Let’s Have An Open Forum!

I’m about to do my first Zoom ethics seminar, fortunately  with the more than able assistance of Paul Morella, the acclaimed D.C. actor who has been portraying legal icon Clarence Darrow with me in one format or another for 20 years. Still, I’m nervous about it, so I would benefit from knowing that Ethics Alarms is in good hands: yours.

No topics are forbidden, as long as they they relate to ethics. As Jimmy Durante once sang to Bing Crosby, “Sing soft, sing sweet, sing gentle!” I should be back after 9 or so, unless I’m zoomed out.

68 thoughts on “Let’s Have An Open Forum!

  1. Oy! You people think you have problems?

    Some loathsome, bloodsucking POS remora (a cross between Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Hedy Carlson [Single White Female] and Ernie ‘Chip” Douglas [Jim Carrey in Cable Guy]) has latched onto me @neighborsnextdoor:
    Frederick Grubb• 20 hr ago: Paul’s peaches and cherries. Paul had hoarded fruit for too long, this is the fruit revolution https://nextdoor.com/events/3627489?init_source=copy_link_share
    **Jun 29 · Pillage Paul w. Schlecht’s cherries and peaches —Posted to 22 neighborhoods
    Comments
    *Amy Zion • Midvale Heights: This has gone way too far. That is an outright threat.
    *Frederick Grubb • Dudgeon Monroe: So will you not be attending Amy?
    *Toddrick Sheamus • Midvale Heights: I’ve been waiting for these voluptuous supple fruits to be liberated for far too long. I am so glad to see I am not the only one!
    *Frederick Grubb • Dudgeon Monroe: Great to hear Todd!
    *Bart Lenart • Vilas: Frederick, I am so glad to hear that there is finally a plan in place to reallocate the resources that Paul has been hoarding for quite some time. Count me in!
    *Paul W. Schlecht • Midvale Heights: Anyone who thinks this sick harassment is funny and attempts to follow through on it, be advised; they will acquire, immediately and at once, knowledge and experience that will never darken nor grow dim!
    *Christina Wagner • Vilas Park: Please tell innocent me that this is a a neighborhood in-joke!
    *Paul W. Schlecht • Midvale Heights: Not in the least Christina; Grubb is certifiable and has been reported to the mods and the authorities!
    *Frederick Grubb • Dudgeon Monroe: Yes Christina this is a friendly joke we are all good friends here
    *Frederick Grubb • Dudgeon Monroe: Paul I thought we were friends I did not know this was upsetting to you
    *Paul W. Schlecht • Midvale Heights: This is NOT a joke; if it was, it’d be one of the most imbecilic I’ve ever experienced. Grubb is a gaslighting troll and no friend of mine!
    *Frederick Grubb • Dudgeon Monroe: Paul W. Schlecht I’m sorry you feel that way paul… I feel we good be good friends… Maybe someday we could come together and share high quality organic bud and meteor cherries

    The next headlines out of the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality:

    Internet Stalker Pushes Luck Too Far, Beaten To A Bloody Pulp By No Nonsense Homeowner

  2. “If everyone woke up one day and found themselves unable to lie, the Soviet Union would fall by noon.”
    -Unknown (Although I always attributed it to Solzhenitsyn, if anyone knows who said this, I’d appreciate the assist)

    I feel like more and more, we find ourselves an army of hammers in search of nails. Every problem, every emergency, every poorly worded tweet, is taken as an opportunity to circle the wagons and hammer down hard on prior positions in what can only be described as a masturbatory exercise of a scale never before seen.

    One of the great lessons in my young life was that even when people have essentially the same access to information, different people will put that information through different filters, and can come up with *wildly* different takes from that information… They aren’t *necessarily* being dishonest, they could merely be wrong, or biased, or stupid… Never discount stupid… And it’s important to treat those arguments as if they were genuine statements of belief and no matter how wrong, biased, or stupid the argument might be, if the point is to convince someone to listen to you, then you have to approach the conversation with a basic respect for the other person, and not immediately blast their argument. I’m not always good at that. It’s a personal flaw.

    I’ve realized that my argumentation has shifted, and I don’t know if it’s a function of the weariness I feel towards political gamesmanship right now, or if it’s just the right response to the kind of arguments I’m facing, but I find myself more often than not repeating what someone has just said to me, while paraphrasing it for clarity or removing euphemisms and asking “Do you really believe that?”

    I don’t know whether people are becoming more wrong, biased or stupid, or if they’ve merely shelved their pretenses and honesty, but some of the political theories being put out there require such a steep, immediate suspension of disbelief it isn’t even funny. The lie of the “Peaceful Protestor” in the case of the Floyd Riots comes immediately to mind. The immediacy of how CHAZ fell into cultish wokeness and violence was newsworthy, but instead the media carried water for them that must have felt like the burden of Atlas. How about COVID, and how it was deathly serious, and states attempting to open to avoid economic disaster were going to kill people, but protesting police brutality (or more recently, hosting a pride parade) is necessary and patriotic. How about the complete 180 on masks, and how one week anyone saying that masks were probably effective were idiots, and the next week if you weren’t wearing a mask you could be arrested?

    I know how we got here. We got here by electing people who lie like they breath into high office. I know where Rand Paul stands on the issues, for better or worse. I know where Bernie Sanders stands on the issues, again, for better or worse. These are true believers in an ideology, and their response to issues is fairly consistent, and don’t change whether or not their ideology is in vogue. Juxtapose that with Hillary Clinton, or Elizabeth Warren, or yes, Donald Trump… Their positions fly around like blades of grass in the wind. I have no idea what the heck these people stand for because they don’t know what they stand for because they haven’t checked Twitter yet this morning.

    And I don’t know how we make that better. I’m open to suggestions. There is a fundamental honesty deficit in today’s conversations, where it seems like the point of the conversation, more than to get solutions is to generate outrage and pander. And I don’t think that helps anyone….

    Case in point: Tim Scott put a police reform bill in front of the Senate. This after weeks of Democrats screaming for a police reform, and because Scott’s bill was restrained to things the federal government could actually do, they refused to allow the vote on it. Scott’s Response was (I’m paraphrasing): “Some people on the left are saying ‘wait for the election, we can get what we want then’, well… Maybe. But if this is 80% of what you wanted, why wouldn’t you take 80% now and see about that other 20% past November?” To which the Democrats said: “Humina humina”, while they weren’t calling Scott an Uncle Tom, or erecting a gallows on the street in front of the Senate (Ok, one of those three things was hyperbole). What did the Democrats instead choose to allow through? A doomed-to-fail-bill recognizing the 51st state of DC.

    America does have an issue with police brutality, it does a poor job holding officers to account when they do something wrong, the people on that side have arguments that have merit…. But instead of looking at qualified immunity, standardized bodycams, or a national database of bad cops, these protesters are being pandered to by having corporations endeavor to take every black face off product webbing and shelving problematic episodes of the golden girls and the Democrats are hovering somewhere around Uranus trying to gerrymander in two more senate seats.

    • HT, if I’m not mistaken and maybe this is a conspiracy theory, but I believe the Minneapolis cops had body cameras running during the entire incident but the tapes have yet to be made public.

      And as I’ve said here before, in U.S. presidential elections, we only get to pick between column A and column B. No substitutions. Not voting for Trump is a vote for Biden and all the furies behind him.

    • Has anyone seenTrumps Covid911campaign video?

      Worth watching.

      It’s on YouTube.

      Would love to hear your take, Jack.

    • HT Excellent post and topics.

      I am going to come off as a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist or a starry-eyed idealist but what the hell. To begin the goal of every government is totalitarianism. To support this assertion, every year government promulgates new laws, regulations, and programs. Each of these acts result in making some aspect of life illegal or the transfer of wealth from one group of individuals to another. At the same time, old laws and regulations are rarely removed or repealed and programs are rarely canceled. Day by day the government controls or influences more and more of everyone’s life. The more that the government controls the more important it is for businesses or groups to get favors or carveouts. These take the form of new laws and regulations. Most laws and regulations are written by lobbyists to benefit their clients who provide campaign contributions to politicians who vote for bills without actually reading them. Very often the new law authorizes the Secretary of _______ to issue regulations they deem necessary to do thus and such. This system is so finely tuned it isolates the voting politicians from accountability and the need to actually do anything meaningful for the country or the voters as a whole. This frees up their time to mine campaign contributions, enhance their own wealth, and acquire power. The more power they get the better their ego is fed and the more their campaign and personal coffers grow.

      To keep the charade going it is important to keep the electorate energized and the politicians do this via wedge issues. Their current favorites are abortion, racism, income inequality, immigration, climate change, and women’s rights issues. The politicians of both parties stake out their positions, do a great deal of harrumph harrumphing and laugh all the way to the bank. Each party stakes out their roles to play. None, of them, are the least bit interested in solving any of the ills plaguing the nation. Their focus is to feed the discontent. That way we the people don’t pay attention to the fact that they don’t really solve any of the problems that they say they are fighting to solve for us. I ask you if your car, heating system, refrigerator, or what have you was not working properly would you keep going back to the same repair shop year after year that never actually fixes the problem? If not, why do we the people keep voting for the same ineffectual politicians every election? It is because we the people for the most part are consumed with our own lives and vote based on a candidate’s personality and emotional issues. We certainly don’t vote based on performance.

      It is human nature that most people do not want the responsibility of governing. We are too busy working, caring for loved ones, and pursuing happiness to care about politics. Those that do want governing responsibilities typically exploit it for their own benefit. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is a truism. For true change to occur I believe we as a people must suffer more privation and exploitation until we reach a collective tipping point where continuation of the status quo is intolerable, or society totally collapses. This has happened throughout history. The fall of the Roman Empire, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Weimar Republic, the USSR to name a few. Sometimes the result of the tipping point being reached is positive, most times it is not. It will always result in innocents getting grievously hurt.

      What is the solution to avoid the inevitable? Get off your butts and vote. Stop voting for incumbents. Become involved. Educate yourselves. Demand our representatives actually fix problems. Demand more individual freedom and less regulation. Stop voting for more stuff for yourself at the expense of others. Recognize life is not fair and governments can not make it fair. Recognize if you didn’t work in school and are incapable of earning a sufficient income to support yourself it is not society’s responsibility to provide for you. Recognize utopia is a myth. Since the beginning of mankind, utopia has been sought but never realized. What in our infinite wisdom leads us to believe that this or any crop of politicians is capable of bringing it to pass now or in the future? Convince others to join this crusade. To quote JFK “ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”. The reason Trump is reviled by both parties is not that he is an inarticulate narcissist. It is because he is not part of the club. He doesn’t know the rules he is supposed to play by to keep the charade going. He is in danger of pulling back the emerald city curtain and showing the electorate that Washington is all form and no substance who doesn’t give a rip about anyone but themselves.

    • Humble Talent wrote:

      I feel like more and more, we find ourselves an army of hammers in search of nails. Every problem, every emergency, every poorly worded tweet, is taken as an opportunity to circle the wagons and hammer down hard on prior positions in what can only be described as a masturbatory exercise of a scale never before seen.

      […]

      One of the great lessons in my young life was that even when people have essentially the same access to information, different people will put that information through different filters, and can come up with *wildly* different takes from that information…

      I know how we got here. We got here by electing people who lie like they breath into high office.

      What I take away from your essay — a bundle of vain rhetoric and non-useful observations that don’t even qualify as *superficial* — is that you have no comprehension of what is going on today in the United States, none. You cannot see it and you cannot describe it. But the most important thing is that you have absolutely no way to oppose it, and nothing to offer in the way of solution. Because whatever view and understanding you do have has no teeth in it whatever. My object is and has been to *see into* this, to see into whatever debilitating set of ideas you as a false-conservative work with, and to try to correct it.

      There is no solution of any sort that is even proposed by this blog’s relationship to all that we see unfolding because you-plural are trapped within liberal and progressive perspectives. This is a fundamental and unopposable fact. You are deeply and profoundly allied with the perspectives in the video lecture I submit below. This is certainly true in Jack’s case. In order to talk about anything different, in order to be capable of opposing what is taking shape, you would have to become militant in self-defense. And you are incapable of this. Because you’d have to turn against the structures that have been established in you and to which you are ideologically wedded.

      This is a fact. I defy anyone to successfully refute this.

      “If everyone woke up one day and found themselves unable to lie, the Soviet Union would fall by noon.”

      I would modify this to fit your situation. If you could ever bring yourself to understand what is really going on, and why it is going on, and actually align your self with truth-telling as a result of accurate seeing and description, you would at least approach being in a position to make positive and constructive contributions. You are in no sense of the word a *hammer* and you have no nail of any sort to pound.

      And this is the essence of my critique of whatever your *conservative* platform is. You talk about ‘masturbation’? But this is what you do.

      This is what *we* are up against. What I suggest, and I suggest it because it is true, is that you have no way at all to answer or to counter-propose to the essential argument this man brings forward. You have no means to oppose it because, in essence, you have come under the spell and the weight of the truth he brings out. And it is a truth. Or it has many many truthful elements.

      An unprecedented rebellion is in motion. It will go forward, literally, until it shakes the foundations on which the United States rests. It has directly to do with contradicting and opposing the white European demographic and of attacking their ‘power-base’: the way that they orient them self within the matrix of their own culture. It is profoundly rooted in a direct power-struggle. This power-struggle employs ideas and the harnessing of perspectives and narratives but it is essentially based in anger and rage and profound resentment. In this sense it can be compared to a slave uprising, which is of course its historical antecedent.

      • And if you have listened/watched at least some portion of what this man presents, you will then grasp wy Kelsey Smoot describes to you what you will have to do — in one way or another, at one time or another — in order to make amends:

        The truth is, genuine allyship is not kindness, it is not a charitable act, nor is it even a personal commitment to hold anti-racist ideals – it is a fall from grace. Real allyship enacted by White Americans, with a clear objective to make equitable the lived experiences of individuals across racial lines, means a willingness to lose things. Not just the extra $50 in one’s monthly budget by way of donating to an organization working towards racial justice. I mean palpable, incalculable loss. The loss of the charmed life associated with being a White person in America. Refusing a pay raise at one’s job and insisting that it be reallocated to co-workers of color who are undoubtedly being underpaid. The loss of potentially every close relationship with other White friends and family members who refuse to acknowledge or amend their behaviors that reinforce systemic oppression. The loss of bodily safety, by way of physically intervening when violence is being inflicted on to Black bodies.

        Now, is this all a ‘lie’? Is the presentation of Jeffery Robinson based on lies? No, that is impossible to say. And is what Kelsey Smoot instructs you that you must *do* to respond ethically to what had been done false? It is not false because in the coming weeks, months, years and decades she tells you what you are going to face. If it is not you it will be your children. They will come under the influence of these perspectives — that offered by Jeffrey Robinson and which you are fundamentally in agreement with! — and they will sit there just like the folks in his audience and ‘absorb’ the message that is communicated to them through profound historical guilt.

        The same guilt that motivates *you*. And what will you oppose this with? Hmmmmmm? Zteve? Alicia? Jack? Humble Talent? Anyone? What will you oppose it with?!

        Answer: You will not oppose it. You have nothing with which to oppose it. You are living, now, in your Fall from Grace. It is brought to you from out of the essential predicates of the System you have built. Ideologically, you are allied to it. Ideologically you have no opposing argument.

        I defy you to explain to me what it is, then, if you think you do have one.

        Within larger meta-political structures — these are global structures — what is happening in the US, the ideas and perspectives that support it and created it, are also to be applied in Europe. In fact wherever European cultures exist and prosper. This is the meaning of the present.

        The emergence of a Dissident Right and what each of you sees as a Radical Fringe or Rightwing Extremists — these are the terms that are used — has indeed made counter-propositions, has indeed taken steps to initiate *self-defense*, but it is these movements, and these ideas, that are described as Neo-fascist. And on a meta-political level, and on a global level, those who hold and wield real power have determined that this cannot go forward. Be it in England, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Hungary or in Sweden. The stakes are too high.

        • Alizia,
          I did watch the entire video, although I admit I had to stop occasionally and clear my head to shake the fog of the twisted version of history that this guy expounds. I really wish someone more articulate myself would take on a point-by-point rebuttal of the many errors and deliberate omissions in the account given, although many of his statements would be in the category of half truths that need to be illuminated and generalizations that won’t stand up to close examination. He also has a habit of quoting some inflammatory statement made by an individual man and extrapolating that to reflect the words and beliefs of an entire generation, race, or society. As we all know, it s child’s play to cherry-pick quotations and weave them into a desired narrative.
          As I watched the faces of the audience (was anyone under 60 admitted to this event?) I had to wonder how many of them possessed the knowledge to see through what was being offered. Nonetheless, the video is revealing as to the narrative that has been and continues to be pushed.
          Early in my police career I was assigned as Field Training Officer to a police trainee. I was still in college at the time and I learned that my trainee’s father was a professor of economics at the university I attended. My trainee introduced me to his parents soon after, and over the course of several weeks I was drawn into their circle of friends. I learned that the father was an unapologetic card-carrying member of the John Birch Society and a staunch anti-communist. Over meals in their home and at other gatherings he would expound on various aspects of the communist plot to subvert America from within, and the role that race would play in their plans. He introduced me to Manning Johnson’s “Color, Communism and Common Sense.” (Surprisingly available online now as a downloadable PDF.) He also warned about America’s eventual economic collapse due to unsustainable economic policy, but doubted that our societal “decline into barbarism,” as he phrased it, would be delayed long enough for the full economic collapse to occur. He railed against the government’s efforts to reduce and remove the influence of Christianity and the church from public life. He loaned me his copy of Robertson’s “The Dispossessed Majority,” then a fairly new work.
          A career in law enforcement is a front seat for observing the evolution of popular culture and human social behavior. Over the next four decades I witnessed America changing and morphing into the misshapen caricature of the country of my birth, and now seemingly headed at a bobsled’s pace to the end the good professor predicted. I frequently recalled his words and those of several of his like-minded associates that I met back in those days. One of the things that he said has really stuck in my mind was following my pronouncement that surely that right-thinking patriots would resort to open revolt to retake the country before accepting the subjugation he foretold.
          I remember him saying, “Jim, my lad, don’t fool yourself. There may be a revolt, but by the time that happens, the majority of people will willingly, even enthusiastically, embrace their fate.”
          I found that hard to accept, and until recently, I didn’t actually think that he might be right. I wish he were still alive; I would love to talk to him now.

          • James wrote: “As I watched the faces of the audience (was anyone under 60 admitted to this event?) I had to wonder how many of them possessed the knowledge to see through what was being offered. Nonetheless, the video is revealing as to the narrative that has been and continues to be pushed.”

            I watched a good portion of it again last evening. At the end he includes a nature video of lions attacking a water buffalo herd and then the whole herd attacking the lions. That is his finale to the argument of his entire presentation. The man is a lawyer and not a historian and it seems fair to say he made a case designed to convict what he condemns, not to offer ‘nuance’.

            I really wish someone more articulate myself would take on a point-by-point rebuttal of the many errors and deliberate omissions in the account given, although many of his statements would be in the category of half truths that need to be illuminated and generalizations that won’t stand up to close examination.

            My interpretation of his presentation is that it offers a glimpse into a ‘structure of narrative’ that was seeded in people and then ‘flowered’. I see it as similar to the film 12 Years a Slave. I’ve not been able to find the quote but William James said something about the novelization of history (“If we write novels like that how then will we write history?” — something to that effect).

            There is another aspect to this: the notion of archplot. In story-telling, and certainly in the most famous and most popular movies and novels (Star Wars for one example) you have story-plots that employ absolute villains and absolute heroes in the starkest terms. I suppose that as people are less and less inclined to read *nuanced* literature or histories, they fall into orbit around dramatic, highly polarized plots. Because that is the stuff of activism, and that is the stuff of rhetorical argument: that is the stuff that motivates people.

            The other, darker aspect here, the part that is harder to deal with, is the reality of the fact that in general the Black Experience in America is the experience of a people who were brought against their will into the historical project — the empire — of the white man’s will. This is something that even strong Black activists admit and understand. Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) in Blues People: Negro Music in White America began (as I remember) describing the slavery condition for Africans in America as one of language separation and isolation. It would be one thing to have been a slave in Africa among people who could still communicate in their own tongue and through their own cultural symbols, but something utterly alienating to be thrust into an entire *world* to which one had no connection at all.

            Baraka opens the book by arguing that Africans suffered in America not only because they were slaves, but because American customs were completely foreign to them. He argues that slavery itself was not unnatural or alien to the African people, as slavery had long before existed in the tribes of West Africa. Some forms of West African slavery even resembled the plantation system in America. He then discusses a brief history of slavery, inside and outside the United States. He argues that unlike the slaves of Babylon, Israel, Assyria, Rome, and Greece, American slaves were not even considered human.

            My ideas about Race in America developed out of reading The Southern Tradition At Bay (Richard Weaver). And there I was introduced to the notion of ‘metaphysics’. It has proved almost impossible to present to people — America generally — the notion that with the destruction of the South, and the hatred that is cultivated and expended in that hate-project as a sort of cultural ritual and even *liturgy* — that something vital and important was destroyed.

            Later, Weaver came to acknowledge that the South’s resistance in modern America had all but collapsed. But yesterday, in the 1940s, it still seemed like a magnificent ruin: “a hall hung with splendid tapestries in which no one would care to live.” They may be inhospitable. They may be strange and even rebarbative. Nevertheless, Weaver concludes, they offer essential existential wisdom: “from them we can learn something of how to live.” The Old South, he declared (and the italics are his) was “the last non-materialist civilization in the Western World.”

            Significantly, in my case, this notion which I could barely understand then [“the last non-materialist civilization in the Western World.”] is what has motivated a good deal of my study (which also veered into Shakespeare studies and attempt to understand the metaphysics of that time and notions of ‘value’ and ‘meaning’).

            I have to say that this has all led me *back into* definite, and articulated, notions of Eurocentrism: the value of what Europe is. And though these are unthinkable thoughts in our present, an investigation of What makes a European? What are we talking about when we talk in such terms. The basic fact: it is not possible to have that conversation any longer because it is interpreted as White Supremacism. So then: I resolve to go go against that current. I will become an articulate supremacist. In a real sense — a very real sense — they close off the avenue to defining value, and certainly hierarchical values. Well then: I will resolve to turn against all of that!

            And that is how I came to my Rebel Platform.

            A career in law enforcement is a front seat for observing the evolution of popular culture and human social behavior. Over the next four decades I witnessed America changing and morphing into the misshapen caricature of the country of my birth, and now seemingly headed at a bobsled’s pace to the end the good professor predicted.

            I think I understand you very well. That is the other side of the value-coin: What influences undermine value, what influences break apart internal solidities? Obviously the Culture Wars have to do essentially with bringing this question out. It is very very complex and difficult. Because it involves an investigation and a dissection of culture, influence, propaganda, public relations, social engineering, seduction, sophistry.

            I came to understand that as we examine American culture of the last 100 years, but notably in the Postwar, we have to consider and think about the origins of ‘destructive influence’. Our present is a flowering of past influences and there are ‘causal chains’. I came to understand through a reading of both Richard Weaver and Blues People: Negro Music in White America that we can discover the *mood of rebellion* in musical forms and lyrics. Whereas Leroi Jones will describe this music as ‘survival strategy’, and this is true, it also contains the Will to Undermine. Because you have to oppose ‘The Empire of the White Man’s Will’. It is a psychological fact: you have to destroy what has harmed you and out of that destruction build something that is wholly your own.

            This is why I do not predice ‘peaceful settlement’ of the present conflicts. I know though that what I am proposing in what I have just written here is so radical to people’s conventional understanding that it must seem like lunacy! I see the present conditions as arising directly and in a way *inexorably* from past deeds and choices.

            Because I propose the ‘recovery’ of values — and metaphysical solidities — I also link with cultural projects that are deemed retrograde. And for this reason locate myself in the Dissident Right.

      • Now, right now, today, and tomorrow and in the coming weeks, the System (YouTube in this case) will continue to purge any and all ideas that are seen to connect with or to support ‘hate’ or ‘supremacy’. Any idea that contains seeds of notions that can be applied toward self-defense. Right? You see this, right? It has affected you, right? It has affected Jack certainly because someone ‘reported’ the blog to the thoughtpolice and EA has been blocked on FB. Yet Jack fundamentally supports their goals & objectives, that is, the goals and objectives of those building the America of today and tomorrow. True, not with an equivalent rhetorical zealousness but in all essential points, and ‘conservatively’.

        Just over the last week or so Stephan Molyneux, Jared Taylor (American Renaissance), and your best buddies Richard Spencer and David Duke were removed from YouTube. Already hundreds and thousands of channels have been censored, and 20-25,000 remain to be canceled.

        Right? This tells you where things are going. Each of those people I mentioned, and in differing degrees, can define a position where ‘white well-being’ is at the core. Not quite the same as ‘hate’ of any other but nevertheless they all deal in ideas that are recognized as thoughtcriminal. To define the position they have involves a kind of reversal of liberal categories. This is just a fact.

        I do not blame any one of you for your core weakness. I do not blame any one of you for your essentially ideological confusion. No one of you on your own has the means to stand up in self-defense and this is understandable. But it is not excusable.

        • In Hong Kong (NYTs today):

          In Hong Kong, Arrests and Fear Mark First Day of New Security Law

          Protesters deleted social media accounts, as formerly allowed speech suddenly became a potential crime. The chill over the city has booksellers, professors and nonprofits questioning their future.

          HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police moved swiftly on Wednesday to enforce China’s new national security rules with the first arrests under the law, as the city immediately felt the chilling effect of Beijing’s offensive to quash dissent in the semiautonomous territory.

          The law was proving effective in tamping down the anti-government demonstrations that have wracked Hong Kong for more than a year. On Wednesday, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control — usually observed by huge pro-democracy marches — a scattered crowd of thousands protested, only to be corralled by the police and risk arrest for crimes that did not exist a day earlier.

            • You have not ever demonstrated that I am wrong using upfront and direct argument. You would of course have to be able to paraphrase what I say, and you can’t. But for you the assertion is enough.

              • You’ve never said anything to rebut! You just call people wrong using the ephemeral argument of “I told you you’re wrong, what more do you want?” That’s not intelligent, well thought out, or honest…. You just waste gallons of digital ink doing it. And you expect some kind of well reasoned point by point takedown of your non arguments? Fuck that. You don’t deserve it.

                • I started by saying that you have ‘no comprehension of what is going on in the United States’. I do not think you do. That is just one statement that you could begin to *rebut*. It is silly to go on and list others because you do not now have, and you will never have, any genuine interest in talking about ideas.

                  My impression of you is that its mostly façade and posturing.

    • HT said:

      I feel like more and more, we find ourselves an army of hammers in search of nails. Every problem, every emergency, every poorly worded tweet, is taken as an opportunity to circle the wagons and hammer down hard on prior positions in what can only be described as a masturbatory exercise of a scale never before seen.

      Well said, that. Common ground seems to have been redefined as abject surrender, so everyone is much more invested in defending their position, however untenable, than even attempting to consider different opinions and debating alternatives.

      This is what usually happens between two polities just before they go to war, by the way. When neither side has any interest in compromise, that is the only outcome possible as soon as one side believes itself to have the advantage.

      One of the great lessons in my young life was that even when people have essentially the same access to information, different people will put that information through different filters, and can come up with *wildly* different takes from that information…

      Like with the Strzok notes, the part that says:

      Obama: “Make sure you look at things + have the right people on it”

      Almost all conservatives see “the right people” as indicating an attempt at political interference, and it may well be. It could also be Strzok writing what he wanted to hear, rather than what was said, or interpreting the words the way that made sense to him. Notes are like that.

      But you won’t find anyone on the Right making this argument. They have made up their minds it was Obama directing the investigation, because that’s the outcome they desperately desire.

      There are too many examples on both sides to mention.

      And I don’t know how we make that better. I’m open to suggestions. There is a fundamental honesty deficit in today’s conversations, where it seems like the point of the conversation, more than to get solutions is to generate outrage and pander. And I don’t think that helps anyone….

      To me, this indicates two sides invested not just in their positions, but ensuring their positions are as different as possible from that of their ideological opponents in order to forestall the possibility of common ground. Where that does sometimes occur, the respective sides are moving hell and earth to find the other insufficiently pure in their position.

      That perfectly encapsulates why Sen. Scott’s bill failed to overcome a filibuster — because it was demagogued as insufficiently perfect. Perfect has not only become the enemy of the good, but anything less cannot be tolerated in the least.

  3. The George Floyd Freakout/BLM Bolshevik Revolution tag.

    This from my undergraduate degree issuer Hamilton College:

    “Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,
    We write as members of the newly established Advisory Council to acknowledge the concerns we have heard from many of you. The Council was established to help the College address the ways in which institutionalized oppression manifests at Hamilton College. Work of this magnitude requires input and assistance from all parts of our community, and will entail ongoing discussion and revision of our goals.
    The Council is beginning with a discussion of the equity and inclusion work done by the College and the senior staff last year under the leadership of Terry Martinez (our Chief Diversity Officer, Vice President and Dean of Students). To make sustained progress towards the kind of community we all want, which is a just, safe, and inclusive one, this review must be informed by many others in our community. Together, and with open minds, we can create the change that’s needed.
    We have reviewed the petition prepared by the Black and Latinx Student Union and supported by many others. We think we have some common goals and that we are striving for the same result. We hope that through further discussion we can solidify an action plan to achieve our shared objectives.
    The Council is committed to engaging in the practice of active listening. Council members welcome the opportunity to hear from the students and organizations that have joined in the petition, and from all parts of our community. In that spirit, we hope you will agree to share your experiences and ideas. While we may not be able to meet in person for some time, we can meet virtually in the meantime.
    We look forward to working with the entire Hamilton community in our efforts towards creating a more just and equitable institution.
    Sincerely,
    Hamilton College Advisory Council”

    This nice piece of inflammatory, Marxist agitprop is signed by the members of the council (Star Chamber?), including the college’s president.

    “Oppression.” “Community.” “Revision of our goals.” “Equity and inclusion.” “Sustained progress.” “A just, safe and inclusive community.” “The change that’s needed.” “The petition.” “Common goals.” “Striving.” “Action plan,” “Shared objectives.” “Active listening.” “A more just and equitable institution.”

    Boy, is this ever depressing. Count me out of the gulag. Good luck appeasing “the community” with a Stalinist show trial. And the President of the college signed this! Unbelievable and terribly tragic.

    • Man. What a piece of Authentic Frontier Gibberish that is!

      I’ve never seen a more sustained grovel to Leftist buzzwords, euphemisms and dogma. I’m not sure he left many out.

      • The chickens have come home to roost at Hamilton College. After forty or fifty years of all lefty faculty all the time, the place oozes Marxist theory and it’s collapsing from within. The school has been retreating little by little and now it’s going over the edge almost of its own accord.

  4. My wife came to me with the following:

    She works for the local Boys and Girls club as the CFO. The town they are based out of is also the town that host the State Fair. Every year they receive a large donation of tickets to the state fair to use from a donor who sits on the board. It comes out to 100 tickets. They have 150+ students plus staff that would be needed to take the students.

    The donor gets this tickets at a greatly reduced price, but can only receive 100 of them. So it cost significantly more to get the next 50+ then it does for the first 100. The question is what to do with them? Some have suggested all or nothing. Some have suggested a lottery system. Some have suggested a inventive system. Some have suggested based on age and grade. What is the right choice here?

    • Find a way or some donor to pay for the other fifty tickets. Talk to the fair people and try to get a discount, or an outright donation of the additional tickets. Be aggressive.

    • Your state is having a State Fair this year? Ours is cancelled.

      Maybe ask the staff that want to go to fund their own tickets? Maybe scout around the community to find a donor to make up the difference?

  5. How timely this Open Thread is. I have been waiting anxiously to highlight one item I found remarkable, and another that just hit my email box. Both of these were certainly eye-opening and thought-provoking for me, and I hope for you as well. We’ll take them in reverse order:

    Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and others, Harvard has rescinded their extraordinary and onerously unconstitutional policy banning same-sex only groups like fraternities and sororities from captaining athletic teams, leadership positions in student government or groups, and render their members ineligible for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.

    A federal judge in Boston recently refused to dismiss a suit brought against Harvard by sororities and fraternities. Also, the recent Supreme Court ruling that Title VII of the US Code forbids the firing of people purely for being gay or transgender helped make an unfavorable outcome for Harvard much more likely. So Harvard ran up the proverbial white flag, a victory for freedom of speech and association.

    Second, there is this insane opinion piece from the Guardian entitled, “White people say they want to be an ally to Black people. But are they ready for sacrifice?”

    Skipping straight to the money graf:

    The truth is, genuine allyship is not kindness, it is not a charitable act, nor is it even a personal commitment to hold anti-racist ideals – it is a fall from grace. Real allyship enacted by White Americans, with a clear objective to make equitable the lived experiences of individuals across racial lines, means a willingness to lose things. Not just the extra $50 in one’s monthly budget by way of donating to an organization working towards racial justice. I mean palpable, incalculable loss. The loss of the charmed life associated with being a White person in America. Refusing a pay raise at one’s job and insisting that it be reallocated to co-workers of color who are undoubtedly being underpaid. The loss of potentially every close relationship with other White friends and family members who refuse to acknowledge or amend their behaviors that reinforce systemic oppression. The loss of bodily safety, by way of physically intervening when violence is being inflicted on to Black bodies.

    Not only does the author, someone named Kelsey Smoot (apparently a black woman with a Ph.D. at William & Mary specializing in “Queer Studies, Race/Racism, Cultural Studies, Social Movements”) demand that we surrender an “incalculable loss” to be an “ally” by, for example, refusing a pay raise for you and your family that you earned and demand that it be “reallocated” to “co-workers of color,” surrendering your friendships with people who don’t subscribe to “ally” politics, and throw yourself in front of harm to protect, and I am aghast to quote, “Black bodies.”

    I guess that “Of color” stuff is optional when it comes to that requirement, but I digress.

    Let’s consider this for a moment — a supposed “privilege” for which white people did not ask requires them to endanger their own safety and that of their family in order to protect “people of color” or “Black bodies” or whatever, and surrender their work success to provide for those who are “undoubtedly” underpaid for their work, presumably because of their race. It also requires us to dissociate from any friends or family who do not share Ms. Smoot’s view of “allyship.”

    Then she asks this:

    To wonder, if the White people in my life could hit a button and instantly remove the privileges afforded to them along racial lines, would they hit that button?

    I can only speak for myself, but my answer would be this: Sod off, swampy, and take your communist beliefs, in the words of Sir Paul McCartney, “…back to where you once belonged.” The Soviet Union no longer exists, but I understand there is plenty of nostalgia for it over in Russia. Perhaps they will risk their lives and welfare to make you an “ally.” I damned sure won’t, or for anyone who believes like you.

    Smoot goes further:

    Would they truly want to wake up tomorrow, in an America in which my life mattered just as much as theirs, if it came at the cost of all they have come to know and enjoy in the vein of White privilege?

    Your life already matters just as much, and it always has. The fact is, you think your life is more valuable than that of white people because of your race, and historical wrongs against blacks you consider unredressed. You really don’t want equality — even if that same push-button you fantasize about existed and gave you just that, it wouldn’t be enough. You would still find some grievance, real or imagined, that was insufficiently addressed, and required white people to sacrifice ever more. White people and black can never be equal in your mind, because you don’t want that to be the case — you want black people to be in a position of moral and social superiority, not equality.

    Why would any American worth the name want to align themselves with such transparent nonsense? Does she seriously believe most black people would agree that their white friends must surrender their personal and financial wellbeing to un-named “Black bodies”, as well as their personal and familial relationships, in order to be an “ally” to black people?

    I don’t. In fact, I expect well over half of black people would have exactly the same reaction as I did — that this woman is an insane, unbalanced grievance-monger adding very little value to society, and practically none to her employer.

    That people like this exist is understandable, but regrettable. It takes all kinds, I guess.

    • Marxist agitprop. Just like that billowing forth from the “council” at Hamilton College. Authentic Frontier Gibberish.

    • Tangentally related. We all watched members of Congress adorn themselves with Kinte cloths which are worn by persons of great standing in Ghana. Do these people realize that Ghana became wealthy empire by virtue of its gold and commerce in selling human beings..

      The notion that America was founded on the original sin of slavery must include the complicity of native Africans in capturing and selling persons of “other” tribes to willing Europeans that wanted relatively cheap labor. Othering people is how slavery began thousands of years ago.

      • I’m not sure the facts matter anymore to those who are trying to get “on the right side of history”. Everyday is a history lesson for me right now. Thanks for the little factoid, I didn’t know the origins or the name of the colorful scarves.

        • “I’m not sure the facts matter anymore to those who are trying to get ‘on the right side of history’.”

          When did the facts ever matter? They didn’t matter when BLM was born out of the “Hands up, don’t shoot” lie. They don’t matter whenever there is a police-involved death and the knee jerk reaction is to demand justice for (fill in the blank) before an investigation can determine whether there was an injustice to be rectified in the first place. They certainly don’t matter when someone is either foolish or brave enough to stick one’s head out of the foxhole and point out that the racial disparity in police killings can largely be explained by the difference in violent crime rates.

          And that’s a shame because there really are problems with race and the justice system that should be addressed but the requirement to turn off one’s critical thinking and simply accept the progressive narrative unquestioningly (and a subservient role for white people, complete with hairshirt, as Kelsey Smoot reminds us) pushes away potential allies. If the goal is to actually address the problems, rather than sow chaos in the lead up to the election, such disregard for fact is counterproductive.

          But that’s a very big if.

      • Cultural appropriation is absolutely acceptable when Leftists do it. Everybody else is committing a thought crime.

    • Here in the real world, alliances are bilateral and motivated by mutual self-interest. Both sides make gains or suffer losses together. When one partner is dictating terms to the other, when one partner must suffer losses for the enrichment of the other, on pain of being declared an enemy”, that is not an alliance. That is called “tribute”.

      • Precisely.

        The very word “ally” generally implies a mutual beneficial relationship. I’m trying hard, but struggling, to figure out what benefit white people get out of her definition in this case. I suppose, assuming perfect execution, the benefit is no longer being called a racist privileged cracker infected with “whiteness.”

        Speaking for myself, the cost-benefit analysis on this one fails spectacularly.

        • Glenn Logan writes:

          I’m trying hard, but struggling, to figure out what benefit white people get out of her definition in this case.

          You get, as you already have gotten, the many many benefits of living in a just society. It was after-all your *thoughtful forefathers* who put all of this in motion. The thought-leaders of your nation determined the just course and they set you on it! It is a glorious thing to witness the culmination of the Righteous Project in the present. These are days to relish!

          You will get the benefit of being ‘purified’ of your historical lies: the lies about white supremacism on which the country has been built (I am referring to Jeffery Robinson’s talk in a video posted above). The issue here is whether you will cooperate fully in this, or whether it will require further mass-demonstrations. Note that other levels of violent action are inevitable. Or did you think that this is all going to quiet down and go away?

          You will receive the benefits of being superseded. “How is that a benefit?!?” you ask, dismayed. It will be a spiritual benefit, not a physical benefit. To have been displaced, to have been dispossessed: this will result in accrual of magnificent benefits to your soul. It is a sort of beatification.

          ….the benefit is no longer being called a racist privileged cracker infected with “whiteness.”

          What is I think the most amazing part of all of this is that it is mostly all taking place within a psychological realm. Guilt, blame and shame are powerful tools, I admit this (in fact you-plural collapse in front of the accusation) yet they are 100% psychological.

          “If everyone woke up one day and found themselves unable to lie, the Soviet Union would fall by noon.”

          If white people had a genuine solidarity as white people, and if they were not susceptible to the psychological attack, they could fend this off. But try to imagine how they would have to do that. The only way would be through some sort of a reclaiming of the *power* that is being attacked. What power is that? It is ‘white power’. I mean this quite literally. This is the phrase that you-plural cannot say. You are being attacked — a visceral attack using the strongest language and terms and language that speaks to your annihilation — and yet you can’t respond! You cannot answer back. If you answer back with any sort of statements that indicates awareness of your own power they come after you will full destructive force!

          Now, the problem that we’re finding is that people are giving away the inheritance that they brought up. It’s as if you have a family business, and you’ve inherited it from a grandfather, and you inherit it from a father, and you have this patriarchal chain of hard work and understanding and excellence and fulfillment, and it comes down to you through the generational sort of structures of the past—and you decided to give it away. You decided to squander it.

          The greatest enemy that we have — the greatest enemy we have is raised in our own mind. The grammar of self-intolerance is what we have imposed and allowed others to impose upon us. Political correctness is a white European grammar, which we’ve been taught, and we’ve stumbled through the early phases of, and yet we’ve learned this grammar and the methodology that lies behind it very well.

          And we’ve learned it to such a degree that we can’t have an incorrect thought now, without a spasm of guilt that associates with it and goes along with it. Every time we think of a self-affirmative statement, it’s undercut immediately by the idea that there’s something wrong, or something queasy, or something quasi-genocidal, or something not quite right, or something morally ill about us if we have that thought. And this extends out beyond racial and ethnic questions to all other questions. To questions of gender, to questions of group identity and belonging, to questions of cultural affirmation, to questions of history.

    • Kind of on the same line as my comment re: political discourse, dishonesty, and the loss of pretense… Does anyone else remember when the talking point on the left was “Racial equality doesn’t mean taking anything away from white people, it means building black people up?”

      Was that line a lie then, or has the focus changed now?

      • I suspect both. It was certainly a lie, and reminds me a lot of the lie that the gun controllers don’t want to confiscate our firearms, they merely want to keep criminals from getting guns with “common sense” restrictions.

        As we know, circumvention of rights always begin with “We only want” followed by some innocuous-sounding premise.

  6. What’s all of this rubbish have to do with things that matter?

    They’re talking about playing 60 games in M.L.B. and calling that a full season. They are going to have playoffs and declare that the winner is a World Series champion, taking a station beside the great teams of the past that played from the snowy days in late March through the rains of Spring and the the dog days of Summer, and then climaxing when the frigid hag of Fall has visited. All we get are dogs and hags!

    Designated hitter in the National League? Begin extra innings with a runner on second base? Oh, the humanity!

    [Yet I hope we are blessed with this teaser of a season. With the virus surging as it has recently, I fear even this pittance of a penant drive will be denied to us. God help us all.]

  7. I guess I expect too much of MLB. It seems like this short season would be ideal for trying out technology for improving the consistency and integrity of calls of balls and strikes. But all I hear in that regard is crickets. Whadya bet? This year’s champs will have their good fortune hinge on their batters and pitchers getting the most beneficial breaks from faulty umpiring, particularly from bad calls on balls and strikes. Oh well…The public is addicted to scandals, anyway, so, we shall get more of what we deserve. Trustworthiness is DEAD.

    • When I had that problem, I replaced my keyboard with one designed for gamers that has a positive click like the IBM keyboards of old. Worked wonders.

      Of course, if you’re typing in the same room while your significant other is trying to do something else, like watch TV or read a book, that clicking can be annoying.

  8. I saw this scary video tonight.

    Have any of you seen the video about covid that ties in all the 33’s they say world wide on the news while reporting?

    33 new cases
    33 new deaths
    33 new countries

    hundreds of them all saying the same thing? Then it goes into that being the free mason number?

    It’s trippy and the weirdest thing was… a “fake” paper written by the Rockefeller foundation in 2012 almost exactly is describing what is now happening. Not kidding.

    Here’s the link. I’d love to know what your take is. I consider this community what’s left of sane people On the Internet. Really.

    https://www.full30.com/watch/MDI1OTAw/a-slave-new-world?fbclid=IwAR081ZCejUfPk5Ygdfu8xkpLuuop0ruZFlTnz5xp88tSQGyEXo8qqitJhDc

    • MM
      I don’t think it is too difficult to cull a variety of sources to get select footage where people report the number 33. The Free Masons have been the target of all sorts of conspiratorial ideas over the years.

      If you have ever been a member of a select fraternal organization you will find that most have their own rituals and structures. The 33 levels of Free Masonry is not much different than the levels of Scientology.

      I don’t put much stock in such theories because their evidence is based on conjecture and interpretation of carefully selected events and rarely has a true smoking gun to back up their claims. I classify these theories in much the same way I do regarding the notion that we are a nation of white supremacists. Each group has an agenda and they build their arguments on a foundation of unprovable assertions.

      I did not watch the entire 49 minute video.

  9. There is nothing ethical about what’s happening in our streets across the USA. I just posted the following in Facebook, let’s see if it gets censored.

    I support “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” as it states in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution but the totality of what we’ve seen across the United States recently is different.

    Yes, get justice for George Floyd but the nonsense in our streets has morphed to absurdity! Defund the police, abolish the police, empty the jails, calling everyone you oppose racists, burning businesses, attacking people, killing people, toppling statues, tagging areas of our cities into obscenity laced and hate filled graffiti, etc, etc; this is not right. The chairman of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, Hawk Newsome, said “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it”; this is NOT justice, this is subversion and sedition.

    Don’t rationalize what’s happening, call it what it is.

    I wrote the following on June 17, 2019; it didn’t ring any bells back then, maybe people will start listening.

    “Public activism is now driven by emotional feelings which are a decisive overriding factor for 21st century public activists. We now have droves of emotionally driven stupid people that are destroying civility and engaging in mass intimidation tactics that rival those used by immoral totalitarian governments throughout history. These irrational emotionally driven behaviors are becoming so socially acceptable that they’re the beginnings of a new societal norm and they’re being encouraged by unethical, unscrupulous, and blindly ignorant people all for the sake of political power. We are seeing the building blocks of a civil society crumble before our eyes and cult-like hordes of stupid people are the unilateral crushing force and it’s all enabled by blind apathy.

    When you have one stupid person ranting in public it’s easy for the public to shrug it off and explain it away to others as “it’s just a wacko”, but what happens when that wacko’s rantings become mainstream and there are hordes of stupid people publicly parroting the same irrational emotionally driven nonsense, shutting down public meetings, blocking roadways, wrecking businesses, destroying property and making the public feel unsafe to use their fundamental right to free speech and speak their mind.”

    Yes, I wrote that a year ago well before what we’re seeing in the streets right now. The seeds that were sown were plainly visible if you had cared enough to pay attention. The behaviors we’re seeing in our streets were predictable and maybe even preventable, but our apathy enabled it.

    “You can’t fix stupid but you can stand side-by-side with other intelligent people and speak out against the emotional driven lunacy that stupid people are presenting as the only valid truth.”

    It’s not one or two wackos yelling on the street corner in some far off place, it’s happening in your back yard. It’s time to stand up and stand against this nonsense.

    “If you don’t want to live under rules created by stupid people then you need to set aside your apathy for society and politics, stand up for intelligent truths and do something about what’s happening!”

    Apathy Fertilizes A Breeding Ground For Stupidity

    It’s time to stand against what’s going on.

  10. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/feckless-chicago-mayor-oversees-18-murders-48-more-wounded-this-weekend/#comment-4554740

    I write to you today to call your attention to and urge action on the devastating violence in Chicago. While I have been heartened to see crime reductions nationally the last few years, I have been horrified by the continued violence in this great American city…

    Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect. I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement..

    Violence and death, which are disproportionately harming young African Americans, are tragic and unacceptable, particularly on such a shocking scale…

    If you are interested, I am willing to ask members of my Cabinet to meet with you and help devise a plan to make Chicago safe, since a successful formula has escaped both you and your predecessors…

  11. Re: Claudia Conway;
    My own daughter being 28 now, we avoided the impact of today’s social media during her teen years, but I can assure you that during the brief rebellious period we went through in her mid-teens, if she had access to social media and a contrary opinion to mine, I have no doubt she would have expressed it, whether or not I (or we; her mother and I) “allowed” it. (She didn’t have a phone of her own until age 14 and didn’t have a smart phone until she turned 18.)
    The celebrity child in question has the unfortunate experience of being witness to both her parents’ over-exposure in the media and apparently being raised in about as artificial of a surrounding familo-social environment that it is possible for me to imagine. She is fifteen, doesn’t know spit, and will be listened to mainly by others in her age group who also don’t know spit. My primary feeling for her is one of pity and some dread. The best thing the public at large could do is ignore her and let her grow up, quite possibly to regret and renounce many if not most of her teenage opinions and statements. I know that our daughter now winces with sincere embarrassment when I mention some of her more “profound” teenage pronouncements. This, too, shall pass with, I hope, no lasting damage to her development on the road to eventual adulthood.

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