The recent decisions of the Supreme Court cheat Moloch of his accustomed cheap comestibles. He’ll have to make do with less. But, as with all natural systems under the orbit of the moon, this is a case of pushing the envelope in one way only to see it bulge out in another. Moloch will be served, adequately, or there’ll be hell to pay, and no pitch hot.
There will be deaths. Not of children in the womb, but of others. Moloch must be fed, by his slaves. Now that he’ll be denied the food of babies from so many “trigger” states, he’ll need to be fed in some other way. His vassals will try to figure out how to immolate some high profile victims, to sate his hunger and avert his wrath. I suspect they’ll offer up some from among their own company.
It can’t work. It can’t suffice. His wrath shall inevitably consume all his worshippers. There are not victims enough to sate his lust. His servants then are doomed.
Reject him! Serve the Lord of Life! Only thereby might you prevent your own ingestion, and dissolution, in the insatiable maw of Moloch.
One of his servants has already tried assassinating a Court Justice. Our Men need to be armed and ready to kill if necessary.
Will your side agree not to send death threats to Republicans on the Jan 6th committee?
Ha, ha. Are you totally out of your gourd?! I’ll go on record right now and condemn “death threats to Republicans on the Jan. 6th Committee.” For all the good it will do.
Both “sides” has its rogues; ain’t nothing much either of us can do about that. But people who are sending death threats to the Jan. 6 Committee aren’t “our side” in any case. What the hell is wrong with you?!
So then you would also say those who send death threats on the members of the Supreme Court for overturning Roe are not on our side?
Yeah, as Terry has already made clear, death threats are not our style; not on our side. APC Carrier has neatly summed our side’s attitude and typical tactic.
Those who say they are on our side and are stupid enough to issue death threats are in the first place extremely stupid, and in the second only LARPing as Christians. They are on the side of the Enemy.
So we are in agreement that most of us sit in the middle and should not be lumped in with the extremists on either side.
By no means. We of the orthosphere – Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox – are orthogonal to the spectrum that runs from Left to Right. That said, the line that runs from us downward to that spectrum falls on the far Right end of it; so, the world considers us Rightists, when properly speaking we are reactionaries; for traditionalists in these latter days, there is no other option.
But we are also Christians, first and foremost; so that, even if we did fall on the spectrum that runs from Left liberalism to Right liberalism, the last sort of thing we would do is issue death threats, or a fortiori try to carry them out, as a Left liberal has already tried to do to Brett Kavanaugh.
As Terry has rightly noted, there are nuts on every side, so there may be some Right liberals out there, or even reactionaries, who are into murder and threats thereof. But, historically, it has mostly been the Left liberals who are into murder. Sc., Roe.
We are reactionaries; so, the intersection of our views with those of the far Right liberals (such as, say, Tucker Carlson) is sizeable. We are not ‘in the middle’ when it comes to abortion. Abortion is murder, and reactionaries oppose murder. Because why? Because it is an evil sin. And, not adventitiously, because we favor civilization, to which a cult of murder is antithetical. .
You’ve been reading here for a long time, with an open mind. I’m surprised to think that this might be news to you.
You say that but your side seems to defend everything the extreme right puts out there. Your side also seems to defend shame as a virtue even though your side claims not to think about shame much of the time.
Like I said, the intersection of reactionary attitudes toward questions of public policy and those of Right liberals is extensive. But we believe in all sorts of things that Right liberals find horrifying, even incomprehensible: monarchy, integralism, and so forth.
Speaking only for myself – although I think my attitude is typical for most serious Christians – I *never* think about shame. I think about guilt a lot, though: my own. When I apprehend guilt in another, my first response is to pray for him; and to ask God to help me pluck the beam out of my own eye.
One of the nice things about Christianity is that, once one has confessed and been absolved, one no longer need feel ashamed before the Face of the Most High. So, one doesn’t. Shame kind of drops off the radar at that point.
If shame is on your radar, you probably still have something on your conscience, of which you feel yourself truly guilty, and so feel ashamed (a condition which can lead to the many toxic pathologies you have retailed at your own site). Best then to confess it, repent of it, make amends insofar as that is practicable, and do penance: and receive absolution. Such a great feeling!
Winston: nobody here is shaming you. We might be challenging you, as Terry has done; but we are not shaming you. If you feel ashamed here, the shame is coming from within you.
That’s not the point. I’m simply pointing that you say you wash your hands of these things (death threats, shame) but you defend them at the same time.
Why can’t the left do the same with the death threats you accuse them of?
When has anyone here ever defended death threats? I can’t recall anyone defending shame as such, either.
Both you and JMSmith have defended shame as a means of correcting wrong behavior. But let’s not use that as example as it seems to be a trigger to you guys.
I never said you defended death threats. What I was trying to say was that you defend the political right with one hand (Trump) but then try to wash your hands of the egregious consequences of their actions and rhetoric (death threats).
Trump has issued death threats? That’s news to me. When did he do that?
Death threats are not a consequence of the sorts of policies advocated by the Right. On the contrary. To think so is to indulge in the intellectual confusion so characteristic of the Left.
Leftists can certainly disavow the insane calls to civil violence issued by some of their leaders (such as Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, et al.). But it is obtuse to pretend that these threats of violence are not coming from Leftist archons (whether Senators or petty Antifa goons with bullhorns egging mobs to arson and looting).
Winston, you’ve got to stop talking about our “side” as though it is a monolith, and disabuse yourself of the notion that approval of Trump (or anyone) entails approval of everything he and his followers say and do, and of all their effects. Some things that some people on the Right do and say meet with our approval (aristocracy, private property, and so forth); some other things that some people on the Right do and say meet with our disapproval (death threats, advocacy of slavery, tyranny, tolerance of homosexual “marriage,” and so forth).
So, we like Trump for a lot of things – appointing originalist jurists, say – and dislike him for others. His policies are mostly sane, unlike those of the Left, which are demonstrably incoherent, indeed crazy, and therefore counterproductive, tending to poverty, oppression, murder, and war. So, yeah, we like Trump better than the left. Do we hold him responsible for the acts of all his followers? No, of course not; that would be stupid. Do we think everything he says and does is good and proper? No, of course not; that would be stupid. Do we think all the effects of his actions are good? No, of course not; that would be stupid.
When you say that shame seems to be a trigger for us, it seems to me that you are projecting. You are the one who is always bringing it up, often in discussions about topics that have nothing to do with it. It seems to be always on your mind.
Shame must have some psychosocial utility, to be sure, or there would be no such thing. But, ditto for war. Am I in favor of war? No, of course not. Do I defend war? No. There are a few good things about it – especially if it is just – but it’s a horrible evil, mutatis mutandis. Likewise shame has some points in its favor, but because it is a species of pain, it is not something I would say that I defend.
When you as President rile people up with false claims about a stolen election, death threats will likely follow as they did here.
And you can demonstrate that the election was not rigged? How?
Did Trump say that anyone should be killed? No? Then he didn’t issue any death threats, and it is just silly to blame him for death threats he did not issue.
Bill Barr said the claims were baseless. The federal courts threw out all the cases brought by the Trump administration. The Arizona “audit” found no evidence of election fraud sufficient to change the result. No other evidence was found anywhere else.
Trump should know these baseless claims would lead to violence.
Yeah, all those claims that there is no evidence of election fraud are widely, deeply, massively discredited. You just haven’t heard about that because you are not reading the sites that spell it out. Bill Barr likewise, I suppose. It is not the mission of the Orthosphere to discuss the details of electoral politics, however, so I’m not going to get into the millions of details that I’d have to retail in order to demonstrate my case. Other sites are doing that, admirably.
So you admit that Trump did not issue death threats. But you think he should be held responsible for those who did. Guilt by association, eh? So, would you agree then that, by the same token, Marx should be held responsible for the 50 million deaths caused by Communists in the 20th century? Is that how it works? If you said, “This restaurant sucks,” and the friend who heard you went and killed the chef, you’d be responsible for the murder?
When did I say Trump issued death threats? What I said was he created a situation (under false pretenses) where death threats were likely to occur.
Yeah, I know that you have not said that Trump issued death threats. You are suggesting rather that he should be held responsible for the acts of others. That’s nuts. He’s responsible for his acts, and the scoundrels who issue death threats – whether they conceived the notion of doing so from hearing Trump, or whether they are the Majority Leader of the Senate, are responsible for theirs.
If I say “I hate that guy,” and hearing me you up and shoot him, *you* are guilty of murder, *not me.* Get it?
He has an excitable political base that will believe what he says despite all evidence to the contrary. It should come as no surprise to any reasonable person that death threats would result. If you choose not to hold him responsible that’s your prerogative.
So if you are an excitable guy and I tell you that I think Biden won by massive fraud, and then you go issue death threats against Biden, I am responsible for your death threats? Winston, that’s just nuts. It is not how the law works, because it is not how the world works. *You* are responsible for what you do. Not me. Trump is responsible for what he does; not for what anyone else does, who is not acting on his orders.
Why are you so determined to shame Trump?
He was the President of the United States and should respect the institutions he took an oath to protect.
If he honestly thought the election was fraudulent, his oath bound him to say so.
Well again, he had no reason to believe that. His Attorney General told him so. And as President he should be extra careful not to upset the precedent that had been respected by every President before him.
How do you know what Trump knew? How do you know he didn’t have evidence of fraud that Barr’s comped DOJ did not, or that it hid from Barr? You don’t. You just have a belief that you like a lot and are determined to hang onto. So you disregard the evidence that contradicts it.
Again, not just Barr, the federal courts (some judges of which were Trump appointees), that audit in Arizona… if there is credible evidence Kristor, where is it? When you say I have a belief that I like a lot and are determined to hang on to it sounds like you are the one who is projecting.
Hah! That’s pretty good.
The evidence is all over the place, you just have to look for it. As a start, you might want to watch 2,000 Mules.
That you lost your case in court does not mean the truth is not on your side. Most of the court cases were tossed out on technicalities, like jurisdiction. And there are audits, and then there are “audits.” Keep watching. There will be more shoes to drop.
So 2000 Mules is what you are relying upon? Again, I think you just want to hold onto your belief rather than look at this rationally. But I suppose you will believe what you want to and nothing I can say will dislodge you or your ilk of your opinions.
This is why it was so irresponsible of Trump to do what he did.
No, I haven’t seen the movie. But I’ve read that it is a pretty good introduction to one of the various types of election fraud that took place. So you might want to check it out as a starting point. There’s always something more to learn.
I’ve been following news of the fraud from a distance – and without much interest – since the election. There have been thousands of stories about it – albeit, not (of course) in the mainstream media. If your sources are limited to the mainstream media, you are seeing only the propaganda issued in support of the Establishment Narrative, the Party Line.
If Trump was honestly convinced that the election was fraudulent, his duty was to be honest with the nation about it, and to do all in his power to expose and correct the situation. Not that he really had much power, when push came to shove, in the contest with the Deep State.
If you don’t know exactly what Trump knew in January 2021 – which of course you don’t – you have zero basis for passing judgement on him for doing what he did with the knowledge he had. Because you are just as ignorant as I about Trump’s knowledge in January 2021, you are passing judgement only on the basis of your prior prejudices, and not on facts.
I’m not going to convince you of anything by adducing facts that are uncomfortable to you; that don’t comport with your preferred view of the world. But as an honest intellect, you might want to take the trouble to examine the evidence. 2,000 Mules might be an easy way to start. But I’m betting that you won’t want to do that.
You are suggesting I watch a movie that you have not bothered to see to convince me of your point? I would trust Bill Barr and the Trump appointed federal judges over that. But I’ll give it a look see if I run across it.
Half of the conceit of liberals everywhere is treating Trumps base as something different than “normal people”.
“He has an excitable base” = “The idiots that follow Trump will do whatever he says”, which then becomes “will do whatever he implies”, which becomes “will do whatever I imagine he wanted them to do”.
If we treated Trumps base as normal, intelligent, ordinary people, like you Winston, Kristor here, myself, others–people capable of discerning political truths from the overwhelming firehose of garbage that is being spewed forth; people capable of holding nuanced political opinions.
But it’s easier to say “Trumps ROWDY BASE is at it again, mindlessly storming the grounds around the capitol, waving flags and bibles menacingly and with deadly intention”. Because then you don’t have to think of them as people, they are just the Low Men available at that moment to pin the crime on.
Where do you think the Trump supporters are now? Would you recognize them without MAGA hats? Would you recognize them at the watercooler at the office, giving you the right-of-way in traffic, scanning your groceries at the grocery store?
I said his base is excitable because it has proven itself to be excitable. I said his base will believe what he says without evidence because that is what happened.
But that still doesn’t make him responsible for what other people did. You get that extremely simple, basic principle of morality and justice, right? No matter what I say, you are responsible for what you do in response; not me.
The President occupies the bully pulpit. By “virtue” of his authority he has an augmented persuasive power. He also took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, not to undermine it. He violated this oath. And yes, I do hold those who follow him without taking responsibility for the truth responsible.
So you don’t hold Trump responsible for the death threats? Where are these death threats, by the way? I have not read anything about them.
Chuck Schumer and Maxine Waters on the other hand have threatened political violence if they don’t get their way. I’ve seen them do it on tape, inciting mobs to insurrection. They took oaths to uphold the Constitution, too.
Well, how about that? Thanks, Winston; I hadn’t read about that. I mean, I had read about the death threats against the Justices of the Supreme Court, and I knew of course about the lefty nut who shot up a baseball field of Republicans, and the guy they caught stalking Kavanaugh, etc. ad infinitum. But I hadn’t read about the death threats to the members of the January 6 Committee.
Now you know 😉
“Death threats” are always, always fake. No serious assassin warns his prospective victim. Most are normal straight-up hoaxes written by the threatened party to defame the ostensible threatening party. Sometimes “death threats” are written by actual assassins, but in a way that pins the blame on someone else. Sometimes they are written by a third party who throws the blame on someone else, and then hopes a fourth party will take advantage of the cover to do the bloody deed. In a sane political order, anyone who claims they have received a “death threat” would be shot as a devious liar. The Jan. 6 committee was put together by devious liars, so they naturally received “death threats.” They also received chairs, nameplates and under-the-table bribes.
If death threats aren’t important the why are you guys getting so upset about them?
Dude, you are the one who raised the topic of death threats on this thread, and made such a huge deal about how Trump should be held responsible for them, even though he didn’t issue them. It’s your deal, not ours. JM Smith has just ably explained why we are *not* worked up about them. They are almost entirely bullshit, like everything else in the mainstream media. All pap to gull the midwits.
I did not raise the subject of death threats. I responded to someone else who raised the subject.
Kristor–could you point me in the direction of those sites? I would like to read more about this; I already suppose the election was stolen but I want to know how they did it.
See my reply to Winston Scrooge below.
I’ve already answered twice the point raised in your first sentence. As for the second: Winston, dude: our side – the orthosphereans – *never talks about shame.* It just isn’t on our list of things that interest us, or worry us. Indeed, I’ve never seen anyone, anywhere online, who is as tied up with shame as you. You are *the only one who talks about it.* It’s your thing, in rather the way that White Supremacy is Thordaddy’s thing (all proper props to Thordaddy, who (like you) has some interesting and valuable things to say). Why are you so obsessed with shame? I urge you to seek counsel with a spiritual director and confessor respecting this issue. It is dominating your thought. Nothing should dominate your thought, apart from the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. I urge you, brother: get out from under your shame; so that you may then get on with the real work at hand.
This is simply a lie. The anti-abortion has a very active terrorist wing that goes far beyond death threats, they’ve murdered at least eleven people and committed countless lesser acts of violence and intimidation. Any abortion provider lives under a threat of death, any of them could be the next George Tiller. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence#United_States
Of course, if you really believe abortion is murder, then murder and violence in order to prevent it could be considered justified. That at least would be a respectable argument; denying that violence is being deployed is just denying reality.
Calm down, a.morphous. Did you not read what I wrote?
If you are issuing death threats, as Leftists are wont to do whenever they get their panties in a twist or wake up on the wrong side of the bed, then, hello, you stupid ridiculous idiot, *you are not on our side.* If you are murdering people, then, by God, you are nothing more than a criminal, and a tool of Satan. I.e., our sworn adversary.
No; absolutely false. If you believe abortion is murder, then, *precisely because you abhor murder* and believe it is *absolutely wrong in all circumstances* (this being why you object to abortion), you are going to abhor the murder of abortionists.
You get this, right? Right? You are not an utter fool, I know; so yeah, you get it. You just don’t want to admit as much. What does that make you? Does it make you false? Does it make you a liar?
Pro tip: don’t accuse your interlocutors of lying unless you know for a fact that they are lying. I am not a liar. You are wrong to accuse me of lying. Admit this, or else admit implicitly that you yourself are a liar, on account of your having stated as fact what you do not know to be fact.
As for the substantive point at issue, namely, that of murder: those who murder pregnant women are generally charged with two murders: first of the mother, and second of the baby she was bearing when she was killed. Why? Why 2 murders, when the murdered baby was (per the baby murder lobby) just a bunch of meat? We await your explanation of this logic.
Recall as you answer that you are yourself, according to your modern notions, just a bunch of meat. So, what is good enough for the aborted baby is good enough for you. If killing that baby is not murder, then killing you would not be murder. I.e., it would be OK, totally, no prob. How does that seem to you?
If killing babies is OK with you, on account of the fact that they are just meat, then presumably – given your great logical consistency – killing abortionists who are also just meat is OK with you too, right? So, if crazy people LARPing as Christians were to kill all the abortionists, why then that would be no more problematic than if they had aborted all their babies and then stopped at McDonalds on the way home and eaten lots of burgers. Right? Right?
I don’t. But I can understand the deep and frustrated anger of those who send those threats. The RINOs on the committee are not on my team.
Is there a June 2 committee?
I will apologize for calling your statement a lie, which implies an intent to deceive. I’m sure you are absolutely sincere and not lying about anything. You are just wrong, not lying, and if you believe wrong things you are probably the victim of a lie, not its originator.
You say you are not on the side of the violent anti-abortion terrorists. Good for you! But you must understand that to a normal person this disclaimer sounds false, or at least irrelevant. The political facts of the day are this: The antiabortion movement is just that, a well-organized political movement, focused on a single goal, with long-term discipline and with arms that range from the Supreme Court down to the idiot tools of Satan making bombs in their basement. This movement won a victory on Friday, and the result will be that the force of the state will be employed to control what women can do with their bodies. Their rights have been curtailed as a result of the actions of this movement as a whole.
One can almost admire the organizational skill, long-term thinking, and sheer determination of this movement, despite its pernicious goals. If only the left knew how to do that! They used to, or used to at least talk like they did.
This movement and its victory is the current political reality, whether you personally eschew violence is really somewhat irrelevant – a violence-using movement has seized enough state power that it can deploy the violence of the state against women’s freedom of choice. If your non-participation in the violence makes you feel better about yourself, that’s fine, but that doesn’t change the reality of what is actually going on.
We are all meat but some of us are more meatheaded than others.
If you are going to ascribe opinions to me, perhaps you could provide some direct quotes, otherwise it’s going to be just your misunderstandings or misrepresentations of what I believe. I guess I’ll go with the former since I don’t want to accuse you again of lying.
Both sides of the abortion debate believe that persons have rights that need to be respected; they disagree about what constitutes a person and what those rights are and how they are to be resolved when they conflict. There is no “we are all meat, let’s kill arbitrarily” faction, except in your fevered imagination.
Yeah, likewise, and back at you. I do honestly feel you are sincere in your opinions, and I think you are just wrong, not lying. Insanely wrong, NB. I have a hard time understanding how a mind good at math, such as yours, can credit so many contradictory propositions.
Projection alert. You think the Right works as coordinately as the Left? In your dreams. Have you not seen those clips where *every local news show reads off the same bit of propaganda from the Establishment Narrative Party Line*? The Left is totally organized and coherent, compared to the Right.
Stop whining. If your side’s almost total control of the means of propaganda, *for decades,* has not yet sufficed to its total cultural victory, there can be only one explanation: your notions are wrong. They just don’t work. They are sick. And normies can see that. Which is why your party is in the tank right now.
That’s certainly true. Nobody wants it publicly recognized that their philosophy is, as you say, that we are all just meat, which entails that there is no moral problem with killing any of us. People who went public with that would lose elections, and power (i.e., power to kill using the institutions of the state). So almost nobody who honestly thinks we are all just meat is willing to admit it.
But there are lots of people like yourself who think we are all meat. And if we are all meat – meat through and through, only meat, just as unborn babies are nothing but globs of meat – then there is no moral reason that could prevent us from the deletion of any sorts of such globs ad libitum, the way that such people delete their babies.
So it is that whenever the Left has come to tyrannical power, lots and lots of all sorts of globs of meat have been deleted by agents of the Leftist Establishment.
PS: The question I posed still stands: when a pregnant woman is murdered and her unborn baby then dies, there are two counts of murder brought against her murderer: why?
Addresses of Supreme court Justices posted. All of them are now targets of assassination:
Just know that “winstonscrooge” is a stand-up comedian. In this context, “things” make much more sense.
Well, now we’ve (meaning, you’ve) descended into quibbling over words and phrases, or, rather, the meaning of words and phrases. info did not raise the subject of death threats, you did, as Kristor rightly noted. What info raised was the subject of *assassination attempts* – it goes without saying to everyone who has participated in this discussion, excluding apparently you and possibly a.morphous, that *death threats* and *assassination attempts* are two different things. e.g., the attack on Senator Seward was an assassination attempt; whereas any threat on his life, idle or otherwise, is what we commonly refer to as a “death threat.”
Not quibbling Terry. I would not have brought it up had it not been brought up by that other right wing fellow to besmirch the left.
Sorry, Winston. Info raised the topic of an actual assassination attempt on Justice Kavanaugh by a leftist nutcase, in the very first comment to this thread. In the second comment to this thread, you raised the topic of death threats. Death threats are just words. Assassination attempts are acts. You understand the difference perfectly well, so I shan’t belabor you and our other readers with any further explanation.
Yes, I am the one quibbling.
So I take it then that it would not make much of a difference to you, whether a man threatened your life, on the one hand, or actually tried to end it, on the other.
You are familiar, I feel sure, with the playground aphorism about sticks and stones, words and bones.
So you don’t think the right wing extremist who sent the Republican congressman on the January 6th committee is willing or capable of acting on his threat?
Btw, this was never a distinction you were trying to make during the course of this tiresome exchange.
Well, I’ll make it now, because it matters. As JM Smith has pointed out, death threats are almost always bogus. Actual assassination attempts are … *actual.*
There are some right wing nutcases out there, perhaps, I suppose, who have issued some death threats. Meanwhile from the archons of the Left – Senators and Members of Congress – we hear strident calls for political violence and the overthrow of our constitutional government. The technical term for words of that sort is sedition. And lo, there has been a great deal of political violence since the last Federal election, perpetrated by the Left. That’s real stuff, not just words.
We hear now that the Pentagon will disregard abortion laws enacted by states in the aftermath of Dobbs. The Pentagon has declared itself above the law.
Think about that.
And yes, of course the nut who threatened Republican members of the January 6 Committee might be capable of following through on his threat. But he has not yet done so. Meanwhile, a leftist nutcase has already tried to follow through on the thousands of death threats issued against the conservative Justices of the Supreme Court.
This is getting real.
So we are in agreement. There’s no place for violence and the threat of violence coming from either the left or the right in our political discourse. Moreover, the constitution and the political process should be respected by all politicians and not undermined by false claims of voter fraud etc.
No, we are not in agreement. I mean, yes, political violence – indeed, violence per se, and threats thereof – are bad. But we disagree over whether the claims of electoral fraud in the 2020 election are true or false. You say they are false; I say that we still have quite a way to go before we can be sure one way or the other, if we ever can; and that it behooves us therefore to investigate those claims as thoroughly as possible, and get to the bottom of the situation, so as to remove all doubt of our electoral integrity, either by demonstrating it, or by rooting out its corruption.
What undermines the Constitution more: claims of voter fraud, or *actual* voter fraud? Obviously, the latter. Those who object to the former cast themselves thereby under suspicion of cooperation – even if only in spirit – with such of the latter as there may have been.
You didn’t even watch the movie you say convinced you that there was voter fraud. How can any investigation (which was and is going on) satisfy you if you only believe the sources that confirm your bias?
You’ve misrepresented me. I didn’t say that 2,000 Mules convinced me. I said that, while I hadn’t seen it, I had read that others whom I credit thought it was pretty good, and that it might be a good place for you to begin examining the evidence of one type of voter fraud that seems to have corrupted the 2020 election.
I could ask you the same thing. Indeed, I already have, in effect:
If you buy that Line, then boy o boy, are you ever a juicy credulous mark.
If Bill Barr doesn’t buy your “sources” why should I? Is he brainwashed by the mainstream media? Does he not have access to the information you tout?
Maybe you should think for yourself instead of letting Bill Barr do it for you. Just check the evidence, and see what you think.
Don’t you think it’s compelling that a Trump loyalist, and Attorney General broke ranks with him over this issue? Mike Pence too. Don’t you think if there was credible evidence it would have been brought to light by Fox News or accepted by the Trump appointed federal judges?
What makes you think any of those personages are not compromised? This is the Deep State we are talking about. They’ve compromised the Pope, for God’s sake. They can get to the Attorney General, and to the producers at Fox. Just read the article and … think.
Yes, in fact you are the one out of step. Were you ever in the military? If so, you’ll know what I mean by “do a half-step and get back in step with the group”; if not, look it up. You don’t necessarily have to agree with us, but we all must agree on the definition of the terms and phrases we’re using, otherwise there is a real breakdown in communication between otherwise intelligent minds. You “get that,” right? As I’ve noted many times before, there are three (3) *minimal requirements* for intelligent communication between minds: (1) a mind capable of *transmitting* an intelligent thought; (2) a mind capable of *receiving* an intelligent thought; and (3) a common mode of communication (a language) between them. As I’ve also noted many times, it is, in my personal experience, (3) where communication almost always breaks down and becomes unintelligible to one side or the other, or both.
There aren’t any violent pro-abortion terrorists, barring the occasional nut. That is very much not the case on the other side which has a well-funded and coordinated terror network.
No idea what you are talking about. If it is transgender issues, I don’t think the state is in the business of forcing surgery on anyone, outside of wingnut fever dreams.
I wasn’t whining, I was acknowledging that the Right has won a great victory, thanks to their superior coordination. Take the victory lap!
Of course it is not true that “my side” has “total control of the means of propaganda”. The right has a very robust propaganda network, led by Fox News but with many many other outposts. They haven’t done much to penetrate the realm of educated, civilized opinion, but that doesn’t matter, they have more than enough influence, as recently demonstrated.
The country – normies included – supports the right to abortion and disapproves of the recent SC decision: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/27/overturning-roe-is-unpopular-and-viewed-largely-political/ Normies, especially female normies, don’t like the government telling them what they can do with their bodies and they don’t like the people who presume to dictate to them.
Hey, thanks for that link, a.morphous. The photo of the harpy just below the headline made my day.
Or wait: is she, technically, a harpy, or a banshee? Or, perhaps, a siren? Inquiring minds want to know …
Dozens of Pro-Life Centers and Catholic Churches Attacked, Set Ablaze as SCOTUS Weighs Roe v. Wade.
List of States and cities in the US banning conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
OK, thanks, my old friend! On now to the next fracas, right? I know for sure that you, at least, will comport yourself honorably therein. By the way, thanks for your apology above. I truly do appreciate it, and indeed honor it. No harm, no foul.
Well, OK, not total, sure, or the Orthosphere would not exist. Granted. Forgive my hyperbole. But note that I said, “*almost* total.” An exaggeration, perhaps. But come on, OK? Is my hyperbole really inaccurate? Fox and the Orthosphere and the whole panoply of right wing sites that are making such massive inroads with your midwit gulls are small potatoes compared to *all the other networks,* all the papers, Google, Amazon, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, on and on and on. Plus Hollywood, all the big corporations, Madison Avenue, the Feds and all the State governments, all the municipalities, all the universities and schools (but for Hillsdale and a few others), all the non-profits, all the foundations and professional associations (other than a few holdouts like Hoover and Cato), and all the bakery shops that don’t want to be put out of business because they didn’t post Havel’s Placard in their windows prominently and enthusiastically enough. All of them, terrified, because they don’t want to be cancelled, and want only to be left alone; or, who Truly Believe (Eric Hoffer, call your office). Please. Give me a break. You know how this works. You know perfectly goddamn well the reality of the situation. Please don’t insult me – your old and true friend, who would take you into his house to hide you when your side’s Terror decided you were heterodox damnable fish bait – by pretending otherwise.
So they *have* penetrated the realm of educated, civilized opinion; namely, the Supreme Court. Sucks, I know. Sorry. This is what happens when you found your policies on incoherent principles. Sooner or later. Sooner, sub specie aeternitatis. And in the austere view of the Supreme Court.
Leftist surveys by Leftist organizations. Surely they are accurate, no? Like the elections whereby Stalin and his ilk were elected by margins of more than 90% of the electorate?
Sorry, my dear. Your surveys are bogus. So will the next election be bogus, and for the same reasons.
NB: That will not mean that the counterrevolution is not under way. Modernism is bankrupt. To wit:
Check out the horror and disgust on the face of that poor little girl on the right. What else do you need to know, my friend? This is why 1 million Democrats have registered as Republicans in the last few months. Bite it.
Evidence of election fraud is inherent to the leftist mantra of “by any means necessary.”
And if one does not start here in his critical assessment then he is just not Right.
Bullets will do nothing in the long term. Death breeds death. Our Lady said at Fatima “pray the Rosary daily”.
We are not at war against flesh and blood but against dark spiritual entities.
Sure. But it’s responsible just in case they target you or your loved ones with violence.
Quite right. We are not looking for a fight. But when a fight comes to us, it behooves us to be ready.
Bullets established the USA, which is almost 250 years old. “Bullets” have kept numerous Empires going for centuries.
People praying their Rosaries are ultimately dependent upon people with bullets and the wherewithal to shoot them. Not to say the trigger-pullers aren’t also people who pray the Rosary.
“People praying their Rosaries are ultimately dependent upon people with bullets and the wherewithal to shoot them. Not to say the trigger-pullers aren’t also people who pray the Rosary.”
You are in for a rude awakening if you put all your trust in bullets.
The prophecies from Akita and Fatima mention a Sodom-like punishment on a global scale.
This is why I call to pray the Rosary daily.
Religious belief and praxis is socially salutary and good, but if you want your Christendom or your Zion or your Caliphate, you will have to use bullets at some point.
Christianity is disappearing from the land of its birth; the other team had more bullets.
Pray the daily Rosary for the end of the culture of death and for the conversion of sinners.
If you are not praying at least 1 Rosary a day, you are not fighting.
I needed this cold splash of water, APC Carrier. Thank you.
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Winston: “What I said was he [Trump] created a situation (under false pretenses) where death threats were likely to occur.”
This sets up an impossible standard to allow for political discourse: Don’t question the party line because that might result in death threats! Virtually all political discourse involves competing claims of what is true, and the claims should be engaged and investigated directly and not simply shut down. The Democrats made claims that Trump’s 2016 election was illegitimate because he “colluded” with the Russians. These charges were engaged directly and refuted. I don’t remember Republicans responding by saying “You can’t discuss this! There might be death threats!” But you can enlighten me if you remember that.
The Democrats need to disabuse themselves of the notion that disagreeing with the Democratic Party is an incitement to violence.
Quite. One reason I sometimes (although I’m not as prone to do so as I once was, say, 20 years ago) “yack” about the importance of reading the Federalist writers, on that and several other topics, is that they (the Federalist writers) committed a number of successive papers to addressing that potentiality and its relation to “the mode of electing president” under Constitutional stipulations, as agreed to in the Constitutional Congress. Meanwhile, and as you know I’m sure, it isn’t like the good ol’ U.S. of A. isn’t “guilty as charged” with the same bullshit in trying to effect the outcomes of foreign elections “we” have an interest in affecting, for goodness sakes. It’s just that when “we” do it, in the name of “Democracy,” or “making the world safe for democracy,” or whatever, it is “good and true and righteous altogether”; whereas when, say, the Russians do it, well, now, “we” ought to murder every last mother’s son of “those Commie Bastards” for trying to manipulate the outcomes of our elections.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and all that. Besides, “we” really don’t want to get into a real war with the likes of Russia; they’d kick the shit out of our queer and fag “military.”
Except that Hillary Clinton conceded the election to Trump and Trump did not to Biden. Big difference.
Hillary conceded – not personally, but by the offices of her campaign manager (for she was too distraught and terrified and drunk to do it herself) – because it was quite apparent to her, and to everyone on Earth, that despite her campaign’s concoction of a false story of Russian interference in the election, she had definitively lost. Trump per contra refused to concede because he believed that the 2020 election had been massively corrupted, and that he had in fact won by a landslide. His claims in respect to the 2020 election have not been decisively controverted. On the contrary, they have been massively supported (albeit, not as reported by the mainstream media, upon which you seem to rely). This is in stark contrast to the 2016 election, in which it is obvious that the Hillary campaign paid for and arranged the specious claims of Russian interference.
The Hillary campaign of 2016 lied, enormously, and manifestly. The Trump campaign of 2020 merely raised questions, which have not been answered.
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This is for Winston: https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/17/jan-6-committee-ignores-clear-evidence-of-mass-illegal-voting-systematically-broken-election-laws/
Thanks, Bill! You saved me a bunch of time. I’m good at remembering what I read online, but terrible at finding it again later …
Have you checked any of the links or supporting materials this article relies on to base it’s argument?
No; like I said, the topic doesn’t interest me that much (in no small part because I view the gutter fight between the Democrats and the Republicans as little more than a puppet show to distract the midwits and convince them that there is a real democracy with real factions, and that the outcome of the gutter fight will matter in the long run); and I’ve read lots and lots of articles that mention lots of the stuff detailed in the article Bill sent along, so that the story it tells fits well the data I already know about.
Have you checked any of the links or supporting materials of the stuff you’ve read online or news shows you’ve seen that convinced you there was no election fraud?
Excursus: how does one demonstrate a negative empirically, in the first place? “We have discovered no evidence of election fraud.” Does that demonstrate that there was no election fraud? No. This is obvious.
Compare: “We have discovered no evidence of unicorns.” Does that demonstrate that there are no unicorns? No; obviously, it does not.
Compare: “We have discovered no evidence of European contact with North America prior to AD 1492.”
The bottom line: *all* merely empirical questions are *forever* open.
Like, have you checked Bill Barr’s sources? Do you know what they are, or how to check them? No. You do not. Nor do I. QED. It’s a puppet show, staged and orchestrated by the Deep State.
That’s right the one making the accusation of fraud has the burden of proof. The article bill linked to further convinced me there was no fraud.
Well, no doubt your opinion is dispositive of fact. How nice for you. I’m sure you did indeed check out Bill Barr’s sources, and verify them, all the way down. Probably you interviewed the FBI agents whose reports he relied upon, and then interviewed their stooges, right? You have penetrated to the depth of these issues, in a way that none of us who disagree with you have been able to do.
Good luck to you, then.
See, brothers, this is why Socrates inveighed against the Sophists.
My opinion is based on the weight of the evidence. Your opinion (on a subject you claim to have no interest in) is based on a movie you haven’t seen and articles claiming to have proof but not providing anything of substance.
Why do you defend something you are not interested in so persistently?
Your information is no better than mine. I look at the preponderance of evidence adduced by sources I trust (more or less), and arrive at a conclusion different from the one you have arrived at by looking at the preponderance of evidence (or, more properly, lack thereof, which is (as a matter of inductive logic) far less dispositive) adduced by sources that you trust – apparently without a jot of doubt.
Again, my opinion is obviously not based on a movie I have not seen. The absurdity of that notion is, I trust, obvious to you. It is just silly of you to suggest that I relied upon it, when from the very first I said that I had not. I recommended the movie to you only as perhaps a fruitful start of your own investigation of an alternative point of view, and – again – only on the basis of reviews I had read from people whose opinions I had for other reasons been given over many months to credit.
The fact that you are beating me up – and, indeed, lying – about this recommendation to you of 2,000 Mules ruins your rhetorical credibility, and effect. It should therefore in all justice ruin your own confidence in your opinions. It is a fatal tell.
Winston, if you don’t really want to examine honestly a perspective on this topic other than the one you have already decided works for you, then for the love of Christ, why don’t you just shut up about it? Why are you so worked up about the fact that we hold an opinion different than yours? Why do you care? Why not just drop it?
Please. If you don’t really want to honestly explore the possibility that you might be wrong, why not just drop the topic? If you are utterly convinced I am wrong about all this, then for the love of Christ, please, just drop it. What is it that stops you, from so doing? That might be a fruitful topic of your discussions with your spiritual director, or your confessor, if any such you have; or, for that matter, with your 3 AM conversations with our Lord.
Your continued obsession with this topic reads as deep seated insecurity with your stated opinions. Prove me wrong.
Do you feel, perhaps, ashamed at this dire critique? Dude: get over it. Just do the right thing. That heals all shame. Having done that, you can move on to other things, more important than your own petty predicaments. You can move on to true adventure. Try it. It’s really great!
I read the article you asked me to read that supports your position. It offers no proof for its claims. In fact it blatantly misstates the Georgia law it cites. I have not lied about the movie you suggested I watch. I have not resorted to ad hominem attacks as you have. If you want to drop this then drop it. I have no wish to quarrel with you.
Well, then, stop quarreling. Drop it! Easy, no? Nobody is forcing you to comment here. It’s totally up to you. Do then as you wish.
What proof can you offer for Bill Barr’s claims? Or any others, for that matter? If you’ve got anything, let us know. Otherwise, such claims are just pissing in the wind. Show us the proof of your claims. Is there any such? Of course not. All we get – all we can get – is your handwaving. It’s your opinion, based on an honest assessment of the facts, versus our opinion, based on an honest assessment of the facts.
This is the root problem of democracy: on democracy, there is no superordinate account of reality, to which the social order must coordinate, but rather only a jumble of such accounts, that settles to some basic equilibrium, like solutes in a solution. Yet, on any notion of cosmic order, *there must be such a superordinate account.* Otherwise, there could be no settlement of solutes in a solution.
I’ll stop commenting when you stop making accusations.
My opinion is based on the following facts. Then burden of proof rests with the one making the accusation. The courts have rejected the accusation of fraud. Bill Barr, a Trump loyalist who has access to all the evidence Trump has and was the attorney general rejected the claims of fraud. No actual evidence of fraud that would change the result of the election has been presented. The article you presented provides only accusations, no proof, misstates the law, and cites to documents which refute the accusations of fraud.
I think I’m on pretty solid ground. I also don’t want to see our election system and political institutions undermined by false accusations of fraud.
I have not insulted you. Let’s leave it at that.
What accusations have I made? How have I insulted you? When did I lie about 2,000 Mules? If you feel accused, or insulted, those feelings have been generated within you, not so much by outward phenomena such as my statements, as by routines at work in your psychic ecology that process certain sorts of statements incorrectly, and interpret them as discreditable to you, thus prompting feelings of shame. That would not make you different from me, or anyone: but for the rare saint who is also a sage, we all have such routines operant in us.
I think it is a statement of plain fact – and, thus, not an insult or accusation – that you lied about my statements regarding 2,000 Mules, and in so doing insulted *me.* You misstated what I had written. Oh, sure, maybe you just lost track of who wrote what. But then, this is the internet: it would have been the work of a moment or two to review the thread, and so to be sure that you were accurate in your representations. It seems that you omitted that step, perhaps on account of sloppiness or haste or strong feelings, but in any such case no less culpably.
But never mind all that. Just know that I certainly didn’t mean to accuse you of anything, or insult you.
The burden of proof does indeed rest upon the prosecution, as you say. But to those who watch as events unfold from a perspective heterodox to the Establishment Narrative, and who question the Party Line, it looks as though the machinery of justice in this country is perverted.
After all, every other institution in the society has been perverted: on what basis could we conclude that the system of Justice is immune?
Ditto, a fortiori, for our political institutions, such as the organs of elections.
If we’re having a discussion about evidence, I think it’s better to talk about the evidence and its merits rather than talking about one’s need to think and seek spiritual counseling.
As for our justice system, I think it is a good one, certainly compared to most other countries. It also has a deep and interesting history. I practice criminal law so I speak with some authority. It would be a shame to undermine it for political reasons. It would be a shame to cynically undermine it based on falsehoods.
The talk about spiritual work was in re your statements that you felt accused and insulted, not about the evidence of electoral fraud.
Charles Peirce famously mourned that only three sorts of Americans were in his day trained to think precisely: mathematicians, philosophers, and lawyers. You, Winston, are – as we now discover – a lawyer. So, you can keep this sort of stuff straight. Right?
I agree about our system of justice. My involvement in a civil case as an expert witness a few years ago encouraged me greatly. I suppose that was mostly down to the judge. He was a clever wise old guy, fair, and funny; he got all my jokes and pokes at the expense of the defense, especially under cross. I could hear his smothered chuckling next to me. At the end of my testimony, I felt almost sorry for the poor attorney for the defense; she had thought she had me totally to rights on several points, only to find herself utterly sandbagged on the substance – which, to be fair, I as an expert knew well, whereas she was doing her best to understand a field essentially foreign to her way of thinking. That is the curse of the lawyer’s career, and also the most interesting part, I suppose.
Man o man, do I ever love dialectic; especially when it is rhetorically devastating.
We won before that judge, for what that is worth; on then to the appeal, now several years underway. Maybe I’ll be called again; maybe I’ll have retired altogether by then.
That’s how it is, when you argue with me, see? Because, I am of the second sort that Peirce noticed. Not a professional philosopher, to be sure (o thanks be to God that I decided not to try that career path); but, trained.
Right. But it would be an even greater shame to let it run on corrupted, no? Whether the critique of the justice system by the Right is false or not is the very question at issue. It seems … well, frankly, stupid, to forestall consideration of that question because if the Right were correct in its critique the result would be to sap our confidence in the justice system. If the justice system is corrupt, we *should* in justice call all its acts into question. Critical, then, to establish without possibility of reasonable doubt the adamantine purity and incorruption of the justice system, if possible. But, then, also and likewise, if the justice system is indeed corrupt, *even more critical to find out that this is so,* so that we can correct the system.
How would we discover whether the justice system is corrupt, were we to rule out the very question thereof as wrecking confidence in the system?
An institution that cannot endure examination as to its corruption would seem eo ipso to be corrupt.
As to “cynicism:” talk about accusations! Pluck the beam out of your own eye! What a grotesque delusion you must suffer, and labor under, if you think any of our work here at the Orthosphere is “cynical.” Dude, my real name is on all my stuff here. I could be arrested tomorrow, like Roger Stone, on account of what I have here written about the Establishment, its Party Line, and its counterfactual insane propaganda SJW Narrative. Cynical, forsooth. Put your own real name up here on your comments, and you’ll begin to have something to talk about.
Trump is cynical. Yes, I make that accusation. He would rather convince his base of election fraud through false accusations (and in doing so undermine its credibility) in order to remain in power
Because you are an attorney, and trained to reason carefully, I feel sure that you can see quite clearly that your entire line of argument is founded upon the supposition that the election was not in fact fraudulent, and that Trump knew for certain that this was so. Only if that were true could he be said accurately to have acted cynically in publicly noticing the election fraud. If that supposition were false – whether as to the facticity of the fraud, or as to Trump’s knowledge thereof – then in calling out the election fraud, Trump was not only not being cynical, but was rather doing his plain duty as a patriot and as a government officer.
You keep repeating that the election was not fraudulent. But that is the very question at issue. You beg it, again and again. Again and again, you recur to begging the main question as the basis of your assertions. “But the election was not fraudulent!” OK: show me. Show me, e.g., Bill Barr’s sources, and explain how you investigated them for yourself and found that they checked out.
Winston, your repeated bootless attempts at rhetorical dodges and feints grow tiresome. That sort of move won’t work with me. Either address the issue directly, and with complete intellectual honesty, or stop talking about it until you have done so.
People who question the 2020 election keep getting arrested by the FBI. Why? Why is it so important to shut them up?
Since there is no credible evidence of election fraud that I have seen and a great deal of testimony from credible people (Barr, federal courts, audits, state election officials) saying the election was not decisively impacted by fraud, and the burden of proof rests with the person making the accusation, then yes I do suppose the election was not fraudulent. Because trump had plenty of people telling him (Barr) that the election was not fraudulent then, yes I do believe Trump should have known this was the case.
The burden of proof rests with you people who claim the election was fraudulent. I thought you agreed with that notion. Show me the evidence for your opinion.
I read Anonymous Conservative. He does a daily summation of links to headlines that catch his eye, from all corners of the media (from Gateway Pundit to the BBC); anywhere from 25 to 50 per day. Starting from the date of the 2020 election, he posted each day at least two headlines related to election fraud, and sometimes quite a few more. So, taking 2 headlines per day, that’s at least 1,210 stories about election fraud.
Some such stories vitiate the case for election fraud, of course. But I estimate that only about 20% fall into that category, because while it is possible to find hard evidence that something did happen, it is impossible to find hard evidence that it did not: only actual events have effects, and leave evidence; whereas what does not happen does nothing, and leaves no trace. Thus the most that the rhetorician can do to support his case that election fraud did not happen is adduce the statements of others that they themselves have not seen any such evidence. So, the stories that weaken the case for election fraud are of the sort that Winston has here noticed about a zillion times: e.g., “So and so report that they have found no evidence of election fraud.” The stories that strengthen the case for election fraud, on the other hand, tend to be about hard evidence: e.g., “So and so shares video of a truck full of ballots delivered to counting center after staff had been told to go home for the night.”
I invented those two examples, by the way. But they are not unrepresentative.
Anyway, let’s be generous and suppose that half of the links point to headlines of stories that weaken the case for election fraud. In that case, we would have 605 headlines that support the case for fraud, and 605 that weaken it. That’s 605 instances of “I have not seen any evidence that x,” and 605 instances of “Here is evidence that x.” That’s a lot of hard evidence for the naysayers to overlook. But they manage: “No, still have not seen evidence, where’s your evidence?”
NB: Anonymous Conservative generally adds a sentence or 50 of his own commentary right after each link. When I first began reading him, a lot of his commentary seemed off the wall kooky. After reading him for a while, it doesn’t seem so kooky, given how often he has exposed me to news stories about the other topics that interest him which are kind of out there, like UFOs.
Law follows culture, and “Justice system” follows Law, but justice properly construed is absolute. This, I think, is where there is some confusion.
The System of Justice is a discrete entity, a political beast unto itself, composed of persons in aggregate and capable of being influenced, just like any sufficiently large organization. The System of Justice does not represent absolute Justice–perhaps Winston doesn’t believe in Absolute Justice outside of the System of Justice.
For example: The culture believes abortion is OK, and so the law codified that characterization. The culture is changing, so the law is changing. We are about to get a state by state litmus test on where each state stands on the issue of Abortion. Some are already weighing in. Each state will pass laws that reflect the aggregate attitudes of the culture within that state. The system of justice will accept those codifications and enforce it.
This does not mean that abortion is just–it is not–just that our system considers it the law of the land and violations of the law of the land demand enforcement from authority.
Regarding the Jan 6 committee, and Trump, etc:
The system of justice is in the process of evaluating Trumps claims, and the system of Justice will probably find a way to admonish Trump based on the Laws of the land, because the culture generally opposes Trump. It is a travesty of absolute Justice, though. That’s where this gets confusing.
In a democracy, we agree that courts and tribunals get to decide what is true. The Jan 6 Committee will probably decide that the truth of the matter is that the Orange Man is Bad. That will not make it True in the absolute sense.
Absent belief in the transcendent and divine, it feels like the courts DO decide what is absolutely true. Winston seems to be arguing from that POV, while Kristor seems to be arguing from the former POV, and why both of you are using the same words but neither of you is mutually intelligible to the other.
Thanks, Scoot; an admirably succinct and accurate summation. But I must disagree: I think that Winston and I do understand each other, quite well. It’s just that we are on different sides of a divide. I am on the side of Justice, whereas Winston is on the side of the System of Justice.
It’s Socrates versus the Sophists; a pattern rhymed throughout history.
E.g., Winston keeps citing procedural facts generated by the System of Justice: “But Bill Barr said there was no fraud, and all Trump’s cases have been tossed out!” Those are truly facts. But they are facts, not of reality, but of the System of Justice that is intended and ordered to ascertaining reality, so as to respond aptly – in Justice – thereto, which the Right claims has been radically corrupted – like *all the other institutions of our society.*
“But wait a minute,” the objection runs, “if all the institutions have adopted the Leftist perspective, does that not indicate that the Leftist perspective is probably correct?” No. It doesn’t. It means that the Sophist rhetoricians have gulled a gullible electorate.
This is but one of the basic game theoretical problems with democracy: it puts the gulls in charge.
I.e., it puts the Sophists in charge.
Edit… This post should go here…
Evidence of election fraud is inherent to the leftist mantra of “by any means necessary.”
And if one does not start here in his critical assessment then he is just not Right.
I liked you better as a stand-up comedian. BTW, you’re not the guy in this video, are you?:
I joke, I kid, I tease.
Couldn’t your interlocutor simply turn this around? To wit: “Stipulate: a fair election happened. Since it is possible to find hard evidence that something did happen and impossible to find hard evidence that it did not, the most the rhetorician can do to support his case that a fair election did not happen is adduce the statements of others that they themselves have not seen any such evidence. After all, what does not happen does nothing, and leaves no trace.”
Good question. But, no, that doesn’t quite work. To say the election was fair is to say, among other things, that there was no election fraud. It doesn’t work the same in the other direction: to say there was no election fraud is not to say the election was fair; for, there are lots of ways that an election can be unfair (e.g., as in the USSR, the votes might never have been counted in the first place, or there might have been only one candidate), but only in the event that there was election fraud could there be election fraud.
If election fraud occurred, there must be evidence that it did (whether or not it is ever discovered or then recognized as such). If election fraud did not occur, there can be no evidence that it did, *and* there can be no evidence that it did not (because there can be no evidence of something that did not happen (unless what evidently did happen is logically inconsistent with what did not)). So, we can’t ascertain whether the election was fair. We can (possibly) ascertain only whether it was not.
This seems like a fairly radical skepticism. True, the fairness of an election is not the sort of thing we could have scientific certainty about, but surely in principle we could have a level of certainty commensurate to the sort of thing it is.
Take an analogous case: can’t I ascertain to reasonable degree of certainty whether a sports game was played fairly? Forget about professional sports. Say it’s a group of guys you play basketball with, and you know them all to be honest men. Must we say that because we can’t find evidence that none of them cheated (since what does not happen does not leave evidence), we cannot ascertain whether the game was played fairly?
Or just take any of the more mundane votes that happen every day: a group of friends vote between some choice of activities, a group of colleagues vote on whether to hire an applicant, a congregation votes on whether to commission some stained glass windows… The integrity of all of these would seem to be undermined by your skepticism.
It is not possible to be sure that there was no election fraud in *any* election. All we can hope to prove is that there was some fraud or other, because only what actually was might have left evidence of its facticity.
This is just logic: one cannot empirically prove a negative. “There are no unicorns” is not empirically verifiable. But it is empirically falsifiable. All it takes is one unicorn, or rhinoceros.
Likewise, “there was no election fraud” is not empirically verifiable. But it is empirically falsifiable. All it takes is one – or, a fortiori, several ten thousands – of fraudulent or for that matter formally inadmissible votes that were nevertheless admitted, despite their inadmissibility.
That said, there are elections that take place within a company whose members can take each other’s measure directly – companies that can range from a few to say 50 or so – and then there are the bureaucratically administered elections in question, in which votes are not just anonymous, but not even noticed. In elections of the former sort, it is pretty easy to be pretty sure – albeit, nowise certain – that nobody cheated, because everyone can just see what everyone else did, or did not do. The latter sorts of elections are a different story. In them, there is no way to assess one’s counterparties. So, they are fertile ground for corruption. Thus, so far are they from warranting any presupposition of integrity, that the argument of prudence would be rather that they should *never* be trusted to have been carried forth fairly. We should just take it for granted that all elections carried out in bodies greater than a local parish are almost certainly corrupt.
This is actually one of the most important critiques of democracy per se.
Is it really true that one cannot empirically prove a negative? True, perhaps I cannot prove that there are no unicorns anywhere, but I can certainly empirically prove that “there are no unicorns in my living room”: I can just go and have a look. The problem with proving the original statement seems to be simply a practical limitation of not being able to search everywhere and anywhere.
Moreover, can’t any affirmative statement simply be reformulated as a negative statement? Which would then leave us with the inability empirically to prove anything.
I defer to no one in my disdain for democracy, but couldn’t this argument just as easily apply to any large organization or process, e.g., government as such? Anything where there is incentive and opportunity for manipulating the system for one’s preferred ends and that is large enough such that it is impracticable to have any reasonable hope of catching many such abuses.
That’s a helpful clarification. I should have been more careful, and said that there is no way to prove empirically that x has not happened. Viz., I can prove that there is no lizard on my hand *right now* just by looking down. So, yes, the specification of the search space matters. But time also enters into it; for, time is one of the dimensions of the search space. Viz., I can’t ever prove that there was never a lizard on my hand (at most I can prove (by looking inward) that I don’t *remember* any such thing); and you can’t ever prove that there was never a unicorn in your living room. And, likewise, we can’t ever prove that there was never election fraud in 2020.
Affirmations can indeed be recast as negations. We can say equivalently that “the election was clean” and “there was no election fraud.” But the former form of the assertion reduces to the latter: the election could have been clean iff there was no election fraud; so, evidence of election fraud is the only sort that can count. It is utterly dispositive. The *only* way we can tell whether the election was clean is to see if there is any evidence of election fraud. But even if we find no such evidence, we can’t be sure the election was clean. All we can be sure of is that we haven’t yet figured out whether the election was clean.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Yes. All creatures fail; large fails big. Such is the basis of the doctrine of subsidiarity espoused by the Catholic Church, by libertarians, by military strategists, and by systems engineers. And by anyone with a jot of common sense or worldly experience. It is the *opposite,* NB, of the latter day fashion of the expertocracy. It is the basis of Lord Acton’s famous aphorism that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Let me press this a little further, if you’ll indulge me:
If we can challenge the reliability of my memory in order to vitiate the claim that there was never a lizard on my hand or that I have never seen a unicorn in my living room, cannot we take the same approach to the claim that there is not now a lizard on my hand or that there is not now a unicorn in my living room by challenging the reliability of my sense perception?
If we can’t accept the general reliability of my senses, then affirmative empirical claims can be no more proved than negative empirical claims.
If we can accept the general reliability of my senses, it seems we ought also to be able to accept the general reliability of my memory. Of course, people do forget things, and people’s senses do sometimes deceive them, but I’m not sure the fact that these things can sometimes be mistaken means that we cannot have a level of certainty about many things: it will depend on things such as how recently the event or non-event happened, its a priori likelihood of having happened or not happened, how many people remember it, whether there exist good reasons to doubt my sense perceptions or memory, etc. For example, I can say with certainty that there was not a lizard on my hand within the last minute. I am also pretty confident there was never a lizard on my hand over the course of my entire life thus far, but I am less certain about this than I am that there was not one on my hand within the last minute (perhaps there was one on my hand when I was two years old and have no conscious memory of it, or perhaps I’ve simply forgotten the time that it did happen). But I am confident there has never been a unicorn in my living room, not because I have been always present in my living room to have witnessed such a thing or because I have perfect recall, but because of the testimony of collective humanity that such things have never been observed to exist in modern times (as well as the general improbability of an animal that large being in my living room: I am also certain that a horse has never been in my living room).
Moreover, if we admit that the fact that memory can be mistaken means “that there is no way to prove empirically that x has not happened”, cannot this same appeal to unreliability of memory apply with equal force to the opposite claim, viz. there is “no way to prove empirically that x has happened”? Yes, things that happen leave evidence while things that don’t, don’t, but for me to evaluate any evidence requires that I remember such evidence.
Perhaps more, later.
These are great questions.
Oh, very good. But here we get to the root of epistemology. At that root, everything whatever is open to question. Rightly so, indeed. The *only* response we can have to that sort of radical skepticism is a faith in the deliverances of what is now before us; whether of our immediate apperceptions, or of our recollections of such apperceptions (which are themselves apperceptions of the present moment of experience). I see that there is no lizard, no unicorn; what, am I to suppose that there *is* indeed a lizard and an unicorn, despite all the evidence? On what basis? Likewise, by extension, I recall no lizard, no unicorn; what, am I to suppose that there *was* indeed such a lizard, and such an unicorn, again despite all the evidence I can possibly have? On what basis? The *only basis I have at my disposal* – indeed, the only basis I can *possibly* have at my disposal – is the one that takes my apperceptions to be at bottom veridical (albeit, open always to question, to be sure). If they are not veridical, then we have exactly nothing to go on, and no empirical finding whatever (including the findings of logic (and math, and metaphysics, and a fortiori theology), which are all founded upon apperceptions of truth, validity, and so forth) is possible.
Sure. But we *can* accept the general reliability of your senses. If we couldn’t, then, hey, game over, and no way to assert anything whatever. I.e., total philosophical bankruptcy.
In so saying, I take intuition of the forms to be a species of sensation; albeit not physically mediated; so, I suppose, of apperception generally.
Sure. No argument.
OK, great, this is getting juicy. The answer is yes. We can’t prove things empirically. Period, full stop. Back to Plato, right? We can adduce that x has happened, inductively, but we cannot prove that it has happened. Peirce was all over this. Popper, too. Hume, too, for that matter.
That said, if x happened, it must have left some residue in empirically ascertainable facts. If we can find no such residue, then x is called into question (albeit, not absolutely, but rather only for the nonce). But if we can find such residue, then the facticity of x is buttressed – but, not established altogether.
Thanks, Kristor. This is helpful, and I don’t see anything to challenge in your latest (for the moment, anyway…). I did, however, discover this post on proving a negative, which might be of interest:
I also want to take the opportunity to demur from Lord Acton’s famous aphorism: taken literally, it is false. Absolute power belongs only to God, Who is of course perfectly incorrupt and incorruptible.
As a general rule intended only to apply to fallen mortals, I’m not so sure how true it is either: men become more powerful when they become husbands and fathers, yet we don’t typically think of this as a corrupting influence, but rather as an ennobling one and something that as a general rule imbues them with a greater sense of responsibility. When men do become corrupted in fatherhood, we recognize this as an aberration. So likewise with many other positions of power, such as clergy or noble or monarch. The saying probably gets its force from the fact that liberalism hides accountability behind a web of procedures, bureaucracy, and formal qualifications in order to avoid the perception that personal authority is being exercised and to bolster the illusion of neutrality. In this way power becomes alienated from accountability and responsibility.
If the aphorism were modified to be: power creates the capacity for corruption, and greater power creates the capacity for greater corruption, then I might agree with it, but then, that’s not nearly so pithy. Or perhaps: power with lack of responsibility corrupts; power with absolute lack of responsibility corrupts absolutely.
Of course, I’m also partial to Donald Regan’s quip: “Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.”
Hah! All very good. Acton is of course referring only to Fallen men, and not to God; as he would have been the first to say. I’ll modify the aphorism yet further:
Thanks for sharing. Is there a website that aggregates non-mainstream reporting on the 2020 election fraud? It’s really hard to find stuff, because you can’t just Google “election fraud” without having to wade through thousands of WaPo and NYTimes articles calling you a good-for-nothing traitor.
Thanks for your help,
Jack, see my reply to Winston above.
Normies, especially female normies, don’t like the government telling them what they can do with their bodies and they don’t like the people who presume to dictate to them. — a.morphous
This isn’t Right. It is the abnormals who have ruthlessly colluded whiff UncleBeast in order to protect and then bureaucratically “sanctify” their “fundamental right to self-annihilate.” AND THEN… Proceed to CLAIM that such a self-annihilating disposition is a part of the American soul and own her very constitution. Even making claims that such self-annihilating disposition is actually in The Constitution, itself.
When a female concedes to the idea that her mother possesses a “fundamental right” to have killed her in utero then that female has done away with any recognizable constitution within. No constitution = no self.
A “constitutional right” to self-annihilate is a satanic perversion of Creation.
a.morphous doesn’t believe in Creation; he doesn’t really believe in anything, when you boil it all down. Nor does winstonscrooge, apparently, but I digress.
For my part, I could really care less what Yankee twits believe or don’t believe, … so long as they don’t foist that bullshit on me and mine through their illicit “federal” Courts and Court decisions. When they do – as with Roe v. Wade, 2A stuff and a multitude of others – that is when we have a problem. A BIG problem. The Christian South is finally (’bout time!) figuring out that we simply cannot live peacefully with these satanically influenced demons. My State (among others) is going to have to make it a priority, in the coming days and weeks, to lay down inviolable law declaring that when these infanticidal monsters go out of the state to procure an abortion, they are never allowed to come back in. Period. Meanwhile, their aiders and abetters will have to be held to full account as well. …
I don’t “believe in Creation”? What could that even mean? I have no problem with creation, It’s the Creator that I have my doubts about. If he exists, he’s obviously either evil or incompetent.
As for not believing in anything, that’s not right either. It would be nice to not believe in anything, as the prophet said, “convictions cause convicts” – what you believe imprisons you. But I haven’t quite reached that exalted state. I do believe in certain things, such as the power of the human mind to improve the world, to liberate itself, to govern itself, to define itself. To create itself, in fact. And for individuals to have the maximum possible freedom to manage their own affairs.
This puts me at odds metaphysically with you lot, who believe we are created by an external authority and our job is to conform to the laws set down by that authority. And the purpose of the state is to enforce that presumed authority on people whether they recognize it or not.
If the “Christian South” wants to go its own way, I say let it. We fought a civil war to keep them in the same country with civilized people, and while the good guys won, it’s obvious the real conflict was never settled, and the shithead brigade is stronger than ever.
If the two Americas could really untangle themselves and go their own way, what a blessed relief. You could have your theocracy and the rest of us could have a productive, modern, cosmopolitan civilization. Man, what this country could do without the dead weight of confederate morons dragging it down…well I can dream.
Of course it will never happen, the south is an economic parasite on the more productive regions of the country, they will be leaching off of civilization until they manage to destroy it.
If only! Please, let it happen! Also the montane West and for that matter the Midwest, from 50 miles inland of San Francisco all the way to the Atlantic; let that also go to the deplorables you so abhor. Pennsylvania, too, the way things seem to be going; and Upstate NY. Then, let history judge which sort of civilization is more likely to prosper: Communist, or capitalist; atheist, or theist; and so forth. Let the trial begin!
O wait, never mind: we already ran that trial, hard and a lot, throughout the 20th Century. Atheist Communism is demonstrably a massive fail, one of the stupidest ideas man ever had. We learned that.
So, back to perfecting Christendom. I.e., forward! Leave Atheist Communism where it belongs, in the dustbin of history.
Or until civilization destroys them, its parasites.
Or until – what is far more likely – the Left destroys itself, by means of its final homosexual solution – while the rest of the world proceeds on its way, leaving the Left to wallow in the mire of the sty it has chosen for itself.
a.morphous: We want you to have your Moloch worshipping brethren back. They’ve been poisoning the Southland and its western territories ever since their carpetbagging great-great grandparents began invading our lands during reconstruction. Good for you and good for us. What’s not to like about it? Meanwhile, Southerners – true Southerners – remain unreconstructed despite your best efforts. Good try, though.
One reason we want for you to have them back, a.morphous, is so they can “safely and legally” murder their babies at a clinic, instead of having to resort to the following:
Should be good for business, don’t ya think?
I am surprised at the witlessness of this response. Although not its falsity, I’ve come to expect that.
You can dislike the urban, industrialized, civilized parts of the country all you like, but there is no denying that that is where real economic productivity lies. I presume the reason you live in the SF Bay Area and not rural Nebraska has something to do with that, despite it being so vastly inferior a place to cultivate the Christian values you claim to hold.
A.morphous, much of this “economic productivity” that you reference is just a handful of dirtbag usurers making bets across the table from each other via derivatives and other self-referential securities.
Furthermore, have you seen any major leftist northern city recently? Between riots, homeless, trash, LGBT, widespread abortion, it would be a stretch to call any of these places “civilized.”
Well, you can probably anticipate the character and the substance of this response, but what the Hell.
Who said I dislike the urban parts of the country? I don’t. I think cities are great, and many of them have been getting better and better as the trees mature and more of the older buildings are restored.
Notwithstanding that, it is these days easy to participate my own industry – the financial – from anywhere. The national company to which I am affiliated has employees who work from all over the place – as in, rural Minnesota, Upstate NY, Denver, you name it – and come to the newly reduced footprint of the Chicago home office of our rapidly growing company – or any other of its satellite offices, such as my own – only rarely. I talk to people in the industry at many firms all the time, and they are all moving out of the city into the country. And by that I mean, *the country.* They are moving far from the outskirts of the city.
The financial sector then, which has always been the most fundamental driver of the urban downtown, and thus of the city as a whole, has left the city. It will be interesting to see what happens to cities over the next few years, and likewise to the formerly derelict small towns in rural areas, far from the urban hells that financial guys like me have been forced to tolerate over the last 60 years of urban Democrat rule.
Dude: finance – and the financial districts of cities, and cities – have prospered over the last century – have survived at all – only *despite* the Leftist policies of the urban “elites” that have bedeviled them and messed up all their operations, and made it harder for them to function. The people of finance and commerce have tolerated all those irksome costs of urban life only so that they could work closer to each other, so as more easily to rub elbows and meet with each other and do business and have lunch and so on. But thanks to Zoom, that’s all ancient history. Nobody does lunch anymore.
Or no, that’s false. I did lunch with most of my people and reps from a key vendor just yesterday … in a prosperous white bread flour taco suburb. It was the first time we had all gathered together in 2 years.
With the radical decentralization of finance triggered by the covid lockdowns and the coincident maturity of remote conferencing technology, the enormous subsidy of property and payroll tax revenues from finance to urban Democrat machines is over. The finance guys are leaving town, dude. Ditto for the lawyers, bankers, and corporate executives. You have just begun to witness the change.
This should not really surprise us. The back offices of the financial firms started migrating to less urban, less expensive regions – Phoenix, e.g., and the Research Triangle, and Austin – a few decades ago, leaving behind in the old financial capitals only the top few levels of the corporate pyramids, with their key suppliers (law firms, investment guys like me, and so forth). Now, those apexes are leaving, too. How you gonna keep ‘em in downtown SF, once they’ve seen peaceful well ordered safe and lawful industrious white bread (and, increasingly, flour taco) rural New Hampshire? Or, as New Hampshire is soon bid up, West Virginia? Or eastern Iowa? Davenport is an awfully nice town.
To wit: covid lockdowns have been a thing of the past for many months, and most of the firms who had leases there when it began still do, but *downtown San Francisco is still a desert.* It is not as totally empty as it was during the lockdowns, to be sure, but it is close. Nobody wants to work there anymore, because it is too expensive, too hard to get to and from, too beset with homeless junkies and absurd regulations, too taxed out the yin yang for crazy nonsense city programs that do nobody any good, and … what is most important … there is no business benefit to be had by working downtown anymore. Even the marketing cachet of a San Francisco address – “wow, they are doing well enough to be able to pay the rent in the SF Financial District, they must be doing something right” – is gone. Now, it’s ,“You are still in SF? What’s wrong with you?”
My own little firm just moved our headquarters out of The City to a flourishing white bread flour taco East Bay suburb, where all the street level businesses are still open and pedestrians with their dogs and strollers throng the streets all day long. There is no litter, and there are no beggars. We saved *a lot* on our rent, and on parking and commute costs. And municipal taxes; did I mention those? Yeah, we save 5 figures per year on those, too.
Without a jot of detriment to our reputation or marketing cachet, we could as well have moved to Fairbanks or Lincoln or Scranton or Columbia. Or Springfield, in any number of states. Meanwhile our little California operation has employees who work in Fremont, Basel and (soon) Utah. No problem.
The sweet ride for the Democrat Urban Machines is over. Sorry. From now on, your Machines will need to rely only upon net revenues from junkies, immigrants, minorities, and other marginal sorts, whom your policies especially attract.
NB: not “marginalized.” The marginality of some sorts is not due in the first place to acts of those who would (why?) oppress them. Sorts are treated as marginal only because, hello, *they are in fact marginal.* And why are they marginal? *Because, hello, they have less money than the core and majority of the market, and so (despite the disastrous instincts of marketers across the land) are not the most important customers to solicit.* They are not the target market; they are the *opposite* of the target market. If you want your product or service to be associated with prosperity, so that it appeals to the prosperous target market, the last thing you want is to be perceived as the preferred provider of the marginal, weird or poor (this is the reason of the marketing opening that traditionally falls to the Church). And why do the marginal prospective customers have less money than the preferred target market? Because – duh (it kills me to have to explain this) – for one reason or another (not all of which are due to their own defects, to be sure (but, most of which simply are)(these two disparate sources of their defects being both reasons that they are the primary beneficiaries of the Church)), *they are less good at making money.*
Good Lord, this is all so simple. I’m shocked that I must resort to explaining any of it. This is why to go woke is to go broke. Duh.
A.morphous, I hope for your own sake that you have a trust fund or something similar behind you. Or else, that you do not act as you say that you believe that one should, but rather as if you were a conservative Republican.
Your woke principles are a recipe for your own economic disaster. Economic insanity → poverty.
By “civilized” I don’t mean being well-behaved, clean, or knowing how to use a salad fork. The actual meaning is just “living in cities”. Cities are the productive hub of our culture and they also skew to the left compared to non-city areas, that’s all.
You can easily find statistics that show that urban, democratic leaning states contribute more to the economy than republican ones, as shown by their net flows in the economy.
But this is a bit abstract given the issue at hand. A more directly relevant point is to think about what is going to happen to red states now that they have succeeded in reducing women to second-class citizens who cannot get medical attention or travel without risking the interference of the state. Assuming your side does not succeed in passing a nationwide abortion ban, we may expect to see a continued economic decline in red states as everyone with an option avoids locating in these benighted pestholes, especially the young, creative, intelligent person with a choice. And especially women, but also anybody who cares about women. The self-exile of talent is already happening, so businesses will not want to locate there; the state has already declared war on them https://twitter.com/patriottakes/status/1542923245061644289 https://www.chron.com/politics/article/Texas-abortion-law-could-threaten-state-economy-16498858.php
It is quite true that more work can be done remotely thanks to technology and who knows, that might radically change the nature and function of cities in the future. But we are talking about the present state of political geography, which was determined before the advent of the internet. Also, where do you think the technologies that allow you to Zoom with a colleague in rural Idaho came from? Not Idaho – mostly Boston and SF Bay, both highly left-leaning areas.
Your discursion on the marginalized is curious, because it has very little to do with what I was talking about (cities may have marginalized people, but they aren’t at the center of the urban economy, by definition). Here’s a tip – when you find yourself writing things like “Good Lord, this is all so simple. I’m shocked that I must resort to explaining any of it.” it’s a pretty good sign that you aren’t talking to me, you’re talking to the imaginary version of me in your head, who apparently is too stupid to see the obvious.
Hahah, I wish. No, pretty much every dollar I have I earned by doing useful work, which is more than can be said of anyone who works in finance, an utterly parasitical “industry” that leaches off the productive economy. It’s not surprising that someone who works in that world would have a distorted view of where the productivity of society lies.
City and country are parts of a single economic system, so neither would make any dollars without the other. When cities make more dollars per capita, it is mostly due to monopoly. San Francisco got started with a monopoly on west coast harbors, for instance. Nothing remotely similar between Seattle and San Diego. And the river that runs into that harbor drains one of the richest hinterlands on earth. Fremont called it the golden gate before the discovery of California gold. He said the extraordinary advantages of the site and situation reminded him of the Golden Horn of Constantinople. I’m sure you know the history of Silicon Valley and understand the economies of agglomeration. This is a monopoly, just like San Francisco Bay.
The non-collapse of the Russian economy under sanctions is relevant to this debate. You will recall how Russia was described as a sort of red-state resource quarry that could not function without the markets and managers of high-tech cities. At the moment, the red-state resource quarry is doing fine and the high-tech cities are thinking about how cold they may be next winter.
But this is all beside the point because this debate is about moral and not economic value. Vaults full of dollars are hardly a credit to the city if they were made by bloated bourgeois pigs with fat cigars and pinky rings. Fresh air and wide vistas are hardly a credit to the country if the people are degenerate retards with bazookas in one hand and bottles of Everclear in the other. But these are both stupid stereotypes. City and country have their own unique moral hazards, and not everyone avoids them; but one is not better than the other.
@JMSmith: Everything you say about cities and monopoly is true, but I fail to see its relevance to the discussion. Yes San Francisco grew up around various material advantages, and as a result more people want to live here than in rural Iowa or Alabama. It attracts the people with the money, ability, or courage to take advantage of its advantages. It builds other advantages on top of them – economic ones most obviously, but not just those.
Being well-situated does not thus give San Francisco any moral advantage (rather the opposite), but it gives it an intellectual advantage. There is more cultural and intellectual activity in a city, not because of any innate superiority of its inhabitants, but because cities have a material structure which makes it easier for such things to take place. It’s where the action is, and zoom meetings aren’t going to change that.
As to your point about Russia. Yes resource-based economies can do quite well for themselves, Saudi Arabia is an even better example. If the red states were to secede, the result might well be something Russia or Saudi Arabia, a result which I would not care for, but tastes differ I guess.
Yes, reactionaries should go for that. States like those are ruled by actual rulers, who don’t have to answer to the ruled, they don’t have to pretend to be democratic. They offer stability, so the innovation and freedom and experimentation of cities in anathema. They rule by means of the strength of power, justified as the will of God, the ultimate authoritarian strongman.
A.morphous, it is an undeniable historical fact that cities have been for the last five millennia the source of most innovation and economic activity; and that’s why I didn’t question this fact, or even mention it; so that I’m not sure why you are making the argument again in its favor, putatively (but, not actually) against me.
The preponderant economic activity, wealth, and political power of cities is not hard to understand: people generate wealth, and there are simply more of them in cities than elsewhere, obviously. Their preponderant contribution to innovation is also straightforward: they facilitate specialization, and it is specialists, who can (thanks to the city) focus on their field, who then tend to figure out better ways of doing things therein, thus increasing labor productivity. It is also not hard to figure out why there are cities in the first place: to enable that specialization, by making it easy and thus inexpensive to transmit information, goods and services between specialists; i.e., to form and operate markets inexpensively.
Excursus: That’s where finance enters the picture. It is essential to civilization. The vast majority of cuneiform records we now possess consist of accounting records of various sorts. Finance, at bottom.
People who think finance is totally parasitic generally don’t understand finance, or even economics, or trade, or business simpliciter. They tend to be of the ignorant Marxian dunderheaded sort who think profit is evil.
Finance, and capital markets, are analogous to the nervous, immune and endocrine systems in animal bodies.
NB: all markets require capital to function; for, all exchange is of surplus, which is to say, of capital; so all markets are at bottom capital markets.
There are of course evil financiers; finance is no different than any other field, in that respect. They make finance a lot harder and more expensive for the ethical actors in the business, if only because of the increased compliance costs they must bear, and that their customers must pay for (more than 50% of Bank of America employees work in some area of compliance).
Cities have also been the main source of cultural innovation, second only perhaps to commerce – to the markets that link one urban center with another, and with their hinterlands, and subvene cultural and philosophical exchange among nations. Again, the reason is not far to seek: in the city, with its greater wealth, it is easier to specialize, and so to innovate, not just with respect to labor, but with respect to lifestyle, religion, and so forth. So you get subcultures: rap, Country, metal, e.g.
The country on the other hand forces everyone to grapple with the exigencies of nature, every day, and to competence in responding thereto aptly; so it forces greater and more pervasive adhesion to a local way of doing things – a local culture, with its cult, coevolved over centuries in symbiosis with its local ecology; that engenders greater social cohesion, and greater trust. So, greater efficiency; thus, greater prosperity.
Country life also forces a greater and better recognition of the hard reality of things. In the city, it is easier to develop a way of life that has but little to do with nature, or thus with economic reality. So is it that the cities have given us Valentinianism, Marxism, and other sorts of Gnosticism, which disdain the natural world and those who must work every day with it: plumbers, electricians, housewives.
Thus if modernism or liberalism were going to flourish, it would pretty much have to be in the city, because nature is not friendly to the modern or liberal. Because why? Because modernism and liberalism are not friendly to nature, that’s why. They are both founded upon radical misprisions about reality.
So country people tend to be conservative; which is to say, traditional; which is to say, better and more aptly ordered to things as they actually are. I.e., sane, and healthy.
The modern and the liberal must per contra labor and travail under the weighty burden of terrific cognitive dissonance, forced to myriad unprincipled exceptions just to get along from one day to the next. This might account for the far lower rates of mental illness among the conservative than among the liberal. Modernism and liberalism are *expensive,* not just in terms of their psychic costs, but because they deform economic and political organs of society, so that they just don’t work as well as they might, thus greatly increasing the stress, difficulty, madness, and cost of urban life.
So, people who can afford to get out of cities generally do; especially once they have kids. They get as far away from the urban hells as they can afford to get.
So: cities have had great advantages, no question. We here are all in favor of them, you will perhaps have noticed: check the quote from de Maistre in our banner. No argument: we like civilization.
But civilization is changing. Its urban medium since the early Bronze Age may be going the way of … well, of bronze.
You have not quite come to grips with the main point of my last comment, which is just that the city seems at last to have generated the means of its own disintermediation and eventual obsolescence. IT makes it possible to trade, specialize, collaborate, study, innovate, communicate, propagate, and so forth, remotely (rather than bunched closely together) and *far more cheaply and easily than is possible in today’s city.* At least in respect to its key traditional functions, the city has moved to the cloud. That is why the people who work in classically urban jobs – marketing, law, engineering, insurance, and so forth – are leaving the city for small towns that are cheaper, nicer, safer … and *more civilized.* It is their relatively high incomes that have generated most of the revenues of municipal governments; it is their relatively disciplined way of life that has secured the basic social orderliness and politesse – the civility – of the cities. Once they leave, the municipal tax base will mostly consist of the more favored demographics of the Democrat Machines: the marginal sorts, less civil sorts, that make little money and pay almost no taxes, but consume lots of costly government services – not just social welfare stuff, but cops, courts, jails (not to mention the many costs and externalities of crime). The marginal expensive and unproductive demographics will then be the center, core and foundation of the urban economy. They’ll be all that’s left, aside from the politicians and the cops.
Hell, even the drugstores are pulling out.
Even before their tax bases have begun to collapse on account of this radical paradigmatic phase change, which is just getting started and will take years to work its way fully into urban rents and real estate values – and, so, tax bases and municipal revenues – many of the bigger municipalities are already insolvent.
The process is fractal; it is operating at the state level, too.
As for the women who want to leave Red states for the Blue states where infanticide is legal: let them. It is easy to find studies that show the fertility of liberals is far, far lower than that of conservatives. That spells demographic extinction for liberals. Liberals are then a demographic and so economic drag on any polity (not to mention their cultural drag, and their weakness, humorlessness, morbidity and psychopathology (liberals are a drag, period full stop; they are energy sinks)); the fewer of them there are in the near vicinity, the better, happier, and more prosperous everyone else will be.
Don’t get me wrong about all this. I mourn San Francisco. I love that town, always have, and always shall. But the City just doesn’t work well anymore for business – which is to say, for the life blood of the city as such. So, we left. I worried that in doing so, we’d lose something crucial. We didn’t.
Thousands and thousands of people like me are learning this same lesson, every week. That’s going to compound. I’ve seen it already. But then, I’m a businessman, so of course I’m more dialed in to this stuff than most.
A last few notes respecting your snarky remarks about Christian theism:
• Christian values could be cultivated in Nero’s Rome, in Hitler’s Germany, and in Mao’s China; they can be cultivated anywhere, including pantywaist effete San Francisco, that would rather hiss at you and curl a lip than, you know, actually hit you. There are lots more Christian mystics of the traditional reactionary sort in San Francisco than you would think. E.g., our Archbishop Lion Heart, forsooth! One of the great things about cities is that they allow such flowers to bloom, unnoticed – until they burst forth and announce themselves, putting themselves thereby at grave risk, but also *upending the basis of the global political and cultural conversation.* Kudos, Bishop Savior! God grant me your steadfast careful courage!
• The Christian values I “claim” to hold? Dude, do I go around talking about the liberal values you “claim” to hold?
You claim to be a liberal, or something – one cannot be very clear with one who is so a.morphous – which in the present political and cultural environment is about as risky as being in favor of oxygen. I claim to be a Christian, which in that same environment is getting dangerous. E.g., in California, it is dicey to let it be known these last few days that I am Catholic, therefore think and believe that abortion is murder, and so approve of Dobbs. Were my business associates to realize consciously that I am Catholic, and so react against me, I might find myself forced to cut them off at the knee, logically and philosophically (which you, of all people, my dear, know that I can well do)(and which could well … complicate … our business relations). What’s more, I claim – here, publicly – to be a reactionary, traditional Christian, so that I am presumed to be a terrorist Enemy of the State Apparat (like the horrid deplorable parents who show up at school board meetings and challenge their authority by protesting against the state mandated propagation of the Party Line Narrative), and do not have the political support even of the Vatican, or for that matter of the Southern Baptists, our quondam allies.
My public Christianity could massively hurt me, and mine. Meanwhile your liberalism is … well … suffice to say that you are in like Flynn with the Temple Cops and the Roman centurions. I on the other hand am looking over my shoulder all the time, wondering how soon I should light out for Pella with a few key books in my pack and some nuts for the road before SHTF.
So anyway, give us a break, OK? You are on the side of the Establishment Tyrants. You are one of their useful idiots (a technical term; look up the aetymology before you take offense (among liberals, ‘idiot’ should properly speaking be a term of honor)) who “thinks for himself” and “refuses to truckle to authority” and nevertheless faultlessly mouths the Party Line, like all the other NPC puppets, yanked about by Party propaganda jolts to their limbic systems.
You will of course vehemently object to that characterization, along with all the other puppets.
We here per contra are on the outs. We are in the wind.
Unlike you, we are actually at risk.
“Claim,” forsooth. The claim is tantamount to the fact, in the circumstances. I might be a very bad Christian – indeed, I *am* a very bad Christian – but if I claim to be a Christian *at all,* period full stop, by refusing to burn a pinch of incense on the altar of Moloch the God of your Party and the Establishment of the Empire, why then, hey presto, I have a good shot at martyrdom, so that I might pass Go, pay $0, and get right – as in, Right – into Heaven.
So easy! I just have to be willing to die, for professing Christ and so repudiating Moloch and the other adversaries of Truth.
I am willing. Come and get me. Or report me up the Line, or whatever. I am ready. Earthly life is cheap, and heaven priceless. I’ll die soon anyway – we all shall – so I might as well make it good.
Are you willing to die for your convictions? Just asking. Would you betray them, in order to get by? I for one bet that you would not. I have that much faith in you. But I hope I can convince you of their foolishness, before it is too late; so that you find yourself able to die for something better.
• You seem to think that God is something like a cosmic Hitler, or Mao, or even a Jim Jones, so that his authority is unjust, and his servants likewise, and thus, all, prone to evil, and worthy to be resisted. You see how silly that idea is, when I put it that starkly, no? If God is God, then eo ipso his authority is *perfectly* just, and only a goddamned idiot would question it.
NB: I chose those two terms quite consciously, and intentionally, and carefully: again, check the aetymology. Only a goddamned idiot (in both senses of that word) would fight the True King of All Things. Notice please also that in so saying, I judge not so much you (for, you are after all quite adequate to the informed judgement of yourself), as me. I fight my King, every day. I *hate* it when that happens. But, I keep letting it happen. Sad.
But, then, I keep renewing my vow of fealty to him as his vassal.
What reassures me about my repeated Fall and then Resurrection is this: the vow of fealty to my Good Lord, once honestly and completely – and, thus, forever – undertaken, is ever thereafter prior to and *utterly confounds* all my defects in the fulfillment thereof. No vow, no defects therein. I cannot cheat my Lord of his due if I have not first sworn it to him. That prior oath then is dispositive, at the last; provided I do not altogether repudiate it.
I do not.
As Dr. Dabney clearly demonstrates in his book – A Defense of Virginia and of the South – the rural South was the more productive and, yes, richer section of the country, in spite of the 40% tarriff placed on its exports in the years leading up to the WBTS. And we certainly believe we can outpace you degenerate city dwellers any day of the week in actual productivity and downright “know how” if we can get this monkey of a “federal” government off our backs. You can’t survive without us, and you know it.
Dabney’s book is a defense of chattel slavery. That the class of enslavers could enrich themselves by exploiting slave labor is unsurprising. That someone would defend this arrangement in 2022 is a bit surprising, but of course this is the internet where you can find the worst opinions possible.
You do know the South lost the civil war, right? At the time, they were pretty sure they were going to win, because of their noble aristocratic values compared to the effete and corrupt urbanites of the north. And southerners are also the type of person who can’t learn anything in 150 years, and are making the same mistake today.
I don’t mean to insult the entire south which contains some good and intelligent people of course. But defenders of slavery and the Confederacy are scum, the very worst that humanity has to offer.
The former enslavers found they could get even richer when they could cut their old and shiftless field hands loose, and let them starve. You are here exploiting the equivocal meaning of the word defense, which properly means refutation of false allegations, but can be taken to mean advocacy. No one today advocates slavery, excepting perhaps some of Africans, but decent people can refute the the abundant fibs in the myths of American slavery, the great Emancipator, and the War Between the States. One can say, with abundant historical backing, that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was libelous and incendiary propaganda, without giving three cheers for Simon Legree.
Mrs. Stowe certainly had a vivid imagination, no doubting that. Some might even say a hyper-sexualized one. I’ve said before that I believe the character, Virgilia Hazard from North and South, was likely based in part on Mrs. Stowe. She was a Beecher, after all.
Henry Ward Beecher turned out to be a lusty chap, and a snake in the grass to boot.
@kristor: Cities are not distinct from nature, they are just as much a part of reality as the countryside and the people living there have to solve the same basic problems that people living in the sticks do. Rather more difficult ones actually, it takes a lot *more* grappling with real-world problems to keep New York running than it does a peasant village. More specialization, more complex organization, more cooperation.
I suppose people living in rural areas might have more contact with the materiality of nature, maybe that’s what you are thinking of. But even that isn’t particularly true. For the most part they aren’t homesteaders hewing out a cabin out of logs they felled themselves. Maybe they have a septic tank instead of a sewage line. That does not make them more in touch with nature, or morally superior, or saner.
In fact your picture of urban and country dwellers seems to be based entirely on banal cliches, and I have zero interest in that type of discussion, I feel myself getting stupider just thinking about it.
To repeat my points:
– the political split in this country is largely a split between urban values and those of the hinterlands (the alleged differences in fecundity or sanity of the two groups has exactly zero relevance to this)
– the urban areas are the more productive, economically and intellectually (ditto)
– splitting them apart would hurt the rural areas more (probably not really feasible in any case)
– the political success of the right is going to accelerate the polarization as the more intelligent and capable citizens flee the red states for the blue states where they will be somewhat less subject to the edicts of the radical right.
The Catholic Church used to take a dim view of usury. I believe today they’ve made peace with charging interest, labelling only “excessive” interest as sinful. That is sensible. My feeling is that the finance sector does provide useful work, but the share of value they appropriate for those services is excessive, making it effectively usurious.
You don’t understand the first thing about Marx, but I don’t have much interest in explaining it to you. Let’s just say “evil” is not a proper term of analysis. To a Marxist, the world is driven by class-based economic interests and good and evil have nothing to do with it.
Exactly backwards, people who can’t afford to live in cities get priced out (which is bad, to be sure), people with money want to live in the cities because that is where things are happening. Cities are quite obviously attractors of people and wealth, or they wouldn’t exist.
What sort of coming to grips do you want? I might well agree with you, but speculating about the future has nothing to do with what we are talking about. I actually am dubious that communications technology will diminish cities; it will just accelerate the process of pushing out the middle class, elites and the creative classes will still want to live there because some things you just can’t do over zoom. But that’s just idle speculation, I could be wrong, it’s not something I care to argue about and it has approximately zero relevance to what is happening now.
I have sad news for you, liberalism is not transmitted genetically, as if it were red hair or lactose tolerance. That’s why we have Critical Race Theory, so we can transmit our sinful ideas into receptive young minds who may or may not have been sired by liberals.
As to your protestations of being an oppressed minority being ground under the heel of the liberal state – might I remind you that the occasion of this blog post is the takeover of the Supreme Court by radical rightwing catholics who are in the process of imposing their terrible edicts on a populace that firmly rejects them. Your side is winning, at least for now, but of course that won’t stop the whining, no matter how much power and influence the right has, they are always the victim.
And apologies if there were some points in your last comment I did not address, but it was very long and there are only so many hours in the day.
A fair point. City life is complex in lots of ways that don’t pertain to life in the countryside. But I think you may underestimate the complexity of rural life. It is complex in ways that are simplified for urbanites. Rural folks are forced by their circumstances to be more generally competent than urban folks, who can more easily rely on specialists. This is less of a contrast than it used to be, to be sure. But it is still there.
Disagree. When I’m in the country, I have to think about what I put down the drain, so that I don’t ruin the septic system or poison the leach field. I have to be more in touch with the consequences of my acts. True, I don’t have to remember not to leave anything remotely valuable outside overnight, as most city dwellers must do. But I do have to keep the cats in after dusk, or they’ll be eaten.
Are you sure that isn’t the feeling of finding yourself forced to think, and in so doing realizing you have been stupider than you had thought?
In fact my picture of urban and country dwellers is based entirely upon my years of experience living in cities small and great, farm land, hamlets and small towns, and the wilderness (desert, forest, and mountain). I have observed for myself that country people are more down to earth and pragmatic. They are also saner, and more cheerful. City people are more likely to wander off into fantasy worlds. E.g., cosplay, furries, Marxism, etc. (I’ll never forget walking downtown San Jose one weekend when a furries convention was under way there). I was thinking of this in noticing the many subcultures that can flourish more easily in cities than in the country. Not all those subcultures are fantastic, of course; there is a miniature railroad club in Tilden Park that operates steam train rides for kids, among other things (which I highly recommend, if you have little kids in your life). Those guys are mechanics of various sorts, and thus their subculture forces them to grapple with mechanical realities that, say, a Trekkie can disregard.
Urbanites can more easily be woke; rural folks are more generally based. Democrat Party fantasies are easier to credit in the city than in the country. Rural Democrats are much more based than their urban counterparts.
Granted, again. That said, the well documented differences between the fecundity – and especially the sanity – of leftists, who are mostly urban, and conservatives, who predominate in the country, is deeply relevant to their political split, as one important causal factor thereof among many. It accounts for their acute mutual antipathy, which is the kernel of their political adversary. It would be odd indeed if sanity and prosperity were not at odds with their opposites. As, of course, they are.
Granted: as I already pointed out, wealth of all sorts is generated by humans, and there are simply more of them in the city than in the country. So, the fact that cities generate more wealth is not an indication of the greater morality, wisdom, or sanity – or wealth – of urban people, but rather only of their geographical concentration and the network effects that in former times could be realized only thereby.
Yeah, not really feasible. Not for the city, anyway: the country has all the food. If there was a split, the cities would soon run out of food, gas, and electricity. Meanwhile the country has lots of factories, too, these days, and it is less expensive to operate them in the country than in the city. Plus the country has internet. And it is full of people who know how to use chainsaws, tractors, winches, and guns.
I hope so. As more and more crazed leftists immigrate to California cities from Nebraska cities, their even greater local concentration in California will drive the more based sane and normal people who live there out to regions of the country where they won’t have to wade all day through – and pay for – the wild and incredible leftist insanity that more and more besets them, together with the degeneracy, corruption and dissolution it promotes, and indeed subsidizes. And that is bound to increase the wealth and clout of the country, vis-à-vis the city.
You don’t understand the first thing about usury (or Catholicism; or, therefore, what the Church has taught about usury); not that you are unusual in that respect, for almost nobody these days knows what traditional societies meant by “usury.” It is not charging high interest – whatever “high” might be (who decides?) – nor is it earning excessive profits on financial transactions – whatever “excessive” might be (who decides?). It is writing full recourse loans, at any rate of interest, and whether or not they are profitable at all. If you are interested in usury, allow me to recommend Zippy’s exact book on the subject.
Oh, OK, I get it; so, the things that the various classes are interested to get for themselves are not economic goods, and the classes are not interested in them because they find them good. Nor do any of the classes want to escape evils: conditions they evaluate as bad. None of the conflict between the classes is motivated by values; by considerations of what is good and what is not. The class war, the dialectic of history, is all happening for *no reason.* It’s all nothing more than blind atoms hurrying in the void, chaotically. So, there is no sense to be made of it; and, certainly therefore, no basis for any condemnation of this or that class; no reason that the proletariat should not be oppressed.
Sure. But they are more and more repellent. 5 million people have moved away from big cities since the beginning of the “pandemic,” and many more are likely to follow:
Marc Andreesen has noticed the same phenomenon, and understands its potentially epochal sequelae.
Conservatives have 41% more kids than liberals, and 70% of people vote the way their parents did.
The mask is off! The CRT promoters know that their ideas are sinful; i.e., wrong. And, all those terrorist parents speaking up at school board meetings about CRT are right! And what do you know, the ugliness underneath the mask turns out to be good for the demographic prospects of traditional culture: let the CRT Establishment propagandists peel off the weak minded 30% of the progeny of conservative parents, who are likely to defect into fantasy of some sort anyway, and move them into the less fertile leftist demographic, where their weak genes can wither.
Meanwhile the conservative gene pool picks up the strongest minded and sanest of the children born to liberals: the top 30% of them! Probably those kids will be the fittest along a lot of other dimensions, too. It is easy to find studies showing that conservatives are healthier in general, more successful, and more healthy minded than liberals.
So, all good: let the blue states take the fat purple haired banshees, the pallid weedy depressives and BPD ragewomen, the neckbeards and the soyboys; the red states will be glad to welcome the buff competent chads and the lithe wholesome cheerleaders, comfortable in their bodies and so in the world, straight and cheersome. Oh, and we’ll get also the guys like Langan, who are equipped to think straight and hard, and who when so doing don’t feel themselves getting stupider.
Wow. Adamantine projection in evidence here. See how this works, guys? A dysangelist of the Party of Moloch that controls the media, the universities, the schools, the administration of governments, the cities, the big corporations, the military, Hollywood, Madison Avenue, most of both political parties, and *even most of the churches,* is complaining about a rare conservative victory – which after all only reverses a prior liberal victory, in the process restoring a jot of the democracy so vaunted among liberals in speech, and in practice by them so often traduced – and treating it as evidence that the Supreme Court (it’s those rotten Catholics again, if only someone would rid poor beleaguered a.morphous of all those troublesome priests) has the *entire Establishment* on the run. So silly. So pathetic, so sad. This, when the lives of the conservative Justices on the Court are under threat, their homes surrounded by raving mobs encouraged by the high officers of the Federal government.
It’s hard for me to believe that someone obviously as intelligent as a.morphous wrote the lines above-quoted. What we have here, in my estimation, is that age-old tendency amongst human beings to let their passions overwhelm their good sense and intelligence, when their own ignorance of the subject or subject matter doesn’t come into play. Obviously, for those mostly dispassionate about the event, or “the occasion” as it were, the recent decision in Dobbs *does not* make abortion illegal *anywhere* in the so called “United States”; it simply passes back to the individual states their rightful authority for determining whether or not abortion will be legal within their own jurisdictions.
I say again, a.morphous – we in the God-fearing states want for you to have your Moloch -worshipping brethren back. As well as those who give them aid and comfort; as well, indeed, of those within our borders who advocate for their child-murdering cause on the basis of the fact that POCs abort at a much higher rate than whites. …
Do you know *anything* about how to raise chickens, ducks, goats, feeder pigs, or even ponies? How about how to plant and harvest a garden? If not, spare us in the Southland of your abject stupidity on these subjects. One of our daughters keeps up with the number of eggs our chickens produce daily – about a dozen. We give away a bunch of them, but we eat as many too. What do you do, say, when they start hiding their eggs and you’re left with only a third of the dozen aforementioned. Hmmm…
I really fail to see why this fine point of law should seem so salient to the discussion. OK, yes, technically the supreme court did not issue an edict – but they are part of a wide-ranging movement whose aim is to outlaw abortion, and the effect of their ruling is that abortion was immediately against the law in many parts of the country, and these actions taken as a whole constitute an undemocratic imposition on individual rights.
So what exactly is your point? Why does my (acknowledged!) sloppiness with language constitute abject stupidity and letting my passions overwhelm me?
re your other comment in which you accuse me of not knowing how to raise “feeder pigs, or even ponies” – guilty! Again, not sure what your point is. Every person has specialized knowledge around what they do; I don’t think the typical pig farmer is going to be able to write software like I can. That doesn’t make me superior, but the pig farmer isn’t superior either. It might make me more economically productive or valuable, or higher status, but that is different and not really relevant.
You and Kristor are basically saying that pig farming is so much more virtuous than more citified activities that the pig farmers have the right to impose their values on the rest of us.
A.morphous, if you are any good at programming then you know how to think straight. You are not thinking straight. You should start, right away, so as to save what appearances remain to you.
Dobbs does not impose law on the states. It does the opposite, by revoking Roe, which *did* impose law on the states. Dobbs has the effect, not of eliminating democratic rights, but the exact opposite: it restores to the states the right of their people to democratically determine the laws they shall impose upon themselves regarding abortion. From the time Roe was handed down until the time that Dobbs revoked it, *no state had the right to decide for itself how it felt about abortion.* Dobbs *eliminates* an undemocratic imposition on individual rights.
So, you see, your “fine point of law” in fact picks out a massive distinction, which in what I suppose must have been a rush of spirits you interpreted bass ackwards, so that you then got your dander up about the Court having done the *opposite* of what it did. Dobbs is a victory for individual freedom.
Now, to be sure, most of the states are going to decide – democratically – to restrict abortion to some degree, and quite a few already have. Within those states, women (what are those, anyway, and why should they be particularly concerned about babies?) won’t be able to murder babies ad libitum and with impunity, just as they can’t murder anyone else with impunity, either.
But, any state that wants to can legalize abortion. In that respect, it’s a free country again.
Think, man, think. Think harder. If you do it well enough, you will sooner or later figure out that Terry and I suggested no such thing as either that rural occupations are more virtuous than urban occupations, or that the country folk therefore have the right to impose their values on the rest of us. It is true that I argue that country people are generally more based in reality than city folk. But that doesn’t give them the right to dictate policy for the urban folk, and I never suggested any such thing. That’s why we have the House of Representatives.
Likewise as you point out cities generate a lot more wealth per square mile than the countryside; a point obviously true, as baked into the nature of cities as densely populated, compared to the far less peopled countryside. But as I’m sure you will agree, despite your scornful contempt for rural people, that doesn’t give urbanites the right to dictate policy for the people in the country. Of course. That’s why we have the Electoral College, and for that matter the Senate..
I have to say that it really does appear that, as Terry remarked, you are letting your emotions get in the way of your intellect. It’s a nervous tick that seems endemic on your side of the policy debates. It makes your side look, well, kind of stupid; or, at least, checked out of the cerebral cortex and running only on the limbic system. This phenomenon seems to erupt particularly when events sharpen the incoherence between leftist notions that contradict each other, so that the acute cognitive dissonance your sort must then suffer attenuates its neural capacity to maintain its wonted and usual mask of suave sophistication; then, the mask slips, and reveals the darkness underneath. That’s when we get calls from your side to abolish the Supreme Court or the Electoral College – which is to say, the Constitution; which is to say, the rule of law.
Which side, say again, is the side of tyranny?
The discussion of pig farming led me to a realization: arguing here is kind of like trying to wrestle a pig. You can win or lose, but you still end up covered in shit.
For instance, this statement
is pure, unadulterated pigshit. It may be a victory for “state’s rights”, but states don’t have rights, people do. Or they used to. Individuals are now significantly less free than they were a few weeks ago, and no doubt will be even less free as the supreme court reverses the freedoms people have gained for themselves over the last few decades. That reality is not open to question, and if you were intellectually honest you would acknowledge that that is what your side is doing.
I think I will take my leave of this discussion and try to cleanse myself of the aroma of pigshit.
LOL! Insults and curses: the risible pathetic last resorts of the bankrupt rhetor, who finds he is not up to dialectic, and spews his rage as he scurries off the field, well and truly spanked.
A.morphous, all kidding aside: think twice, once you get back to your accustomed sty: Luke 15:11-32. We’ll welcome you when you decide you want to come back home. Indeed, we’ll kill the fatted calf for you, and put a ring on your finger.
Just to clear things up, and put a bow on them: if states don’t have rights, then the Supreme Court and the Federal government in general have no rights to regulate individual behavior, in any way. In which case, they are utterly moot; for, in that case, all the officers of the law, and for that matter of the military, have no authority derived from their state offices; so that there is then no government at all.
Now, government *just is* the limitation of individual liberty. As Zippy loved to point out, it is an *essentially* illiberal institution. Whether then the Supreme Court mandates that abortion be legal throughout the land, or whether it mandates that subsidiary organs of government must arrive for themselves – presumably via democratic methods, unless the Democrats get their way – at their own independent mandates respecting abortion, individual rights are thereby somehow or other limited. There is no way to obtain *any* Supreme Court ruling – or law, or administrative regulation – that does not somehow limit individual rights.
That said, some government acts limit individual liberty more or less than others. Dobbs is a victory for individual rights inasmuch as it gives political voice to those many millions of people who understand abortion to be a species of murder, thus absolutely evil, and so, essentially vicious to the social fabric. Roe prevented all those millions of individuals from ordering their local polities in the way that they saw fit. Dobbs restores their political authority, without at all escheating the political authority of those who disagree with them. Dobbs enables individuals of all sorts to hash it out with each other respecting abortion in their local jurisdictions; whereas under Roe, they could not.
It is meaningless to talk about freedom in this context: liberalism acknowledges no substantive standard of goodness to which to refer such freedom. But any concept of freedom must presuppose some vision of the good that determines what counts as freedom. Freedom has no meaning unless it refers to something more basic than itself.
This is why you have both left-liberals and right-liberals sincerely claiming victories for ‘freedom’ over diametrically opposed decisions. Both are surreptitiously (and unconsciously) smuggling in some vision of the good on which their concept of freedom depends. They disagree on what this vision of the good is, but so long as this stays implicit and the discourse remains at the level of ‘freedom’, they are talking past each other and will never understand the other’s point of view.
If the implication is that only individuals have rights, this is false. All sorts of supra-individual entities have rights (i.e., they have claims upon us), not only states, but the State, communities, the Church, businesses, labor unions, etc.
(This isn’t to say that I’m a proponent of the usual sort of ‘states’ rights’ arguments as these are typically conceived, as these invariably presuppose some form of liberalism and/or legal positivism.)
Kristor: I must thank you for ‘having my six’ in this discussion, as well as cleaning up after my sloppiness. e.g., when I wrote (in response to a.morphous) that,
you clarified my meaning by adding in what I should have added in, but didn’t. Namely, the nuance of *how restrictive* of abortion individual state laws might be in the wake of Dobbs. Even with my own State’s law – which is said by many to be a “total ban”; “the most restrictive in the nation”; and a “vigilante law,” there are certain “limited” exceptions added in to account for, e.g., rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in imminent danger. Now, I do not know precisely how “limited” these exceptions are since I have not, as yet, studied closely our law, but these exceptions exist and are codified into our law nonetheless, and their existence is acknowledged by all, including its staunchest leftist opponents, and that is the point.
Concerning a.morphous’s point about persons having rights/states or corporations not having rights, … I guess it goes to show that libertarianism is in fact the purest form of liberalism, as Zippy was always quick to remind us when he was yet with us. For my own part, it is perhaps the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard (or, read) in favor of individual rights/extreme-individualism/Jacobinism. Especially considering the principles of the U.S. Constitution, which, supposedly, we are all bound by duty to respect and obey. Reminds me of Ilana Mercer’s argument that women own their own bodies and therefore have a natural and inalienable right to murder their unborn babies, and to hell with the Constitution and its provisions leaving to the individual states and local jurisdictions the authority of, in Jefferson’s words, “enforcing moral duties and restraining vice within their own territory.” Such an imagination that this authority has ever been formally transferred to the National government by the states and local communities, was/is, in Jefferson’s word, “impossible.” As Madison said in Federalist no. 33, such instances are usurpations, and deserve to be treated as such. It’s just too bad that The Court had to overturn its own prior decision on Roe, when the God-fearing States should have told The Court to take a hike on Roe (Obergefel, et al) long ago. …
“When a female concedes to the idea that her mother possesses a ‘fundamental right’ to have killed her in utero then that female has done away with any recognizable constitution within. No constitution = no self.
A ‘constitutional right’ to self-annihilate is a satanic perversion of Creation.”
I have known law students to be shocked by Paulus’s defence of a father’s right to disinherit his children nec obstat quod licet eos exheredare quod et occidere licebat [for there is no reason why he should not possess the right of disinheriting those whom he had the right to put to death.] – Dig 28 2 11 Paulus 2 ad sab.
Paulus is no obscure or eccentric figure; he is one of the most eminent and influential of the Classical jurists and his opinions make up about one-sixth of the Digest, on which our modern civil codes are based.
For the Romans, Patria Potestas [Paternal power] was ownership, pure and simple – The product belongs to the producer. Is this not the basis of the female’s claim? If so, why should it not be both absolute and lifelong? As Dionysius of Halicarnassus notes, Patria Potestas allowed a father (or paternal grandfather) “a virtually total right over his son during his entire life, whether he chose to imprison him, scourge him, place him in chains and set him to work in the fields, or kill him.”
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A total aside to the discussion, but my understanding is that the phrase is, “the devil to pay, and no pitch hot,” because of a curious deviaton through nautical jargon, wherein the devil in question is either the seam between the first strake and the keel, or the last strake and the deck, and the pitch is for caulking.
These seems are called the devil because, naturally, it’s a devil of a job getting them properly caulked. This completes the circularity of the jargon borrowing.
That said, the phrase, “the devil to pay,” has a much longer history than this modification with pitch, and the lower deck crowd never was particularly fond of writing much down, so citations are hard to come by.
I have relished that expression ever since I learnt its nautical origin and first meaning. In his Aubrey and Maturin books – which I highly recommend, as they constitute together (there are more than 20 volumes) one of the greatest masterworks of English literature – Patrick O’Brian explains that the devil was the central seam of the decking, running the whole length of the ship; and that the working of the ship stressed it the most of all the deck seams, so that, while all the deck seams had to be paid now and then, the devil had to be paid much more often in order to keep water from leaking through it belowdecks and soaking the men in their hammocks. Paying was hammering home tow – bits of frayed useless rope – that had been soaked in hot pitch. No hot pitch, no way to pay the devil. And the times when it was likeliest that there would be no pitch hot were the times when weather was wet, seas were heavy, the ship was working a lot … and the devil had opened up on the men below.
Paying the devil was also one of the lousiest jobs aboard ship. Which is saying something.
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