David Thompson


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March 31, 2018



"You being right and me being wrong is problematic".


Ms Peheakoe does not realize that her position can be used to justify silencing her by any means available.


Too bad we can't go back to the situation where village idiots and morons desperate for attention couldn't coordinate and encourage each other so easily.


The evasion and mental contortion are remarkable. A more honest phrasing might be,

“If we engage in debate, if I even allow you to speak, you will prove me wrong. And I cannot allow that.”

It’s a fig leaf for Mao-ling psychodrama.

Hopp Singg

"Don't touch that stove, little girl, it's hot."

"I reject your sexist, racist argument designed to subjugate me ... aaargh, it burns, it burns!"


“You being right and me being wrong is problematic”

Or, “Debating is problematic because it wouldn’t elevate my kind of knowledge, which isn’t so much knowledge as contrivance and self-flattery, and I would lose. Which is so unfair. Because I should win regardless.”

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Miss Peheakoe is the very definition of "soup sandwich".

Wilf Ratzburg

Mar 5
Replying to @katiepeheakoe @FredKirkey1 and 3 others
Done properly, it doesn't create winners or losers... It creates better ideas.

Mar 5

Do what would be the 'better idea' to come out of a Nazi debate

Gee, Katie, how about the "better idea" is that another system, say a free market republic rooted in individual freedoms, is better than Nazism ?

This individual sums up the idiocy nicely:

MWZH (insert 40 emojis) ‏ @MWZH1 Replying to @katiepeheakoe @FredKirkey1 and 4 others


Ms Peheakoe’s Twitter feed is much as you’d imagine.

Katiepeheakoe @katiepeheakoe There should be a sports team called White People...

Ask, and the University of Northern Colorado delivers !

R. Sherman

So, where does Ms Peheakoe believe the ideas/assertions/opinions/facts(?) which she believes are no longer subject to debate originate? How do we humans discover them? Do they merely spring fully formed from the head of some sociology professor at an East Coast liberal arts college?


Or, “Being woke, and therefore better than you, I should not have to risk altering my position on any subject, thereby becoming less woke. I have achieved perfection and omniscience, by the standards of my in-group, and no further growth is required, or to my advantage.”


And in case anyone wants to believe that such mental contortion is merely a fringe activity and therefore irrelevant, here’s Janice Fiamengo on the Mao-ling mentality and its Clown Quarter enablers:

Considerations other than truth are now paramount at the university... What does it say about a group of privileged young people, one of the most privileged generations in world history, that their first recourse – their first recourse – is to violence?

Do watch the video for examples of the “disordered moral universe,” as Fiamengo puts it, of the Mao-lings’ campus enablers, and for the masked she-Mao-ling whose, um, thoughts enliven the opening of the film.

Related: this, this, and the last item here.

Bill de Haan

Growing up, my family's attitude toward children could be summarized as (a) they are always wrong, and (b) if they want to be taken seriously, they need to be able to prove it.

Dinner table discussions were pretty much adults reflexively disagreeing with older children, which forced those children to come up with better arguments than just "I want" or "it should".

As a result, we learned not just how to debate, but how to think. If I was going to propose something, and I knew my family would automatically shoot it down, I would have to be able to defend my proposal. I had to be able to reject their criticisms, and that meant I had to both anticipate the criticisms, consider them, and come up with reasons why they were wrong.

And what do you know, sometimes, I couldn't. Which meant... gasp... I was wrong about some things. And I would actually change my mind.

And so we learned critical thinking. We learned to anticipate the arguments against our positions, so we could better defend them. If you couldn't defend your position, it forced you to either change it, or reject it.

Only people unable to defend their position would dismiss the idea of doing so. Miss Katie is not a serious person, and should not be taken seriously.

Spiny Norman


Rote memorization is not for youngsters beginning mathematics education, but for ever-so-brave social justice warriors.


Two modes of intellectual discourse: Taking everything personally v. debate as sport

To those accustomed to the first mode of discourse, the scathing satire and sharp criticism of the second appears to be a vicious and personal attack, driven by a hateful animus, when those who adopt such modes of discourse are typically neither personally hurt nor aiming to cause such hurt. Rather, as this second form of discourse demands personal detachment from issues under discussion, ridicule does not aim to cause hurt, but to up the ante of the debate, exposing the weakness of the response to challenge, pushing opponents to come back with more substantial arguments or betray their lack of convincing support for their position. Within the first form of discourse, if you take offence, you can close down the discourse in your favour; in the second form of discourse, if all you can do is to take offence, you have conceded the argument to your opponent, as offence is not meaningful currency within such discourse.

I also don’t think that sufficient attention is given to the manner in which differing forms of education prepare persons for participation in these different modes of discourse. There is a form of education – increasingly popular over the last few decades – which most values cooperation, collaboration, quietness, sedentariness, empathy, equality, non-competitiveness, conformity, a communal focus, inclusivity, affirmation, inoffensiveness, sensitivity, non-confrontation, a downplaying of physicality, and an orientation to the standard measures of grades, tests, and a closely defined curriculum (one could, with the appropriate qualifications, speak of this as a ‘feminization’ of education). Such a form of education encourages a form of public discourse within which there is a shared commitment and conformity to the social and ideological dogmas and values of liberal society, where everyone feels secure and accepted and conflict is avoided, but at the expense of independence of thought, exposure to challenge, the airing of deep differences, and truth-driven discourse.

While firm differences can be comfortably negotiated within the contrasting [old] form of discourse, a mode of discourse governed by sensitivities and ‘tolerance’ cannot tolerate uncompromising difference. Without a bounded and rule-governed realm for negotiating differences, antagonism becomes absolute and opposition total. Supporters of this ‘sensitive’ mode of discourse will typically try, not to answer opponents with better arguments, but to silence them completely as ‘hateful’, ‘intolerant’, ‘bigoted’, ‘misogynistic’, ‘homophobic’, etc.


Rote memorization is not for youngsters beginning mathematics education, but for ever-so-brave social justice warriors.

Ah, but regurgitated slogans, preferably chanted en masse, are the zenith of woke thought.

And practically the sum total of it.


Reposting from Friday thread...

Burn it down

[U]niversity diversity officials have accorded themselves a right to investigate and sanction anyone accused of “intentionally or unintentionally” exhibiting an inappropriate “state of mind” with regards to “an attitude, an individual, or group.” What could go wrong?


1) Your dissent from Progressivism makes you a Nazi
2) Nazis have no right to engage in debate
3) Your ideas aren't debating


argh .... "aren't WORTH debating"

and I previewed, too!! [need more coffee]



[ Fetches stool of shame. ]


She’s so oppressed and marginalised.

Because all the stuff she wants isn’t just given to her whenever she wants it.


It’s strange how these allegedly “oppressed” and “marginalised” people - like Little Miss Mao-ling, above - sound remarkably like chronically spoiled children who don’t want to grow up.

And so Little Miss Mao-ling tells us that she’s travelled the world, and has presumably attended an expensive university where she learned to mouth fatuous pieties, and evidently she has plenty of time for pseudo-radical LARPing and playing dress-up. And yet she claims that she’s not only oppressed but is too poor to eat. Oh, and she insists that she’s also “half black,” and therefore doubly oppressed, despite her remarkable lack of melanin.

That her narcissistic pantomime of woe might be an affront to people who do actually suffer has, I suspect, never crossed her mind. Such as it is.

Chester Draws

The young lady's name appears to be a joke, rather like mine in fact. Rather obvious if you are a Kiwi.

Kei te pēhea koe (pronounced sort of Katie Pay-hayah-koy), is Maori for "how are you?".

But she's not Maori. Surely that's "cultural appropriation"? (My searches for peheakoe turned up only references in Maori. If it's a Native American word, it doesn't seem to have hit the internets.)

If she was a Kiwi she would know that our national football (soccer) team is called, I shit you not, "The All Whites". It's a reference to the rugby team being the All Blacks, of course.


Kei te pēhea koe (pronounced sort of Katie Pay-hayah-koy), is Maori for “how are you?”

I’ve always said these threads were educational.

Spiny Norman
1) Your dissent from Progressivism makes you a Nazi

2) Nazis have no right to engage in debate

3) Your ideas aren't worth debating

Kevin D. Williamson, and all the other fourth-rate proponents of his failed ideology, should be shown the door. Our public sphere would be more vibrant, more thoughtful, more productive, and yes, more free, without them.

Even more blatantly Maoist than even the Huffingpaint Post usually posts - although I do recall one of their Red Guards claim that if the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, were barred from not just the media, but from the political process itself, "true Parties of the Left would arise" and America could finally "join the civilized world".


Huffingpaint Post



"chronically spoiled children who don’t want to grow up"

Much of The Left comes across as having the worst attributes of a pain-in-the-arse teenager (or even pre-teen) mentality.

"Chester Draws"

You mean that doesn't describe what you do?


Debating is problematic ... It can be and has been used in the past to destroy the humanity of certain genders, ethnic groups etc.

Also this (my italics):

    White fragility (n):

    "A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves [including] behaviours such as argumentation ..."

So argument is problematic, too. And talking back to someone who has just declared you a racist is verboten on the grounds that as a white person you are ineluctably a racist regardless of whether you actually are one or not.

    ... because white people are socialised and live in white supremacist societies, they are more invested in upholding white supremacy (which will ensure that their privileges are safe) than they are challenging it. This is why rather than prioritizing continued engagement, constructive exchange, reflection, and learning from their mistakes when they are challenged on their complicity in racism, too many white people prioritise deflection and avoidance.

Oddly enough, that passage - which to me looks to be quite unambiguously a case of racial bigotry and prejudice - was published yesterday on the Racial Justice Network while promising to "promote[e] racial justice across Leeds City Region" ("War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." as they say ...).

Tim Newman

Yeah sure, that’s the reason.



Those woke young peoplekind who think in tweets and speak in violent fits.


Yeah sure, that’s the reason

Sounds like pity-bragging.


3) Your ideas aren't [worth] debating

What Noah Berlatsky says of Kevin D. Williamson in that Huffington Post piece:

    The right columnist, Kevin D. Williamson, is a writer formerly at National Review who has referred to a nine-year-old black child as a ”primate.”

What Kevin D. Williamson actually wrote in the National Review:

    ‘Hey, hey craaaaaacka! Cracka! White devil! F*** you, white devil!” The guy looks remarkably like Snoop Dogg: skinny enough for a Vogue advertisement, lean-faced with a wry expression, long braids. He glances slyly from side to side, making sure his audience is taking all this in, before raising his palms to his clavicles, elbows akimbo, in the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge. Luckily for me, he’s more like a three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg, a few inches shy of four feet high, probably about nine years old ...

What is truly mindboggling is that not only did Berlatsky, or his Huff Po editor, print a blatantly slanderous falsehood about Williamson, asserting him to be an unapologetic racist, but they also - apparently - hold their readership in such total and utter contempt that they even link directly to the National Review piece which unequivocally demonstrates that they lied.

Why would anyone do that? Why would you lie directly to your reader about someone while giving them a link proving you to be a liar? Who does that?


"white supremacy"

Are these morons confusing 'predominance' and 'supremacy'? I'm trying to be charitable.


Don't fancy yours much


Spiny Norman


...talking back to someone who has just declared you a racist is verboten on the grounds that as a white person you are ineluctably a racist regardless of whether you actually are one or not.

The Proggies (aka "screaming college garbage babies") have recently discovered the meaning of "Kafka-trapping" and have declared anyone complaining about it not just "rayciss!", but "deeply, irredeemably rayciss!".

Spiny Norman

Who does that?

The Progressive(sic) Left knows their readers will look at what you just saw, and see what Berlatsky says is there. Yes, the Progressive(sic) intellectual elite hold their followers in utter contempt. I'm not sure I blame them, either. Ben Rhodes, one of Preezy Barry's more aggressive lackeys, mocked the White House press corps(e) as "sheep" - and those were the ones on their side.


not only did [they] print a blatantly slanderous falsehood about Williamson, asserting him to be an unapologetic racist, but they also - apparently - hold their readership in such total and utter contempt that they even link directly to the National Review piece which unequivocally demonstrates that they lied.

I suppose the urge to do harm outweighs any pretence of probity, in both writer and reader, and Mr Berlatsky evidently believes - rightly, it seems - that his audience of students, graduates and self-styled ‘progressives’ won’t bother to check, or be remotely critical, even when the source is right in front of them. It’s as you say, boggling, and revealing, and has a whiff of projection, and yet it’s not particularly surprising. Being woke, they need monsters to oppose in order to look pious, even if they have to conjure them themselves. Indeed, you could think of ‘progressivism’ in general as a kind of mutual dishonesty, a collective pretension.

These are not good people. And they never will be.


Incidentally, Mr Berlatsky did something similar with a smear piece on Jordan Peterson (now behind a paywall, I think). Instead of actually engaging with Peterson’s statements in good faith, he conjured monsters - because he has to. A point underlined by Mr Berlatsky’s instantly hostile and dismissive reactions to even the mildest demurral from other people on the left. If you politely challenge the accuracy of a claim or a particular line of argument, you’re a “bigoted asshole.” Because you have to be. That’s how it works.


I suppose the urge to do harm outweighs any pretence of probity

That does seem to be a primary characteristic of leftism.


... referred to a nine-year-old black child as a ”primate.”

Humans are primates. If blacks are not, where should we situate them taxonomically?


So, do I have this right? The American Football official indication for “illegal touching” is also the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge? I think this is the real meaning of the word “problematic”. No one tells me anything.


That does seem to be a primary characteristic of leftism.

See also Matt Yglesias wildly distorting the sentiments of Charles Murray. Or Pankaj Mishra slandering Douglas Murray and Jordan Peterson, both of whom he smears as racists, “far right,” and next of kin to Satan. Or almost anyone who fainted or seethed over James Damore’s supposedly “hateful” and “fascist” memo.

In each case, the writer seems to have assumed that the reader won’t go near the source material and make up their own minds.


Looking at Berlatsky's offerings on Amazon I see why he is so angry & obsessive about Jordan Peterson and others ...

Abject pathological jealousy. Blurb from one of his latest books which I note has absolutely no reviews yet (this is my shocked face)

Pundits are going to talk us into the abyss, but you might as well feel some schadenfreude as you take the plunge. Jonathan Chait, Andrew Sullivan, Ross Douthat, David Brooks, Megan McArdle—they are handed sacks of money to prattle and opine at length, mostly about how great it is we live in a world in which Chait and Sullivan and Douthat and Brooks and McArdle can be paid sacks of money for opining. Well, if that self-satisfied prattling and opining has ever annoyed you, this is the book for you! 77,000 words on why Jonathan Chait should shut up forever, why Sam Harris is an irrational bigot, why Angela Nagle should maybe stop taking the arguments of Nazis at face value, why Jordan Peterson loves lobsters, and why free speech doesn't just mean free speech for pompous overpaid pundits. The essays were published between 2010 and 2018, mostly on the website Splice Today; and include exciting headlines like:

"The Left Wing Pro-War Pundits and How They Sucked"
"Is Jesse Singal a Bigot?"
"Bill Maher Is a Dick"
"Ross Douthat Stumbles Into Fascism"
"Chapo Traphouse, Masters of Clintonian Triangulation"
"Megan McArdle's Hard Times and Troubles"

...and many more!

I don't know about you, but this kind of embarrassing, exhibitionist display of a writer pickled in bile really makes me want to buy his writing!

Excuse me while go de-ear a chocolate bunny to get the foul taste out of my mouth.


Looking at Berlatsky’s offerings on Amazon I see why he is so angry & obsessive

He’s not a happy bunny, but he is, I think, following a very common psychological trajectory. I mean, if your politics and woke persona are rooted in resentment, pretence, envy and rationalised spite, then, given time, a smell of rotting will be hard to miss.


In each case, the writer seems to have assumed that the reader won’t go near the source material and make up their own minds.

That used to work on a larger fraction of the population, when in pre-internet days it was more work for busy people, occupied mostly with their families and careers, to track down books and articles. It still operates to a lesser degree on such people, and on young students who are likely to hear from all their teachers and professors that some ideas are simply not worth investigating.

If Satan is the father of lies, Yglesias and Berlatsky are cousins of lies.


Happy Easter! 🐰💐


I do find myself wondering just what will go through their minds when the system they're striving to create lines them up against the wall?

Robespierre and Trotsky were unavailable for comment.......

Governor Squid

I just hope that they are encouraged to keep their cell phones and to record the event for posterity. Who knows? Perhaps their example will leave an imprint on their dim-witted travelers' brains in a way that Robespierre and Trotsky failed to achieve.

Tony Moclair

'Problematic' debate is an issue not specific to Miss Peheakoe. This is from the Australian newspaper a week or two back.

Race, gender politics swamp great debate

The politics of race and gender have arrived at the University of Sydney’s oldest debating club, which this year will field teams of debaters comprised mainly of “non-cis-males, wom*n, and persons marginalised by white ­supremacy” as opposed to the best debaters they can find.

The University of Sydney Union, which describes itself as “one of the best debating ­institutions in the world”, says its affirmative action policy will ­ensure that teams heading to the Australian Easter Debating Championships (or “Easters”) for novices next month will include more “persons of colour” and others from “minority ethno-cultural background” as well as born-women, and others who don’t identity as “cis-male”.

(A cis-gender person identifies as the sex they were assigned at birth. Wom*n is used to include females, trans women and anyone who identifies as a woman).

There are quotas for people from non-elite public schools too, who get in on the grounds that they are “disadvantaged in debating ­opportunities”.

The union, which boasts of being an equal world record ­holder when it comes to making the finals at the world debating championships, will also employ “equity officers” to attend the tournament to assist those who find debating “intensely competitive and stressful”.

“This can intentionally or ­unintentionally lead to people feeling victimised,” the union says.

But the equity officers will ­provide “safe avenues” to voice concern.

Sydney University student Nina Dillon Britton praised the ­initiative, saying affirmative ­action policies had fostered a ­diverse and inclusive environment. “I’m a female debater and it created a culture where more women were able to put themselves forward,” she said. “We have to recognise sub­conscious bias and stereotypes, which mean women and people of colour are disadvantaged when they speak.

“We shouldn’t just be happy with only allowing privileged ­people; we should be encouraging as much diversity as possible in ­debating.”

However, Sydney University Liberal Club president Joshua Crawford criticised the quotas, saying they were “an affront to fairness and merit”.

Mr Crawford said it was a ­“disgrace” that some students, “who have worked tirelessly to ­become some of the university’s top debaters” would be prevented from being on the team because of their gender.

“It is equally abhorrent that there will be female debaters, who have every right to be on the ­debating team by their own ­merits, who will now have the legitimacy of their position ­questioned.”

Media personality and former Sydney University debater Adam Spencer said that if the community overwhelmingly wanted the changes, “then good luck to them”. But he argued that the ­selection for the world debating championships should continue to be merit-based.

“You should send your very best team at any given time to the world championships, which is the jewel in the crown of debating,” he said.

Spencer won the world’s best speaker award in the 1996 world championships.

No union officer was available to comment on the diversity requirements when contacted by The Australian yesterday.

The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association, or AIDA, which this year chose the University of Sydney as host for the Australian Easter Debating Championships, was not available to comment either.

AIDA president Stephanie White said the conveners of the Easter tournament — that is, the University of Sydney’s Easters 2018 team — were best placed to answer questions “and they will be in touch”, but they were not.

The affirmative action guidelines are complex, and may prove difficult to implement in some circumstances.

For example, the proportion of debaters who identify as non-cis-male across all teams attending Easters must be no less than 50 per cent. One third of tournament adjudicators must also identify as non-cis-male.

In addition, each of the top three teams must also have “at least one debater who identifies as being a person of colour, from a minority ethno-cultural background, or marginalised by white supremacy”.

Teams must also include ­debaters who attended “a school meeting the criteria listed in section 5.6.8 of the regulations” which basically means a disadvantaged public school, as ­opposed to a private school.

The University of Sydney Union expects to send 11 teams of three speakers each, and 11 ­adjudicators.

The union pays the fees, which are as much as $380 per person, but the union will fund only those teams where the “proportion of non-cis-male, wom*n-identifying people” reaches 50 per cent.

“At least four non-cis-male women-identifying people must be selected in the top three teams,” the guidelines say.

There must be “one non-cis-male women-identifying person in each funded team.”

At least one third of ­adjudicators must be “women-identifying”.

It requires some juggling because the various rules must also be applied in a way “that does not disadvantage” those people who have already been included on the basis of gender, racial and socio-economic discrimination.

“The proportion of people who identify as being a person of colour, from a minority ethno-cultural background, or marginalised by white supremacy … must be at least 25 per cent,” the guidelines say.

“At least one person who identifies as belonging to one or more of the aforementioned groups must be selected in the top three teams.

“At least half the quota (must) be filled with people identified as non-cis-male (rounding up).”

Teams must also include ­students from “high schools that are recognised as being disadvantaged in terms of debating opportunities” and 15 per cent of places must be from a reserved for student from a comprehensive school.

In addition, “the minimum number of non-cis-male identifying adjudicators sent shall be equal to the number of adjudicators sent divided by three”.

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