We the targets 4

(Hat tip to Cogito)

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 30, 2019

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His mother’s son and her good friend 20

“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of,” Jussie Smollett declared in a tone of righteous indignation after being acquitted of his malicious crimes by a corrupt court.

Who is his mother? What does it mean when he invokes her to advertise his own virtue?

She is Janet Smollett née Harris. She was a member of the Black Panthers. Angela Davis was a fellow member of the terrorist group, and they are still close friends.

A reminder of who Angela Davis is, from Discover the Networks, will reveal the ideas which these comrades embraced and the causes they served:

Angela Yvonne Davis is a tenured professor in the “History of Consciousness” program at the University of California – Santa Cruz. A former member of the Black Panther Party, she is currently a “university professor”, which entitles her to a six-figure salary and a research assistant. This income is supplemented by speaking fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per appearance on college campuses, where she is an icon of radical faculty, administrators, and students. Davis has also taught at UCLA and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Born into a middle-class family in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944, Davis attended segregated schools in that city until she enrolled at New York’s Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS), famous for its Communist faculty and student body. (Future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin attended that school during the same period as Davis).

After having been exposed to the Marxist classics at LRS, Davis moved on to a full scholarship at Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York, an adjunct of LRS. While attending these schools, she was a house guest of Herbert Aptheker, the Communist Party’s chief theoretician, and his family.

In 1961 Davis enrolled at Brandeis University, where she majored in French. She spent her junior year studying in Paris, where she came into contact with Algerian revolutionaries. Davis graduated from Brandeis in 1965 and then spent two years on the faculty of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. She returned to the U.S. to take another teaching position at UCLA, where she worked with radical professor Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse was one of the chief philosophers of the New Left, the 1968 student protest movements in Western countries, and the terrorist groups that emerged from them.

In 1968, as Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague spring”, Davis joined the Communist Party, voicing her belief that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class”. 

Davis supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, just as she would support its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

In September 1969 Davis was fired from UCLA when her membership in the Communist Party became known. This resulted in a celebrated First Amendment battle that made Davis a national figure and forced UCLA to rehire her.

In 1970 Davis was implicated by more than 20 witnesses in a plot to free her imprisoned lover, fellow Black Panther George Jackson, by hijacking a Marin County, California courtroom and taking hostage the judge, the prosecuting assistant district attorney, and two jurors. In an ensuing gun battle outside the court building, Judge Harold Haley’s head was blown off by a sawed-off shotgun owned by Ms. Davis.

The way that’s worded implies there is no proof of who it was who pulled the trigger that killed the Judge. It is known that Angela Davis supplied the gun. In whose hands was it when it was used to kill? It doesn’t strain credulity to imagine it was hers. But …

To avoid arrest for her alleged complicity in the plot, Ms. Davis fled California, using aliases and changing her appearance to avoid detection.

Two months later, Davis was arrested by the FBI in New York City. At her 1972 trial, Davis presented her version of where she had been and what she had been doing at the time of the shootout. Because she was acting as her own attorney, she could not be cross-examined. She presented a number of alibi witnesses, almost all Communist friends, who testified that she had been with them in Los Angeles playing Scrabble at the time of the Marin slaughter. Prosecution witnesses who placed her in Marin were dismissed by Davis and her fellow attorneys as being unable to accurately identify blacks — because they were white.

Following the announcement of the verdict that acquitted Davis, one juror faced news cameras and gave a revolutionary’s clenched-fist salute. He laughed at the justice system, saying that prosecutors had been mistaken to expect that the “middle-class jury” would convict Davis. He and most of the jurors then went off to partake in a Davis victory party.

In 1979 Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly named the International Stalin Peace Prize) by the East German police state. This honor was given by a Soviet government-appointed panel that sought to recognize individuals who had “strengthened peace among peoples” by advancing the agendas of the Kremlin and its totalitarian regime.

Wherever the Soviets used the word “peace”, always read “Communism”.

Davis ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the Communist Party ticket.

Gus Hall was the candidate John Brennan voted for. The John Brennan, that is, who was appointed head of the CIA by Barack Obama.

What lessons are to be drawn from the story of the murdering Black Panthers, from the manner in which its members conducted themselves, actively assisting the enemy of their country during the Cold War between the United States and the tyrannous dictatorship of Communist Russia? Are rising generations likely to look to them as models of probity, loyalty, patriotism, veracity, decency, humanity?

The right and chilling answer to that question is, in full, no, but as political heroes, all too probably yes.

Islam: hell on earth 45

Islam is horrible. It has nothing good in it: not a moral principle, not a truth, not a consoling thought. It is an evil ideology through and through.

If it is possible for a cult to be worse than Nazism, that possibility is realized in Islam. (The close family resemblance between Nazism and Communism needs always to be kept in mind when either is discussed.)

In both Nazism and Islam there is the aim to: rule over everyone it allows to live; to direct how everyone should live his [generic masculine] life even in small particulars, so no one would be free; to eliminate Jews; to suppress homosexuality; to keep women subordinate; to be served by slaves; to punish dissent with death. In each there is joy in inflicting extreme pain and in killing.

Those are the most important points of similarity between the two evil ideologies.

The Nazis did not, however, want to wipe out every trace of our civilization. Islam does. For instance: while both would destroy books, the Nazis would have preserved many of value; Islam would destroy all but its own. The Nazis did not destroy works of art, paintings and sculpture. They stole them. All pictorial representation of living things is forbidden by Islam. It would destroy the works of the great artists.

It is hard to believe that most European countries are intent on changing themselves into Muslim hellholes. But they are. They really are.

They are replacing their populations with millions of Muslims from backward lands. They are putting a stop to free speech, the essential freedom on which our brilliant, prosperous, knowledgable, life-preserving, powerful civilization has been built, so that the primitive, ignorant, destructive, cruel orthodoxies of Islam can pass uncriticized as “truth”.

Is the West going to let this development continue? Surely it will now take action to stop it? Will it? Can it?

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page

Last Saturday night, one of the guests on Greg Gutfeld’s evening show on Fox News was a former Marine staff sergeant, bomb technician Johnny “Joey” Jones, who lost his legs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2010. … Watching him, I thought: here is a young man who was handicapped for life because, in the wake of 9/11, he was one of those courageous Americans who agreed to risk their lives in foreign lands fighting their nation’s enemy.

But what is that enemy? The unofficial name given to the struggle by the White House under George W. Bush – the War on Terror – avoided answering that question. So, for that matter, did the official name, Operation Enduring Freedom. From the very beginning, in fact, the exact nature of the whole enterprise was swathed in a fog of euphemism and evasion. The men who flew those planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon were devout Muslims, obeying their religion’s holy book by slaughtering infidels en masse. The Taliban leaders in Afghanistan were also devout Muslims, ruling that nation in strict accordance with sharia law. And yet days after 9/11, even as Bush was planning the Afghanistan campaign, he told the American people that “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.  That’s not what Islam is all about.  Islam is peace.”  

In the eighteen years since, the Western political and media establishment have continued to echo that lie. Jihadists have struck Bali, Madrid, Beslan, London, Mumbai, Fort Hood, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, Nice, Manchester, Barcelona, and New York again – just to name a few of the deadlier and more high-profile incidents. Yet, perversely, the lie about Islam is stronger than ever. Throughout the West, schoolchildren and college students alike have been fed a picture of Islam that’s pure propaganda. Yes, one has the impression that many people are more aware of the reality of Islam than they used to be – but one also has the impression that they feel more cowed than ever into keeping quiet about it.

It‘s certainly harder now to publish a frank book about Islam than it was, say, a decade ago. Prominent individuals who openly criticized the religion a few years back now either stay mum or use the word “Islamism”, which implies that jihadists are motivated by something other than Islam itself.

In Britain and elsewhere, the authorities increasingly harass, and even prosecute, citizens for sharing straightforward facts about Islam on social media.

While the kind of people Hillary Clinton called “deplorables” support sensible policies, such as Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban,” that are designed to protect them from jihad (whether of the violent or “stealth” variety), cultural elites have learned to reflexively condemn such policies as “Islamophobic”. Countless ordinary Brits cheer Tommy Robinson, but has any famous person – any “respectable” figure – in that country dared to stand up for him in the face of official persecution? 

What’s being sacrificed is the truth about Islam itself. It’s the stubborn refusal of the Western establishment to acknowledge this truth that has led to the absurd and, yes, tragic situation in which we now find ourselves: namely, that while the armed forces of the U.S. and its allies have been combating jihadists in Afghanistan for over seventeen years and in Iraq for sixteen years, resulting in a massive loss of life and treasure, we’ve continued to allow barely vetted Muslims to immigrate into our own countries, permitted mosques to proliferate with little or no official oversight of what’s being preached in them, voted more and more Muslims into positions of power, and shrugged indifferently while cities like Dearborn and Hamtramck turned into Muslim strongholds. 

None of it makes any sense: if you’re going to keep the floodgates open to them at home, why send young men into battle against them abroad? Why kill them in southern Asia and vote them into Congress in the U.S.? Why wage endless wars while punishing those who correctly name the enemy? …

There’s no way to rewrite the past. But we can’t keep marching mindlessly down this dangerous road.

We can’t. We shouldn’t. But we are!

There is no god to help us. We must save ourselves.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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A recollection of lies 2

Published by President Donald Trump on March 24, 2019, after the Attorney General reported that the investigation, conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into whether he had “colluded” with President Putin of Russia to make Hillary Clinton lose the American presidential election in 2016, had found no evidence that he had. Of course.

Posted under corruption, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 25, 2019

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The new tribalism 4

Certain Western politicians of all ages and in all walks of life who feel called upon by nature to organize society are keen to return it to tribalism.

The trouble with tribes is that they conflict with one another.

As they are doing now. 

The new tribes are designated according to sex, race, and religion, and in all categories there is increasing friction.

Conflict between the sex tribes 

Athletes in the sex tribe of  Women are in conflict with athletes in the sex tribe of Transgenders-into-Women.

Girl students in the sex tribe of Women complain against rules that allow students in the sex tribe of Transgenders-into-Women to share their locker rooms.  

Conflict between the race tribes

Members of the race tribes of Browns and Blacks despise and insult members of the race tribe of Whites – with particular ferocity in the case of Whites who also belong to the sex tribe of Men. (See here and here.)

Members of Brown and Black race tribes who sit on University Admissions boards, along with their White collaborators, discriminate against members of the race tribe of Asians.   

Conflict between the religion tribes

In African and Asian countries, members of the old established religion tribe of Islam are enslaving, torturing and killing members of other old established religion tribes, in great numbers in the Arab lands of Africa and the Middle East. With the mass migration of Muslims from Africa and Asia into Europe, this time-honored custom is augmenting the tribalist movement in the West.  

The religion tribe of Leftists presides over the process of re-tribalization in the West. In alliance with Islam, the Left has created a movement within which its designated sex, race and religion tribes observe a doctrine called “intersectionality”. It is ostensibly ecumenical, but it is also hierarchical, and as some tribes are held to be superior to others, conflict is not avoided. Also, it is not all-inclusive. The movement reluctantly admits White Men on condition of their self-abasement. And it excludes the religion tribe of Jews.   

Why this atavism in our advanced CyberAge? What is the motive of the Left? Does conflict serve its ends? If so, how? What are its ends?  

Posted under Leftism, Race, Religion general, Sex by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 25, 2019

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Nigerian Muslims continue to commit atrocities 5

In Nigeria, Muslims continue* to slaughter people because they are Christians.

ABC News reports:

From February through mid-March, as many as 280 people in Christian communities in northern and middle Nigeria were killed in attacks. Islamic Hausa-Fulani militants and Boko Haram continue to attack Christians in the country — in 2018, there were thousands killed.

But these pictures are not likely to be seen much if at all in the Western mainstream media. (They could give Islam a bad name, and our betters who rule us want us to believe that Islam is a religion of peace.)

Piles of corpses. Women and children slain with machetes.

*In our article More acts of religion in Nigeria, dated seven years ago (January 19, 2012), we list other articles of ours about the continuing massacres.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Nigeria by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 23, 2019

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The case against reparations 4

It is surely true to say that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who owned slaves.

That alone is an argument against the idea that, on the grounds of an ancestral debt, people living now who do not and never have owned slaves, owe reparations to other people living now who are not and never have been slaves.

Yet a number of Americans – all Democratic Socialists, in a range of skin colors, some of them male but awfully sorry about it – who want to be president of the United States, are considering a policy of paying reparations to descendants of black slaves who were brought to America from Africa.

Those who are for it do not stipulate who will pay the reparations. All American tax-payers, including the descendants of slaves? All white American tax-payers? All Americans who have some white ancestors? Or only the descendants of slave owners?

Coleman Hughes, an undergraduate philosophy student at Columbia University, has written an article at Quillette which asks all the right questions about reparations, and gives all the right answers. It is a brilliant piece of lucid argument.

Coleman Hughes

In 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates was catapulted to intellectual stardom by a lengthy Atlantic polemic entitled The Case for Reparations. The essay was an impassioned plea for Americans to grapple with the role of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining in the creation of the wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it provoked a wide range of reactions. Some left-wing commentators swallowed Coates’s thesis whole, while others agreed in theory but objected that reparations are not a practical answer to legitimate grievances. The Right, for the most part, rejected the case both in theory and practice.

Although the piece polarized opinion, one fact was universally agreed upon: reparations would not be entering mainstream politics anytime soon. According to Coates’s critics, there was no way that a policy so unethical and so unpopular would gain traction. According to his fans, it was not the ethics of the policy but rather the complacency of whites—specifically, their stubborn refusal to acknowledge historical racism—that prevented reparations from receiving the consideration it merited. Coates himself, as recently as 2017, lamented that the idea of reparations was “roundly dismissed as crazy” and “remained far outside the borders of American politics”.

In the past month, we’ve all been proven wrong. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have both endorsed the idea, and House speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced support for proposals to study the effects of historical racism and suggest ways to compensate the descendants of slaves. These people are not on the margins of American politics. Most polls have Harris and Warren sitting in third and fourth place, respectively, in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Pelosi is two heart attacks away from the presidency.

Let me pre-empt an objection: neither Harris nor Warren has endorsed a race-specific program of reparations. Indeed Harris has made it clear that what she’s calling “reparations” is really just an income-based policy by another name. The package of policies hasn’t changed; only the label on the package has. So who cares?

In electoral politics, however, it is precisely the label that matters. Given that there’s nothing about her policies that requires Harris to slap the “reparations” label onto them, her decision to employ it suggests that it now has such positive connotations on the Left that she can’t reject the label without paying a political price. Five years ago, Coates, his fans, and his critics more or less agreed that it would be political suicide for a candidate to so much as utter the word “reparations” in an approving tone of voice. Now, we have a candidate like Harris who seems to think it’s political suicide not to. The Overton window has shifted.

In one sense, Coates should be celebrating. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the reintroduction of reparations into the public sphere. Most writers can only dream of having such influence. But in another sense, his victory is a pyrrhic one. That is, the very adoption of reparations by mainstream politicians throws doubt on the core message of Coates’s work. In his 2017 essay collection, We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates argued that racism is not merely“a tumor that could be isolated and removed from the body of America,” but “a pervasive system both native and essential to that body”; white supremacy is “so foundational to this country” that it will likely not be destroyed in this generation, the next, “or perhaps ever”; it is “a force so fundamental to America that it is difficult to imagine the country without it”.

Now ask yourself: How likely is it that a country matching Coates’s description would find itself with major presidential contenders proposing reparations for slavery, and not immediately plummeting in the polls? The challenge for Coates and his admirers, then, is to reconcile the following claims:

1. America remains a fundamentally white supremacist nation.

2. Presidential contenders are competing for the favor of a good portion of the American electorate partly by signaling how much they care about, and wish to redress, historical racism.

You can say (1) or you can say (2) but you can’t say them both at the same time without surrendering to incoherence. Coates himself has recognized this contradiction, albeit indirectly. “Why do white people like what I write?” he asked [italics in original] in We Were Eight Years in Power. He continued:

“The question would eventually overshadow the work, or maybe it would just feel like it did. Either way, there was a lesson in this: God might not save me, but neither would defiance. How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you? What does the story you tell matter, if the world is set upon hearing a different one?” [italics mine]

In Coates’s mind, the fact that so many white people love his work suggests that they do not fully understand it, that they are “hearing a different” story to the one he is telling. But a more parsimonious explanation is readily available: white progressives’ reading comprehension is fine and they genuinely love his message. This should be unsurprising since white progressives are now more “woke” than blacks themselves. For example, white progressives are significantly more likely than black people to agree that “racial discrimination is the main reason why blacks can’t get ahead”.

This presents a problem for Coates. If you believe, as he does, that the political Left “would much rather be talking about the class struggles” that appeal to “the working white masses” than “racist struggles,” then it must be jarring to realize that the very same, allegedly race-averse Left is the reason that your heavily race-themed books sit atop the New York Times bestseller list week after week. Coates’s ideology, in this sense, falls victim to its own success.

But a pyrrhic victory is a kind of victory nonetheless, and so, partly thanks to Coates, we must have the reparations debate once again.

First, a note on the framing of the debate: Virtually everyone who is against reparations is in favor of policies aimed at helping the poor. The debate, therefore, is not between reparations and doing nothing for black people, but between policy based on genealogy and policy based on socioeconomics. Accordingly, the burden on each side is not to show that its proposal is better than nothing—that would be easy. The burden on each side is to show that its preferred rationale for policy (either genealogy or socioeconomics) is better than the rationale proposed by the other side. And, framed as such, reparations for slavery is a losing argument.

For starters, an ancestral connection to slavery is a far less reliable predictor of privation than a low income. There are tens of millions of descendants of American slaves and many millions of them are doing just fine. As Kevin Williamson put it: “Some blacks are born into college-educated, well-off households, and some whites are born to heroin-addicted single mothers, and even the totality of racial crimes throughout American history does not mean that one of these things matters and one does not.”

Williamson’s observation holds not only between blacks and whites but between different black ethnic groups as well. Somali-Americans, for example, have lower per-capita incomes than native-born black Americans. Yet they would not see a dime from reparations, since they have no connection to American slavery. But should it matter why Somali immigrants are poorer than black American natives? Insofar as there is a reparations policy that would benefit the poor, should Somali immigrants be denied those benefits because they are poor for the wrong historical reasons? The idea can only be taken seriously by those who value symbolic justice for the dead over tangible justice for the living.

We can either direct resources toward the individuals who most need them, or we can direct them toward the socioeconomically-diverse members of historical victim groups. But we cannot direct the same resources in both directions at once. In 2019, “black” and “poor” are not synonyms. Every racial group in America contains millions of people who are struggling and millions of people who are not, and if any debt is owed, it is to the former.

Secondly, the case for reparations relies on the intellectually lazy assumption that the problems facing low-income blacks today are a part of the legacy of slavery. For most problems, however, the timelines don’t match up. Black teen unemployment, for instance, was virtually identical to white teen unemployment (in many years it was lower) until the mid-1950s, when, as Thomas Sowell observed in Discrimination and Disparities, successive minimum wage hikes and other macroeconomic forces artificially increased the price of unskilled labor to employers—a burden that fell hardest on black teens. Not only did problems like high youth unemployment and fatherless homes not appear in earnest until a century after the abolition of slavery, but similar patterns of social breakdown have since been observed in other groups that have no recent history of oppression to blame it on, such as the rise of single-parent homes in the white working class.

Nevertheless, there is a sense nowadays that history affects blacks to such a unique degree that it places us in a fundamentally different category from other groups. David Brooks, a New York Times columnist and a recent convert to the cause of reparations, recently explained that “while there have been many types of discrimination in our history”, the black experience is “unique and different” because it involves “a moral injury that simply isn’t there for other groups”.

I’m highly skeptical of the blacks-are-unique argument. For one thing, it’s not true that blacks have inherited psychological trauma from historical racism. Though the budding field of epigenetics is sometimes used to justify this claim, a recent New York Times article poured cold water on the hypothesis: “The research in epigenetics falls well short of demonstrating that past human cruelties affect our physiology today.” (For what it’s worth, this accords with my own experience. If there is a heritable psychological injury associated with being the descendant of slaves, I’ve yet to notice it.) 

But more importantly, if humans really carried the burden of history in our psyches, then all of us, regardless of race, would be carrying very heavy burdens indeed. Although American intellectuals speak of slavery as if it were a uniquely American phenomenon, it is actually an institution that was practiced in one form or another by nearly every major society since the dawn of civilization. As the Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote in his massive study, Slavery and Social Death:

‘There is nothing notably peculiar about the institution of slavery. It has existed from before the dawn of human history right down to the twentieth century, in the most primitive human societies and in the most civilized. There is no region on earth that has not at some time harbored the institution. Probably there is no group of people whose ancestors were not at one time slaves or slaveholders.”

And that’s to say nothing of the traumas of war, poverty, and starvation that would show up abundantly in all of our ancestral histories if we were to look. Unless blacks are somehow exempt from the principles governing human psychology, the mental effects of historical racism have not been passed down through the generations. Yes, in the narrow context of American history, blacks have been uniquely mistreated. But in the wider context of world history, black Americans are hardly unique and should not be treated as such.

Finally, the framing of the reparations debate presupposes that America has done nothing meaningful by way of compensation for black people. But in many ways, America has already paid reparations. True, we haven’t literally handed a check to every descendant of slaves, but many reparations proponents had less literal forms of payment in mind to begin with.

Some reparations advocates, for instance, have proposed race-conscious policies instead of cash payments. On that front, we’ve done quite a bit. Consider, as if for the first time, the fact that the U.S. college admissions system is heavily skewed in favor of black applicants and has been for decades. In 2009, the Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade found that Asians and whites had to score 450 and 310 SAT points higher than blacks, respectively, to have the same odds of being admitted into elite universities. (The entire test, at the time of the study, was out of 1600 points.)

Racial preferences extend into the job market as well. Last September, the New York Times reported on an ethnically South Asian television writer who “had been told on a few occasions that she lost out on jobs because the showrunner wanted a black writer.” The article passed without fanfare, probably because such racial preferences—or “diversity and inclusion” programs—pervade so many sectors of the U.S. labor market that any particular story doesn’t seem newsworthy at all.

Furthermore, many government agencies are required to allocate a higher percentage of their contracts to businesses owned by racial minorities than they otherwise would based on economic considerations alone. Such “set-aside” programs exist at the federal level as well as in at least 38 states—in Connecticut at least 25 percent of government contracts with small businesses must legally be given to a minority business enterprise (MBE), and New York has established a 30 percent target for contracts with MBEs. One indication of the size of this racial advantage is that, for decades, white business owners have been fraudulently claiming minority status, sometimes risking jail time, in order to increase their odds of capturing these lucrative government contracts. (A white man from Seattle is currently suing both the state of Washington and the federal government for rejecting his claim to own an MBE given his four percent African ancestry.)

My point is not that these race-conscious policies have repaid the debt of slavery; my point is that no policy ever could. For this reason I reject the appeasement-based case for reparations occasionally made by conservatives—namely, that we should pay reparations so that we can finally stop talking about racism once and for all. Common sense dictates that when you reward a certain behavior you tend to get more of it, not less. Reparations, therefore, would not, and could not, function as “hush money.” Reparations would instead function as a kind of subsidy for activism, an incentive for the living to continue appropriating grievances that rightfully belong to the dead.

Some reparations advocates, however, are less focused on tangible dispensations to begin with. Instead they see reparations as a spiritual or symbolic task. Coates, for example, defines reparations primarily as a “national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal” and a “full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences”—and only secondarily as the payment of cash as compensation. How has America done on the soul-searching front? As Coates would have it, not very well. For him, the belief occupying mainstream America is that “a robbery spanning generations could somehow be ameliorated while never acknowledging the scope of the crime.”

By my lights, however, we’ve done quite a bit of symbolic acknowledging. For over 40 years we’ve dedicated the month of February to remembering black history; Martin Luther King Jr. has had a national holiday in his name for almost as long; more or less every prominent liberal arts college in the country has an African-American studies department and many have black student housing; both chambers of Congress have independently apologized for slavery and Jim Crow; and just last month the Senate passed a bill that made lynching a federal crime, despite the fact that lynching was already illegal (because it’s murder), has not been a serious problem for at least half a century, and was already the subject of a formal apology by the Senate back in 2005.

If this all amounts to nothing—that is, to a non-acknowledgement of historical racism—then I’m left wondering what would or could qualify as something. The problem with the case for spiritual reparations is its vagueness. What, precisely, is a “national reckoning” and how will we know when we’ve completed it? The trick behind such arguments, whether intentional or not, is to specify the debt owed to black Americans in just enough detail to make it sound reasonable, while at the same time describing the debt with just enough vagueness to ensure that it can never decisively be repaid.

At bottom, the reparations debate is a debate about the relationship between history and ethics, between the past and the Good. On one side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to correct for the asymmetric racial power relations that ruled America for most of its history. And on the other side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to increase human flourishing as much as possible, for as many as possible, in the present.

Both visions of the Good—the group-based vision and the individualist vision—require the payment of reparations to individuals (and/or their immediate family members) who themselves suffered atrocities at the hands of the state. I therefore strongly approve of the reparations paid to Holocaust survivors, victims of internment during World War II, and victims of the Tuskegee experiments, to name just a few examples. Where the two visions depart is on the question of whether reparations should be paid to poorly-defined groups containing millions of people whose relationship to the initial crime is several generations removed, and therefore nothing like, say, the relationship of a Holocaust survivor to the Holocaust.

Among the fallacies of the group-based vision is the conceit that we are capable of accurately assessing, and correcting for, the imbalances of history to begin with. If we can’t even manage to consistently serve justice for crimes committed between individuals in the present, it defies belief to think that we can serve justice for crimes committed between entire groups of people before living memory—to think, in other words, that we can look at the past, neatly split humanity into plaintiff groups and defendant groups, and litigate history’s largest crimes in the court of public opinion.

If we are going to have a national reckoning, it must be of a different type than the one suggested by Coates. It must be a national reckoning that uncouples the past and the Good. Such a reckoning would not entail forgetting our history, but rather liberating our sense of ethics from the shackles of our checkered past. We cannot change our history. But the possibility of a just society depends on our willingness to change how we relate to it.


 

The end of “the end of the world” is not nigh 13

The excellent Sultan Knish has posted an article about the doom-prophets of the Man-Made Global Warming cult that rewards reading not only with its acuity but also with its comedy.

Here are some delectable parts (but please read it all):

“This is our final chance,” Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke warned while gesticulating wildly in a hipster Iowa coffee shop. “The scientists are unanimous that we have no more than 12 years.”

While patrons of the Lost Canvas wait for the apocalypse to overtake us, they enjoy espressos, bubble tea and art classes. There are also “handmade items from local artisans” for those preparing for a world without technology after the Green New Deal, which O’Rourke endorsed in his prediction of a twelve-year climate apocalypse, has outlawed cars, planes, cows, industrial civilization and machine tools. 

Local espresso hipsters weren’t too worried that everything they know will be gone in twelve years, possibly including mango flavored coffee, which tastes as bad as it sounds, because they know that Bobby Francis doesn’t really mean that the world will end in twelve years: they’ve heard it all before. … 

Are the scientists unanimous about that twelve-year deadline until the sky falls? 

Bobby was quoting the UN’s IPCC report to the espresso oppressed of Keokuk, Iowa. …

“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the IPCC’s working group on impacts, declared. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people.” 

Roberts is a South African city official who is environmentalist royalty and has sat on endless numbers of commissions, panels, teams and moots. Which part of the “science community” does she hail from? Her CV, which the IPCC site decided to take down as part of its commitment to transparency, notes that she has a PhD in Urban Biogeography from a Durban university that no longer exists under that name. 

The IPCC is famous for the same two things as most madmen standing on street corners and shouting incomprehensibly at the top of their hoarse voices: predicting and postponing the end of the world

“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri had claimed in 2007. 

In 2008, he appeared to have claimed that there was only 8 years left. 

At a 2009 Senate hearing, two years later, Pachauri insisted, “we have just about 6 years left in which we will have to bring about peaking of emission.” 

That would be in 2015. 

Pachauri was replying to a question from Senator Jeff Merkley. A decade later, the world didn’t end. And Merkley is still warning that if we don’t listen to the IPCC, the world and all its coffee shops will end. 

Last year, Merkley pushed a Senate resolution in support of the IPCC’s latest world ending memo warning that the world will end “as soon as 2040”. That’s safer than the world ending by 2015. 

What’s Pachauri’s scientific basis for making all these claims? 

His CV, which has also been taken down by the IPCC site, notes that he has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Economics. That’s better than Urban Biogeography, but not exactly relevant. 

As a railway engineer, Pachauri could probably make the trains run on time like Mussolini. But his apocalypses always keep getting stuck in a limbo of missed timetables and snarled tracks. 

Pachauri is also a pornographer – in more ways than one. He writes pornographic sex-fiction;  and his warmist end-of-the-world predictions are so repugnant and disgusting – to non-believers – that they can aptly be called political porn.

Democrat politicians keep getting their apocalypse timetables from railway engineers and urban biogeographers before wandering into the nearest coffee shop to warn that the “End is Near”. 

Bobby O’Rourke claims that we have only twelve, or eleven years and change, left. And that the “scientists are unanimous” in forecasting a world without coffee shops. Are they really? 

Last year, the head of climate and ecological science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab was claiming that it was 25 years. Does that mean that California has 25 years while Iowa only has 12 years left? …


The year before, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis was claiming that it was ten years. If you’re keeping track, that means the apocalypse may only be eight years away now. 

In 2008, Andrew Simms, the co-director of the New Weather Institute, claimed that we had only 100 months to avoid disaster. And he urged a Green New Deal, long before AOC, as the answer. 

Andy’s 100 months expired a few years ago. The world and its artisanal coffee shops are still here. 

“I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change,” NASA’s James Hansen, the prophet of chicken littleism, claimed in 2006. “No longer than a decade, at the most.” 

A decade later the planet is still here. So is James Hansen. 

And NASA is back to reaching for the moon instead of warning that the world will end in [Insert Number of Years Here] unless we go back to the caves and cultivate tofu plantations under the stalagmites. 

Then in 2009, Hansen warned that Obama had only four years to save the earth. …

The world is always ending a few years down the road. If the false prophets are feeling casual, they may give us a decade. 

Even two. 

It’s always urgent that we sign the latest agreement, implement the latest program and push more money into the pockets of the very people telling us that the world will end if we don’t. …


The Democrats are stuck in the coffee shop at the end of the world with Bobby O’Rouke. There are espressos, lattes, handcrafted soaps that smell like rancid fat and predictions that the world will end. 

This is the cult and this is its catechism. 

Its priests are railway engineers and urban bioengineers. There is a consensus. An absolute truth. Put a dollar in the plate to save the icebergs and see you in church next Sunday for another latte. 

Vote “Beto” to save the planet from the people who have children, drive old cars and use shopping bags. The infidels who get their coffee plain black, for under three bucks, and use store bought soaps. …

Twelve years. Twenty-five years. Six years. It doesn’t really matter. 

The numbers create a sense of urgency in the latte section before the next art class. Their contradictory nature is one of those mysteries of faith that all religions have. And if the prophets are an Indian railway engineer and a South African municipal official, that is the diversity which passes for lefty spirituality. Any movement that brings together different people from around the world must be vaguely sacred. …

The debate … assumes that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of determining whether we will be reduced to cannibalism and socialism in 2030, 2040 or 2052. Until then, have another mango espresso. 

It tastes just like the end of the world.



Pediarchy 7

Pediarchy – a society or culture dominated or ruled by children.

Nancy Pelosi, the figurehead of the Democratic Socialist Party, wants the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Of course she does. The likelihood that a 16-year-old will vote for free education, free housing, free health care, free contraception, free cell phones, free marijuana, is very high.

Also open borders, solar panels, and windmills.

The kids will be keen to strip the wealthy of their money and redistribute it among environmentalists. Why would they not? Its easy to be against private property when you don’t own anything. (Nancy owns a lot, but she will have immunity from expropriation because she is, for a little while longer at least, allowed to be the figurehead of her Party.)

These days, Americans by the age of 16 are thoroughly anti-American. They have been fully indoctrinated by their schools, since kindergarten, to despise America and capitalism and to love “diversity and inclusion” (aka racism).

The child vote will not be a novelty for the Democrats. They have long known that they can rely on the votes of the immature – as confidently as on the criminal, the insane, and the alien. The way they see it, the younger a voter is, the better. Okay, not toddlers. But fifth-graders even maybe. Because the very young, generally speaking, love extremes. They are natural iconoclasts. To them, destroying is fun, and there’s an awful lot needing to be destroyed – airplanes, cars, cattle, buildings, mines, factories, banks, the Constitution, white men – if the world itself is to be saved from destruction, which will otherwise happen for sure just 12 years from now, the young Democratic Socialists say.

Once sweet sixteens can vote, they can also be eligible to run for office. And why should any office, however high, be barred to them? Only an old white man addicted to his privilege would insist on an Attorney General having a qualification in Law. And nobody needs a qualification to legislate. Or to be governor. Or even president.

In fact, the Democratic Socialist Party already has a line-up of boys and girls eyeing the presidency.

One candidate for the highest office is a boy of 48, who likes to skateboard across the stage at Party rallies waving to his fans. He has videos made of his teeth being professionally cleaned, boasts of having a police record, and apologizes for being white. Then there are two old boys (both white), 76 and 77 respectively. And half a dozen girls …

Posted under education, Environmentalism, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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For Freedom 3

Victor Davis Hanson explains why he supports the presidency of Donald Trump:

Posted under Capitalism, liberty, United States, US Constitution, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 18, 2019

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