Monday, October 15, 2018

Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and State According to Conservatives and According to Liberals


On his website (Because I enjoy Drawing, America, and a few other things too…), Pat Cross (you can hardly find a better name for a Christian cartoonist) presents a cartoon on the separation of church and state according to conservatives and according to liberals…

• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pat Cross (IV): European Socialism Works — The Proof


On his website (Because I enjoy Drawing, America, and a few other things too…), Pat Cross has a cartoon on socialism

• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and StateAccording to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Those Ghastly Men! The Bloody Bastards Oppressed Our Sisters and Our Mothers and Our Mothers' Mothers and Our… (with Apologies to Monty Python)


The Oppressive Male Sketch:
In a modern-day classroom, somewhere in North America or Europe, a TEACHER is duly doing her job (as well as her duty) and teaching the younger generation about all the evils, all the abuses, and all the lies of Western civilization in general and of America in particular. Today's subject matter is the horrific treatment and the intolerable oppression of women throughout the ages at the hands of the patriarchy. (Here, the TEACHER is a woman, but, with slight changes to her lines, the character could just as well be a male feminist played by a male.) With apologies to the Monty Python gang
(Related: Monty Python on Colonialism and U.S. Imperialism)
TEACHER: They bled us white, the bastards! They’ve taken everything we have! They did nothing but oppress us! And not just us! They oppressed our mothers! And our mothers' mothers—
LITTLE GIRL CHIMES IN: And our mothers' mothers' mothers!
TEACHER: Yeah—
LITTLE GIRL KEEPS GOING: And our mothers' mothers' mothers' mothers!
TEACHER: Alright, Fran. Don't belabor the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
Silence…

Another little girl timidly raises a finger.
LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: This classroom…
TEACHER: Whut?
LITTLE GIRL 2: This classroom;  Every object in this classroom, they made.
TEACHER: Oh yeah yeah they did do that for us, uh-huh that’s true…
LITTLE BOY 1: And every object in my home, and [pointing to the classmate who just spoke] in her home…
LITTLE GIRL 3: And also in your home, Mrs. Fotzbinkle…
TEACHER: Yeah, alright, I'll grant you that the objects in this school and in our homes are two things the members of the male species have done—
LITTLE BOY 2: And also the homes themselves, the very buildings, and the cities that they form…
TEACHER: Oh well obviously the cities, I mean the cities go without saying, don’t they?! … But apart from the homes, the buildings, and the cities…
Other KIDS, none of whom seem to have understood the purpose of the TEACHER's speech and of her (thoroughly) rhetorical question, start chatting amongst themselves
VOICES FROM AROUND THE CLASSROOM: The machines… The factories… The motors… The cars… The vehicles… The ships… The locomotives… The airplanes… The rockets…The medicine… The hospitals… In olden days, the sail ships and the horse carriages…

TEACHER: Yeah, alright, fair enough—
But women were oppressed! They were denied the right to vote!!
LITTLE GIRL 2: Well, for most of history, most men around the globe didn't have the vote either.
LITTLE BOY 3: In fact, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, most men — and women — were so dirt-poor, they rarely had anything to do but try to survive and they never got around to leaving the farm beyond — what was it? — a 20-km radius…
LITTLE GIRL 1: Unless they went to war
LITTLE BOY 4: That's true
LITTLE GIRL 2: Yes, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, if we can vote we have the capitalists to thank for that…
LITTLE BOY 3: Didn't men used to cast their votes for their entire families?
LITTLE GIRL 3: And far from being the patriarchy and oppressive — aren't most of men, at least in the West, like, in fact loving and… obedient and acting like milquetoasts?
LITTLE BOY 5: Remember the Grace Bedell story that you read to us, Mrs. Fotzbinkle?
The little girl who informed Abe Lincoln that if he grew a beard women would get their husbands, their sons, and their brothers to vote for him, simply by "teasing" them to do so…

TEACHER: Alright, fair enough, but don't you dare start diminishing the contributions of women! Don't forget women used to sew all the clothes and all the garments that we —
LITTLE BOY 3: — and they!
TEACHER: — and they — used to wear!
LITTLE GIRL 1: But the tools to make the clothes — the needles and the thread and the scissors and all the other instruments in the sewing kit —
LITTLE BOY 3: The sewing machine!!
LITTLE GIRL 1: —those were made by men, who also gathered the wool and manufactured the fabric.
LITTLE GIRL 4: In fact, men invented the machines that made farming easy, that made poverty retreat, and that prevented a man from destroying his health and dying at an early age
LITTLE GIRL 5: plus all the gadgets in the modern kitchen and the modern home that prevented a woman from ever leaving the home
LITTLE BOY 4: In fact, when you think about it, all or most of these inventions were invented, or were improved, by the people who are the most hated today around the globe — males, capitalists, and Americans

LITTLE GIRL 2: And thanks to men, it's safe to walk in the streets
TEACHER: What are you saying?! For centuries, women were kept in the kitchen!!
LITTLE BOY 2: Well, while women were in the kitchen, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, with a roof over their heads, men were not exactly out partying in town
LITTLE GIRL 5: Nor were they going to the brothel
LITTLE GIRL 1: The "brothel'? What's that?
EVERYBODY ELSE (in unison): Never mind!
LITTLE BOY 1: True enough: They were out in the fields, whatever the weather — boiling sun or freezing rain —
LITTLE GIRL 6: Or they were off going to war!
LITTLE BOY 2: No wonder women live longer than men

TEACHER: No brothels?! Men could go out and be sluts and frolic with loose women! Women were banned from doing the equivalent! How about that?! Huh?! Huh?! How about that?!
LITTLE BOY 3: Well, in the olden days, it was necessary because there were few methods to prevent a girl from getting pregnant…
LITTLE GIRL 2: Plus, it wasn't the men per se who kept women per se from going out, it was a given girl's father, her brothers, and her uncles…
TEACHER: See?! See?!
LITTLE GIRL 2: …ANNND her mother, ANNND her aunts, ANNND her grand-mother…
LITTLE BOY 1: And don't forget, Mrs. Fotzbinkle: the pill, and other forms of contraception, were all invented by men
LITTLE GIRL 6: like all the medicine
LITTLE BOY 4: like all the medicine that has made everyone — males and females alike — healthier and unlikely to die at an early age…
LITTLE GIRL 3: The medicine that has rid mothers and babies alike from the common risk of dying in childbirth…

That's it! The TEACHER has had enough!
TEACHER: Alright!! But apart from the homes! — the buildings! — the cities! — the factories! — the kitchens! — the cars! — the horse carriages! — the ships! — the planes! — the motors! — the machines! — the hospitals! — the medicine! — and the contraceptives! (pause) — what have men ever done for us?!?!
Timidly, a little girl raises her a finger…
LITTLE GIRL 1: They cherish us, and they shower us with love
TEACHER: "Love"?!?! Oh, SHUT UP!!

Non, No, Just a Tad: Pat Cross on Socialism (III)


On his website (Because I enjoy Drawing, America, and a few other things too…), Pat Cross has a cartoon on socialism


• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and StateAccording to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Where Everything Is Free… Except You: Pat Cross on Socialism (II)


On his website (Because I enjoy Drawing, America, and a few other things too…), Pat Cross has a few choice cartoons on socialism

• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and StateAccording to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Whether implemented by a mob or a single strongman, collectivism is a poverty generator, an attack on human dignity, and a destroyer of individual rights


On the same day that Venezuela’s “democratically” elected socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, whose once-wealthy nation now has citizens foraging for food, announced he was lopping five zeros off the country’s currency to create a “stable financial and monetary system,” Meghan McCain of “The View” was the target of internet-wide condemnation for having stated some obvious truths about collectivism.
Thus writes David Harsanyi in the Daily Signal in a piece entitled Sorry If You’re Offended, but Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution.
During the same week we learned that the democratic socialist president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is accused of massacring hundreds of protesters whose economic futures have been decimated by his economic policies, Soledad O’Brien and writers at outlets ranging from GQ, to BuzzFeed, to the Daily Beast were telling McCain to cool her jets.

In truth, McCain was being far too calm. After all, socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence. Whether implemented by a mob or a single strongman, collectivism is a poverty generator, an attack on human dignity, and a destroyer of individual rights.

It’s true that not all socialism ends in the tyranny of Leninism or Stalinism or Maoism or Castroism or Ba’athism or Chavezism or the Khmer Rouge—only most of it does. And no, New York primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t intend to set up gulags in Alaska. Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren’t consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny.

But when they adopt the term “socialism” and the ideas associated with it, they deserve to be treated with the kind of contempt and derision that all those adopting authoritarian philosophies deserve.

But look: Norway!

Socialism is perhaps the only ideology that Americans are asked to judge solely based on its piddling “successes.” Don’t you dare mention Albania or Algeria or Angola or Burma or Congo or Cuba or Ethiopia or Laos or Somalia or Vietnam or Yemen or, well, any other of the dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not when there are a handful of Scandinavian countries operating generous welfare state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources.

Of course, socialism exists on a spectrum, and even if we accept that the Nordic social program experiments are the most benign iteration of collectivism, they are certainly not the only version. Pretending otherwise would be like saying, “The police state of Singapore is more successful than Denmark. Let’s give it a spin.”

It turns out, though, that the “Denmark is awesome!” talking point is only the second-most preposterous one used by socialists. It goes something like this: If you’re a fan of “roads, schools, libraries, and such,” although you may not even be aware of it, you are also a supporter of socialism.

This might come as a surprise to some, but every penny of the $21,206 spent in Ocasio-Cortez’s district each year on each student, rich or poor, is provided with the profits derived from capitalism.

There is no welfare system, no library that subsists on your good intentions. Having the state take over the entire health care system could rightly be called a socialistic endeavor, but pooling local tax dollars to put books in a building is called local government.

It should also be noted that today’s socialists get their yucks by pretending collectivist policies only lead to innocuous outcomes like local libraries. But for many years they were also praising the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the nation’s most successful socialist, isn’t merely impressed with the goings-on in Denmark. Not very long ago, he lauded Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela as an embodiment of the “American dream,” even more so than the United States.

Socialists like to blame every inequity, the actions of every greedy criminal, every downturn, and every social ill on the injustice of capitalism. But none of them admit that capitalism has been the most effective way to eliminate poverty in history.

Today, in former socialist states like India, there have been big reductions in poverty thanks to increased capitalism. In China, where communism sadly still deprives more than a billion people of their basic rights, hundreds of millions benefit from a system that is slowly shedding socialism. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the extreme poverty rate in the world has been cut in half. And it didn’t happen because Southeast Asians were raising the minimum wage.

In the United States, only 5 percent of people are even aware that poverty has fallen in the world, according to the Gapminder Foundation, which is almost certainly in part due to the left’s obsession with “inequality” and normalization of “socialism.”

Nearly half of American millennials would rather live in a socialist society than in a capitalist one, according to a YouGov poll. That said, only 71 percent of those asked were able to properly identify either. We can now see the manifestation of this ignorance in our elections and “The View” co-host Joy Behar.

But if all you really champion are some higher taxes and more generous social welfare, stop associating yourself with a philosophy that usually brings destitution and death. Call it something else. If not, McCain has every right to associate you with the ideology you embrace.

Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e., America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers


Pat Cross has a handful of cartoons dealing with the outlook of the Democrat Party…

• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and State
According to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Monday, October 08, 2018

Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards


In a couple of cartoons almost two years apart, Pat Cross provides light on the double standards of the left (progressive politicians and mainstream media alike).

• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
• Pat Cross on Socialism I: Everyone Else Who Tried This Got Hurt
More:
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and StateAccording to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Pat Cross on Socialism (I)


On his website (Because I enjoy Drawing, America, and a few other things too…), Pat Cross has a handful of choice cartoons on socialism

• Pat Cross on Socialism IV: European Socialism Works — The Proof…
• Pat Cross on Socialism III: We'll Just Try a Tiny Bit
• Pat Cross on Socialism II: Where Everything Is Free… Except
More:
• Pat Cross on the Left's Double Standards
• Pat Cross on the Outlook of the Democrat Party, i.e.,
America's Alleged Problem with Racist Bigots and Other Would-Be Hitlers…
• Pat Cross on the Separation of Church and StateAccording to Conservatives and According to Liberals

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Arguments: The Svane Law

I have thought about this for the past several years — time and time again it has been proven correct — and, speaking of time, it is time to define it formally once and for all:

Here is the Svane Law:

If your only argument, or if your main argument, is that your adversary's position is outdated (or unfashionable, or antiquated, or passé, or medieval, or so 13th century, etc, etc…) — notably in passive voices alleging objectivity and neutrality such as "Norms since those times have changed" — you have de facto lost the debate for the simple reason that you are wrong.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The idea that Kavanaugh can’t be a Supreme Court justice because he wasn’t dispassionate in the face of multiple bogus allegations that he’s a rapist is grotesquely dumb


The best thing I have read about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings comes from Trump-disliker Jonah Goldberg:
This wasn’t a brouhaha about Trump or any of the usual stuff. The issue here was that the Democrats and their abettors in the media simply behaved atrociously.

For example, on Thursday, nearly every conservative and Republican was respectful towards Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, finding her testimony moving and credible. But when Brett Kavanaugh spoke, also movingly and credibly, the instantaneous response from much of the liberal and Democratic chorus was “Ermahgod! Raaaaaapist!” or “How dare he be angry!” or “You can’t have a partisan madman like this on the Court!”

Look, I actually agree that Kavanaugh’s anger towards Democrats in the hearing — though morally and emotionally justified — isn’t a good thing over the long run if he were to make it on the Court. But this idea that he can’t be a Supreme Court justice because he wasn’t dispassionate in the face of multiple bogus allegations that he’s a rapist is both grotesque and grotesquely dumb.

First of all, is there any doubt in your mind that, if Kavanaugh had been coldly dispassionate, dismissive, and reserved, the Jen Rubins of the world would be screaming,
“See! He’s an emotionless monster! He doesn’t even have the basic human decency to take offense at being called a rapist!”?
Second, contrary to the tsunami of smug sorrowful opining, judges are not expected to be cold and dispassionate in the face of charges about themselves. That’s [precisely the reason] why they recuse themselves from cases in which they have personal interests. Here’s an idea for you: The next time you’re in a court of law, shout at the judge that he’s biased because he’s an alcoholic rapist perv. See what happens.

Dianne Feinstein — who is more to blame for this three-ring-fecal-festival than any other actor — began her questioning of Kavanaugh by raising an allegation that he ran a rape gang. He responded angrily. And now she’s offended by the partisanship? Please. Judicial nominees aren’t supposed to be like the guards at Buckingham Palace:
“Let’s see how many absolutely horrible things we can say to his face before he loses his temper — and then when he does, let’s berate him for not doing his job.” 


Thursday, September 27, 2018

DEBAT: Maos Lyst og Venezuelas mareridt


Efter at Maos Lyst blev rost i Villabyerne for kollektivets 50-års fødselsdag, fik lokalavisen følgende brev som udkom i en lidt kortere version den 25. september 2018 (årgang 113 nr 39) side 11 og fik topposition på avisens hjemmeside:

DEBAT: Maos Lyst og Venezuelas mareridt

    Inger Glerup beklager sig over at, man under hendes besøg til Maos Lyst i anledning af det "åbne hus" for at fejre kollektivets 50-års-dag ingen adgang havde til huset selv – idet hele festivitesen foregik i "et par små åbne telte [i haven], man kunne søge ly [fra regnvejret] under, hvis man var heldig og der var plads."  I stedet for at være skuffet over "at opholde sig i haven i regnvejr", skulle hun ikke være henrykt?  Over at have fået en (enorm) god lektie om socialismens/kommunismens løfter?  og om hvad man faktisk oplever når "drømmen" (sic) bliver virkelighed?

    Seneste eksempel er Venezuela, hvor, efter næsten 20 år af den Bolivariske Revolution, borgerne i hvad var engang Sydamerikas rigeste land nu kan nyde manglen på mad, medicin og toiletpapir, samt strømafbrydelser, hyperinflation, og generelt en økonomi i frit fald, mens millioner af folk søger at flygte til nabolandene.

    I dette sammenhæng har der været meget humor over at en Fox News journalist har sammenlignet Venezuela med Danmark. Der har utvivlsomt været overdrivelse i den reportage, men kan det ikke virke lidt indskrænkende at den eneste lektie, som danskerne synes at have taget fra kontroverset er (igen) at de konservative amerikanere er ikke andet end nogle uvidende tumper som burde vide mere om verdenen?  (Samt selvfølgelig den stedsegrønne drøm om at USA burde efterligne Skandinavien og – endelig – få et socialistisk samfund.)

    Sig mig:  Har danskerne ikke egentlig også en lektie at lære?  Som måske er vigtigere…  At når "tosserne" er betænkelige om lande (eller rettere om revolutionernes ledere) der har valgt socialismen, har de ofte haft… god grund til det?  Er Chavez's Venezuela (efter bl.a. Lenins USSR, Ceausescus Rumænien, og… Maos Kina) ikke et godt bevis på det?  Har alle lande (eller rettere, alle revolutionernes ledere) ikke lovet samme fremtid i skandinavisk stil?

    Hvem kan forudse med sikkerhed, om en venstreorienteret regime vil følge Denmarks eksempel eller Venezuelas?  Er der nogen, der har svar på det?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Maos Lyst og Venezuelas mareridt


Interessen for Maos Lyst lever stadig
skriver Kathrine Albrechtsen og Mette Henriksen og Mikael Østergaard i lokalavisen Villabyerne.
Med markante personligheder på postkassen som Troels Kløvedal og Ebbe Kløvedal Reich blev Maos Lyst et kendt kollektiv i offentligheden, og er i dag et af Danmarks ældst eksisterende, som i år kan fejre sit 50 års jubilæum.

 … Interessen for Maos Lyst lever stadig. Derfor har kollektivets beboere i anledning af jubilæet valgt at invitere lokalområdet ind fredag den 17. august for at afmystificere huset ved at vise, hvordan et moderne kollektiv kan se ud i dag.

Alle blev dog ikke begejstret, deriblandt Inger Glerup:
Jeg blev rigtig glad for denne oplysning. Jeg går ofte forbi Maos Lyst, da jeg bor på Tuborgvej tæt derpå og har tit tænkt, det kunne være spændende at komme indenfor og besøge kollektivet. Så nu var chancen der, virkelig et godt initiativ.
Så jeg meldte mig til, som man skulle og vandrede forventningsfuld derhen kl. 15.30 med min paraply, da det desværre var blevet regnvejr. Stor var min skuffelse, da jeg så opdagede, at det åbne hus betød, at man kunne være ude i haven fra kl. 15- til kl. 23-, hvor der var et par små åbne telte, man kunne søge ly under, hvis man var heldig og der var plads. Huset kunne man ikke få at se, for ”så kunne de jo ikke bestille andet end at vise frem”, som en beboer forklarede.

Kære beboere i Maos Lyst, jeg syntes, det var en fremragende ide at invitere indenfor til åbent hus, men når invitere indenfor og åbent hus bestod i at opholde sig i haven i regnvejr, følte jeg mig helt ærligt lokket til af forkerte oplysninger.





På den 25. september 2018 kom en forkortet version af følgende brev i Villabyerne vol 113 nr 39, side 11:
    Inger Glerup beklager sig over at, man under hendes besøg til Maos Lyst i anledning af det "åbne hus" for at fejre kollektivets 50-års-dag ingen adgang havde til huset selv – idet hele festivitesen foregik i "et par små åbne telte [i haven], man kunne søge ly [fra regnvejret] under, hvis man var heldig og der var plads."  I stedet for at være skuffet over "at opholde sig i haven i regnvejr", skulle hun ikke være henrykt?  Over at have fået en (enorm) god lektie om socialismens/kommunismens løfter?  og om hvad man faktisk oplever når "drømmen" (sic) bliver virkelighed?

    Seneste eksempel er Venezuela, hvor, efter næsten 20 år af den Bolivariske Revolution, borgerne i hvad var engang Sydamerikas rigeste land nu kan nyde manglen på mad, medicin og toiletpapir, samt strømafbrydelser, hyperinflation, og generelt en økonomi i frit fald, mens millioner af folk søger at flygte til nabolandene.

    I dette sammenhæng har der været meget humor over at en Fox News journalist har sammenlignet Venezuela med Danmark.  Der har utvivlsomt været overdrivelse i den reportage, men kan det ikke virke lidt indskrænkende at den eneste lektie, som danskerne synes at have taget fra kontroverset er (igen) at de konservative amerikanere er ikke andet end nogle uvidende tumper som burde vide mere om verdenen?  (Samt selvfølgelig den stedsegrønne drøm om at USA burde efterligne Skandinavien og – endelig – få et socialistisk samfund.)

    Sig mig:  Har danskerne ikke egentlig også en lektie at lære?  Som måske er vigtigere…  At når "tosserne" er betænkelige om lande (eller rettere om revolutionernes ledere) der har valgt socialismen, har de ofte haft… god grund til det?  Er Chavez's Venezuela (efter bl.a. Lenins USSR, Ceausescus Rumænien, og… Maos Kina) ikke et godt bevis på det?  Har alle lande (eller rettere, alle revolutionernes ledere) ikke lovet samme fremtid i skandinavisk stil?

    Hvem kan forudse med sikkerhed, om en venstreorienteret regime vil følge Denmarks eksempel eller Venezuelas?  Er der nogen, der har svar på det?




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Colin Kaepernick peddles a very big lie: Sometimes black cops kill blacks, sometimes Asian cops kill blacks, sometimes white cops shoot whites, and sometimes black cops shoot whites


Nike may well have proven its own courage by making ex-49er Colin Kaepernick its “Just Do It” poster boy
writes Benny Huang.
Or its stupidity, depending on how you look at it.

 … My primary beef with the ad campaign is that it clearly insinuates that Kaepernick’s long period of unemployment is somehow linked to his political activism, a conclusion that is speculative at best. The truth is that during the 2016 season, Kaepernick’s last and the one in which he made such a spectacle of himself, the 49ers won just two games out of eighteen. Could it be that Kaepernick was fired not for showing flagrant disrespect for his country but because he sucked at his job?

It’s hard to say. The 49ers have never said that they let their quarterback go because of the whole kneeling thing. But they wouldn’t, would they? No, they’d lie about it because admitting that they canned their starting quarterback for that reason would mean that they don’t support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. And that’s raaaaaaaacist!–just like the anthem itself.

It would also mean that they don’t support free speech—which they aren’t required to. As liberals continually remind me, free speech does not mean freedom from consequences. No one is putting Kaepernick in jail. He merely lost his job, possibly for alienating the fans—a quite reasonable justification for firing someone—and possibly for leading his team to a last place finish in the NFC.

Could it have been a combination of the two? A quarterback who was at least making the playoffs likely could have gotten away with all the anthem kneeling—and the cops-as-pigs socks, and the Fidel Castro romanticism, and the Malcolm X hero worship. But not a loser like Kaepernick.

This whole debate about why Kaepernick was fired amounts to a tricky surgical separation between two completely legitimate reasons for termination. Sure, Kaepernick’s big mouth might be to blame. Employers frequently discipline their employees for what they say. Of all the many employers I’ve ever had not one has ever offered me “freedom of speech”—or rather freedom from consequences of my speech—while on the job. I’ve always known that my words could end up getting me fired if they angered co-workers or customers. But on the other hand, Kaepernick could have just been fired because his club felt like winning again.

Given that both reasons for termination are valid, who cares which played a greater role?

For all those who argue that Kaepernick was fired solely for his activism, I would ask you to consider the fact that two other members of the 49ers organization were also fired at the end of the 2016 season: head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke. No surprise there. When NFL teams finish last in their conference they often try to make a clean break by dumping those in leadership positions. Such is life in the competitive world of professional sports.

It isn’t difficult to see why Kaepernick would want the public to believe that he was given a pink slip for taking a stand—or rather, a knee. Otherwise we’d just think that he was fired for piss poor performance.

My secondary beef with the Kaepernick ad campaign is that it fails to address the real issue underlying the anthem-kneeling. We talk a lot about whether he had a right to speak (of course he does) when we should be talking about whether what he said was actually right.

The idea that this country is beset with racist police brutality is a blood libel in the truest sense of the term. It has also led to relaxed policing where it’s needed most (the Ferguson effect) and retributive violence against cops.

In this great big country that we live in, there are bound to be episodes in which police officers use force, sometimes deadly force, in the course of their duties. In some cases that force is justified but in others it isn’t. Kaepernick and the BLM movement seem unwilling or unable to distinguish between the two.

When force is not justified we call that police brutality which is a criminal abuse of government authority. We should absolutely condemn police brutality.

But even in cut-and-dry instances of police brutality, racism cannot simply be assumed as a motive. Doing so represents a logical leap that depends on the very inexact science of attributing motives. We all attribute motives from time to time, though BLM seems to do it recklessly and with extreme prejudice.

The movement has created the impression that black people have something to fear from the police simply for being black, as if cops go out on patrol just itching to shoot a random black person. They ignore the fact that more whites are killed by police every year than blacks. Those incidents are usually featured only as quick stories on the local news because they don’t fit the narrative.

The narrative is “Black man shot by white police officer”—which is automatically assumed to be because the cop doesn’t like black people. There’s no room in this tidy story for complicating detail. Was the suspect resisting arrest? Did he have a gun or what appeared to be a gun? BLM doesn’t care. Yet despite this wolf pack of supposedly racist cops roaming the streets, black Jehovah’s Witnesses selling the Watchtower on the street corner never seem to be gunned down despite being just as black as Michael Brown or Eric Garner. Clearly something else is at play here.

In reality, police officers of all colors occasionally shoot citizens of all colors. Sometimes those killings are justified, sometimes they’re not. Each incident is its own story with its own set of facts.

Sometimes black cops kill blacks, as was the case with Keith Scott in Charlotte. Sometimes Asian cops kill blacks, as was the case with Akai Gurley in Brooklyn. Sometimes white cops shoot whites, as was the case with Daniel Shaver in Mesa, Arizona. And finally, sometimes black cops shoot whites, as was the case with Justine Damond in Minneapolis.

Of these aforementioned examples, the first (Keith Scott) was justified and the second (Akai Gurley) was an unfortunate episode caused by a nervous and inexperienced cop who negligently discharged his firearm in the dark stairwell of a housing project. The last two of these examples, which involved white victims, were completely unjustified yet BLM ignores these and focuses instead on a burly thug (Michael Brown) who tried to kill a cop with his own gun and a drug dealer (Freddie Gray) who was fanatically resisting arrest.

Some evidence indicates that cops are more likely to shoot whites than blacks because they don’t believe that their motives will be second-guessed or that they will have to watch their backs for the rest of their lives. In 2015, after a sheriff’s deputy in Kentucky killed a crazed white man named John Fenwick, the sheriff himself was asked if he was afraid of public backlash—a very dumb question indeed. When has a city ever burned because a white guy got shot? Sheriff Ed Mattingley responded:
 “We do not want trouble. We are glad that he is white, and we shouldn’t have to be worried about that.”
Glad he was white!

But Colin Kaepernick never took a knee for John Fenwick. Nor does he speak up for Justine Damond or Daniel Shaver. He doesn’t care about them. He cares about blacks who are shot by police, whether justifiably or not, solely because they are black. There’s nothing heroic about that and certainly isn’t a blow against racism.

 … Colin Kaepernick peddles a very big lie—that cops routinely kill blacks for sport—which has contributed to a lot of scattered corpses and riots. …

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect: We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears

Over at PJMedia, two to three years before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, Ed Driscoll uncovered a gem on the subject of fake news, 13 to 14 years before Trump popularized the term:
[In 2002, the] late Michael Crichton coined a phrase he called "the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect," named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist:
Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.) 
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
In his speech on the prevalence of speculation in media — an idea defined by Thomas L. McDonald as "I believe everything the media tells me except for anything for which I have direct personal knowledge, which they always get wrong" — Michael Crichton goes on to say that
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I'd point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn't. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

So one problem with speculation is that it piggybacks on the Gell-Mann effect of unwarranted credibility, making the speculation look more useful than it is.

Another issue concerns the sheer volume of speculation. Sheer volume comes to imply a value which is specious. I call this the There-Must-Be-A-Pony effect, from the old joke in which a kid comes down Christmas morning, finds the room filled with horseshit, and claps his hands with delight. His astonished parents ask: why are you so happy? He says, with this much horseshit, there must be a pony.

Because we are confronted by speculation at every turn, in print, on video, on the net, in conversation, we may eventually conclude that it must have value. But it doesn't. Because no matter how many people are speculating, no matter how familiar their faces, how good their makeup and how well they are lit, no matter how many weeks they appear before us in person or in columns, it remains true that none of them knows what the future holds.

Some people secretly believe that the future can be known. They imagine two groups of people that can know the future, and therefore should be listened to. The first is pundits. Since they expound on the future all the time, they must know what they are talking about. Do they? “Brill's Content” used to track the pundit's guesses, and while one or another had an occasional winning streak, over the long haul they did no better than chance. This is what you would expect. Because nobody knows the future.

 …  Futurists don't know any more about the future than you or I. Read their magazines from a couple of years ago and you'll see an endless parade of error.

Expertise is no shield against failure to see ahead. That's why it was Thomas Watson, head of IBM, who predicted the world only needed 4 or 5 computers. That is about as wrong a prediction as it is possible to make, by a man who had every reason to be informed about what he was talking about. Not only did he fail to anticipate a trend, or a technology, he failed to understand the myriad uses to which a general purpose machine might be put.

Similarly, Paul Erlich, a brilliant academic who has devoted his entire life to ecological issues, has been wrong in nearly all his major predictions. He was wrong about diminishing resources, he was wrong about the population explosion, and he was wrong that we would lose 50% of all species by the year 2000. He devoted his life to intensely felt issues, yet he has been spectacularly wrong.

 …  NOBODY KNOWS THE FUTURE.

Now, this is not new information. It was Mark Twain who said,
'I've seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass."
And much of what politicians say is not so much a prediction as an attempt to make it come true. It's argument disguised as analysis. But it doesn't really persuade anybody. Because most people can see through it.

If speculation is worthless, why is there so much of it? Is it because people want it? I don't think so. I myself speculate that media has turned to speculation for media's own reasons. So now let's consider the advantages of speculation from a media standpoint.

1. It's incredibly cheap. Talk is cheap. And speculation shows are the cheapest thing you can put on television, They’re almost as cheap as running a test pattern. Speculation requires no research, no big staff. Minimal set. Just get the talking host, book the talking guests—of which there is no shortage—and you're done! Instant show. No reporters in different cities around the world, no film crews on location. No deadlines, no footage to edit, no editors...nothing! Just talk. Cheap.

2. You can't lose. Even though the speculation is correct only by chance, which means you are wrong at least 50% of the time, nobody remembers and therefore nobody cares. You are never accountable. The audience does not remember yesterday, let alone last week, or last month. Media exists in the eternal now, this minute, this crisis, this talking head, this column, this speculation.

 … And since [people] don't remember, as a speculator on media, you can't lose. Let me expand on this idea that you can't lose. It's not confined to the media. Most areas of intellectual life have discovered the virtues of speculation, and have embraced them wildly. In academia, speculation is usually dignified as theory. It's fascinating that even though the intellectual stance of the pomo deconstructionist era is against theory, particularly overarching theory, in reality what every academic wants to express is theory.

 …  In short, the understanding that so long as you speculate, you can't lose is widespread. And it is perfect for the information age, which promises a cornucopia of knowledge, but delivers a cornucopia of snake oil.

Now, nowhere is it written that the media need be accurate, or useful. They haven't been for most or recorded history. So, now they're speculating....so what? What is wrong with it?

 1. Tendency to excess. The fact that it's only talk makes drama and spectacle unlikely—unless the talk becomes heated and excessive. So it becomes excessive. Not every show features the Crossfire-style food fight, but it is a tendency on all shows.

2. “Crisisization” of everything possible. Most speculation is not compelling because most events are not compelling—Gosh, I wonder what will happen to the German mark? Are they going to get their labor problems under control? This promotes the well-known media need for a crisis. Crisis in the German mark! Uh-oh! Look out! Crises unite the country, draw viewers in large numbers, and give something to speculate about. Without a crisis, the talk soon degenerates into debate about whether the refs should have used instant replay on that last football game. So there is a tendency to hype urgency and importance and be-there-now when such reactions are really not appropriate. …

3. Superficiality as a norm. Gotta go fast. Hit the high points. Speculation adds to the superficiality. That’s it, don’t you think?

4. Endless presentation of uncertainty and conflict may interfere with resolution of issues. There is some evidence that the television food fights not only don’t represent the views of most people—who are not so polarized—but they may tend to make resolution of actual disputes more difficult in the real world. At the very least, these food fights obscure the recognition that disputes are resolved every day. Compromise is much easier from relatively central positions than it is from extreme and hostile, conflicting positions: Greenpeace Spikers vs the Logging Industry.

5. The interminable chains of speculation paves the way to litigation about breast implants, hysteria over Y2K and global warming, articles in the New Yorker about currents of death, and a variety of other results that are not, by any thoughtful view, good things to happen. … The assumption that nothing can be known with certainty does have terrible consequences. As GK Chesterton said (in a somewhat different context),
“If you believe in nothing you’ll believe in anything.” 
That’s what we see today. People believe in anything.

But just in terms of the general emotional tenor of life, I often think people are nervous, jittery in this media climate of what if, what if, maybe, perhaps, could be…when there is simply no reason to feel nervous. Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. It's not sensible to listen to it.

We need to start remembering that everybody who said that Y2K wasn't a real problem was either shouted down, or kept off the air. The same thing is true now of issues like species extinction and global warming. You never hear anyone say it's not a crisis.

 … Personally, I think we need to start turning away from media, and the data shows that we are, at least from television news. I find that whenever I lack exposure to media I am much happier, and my life feels fresher.

 …  They live in the world of MSNBC and the New York Times. And they've forgotten what real, reliable information is, and the lengths you have to go to get it. It's so much harder than just speculating.