The Ahmari-French debate

So the firebrand polemicist and the genial litigator met for a live debate. “There was near-universal consensus that French mopped the floor with Ahmari,” reports Rod Dreher from the scene. You can also read Zman for his take. A couple of PTT-made points were raised, although without our crisp clarity. Ahmari mumbled something about self-censorship a couple of times, while failing to mention the far more sinister non-self kind (as in: facebooktwitter, youtube). During the Q&A session, a lady wondered why Ahmari and French had to insist on a dichotomy rather figure out a way to collaborate (though she didn’t suggest, like we did, that French should stick to litigation while Ahmari’s burlier friends do the skull-cracking).

In the spirit of pointing out glaring, gaping logical holes that somehow go unnoticed, here is a doozy from David French, starting on minute 26 and transcribed here:

There is no circumstance under which any political movement in this country can create a superstructure where the people that you like always win, and the people you don’t like and you think that are bad are always going to lose, and you’re going to always like that outcome.

That’s a nice defense of proceduralism you’ve got there, David. So, you mean, a group of determined, like-minded people could not hatch a long-term plan to take over the various key social institutions, such as the academia, the press, and the intelligence agencies? A Gramscian march through the institutions is just right-wing hysteria, right? They couldn’t possibly conspire to rig the election — and certainly there’s no deep state trying to render the election results irrelevant. David French appears to be an intelligent man, yet he can’t seem to grasp the basic notion that proceduralism only works if both sides are committed to playing by the rules.


Hazony’s vision

The post title is a pun on the Hebrew word “hazon“, which means “vision” (senses 2, 3).

For the record, PTT is greatly disappointed by Hazony’s performance in the conference invite/uninvite fiasco, as documented at length on vdare. The worst, from our perspective, were not the craven and ungentlemanly aspects (though these were surely bad) — but rather how deeply self-defeating such tactics inevitably turn out to be. PTT has hammered the alt-right ad nauseam for squandering the opportunity to form a strategic alliance with the type A Jews (the only ones who matter in the long run, anyway). Fairness demands that we come down equally hard on Hazony for squandering this opportunity from the other side. Sure, race is a radioactive topic — one that has the potential to nilly-willy distract you from topics you deem more important (as Sam Harris found out). I broadly support Hazony’s political vision and understand that he must strategically weigh considerations such as respectability and funding. Still, Hazony could have done the honorable thing and remained agnostic on race (as Scott of slatestarcodex has opted to do). But no: disinviting the people he accidentally invited was not enough for him. He also had to take to twitter. This has the feel of a sincerely held belief, beyond mere attempts to ingratiate himself with donors and intelligentsia as a goodwhite. Prediction: Hazony’s project, though broadly admirable, will not succeed.

Bret Stephens : bedbug :: Max Boot : ?

Prompted by: “Washington Post columnist and Never-Trumper Max Boot laments that, as hard as he tries, ‘no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he [Trump] remains in office.’” For practice material refer here, and take care to keep your various species of parasitic insects straight. Of course we know how Max Boot would respond to this heckling, should it ever reach his eyes — with that tired (and severely misdirected) anti-Semitism card. Would you like my provost’s email, Max?

Update: Thanks for the Instalanche, Glenn! Some interesting suggestions in the comments at the link. I’m generally not a fan of puns, but loved “greater of two weevils”.

PTT: a gang of anti-Semitic neocons

We’ve already been exposed as a network of neocons, and now we’re waiting with bated breath for Bret Stephens to drop the other shoe. When a tenured taunter likened Stephens to a bed bug, the latter whined to his provost (without any “intention whatsoever to get him in any kind of professional trouble”, mind you!). Stephens then went full Nazi on this guy (who’s a Jew). It’s only a matter of time before Stephens discovers that PTT has, in the past, compared some Goldbergs and a Lowry to intestinal parasites. It turns out that only one of the Goldbergs is a Halakhic Jew, and Lowry is as WASP-y as they come — but Stephens isn’t one to let facts get in the way, and WASPs are always fair game. Good luck with my provost, Bret!

This is why we can’t have nice things II

Several pundits have commented on the canceling of the “dude wall“, including you-know-who. PTT recently shared some dark thoughts regarding the modern Left’s complete lack of pragmatism in taking down prominent scientists. The Zman’s outlook is darker yet: He detects a distinct strain of medieval science-phobia, whereby the cis-het four-eyes are under attack because of — and not despite — their accomplishments. A side note, which no-one on the alt-right will mention, is that this is precisely why the Arabs hate Israel — for accomplishing in so little time and space what they could not do given centuries and continents at their disposal.

There’s nothing so tempting and so grossly abused as simplistic historical analogies. No, modern America does not much resemble early 20th century Soviet Russia (the commies had far better education and had no problem telling boys and girls apart) or Germany a couple decades later (though group-A Jews are gradually noticing that something isn’t quite right). Still, we cannot resist channeling Bulgakov (again!) — who was devastated to watch his world crumble and wryly documented this in his novels and diaries. There is a scene in Heart of a Dog (Glenny’s translation) where a professor (Philip Philipovich) and his student (Doctor Bormenthal) are discussing the notion of ruin:

‘The place is going to ruin, Philip Philipovich.’

‘No,’ countered Philip Philipovich quite firmly. ‘No. You must first of all refrain, my dear [Bormenthal], from using that word. It’s a mirage, a vapour, a fiction,’ […]. ‘What do you mean by ruin? An old woman with a broomstick? A witch who smashes all the windows and puts out all the lights? No such thing. What do you mean by that word?’ […] ‘I’ll tell you what it is: if instead of operating every evening I were to start a glee club in my apartment, that would mean that I was on the road to ruin. If when I go to the lavatory I don’t pee, if you’ll excuse the expression, into the bowl but on to the floor instead […], the lavatory would be ruined. Ruin, therefore, is not caused by lavatories but it’s something that starts in people’s heads.

[Was that a prescient foreshadowing of the bathroom wars? Update: Slight linguistic quibble — a better translation of the original Russian мочиться would be dry “urinate” or even medical “micturate” rather than the colloquial “pee”. Perhaps Glenny lacked sufficient sprachgefühl; we shall attempt to locate other translations.]

Adam Smith’s famous “great deal of ruin” notwithstanding, any wantonly squandered resource will sooner or later become depleted. Anyway, you’ve had a good run, Western Civ. You keep on rewarding ignorant entitlement and scorning talent and perseverance, and see how long this gig can last. Diverse, intersectional paradise is just around the corner!

Trolling done right, bigly

Or, Sailer being his lucid self again: “Expensive Law Firm to Outsmart Its Female Quota with Nonbinaries”

My impression is that whatever woke craziness happens, expensive law firms like Baker McKenzie will still come out on top. If tomorrow there were a Khmer Rouge coup in Washington and the government began executing people who wear glasses, the big time law firms would just add free laser eye surgery to the employee benefit list and carry on unimpeded.

(This is in response to a WaPo piece.)

At PTT, we have a name for this phenomenon: Trolling. Done. Right. Gender feminism and trans-activism have been on a collision course from the very beginning, and few slow-moving train wrecks are more entertaining. I’d file this under small victories, but “self-correcting error” might be a better fit.

A shande fur die goyim

In a thoughtful and nuanced post, completely free of animus of any kind, Sailer dissects a Forward column with surgical precision.

Just kidding, it’s the usual butterknife.

We at PTT  are no fans of the Forward, but on the Jewish Question, Sailer’s level isn’t much above theirs, so the two can have each other.

Up for some actual subtlety and nuance? How about the following PTT Shande Principle™: A misbehaving public Jew merits opprobrium* from fellow Jews in direct proportion to the strength of his Jewish identity — especially if the latter is directly implicated in the misbehaving. Brett Stephens is a prime exemplar of the latter, and has given us ample reason to cringe. Harvey Weinstein, Al Goldstein, Roman Polanski, Anthony Weiner, and now of course Jeffrey Epstein are all without a doubt nasty specimens, but they didn’t particularly play up their Jewish identity at their zenith, so we see no objective reason to recall it at their nadir.

* The deterrence effect of any such opprobrium has considerably declined over the centuries.