David Thompson
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September 24, 2017

Comments

Hopp Singg

But they're so passionate. We should compromise with them. After all, we don't want to be extremists, do we?

Mike

These people live in a fantasy world.

David

These people live in a fantasy world.

Or a self-inflicted nightmare, at least.

Hippogryph

We see a lot of this sort of thing, of course. And we are often left to wonder whether the hysteria is legit or somewhat of a put-on.

(I'm sure it's often a mixed case. It's not as if fanaticism and bad faith are strangers to one another.)

David

It’s not as if fanaticism and bad faith are strangers to one another.

Absolutely. Fanatics lie.

Hippogryph

Absolutely. Fanatics lie.

And first of all, to themselves. It's what makes such a psychological swamp of these people.

I'm sure it is a considerable psychological strain to filter out any evidence that Janice Fiamengo or Ben Shapiro aren't national socialists. I suspect the endlessly repetitive jargon acts as a defense mechanism against their own internal doubts as much as against external criticism.

Monty James

My fantasy is that someday the bearded scowling thunder-god of all class-action lawsuits will bring the whole stinking pile of hate-crimes and hate speech law tumbling to the ground. Hate crime statutes are rarely, if ever, applied equally; they are the very embodiment of inequality before the law. Nobody saw the danger of attempting to psychologize the application of justice, the potential to birth a squalling, misshapen perversion of civil and criminal law.

David

I’m sure it is a considerable psychological strain to filter out any evidence that Janice Fiamengo or Ben Shapiro aren’t national socialists.

The casual, routine dishonesty is quite something. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be surrounded by supposedly intelligent people whose worldviews and proclamations don’t seem in any way constrained by reality. And when the purpose of academia’s Clown Quarter seems to be to churn out vain and stupefied creatures like this, discussed at length here, then the word pathological scarcely seems adequate.

WTP

It's about the language. Control the language, own the meaning of words and you can control the human mind. The left and other charlatans have understood this for centuries.

billdehaan

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be surrounded by supposedly intelligent people whose worldviews and proclamations don’t seem in any way constrained by reality.

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I heard one of those weekly radios show while driving in to work. On it, they had a panel a numerous professors, who uniformly blamed 9/11 on Bush, the Republicans, and the American government in general.

Of course, there was zero discussion of why the attackers (described only in the vaguest terms) had bothered to attack; it was treated as an act of nature. This went somewhat off the rails when a caller asked why the learned panel wasn't interested in discussing the attacker's motives, only the US response, and the panel pointed out that was because the reason for the attack was clear. Obviously, the 9/11 attackers were responding to Bush's unprovoked war on Afghanistan.

When the caller tried to point out that it was the other way around, the professors all became very excited, and dismissively told the caller to shut up. When the host pointed out (referencing NYT stories on the timeline) that yes, 9/11 had preceded the invasion of Afghanistan, the panel was utterly bewildered. They were convinced that the host must be mistaken. The sainted NYT was beyond reproach, of course, but... no, that couldn't be right.

You could hear their cerebellums fusing in real time.

Although that was gratifying, it was astounding that several university professors shared the common belief that was not only completely wrong, but easily disproved, and this was in their field of supposed expertise. An 11 year old kid with access to Wikipedia and a search engine could find the timeline of 9/11, but an history department worth of political science professors couldn't.

Why? Because they didn't want to. They were all wrong, and they were al insufferably smug about it, of course. The word pathological isn't sufficient to describe that level of idiocy.

WTP

I'm sure it is a considerable psychological strain to filter out any evidence that Janice Fiamengo or Ben Shapiro aren't national socialists.

You're assuming that what Fiamengo or Shapiro says has even been considered, let alone precoessed. No strain is needed if they don't do the work you presume is being done. And per my comment above, words like "natinal socialist" mean only what they choose them to mean. Such people could just as easily classify my dog as a "national socialst" so long as they get a critical mass to go along with them.

David

Again, you could think of Mr Shapiro as a proxy and shorthand for the mainstream, non-leftist views of tens of millions of ordinary people – people who would also presumably be denounced as “hateful,” a cause of trauma, and a “physical threat” to Berkeley’s students. And so if you happen to think that “white privilege” and “white supremacy” are types of pernicious nonsense propagated by hustlers, and that the cultivation of pretentious and hysterical grievance is a recipe for failure and resentment, then you too are “very dangerous” and a mortal threat. If only to the dishonesties and status of Dr Scheper-Hughes.

Nikw211

vain and stupefied creatures like this

Incoming!

From about 3'54"

    I wanna say this press conference is a sham! This has never been about free speech. This has been about a Fascist assault on the American University in the service of a Fascist regime in power ... a White Supremacist regime. It's about normalising Fascism on campus ...

    [The Free Speech Movement] is a movement about people standing up against White Supremacy not inviting White Supremacists to the hall!

    ... [R]olling out the red carpet to normalise and collaborate with Fascism in this country. And Still they're going to sue the university. This just shows you can't appease Fascism. You cannot placate these Fascists ...

    We have to rise up! Millions of people! RefuseFascism.org denounce the collaboration of this university. RefuseFascism.org calls on people to be out on the steps ... 10 am tomorrow ... And we call on people across this country to drive the Fascist Trump-Pence regime out of power - in the name of humanity.

David

Incoming!

That’s an awful lot of morony to process in one sitting.

Nikw211

That’s an awful lot of morony ...

Just so.

I suspect the hand of Yvette Felarca of 'By Any Means Necessary' had an influence in there somewhere - certainly with the seemingly endless repetition of 'Fascism', 'Fascists' and 'White Supremacy'.

Incidentally, the original has Taylor (the woman speaking) say ungrammatically: "Millions of people RefuseFascism.org denounce the collaboration of this university"

I assumed it was a mistake and tidied it up - I realise of course now that it was almost certainly deliberate and fully intended to leave listeners with the impression that RefuseFascism.org has millions of members signed up to it.

On the topic of errors, Scheper-Hughes' original post in CounterPunch must have been dashed off with an indecent amount of haste. Not only is it full of smears, half-truths, and outright libel against Shapiro, but at several points it changes direction completely onto an almost wholly unrelated topic but before you can work out how it relates to anything resembling a coherent idea she has changed direction yet again:

Here she is complaining about the apathy of her colleagues and students ("Why aren’t [we] hosting counter events, teach- ins, timed and presented during the controversial atl right line up of fall speakers: Shapiro, Milo, and Coulter’s tirades?"). Then there she is railing against safe spaces ("Feeling bad? feeling sad? We will provide free counseling and tissues.").

All of a sudden she launches into an attack on the First Amendment that barely rises above the level of gibberish - for she argues first that "The first amendment is a work in progress" and that therefore "We need strong legal scholars and thinkers and researchers to push against it, to recognize when the rule of law is illegal (as Laura Nader put it)". But this is said without any apparent awareness or concern that there is barely a cigarette paper between what she's calling for and the kind of scandalous abuse of state power normally found in the only the most corrupt of gangster states.

Before she's given time for that to sink in or really explain what she means, however, she switches inexplicably to name-dropping some philosophers ("“Words are deeds”, according to Wittgenstein. J. L. Austin (1975) and John R. Searle (1970) wrote books and essays on speech act theory."). To anyone who doesn't know anything about speech act theory, the references are completely meaningless and to anyone who does it's incoherent as it barely covers two lines of the text leaving you to wonder what on Earth - other than name-dropping for the sake of name-dropping - she actually intended by making mention of them in the first place.

She then ends with a complete non sequitur involving a demand that she be listened to on the basis of who she is rather than what she has to say: "In short, Hate speech is an act of violence. The First Amendment is ignorant of the vast research on these topics by medical anthropologists, clinical psychologists, and neurological scientists." - What?

Sam Duncan

“Perhaps Dr Scheper-Hughes has some thoughts on whether publicly and hyperbolically defaming people – accusing them of racism and misogyny, and of being a physical menace to students, for instance – also constitutes “violence” and a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Rule #1: Ben Shapiro is not “people”.

Billdehaan, that's hilarious, if somewhat depressing. But I've noticed it a lot recently. It's easy to assume that because someone is repeatedly trusted by the news media and talks confidently and authoritatively, that he must know what he's talking about. But all too often these days, it's obvious to anyone paying the least attention that these people are confidently and authoritatively spouting utter nonsense, and have no better grasp of their subject than any random person off the street. Often a lot less.

Killer Marmot

1. Hate speech should be illegal. If not illegal, then at least barred from campuses and the internet, and anyone comitting hate speech should be fired.

2. Anything that challenges left-wing doctrine is hate speech.

What could possibly go wrong with that line of reasoning?

champ

What I don't get is how the SJW's think that a 5 foot, 9 inch, 140 lb., 32 year old is such a threat...

champ

and anyone comitting hate speech should be fired.assaulted. FTFY...

David

What I don’t get is how the SJW’s think that a 5 foot, 9 inch, 140 lb., 32 year old is such a threat...

They don’t. It’s another lie.

See also Christina Hoff Sommers, whose on-campus security detail was quite impressive. I’m assuming the armed officers were there to prevent Dr Sommers from jumping off the stage, glassing someone and feasting on their blood.

Tkdkerry

Hate crime statutes are rarely, if ever, applied equally; they are the very embodiment of inequality before the law.

I thought that was their purpose all along.

Hopp Singg
What I don't get is how the SJW's think that a 5 foot, 9 inch, 140 lb., 32 year old is such a threat...

They're trying to normalize their own violent response to non-violent speech. Of course they're going to pick a non-threatening target.

David

Not entirely unrelated.

Spiny Norman

Not entirely unrelated.

Wokesplaining Japanese culture - even to the Japanese themselves - is one of the highest attainable levels of Woke.
LMAO!

(Seriously. I'm still laughing at that.)

Hippogryph

Not entirely unrelated.

Given the omnivore nature of Japanese pop and fashion culture, I'm not surprised they'd appreciate foreign folk adopting some of their own style.

But then again, maybe the Woke contingent should visit Akihabara and lecture the "gothic lolitas" about their egregious appropriation of Victorian culture.

Hal

The casual, routine dishonesty is quite something. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be surrounded by supposedly intelligent people whose worldviews and proclamations don’t seem in any way constrained by reality.

This morning's Doonesbury . . .

Darleen

Careful, Asians ... you're slipping into "whiteness" and you know what the consequences will be.

What is wrong (or, actually, violent) is when, due to our ignorance, we place the emotions of white people over the structural violence that they perpetuate through unexamined privilege — essentially humanizing white people over people of color.

It’s violent when we identify so strongly with white people that we fail to see the ways that they are complicit in white supremacy, and the ways that they — implicitly or explicitly — harm other people of color.

David

Careful, Asians ... you’re slipping into “whiteness”

Theirs is by far the most elaborately rationalised racism I’ve ever seen.

See also this.

Andy

WOW! hate speech is torture? really?

I`m sure that if I had fallen into the hands of my enemies and had the choice between having sharpened matchsticks driven underneath my fingernails or being caned across the soles of my feet or being water boarded or having a baseball bat taken to my shins OR having my jailer saying nasty things to me I would definitely chose the last one,because that`s just so much worse, isn`t it?
(sarcasm off)

Trevor

As it turns out, many years later, I’ve realized that I’m a trans, gender-expansive South Asian ... (From the Everyday Psychosis article quoted by Darleen).

Would any of those intervening years have been spent at the varsity, by any chance?

Monty James
What is wrong (or, actually, violent) is when, due to our ignorance, we place the emotions of white people over the structural violence that they perpetuate through unexamined privilege — essentially humanizing white people over people of color.

It’s violent when we identify so strongly with white people that we fail to see the ways that they are complicit in white supremacy, and the ways that they — implicitly or explicitly — harm other people of color.

So, essentially an ultimatum, the only way to avoid war is surrendering.

It never seems to occur to these pests that their cultures are inferior to the one where they lodge so comfortably and free from fear.

I denounce myself, comrades.

Killer Marmot

"Slipping into whiteness" means valuing hard work, scholarship, a rewarding career, monetary success, the family, individual freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

In other words, those attributes that have produced the most peaceful, humane, fair, and affluent society the world has ever seen.

This is what they wish to tear down because ... well, I'm not sure. Perhaps it makes them feel important.

Chester Draws

"Slipping into whiteness" means valuing hard work, scholarship, a rewarding career, monetary success, the family, individual freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

I don't think "monetary success" fits in there at all. I know lots of very "white" people who care little for money, yet value the other things you list greatly. NZ culture doesn't particularly value people for the amount they earn, and neither does most of Europe. I, personally, have turned down many opportunities to earn more, and so have many of my friends.

Unless by "monetary success" you merely mean rising to the point where money stops being a continual concern i.e. avoiding outright poverty.

jabrwok

This is what they wish to tear down because

Because their success within that system depends on their own initiative and self-discipline, and they're *entitled* dammit! How *dare* they not simply be given, as by *right*, whatever they want?

Work is for the proles, as is the willingness to delay gratification (which is also racist).

R. Sherman

I'm truly sorry. I could not get past the following assertion: "Hate speech is a speech act that can harm the central nervous system,..." Does Professor Scheper-Hughes spend her time at Dune cosplay cons? I bet she looks quite fetching in a Bene Gesserit outfit.

Killer Marmot

I don't think "monetary success" fits in there at all.

I have no problem including monetary success as part of "acting white."

I don't view monetary success as (necessarily) grabbing as much money as you can. It's about achieving the level of wealth you desire so that you can be independent, and it generally requires thrift and foresight.

Daniel Ream

"Hate speech is a speech act that can harm the central nervous system,..."

This is where I think r/K selection theory is on to something. For these people, their ability to handle anything even remotely threatening is so atrophied that harsh words really do provoke a physical reaction, one of extreme fight-or-flight nervous system stimulation.

The rest of the world generally learned how not to lose their **** over being teased on the playground at about age ten, though.

MC

I am constantly amazed by the capacity of the loonies to trump themselves. One starts reading and think that someone calling a Jewish guy a Nazi is the pinnacle of leftist mentalism, but swiftly a twitterloon steps in and patronises 120m Japanese in the cause of antiracism. Then Everyday Mentalism says: "Hold my decaf chai latte."

Surely we can't be far off 'Why Dr King Was A White Supremacist' ?

David

Not only is it full of smears, half-truths, and outright libel against Shapiro, but at several points it changes direction completely onto an almost wholly unrelated topic but before you can work out how it relates to anything resembling a coherent idea she has changed direction yet again

What’s revealing, I think, is that Dr Scheper-Hughes has obviously assumed (a) that none of her student readers know anything about Ben Shapiro, and (b) that none of them will bother to check anything she’s said about him, however dishonest or perverse. Apparently, the students’ knee-jerk indignation will prevent them using Google.

And if this is the standard of her polemic on a subject supposedly of great importance to her – an article that reads like the work of a first-year student and is erratic, bordering on incoherent, and premised on wild distortions and numerous outright lies – then it’s reasonable to ask questions about the quality of her teaching, and her probity in general.

David

Re the above, it looks like one left-leaning student did have the wherewithal to attend Shapiro’s talk and ask if one of Dr Scheper-Hughes’ claims about him is actually true.

Needless to say, it isn’t.

R.Sherman

Needless to say, it isn’t.

Once again, we see a student who seems to be unable to process the fact that his/her image of the "enemy" is, at best, a grotesque caricature of the actual person. Further, when confronted with facts contrary to her reality, the student really doesn't have the mental agility to respond. The irony is, her manufactured hatred of Shapiro leads her to try to formulate a philosophical basis for indicting women who abort their children for murder, a public policy which Shapiro specifically disclaimed.

Min

Perhaps Dr Scheper-Hughes has some thoughts on whether publicly and hyperbolically defaming people – accusing them of racism and misogyny, and of being a physical menace to students, for instance – also constitutes “violence” and a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Consistency is for the little people.

Jonathan

Shapiro is not only “racist, sexist” and “misogynist,” but also “very dangerous” and a “physical threat” to students.

Ben is 5'9", do you know who else was 5'9"? Hitler!

Case proven bigots.

David

do you know who else was 5’9”? Hitler!

I’m told his favourite activity is cracking student skulls and scooping out the brains.

It’s thin gruel, but still.

Sort-Of-Mad Max

'Nancy Scheper-Hughes'

Handy old pirate lore:

If there be
Names of three,
Or a hyphen ye see,
BEWARE!
For bat-shit crazy be she!

Daniel Ream

There used to be a feminist satire site written under the pseudonym of Colleen Hyphenated-Lastname.

David

Elsewhere in academia:

“The ball pits were perfect for allowing students to feel comfortable,” said Kate Ayotte, a wellness programs administrator at Central Connecticut State University.

I’m not sure which is more peculiar – the ball pits, in which students can apparently experience “emotional safety,” or the fact that the university has a “wellness programmes administrator.”

Jonathan

Jim Goad has an excellent piece about 'Hate' up at Taki's.

Donald Trump is already a solid contender for the title of all-time world champion of being accused of hatred in the most hateful terms possible. I sincerely believe that if you were to take everything he’s ever said that is deemed “hateful,” then compare it to the things that are said about him on the premise that he’s hateful, any reasonable person could easily see that the Trump-haters say objectively worse things.

R.Sherman

When I was college, the "wellness programs administrator" was the guy behind the bar at Booches. Motto: "No Sniveling."

Shouting At Clouds

Shapiro's arguments on not prosecuting women for abortions is surprisingly inconsistent with the rest of his worldview. Saying that "most women don't think it's a baby" strips females of their agency and accountability. "Doctor's know full well that it's a baby" is ridiculous - abortionists do not, on the whole, think there is anything innately wrong with abortion either, and so by Ben's logic should not be prosecuted.

His view condenses to: Women are too dumb to be held accountable for getting abortions.

I'm a huge fan of Shapiro and pro-life but he's off by a mile on this one.

Criticas

But they're so passionate. We should compromise with them. After all, we don't want to be extremists, do we?

Oh, most definitely. I want to push them out of a helicopter at 5,000 ft; they'd prefer 0 ft. We'll split the difference! 2500 ft it is!
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1409/4398/products/VD_Olive_New_grande.png?v=1490885299

Alex deWinter
His view condenses to: Women are too dumb to be held accountable for getting abortions.

I'm a huge fan of Shapiro and pro-life but he's off by a mile on this one.

Oh good, I'm not the only one (albeit I'm pro-choice). It was a weird little two-step he did on that question. IANAL, but my understanding of mens rea is that it means the person knew (or should reasonably have known) that what s/he was planning to do was illegal, but chose to do it anyway. Abortion is not legally considered murder, as a fetus is not legally considered a person, a fact the doctor would likely be, if anything, even more aware of than the woman seeking the abortion. Should the legal definition of personhood be expanded to include fetuses, that would change, but in that case both should be charged with murder.

It's too bad the girl asking the question didn't follow up on that, but I had the impression she assumed she was launching a devastating rhetorical knockout punch and didn't have a backup plan in case it didn't land. Having watched a number of videos of Shapiro fielding questions from young people, that seems to be the pattern. None of them bother to familiarize themselves with his arguments beforehand to come prepared to refute them. Instead they waltz in figuring they're going to whale on Straw Ben and get their asses handed to them.

Nikw211

(a) that none of her student readers know anything about Ben Shapiro, and (b) that none of them will bother to check anything she’s said about him

Yes - the both of those.

And it's one of several reasons why I find it troubling when, in lieu of a rebuttal, certain people will simply resort to slander and libel with the express purpose of shaming anyone out of getting too curious.

The warnings are as stark (and effective, both in the real and ironic sense) as something like the forbidden zone from The Planet of the Apes:

You know, to ward people off finding out for themselves something that would prove to be more than inconvenient to the narrative those same certain people wish to impose as the one true and irrefutable doctrine.

It always amazes me when people employ such a strategy - surely they must realise that making something taboo is in itself an incentive for someone to find out for themselves why it is so taboo?

And anyone who does venture into the 'forbidden zone' and finds out what is there is likely to be contemptuous if not downright resentful of any and all previous attempts at keeping them deliberately in the dark. And not only that but the very kind of people who are willing to venture that way tend to be people who are of an independent mind - a fact which in itself can make them quite persuasive to others.

Surely almost every hero and heroine ever written of is the one who went beyond the known horizon to find out what was on the other side?

And, of course, for any such 'hero' who does venture into that 'forbidden zone' it also immediately calls into question the value of the arguments (or 'arguments') of people such as Scheper-Hughes they may have been brought up with or strenuously educated in - because what kind of politics, what kind of ideology, would need to rely on mumbo jumbo to protect itself other than, well, ... mumbo jumbo?

Nikw211

OT

Oh, dear God - La Mademoiselle horrible, Penny Dreadful, has truly excelled herself - this is likely the most intense cringe I have seen all year.

Pogonip

I hate hate speech.

Marko

Question - and this may betray a fundamental lack of knowledge about American libel law - but is there no recourse for a charge of slander? Clearly if this professor doesn't believe in free speech then the irony would be lost on her if she were sued for speaking defamatory lies about Mr. Shapiro. The damages could easily be argued; the false characterization of Mr. Shapiro's views results in the need for additional security, increases the costs of his speeches, potentially reduces the number of speaking opportunities presented to him, and on and on. Why not go that route and do what the Left do and use the courts to punish the opposition?

David

It always amazes me when people employ such a strategy - surely they must realise that making something taboo is in itself an incentive for someone to find out for themselves why it is so taboo?

Well, you’d think. It’s about as far from the academic ideal as it’s possible to get, short of burning down an orphanage. Even from the perspective of partisan badmouthing, surely the most effective approach is to quote your opponent’s own words…? But as we saw with the Middlebury protest-cum-riot against a visit by Charles Murray, it’s remarkable how many Mao-lings will behave like savages based on hearsay, with few, if any, of them having actually read Murray’s work or even bothering to Google his biography - a sixty-second task that would undermine the premise of their self-righteous posturing.

And so they don’t.

R. Sherman

@Marko

It's a good question. The problem is that opinion is immune to libel and slander. Defamation actions require an assertion of fact which is false with knowledge of its falsity or reasonable suspicion that it's false. The fact must be such that it involves something a reasonable person would find abhorrent. Name calling, by itself, is not defamatory. For example, saying "John is a heroin addict" may be defamatory. Saying "John acts stoned all the time" is probably not, even if the implication is that John is an addict. Further, certain false facts may have been defamatory at one time, but changing social mores may cause the prior defamatory speech to be considered harmless.

The bottom line, courts in the U.S. have traditionally put severe restrictions on defamation law because of the 1st Amendment. The professor's diatribe probably would survive a defamation suit, or, more precisely would not be considered defamatory by a court, even if it contains gross misrepresentations.

Vince N

The ball pits were perfect for allowing students to feel comfortable

They look like they could be fun. If pacifiers were offered, however, I would decline.

Rich Rostrom

There is a grain of truth in Scheper-Hughes' gibberings. If a person is isolated, and subjected to continual intense verbal attack for an extended period of time, from multiple people the target cannot dismiss... the effects can be traumatic.

This was the method developed by Mao for the Red Guards, where a crowd would be directed to denounce a designated "class enemy" or "backslider".

Of course, looking at the so-called"violence" of Shapiro and the like, and the actions of Scheper-Hughes and her ilk, it is rather obvious who is using these methods.

Darleen

"Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

PiperPaul


Seems familiar...

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