I had a strange experience last week. After posting Paul W. Schlecht’s estimable Comment of the Day regarding “Do something!” hysterics regarding gun control, I received an off-site email from a reader who complained that Paul mentioning “Uncle George Soros” in a list of the “Who’s Who of Climate Criminal Lefties” employed a “a “phrase universally understood to be an anti-Semitic slur” and that “it is horrible and unforgivable to amplify bigotry in any form but under the banner of Ethics is even worse.”
People often write me directly when they are too timid to present a dubious opinion before the tough crowd here. I was very polite and even grateful to the hitherto unknown lurker, and confessed that if “Uncle George” was truly “universally” known to be an anti-Semitic slur, I had missed it, and I asked the guy to enlighten me. He then sent a link to an ADL opinion piece suggesting that conservative and Republican criticism of the billionaire’s copious funding of various progressive groups and causes was all motivated by anti-Semitism.
This ticked me off, and I wrote back,
I assumed that “Uncle George” had some special meaning: clearly, you just mean deriding Soros itself is anti-Semitic, which is, frankly, bullshit. He’s a billionaire who supports progressive causes, some of them Far Left. That’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s the flip side of the Koch Brothers. It’s his money, and he can do what he wants with it; much of what he wants to do with it is bad stuff in my view, but I don’t see how that has anything to so with his ethnicity. This line in the ADL piece—“A person who promotes a Soros conspiracy theory may not intend to promulgate antisemitism. But Soros’ Jewish identity is so well-known that in many cases it is hard not to infer that meaning”—discredits the whole article.There’s nothing sinister about Soros supporting the campaigns of really bad prosecutors, but they are still really bad prosecutors. There’s nothing sinister about his spending so much supporting radical environmental groups either, though it’s a waste of money.I know all about Soros and how he’s the Right’s boogeyman, but attributing that to anti-antisemitism is lazy and intellectually dishonest.Did you bother to check to see what I’ve written about Soros? Not much, because I haven’t seen him do anything unethical. I did write one long defense of Soros, at the very beginning of the blog, however. I defended him, and praised him. I wouldn’t change a word today.
This jerk then writes back, “Your first response to me was that you were “at sea” when it came to Soros, but in your second you said, ‘I know all about Soros’. Sounds disingenuous to me.” I quit reading after that, and also quit being nice. I am happy to engage with fair, serious, sincere readers on my private email account, but oddly, a disproportionate number of those who avail themselves of the opportunity abuse it. So I wrote,
I get it! You’re an asshole.I SAID that I was “at sea” regarding how “Uncle George” was somehow an anti-Semitic slur. I do know all about Soros, and never said I didn’t.You can apologize for this “gotcha!” crap, or stay out of my inbox. I’ve tried to respond to your concerns fairly and politely, and your response is to falsely accuse me of lying.Jerk. Fuck off.
I have to confess that I probably used “fuck off'” as opposed to my usual “Bite me!” because I had been streaming “Succession,” the rich family/cut-throat business politics drama in which literally everyone says “Fuck off!” in almost every conversation, even friendly ones. The bon mot in not really in my repertoire, but after hearing the phase about a thousand times in the span of a few days, it momentarily felt right to me, and it was certainly well-earned. (He did, by the way, indeed fuck off).
I wasn’t going to mention the episode until I saw that my old pal, the Washington Post’s biased-but-conflicted-about -it factchecker Glenn Kessler had issued issue a “Factchecker” column declaring that “incendiary” claims that Soros had “funded” Manhattan’s political hit man qua prosecutor Alvin Bragg (focusing on a tweet by Donald Trump to that effect) were lies. Kessler also asserted that such critiques were motivated by anti-Semitism, writing,
…the repeated mention of Soros plays into antisemitic conspiracy theories that Soros, a Hungarian American Holocaust survivor, is a wealthy puppet-master who works behind the scenes to manipulate elections and further his goals. The Anti-Defamation League found in 2018 that Soros figures in a significant number of antisemitic tweets.
The ADL! What a coinky-dink! The same “authority” my now fucked-off correspondent used in his appeal to authority! This is beneath even Kessler: using the ADL for this purpose is akin to citing the Southern Poverty Law Center to “prove” an organization is a “hate group.” (To the SPLC, any conservative advocacy groups is engaging in “hate speech.”)
Kessler then dived into the sophistry of arguing that that Trump and others were “lying” because Soros did not directly donate to Bragg’s campaign, he just funded progressive activist organizations that did so. Professor William Jacobson obliterated this spin in his Legal Insurrection post,“Yes, it’s okay to point out that Alvin Bragg is ‘Soros-backed’.” In another post on the same blog last October, it was pointed out that Soros himself has sought credit for the election of Bragg and other Leftist prosecutors across the country who specialize in letting criminals escape punishment, writing in one op-ed,
This is why I have supported the election (and more recently the re-election) of prosecutors who support reform. I have done it transparently, and I have no intention of stopping. The funds I provide enable sensible reform-minded candidates to receive a hearing from the public. Judging by the results, the public likes what it’s hearing.
So Soros agrees that he “supported” Bragg and like-minded prosecutors, which means he “backs” them, which means that his financial support helps “fund” them.” Trump’s tweet impugned by Kessler (“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was handpicked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace.”) is typical of the kind of loose rhetoric by Donald that unethical journalists have termed “lies” since 2016.
More important, however, is the Left’s (and sadly, 98% of the news media is included in this) dishonest, irresponsible and disgusting habit of defaulting to racism, sexism, xenophobia, ageism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bigotry to deflect legitimate criticism and intimidate as well as demonize those who oppose them. This reflex has become the predominant weapon of the Left in recent years, instead of, you know, things like facts, logic, common sense, history and reality. It has to be broken of this habit, by patriots of good faith and courage who aren’t afraid to say, “F..sorry… Bite me!“
30 thoughts on “Got It: Apparently All Criticism Of Progressive Figures Or Positions Is Based Entirely On Hate And Bigotry. Good To Know!”
I did not know Uncle Sam was Jewish!
Racist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, transphobic, conservative, Republican, cis-gendered, Trump supporter, and their fellows have all been turned into meaning-devoid shibboleths bandied about by the left with reckless abandon. The terms just mean, “I don’t like what you’re saying.” And if you ask, “Why?” All you get is “Because you’re a [insert applicable term from the list above].”
They want to destroy language. If there’s no language, there’s no ability to disagree.
The Left seems obsessed with hate. They seem to see it everywhere.
I am not sure from where this form of argumentation comes.
Are they quick to accuse so that they cannot then be accused?
Is it an argument deployed because it is one that cannot be defended against?
Do they actually think that is what people are motivated by?
Is it a convenient straw-man argument?
Is it a way to deflect the argument through an ad hominem response?
Is it a way to deflect the argument away from the substance of the attack?
Is it simple demagoguery to ensure the support of like-minded observers?
I guess I tend to think that they are sincere in their arguments. Assuming good faith in arguments may be naive, but, if you don’t assume that, you really should not be arguing.
The problem is: if they are arguing in good faith, you kind of have to come to the conclusion that they are not that bright if they can’t see an opposing view as anything other than evil. The further problem is that, if one believes that they really aren’t that bright, it is equally inadvisable to continue with the argument.
Concise, logical, informative. A Comment of the Day, you bigot.
It’s all about taring the opposition as evil because once the other side is evil then you can justify destroying it.
There is no grey area; you’re either with them or you’re part of the evil.
Well, yes, but do they actually believe they opposition is evil, or is that the excuse they use to justify elimination.
Because I suspect a lot of the sheep fall into the former group, while a lot of the leaders fall into the latter.
That may have been relatively true about 10 years ago; however, based on what I’m seeing and hearing, I suspect that most actually believe it now. It really is cultish.
Soros, from what I have read about him, is about as marginal a Jew as it is possible to be, making him a curious “victim” to defend from anti-Semitism. A few years back he told The New Yorker that, “”I don’t deny Jews the right to a national existence – but I don’t want to be a part of it.” He has supported various anti-Israel groups and causes. Before I actually read that he was ethnically a Jew, I knew that he was from Hungary and figured him to be a latent national socialist of some sort, based on his political proclivities. Whatever and whoever he is, he is not above criticism.
I’m glad Jack posted this, because I was going to submit it on this Friday’s Open Forum to find out what the Jewish EA commentariat has to say….Alicia…you out there…?
The FuckOffee is one of my oldest and dearest friends, at least he was until ~09:10 a.m. yesterday morning when this hit my inbox:
Your language in your Ethics Alarm article (“Uncle George Soros”) was extremely disturbing on a very personal level. The words and tone were identical to those of self-avowed anti-semites. It is a bridge way too far and it can’t be walked back. Do not send me any more of your rants or observations. Save any rationalizations or excuses for someone else..
This a guy I’ve known since 5th grade (58 years; heck, I even traveled to 2 of his 4 weddings!) and though a career Lefty, we were always able to disagree without being disagreeable. He’s someone who’s judgement and ethics I’ve never questioned, someone I was convinced would do the difficult right thing rather than the easy wrong thing any circumstance required, someone I’d go to war with; and now this.
A very difficult last ~ 28 hours, accompanied by a range of emotions which have me literally suckin’ wind.
First off, if I’d had even percent of a percent of the idea that the reference was even remotely anti-semitic, I would’ve never used it. And had he done (IMO) the right thing and approached me first, I would have gotten in touch with Jack immediately and asked him to emend it.
That he didn’t, has manufactured offense where absolutely nonesuch was intended, and also lumped my words and tone (tone???) in with self-avowed anti-semites indicates a serious disconnect; a disconnect I’m completely comfortable believing isn’t on my end.
I had a tangential DUST UP with a BIL three (3) years ago as we speak, and while the fences have been mended (pride swallowed by yours truly), my gut feeling is if we were ever in a really tough situation, I’d second guess him doing the right thing.
That’s were I am now, accompanied by a gnawingly empty feeling, and an uncomfortable uncertainty going forward.
And for some strange reason I can’t get this Norman And Saxon stanza out of my head:
When He Stands Like An Ox In The Furrow – With His Sullen Set Eyes On Your Own,
And Grumbles, ‘THIS ISN’T FAIR DEALIN’,’ My Son, Leave The Saxon Alone.
Your quote was “Al Gore, Jr., Maurice Strong, Frank Raines, Uncle Georgie Soros.”
Now, I have never heard of Soros referred to as “Uncle,” so I don’t know if that was the issue. However, the fact that you listed 4 people as climate change enthusiasts (my word) and he picked out one of them to open up a charge of anti-semitism seems either disingenuous or stupid.
Now, I have never heard of Soros referred to as ‘Uncle,’ ”
Could be you don’t read enough of my stuff…
Now, I have never heard of Soros referred to as ‘Uncle,’ “
Could be you don’t read enough of my stuff…
About the back door smearing of Paul.
As far as I’m concerned, the person that sent that email to Jack is suffering from SPAS Syndrome. He’s trying to use a back door into this blog in their effort to falsely smear Paul behind the scenes, kind of like infecting an unsuspecting rival with a deadly virus except the intent of this one is to silence Paul by surrogate. It’s pretty clear that this lurking reader is clearly not willing to play in the Ethics Alarms comment sandbox because “he” is a rhetorical coward and can’t effectively support his own rhetoric. This back door attempt to smear Paul is likely the direct result of a recent conversation Paul had with some very irrational progressives on a different blog and one of the commenters referenced a comment that Paul had posted on EA.
These progressives hacks will make up all sorts of lies to smear those they oppose and they obviously will resort to whatever back door smears they can to target their opposition, the email from this rhetorical COWARD is one of those instances and Jack effectively pulled the rug out from under their unethical and immoral effort.
Good job Jack.
the direct result of a recent conversation Paul had with some very irrational progressives on a different blog and one of the commenters referenced a comment that Paul had posted on EA.
You mean there’s might be more…ugh!
I just read your conclusion above and it’s definitely the likely culprit but mine is completely plausible even if it’s just a theory. My final full paragraph still stands tall…
Be nice if these big steaming piles of $#!t I keep stepping into were better marked…
Paulie, I’ve lost three long-time “friends” over my not being adequately outraged about Trump. One dating back to kindergarten (1956), another to 9th grade (1964), the other to early day big firm days (1982). Come to think of it, there are others from college and law school who’ve similarly dismissed me as beneath contemp. It’s really, really bizarre. They were all incredibly and offhandedly insulting, causing me to break off contact. Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. Of course, a few years ago Mrs. OB reported talking to a woman at a cocktail party who reported she’d divorced her husband because he had the nerve to not despise Trump.
I’ve actually lost count at how many old and relatively new friends that have completely cut off contact with me because I won’t jump on their 21st century progressive social justice and anti-Trump bandwagons. Get this, I couldn’t vote for Trump or Clinton in 2016 and I lost a pile of friends because I didn’t vote for Clinton simply to keep Trump out of office. Then me pointing out that the Washington Post’s list of Trump’s lies was in fact a propaganda LIE and the Washington Post had to change the title of their list, was a moral crime against the progressive cult and I lost another pile of friends.
How dare me do something that’s in opposition to the irrational hive minded cult. The irrational hive minded cult can bite me.
Steve, I held my nose and voted for Hill in 2016 because I thought Trump was simply too far outside the realm of acceptable people. I thought the Dems would calm down by the time Trump was inaugurated. Boy, was I wrong. I continue to believe the Clintonistas are funding and scripting Michael Cohen via Lanny Davis as revenge against Trump, and possibly even as a prelude to Hill’s running in 2024. They’re headquartered in suburban New York and doubtless can exert pull in New York City Democrat circles. I’m sure they have Bragg’s and Hochul’s ears on speed dial. We forget how relentless the Clintons are at our peril.
In 2016, I wrote in Cornelius Hieronymous Gotchberg.
If you haven’t already, click on the EA Dust Up link in my above comment.
Well, I should have read THIS post before I commented on your other post about Bragg.
But I hadn’t written it yet!
I originally thought it was an April Fools Day joke, then I started hoping it was, then I abandoned all hope.
“. . . It’s his money, and he can do what he wants with it; much of what he wants to do with it is bad stuff in my view, but I don’t see how that has anything to so with his ethnicity.”
This is very true but.
What George Soros does with his money is his business but when you evaluate how he got it that is another matter.
Soros is a hedge fund guy who developed a theory called Reflexivity. He posits that the market is not self-correcting but has instead a feedback loop that reinforces ups and downs. This is quite similar to Keynesian ideas about animal spirits in which a herd mentality can drive markets up or down well beyond normal equilibrium. The difference between the two is that Keynes ‘ focus is on individual behavior while Soros’s focus on government and business policy.
With that said, the policies and causes that Soros supports typically reinforce divisiveness and the idea of large governments with expansive social programs which are typically characterized by massive indebtedness by the nation. The issues that created Black Wednesday in the UK in 1992 are little different than what we are experiencing right now. Soros typically bets that one security (currencies) is going to lose and lose big, so he sells short. Consequently, he also funds organizations that push governmental pushes that will, if successful, cause the very conditions necessary for that security to fall in value.
The United States is facing an emerging alliance among the BRIC nations along with as Iran and some African nations that will fundamentally change our position in the world. If the geopolitical position of the US is relegated to some bit player Europe will no longer look to us. We are now looking at the distinct possibility that the US dollar will be replaced by the Yuan as the worlds reserve currency. When that happens, any influence the US had on the geopolitical stage will evaporate. Europe is already demonstrating its willingness to discard the notion of free speech when people praying silently are arrested for thought crimes. How long will it take before we codify in our laws words that are outlawed because the preferred ethnicities or genders deem them to be hate speech?
George Soros could be a devout Episcopalian for all I care but I see his motives as methods to destabilize nations and economies so that he may profit by disequilibrium and turmoil he facilitates through his Open Societies fund. George Soros does not make money by creating value he makes money by destroying value
VERY well put, Chris!
Still hoping that any Jewish commenters will weigh in on: “a phrase universally understood to be an anti-Semitic slur”; until I hear otherwise, it’s in the Rank Bull$#!t file.
FTR, I send pertinent EA articles to friends who might find them interesting, that was the case with the COTD which started all this. Otherwise this guy would have never known, IOW, he’s no lurker.
Surely referring to “uncle” being used on well-known Jewish archetypes like Uncle Ben, Uncle Sam, Uncle Remus… 😉
Shoot WR, I cherish my Uncle Paul sobriquet as a term of endearment, but nowhere near as much as my Uncle Bubba one…