Category Archives: Argument

UPDATED (7/5): ‘Systemic Racism’ Or Systemic Rubbish? The Latter!

Argument, Logic, Political Philosophy, Race, Racism, Reason

A media person made a ponderous comment on Twitter about the tiff between Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who “transmitted a letter to the City Council, urging members to take action against Councilwoman Sawant.”

In response, I summed up the empty fracas, paraphrasing “The Barbarians Are In Charge: Scenes From The Sacking of America“:

The Sawant and Durkan dynamic gives new meaning to the ‘broad’ sweep of ideas in Seattle: A socialist calls on a progressive to resign over abuse of power (what power?) and systemic racism (a meaningless abstraction), while the city is sacked.

William Barnes replied on twitter to the “systemic racism” (meaningless abstraction) refrain: “This is an important point. If someone tells you racism is systemic, they should be able to provide specifics.”

Indeed, operationalize the nebulous variable of “systemic racism,” or get out of my face. Until you have methodologically and statistically operationalized the abstraction that is “racism”—it remains is nothing but a thought crime. And even when you have, thought crimes are nobody’s business in free societies.

UPDATE (7/5):

On CNN, comedian DL Hughley had compared the THOUGHT CRIME of racism to the BODILY ASSAULT that is COVID19. Illogical. He says that whitey can be an asymptomatic carrier of racism. Just because you haven’t done anything racist, ventured Hughley, it doesn’t mean you AIN’T RACIST. It’s ironic that the nebulous abstraction that is “systemic racism” comes out of the West (postmodernism). After all, such “thinking” flouts Western law and logic.

‘Mercy For Animals’ Contaminates Worthy Message With The Illogic Of Racial Politics

Argument, COVID-19, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Speech, Logic, Political Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Reason

All good people would intuitively support “Mercy For Animals,” if the organization refrained from veering into racial politics. Such fuzzy, imprecise thinking, as expressed in this fortune-cookie quality notice above, will only serve to weaken the appeal of the worthy causes of “Mercy For Animals.”

In connecting the cause of animals with the “Black Lives Matter” production, “Mercy For Animals” has ridiculously and irrationally conflated unrelated issues. It’s akin to the epidemiologist who suddenly starts rabbiting about racism as a pandemic.

Racism is generally a thought crime—the crime of thinking politically impure thoughts.

COVID-19, the pandemic, is the spread of a physical, contagious disease that affects the body.

Logically, never the twain shall meet.

Aside from spouting irrational stupidity, such “medics” have crossed over into politics—policing thoughts, in particular—and should forthwith, as a result, lose all medical credibility.

Likewise, “Mercy for Animals” should stick to their needy charges: abused and misused animals.

Andrew Sullivan Forgets How He ALSO Once Policed Uniformity. Iraq, Andrew?

America, Argument, Bush, Conflict, Constitution, Free Speech, Iraq

What Andrew Sullivan, a fine essayist, says in this one paragraph of his latest piece, “Is There Still Room For Debate?,” is profound. It concerns the manner in which adherence to ideology is policed in America (and it is):

In America, of course, with the First Amendment, this is impossible. But perhaps for that very reason, Americans have always been good at policing uniformity by and among themselves. The puritanical streak of shaming and stigmatizing and threatening runs deep. This is the country of extraordinary political and cultural freedom, but it is also the country of religious fanaticism, moral panics, and crusades against vice. It’s the country of The Scarlet Letter and Prohibition and the Hollywood blacklist and the Lavender Scare. The kind of stifling, suffocating, and nerve-racking atmosphere that Havel evokes is chillingly recognizable in American history and increasingly in the American present.

The new orthodoxy — what the writer Wesley Yang has described as the “successor ideology” to liberalism — seems to be rooted in what journalist Wesley Lowery calls “moral clarity.” He told Times media columnist Ben Smith this week that journalism needs to be rebuilt around that moral clarity, which means ending its attempt to see all sides of a story, when there is only one, and dropping even an attempt at objectivity (however unattainable that ideal might be). And what is the foundational belief of such moral clarity? That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start,

Funny thing, however: I well remember, early in the 2000s, how Mr. Sullivan, together with the likes of David Frum (see my “Frum’s Flim-Flam” ), scolded and almost silenced those who objected to the invasion of Iraq. Well, I was certainly exiled from polite political company, around about then.

From my “PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (May 29, 2004):

Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

Confess, Clinton; Say You’re Sorry, Sullivan” (2007):

Senator Hillary Clinton and neoconservative blogger Andrew Sullivan share more than a belief that “Jesus, Mohamed, and Socrates are part of the same search for truth.” They’re both Christians who won’t confess to their sins.

Both were enthusiastic supporters of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, turned scathing and sanctimonious critics of the war. Neither has quite come clean. Both ought to prostrate themselves before those they’ve bamboozled, those they’ve helped indirectly kill, and whichever deity they worship. (The Jesus-Mohamed-and-Socrates profanity, incidentally, was imparted by Sullivan, during a remarkably rude interview he gave Hugh Hewitt. The gay activist-cum-philosopher king was insolent; Hewitt took it .)

I won’t bore you with the hackneyed war hoaxes Sullivan once spewed, only to say that there was not an occurrence he didn’t trace back to Iraq: anthrax, September 11, and too few gays in the military—you name it; Iraq was behind it. Without minimizing the role of politicians like Clinton, who signed the marching orders, neoconservative pundits like Sullivan provided the intellectual edifice for the war, also inspiring impressionable young men and women to sacrifice their lives and limbs to the insatiable Iraq Moloch.

The latest policed orthodoxy Sullivan expounds on and wishes to be able to debate openly is, “That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start, that, as Lowery put it in The Atlantic, ‘the justice system — in fact, the entire American experiment — was from its inception designed to perpetuate racial inequality.”

Obviously incorrect.

Another of those Big Lies guarded across the spectrum, left and right, are the lies about America’s mandate around the world, borne of its exceptionalism: The Big Lies undergirding the destruction of Iraq (supported by Republicans like Sullivan) and Libya (brought about by Democrats like Hillary Clinton).

These are typical American truisms which need shattering, too. Mr. Sullivan, in his defense, did apologize for his role in the destruction of Iraq (after the fact).

* Image courtesy John @John89325183

NEW COLUMN: Private Property And COVID: Choice, Not Force, Part 2

America, Argument, COVID-19, Etiquette, IMMIGRATION, Private Property

NEW COLUMN IS “Private Property And COVID: Choice, Not Force, Part 2.” It’s now on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

An excerpt:

The managerial elites find themselves in a pickle. The coronavirus pandemic is a serious event. Members of a serious society treat it as such; they look out for one another—and they don’t flee into conspiracy and denial in order to cope with the incongruity of it all.

Alas, courtesy of its globalist elites, America is no longer a society; much less a serious one. In the absence of solidarity between citizens, social capital—”goodwill, fellowship, sympathy”—is scarce. Hence the struggle to mount a coherent response to the pandemic.

Centrally Planned Diversity Begets Disunity

Coherence is certainly not a thing immigration policy has supplied. If anything, policy makers have cheapened citizenship.

The populations from which chosen, future citizens are drawn come to America not in search of constitution and community. Rather, the corporate state’s preferred immigrants bring their own community with them and hyphenate its members.

On arrival, immigrants are encouraged to cling to a militant distinctiveness. The only tacit agreement shared by a majority of Americans, native and newcomer, is that America’s exceptionalism obligates it to both control the world through military and moral crusades and welcome it to America.

The extent to which Americans have, nevertheless, managed to galvanize logistically against COVID-19 is a testament to just how energetic a people we are.

Still, the credentialed, cognitive elites who’ve turned the country into this multicultural, money-focused, built-on-sand Tower of Babel, now find that many Americans—united by commerce, not creed—don’t want to go the extra mile for the strangers who make up their country.

Contrast the U.S., vis-à-vis COVID, with a more homogeneous nation like Japan (or Singapore, or Taiwan or South Korea).

Thirteen minutes and 35 seconds into this interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum quizzes him about Japan.

The country, 127-million strong, has had only 846 COVID deaths, and has, according to Ms. MacCallum, not implemented the social mitigation strategies seen in the U.S. and Europe.

Adjusted for population size, this is as though the U.S had suffered only 2,198 COVID deaths! For Japan to “live up” to America’s COVID cull-rate, 38,484 Japanese would have to have perished from the coronavirus.

Other than that its people sport a culture of fastidious cleanliness and have long-since adopted the etiquette of masking—you and I sense what else is afoot in Japan.

So does Dr. Fauci. Certain counties, conceded the good doctor, have “different sizes and different borders, and different infusions from outside.”

Differently put, Japan is almost completely homogeneous, with little immigration, and, consequently, a strong sense of unity. Citizens are more inclined to pull together in common purpose when there is a fellow feeling to bind them.

“The measures that most successfully contain the virus … all depend on how engaged and invested the population is,” explains Ed Young, a science reporter. All the testing, tracing and isolating are for naught if there is an “antagonistic relationship” with and between the people involved in the effort.

And America, it’s fair to say, is no longer a people in any meaningful way; it is a Walmart with missiles, where the fusillades we direct at one another. …

… READ THE REST… NEW COLUMN IS “Private Property And COVID: Choice, Not Force, Part 2.” It’s now on WND.COM and The Unz Review.