« Women's World Cup Final! U! S! A! (open thread too!) | Main | Fifty Years Ago Today »

July 19, 2019

Comments

What do you do when words have no meaning anymore?

Weep?

Go off and eat some chocolate? (See Lupin, Remus.)

What do you do when words have no meaning anymore?

vote Trump!

nothing matters! party on!

Go off and eat some chocolate? (See Lupin, Remus.)

Immediately understood, but I'm happy to say I'm not actually beset by dementors at the moment!

I'm happy to say I'm not actually beset by dementors at the moment!

Well maybe Boris isn't as bad as Clickbait, but speaking for myself, I feel like the dementors are running my country. In fact, I tossed the line off as a throwaway, but now that I think about it, Clickbait has a lot in common with them.

Alter Eco Burnt Caramel is the best, but very expensive. I make a bar last for ten days, one little treat every evening, with cheaper chocolate for ordinary snacking.

P.S. I was in Brussels for a month in 2008, for work. The colleague I went over there to work with lived in a neighborhood where there were six or seven amazing chocolate shops, each one looking for all the world like a fancy jewelry shop would look over here.

Wow.

Hmm, I'm not particularly into chocolate, but I admit that Alter Eco one looks pretty intriguing.

Boris isn't as bad as Trump, but at the moment I am seeing him as the less amusing Boaty McBoatface of politics. However, maybe I will be proved wrong and he will rise to the occasion without doing too much harm. One can hope.

It is odd that, when people disagree with some things some Christians say or do particularly when (usually erroneously) using Christianity as the basis for those things, it's anti-Christian bigotry. Of course, no one is calling for Christianity to be banned, for Christians to be punished, for Christians to be shunned simply for being Christian (or in general).

As Janie points out, the US (and the Western world) is predominantly Christian, with 75% of US adults self-identifying as Christian. If we were so intolerant of Christianity, how could we stand to live here in a state of peace?

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't spend an appreciable amount of time fighting the forces of Christianity. I mean, I was married in a Catholic church and attended Pre-Cana. It wasn't terribly important to me personally. It was mostly done for my wife's family. But it didn't particularly bother me. It was just an otherwise pointless and perfunctory thing for me.

This is from the person who somewhat defended religious belief in general, when it is acknowledged to be based on faith and not evidence, and is thereby different from a conspiracy theory. (I'd be curious to know McKinney's thoughts on Creationism.)

And for the nth time, social democracy is not democratic socialism. Socialism of any kind involves the means of production being in the hands of the workers by way of the government. I don't know how many people here want to nationalize industry, but I'm guessing it's a very small minority. A robust safety net isn't actually socialism.

I don't want US Government iPhones!

in a neighborhood where there were six or seven amazing chocolate shops, each one looking for all the world like a fancy jewelry shop would look over here.

And that is precisely the problem in Brussels: there are just way too many choices. Especially for someone who isn't into chocolate, but is trying to buy a present for someone who is. Agonizing!

who told me in all seriousness that Obama was a socialist, no actually he was a communist. What do you do when words have no meaning anymore?

Oh they still have meaning. They don't mean anything but "bad", but they do consistently carry that much. (It can be worthwhile to point out to casual users that that is all they are saying. ;-)

on a different note, check out Mueller's continued persecution of Trump:

BUCK (R:Co): Okay, but the … could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?

MUELLER: Yes.

BUCK: You believe that he committed … you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?

MUELLER: Yes.

Total Exoneration!

we had a bit of quibbling over whether the Crusades were in response to the Islamic capture of Jerusalem (they were...)

Well, if we're going to use proof by assertion: they weren't.

In terms of timescales it's like saying that Brexit is in response to the Spanish Armada.

One could reasonably argue that the Crusades were in response to Seljuq Muslim expansion in Anatolia. (But it was quite a lot more complicated than that.)

I don't think I've said a word against Christianity on here. But I note McKT's apparent view that Christians are entitled to seize a Jewish city, whereas Muslims are not.

I do not speak badly of anyone's profession of religious faith. Good works are good. But I do object to the view that one particular religion is entitled to inflict itself on the rest of us.

__


What about Democratic Fascism, is that a thing?

In so far as the Trumpists cleave to democracy, yes. So not really.

Key components of fascism are dictatorial power and disallowing dissent, so it should be obvious that democracy and fascism are necessarily mutually exclusive. You can nationalize the means of production and still allow people to vote on what gets done with the means of production. Socialism is not necessarily dictatorial, even though it mostly has been in practice (as far as I know - I'm no historian or political scientist).

In any case, I have no desire to advocate for socialism, despite my being a by-default Democrat, given the lack of a viable alternative currently on offer from the other major political party in my country.

North Franklin Township is still a good distance away for me it seems.

who told me in all seriousness that Obama was a socialist, no actually he was a communist. What do you do when words have no meaning anymore?

One of your mother's more endearing traits is her tendency to refer to anyone who disagrees with her about anything as a Communist.
Classic quote from The Manchurian Candidate

What do you do when words have no meaning anymore?

Play music.

Come and get it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO1EwCq4b9w

Say It:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wgN-A0Av3Q

Shred it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw3MwCWeOQQ

Sing it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfBEqiEhCgM

This thread is like a money game of jump rope. I keep trying to step in but I can't decide with which foot first.

But I will. As soon as I get the rhythm down.

As it happens, Genghis Khan is making a comeback and someone on this thread is not going to like on whose nationalist krypto-Christian/pagan conservative side his pagan ponies are just now kicking up the blood-soaked dust on the steppes of eastern Europe.

Apparently, Genghy, as we murderous socialists like to call him, caught wind that the Avis's and Pepsi's of mass murder and genocide are attempting to catch up with his historical body count, and so his tribal horsemen are gathering for the next storm, like in some Cormac McCarthy/Timothy Snyder blood meridian nightmare.

Let me assemble my thoughts.

Boris isn't as bad as Trump, but at the moment I am seeing him as the less amusing Boaty McBoatface of politics. However, maybe I will be proved wrong and he will rise to the occasion without doing too much harm. One can hope.

Have you seen his new cabinet ?

Just no.

Boris isn't as bad as Trump

My sense is that he lacks Trump's natural talent. But he is a LOT brighter, so he should be able to copy Trump's behavior pretty well. Maybe not innovate new depths, but there's plenty of material already ripe (pun intended) for imitation.

Allow me to preface my remarks by first renouncing and denouncing all the bad things done by....well, 'eff it. Why bother?

What about Democratic Fascism, is that a thing?

Almost. The Doughy Pant Load is on the case.

Listening to our president it appears a witch hunt is still on.
http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/gbb_witches.htm?fbclid=IwAR1s0bY9fL3DDvO476hECpdflvgZAX9gJV2Jgs2MHuG4ieFTGyru8_SGxlQ

Just no

Alas, too right. Dominic Cummings! The horror, the horror...

Returning briefly, against my better judgement.

First, BDS, not BSD. Bad enough the the two parties show their bipartisanship by telling a Palestinian human rights movement it is antisemitic, but at least fracking spell it right. Both Democrats and Republicans who voted to do this ( virtually all of them) can shove their supposed ethical values up their butts. I will vote lesser evil in 2020 because it is clear which is lesser, but the people who voted this way suck. And I like Ro Khanna. Great on Yemen. Mealymouthed hypocrite on this.

https://mobile.twitter.com/RoKhanna/status/1154155147171368964

Of course with the Mueller circus scheduled this all got about two seconds of coverage.

On Uighurs, the obvious response is to ask why one so often sees Chinese repression of Tibet or now the Uighurs used as rhetorical human shields, so that people are never supposed to criticize Israel before solving all other problems. We give billions per year to Israel. They are treated as if they were the 51st state. Look at the fracking vote Congress just had. Highly controversial and emotional issue, one would think and yet nearly all those folk united to spit on BDS. Touching to see such a display of conscience. But yes, the Uighurs matter, so why do they come up in this context rather than in their own right? It used to be Tibet. I’ve seen Tibet mentioned more online as a shield for Israel than I ever saw it mentioned for its own sake. That’s not the fault of pro Palestinian activists. Why would it be?

While I am here—I am both Christian and leftist. Both groups or ideologies or whatever have blood on their hands. Full stop. Yes, there are different types of lefties, but many communists thought they were building a better world, just as many liberal humanitarian interventionists thought the same. I am a lefty rather than a righty because I think the right is wrong on most issues and if you did an honest body count I think theirs is higher, but practically all ideologies can be used to justify killing people. I am Christian because I think it is true, but certainly Christians have killed many in the name of Christ, and some have allied with the right and killed in the name of God and Country. A few have even been leftist Christians and supported guerilla movements with dubious human rights records.


Back to lurking. The BSD thing irked me.

We give billions per year to Israel. They are treated as if they were the 51st state.

I'm trying, without success, to think of a state which gets such a free pass from the Federal government. Or which is held by either party (let alone both) to be exempt from criticism about anything.

I'm thinking any state government would be delighted (and incredulous) to find themselves getting such a total across-the-board free pass combined with such massive support. Not that such a thing is likely to happen.

Dare I ask how American public support for the State of Israel is related to the pervasive use of "Judeo-Christian" by American politicians fishing for votes in the waters of American religiosity?

BTW, when GftNC wrote Now I come to think of it, QED! I thought "Gee, I wish I had said that!"

On a completely different subject: Robert S. Mueller 3rd is a textbook example of the well-known phenomenon that moral courage in public is harder to come by than physical courage in battle. Either that, or Mueller (like Comey before him) courageously believes that his "integrity" is too important to waste on calling a spade a spade.

--TP

Can we blame Genghis Khan for this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtFSCvLLluw
(Seek the German original at your own peril as well as the Yiddish borrowing of the tune).

Genghis Khan was somewhat famously tolerant of and curious about religions other than his own.

A murderous tyrant, yes, but no-one could call him a bigot.

He was a cruel man, but fair.

Several of his daughters-in-law were Christian.
And those ladies played a significant (and constructive) role (while sons-in-law were pure cannon fodder and had no political influence). It is said that Genghis Khan was a complete failure concerning the upbringing of his sons but was a genius in selecting their (and their male children's) brides. I guess the huge (and justified) respect he had for his mother played a role there.

Although this is not an open thread, I just checked and saw that its subject is your (and by extension our) politics and democracy.

So, this is to tell you that I just watched The Great Hack, a Netflix documentary about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story, and I recommend it. They don't only focus on those two companies, but on the issues, and to assuage sapient's worries they do also discuss (in the last half hour) the fact of how much of the disinformation came from Russia.

This may be unfair, but so many of the screenshots of fake news stories about Hillary's criminality, Black Lives Matter's violence (not to mention how Russia organised many of their rallies which turned violent, and also counter rallies ditto - thus driving apart America even further) reminded me exactly of some of the things that Marty and McKinney assert as facts*. Now Marty has said he does not get his news from Facebook, but who knows who else may be sending him this stuff, or indeed other tech actors who are harvesting his data points and targeting him with fake things he might be in sympathy with. And I don't recall ever discussing exactly this with McKinney, but who knows exactly where he gets his "facts" either, let alone his opinions. But we do know about confirmation bias, and I suspect many of us try pretty hard to fight against it. Maybe Marty and McKinney do too, but as I said *the correspondence between the two was downright spooky.

GftNC,

I'm not sure I have ever had an exchange about BLM,actually pretty certain I havent. There are boundless sources for Hillary's criminal history, I certainly dont need FB.

I'm Al's certain that really good propaganda starts with small facts and distorts and expands the narrative. If they weren't targeting people ready inclined to believe with seemingly credible stories they would be doing it wrong.

"There are boundless sources for Hillary's criminal history, I certainly dont need FB."

True, criminal convictions, are usually bound and published in the public record.

So, yeah, boundless.

I'm not sure I have ever had an exchange about BLM,actually pretty certain I havent.

here is the first hit on a search of "site:obsidianwings.blogs.com marty BLM"

https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2016/08/seeking-a-better-word-for-privilege.html

here's another

https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2017/09/slow-learners.html

A review:

"A HACK, as it is commonly understood, is when someone stealthily gains access to a computer system using vulnerabilities in the code or by tricking a gullible user into revealing their credentials. Asking a user of a computer or social network to click on an “I agree” button and then harvesting their data in order to influence them is not a hack. It is the business model of the internet."
“The Great Hack” is a misinformed documentary about misinformation: A new film chronicles the fall of Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that used data to form psychological profiles of voters, without much insight or novelty

I will repeat myself, because why not.

The problem with BLM is the name. Black lives matter, well so do white lives, yellow lives, red lives, green and purple lives. What makes you all so special?

They should have called themselves "Stop Shooting Us You Bastards".

Some people need things spelled out.

A HACK, as it is commonly understood...

Call it whatever you like. Social media was exploited to push false information as propaganda for nefarious ends.

The fact that people clicked through, let alone believed that crap, doesn't speak well of them, but also does not excuse the folks who were pushing the bullshit.

We'll see if America is sufficiently intelligent to survive without shredding itself.

i haven't seen the doc. but, the way CA got the FB user data certainly meets the definition of a 'hack'.

they found a way to use FB's API to make it give up much more data than FB wanted it to give up. then they gobbled up a bunch of data and then used it to target people.

The BSD thing irked me.

My apologies for perpetuating it in my responses to McKinney.

In neitqhqerq if those threads did u ever mention BLM, although I think the first one is one of my better threads.

Wow. In neither of those threads did I ever mention BLM.

And I don't recall ever discussing exactly this with McKinney, but who knows exactly where he gets his "facts" either, let alone his opinions.

Ok, I'll bite: to what "facts" are you referring? I've invited several people here to show evidence that my *facts* are wrong. So far, no takers. So, fire away.

For fun, A little history: It all began in the 1960s at MIT, origin of the term “hacker”, where extremely skilled individuals practiced hardcore programming in FORTRAN and other older languages."

But the word predated that usage. See here. The oldest hack I ever heard stories about when I was around the place was that sometime in the early 19-teens, MIT students snuck out in the night and welded a subway car to the tracks. Thank the FSM that as the years went by, outright vandalism gave way to lighter-hearted pranks.

A couple of favorites:

The One Ring around the Great Dome.

A fire truck on the Great Dome on 9/11/2006, to honor first responders on the first anniversary of 9/11/2001.

A surprise at the Harvard-Yale game.

*****

As to CharlesWT's comment, and more or less echoing russell, it seems fair to say that most of the internet is an ongoing hack of our minds and our social systems. And not in the lighthearted MIT prank sense.

wrs: We'll see if America is sufficiently intelligent to survive...

And by the way, the acronym on the website at a couple of those links stood for "I hate this fucking place" long before they repurposed it as "Interesting Hacks to Fascinate People."

;-)

In neither of those threads did I ever mention BLM.

the threads are about what BLM is about. there are references to black people getting killed by cops all through them; people talked about the odd unacceptability of black protests (kneeling, marching, etc). you participated.

Asking a user of a computer or social network to click on an “I agree” button and then harvesting their data in order to influence them is not a hack. It is the business model of the internet.

CharlesWT, that review is itself a bit ridiculous: it's called The Great Hack because that's what it's about - several million people filled out a "personality questionnaire" and clicked I agree which allowed their data to be harvested. Whether they knew this or not is irrelevant, they had agreed to it. What they had not agreed to, and their friends and contacts had certainly not agreed to, is that all of their friends' and contacts' data was then collected too. This was the hack, by anybody's definition except the author of the article. And he largely ignores this aspect, conveniently for his argument, saying only "Cambridge Analytica gained access to the Facebook data of tens of millions of Americans through sneaky means." And, given that we see in the documentary extracts of footage showing the Cambridge Analytica CEO and one of his senior executives boasting to undercover Channel 4 reporters how, when working on election campaigns, they put false information on the net, and watch it spread, and use bribes and blackmail on politicians they are targeting, I think we can guess the author's point of view and moral compass when he says "So credulous is “The Great Hack” that if Cambridge Analytica had not shut down, its bosses would be using the movie as a testimonial."

McKinney, Pro Bono has already exposed your error on the crusades by the analogy that it's like saying Brexit was in response to the Spanish Armada (similar timescales). But further back, although interestingly (and perhaps not coincidentally) on the same sort of subject, I remember the brilliant-and-still-missed Nombrilisme Vide thoroughly schooling you when you said something about the historical superiority of the Judeo-Christian west (actually, you may have omitted the Judeo bit, I don't remember, but since that hyphenation is currently much in vogue on the right I am giving you the benefit of the doubt) in terms of science, medecine and other metrics of judging the advancement of civilisations. (You may, hilariously, also have referred to tolerance of other religions). I've never mastered the art of searching for old ObWi comments, but using cleek's method above I've found some stuff between you and NV on race, but not the stuff I am talking about. If I find it, I'll post it. If you don't remember it, it's not entirely surprising: our conversation/argument about Sarah Huckabee Sanders which you don't remember was not that long ago (it was when she was asked to leave that restaurant, and you were so furious that you were unusually heated and personal about it).

No I participated in specific parts of the threads, as is usually the case, on the pieces I felt I had some interesting or valid input to. None of those pieces were on BLM.

It's not that big a thing with me, but my original sentence as best I recall is accurate. If it shortens this let me just retract it entirely.

McKinney, Pro Bono has already exposed your error on the crusades by the analogy that it's like saying Brexit was in response to the Spanish Armada (similar timescales).

If it's an error, it's an error in interpretation. I don't agree with PB's take on it. Jerusalem fell in 638. It was retaken in 1093 by the French, or proto-French if you like. It wasn't as if the interim was a time of peace. War between Islam and its non-Islamic neighbors was continual almost from the inception of Islam. The Franks stopped the northernmost spread of Islam at the Battle of Tours in 732. Much of the Iberian Peninsula was under Islamic control by then. The Reconquista took another 600 years. Constaninople didn't fall to Islam until the mid-1400's (and the sack of Constantinople was just as barbarous as the sack of Jerusalem in 1093). So, the better interpretation of events is that Islam began a series of campaigns against non-believers that continued until the 16th century (roughly 1000 years--quite a long war). In the early part of those campaigns, the city most holy to the then-hyper devout Catholics was captured by an Islamic army. In the context of a war that lasted 1000 years, a 400 year interval, during part of which time the Franks were defending their own homeland, isn't all that much of a much. But, whatever. A part of the narrative on the Progressive side is that the Crusades were bad and unfair to Muslims. Disagreeing with that narrative is deemed counterfactual. Whatever.

I remember the brilliant-and-still-missed Nombrilisme Vide thoroughly schooling you when you said something about the historical superiority of the Judeo-Christian west (actually, you may have omitted the Judeo bit, I don't remember, but since that hyphenation is currently much in vogue on the right I am giving you the benefit of the doubt) in terms of science, medecine and other metrics of judging the advancement of civilisations.

I vaguely recall this, and, at best, this is your subjective take-away from the exchange. There is not hard and fast consensus that the Islamic world was or is more advanced that the West. If there is a consensus, it goes the other way. The Renaissance, the Age of Reason, the Reformation, the liberalization of society and eventual democratization of the West have no corollary in Islam in general, even in recent time. Western liberal culture and society is markedly superior in almost every metric than pretty much the rest of the world including the Islamic world. The proof is easy to see: no one is immigrating from the West to Egypt or Syria or Turkey except people returning home.

our conversation/argument about Sarah Huckabee Sanders which you don't remember was not that long ago (it was when she was asked to leave that restaurant, and you were so furious that you were unusually heated and personal about it).

Ok, so that's what you were referring to. IIRC, we were talking about more than just her. There were a series of incidents in which conservatives were accosted while dining or otherwise having private time away from the house as well as at least one incident in which a lefty mob attacked someone's home while his wife and children were there. Yes, I have a problem with that and I was pretty pointed about it, but you are confusing me with LJ in the personal attack context.

As general observation, my *facts* are pretty specific and easily checked if one takes the time. However, if you are in the choir, and the preacher says what you want to hear, that becomes your fact. When you like the side of the argument that jibes with your outlook, that doesn't mean the other side is wrong. It just means they don't agree with you. Big difference.

Below is the sum total of the "facts" trotted out by McKinney in his initial tirade that we are supposed to "refute":

The PRC is currently incarcerating 1,000,000 Uighurs.

Most likely true, but not meaningful in the context of any of the discussion on this thread, other than the "contexts" that council crassly tries to insert in the discussion. There is also the broad stroke charge that "progressives" dont' talk about this topic, ergo they are hypocrites. The logic of such reasoning escapes me, but here is an article on the topic from Amnesty International, an organization that is otherwise on the fascist right's hit list for not kowtowing to Isreal deeply and sincerely enough to suite them.

The Crusades followed the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land.

Yes. This is a fact. As others have pointed out, it was employed in a crude and really stupid way. Refuting this fact is an irrelevancy. He could as well claimed that the sun shines during daylight and thus socialism is bad.

Genghis Khan alone killed more people in his lifetime than all of the religious wars in Europe from the birth of Christ to the present by a huge margin.

This may or may not be true. It would be nice to know how many millions were killed by the Mongols after the great Khan died in 1227 as the empire lasted a little over another 100 years and was engaged in more or less constant war. Again, there are historical disagreements among those who engage in historical study for a living, unlike our esteemed attorney from Texas.

China is the scene, the product and the result of the most destructive wars in history, particularly in comparison to relative population sizes over time.

citation omitted.

The thrust of the diatribe is simple: Wars and deaths due to the actions of socialist states (self described or otherwise) are proof of the deficiencies of socialism. Millions of deaths due to the actions of Christian states are just simply unfortunate, and anyway, they didn't kill as many people so take that libs.

It might just be me, but I find this reasoning to be comically unpersuasive.


but i think the real issue is that Christians are persecuted and silenced and despised in their own Christian countries.

the sun shines during daylight and thus socialism is bad.

Made me laugh out loud.

It might just be me

Nope, you have company.

There is also the broad stroke charge that "progressives" dont' talk about this topic, ergo they are hypocrites.

The hypocrisy is part of it. Another part is the failure of Progressives to see how awful state control is and how *relatively* affluent even the bottom quintile is in the free market US. Another part is the Progressive fetish with the uber rich, as if the majority of suffering on this planet is in the US and not in either 4th and 5th world dictatorships or the more modern workers' paradises. I could go on. But you are correct, the hypocrisy is a large part of it.

It would be nice to know how many millions were killed by the Mongols after the great Khan died in 1227 as the empire lasted a little over another 100 years and was engaged in more or less constant war.

Funny. This was comical yesterday. Regardless, I was using this as a point of reference: 40,000,000 million lives in his lifetime vs less than 10,000,000 lives over 2000 years. So yes, Christianity is really, really bad.

China is the scene, the product and the result of the most destructive wars in history, particularly in comparison to relative population sizes over time.

citation omitted.

The thrust of the diatribe is simple: Wars and deaths due to the actions of socialist states (self described or otherwise) are proof of the deficiencies of socialism. Millions of deaths due to the actions of Christian states are just simply unfortunate, and anyway, they didn't kill as many people so take that libs.

It might just be me, but I find this reasoning to be comically unpersuasive.

You are getting this wrong in several respects. China is the source of the longest and worst wars going back centuries before communism. The body count prior to communism was, in the aggregate, much higher. I was simply making a factual observation for comparative purposes. You are misunderstanding it. An ongoing trope on the left is that the West is the source of most or all evil. This is often accompanied by observing the perfidious role played by Christianity. In point of fact, for all around viciousness based on body count, Asia beats the West all to hell even up to today. The quote above was also an allusion to this additional historical misapprehension among Progressives.

But this part: Wars and deaths due to the actions of socialist states (self described or otherwise) are proof of the deficiencies of socialism. Millions of deaths due to the actions of Christian states are just simply unfortunate, and anyway, they didn't kill as many people so take that libs. is where you make your worst point.

First of all, socialism kills its own people by the millions and in relatively short periods of time. Famine and repression do most of the heavy lifting (so let's really crack down on the monetization of the means of production and get it in the hands of right-thinking regulators and worker's counsels!), all of it in the last 100 years. Yet, one almost never hears a Progressive criticize socialism. They will go on quite a bit about religion in general and Christianity in particular, but not the leading killer of the 20 and 21st centuries. Deaths attributable to Christianity--the 30 Years War, the Inquisition and what have you--are spread out over centuries and are a fraction of socialism's recent accomplishments. So, Progressives complain about the lesser evil and ignore the greater evil. And they get really pissy when called out on it.

First of all, socialism kills its own people by the millions and in relatively short periods of time.

I rest my case.

Yet, one almost never hears a Progressive criticize socialism.

There is an actual definitive meaning of the word "socialism" as espoused by Karl Marx and those who have taken up marxism as a political, philosophical, and/or ideological belief.

You might even look it up.

"Progressives" as a term used in political discourse in this country have little, if anything philosophically in common with hard core socialists.

Therefore your clumsy attempts to conflate "Progressives" and/or US "leftists" with socialism is simply absurd.

As for not criticizing oppressive regimes, socialist or otherwise, I give you the entire current GOP whose criticism of Putin's Russia is muted at best, or their criticism of Israel, which is utterly nonexistent.

In point of fact, a much better case can be made that today's current right wing in this country is consciously embarking on the road to fascism.

These folks are your political allies, McKinney.

I've heard that North Franklin Township is lovely in the summer.

but i think the real issue is that Christians are persecuted and silenced and despised in their own Christian countries.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Really, what else can one say?

I rest my case.

And I thought nothing could top Cleek's biting, Churchill-like wit, but there you are: so far beyond brilliant, there really aren't words to describe. Color me gob-smacked.

There is not hard and fast consensus that the Islamic world was or is more advanced that the West. If there is a consensus, it goes the other way.

Well, this is rather fascinating and suggests that you may have internalised some of NV's argument. As stated here, the first sentence is true, and the second is arguable. I seem to remember that at the time you started with one of your blanket statements about the obvious superiority (past and present) of the Christian West over the Islamic East, and were comprehensively argued to more or less a standstill by NV. I may be misremembering, but I don't think so. As I say, if I can find it I will post it.

But these blanket statements of yours (more recently about the invention of useful scientific/technological/medical advances being almost exclusively made by capitalism) all seem to fit the same category - can you see what it is? Do you think it might be possible to examine the evidence more open-mindedly, and not start from an assumption that one's own culture, civilisation, political leanings etc are automatically superior, and not just indulge (as I mentioned before with confirmation bias) in a search for only evidence and interpretations which support that assumption? I know you continue to characterise us as knee-jerk lefties, and I suspect that in response to what I say above you will either reply or certainly think that we on the contrary are anxious to assume that our own culture and civilisation (but never political leanings - that's part of your stereotype of us) are inferior, but if you examine the evidence you will see that we often directly contradict, with reasons, your characterisation. And actually, writing this, I realise I don't have that much of a right to speak for "us" and "we". We're all pretty different, and to the extent that most of us have certain attitudes in common, that might bear thinking about too. I know you're a never-Trumper, but you've had plenty of time to see the craven collapse of any pretence at integrity or accountability or fiscal responsibility or even competence of the rest of the rightwing party. How come it's still so obvious that the attitudes of most of the people here deserve ridicule and contempt?

1. An ongoing trope on the left is that the West is the source of most or all evil. This is often accompanied by observing the perfidious role played by Christianity. 2. In point of fact, for all around viciousness based on body count, Asia beats the West all to hell even up to today.

1. I don't know if it is an ongoing trope on the left (actually I do know - it isn't, only in the fevered minds of Fox News and the right), but it sure as hell is not one here. As for the perfidious role played by Christianity, they are one of many religions that have done terrible things (as well as some good ones), and do not deserve to be placed morally above any of the other extant religions. But your point 2 is only relevant if your point 1 is true, and it isn't. Why do you insist on setting up these straw men and giving them "our" faces?

1. An ongoing trope on the left is that the West is the source of most or all evil. This is often accompanied by observing the perfidious role played by Christianity. 2. In point of fact, for all around viciousness based on body count, Asia beats the West all to hell even up to today.

1. I don't know if it is an ongoing trope on the left (actually I do know - it isn't, only in the fevered minds of Fox News and the right), but it sure as hell is not one here. As for the perfidious role played by Christianity, they are one of many religions that have done terrible things (as well as some good ones), and do not deserve to be placed morally above any of the other extant religions. But your point 2 is only relevant if your point 1 is true, and it isn't. Why do you insist on setting up these straw men and giving them "our" faces?

As for not criticizing oppressive regimes, socialist or otherwise, I give you the entire current GOP whose criticism of Putin's Russia is muted at best, or their criticism of Israel, which is utterly nonexistent.

In point of fact, a much better case can be made that today's current right wing in this country is consciously embarking on the road to fascism.

These folks are your political allies, McKinney.

Aside from this being what-aboutism and changing the subject, you are making assumptions and wrong ones at that. One of the many, many things I find disgusting about Trump and the current Republican party which kisses his ass is his continual sucking-up to the worst of the worst and how easily and transparently manipulable he is. Kissing left wing dictator ass used to be the left's job, throughout the Cold War. However, just because Trump is a sui generis asshole with virtually no intellect, integrity, filter, self-control, etc, etc, etc, does not turn Progressive hypocrisy on unrelated topics into principled reasoning.

Shorter answer: you are both wrong, but for different reasons.


These days, I don't have any political allies. You aren't the first in this thread to meet my arguments with guilt by association. It's a weak form of rebuttal under any circumstances. Basically, it's ad hominem name-calling. I usually don't respond because, mainly, I think it's a stupid form of argument and responding is pointless and, secondarily, responding can sound defensive. I'm not in the least defensive, in case that isn't coming through.

I take too long to write my posts.

I wrote:

I know you continue to characterise us as knee-jerk lefties, and I suspect that in response to what I say above you will either reply or certainly think that we on the contrary are anxious to assume that our own culture and civilisation (but never political leanings - that's part of your stereotype of us) are inferior

but while I was writing it McKinney posted:

An ongoing trope on the left is that the West is the source of most or all evil. This is often accompanied by observing the perfidious role played by Christianity.

Again, QED.

What is accusing us (conveniently for your purposes the "left") of staying silent about Communist massacres, kissing left-wing dictator ass etc, if not guilt by association? Nobody here has ever done it.

I'm posting too much, I invoke the Janie amendment:

I'm off to North Franklin Township.

p.s. Since I never knew what NFT stood for in the first place, the above joke is still incomprehensible to me!

No Further Text.

Aside from this being what-aboutism and changing the subject

You're whole line of reasoning from start to finish is a classic case of whataboutism (What about those evil socialists..."). That we don't spend sufficient time and energy denouncing the crimes of Stalin and Mao to your satisfaction is simply poor argumentation that would be laughed out of a formal debate.

As for allies, you typically argue for conservative political positions. You are, by any reasonable standard, a fairly typical U.S. conservative. You going to deny that also?

This is not guilt by association by any means.

And I thought nothing could top Cleek's biting, Churchill-like wit, but there you are: so far beyond brilliant, there really aren't words to describe. Color me gob-smacked.

I detect a hint of sarcasm here.

No Further Text.

I like it!

In practice it amounts to the same thing as the original, which was something along the lines of "Not Feeding Trolls."

hairshirthedonist turned "NFT" into North Franklin Township. Of which there is actually one, in western PA. I wonder if hairshirt has ever been there? ... It's further south than anything I've driven through in PA myself, but I bet it's pretty country.

I seem to remember that at the time you started with one of your blanket statements about the obvious superiority (past and present) of the Christian West over the Islamic East, and were comprehensively argued to more or less a standstill by NV. I may be misremembering, but I don't think so. As I say, if I can find it I will post it.

Yes, you are mis-remembering. I have often said, with plenty of pushback here, that Western Liberal Democracy is far superior to any other civilization past and present. I can defend that thesis all day long. If you have a counter-argument, I would be happy to address it.

(more recently about the invention of useful scientific/technological/medical advances being almost exclusively made by capitalism)

This I remember, although not as you rephrase my position. I was right then and I remain correct: virtually every medical device, medicine, etc one encounters in a modern Western hospital (all of the best hospitals are "Western"--an undefined term which I will fix in just a bit) are the product of free market economies. This is also true for the rest of our many material comforts as well as food, entertainment, etc. Many scientific and medical advances have their beginning's in government funded research, but getting the theoretical into the world at large always (ok, 99.99% of the time) requires free market development and distribution.

By "Western", I mean any free-market, liberal democratic country, regardless of geography, prevailing religion or ethnicity.


It's not that big a thing with me, but my original sentence as best I recall is accurate.

I agree with Marty here. His comments in that thread were about what "privilege" means and how it manifests itself. Not really about BLM.

What strikes me in McK's comments about Jerusalem is what appears to be the assumption that Muslims seizing Jerusalem is a justification for French and other Northern European people to respond by doing likewise. In whatever timescale.

FWIW, that makes no sense to me.

Why couldn't everybody just leave Jerusalem the hell alone?

Many scientific and medical advances have their beginnings in government funded research

You have internalised ObWi pushback again, this was something you only accepted once your original assertion had been refuted by many examples!

I can defend that thesis all day long.

And you have done, on several occasions. And folks have raised questions about it, and the discussion was not that productive.

Look, this appears to be a point of dogma for you. We all have them, this appears to be one of yours, along with "all medical devices are the product of a free market economy", and "European diseases did not decimate native American populations".

I punched all of my arguing-with-dogmatists tickets, on a very wide variety of topics, long long long long long ago, as most likely several other folks here have. So instead of taking folks' comments as dismissive, maybe assume the discussion is kind of played out and folks just don't want to engage at this point. On those particular topics.

You have a point of view, you're entitled to it. All the best.

The (white and Christian) countries of Europe, and their cultural offspring, the USofA, dominated, in pretty much all practical respects, the entire planet from the 15th to the mid 20th century. The Great (civil) War of 1914 initiated the retreat from this pinnacle of Western power.

The Roman, Mongol, and Ottoman empires pale in comparison. Piling up the bodies does nothing to rebut this judgement.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing out the unsavory parts of this history.

Maybe we can learn something from this. Time shall tell.

Many scientific and medical advances have their beginning's in government funded research, but getting the theoretical into the world at large always (ok, 99.99% of the time) requires free market development and distribution.

Producing goods and services at scale generally requires an input of capital. That can come from different sources, but in our economy and in most developed economies, that generally - not always but generally - comes from private investment.

If that's your point, I don't think many people here will disagree with you.

If your point is that medical innovation doesn't happen without the profit motive, you are incorrect. It often happens both without the profit motive and without government sponsorship. That has been demonstrated here in the form of concrete historical examples - many of them - in response to your comments. Multiple times. Those demonstrations should be sufficient to conclude the discussion, I would think.

Sometimes people do things because they think they are good and useful things to do, and they don't concern themselves with who is going to make money off it, or whether anyone does. Sometimes they go about it in ways deliberately intended to prevent the profit motive from interfering.

Different strokes for different folks. It makes the world go around.

Many scientific and medical advances have their beginning's in government funded research, but getting the theoretical into the world at large always (ok, 99.99% of the time) requires free market development and distribution.

I observe (because I happen to be heavily involved) that the Internet was originally a US government project. By the time it was passed on, from the US Department of Commerce to several separate organizations (gradually between the late 1990s and about 2014), it was already in widespread use around the world.

You aren't the first in this thread to meet my arguments with guilt by association.

/spit take

dude. your whole shtick is g.b.a..

Basically, it's ad hominem name-calling.

crap. and me out of spit.

got lots of italics, tho

A part of the narrative on the Progressive side is that the Crusades were bad and unfair to Muslims.

Western liberal culture and society is markedly superior in almost every metric than ... the Islamic world.

I hesitate to adjudicate on fairness in war. But I can tell you that in 1099 Islamic culture and society was markedly superior in almost every metric to the Western world. And that the Crusades were thoroughly bad.

I note that you (McKT) still think Crusader massacres of Jews too insignificant to mention.

...virtually every medical device, medicine, etc ... are the product of free market economies.

Patent monopolies do not a free market make.

I don’t understand what the argument is anymore. Is someone suggesting we abolish capitalism or something?

I don’t recall being in North Franklin Township, Janie, but I have spent time in western PA. I was going to make up a town, but googled NFT and found a real one.

I don’t understand what the argument is anymore.

because American liberals don't regularly decry 1950s China, they hypocrites.

* this argument is not valid for anything McTx has never mentioned.

I don’t understand what the argument is anymore. Is someone suggesting we abolish capitalism or something?

Sheepishly raises hand for "or something". Capitalism will most likely be replaced by something else, either because it will not be suitable in a world of nearly unlimited abundance (why be greedy if everything is available to nearly all?) or unlimited catastrophe (climate change). But I hesitate to regularly make the strong case because I'd have to spend all my time defending the crimes of Stalin or Mao, while the McKinneys of the world get off scot-free because they, for example, did not personally own slaves.

In short, a very tiresome and unproductive exchange.

My parting shot for the day: Property is theft.

:)

Best Regards to all...and I mean all.

A part of the narrative on the Progressive side is that the Crusades were bad and unfair to Muslims.

Western liberal culture and society is markedly superior in almost every metric than ... the Islamic world.

The Crusades were between 700 and 900 years ago.

The northern European countries that engaged in the Crusades were not examples of western liberal culture and society.

Depending on where you are drawing your lines, "Western liberal society" covers a hell of a lot of ground. Some of it is better than others.

"The Islamic world" covers even more ground, geographically and historically. For almost anything you can find in "the Islamic world", you can find its opposite in "the Islamic world".

Among other things, "the Islamic world" helped create, through its intercourse with the late medieval Italian city states, capitalism.

"Liberal western society" is indebted to "the Islamic world" for significant - and I do by god mean significant - contributions in medicine, science, philosophy, mathematics, business and accounting, and god only knows what else.

The legacy of classic literature that we claim as "ours" is known to "us" because it was curated across "our" millenium of stark ignorance and chaos by... "the Islamic world".

In any case, as mentioned above, the Crusades, the Battle of Tours, the Reconquista, etc etc etc, happened hundreds of freaking years ago, and the people who participated in them are dead, have damned little to do with any of us walking around today, would probably not understand anything we're talking about because the entire context of their lives was profoundly different than ours, and for damned sure were not motivated by anything remotely resembling "western liberal society".

Humans like us have been around for maybe 100,000 years. We've been living in settled societies since the Neolithic revolution, something like 10,000 years ago.

No doubt that history includes experience that is not as good as modern liberal western societies. No doubt that history includes experience that is better than modern liberal western society.

Modern liberal western society is not universally all that great, either for people in it our, especially, outside it. Our wealth and comfort often come at costs to others.

Different people measure "good" in different ways. I'm damned sure that no few humans over the last 10 or 100 thousand years would observe the daily life of j-random inhabitant of a "liberal western society" and wonder if we were out of our fucking minds. They would think were were madmen. I say the jury is out on whether they would be right about that, or not.

Before you can say "better", you have to say what "good" is. You have to be clear about what your metrics are. Not everyone, over the long and varied history of human life, would be all that impressed by central heat and big TVs. Or living in a "western liberal society" that locks up 2 million of its fellow-citizens.

Perspective and humility are good things to cultivate.

And that is enough from me for tonight. Night all.

"Liberal western society" is indebted to "the Islamic world" for significant - and I do by god mean significant - contributions in medicine, science, philosophy, mathematics, business and accounting, and god only knows what else.

I'm glad you included accounting. Can't really run a business without it. Anyone who has tried it will tell you that trying to do arithmetic (never mind higher math) with Roman numerals is torture. Without Arabic numerals we would be in sad case today.

Yeah, but those Ay-rabs stole the concept from the (Eastern) Injuns. And the Mughal conquest (Muslim Mongols, two birds with one scimitar) was mentioned above among the bloodiest ever. Was it really worth it. We should be ashamed to use those blood dripping numerals. Are there no Western liberal* Judeo-Christian alternatvies? How would Jesus count?

*liberal of course in the sense of libertarian not the dirty effing hippie socialist misappropriation. And none of that sexual libertinage either that comes with it.

Not everyone, over the long and varied history of human life, would be all that impressed by central heat and big TVs. Or living in a "western liberal society" that locks up 2 million of its fellow-citizens.

to verify this, i tried to ask an indigenous resident of my area. couldn't find any! turns out, those who weren't killed or sickened either left for the west or were enslaved, hundreds of years ago.

i'll just assume they would agree.

These days, I don't have any political allies.

This is rather tragic. McKinney, do you visit the sites frequented by, as you colourfully phrase it, the likes of Trump and the current Republican party which kisses his ass and excoriate them for their actions and sympathies? Don't misinterpret me: I am on record as saying I like your visits here and think you add to our rich tapestry and often stimulate excellent stuff, but I'm just curious about where we fit in to your other conversations.

Forget arabic numbers. This is important.
====
9th century AD: The medieval Arabs used the distillation process extensively, and applied it to the distillation of alcohol. The Arab chemist Al-Kindi unambiguously described the distillation of wine in the 9th century.

12th century: The process of distillation spread from the Middle East to Italy, where distilled alcoholic drinks were recorded in the mid-12th century. ...

14th century: In India, the true distillation of alcohol was introduced from the Middle East, and was in wide use in the Delhi Sultanate by the 14th century. By the early 14th century, distilled alcoholic drinks had spread throughout the European continent.

So when you settle down for your nightcap this evening, raise your glass to Al-Kindi. I know I will...

even the word 'alcohol' is Arabic.

I think the Egyptians get the nod for beer.

Sumerians, I think.

Anyone who has tried it will tell you that trying to do arithmetic (never mind higher math) with Roman numerals is torture...

Reintroduced to the UK primary school national curriculum by Michael Gove.
Merely one of his lesser idiocies.

check out the horror of mixed bases and fractions that is the Roman abacus

Actually Nigel, I think you're right.

A brief primer on historical Islamic economics. Europe, including the Italian city-states that birthed the Renaissance, learned a lot from their Islamic geo-political rivals and economic trading partners.

This isn't to paint "the Islamic world" as some kind of ideal society. Everybody's got issues.

It is to say that trying to coerce the historical record to pump up some kind of chauvinistic concept of the superiority of your own culture and history is folly. More than folly, it's intellectually dishonest and can actually be damaging. It can be a kind of blindness.

Human history includes all kinds of societies and forms of social organization. In general they evolve in response to the conditions that exist, at the time and place in which they exist. It's interesting to find out about that stuff, and sometimes there can be lessons for us there.

But making value judgements about situations here and now, based on things that happened 10 or 20 or 50 generations ago, seems... not well founded. To me.

Iirc an early pioneer of distillation was Mary the Jewess (aka Maria Prophetiss(im)a). She lived somewhere between the 1st and 3rd century and the invention of the tribikos (a precursor of the alembic which developed into the modern still) has been attributed to her.
Well, we know that Jewish traders used alcohol to get better deals from the Arabs when Mohammed was around (the same way Christians used to shaft natives all around the world later) and that's why the prophet (pbuh) was not fond of either these people nor their booze.
In classical antiquity only barbarians (that's our ancestors) would drink wine* undiluted. One can imagine what they would have thought of firewater as a beverage.

*the opinion on beer was divided. Caesar is said to have liked it but he had gone too far native to count as neutral arbiter.

today in no-it's-not-socialism:

Republicans have been accused of employing a “socialist” policy to prop up unprofitable coal power plants in a move that could cost Wyoming residents tens of millions of dollars.

A bill signed by the state’s governor Mark Gordon last week will see power companies forced to seek a buyer for plants they wish to decommission.

Under the new legislation, any utility company selling a coal-fired plant would then be required to buy back the energy from its new owner, even if a cheaper – and potentially cleaner – power source is available.

the GOP is a fraud

Not to re-open an old familiar can of worms, but what the bloody hell. Who does stuff like this?

We're not yet in the promised land, y'all.

@russell: I saw that last night. I would say they need some re-education, but that would imply that they had ever been educated a first time. What kind of sick viciousness would bring weapons and gleeful, self-satisfied smiles to a site like that? The same kind that killed Emmett Till in the first place, I guess. No, we're not in the promised land.

And: Guns!!! Guns!!! Guns!!! Yay 2A! Guns!!

This isn't to paint "the Islamic world" as some kind of ideal society. Everybody's got issues.

It is to say that trying to coerce the historical record to pump up some kind of chauvinistic concept of the superiority of your own culture and history is folly. More than folly, it's intellectually dishonest and can actually be damaging. It can be a kind of blindness.

This is what I was inadequately trying to say, way upthread, about openminded consideration. But this says it better.

The Emmett Till picture is unbelievable. These people are not only deplorable, they are unspeakable i.e. I could not think of words adequate to describe them. Janie's "sick viciousness" is as good as it gets.

Not to re-open an old familiar can of worms, but what the bloody hell. Who does stuff like this?

We're not yet in the promised land, y'all.

No, we are not.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/shock-video-dc-tourist-savagely-beaten-stomped-spit-on-by-gang-of-youths-at-hilton-hotel-where-reagan-was-shot/

This is going to wrap this up for me. I started this discussion by taking issue with what was and remains outright anti-Christian bigotry here at ObWi which, as I intended to pointed out, is all the more ironic given the larger discussion here of decrying racism. In this context, my general beef with Progressives is that they overemphasize Christianity's negative historical role; Progressives judge Christianity and the West--including the modern, liberal west--harshly while either ignoring or minimizing objective deficiencies in other cultures throughout history. Basically, it's kind of an Alt-left view that it's fine to be anti-Christian because they deserve it.

I also take issue with Progressive's general antipathy if not hostility to the West in general and the free market. As Progressive's pull the Democrat party farther left, we will see if they can persuade the country that it needs to be radically or significantly transformed.

Back in the day, we debated these issues on the merits. Not so much anymore. Rather, the idea that other views might have merit are simply dismissed or rejected as effectively Trump-ism lite.

A lot of people I know grudgingly support Trump because they see and understand that what Progressives want is fundamental, irrevocable change, change in how we speak, how we think, how we work, how we interact, even down to how we make love. You think Trump makes you right. Fine. There are a lot of ways to screw things up. Just because you're not Trump doesn't make your way better.

Finally, to clarify my points about the Crusades and Islam. From the left, the only thing that ever happened was the Crusades and they were awful. There is never any discussion that Islam tried to conquer basically the entire world and it took nearly a 1000 years to stop that.

Further, whether Islam in 1100 was comparatively better than post-conquest England or early France is irrelevant. They were in a constant state of war with one another, a war that Islam started. Neither the West nor Islam had much to offer anyone with 21st century sensibilities. What separates the West from Islam--and the rest of the world for that matter--was the gradual shift from feudalism to true liberal democracy fueled by a very successful private sector. More freedom and more of everything for everyone. Not in equal measures of course. That will never happen unless we all fall into equal amounts of misery.

Progressives treat America as a closed system, comparing top to bottom and focusing on numerical disparity. I think that is error for several reasons. First, you have to look at what those in the bottom quintiles would have elsewhere. Second, you have to look what the bottom quintiles actually have. Third, you have to look at what the hard near and long term costs of elevating the bottom quintiles would be, whether they can be noticeably elevated and, if so, can they be noticeably elevated sustainably.

As Russell and others have noted, we've covered this ground before and no needles were moved. I take his and everyone else's point in that regard. Adieu.

because they see and understand that what Progressives want is fundamental, irrevocable change, change in how we speak, how we think, how we work, how we interact, even down to how we make love.

to the extent any of that is even true, what they don't see is that they want the exact same things.

No, we are not.

it's disgusting. and CNN is saying it sounds like the teens were after somebody specific, and that they got the wrong person.

but...

here's the top comment on that Gateway Pundit story:


Gram • a day ago

If Obama had a son....etc...

it has 1068 likes right now. and the comments underneath it are even worse.

don't ever deny that the GOP has a racism problem.

"Gateway Pundit", aka Jim Hoft, was a recent guest at the White House. met with the President. talked with him about social media strategy.

What kind of sick viciousness would bring weapons and gleeful, self-satisfied smiles to a site like that?

Stories like this remind me that I have my own prejudices, Because my instant reaction was "Oh, frat boys. Well what would you expect?"

Yes, I know that not all college fraternity members are like this. But enough are, in my experience, that it doesn't shock as much as it should. Sort of like discovering (yet another) thing that Trump has lied about.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad