Gentlemen, you can’t say that here!

This is the free speech society!*

Trans row: Man who said ‘women don’t have penises’ banned from free speech society panel

The dogma is settled.

Later, he was removed from his assistant editorship at Durham University’s philosophy journal.
Student editor who retweeted “women don’t have penises” story fired from university journal

Then the Merseyside Police and mayor of Liverpool started looking into the transgression**:
Is it a crime to say ‘women don’t have penises’?

The counter argument to “women don’t have penises” can be summarized with this contemporaneous example from Newsweek:

“Well, since gender identity is not determined by what kind of genitals someone has, a person with a female gender identity might well have a penis. In other words, yes, some women do have penises.”

This is true – if you use the same definition for “person with a female gender identity” and “woman.” And, therefore, it is boringly trivial.

Since the question under consideration is whether women can have penises, simply substituting the word “women” in your conclusion for the phrase “people with a female gender identity” in your premises dishonestly enlists tautology as a defense.

Assuming your conclusion through poorly executed semantic trickery – ‘gender identity’ is exactly the same as ‘sex’ – does not advance your cause. Just because you think (“feel” in the parlance) that your wife is a hat doesn’t mean you can wear her on your head.

Let me clarify Newsweek‘s defense of calling penises female genitalia (changes emphasized): “Well, since gender identity is not determined by what kind of genitals someone has, a person with a female gender identity might well have a penis. In other words, yes, some people with a female gender identity do have penises.

There are women who are objecting to this conflation of ‘gender identity’ with ‘sex.’ I welcome them to the club of those who’ve been objecting since the ’60s, to the idea that sex roles are totally socially constructed. I celebrate the fact we’re all now subject to deplorableness.

I don’t expect the editors at Newsweek to understand logical thinking most of us learned in grade school, but it’s worse than that. That meaningless syllogism emanates from the Ivory Towers of the University of Nottingham, where its author is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. It’s likely, therefore, she is familiar with the logical requirements of a syllogism. It’s equally likely she rejects logic itself as patriarchal, heteronormative, colonialist, and misogynist; or some combination of all of those.

How did universities worldwide come to be hotbeds of this delusion? I’m working on a post to explain that, which will be published in a day or three.

—–
*With credit to President Merkin Muffley who said, “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

**How long before the word transgression is banned?

Philosopher ‘pretenders to the throne’

This is a nice, short (7 min) introduction to Friedrich Hayek’s insights on emergent order. If you haven’t read Road to Serfdom (free downloads at the link), maybe this will nudge you to do so.

Order without intent: How spontaneous order built our world. from The IHS on Vimeo.

Allowing order without intent to flourish is how we might avoid the tyranny of good intentions.

Related, from Edward Snowden:

“The most unflattering thing is to realize just how naïve and credulous I was and how that could make me into a tool of systems that would use my skills for an act of global harm. The class of which I am a part of, the global technological community, was for the longest time apolitical. We have this history of thinking: “We’re going to make the world better.””

The idea that “making the world better” is apolitical shows Snowden is still naive and credulous. The toolmakers of the global technological community may have good intentions. They may be motivated by thoughts of the benefits they are bringing to humanity. They may also be motivated by profit and ideology.

How a better world is constituted, in any case, is an ethical and moral question beyond the ken of their meta-data, and in direct conflict with the ethical ‘principles’ demonstrated by their business models.

Who defines “better?” We have ample evidence Google/Facebook/Twitter aren’t up to the task.

“Making the world better” can be apolitical only in terms of each individual’s actions. It cannot be apolitical for giant corporations whose tools are designed to deceive users into acts of self harm: A system of fools.

Politics is the very essence of social media and the control of access to information.

Politics, noun. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
-Ambrose Bierce

And, in ways Bierce couldn’t imagine – conducting private affairs for public advantage. Affecting elections for example.

Snowdon’s NSA is simply the government instantiation of the Facebook/Google/Twitter business models. They are all dedicated to making their subjects “better.”

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
-H. L. Mencken

Order with intent is the model practiced by authoritarians for “your own good,” public or private, from de Blasio to Google.

So, I’ll close with some relevant Friedrich Hayek quotations on good intentions, control of information, collectivist ethics, and the limits of knowledge: All of which apply to government and to the massive private enterprises whose control of information and manipulation of public opinion Hayek couldn’t imagine:

“Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

“Our freedom of choice in a competitive society rests on the fact that, if one person refuses to satisfy our wishes, we can turn to another. But if we face a monopolist we are at his absolute mercy. And an authority directing the whole economic system of the country would be the most powerful monopolist conceivable…it would have complete power to decide what we are to be given and on what terms. It would not only decide what commodities and services were to be available and in what quantities; it would be able to direct their distributions between persons to any degree it liked.”

“All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest. Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant.”

“To act on behalf of a group seems to free people of many of the moral restraints which control their behaviour as individuals within the group.”

“The idea of social justice is that the state should treat different people unequally in order to make them equal.”

“Some airplanes did something”

You can see one of them here, about to do something:a86a1-911121dc-wtc91139026-911_liberty

I remember this day quite distinctly, but some do not.

Ilhan Omar, for example, is unable to recall the religion, ethnicity or culture of the 9-11 murderers. She described them as “Some people,” who “did something.” Murdering 3,000 people and causing billions of dollars in damage is something, all right. But, we’re not to be reminded of that in a speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

At least her remarks she didn’t go so far as to completely eliminate human agency. For that, you need a New York Times copy editor: NYT Updates Story Blaming Airplanes For Taking Down WTC

Omar and the Times weasel their way around the fact that Islamist fanatics murdered 3,000 people. They are working to erase the memory of it.

They share the idea that the United States is ultimately responsible for it.

Soylent Green

Not The Onion. Not the Babylon Bee.

You have to think this is a PR stunt.

Scientist Says Eating Human Flesh Will Save Planet From Climate Change

To accomplish the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, it would seem as if Magnus Söderlund is not talking about eating people who die of natural causes. One wonders if he’ll be proposing using Swift’s A Modest Proposal, or Logan’s Run as the selection template.

Either way, Paul Ehrlich should be on the selection committee.

The human pestilence problem

I had a note from a reader wondering if I wasn’t being hyperbolic in my contention that by “sustainability” “Green” fanatics intentionally mean to impose lower standards of living and a forced reduction in human population.

We might consider the Malthusian miscalculations of Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb and his proposals for forced sterilization (which was actually practiced in India); or the more gentle doomsayers calling for a Voluntary Human Extinction.

But, those are theoretical. Let me offer 3 real-world examples. 1) The millions of poor ‘people of color’ who’ve died of malaria and dengue fever because of Rachel Carson’s, campaign to ban DDT, 2) the malnutrition, blindness and death imposed on the third world by the boycott of golden rice, and 3) Clueless Minneapolis City Leaders and Sam Rockwell Are the Problem, Not Natural Gas Use

When politicians value signaling virtue above the health and well being of their constituents they are paving the road of good intentions with human bodies. Intentionally.

I repeat, nuclear power would solve the supposed CAGW problem. Greens oppose it because it doesn’t solve the human pestilence problem.

Keeping it?

At the close of the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes disagrees and engages in some tautological pontification: “[T]he weirdest thing about the Electoral College is the fact that if it weren’t specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional.”

Maybe that was the weirdest thing about the Electoral College (for some weird definition of weird) up until he said it. Suddenly, the weirdest thing about the Electoral College became the wobbly perambulations of Hayes’ mind, if mind isn’t too generous a word.

What is unconstitutional is the effort known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to destroy the Republic we were given.

The U.S. is a Democratic Constitutional Republic, and Yes, It Matters

Unsustainable

Four minutes.

Until we see several orders of magnitude better battery energy density (we’re not even close), and we are mining lithium in space, while still also dedicating 30% of the land area in every state to wind and solar generation, and power storage, nuclear power is the clear choice to reduce carbon emissions and maintain a standard of living not tied to near feudal era definitions of good quality of life. Human life is not what is meant by ‘sustainable’ in the renewable power scenario.

By eliminating carbon emissions nuclear power would seem to be a perfect solution, but dedicated Greens say it’s too risky. Well, we have designs from the 1960s that pretty much eliminate the problem.

Also, you’re aware that Teslas spontaneously combust on a regular basis? How do you feel about 20 tons of those batteries piled up in every neighborhood?

The envirostatists ‘sustainability’ mantra comes with a caveat: There are too many of us, living in too much ease. And it must stop.

Estranged from beauty and grace

James Lileks at The Bleat.

“These are people who are estranged from beauty and grace, by their own hand. Not dark souls but lazy ones. Not bleak hearts but banal ones, looking for the perpetual frisson an adolescent male gets when he drifts to the brotherhood of the numb and the bored. They have nothing to rally around except rejection; they have no cause but the tiresome imperative of the Transgressive; they have no idea where they stand in human history, how a hundred million people would claw and climb over a mountain of broken glass to sample the ease and bounty they take for granted. They believe in nothing except the self, but as it happens they hate themselves as well.”

RTWT, it’s almost all that good.

Lileks is talking about the impulses displayed by the Dayton shooter, who apparently took his “pornogrind“ subculture a tad too seriously. Much to the chagrin of his fellow nihilist poseurs.

Jordan Peterson is not so poetic, but he would agree completely.

See also: Meaning and Millennials

Deplorable has already been used up

The New York Times spent two years collaborating with the Democrats in trying to convince everyone that Donald Trump conspired with Russia. What can they do now, noses still raw from rubbing in the abject failure of their attempted coup? Take direction from the drove of Democrat presidential candidates; who are moving directly to a different way of trashing America to get at Trump: Fanning racial division.

Assisting in that effort, the Pink Lady is embarking on a project to convince Americans that the United States was founded on slavery, with side shots at capitalism. The Time’s effort is called the 1619 project, after the 400th anniversary of the first slave imported to the US. Which they will refer to as The Founding.
JOHN KASS: Robert Mueller crushed their dreams, so Democrats pivot to race.

After withering Twitter criticism over a headline above a story on Trump’s remarks after the recent back-to-back mass shootings, the Times changed the headline from ‘Trump urges unity vs racism’ to ‘Assailing Hate But Not Guns.’ This sent the newsroom into a navel gazing downward morale spiral. Not because of the change, but because someone could have lacked sufficient wokeness to sully the Times propaganda goals by posting the first headline at all. They had a staff meeting to discuss it.

The truly amazing leaked transcript of that meeting is up at Slate. Should you wish to give them a click, remove the ‘x’ at the end of that otherwise broken link. I include just one example of the discussion about the NYT pre-election plans.

Baquet is executive editor Dean Baquet. The exchange is prompted by an earlier question/answer (I paraphrase), “Why don’t we call Trump a racist more often?” The answer was, “There are more subtle and powerful ways to call him a racist.”

Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project, I feel like that’s going to open us up to even more criticism from people who are like, “OK, well you’re saying this, and you’re producing this big project about this. But are you guys actually considering this in your daily reporting?”

Baquet: You know, it’s interesting, the argument you just made, to go back to the use of the word racist. I didn’t agree with all of this from [NPR’s] Keith Woods, [but] …his argument, which is pretty provocative, boils down to this: Pretty much everything is racist. His view is that a huge percentage of American conversation is racist, so why isolate this one comment from Donald Trump? His argument is that he could cite things that people say in their everyday lives that we don’t characterize that way, which is always interesting. You know, I don’t know how to answer that, other than I do think that that race has always played a huge part in the American story.

And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration.”

So, a staffer asks if the NYT marching orders are, “When writing a story about anything, first and foremost consider how you can include racism as a fundamental characteristic of the United States.” And Baquet says, yes, but don’t be too obvious about it.

They act like this is a new idea, but I’m so old I can remember when they told us the words “Chicago,” and “golf” were racist.

Anyway, you will be hearing this a lot in the next year(s). So, here are two articles debunking the 1619 project that may assist you in refuting the histrionic flurry of statism and race baiting sure to come from Progressives with whom you may be trapped in an elevator.

Slavery Did Not Make America Rich
The Anti-Capitalist Ideology of Slavery