relatives, seizure of all family property, and in some cases the enslavement of all family members.
But these provisions, though critical to attaining a grasp of the mindset of the Founding Fathers, are of less interesttoday than the three words “War,” “Aid,” and “Comfort.”
Yes, Gentle Reader, those specific words are of vital importance to us today: the twentieth of June in the year of Our Lord 2016. There are several reasons, but the one I have in mind at the moment is Islam.
Now the interesting thing here is that Francis immediately brings up Islam. And he is not wrong to do so. Those who give Aid and Comfort to our Islamic terror enemies are among us. They are in our government. They are among the civilian population, also. Members of Omar’s family had reason to believe he was planning an attack, and did nothing. Are they traitors, then? A Court of Law should decide this, but certainly they should be charged. It appears his wife will be charged with accessory to murder, but this is too small a thing.
Our political leaders lie about terror attacks, most notably Hillary lying about Benghazi. Is this treasonous, via Aid and Comfort to the enemy? Again, quite possibly. She should have been charged.
But it goes beyond Islam. While Francis does an excellent job of laying out the case for those who support Islamic terror, what of those La Raza supporting Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) who have been spotted at Trump rallies assaulting American citizens, burning the American flag, and then holding up signs saying “Make America Mexico Again”? They are, in effect, demanding that America cede the Southwestern states to Mexico.
We are not at war with Mexico, yet Mexico sends us millions of people through illegal channels. In normal times, this would be called an invasion. It would be grounds for war. If millions of Americans illegally crossed into Mexico, certainly the international community would condemn it as a warlike act. Are those within the government that support this via aid and succor treasonous? I don’t know the jurisprudence to make such a decision, naturally, but I do suggest that this should be investigated. If they are illegal immigrants, the decision is simple: deport them. They are active agents of chaos and destruction and have no right to be here. If they are legal immigrant citizens, then the charge of treason should be investigated. They have violated their oaths.
Are these traitors? If they are illegal, then no, they have taken no oaths — but they must be deported. If they have taken an oath, then consider the possibility that they have violated their oath.
Now, naturally, I have no issue with those legal immigrant citizens who are good American citizens, and do not demand that America be given over to Mexico, or make claims of racial superiority over Americans (La Raza does this). They are most welcome. And for their part, I have seen several Americans of Mexican ethnicity fighting back against these people. But those among them who make demands like these have violated the oaths taken to the United States. Is it treasonous, or do we account it merely as a voluntary renunciation of citizenship via the violation of their stated oath? I don’t know. But again, the matter must seriously be considered. Otherwise the oaths taken to become a citizen of the United States of America are effectively worthless.
These are serious matters. Like Francis, I do not invoke the charge of treason lightly. But what else can the definition have, if not to deliver America and her citizens unto her enemies?
There is not much I can add to this magnificent post over at Sarah’s place. I’ve spoken with the author of it, Sanford Begley, on occasion. And so, for me, there is an extra layer of authenticity to this:
I am privileged. This is true, but not in the way the left thinks. The other day I disagreed on social media with a woman about another program to take from workers and give to parasites. She said that she had been middle class and was now poor and I couldn’t understand because I am privileged. I thought about it and replied that she was right. That answer is the seed of this post. Many of you are even more privileged than I, but I’m going to tell about my privilege now.
I was born in Appalachia in the middle of the twentieth century. Well it was the middle of the twentieth everywhere else, in most of Appalachia it was still somewhere between the nineteenth century and the mid twentieth. Many places were still using “coal oil” lanterns and indoor plumbing was rare. I was an adult before living in a house that had an indoor toilet. Central heat was a coal fired stove in the middle of the living room and a wood stove in the kitchen. Being the first one up in zero weather was an adventure. Could you start a fire before the cold started to hurt?
Many people I knew, much of my family in fact, lived in what were known as tar-paper shacks. This was a wood frame covered with the tar paper used by roofers for waterproofing. I believe I was privileged enough that I never lived in one myself. I’m not sure, we followed the jobs and work was hard to come by then.
There is an assumption that if you’re a white middle class man, you have suffered no pain. That life was easier for you, somehow, or that people conspired to pave your way to wealth and power. The point, of course, is to ensure that the white man is last in line for jobs, and first in line for paying the bill.
I remember some SJW once pointing out to me that I would never understand what it was like to suffer domestic abuse. Except that, growing up, my stepmother (whom my father mercifully divorced eventually) was pretty much every evil stepmother stereotype rolled into one. And she was very physically abusive. So no, I told the SJW. I don’t understand what it is like to be a grown adult who is abused by his or her spouse… but I know what it’s like to be a child beaten and abused by an adult. Does that count?
But unlike SJWs who worship victim status, I look back on my experience with shame. I remember my stepmother punching me in the face when I was 11 or 12, I think, and the fact is, she was a short and smallish woman. I easily had the strength, even then, to stand up to her and hit her back hard enough that she would never hurt me again. But I didn’t, and to this day I am ashamed of this failure. To me, it was a lesson in defending yourself, to never stand idle when you should fight back.
In that I am, like Sanford Begley, privileged.
The point of all this is that SJWs only see a middle class white man who is more successful, perhaps, than they are. Someone who is happier and more content with life. And the envy, the jealousy, grows within them. They will say and do anything to drag you down, and to elevate themselves over you. They think that their experiences in life must be the worst, the greatest tragedy, and that you, by virtue of your skin color and genitals, could not have suffered equal or greater hardship in life.
But SJWs, you need to understand something. I learned from the shame of my inaction all those years ago. The next time someone tries to punch me in the face (physically or metaphorically), it will not go so easily for them.
A quickie for today. A friend of mine writes the following at Cult State:
Importing massive amounts of cheaper immigrants, especially in export-heavy nations like Sweden and Germany, is a conceit that Europe must now follow the American/Ford model of labor arbitrage: Import labor to do that which is too complex to outsource, and then outsource the rest. In short, Europe is engaging in a variation of Gresham’s Law regarding labor: Hoard complexity, liquefy simplicity.
That means human organizations have a propensity to hoard those who can resolve complexity and expend those who are tasked to resolve simplicity. The profits generated from cheap labor arbitrage will extend the politically popular (and expensive) socialist policies of human care that an export nation must provide to be competitive.
As gains in labor arbitrage occur, tax revenue increase, and stable bond issuance can increase to allow socialist nations to engage in production expansion. (Taxation being collateral) The loyal socialists who labored for years are replaced by a configuration of cheaper labor. Their complaints and frustrations are dismissed as nothing more than racist reactions or tone deaf nationalism since the imported labor heralds from a variety of different races and/or nationalities.
This explains the Trump phenomenon very well. For as many Conservatives will tell you, Trump isn’t exactly a Conservative himself. He’s something different. Donald Trump is even considering some changes to the background checks conducted around gun purchases. It’s a sacred cow to many Conservatives, and will undoubtedly irk many. It’s not the sort of thing Republican candidates usually do on a whim. My friend Nicki is fond of describing Trump with, shall we say, colorful invective.
My own opinions on Trump notwithstanding, this illustrates that the preference cascade which flung Trump to the top of the GOP ticket is coming from a distinctly non-Conservative source. It starts to make a lot more sense when looked at from the angle of disillusioned Socialists, once True Believers in Leftism, now angry and feeling left behind.
As with GamerGate, the grassroots of this preference cascade are actually based in a sort of moderate Leftism, the kind of Honorable Leftists who actually believe in freedom of speech, even for people they don’t agree with. When they preach about diversity and equality, they genuinely believe it. And for this genuine, non-cynical belief, they were betrayed by their politically-minded SocJus counterparts.
Like the Left throwing gays under the bus in favor of Islam, they have jettisoned the white working class Americans in favor of cheap labor from Mexico. And so these people that were, once upon a time, Union-leaning moderate Socialists now suddenly find themselves cast off, like the Right-wing once was in the dim mists of history (read: before the 1960s). Not only are they politically betrayed, but many of them are out of work on top of it, watching their jobs be replaced with illegals, H1B holders, and otherwise.
They have shifted from globalism to nationalism.
Now, the Republicans have, for my lifetime anyway, been the party of nationalists. No, not the jingoistic, crazy, purify-the-race kind of nutball nationalists. But, rather, they have been the sort of “I love my country and my Constitution” nationalists that have supplied the ranks of the military, and protective agencies like policemen, firefighters, and paramedics. They were, in effective, positive nationalists, and their nationalism was not rooted in race so much as it was rooted in culture and acceptance of American values. Remember, this was the party that opposed slavery and Jim Crow.
But they became the enemy of the Globalists by default. The Globalists were merciless in their treatment of the Republicans:
The inevitable response to this automatic dismissal is populist nationalism. To counter this evolution, the Americans have developed a very effective model in destroying populist nationalism when they engaged in their transition to global labor arbitrage back in the 1960s. The American solution is that as long as those who benefit from the labor arbitrage (Fortune 500s, bond issuers, and Wall Street) are allowed to invest in and/or financially control media outlets, then nationalist impulses can be defused without unpopular and overt government heavy-handedness. How? In this setup, for-profit news and clickbait peddlers are driven by profit motive that undermines, waters down, harasses, lies about, and ultimately destroys countercultural nationalist upstarts. This profit motive is very powerful and has achieved countless victories over the past ten years.
This is a pretty accurate description of how the media works in America, and how it has worked for pretty much as long as I’ve been alive. When opposition came to Obama, for instance, it was his race that was touted as the reason by popular media outlets. Republicans couldn’t be outraged over, say, the takeover by government over a massive chunk of the healthcare industry. No. It had to be the fact that Obama was half-black.
Pull the other one.
But this tactic worked well enough for awhile. Ronald Reagan was the first Republican who started to reach out to the disenfranchised working class voters who were growing disillusioned with the Left.
The Neo-Alexandrian world I had mentioned in 2008 to my friend is one in which nationalism becomes more profitable to the individual nation than continued participation in globalism. This model will achieve initial gains and advantages for first movers, leaving the remaining globalist bloc to operate without their full support. This will profoundly affect global trade and, in desperation, second-tier members of the globalist bloc will nationalize, triggering in a cascade of nationalization for the remaining members. The military and technological advantage of superstates and national unions will diminish as intelligence gathering will be made more expensive due to the subsequent regionalizations of the Internet, depriving the NSA and GCHQ of their current advantage. Hundreds of tribes will return and we will be living in a world in which only an Alexander can understand and make sense of.
This is what we’re really seeing with Trump, Brexit, and even in smaller secessionist movements like the Catalans and the Scottish. The financial incentives are starting to turn against Globalism. But the globalists themselves don’t want to let go of power. It seems they would rather destroy their own countries than give up an ounce of control.
People just want out. It’s not even a Left-Right thing anymore, for it’s hard to even call a man like Trump “Right-wing” in a traditional sense. But he is a nationalist. And that’s something America hasn’t seen for a long time. Even among the Brexit supporters I’ve seen on Twitter, many argue that money being paid to the EU could instead be used to prop up NHS. That’s hardly a Right-wing plank, even in Britain. But it is a nationalist plank.
Unlike many, I don’t see nationalism as being particularly bad on its own (when you combine with Socialism, you do get something fantastically nasty, though). Rather, I think that it can be a great positive. We have countries for a reason. Some people don’t get along with others. Some cultures and religions don’t like others. So sometimes it is best to keep to ourselves. That’s what having separate countries is all about.
But the challenge is that with Globalists trying desperately to hang on to power by demonizing their opponents in the media, positive, peaceful nationalists (who just want to vote “leave” or “build a damn wall please” — I consider myself one of these) are being swept aside by militant nationalists with more sinister agendas. And some of these are ex-Socialists. Europe was there once before… in the 1930s.
The Neo-Alexandrian world hangs on the edge of a knife.
Many years ago, I wrote a short story about the fading of the rational world, and its replacement with the mystical. It wasn’t very well written, and to some extent I still think I am lousy at writing fiction. But the premise was a fascinating one. I would like to revisit it someday.
Anyway, the concept was that, long after a nuclear war, knowledge of the rational world was failing, becoming piecemeal and quasi-mystical. And that the universe itself bent to this notion, that humanity’s collective experience was sufficient to change the natural laws of the universe. In simple terms, the Earth was becoming a magical place. The protagonists were on a mission to find the nearly-completed spacecraft from a pre-war colonization project.
They leave just in time, escaping a fantastical Earth into the “rational” universe. When their descendants return to Earth, generations later, they find no evidence humans had ever been there at all. The two worlds — the fantastical and the rational — had split off and become inaccessible to one another. It was a play on the nature of subjectivity versus objectivity, of Free Will and Fatalism.
In any event, the recent terror attacks reminded me of this old story, and a fundamental problem at the core of how we view Islam, terror, and the war we are fighting against both. This is a war in which you have already been drafted. The enemy always gets a vote…
People say “not all Muslims” and “Islam is a religion of peace.” They prattle on about the peaceful, moderate Muslims. They will tell you of Muslim friends, or Muslim coworkers, and how great they are. The fact is, they aren’t wrong. Such Muslims exist, presumably in large numbers, even. On the other side, we discuss how terror attacks are, almost invariably, perpetrated by Muslims. The question is not if another Muslim terror attack will happen, it is merely when, and how many bodies will be produced. We talk about history, how violent Jihad destroyed the old Roman world, how Islam has perpetually had bloody borders and genocidal madmen at the fore. The fact is, this is true too.
You see, the problem isn’t the deity. The problem is the priests.
Theoretically, Allah is one and the same with the God of Moses and the father of Jesus Christ. Oh, certainly there are differences (the divinity of Christ being a big one). But still, we are supposedly worshiping the same entity, right? Why, then, all the hate between the intellectual descendants of Abraham? For one, Mohammed as illustrated in the Quran and, more appropriately, the Hadiths, was a violent, megalomaniac of a warlord.
Robert Spencer, of course, wonders if a warlord named Mohammed even existed in the first place. The Hadiths are not attested before the beginning of the eighth century. The Quran only partially so, and with clear transcription errors. We cannot know with certainty who Mohammed was, what he did, or if anything written about him is true at all. In simple terms, the leaders of the Islamic world could have fabricated him out of whole cloth, or twisted him to fit an agenda of their own making. We wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Regardless of the existence or non-existence of Mohammed himself, the word of his priests, the religious leaders of Islam, is clear: conquest and subjugation in the name of Islam. This is not a religion of peace, as is assumed, but a religion of submission — the denial of the Thomist notion of Free Will.
Perhaps, if they chose to, the priesthood of Islam, such that it is, could interpret it differently. But it steadfastly refuses to do so. And when one or another rogue reformer in the Islamic world suggests they ought to (see the Bahais and the Ahmadis) the rest of Islam tries to murder them.
The problem isn’t the people. The problem is the priests.
Imagine if nearly every Christian churchman was an intellectual disciple of the Westboro Baptists. That’s the reality of the Islamic world. Whether or not the man herding goats in the Sudan is our enemy is irrelevant. He has no power. His opinion of us is meaningless. Moderate Islam, such that exists, has no voice, no power.
And in the Muslim world, like the fantastical setting of my short story, subjective experience is reality. When a warrior loses a battle, he thinks his loss is punishment. He was insufficiently devout. He must dedicate himself more to Allah, such that next time God will grant that his bullets fly true and smite the unbelievers. So the imam comes, and tells him to follow the example of Islam set forth in the Hadiths. Then the Great Satan will be beaten.
The Thomist notion of God, that of a being who set the universe into motion, willed it into being, and then left it to unfold, is completely foreign to Islam. There is no Free Will in Islam, save for the choice to submit or die.
Such peaceful, moderate Muslims that exist are Muslims who, like many Christians, are not particularly devout. They do not think about the Quran constantly, or follow the example of Mohammed in the Hadiths. But there is guilt for this, just as there is guilt for the Catholic who rarely attends mass, or the Jew who becomes a secularist. So, on occasion, a previously “moderate” Muslim will find his calling in the exhortations of a radical imam, telling him that he must be more Muslim.
The problem isn’t the prophet. The problem is the priests.
The war between Islam and everybody else predates the founding of the religion. It predates Christianity, Rome, and probably all of written history. The conflict is an ancient one, rooted in the battle between the Fatalists and those who believe in Free Will. It is Freedom against Slavery. Sovereignty versus Submission. Islam clothed itself in the uniform of the Fatalists. It was not the first to do so, and certainly not the last (Marxists wear the uniform, likewise).
From this, you can understand the underpinnings which bind the Social Justice Warriors and Militant Marxists with the Radical Islamists: all believe history has already been written. Everything is predetermined, and everything is predicated on devotion to the cause. The priests, of course, determine precisely what devotion means. They virtue signal, they “educate” their followers on what Allah — or the historical dialectic — desires of them, that they might find Paradise.
In the West, we have a priesthood, also. But this isn’t a priesthood who answers the call of Christ. The priesthood of Marx can be found in the media talking heads, in the ivory towers of academia. Remember, insufficient devotion to Marxism is cause for expulsion. You are a heretic. Or, if you are a right-wing Christian, you are an infidel. Like in Islam, it is permissible to do whatever they want to you.
The problem isn’t bigotry. The problem is the media.
Behind all of this, the Marxists and the Islamists both believe in a sort of subjective utopia, that their devotion is alone sufficient to change the world, to bend reality itself, to change the very laws of the universe. The Muslim fighter believes that Allah will bend the bullet’s path, and smite the infidel. The Social Justice Warrior believes that humanity contains an infinite number of genders, but that race doesn’t exist (it’s a social construct). The Dialectic shall change the very biological nature of mankind himself.
Neitzsche’s ubermensch was really just a fat genderqueer lesbian wolfkin with a cornucopia of mental illnesses. The worst mass murderers in ISIS-controlled Syria are paragons of devotion to Allah, model citizens of the new Caliphate. Both are freedom fighters against the terrifyingly bigoted Christian oppressors of the world.
The problem isn’t Free Will. The problem is Fatalism.
If Free Will doesn’t exist, then there is no point to anything. That is the path to Nihilism, the path to genocide, the path to every ill which humanity has ever conceived of. For, in the end, Fatalism tells you that nothing is really your fault. You have no will. You are a victim of history, a soldier of Allah, a vessel for another power that is not-you. And not-you did the thing.
It is the shifting of blame away from self, it is the destruction of self, the annihilation of purpose. And then, once this terrifying self-destruction has taken place, the priesthood of your Fatalistic belief system of choice will remake you in their chosen image. (How can you have chosen Allah or Marx if you have no Free Will? Answer that one SJWs).
The priests make of you what they will. You are now a vessel for someone else’s beliefs, a tool wiped clean for another’s purpose, a purpose that is not your own. The priest sleeps well at night saying to himself “I didn’t kill anybody, my slave did.” And the slave sleeps well at night thinking “I didn’t kill anybody, I followed my master’s orders.” Yet the killing happened.
That is how the person saying “not all Muslims” and the person saying “Islam is the problem” can be simultaneously correct. Everybody involved thinks there is no choice. The SJW thinks terrorism is just something that happens, like a natural disaster, an act of a God they don’t believe exists. Then they will light a candle and pray to a deity they don’t believe exists either. Hearts will be chalked onto sidewalks, messages of love and peace displayed in empty ritual, as if, like in my story, the very thought will somehow change the fabric of the universe. At least the Christian believes there is probably a God at the other end of the line. The SJW believes nothing exists, yet conducts the ritual anyway, filling some deep-seated human need.
This, in a world without choice, where oppressor and victim are preordained, where original sin is heaped upon a white baby, because somebody who looked vaguely similar once did something evil. But the chosen of God, or Marx, or whatever… they are free of sin. Paradise is for them.
Just as, half a world away, Muslims will cheer the deaths of infidels and those they see as sexual deviants. It will be seen, as with all such things, as the divine wrath of Allah. The terrorist was merely the vessel through which Allah’s will was carried to the Great Satan. The chickens come home to roost. Paradise is coming. The Caliphate will be real, merely because they think it so.
In the world of Fatalism, the problem is always the priests.
Of course, whether or not the priests believe their own material is another topic altogether.