Category Archives: Reason

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.”


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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!!!”


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The Military, The Mission And The Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Reason

Again and again one hears it repeated that our “brave men and women of the military,” having sacrificed for Iraqi “freedoms,” must be furious to see the gains they made squandered. Thus, goes the argument made by Stewart Varney (for example) of Fox Business, today, more resources must be committed forthwith in order to redeem the original (misguided) commitment of men, money and materiel to Iraq.

This is the sunk-cost fallacy, as explained by the Skeptic’s Dictionary:

When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I can’t stop now, otherwise what I’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Everything one has invested is lost regardless. If there is no hope for success in the future from the investment, then the fact that one has already lost a bundle should lead one to the conclusion that the rational thing to do is to withdraw from the project.
To continue to invest in a hopeless project is irrational. Such behavior may be a pathetic attempt to delay having to face the consequences of one’s poor judgment. The irrationality is a way to save face, to appear to be knowledgeable, when in fact one is acting like an idiot.


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UPDATED: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fems (Who Smell The Blood Of A Racist)

Free Speech, Gender, libertarianism, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Reason

“You’re a racist.” “No, you’re a bigger racist.” “No way; you hang out with Lew Rockwell, Hans Hoppe and Ron Paul; they’re racists, so you’re racist.” What on earth is going on here? Why are serious libertarians engaging in tit-for-tat spats with a twat? She is Cathy something or another, a sally-come-lately libertarian. Justin Raimondo, a life-long libertarian, has been credited with “smoking out” this woman—who has libeled Paul, Murray Rothbard, Rockwell and Hoppe as racists.

Are libertarians as dazed and confused as Republicans? The latter have certainly dignified the rival gang’s Stalinist show-trial tactics, partaking in the same silly tit-for-tat: “You’re a racist, I’m not. Democrats are racists; we’re the party of Lincoln.” Blah-blah.

And what will Mr. Raimondo do if the bimbo in question produces some “iffy” quotes from the men she has maligned, quotes that fail the politically correct test?

Libertarians should not partake in this dance done by the political establishment. By going on the defense—allowing themselves to be drawn into such a deeply silly exchange—libertarians are, inadvertently, conceding that speech should be policed, and that those who violate standards set by the PC set are somehow defective on those grounds alone, and deserve to be purged from “polite” company.

(Incidentally, allow me some latitude here when it comes to the liberal use of ad hominem, having already proven, I hope, that Cathy Whatshername is the dim bulb she is. It was hoped that “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” would have provided “brutalists” with a temporary reprieve from her ilk. Alas, this is the “Age of the Idiot.” You can’t keep ‘em down for long.)

JUNGE FREIHEIT, a German weekly, recently interviewed this writer. One of the questions was this: “Have you been blamed for racism because of your book “Into the Cannibal’s Pot”? What would you answer?”

The reply, taken almost verbatim from “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” (pp. 41-42), ought to help in warding off the fee-fi-fo-fems who sniff out the blood of speech offenders and thought criminals:

No, not really. The book is concerned with reality, not race. Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself). Most intelligent readers can tell the difference. One individual from Media Matters failed, but he could hardly be called intelligent. In order to accuse me of racism, he needed to lie about what I had written. My answer to those who’d fault me for daring to make broad statements about aggregate group characteristics, vis-à-vis crime, for instance, would be as follows: Generalizations, provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.

UPDATE (5/11): Comments harvested from the Facebook thread:

Jack Kerwick (Catholic, conservative philosopher): “‘Tit-for-tat spats with a twat.’ Vintage Ilana.”

Ilana Mercer: “From the fact that some dude is dumber than Cathy Whatshername, it doesn’t follow that CWHN is smart, Christoph Dollis. The Jeffrey Tucker I once knew was way too bright to have written the crap I critiqued in “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises”. Cathy Whatshername is the ‘brains’ behind it. The woman is the SE Cupp of lite libertarianism.”

The adorable Kathy Shaidle: “Libertarians should not partake in this dance done by the political establishment. By going on the defense—allowing themselves to be drawn into such a deeply silly exchange—libertarians are, inadvertently, conceding that speech should be policed, and that those who violate standards set by the PC set are somehow defective on those grounds alone, and deserve to be purged from ‘polite’ company.” (From the post above)

Exactly. Many so called libertarians just seem like low tax liberals whose big priority is getting to smoke dope without a helmet, and who have bought into the fashioable leftwing “multiculural/race/gender/transphobia” narrative. No thanks.

Ilana Mercer: “The inimitable Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe once told me: ‘If you are not called a racist, then, it seems to me, you are in intellectual trouble and it is high time to reconsider your own thinking.’ Professor Hoppe was attempting to console me, after someone marked us both with that Mark of Cain”.


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UPDATE II: OMG! Outrage Of The Week (Cry Me A Rivers)

Media, Political Correctness, Private Property, Racism, Reason, Taxation

The post titled “Every Day An Outrage” alerted readers to the cable-news custom of harping on “items meant to heighten emotions and send hissing viewers to social media to create a buzz.” Heightened emotions are also meant to distract the easily distracted from reason and argument.

I just knew that MSNBC, which has hardly reported on the “conflict that has roiled the country”—Cliven Bundy’s “mutiny against the federal government”—would rectify the failure when Bundy said something racist.

Boy, was I right! Check out the article titled “Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy Doesn’t Apologize, Repeats Racist Remarks.” It constitutes a sudden turnaround in MSNBC’s previous editorial choice to hardly cover the Cliven-Bundy story. “Bundy’s Blunder,” blares another headline.

MSNBC: These are not newsmen, but truly despicable operatives who are incapable of impartially addressing the issues .

Whatever impolitic and politically unpopular things Mr. Bundy says—nothing changes the natural-law truths propounded upon in the essay, “Why The Land Belongs To Bundy.”

Whatever happened to the the old adage about “sticks and stones” and all that stuff?

UPDATED I (4/25): HAVE RACE WILL TRAVEL. Miraculously, CNN has also “discovered” Cliven Bundy, after reporting not at all about the farmer from Nevada, who is in “mutiny against the federal government.”

The little worm Paul Begala was entertained by Brook Baldwin, for a CNN segment aimed not at reporting about land seizures across the country, but in order to strategically deploy Bundy’s racism against the GOP. In fairness to Bimbo Brook, she’s not working with much. She likely knows no better.

As for the Worm Begala: He calls the man, Bundy, “a deadbeat welfare queen.” If he is serious, he should not be taken seriously.

Bundy is a man who works the land and wishes to keep what is his—for that is what taxes are: private property appropriated at the point of a gun.

Tax withheld is stolen property reclaimed.

UPDATE II: CRY ME A RIVERS. Her humor has become way too PC for me to enjoy as I used to. But at least Joan Rivers is refusing to apologize for a joke she made. I hope she doesn’t buckle.

“I’m a comedienne,” she told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I know what those girls went through. It was a little, stupid joke. There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That’s what I do. Calm down. Calm [expletive] down. I’m a comedienne. They’re free, so let’s move on.”

What did Joan say?

she made a comparison between her daughter’s guest room and the basement in which Cleveland kidnapping victims Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry were bound, raped and tortured for years before their escape.
“Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room,” quipped Rivers. …


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Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises

Gender, History, libertarianism, Private Property, Reason, Socialism

“Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“As I paged through the dog’s breakfast of an essay titled “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises,” I found myself wondering:

What does midwifery have to do with Mises? Both find their way into the stream-of-consciousness non sequiturs that is the article. I suppose midwifery is an occupation dominated by women. Mises was an old-fashioned, European economist whose legacy women are attempting to occupy. That must be it!

Incidentally, naming the solipsistic feminists (a redundancy, I know) who’ve made a move on the Austrian-School economist is unnecessary. “Avoid naming names when dealing with marginal characters,” I was once instructed by a veteran journalist, who was responding to a devastating critique I had penned in reply to some self-important, insignificant sorts. Joseph Farah e-mailed one of his lacerating missives: “Good job. But who the hell are these people? Their arguments are of a piece with Yasser Arafat’s. Next time, tackle the Arafat argument instead,” he admonished.

Alas, “The Feminism of Ludwig von Mises” is devoid of argument to tackle. From the fact that Mises taught and mentored capable lady scholars, the FEE.org* feminists have concluded that the Austrian-School economist “actively promoted the interests of women in academia” and “saw women intellectuals in Vienna as an undervalued human resource.” …

… Indeed, it takes a degree of provincialism unique to our country’s feminists to claim that a European gentleman, born in Austria-Hungary in the late 1800s, was one of them—a rib from the feminist fraternity’s ribcage. This writer grew up in Israel at a time when quite a few elderly, highly educated Austrian gentlemen were still around. Grandfather, a master chess player, hung out with these men in Tel-Aviv chess clubs and cafés. Having actually encountered this creature in his natural habitat, I put this to you, gentle reader:

The proposition that Ludwig von Mises was a feminist is an apodictic impossibility. …

Read on. The complete column is “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises” now on WND.

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