Monday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’m soon heading to yet another appointment intended to keep my musculoskeletal system from disintegrating entirely.  I’m hoping to be functional again by September or October, but it sure seems a long ways away.  Anyway, before I go, these are for you (and let me know if you have anything interesting for the rest of us):

I didn’t know that Arthur Koestler, though a socialist, was a socialist along the lines of George Orwell, who was willing to be honest about the totalitarian instincts inherent in socialism.  Neo-Neocon has a fascinating excerpt from Koestler’s Cassandra-like lament about the Nazis — and the blind eye that the rest of the world turned to acts too horrible for them to acknowledge could be real.


Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office has released the English transcript of his remarks on Yom Hashoah. It is worthwhile reading. Unlike the idiots and antisemites in America and Europe, Bibi remembers the past and refuses to go supine so as to create a Holocaust redux.


Given a place in which to share their experiences in America’s Leftist-run academies of “higher education,” more than 350,000 conservative college and university students viewed or weighed in on the hashtag #MyLiberalCampus. These youngsters seem to be aware of the irony behind the word “liberal” in that hashtag, since their tales of woe include variations on startlingly illiberal behavior.


We opponents of gay marriage (not of gays or civil unions, but of gay marriage) said that, once gay marriage cleared the gates, polygamy wouldn’t be far behind. This is not to say that gay marriage and polygamy are the same thing. It is to say, though, that once you erase marriage’s historic meaning in Western culture — one man and one woman — there are no further limits one can reasonably place upon it.


Perhaps someone in academia is finally climbing atop the barricades and hollering “Stop.” Brett Sokolow, director of the Association of Title IX Administrators, has sent a mailing out to similarly situated Title IX administrators saying that they’re violating Title IX, which requires even-handedness in dealings involving the sexes on college campuses.  It turns out that, whenever two students engage in a drunken coupling, the school blames the man. Sokolow suggests that, if both students are equally blotto, neither is to blame. Sanctions should arise only if the complaining student was incoherently blotto and the accused can be proven to have had evil on his (or her) mind.


Please enjoy the exquisite irony: Leftist Media Matters is opposing the unionization of its own employees.


A friend of mine who feeds me a lot of the more interesting information you read in my posts tipped me off last week to the assault that the Leftist thought police are waging in the land of Science Fiction writing. I meant to write on the subject myself, but kept getting sidetracked. Now, I don’t need to, since Glenn Reynolds has addressed precisely that issue.


This one is for the lawyers, or for the ones who have wisely decided not to become lawyers and, if possible, never to come within spitting distance of a lawsuit.


The DiploMad writes about the known fact that, in America, being a Democrat, especially a highly placed Democrat, means never having to say you’re sorry or lose your job, no matter how abysmal your failures (or how many people have died on your watch).


If you’re wondering why it’s a terrible idea to have the government manage anything beyond traditional government responsibilities (the military, waging war, providing basic infrastructure, etc.), this story about Medicare fraud may help you understand government’s extreme limitations.

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  1. Matt_SE says

    Per Koestler’s lament: he’s describing a fault of human nature. Some portion (well under 50%, IMO) of humanity is capable of being forward-looking and taking appropriate action. The rest live in the now, and will go to great lengths to muffle unpleasantness.
    This is the “bread” of bread and circuses – thralls dulling the painful reality of their servitude.
    This is why only now, after experiencing the pain of Obamacare firsthand, have voters started turning on the Democrats.
    But so as not to be elitist, I’ll admit that a good ass-kicking once in a while is good for everybody.

  2. says

    Koestler was still a Communist when he visited the Soviet Union, and he wrote later about the powerful ideological blinders that he was wearing during that trip.  Here’s what he had to say about closed mental systems:
    A closed sysem has three peculiarities. Firstly, it claims to represent a truth of universal validity, capable of explaining all phenomena, and to have a cure for all that ails man. In the second place, it is a system which cannot be refuted by evidence, because all potentially damaging data are automatically processed and reinterpreted to make them fit the expected pattern. The processing is done by sophisticated methods of causistry, centered on axioms of great emotive power, and indifferent to the rules of common logic; it is a kind of Wonderland croquet, played with mobile hoops. In the third place, it is a system which invalidates criticism by shifting the argument to the subjective motivation of the critic, and deducing his motivation from the axioms of the system itself. The orthodox Freudian school in its early stages approximated a closed system; if you argued that for such and such reasons you doubted the existence of the so-called castration complex, the Freudian’s prompt answer was that your argument betrayed an unconscious resistance indicating that you ourself have a castration complex; you were caught in a vicious circle. Similarly, if you argued with a Stalinist that to make a pact with Hitler was not a nice thing to do he would explain that your bourgeois class-consciousness made you unable to understand the dialectics of history…In short, the closed system excludes the possibility of objective argument by two related proceedings: (a) facts are deprived of their value as evidence by scholastic processing; (b) objections are invalidated by shifting the argument to the personal motive behind the objection. This procedure is legitimate according to the closed system’s rules of the game which, however absurd they seem to the outsider, have a great coherence and inner consistency. 

    The atmosphere inside the closed system is highly charged; it is an emoional hothouse…The trained, “closed-minded” theologian, psychoanalyst, or Marxist can at any time make mincemeat of his “open-minded” adversary and thus prove the superiority of his system to the world and to himself. 

  3. says

    The Left basically has a computer program that whenever a certain pattern of 1s and 0s are detected, the data is reformatted out of existence, as the hard drive is reading and writing normal data.
    So in the Left’s mind, they are aware of A, then not aware of A, after having taken the steps to wipe out the existence of A. Thus they can be said to be “liberals”, like people in California like to call themselves, while acting as totalitarian groupies. They aren’t liberals though.

  4. Ron19 says

    California voters have now received the two instruction books necessary to explain how simple it is to vote in the primary if you’re the type that thinks for yourself, compared to the old system that only needed one book.
    Both explain the new, improved, Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act.
    I don’t know about you, but I only understand about half of it, and expect a lot of questions from my spouse expecting me to explain almost all of it to my darling better half.
    Any and all Californians out there, what do you think of this new system, and can you explain it to your significant other and children of voting age?
    I’ll use the Top Two Explanations to educate my honey.
    I’m just glad my middle-aged children both live in different states.

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