No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Critical Race Theory (CRT)

Little slices of our universe

with one comment

An incredible shot of our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri (part of the Southern Cross), taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, which began sending amazing pictures of the universe back to Earth in late July. Both the public and scientists have been stunned by the sharpness and detail of images like this.

It was French physicist Étienne Klein who used his time on the telescope to get that image.

“[With] this level of detail,” Klein wrote. “A new world is revealed day after day.”. The image garnered thousands of “likes” and retweets.

Except it turned out that it was actually a photo of a slice of sausage.

Klein himself revealed this a few days later. He issued an apology for having sucked in so many people, but he was actually making a serious point:

It’s a hilarious joke, and blowhards should leave Klein alone. His intention with the little hoax was to advise people to proceed with caution when absorbing information about celestial objects. And that perhaps sometimes what you may see as a burning ball of gas located about four light years away from Earth is nothing more than some sliced pork sausage.

That’s Gizmodo’s take on the subject, but the implication of Klein’s joke was that there is a much wider issue than just “celestial objects”; about people simply accepting whatever they’re told by “experts”.

No one should feel embarrassed about being tricked. Klein was trying to make a point about “fake news” and was more successful than he could have imagined. An appeal to authority, or an argument from authority – Argumentum ab auctoritate – is usually considered fallacious in academia, but it happens every day in political life. Some “study” claims this or that, or some “expert” supports a particular point of view. It’s all part of the fabric of propaganda we’re bombarded with every day. That’s not to say that all appeals to authority are bullshit. The point is that great care should be taken before accepting them, even when it’s science and you’re not a scientist, and that care includes asking questions and looking into it further yourself.

In the meantime mockery of ideas put forward by the Giant Brains in the decidedly non-scientific world of social and political theory, should be encouraged, as with this example:

I apologize for my white baby

Her refusal to listen to her Antiracist Baby audiobook and cry instead further demonstrates the long road we as parents must travel in order to deconstruct her ingrained racist identity. I tried reading passages from White Fragility to calm her, but she only wails harder. My friends claim it’s colic, but what do they know? A much likelier explanation is that she’s expressing her white rage at being confronted with her racism.

As always, read the whole thing.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 13, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Hairy Maclary goes feral

with 5 comments

.

Whether as a parent or grandparent, many Kiwis will have read the Hairy Maclary books to children over the last three decades, enjoying the fun of the rhyming language.

There’s also all of Hairy’s friends, Hercules Morse (“as big as a horse”), Slinky Malinki (“Blacker than Black”) and Scarface Claw (“the toughest Tom in town”) among them.

Well guess what sports fans? The American disease of Wokeness continues to arrive here, now with the message that all those characters are not Diverse enough (Equity and Inclusion to be named later):

… a study from Perth in Western Australia has taken aim at several children’s books including Hairy Maclary, suggesting they “perpetuate outdated stereotypes”.

The study by senior childhood researcher Dr Helen Adam of Edith Cowan University looked at several books including …

Critical Theory got its start in literature of course, tearing down everything it could as it “de-constructed” great works from Austen to Tolstoy, so it’s not surprising that they’ve chewed down into children’s books and finally got to the most isolated nation on Earth.

“Oh for goodness sake,” Dodd told RNZ. “I have actually got a female… I’m just looking at the pile of books I’ve got on the table at the moment… I’ve got Susie Fogg [A Dragon In a Wagon] and also, one has to remember that lady dogs have certain times when they’re not supposed to be out gallivanting anyway,” she added.

Woah there! Introducing biology into the argument? That’s a fail right from the start. Clearly Ms. Dodd is not familiar with her Critical opponents, who are turfing biology out the window along with every other “norm” they can.

She’d have been much better off mocking these assholes. Fortunately someone else decided to do the work for her, complete with the picture at the top of the post, with a wonderfully accurate rendition of Hairy in our bold new world. You wanted Diversity? You’ve got it:

With Hercules Morse at the gas and the wheel,
They were all set up now to break in and steal.
With a bang and a crash, they smashed through the glass,
The alarm’s shrill blare meant they had to be fast!
Straight for the till, all nasty and sneery,
Cash into a bag, went Hairy Maclary.
But the whole haul of ciggies of course,
That was the prize for Hercules Morse.

BTW, this isn’t going down well with a small group of the Left; The NZ Left are too busy cancelling Hairy Maclary for woke dogma to help you right now.

Well yes. that’s true. The author is “Bomber” Bradbury, angry as usual that all this woke shite is diverting people away from The Truth Of Marxist Dialectics. But you have to love the self-deception involved there as he headlines his article with a cartoon he’s used several times and which was first created over a decade ago during the GFC.

Identity Politics theory is entirely a construction of the Left over the last fifty years, and the only times I’ve seen the Corporate sector appropriate it has been when outfits like Gillette, Nike, Disney, Hollywood and many others employed it, DIE (Diversity, Inclusion and Equity) and its bastard child “Woke” to actually attack that portion of their own customer base that is traditional and conservative.

Who exactly is projecting?

with one comment

Projection:
Psychological projection is the process of misinterpreting what is “inside” as coming from “outside”…. In its malignant forms, it is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against disowned and highly negative parts of the self by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others, breeding misunderstanding and causing untold interpersonal damage.

Over the last couple of years there has been quite the shitstorm in the USA over some Left-wing ideologies that had originally been crafted in the high halls of academia, being taught in their public schools (and all too many private ones). The initial focus of critics was on Critical Race Theory (CRT), which I’ve covered in numerous posts.

More recently it’s been the matter of sex education. You’d think that would not be a big deal in the 2020’s, given that it’s been taught for decades in public high schools in the USA and the rest of the Western world. Oh sure, there would be the occasional private Christian school that refused to teach the subject, leaving it to the parents, but even in the religion-soaked world of America that was unusual. I recall one girl – but only one – from my NZ state high school who was kept home on the day our Biology class dealt with the key issue of penis-vagina action. By contrast my church-going parents weren’t at all concerned, and the same was true of other such parents of my friends.

But what’s been happening in America recently has been on a whole other level. We’re talking sex education with little kids, down to kindergarden level, and the sex education is not just the boring old physiological stuff but the wonderful world of 57 genders, gender fluidity, gender dysphoria (not the term used of course) and the joys of being able to “transition” to another gender. All this for kids who still think Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real and have wild and wonderful imaginations.

Regrettably this is also being pushed by all too many dingbat parents.

But it’s teachers who are the primary pushers of this ideology, as documented by the great Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok (LoTT), who grab seemingly endless examples of teachers who just-cannot-shut-up on their Tik Tok videos or Twitter accounts about their wonderful sexual identities and how great it is to teach little kids all about it. LoTT have been banned several times from Twitter over this, despite doing nothing more than providing a wider public platform to what were already public ravings by fanatics convinced of their own rightness and wonderfulness. If this was so great you’d think they’d be overjoyed at spreading the word, but the political Left know how dangerous open debate can often be to their ideas, and their political parties, especially in this case where teachers and teacher unions are so publicly joined at the hip with the Democrat Party,.

In addition to the Twitter bans has been outright denial, by the people doing the teaching, that these things are being taught. They’ll say that CRT is not being taught in schools – and if you pass laws banning it from being taught you’re a terrible person.

In the case of transgender stuff it’s cloaked as perfectly ordinary sex education, and they get really fired up when accused of using the same practices that pedophiles use in grooming kids – stuff like introducing them to all sorts of adult sexual practices and fetishes (kink), discussing surgery and drug treatments for gender transitioning, becoming their secret friends in all this – and telling the kids that they are definitely not to tell their parents what’s going on. They’ll also say that this is just a Right-Wing/Republican beat up: “Republicans Pounce”.

A recent example of this denial and ferocious counter-attack came from a teacher in Hawaii named Alden Bunag. You can really get a feel for the outraged self-rightousness involved in the pushback,

Mr Bunag described himself as a:

Socialist high school teacher fighting for a better society for my students to graduate into. Artist, dancer, singer, photographer, writer, creative educator.

No doubt also a huge fan of the old TV series Glee. This was all part of a Twitter thread, where Bunag unloaded similar outraged protesting responses, plus accusations against his critics to put them on the defensive:

Then this happened a few months later:

A teacher from Hawaii admitted to recording himself having sex with a 13-year-old student and sharing the footage, along with hundreds of other images and videos depicting child pornography.Alden Bunag first appeared in court on Thursday in Honolulu, and remains in custody.

Bunag admitted that he had been sharing child pornography with a teacher in Philadelphia, according to KHON. He and the other teacher, who was arrested in October, exchanged more than 3,300 messages, hundreds of which contained images and videos of child pornography.

Bunag also admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old student “at the school during lunch breaks,” recording and sending the content to others. Court documents show he knew that the boy was under age at the time.

Well, well, well. Now we know who was “projecting” all this time.

It’s something that nice, normal people tend to accede to in arguments with these types of “activists”: “Gosh, He’s really upset, I guess I did go too far in my criticism and should tone it down a bit or even re-think my arguments since only decent people get so upset at false accusations”.

Don’t let their emotional responses fool you.

No Hillbillies wanted

with 9 comments

J. D. Vance first became a public figure back in 2016 with the publication of his book, Hillbilly Elegy, which became a best-seller and was even turned into a movie, which I covered in the post, The Power and the Glory.

Vance himself got almost as much praise as his book, which told the tough story of his upbringing in Ohio and his family connections in Kentucky. A working class background sent him into the US Marines, thus into the Iraq War and back to the US where he graduated from Yale Law school. This caused a lot of Democrats to go all gooey on him and he even got a contributor slot on CNN, although The New Republic criticised him as “liberal media’s favorite white trash–splainer”. Criticising Trump didn’t hurt either.

It was therefore entirely predictable that as he began to move towards the GOP, the Leftie love would die, and the closer he’s gotten to an actual political career – culminating (so far) with his winning the GOP primary to run for the US Senate seat in Ohio held by a retiring Republican, Portman – the more that former love has turned to hate:

In case you still harbored the faintest hope that the party has some moral red line, its unquestioning affirmation of Vance ought to dispel it.… Politicians who wish to defend democracy ought to draw a line at supporting allies who pose a threat to democracy. J.D. Vance is an authoritarian. Granted, this charge is difficult to prove without first handing him power, but the authoritarian nature of his beliefs is established as clearly as it can be without a pile of corpses.

That’s the faithful and prominent Democrat journalist mouthpiece Jonathan Chait, and his main objection seems to be to Vance’s increasingly unwoke opinions, something you’d think Chait might have re-thought given the hits he’s taken from the same sources for identifying many of the same things as Vance. Of course it could also be that Vance being endorsed by none other than the Great Orange One sent Chait into his shallow and hysterical rant.

Other Democrats are piling into Vance as well, but that may be simple partisanship, since they had been eyeing Portman’s seat and thinking they had a shot with their guy Tim Ryan, even in what looks to be a tough year for them. I think they can kiss that goodbye now against a hometown boy with name recognition, solid money backing, a life-story and opinions that fit perfectly with the times, in a state that Trump won by 8 points in 2020.

But it’s not just the Democrats bringing the hate, and after winning the primary Vance went on Tucker Carlson’s show and unloaded on those other people:

“I mean, look, if you think of some my biggest enemies in this primary, you know, the slime ball Karl Rove who shipped a lot of American jobs overseas, got rich in the process, and also sent a lot of Americans to die in stupid conflicts,…. Karl Rove spent a lot of money. He wrote a lot of op-eds criticizing my candidacy. He was even calling my donors after Trump endorsed me, encouraging them to drop my campaign.

So you know, in a lot of ways, what this revealed is that you do have some very corrupt political consultants in the Republican Party who despise their own voters. It was crazy, Tucker. I mean, a couple of days before the primary after I … I think we’d already kind of locked it up. We were way ahead in the polls. A Republican donor group put $2 million on TV to attack me, which really didn’t hurt my candidacy against the other Republicans. It actually just hurt me against the Democrats. So actually the candidacy — my candidacy revealed an incredible amount of corruption in our own party, and I think that’s one of the things that I do have to fight against.

Hoo boy. I’d bet that most Democrats have described Karl Rove as a slime ball and worse (It was GW Bush himself who labelled him “turd blossom“), but to have a Republican go after him so viciously tells you something about the struggle going on inside the GOP even as they look towards a thumping victory in this year’s Mid-Term elections.

One of the things I appreciated about the Trump Presidency was how many of these bastards were forced to pull their masks off, and there are turning out to be quite a few Karl Roves in the GOP, as I pointed out in this post, and which is noted far more forcefully here by the inimitable Ace from Ace of Spades:

  • The Lincoln Project, supposedly a bunch of “True Conservatives” who were only against Trump in 2020, are supporting Democrat Tim Ryan against Vance.
  • Texas Governor Abbott’s chief of staff just signed on to be a lobbyist for the leftwing Soros-controlled Tides Center.
  • Steve Schmidt, McCain’s 2008 campaign manager and the guy who supposedly selected Palin and ran Alito’s confirmation process for the Supreme Court, has now come out supporting abortion.
  • [National Review’s] David French used to pose as rootin’-tootin’ sixgun-shootin’ Severe Conservative himself for years and years before Trump’s embrace of actual rightwing culture war issues caused him to show his real belief system. [He] is no longer pretending he’s against the GOP’s push to get CRT out of the schools because he worries that it might cause suburban PTA Moms to desert us. No, he knows that suburban PTA moms hate this CRT poison and want to get it out of the schools themselves. He supports CRT because, get this, he just supports CRT. And he says you’re not a Christian if you oppose it.
  • Even on a small scale, in one heavily Hispanic Texas District where a GOP guy who’s door-knocked all the Hispanic areas and leads in the Hispanic vote by 5 points over the Democrat, is being opposed by the GOP Establishment (GOPe) guy who loses that vote by 11 points. Gosh, it’s as if the GOPe wants to lose.
  • Even though the GOP is killing the Democrats on the issue of illegal immigration, Senator Thom Tillis and his gang of liberal “Republicans” is back negotiating with Democrats to amnesty illegal aliens and give the Democrats one less thing to worry about in November.

Remember, guys: the permanent DC “Republican” Swamp Dwellers of the Lincoln Project are and always were “True Conservatives” Fighting For You.

He also points out that this is not new:

When Mark Levin entered the Reagan administration, the chief obstacle to implementing the agenda Reagan had run on, and which the public had, with full informed consent, voted for, was not the scattered and battered Democrat Party, but the resistance from the liberal Establishment GOP, the northeastern George Bush Republicans who came into the Administration with Reagan’s conservatives. They were the Disloyal Internal Opposition who thwarted Reagan at every turn, coordinating with Democrats, leaking to the media to block conservative policies, etc. They were Democrats in all but branding.

Sounds familiar.

In another post he quotes a Twitter thread from John Hayward (aka Doctor Zero, whose waspish commentary I’ve long enjoyed) talking about prissy side of the US Right Wing:

For these timid elements of conservatism, the worst offense of the Right is questioning the motives of the Left. Nothing makes them spring into action against other conservatives faster than insinuations of bad faith or sinister motives against the Left. The Left must always be regarded as the loyal opposition, good people who want the best for everyone, but are simply mistaken about how to achieve these noble ends. Accusations of malevolence or hidden agendas against the Left are denounced as ugly conspiracy mongering.

This attitude holds among timid conservatives even as the Left wages all-out war and loudly asserts there are no honest, sincere, good-faith arguments against its agenda. Is there a political argument on the Left that doesn’t begin with denying the good intentions of opponents?

Run through the list of top issues: if you want border security, you must be a xenophobe. If you oppose abortion, you must be a blind religious fanatic or misogynist. If you want smaller government, you’re cruel and greedy. Question global warming? You’re a tool of Big Oil.

But Ace disagrees with Hayward’s take on such Conservatives, arguing that they’re not “prissy” about fighting wars, but are bad faith actors who are actually on the other side, and he then describes how this “fight” goes using the example of illegal immigration, starting with this point about Vance from, of all places, National Review.

The Open Borders contingent did not want to admit they’re open borders – they’re dishonest, craven, shifty motherfuckers who do not confront arguments honestly and fairly by head-on engagement, but by subversion and innuendo and sidewinder collateral attacks – but they did want to kneecap the border hawk position.

So they just began making a series of basically-insincere attacks on Trump. Oh, there was some sincerity in the attacks on Trump – they genuinely disliked him. But the attacks were made in place of the real attack, which was: “He’s ruined the Comprehensive Immigration Reform sell-out we were just about to broker!”

So they began offering up collateral attacks. “Say, you Rubes like Morality, don’t you? Well this Trump feller’s been divorced twice, doesn’t that just steam your beans?! This Trump feller’s had four business bankruptcies! What a lout! And look at all this rubbish he says on Twitter! What an absolute heel! So unchristian!”

You’ll notice they never talk about immigration, whether to support Trump or to oppose him. That’s because they’re sneaky, cowardly rats who do in fact oppose him, and support Open Borders – Oh, I’m sorry, I mean, Comprehensive Immigration Reform that Welcomes Undocumented Americans with Love and Kindness – but they know they can’t win on that so it’s just this constant series of dishonest attacks on side-issues about “character.”

They’ll talk about “Free Trade” as a stand-in for what they won’t talk about, which is Open Borders. But when they say “Free Trade” – understand, they also mean Open Borders.

And they will not stop subverting us and throwing elections until we submit and give up and agree to their Comprehensive Open Borders schemes. This isn’t even just an economic corporate play at this point – though it is that too – it’s a holy, racial-redemption religious point for them at this point too. This is how they prove they’re #NotRacist to their liberal friends, wives, and lovers.

And now they’re proving it by trying to take Vance down. If that means losing a Senate seat to the Democrats that’s an acceptable short-term loss for a long-term policy gain.

The Happiest Place on Earth?

with 11 comments

When I was a little boy one of my TV highlights every week was The Wonderful World of Disney.

An hour long program screened on early Sunday evenings, just as it was in the USA, it had everything from classic Disney cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck (my favourite because of his bad temper) and their mates, to documentaries on nature and science (some of them also animated), some of which were hold-overs from earlier days but didn’t seem to suffer for that.

Here’s a classic example from 1958, The Future of Transport, which I came across in falling down Interwebby rabbit holes because of the opening of Transmission Gully.

I doubt my parents ever had a concern about me watching such stuff while they got on with other things. It was Walt Disney after all.

But in the year 2022 I find that Disney has gone woke and as former President Trump said, everything woke turns to shit.

Just the other day I briefly covered Disney’s opposition to some legislation in Florida that prevents teachers from talking about sexual matters with kids aged 4-7. The MSM jumped in as well because GOP Governor Ron DeSantis headed up the bill and has defended it – and is seen as a huge threat to Democrat hopes in the 2024 election, so has endured endless amounts of MSM hit jobs. However, Disney and the MSM are truly on the wrong side of this issue:

The Florida bill doesn’t influence parents on how they, as parents, can instruct their own kindergartener on gender. Parents are still free to tell a child who can’t keep crayons inside the lines that “There are 20 genders.” The vast majority of parents will leave that discussion for when their child isn’t just starting to read Cat in the Hat.

Also, the majority of even Democrats agree with Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature. The general public, by a wide margin, sees no valid reason for a stranger to teach a six-year-old girl that she’s “in the wrong body” and needs to be called a boy. That polling is for the voting Democrats. If pollsters asked just parents, the percentage in favor of allowing children to remain children would skyrocket.

But that has turned out to be the least of it. Journalist Christopher Rufo – who has led the charge against woke poison across the USA in the last two years (and has thus incurred the wrath of the Far Left, who blame him for “creating” this particular culture war) – was sent a recording of an in-house, all-hands-on-deck video meeting that shows just how far gone the company is in its senior management levels. You can check out some of the videos at this link, plus more on Rufo’s own Twitter account, but here’s just one example:

Christ! Is there anybody there in management that’s not gay or trans, with gay and trans kids? Is there any limit to how far those assholes will go in pushing their Far Left woke agenda on everybody else?

Is the point of representation not to be representative? Yet, making 50 percent of [animated] characters some mix of LGBT and minority is not that when looking at the demographics of the country. Rather, it’s purposeful indoctrination that is meant to condition children to certain lifestyle choices these adults approve of and want to promote.

Ironically, in the same meeting, Disney’s “diversity and inclusion manager” then brags about de-gendering all of their theme parks, which is actually erasing representation. In other words, if you are a normal person who embraces the sex you were born with instead of entertaining the delusion it can be changed, you don’t deserve any representation. In fact, you need to be completely erased.

The videos also make it quite clear that their objective is absolutely to condition little kids into LGBT ideology at an age when they still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy:

Do you know what I’ve never thought about doing? Injecting sexuality into children’s programming in order to reinforce my adult views on the topic. I’ve never thought about that because I’m not a groomer, and I don’t use that word lightly, but really, what else would you call this? “Adding queerness” into shows that small kids watch is the kind of activism that should shock and appall everyone. Children are not pawns to be used in the pushing of adult sexual ideology. Yet, Disney employees like Latoya Raveneau are consumed by the practice.

I’d like to think that Disney is going to take a big hit over this, if not over their ugly, shitty obeisance to the Chinese Communist Party (which didn’t help them financially anyway). What “mother” or “father” will want to take their kids to Disneyland or DisneyWorld now, knowing that it’s less about fun than about ideological sexual indoctrination.

But it’s just another Culture War that can be ignored, correct?

From FDR and JFK to LOL & WTF

with 2 comments

The American comedian Bill Maher, while describing himself as an “unmarried, childless, pot-smoking libertine”, is not being red-pilled into voting for the Republicans, especially in his home state of California, which he is not leaving even as tens of thousands of others are.

But between his increasing attacks on various policies of the Democrats, the latest being on their draconian controls for General Tso’s Lungrot virus, it’s fair to say that he may be a lost vote for them at least.

It’s not me who’s changed, it’s the left, who is now made up of a small contingent who’ve gone mental. And a large contingent who refuse to call them out for it. But I will.

That’s why I’m a hero at Fox these days. Which shows just how much liberals have their head up their ass, because if they really thought about it, they would have made me a hero on their media. . . .

People sometimes say to me, You don’t, you didn’t. You didn’t used to make fun of the left as much. Yeah, because they didn’t give me so much to work with. The oath of office I took was to comedy. And if you do goofy shit, wherever you are in this spectrum, I’m going to make fun of you because that’s where the gold is.

This appears to be coming as a shock for his audience who gloried in his attacks on GW Bush, the religious Right and the GOP in general. What Bill has not yet accepted is that all this is a natural outgrowth of a combination of failed public policies that the Democrats don’t know how to fix, the turn to performative, frivolous, but radical crap like Woke politics, the need to always be “radical”, and an unhealthy sense of unearned moral and intellectual superiority they actually don’t have.

Also, in case you missed it, here’s the other Maher clip that was lighting up the Internet a few days ago, where he and guest Bari Weiss, let rip on the C-19 rules and regulations in Democrat states and cities: a pandemic of bureaucracy.

Which Southern Jim Crow White Supremacist did this?

with 2 comments

The answer is none of the above.

First, that’s in Denver, Colorado.

Second, it’s not from the Jim Crow era but today.

Third, it was not the Democrat Party’s favourite boogeyman but actually … Democrats.

There is nothing right about this story. It’s George Wallace’s dream come true: “Segregation forever!”

It’s also important to note, as one Twitter user has, that this type of explicit racial segregation is illegal in Colorado.

According to Centennial Elementary staff, this event was organized by the school’s “Dean of Culture,” Nicole Tembrock.

As you can see Nicole is Whiter than White – but in a good way you understand. No George Wallace she.

If civil rights activists from the 1950s popped out of a time machine today, and saw all this stuff, they would infer that their movement had failed, but it’s the entirely logical result of accepting Critical Race Theory which remember, is absolutely not being taught in schools.

Allow me to also introduce you to a classic style of argument that is very much in favour nowadays, the Motte-and-Bailey:

The motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions that share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the “motte”) and one much more controversial (the “bailey”). 

The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position. Upon retreating to the motte, the arguer can claim that the bailey has not been refuted (because the critic refused to attack the motte) or that the critic is unreasonable (by equating an attack on the bailey with an attack on the motte).

Here it is in a visual form and applied to CRT.

Incidentally this is what TV interviewer Chris Wallace did to Trump in the 2020 debate with Biden (and Wallace), when he converted CRT into mere “racial sensitivity training”, and asked how anybody could object to that. Wallace quit Fox News the other and has joined CNN. Of course.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 16, 2021 at 6:20 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.

The Democrats are not learning

with 2 comments

You would think that after the recent election losses in Virginia and the fright they got in New Jersey, not to mention the underwater polling of “President” Biden and the Democrat Party across the nation and across seemingly all issues, that they would be learning from their mistakes and trimming their sails as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 mid-terms elections booted his Democrats from power in both the Senate and, for the first time in forty years, from the House.

Admittedly he and his party didn’t trim until after that catastrophe so perhaps we’re looking at the same thing here.

But I suspect it’s worse than that. Back in those days representatives from Deep Blue districts were not extreme in their approach, despite having majorities the GOP couldn’t touch. Now we’ve got the likes of AOC, who feels she can push the edge of the envelope on policy and extremist verbiage, as well as applying heat to fellow New Yorkers like the previously sensible Jerry Nadler in the form of implied primary challenges that might replace him as she replaced a Democrat Old Guard rep.

It’s not like there’s a shortage of fellow Democrats trying to tell the rest of the party what’s going wrong. Former Clinton advisor, James Carville (the Rajun Cajun) has snarled about “Toxic Wokeness”. Lefty comedy icon Bill Maher has ripped the Democrats over wokeness with increasing passion in the last few months, directly attacking the likes of Chris Cuomo, AOC and others. His audience sometimes clap but you can tell they’re in shock. Senators Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona have been more diplomatic but also clear in their opposition to many things their party is pushing. For their pains, all these people have been snarled at by their erstwhile comrades, including activists following Sinema into the lavatory to confront her.

That’s a big difference from the mid-1990’s. The party has changed and shifted dramatically left, especially on social issues, and when these have backfired the response has been a pyschotic mix of denial and attack about the polices: “there’s no Critical Race Theory in schools, that’s just GOP Culture War shit, but we need to teach little kids about oppressors (White) and oppressed (POC), and if you stop us you’re a racist”.

Seriously, that’s the argument, and even Maher – no social conservative he – has called them on this bullshit, as have other lefties like Matt Taibbi (writing on Substack as most good reporters now are):

McAuliffe’s collapse, and the corresponding underdog win by private equity titan Glenn Youngkin, is already being caricatured nationally using the language of 1980s politics. We’re meant to understand that the Loudoun County story – which is too complex to summarize easily but involves furious disputes between local parents and the school board over a variety of issues, including a pair of sexual assaults – was cooked up by Republicans as a cynical dog-whistle campaign.

The GOP ran a master class on race-based identity politics,” wrote CNN’s Bakari Sellers. “The return of the Lee Atwater playbook. Pretty grim,” is how former Harry Reid chief of staff Adam Jentleson put it. “Hats off to the depraved cynicism and villainy and race baiting. It worked in Virginia,” seethed Wajahat Ali of The Daily Beast. Van Jones last night called Youngkin the “Delta variant of Trumpism.”

Just as McAuliffe had no message apart from trying to tie Youngkin to Trump, these commentators seem helpless to do anything but fall back on a cookie-cutter formula for responding to Republican electoral victories in the Trump era.

I already wrote about this gaslighting of CRT, but since then, on the ground, parents, have found out exactly what’s going on in their schools:

It’s that simple. The left keeps pretending that Critical Race Theory is only this “high-level academic concept” that only very educated people could possibly fathom. That’s bullshit; it’s simple-minded pile of stupid nonsense and gobbledy gook terms that idiots can master in days, which is why it’s so fantastically popular among the stupid and academically ungifted.

That same teacher turned up on a Fox News interview and pointed out that there are two elements of teaching: curricula (what is taught) and pedagogy (how it is taught).

The game teachers are playing is saying “there is no CRT in the curricula,” which is true(ish) – but what they’re not telling you is that they are explicitly embracing CRT in the pedagogy – that is how they teach everything. Critical race theory is the lens through which they teach everything, even math.

Tony Kinnett “Oh yes, definitely math — ‘ethnomathematics,’ a mathematics based on a student’s individual cultural beliefs and traditions, is all the rage among CRT acolytes.”

One irony here is that teachers unions have made it so difficult to fire teachers that these guys can step out and say these things in public with little to fear, aside from being removed from classes and made to sit in a room alone all day on full pay.

But parents began to see all this for themselves over the last eighteen months because schools wanted to do Zoom classes with the kids at home, but weren’t smart enough to switch off the indoctrination. Hence the reaction as they turned up to School Board meetings (normally dullsville) reading out the stuff their kids were being taught, demanding it stop, and also demanding to know how the hell it got started. For their pains they got booted out and sometimes arrested as in Loudon County, Virginia (Rape, Racism, Terrorists and Elections), and/or “cancelled” out of participating in the whole process (The Culture War Against the Little Man, by Wenyuan Wu ). Wu describes a smear job from the LA Times that resulted from an effort to replace CRT proponents on the Orange County Board of Education (OCBE):

Let me set the record straight, as the expert “detractor” who volunteered to replace a vocal proponent of CRT at the OCBE meeting. Volunteer board members and their community supporters spent two months assembling a diverse expert panel… Each panelist holds an advanced degree in a social science discipline, and four are life-long educators. All panelists supported the teaching of history and ethnic studies in a constructive, unbiased, and unabridged manner. None gave even a slight indication that we should refrain from discussing racism.

One of the emotive arguments used by CRT proponents is that if you oppose the teaching of these derivations of CRT (lets call the praxis or Applied CRT) it means you don’t want to teach young minds about America’s evil past of racism and slavery, which has not been true in decades.

My daughters began attending public school in Montgomery County, Maryland in the early 1990s. Every February, from Kindergarten on, they received an accounting of racism in America via Black History Month. Nor was this accounting confined to February. It informed the selection of literature my daughters were assigned. And the U.S. History textbooks used in my daughters’ classes in Middle School and High School did not soft-pedal racism in America.

As the Orange County guy describes the LA Times attack (another perfect example of the Cathedral in action):

It is ironic that a top regional media corporation felt it necessary or fashionable to lambast a small local educational board consisting of five elected trustees and two staff members. More disturbingly, the L.A. Times editorial board even went as far as to disparage the parents and community members present for failing to toe the line of political correctness and support its favored narratives of CRT, systemic racism, and a particular brand of ethnic studies.

Even Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer and uber-Leftie, Andrew Sullivan (Mr Gay Marriage himself, with a little detour supporting the War on Terror twenty years ago), can see though the Left Democrat smoke and mirrors of this fight:

[W]hen the Democrats and the mainstream media insist that CRT is not being taught in high schools, they’re being way too cute. Of course K-12 kids in Virginia’s public schools are not explicitly reading the collected works of Derrick Bell or Richard Delgado — no more than Catholic school kids in third grade are studying critiques of Aquinas. But they are being taught in a school system now thoroughly committed to the ideology and worldview of CRT, by teachers who have been marinated in it, and whose unions have championed it.

In 2019, the [Virginia DOE] sent out a memo that explicitly endorsed critical race and queer theory as essential tools for teaching high school. Check out the VA DOE’s “Road Map to Equity,” where it argues that “courageous conversation” on “social justice, systemic inequity, disparate student outcomes and racism in our school communities is our responsibility and professional obligation. Now is the time to double down on equity strategies.”

Equity! That new magical word that sounds like “equality” but really isn’t. When you encounter somebody using that word you know you’re talking to a person trying to gaslight you about what they really want, which is the old Marxist notion of everybody ending up in the same place:

The other big teachers’ union, the National Education Association, has explicitly called for teaching children CRT, pledging to publicize “an already-created, in-depth study that critiques white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy… capitalism… and other forms of power and oppression.” They back The 1619 Project as a teaching tool. So all the unions, the governor, the Virginia education department, the paper of record, and the federal government think CRT is obligatory for teaching children. But absolutely none of that ever, ever reaches into the classroom. Please.

Of course it does. To use a term the woke might understand, it is, in fact, structural.

And exactly as those teachers above describe, it’s the “lens” through which all else must be taught:

In Virginia, the goal is not to make obscure CRT texts mandatory in a course curriculum; it is to filter all education first and foremost through the CRT lens of race and identity; to “interrogate” mathematics, literature, philosophy, and science not as fields of study, but as suspect products of “white supremacy”; to remember “positionality” before you even speak; to grade and discipline so as to remove any group differences; to abolish standardized tests, because there are different group outcomes; to end gifted education, because it’s allegedly racist; to hire and fire on identity grounds; to teach children that sex is not binary and can be chosen; to open restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes; and, most of all, to keep parents at bay and in the dark about all of it.

But the progressive left is clearly going to double down on all-racism-all-the-time. The Overton Window has shifted and they intend to keep on pushing Left:

What has happened this past week, I suspect, is that the woke revolution has finally met its match: educated parents. People can tolerate sitting through compulsory “social justice” seminars, struggle sessions, pronoun rituals, and the rest as adults, if they have to as a condition of employment. But when they see this ideology being foisted on their children as young as six, they draw a line.

And when the public authorities try to disguise this, when a governor says that parents should not decide what is taught in public schools, when the parents are scorned as “white supremacists” for wanting their children to be taught math that doesn’t take a position on racism, and when the media reflexively calls them liars, they are going to get mad enough to vote Republican again. I don’t blame them.

Having said that, even if the GOP takes power over the House and Senate in 2022, and even if they add the Presidency in 2024, what exactly can the Federal government do about this? It’s going to have to be handled at the lower levels of States, cities and counties, so far and deep has it spread.

Disempowering these toxic people is the key. At the Federal level they could start by demolishing the Federal Department of Education, which was only invented in 1979 anyway. That’s right, a huge amount of the USA’s fabulous history of invention and innovation occurred in the 200 years before the Federal DOE came about.

At state levels they could start by firing most of the staff of the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) offices in the public universities, and then really empowering like-minded parents, mayors and others to get into those boards. Ripping apart the specialist Education universities and Education Departments of universities would also be a good thing, since they’re the factories churning out teachers armed with these theories.

BTW, all this is coming to New Zealand soon, if not here already, as shown by the latest Royal Society of New Zealand nonsense.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 21, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Ardern, Lange and Cabinet cabals

with 6 comments

As readers will know I usually leave it to my six NM co-authors to focus on the NZ stuff, but in the case of an article I came across last night, I feel it should be spread far and wide.

Jacinda Ardern and the Ghost of David Lange

It’s from the Democracy Project blog based out of Victoria University and it’s a damned good read about the Three Waters project.

David Lange is one of the most tragic figures of our modern political history. Highly articulate and entertaining, he was ushered into power in a landslide in 1984 during an economic and financial crisis. Feted as the youngest Prime Minister of the 20th century, he dazzled the nation with his wit and intellect.

It took a while before it became clear that Lange was using his larger-than-life persona and seductive oratory to sell a transformation of New Zealand’s economic landscape on behalf of a powerful cabal in his Cabinet whose intentions he seemed not to fully comprehend.

The writer makes clear just how similar this all is to Jacinda Ardern, with the additional similarity of Covid-19 substituting for the anti-nuclear issue as the PR-positive smokescreen for Labour while the dirty work gets done behind it:

It seems likely that Ardern will end up being viewed in a similar way. When she was anointed by Winston Peters in 2017, she was feted as the youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years, before being returned to power three years later in a landslide in response to a pandemic.

Her charisma and glamour are perfectly suited to the superficial politics of the social media age but she is obliged to dance to the tune played by Nanaia Mahuta, Willie Jackson and the Maori caucus — and by the others in her Cabinet, including David Parker and Andrew Little, who support their revolutionary agenda.

That last is the important point. Back in 1984, for all the talk of Douglas and his core there were plenty of others in the Fourth Labour government cabinet like Anne Hercus and Stan Roger who went along for the ride but have escaped the Left’s anger. In the same way Mahuta may be the lead on this, but she could not have pushed it this far without strong support from other parts of Cabinet.

This similarity is also noted:

After last Wednesday’s press conference in which Nanaia Mahuta, in her role as the Minister of Local Government, made it clear she would press ahead with her Three Waters reforms despite overwhelming opposition, it has become pretty obvious who really controls this aspect of the government’s policies. The fact that 60 of the nation’s 67 local authorities either strongly oppose the reforms or have serious doubts about them hasn’t dented the minister’s determination to push changes through Parliament one little bit.

I’ve lost track of the number of things that Labour have pushed through despite massive opposition, relying on the fact that such a thing is often transitory and that if done quickly enough the act can be treated as a done deal that now belongs to the past while more important topics relating to the future can be framed for the next election.

Would that National ever do the same. This Sounds Familiar:

When it matters, Republicans look around and say, “Oh no we can’t do that, we’d lose a man. The Democrats would take seats.” They are virtually a majority for the sake of being a majority. They just want to polish it up, put it on the shelf, and look at it. 

To put it simply, Republicans approach politics like America fights wars: They don’t want to lose a single man. Democrats, on the other hand? They look at politics like the Russians looked at Stalingrad: The congressman in front votes now; when they fall the next man gets elected and he will vote too.

To be fair on this point the writer does allow that Ardern has caved to public opposition on a few things:

Two years ago, she quickly backed off her cherished capital gains tax in perpetuity as soon as it became clear that she was facing a wall of opposition — just as she did in October with the Auckland Harbour cycle crossing.

You could add the collapse on Level 4 Lockdown to that list.

However, those were not core issues for Labour, despite public trumpeting about them, and they did not constitute really fundamental change. For example, the National Party’s “bright-line” test for real-estate gains was already effectively a narrow CGT that could be easily expanded later, and has been.

As the article points out, Three Waters is core, most importantly of all to the Maori caucus, who have Ardern over a barrel in a way they did not with Helen Clark and the Maori Party did not with John Key. Ardern is not calling the shots.

Moreover, in exactly the same way that the detail of the Douglas reforms were hidden for some time by mere details like devaluation, Three Waters is part and parcel of the overall He Puapua approach. Other “details”, perhaps quite large ones, will come into view over time, even with Labour in Opposition:

He Puapua itself states increased Māori rangatiratanga will require financing and that, “There are multiple streams from which financial contributions might be sourced, including, for example, levies on resource use where Māori have a strong claim to ownership, such as water.”

Despite all the spin, when you’re talking about getting returns from an asset then we are talking real ownership of that asset.

For that future, one set of theories driving all this and not discussed in the article – perhaps because it smacks too much of US academic theory – is how deeply embedded the Left wing Maori and White defenders of these schemes are in the ideology of “anti-colonialism” with its connections to Identity Politics, Woke and Critical Race Theory. The racists among them, like Mahuta, hate White people who do not agree with their ideas, while the “anti-racist” White Labour members such as Parker are all in on the Guilt and Shame about their ancestors and ready to do anything to expunge it.

Read the whole article.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm