Your Tuesday Evening Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck Report

I. Let’s give a whole car to USC.

Nearly 100 students  attended a rally at noon on Monday demanding a tenured professor be fired after he sent a reply-all email last Thursday to the student body noting that “accusers sometimes lie.”

Professor James Moore, a tenured professor at the University of Southern California, replied to a campus wide email fatuously demanding that students  “Believe Survivors” on the day of Christine Ford’s testimony with a reply-all message that…

“If the day comes you are accused of some crime or tort of which you are not guilty, and you find your peers automatically believing your accuser, I expect you find yourself a stronger proponent of due process than you are now.”

For a teacher, this was a responsible and important point to make. It is also undeniable, except in dishonesty, ignorance and hysteria. So what was the campus response?  Hundreds of  emails from “concerned” students and alumni condemning the engineering professor. USC students Audrey Mechling and Joelle Montier  organized a Facebook rally against him, entitled “Times Up for James Moore.” Nearly 100 students gathered to shout, “Times Up, No Moore!” The crowd then paraded its bias and ignorance, and marched  to the office of Dean Jack Knott. He, of course…

...sided with the protesters...

“What [Professor Moore] sent was extremely inappropriate, hurtful, insensitive. We are going to try to do everything we can to try to create a better school, to educate the faculty,” said Dean Knott to the crowd. “This is going to be a multi-pronged effort. We are going to have a faculty meeting later this week around implicit bias, sensitivity towards [sexual assault]….”

That’s academia today! At Georgetown, a professor tweets that white males should be killed and castrated, and the administrators shrug and say she has a right to her opinion. AT USC, a professor corrects  indefensible cant that rejects basic ethical and judicial principles, and a dean says that he must be punished.

People actually pay to send their children to be warped by these places.

II. Let’s always believe survivors who know how to beat lie detectors.

The fact that Dr. Ford had been declared “truthful” in her polygraph test was always one of the worst reasons to believe her, but now that test throws legitimate suspicion on her account. The machines are notoriously unreliable, but the argument was that the fact that Ford was eager to take the test indicated her confidence in her account. Today, Fox News received this letter from a man who claims to be Ford’s ex-boyfriend:

Of course, it could be completely innocent that a woman who suddenly dredged up a forgotten alleged incident just in time to use it to derail the confirmation of a SCOTUS nominee her party opposes and submitted to a lie detector test as evidence of her veracity considered herself an expert on beating lie detector tests.

III. Ethics Hero meets Ethics Dunce

Seldom do we see so many people so passionately and angrily advocating a position that is indefensible in law, logic, fact, common sense, history or fairness. That’s the mob mentality that Democrats and the mainstream  media has created, however. They begin with the assumption that the judge must be guilty. They state that he is a “serial rapist” though there is no evidence of any rape. They talk as if it is normal for high school incidents to be considered relevant to assessing the character and trustworthiness of a public servant with an unblemished career, when in fact it is unheard-of. Their arguments, like their logic, is disjointed, and they will change subjects to avoid dealing with their gaping flaws.

A typical anti-Kavanaugh protester confronted Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on his way through a Senate building walkway. Monday. She  demanded , “Why are you supporting Kavanaugh?” So he stopped and asked her the Golden Rule question that the Democrats and “the resistance” have ignored from the beginning of this disgusting example of the politics of personal destruction. Would she want her loved one to be destroyed by uncorroborated, unproven accusations of a horrific act? The protester either took this as a rhetorical question, or just doesn’t understand the ethical principle of reciprocity.  I’m guessing the latter. The other key ethics question would also presumably be beyond her, Kant’s test of whether this would be a standard she would be willing to have applied universally, in all cases. Democrats answer this one by saying “Of course! Unsubstantiated accusations of decades old high school incidents should be universally applied to and disqualify all conservative judges appointed by a President we hate when he will shift the ideological balance of the court.”

Deciding to ask an easier question, Cassidy resorted to, “Why wouldn’t I support Kavanaugh?”

Protester: “Because rapists are bad.”

Never mind that nobody, even Ford, has claimed that Kavanaugh is a rapist. This is such a spectacular straw man that it will start singing “I I only had a brain” any minute now.

Cassidy: “Wait a second — everybody there said that it did not happen. So why am I going to–”

Protester: “So you’re going to believe Mark Judge over a woman?”

Conveniently ignoring the other two witnesses who also deny seeing what Ford claims…

Cassidy: “No, I’m going to believe her best friend.”

Protester: “Her best friend didn’t say it didn’t happen. Her best friend said she wasn’t told about it.”

The issue is the lack of anyone other than Ford who says that “it” did happen. The protester is resorting to nit-picking to avoid the issue.

Cassidy: “She said she didn’t remember.”

Protester: “So you’re OK as a doctor to harm a woman?”

Now, as the protester resorts to gibberish and deliberate misrepresentation, the Senator tries the Golden Rule again, and Kant.

Cassidy: “Wait a second – are you OK as a person to go ahead and to accept a non-corroborated charge to destroy someone’s life? If it destroyed your life, your son’s life, or your husband’s? Wait a second, answer my question. If it was your husband, your son, your father, whose life has been destroyed by uncorroborated, would you like that?”

Protester: “I would support a full FBI investigation.”

“Look! Squirrel!”

Cassidy: “No, no. Would you like that? An uncorroborated charge, destroying—”

Protester: “I wouldn’t marry somebody that was a drunk.”

Translation: “How dare you expect me to defend my position? By the way, I’m an idiot.”

Cassidy: “Oh no, wait a second. Uncorroborated. Answer the question. I don’t think you’re able to. Because you know it’s unfair.”

Protester: “I would stand up.”

Huh???

Cassidy: “You know it’s unfair.”

Protester: “I would fight. And I would make sure women are heard. Clearly you’re OK if a rapist goes on the Supreme Court.”

This sounds like a Facebook exchange. When out of arguments, resort to bumper stickers, non sequiturs, and deliberate misrepresentations.

Cassidy: “No, I’m not. But then on the other hand, clearly you’re OK, the absence of evidence obviously means nothing to you.”

Protester: “No, there is evidence. Look at the standard. How many people are in jail for less?”

How many? None, that’s how many, because there is, in fact, no evidence, and nobody, ever, has been convicted on uncorroborated 35-tear old accusations. Obviously the protester has no idea what the standard is.

This makes her a bit better than most Democrats trying to smear Kavanaugh, I suppose. They know what the standard is, know the standard they are establishing will be disastrous, and they are trying to establish it anyway.

94 thoughts on “Your Tuesday Evening Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck Report

  1. I don’t think Democrats are trying to establish “believe the accuser” as a standard. I believe they’re trying to abolish standards, leaving us at the mercy ofthe mob’s whims at any given moment. With the media AND major tech companies firmly in their pocket, they seem confident they can direct and control the mob.

    • DaveL wrote, “I don’t think Democrats are trying to establish “believe the accuser” as a standard. I believe they’re trying to abolish standards, leaving us at the mercy of the mob’s whims at any given moment.”

      I completely agree. Their goal is chaos.

      If a particular side wants serious social change in a society they must first create social chaos, blame their opposition for everything, paint their opposition as evil, build momentum towards their desired outcome, and brainwash the public into believing that their way is the only way out of the social chaos; how do they do this – propaganda and intimidation. The Progressive slippery slope is no longer a slope, it’s a vertical drop, there’s no safety net, and that’s exactly how Progressives wants it.

    • “I don’t think Democrats are trying to establish “believe the accuser” as a standard. I believe they’re trying to abolish standards, leaving us at the mercy of the mob’s whims at any given moment.”

      This. Democrats don’t have standards, they don’t have principles, they don’t have mores, they don’t respect tradition, they don’t respect respect.

      What they do is love power. There’s no rule they won’t break, no convention they won’t violate, no principle they won’t betray if they think it serves the Greater Good of their own power. They’ll talk using whatever language they think serves them best, at that time, then conveniently forget it the next moment, because that serves them best at that time. In cases where they think they might actually be wrong, they wrap themselves in the armor of Obtusivity and wield their ignorance like a warhammer.

  2. Re: I

    “What [Professor Moore] sent was extremely inappropriate, hurtful, insensitive. We are going to try to do everything we can to try to create a better school, to educate the faculty,” said Dean Knott to the crowd. “This is going to be a multi-pronged effort. We are going to have a faculty meeting later this week around implicit bias, sensitivity towards [sexual assault]….”

    I hope they fire him, and I hope he sues them. The only way this is ever going away is if enough people victimized by the bizarre and feckless assclowns that have come to power in academia is to sue them, and force large, painful, and embarrassing settlements. It may take nigh on forever, but eventually it will force change.

    I wish I could think of a faster way, but alas, I can’t.

    Re: II

    Of course, it could be completely innocent that a woman who suddenly dredged up a forgotten alleged incident just in time to use it to derail the confirmation of a SCOTUS nominee her party opposes and submitted to a lie detector test as evidence of her veracity considered herself an expert on beating lie detector tests.

    More interesting, Ford explicitly denied ever coaching someone on how to take a polygraph:

    “Have you ever had discussions with anyone, beside your attorneys, on how to take a polygraph?” Mitchell asked.

    “Never,” Ford responded.

    “And I don’t just mean countermeasures,” Mitchell said, “but I mean just any sort of tips, or anything like that.”

    “No,” Ford said.

    This would appear to be one of two things: 1) the textbook definition of perjury (or lying before the committee in a sworn statement), or 2) a memory which is so unreliable it cannot be trusted to remember yesterday’s lunch, never mind a 35-year old event.

    I suppose it’s possible that the ex-boyfriend is making it up, but as the Left would say, “he has no motivation to do so,” at least as far as we know. If you believe her, you have to believe him.

    Re: III

    How many? None, that’s how many, because there is, in fact, no evidence, and nobody, ever, has been convicted on uncorroborated 35-tear old accusations. Obviously the protester has no idea what the standard is.

    As I think we can all adduce from this series of remarks, she couldn’t care less about the standard, and if she knew what it was, she would demand an exception be made for women accusing men of rape.

    That’s really where we are, you know — no matter what the legal standard is for evidence, the Left is demanding exceptions be made for “survivors,” with the intent that “survivors” will now be applied not only to sexual assault accusers, but to racism accusers, sexism accusers, and probably others.

    The Left is trying, and may yet succeed, in lowering the standard of proof, at least for torts if not crimes, to “credible accusations.” That’s really where we are now. It should frighten everyone.

    • Unfortunately for this professor, USC is a private school. The name certainly leads to one to jump to the conclusion that it is a public institution, bit alas it is not.

      Just like the NFL, any private employer can fired for speech connected to the job. Since he replied to a University email, to other people associated with the University, it would most likely be called job related speech.

  3. It seems we have entered into our own version of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” where political leaders and their minions in academia and the media have intentionally empowered the uninformed and ignorant to embrace their ignorance and aggressively persecute the enemies of the people. In this grand crusade it is seen as commendable and even heroic to attack and smash the old bourgeois standards of truth, logic, evidence and other wrong-headed thinking. The goal is to establish new ways of thinking and secure political power for once and for all in the hands of the rightful leaders.

    I fear that it will not be easy to stop this cultural revolution or to return to sanity. It may even get worse and cause the loss of an entire generation before political leaders realize the damage they have done. And this lost generation (actually not exactly one age cohort) will eventually turn on their own creators. I find little comfort in the fact that there will be no winners in the end, only regret and destruction of those standards that we have traditionally relied on to differentiate our culture from chaos.

    • In the 1920s, the Nazis bragged out they’d gotten hold of the youth. They were right. The youth were so important to the Nazis in the 20s and 30s. Then came the 40s. Though a great segment of German youth had been indoctrinated in Nazi propaganda, the Gestapo had no idea what to do with the Swing Kids of Hamburg and the working class cities of Germany that weren’t into marching, camping or dying for the Fuehrer. Police documents expressed concern as to how to handle long-haired teens that beat up members of the Hitler Youth and danced to degenerate swing music in darkened clubs The Nazis had become the status quo…youth, traditionally, rebels against the status quo.

  4. #2 That x-boyfriend accuser, an evil man, doesn’t have the right to be believed any more than Ford but he does have the right to be heard just like Ford.

    I have no idea if that letter is truthful or not, but there are actually claims in that letter that could be confirmed by the FBI. Verifiable claims is something that Ford has been very careful not to provide, this is intentional.

    Ford’s testimony at the hearing regarding her knowledge about and discussing/coaching others about polygraphs is just one of the many spots that I personally flagged as an intentional lie in her testimony, FBI should press Ford about this.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it until pigs fly; Ford’s claim about claustrophobia is a you have to feel sorry for me or I’m a victim lie she concocted to manipulate others.

    • Most sociopaths play on the sympathy of others far more often than they use bullying or obvious aggression. I don’t know whether Ford is a sociopath, but if she’s lying about all of this, it would seem so. I’ve had to deal with a few pathological liars and they tend to believe their own lies passionately, to the point that you begin to doubt your own two eyes.

      • More to the point, true sociopaths can beat a lie detector, according to the instructor I heard lecture a year or so ago. They are not wired like most people, so the test is ineffective

  5. #3 The protester in that exchange is evidence of the deliberate dumbing down of America; she’s the result of an ongoing Progressive propaganda campaign and she’s exactly the kind of loud-mouthed know-nothing easy to manipulate imbecile that Progressives want in their rhetorical army.

    That idiot protester needs to learn that…

  6. Jack Houghton writes: “It seems we have entered into our own version of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” where political leaders and their minions in academia and the media have intentionally empowered the uninformed and ignorant to embrace their ignorance and aggressively persecute the enemies of the people. In this grand crusade it is seen as commendable and even heroic to attack and smash the old bourgeois standards of truth, logic, evidence and other wrong-headed thinking. The goal is to establish new ways of thinking and secure political power for once and for all in the hands of the rightful leaders.”

    Nicely put. Yet the Chinese cultural revolution occurred in a very different setting and under very different conditions. In our case, it is taking shape in a sophisticated culture primed for manipulation after a number of generations of preparation by an entire industry of public relations, a corrupt academy, and a sort of Walmart intellectual culture. There should not be an ‘ignorant’ class nor an ‘uninformed’ class, and the question is: How did this come about? I would suggest that it is the business culture, in collusion with the media sector and the governmental sector, that have in a sense deliberately created this ignorant subject. As long as this consumer and this buyer-subject did what he and she were supposed to do: buy, accept, show themselves as subservient to a directing will, all was well.

    “I fear that it will not be easy to stop this cultural revolution or to return to sanity. It may even get worse and cause the loss of an entire generation before political leaders realize the damage they have done. And this lost generation (actually not exactly one age cohort) will eventually turn on their own creators. I find little comfort in the fact that there will be no winners in the end, only regret and destruction of those standards that we have traditionally relied on to differentiate our culture from chaos.”

    What I notice — it is not a very popular critique and is not received very well — is that what is occurring in the present is a direct result of choices and decisions that were made in the past, not just by ‘progressives’ of ‘leftists’.

    I question the attitude that views what is happening as something *they* are doing — those bad progressives or democrats. What is taking shape in the present has historical causes that have been created over time by all the players. It has to do with a longstanding tradition, if you will, of creating a consumer-citizen.

    In this grand crusade it is seen as commendable and even heroic to attack and smash the old bourgeois standards of truth, logic, evidence and other wrong-headed thinking.

    I am interested in statements like this and I hear this sort of thing often. It implies that the one who states it has access to ‘standards of truth, logic [and] evidence’. It implies that there exists a right-view, a proper position, a proper stance from which to see and act.

    But this seems to me a false assertion. A problematic assertion in any case. The ‘conservative’ sort who makes this declaration pretends to have a sound position, but yet it often seems the case that such conservatives are also mired in similar levels of confusion and unclarity. They look to the Left, however, and notice a more extreme form.

    • Yes, of course, the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” took place under extremely different circumstances, and not that long ago.

      The Chinese people at that time, were mostly uneducated and illiterate. But there were plenty of very well educated, and intelligent people at the time in China and many of them were in the service of government and the CPC. Mao, was by some metrics quite brilliant (mostly in revolutionary politics), but amazingly ignorant in many respects and… in my view… sadistically indifferent to the needs of his people. Most notably, Mao had disdain for knowledge, science, skill and expertise in the hands of the wrong people, and did everything possible to stop and destroy those wrong thoughts. His basic fear was that these things would undermine his revolutionary political power.

      To end these threats to his political power, Mao empowered the most ignorant and uninformed factions of the Chinese population… the youth… as young as 10 and 12 years old but including those in their early 20’s Schools and universities were shut down. Faculty were initially denounced and eventually stripped of their jobs, ridiculed and in many cases publicly humiliated, ridiculed, even tortured, murdered and driven to suicide.

      This was mass hysteria led by mobs of ignorant people. Even when schools and universities were opened again, their curriculum was dominated by idiotic Mao thought. People with functioning brains were cowed into silence and were legitimately afraid of being denounced and eventually destroyed. Peer pressure was ratcheted up to 15 on a scale of 0 to 10. Smart people were falling all over themselves clutching their little red books and shouting mindless and idiotic slogans as a substitute for rational public discourse.

      Yes, times were different. We don’t have the little red books… yet.

      Today, the U.S. is a relatively literate and well educated nation. But one side of the political spectrum has embraced identity politics and grievance politics. Young people in universities are experiencing major outrage over the application of the wrong pronouns. Young people are being “re-educated” to reject the values of their parents. Universities are teaching a new way of thinking. They are learning about white privilege, trigger warnings, implicit bias, and the general evilness of the dominant American culture… perhaps including its consumerism. On and on…

      Yes, times were different and the circumstances were different. But there are similarities. Just because American youth can read doesn’t mean that they are not impressionable and can not be easily politically manipulated. Through identity politics and grievance politics, I see intentional class warfare in the U.S. today similar to revolutionary class warfare in the 1960 s in China. It is perfectly understandable that young people everywhere all the time will always want to believe that they have the power and the answers to every question. This is what most young people want to think. Being illiterate or literate makes absolutely zero difference. This is why we see the silliness we see on so many university campuses these days.

      The process of public denunciations of those seen as the enemies of the people is well in progress (the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation process). We haven’t started burning buildings, books and breaking windows yet, but we seem to be moving steadily in that direction… but wait… maybe we are already there (Antifa riots).

      • Funny, my young adult son got just a whiff of this in his two years away from home at college. Now, after learning that his friends were full of crap, he is amazed how I get smarter every day I draw breath.

      • Thanks for that John Houghton. I read it a couple of times. I have this comment:

        But one side of the political spectrum has embraced identity politics and grievance politics. Young people in universities are experiencing major outrage over the application of the wrong pronouns. Young people are being “re-educated” to reject the values of their parents. Universities are teaching a new way of thinking. They are learning about white privilege, trigger warnings, implicit bias, and the general evilness of the dominant American culture… perhaps including its consumerism. On and on…

        I see the problem differently. I assert that in the Sixties and post-Sixties there developed a *new*, shall I say, or heightened project of Americanism: the creation of a multi-cultural republic and the forced blending of different cultures and also races.

        Presently, this is an established doctrine, and a doctrine of Americanism. So, I assert that the problem begins here, with this effort, with this ideology, and with this forced project.

        ‘Identity politics’ arises in a situation where identity is in crisis and when one is confronted by alter-identities that challenge and confuse.

        Therefor, it is not that someone, randomly and spuriously decided to invent identity politics, but rather that it is inevitable that people have identity, know their identity, and live in accord with it.

        You speak of ‘re-education’ and that “universities are teaching a new way of thinking.” I would take that statement and shift it somewhat. I would say that in the post-Sixties a whole different weltenstuung was a) contrived and b) forced onto people and communities by zealous cultural managers. One is now a villain if one does not agree to the terms of these ideological tenets.

        What is occurring in the present, in my view, needs to be re-analyzed through the perspective that the multi-cultural project, and a ‘national identity’, is the source of the problem.

        Therefor, the *Maoist cultural project* is to convince people through shame and other coercive techniques that they must accept the *project* that has been imposed on them. Thereof it is ‘the American system’, the collusion of business, the academy and government, that must be resisted.

      • The most recent generations are dangerously ignorant, in terms of knowledge of facts. They’re good at passing tests. They are not good at reading comprehension and literature (notice how millennial book references in articles at Salon and HuffPo are 99% Harry Potter), civics, history, government, religion, logic, philosophy, or ethics. They objectively know less than their parents or grandparents. This is dangerous.

        • The currency of collectivist politics is intentional misinformation.

          Propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies regurgitated as if they are truth and as if they are wisdom is at the crux of the problem.

          Google, Facebook, et.al., knows this very well, has, and is using it to great effect among the answer box generation(s). It is using its intentionally misinformed mob against centuries old, generally highly successful, though imperfect, societal norms.

    • Michael West wrote, “College kids are making a solid case to raise the voting age to 26.”

      Raising the voting age won’t help. These idiots are fully indoctrinated well before the age of 26 and as Adolf Hitler stated, “If you can indoctrinate them when they’re children, you’ll have them forever.”

      The cult’ish indoctrination must stop.

      • Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.

        There is debate over who said that. Most say it was St. Ignatius Loyola. Others that Voltaire acidly attributed it to Loyola to make a (acidic) point.

        It is also a basic maxim of the PR and advertising world, and is thus hyper-American. Give a kid a plastic toy and establish positive associations with the breakfast cereal and you’ll ‘have him for life’. It operates in 1,000 different areas, but the idea remains the same.

        And there you have the problem of rhetoric. “All speech is sermonic” and “Any utterance is a major assumption of responsibility” said Richard Weaver.

        Rhetorical language is by nature sermonic; that means it is the speech by which we preach sermons to ourselves and to others on all sorts of subjects in our private and public capacities. It therefore supplies the bond of community, for community rests upon informed sentiment.

        In my view, if one desires to be a truly responsible American citizen, and to understand the perversions of our present, one must resolve to adopt a very critical attitude to what has occurred in America over the last 100 years; that is, a longish segment of time. One must turn a critical eye to the business-government collusion and one must notice and condemn the intentionality within this collusion to remake citizens into non-thinking units, subject to the *programming* and indoctrination that you decry.

        If America is sick — as indeed it seems to be — one must look into the nature of the disease.

        For example (from Plato’s Gorgias):

        The power of speech has the same effect on the condition of the soul as the application of drugs to the state of bodies; for just as different drugs dispel different fluids from the body, and some bring an end to disease but others end life, so also some speeches cause pain, some pleasure, some fear; some instill courage, some drug and bewitch the soul with a kind of evil persuasion.

        I regret to state a significant truth: advertising, public relations and propaganda are all part of the same science, and they have been exceedingly perfected within the American context. This is now part-and-parcel of the general disease as it manifests in the social body.

        Therefor, to begin to understand the disease that manifests itself in the present, one must look into the power of speech, the Word, Logos, and I obviously refer to twisted and devious speech. That is to say The Lie.

        Richard Weaver also said that “[Rhetoric is] persuasive speech in the service of truth.”

        But here is the problem: No one can define, in definite terms, what is and what is to be this truth nor any ‘platform of truth’. That is one by-product of an excessively pluralistic (and multicultural) present. What an agonizing problem! It’s lovely, and perhaps comforting, to contrive sentences that have the word *truth* in them, but in our present condition we (seem to) have no solid basis as a resting place for solid definitions of truth.

        The cause of the present crisis can only be seen if it can be defined, and it can only be defined if it can be seen.

        Presently, no one sees and therefor no one can define. We ‘sniff our way to Dover’.

          • So Isaac, that is what? a refutation of the main idea?

            In my view, if one desires to be a truly responsible American citizen, and to understand the perversions of our present, one must resolve to adopt a very critical attitude to what has occurred in America over the last 100 years; that is, a longish segment of time. One must turn a critical eye to the business-government collusion and one must notice and condemn the intentionality within this collusion to remake citizens into non-thinking units, subject to the *programming* and indoctrination that you decry.

            • There is a ton of social science indicating PR and advertising add information and value to society. In fact, I just completed pilot research which confirms, at a minimum, it does no harm to broad demographic populations, even via social media.

              By all means, let’s reduce information and awareness of individual choice. That will make it all better.

              The issue is the free competition of ideas, which is currently being attacked. In a free and relatively well educated, not indoctrinated, society people can think, discern and choose for themselves. We are living in a society where less and less freedom for competitive ideas exists, by algorithmic design.

              • I assume then that you would agree with the following? (Edward Bernays in his book Propaganda):

                The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

                I guess for you there is no problematic element in statements like this? While I think I understand how your view — to the degree that I understand it — has been formed, I am aware of the problematic aspect in the issue.

                This does not mean that every aspect of public relations and advertising is *bad*, nor is all propaganda necessarily bad or evil, but there is a definite problem when ‘the masses’ are conditioned not to think properly, and when a society cannot define a proper paideia.

                I am concerned with the issue of the ‘marketing of evil’, and I say this from a Christian perspective, so let there be no mistake about my moral orientation. I am convinced that evil is marketed and I am also convinced that the result is deleterious to individuals and to the Republic.

                That you are not, well, you are entitled to your view certainly.

              • Adimagejim: The issue is the free competition of ideas, which is currently being attacked.

                It is true that certain ideas, and those who have them, are being attacked. But this has happened in America for quite some time and was not specifically the project of one party.

                I gather that you are concerned for the recent de-platforming, bannings, and other censorship that has been and is being carried out, and here we will certainly agree.

                In a free and relatively well educated, not indoctrinated, society people can think, discern and choose for themselves. We are living in a society where less and less freedom for competitive ideas exists, by algorithmic design.

                But when you mention PR and advertising as exclusively positive influences, it must be extended to overt propaganda as well. And I assume that you do not oppose the need for propaganda in a democratic society more or less as Bernay’s explains it? It would seem you would agree with him.

                But that would be an *indoctrinated society* by definition, wouldn’t it? not one free of it. What you seem to suggest is some sort of appropriate sort or level of indoctrination

                I am uncertain, under the present regime (of business, media, news producers and also of Hollywood: the whole grouping in collusion with government and also intelligence) that people can and do ‘think, discern and choose for themselves’. I think their thinking is molded and guided: i.e. is coerced.

                And that is my whole point. It requires a free-subject, not just generally educated, but one educated in specific principles (proper paideia) to be responsible citizens. But those citizens seem less and less to exist.

                • No, it is not exclusively positive. PR and advertising in a free competition of ideas is what benefits a discerning society.

                  Free individual choices based on their discernment, not mass choices, or, even more appropriate, choices made for masses by the masters of the universe deciding what we see, hear, engage is the problem.

                  By algorithmic definition they are propagandists or are promoting propagandists. This is not the free competition of ideas. It is intended to end freedom and the ideas within its context.

                  • The point I attempt to make — and I get very little support for it, and often my assertions are misunderstood and resisted — is that the situation we are in now — that is American society — has arisen for a whole group of reasons, and one of the causes is an after-effect of the cynical use of public relations and propaganda — persuasion if you wish, or ‘contaminated rhetoric according to me — that is the source and the cause of some part of the aberrations we now notice in the present.

                    The larger cause is not to be found *out there* or caused *by them*, but can be located within our own institutions, schools, and *cultural presuppositions*. Just as government has been over-penetrated by business and business-interests (and we understand this to be a form of corruption), so too the social body, or the spiritual body, has become contaminated or perverted by the same interests. I do not think it was supposed to be this way.

                    No *other* has caused the decline in morals and the loss of a moral platform and we have brought it about ourselves. Not of the capacity to reason, discern, valuate, and to will according to idealistic premises.

                    Certain phrases from those individuals with cultural power and acumen clearly point to the tool that is abused (again, Edward Bernays):

                    If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

                    The only difference between ‘propaganda’ and ‘education,’ really, is in the point of view. The advocacy of what we believe in is education. The advocacy of what we don’t believe in is propaganda.

                    It is not necessary for the politician to be the slave of the public’s group prejudices, if he can learn how to mold the mind of the voters in conformity with his own ideas of public welfare and public service. The important thing for the statesman of our age is not so much to know how to please the public, but to know how to sway the public. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

                    There are some who, no matter what information is presented to them, will simply refuse to see what I call ‘the ramifications’. The ideas — the techniques really — that are expressed in these quotes are the ideas and concepts that inform an entire industry and the ‘political world’ generally. Those who are its operatives, operate in significant and noticable, and rationally explainable ways, to undermine a free and informed people.

                    If you want only to complain about certain actors in our present — those bad ones, over there — whom you can identify as *the problem* and shake a stick at, well, have at it. I suggest a more difficult path: self-analysis, an analysis that takes into consideration spiritual and also metaphysical questions, as well as historical revision, in combination with a will to improve and renovate the mind and the spirit.

                    I order to get this really rather simple idea through, one has to break down a wall seemingly made of granite stones. Amazing!

        • Alizia Tyler wrote, “There is debate over who said that.”

          That’s quite irrelevant.

          Outside that…

          Any ethics issue can be blurred and muddied by piling on generalities, tangents, cosmic puzzles, dancing angels and navel-gazing exercises.

          This isn’t hard Alizia, reread and at consider context.

          • Any ethics issue can be blurred and muddied by piling on generalities, tangents, cosmic puzzles, dancing angels and navel-gazing exercises.

            Thanks, Jack! Thanks a million! 🙂
            _____________________

            That’s quite irrelevant.

            Only in a sense is it irrelevant who said it. The premise of Christian culture, and the foundation of European civilization, is based on the notion of paideia. And that means inculcating certain ideas. It is a training in seeing. If one — if a culture — has lost track of what those ideas are, and what they were, then its paideia will become perverse rhetorics.

            I would rather make a rational choice as to who will educate my child, but I could only make that decision if I were capable of understanding what proper paideia is. I would have to be able to distinguish it from, shall we say, a false paideia.

            An ethics issue, and a moral issue — the adjudication of each — depends on a person who had been properly informed with sound paideia. One who had not been so informed could not make proper ethical and moral choices.

            Therefor, the idea of paideia, and the notion of who we will give our children over to for those formative years, oh Zoltar the Magnificent, is the Question and the Issue of the Day.

            Now, in the American Present, who and what are the child’s teachers? Who and what informs them? Perverse influences, perversely interested entities who do not, not at all, care about their freedom or their agency as citizens of a free republic, but as units to be controlled.

            In order to see and understand what has happened in the republic, one has to go back over a long causal chain.

    • luckyesteeyoreman wrote, “This country needs an EMP blast to just shut up all the media! Make ’em do their media thing the old-fashioned way!”

      That’s thinking a little like Ted Kaczynski. The problem is that an EMP large enough to wreck the media sending it back to the printed word would also wreck much more than just the media and literally paralyze the the United States. I’m sure Russia and China would enjoy a technologically defenseless USA.

      • Zoltar, yessir, and it’s starting to look like we are long overdue for exactly that kind and level of paralysis, to re-set the social conventions. I am not wishing for it, but, I am starting to think the collateral damage – collateral to the damage that is needed – might be worth suffering.

        • You really don’t want that. Seriously.

          Within two weeks of an EMP event as you describe there will be starvation in the cities. Water supplies will dwindle (no pumps), inventory systems that control distribution will fail (no electricity) and trucks will not be safe on the highways once people realize they might contain food. The urban hordes will swamp the countryside looking for food and safety.

          The massive die off will rival any genocide to date. You are talking about not tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but tens of millions dead in 6 months. Starvation and thirst will beget violence the likes of which were seen in the former Yugoslavia, or war torn Europe during WWII.

          Think about what you are asking for.

      • What about jobs?

        Are you aware that more and more jobs are being lost due to automation?

        An EMP blast would put an end to automation, and businesses would go on a hiring spree to hire workers to do what machines used to do.

        That would lead to an economic boom.

        • Job? Really?!?

          Where would you get food? Electricity? Water?

          Try this thought exercise: how much food is in the average family’s house? Studies have indicated from two days to two weeks. How much in the local supermarket? Easy: three day of NORMAL buying. (Let us assume that none of this supply is destroyed by lack of refrigeration, which ceases on or before day three)

          Where does the food come from? Warehouses are collection points, but product sitting on shelves make no money: these, too, use ‘just in time’ methods to keep inventory as low as possible, to increase profits.

          Next problem: transportation requires fuel. Electricity pumps fuel. No trains, no trucks, run for long after such an event (if they survive themselves, as no one is sure. Not enough tests with models younger than the 1970s). Call this day three again.

          Jobs are the least of your worries. No banking, so no way to pay these new workers. No food. Starving people are dangerous. What would you do to feed your starving child?

          Maybe, eventually, jobs result. If no one invades, that is. We are a wealthy country. Think the world would just sit still while we are vulnerable?

          Our society is dependent on technology. Even farmers cannot feed themselves, being dependent on machines that may not work for which there is no fuel.

  7. I. Southern Cal. Gad! I guess my degree from there isn’t worth all that much anymore, after all…maybe I shouldn’t have even mentioned I went there. What perversion is now being passed off as righteousness!

  8. Did this ex only send the letter to FoxNews? The major nets haven’t touched it.

    He should have sent it to all the major outlets to call their bluff, then watch them twist in the wind if they chose not to report it.

    Can the FBI question him without divulging his identity? I imagine not if they operate on the same level as DiFi, et al.

  9. I’m sorta surprised I’m shocked about all this as I recall the crap before the election. But I am.

    My take away is… “where am I so biased I miss the obvious?” “How can I learn from this?” “What can I learn?”

    The good news I notice is in one on one exchanges, people aren’t so stupid after I listen to them. I think humans want to be heard.

    I notice after I listen wholeheartedly FIRST, most people are quick to listen back and often end up agreeing with me.

    Never though from an argument.

    From their seat at the “table” their view is right, and truly, when I seek to understand them (and Gish it’s hard at times) a connection is made, walls come down, and so far each person has considered my view and many agreed and declared they would look at things differently.

    Most people are sheep and don’t even realize they are pawns being played.

    Love your work and s nd people here often still! They are so thankful for what you do too and wonder why they didn’t hear about you sooner.

    If you ever lose heart, Jack, please know how much a difference you make you will never know about.

      • Lol. My comment was about how crazy this all is and the biased of the left that disregards facts and this whole thing happening about believing her, forget facts, if you question her you’re evil, etc.

        The blatant biased gives me pause to look at my own life and ask, “are there places I too am so blinded by my biases I fail to be objective?” Etc.

        Then I was talking about how in one on one discussions with people on the left, if I actively listen to them, their reasons, and truly listen, get an understanding where they are coming from, something happens where they seem to listen to me share my view.

        Then I notice in those exchanges there has actually been a real discussion and they almost without exception have seen my differing view and don’t label me evil, etc and in many cases change their hard core stance.

        But it always takes me listening first. And in listening I can also discern if they are even open to hear anything else. Sometimes not. But most often yes.

        Many of the people on the left are so steeped in victim mentality and can’t even see it. Most are unaware of their anger and prejudice and can’t think for themselves and like many on the right just repeat crap they hear.

        So when a person actually really listens without arguing or getting into their side’s points, something shifts and in my experience a real exchange happens.

        Jack’s work often gives me clear facts and reasoning which when I share it after listening is received well or at least considered.

        Hope that clarifies!

    • “The notion that the student body is in some constitutional way a depository of humanitarian idealism,” Johnson notes drily, “will not survive a study of the Weimar period.” Modern Germany, he says,

      is an object-lesson in the dangers of allowing academic life to become politicized and professors to proclaim their “commitment.” Whether the bias is to the Left or the Right, the results are equally disastrous, for in either case the wells of truth are poisoned.

    • Precisely why Federalism and Decentralization works. And precisely why we will NEVER de-polarize and re-civilize our national conversation if we don’t return political solutions BACK to their proper level.

      But this requires convincing entire swathes of activists that “what may be good for your state or locale is not necessarily good for other states or locales…trust them to handle their own affairs”.

      As Nassim Nicholas Taleb asserts in his “Principles for Politics under Complexity” (which is in draft form currently):

      Principle 1: Scalability, I

      Between the concrete individual and the abstract collective there are a certain number of tangible fractal gradations.

      — An implication: politics is not scale-free. One can be “libertarian at the federal level, Republican at the state level, Democrat at the county level, socialist within the commune, and communist at the family level.”
      — The notions of “nationalism” vs “globalism” is ill defined.
      — More technically, groups are never 1 (you) or infinity (mankind plus living things), but renormalize into clusters of intermediate sizes.

      Principle 2: Scalability, II

      There exists a brand of peace only reached by noninterventionist localism

      — Intuitively, people do better (to the least, act differently) as floormates than roommates. Any idiot realizes that in his or her own life but misses the point when it comes to political systems.
      — This is best illustrated by either Phoenician-style (non-Punic) decentralized localism or the fractalism of Switzerland.

      To his last example supporting his 2nd principle (there are 11 total in his draft), I would add pre-contemporary American Federalism.

  10. This is not directly related to the Kavanaugh train wreck but based on some of the commentary here helped me develop the following thoughts.

    Jack Houghton’s commentary along with Aliza Tylers’s perspectives on culture shift or culture manipulation reinforced my thinking regarding the resurrection of NBC Universal’s “Erase the Hate” campaign. This campaign is on the surface quite benign but if one looks at it with a critical eye, the professionally produced video subliminally implants the notion that “hate” is omnipresent and must be crushed for a more “inclusive and equitable” society. This is how propaganda works; posit an idea that seems facially irrefutable but through imagery suggest an underlying thesis that anyone that opposes the notion of equality of outcomes – even if it imposes undue burdens on others – is espousing hate and such thoughts should be eliminated. That is the nature of this ad campaign.

    The critical eye, of which I speak, examines who is in the video as well as who is excluded. By excluding certain demographic groups the subliminal suggestion is that the excluded ones are the perpetrators of the omnipresent hate. This video excludes all non-urban residents, older white males and older white women. Nowhere in this presentation are there images of police officers, farmers, factory workers, or people attending a religious service. Why does a campaign that claims to be designed to foster inclusivity not show actual inclusivity that exists and purposely exclude certain demographic and occupational groups? Obviously such a campaign cannot come right out and say that white Middle America is the progenitor of hateful conduct so it merely suggests, by exclusion of the above groups, that only young urban, predominantly minority and/or female dwellers are the productive unbiased citizens are pure of heart. They have, through imagery, erased all those who might disagree with their political and socioeconomic perspective. So, does erase the hate really mean marginalizing opposing views to the point of extinction by classifying those perspectives as hate speech? Is this a precursor to ultimate goal of political cleansing, or worse?

    The tempo and verbiage of the anthem is also suggestive of “in your face” aggressive tactics. It begins innocently and slowly with amorphous allegations of hate culminating into a crescendo of an outright demand to “Erase the Hate” which they repeat over and over again which is necessary to gain group acceptance. The hate they seek to end is never defined in the video which allows the viewer to determine what groups they deem hateful based on their own inherent biases. How exactly does one erase the hate in another; by force, indoctrination, or by leading by demonstrating the value of all people? The video suggests the first two rather than the last. Hate is a personal emotion based on personal experiences, inculcated beliefs, ignorance, and an unhealthy need to be accepted by like-minded thinkers at any cost. Ironically, mandatory like-mindedness in all things is unquestionably a hallmark of people that hate which is exactly what the campaign is designed to do; get everyone to think their way. Demanding that I erase the hate in me is exactly that, a demand to do it or else.

    The video which you have no doubt seen, but if not, can be found at https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=erase+the+hate+commercial&view=detail&mid=1B3C8D83EEE7E7C8704A1B3C8D83EEE7E7C8704A&FORM=VIRE

    is dubbed the official anthem of the movement to silence those that espouse hate. This video was released on the one year anniversary of the clash in Charlottesville. NBC Universal in conjunction Civic Nation along with the Center for American Progress and numerous other left of center groups fund the campaign. Nowhere in there Advisory Board is a single white conservative male; so much for inclusion let alone balance of opinion.

    From Erasethehate.org website they define hate as:

    “We define hate as negative behavior toward individuals or groups based on their identity: where they come from, what they look like, how they worship, or whom they love. Hate is often rooted in bias, or prejudiced beliefs about certain groups or “types” of people and what they deserve–and it can be expressed as words, behavior, or policy. Hate thrives when people who oppose it stay silent. But we know that, together, our voices are louder and stronger than hate. Together we can create change.”

    Their silence is deafening when the identity in question is old white males, one-percenters, Trump supporters, Republicans and any person or group that disagrees with their agenda. Why do they not condemn the explicit hate they harbor toward these supposed “privileged” groups. Why do they not condemn political commercials that say tax cuts are “crumbs” or that one group gets more than another group? Aren’t those ads designed to tell their supporters who deserve what? Where were they when Occupy Wall Street was front in center? Where do they stand with respect to Antifa? Where were they when a former president stated one group clings to their religion and their guns? Isn’t that a negative behavior aimed at a class of people that worship their way or have a particular belief equally hateful. Loud strong voices do little to change other opinion unless the voices are designed to intimidate, bully, or threaten the quiet enjoyment of another’s activities. Shouting down opposing views facilitates hate on both sides. They hate thrives when people stay silent but this group is absolutely quiet when hate emanates from their side.

    This is entire campaign reeks of partisan animus aimed at impressionable minds many of whom truly want an unbiased society but whose very basic need for affiliation is easily manipulated by identity politics power brokers and profiteers. I am beginning to believe that they want us at each other’s throats so they can keep their influence so they may continue to extract resources from the masses they claim to represent.

    • Chris wrote: “The critical eye, of which I speak, examines who is in the video as well as who is excluded. By excluding certain demographic groups the subliminal suggestion is that the excluded ones are the perpetrators of the omnipresent hate.”

      I read your piece a couple of times and thought it good.

      A ‘media studies’ approach to analysis of the *texts* that come to us will reveal a great deal. But it all depends on the viewer (the reader).

      And how one analyzes such as this, and what one decides about it, obviously depend on how one is informed.

      • Aliza,
        Thank you for reading.
        Whether you are selling products or ideas human behavior consistently reacts positvely to the message when it stokes fear not benefits. Hate is something to be feared and hate directed at you will be the outcome if you do not do as we say.

        All propaganda has a scapegoat. In this case the scapegoat will be those unwilling to toe the line. The implication is cear.

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