Everest of stupid

If, as an American Jew, you’re more bothered by Trump’s six-hop association with white nationalists than by Obama’s direct dalliance with Farrakhan, then boy oh boy are you on Everest of stupid. [That linked column by Daniel Greenfield is excellent btw, well worth your time. Two of our favorite themes, intersectionality and power, are prominent.]


Jonah Goldberg’s hypocrisy goes super-critical

We were going to refrain from commenting on the Kevin D. Williamson affair. Radio Derb* said it well, as did the Z-man — who was less kind to KDW than Derb, but much kinder than we had been. Amusingly, Williamson got canned from the Atlantic for his views on abortion, which are exactly wrong by our reckoning.

And that’s the point of the matter: he got fired for his views — not for anything he published in the Atlantic, or attempted to. That this point should be made by Jonah Goldberg, of all people, made our tenured head explode:

But here’s the thing: He never made that argument for National Review. I suppose I could find out if he tried and was turned down, but that’s beside the point. The point is that Rich Lowry, or, more relevant, Jeffrey Goldberg, would be entirely within his rights to reject any attempt by Kevin to make that argument in the pages of National Review or The Atlantic (and Kevin would be in his rights to quit over it, though I doubt he would). But there was no chance to test this because Kevin was fired for what he thinks.

For the sake of readers not fluent in their helminth taxonomy, we note that the two Goldbergs are apparently unrelated and hence distinct specimens of parasitic worm. Jonah has gotten coverage here before for his hypocrisy and obtuseness and…, well, hypocrisy. Here’s how trematode Rich Lowry justified firing Derbyshire:

His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.

And here’s how Jonah “roundworm” Goldberg defended it at the time:

I unequivocally stand by my personal view, expressed on Twitter Friday night, that I find Derb’s essay indefensible and offensive.

By all means read that precious gem in its entirety — MLK makes an obligatory appearance.

* recorded presumably on 06-Apr-2018; link not yet active as of this writing

Trolling done right

A telling incident, as witnessed on social media. Picture the usual woke-feminist post bemoaning the dearth of female speakers at a philosophy/physics (perhaps philosophy of physics?) conference. With all the usual solemn nodding along and suggestions (all in this spirit) on how to smash the quantum ceiling. Yet one enterprising fellow managed to rain on this virtue-signalling parade, with minimal effort. All he had to do was ask, “How can you assume that the participants were men? How do you know what they actually identify as?” The reaction was priceless. It was rather like the reaction of the hoity-toity north Tel-Aviv pool-goers to Ben-Ari’s stunt of bringing the Sudanese infiltrators they want to dump on their poorer south Tel Aviv neighbors right to their door. Livid with indignation, seething with rage, and yet lacking any coherent logical rebuttal. Predictably, they resorted to pointing and sputtering (the Hebrew version of) R-words, and this is exactly what happened on that social media post (only with S-words). It took the wind right out of their sails, since ignoring the point would amount to the erasure of penised women but they couldn’t very well just concede either. The powergrabbing discussion was successfully derailed, and the maverick reply actually received a surprising number of likes from faculty participants — thus achieving the additional (and likely, intended) goal of strengthening dissident voices.

Conclusion: Agree and amplify is trolling done right, folks.

Batshit “rabbis”

In his zeal to bring us the zaniest, most pungent “rabbis”, Sailer somehow missed this one. It’s all fine and good to point fingers at the morbid sideshow that reform lady “rabbis” usually are. But Sailer fumbles the butterknife when he tries to extrapolate a greater picture of modern Judeo-Christian theology from these woke ladies.

See, Steve, not to put too fine a point on it, but reform grrrl “rabbis” (grabbis?) are to real rabbis as Caitlyn Jenner is to real women. Or as Rachel Dolezal is to real blacks. Let’s just say they are… trans-ordained. (And some aren’t even Jewish!)

#MenToo and the Zuleikha project

Amidst the #metoo moral panic, you can count on PTT to provide a contrarian voice. This time, however, we’d like to try our hand at some real-life activism. The precise details will emerge in future posts, but for now we’re recruiting our multitudes of loyal readers for assistance. The #mentoo hashtag (apparently) documents the various instances of men being sexually harassed by women — a perfectly laudable objective (the documentation, not the harassing), but not exactly what we’re after. Zuleikha, according to Jewish tradition, was Potiphar’s wife — the latter most famous for falsely accusing Joseph of rape. In launching the Zuleikha project, PTT is seeking testimonies from men who found themselves in Joseph’s predicament. We are particularly interested in the academic setting: male students and especially faculty members falsely accused by students or other faculty. Anonymous submissions welcome, include as much or as little detail as you like.

Update. Thanks for the Instalanche, Glenn! To send reports anonymously, write to zuleikha.potiphar@gmail.com

PTT dissects leftist fallacies

Leftists come in two types: naive and cynical. The former drink the kool-aid while latter do not actually believe their own slogans — it’s all about the power. In this post, we put motivations aside and dissect the nature of leftist fallacies. These tend to be based on gross misconceptions about human nature and the world at large, and we divide them along into the flat Earth vs. the naked emperor dichotomy.

A naked emperor fallacy is a claim that is patently, obviously false; it is falsifiable from first principles, without the need for empirical data. The idea that the capitalist sharks on Wall Street are leaving money on the table by not hiring enough women and minorities is a naked emperor fallacy (you get lots of boilerplate leftist fallacies by failing the PTT diffusion gradient™ test). “Race is only skin deep” and “gender is a social construct” are also of the naked emperor type. I seriously doubt that intelligent people actually believe any of this nonsense. It’s either bleated unthinkingly by virtue-signaling SJWs, or cynically propagated as benign lies for the masses, or, more ominously, is used as a weapon of oppression, as per Theodore Dalrymple’s famous observation:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

The second kind of fallacy is more insidious, since it appears to make sense on its face — just as the Earth appears, at first glance, to be flat. The idea that guns or poverty are direct causes of crime is such a fallacy. So is the notion that keeping families on welfare for generation after generation does them any good. So is the belief that affirmative action benefits minority students. For a recent example of flat-Earth thinking, see David Brooks attempt to argue that there being few immigrants in impoverished Appalachia implies that immigrants cause prosperity — and watch Sailer masterfully strike him down. It’s stuff like this that keeps me coming back to Sailer, and makes his butterknife fumbles seem all the more inept by comparison.