Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Christians: Boycott Google Today


Google CEO and Thought-Controller-in-Chief Sundar Pichai

Just how politically correct has Google's corporate culture become? Check out this short piece by Todd Starnes, in which Starnes reveals that the company's Google Home device, their version of Siri, refuses to recognize the names "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ". Be sure to watch the embedded short video.

When called on this, uh, innocent lapse, they explain themselves this way: "The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about ‘Who is Jesus’ or ‘Who is Jesus Christ’ wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect."

Uh-huh. I don't believe these m*********ers as far as I could throw them. After the James Damore firing and what that revealed about the culture in this company? We now have plenty of documentation of the degree to which the most seething PC extremism dominates everything that happens on their corporate campus and in their HR workshops.

Google is poison. Christians should drop Google Search, Google Chrome, Google Maps and Gmail ASAP. For search, I recommend moving to Bing or DuckDuckGo.

There are tens of millions of us Christians in the US. Why should we do business with a company that hates us? If enough of us left, it would hit these bigots where it counts: in their share prices.

Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. and begin the long, hard reckoning.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cathy Newman vs. Jordan Peterson: A Study in SJW Demagoguery


Newman's interview got within a millimeter of outright self-satire

I’m surprised the Atlantic actually ran this piece on Cathy Newman’s pathetic attempt to libsplain Jordan Peterson to himself. Perhaps the magazine's editors, after all the guffaws produced by their piece last year explaining how “the solar eclipse is racist”, have had second thoughts about the SJW bandwagon and decided they didn’t want the Atlantic to be known as the go-to magazine for high-brow infants.

In any case, the Peterson/Newman interview is already a broadcasting classic. Seriously. If you haven't watched it, you've missed one of the best verbal sparring matches ever aired on television. Click here and sit back for some serious entertainment.

I agree with the Atlantic writer that both left and right are guilty of Newman's kind of verbal demagoguery. But who are we kidding? Our "left" is now constantly in this mode. Compare Newman here with the typical Tucker Carlson interview. Carlson doesn't put words in his guests' mouths: he draws them out with questions, often simple Yes/No questions, until they reveal the ugly implications of their positions. Very different from Newman and Co.

And of course Peterson is not really a figure of the right, and certainly not of the Alt-Right to which his enemies desperately try to link him. You can only place Peterson on the right if your standard idea of the left is Maoism. Which, in terms of cultural issues, is exactly where our left liberals now sit. They are identity-politics-Maoists-cum-pro-corporate globalists. Somehow, our 21st century let managed to combine the worst of both worlds. And to hell with them. Peterson, a strong antidote to their nonsense, is a true liberal in the best 20th c. mode. We're lucky to have him.

#SmashThisFakeLeft #JordanPeterson #antiSJW #ConorFriedersdorf

Have some deadpan with your coffee. Check out Idiocy, Ltd. Dryest humor in the west.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Baltimore, Mad Fuckery, and Socialism in America


There's a striking piece out from NPR on Baltimore’s record-high murder rate and the question of what police can do about it.

Maybe the most striking thing about the piece is that NPR ran it. The way I read it it’s basically: Police: Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

How do you "develop a dialogue" with communities whose local mantra is "Death to the cops!" and where every other guy on the street has a rap sheet and will resist police instructions? A community that, when police are compelled to resort to force, will start immediately screaming about "racist oppression"--never mind that black cops are just as likely to employ force as white cops and that the people screaming "racism" are murdering their neighbors at almost war-zone rates? What will more "dialogue" bring, and why are police responsible for this dialogue?

NPR is basically acknowledging that urban law enforcement faces an impossible task.

Conversation ensues below.

Eric

LISA: Maybe a different approach…

ERIC: Except that, on the ground, day to day, there IS no possible different approach. That's my point. Either the police are there to police, in which case they must police, or they withdraw. Assuming that different kinds of "community outreach" or more welfare money thrown at these neighborhoods is going to stop them being what they are is naive. Thugs and drug dealers don't do outreach. And sure, try all kinds of hands-on community help, education, etc., I think such efforts are important, and lots of organizations do such work. But in the mean time, the double bind in terms of law enforcement remains: either the police police, or they don't. And either way, they will be seen as "failing" the black community.

BLM is not helping. If they really thought black lives mattered, they'd be focusing on fighting what is by far the #1 threat to black lives: the nonstop violence and gangsterism that runs rampant in black communities. Instead they attribute all the woes of black communities to the same old excuse: whiteness, white supremacy, etc. Sadly, it has become a systemic means of denying agency to themselves: projecting one's social being as a function of some Other. It is not helping; it is only making things worse.

LISA: By another approach I’m referring to a more community-sourced plan--basically nurturing/creating officers from within the community, training them in additional skills, and supporting them in keeping the peace. If we actually cared most about peace and healthy communities, we would have done this a long time ago. But law enforcement officers are not trained or equipped to deal with poverty and all of the ensuing fuckery. Nor are they equipped to deal with the gun/drug-running that is sanctioned by their own government and trickled-down to these communities. They are in a lose-lose situation. As is everyone forced to live in a ghetto.

ERIC: I also think law enforcement trained and sourced from the communities themselves would be great. And it's being tried in different cities. I don't however believe law enforcement officers should be trained to "deal with poverty". What does that even mean? Their mandate is to keep crime from being committed and apprehend those committing it. Period. That's more than enough to handle.

LISA: I wish I knew more about what’s being tried in this regard in different cities. Now and then you hear a story of “success,” but I’m not sure how widespread community-based policing is. As to not believing that law enforcement should be trained to deal with poverty—there’s no way around dealing with the symptoms of poverty. I suspect any cop we ask would tell us that their job consists of parts Mom, Dad, Principal, social worker, and paper pusher. It’s never black and white, dealing with humanity.

ERIC: Well put. But I do think most big-city cops we ask, especially in recent years, will say that too much of the onus is put on them for what remains an impossible situation. I stick with my "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" reading of the NPR article.

The progressive reading is always "Poverty leads to the mad fuckery.” The conservative reading is usually "Mad fuckery leads to poverty.” Both sides are right of course, this is a chicken-and-egg situation, but in our public discourse in the US, it's time we shifted more toward acknowledging agency on the part of black America.

THOMAS: Not knowing the actual situation in the US, however I believe the questions are valid anywhere, so let me give my thoughts on the subject.

In Denmark we have always had the firm standpoint that “poverty leads to mad fuckery” and hence it has been a crucial point for us to educate 100% of our population, homes for all and work for those who were able.

It did work very well. Expensive, but very functional for a society.

And here comes the point that has rocked my otherwise firm beliefs.

In the past 30-40 years we have had a slow and steady immigration, beginning from Turkey and later from other middle eastern countries.

The facts show clearly that even though Denmark provided education (here it’s worth noticing that various choices of “free private schools,” such as Muslim-oriented schools, are available for all to choose) provided housing, money for living if you don’t have a job, leisure activities and much more, it has become more and more evident that in fact “mad fuckery leads to poverty”. I should almost say I wish it did, since those fools will still get all the benefits from our country.

Now this shouldn’t actually be compared directly with the US, since the citizens you mention have in fact for generations been an integral part of the nation.

Note: I firmly believe in freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so forth. As long as this isn’t used as an excuse to hurt or abuse other people or their institutions.

Too much of anything (i.e. a too aggressive assertion on one’s own beliefs and refusal to accept a certain level of diversity) is usually a bad thing.

ERIC: As I'm sure you're aware, it's been noted by many that democratic socialist approaches to addressing poverty only seem to work in populations that are culturally, racially unified. Thus some attribute the economic stability of the Nordic countries, a success built up over the decades of the 20th c., partly to this fact: these countries had vast majorities of one ethnic, racial group. Myself I'm going to guess it's not just the cultural unity that helps, but certain cultural norms and ideals in these cultures.

But look what's beginning to happen now that large numbers of immigrants have settled themselves. I'm not making a racist argument here (that the immigrants are backward or bad people) but mainly making this argument: Once you have a national population with clear racial, cultural differences, BANG, all kinds of formerly pragmatic state policies start being perceived through the lens of who (which ethnic group) is mostly getting the benefit vs. who (which ethnic group) is paying the bill. And all kinds of resentments start to build up BOTH on the side of those taking the help and of those paying in most of the money.

I suspect plenty of European nations are starting to get hit with this unfortunate reality. "Diversity" sounds good at first, but leads to enormous problems once it actually arrives. Especially when you have visible, tangible cultural differences and you have institutions that are supposed to serve all groups equally.

So look at the US. The sad fact is that the scars of slavery and Jim Crow remain. I think it's not helping black America AT ALL to cling so tenaciously to these facts, but many of them still cling like mad. Unfortunately, many black Americans are using this narrative of past victimhood to escape having to take responsibility for their own fates. This is glaringly obvious, but if you say it aloud in liberal circles you will be immediately accused of racism and hounded out of the conversation. Still, the main fact about the US is that you have at least two very distinct histories of these two groups, white America and black America, and that this difference becomes a lens through which all kinds of policy decisions are viewed. And then we have a huge Latino population, a growing Asian population, Native Americans, etc.

White America, especially among educated folks, was really becoming less and less racist in the 1980s and 90s. It was tangible. The new century began with the feeling that maybe we were becoming one nation. We elected Obama twice, which almost everyone, certainly myself included, felt was a good sign. But for many reasons, things have gone sour. It's the fault partly of the right, I think, but honestly? It's mainly the fault of the left. With Obama's election, and with the continued rise of SJW leftism in our universities, the left decided to play Identity Politics Hardball. I think it's because Revolution is exciting--no?--and everybody likes excitement. And besides, if you keep talking about *cultural* politics (race, identity, gender) you don't have to look at the ugly fact that Obama and your party are actually working for Wall Street and the CEOs. And so in my reading, starting about mid-Obama years, I see a "progressive" left that could think of nothing better to do than keep screaming about "Racism!" everywhere (it wasn't everywhere) and homophobia and patriarchy on every corner, etc., etc.--even though they were all living in one of human history's most tolerant and diverse polities ever. This, I believe, woke up Middle America to how absurd our "left", including our Democratic Party elites, had become, how pushy and irrelevant and indifferent to actual working people they now were, and Middle America decided in response to . . . vote for the guy this left hated the most. And yeah, in my reading the American left deserved it.

But the point is that in the US the whole political battle--over more socialist vs. free-market policy, tax policy, policing, crime--it's all HUGELY inflected through these basic cultural differences between different racial and ethnic groups in the population. So that making pragmatic policy for the whole of the citizenry is almost impossible. Because what seems pragmatic to one ethnic group looks like a scam to the other. Sad, but that's how ethnicity complicates politics.

Where will the Nordic countries be in a dozen years? I think liberal Europe in general has been too quick to believe in its own myth--the myth that Enlightenment democracy can unify any and all cultures in a pragmatic way. Denmark it seems has realized the risks and stepped back a bit. Sweden is in deep denial. France is more used to these conflicts, as they've been part of the national dialogue since the liberation of Algeria. But I still think France rather unstable. Germany? I predict there will be more and more regrets over time. Hungary and Poland?

Read Rimbaud: Do It Now


Arthur Rimbaud, c. 1871

One of the sharper young folks I know is taking up reading Rimbaud. And bravo to that. Rimbaud was an extraordinary figure in almost every way. To take him up is to realize it immediately. A 19th century French teenager from a small town backwater who basically reinvents shamanism from scratch. On his own. And his linguistic genius, there's nothing like it in English or French: the cussed sharpness of it, the fact that this is basically a kid from farm country who's read the whole town library and seriously intends to remake the world through language. The fierce oddity of it; the seriousness of the project--and most important, how in many ways one gets the sense that he actually almost pulled it off.

My friend laments that Rimbaud didn’t write more. I don’t. There’s already a wealth of material. It fits, of course, in a single volume. In English either the Wallace Fowlie translation or Paul Schmidt translation will do. And for a good biography, Graham Robb’s is very well done, though his readings of individuals poems often miss the boat, I find. No matter.

For me the key question is this: What would language have to be for Rimbaud’s project to make sense? I’ve some writing on this problem myself, stored away, and hope to get back to it some day. Rimbaud, and later Max Jacob, very different figures, are the reason I took up French on entering university.

E.M.

42 other important public service announcements can be found in my book Idiocy, Ltd.