A Happy Ending to a Vandal Story

For those of you curious about the ongoing situation at Northern Kentucky University, where, as is typical with Lefties, craven vandals have been attempting to trample both the truth and the freedom of speech of the students, we have an update that the cowards have been caught:

(Names replaced to avoid any breaches of confidentiality.) It was fairly cold out around 1 AM Friday Morning. A few hours ago I had been at a Latin Holy Thursday Mass with some friends, muddling through a wonderful Sacrament that I knew well in a language that I did not. My friend Perry and I were sitting on the inside of the giant metal modern art sculpture, hiding far back in the cleft facing the NKU University Center, keeping to the shadows and keeping quiet. Last night had been easier, as me and my two other friends, Jackson and Mark, had been blessed with more shadow to hide in. The nearly full moon had been covered by clouds then. It had also been warmer and the wind had not bitten half so harshly. Earlier Perry, Jessa, Sally and I had been hiding among roughly broken rocks underneath the UC/BEP walkway. It is entirely reasonable to ask why on earth we were hiding out like this, and why myself and other compatriots had been hiding out the previous night.

The answer is simple. We were hiding near the Northern Kentucky University Right to Life Onesie Display, to protect it from vandals. You see, a simple sign with a properly researched and cited fact on it, coupled with a few clotheslines that had baby clothes hung on them, is apparently enough to warrant the destruction of property under the cover of darkness. Did I mention that the display was approved by the University, or else it would have never been put up in the first place? Or that once used, the baby clothes, of which every fourth article had a red X in tape that was easily removable, were to be donated to babies in sore need of help? Yet, of course, because our stance is not the most popular, on Monday and Tuesday night our display was torn down, with all the onesies picked from their clothespins like charries and dropped to the dirt. We do not know what time this happened on Monday, but, Tuesday, we know it happened before 1AM, as Perry, Jackson, and I, along with several of our friends, had gone to check on it and found the onesies taken down again. We also know the deed was done after 11 PM, thanks to a passerby who remarked that she had been out smoking around then, and the display had been just fine at that time.

Being very tired of this sort of guerilla trampling of our Right to Free Speech, we called the Campus Police, and various measures were taken to ensure that if it happened again, the perpetrators would be identified and caught. However, we decided that we would do what we could ourselves, after making sure our methods were legal by checking with the proper Authorities. You see, this is not the first year this sort of thing has happened. When our club was founded, one of NKU’s Professors took her class outside to tear up the crosses in our Cemetery of Innocents. She was let go and soundly chastized Each cross represents a varying number of children slain daily by abortion in the USA, depending on the space available. Year after year, semester after semester, despite constant recriminations and condemnations from the University, displays have been damaged, and flyers torn down. With the flyers at least, some of our members have caught those responsible in the act. They were almost always unrepentant and hostile.

To that end, on Wednesday and Thursday night, several of us stayed out of sight and in the cold, watching our display to make sure that this would not happen again and that the vandals would be caught. We were lucky Wednesday, nothing eventful occurred. It originally seemed to Perry and I that the same would hold true for Thursday, and up until around one we waited, wedged in a cramped, freezing, steel hideout, whispering back and forth to pass the time. Then, he motioned for me to be silent. He had heard the distinct snip of scissors when I had not. I saw one of the clothelines jerk, and it half fell. I was calling the police that instant, and Perry was readying his camera. I saw a short man steal up and cut down the remaining rope. Then, I was busy trying to whisper into the Police Operator’s ear. My voice came out so hushed and garbled that they originally thought I was telling them that someone had pulled a gun. While I was sorting that out, Perry stepped from our hiding place and began snapping pictures. He saw four men rushing to stuff the clotheslines and baby clothes into the trash cans outside of the Art Building. By the time I stepped out, after I was sure I had gotten the situation through to the Operator, I saw them running hard and fast towards the Natural Science Center. Perry was already in hot pursuit. I followed, but being slower and fatter and more out of shape than my speedy friend, remained far behind. I was roaring into the phone by that point, having figured that any noise could only help our cause. My own voice and heavy breathing, combined with my pounding footsteps, drowned out Perry’s yelling. Afterwards, he explained that in the rush, what he had meant to say got mixed up in his head, and he had bellowed “RUN, YOU COWAAARDS!!!!” instead. I sincerely wish I could have heard that.

A few moments later, both he and the fleeing vandals had vanished around the front end of the Science Center, and I was beginning to catch up, having finally found strength in my tightly-cramped legs. I kept talking to the Operator, and realized that it was very likely my good friend was alone with four criminals who had at least one cutting blade between them. I had no knowledge of whether they carried scissors or buck knives, and so when I caught sight of one of them doubling back, possibly to see if I was still on the chase, I was ready to charge in, fighting like a madman, in the event that they had turned back upon him. Praise God that such Evil did not take place. When I rounded the corner, I could not find the man I had seen before, and saw two of them standing by Perry and a squad car with its lights flashing in the parking lot behind the Norse Commons Cafeteria. Still relating everything to the Operator, as best as I could between breaths, I stopped running and shakily walked up to the Officer who was now questioning the two that had been stopped. The Operator left me in his capable hands. Officer Serious demanded that they call their fellows, and the man I had seen by the Science Center did not abandon them and reappeared in a few minutes. Their fourth man, I found out from Perry, had ducked into a building somewhere along the way, and could not be reached.

While they were standing there, I asked Officer Serious if I might say some polite words to them. He allowed it, and I asked them why they had done this, when none of us had ever torn down any Pro-Choice Display. Their response was unified, instantaneous, and loud. The three began leaning forward, angry and belligerent, speaking about how horribly offensive and vile our simple baby clothes had been. One barked that the information of the sign had been a lie, that the phrase “1 out of 4 babies die from Abortion” was untruthful. I explained that the Guttmacher Institute, which was where we had gotten that fact, was founded by a man who had once been the President of Planned Parenthood. I was shouted down and told that Mr. Alan Frank Guttmacher, an obstetrician and gynecologist as well as a member of the Association for Voluntary Sterilization, had no idea what it was like to be a woman. As if womanhood had anything to do with the ability to report valid medical statistics. Perry coolly remarked, “Yes, and it seems that the three of you have so much experience with knowing what it’s like to be a woman.” During these few sentences, which had originally begun as an innocent request for an explanation, they had moved forward several steps, and Officer Serious found in necessary to step in front of me and tell them to shut it because there would be no debating here. To be frank…I am six foot three, two-hundred and twenty pounds. The biggest one of them was probably two-thirds my size, at the greatest. One of them could not have been more than ninety pounds. If you are willing to be that aggressive to a man that much larger than you, WITH an Officer of the Law present, to the point where he has to literally move in front of you to block your path, and YOU are the one who has committed the crime, you might want to seriously reconsider your position.

They were already trying to downplay what they had just done, and had begun apologizing like children caught with their hands in the candy jar. I was more than somewhat amused when they declared that “surely, we can work something out, come to some sort of resolution”, considering what had happened minutes before. Perry and I accepted their apologies personally, but I warned them that I was not the President of NRTL, and that if my Club Officers asked my opinion of the situation, I would advise them to do whatever the University Code and the Law required, without any thought for pleas for leniency. Given the history of actions like these, a strong and clear example needed to be made that this sort of behavior was intolerable. Their faces darkened then, but they remained silent, probably because they had learned overt aggression would not be looked kindly on by the Lawman present. I gave them a brief lesson on all that had taken place before that night, starting with the first destruction of our displays and going all the way to the present moment. Now, by their own admission, they were not the ones who had taken down the onesies earlier in the week. It does bother me that the vandals were not contained in one isolated group, but, we at least caught somebody. During this, two other Officers, Jogger and Comedian, pulled up and took over the parking lot situation, while Officer Serious took Perry back up to the display. Officer Comedian took over further questioing, from which we all learned several things. It turns out that they had planned to do this earlier in the day during classes, and that all three were Theater Majors at NKU. They also had been drinking beforehand, even though one of them was only 18. The other two were 21. It turned out later that the 18-year-old tried to tell my NRTL President that he was actually Pro-life and that he had been a lookout. His behavior towards me on this night proves that statement an outright lie. I saw no disapproving look in his eyes when the three of them began shouting at me in unison. They had used scissors, thankfully, so my fears of having to face knives had been unnecessary, though not entirely unfounded. They repeatedly gave their reason for vandalism as the terrible offensive nature of our display. Officer Comedian, who has my undying applause for his handling of the situation, detained them, made them wait on their knees in the cold, and then took them off under arrest to jail. While he was doing this, he kept up an impressive stream of humorous and educational banter. When the underage man remarked that he had relatives in the military, he asked him how those relatives would feel when he told them that he had violated the very Constitutional Rights they had been fighting for. His weak response was a mumbled ‘Dissapointed”. He also managed to sum up the stupidity of what those three had done by explaining that if he saw a sign declaring “Kill the police!” in someone’s yard, he did not have the right to go tear it down, break their windows, raid their fridge, and eat their food in their easy chair.

One of the vandals complained that the pavement was really hurting his knees. I remarked that the large chunks of rock and cold wind under the walkway by the University Center had hurt while we were waiting for them earlier. They responded that that took dedication. “Well, we’re tired of you tearing our sh*t down.” I said.

In summation, all three planned this ahead of time, got themselves a little drunk, and came up to campus to cut this display down and throw it in the trash. They seemed unphased when I explained that the clothes were to be donated to needy children. All of their behavior was admitted to Campus Police Officers, who promptly processed them, including the fourth man, who turned himself in later that night. In addition to various alcohol related charges, they have been charged with Criminal Mischief. The University, while unable to tell us what punishment they would receive due to coonfidentiality rules, made it clear that they would handle the situation, and I have full confidence in their ability to do so.

 

101 Comments

  1. Comment by JoeCool:

    Eh, I’ll call it an acceptable ending. Justice was served, at least.

    A happy ending would have been if the perpetrators repented of their sins and went to confession, or went to get baptized if they were not already Christian.

    And as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony.

    • Comment by Boggy Man:

      That would be at least 20% cooler no doubt.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      It may not even be an acceptable ending, since we don’t know if the perpetrators will actually be punished or learn better. I wrote the headline, not Mr Hall, who ran down the villains.

    • Comment by Stephen J.:

      I have to admit that happy as I am that those three were caught and stopped, it’s their state of mind that tempts me almost overwhelmingly to despair. Because they believe they’re right.

      It’s easy and plausible to speculate that maybe their fierceness is the product of unadmitted doubt, or deep-down guilt; that may even be true. But it need not be. They may simply be so sentimentally convinced of their righteousness that they genuinely see nothing wrong with their actions.

      Evil that knows it’s evil, either admitting it or putting effort into lying about it, I can accept; evil that simply doesn’t care about good or evil, in itself or others, I can also accept. Evil that truly and honestly thinks it’s good, or that what is evil when done by others is good when done by itself because it is itself which does it… that always frightens and depresses me, to realize that certainty of conviction is not necessarily a marker for truth.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        It is Leftwingy thing: the glorification violence and lawlessness in the name of whatever the fashionable revolutionary cause is this season.

        Leftism is like Gnosticism. It is the stance that says “because God is the devil and the devil is God therefore one is immune to moral rules in the name of a higher morality”

        This so called higher morality which always turns out to be an inversion of normal morality, praising things normal men abhor, such as baby-killing or sodomy or the genocides of communism.

      • Comment by Mary:

        Unchastity gives rise to blindness of spirit, as Thomas Aquinas put it.

    • Comment by lampwright:

      Do you have a place ready for your pony? Just in case?

    • Comment by Mary:

      Why stop there? I’d like a dragon. A nice one.

  2. Comment by Boggy Man:

    I suppose expulsion is too much to hope for, though well deserved.

  3. Comment by Patrick:

    What a goofy and awesome caper. Go you! Congrats to you and your friend on stopping some bad-guys!

  4. Comment by The Dragon of Mordecai:

    Oh wow…this became a conflagration of words rapidly.

    So it turns out that dillweeds don’t need new excuses. They’re still claiming tearing the display down was free speech…Which Sally Jacobs did all the way back in 2006.

    http://www.wcpo.com//dpp/news/region_northern_kentucky/highland_heights/suspected-vandals-say-destroying-anti-abortion-display-is-free-speech

  5. Comment by Tom Simon:

    To your PS: I think that ‘no, u’ is an acceptable response here. If the thing that you were responding to was not, in fact, intended as a grossly insulting remark, then it is slander, is it not?

    No, it does not fit any part of the definition of slander. I quote OED: ‘the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation’. It was not a spoken remark. It was not false — you have, in fact, been behaving in a manner that fits the etymologically secondary dictionary definition of the term ‘jackass’. You have no possible case for saying that it damaged your reputation, since I made it directly to you and in direct response to a written remark of yours, and anybody can judge from the evidence whether it was deserved.

    I did, I concede, make a statement. If you leave out ‘false’, and ‘spoken’, and ‘damaging to a person’s reputation’, then what I said to you was slander; and so is every other remark that has ever been made using the human faculty of language.

    By the way, whether or not you intended your remark to be grossly insulting, I was grossly insulted. The very least you should take away from this is that you need to be more careful in your use of inflammatory language; if you are doing so in order to lampoon a position to which you are opposed, you had better be sure that you do so very explicitly. Instead, you seem to be taking away the idea that you are in some way the aggrieved party.

    The fact, by the way, that you now wish you had called me ‘lebensunwertes Leben is simply rich. First, because you did in fact call me that, and have ever since been trying to wriggle out of owning your own words; second, because you have been trying to present yourself (and your murderous political philosophy) as occupying the moral high ground, and a blatant statement of personal hatred goes so very well with that, don’t you think? Here’s a hint for you: Pose on the moral high ground, OR publicly wish your opponents dead; you can’t have both.

  6. Comment by Patrick:

    “But it is futile, impossible, which she shares with the homosexual couple.”

    No.

  7. Comment by Andrew Brew:

    Branabus, if you are going to continue to post here (and I hope you will) you are going to have to make some changes.

    Others have noted that you do not argue – you just repeat slogans. That may pass, where you come from, for dialectic, but it does not pass here. In particular, it is common for you to reply “No, you!”. Unless you want us to think that you really are six years old (and plan to stay that way for ever and ever) I urge you to drop that tactic.

    There was talk above of excluding you, and you interpreted a call for you to educate yourself as a requirement to become right-wing in order to be accepted. Outside of Marxist circles, that (being trained to accept a desired ideology) is not what education means. In means gaining both knowledge and the ability to make meaningful connections between the things that you know. You can then construct arguments that others may find persuasive, instructive, or amusing.

    In any case, you do not have to look far here to find left-wingers who are honoured guests on this blog, or who vigorously disagree with our host in other ways. Pretending that conformity is required to post here is either a cheap rhetorical trick or willful blindness.

    The main point I want to make is concerning terminology. Much of what you post here amounts to the equations:
    Left-wing = Communism (as defined by you, although without actually sharing your private definition) = Good
    Right-wing = Everything else = Bad

    Good and bad we can discuss, as long as we have the same referents. The way you are currently using the terms “left-wing” and “right-wing”is, as has been pointed out, Stalin’s usage. It is not a useful application of the terms, since it is intended specifically to obscure the truth – to create in the speaker’s and in the listener’s mind false distinctions and false equations. If you want to communicate actual ideas you need to adopt a more traditional set of meanings. I suggest something like the following:

    Left-wing: Governing authority is derived from adherance to a utopian theory, previously untested against reality.

    Right-wing (European): Governing authority is derived from traditional sources confirmed by experience and received wisdom: from God, administered through legitimate kings and priests whose powers balance each other.

    Right-wing (American): Governing authority is derived from traditional sources confirmed by experience and received wisdom: from God, confirmed by the will of the governed and administered by various branches of government whose powers balance each other.

  8. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Well, a little tricky, insofar as craven vandals do go out of their way to hide from their acts. But I can still think of many, many public acts by Left Wing craven vandels. Attacking the crosses at the school, The Reichstag Fire, the attack on the Winter Palace by the Reds in Russia, the Cultural Revolution in China. Can you match my examples on the Right?

  9. Comment by Stephen J.:

    It should probably also be noted that it was the germs, bacteria and viruses the Europeans introduced to North America which did the lion’s share of the devastation, especially in Mexico and South America: that presumably would have happened however Cortes chose to conduct his operations.

    And there’s a fair bit of research indicating that the Aztec civilization, at least, was well on track at the time to fall apart disastrously within a few decades anyway — between military overreach, social decadence, and (I kid you not) ecological degradation of their arable soil due to the sheer volume of blood being spilled, catastrophe of some sort was in the offing regardless.

    None of that excuses the violence and greed of Spanish soldiers (which, in fact, many of the priests accompanying them tried desperately and uselessly to prevent). But recognizing the evil those men did is not the same as conveniently attributing that evil to a modern political plank one doesn’t share.

    EDIT: This should actually have been a reply to Branabus, not Mr. Mitchell.

  10. Comment by Mary:

    Exactly why would anyone include the National Socialist movement in the right wing?

    Except Stalin, of course, who did for the same reason he dubbed Trotsky right-wing — power.

  11. Comment by John C Wright:

    Fascism is Leftwing and has always been Leftwing. They used revolutionary tactics and rhetoric and sought to overthrow the established order and rule of law, replacing it with a mob. They were inspired by the French Revolution, which was the very definition of Leftwing. The American revolution was conservatives, an attempt to decrease the role of government and protect the rights of man, and was the world’s only rightwing revolution — not at revolution at all, merely a mutiny against governmental overreach, since the colonial governments had been governing their own affairs for over a century.

  12. Comment by Noah D:

    The destruction of the entire Aztec and Incan empires could be laid at the feet of the Right, with the accompanying vandalism.

    It sounds as if you’re saying that the destruction of demon-worshipping, human-sacrificing empires is a bad thing.

    Also, the entire modern concept of Left and Right didn’t exist for the Conquistadors, or anyone else at that time. It’s like trying to apply Democrat and Republican as labels to Ming Dynasty factionalism.

  13. Comment by Stephen J.:

    My belief — though I could be wrong on this — is that Nazism-style fascism generally gets (mistakenly) taken as a right-wing philosophy for two reasons: 1) Like many traditionalist, conservative viewpoints, It celebrates military service and war as worthy and admirable things in themselves, rather than, at most, necessary evils intended “purely to defend the People”; 2) Its economic structure is explicitly and hierarchically corporatist, with industries subordinated specifically to the government and not “the People” — workers and labourers have no say in that setup, even if the government control of the industries and managements is nominally for their benefit.

    The Nazis in particular also got associated in hindsight with right-wing conservatism because their explicitly racist philosophy was often linked with the ’50s/’60s racism of many people in the American South, after the South shifted towards Republican affinities. In truth, of course, the ideas about scientific human eugenics that gave disastrous birth to the Holocaust were far more darlings of the leftist progressive movement in the first decades of the 20th century, but a movement dedicated to always beginning history anew can perhaps be expected not to remember its own all that well.

  14. Comment by Mary:

    Nah, the corporatists had workers’ bodies as well as businesses. That’s the whole point of it, in fact.

  15. Comment by John C Wright:

    “…linked with the ’50s/’60s racism of many people in the American South, after the South shifted towards Republican affinities.”

    Rubbish. The South was solidly Democrat from the time of the Civil War, through Jim Crow, through the ’50s/’60s and it was the Republican Congress which voted in Civil Rights laws over Democrat resistance. All that happened is that the Democrats started taking credit for Republican victories against them, and press and the people believed them.

    Nearly the same thing happened with applying the label “rightwing” to the National Socialist Worker’s Party of Germany, which was hardly a supporter of the Second Amendment, the Rights of Man, Free Enterprise, the nuclear family, or anything else recognizably “Conservative.” Since the Nazis butchered FEWER of their own people than the Reds in Russia, and since the Nazis expropriated but did not destroy the German industries (they only imposed wage and price controls, controlled output and working conditions, supported labor unions, etc) to Stalin, the Nazi movement was “rightwing” but this is the meaningless term used by socialists to refer to ANY opponent of socialism no matter who he is or what he believes. A monarchist or imperialist is as much a “rightwinger” as a libertarian, according to the way they use this buzzword.

    The Left was not and never has been antimilitary. They are and continue to be anti-OUR-military. The troops and missiles of the USSR seemed never to stir them to protest. Contrast the magnitude and coverage of the antiwar movement in America in the Bush years versus the Obama years.

  16. Comment by lotdw:

    “They supported collectivisation, but also allowed private property. Etc.”

    Hitler allowed private businesses because it enabled his hold on power, but it was not his true desire.

    “Fascism preaches revolution from above, not below…”

    Yet the Nazis were clearly a revolution from below.

    There is a difficulty (as you say), when labeling ideologies, in that there is often a difference between preaching and practice. One must be careful to note the difference, note whence the difference originates, and also be careful that one is not cherrypicking the preaching or practices which best fit one’s theories. This is also one reason why “who has more blood on the hands” arguments often go nowhere.

  17. Comment by Mary:

    They hated the nuclear family. They established residences for unwed mothers that you will find people talking about the “progressiveness” of to this day. That they had to recant and publically deplore positions on illegitimacy and polygamy was owing to the pressure of public opinion.

  18. Comment by Stephen J.:

    My mistake; I could never remember when the South shifted towards voting Republican and thought it was earlier than the ’70s. (Evidently, neither can the people who like to call Naziism “right wing”.)

    I’ll split hairs on the anti-military bit, though; was there not a period (albeit a very brief one) in the ’60s where the predominantly leftist counterculture was genuinely pacifist, in a universal sense? At least some of the anti-war movement was genuinely anti-war, I had thought. (They were simply deluded about where all the aggression was coming from, and thus about which side had to be convinced to forgo it.)

  19. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Imperialism is a Left wing policy. France did not try to take over the World until the French Revolution. Russia did not try to take over the World until the Russian Communist Revolution. China started trying to take over the World after the Chinese Communist Revolution. No worse Imperialist then a Left Wing one. You have been taken in by the usual Leftist projection, the same thing that made the NAZI’s “Right Wing”……

  20. Comment by John C Wright:

    Argumentum ad hominem tu quoque. You phrase a question about infanticide by making an accusation about imperial conquest.

    Please do not waste your time and mine with such amateur rhetorical sleights of hand. I am both a philosopher and a lawyer, which makes me a professional rhetorician. I am taken aback that you actually think me likely to be taken in by such antics.

    If you have a serious question, ask. If you cannot be serious perhaps because your worldview hinders you from addressing any serious questions, do not ask.

  21. Comment by John C Wright:

    Your question assumes the very thing it questions. If there are no norms, there is no way to ask a normal question, nor to answer it, nor is a society where such questions are encouraged any more or less normal than one where such questions are discouraged.

    You ask for a control specimen as if I were making a statement about statistical distribution of examples or cases arranged along some sort of bell curve. But the concept of a control specimen already presupposes a standard baseline, a quantifiable x-axis and y-axis, of some magnitudes possessing the Eudoxian characteristic. I said nothing of the kind. I am not talking about a statistical distribution in an grid of x-axis and y-axis. I am speaking formally, about adherence to a norm, and it is norm as well known to you as it is to me.

  22. Comment by John C Wright:

    You have a much, much more generous opinion of the antiwar movement and the counter culture than do I. I would have said that they were the useful idiots of the Soviets, either knowingly or unknowingly. As with any modern ideology, I assume the mass believed what they party line was that they were fed, and the leaders knew it was a fiction.

  23. Comment by Foxfier:

    I wasn’t born until the early 80s, but I notice that the “anti” folks on the left tend to hate cops and military that aren’t serving their own purpose.

    So a military that is focused on supporting the Bill of Rights, tends to be religious or friendly to religion and will not be pro-active on “social issues of the day” is a very bad thing. A police force that enforces rules without caring about who they’re enforcing them on is a really bad thing.

  24. Comment by The OFloinn:

    Ho! Ho! Ho Chih Minh!
    NLF is gonna win!

    Hey! Hey! LBJ!
    How many kids did you kill today!

    These were chants commonly heard at rallies, and you will note the different attitudes toward the military of the USA and that of North Vietnam.

    But yes, there were genuine pacifists, too. They liked to put flowers in the muzzles of the rifles of the soldiers facing them. I never heard of them trying to do so with the muzzles of the rifles of the NLF or NVN, although Jane Fonda did get herself photographed while manning a NVN anti-aircraft gun. I didn’t see a flower in the muzzle.

    OTOH, I knew some students who opposed the war because they were conservatives and disapproved of foreign entanglements where US interests were fuzzy at best.

  25. Comment by Foxfier:

    One way of having a “norm” is looking for the stable state, rather than trying to find a control.

    The former is more likely outside of a controlled study than the later.

    How stable is a world view that depends on rebelling?

  26. Comment by Patrick:

    “Without a normal to work from, you cannot define something as abnormal…”

    You are playing a word game – like peek-a-boo, but with reality.

    Recognizing a norm presupposes recognition of a form. You are, for fun, pretending that you do not see that the herd of men are not sodomites, not mass murderers, and do not kill their own babies or wish to do these things. These are deformities of the ‘normal’ conduct and conscience, whose arraignment frees a man to pursue to his full advantage ends natural and harmonious to his form.

    When this is pointed out, the next move is to quickly pull your hands off your eyes, wave at everybody, and exclaim something you think is startling about human nature – perhaps something like, “we know of men in different times and places who acted different, sometimes!” Some orthogonal diversion from the topic, at any rate – pause for effect, and recover your eyes.

    This is abnormal behavior.

    Sodomy, mass murder, and abortion are all abnormal because they begin with some good (attraction, political power, fertility) and diverting it for the use, produce nothing. They waste.

  27. Comment by Foxfier:

    It is quite irritating when you do this.

    Yeah, having someone point out logical fallacies in one’s argument does tend to be really annoying. It’s much nicer when they accept the framing and assumptions you bring in, and answer from there.

    By the way, accusing someone of avoiding the issue for pointing out your fallacious argument(s)? It’s a fallacy.

    Fallacies are just a subtle way of avoiding the issue in classical logic.

  28. Comment by Foxfier:

    Yes, “stable” is destroyed by becoming in-stable.

    And?

  29. Comment by The OFloinn:

    No. In a stable state, perturbations tend to damp out and return to the equilibrium condition. An unstable equilibrium is one in which perturbations amplify and the state is lost.

  30. Comment by Foxfier:

    This is beginning to look like the start of an infinitely repeating set.

    It would be solved if you went back to the original post that you mischaracterized, rather than starting with your mischaracterization.

  31. Comment by Patrick:

    Welcome back!

    “whether it’s right to destroy something which might have destroyed itself anyway”

    Everything’s inevitable from the point of hindsight; but there’s no reason to assume that the regime of cult sacrifice and mass murder would have died out with the empire. Human sacrifice in Meso-America proved, if anything, much MORE durable than politics.

    “and/or whether the Conquistadors were Right-wing or not”

    Is there such a thing as a small-government, Constitutional Conquistador? If not, what kind of question is that?

  32. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    We haven’t been doing it at all. Perhaps you should define “Imperialism” instead of just using it as a pejorative. And if the British did it, they did it under their Left wing governments. Again, we get into what is Imperialism?

    No, the NAZI’s were very left wing. State Unions are a Left wing policy. Their dislike of “Communists” was on the organization level, not differences in policy. “Believe in private property”? Please, tell it to the Jews……

  33. Comment by docrampage:

    Well, if you are English, there could be a genuine misunderstanding here. The European Left/Right distinction is not the same as that in the US. In the first place, any ideology that opposes communism and socialism tends to get labeled as “right wing”, so that label groups together a bunch of things that aren’t really related. In Europe, there were groups who glorified war and groups that favored imperialism, and groups that favored monarchy or strong dictators, and these groups, being in opposition to communism, got labeled as right-wing. None of those groups ever had much popularity in the US (unless you count the Manifest Destiny movement as imperialism but that movement was pretty much over by 1850 or so, before socialism was around to oppose).

    In the US opposition to communism and socialism tended to come from religious protestants (as opposed to nominal protestants who only considered themselves protestant for cultural and historical reasons), federalists, and constitutionalists. These were people who were mostly concerned with liberty than with an opposing power system like the “right wing” in Europe. In other words, in Europe, the battle tended to be between who is going to be in charge: communists/socialists or someone else. In the US, the battle was far more over whether the communists/socialists were going to be in charge or no one was.

    From the point of view of communists and socialists, it may seem reasonable to put in a box everyone who opposes them, but from the point of view of small-government constitutionalists, the nazis, socialist, and communists have a lot more in common with each other than any of them do with small-government constitutionalists.

  34. Comment by Patrick:

    How could the Nazis be a revolution from below? Hitler certainly got himself elected Chancellor.

  35. Comment by The OFloinn:

    Both fascism and national socialism were popular movements which found their expression in mass rallies, marches, and the like. You can find an excellent discussion of the whole thing in John Lukacs’ book, The Last European War. Basically, fascism differed from communism in the resolution of the Class Struggle. In communism, the proletariat would rise up under the leadership of the Vanguard of the Proletariat (viz., Party Members) and overthrow the upper classes. In fascism, an inspirational Leader would arise who embodied hope and change in his own person and would inspire all the classes to work together (like a bundle of sticks or the fingers of a hand) for the good of the state. In fascism, class distinctions are less important than national distinctions, and the division of nations into Haves (Britain, France) and Have-Nots (Italy, Spain, Greece, and post-WWI Germany). “Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state.” – Benito Mussolini

    An odd consequence: when Germany conquered Europe it treated fascist parties quite well, but did not treat national socialist parties well. The reason: it wanted people to favor Germany, not their own nation.

    An example of revolution from above would be Bismark’s imposition of social security and other elements of the welfare state; or the Westernizing revolution of Japan’s Emperor Meiji’s or Russia’s Tsar Peter.

  36. Comment by lotdw:

    Everything Mr. Flynn said. I recommend watching some Fritz Lang movies to get a good sense of how the Nazis were generally a bunch of thugs and criminals.

    Additionally, Hitler did not get himself elected Chancellor. He came in second to Hindenburg in the presidential election, and then was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg so that they could get a coalition government together. It is a common misconception, but Hitler was never elected to lead Germany, though a strong showing in the election was partially responsible for his rise to power.

  37. Comment by Foxfier:

    I don’t think he understood your explanation, TOF…..

  38. Comment by Foxfier:

    You can’t explain something to a person that’s unwilling to understand.

  39. Comment by Foxfier:

    As to the phrasing of your argument, it’s rather impressive how much ad hominem you can sneak in there without anybody else appearing to pick it up.

    To quote: “you keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  40. Comment by Tom Simon:

    The mass of ordinary human beings sodomize one another and commit mass murder? That is the most appallingly stupid and insulting thing I’ve ever read on this subject, in forty years’ close study of the science of ethics (and its gradual derangement by self-styled progressives).

    You’re saying that there is no standard because the bulk of humans are monstrous criminals — which is a lie, a damned lie, and a libel on the human race. If it were true, do you think the human race would have spared you?

  41. Comment by Tom Simon:

    Abortion prevents the waste of a human being’s life if the parent(s) cannot afford to bring it up well, or if it will have a poor life anyway, due to illness.

    I was adopted, you jackass. My birth mother was an 18-year-old girl who could not afford to bring me up well. You have just said that it was a ‘waste’ for me to be allowed to live, and that I should have been murdered in the womb.

    I demand an instant retraction and apology. Nobody calls me lebensunwertes Leben to my face and gets away with it.

  42. Comment by Patrick:

    “unless you assume that the sole purpose of attraction..”

    How does one determine otherwise? It leads to nothing else.

    The sole purpose of hunger is to get you to eat food. A hale person cannot become hungry for any other reason than of a need for edible things, and cannot become hungry ‘about’ something other than food; hungriness is not, in that sense, transitive. Only the encroachment of disease disrupts the function to which hunger ultimately directs – an afflicted person feels compelled to eat indigestible things (Pica), to hysterically eat and purge, to eat very little or nothing or constantly.

    This, I think, goes for all the connatural occupations: sleep, etc.

    Attraction, among ‘normal’ people, indicates a sexual interest, that resolves itself in the production of life when barriers to the consummation are navigated.

    Please make a distinction between attraction and arousal here.

    A man does what a man does, and a woman does what a woman does, and all of the sudden, something happens.

    This is one of the first things that many children want to know – where do babies come from, they ask their parents, who blush and try to find the words to explain the thing. Why do they blush? Not because attraction and consummation are too complicated to explain – but because, like all the great questions, they are too simple. We cannot complicate them. The answer is mostly a grin.

    This happens always, or for the most part.

    Now, when two men or two women so inclined attempt to (I apologize, there just aren’t other words) reproduce this act – when one man of his need plays the part of a man and the other of his want simulates being a woman; we are not an inventive species – the end result is not a little questioner. Because two men are not a man and a woman, and no matter how hard they try (and love is nothing if not trying your hardest), they cannot generate a curious person between them to ask and have them grin at the mystery of something so simple – we can note with thanks that this unhappy distension that draws them together so forcefully is abnormal and feel for them deserved pity. Love is noble, but the homosexual attraction, at it’s most poetic, is a noble futility – whatever else it is, it is without the potential of creating life.

  43. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    So, not a Right wing trait at all, according to you, despite your previous postings.

  44. Comment by Mary:

    Nonsense. They made it much easier to divorce.

    And they opened the homes as early as they could work up the propaganda to make them palatable. In the mid 1930s.

  45. Comment by docrampage:

    Well, it’s more complicated than that. I wouldn’t say that everyone who rejects part of the constitution is considered left-wing. For example, there are probably a few religious extremists who think the federal government should have an established religion, but they wouldn’t be considered left-wing. But in general, anyone who wants to expand the role of government in civil affairs is considered right-wing.

    Pacifism and anti-racism are considered left-wring by left-wingers, but neither is true historically. The largest group of conscientious objectors in WWII were conservative religious people (who didn’t dodge the draft, they took on support roles such as combat medic). Leftists have never really been pacifists, instead they pretend to be pacifists because they side with the enemy (as demonstrated by the fact that they never seem to have any trouble with murders or brutality committed by the enemy). They do this to appeal to conservative pacifists as allies in damaging the war effort, and in the 1960s they also used it to appeal to the cowards –young men who became leftists to give themselves a moral excuse to dodge the draft.

    The left’s anti-racism is also not genuine as shown by their selective use of it. They have no problem with the most vicious anti-white racism by minorities. They have never repudiated their ties with racist leftists of the past, and their concern does not extend to racism suffered by groups who tend to vote Republican like those who are refugees from communist countries. Anti-racism has always been a Christian movement and it is one that the left just jumped into as it was finally being won in the 1960s. Then they took credit for the win because they stirred up trouble against the last few hold-outs of the losing side in a century-long struggle, and actually managed to convince people that the Christians had been the racists all along just because some of the last openly white segregationists happened to be Southern Baptists.

  46. Comment by Tom Simon:

    Branabus:

    Everything you said appeared to me to be in dead earnest. You were arguing for the idea that there are no moral standards, that such standards would imply a norm and that such a norm could only be arbitrary (or, at best, statistical); and saying, in effect, that the onus was on Mr. Wright to come up with such a norm and defend it, even though it would be indefensible. Then you threw in that choice bit about how it is a ‘waste of life’ not to kill unwanted babies. Sorry, I saw no mockery and still don’t see it. Everything you argued is of a piece, and nowhere did you say you were raising these points merely as a devil’s advocate.

    Furthermore, if you say you retract nothing, then you are saying you stand by your claim that I am unworthy to live. That makes absolute nonsense of *either* your claim that you were being ironic *or* your claim to be pro-life.

    In the circumstances, I cannot conscientiously withdraw the ‘jackass’ remark.

    By the way, you have no idea what ‘preconceptions of Left-wingers’ I have, and if you had, it would be irrelevant. I did not say what I said based on preconceptions, but on your actual, explicit words.

  47. Comment by Tom Simon:

    P.S. Look up the meaning of the word ‘slander’. To make a written statement calling a person a jackass for making a grossly insulting remark — no, Dear Sir or Madam, that does not fit any point of the definition.

  48. Comment by Mary:

    Erm. What would have been your response had I gone ‘Ha! You lebensunwertes Leben! You don’t deserve life!’? Because I want to do that to you. Questioning my honour is unacceptable.

    Unacceptable? Abnormal can’t be defined, but unacceptable can be? Your wishing your opponent personally dead is acceptable but evaluating your character according to your own wishes is not?

    Personally you should try evincing some honor. It’s difficult not to question something of which there is no evidence.

  49. Comment by Tom Simon:

    There was a profit-loving empire-expanding Conquistador, if it helps.

    How is making a profit for the State right-wing? How is conquest for the State right-wing?

    There was a distinct absence of Liberty, Freedom and Equality, I note.

    How is liberty a left-wing monopoly? The principal hallmark of the modern Left is its desire to ceaselessly expand the area of State control at the expense of individual liberty.

    So the conquistadors are yours. We don’t want them.

    Considering that the Spanish conquest of Mexico happened nearly 300 years before the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ were first applied to politics, it’s purely idiotic to assign them to either side. You make the same error as a certain group of bozos described by Orwell. A Marxist organization invited a speaker to deliver a lecture on Shakespeare. At the end, the lecturer called for questions from the audience. The only question he got: ‘Was Shakespeare a capitalist?’

    You might as well say that Jesus was a British reactionary because he never issued a statement supporting the principles of the French Revolution.

  50. Comment by Tom Simon:

    The operative words being ‘State’ and ‘State’. Nation, if you like. Nationalism is a right-wing policy.

    According to whom? You? Humpty-Dumpty?

    The operative words being ‘the modern Left’. Look to our policies, not to the acts of those who you arbitrarily call, or who arbitrarily call themselves, ‘Left’.

    ‘Our policies’? Meaning whose? Yours? You have magically appointed yourself the sole arbiter of who may and may not call themselves ‘Left’.

    The operative word there being ‘Orwell’. No wait, that doesn’t work.

    I’m glad you had sufficient perspicacity to see that.

    We were discussing acts of vandalism, and since the only things left to vandalism after Left and Right came into recognised existence were those things which were controlled by the Right,

    What? I thought we were discussing the actions of the Conquistadores, and you insisted that they were right-wing. Which is nonsense.

    In any case, by what possible standard are ‘the only things left to vandalism’ the things ‘controlled by the Right’? Do you mean, perhaps, that anyone who owns, controls, or has responsibility for property, either private or public, is ipso facto a Rightist? I cannot find any other way to parse your statement that even makes intelligible nonsense.

    then it’s hardly fair to discuss it only from that point, ignoring what right-wing policies had done before. Although I can always fall back on what we did to the Indians.

    ‘We’ being who? and which Indians are you talking about? And why on earth is this relevant to anything?

    I have never done anything to any Indians; so I will thank you not to say ‘we’ indiscriminately, without specifying a referent.

    No, Jesus was a Communist. Look at his policies.

    Show me where in the Gospel Jesus said, ‘Render unto Caesar absolutely everything, both the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s, and let Caesar decide how much, if anything, he wishes to give you back for your subsistence.’ Because that would be Communism.

    Nowhere did Jesus advocate the abolition of private property, or State control of every detail of civil society, or any of the other nostrums you will find prescribed by every Communist writer.

  51. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Incorrect you are. It is flattering that you claim that the Right is the normal human condition, and the Left is a deviation from the norm, but every country taken over by the Left has been Imperialist, which is not a claim you can make for the Right. So, a Left wing trait, not a Right wing trait.

  52. Comment by Foxfier:

    Trolled, we are being. Hhhmmmm.

  53. Comment by Tom Simon:

    the Left has yet to take over any imperialist country, or indeed any country, save a few obscure ones in Asia. A Right-wing trait it is.

    A partial list of countries taken over by the Left during the twentieth century:

    Russia, 1917.
    Hungary, 1919 (failed).
    Mongolia, 1924.
    Spain, 1936 (failed, after a three-year civil war).
    Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, 1939.
    Eastern Poland, 1939.
    Bessarabia, 1940.
    Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, East Germany, North Korea, 1945.
    China, 1949.
    Tibet, 1950.
    South Korea, 1950 (direct invasion, eventually repelled by U.N. forces).
    North Vietnam, 1954.
    Cuba, 1959.
    Chile, 1966 (overthrown by military coup).
    South Yemen, 1970.
    Ethiopia, 1974.
    Laos, Cambodia, South Vietnam, 1975.
    Nicaragua, 1979.
    Afghanistan, 1980.

    (I have omitted a large number of African and some Asian nations which were ruled at various times by regimes that claimed to be Leftist, but whose ideological basis is only questionably related to the actual behaviour of the regimes. A good example is Mobutu’s regime in the Congo, whose official ideology was the Marxist-Leninist offshoot that the ruler promulgated under the name ‘Mobutuism’, but whose actual behaviour was merely brutal kleptocracy.)

    Now, you are welcome to show evidence that the Marxist and Marxist-Leninist parties that ruled these various countries were not ‘Left’; but I advise you to climb down from that position and take up one that can actually be defended.

    And I’m sorry, redefining ‘Left’ as your own private term of art, in such a way that it excludes the vast majority of people and parties that have ever called themselves Leftist, is not your prerogative. That dog won’t hunt.

  54. Comment by lotdw:

    “the Left has yet to take over any imperialist country, or indeed any country, save a few obscure ones in Asia.”

    If China is your idea of an obscure Asian country…um…

    Also, Europe was the hotbed of imperialism, and is now mostly pretty far Left on a global scale, but then I can’t tell what you people are talking about anymore.

  55. Comment by docrampage:

    er. Yes, I meant “left-wing”.

    I think what you’re confusing there is a lack of demonstrations, or protests, against war by the Left-wingers in countries on the opposite side

    No, I’m referring to the habit of left-wing Americans to act as supporters and apologists for any country that the US is at war with or likely to be at war with. They have a perfect record since WWII for any war during which a Republican or anti-Communist Democrat was president (that would be JFK and LBJ). During the Vietnam War, Leftists didn’t just oppose the US war effort, they acted as propagandists for North Vietnam. Their alleged reason for being against the war was that the US was supporting a tyrant who killed people, but when North Vietnam took over and instituted a totalitarian government and murdered and imprisoned hundreds of times more people than the tyrant that the US had supported, the Left in this country had nothing to say about it. If they had really cared about tyranny and killing as they claimed then they would have expressed shock and outrage that that the peace-loving Communists came in and behaved far worse than the evil government that they replaced. But there was no shock and no outrage, because everyone on the Left and the Right knew what was going to happen when the Communists took over. It was no surprise to anyone. And the American Left vigorously supported that outcome.

    The very fact that you didn’t have public support indicates that it was an unjust war anyway

    No, it doesn’t. There is no historic correlation between the justness and the popularity of a war. And anyway, I think your conception of the popularity is wrong. The war had strong support among conservatives. And a great deal of the opposition to the war derived from the draft. Once the draft was repealed, the opposition pretty much died down.

    If the Left is pacifist, and they don’t like war, why do you object to them damaging the war effort by not helping it?

    They didn’t damage the war effort by not helping it. If that’s all that they did, then I wouldn’t accuse them of being on the other side. The left openly supported North Vietnam. When you support one side in a war, you aren’t a pacifist.

    Example: the Vietnam war, it was criticised because you really had no right to be there

    That’s what the abusive boyfriend says to the police when they show up to stop him from beating on his girlfriend, too. The US had two legitimate interests in that war. The first was the humanitarian interest of saving the Indochina peninsula from suffering the horrendous tyranny and mass butchery that people had suffered in the Russian Empire and China under Communism. The millions of people who were eventually butchered by Communists in Indochina owe their fate in large part to the American leftists who sabotaged the war effort in Vietnam. But you won’t see hardly any of these pacifist leftists worrying about a few broken eggs.

    The second reason was strategic. The Communists were spreading their bloody revolutions across the globe, gaining more and more allies against the Western Democracies. The Russians openly intended to conquer the West some day and that day came a bit closer with each new country that fell under Communist tyranny. Therefore defending against Communists in any country was an act of strategic self defense for the West.

    As a Left-winger and a Christian, I object to racism by anyone to anyone.

    My point was not that there are no leftists who are genuinely anti-racist but that the political left does not have any genuine commitment to racial equality. In the US, the Left cynically uses racial division and racism as tool to stay in power, and since it is a useful tool, they work to create more racial division.

    And I’m not entirely sure what Christians were doing to stop racism before that

    They were voting for Republicans who were passing amendments to the Constitution and laws to ensure civil rights for all people. They were preaching that God loves all people equally, regardless of race. The Democratic party also had Christians in it who fought to make the party give up its support of segregationists.

    The French Revolution (previously defined as a left-wing revolution) was centred around the tenets of ‘Liberty, Freedom and Equality’, which doesn’t give much scope for racism.

    It’s just a slogan. “Equality” referred to the problems facing the revolutionaries, namely the special privileges of the nobility.

    I’ll bet with a little work you could find a number of top French revolutionaries who expressed support for the ideas of scientific racism. Those doctrines were quite popular on the Left up until the revelations of the Nazi death camps. It would be nice to think that Leftists had a moment of truth when confronted with the consequences of their views, but since they had no such moment of truth when confronted with the even larger horrors of Communist Russia and China, I doubt that is the reason for changing their minds. More likely it was just pragmatism because after that, racism became a losing position at the polls in the Western Democracies.

  56. Comment by docrampage:

    by going to war, regardless of how much death they hoped to prevent, they created so much more

    Do you have some numbers to back up that claim? Because I find it highly doubtful that American forces killed 4 million people, even if you count the enemy. That’s how many people the communists killed in Indochina after the US left.

    Anyway, why couldn’t France (of the West) deal with them?

    France had neither the will nor the local support. The communists gained the people’s trust in the first place by joining the fight against France’s brutal colonial government.

    Communist tyranny is an oxymoron.

    You can’t be serious. There has never been a communist government that was not tyrannical, nor is one possible, given how contrary it is to human nature.

    And, personally, I’d have waited for them to collapse due to the fact that the twisted economic system that they had was bound to fail anyway

    That’s a great plan if you don’t care about the tens of millions of people who are going to be murdered and enslaved in the meantime.

  57. Comment by lotdw:

    “Communist tyranny is an oxymoron.”

    And yet it is the only kind of Communist government we’ve ever seen.

    Now why is that, I wonder.

  58. Comment by Patrick:

    “To be human is not to be natural.”

    What does this even mean?

  59. Comment by docrampage:

    You’re claim is that the US cause more deaths by getting involved than the communists caused when they won, but you can’t blame the US for all of the casualties of the war, since there was already a war going on when the US got there. Also, I’m highly unsympathetic to a calculation that holds the lives of the aggressors and the innocent victims as of equal value. The number of aggressors that have to be killed to defend the innocent is not part of the moral calculation.

    So… the brutal colonial government was OK, but the potentially brutal ‘communist’ government wasn’t?

    Who said the brutal colonial government was OK? That description contained an implicit criticism of France, as I would expect any reasonable person to see.

    A brutal dictatorship that the US liked was OK, but a popular brutal dictatorship was not.

    No one has said that either. But here is where moral calculations come in. The brutal dictatorships that the US supported killed a few thousand people that were considered a threat to the rulers. These people were killed without due process, but they were killed as apparent members of a military rebellion. By contrast, the communist regimes killed entire classes of people, numbering in the tens of millions because they considered people of that class to be inherently evil or to be a threat to their incipient paradise on earth.

    Conservatives support governments that make some effort to kill only the guilty, against rebels who plan to rob and murder the innocent. I make no apologies for this moral calculation; it is the right thing to do.

    Firstly, if you look at the definition of Communist, then look at the definition of ‘tyranny’, and you will find that I am correct.

    OK, just to humor you, I looked up the definitions and I still don’t see the contradiction. “Communism” refers to community ownership of all property. “Tyranny” refers to absolute power used in an abusive manner. Not only are these not logically incompatible, we know from multiple instances in history that they frequently go together.

    Secondly, you use the weasel words ‘human nature’. What is human nature? For your purposes, it’s a way of explaining why ideas you don’t like are wrong. However, no such thing exists. To be human is not to be natural.

    Well, for my purposes, it’s a way of explaining why wrong ideas are wrong. You clearly don’t understand the way in which the word is used if you think that to be human is to be not natural. “Human nature” refers (loosely speaking) to the things that are characteristic of humans. It is human nature to enjoy music and chocolate, to avoid pain and discomfort, and to want things that they don’t have and try to figure out how to get those things. Note that “characteristic” does not mean “universal”.

    Communism has been tried thousands of times in human history. It has shown to be successful only in relatively small groups of people who all have a strong personal, voluntary commitment to the community and to self sacrifice. It has never been shown to scale up in size, and has never withstood new generations brought up in the system. Some systems such as ancient monasteries lasted multiple generations, but only because the members had no children and everyone who joined was brought in voluntarily. I don’t know how you explain the fact that communism never works beyond those limits, but I attribute it to human nature.

  60. Comment by Mary:

    No, they just made divorce easier.

  61. Comment by Mary:

    We already know you have no honor. If you had meant it to be satiric you would have said so in response to the first complaint about it.

    As for the idea that you offered what you describe as “reasonable arguments” was obvious satire — when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

  62. Comment by Patrick:

    Could you stop being such a bore?

    Don’t post endless, self-excusing crap like this on here anymore. Good God, man – have some self-respect. Make a real argument or go away.

  63. Comment by Foxfier:

    I challenge you do a duel, since you question my honour so.

    Thus PROVING you’ve got no honor. Brilliant.

  64. Comment by Patrick:

    Totally awesome reply, both of you. TOF, always informative. You’re both, of course, right. Thanks!

  65. Comment by Foxfier:

    It’s surprisingly hard to identify a couple that is actually barren, rather than just has trouble having children… that aside, I don’t think you quite understand the philosophy. Might try researching “Natural Law” for a notion.

  66. Comment by Patrick:

    “and to support this I would bring to my cause all barren..”

    ‘Barrenness’ would be a defect of the process that attraction presumes. The obvious difference between fruitlessness and futility is in the construction of the premise, not in the conclusion.

    A barren woman – staring at her empty belly every day in growing despair as the years go on and wonders if her husband, always loving, always understanding, should really have to stay if she can’t give him his family – does not share this experience in common with the homosexual.

    She is not attempting the impossible.

  67. Comment by Patrick:

    “something not to be admired, but something to be saved from what they are?”

    (Your insertion of words like “weird” and “wrong” is orthogonal and disingenuous. Don’t be tiresome, please.)

    Love is always admirable – the idea of saving a homosexual person FROM love is silly or disastrous or diabolic. In any event, God forbid we try.

    Nor can anyone be saved from what they are – the Christian line of thinking is, we’re all sinners, all weird and wrong in secret or obvious ways that deflect us from what is good for us. We have – not in natural law, not in philosophy – no power to change what is wrong in our nature. We are disrupted from full continuity with the norm. That’s a gift from God. The baptismal cloth, the garment of our new nature is the gift of God the Church bears to sinners. Before God, this covers our flaw.

    But what we can do for ourselves, and enjoin others to, is to honor this gift and seek to become continent in our appetites and order ourselves to nature – to use this gift.

  68. Comment by Foxfier:

    Threatening assault for telling the truth, especially when you’re threatening a woman, and you insult the honor of others with wild abandon with your false accusations… you have no honor. I’m not going to bother with you.

  69. Comment by John C Wright:

    Should I ban him? Branabus has not used any bad language, but on the other hand he has not educated himself to the minimum standard I had thought he and I had agreed was a requirement of continuing a dialog with him. If he is not amusing my guests, I don’t feel I have any obligation to give him this space in which to air his views.

  70. Comment by Foxfier:

    You’d have to look to a wiser head than mine to answer that– probably the deciding factor would be if you think his nonsense and constant insults will drive folks away. He’s not good enough at argument to mislead anyone who doesn’t already agree with him, and the way he seems to forget that people can look up and see the entire conversation.

    I’m still not 100% sure if he’s trolling or just bringing his real world conversational techniques to text.

    If it were my site, I wouldn’t host him, but I have a really low tolerance for those who are arrogant about the ignorance and prejudices they think is knowledge, especially when they set standards they refuse to live up to and constantly accuse others of doing what they do. Drives me insane, has since I was a schoolgirl. I know it’s human nature to look for evidence that supports what one already believes, and to interpret information through the views you have, but there’s a point where the noise to signal ratio gets too high.

  71. Comment by Sean Michael:

    Dear Mr. Wright:

    No, I would not ban “branabus,” despite his absurd leftism and offensive statements. If no one will respond or reply to his comments, “branabus” will get bored and go away. Also, this seem more in line with your policy of permitting free dialgoue as long as no bad language and cussing is used.

    On an unrelated topic, I’ve sometimes found it confusing determining who is speaking to whom. I try to avoid that problem by addressing most of my comments to the person I’m responding to by name or screen name. I would like to suggest that other commenters might do the same.

    Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  72. Comment by Patrick:

    “…baser instincts, in favour of higher, more noble ones.”

    Assuming you’re responding to me..

    You contradict yourself.

    You assert reason to be somehow be higher than instinct, and yet insist there be no such thing as nature or normalcy?

    What could nobility even be without norms?

    What a mess.

  73. Comment by Patrick:

    No, I get that you think that. You’re err on account of not understanding what words like ‘normal’ and ‘logical’ are.

    Homosexuality is not ‘illogical’. Sexual attraction, like hunger or sleep, is not a kind of logic puzzle. Being attracted to someone is not something people reason towards.

    You mean different things by ‘normal’ and ‘logical’ than the rest of the world though. Maybe you begin your dates with logic tables? Or perhaps you experience normalcy based on the strength of your feelings and the span of your attention?

  74. Comment by Patrick:

    “Logically, the purpose of love is to reproduce and therefore continue the human race.”

    I love my dad. How does this help me reproduce?

    Obviously, we both admit of different kinds of love – I, for instance, admire the classical descriptions of eros, philios, storge, agape.

  75. Comment by Patrick:

    “‘you don’t understand, but I’m not going to tell you what aspects you don’t understand, nor re-explain it so that you do understand, because..”

    I’m confused.

    What needs explaining?

  76. Comment by Patrick:

    “logical fallacy by implying that the way that you perceive logic and normalcy is universal.”

    Wait, huh?

    Logic is merely personal? Normalcy is particular?

    I’d ask you how you came to those conclusions, but what would I do with the answer?

  77. Comment by Patrick:

    “What needs explaining is the things which I ‘don’t understand’, such as:
    - The word ‘normal’
    - The word ‘logical’
    (The ones for which my knowledge of them ‘differs from the rest of the world’)
    - The phrase ‘human nature’”

    These have been explained to you a number of times. John gave a perfectly good explanation of Normal, I gave a take on nature, and how logic works is a constant topic here.

    Just re-read them until it clicks – you don’t, for whatever purpose, mean the same thing as we do when we say those words.

    You haven’t familiarized yourself with the tradition of philosophy we’re building arguments from, though its been suggested to you. Not hard. Google it.

  78. Comment by Patrick:

    “I stand in awe of your logical arguments, with their clearly defined terms”

    I’m serious though.

    No sarcasm – even in our email exchanges, you never actually made sustained arguments, but you did make a lot of assertions or digressions that never connected – that needed following up, and never got it.

    Lots and lots of arguments get made here, and certainly many lame ones (some are mine), and lots of facts get thrown around (which we love) but you stand out as somebody who never actually sits still long enough to construct an argument on shared terms and defend it.

    You do often do the ‘critique the critiques of your critics’ game though, which is not entertaining or informative.

    Could you be more like Mike Flynn or that Nostreculsus guy?

  79. Comment by John C Wright:

    My problem is that, as a philosopher, I think everyone should have his say, and the truth will out. As a Christian, I believe in turning the other cheek. But as a host, I would much prefer to keep the polite guests and drive the crackpots away. I mean, can you imagine anyone, anyone in this day and age still being willing to recite the lies of the Reds, and expect to be believed? At least a mainstream leftist is willing to change with the changes in fashions, and move on to a new lie once the old has been debunked.

    I am inclined to allow him to post until he breaks my rule against swearwords or my rule against holocaust denial. If you can get him to insult my family or claim that the Jews were not murdered by Hitler, I can be boot him from the site.

  80. Comment by John C Wright:

    For your sake then, I will allow his comments to stand here for a time.

  81. Comment by John C Wright:

    Start with your axioms. If you don’t know what they are, go and study and converse with wiser heads until you do.

  82. Comment by Patrick:

    “go and study”

    Word. A big part of your failure to thrive here, branabus, is that you just haven’t done your homework.

    You have a real weakness when it comes to communicating your points, and you tend to complain histrionically when you feel misunuderstood, instead of pulling yourself together and starting over.

    If people are rough on you for being a crazy utopian Leftist nerd, you can do a lot for their impression of your thinking by being concise and congenial, instead of posting these endless missives and demanding people ‘explain’ stuff to you.

  83. Comment by John C Wright:

    Gryphmon is a homosexual and Fabio Barbeiri is a socialist. Neither of them are banned.

    The only persons so far whom I have banned are holocaust deniers who insulted the memory of my dead father in law, by calling him a liar for the Purple Heart medal he was awarded because he injured his hands tearing down a barbed wire fence surrounding a concentration camp, because he was too impatient to wait for a carpenter to arrive with tools.

    You I have not banned because one of my readers asked me not to. That is the only reason. I will from time to time simply erase posts of yours, however, if they continue to contain nothing by accusations of bad faith directed at me.

    You are in the same category as Dr Andreassen. I will not read what you write, and will not respond to it, once I am convinced that there is no hope of an honest reply, that is, a reply which does not serve as evidence that you do not believe what you say and have no intention of questioning it. Dr Andreassen claims to be an empiricist, and to know the weight value of his thoughts (not of the symbols used to point to his thought, mind you, the thoughts themselves) and their location in space, and to know the breadth of the imaginary line of the horizon at sea, and to know whether or not I can imagine such a line, despite his lack of empirical evidence, and the presence of obvious contrary empirical evidence for all these claims. When questioned, like you, he either changes the subject or utters an expression of contempt or utters a response that is not an answer.

    Not being his tutor nor his mother nor his analyst, I am under no obligation, once I discover he is playing games with me, to involve myself in his personal psychodrama. For the same reason, I am under no obligation to involve myself in your psychodrama.

    Out of an excruciating sense of fair-play, because he uses no bad language, I do not ban him. You, likewise, I am willing to tolerate. However, you are much less educated than he, much less able to stay on topic. My toleration is correspondingly less.

  84. Comment by John C Wright:

    “And yet you provide no evidence that all of my replies consist entirely of accusations of bad faith””

    So to answer my comment that you argue by accusing me of bad faith, you accuse me of arguing without evidence, i.e., arguing in bad faith.

  85. Comment by John C Wright:

    If you are rude frequently, and someone says you are always rude, it is no rebuttal to claim that he is speaking of a universal rule rather than a general tendency. Likewise with other unsightly habits, as being illogical, ignorant, condescending, incoherent, and so on.

    You do not seem to realize that I have not banned you, despite that wisdom tells me I should. So you taking that time to argue that I should not ban you is (1) a moot point and (2) is counterproductive. I regret the decision already. I cannot have back again the time it took me to read your words, or type these.

  86. Comment by John C Wright:

    My stock of patience, no matter how high, can be exhausted eventually, never fear. A few more exchanges like this, perhaps three, might discover the finale of my forbearance.

    You seem to be under the impression that writing nonsensical accusations against my person constitutes an argument that I am obligated to answer or refute. In logic, merely identifying an argument as illogical is the sufficient and entire refutation and answer: because it shows that it is not an argument.

  87. Comment by John C Wright:

    “Which argument have you identified as illogical?”

    You yourself identified your own argument as being ad hominem, which you then attached to a demand that I answer. I explained that one need not answer an illogical argument beyond showing it was illogical. You then replied with another ad hominem tu quoque “You, too!” and called me various names, proud, hypocritical, whatever.

    I am puzzled why you continue to do nothing but voice accusations day and night, even though you know they are of no use and I am not even reading them. Are you possessed? If so, there is no real human intelligence behind this stream of nonsense and stream of abuse. The Good Book tells us not to bandy words with the devil, but to quote scripture at him, and he will flee.


    Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”

  88. Comment by Foxfier:

    Continuing to stand there, not providing any evidence for your nonsensical statements

    A perfect summation of… well, everything you’ve said thus far.

  89. Comment by Patrick:

    This is super boring. I think he’s a bot. Can you ban this guy?

  90. Comment by John C Wright:

    “On reviewing your replies to everyone who significantly (so without the pre-grovelling of ‘I could be wrong, but…) opposes you in any way, you have a distinct trait. Firstly, you make a reply, which is typically a well-reasoned and logical one. Then, when they refuse to roll over at your display of might, you become gradually more irritable, and insist that they are being illogical, or nonsensical, or both. Finally, you start to respond to less and less of what they have written, concentrating on one or two aspects on which you can ‘win’, so to speak, as otherwise you might have to admit that they are right in some small ways, before everyone gives up.”

    In other words, I try to use logic on illogical people, and when that does not work, I lose respect for their intellect, and don’t continue with a process that is counterproductive, except perhaps to find obvious points where some small reservoir of logic might still linger.

    Is this yet another accusation? Unbelievable.

    After as polite and forbearing as I have been to a self-absorbed self-pitying and utterly incompetent apologist for everything from sexual perversion to infanticide to the pure evil and mass murder of communism, you whine that I still owe you something?

    Do I owe you that I should weigh your words carefully? I have weighed and found them wanting. You are an intellectual, that is, a man who plays at being scholarly but without the talent or discipline or love of wisdom of a scholar. I am happy to speak patiently to any man, no matter how slow and stupid and uninformed he is, if he has any scintilla of intellectual honesty or integrity.

    I am a lawyer. After the opposing counsel admits to the judge that he has no case and intends to bring no case, the trial is over. There is no point in continuing to address the jury once the jurors go home, and the jury box is empty.

    You have no argument. All you have is accusations.

    That should tell you something about yourself: namely, that you are not in control of the contents of your mind, nor the comments you make.

    I thought I was kidding when I said you were possessed. Turns out I wasn’t. Since logic cannot be heard by the illogical, nor reproof by the shameless, I will speak past you to the spirit who stands behind you and spurs you, poor nag, ever onward into the brambles:

    “For three things the earth is disquieted,
    and for four which it cannot bear:
    for a servant when he reigneth;
    and a fool when he is filled with meat;
    for an odious woman when she is married;
    and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.”

    John Gill explains the passage thus:

    For a servant, when he reigneth
    Being unfit for it through his education, not having been trained up in and learned the arts of government and maxims of it; and through the disposition of his mind, which is mean, abject, and servile; and as he has been used himself when a servant, so he will use others F3 and through his circumstances, being poor, he will take oppressive methods to become rich; and being raised from a low estate, he is the more imperious, proud, and haughty; all which and more make his reign intolerable. This may be applied to antichrist, the “servus servorum”, who in a haughty, tyrannical, and insolent manner, exalts himself above all that is called God: and reigns over the kings of the earth, at least has done so, and that in such a manner as was unbearable; deposing kings at pleasure, disposing of their kingdoms, and trampling upon their necks, and making their subjects his vassals;

    and a fool, when he is filled with meat;
    as Nabal at his feast, when he behaved so intolerably in his cups towards David and his messengers, that he determined on his destruction, had not Abigail interposed; and there are many such fools, who having their bellies full of food, and their heads full of liquor, are very overbearing in company, and give their tongues such a loose as is very disturbing: or this may intend such fools, or wicked men, who are full of wealth and riches, and being purse proud, are exceeding haughty and insolent; set their mouths against the heaven, and blaspheme God that is in it; and their tongues walk through the earth, and spare none, but lash all in an insufferable manner. These disquiet families, neighbourhoods, communities, and commonwealths;

    For an odious [woman], when she is married
    Odious for her person, her ugliness, and the deformity of her body; or rather for the ill qualities of her mind, which, while single, she endeavours to conceal, but, being married, hides them no longer; but becomes imperious, proud, scornful, and malicious, and behaves in an ill natured way to her husband and all about her, to such a degree, that there is no bearing the place where she is;

    and an handmaid, that is heir to her mistress;
    that has got so much into her affections that she leaves all she has to her when she dies, which makes her insufferably proud and vain; or she marries her master after the death of her mistress, and so coming into her place enjoys all she had, but only her wisdom and humility; which being wanting, she behaves in such a manner as to make the whole family uneasy. This might be exemplified in the case of Hagar, the bondmaid of Sarah, a type of those that are under the law of works, and seek the inheritance by it; and who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and despise others….

    Does any of this sound familiar to you, O unclean spirit who afflicts Branabus?

  91. Comment by John C Wright:

    I will give him three more swings at the bat. If his next three comments are simply more of this bleary-brained irrelevant accusatory slander, the umpire will call “out”.

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