Comment Of The Day, Part 2: “Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!”

Part I  of Steve-O-in-NJ’s Comment of the Day is here.

….For the last three months we’ve watched our cities be burned, our public art be torn apart and defaced, and this nation’s ordinary people be terrorized. Homes and businesses have been destroyed, ordinary folks have lost everything they worker for and saved, and, in some cases, whole zones of cities have been turned into new versions of previous “liberation army” states, ruled by warlords, patrolled by armed thugs, and with the ordinary people living there cut off from the outside world and at the mercy of these thugs. Now we are seeing organized destruction (Lafayette Park, Chicago) and organized attacks on law enforcement (Portland). Supposedly this started with demanding justice for George Floyd and protesting racial injustice. Two months after the officers involved were fired and charged, this shows no sign of stopping, or even of slowing down.

Downtown Minneapolis resembles Fallujah in the wake of the final breaking of the Iraqi resistance there, and New York, Chicago, LA, and a slew of lesser cities, none of which had the first thing to do with what happened in Minneapolis, aren’t far behind. Yet we’re still being told these are “peaceful protesters,” and the local and state governments either haven’t lifted a finger to stop this (New York), or have finally taken action, several days late and several dollars short, when the violence has gone too far or come to their doorstep (Atlanta, Seattle). I am not sure whether what was allowed to happen in Seattle was worse, or what’s going on now in Portland is worse, where the local authorities are accusing the Federal authorities, the only ones doing anything about 50 nights of violence, of being the bad guys.

We’ve been bombarded for months now about how sleeping or walking back from a party or carrying a legal weapon shouldn’t be a death sentence. It isn’t as simple as it’s phrased, but none of those things should have happened. However, there are a lot of other things that shouldn’t be death sentences:

– Working in a warehouse (Francis Fazio, Jr., Douglas Scruton,
Edwin Kennison, William Ackerman, Bryan Cirigliano, Craig
Pepin, Louis Felder, Victor James)

– Going to worship (Joyce Fienberg, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel
Stein, Richard Gottfried, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal,
Melvin Wax, Rose Mallinger, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon,
Irving Younger)

– Presiding over Mass (Fr. Jacques Hamel)

– Being on vacation to celebrate the 30th anniversary of your
graduation (Diego Angelini, Ariel Erlij, Hernan Ferruchi, Hernan
Mendoza, Alejandro Pagrucco)

– Cheering on your boyfriend in a marathon (Krystle Campbell)

– Dancing at a nightclub (Pulse)

– Just doing your job (9/11)

– Driving near a barrier (Antonio Mays, Jr.)

– Riding in a car (Secoriea Turner)

I can think of a few more for those whose job it is to keep others safe or to help them that still shouldn’t be a death sentence:

– Fighting a fire (Michael Chiaperini, Thomas Kaczowska)

– Evicting someone who simply refused to pay the rent (Thomas
Albino)

– Conducting a routine traffic stop (Philip Lamonaco)

– Keeping other citizens safe while they protest (Lorne Ahrens,
Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, Patricio
Zamarripa)

– Wearing a military charity sweatshirt (Lee Rigby)

– Working in a motor pool on a military base (Carson Holmquist,
Randall Smith, Thomas Sullivan, Skip Wells, David Wyatt)

– Sitting in your car eating (Rafael Ramos, Wenjian Liu)

– Working on your laptop in a coffee shop (Mark Renninger,
Michael Owens, Tina Griswold, Greg Richards)

– Defending a pawn shop from a riot (David Dorn)

All those folks died because someone felt strongly about something and decided he was going to use violence to make his point. They either got in the way or were deliberately marked for violence because of who or what they were. Some got justice, some didn’t, some never may. Most of the time the authorities at least tried. Now they are not only not trying, they are actively trying to keep others from trying.

That says one thing to ordinary people who are not involved in these ongoing riots – it says “we don’t have your back, and we are not interested in having your back.” As far as the local and state governments at issue here – almost exclusively Democrats – are concerned, the ordinary people: the shopkeepers, homeowners, parents, and others who form the backbone of society, don’t count. They are supposed to be obedient sheep, who don’t defend themselves, their property, or the things dear to them. They are also supposed to be easily thrown as sacrificial lambs to the activists and rabble-rousers who form the real constituency of most of the Democratic party. Ordinary people say “protect us,” but the government says “it’s just a peaceful protest.” Ordinary people say “send the police,” but the government says “no, we’re defunding the police.” Ordinary people say “don’t let the monument be destroyed.” The government says “we want it gone anyway, this is just them doing it for us without a hearing.” Ordinary people say “we’ll defend ourselves,” but the government says “you do and you’ll be the ones who go to jail.” Ordinary people say “we’ll look to the Federal government,” but the government says “they need to keep their heavy hands out of here.”

So, what’s a poor ordinary person who just wants to work, live, and keep his family safe to do?

Apparently if you live in one of these cities or states, just keep your head down, cross your fingers, keep silent, and avoid attracting the mob’s attention. If you attract it, then you’re on your own. The government won’t intervene to keep you safe. If the mob beats you, the police will not come to stop them. If your property is torched, the firemen will not come to save it. Maybe the EMTs will come to take you to the hospital. Maybe not.

If you live in one of these states, but not in a major city, the mob might not come for you, but the state will. The state is going to abolish the suburbs and stuff everyplace with low-income housing, so you’ll lose what voice you have. The same party these people who want to turn you into just a cog in the machine come from wants to pack the courts and the Senate, so you will lose your voice in Washington also.

This is the party that says vote for them – they’re better than Trump. I leave it to you to decide if that’s the case.

27 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day, Part 2: “Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!”

  1. I would love to hear as detailed a contra-argument that attempts to negate the assertions here.

    All I ever hear are general statements about systemic oppression, a smattering of cases involving police and why whites are obligated to include everyone into their social circles and then make accomodations for those with different outlooks on life. In all the diversity and inclusion programs has anyone noticed the oneous is on western European descendents to adjust for others while the others simply make demands

    • In a sense no *counter-argument* should be presented. Because what is happening is happening for different reasons than the stated reasons.

      You have to start from the premise of ‘dispossession’ and ‘displacement’. The processes you see culminating today (or beginning to culminate) were began 50-60 years ago. In another 5-10 years those processes will continue that much more because there is nothing to oppose them.

      This is not about *inferior ideas* attacking *superior ideas*. This is not a *conversation* nor is it an *argument*. It is a social and political war.

      You especially (and I have read you pretty carefully) have a really mistaken sense of what is going on. I also think — I hope you don’t mind if I say so — that your libertarian ideology (or perspective, or ideal) is quite severely flawed.

      You are one person who cannot, it seems to me, *genuinely see the present*. You see parts, certainly, but not the whole. You fundamentally miss the *reality* of what is actually going on and where it will lead.

      • Actually, I see quite clearly. My statement about a contra argument was made to evoke a progressive response that I don’t think can be made.

        Again, you lay claim to all that is needed to know. No one in this commentariate has your omniscence when it comes to cultural shift, according to you.

        Your entire response ignored what I said and you responded to it solely for the purpose having an opportunity to massage your ego by denigrating another’s perspectives and analysis.

        The only flaw in reasoning I see is that which is built on a foundation of bigotry

        • As I explain in other places recently: I am taking a thoroughly critical attitude to many of the stances and views expressed in these pages. I have solid, fair, ethical and sound reasons for doing so. It must not be taken personally. If there is one thing that has become clear to me it is that the American Right needs to be exposed to a positive critique. And in my case I bring this from a position that apparently is quite a bit farther to the right.

          I realize that you particularly, and based on what you have said about your self and based on reading what you write are in no sense of the word a conservative — and numerous who write here who describe them self as conservative are not, not really — but I hope that you will understand that a critical posture, if carried out correctly, is not destructive but constructive. In any case, relatively recently it came to me that if I am going to seriously take the rôle that I have chosen, and which has been assigned to me, then I have got to make a full commitment to it. You might think of it like this: I am going to become a living terror for you! but I am going to do it in the sweetest and most interesting way that I can.

          You have no idea at all what is going on, why it is going on, and you have no sense at all how to counteract it. This applies to almost everyone writing here! I swear this is true!

          This statement still stands:

          In a sense no *counter-argument* should be presented. Because what is happening is happening for different reasons than the stated reasons.

          Again, you lay claim to all that is needed to know. No one in this commentariat has your omniscience when it comes to cultural shift, according to you.

          Notice the ‘pique’ here. Al alternative is to welcome critique and debate. Not to become irritated and offended that one gets it.

          No one here writes about what I understand to be the *causal chain* that has brought us to this point. Many here have ideological positions that directly support the choices that result in the present conditions. Many here defend those positions as if they are *moral* and *ethical* when, it can be argued, they are not necessarily so. At the very least, intellectually, I imagine that you can recognize that if what I say is so that countering and correcting such ideologies would be important. That is my position.

          Your entire response ignored what I said and you responded to it solely for the purpose having an opportunity to massage your ego by denigrating another’s perspectives and analysis.

          What I suggested would negate the sense of a defense. What is going on is going on for other than the stated reasons. You imagine that this is a ‘conversation’ and your opponent can be reasoned with. This is a dramatic mistake.

          To use the word ‘denigrate’ is a mistake. It implies a will to insult (or something like that). I have no such will or desire. I would argue that we need to separate out such personalized reactions and that we must jettison emotionalism and sentimentalism. So, I do not ‘denigrate’ your perspective or analysis, I propose and I argue that your position (I have read you carefully) is mistaken and in error in many parts.

          Just now I suggest that wishing for a *progressive* to land nearby and *defend* the chaos and the destruction is (as the saying goes) a fool’s errand (not sure if this is the right use of this metaphor).

          Many people react with fear, anger, even expressions that border on *hatred* to the positions I take. They then work in groups to ridicule, falsely label, isolate and to silence with these methods. Surely you have noticed this? I suggest that this stop.

          React to the ideas not to your sentiment of pique.

          This is a general explanation — an *announcement*! — of what I am doing here and why. 🙂

  2. One of the tropes coming from the left in this latest bout of medical withdrawal guised as activism is that “Silence is Violence”. This in the latest variation on the theme of the left’s stretching to unrecognizability the definition of violence. No, silence is merely inconvenient for people looking to uproot the status quo.

    Similar to that is speech. “Free speech” is one of the most commonly misused terms on the internet. The first amendment doesn’t protect you prom private individuals. A principled free speech position doesn’t require the right to an audience. There is no duty to listen. I actually think that “Free Speech” would be better understood if it were also approached from the inverse: Free speech includes the right to hear what someone wants to tell you.

    Alizia made a comment recently, predicting that I would eventually speak in favor of the suppression of free speech because I wouldn’t speak out against Viacom firing a fellow after said fellow spouted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the air. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.

    For instance, a “counter protest” is speech, but if the counter protest is designed not to respond to speech, but to drown it out and to prevent people from hearing the speaker they want to hear, not only does that violate free speech principles, but hiding behind free speech to conduct a counter-protest is hypocritical. A principled position is not a suicide pact. I don’t think we have a duty to humor the calls for free speech from the people actively violating yours. Sure, a protest is speech, but what’s going on here isn’t simply a protest, and it’s not just speech.

    Similarly, but on a slightly different topic, are the protests in cities like Portland. Protesting is pure American. It’s what you do. When you don’t like something, you protest. Even if someone is protesting something you don’t like, until very recently, it was generally understood that they at least had the right to do that (There was some conversation around groups like the Westboro Baptists, and how far the right to protest went, but they faded into obscurity like they were always doomed to, despite the media doing all they could to prop up problematic examples of the faithful.). There are protests going on, and Americans have a right to protest, but these aren’t merely protests. It’s not just speech.

    Speech is Speech. Speech is not Violence. Violence is Violence. Violence is not Speech.

    Theft is not Speech. Property Damage is not speech. Arson is not Speech. Assault is not Speech. Forcible Confinement is not Speech. Rape is not Speech. Murder is not Speech.

    This is made worse by media outlets additionally muddying words like “protest” or even “peaceful”. The myth of the peaceful protester is one of the most obvious bullshit memes they’ve come up with yet; Sure, *most* protests are peaceful. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of violence before it doesn’t matter how peaceful the rest of the protest is. Is a marriage where you only hit your spouse every other week a “peaceful” marriage? It it a “mostly peaceful” marriage? Or does the violence change the nature of the marriage so fundamentally it’s not the same thing anymore? Violence is not Love.

    I’d argue that a hard line should be drawn between protests and riots, and that one is as American and acceptable as a cheeseburger, the other is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. And it really is that easy. There’s some room for soul searching on marginal cases, but when rioters cordon off a six block area of a city, the response shouldn’t be to cede part of your city to the rioters. While there is a right to express yourself, there is no right to steal people’s stuff. Protests are not Riots.

    Which brings me to the left’s current gripe: Federal, Jackbooted Thugs without Badges Arresting People off the Street.

    Good.

    To be clear: I hate this. I think that there were people in offices waiting for a situation like this so they could lay the groundwork for a federal police force. I think that this flies in the face of Federalism, I think it’s a generally unacceptable use of government force. I think this has ramifications for years. But what the hell did you think was going to happen? As much as I hate this, I also accept that it was necessary.

    It’s hard to go about your Life pursuing Liberty and Happiness when an angry mob is outside your house lighting businesses on fire and stealing TVs. People are being beaten in the street for having the wrong amount of melanin in their skin. And the response out of communities controlled by Democrats from the ground up? Silence (not the violent kind). When they aren’t carrying water for the Peaceful Protesters (the violent kind). Just because you think it’s politically expedient to make Trump look bad by fostering civil unrest, or you think that your constituents might abandon you if you actually uphold the laws you have sworn to uphold doesn’t make upholding those laws the wrong thing to do. Something had to be done, and I don’t know what else there was.

          • You would have to define what you mean by that. And you would have to prove that this is so. But you won’t do that, and you can’t do that (in the sense that you are incapable of making an argument).

            I am critical of Jewish machinations. I am critical of what I understand to be a ‘Jewish revolutionary spirit’. I am critical as well of anti-Christian attitudes by some powerful Jews and Jewish interests. And I am definitely critical — as are many activists in Israel — of Jewish influence on American policy vis-a-vis Israel.

            You will have to prove that this is ‘anti-Semitism’. But you won’t . . . and you can’t.

            In a group you team up with others in an underhanded way to impose labels. The label alone is all you need to silence those whose speech you do not like.

            It is worthwhile thinking through the ramifications of this.

    • Alizia made a comment recently, predicting that I would eventually speak in favor of the suppression of free speech because I wouldn’t speak out against Viacom firing a fellow after said fellow spouted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the air. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.

      The suppression of free-speech on contended topics is now going on. On YouTube, on Twitter and in other places. Also defunding and demonetizing of creators who are not liked. So, start from the point of real concern. Government is teaming up with the SPLC and private companies to excise those people who, they say, are engaging in hate-speech. This is a national effort and is being carried out by people with consciences similar to your-plural.

      I suggest you Google “Secure Tolerance / Occidental Observer” if you want to understand the fuller ramifications.

      Your problem — it is quite literally one shared by everyone (or almost) who writes here — is that you define critical speech of Jews or *Jewish machinations* (as I put it) as anti-Semitic. In this way you allow no critical speech, for any reason, of any sort. Any critical speech, without exception! you say is anti-Semitic. Thought-coercion is responsible for this. Not thought-freedom.

      I fully understand the reasons for this and I cannot say I blame you. To say the *wrong thing* can land you in a world of trouble.

      What the insane man said on the radio show was stupid. A stupid man said stupid things. And what was worse nonetheless is what he said about white people.

      When protestors destroy buildings and property they should be shot. If protestors try to stop someone from talking at a conference they should be held back by flocks of police. And if they act up in violent ways they should be arrested.

      • “The suppression of free-speech on contended topics is now going on. On YouTube, on Twitter and in other places. Also defunding and demonetizing of creators who are not liked. So, start from the point of real concern. Government is teaming up with the SPLC and private companies to excise those people who, they say, are engaging in hate-speech. This is a national effort and is being carried out by people with consciences similar to your-plural.”

        YouTube is an interesting case. YouTube thinks that running adds on certain content is off-putting to advertisers. This is probably true, and almost certainly the result of people like Carlos Maza who drew attention to ad dollars being paid to people who had messages diametrically opposed to the featured content. The removal of that funding was designed to protect YouTube, not to punish the content creators, but it’s hard to differentiate that in the results. The problem with that is that you’re conflating being paid with being able to talk. I remember a time when YouTube monetization wasn’t a thing, and creators had to either do it non gratis, or had to arrange outside sponsors. That was not a great free speech problem then, and it is not one now. People who are demonized have every ability to say everything they were able to the day before, they just aren’t being paid for it. A principled position on free speech does not require you pay people for speaking.

        If, however, you wanted to argue that people being banned for breaking vague TOS in indecipherable ways, or that being banned on a platform for behavior that occurred off that platform are free speech issues, then sure… And welcome to the conversations I’ve been having for years.

        • Once again, your comment is vain and empty. The issue is that privately owned companies have created platforms and networks of platforms that have become the principle areas (mediums) where communication takes places. It is clear that a private company on its privately owned platform indeed has a *right* to control the speech there. The question at play is how a so-called free society will decide to act in relation to this.

          The purpose of the censorship efforts going on in many different domains and areas is precisely to restrict and to eliminate ideas and the communication of those ideas that have been determined to be undesired. Any conversation on that topic would have to start from the larger issue and then proceed to the example of how it is carried out.

          You can find a whole array of articles about the on-going censorship by googling the topic. You can also look on the Occidental Observer, on Counter-Currents and on Red Ice just to name a few that I am familar with.

          The purpose of controlling speech — one aspect of it — is to control opposition.

          I submit that you — by your own declaration — will at one point or another come out in favor of the controlling and limiting of speech. That is, the speech that you do not like.

    • Well-done HT.
      Because I like to hit my head against the wall I watched the first MLS match to see what sports in the new normal may look like. Lots of players in the pre-game in masks and sloganized t-shirts, including shirts shouting Silence is Violence.

      Then, because irony is lost on them, it was time for an MLS organized group knee… in silence… That was too much violence for me. But I persevered for a few more minutes.

      Once the official ceremony was completed and the teams took their positions, do you think they played? Of course not, the players then had their own group knee. But no t-shirts. Because nothing recognizes (denigrates?) a first group knee like a second one in under 4 minutes. The commentators were quick to explain that this was the players’ knee, copied from the Premier League or other Euro league. Why? I assume its because they couldn’t agree that an MLS organized knee was the one and only true knee. I assume they had to show the league who is boss now.

      • In the short term, the amount of kneeling the players do will require larger, more comfortable kneepads. In the longer term, all sports will be phased into being played entirely on knees. This will especially be a challenge for hockey, but our greatest minds are concocting knee-blades so those players will be able to participate, and finally, people my height will be represented in the NBA.

    • I wish I had more time to comb through your points. I don’t because my wife and I are finally leaving Portland in a few days and packing as I write this. The beginning of your last paragraph explains why we’re leaving here. In a nutshell, it’s not safe to live here because the radicals are dominating more than just politics and policies. They’re dominating the culture to the point where you cannot go anywhere and speak freely. Worse is much of the city is held hostage every night downtown. Last night I heard flashbangs from afar while trying to sleep.

      HT you nailed it when you said “violence is not love” and “protests are not riots.” The city I used to love and defend is ideologically and yes, spirituality sick. The mayoral race is between a guy who will no nothing to curb the anarchist hate and a woman who is an avowed member of Antifa with a sexual predator on her staff. Think about that.

      I may not be protesting but my leaving is saying something: No more! It’s time to persue happiness and liberty in a place where those who don’t conform can do so. Thanks HT. Great stuff!

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