April 10, 2014

“The New Inquisition”

VDH, in an iteration of things you’ve been hearing here and elsewhere for years. Still, it’s worth beating the drum some more — if we agree that the time for simply whining about it is over:

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?

Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?

The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.

The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should “get out of this stock.”

Or maybe if you were a skeptical climatologist, you would cease all research and concede that man-caused global warming needed no further scientific cross-examination — as columnist Bill McKibben recently advocated.

If you were a drought-stricken California farmer and worried about diversions of irrigation water to support fish populations, you would be told by the president of the United States that the real problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and canals, but is due entirely to global warming, which is a “fact” and “settled science.”

What if you supported equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual preference, but — like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and about half the country today — opposed making gay marriage legal?

If you were the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, you would be forced to resign your position.

If you owned a fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A, boycotts of your business would ensue.

If you were a star of “Duck Dynasty,” your show would be threatened with suspension or cancellation.

[...]

What if you thought that supporters of both the Israelis and Palestinians would wish to air their positions on college campuses?

If you were the Israeli ambassador, you would be shouted down at University of California, Irvine.

If you were a Jewish student organization asking to ensure free speech at the University of Michigan, you would probably be cursed at with racial epithets, as happened recently.

If you were a faculty member organizing a scholarly trip to Israel, you would be harassed at Vassar College.

What if you were a professor at Oberlin College or the University of California, Santa Barbara, who wished to teach literature that sometimes dealt with class, race, gender and sex?

If the ensuing class discussions did not meet left-wing dogma, you might soon be asked by student groups to offer “trigger warnings” on your syllabus — as if your class were a toxic cigarette or pesticide in need of warning labels.

We are in a new Inquisition. Self-appointed censors try to stamp out any idea or word that they don’t wish to be aired — in the pursuit of a new race, class, gender and environment orthodoxy.

Hounding out people with different views is seen by the Left as a necessary means to achieve its supposedly noble goals — just like the Spanish Inquisitioners who claimed God was on their side as they went after religiously “incorrect” Jews, Muslims and heretics.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been part of the problem, not part of the solution. Its appointees used the once-impartial IRS against conservatives. They monitored Associated Press reporters. They denied that the NSA was eavesdropping on average citizens. They arbitrarily chose not to enforce laws they didn’t like.

The president bragged of using “a pen and phone” to circumvent the legislative branch, and urged his supporters to “punish our enemies.” The attorney general calls Americans who have different views from his own on matters of affirmative action “cowards.”

All of that them/us rhetoric has given a top-down green light to radical thought police to harass anyone who is open-minded about man-caused global warming, or believes that gay marriage needs more debate, or that supporting Israel is a legitimate cause, or that breaking federal immigration law is still a crime and therefore “illegal.”

Our civil liberties will not be lost to crude fascists in jackboots. More likely, the death of free speech will be the work of the new medieval Torquemadas who claim they destroyed freedom of expression for the sake of “equality” and “fairness” and “saving the planet.”

Of course, free speech will only die if we allow it to — if instead of launching a counter-offensive, we merely bitch about the hypocrisy of it all.

Personally, that’s not part of my makeup — and over the years, I’ve counseled our “own” side on how to beat back such an assault, a lesson for which I was rather infamously and publicly branded an “honor”-destroyer and, by way of a networking of lawyers and party “pragmatists” who’ve taken over the messaging apparatus for the GOP, essentially frozen out of any online conversation.  I was to be driven off the internet, mostly by a back channel email campaign.  And as commenting here dwindles, I’m anticipating the end is nigh.

I used to torment the internet left, who I can assure you was, in the aggregate, happy to see me marginalized by my own side, if only because it meant they didn’t have to respond to me when I belittled their magical thinking, their lies, and their obvious sophistry.  As one troll asked archly the other day, “this place is still here?” –  a shot at my faded influence. Which is what it is:  Being impolitic and eschewing diplomacy for straight talk wasn’t particularly popular back when I began it, taking on both the left and those on the right whom I believed to be, consciously or not, giving aid to the progressive agenda.  Doing so in a general way was okay; but calling out individual arguments attached to those who made them was out of bounds — less an intellectual endeavor than a way to bruise their egos.  Or so they must have believed.

Which is why I find it ironic that those on “my” side who worked so creatively behind the scenes to see to my banishment are being forced to write posts now that echo things I was preaching for years, often to their scorn, or at least their tacit dismay.

I was being unhelpful back then, you see. A true believer.  A purist.  Whereas now, the political winds have shifted a bit, and if you can’t get into the establishment game, being a firebrand for liberty is the new online black.  Outlaw is no longer a punchline.  And intentionalism and originalism are starting to seem more and more useful in the fight against the left than they were when my dogged determination to shift the faulty institutionalization of linguistic incoherence was labeled “fundamentally unserious” and part of my “pseudo-intellectualism.”

So here we are, exactly where I suggested we were headed, and for precisely the reasons I suggested such — surrender the rules of language, you surrender any claim to the prevailing epistemology — which means now more than ever those who wished me gone would like to see me stay that way, if only because I will always serve as a reminder to them of who they really are and what they really thought important.

VDH, let me be clear, isn’t one of these people.

I hope — seriously, for the sake of our liberty — that someone who hasn’t been targeted for destruction by his or her own side, is able to make the linguistic and hermeneutic case for how a particular set of prevailing assumptions leads inevitably, as I’ve been noting for years, to where we today find ourselves, awash in anti-foundationalism, identity politics, PC thought enforcement, and the perversion and deconstruction of our most cherished founding ideals –  equality before the law; tolerance in speech; and the dignity of the individual — to their current low states of radical egalitarianism; officially-sanctioned “protected” thought; and the individual as finding his true goodness only in service to the collective.

Maybe they can throw me a footnote or something.  To assuage their nagging guilt.  Assuming they have the capacity for shame.

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 2:26pm
46 comments | Trackback

Comments (46)

  1. Somewhere a couple of days ago (I believe in connection to the Eich incident) I saw someone musing about the old Jack Benny shtick — “Your money or your life!” *Benny pauses many beats* ” I’m thinking, I’m thinking.”

    That serious surprising reaction to the potential theft of our coin of communication — “Your language or your life!” — brings home the personal in the political. It’s simply, “Really? My life? Well, I’ll have to think about that!”

    Well yes, really. Our lives. Even so much.

  2. What good is free speech if it allows those filthy teabaggers to say racist things?

  3. I was asked once in a law school class if people like Tom Metzger (white supremacist) should have free speech rights. I said yes and I felt that I would rather he spoke freely rather than hide his thoughts and seethe and or conspire.

    This is one of the things that bugs me about these lefties. Even if you believe the person is 100% wrong, you have to allow him to make his case and lose in the market place of ideas fair and square. Otherwise I believe you breed contempt.

    Of course, I think the problem with the left is that they are afraid they are losing the case.

  4. Of course, I think the problem with the left is that they are afraid they are losing the case.

    - The problem with the Left is that they already know they can’t win a legitimate argument on any level with any of their causes. That was the whole reason that identity politics/hermietic sophistry was born, to give them any chance and any advantage.

    - The bigger problem with the Left is that as their strategies and bullshit theories and policies fail over time they’ll lose anyway, and they know it, so in the long run you have to brace for what fascists always do when they begin to lose.

    - Since they know all their dogma is patent crapolla and doomed to failure they look forward to the pillage and burn phase as a sort of payback to a society that fails to see their genius.

  5. …in the long run you have to brace for what fascists always do when they begin to lose.

    Forsooth.

  6. Hell, why wait? He’s already compiled a record of perfidy suitably fit for the act.

  7. Sorry— slightly OT but somewhat related, props to my Rep. for at least an attempt to hold Holder accountable:
    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/10/rep-frank-wolf-to-withold-funds-from-lawless-eric-holder/

  8. Want a good belly laugh?

    Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won.

    What’s that river in Egypt, again?

  9. Thought experiment:
    What gives government its power?

    Consent of the governed.
    A monopoly on the use of force.
    Wealth.

    So, if the consent is withdrawn, by refusing to fund the government, and the governed demonstrate that the monopoly does not exist, the government loses its legitimate power.

    Seems logical to me. Especially as April 15 approaches. Again.

  10. Slartibartfast, Obama HAS won. Two elections and the means of fundamentally transforming America, Obamacare.

    The GOP is now no longer talking of repealing Obamacare, they have joined Obama in tinkering with the details.

    Everyone on the right is ass deep in that Egyptian river these days, if they imagine elections will restore the liberty pissed away over the last 20 years.

    Jeff, I wouldn’t take your dwindling readership too personally. I just think your natural demographic is reaching conclusions about the true nature of our predicament.

  11. “If you owned a fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A, boycotts of your business would ensue>

    I’d consider the Chick-fil-A celebration day a pretty good counter-offensive. Bonus, it netted us an arrogant prick that tried to bash an unflappably polite young lady working the drive-thru

  12. jsjbst,

    I’ll see your predicament and raise you another counter-offensive

  13. Oh, and if your looking for counter-offensives (as evidenced in nr’s link above), The Cruzinator is where it’s at!

  14. I wouldn’t put too much hope on a jr. senator. Here’s what I’m talking about.

  15. >I wouldn’t put too much hope on a jr. senator.<

    multi prong attack?

  16. >jsjbst says<

    and sum art. v and cupcakes w/smiley face

  17. “multi prong attack?”

    Well sure, let Cruz lead another column of “A well regulated Militia” to Nevada in a pincher movement. Sounds like an excellent idea!

  18. “art. v”

    Yeah, much as I respect Levin, I’m in the camp wondering what’s the use amending something being ignored.

    Sounds like putting floral print on toilet paper to me.

  19. Churchill didn’t say the Brits would only fight the Nazis on the beaches, or only in the trenches, or only in the air.

    You fight them on every front, in every way. If that includes legislation that won’t get signed into law, or lawsuits before corrupt judges, or elections beset by voter fraud, so be it. You leave them no respite from counterattack, no safe zone where they can catch their breath, no uninterrupted night’s sleep. No territory they don’t have to defend.

  20. - By territory I’m going to assume you’re referring to all the wealth the bastards have stolen since they moved into the WH. For instance the Ireland trip for black ass jug ears cost us 7.8 mill.

    - They know their days are numbered and they’re determined to blow as much as possible while they still can. More payback for not recognizing their genius.

    - The good news is the record will not be erased enough and it will be a cold day in hell when this next happens in our country. When the fall happens and work becomes a necessity once again and the society lacks another tri-gen gaggle of slack-asses we’ll see how welcome Progressives will be.

  21. By territory I mean that AND law AND prestige AND power AND the aura of “having won the argument” AND…

    When I say “No territory they don’t have to defend” I mean everything.

    How much more plainly can I put it, and after all these years how many more times?

  22. “Churchill didn’t say the Brits would only fight the Nazis on the beaches, or only in the trenches, or only in the air.”

    All well and good. Unfortunately, in our world Chamberlain didn’t step down, and instead od Churchill’s battle of Britain we have our countrymen’s warm embrace of fascism.

    While The House of Commons lambastes Churchill for his great disservice.

  23. You don’t have to steal if you are printing 85 billion a month.

    The skim in rounding errors is tens of millions.

    Jeff, I don’t comment here much any more, but I do read every day.

    Good job, sir. Great job, matter of fact.

    If you ever make it up to Gettysberg, or Arlington, or Normandy, make sure to stop by the markers that say “Known only to God” and give a prayer of thanks.

    They gave their best, and their all, and they all counted. Even if we don’t know who they were now they got us here.

    I had to stop essaying; the threat is clear, and they have said it themselves – “it’s (fill in blank) settled”.

    Don’t argue with an addict, a lunatic, or a Statist. The first two are incapable of logic, but the Statist is evil and logic never enters the equation.

    The fight isn’t over yet. I hope we are able to talk over old times someday. No bets…

  24. - If it makes you feel better or helps you keep up your strength and persistence to “fight” then by all means give it hell. I don’t think we will be the Lefts undoing. They are absolute expert at pissing in their own cornflakes in a way we can’t achieve because we have to many nettlesome characteristics like honesty and humility and self control.

    - We just don’t lie easily enough.

    - But no matter. They will fail massively like they always do, and at the expense of many people in doing so.

  25. Believe me, Jeff, you’re desperately needed in these dark times.

  26. black ass

    SRSLY?

  27. I don’t think we will be the Lefts undoing.

    Not directly, no. But when they’re teetering on the edge of collapse, why not nudge them over?

    …good and hard.

  28. - Toxic.

  29. jsjbst says April 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Do you understand the difference between a parallel and a lesson?

  30. Jeff:

    I’ll second TMJ. Visit nearly every day for your (and Darleen’s) take on what’s going on AND the ripping good comments. You’ve done great work, and it’s helped me make sense of the changes taking place. You may feel like you’re howling into a hurricane. But some of us hear you loud and clear.

  31. Private property is a pernicious evil that must be stomped out. With jack-boots if necessary or just because it’s “tacti-cool” wear.

  32. “McGehee says April 11, 2014 at 8:29 am”

    What exactly has your panties in a twist? Nowhere did I say only fight them on the beaches.

    I do understand a lesson must have a parallel to be applicable. We aren’t in 1940 Briton, more like 1934 Germany. The fight is not against an invading foreigner, but our own fellow citizens.

    My point is they won’t be stopped politically, no more than the Nazis were. Our advantage over 1934 Germans is we have the second amendment, and that advantage is rapidly approaching the point of “use it or lose it”.

  33. Since the 2008 “Great Unveiling” of the GOPers, I’ve been gradually getting more and more cynical. I’m not supposed to, after all, the “conservatives” are on the cusp of (another?) historic victory. But watching these jackwagons dig deep into their mom’s closets to pull out that one nighty that we just can’t resist has really turned me off to even considering thinking about voting for them.

    If Perfesser Vin Diesel thinks that a new, Republican administration is going to change any of the tone or policies that are causing his heart to drop, he’s not as good a student of the classics as he is supposed to be. It’ll be worse, much worse. I predict a return of the ethanol standard, more and louder denunciations of “bullies” (by bullies) and the migration of the limitless spending of the Demos from what they want to what the Gopers want. Fuck ‘em all. At least with the current group of bastards, you know you’re going to get fucked in the ass, they don’t pretend to be your favorite uncle then rape you at the rest stop on the way home from the ball game.

    Nope, I’ve given up. I’m a free agent. My vote’s going on Ebay. You want it? Pay up.

  34. Here’s some more commas. ,,,,

  35. “I’ve not yet begun to fight!” – John Paul Jones, to the taunting British.

    “Here, take it. I’ll grab my ankles!” – John Boehner, John McCain &c., our stalwart GOP leaders, to the taunting Leftists who’ve taken over our Republic, using tactics that would bring smiles to Nikita Khrushchev’s and Leonid Brezhnev’s rotting faces.

    Someone should write a post wherein Ted Kennedy’s massive dead head discusses current events with Leonid and Nikta. That would be awesome!

  36. Jeff,
    “Maybe they can throw me a footnote or something.”

    Would you rather be right, or be footnoted (or get trackbacks, or trade links, or receive invitations to tacky ‘meet-ups” at bad pizza joints), is the question.

    And, given the choice between being intellectually rigorous and courting popularity, you clearly have chosen the first. So, Buck-Up, little sprite!

    Because it is Oh! so painfully RIGHT that…being right is the home that all the being liked’s crawl back to after the buzz of their dime-store celebrity wears off!

    So, hold your ground and don’t give an inch, and in no time even Peggy Noonan and that forgotten scion of the W.F. Buckley line (‘member him? The Buckley son who endorsed Obama back in ’08? ) will be back in tow. You can count on it!
    -S

  37. >>black ass<
    SRSLY?<

    i'd say "mulatto ass" because the proggtards want to disarm us linguistically and i be not playing their game.

  38. Someone should write a post wherein Ted Kennedy’s massive dead head discusses current events with Leonid and Nikta. That would be awesome!

    The denoument involves an ice axe, and Stalin telling Beria to “do something revolutionary” about “those talkers.”

  39. someone said “black ass” I’m telling mom

  40. Despite popular belief, every culture of every nation draws a line in the sand against government tyranny. The problem is, many draw this line so close to total defeat that it rarely matters. For the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, for instance, it wasn’t until the Germans had already herded millions onto railroad cars destined for death camps and cornered the rest into dilapidated central housing that the ZOB resistance was formed, only to be wiped out a month later. Perhaps hindsight is 20/20, but clearly too many freedom movements throughout history waited too long to respond to the trespasses of oligarchs.

    The Founding Fathers frequently struggled with the proper measure of resistance. Many colonials wanted vengeance on the British after the Boston Massacre in March of 1770, but patriots knew that the timing was not right. The battle to rally citizens to the cause and to educate the masses as much as possible on the facts took precedence over the desire to enter conflict. The Founders endured five more years of British government criminality until nearly 80 farmers and militiamen stood outnumbered on Lexington Green on April 19th, 1775 to confront an army of 700 British regulars on a mission to capture rebel leaders and destroy weapons caches. No one knew at the time that the war would be sparked that day, but everyone knew that a fight was inevitable and near.

    I believe the same feeling hangs in the air of modern America for REAL Americans, and by “real”, I mean those who actually support and defend the constitutional values and principles that lay at the foundation of our society. We sense that something is coming; a great change, or an unstoppable reckoning.

    While there is certainly much to despair in the state of our nation, I find the notion that Americans will do nothing in response misplaced and ignorant. From what I have observed, it is not a question of “if” citizens snap, but when.

    In the desert, far from the cities? “Real American” citizens ready to snap; gathering, angry.

    If I were a high-level government plotter, with plans to spark a confrontation so as to defuse a budding American Spring, what better place to lure those people than to the middle of a Nevada desert, where there’s no place for a badly outnumbered resistance to hide? No cities will be harmed; there will be little backlash when the slaughter begins.

    Cell towers are shut down. The FAA has a no-fly zone over the area, except of course for ‘air support’. Tanks, snipers, helicopters; no easy access in – what few roads in are easily managed with heavily-guarded outposts.

    This BLM vs. Bundy dealio is a carefully contrived set up, a trap. Wrong place, wrong time.

  41. I read that ZeroHedge piece yesterday. It reads like the author has been sitting around my kitchen table for the last few years.

  42. Today marks the anniversary of the Battle at Fort Sumter.

  43. BLM told to ‘Stand Down’.

    Imagine that. Barack Obama gets one ‘stand down’ order right!

    If you aren’t watching http://www.ustream.tv/channel/thepetesantillishow/theater

    You are missing history being made. #BundyRanch

  44. This situation with the Bundy Ranch is not over for either side – especially for the Tyrants.

    Perhaps the denouement, when it does come, will be remembered as our Boston Massacre.

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