No Minister

Archive for the ‘Ideologues’ Category

Supersize that fraud

with 3 comments

There was a rather silly “documentary” film made some years ago called “Supersize Me”, which took a crack at the consumer practices of American fast food places.

It did this by having the maker of the doco live on nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days and taking full advantage of their Super Size option if it was offered. He gained 11 kilos in that time and sent his cholesterol through the roof. It took months to lose the weight but he suffered no long-term problems with his health.

Six weeks after the film’s debut, McDonald’s discontinued its supersize portions.

It’s a shame that promoters of massive and ever-increasing government spending don’t learn the same thing, as this rather astounding article in the NY Post reveals:

[The Federal government has] already appropriated some $6 trillion in fighting COVID, though. That’s more than we spent fighting WWII, which cost about $4.1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

For that the US got dozens of fleet carriers, hundreds of other warships, tens of thousands of tanks and planes, millions of rounds of ammunition, plus supplying food and medical care to some twelve million men – plus the Manhattan Project and winning the war against two substantial enemies. As the article says:

Unlike in the ’40s, though, we’ve pretty clearly lost World War C. COVID has killed way more people than Hitler and Hirohito did, and unlike the Third Reich, it’s never going to go away. So while we’re getting used to the Forever Virus, we might as well pause for a sec and wonder: What the heck did all that spending buy us? 

Good question. I guess you could say it kept a lot of businesses afloat, and given the much larger US economy of today perhaps $6 trillion is not a surprise. Still, it seems rather thin compared to WWII results. But the real kicker of the article is this:

So far, $100 billion of it has been straight-up stolen, “resulting in the arrest of more than 100 suspects who span the spectrum from individuals to organized groups,” according to a CNBC report. Don’t worry, though, the feds are on the case, and so far they’ve recovered … $2.3 billion. 

$100 billion just flat out stolen? That’s most of NZ’s GDP! How is that even possible? Of course in just one state, California, they’re not able to account for where 49 million cheques totalling $320 billion of spending went in 2018 alone (Money. Wall. Pissing Against.) so maybe the Federal government’s doing better?

The article looks at a few of the crooks and scammers, but only the ones we know about that are responsible for a piddling few billion. There must be bigger crooks out there responsible for the remaining $97.7 billion still missing.

Incidentally, according to that article, Operation Warp Speed cost just $18 billion, and it’s one of the few C-19 programs that succeeded in doing what it claimed it would do.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 24, 2022 at 11:50 am

Every PM’s nightmare question time

with 10 comments

The one where you dismiss a question with snideness – especially because you think the MP questioning you is a young twit who can be swatted away – only for your answer to bite you in the backside, powered by that MP’s knowledge.

Such happened the other day in the Dutch Parliament when a newly elected MP, Gideon van Meijeren, asked the PM, Mark Rutte, a relatively simple question: what did he think of a book called Covid-19: The Great Reset, written by one Klaus Schwab, Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Apparently the book’s basic thrust is that democracy is fairly useless, what’s needed is a planet run by a highly educated technocracy, and that we’re already seeing this in practice with the Covid-19 pandemic, thus making it the ideal opportunity to start it working in practice.

The PM chose the standard approach in response, which was to snark about conspiracy theories while saying that he knew nothing of the book.

Unfortunately for him, young Mr van Meijeren was ready for this. He had a letter written to Mr Schwab, congratulating him on its, “hopeful analysis for a better future”. The letter being from Mr Rutte.

Now that is truly Speaking Truth To Power, especially since Rutte, like every other Western leader, has gloried in using the pandemic to seize and wield ever more power in the name of Public Health.

You can watch the link on Rumble here. Pay particular attention to the reactions of the young lady behind van Meijeren as he dices up the PM. It’ll make your day.

(Grrr – it seems some people can’t see the Rumble link so… here’s the frigging YouTube link to the same video. YouTube are definitely NOT speaking Truth To Power nowadays but instead acting as State enforcers with their censorship. Assholes.)

Written by Tom Hunter

January 18, 2022 at 8:48 am

A second answer to Why?

with 4 comments

Why? was the title of a post by Nick K, my co-blogger here at NM, as he grappled with the “reasoning” behind the vaccine and mask mandates here in NZ and similar approaches taken in most corners of the globe.

I came across one possible answer to that question covered in the post, One answer to Why?, which looked at the control of popular thinking via language control in the modern context of Tech companies in the Webosphere.

Here’s some background to those companies and their leaders in this article from City-Journal in 2017, The Disrupters, which is all about the new Lords of Silicon Valley:

In just ten years, Facebook built a global empire that surpassed General Electric in market value—and did it with just 4 percent of the Old Economy giant’s workforce: 12,000, compared with 300,000. Whatsapp, a recent Facebook acquisition, managed an even more impressive wealth-to-labor ratio, with a $19 billion value and just 55 employees. Combined, both companies reach roughly one-sixth of humanity. Facebook’s entertainment colleague just to the south, Netflix, crushed Blockbuster’s mammoth national network of 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees with its more nimble workforce of just 3,700 employees.

Capitalism in action. Many firms have been so destroyed in the past by new competitors. The article goes on to explore what might happen next with AI, robotics and so forth, providing examples along the way involving brilliant young people, like Michael Sayman. In doing so the writer interviewed a number of the leading lights of this IT revolution and even got an opinion poll done of them to assess where they thought it was all going.

That’s where it gets sad – and scary. For a start these founders (147 were polled) don’t like talking about inequality, probably because of this:

As far as the future of innovation and its impact on ordinary people, the most common answer I received in Silicon Valley was this: over the (very) long run, an increasingly greater share of economic wealth will be generated by a smaller slice of very talented or original people. Everyone else will increasingly subsist on some combination of part-time entrepreneurial “gig work” and government aid.

Now I’ve done pretty well out of capitalism, but to me that future sounds like it sucks ass, even with a theoretical Universal Beneficiary Income (UBI). Fully Automated Luxury Communism it is not. It’s actually Marx’s “disguised form of alms”. It’s quite clear that these “thought leaders” are very leary of what may happen when they’ve built robots that can do most things better than a human.

And what of the political and philosophical attitudes that go with all this? Well it’s not actually as obvious as you might think. First with the political:

Contrary to popular opinion, most of Silicon Valley is not a libertarian ATM. The tech industry is overwhelmingly Democratic. In 2008, 83 percent of donations from the top Internet firms went to Obama, not John McCain. Many of the Valley’s household names, including Google’s then-chairman Eric Schmidt, personally helped Obama in both presidential campaigns. Republicans rarely get much money or talent from the Valley.

Yet they’re against unions and regulations (of their industry) and big on free trade of course, which is why Bernie Sanders gets no love from these people, nor would any Democrat of the pre-1990’s. Nor Donald Trump. Bill Clinton sniffed the winds well.

Then there’s the philosophical ideas that drive their politics:

What I discovered through my survey was that Silicon Valley represents an entirely new political category: not quite liberal and not quite libertarian. They make a fascinating mix of collectivists and avid capitalists…But Silicon Valley philosophically diverges with libertarians and conservatives in a key way: they aren’t individualists. 

He gives a great example of the latter:

When the libertarian icon Rand Paul began his early run for president in 2015, in San Francisco, he expected to be greeted like a hero. During the rally that I attended, Paul got rousing applause for railing against mass government spying. But when Paul asked, “Who is a part of the leave-me-alone coalition?” expecting to hear cheers, the room went silent. “Not that many, huh?” he nervously asked.

He’s not the only one who is nervous on hearing that, and it leads straight into this:

In my survey, founders displayed a strong orientation toward collectivism. Fifty-nine percent believed in a health-care mandate, compared with just 21 percent of self-identified libertarians. They also believed that the government should coerce people into making wise personal decisions, such as whether to eat healthier foods. Sixty-two percent said that individual decisions had an impact on many other people, justifying government intervention.

That is, tech founders reject the core premise of individualism – that citizens can do whatever they want, so long as they don’t harm others.

And consider that several of these fantastically wealthy men control companies that very much can aid (or oppose) a government via their extraordinary reach into influencing the lives of hundreds of millions, probably billions, of people. This is the world of “Nudge Theory”, and it’s very applicable to the last two years of the C-19 pandemic – a period that has seen their fortunes skyrocket beyond what was even thought possible in 2017, in several cases almost doubling to $150 billion or $200 billion plus.

Hold that thought.

What has all this done to the US state that is home to almost all of this wealth and genius, California?Well, as this National Review article describes, it’s not good, The Crumbling California Model. Again it’s lengthy with a lot of links to prove its points, but basically it comes down to this:

Yet it’s time now to see what California’s “success” is all about. It reflects a new kind of economy — dominated by a few large companies, with an elite workforce, a large service class, and a population increasingly dependent on wealth redistribution. This emerging oligarchic regime, however progressive it likes to label itself, is more feudal than egalitarian, more hierarchical than competitive, financed largely by the same tech giants who help fund Newsom’s successful defeat of the recall.

Exactly what was described by that 2017 poll of those Californian tech leaders. That state was once a remarkably diverse, job-rich economy, with vibrant aerospace, oil, trade, manufacturing, business services, and agriculture sectors, as well as software and media. But aside from the IT industry those sectors have fallen away, taking with them the well-paid jobs for people who can’t program a computer. If living on wealth redistribution sounds great to you, consider this:

For most, the reality on the ground is increasingly challenging. The state is now the second-most unaffordable state for home-buyers, a particular challenge for Millennials, and it suffers the highest rate of “doubling up” — only our friend Hawaii does worse. California has the largest gap between middle and upper wage quartiles in the nation, and it has a level of inequality greater than that of Mexico and closer to that of Central American countries such as Guatemala and Honduras than to such “progressive” developed counties as Canada and Norway.

The paradox is that California Democrats, the voters as well as the politicians, adore those welfare states and wish to be more like them without recognising that there is more to “welfare” than government money.

Back to that article I linked to the other day, looking at the control of language and ideas in our modern world. It finishes with this:

During the last three decades and possibly more, Western governments working hand in glove with large corporate interests have spent enormous energy and resources on perception management techniques designed to effectively undermine citizens’ ability to oppose the policies that these same elites, in their incandescent wisdom, have decided are best for the people. 

The attacks of September 11th gave these corporate and government leaders both the additional funds and the political latitude they needed to greatly accelerate work on these culture-planning processes. The Covid crisis has put the whole game on steroids. 

We have many ways of ignoring these frightening developments, most common and intellectually lazy of these being to dismiss them without examination under the rubric of “conspiracy theories.”

One answer to Why?

with 6 comments

When an individual enters the regressed mental space [of “learned helpness], the stature of all those presented to him as authority figures—no matter their actual level of competence or coherence—rises dramatically. 

Why? was the title of a post by Nick K, my co-blogger here at NM, as he grappled with the “reasoning” behind the vaccine and mask mandates here in NZ and similar approaches taken in most corners of the globe.

I have two possible answers to that question, they’re rather disturbing, they’re connected, and I’ll deal with the second in a follow-up post.

This article from The Brownstone Institute in the USA is a bit of an intellectual wank:

When we write as humanists, we select from the inventory of verbal metaphors we have acquired in the course of our lives to tell a story that we believe will enlighten and will capture the attention of our readers. In providing them with this carefully arranged series of “charged” anecdotes we trust that we are, in some way, facilitating ….

Blah, blah, blah. Yuck.

But it does contain two nuggets as it compares the culture, the use and control of language and thinking surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the C-19 pandemic:

Once this “mini-course” in fear-tinged mental disjunction was offered to the public and accepted by it with little visible pushback in the first weeks and months of the crisis, Fauci, Birx and Redfield, along with their chosen spokespeople at the CDC and in the media, were in effect, “off to the races.”

With the basic template we rely on to make reasoned risk assessments about our lives effectively shattered, millions lapsed into the mental state that has always been the programmatic end goal of those, like Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, who design torture programs for the US government: “Learned helplessness.” 

When an individual enters this regressed mental space, the stature of all those presented to him as authority figures—no matter their actual level of competence or coherence—rises dramatically. 

Indeed, considerable research suggests that a lack of coherence or predictability in such authority figures only enhances the now psychically helpless person or group of persons’ estimation of the “authority figure’s” irreplaceability and excellence. This suggests that there may have been more than a little “method” in the apparent “madness” of Fauci’s notorious flip-flops on key policy issues. 

For a certain part of the population, perhaps bereft of rituals and practices designed to help them transcend the crude, cruel and ambiguity-generating rhythms of our now largely transactional culture, the surrendering the self to authority can take on an almost religious allure. 

They give an example of a conversation that is…

“… quite representative of dozens I have had in real life during the last 22 months, maintained often with “well-educated” people who, in no small percentage, can rightfully place MAs and PhDs after their names on resumes”.

Person A: I am really scared about Covid. 
Person B: Do you know what the chances of dying for someone your age who happens to catch Covid? 
Person A: No.
Person B: Well, according to the latest CDC statistics your chances of survival if you get it are 99.987%. 
Person A: But I know of the cousin of a friend who was my age and healthy and who died. I also read a news report about a healthy young person dying in New York the other day. 
Person B: Yes, the reports you speak of may be true. But they point to very particular instances that might not be representative of general trends, and thus are not really helpful in helping you determine your actual risk. The only useful way to do that is by looking at broadly-constituted statistics. 
Person A: I knew it. I just knew it. You really are one of those conspiracy-loving Covid deniers who is happy to just let lots of people die. 

That’s also quite representative of conversations I’ve had over the last two years, including with commentators on this blog.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 15, 2022 at 4:00 pm

The suicide of expertise

with one comment

This was the title of an article written by Law Professor Glenn Reynolds for USA Today back in 2017. But what it has to say seems even more powerful as the years have passed.

According to Foreign Affairs magazine, Americans reject the advice of experts so as “to insulate their fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong.” That’s in support of a book by Tom Nichols called The Death of Expertise, which essentially advances that thesis.

Well, it’s certainly true that the “experts” don’t have the kind of authority that they possessed in the decade or two following World War II. Back then, the experts had given us vaccines, antibiotics, jet airplanes, nuclear power and space flight. The idea that they might really know best seemed pretty plausible.

But as Reynolds points out, the last fifty years contains a rather large number of big mistakes by experts:

  • The Vietnam war and “The Best and The Brightest”.
  • The War on Poverty (still being lost the last I heard).
  • Government nutritional advice from the 1960s on.
  • Failing to foresee the fall of the USSR.
  • Failing to foresee the rise in Islamic extremism.
  • Iraq and other “democracy building” projects gone awry. (2022 added Afghanistan to that ilist)
  • The Housing and Subprime mortgage bubbles of the 2000’s, leading to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008; a failure in both forecasting and handling.

There are a whole lot more smaller ones scattered in there as well, including Brexit and the botched launch of Obamacare. Reynolds quotes Nassim Taleb, a mathematical statistician (best known for his book The Black Swan):

“With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers.”

Reynolds also points out that this class of “experts” has done pretty well for itself in this same time period, even as many of the ordinary people they tell what to do, have not. Reynolds has a suggestion on that:

If experts want to reclaim a position of authority, they need to make a few changes. First, they should make sure they know what they’re talking about, and they shouldn’t talk about things where their knowledge isn’t solid. Second, they should be appropriately modest in their claims of authority. And, third, they should check their egos.

In the last two years of the C-19 pandemic I’ve seen no sign of any of this from the “experts”, where ego has been combined with an MSM that loves “experts” (as long as they agree with the Narrative and/or “Settled Science”).

On that last I appreciated these end-of-year musings about it all in Science and Chainsaws. There’s some throat clearing at first:

I’m no virologist or geneticist, but experts I respect persuaded me of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. I got jabbed as soon as possible and regret that others chose not to. I wear masks in some situations, and not others. I see people socially but avoid large crowds. I favored lockdowns and school closings in early 2020 but think they lingered too long.

As grateful as he is to these scientists however, he sounds some warning notes:

The history of medicine offers ample reasons to avoid smug certitude which, unfortunately, is abundant on social and traditional media. Science is always about likelihood and never about certainty, though word apparently hasn’t reached Twitter and TV news. Then there is the flagrantly political demeanor of so many COVID experts.

He makes particular mention of the way that ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was lionised, and the feedback of the man to that praise with comments like, “Look at the data. Follow the science. Listen to the experts. … Be smart.”

How many times have we heard that from others? But as the writer says:

Here’s why they shouldn’t. Science, like a chainsaw, is an exceedingly powerful and useful tool. But “follow the science” makes no more sense than “follow the chainsaw.” The chainsaw doesn’t know the safest way to cut a tree, and science—let alone some anthropomorphic vision of it—can’t weigh the tradeoffs between slowing COVID and shutting down schools and cancer surgeries.

He finishes by quoting from a woman Ann Bauer, who has an autistic son and in the 1990’s was hammered as the cause of autisim; a “refrigerator mother” according to the theories of Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, who is now regarded as a charlatan but for a time was held as the holder of a gospel truth:

In October, novelist and essayist Ann Bauer wrote a poignant column, “I Have Been Through This Before,” on her discomfort with the parade of cocksure COVID experts issuing ever-changing diktats and pronouncements. When vaccines didn’t end the pandemic, she wrote, “doctors and officials blamed their audience of 3 billion for the disease. The more the cures failed, the greater the fault of the public.”

Science is ultimately about learning. I see little evidence of that at present.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 11, 2022 at 9:56 am

Karl Marx’s Christmas Present

with 6 comments

Thirty years have passed since this wonderful moment, fittingly occurring on Christmas Day. I recall sitting in Chicago watching this on TV in amazement.

The Cold War was over.

The following two articles that seem appropriate to the fall of the USSR.

First up is Peter Hitchens amusing anecdote, The last Noël in the USSR. It captures the bleakness of the time:

But when she came to rip open her gifts, the parcels did not contain the things she had hoped for. Instead, they were full of pale, oddly coloured and sometimes faintly dangerous Soviet products, breathing the last enchantments of the 1930s. Mrs Hitchens had queued fiercely to buy these delights in the colossal ‘Children’s World’ department store which stood just across the road from KGB headquarters.

But also the little joys, as well as the knowledge that having tried so hard, the atheistic determination to wipe out Christianity had failed:

Young Pioneers no longer patrolled the wintry streets searching for subversive Christmas trees, as they had done in the early years of the Leninist state. The air no longer trembled with the sound of cathedrals being dynamited, or of great bells being torn from their towers and spitefully smashed, as it had done in Stalin’s day… The League of the Militant Godless, once a huge semi-official organisation dedicated to mockery and hatred of God, of priests and believers, had quietly vanished during the war against Hitler. God had, during that odd period, proved a useful Comrade, at least as long as the war went on.

Looking for a Christmas turkey his wife finds an old woman selling a goose in a side-street. A nervous peasant dressed all in black, fearful of the Russian Mafia that even then was appearing as the KGB faded. The old woman gets more roubles than she can imagine.

I have never in my life eaten a more delicious goose, like a giant wild duck, not greasy as western geese are, tasting as if it had been reared in a snowy forest — because it had been.

The dark afternoon and evening still glitter in my memory. Outside, the brown slush and dirt of Soviet modernity, and the yelling, fist-pounding politics of an evil state (and it truly was) flailing in its death agony. Inside, a distillation of all that was good in our culture and theirs, and crowned with a small and defiant remembrance of the greatest enemy tyranny ever had, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

December 25, 1991: USSR down at 7:32pm – Russia up at 7:45pm!

The second is an article that shows that, Things could have ended a lot, lot worse:

On December 8, 1991, two communist apparatchiks, Russia’s Boris Yeltsin and Ukraine’s Leonid Kravchuk, and relative political neophyte Byelorussian Stanislav Shushkevich, met at a hunting lodge near the Polish border on December 8. They signed the Belavezha Accords, named after the enveloping forest, dissolving the Soviet Union…Eight more signatures were added to the agreement in the following two weeks. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time. 

Although the U.S.S.R.’s collapse looks inevitable today, the dissident leaders feared arrest as traitors. Indeed, years later, local KGB head Eduard Shirkovsky said he wished he had done so. Shushkevich dismissed the idea: “I don’t think there was such a threat, given Gorbachev’s cowardice; at least I didn’t feel it.”

I think that’s a very harsh and unfair judgement on Gorbachev, though I understand how detested he is nowadays by his own people for having allowed an empire to be destroyed. He knew that he could have unleashed a still potent KGB and Red Army, invoking vast amounts of bloodshed as his predecessors had, not just in the USSR but in the Warsaw Pact nations. Certainly some of their scumbag leaders had been demanding such for three years, even as they went into the ash heap of history (in the case of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu into the cold soil, courtesy of Christmas Day bullets). But in the end he decided that, Marxist to the core though he was, it just was not worth it.

Nominal communist regimes still exist, but they are knock-offs, systems determined to survive by being different. There is little Marx in China. Cuba also has gone to market to try to save itself. North Korea has enshrined Asian monarchy rather than European philosophy. But no one has attempted to remake Soviet communism. For this, we should thank Mikhail Gorbachev, inadvertently or not one of freedom’s best friends

Zombie Marxism still exists in other places too, most notably in the heart of American academics and Left-wing activism, but that’s a story for the New Year.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 31, 2021 at 2:00 pm

A glimmer of daylight on Radio New Zealand

leave a comment »

They’ve marketed themselves as RNZ in recent years because long names confuse people nowadays, punchy marketing soundbites are needed, and Radio Aotearoa is likely not to go over well with their largely older audience.

Having ignored them for the last five years I found myself checking their website each day to find out the Great Chinese Lung Pox Case count, so have had the ‘opportunity” to scan through their other stories. As was entirely predictable they, like all the rest of the NZ MSM, are fully onboard with government policies, actions and measures, although sometimes it comes in the form of attacking the critics, presumably when Labour has produced results or done something so useless or awful that RNZ can’t bring itself to directly defend them.

It’s a version of the play that old hard-line Lefties pulled in the 1980’s re the USSR: they couldn’t defend that crap any more, so they just attacked those attacked the Soviet system; anti-anti-Communists as it were.

So I was pleased and surprised to see this article in the RNZ a few days ago, Prior’s warning:

The writer Bill Pearson’s essay, Fretful Sleepers, written in the wake of the 1951 waterside dispute, famously depicted his fellow citizens as what some might now call “sheeple”.

He warned there “is no one more docile in the face of authority than the New Zealander”, a condition he said arose from “a docile sleepy electorate, veneration of war heroes, willingness to persecute those who don’t conform, gullibility in the face of headlines and radio pep talks”.

Heh. That must have got up the nose of more than a few members RNZ’s Leftie luvvies, who have feasted for years on the martyrdom of 1951 and the terrible things it said about their Right-wing fellow citizens.

But the article mentions another person, one Arthur Prior, “the greatest New Zealand philosopher of the 20th century” (sadly we can’t claim Karl Popper, even though he wrote his famous essay The Open Society and Its Enemies, while teaching here)

In Prior’s speech to the Civil Liberties Council in 1955, titled The Threat to Civil Liberties in New Zealand, Today and Tomorrow, Prior identified three “rather deep-seated national habits and weaknesses … in our national temperament”. These were:

  1. Careless Legislation
    “what might be called our habit of lazy and careless legislation” – laws that enter the statue books not because of any conspiracy but because “of a lack of concern and watchfulness”

    He called this “oppression on paper with liberty in fact” – that is, daily life continues unaffected until a government threatens to enact the dormant legislation.
  2. Political tribalism
    “unscrupulous party spirit” – what today we might call political tribalism – whereby “we cannot admit that sometimes our own bunch are wrong and the other bunch is right”.
  3. Blanket of silence
    “a certain excessive readiness to take offence which we New Zealanders exhibit”.

    “For some reason, it is only too easy for a person or organisation to go to the powers that be and say, ‘Look here, it hurts us to hear somebody saying so-and-so’, and the powers that be will reply, ‘Goodness me, I’m sorry to hear that – we’ll just stop them saying it then’.”

As the RNZ writer points out that last sounds an awful lot like “cancel culture”, and in case you’ve forgotten:

… its application sometimes requires the government to protect you from being censored by other citizens. For example, the government has a duty to protect you from being attacked by a hostile mob that doesn’t like your ideas or having your public speech disrupted by a heckler’s veto.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Truth vs Totalitarianism

with 5 comments

Sure, J K Rowling is as rich as Croesus thanks to her Harry Potter books and the money from the movie spinoffs of them, so she can be more resilient in the face of the relentless trans-gender attacks on her.

But damn, this is still courageous.

From the article that Rowling tweeted:

Police have been criticised for saying they will record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker “identifies as a female”.

Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.

As you can imagine, the Twitter trans-community did not respond well and as that NotTheBee article notes:

Twitter went haywire at Rowling’s words, coming out en masse to [checks notes] defend rapists.

Of course. Nothing new here actually and she addresses it while noting the other stunts they’ve been pulling:

They’re clearly hoping that one of their number will take … what’s Antifa call it… Direct Action?

“They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out. Perhaps – and I’m just throwing this out there – the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us.”

I don’t know how close Ms Rowling is to being Red-Pilled, but given how much her Harry Potter stories owe to Western cannon (Greek mythology, Latin language incantations, a lot of European heraldic, folk, and fairy tales, and even a rehash of Jesus’s self-sacrifice and resurrection), she must surely be starting to get clued into the fact that’s it her side of the ideological fence that’s dragging us into this dystopia.

Meantime over in the USA are examples of girls who don’t have the power to speak up in the face of this bullshit (BTW – Outkick is one of the new Sport media sites that’s eventually going to destroy the likes of ESPN):

The second Penn swimmer to come forward was at the University of Akron Zippy Invitational where she watched Lia Will Thomas beat fellow teammate Anna Kalandadze by 38 seconds in the 1650 freestyle. OutKick’s source described Penn swimmers on the Akron pool deck as upset and crying, knowing they were going to be demolished by Thomas.

“They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose. Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got,” the source said.

“Now they’re having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win. I think that it’s really getting to everyone.”

After just five meets and the Akron Invitational, Thomas has not just destroyed opponents. The Penn freestyle records are being rewritten by a swimmer who was second-team All-Ivy league in 2018-19 — as a male.

Yeah, I’m not going to use his new name and I will be referring to him using his deadname. That’s just buying into this Nineteen Eighty Four-type cultural coup across ideas, of which language is a key weapon.

Akron was an absolute beatdown by Thomas, but it wasn’t without disgust from fans who were in the building watching meet, pool, and school records drop one after the other.

“Usually everyone claps, everyone is yelling and cheering when someone wins a race. Lia touched the wall and it was just silent in there,” OutKick’s source said during a phone interview.

“When [Penn swimmer] Anna [Kalandadze] finished second, the crowd erupted in applause.”

Friday, Thomas set a new 500 freestyle Ivy League record. Saturday saw Thomas touch the wall in the 200 freestyle, which is now the nation’s fastest time in the event. And then there was the 1650 that left fans in disgust.

Yeah. I think that disgust and a refusal to applaud these people is the only thing that’s going to do it. Certainly we can’t rely on the officials to be decent.

OutKick’s source said that after the 200 freestyle, Thomas could be overheard bragging.

“That was so easy, I was cruising,” Lia Thomas allegedly said.

“I’m proud of my times, my ability to keep swimming and to continue competing. And they’re suited up times. I’m happy with them and my coaches are happy with them,” 

No shame. At all. What a total fucking asshole.

I don’t think this guy has mental problems and frankly I don’t think he gives a shit about identifying as female. Like our own Mr Hubbard I think his vast ego and selfishness led him to take advantage of the “rules” and the current cultural bullshit so that he can win and get all the applause, glory and love he can scrounge from gutless officials in the NCAA (National College Athletic Association), university and the media.

The female swimmer asked to remain anonymous for fear of leftists destroying her life. Still, she told Outkick that most of the team has privately expressed reservations about allowing Thomas to be a member of the women’s swim team at the college.

“Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do”

Of course she’d be destroyed. She’s powerless. Note also that the varsity coach has not quit but is actually quite happy. Some supporter of woman he turned out to be: as long as his team wins, right?

Enjoy the medals and the trophies, pal. Those like you are destroying women’s sports.

Speaking of such assholes, here’s NoRightTurn who – when he’s not calculating how many wind farms need to be built to shut down the Huntly power station, and always referring only to “Aotearoa” – is right into the trans-gloating, in this case over the law passed the other day that allows people to change the sex of their birth certificate merely by saying so. Perhaps I’m stepping on to a slippery slope but I’m not that bothered by such crap. But this…

…which I guess showed us how much political support there is for terfs here: basicly none. No political party wanted to vote against this, because they’re just not that vile (alternatively, no-one wanted to be recorded as voting against it, because they know they’d be carrying that stain forever). Its also I think a sign of how far our society has moved since the hatefests over civil unions and marriage equality. Yes, the terfs were vocal on the interwebs. But its not like they could organise a giant hate-march up Lambton Quay over it. Mostly because most of those vocal internet voices are in fact bots amplifying a tiny clique of obsessive arseholes in the UK. Locally, there’s very little support for their hate, and only NZ First was sufficiently indecent to want to pander to it. And with them gone, we can finally have a better society.

He really has caught the spirit of the moral righteousness of the Medieval Catholic Church: “Arc of the Moral Universe” and all that. His fanatical, unbending, vicious, toxic Leftism is as all-encompassing as the practices of that church was, except that in his universe sins are never forgiven and the sinners are forced forever to carry the faggots as a warning of the fire they will encounter should they sin again.

I don’t know if he has daughters competing in swim teams or being at risk of being raped by a woman with a penis, but, like Lefty J K Rowling, sooner or later his own monsters are going to destroy him.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 14, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Kafkatrapping

with 2 comments

I’d used this term a number of times in the past few years but it was not until the other day that I found out its origin, which was when it was named and defined by Eric Raymond in a post on his blog Armed and Dangerous, in 2010.

The definition given by Wiktionary is concise:

A sophistical rhetorical device in which any denial by an accused person serves as evidence of guilt.

But I think this, from the original post, is required reading if you’re going to understand the term, especially since it’s become so common now.

The kafkatrap is a form of argument that is so fallacious and manipulative that those subjected to it are entitled to reject it based entirely on the form of the argument, without reference to whatever particular sin or thoughtcrime is being alleged. I will also attempt to show that kafkatrapping is so self-destructive to the causes that employ it that change activists should root it out of their own speech and thoughts.

My reference, of course, is to Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”, in which the protagonist Josef K. is accused of crimes the nature of which are never actually specified, and enmeshed in a process designed to degrade, humiliate, and destroy him whether or not he has in fact committed any crime at all. The only way out of the trap is for him to acquiesce in his own destruction; indeed, forcing him to that point of acquiescence and the collapse of his will to live as a free human being seems to be the only point of the process, if it has one at all.

This is almost exactly the way the kafkatrap operates in religious and political argument. Real crimes – actual transgressions against flesh-and-blood individuals – are generally not specified. The aim of the kafkatrap is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt in the subject, a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator’s personal, political, or religious goals. Ideally, the subject will then internalize these demands, and then become complicit in the kafkatrapping of others.

There is much more, presented in a beautifully coherent way.

Since this essay was published we’ve seen the growth of literally an entire industry – led by racist charlatans like Ibram “X” Kendi (real name Henry Rogers) and Robin DeAngelo – that have this as the primary method used in “anti-racist” training. It’s just amazing how many standards of civilized communication they can destroy!

The latest outfit that has fallen prey to this nonsense is, of all places, The Salvation Army.

No one can ever be innocent. Well, except the leaders of course.

A warning from the recent past

with 7 comments

I admit that I don’t have a lot of time for Jordan Petersen, the Canadian professor of psychology who has gained quite a bit of media fame in recent years since his famous interview on BBC TV about the fight between free speech and the growing constraints on words that are “permitted” for use. In that case the interview was over his objection to being forced to use “gender-neutral” words in Canada and he rather made a fool of the interviewer and her “So what you’re saying” schtick! It’s worth watching.

But I’d read his first book, Maps of Meaning, years before and found it to be such unreadable wank that I quit just two chapters in. To me it actually seemed to have been influenced by the very obscurantist clap-trap of post-modernism that feeds so much of the Politically Correct (now “Woke”) and Identity Politics bullshit we’re being fed.

Still, this would hardly be the the first time that a person I consider wrong on some issues gets other things right, and the following is one of them. It’s actually from a few years ago and is an interview on the Joe Rogan Show where he talks about how people get slowly manipulated in the modern era with small-scale propaganda and efforts rather than the vast, revolutionary leaps used in the past.

“If I encroach on you and I’m sophisticated about it, I’m going to encroach right to the point where you start to protest. Then I’m going to stop. Then I’m going to wait. Then you’re going to calm down, and I’m going to encroach again right to the point where you protest.”

“Then I’m going to stop, then I’m going to wait. I’m just going to do this forever,” explained Peterson. “Before you know it, I’m going to be back three miles from where you started, and I’ll have done this one step at a time. Then you’ll go, ‘how did I get here?’ and the answer was, well, I pushed you a little further than you should’ve gone.

The Joe Rogan Show itself is an example of pushback as the former actor has turned himself into a “radio” personality. Or more accurately I should say an Internet personality via his podcasts that have numbers of viewers and listeners that traditional MSM sources would kill for. Rogan himself appears to be getting increasingly red-pilled away from his traditional Hollywood “liberal” beliefs on various issues.

Incidentally the process described by Petersen here is merely a version of “Nudge Theory”, which got a big public push in 2008 with the book Nudge:

The book draws on research in psychology and behavioral economics to defend libertarian paternalism and active engineering of choice architecture. The book also popularised the concept of nudge theory. A nudge, according to Thaler and Sunstein is any form of choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without restricting options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must require minimal intervention and must be cheap.

Without restricting options or changing economic incentives! Hahahaahhaahah.

A “nudge unit” is already inside the current British Government, as described by Brian Easton in this Pundit article, and the head of that unit has visited New Zealand several times, so it is not a surprise to find on the website for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, a section on Behavioural insights.

As one critic noted of the whole theory:

If the “nudgee” can’t be depended on to recognize his own best interests, why stop at a nudge? Why not offer a “push,” or perhaps even a “shove”? And if people can’t be trusted to make the right choices for themselves how can they possibly be trusted to make the right decisions for the rest of us?[31]

Well if they’re credentialed enough then the assumption is that they can be. Whether credentialed equals educated, let alone wise is a larger, often unasked question.

Naturally Brian wonders if we’re “nudging enough” and I expect he’s fully in favour of many a “shove”.