Category Archives: Reason

UPDATED: D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error (Readers Can’t Reason)

America, Government, History, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history, Pseudo-intellectualism, Reason, Uncategorized

“D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

There are certainly good things about Dinesh D’Souza’s film “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” as sharp-eyed critics like Jack Kerwick have observed. But those don’t matter much for this reason: The central question asked and answered by the film maker is premised on an epic error of logic. …

… D’Souza’s theories about “America,” good or bad, can be dismissed out of hand because of rotten reasoning. The reader will recognize the central error of logic in the following excerpts from interviews conducted by D’Souza’s biggest booster, Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

In “Bill Ayers, Dinesh D’Souza debate [on]American values,” both Kelly and D’Souza “challenge” the “Weather Underground” terrorist-cum-educator Ayers for his part in the “blame America first” crowd; for holding that “American history is a series of crimes visited upon different [peoples],” for his contention that, in their words, “America is bad,” “America is a force for evil.”

Noodles neoconservative D’Souza: “America is benign in the way it exercises its power.” “America has made mistakes. But there is a difference between making a mistake and doing something inherently wicked.”

Is the reader getting the gist of the D’Souza doozie?

The duo’s almost-identical exchange with Ward Churchill, former chairman of the ethnic studies program at the University of Colorado, should instantiate D’Souza’s cock-up, amplified by megaphone Megyn Kelly:

“Is there anything good about America?” the anchor asks the author of the screed “Some People Push Back.” Kelly continues to conflate the “we” pronoun with the U.S.: “The United States of America; have we done any good?” D’Souza, for his part, doubles down with the example of immigrants to the U.S.: “They’re coming here, voting with their feet, leaving everything that matters behind. Are they coming to an evil empire?”

My reply to Dinesh should give the game away …

Read the complete column. “D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error” is now on WND.

UPDATE: No wonder people quit writing for the public. What’s the point? One is writing for individuals who are incapable of comprehending anything beyond an eighth-grade tract. The article is at pains to explain the D’Souza error of 1) equating “America” with the government. 2) Referring to those who oppose government actions as anti-American. For if America does not equal the government, then to be anti-government is not necessarily to be anti-American.

What is it about this simple logic that these people fail to grasp?

When D’Souza says “America,” he means the government. Don’t these simpletons understand that the government is not the same as the people? Apparently not. So you get called a leftist for liking logic. You get bombarded with letters from people who clearly have very basic comprehension levels. To wit:

—–Original Message—–
From: rcarrows15@yahoo.com [mailto:rcarrows15@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 8:21 PM
To: imercer@wnd.com
Cc: rcarrows4@mi.rr.com
Subject: America

I disagree with your article.

The US saved the world not once, but twice. On balance, America is a good nation. Read history. Do you really believe America is or was (under a few leaders) as bad as tyrant nations?

By the way, when people come to the US, they accept government handouts and kick the citizens in the teeth. Most have no respect for our flag, language, culture, etc.

Liberals will always blame America. But, without America, the world would have been purged of all races, save one, in the 1940′s.

I think you owe the readers an apology. Also, more than 75% of present Americans trace their lineage to other nations and were not even here during the time of which you speak.

RCA

From: Terry Flick [mailto:leenterry@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:04 PM
To: imercer@wnd.com
Subject: Who were the true Americans

Probably the people that were here when the oriental tribes now known as the american indian came across the land bridge to America. Those oriental tribes/american indians did away with the then natives to take control of this land. Estimates that before the europeans ever came to America so we will say 1500 there were somewhere in the vicinity of 750,000 oriental/american indians alive in north america. One ethnic group invading and taking over the land from another group has been going on throughout recorded history. It’s time the american indian quit their wining or at least those liberals that love to continue that mantra.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATE II: Racism Rhetoric Is Rubbish (Catchall Phrase For The Feeble-Minded)

Crime, Fascism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Reason, South-Africa

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again, and worse! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? For sure! But racism? No! That’s bullshit. So why have some libertarians adopted this rhetoric? The same people who would argue against (color-coded) hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime—are suddenly accusing white America of racism (thought crimes).

Sheepishness? No doubt, but racism? Enough of this nonsense:

This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing. Police apologists are flooding the Internet with arguments against those of the opposite persuasion. Only those who regard the police excuse as unconvincing are accused of jumping to conclusions before the jury’s verdict is in. Those who jump to conclusions favorable to the police are regarded as proper Americans. …

Could it be that the ordinary Americans Paul Craig Roberts maligns as likely racists are really, truly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive frame-of-mind, or are uninformed about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” first hand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it ferocity”?

UPDATE I (8/23): Et Tu, Stossel?

John Stossel mars a perfectly reasonable column, separating the “liberal from the libertarian response to Ferguson,” with a nod to the endemic racism meme:

Yes, centuries of white people abusing the civil liberties of blacks have left many blacks resentful of police power, and in recent years, white police officers have shot, on average, two young black men every week. But none of that justifies violence and looting like that which followed Michael Brown’s death. Criminals who ransack stores are always wrong to violate the rights of innocent third parties.

It reminds me of the root-causes excuse offered up by lily white liberals for the dysfunction of many young black South Africans, who were born well after the end of apartheid.

UPDATE II (8/24): Racism: The Catchall Phrase for the Feeble-Minded. Jack Kerwick explains why:

… anyone who is interested in thinking clearly and honestly must realize that “racism” is the rhetorical ware of bumper stickers and t-shirts: Because it means—and is intended to mean—all things to all people, it has become meaningless. All that we do know is that “racism” is a dreadful, probably the most dreadful thing, of which a white person can be accused.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

An American Rabbi That Can Reason

Judaism & Jews, Justice, Law, Reason

“American Rabbis For Israel First” wiped the floor with two feeble-minded rabbis. Admittedly—and by virtue of being publicity hounds—the rabbis had already self-selected into a pretty odious social-group sample.

Thus, when I retired (to bed), a few nights back, with the commentary of Rabbi Dovid Bendory, rabbinic director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership—I expected little by way of intellectual fare, given the mostly liberal rabbis we’re accustomed to enduring in the public eye. Their impetus is invariably emotional, not intellectual.

Indeed, Jews, who’re usually an analytical lot, have also been infected with the contempt for reason running throughout society. “Curricula in schools emphasize the non-analytical. The media convey emotionalism. Religious institutions junk doctrine for feel-goodism, and what goes for compassion is really sappy sentimentality.” (From “Why Read Return To Reason.”)

Understanding liberty, of course, demands reason (again, from “Why Read Return To Reason”):

In the introduction to F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” economist Milton Friedman puts his finger on the backdrop to the growth of collectivism: “The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument.”

In his biblically based argument against pacifism, and in defense of a “righteous killing,” Rabbi Bendory demonstrates a command of Hebrew grammar as well as impressive deductive, analytical thinking. In particular was I intrigued by Rabbi Bendory’s distinction, bolstered by references or the absence thereof in scripture, between retzach (murder) and hariga (killing). Never thought of that.

Essentially, JPFO’s rabbinic director argues that the Sixth Commandment enjoins against murder, not necessarily against killing, and that, translated, the Hebrew Lo tirtzach! “has a clear and unequivocal meaning:

“Do not murder,” and not do not kill.

Read “The Ten Commandments, Killing, and Murder”: A Detailed Commentary by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Robbing Peter To Pay Pedro

IMMIGRATION, Private Property, Reason

“Robbing Peter To Pay Pedro” is the current column, now on WND. An Excerpt:

“… Yes, an open border is open season on private property, starting with the person’s prime real estate: himself.

In making their case for this sorry state-of-affairs, one fully expects Pelosi and cerebrally compromised cretins like her in both political camps to deploy “Appeals to Pity” instead of argument. However, hard to beat for his use of emotional language in the service of ‘deception and manipulation’ was conservative columnist George Will. Preached Will: ‘We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America. You’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans.’ We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 [children] per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old ‘criminals’ with their teddy bears is preposterous.’

Argumentum ad misericordiam, Mr. Will. Explained the late Robert J. Gula, author of ‘Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies’: ‘Instead of giving carefully documented reasons, evidence, and facts, a person appeals to our sense of pity, compassion, brotherly love. We are shown a picture of an emaciated child,” yet little do we consider how much of our funds will be used for the ‘plush salaries’ of the political administrators, for instance. As posited ever so rationally by the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jerry Kammer:

The 57,000 minors Will proposes to welcome are only a small part of the Central American exodus. According to an internal memo from Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello, the number of minors detained by the Border Patrol is expected to reach 90,000 this year and 142,000 next year. There is a vast river of desperate humanity rising in Latin America, straining to flow northward, already eroding the dam of restraint that has long been a mostly psychological barrier constructed by the belief that the mighty United States wants to control its border.

Read the complete column. “Robbing Peter To Pay Pedro” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Bookings@ilanamercer.com. Or, ilana@ilanamercer.com


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

When An Exceptionally ‘Good Country’ Downs A Plane

America, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Iran, Reason, Russia

To extrapolate from Dinesh D’Souza’s illogic (explained nicely by Jack Kerwick), when an exceptionally ‘Good Country,’ as the US surely is, downs a plane, that country deserves mitigation, for it is good. In other words, the properties of the crime, which are the same whoever commits it, somehow change, depending on the identity of the perpetrator.

Thus, because he belongs to a good collective, D’Souza, presumably, would diminish the culpability of the “U.S. Navy captain” who shot “Iran Air Flight 655″ out of the sky, on July 3, 1988.

“A quarter-century later,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate, “the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces.”

Kaplan compares the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to “The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.”

… In several ways, the two calamities are similar. The Malaysian Boeing 777 wandered into a messy civil war in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border; the Iranian Airbus A300 wandered into a naval skirmish—one of many clashes in the ongoing “Tanker War” (another forgotten conflict)—in the Strait of Hormuz. The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children. After last week’s incident, Russian officials told various lies to cover up their culpability and blamed the Ukrainian government; after the 1988 incident, American officials told various lies and blamed the Iranian pilot. Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed “deep regret,” not an apology. …

Read “America’s Flight 17.”


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: The Illogic (And Tyranny) Of Gender Preferences

Affirmative Action, Feminism, Gender, Reason, Science

To say that “Science needs women” is as logically consistent as saying that, “‘Heavyweight boxing needs Malays,’ ‘Football needs dwarf goalkeepers,”Quantity surveying needs bisexuals,’ ‘Lavatory cleaning needs left-handers’ …”

The above logical parallels make the absurdity of the argument for more women in science “immediately apparent,” reasons Theodore Dalrymple.

Science does not need women any more than it needs foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis. What science needs (if an abstraction such as science can be said to need anything) is scientists. If they happen also to be foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis, so be it: but no one in his right mind would go to any lengths to recruit for his laboratory foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis for those characteristics alone.

“A Miasma of Untruth” by Theodore Dalrymple: A little long-winded for me, but well-worth the read for that priceless kernel of logic.

UPDATE (7/1): Myron Pauli’s Demonstration of Illogical Reasoning (LOL):

Myron Robert Pauli: “now hold on …. [1] I am a scientist; [2] I need women; therefore [3] science needs women!!!”


like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint