Power company kills eight

To be clear, this is indeed a tragedy, especially with regard to the very young children who could not have controlled the situation and wouldn’t have understood the astounding stupidity of running a gas-powered generator inside a house. The title of this post is not intended to mock the dead, but rather the predictable response of liberals to a simple case of death by idiocy.

Rodney Todd purchased a gas generator after the power company turned off his electricity in response to his unpaid utility bills. But he chose to run the generator inside the house and subsequently caused not only his own death, but the deaths of seven of his children. In response to this, I asked my friend if he thought liberals would say that the power company is at fault because they turned off the electricity, thus precipitating this disaster. This proved my own naivete because, despite my question being asked in jest, I found the following comment on DM:

In modern times, you cannot judge the seriousness of a statement by ridiculousness alone. No matter how outrageous a statement is, you may not necessarily assume that it was intended to be ironic or sarcastic. For any given level of ridiculousness, there is a corresponding statement made by a liberal intended to convey the utmost gravity.

The correct response, of course, is to either outlaw generators completely, or at least require state and federal regulation of generator purchases. This regulation must include waiting periods and expensive background checks. Under no circumstances should purchases of generators be allowed between private parties, and absolutely no online purchases of generators should be tolerated. Furthermore, the power output capacity of generators for personal use should be limited to one kilowatt, just to make sure that the rate of CO production is controlled (still enough to kill yourself, just not as quickly). I welcome submissions of suitably cute names for this proposal.

Power company kills eight

Objective reality as a backdrop for the expression of liberal values

Seems several gaggles of my fellow New York Millennials have been taking selfies with the burning wreckage at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street in the background. Apparently this has upset some folks.

But what’s the big deal? Or, rather, how is this inconsistent with the otherwise-mandatory liberal worldview? To liberals, there can be no such thing as objective reality, because the existence of objective reality implies that there are limitations on individual freedom imposed by nature. Therefore, in the absence of objective reality, all events — no matter how calamitous — have value only within the context of one’s existence. And thus, a burning building is significant only in the sense that it’s unusual and provides a neat photo opportunity. It has no moral implications. In the liberal mind, then, the things which non-liberals associate with objective reality exist only as a backdrop against which the liberal’s gratuitous expressions of social and sexual liberation may be showcased in the greatest prominence.

Objective reality as a backdrop for the expression of liberal values

White Guilt Jumps the Shark

In a move that can be described only as bizarre, Starbucks has adopted a policy encouraging its employees to discuss race relations with customers while serving their coffee.

Most of us react to this with revulsion, and Starbucks’ idiot VP of Global Communications Corey duBrowa has been shouted down for this in righteous fashion. But I think it’s important to explore why this policy is so ridiculous, because its ridiculousness transcends mere white guilt.

The traditional view of human relationships is that there exist various “spheres;” the private, the professional, the academic, and the political, to name a few. The way one acts and conducts oneself may vary significantly between those spheres because it may be helpful to emphasize different personality traits depending on present company.

But the liberal view is that any delineation between the public and private realms is wrong, because it’s oppressive in that it rewards people for acting publicly in ways which aren’t in exact accordance with how they act in private. In other words, any separation between the spheres is a violation of freedom of expression. It does not support their agenda of total liberation ideology. Therefore, the traditional boundaries on conversations between people in a public setting must go.

For example, the discussion of race relations would, under traditional order, be limited to the private, academic, and political spheres. It is inappropriate for a person to whom you relate in only the public sphere to engage you in a discussion of race relations. It is annoying; it is an invasion. And even liberals admit this — just read some of the responses from liberals in the linked article.

So it seems that, subconsciously, even liberals are drawn to the traditional order and hierarchy I support unabashedly and vocally.

White Guilt Jumps the Shark

Madison Madness

Another “unarmed black teen” has been shot and killed by a white police officer, this time in Madison, Wisconsin.

As usual, the “teen” Tony Robinson is actually 19, making him an adult. It turns out that the “teen” had a prior conviction for armed home invasion. What I find striking is that he was sentenced to mere probation for this reprehensible crime rather than actually serve jail time. How is this possible? How can anyone believe that probation is an appropriate sentence for someone who entered another person’s home for the purpose of robbing them and brought along a loaded firearm in order to kill or incapacitate the occupant in the event of resistance? It is absolutely unbelievable.

And yet, the “teen’s” white mother insists that he has “never been a violent person.” Well, thanks to Officer Matt Kenny, he’ll certainly never be a violent person again.

But the most disturbing thing about this situation is the pathetic, groveling, teary-eyed statement from Mayor Paul Soglin. He uses typical, politically-authorized language to describe the incident and his liberal sentiments. Of particular note is the misappropriation of the word “tragedy.” Indeed, it is tragic that even in a society which bends over backwards to afford opportunities to those of socioeconomic disadvantage there are still so many people who are simply incapable of acting in a civilized manner. But Mayor Soglin doesn’t mean that this is a tragedy in that sense; he means that Robinson’s death — independent of context — is tragic.

A tragedy is something bad that happens and is unavoidable in that it transcends mankind’s abilities to manipulate the material world to its will. Committing an act of violence, attacking a police officer, and getting shot is not unavoidable. These events do not transcend our ability to manipulate material reality. They are the decisions of a single person of moral and intellectual bankruptcy and the consequences of those decisions.

Madison Madness

Liberal Jews and the antisemitic bogeyman

My grandmother turned 94 last week and my mother and my uncles had a nice little gathering at my grandmother’s place in celebration. She is beginning to lose her faculties so we are trying to enjoy the time we have with her.

The conversation invariably turned to politics, at which point I announced my view that Islam is incompatible with Western civilization, and that mass Muslim immigration to the West must be halted. This precipitated the predictable and irrelevant “But not all Muslims are extremists!” response, as well as analogizing my position to that of anti-Semites.

The former is simply an emotional response; the existence of individual “moderate” Muslims has nothing to do with whether or not, from a policy standpoint, it makes sense for us to allow Muslim immigration. But the latter betrays the mentality of the liberal suburban Jew: they are terrified of antisemitism, whether or not they’ve ever experienced it themselves. They just know there’s a redneck farmer out there, just over the next hill, who hates Jews and everything about them. And not just a single redneck farmer, but a whole gaggle of them; indeed, they underlie everything that is American. This entire country was founded upon the principles held dear by antisemitic redneck whites, and as Jews, they are just barely able to hold off the onslaught of Jew-hatred. The most powerful tool in the toolbox is undermining the rotten, racist American spinal cord by supporting anything antithetical to its values. And not only that, but anything — any argument or position — even vaguely reminiscent of white antisemitism must be just as misguided and, indeed, evil as the highest chieftains of Jew-extermination. That includes any argument that a particular religion or behavior is incompatible with Western values because, of course, those despicable white anti-Semites said that very thing about the Jews, years ago.

I believe sincerely that the above narrative is, in essence, what goes on in these people’s minds. As a Jew (culturally, rather than religiously), I consider it my job to oppose this crippling and suicidal idiocy. ISIS is cutting people’s heads off on the internet, and American Jews are worried about the guy at the grocery store wishing them a merry Christmas.

Of course, when challenged to produce an example of antisemitism, none of them could recall anything specific. They just know it’s out there. Lurking just beyond the corner, somewhere in the dark.

It’s time to wake up, Jews of the West.

Liberal Jews and the antisemitic bogeyman

Civil liability idiocy

I remember reading about Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild’s parasailing accident a couple of years ago and finding it very distressing. But the outcome of their legal battles is distressing as well.

The lawsuit filed on their behalf named five defendants:

1) Parasailing ride operator

2) A business located on the beach

3) A rope manufacturer

4) The rope wholesaler

5) The condominium into which they crashed

As I understand it, all five defendants (in reality, their insurance companies) offered a settlement which was accepted by the girls’ attorneys. But which of the five defendants actually has any moral culpability for what happened? Clearly, the parasailing ride operator has culpability for failing to properly inspect and load-test their equipment at regular intervals. Just as clearly, the rope manufacturer is culpable for not ensuring adequate quality control in their processes. But the rope wholesaler? Presumably, the rope comes from the factory sealed with a quality control stamp. And the building they crashed into? What, are they liable for building the damn thing in the wrong spot?

In a sane world, neither of those businesses would have offered a settlement and the girls’ attorneys could have moved to take them to court. And in a sane world, they would have been laughed out of court, forced to pay the defendants’ court costs, and hit with some sort of penalty fee for wasting everyone’s time. But the fact is that those entities’ insurance companies know that the deck is stacked against them and offered the settlement just to avoid further legal expenses. Of course, the end result is that insurance prices go up.

Divorcing the concept of civil liability from objective moral culpability has contributed to making this country’s legal system a complete joke.

Civil liability idiocy

Does sexual orientation have moral implications?

Sally Kohn implies that it does.

When we say that we want others to emulate our behavior, it’s because we ascribe a certain moral value to those behaviors, or that we feel a sense of solidarity with those who engage in them. This is the nature of preferring the company of certain people, for various reasons, over others. It also implies judgment — deciding that one code of behavior is better than another. It’s perfectly natural and is both the conscious and subconscious practice of psychologically healthy individuals.

Except, of course, when one’s judgment leads them to believe that heterosexuality is better than homosexuality. Then you’re a hateful bigot, perhaps even a Neanderthal.

On another note, I’d like to point out that Sally Kohn simultaneously embodies nearly every stereotype of liberal idiocy in mainstream culture. It’s a magnificent achievement. I just wish she’d adopt a baby from Africa to complete the package.

Does sexual orientation have moral implications?

A monstrous injustice in New Jersey

A 72-year-old retired teacher has been arrested for felony possession of a handgun after informing officers that he had an unloaded (and not necessarily functioning) colonial-era flintlock pistol in his car during a routine traffic stop. He faces up to six years in prison, with over three of them to be served without parole due to NJ’s insane firearms laws.

This is the same sort of abject stupidity that was foisted upon Brian Aitken (whom Christie has not pardoned, by the way).

A morally vacuous populace begets a morally corrupt government, which further begets amoral enforcement apparatuses. The police who arrested him rather than sweep this under the proverbial rug are every bit as culpable for this idiocy as the legislators who signed the bill to create the law and their moronic constituents whose loyalty put these criminals into office. It’s a literal cycle of stupidity.

A monstrous injustice in New Jersey

Self-determination in Quebec

My girlfriend and I spent the past weekend in Montreal, Quebec. It is a nice city and we enjoyed ourselves and each other. However, until this little trip, I was ignorant of the vast cultural conflict between Quebecers and the rest of English-speaking Canada.

In 1977, Quebec passed the Charter of the French Language, charging the Quebec Board of the French Language with ensuring that French be the primary spoken and written language in both public administration and private sector business. Signs in places of public accommodation must be written in French, and any English translation must be less prominent than the French portion.

The relevant historical context is, very briefly, that Quebec (and indeed a vast portion of now-developed Canada and Midwestern United States) belonged to the French prior to Britain’s victory in the French and Indian War in 1763. While most of the French influence in the areas noted in parentheses has been overwhelmed by cultural and political forces over the centuries, in Quebec it has maintained a foothold. As such, many Quebecers see themselves as a conquered people and there is a significant degree of resentment of the majority English Canadian culture. This resentment has precipitated multiple secession movements.

This is very intriguing to me. By what means may a people preserve what they believe is their historic culture? What, if any, abridgments of individual rights are appropriate in achieving this end? Further, is natural cultural evolution (especially as a result of political and geographic realities which have gone largely unchanged for the past 250 years) to be resisted just as we resist radical cultural revolution?

As an American, my sense of things is that Quebec’s attempts to preserve its culture via executive fiat are misguided and their sweeping dismissal of individual rights is unacceptable. If the human forces at play are such that a single aspect of your culture is being eroded, not by government tyranny but by 250 years of history, it may be time to accept that said aspect is an anachronism.

I am, by no means, committed to the above-stated view. That is just my gut reaction based on my experience there over a period of 72 hours and about ten minutes of reading on Wikipedia. I’m open to, and invite, others’ perspectives on this matter.

Self-determination in Quebec

My views on race

I make a lot of references to race as well as generalizations based on race, and I think it’s important to be very clear about what I mean when I say these things. It is often impractical to provide an explicit point-by-point explanation of terminology in the middle of a post that involves other elements.

To begin with, let me first say that I reject completely the white nationalist/supremacist views on race; namely, that there is an intrinsic “goodness” associated with whites which is not present in people of other races. This is a pseudoscientific belief with no basis in material reality. As a materialist, I assume that all human behavioral traits have their roots in biology. Those traits, regardless of a person’s race, fall somewhere along various spectra. Where your traits lie on those spectra determines who you are.

That said, there is no reason to assume, in the presence of evidence to the contrary, that the distribution along each personality spectrum is the same for all races. We know that this is objectively false with regard to physical features, so why we would assume it to be true for psychological and intellectual ones is inexplicable.

Of course, that is a reference to a distribution across an entire subset (race) of humanity, and doesn’t address individuals within each subset. The truth is that there will be individuals of remarkable intelligence, compassion, determination, and courage of every race. This is analogous to the existence of extremely large-built and physically powerful Asians as well as very small and unimposing blacks. But that does not preclude the possibility that these traits are distributed differently over each subset of humanity.

My sense of things is that the good traits, as well as the bad traits, are not distributed the same over every race. I’ve provided sources supporting this view in the past, but will refrain from doing so at this juncture, as this is simply a statement of my views so that my references to race (in the past and future) have some context. As a result, we should not expect every race to be represented equally in all fields of human endeavor. For example, it does not alarm me that fewer than twelve percent of particle physicists are black, or that an extremely disproportionate number of recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics are Jewish. If anything, I think these facts reflect differences in the underlying distributions of intellectual capacity.

In general, my view is that individuals ought to be judged by the content of their character, and that, on an individual basis, race is irrelevant. But I think it is perfectly reasonable and useful to make generalizations about the collective, or average behavior within races. On the other hand, such generalizations should not be used to deny individuals access to specific institutions.

Reasonable comments expressing reasonable opinions are welcome on this blog. Comments expressing views which I consider outside the scope of civilized discussion (such as those positing the existence of an “intrinsic goodness” of any particular race) will not be posted, except for the purpose of an example of logical inconsistency.

My views on race