spanish_inquisition4

The Species of Kafkatrapping

This will likely go the rounds in the rightosphere, but I would be remiss if I did not pass it along. When a prog accuses you of being racist because you won’t admit how racist you are? Or that your denial of your racism is proof of your racism?That’s a logical fallacy called a kafkatrap:

Having shown how manipulative and psychologically abusive the kafkatrap is, it may seem almost superfluous to observe that it is logically fallacious as well. The particular species of fallacy is sometimes called “panchreston”, an argument from which anything can be deduced because it is not falsifiable. Notably, if the model A kafkatrap is true, the world is divided into two kinds of people: (a) those who admit they are guilty of thoughtcrime, and (b) those who are guilty of thoughtcrime because they will not admit to being guilty of thoughtcrime. No one can ever be innocent.

The Salem Witch Trials (and elsewhere) and the Communist purges of the 1930’s, operated on a similar logic. I would include the medieval Inquisition in that number, except the Inquisition was perfectly willing to acquit people, and may have even acquitted the majority of those who came before it.

Do Read The Whole Thing.

GreenArmy-coexist

Blood, Madness, and Charlie Hedbo

Back in 2011, Charlie Hedbo’s offices got firebombed by Islamists. I remember because I posted the offending cover to my old blog. I was “Je Suis Charlie” before it was hashtagged.

This attack was worse in terms of body count, but I haven’t been as attached to the issue. All the usual suspects have said all the usual things. There has been the moment of Twitter solidarity, and the massive pro free-speech rallies worldwide. And the French police have arranged for all of the suspects but one to become dead. Which is all fine. It means there’s life in the old girl yet.

But in my gloom I wonder if our elite, so painstaking in not fanning the flames of anti-muslim rage, are rather going to end up bringing it about. There’s only so many times people can be told “Yes, but understand them,” before losing all desire to understand anything but threats and the removal of same.

This is a religious war. We don’t want it to be, but it is. We don’t want it to be because we lost our taste for religious war in the West some 300 years ago, and have as yet not regained it. But if we had our wants, we wouldn’t be fighting this war at all. Most of us would be entirely content to let the Middle East and Islam buzz off and do as it liked provided it left us out of it. It’s not like we actually care about what’s going on in Yemen.

And because of that, our elites would much rather pretend that this is some failure of cultural understanding, with some regrettable law-enforcement and precision-bombing involved. They don’t want to use the weapons at their disposal, because they are far more interested in making their culture reflect their specific prejudices than in defending it as it is.

And what are these weapons? In a cultural war, attacking the premises of the offending culture, mocking its claims of sacrality, forcing it by moral suasion to accept change.  And it means answering violence with violence.

We aren’t prepared to do that yet. Not fully, not without shame, not without assuring ourselves that we really don’t want to. This is a pride of ours, that we consider very little in this world worth killing for. And it’s better than the alternative. But it will not give our enemies pause.

When we reach the end of the road, and we find ourselves faced with our enemies’ demand “Submit or die,” we may yet find the determination to find the third choice. This will be ugly. It will be messy. It will not assure us of our evolved natures. But it will decide things quite clearly.

Despite what we say, we are not all Charlie. Yet.

On the Cake-Baking Front of the Culture Wars…

Should Christian Bakers have to make cakes for Gay Weddings?

If you think they should, then should Gay Bakers have to bake cakes with messages in support of traditional marriages?

Because Gay Bakers seem to think they don’t.

This raises more questions. Should Jewish Bakers have to make cakes with Swastikas? Should Muslim Bakers have to make rum cakes?

His Imperial Highness Emperor Barack I, the Lightbringer, Has So Ordered

As with Putin, one has to admire the chutzpah.

And expect the Left to argue that this isn’t that big a deal. That the order only applies to those who’ve been here already. That the order only applies to those who meat the “strict conditions” of deportation relief. That deportations have been up. That no one is being granted citizenship.

All of which is true, and none of which matters. The President is here deciding what the law is, and who the law applies to.

He doesn’t get to do that.

He doesn’t get to decide what the law is. He doesn’t get to ignore the divisiveness of the issue and force Congress to act.

He is not the superior of Congress. He is its equal.

Progressives are pretending not to care about this, because Democrat.

Governor_Maryland_Debate-05959-3125

How Hogan did it

The short version: he stormed Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties, winning massive majorities there, while sweeping the traditionally Republican rural areas (Harford and the Eastern Shore, Western & Southern Maryland) and doing well enough in Frederick, Carroll, and Howard Counties (winning all three) so as to offset the massive Democratic majorities in Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Click here to see the county by county breakdown.

But Republican candidates aren’t supposed to win the shield of suburban counties around Baltimore. Martin O’Malley won Baltimore and Howard Counties easily in 2010. Hogan came up with 150,000 more votes than Robert Ehrlich recieved four years ago. Most of them had to come from previous O’Malley voters, as evidenced by the fact that Anthony Brown ended up with 10,000 fewer votes last night than Ehrlich got.

So how did Hogan get them?

  1. He kept it simple. Hogan was relentless on the things that had Marylanders unhappy: taxes, the economy, the lousy turnout of Maryland’s ACA-system, and Anthony Brown’s connection to all of them. He didn’t get drawn into the weeds on social issues in a deep-blue state; despite the temptation to challenge the Dems on gun control, Hogan stayed on message. Thus, Brown’s hysterical attempts to paint him as a right-wing extremist failed to gain any real traction.
  2. He presented a positive image. No one can say that Hogan didn’t “go negative”. Criticizing the other guy is part of politics. But Hogan also understood that he needed to give disgruntled Marylanders a reason to vote for him. He did this at the debates; presenting himself as a serious, thoughtful man who got what was bugging voters about their current government, and had proposals in place to deal with them. When Brown tried to paint him as a wingnut, Hogan just kept emphasizing his business credentials and plans.
  3. Anthony Brown failed to connect. On paper, Anthony Brown is a formidable candidate: son of immigrants, harvard degree, former Army colonel. But unlike Hogan, he didn’t seem able to present a vision of what he wanted to do. A Lieutenant Governor or Vice President running for the top job has a delicate balancing act: giving equal deference to the administration you’re currently serving and the one you want to create. If the former is not as popular as it could be, that balance is even harder to strike. Brown couldn’t give a substantive response to Hogan’s critique of the O’Malley administration, and at times seemed to act as if he didn’t need to. That cost him.

So what comes next? My guess is that Hogan will govern as he campaigned: with an eye for fiscal restraint, bureaucratic reform, and improving Maryland’s business climate. If he pulls it off, a Republican winning the state house by way of Baltimore and Howard Counties may one day fail to surprise.

Authority, Misandry, and Mixing: A Few Links to Start the Week

First, a nice Mark Steyn obit on Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston makes a salient point:

But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it’ll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted leftie politicians’ commitment to gay rights, feminism, and much else. It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel’s political needs change?

Then, Reason’s Cathy Young continues her look at GamerGate:

GamerGate has been attacked over anti-feminist comments made by some of the movement’s sympathizers, such as provocative British tech blogger and Breitbart.com writer Milo Yiannopoulos. But far less attention has been given to extreme views on the anti-GamerGate side. Take writer Samantha Allen, whose decision to stop writing about videogames, apparently because of GamerGate, has been lamented by Brianna Wu as the tragic loss of a valuable voice. (Update: Allen contacted me to say she gave up videogame writing because of a Twitter harassment campaign in June/July, several weeks before the existence of GamerGate as such, even though Wu’s Washington Post column names her as one of the women “lost” to GamerGate.) A few months ago, Allen posted(and later deleted) a diatribe  on her Tumblr blog that opened with this declaration:

i’m a misandrist. that means i hate men. i’m not a cute misandrist. i don’t have a fridge magnet that says, “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.” my loathing cannot be contained by a fridge magnet.

(It’s all downhill from there.)

Meanwhile, at Slate (no, really), Reihan Salam makes the case for slowing immigration down:

So if we want the Mexican and Bangladeshi immigrants of our time to fare as well as the Italian and Polish immigrants of yesteryear, we need to do two things. First, we need to spend a considerable amount of money to upgrade their skills and those of their children, as the world has grown less kind to those who make a living by the sweat of their brow. Because public money is scarce, this is a good reason to limit the influx of people who will need this kind of expensive, extensive support to become full participants in American society. Second, we need to recognize that a continual stream of immigration tends to keep minority ethnic groups culturally isolated, which is yet another reason to slow things down. No, this won’t suddenly mean that poor immigrants will become rich, and that well-heeled insiders will stop hoarding opportunities. But it will give us the time we need to knit America’s newcomers into our national community.

What connects these? Salam and Steyn point out that immigration can move faster than a society can handle it, and that can and will disrupt society. Young adds to Steyn’s warning to the left a troubling note: for some, to disrupt the society that gave them birth and abundance is a feature, not a bug. That they expect to remain in power afterwards makes them no stupider than Robespierre.