Patterico's Pontifications

5/3/2021

The Endgame of the Ahmari-French Wars

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



To the Very Online Right, the “Ahmari-French Wars” is a thing. It started with Sohrab Ahmari writing a piece a couple of years ago titled “Against David French-ism”. It’s garbage and doesn’t even deserve an extended block quote, but you can read it if you like. Ahmari’s basic thesis is the usual Trumpy thing we hear all the time from Trumpy Very Online people: we are in a culture war, a battle for our very lives, and we don’t need “soldiers” who are going to go around being polite to people, by gum! You don’t win a war with patience and calm, respectful discussion! You fight to win! To use an actual quote from Ahmari’s piece, you have to “fight the culture war with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good.”

All of this revolved bizarrely around a “Facebook ad for a children’s drag queen reading hour at a public library in Sacramento.” Not that David French is for that sort of thing, mind you, and not that he had expressed any views on it before Ahmari’s broadside . . . but Ahmari knew that French would not take the position that Ahmari preferred: “We must stop drag queen story hours at all costs!” if it undermined French’s beliefs in First Amendment principles. Here’s what French later had to say about it:

I don’t like drag queen reading hours, but I also want to preserve for all Americans the First Amendment-protected right of viewpoint-neutral access to public facilities when those facilities are opened up for public use.

To fans of David French-ism, like me, that sounds eminently sensible. To the Ahmari culture warrior, this is SURRENDER.

Very Online people love this sort of thing, and the mindset is reaching endgame with this:

That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? As long as the Chinese hate David French, they’ve got what it takes to lead the world.

The “own the libs” mindset means you will accept almost any evil that owns the libs (see: Donald J. Trump) while you will oppose anything that you are convinced is something the libs like. Hence the new GOP messaging strategy against Biden’s family leave proposals, as reported in the Washington Post this weekend:

Days after President Biden rolled out his American Families Plan — a sprawling $1.8 trillion proposal to expand federal investment in child care, higher education, employee leave and more — Republicans have, alongside their deep fiscal misgivings, launched a broad social critique of the plan.

Key GOP voices are accusing Biden of engaging in a stealth attempt to reshape American life, trying to reframe their opposition to the plan away from dollars and cents toward the culture-war terrain on which they have recently been much more politically successful.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday responded to Biden’s pitch, made in a joint address to Congress, by declaring that the new administration “wants to jack up taxes in order to nudge families toward the kinds of jobs Democrats want them to have, in the kinds of industries Democrats want to exist, with the kinds of cars Democrats want them to drive, using the kinds of child-care arrangements that Democrats want them to pursue.”

Nobody cares if a program costs trillions. OK, not nobody. To quote Luke Skywalker: “I care.” And so do dozens of others.

But a lot of Trump voters like big government and big spending and getting goodies. How to get them to oppose Biden’s new spending on family leave? The GOP has figured out how: tell them it’s what the libs want.

If they believe you, they’ll oppose the new spending.

But if you tell them the libs hate something, they’ll support that thing. If you could somehow convince the Very Trumpy and Very Online right that this same Biden family leave bill was kryptonite to the libs, they’d march in the streets to get it passed. In fact, they’ll support anything that they believe represents a rejection of a lefty position in the culture wars. Family leave, big government . . . and if necessary, Chinese authoritarianism.

Whatever it takes to own some libs and oppose David French-ism.

68 Responses to “The Endgame of the Ahmari-French Wars”

  1. That comment from Popehat is going to leave a mark. Ouch.

    It’s also true.

    Ugh. This planet makes me ill.

    Simon Jester (b40163)

  2. But a lot of Trump voters like big government and big spending and getting goodies. How to get them to oppose Biden’s new spending on family leave? The GOP has figured out how: tell them it’s what the libs want.

    This is normalizing big government as it moves the debate from “should government be limited” to ‘use limitless state power in they ways we want.’

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  3. Going ChiCom to own the libs. Quite the accomplishment for David French to get Ahmari to do just that. It never ceases to amaze me how French lives rent free in the heads of these so-called common good righties.

    HCI (92ea66)

  4. neverfrench and neverlib are labels in search of members

    as for nevertrump good to know they voted for the man delivering immigration chaos, racial pandering, performative covid theater, chicom detente, family leave pork and more pork because they actually like that stuff, not to own trumpers

    JF (e1156d)

  5. JF, I wasn’t motivated by a desire to ‘own’ Trump supporters. I think that the damage Trump was doing to our democracy was worse then the things you attribute to Biden, and much worse then the things I actually think he’ll accomplish.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  6. Ahmari understands that true nationalism means cheering on it’s decline and supporting it’s enemies.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  7. The fact that the Democrats are a bunch of whackjob left-wing control freaks intent on making the State omnipresent in our lives does not mean that I am willing to put a bunch of whackjob right-wing control freaks into power so they can make the State omnipresent in our lives.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. Ahmari understands that true nationalism means cheering on it’s decline and supporting it’s enemies.

    Because patriotism!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. “I don’t like drag queen reading hours, but I also want to preserve for all Americans the First Amendment-protected right of viewpoint-neutral access to public facilities when those facilities are opened up for public use.”

    Yes, and when the people who fund these deviant events end up getting arrested for CP possession, it’s also something that we shouldn’t mention. People like French are why public libraries are better known as masturbatoriums for homeless people, though I suppose this is just making literal what was previously only intellectually metaphorical and thus a case of ‘immanentizing the eschaton’.

    “I mean I know some people like to say “ha ha Trump broke Ken” but at least I didn’t let a dude in a sundress reading “Goodnight Moon” turn me into a genocide-shrugging theocrat”

    Ken, being both a lawyer and a libertarian, was always guaranteed to be broken and passive when it came to things like ‘defending normal people from everyday deviants’ (he probably thinks that drill sergeant who ran off a groper had it coming and deserved to be fired.) Libertarians have no concept of the socially normative and their stunted harm-based view of morality is always going to be useless when dealing with social aggression and abnormal public deviancy, both when employed by individuals and exploited by corporations to nefarious ends.

    Of course, Ahmari’s BASED AND TRAD CHINA position is also stupid, not because DRAG QUEEN KIDS CLUB is just the common expression of the libertarian freedom impulse that Thomas Jefferson had in mind, but because China is the ultimate corporate/Communist state in the world today and will absolutely tolerate and encourage all sorts of related deviancy in states it wants to weaken, not to mention within itself as a consequence of its own corruption and reliance on bottom-line capitalist prosperity to keep its Communist government in power.

    Permanent outsiders like Ahmari and Adrian Vermeule have always earned America’s knee-jerk Bill the Butcher anti-Catholic tendencies by ‘thinking globally’ like this, which is almost as degenerate as being a JAG who opines on how much he supports the troops by never questioning the necessity of putting them into pointless no-win scenarios with heavily restricted rules of engagement.

    Neo-cons and neo-theocrats both deserve each other, both defend the designs and vices of the rich with never a thought given to the public good, and neither should be cited by anyone serious.

    Marti McWhy (0addc3)

  10. as for nevertrump good to know they voted for the man delivering immigration chaos, racial pandering, performative covid theater, chicom detente, family leave pork and more pork because they actually like that stuff, not to own trumpers

    JF (e1156d) — 5/3/2021 @ 10:46 am

    I am NeverTrump. And I voted for Jo Jorgensen.

    “NeverTrump” does NOT equal “Biden supporter,” or even “Biden voter.”

    You lose.

    Demosthenes (d97249)

  11. Trump’s tough-on-China posture was never ideological. It was just a function of his “I win / you lose” philosophy of life. I’ve seen devoted Trumpers look with envy on China’s venerable civilization and strong sense of national identity (as though it were an entirely organic growth) and on its government’s resistance to globalism and liberalism and radical individualism. In the Trumpified right, the rank and file will shout “freedom not socialism” while the intellectuals fantasize about authoritarian traditionalism.

    Radegunda (cc822d)

  12. How Republicans Lost Interest in Fighting Big Spending
    …….
    Republicans simply aren’t as interested in fiscal issues anymore.

    The party has changed and would much rather talk about the border than the budget, and cancellations than Congressional Budget Office scores. …..
    …….
    Republican politics has become focused on culture war issues, another change symbolized by Trump. There was some tutting among fiscal hawks at the time Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill passed that conservatives seemed more upset about Dr. Seuss Enterprises ceasing the publication of several of the legendary children author’s books than about an off-the-charts spending measure that, it turns out, was just the appetizer.

    But the culture-war issues hit close to the bone in a way that fiscal issues don’t. Conservatives worry about their free-speech rights getting trampled, about schools distorting the minds of their children, and about the country’s history getting redefined—and it’s hard to get them to care more about a balance sheet that may have deleterious consequences at some future date than these other, more definitional questions.
    …….
    More from the Republican Outrage Machine:

    ‘We Are So Screwed’: Sen. John Kennedy Rips Attempts To Cancel Snow White Ride Over Non-Consenting Fairy Tale Kiss

    …….
    Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said during a Monday appearance on Fox and Friends that sometimes he thinks the U.S. is “so screwed,” following recent attempts to cancel the new Snow White ride at Disneyland over a non-consenting kiss.

    San Francisco Gate published a May 1 piece arguing the newly-renovated Disney ride was problematic, as it ends with the prince leaning over and kissing Snow White — a “kiss he gives to her without her consent while she’s asleep.” The piece also said this kiss could not “possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening.”

    “You know, sometimes I think we are so screwed,” Kennedy said. “I don’t know where these Jack-a-loons come up with this stuff. I don’t mean to be mean. I’ll try to be nice if they try to be sane and I shouldn’t discourage it I guess because so many of my Democratic friends believe in it, but it’s just such utter nonsense.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Republican politics has become focused on culture war issues, another change symbolized by Trump.

    Trump? Seem to recall a certain Vice President from Indiana — no not Pence– railing about a fictional TeeVee reporter and her baby problem in he culture war back in ’92. The GOP always been obsessed watching other people living their lives and having the fun they deny themselves.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. Mitt romney booded at republican meeting in utah. Republican party is purging itself of never trumpers.

    asset (542592)

  15. When I re-read this exchange I start to think….man are we way too much into each other’s stuff. If you don’t want to go to Drag Queen Story Time….then don’t freakin’ go…..write op-eds describing the alleged damage to impressionable minds if that’s what you believe…..but this idea that we should use the power of government to mind-whip each other misses the boat….and continues to raise the temperature on a matter that is frankly pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But it keeps us maximally angry…..because we’ve become addicted to the adrenaline rush and foxhole camaraderie of these epic battles against a common enemy….of course without the physical danger of actual war. I’m coming to the conclusion that’s there no fix because the collective “we” like it too much. We haven’t lost enough to re-think how we are treating our neighbors as our “enemies”. We’ve paralyzed our politics to a point where eventually something will break because there’s zero good will. Everything’s gotcha…..and Putin is lovin’ it.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  16. @14 If only “booed” equaled “purged”. Besides, the kind of people who attend those events tend to be nutty and simplistic.

    norcal (01e272)

  17. Mitt romney booded at republican meeting in utah. Republican party is purging itself of never trumpers.

    asset (542592) — 5/3/2021 @ 1:58 pm

    He was booed, but he wasn’t even censured…much less purged.

    JF and asset are evidence for my theory that happyfeet finally underwent mitosis.

    Demosthenes (d97249)

  18. I strongly advise against owning a Trumper. Have you seen them? They eat a lot! The Cheetos alone could bankrupt you. Not to mention that they’ll always be complaining that the cat stole their spot on the couch.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. Mitt romney booded at republican meeting in utah. Republican party is purging itself of never trumpers.

    asset (542592) — 5/3/2021 @ 1:58 pm

    Yup. I would normally say that I hope this cult of personality doesn’t result in the libs winning a bunch of elections but since the only point of the GOP now is to punish anyone that has shown disrespect to the tribe or it’s mascot it probably doesn’t matter.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  20. Where “shown disrespect to” means “told the truth about”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. If only “booed” equaled “purged”. Besides, the kind of people who attend those events tend to be nutty and simplistic.

    A Mormon in Utah booed. ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. the only point of the GOP now is to punish anyone that has shown disrespect to the tribe or it’s mascot

    It’s much more about the mascot than the tribe, which is defined almost entirely by reverence for the mascot. I’m gobsmacked at how people I thought were intelligent have thrown away their credibility in order to service the ego of someone so unworthy of admiration.

    Radegunda (d5730b)

  23. Trump’s still ahead. He was booed by Catholic altar boys at the Al Smith dinner in 2016. In front of the Cardinal.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. Daily here the small minority of never trumpers demand that 80% of the republicans who are populists and tea bagger activists come to their senses and let the establishment economic libertarian free trade conservatives be allowed to retake control of the party. So big corporations and the wealthy can bring back free trade, immigration and endless wars which benefits them to the detriment of everyone else.

    asset (9f2570)

  25. “We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high, our wages are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries.”

    Donald J. Trump, Populist.

    Radegunda (d5730b)

  26. “Yes, and when the people who fund these deviant events end up getting arrested for CP possession”

    How many drag queen story hours did Josh Duggar fund?

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  27. Daily here the small minority of never trumpers demand that 80% of the republicans who are populists and tea bagger activists come to their senses and let the establishment economic libertarian free trade conservatives be allowed to retake control of the party. So big corporations and the wealthy can bring back free trade, immigration and endless wars which benefits them to the detriment of everyone else.

    asset (9f2570) — 5/3/2021 @ 4:56 pm

    I don’t demand anything of you, or anyone else. But I’m not going to vote for a party that doesn’t work towards goals I think are important. I’m not going to vote for candidates that peddle conspiracy theories and try to tear down faith in our country with lies. And I’m not going to pretend that the bigots, liars, and grifters that follow them deserve respect.

    Also, I’m well aware that this doesn’t include everyone in the GOP.

    Time123 (653992)

  28. That demon voter fraud in PA:

    ‘I Listened to Too Much Propaganda’: Trump Voter Gets Probation After Casting Ballot on Dead Mom’s Behalf and Registering Another Dead Woman as a Republican in Pa.
    ……..
    Bruce Bartman, 70, provided an allocution in front of Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge George Pagano during a Friday hearing. Bartman apologized for his conduct and pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and one count of unlawful voting.

    “I was isolated last year in lockdown,” the defendant told the court in proceedings originally reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I listened to too much propaganda and made a stupid mistake.”

    Bartman’s attorney, Samuel Stretton, also said his client had made “a very misguided political mistake” that was “very stupid.”
    …….
    …….Bartman was accused late last year of registering his mother Elizabeth Bartman and his mother-in-law Elizabeth Weihman, both of whom were deceased at the time, via the Keystone State’s online voter registration system.

    Each of the dead women, who had been dead for some 12 and two years, respectively, were illegally registered as Republicans.

    Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer (D) alleged that Bartman was ultimately only able to cast a vote for his mother.
    ……..
    It’s all COVID’s fault!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. At least he came (belatedly) to his senses, Rip.

    norcal (01e272)

  30. @29-
    It’s not like he went to the DA and confessed.

    Rip Murdock (d20518)

  31. @29-

    Bartman, when asked about his mother voting after it was flagged by the Trump campaign, denied he was behind it.

    So no sympathy from me.

    Rip Murdock (d20518)

  32. The poor old guy. Snitched out by the very same sore loser he tried to help out. I’m glad the judge went easy on him.

    nk (1d9030)

  33. A reminder, in case one was needed, that every Trumpkin accusation is a confession.

    Dave (1bb933)

  34. Breitbart would disagree with the thesis here.

    “Politics is downstream of culture.”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  35. Rip,
    I think probation is appropriate for an isolated case of voter fraud by a first time offender.
    It’s really funny that this guy was interviewed and, while knowing that he had committed voter fraud, tried to blame his political opponents of stealing the election.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  36. Breitbart would disagree with the thesis here.

    “Politics is downstream of culture.”

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 5/3/2021 @ 11:21 pm

    Was that before or after they got in bed Milo and a bunch of white-nationalists?

    Time123 (235fc4)

  37. On the other hand in Texas, a woman who was ineligible to vote cast a provisional ballot, which was never counted, at the advice of a poll worker, and is in prison for five years.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/texas-woman-sentenced-five-years-trying-vote-gets-new-appeal-n1262691

    You get only one guess as to her skin color.

    I am a little stuck on this idea of “family leave pork”. You may not like the government making raising a family easier through taxes and regulation and spending and all that, but how does it count as “pork”? At that point, does all government efforts on behalf of people become pork and it’s just a question of which flavors you like?

    On a related note that “child care arrangements that the Democrats want you to have” actually means Democrats making sure money is available to have the child care arrangements that you want to have. The Republican alternative appears to be the child care arrangements you can afford, and too bad if you can’t afford any.

    Victor (4959fb)

  38. As for chaos at the border, I note that the number of unaccompanied children being held in detention has dropped by 84% since last month:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/29/politics/border-patrol-unaccompanied-minors/index.html

    and that Biden’s administration is starting to reunite families. I am sure that all the Republicans who suddenly were deeply, sincerely concerned about the welfare of these children will unite in praising these recent developments.

    Victor (4959fb)

  39. @37, the dem approach seems based on a model where both parents work. Why not just increase the child tax credit and let individuals decide how to use the money?

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  40. @38 number going down at the border and up at other locations by the same amount. It’s not an improvement, it’s a shell game.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  41. @38 if you actually cared about these unaccompanied children you wouldn’t be enabling their abuse, at taxpayer expense no less

    any american parent that allowed their child to be dragged across hostile terrain and international borders unaccompanied would be in prison, and should be in prison

    these immigrants aren’t as dumb as you believe

    they know exactly what abusive nonsense you’ll underwrite

    JF (e1156d)

  42. I agree with JF. Except on one thing. They’re not immigrants. They’re illegal aliens. Immigrant is a legal status, defined by law, which they do not possess.

    nk (1d9030)

  43. On a related note that “child care arrangements that the Democrats want you to have” actually means Democrats making sure money is available to have the child care arrangements that you want to have.

    I want to have a 80K Tesla. Can Democrats ensure money is available so I can get the care I want to have, rather than the car I can afford (dumb old Camry…).

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  44. @35-
    I think probation is appropriate for an isolated case of voter fraud by a first time offender……

    I have no problem with probation, given his age (70). He should be watched carefully, though. As part of his probation, he loses his right to vote for four years.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  45. “Tyranny is the inevitable consequence of liberalism,” according to Sohrab Ahmari. If you give people individual choice, it will “create the conditions for a kind of private tyranny.” He’s not much for the “marketplace of ideas” either.

    He lodges some fair criticism against the tyranny of the woke, but he’s essentially arguing: that’s what happens when people aren’t required to give assent to what I believe. It’s how trad-cons use the Chestertonian idea that if people don’t share the religious beliefs of trad-cons, they’ll make a religion out of bad ideas. Among the New Right I’ve seen the idea that the good old American freedom of religion actually amounts to an “attack on religion.” As if the past 2+ centuries of thriving religion in America were merely the preparatory phase in the plan to stamp out religion. And as if everyone got along wonderfully when a religion was imposed by the state or by social pressure.

    While the rank and file of the Trumpified right say “You can’t tell us what to do!” some of their intellectual leaders are basically telling us: “We should be the people who tell everyone else what to think and what they may not do!”

    Radegunda (cc822d)

  46. HCI (92ea66) — 5/3/2021 @ 10:29 am

    Going ChiCom to own the libs.

    Sphrab Armari, if you read him closely, was not talking about Chinese Communism (which he apparently finds so temporary that it almost not worth paying attention to) but Chinese civilization.

    What Ahmari found bad in the USA and good in China (where for the moment, he ignored who was in charge) was its traditional sexual values. He associates that with Confucianism.

    You have to read between the lines.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  47. You have to read between the lines.

    IOW, “read” what he didn’t say but what you think he meant?
    Ahmari’s tweet doesn’t make his acceptance of a “Chinese-led 21st-century” conditional on its recovery of Confucian roots. He only says that would be a bonus. His central point is “late-liberal America is too dumb and decadent,” and therefore a highly coercive form of government doesn’t look so bad to him as an alternative. Like other trad-cons, he would probably be happy to force others to accept his own views of what is true and good.

    Radegunda (cc822d)

  48. Time,

    I agree that a program of providing families with more money to take care of child care arrangements is a good idea, but I am not an expert on child care systems. Perhaps it makes more sense for the government to directly subsidize some child care providers to ensure that there will be enough in every community. But that’s just speculation.

    Do you have evidence on the idea that the number of children in detention is a constant and not declining? I’d be ciurious.

    Hoi,

    Because arranging for child care is more important than getting you your Tesla. I understand though that valuing the raising of children, particularly other people’s children, is not a universally held value. I feel in fact that there’s a real ideological difference on the issue between the parties.

    JF,

    Well if you actually care about these children, then making arrangements as Trump did, to separate them from their families, or to push them into overcrowded dangerous refugee camps on the border, would be suboptimal.

    And I agree that the refugee parents aren’t dumb and made a reasoned decision to leave their homes on a dangerous trek of hundreds of miles because they thought it was the best alternative for them and their children. So I don’t think they should go to prison and I do think we should consider listening to what they have to say and figure out ways of dealing with the types of dangers that would push them to do this.

    But I don’t actually believe, if I am being honest, that you or the Republican party actually do care about the welfare of these children or their parents. I think you think of them as dangerous foreign criminals demanding welfare checks and your only real interest is to keep them as far from the U.S. as possible, regardless of what happens to them. The only reason to pretend to care is as an opportunity to bash Biden and liberals for perceived hypocrisy. But long term interest in their lives? Can’t see it.

    Victor (4959fb)

  49. Radegunda (cc822d) — 5/4/2021 @ 10:22 am

    Ahmari’s tweet doesn’t make his acceptance of a “Chinese-led 21st-century” conditional on its recovery of Confucian roots. He only says that would be a bonus.

    He said more of its Confucian roots. He considers it still has a lot of that now. (Maybe not with regard to abortion.)

    He would like a more powerful China because that would influence the moral values in the USA.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  50. He sees “Chinese civilization” as having “a great deal of natural virtue” probably thinking of “family values.”

    He kind of ignores, or is unaware of, the business ethics cultivated by its government (the government of China doesn’t want rich people with concerns unrelated to self-interest.)

    There are no philanthrophists in China. Maybe in Hong Kong. Although Wikipedia has a list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Chinese_philanthropists

    There’s probably not one genuine one on the mainland. Such a person could not survive.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  51. 35. Time123 (69b2fc) — 5/4/2021 @ 4:56 am

    It’s really funny that this guy was interviewed and, while knowing that he had committed voter fraud, tried to blame his political opponents of stealing the election.

    He was being consistent about fooling people.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  52. @48 lol you don’t care about these kids, only their votes circa 2036

    the policies you celebrate are specifically designed to entice these illegals to put kids in danger, but you’ve got your eyes on the prize so who cares

    JF (e1156d)

  53. “When I re-read this exchange I start to think….man are we way too much into each other’s stuff.”

    Being violently against murder and sex trafficking in neighborhoods you don’t live in is also ‘way too much into each other’s stuff.’ Your morality and sense of social relations is faulty.

    “If you don’t want to go to Drag Queen Story Time….then don’t freakin’ go….”

    ‘If you don’t want kids to be prescribed puberty blockers…don’t prescribe them!’ Again, an opinion that utterly ignores the social environment, utterly ignores the ability of both younger people to make these decisions and the ability of the adults to groom them for further chemical abuse, and atomizes society to a single individual.

    “write op-eds describing the alleged damage to impressionable minds if that’s what you believe…..but this idea that we should use the power of government to mind-whip each other misses the boat.”

    Your mind and body needs a great deal of whipping if you thought this analysis was convincing to anyone with life experience, or should be normative.

    “and continues to raise the temperature on a matter that is frankly pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things.”

    What do the liberals and neocons here mean when they say TRUMP SHOULD NOT BE NORMALIZED? Do you use fake defensive words like ‘slippery slope fallacy’ in common practice?

    “But it keeps us maximally angry…..because we’ve become addicted to the adrenaline rush and foxhole camaraderie of these epic battles against a common enemy.”

    Maybe if you actually permitted victory against the worst offenders instead of defending the deviants with all your lazy rhetoric people might not be continually mad. Do you identify with them?

    “of course without the physical danger of actual war. I’m coming to the conclusion that’s there no fix because the collective “we” like it too much.”

    There’s no fix because you’re fighting against both the normal impulse of normal people to punish deviants and the normal impulse of deviant people to flaunt social norms, especially in front of children. For some reason you think only one of these impulses should be discouraged.

    “We haven’t lost enough to re-think how we are treating our neighbors as our “enemies”.”

    Yes, the moral and social judgment of some burnout sex pervert with a history of drug use and indecent exposure is equally as valuable as the judgment of family men and women. How could anyone be dismissive of their no doubt well-studied opinions on the age of consent?

    “We’ve paralyzed our politics to a point where eventually something will break because there’s zero good will. Everything’s gotcha…..and Putin is lovin’ it.”

    looool: TAKING AWAY MY WEED IS DOING PUTIN’S BIDDING!!!! Stoners and other immature and selfish people always have a keen ear for excuses that they think their parents or other authority figures will accept.

    Stoner Morality (435664)

  54. He would like a more powerful China because that would influence the moral values in the USA

    Right, that history of forced abortion — along with the strong societal bias against daughters — shows us how deeply moral China is.

    So maybe the government has since decided there’s a need for babies after all — even girls! — but someone who looks at China and sees superior moral values is someone I can’t take seriously. Why doesn’t he go live there? His Chinese-born wife might give him a way in.

    Admiration for the heavy-handed way the Chinese government goes about ënforcing a “civilizational identity” has other admirers among the Trumpified right, who have quite abandoned classical liberalism even while complaining that social media deplatforming is a kind of censorship–but only when practiced against people they agree with.

    Radegunda (cc822d)

  55. TAKING AWAY MY WEED IS DOING PUTIN’S BIDDING!!!!

    For the past year we’ve heard that taking serious measures against a highly contagious disease was just a way of attacking Donald Trump.

    Radegunda (cc822d)

  56. “For the past year we’ve heard that taking serious measures against a highly contagious disease was just a way of attacking Donald Trump.”

    Absolutely. The entirety of COVID messaging & policy is based solely on what is maximally harmful to the right and maximally beneficial to the left. This tells me that none of this matters at all, it’s all theater.

    Let’s pretend, for five minutes, that any of this was real. I mean the concern & panic.

    Any public official who put COVID patients in nursing home would have resigned by now. If you believed in COVID, you would be FURIOUS about what happened in PA, NY, and MI. But no.

    What do you care about? You care that no Democrat is made to look bad. You care that the messaging is consistently “Red bad, blue good.” If this were real and serious, party wouldn’t matter. All that would matter is the pandemic.

    Unvaccinated, untested, non-mask-wearing, unhygienic people streaming over the border would be treated as a public health crisis. Obviously, it’s not. Masks, vaccines, and social distancing don’t matter when it’s about acquiring more blue voters.

    Obviously, you would have been LIVID that irresponsible young people and blacks were out partying, rioting, and assembling at the height of the pandemic. But instead, magically, gathering together for politically correct purposes makes you immune from COVID!

    You wouldn’t lie about the Trump admin doing 1 million vaccinations per day. You don’t really care about vaccinations. You care about that Red Bad/Blue Good message. So Trump admin’s OWS successes don’t matter. In fact, you lie about them.

    We’d see some real reckoning about masks. You don’t believe in masks. You believe that believing in masks “owns” the Red Team and puts a point on your team’s board.

    You don’t believe in the vaccine. You believe that believing in the vaccine puts a few more points on your team’s board.

    You don’t believe in science. We got no new information on lockdowns; what happened is that pedal-to-the-metal quarantines were seen as a way to further political messaging. You don’t believe in lockdowns; you believe that believing in lockdowns hurts Team Red.

    This is all nonsense. I feel no need to engage with something where nobody shrieking at me actually believes in anything other than their side winning. Fine, your side won, you have fun with that. Hope you protected your assets against inflation.

    ActBlue's Bulldog (b45c3e)

  57. 56. You’re not quite right.

    There’s a lot wrong with the messaging, but it wasn’t political. What was political was the idea of adhering blindly to the messaging of the official medical establishment. (CDC, FDA)

    Which had a number of value judgments, influenced by politics, and just plain stupidities.

    The medical establishment was interested in never saying they were wrong. So they kept including this idea of cleaning, which was based on a faulty theory of how flu spread.

    I could name a couple of things that are still wrong with the messaging. Like that it doesn’t matter what vaccine you get, even though one dose of the J&J vaccine confers less immunity than one dose of Pfizer or Moderna. But you’re fully vaccinated when you get one dose of J&J but it is very important to get the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

    Or that the approved time period between doses has anything to do with the ideal time period between doses (the longer the better ultimately)

    To point out just one absurdity.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  58. @56, You’re assuming that because they don’t agree with your preferred solution don’t honestly think there’s a problem.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  59. What’s really wrong is this focus almost only on vaccines and not on therapeutics. Vaccines are only as prevention and are given to many people who may not get exposed to the virus and affect things a minimum of 10 days or so after the vaccination, while therapeutics are given to people who are infected or have a high likelihood of being infected. And there is close to a cure – the Regeneron antibodies

    For maybe two days last week New York City ran an ad last week telling people that as soon as they felt sick they should go ta doctor (politically correct – they should actually go the emergency room of Maimonides and a few other specific hospitals. The wrong doctor won;t steer you to the right possibly life saving treatment) who might get you a treatment if you fell into a high risk category (I think it said)

    It is supposed to be used only to prevent hospitalizations. (I read a story of someone who had to be officially discharged to get the treatment.) But they stopped the ad after a day or so.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  60. But instead, magically, gathering together for politically correct purposes makes you immune from COVID!

    No, they said the cause outweighed it (it would have been legitimate to argue that it couldn’t be stopped)

    We also learned that going out to vote on Election Day was OK for people in quarantine.

    The quarantine period was of course too long.

    Recently the American Federation of Teachers successfully lobbied the Centers for Disease Control to change its proposed forthcoming recommendations so that it wouldn’t be so easy to open schools.

    The advice given in any case is based on the idea of balancing losses and gains, but it messaged as individual advice. For an individual some of what they say is OK to do is maybe not OK, if you want to minimize your risk; and some of what they say is not OK, is OK for the level of risk you are willing to tolerate. They’re like secular priests.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  61. ActBlue’s Bulldog (and all the other names you use),

    Have you ever thought of simmering down and having a calm, rational discussion, or is that too uncomfortable for you?

    You remind me of my father. He was afraid of honest conversation. He would build up a head of steam, say something pointed to my mother, and then leave the room. It was the only way he was able to communicate.

    norcal (01e272)

  62. Geez, Putin’s Russia is getting almost as intolerant of dissent as the so-called Republican Party:

    Last week, for the first time since the Soviet era, the Kremlin officially classified opposition to its rule as a criminal offense. In a decision harking back to the infamous Article 70 of Soviet Russia’s criminal code that penalized “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” — and that landed prominent dissidents, from Vladimir Bukovsky to Yuri Orlov, in prisons and labor camps — Moscow prosecutors suspended the activities of the nationwide organization of Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent. Navalny is currently incarcerated in a prison camp after surviving a state-sponsored assassination attempt last year.

    “Under the guise of liberal slogans these organizations are creating conditions for destabilizing the social and political situation,” read a statement from the Moscow prosecutor’s office. “Their actual goal is to change the constitutional order, including through a ‘color revolution’ scenario.” (“Color revolutions” refer to popular uprisings that toppled authoritarian regimes in many post-Soviet states, including Ukraine and Georgia.) Prosecutors requested that the Moscow City Court designate three organizations linked to the opposition leader — the Navalny Headquarters, the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens Rights — as “extremist.” The court hearing is scheduled for May 17, but everyone already knows the outcome.

    The “extremist” label would place Navalny’s organization — a peaceful political movement whose methods include holding demonstrations, supporting opposition candidates in elections and conducting public investigations of government corruption (most notably of Putin’s $1.3 billion palace on the Black Sea coast) — on par with terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. Anyone working for the Navalny organization — a network of nearly 40 regional affiliates across Russia — could face up to six years in prison. Anyone donating money could be jailed for up to eight years. Anyone leading or directing the groups’ activities could get up to 10 years behind bars.

    Dave (1bb933)

  63. @62 It looks like China and Russia are on parallel paths. Xi makes himself leader for life, and criminalizes opposition in Hong Kong (it’s always been criminal in mainland China under the CCP).

    Putin installs a puppet placeholder so that he can become president again, and outlaws groups who push back against his rule.

    norcal (01e272)

  64. “Have you ever thought of simmering down and having a calm, rational discussion, or is that too uncomfortable for you?”

    Your worst posters deserve it (because you haven’t been correcting them) and the format doesn’t permit it. This forum’s host and his cronies willfully ban all such discussion that leads to conclusions he doesn’t like and accidentally bans all sorts of non-toxic discussion via keywords, origins, and timescales.

    “You remind me of my father. He was afraid of honest conversation. He would build up a head of steam, say something pointed to my mother, and then leave the room. It was the only way he was able to communicate.”

    Smart man using the tools he had in the time he was allotted. No one has infinite time to listen and respond to infinite female rationalizations, demands for niceness, insinuations that she didn’t really say that, and all the little rhetorical tricks specifically designed to misdirect, protect reputation, and wear down people who know what’s going on. Treasure the pearls of wisdom or just the zingers that already makes it through the filter, because you won’t have a chance to effectively respond to them (and probably couldn’t even if you tried.)

    Discussiman (65e79d)

  65. Discussiman,

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I’ve seen plenty of comments that disagree with the host and his co-bloggers.

    As for my father, I’m sorry to say that he was NOT avoiding “infinite female rationalizations, demands for niceness, insinuations that she didn’t really say that, and all the little rhetorical tricks specifically designed to misdirect, protect reputation, and wear down people who know what’s going on”. My mother is a very kind person.

    My father had a bad temper and was irrational. He refused to consider other points of view. I know, because I was there.

    norcal (01e272)

  66. I just saw this article, and had to share. It describes Trump so well.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting

    Salient parts:

    Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed.

    ……..

    Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you.

    ……..

    They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

    ……..

    By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

    norcal (01e272)

  67. 63. norcal (01e272) — 5/4/2021 @ 4:04 pm

    @62 It looks like China and Russia are on parallel paths.

    I think they are working together against democracy, except that china is mainly active in its nrighborhood. They both want every new democracy to fail. Then we are supposed to think it never could have succeeded.

    …Putin installs a puppet placeholder so that he can become president again, and outlaws groups who push back against his rule.

    The old Putin installed a placeholder, but now he wants more terms. And he used to put up opponents designed to lose, and disqualify opponents but now he’s more into just disqualifying opponents and avoiding elections, and making opposing organizations illegal. And he’s done assasinations or attempted assassinations more often than before, though still much less than Stalin (but maybe more than Khrushchev)

    Putin has authorized a number of assassinations in Bulgaria. There’s along history of assassinations connected with Bulgaria going back to Soviet times. It is probably connected with corruption.

    Anyway here’s a link about Bulgaria (and other places) President Biden justifiably called Putin a killer (or agreed wth that characterization)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/22/world/europe/bulgaria-russia-assassination-squad.html

    How a Poisoning in Bulgaria Exposed Russian Assassins in Europe

    For years, members of a secret team, Unit 29155, operated without Western security officials having any idea about their activities. But an attack on an arms dealer in Sofia helped blow their cover.

    ….

    The assassination attempts in 2015 were remarkable not only for their brazenness and persistence, but also because security and intelligence officials in the West initially did not notice. Bulgarian prosecutors looked at the case, failed to unearth any evidence and closed it.

    Now Western security and intelligence officials say the Bulgaria poisonings were a critical clue that helped expose a campaign by the Kremlin and its sprawling web of intelligence operatives to eliminate Russia’s enemies abroad and destabilize the West….

    …. Russian mercenaries are fighting in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. Russian hackers are sowing discord through disinformation and working to undermine elections.
    Russian assassins have also been busy.

    In October, The New York Times revealed that a specialized group of Russian intelligence operatives — Unit 29155 — had for years been assigned to carry out killings and political disruption campaigns in Europe.

    Intelligence and security officials say the unit is responsible for the assassination attempt last year against Sergei V. Skripal, a Russian former spy in Britain; a failed operation in 2016 to provoke a military coup in Montenegro; and a campaign to destabilize Moldova.

    Western intelligence agencies now know the name of the unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Andrei V. Averyanov, and the location of its headquarters in Moscow….

    ….Security and intelligence officials are still working to understand how and why the unit is assigned certain targets. Even now, investigators have not determined the precise motive in the Gebrev case. Most likely, intelligence officials say, Mr. Gebrev was a target because of the way his business rankled the Kremlin: his arms sales to Ukraine, his company’s intrusion into markets long dominated by Russia, and his efforts to purchase a weapons factory coveted by a Russian oligarch.

    Mr. Gebrev says he also believes that local business rivals or politicians might somehow be involved.

    Their concern with maintaining secrecy keeps the number of such assassination attempts down. Putin is worried about possible responses.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  68. Thank you for that information, Sammy.

    norcal (01e272)


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