Cruel to the Kind

Part of the reason we tend to stay in the shadows and say nothing, while philosophies like communism run abroad in the world killing people is because those philosophies – horrible and ridiculous though they are — dress themselves in the veneer of kindness and concern for others.

Because of this, we can’t speak without seeming uncaring or worse, veritable monsters of inhumanity.

This is why the other side, in science fiction or in politics, keeps calling us “haters” or “evil.” The fact the other side of the – ah, argument – deploys such words with childish abandon (consider, please, that for defending two men using the word “ladies” to refer to women they admired, yours truly got declared half the most evil person in the world.) gives us some insight to their motives and to what we must call, lacking a better word, the functioning of their minds.

That is one must distinguish between the … ah… to borrow their wording “thought leaders” on the other side and the camp followers. The thought leaders, particularly those people whom I know to be intelligent enough and experienced enough to understand where communism or its weak sister, socialism, always lead – to feudalism, more or less, judging from everywhere communism persists and even by many socialist countries – I give no mercy and no quarter. They are evil people. Whatever in their heart was good or kind or well intentioned, has long since given way to a hunger for power, a wolfish desire to rule over everyone which has consumed any glimmer of light in their souls.

No one calls them that. In public life, in the arts, you always hear them referred to as “very nice people, but—” even by those who obey them. What follows ranges from “misguided” to my own term for the other kind of vileprog “political idiots.”

I have been privileged, if you want to call it that, to have a glimpse behind the mask of a few of them, to the point that nowadays I presume there is a mask in place and that behind it lurks the gargoyle-leer of the cowardly power seeker. One of these people I grew up with, more or less, as an older brother. He was one of my brother’s best friends, and yes, there are reasons for what he became, reasons having to do with his family structure, the same reasons that he hung around us enough to acquire the status of “older brother.”

But reasons aren’t excuses. At some point we all make ourselves. I’m sure, because I remember him from childhood, that he was attracted to the communist party by the same reasons that a lot of the followers are: he was kind, worried about people, and his horrible childhood made him long for someone – anyone – who could have imposed order on his broken family.

I feel for that kid, and for the very young man I knew. I don’t feel for the late-middle aged man he became.

He was smart enough to be advanced very quickly through the party structure, and to be admitted to the inner councils. My dad, in a similar situation, at a very young age, took a look at how the totalitarian sausage was made and ran. He ran so far that I’ve never known him as anything but a staunch anti-communist. I believe there are many stories like that on this side, some fast and some slow conversion as the horror of what the other side really means to do as opposed to what they say they want to do dawns on some well-intentioned and smart soul.

My childhood friend didn’t run. In fact, he enmeshed himself in the capitalist world, taking advantage of contacts and advancement, while still trying to promote the evil philosophy of “government by the enlightened few in the name of the masses” which is what communism boils to.

And through that he became someone else, someone willing to do anything for more power.

I know others in the same situation, including those whose political status changes depending on the audience they’re talking to. Dizinformazia. It’s nothing new.

The funny part is that many of these – if not most – were the revolution they work so hard to foment to come true, would end up against the wall. They hungry for power and they imagine that if the revolution happened they would be the ones in control. But the point of any communist (or proto-communist, like the French) revolution is that power concentrates in the hands of the very few, and the others, who are smart but not quite smart enough, ruthless but not quite ruthless enough, end up with the bullet in the back of the head. Because as self-motivated and power hungry as they are, no one in power can trust them. This is why Revolutions in Rome killed all the relatives of those deposed. The higher you were, the closer to the Emperor, if you weren’t the Emperor himself you were never safe.

Beneath them is a second rank, and I know a few of them too. They are smart enough, and they think they’re ruthless. I think they never really get a glimpse behind the scenes, though they might think they do. They might be asked to do or say several unpalatable things, and they don’t balk from them. They are… not the lion, but the hyena. They too don’t run. They too would be summarily disposed of. These, by and large, are the carrion crows who mistake “death lust” for “ruthlessness.” They will say things like that 90% of the world population dying would be a good thing if the smart survived.

They aren’t as strong or as ruthless as they think, which is why they’re never admitted to higher councils. And why if push came to shove they probably would die before being shot in the back of the head. They tend to be… unorganized evil mixed with an odd amount of fluff.

They were pulled into the evil philosophy not through the kindness of their hearts, but through fear. In their hearts they’re sure the revolution will happen, and they’re scared. Really scared. They know there’s reasons for the communists to hate them (note they’re stupid enough to both believe the finite pie theory of economics and to think that communists really want to give money to the poor) and they don’t want to be despoiled or killed.

In a true emergency they’d die fast andd ugly, but until the real emergency comes, they can be very dangerous.

Then there’s the dreamers. Most of the progressives (and communists) in my field fall under this, though some of them (the fargin idiots screaming about killing white men – being themselves white, btw – on twitter, night and day for instance) have a good deal of the second. If you tune in to their twitters, their posts, what you hear is “Mr. Wolf, please eat me last, I’ll serve up these tasty morsels for you.”

They are not stupid. Not most of them, at least, though very few people are as smart as that first group.

What they are is ineffective in the real world. Most of us are. We are, after all, the people who hang back and think, people of words, not of deeds. Some of us had a far more interesting life than we’d really like to, but even those of us are a little… odd, all things considered. There is a narrative going on in the back of our heads that makes it difficult to fully live, say, a fight, without taking notes.

In people whose life circumstances didn’t challenge them in the least, this tendency becomes so marked that they really don’t do much of anything. They just read about things and dream a lot.

To such people the temptation of communism is huge. Most of them are decent enough people. A lot of them are not very fond of humans in general. BUT they want to be seen to be caring, seen to pity their fellow beings and to want nothing else but to HELP. Only they’re conscious of not being able to do very much and not being all that active in anything that might help.

This gets us to their solution: embrace a philosophy that says it means to help the poor/disenfranchised/ Marxist downtrodden.

What you do then is talk about it constantly and shame anyone who disapproves.

The end result is… most of our field. I am not going to say what happens to them in a real revolution, because I think none of you are stupid enough to need it.

Beyond that there is a vast mass of people who aren’t even communists or even progressives in any sense of the word. If they paused and thought long enough about what is actually going on; if they paused and considered consequences; they wouldn’t give one minute of consideration to the claims of virtue of the left, or even give them the “ well intentioned” epiteth.

The thing is for at least the fifty years I’ve been alive, there has been a near total lockdown on the media, the arts, and even churches, aiding and abetting the left, from socialists to communists (and really there isn’t much of any other kind left.)

These soft people – Heinlein would call them custard heads – out there never hear of the consequences of the well intentioned programs, never hear the argument from the other side. All they see is black and white. The well-intentioned, caring left and the evil right who is for selfishness and greed and probably twirls its moustaches in the privacy of its own chambers when no one is looking.

Faced with that they go along with “caring” and wanting to help. This is how we see ridiculous things, like after the abysmal performance of some hard lefty, people saying they’re voting for him again because he “Cares about people like me.”

My side, otoh, being frankly shambling outcasts from this virtue-narrative embraces the epithets flung at them, and laughs. Which is how I come to be the Beautiful but Evil Space Princess, and Larry gets to be the International Lord of Hate. The funny thing is that the other side views this as absolutely truthful. They think we embrace these names because they represent what we are. I think a mechanism is at work here, in which, like other countries compared to the US they try to present themselves in the best possible light, and therefore assume we do the same – without irony. So when they see us calling ourselves evil, they assume we’re unimaginably worse.

As for our colleagues, this un-ironic inability to imagine someone saying something different from what they mean/making fun of an enemy’s hatred goes along with their inability to read about characters “not like themselves” and with the sheer preachy, unadulteratedly earnest stuff they write. It also explains why they think communists are good people, and that socialists “care” for people.

But those of us who think – and any of them who wish to – should consider the limits of caring and or forgiving.

Say, for instance, you feel sorry for a pedophile – not that any of them got involved in anything like that recently! – because after all the poor critter is confused, and didn’t choose to be this way. You let him/her go, or even encourage him/her with stuff like “it’s not your fault.”

What is going to happen? I can tell you. What is going to happen is that they’re going to hurt another or many kids.

Now the kids didn’t ask to be hurt, and they didn’t do anything to deserve it.

By encouraging/feeling sorry for one person, who can, after all, control him/herself or seek help in doing such, you were cruel to a vast number of innocents that didn’t do anything to bring this on them.

You can say you feel sorry for them too, but that won’t help them. Being firm with the pedophile and telling them to seek help (or making sure they got stopped, if you think their behavior has gone beyond fantasies) would have been the kindest way to handle the situation, both for the pedophile and his future victims.

Say you feel sorry for a terrorist, or a thief, or even someone who doesn’t do his work at work. In each of these circumstances too, you’ll find that your “kindness” has the effect of the most horrible cruelty.

It’s all very nice to proclaim oneself caring and kind. And then there is feeling compassion for people.

But around 12 or so, most of us realize kindness to the cruel leads to cruelty to the innocent, or even the kind. If you haven’t figured that out, you’re spreading evil in the world and it is time you stopped.

Choices are rarely between ice-cream and death. They are usually between something horrible and something slightly less horrible. Smart people vote for the less horrible and help – personally when and how they can.

Be smart, stop wearing your “caring” on your sleeve.

Caring either hides the smile of the tiger, or makes you a patsy of those who do.

Actions have consequences and intentions count for nothing. Sometimes the best help you can give someone is a swift kick in the butt. Sometimes it’s teaching them a skill. Care enough to do what it takes, even if it seem cruel.

And stop buying stupid narratives.

212 responses to “Cruel to the Kind

  1. c4c

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I’ve said at times that I wished I could be a Liberal because then I would be allowed to hate with a “clean conscience”. [Frown]

    • What is this “conscience” you speak of? [evil smirk]

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Well if you don’t have one, I don’t think it’s safe to trust you. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        Seriously, I believe most people have one but many ignore it or it has been terribly twisted. [Sad Smile]

        • Mine is quite twisted. I have to remind it often that no, we cannot do that, even if it is for the “greater good” as my silly little voice sees it.

            • Note that “The Greater Good” is only used to justify evil. If it weren’t evil, there’d be no need to appeal to “the greter good”.

              • Further (and here is where English would benefit from declensions) by “For the Greater Good” what they really mean is “For the Good of The Greater.”

              • Not actually true– just seems like it.

                “The Greater Good” appeal could just as easily be for anything that is against what someone wants– for example, the traditional tragedy of the commons outlines.

                It’s kind of like how you don’t end up with a lot of laws against things that nobody wants to do. 😀

              • To be just, you don’t need to justify good or innocent stuff. If you feed your kids a good meal, no one would talk about justifying it. It’s when you don’t feed them that the question of whether it can be justified arises.

            • The philosophy of the Tau in Warhammer 40K primarily revolves around something called “The Greater Good”. What exactly the Greater Good happens to be is a bit vague, and the Tau are typically portrayed as about the closest thing to “white hats” that it’s possible to have in the setting. The Tau conquer alien worlds – including those of the Imperium of Man – and then the citizens all happily join in the Tau philosophy of The Greater Good. Because, you know, it’s the Greater Good.

              Of course, humans being humans, logic tells us that a certain percentage of humans will be contrary, and would refuse to embrace something like The Greater Good. And it’s likely that at least some of the alien races would as well. This minor detail was quietly ignored, however… right up until Fantasy Flight Games released it’s “Space Marines vs Aliens” role-playing game, ‘Deathwatch’. With the release of the core book for the game, we got a slightly more detailed look at a Tau war campaign in action… including the massive reeducation camps where the Tau place those conquered individuals who are unwilling to join in The Greater Good.

              The response from the players to the revelation (or confirmation, depending on how much thought you’d previously given the matter) was rather divided, and rather loud, to say the least…

              • The Tau are also led by a race called the Ethereals. No Tau would ever dream of disobeying an order from an Ethereal. Many people have speculated that the Ethereals can produce a pheromone that makes other races susceptible to suggestion. Then there’s the phenomenon called “battlesuit fatigue” or “battlesuit madness” (I don’t remember the actual term, it might be something else) in which a Tau who’s been in his battlesuit too long starts to suffer hallucinations and tends to act in crazy ways — like saying the Ethereals are slavers, that the Greater Good is an abomination, and other kinds of, well, obvious nonsense from the point of view of most Tau. The cure for battlesuit fatigue is, of course, to remove your helmet and breathe fresh air, rather than air that has been filtered through your battlesuit’s extremely sophisticated atmosphere filters. What do you mean, you think the battlesuit is filtering out the Ethereal pheromones, and you’re thinking clearly for the first time in years? Don’t you remember your training, soldier? That’s the classic sign of battlesuit madness! Remove that helmet at once: the Greater Good demands it!

                • The Ethereals are actually a Tau *caste*, and not a separate race (so far as anyone can tell). But they appeared out of nowhere (literally), and there’s player speculation that they were created by the Eldar (the only race in the game with the genetic knowledge and motivation to do so).

                  In any event, “battlesuit fatigue” is new to me. It didn’t exist in the fluff the last time I checked (which was a while back).

                  • I learned about “battlesuit fatigue” from someone doing a Let’s Play of the Dawn of War RTS game. No idea if they knew what they were talking about, but they generally seemed pretty knowledgeable about WH40K lore. I can’t hunt for it right now on the 76-page thread since I’m at work, but I’ll provide a citation in about ten hours or so once I get back home.

              • They have concentration camps. They are still the starry-eyed idealists of the setting. . . well, it’s a war game. They are going to be dedicated to making the setting war like.

                • As I said, there was some… resistance… to the idea that the Tau operated concentration camps.


                  Also, I suspect that Fantasy Flight Games might very well have been the first bunch of people in authority to think through about what happens to conquered groups who refuse to embrace the Greater Good.

                  • Sane people object to having a black-on-black universe.

                    You note that in the novels, a lot of the mechanics are elided for purposes of letting us have some sympathy. Of course, in the game itself, having everyone equally evil gives you the chance to treat it all on the intellectual side.

                    • Sane people object to having a black-on-black universe.

                      That *is* Warhammer’s schtick, though.
                      Part of why I can’t stand it.
                      (My husband finds it darkly amusing for some reason.)

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      Agreed. I found that I had to write my own army’s fluff (background) in order to enjoy the game.

                      It’s often assumed that the Tau are based on Eastern philosophy just because their battlesuits have an anime look. But I think the name itself is a deliberate clue – a letter in the Greek alphabet. Obviously their society is organized around the four or five classical elements, but it’s also a fairly decent portrayal of Plato’s Atlantis with the ethereals in the place of the philosopher-kings.

        • It’s in Hillary’s lockbox.

    • I have a clean conscience. That’s because I keep it in a small metal box under my bed.

      • Just don’t forget to take it out from time to time to wipe the dust off.

        • Don’t worry, it’s still in its original packaging, so dust can’t get in.

          It night be worth something on eBay some day… one conscience, never used.

    • I find a poor memory also helps with a clean conscience. 😛

  3. I suppose that I saw a little of this in real-time, with the concerted vilification of the Tea Party on behalf of mainstream media and the so-called entertainment, and associated toadying leftists in places like the (now defunct) Open Salon. It was horrible – knowing so many local Tea Partiers as decent, earnest, hard-working good citizens, most of them quite well-educated, who were honestly concerned and getting politically active for perhaps the first time in their lives.
    And for that, they get slimed as stupid, inbred, ignorant racists. It was eye-opening for me. The US media was basically telling me “Who you gonna believe – us, or the evidence of your lying eyes?”

    • well, if they were not all racist inbred morons, then it might well be they had a valid point of contention, and well, they couldn’t have that, now could they?
      TEA Party scares them. It means the Proles are still paying attention.

    • And one of the biggest reasons the GOPe is having trouble is that all too often, they were the ones doing the sliming. “Hobbits”, “wacko birds”, and of course MS in 2014 where they flat out called the Tea Party candidate a racist.

  4. Question: May I barter a stupid narrative? I live in the Middle East; I got lots of ’em.

    More seriously, we’ve had some issues rated to this very thing in one of the sections at work. Personal drama between co-workers, and the supervisor was unable or unwilling to fix the problem by being suffficiently firm. He wanted to be nice to everybody, and it made the whole problem drag on for longer than it needed to. Got a new supervisor in now ; we’ll see how it works out.

  5. Christopher M. Chupik

    “Camp followers”? But that would make them . . . 😉

  6. Their side is incredibly adept at lying to themselves and believing it. Yes, they label us and we embrace it, call it for the silliness it is, while they truly believe we are that way. But when nearly everything that comes out of their leaders mouths is a lie, continuing to believe what is said mere points out how delusional they are to those who don’t embrace their lies.

  7. When Lucifer Morningstar comes, he comes not with red skin, horns on his head, nor a pitchfork in his hands. He seems to us now as he did in the beginning — a brilliant and magnificent angel, who just wants to make sure we’re all saved; every single one of us.

    With a few technicalities of course.

    “Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name!”

    All who oppose the angel, wrapped in his shining raiment of perfection, are to be despised and cast out.

    • Like like like like
      Wait. This isn’t Facebook. This is Word-something. In that case, well-said, sir.

    • They don’t call him the Father of Lies for nothing.

      • The Other Sean

        I thought they called him Obama?

        • In all seriousness, Obama’s got NOTHING on this guy.

          • The Other Sean

            Wait, are you suggesting Obama is not, in fact, the devil?

            • Good heavens, are you suggesting the Devil is that incompetent?

              • The Other Sean

                Is he really incompetent? Doesn’t that depend upon what his real goals are? I mean, he’s done a great job of increasing the size of government, its interference in the economy, decrease trust in both the Federal government and possible alternatives, betraying allies, decreasing world trust in the US, and making the US economic position worse.

                • So, he’s Darth Vader ordering the Stormtroopers to be inept?

                  • The Other Sean

                    Sure. This is why he kept the Democrats from cheating enough to win in 2010 and 2014. He’s trying to destroy our faith in representative government by ensuring a constantly bickering, useless Congress. 😉

                • Really, Other Sean, whatever his goals are, he’s not done nearly as good a job as increasing the size of the government as I could do, given the powers he’s got. I could get both parties behind it. I could also do a lot better on the other fronts. A bit harder to do them all at once . . . though honestly, only increasing Fed size and decreasing domestic trust are hard to pair up, and even then, the USSR set a pretty good example of how to do.

                  • The Other Sean

                    I’m really just farting around, trying to be vaguely amusing. I do thing he’s made the country worse, but if that was actually his goal, I think you’re right, there are more effective ways of doing so, faster, than he has in fact managed.

                • H is smart, and has objectives he knows he can’t reveal until he acts because “every one will like it once they see it.” But the law of unintended consequences keeps slapping him around, as he denies its existence.

            • He’s not smart enough to be the devil himself. I never attribute to supernatural evil that which may be attributed to more mortal sources.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Don’t flatter Obama. He’s no ways near as smart and dangerous as the Devil. [Wink]

            • A minor principality of hell, at best.

            • Obama is a fool who wants to be a dictator but doesn’t quite know how to achieve it. But in the process, he’s damaging the Constitution enough that a smarter successor may look at his example, and observe how one could get away with supposedly illegal things as President, and then strike. In other words, he’s paving the way for a coup-from-above.

              Which is IMO about equally-likely to be socialist-Democrat or authoritarian-Republican, because it’s just a technique. It can be used by either party.

              We’ll see in late 2016 if he’s realized what Kratman’s President did, which is how to get away with open murder.

    • My horns show. So do my hooves. And tail. And if my raiment should shine, such is in need of replacement. If my fur shines… well, Mane & Tail… and ShowSheen.

      Would someone pass the Absorbine? And not that watered down “Junior” version, thank you.

    • This is why I occasionally miss watching the East German news. It acted like an inoculation to this stupidity. I wish I had taped a few days worth, so my kids could see it now. Of course, I could just tune to MSDNC, it’s pretty similar now.

    • Hail, Hail, fire and snow, call the Angel we will go……….

      • (plump old guy in a clownish sparkling outfit appears) YOU HAVE DONE WELL, MY WARRIORS! (echoing voice) WE HAVE MANY NEW FRIENDS WAITING FOR US AT MARCUS TWELVE!

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Oddly enough, the other side remind me of the energy being that feeds on hate and how it was defeated by everybody laughing at it.

    • He’ll have blue eyes and blue jeans….

  8. Well, of course they care! It’s just about exactly the same way I care for my chickens: feed them, water them, shovel their manure, consume their offspring . . . I care for my chickens a whole lot, every day! Actually, I have a minion for most of that: he gets paid by the egg. So I managed to outsource my caring and get someone else to care!

  9. I stopped caring long ago. I now have to work on caring enough to be functional.

    • Nick Lowe said it too,

      Honest feedback is one of the most difficult and most important things to provide. Kindness based on lies is cruelty.

  10. Blast, blast, blast blast and dang! WP just cycled for no discernible reason and eradicated a post i was compiling. It was based on the facts that nearly all programs pushed by these people not only do not help their presumptive beneficiaries but actually retard their development.

    Citing books from Richard Sander &Stuart Taylor Jr. (Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It), Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed), and Arthur Brooks (The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America) it provided demonstrations of the vast research showing how Liberal nostrums are economic patent medicine, exacerbating harm to their proclaimed recipients while enriching and empowering those peddling the snake oil.

    All gone, stupid WP, eater of posts.

    Simply put, we can prove that “food aid’ to “3rd World” nations unfairly competes with domestic production, limiting the nation’s abilities to develop the industry and agricultural production to feed themselves. It is a way for us to feel good about ourselves without actually helping the recipients of that aid. Similarly, that dynamic plays out across the board of Liberal “assistance” — such as that which defends the “right” of a selfish girl to disrupt an entire classroom because she wants to talk on her phone.

    • Thank you for the first reference. Have an ongoing argument with a member of the family, older generation, on the subject.

      • For your convenience:

        The Saturday Essay
        The Unraveling of Affirmative Action
        Racial preferences spring from worthy intentions, but they have had unintended consequences—including an academic mismatch in many cases between minority students and the schools to which they are admitted. There’s a better way to help the disadvantaged.
        By Richard Sander and
        Stuart Taylor Jr.
        Updated Oct. 13, 2012 6:14 p.m. ET

        Jareau Hall breezed through high school in Syracuse, N.Y. Graduating in the top 20% of his class, he had been class president and a successful athlete, and he sang in gospel choir. He was actively recruited by Colgate University in rural New York, one of the nation’s top liberal-arts colleges.

        None of Colgate’s recruiters mentioned to Mr. Hall that his combined math and verbal SAT scores were some 250 points below the class median—let alone that this would put him at great risk of academic difficulty.

        Arriving at Colgate in 2002, he quickly found himself struggling in class, with far more rigorous coursework than he had ever faced. “Nobody told me what would be expected of me beforehand,” recalls Mr. Hall, now 28. “I really didn’t know what I was getting into. And it all made me feel as if I wasn’t smart enough.”

        To make things worse, recalls Mr. Hall, “I was immediately stereotyped and put into a box because I was African-American. And that made it harder to perform…. There was a general feeling that all blacks on campus were there either because they were athletes or they came through a minority-recruitment program and might not really belong there.” Shaken by the experience, Mr. Hall dropped out after his freshman year. He eventually returned to Colgate and graduated in 2007.

        There are, of course, a great many students who are admitted under affirmative action and go on to successful careers, just as there are a significant number of black and Hispanic students at elite schools who get in without any preference. But stories like Mr. Hall’s are both surprisingly common and seldom told. In fact, the majority of students admitted with large racial preferences struggle academically and often never come close to achieving their goals. At selective schools, more than 80% of blacks, and two-thirds of Hispanics, have received at least moderately large admissions preferences, according to our analysis of admissions data from several dozen selective schools—that is the equivalent of at least a 100-point SAT boost, and often much more.

        For more than 40 years, the debate over affirmative action in admissions has focused on whether it amounts to unfair and unconstitutional reverse discrimination against whites (and now Asians). The implicit premise for most people on both sides has been that racial preferences bring only benefits and no costs, apart from the possible stigma of being deemed “affirmative-action admits,” to their black and Hispanic recipients. This premise was enough to make the two of us uncritical supporters of racial preferences until we began to examine the underlying facts.

        Key to nurturing the myth that racial preferences can only help their recipients has been a strong norm among college administrators to play down both the size of preferences they use and the difficulties these students encounter down the road. This concealment has had the unfortunate effect of misleading students and shielding preference policies from close scrutiny.

        But cracks of light have begun to leak through. There is now increasing evidence that students who receive large preferences of any kind—whether based on race, athletic ability, alumni connections or other considerations—experience some clear negative effects: Students end up with poor grades (usually in the bottom fifth of their class), lower graduation rates, extremely high attrition rates from science and engineering majors, substantial self-segregation on campus, lower self-esteem and far greater difficulty passing licensing tests (such as bar exams for lawyers).

        The most encouraging part of this research is the parallel finding that these same students have dramatically better outcomes if they go to schools where their level of academic preparation is much closer to that of the median student. That is, black and Hispanic students—as well as the smaller numbers of preferentially admitted athletes and children of donors—excel when they avoid the problem of what has come to be called “mismatch.”

        Jareau Hall’s experience is representative of scenes that play out every fall at selective schools across the country. Black and Hispanic high-school seniors are actually more likely than similar whites to aspire to careers in science and engineering (which, along with technology and math, make up the so-called STEM fields), as first demonstrated by Dartmouth psychologist Rogers Elliott in 1996, and since confirmed in other studies. Tens of thousands of minority students receive preferences to attend schools where they feel overwhelmed, especially in STEM classes. As a result, the studies have found, they switch from science courses and migrate to other fields that, if not actually easier, are at least graded less harshly and are less sequential in their teaching. The end result: Whites are seven times more likely than blacks to go on to get doctorates in STEM fields.
        ‘We badly need a simpler, more workable set of rules guiding racial preferences.’ ENLARGE
        ‘We badly need a simpler, more workable set of rules guiding racial preferences.’ Getty Images; Photo Illustration/The Wall Street Journal

        Mr. Elliott’s research was ignored in the widely heralded 1998 book “The Shape of the River,” in which former Princeton President William Bowen and former Harvard President Derek Bok argued that the effects of affirmative action were unambiguously good. But a few years later, University of Virginia psychologists Fred Smyth and John McArdle got access to the data set created by Messrs. Bowen and Bok, which included data on academic aspirations, admissions and performance for tens of thousands of students at 28 major universities. Using the same data, they showed that students receiving large preferences were nearly 80% more likely to complete STEM degrees if they avoided mismatch by going to a less-elite school.

        Research on law schools by one of us (Richard Sander)—hotly disputed by some scholars when it was published in 2005 by the Stanford Law Review and now confirmed by economist Doug Williams—found that mismatch essentially doubled the rate at which blacks and Hispanics failed bar exams. Under existing preference policies, only one in three blacks entering law school graduates and passes the bar on his or her first attempt (compared with two in three whites). Simply by reducing mismatch, we could get this ratio up to one in two.

        This same dynamic turned up when several leading educators wanted to find out why so few black students went on to become professors. Funded by the Council of Ivy League Presidents, sociologists Stephen Cole and the late Elinor Barber surveyed thousands of young African-American students entering a broad cross-section of selective schools. The 2003 Cole-Barber book, “Increasing Faculty Diversity,” concluded that large racial preferences and the ensuing mismatch led directly to lower grades and diminished intellectual self-confidence. They found that promising young black students who wanted to become professors abandoned their academic aspirations in droves, while similar black students who weren’t mismatched were far more likely to stay the course.

        The work ties into a second major finding, that of social mismatch. The central legal justification for using race in university admissions is the need to produce a healthy learning environment by fostering diverse classroom viewpoints and cross-racial friendships. But it turns out that these effects are also heavily influenced by the presence of large preferences. Economics professor Peter Arcidiacono and his colleagues at Duke University found in a 2011 study that students were much more likely to become friends with classmates they saw as academically similar to themselves. Students with large preferences were more likely to self-segregate and find themselves socially isolated.

        The reason wasn’t racism. At Duke University, for example, large numbers of whites and blacks formed friendships at the outset of college. But for those with large academic gaps, the friendships atrophied. Using their multischool results, Mr. Arcidiacono and his colleagues concluded that smaller preferences at the most selective schools would tend to increase both the likelihood and the number of cross-racial friendships at elite schools in general, despite declines in the numbers of black and Hispanic students at the most elite schools.

        Interviews that we and our colleagues conducted with dozens of black and Hispanic administrators and former students revealed a striking theme: Almost all of them complained that blacks are stereotyped on campus as being weak students. It is, of course, not surprising that the large performance gaps on campus that highly correlate with race tend to foster—rather than undermine—racial stereotypes. Indeed, scholars at Harvard and University of California, Los Angeles have shown that students who are aware that they have received a racial admissions preference are more likely to think that they are being negatively stereotyped, and those students appear to do worse academically because of that perception.

        This also ties into the third great misconception about racial preferences: that they foster true viewpoint and socioeconomic diversity. In the 1970s, when racial-preference programs were getting off the ground, universities went to great lengths to admit black students who were the first in their families to attend college. A majority of blacks attending selective schools in 1972 came from families in the bottom half of the socioeconomic distribution. Over time, however, complacency and the rapid rise of the black upper middle class has changed that; in the 1990s, only 8% of black students at selective schools came from the “bottom half,” according to data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study.

        Even as social scientists have transformed our understanding of affirmative action, universities don’t seem to be paying attention. Consider the University of California system, which since 1998 has been legally precluded (by Proposition 209) from considering race in admissions. Throughout the past 15 years—most recently in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court—university officials have denounced race neutrality and pointed to the substantial drop in freshman black and Hispanic students at the system’s two flagship schools, Berkeley and UCLA.

        Yet race-neutrality has produced stunning benefits for minorities in the UC system as a whole, as shown in a data set that economists obtained from UC administrators. Black, American-Indian and Hispanic students made up 26% of all U.C. freshmen in 2010, up from 16% in 1997; the number of B.A.s earned by black and Hispanic students in four years rose 55% between 1995-97 and 2001-03, while the number with GPAs above 3.5 rose 63%.

        What can be done about the problem of mismatch? Most obviously, we need dramatic improvements in elementary and secondary schools to narrow the racial gaps in academic achievement. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the average black 12th-grader is on a par with the average white eighth-grader. That project will take decades.

        Meanwhile, mismatched students can benefit from remedial academic support programs. Mr. Hall’s return to Colgate was successful, he recalls, in part because he made a point of consistently communicating with his professors and working closely with his guidance counselor. Mr. Hall ended up graduating with a 2.5 GPA overall and about a 3.1 in his major, African studies. Colgate is a good school, he says, but he now believes he would have preferred a college that was, among other things, “more diverse and in an urban area.”

        But remedial programs can do only so much. And it seems clear that reform of the racial-preference regime will never come from universities. Nor will reform come from elected officials, who are so terrified of being attacked as racist that even Republican candidates who personally oppose racial preferences (as did two-thirds of respondents in a 2009 Quinnipiac survey) dare not make them an issue.

        Racial-preference reform, in short, can come only from the Supreme Court—which, this past Wednesday, struggled to come to grips with its messy past rulings on the use of racial preferences. In evaluating whether the University of Texas denied equal protection of the laws to Abigail Fisher by taking race into account in admissions, the court is faced with such questions as how to find the presence of a “critical mass” of minority students without using numerical targets; whether race is the “determining factor” in any admissions decision; and whether surveys by university officials confirming their own assertions that campus minorities are socially isolated create a “compelling governmental interest” in admitting more blacks and Hispanics.

        We badly need a simpler, more coherent and more workable set of rules about affirmative action. We have a few simple suggestions.

        First, the court should mandate transparency about the actual operation of preferences. Applicants—and scholars, voters and policy makers—should be able to know exactly how much weight a university gives to the various factors used in admissions. Applicants who are offered admission should be given information about how students with their level of academic preparation typically fare at the college—so that prospective students can evaluate the danger of mismatch.

        Second, racial preferences should not be permitted to exceed the size of a school’s socioeconomic preferences (which at most schools are now minuscule). That is, schools need to demonstrate that if they wish to use race, it is as a supplement to a fundamentally more honest measure of disadvantage. This would also create incentives to seek more socioeconomic diversity. Of course, as schools create more genuine diversity, they also need to make special efforts to help less privileged students of all races succeed academically and navigate the new social environment they will encounter at college.

        Third, schools should not be permitted to use race-based scholarships. Genuine need can be fully met through need-based scholarships; the race-based kind simply foster the sort of zero-sum competition that now causes American law schools to give four times as much grant aid to rich blacks as to poor whites, as one of us (Richard Sander) found in a 2011 study for the University of Denver Law Review.

        These measures won’t solve all the problems of affirmative action; neither will they completely overturn the idea of race-consciousness in admissions. But they will set us on the path to more honest policies and inquiry.

        —Mr. Taylor, a legal journalist and author, and Mr. Sander, a UCLA law professor and economist, are the authors of “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It,” published this week.

        • See also:

          Why Aren’t There More Black Scientists?
          The evidence suggests that one reason is the perverse impact of university racial preferences.
          By Gail Heriot
          Oct. 21, 2015 6:41 p.m. ET

          Remember when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor predicted in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) that universities would no longer need race-preferential admissions policies in 25 years? By the end of this year, that period will be half over. Yet the level of preferential treatment given to minority students has, if anything, increased.

          Meanwhile, numerous studies—as I explain in a recent report for the Heritage Foundation—show that the supposed beneficiaries of affirmative action are less likely to go on to high-prestige careers than otherwise-identical students who attend schools where their entering academic credentials put them in the middle of the class or higher. In other words, encouraging black students to attend schools where their entering credentials place them near the bottom of the class has resulted in fewer black physicians, engineers, scientists, lawyers and professors than would otherwise be the case.

          But university administrators don’t want to hear that their support for affirmative action has left many intended beneficiaries worse off, and they refuse to take the evidence seriously.

          The mainstream media support them on this. The Washington Post, for instance, recently featured a story lamenting that black students are less likely to major in science and engineering than their Asian or white counterparts. Left unstated was why. As my report shows, while black students tend to be a little more interested in majoring in science and engineering than whites when they first enter college, they transfer into softer majors in much larger numbers and so end up with fewer science or engineering degrees.

          This is not because they don’t have the right stuff. Many do—as demonstrated by the fact that students with identical entering academic credentials attending somewhat less competitive schools persevere in their quest for a science or engineering degree and ultimately succeed. Rather, for many, it is because they took on too much, too soon given their level of academic preparation.

          It is no fluke that historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, have an excellent record of graduating future scientists and engineers. In 2006 HBCUs accounted for 21% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded to black students. Yet 33% of the black students awarded Ph.D.s in science or engineering had received their bachelor’s degree at an HBCU. Probably the single most important reason is that at HBCUs half the black students have entering credentials in the top half of the class. At competitive colleges elsewhere, given race-preferential admissions, black student credentials cluster at the bottom.

          The temptation to give up and assume that these counterproductive policies will remain forever should be resisted. With Fisher v. University of Texas, the Supreme Court will soon have another opportunity to get the law back on track.

          This is the second trip to the Supreme Court for Abigail Fisher, a white applicant to the University of Texas at Austin who argues that, as a result of the school’s affirmative-action policy, she was unconstitutionally denied admission in 2008. In 2013 the court issued its first Fisher opinion, remanding her case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals with directions to more closely scrutinize that policy, but hinting that it might be prepared in the future to get tough on policies that are not narrowly tailored to fit the goal of capturing the educational benefits of diversity for all students. After the Fifth Circuit stuck by its earlier decision to grant the university summary judgment, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case again.

          But regardless of the Supreme Court, congressional Republican leaders involved in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this fall—notably Sen. Lamar Alexander and Reps. John Kline and Virginia Foxx—can nudge things in the right direction. Here’s how:

          The first step is to understand that not every college or university is enthusiastic about race-preferential admissions policies. While only a small number would prefer to eliminate them, a large number are uncomfortable with the large preferences—amounting to hundreds of points on the SAT or an entire letter grade on GPA—that are currently routine. If these schools were able to act on their own judgment, the overall level of preference would be reduced, which in turn would reduce the “mismatch effect” that currently retards minority-student success.

          The schools’ problem is that state legislatures, private foundations and the federal government sometimes push them to magnify preferences. The worst of these offenders are accrediting agencies. Although these accreditors do not dispense funds, an individual institution’s federal funding hinges on their stamp of approval. Many use their clout to enforce what is in effect an affirmative-action cartel.

          Sen. Lamar Alexander knows this all too well. When he was education secretary under President George H.W. Bush, 24% of medical schools and 31% of law schools admitted that they were under pressure from accreditors to engage in race-preferential admissions. He resisted such pressure.

          After Grutter, however, accrediting agencies were again emboldened. About 50% of the public medical schools I recently surveyed have since been warned by their official accreditor—the Liaison Committee on Medical Education—that they need to pay more attention to racially diversifying their classes. At least one law school, George Mason University, had its re-accreditation seriously threatened for failure to toe the diversity line.

          This is where Congress can help, by prohibiting accreditors from wading into student-body diversity issues. This proposal is modest, since it will not prevent any school from pursuing its own preferred diversity policy. But it is a first step toward bringing race-preferential policies under control—something that Justice O’Connor mistakenly believed would happen on its own.

          Ms. Heriot is a professor of law at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

          • Thank you.

          • What’s sad is that I can imagine how the left-mainstream spins its response to such articles: “separate but equal”. They won’t attempt to argue facts, because the facts are clearly against them, but if they can come up with a sound-bite or slogan that is even tangentially relevant then they don’t need to argue facts.

            • “White Privilege” “Victim Blaming” “Entrenched Interests” “Raaaaacist”

              Did I miss any?

              “This article ails to address the fundamental problem of the harm inflicted on minorities by entrenched white privilege, thus blaming the victim rather than looking into what steps society can undertake to undo the harm caused by centuries of racism.”

              It’s a kind of buzzword bingo, quite easy to do once you strip all integrity from your writing.

          • wanderingmuses

            Actually, what I think the left would say is that the elite schools are too hard and the classes should be made easier. Just like the rest of the dumbing down of our educational system.

    • And food aid is usually either stolen and sold on the black market, or used as a weapon by the government in charge against their opponents.

    • “It was based on the facts that nearly all programs pushed by these people not only do not help their presumptive beneficiaries but actually retard their development.”

      Feature, not bug.

  11. “turthless”… ruthless?

  12. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    You would think that people would learn that behind the supposed altruism with other people’s money is the need for power and control. but they don’t, they never do.

  13. I understand the temptation to power, and its relation to Communism, all too well. There are times that I realize I am not far from the “older brother” you describe here. Were circumstances somewhat different, and if my Christian faith did not restrain me, it is entirely possible I would be there myself. I do not trust myself near the levers of power for this reason.

    Communism is so easy. Defending it rhetorically is child’s play. It has a false front of simplicity that anyone can wrap their minds around. Take from the rich. Give to the poor. Sounds great, right? For a system that is supposedly designed to eliminate the greedy, its chief appeal to the lower classes is greed. And its chief appeal to the upper classes is the ease with which the lower classes can be controlled and manipulated by it. The ideology is, at its heart, pure evil.

    Communism is a deliberate inversion of sense. Up is down, positive is negative. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. It is a pure lie, untainted by the slightest truth.

    I know — not think, not suspect — but know absolutely that if I were to go to their side, I could have everything. Power. Wealth. Fame. At the same time, as you say here, there is always a bigger fish, always a more evil genocidal maniac. The chances of eating a bullet are astronomically high. Let no one forget that Trotsky had to be sacrificed.

    As a Christian, I have often wondered what the Beast of Revelation truly is, and I wonder if it isn’t Communism. If that isn’t the little horn, speaking blasphemy, the destroyer of churches, the pale horse, all in one.

    What I do know, is that the ideology serves the Father of Lies. And however tempting that power is, it always comes at the price of your soul.

    • Exactly. If I were on their side, I’d have been rich long ago. Sometimes I feel guilty because I could have done so much more for the kids if I’d sold out. But I have to wake up and look at myself in the mirror.

      • You do more for your kids, in the long run, by hanging on to your principles and morality. But it is very, very difficult. I’m not quite sure how it is with your generation, but with mine, I feel that it is terribly broken. Even my own principles feel like a pale shadow of what they ought to be, at times. Marxism has scarred even those who have rejected it, in some fashion.

        I hope the next generations can learn from our mistakes. But that’s only possible if we hang on to what we can.

      • and you have kids who need the future to have fewer issues.

      • Sarah, that was my dilemma as well. Ten years ago, long before I’d sold any stories, I realized that the field was a liberals-only club. I was very disheartened, because I realized that I could either a) try to masquerade as someone I am not, or b) be myself, and take a far harder, much less certain road. Obviously I’ve opted for the latter. Precisely for the reason you state: I have to look at myself in the mirror.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          The closet is safe, but it’s awful lonely.

        • Brad,

          That is the reason why when my brother-in-law read my story and offered to take it to his friends in publishing – I refused outright. I danced around the issue (not that he is a liberal – but sometimes I don’t think he realizes how some things work) – but I would rather be an unsuccessful self-published person on Amazon then be successful and have to work in the belly of the beast (Baen excepted of course).


          • Of the trad pub SF/F houses currently in business, I’d recommend BAEN and perhaps DAW, but if BAEN did not exist, I am sure I’d be self pubbing right now. Just because I’d sooner poke my own eyes out with a hot needle, than work with TOR — heard too many horror stories, from too many of their midlisters. And I wouldn’t want to have to play the games that other authors are playing. Frankly, seeing Andy Weird’s book rocket to the top has cheered me enormously. Both because it tells me that there is still a vibrant audience for Hard SF, and because it puts the lie to the idea that if you’re an SF author and you’re not a TOR darling, you can’t get traction in the big marketplace.

  14. Everybody believes they’ll be throwing the switch; Nobody expects to be sitting in the electric chair.

  15. I think on an honest evaluation you’re cloister to one half the most eviol person in the world.

  16. As I commented on an earlier thread, if you’re going to establish an institution to help an oppressed population, you have to maintain an oppressed population for them to help. In other words, the oppressed population CAN’T be raised from its suffering as a matter of institutional survival.

    That institution is now as firmly in place in American universities as kudzu on a cedar. The whole tangle of affirmative action programs, diversity divisions, Title IX enforcement, and special persyns studies departments is now probably ineradically in place, often largely or wholly staffed by the very people it purports to help, because they are unemployable anywhere else after they have passed through it.

  17. I just finished David Horowitz’s memoir, Native Son. I’d had no idea that he spent the first 40 years of his life as a red-diaper baby Marxist, fighting for the Left. (I didn’t know much about him at all.) When he finally looks around and realizes that Marxist kindness always ends in millions of dead, he winds up saying a lot of this exact stuff.

    The hardest part of the book to read was the early 80s in San Francisco. I already knew some of it, but Left and ‘liberation’ politics–‘kindness’– were embraced over public-health reality–and the result was that AIDS killed thousands and thousands more gay men than it needed to. It wasn’t inevitable, it was politics–and “kindness.”

    • Yes, they LOVED gays…to death. And they LOVE black folks, too…

      • Their patron saint, if they had such things, would be Margaret Sanger.

      • [Disclaimer: I am a gay man who lives in the bay area, who is not old enough to remember the early 1980s]:

        I get the strong sense that the responsibility for this lay less with the left writ large than with the leadership of the gay community. What many in that culture saw in the public health campaigns of the time was *repression* – a forced return to a sexual lifestyle which they had rejected and which they viewed as being linked to a disdain for, and mistreatment of, them as people.

        They were *wrong*. They – most of them, at any rate – had legitimate grievances against people in their pasts, and they let those grievances, and their *fear*, interfere with their ability to listen to what the health care specialists were saying to them.

        It was a tragic thing all around.

        • “with the leadership of the gay community” —
          Yes, you are correct. I don’t know how much attention the rest of the left was paying at that time–I don’t think much. But the beliefs and tactics were the same. True information on HIV transmission was suppressed “to avoid stigmatization.” Even gay doctors who pointed out the dangers were vilified as homophobes.
          I’m not quite old enough to have been there at the time. I lived in the Bay Area in the early to mid-90s, before helpful treatments came along. Every gay guy I knew who was my age believed absolutely that he would not live to see 30, no matter how careful he was. I’m thankful to say that they are all now happily in their 40s. Not so for the older ones who already had AIDS, like my friend’s landlord.

          • I am old enough to remember when AIDS arrived. The specter of AIDS (I knew that it was rare for a straight person to get it.) and the virulence of other STDs made it easier for me to remain celibate.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            “True information on HIV transmission was suppressed “to avoid stigmatization””.

            Yep, I remember those times also as the times when the “Gay Leadership” started this “anybody could get AIDS (as it was called then)” campaign.

            Of course, they didn’t give out true information on HIV transmission so unsurprisingly people didn’t want to have anything to do with AIDS sufferers.

            Then they “screamed about stigmatization”. [Sad Smile]

            • But a common joke from the time.
              Why can’t scientists study AIDS transmission?
              The can’t get lab rats interested in anal sex.

            • Well, it was certainly *true* that anyone could get AIDS – Isaac Asimov, for example, died of AIDS obtained through a blood transfusion (apparently a transfusion before anyone even knew of the existence of GRID).

              What irks me, reading the histories, is the refusal to believe the disease was sexually transmitted and/or bloodborne DESPITE the CDC’s firm belief that it was so. I mean – wtf?

              • Why, the old “bad blood” stigma. Surely a few deaths are worth it to avoid stigmatizing people?

                • and see, that’s the thing -> given the existence of a harmful stigma, it’s a perfectly rational thing to be resistant to new claims that seem to mirror the stigma. “prove to me that you’re not just making stuff up to reinforce this prejudice” is a reasonable request from people who have been the victim of a particular prejudice.

                  the trouble – and the tragedy, in this case – arises when the proof *is* there and it’s ignored.

          • There was a strange effect on science fiction as well. At some point — I think it was in the 1990’s — it became assumed that AIDS was going to become an epidemic which would kill much of the human race and destroy society as we knew it. The absurd thing about this is that AIDS is extremely difficult to catch unless you are living an insanely promiscuous life.

            And I don’t mean just “having sex with more than just one person .” I mean actively going out and seeking random sexual encounters on a regular basis. Preferably ones involving at least minor physical injury. If you don’t do that, the chances are that you won’t catch it, even if one of your sexual partners has it.

            Yet lots and lots of science fiction writers were assuming that most humans, threatened by such a disease, would be unable to live lives of as much sexual restraint as — well, the lives most humans, even in the liberal West, have generally led. In other words, the writers were so in love with their Free Love Futures that they assumed that their inhabitants would also be in love with it, to the point of mass suicide.


            • Yeah, I remember back in the day, thinking “Hunh! Who’d have thought using an exit port as an intake, having sex with thirty or forty anonymous people every weekend or sharing needles with other drug addicts could possibly have negative consequences?”

              Let us also recall that one reason for the refusal to take standard prophylactic steps practiced for every other contagious disease was their ability to condemn Reagan and Bush for “heartlessness.”

            • Some of it can be traced back to ignorance: most people’s experience with viruses is cold and flu, which both spread faster and mutate faster than most. When they heard AIDS virus, that kicked in.

          • True information on HIV transmission was suppressed “to avoid stigmatization.”

            Suddenly a lot of the “you can’t get AIDS by touching someone” stuff we had thrown at us in high school makes sense. You know the style– where they’re obviously trying to counter SOMETHING, but heaven help you if it’s clear what. (Usually, if you do find out a probable source, it’s from when the teachers were in high school or college….or older.) It came up in “social studies,” well after we’d had a good science teacher use it in a vectors of transmission lesson– body fluids. He even went into how technically you can’t get it from spit, but if there’s a tear in your mouth your spit has blood in it.

            I know I noticed that every single freaking person they used as an example, if they gave an origin for the infection, was in a medical environment and got a needle prick. One story had a mention of contaminated blood, but it was followed immediately by mention that they had safeguards against that now.

            • I remember being a kid in the late 1980s / early 1990s and having classmates who believed that AIDS sufferers should be quarantined – and maybe all gay people, as well – because nobody really knew how it was transmitted and it’s better to be safe than risk accidentally picking it up from a toilet seat.

              Note that this was well after medical science *did* have a good model for transmission and it was reasonably well understood by experts that the disease couldnt’ be transmitted that way.

          • About ten years ago I had a wierd realization that the reason there were no late-middle-aged gay men to mentor me in my profession was that everyone who might have served that role had died.

            I am lucky to have come of age when I did, rather than a decade earlier. And yet even now the loss of that time resonates.

        • When I read Randy Schilts “And the Band Played On,” the saddest part was reading about how some of the gay community pleaded with the health departments in San Fran to close the bathhouses, and how the authorities said no.

          • *some* of the gay community pleaded for closure, but the city leadership was afraid that if they closed, the *rest* of the gay community would have exacted political punishment.

            and, honestly? they were probably right in that fear.

            • because “leadership” in the political sense is “crazy grievance mongers” — all LEADERSHIP of all groups.

              • when the crazy grievance mongers actually have the power to throw you out of office, you *somewhat* have to either listen to them or persuade them, or be willing to risk the election on your failure to do so.

                in this case, yeah, I somewhat wish Feinstein had been more courageous than she was. AND I think that her behavior was more understandable than the behavior of the gay activists who refused to listen to reason and let their fear of a recurrence of past mistreatment prevent them from understanding the real threat.

    • What Leftists should consider is just how quickly their own will turn on them if it so happens that they are on the wrong side of a confrontation with someone belonging to a protected minority, even if their own actions are fully justified by the circumstances. Facts won’t matter, only the preservation of a narrative in which the member of the protective minority is the victim and the member of the majority group the villain. I give you George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin in fully-justiifed self-defense, and still became a villain to most of America, and had his life destroyed in patently illegal actions with no legal redress available. Zimmerman was not only a Hispanic but also a Democrat. He probably voted for the President Barack Obama, whose Attorney General refused to prosecute the New Black Panthers for putting a bounty on his head, simply because Martin was black and Zimmerman wasn’t.

  18. Treating a wound by applying necessary care, no matter how painful, is much kinder than letting the wound fester, weakening and eventually poisoning the whole body.

    The important point is to recognize that surgery is different from butchery, and the surgeon, no matter how skilled, probably shouldn’t enjoy the actual cutting in and of itself. Cruelty lies in inflicting unnecessary harm, or rejoicing in the harm for its own sake.

  19. You can say you feel sorry for them too, but that won’t help them. Being firm with the pedophile and telling them to seek help (or making sure they got stopped, if you think their behavior has gone beyond fantasies) would have been the kindest way to handle the situation, both for the pedophile and his future victims.


    In a similar vein, I commend to you the words of Benjamin Franklin:

    I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

  20. First is the myth that ‘they care’. They do not care. People that care take a personal interest in the problem, and spend time and effort on solutions. Progressive/Marxists (but I repeat myself) really don’t give a damn, they just like to use your ‘caring’ as an excuse to get what they want, and then, they let the same outfit that runs the VA run the ‘caring’ department in their new world order. Ask the victims of Hurricane Sandy what they thought of all that wonderful ‘caring’… things like telling the Fire Department they couldn’t hand out food without a health permit.
    Caring is simply another false flag operation where they get the cooperation of the concerned and use it to rearrange the situation for their satisfaction and control.
    Second is the myth they know anything of economic theory. It should take even a dim-witted individual about 30 seconds to disbelieve the ‘fixed-pie’ theory. Why don’t people starve since there are so many more today than the ‘fixed food pie’ of the 50’s? Why didn’t my 1970 Trans Am have heated/cooled seats, built in GPS, remote control starting and a bevy of other conveniences of my 2014 Explorer? Could it be that our economy actually grows, and there is more ‘stuff’ out there than there was 40+ years ago?

    There is an economic system that controls growth and allocation or resources based on imperfect understanding of the underlying basis. There is an economic system that in spite of the greed and vileness of the heads of corporations, still provides the best product for the lowest possible cost. That system is called Capitalism. The interplay between supply and demand and the ability for new entrants to join in the production with no barriers to entry assure both of these issues. In fact, as the affluence of the Nation rises and people start ‘caring’ about others, those self-same corporations will go out and do good deeds when they discover it is worth a buck or two to their customers.
    Most of our problems is the ‘no barriers to entry’ part. Our congresscritters establish barriers for perhaps good reason (like children under 12 can’t work in the coal mines), but over the years, these good intentions have become barriers to entry by increasing start-up costs and thereby distort the demand curve. Cronyism is a good name for this.

    Let us admit that we as a group are perfect and have only the best intentions for all of humanity. Then our goal should be to design and establish a form of Government and Economy that are tolerant to and corrective of abuse by people of groups that are less perfect than we are. The economy is easy, Capitalism has a proven track record, and the early abuses of the Roosevelts, Carnegies, Rockefellers and Kennedys and their ilk are easy to shine the light of publicity onto and illuminate their failings. For the Government, how about a representative democracy of a set of sovereign states into a Federal Republic, with power divided between Judges, an elected Executive and a bicameral Legislative body, where the seats are apportioned by population in one house and by sovereign states in the other. (Now, I am intrigued with the proposal discussed by Jeb Kinnison in the substrate wars of a proportional representation of delegates [i.e. my vote’s power is based on the number of people that have designated my their representative], but the original system would work well enough if we really followed it.)

    • Historian and Hillsdale professor Burton W. Folsom addresses the slanders told about Rockefeller and other of the so-called “Robber Barons” in his book The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America:

      The Myth of the Robber Barons describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. The entrepreneurs studied are Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Most historians argue that these men, and others like them, were Robber Barons. The story, however, is more complicated.

      The author, Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs such as Edward Collins in steamships and in railroads the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad were men who used the power of government to succeed. They tried to gain subsidies, or in some way use government to stop competitors.

      The market entrepreneurs helped lead to the rise of the U. S. as a major economic power. By 1910, the U. S. dominated the world in oil, steel, and railroads led by Rockefeller, Schwab (and Carnegie), and Hill. The political entrepreneurs, by contrast, were a drain on the taxpayers and a thorn in the side of the market entrepreneurs. Interestingly, the political entrepreneurs often failed without help from government they could not produce competitive products.

      The author describes this clash of the market entrepreneurs and the political entrepreneurs. In the Mellon chapter, the author describes how Andrew Mellon an entrepreneur in oil and aluminum became Secretary of Treasury under Coolidge. In office, Mellon was the first American to practice supply-side economics. He supported cuts on income tax rates for all groups. The rate cut on the wealthiest Americans, from 73 percent to 25 percent, freed up investment capital and led to American economic growth during the 1920s. Also, the amount of revenue into the federal treasury increased sharply after tax rates were cut.

      The Myth of the Robber Barons has separate chapters on Vanderbilt, Hill, Schwab, Mellon, and the Scrantons. The author also has a conclusion, in which he looks at the textbook bias on the subject of Robber Barons and the rise of the U. S. in the late 1800s. This chapter explores three leading college texts in U. S. history and shows how they misread American history and disparage market entrepreneurs instead of the political entrepreneurs. This book is in its fifth edition, and is widely adopted in college and high school classrooms across the U. S.
      From Amazon description

      The book is the basis for an excellent discussion of the topic by the Ludwig von Mises adherents (and proponents of the Austrian Economics movement at mises[DOT]org/library/truth-about-robber-barons

      An interesting presentation, about an hour long.

      • I do wish people would quit bringing up new and interesting looking books . . .

        • Burt Folsom and Amity Shlaes (The Forgotten Man, Coolidge) are two of the people doing the most to shine a bright light on the mythology of the FDR era.

          About Shlaes The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression Wikipedia states:

          Shlaes’s next book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, was published in 2007 and was a study of the Great Depression in the United States and the New Deal. This book argues that both Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt promoted economic policies that were counterproductive, prolonged the Great Depression, and established the modern entitlement trap. The Forgotten Man was a New York Times bestseller for 19 weeks, with over 250,000 copies in print.[citation needed] It has also been published in German, Italian, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese.

          Novelist Mark Helprin said of The Forgotten Man: “Were John Kenneth Galbraith and Milton Friedman to spend a century or two reconciling their positions so as to arrive at a clear view of the Great Depression, this would be it.” Steven F. Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute wrote that The Forgotten Man was “the finest history of the Great Depression ever written”.

          Economist Paul Krugman has criticized The Forgotten Man, taking issue with its central tenet that New Deal policies exacerbated the Great Depression. Krugman wrote of “a whole intellectual industry, mainly operating out of right-wing think tanks, devoted to propagating the idea that FDR actually made the Depression worse…. But the definitive study of fiscal policy in the 1930s, by the MIT economist E. Cary Brown, reached a very different conclusion: Fiscal stimulus was unsuccessful ‘not because it does not work, but because it was not tried’.” Krugman specifically accused Shlaes of disseminating “misleading statistics.” Shlaes responded to Krugman in The Wall Street Journal, specifically saying that for her estimates of employment and unemployment during the period she used the Lebergott/Bureau of Labor Statistics series.[20] She wrote that statistician Stanley Lebergott “intentionally did not include temporary jobs in emergency programs—because to count a short-term, make-work project as a real job was to mask the anxiety of one who really didn’t have regular work with long-term prospects.”

          Shlaes went on to say that if the Obama administration “proposes F.D.R.-style recovery programs, then it is useful to establish whether those original programs actually brought recovery. The answer is, they didn’t.”

          Writing in Forbes, Hudson Institute fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth first lays out Shlaes’s view: “She points out that federal spending during the New Deal did not restore economic health. Unemployment stayed high and the Dow Jones Industrial average stayed low.” After then explaining Krugman’s position that “the New Deal failed to spend enough money to achieve full employment,” Furchtgott-Roth concludes, “the new president needs to listen to many voices.”

          Journalist Jonathan Chait has called the book self-contradictory, misleading, and inaccurate. Novelist and essayist John Updike criticized the book as “a revisionist history of the Depression”.

          Brian Wesbury wrote of The Forgotten Man that “if you care about markets, the economy, politics or personal initiative, you will love this book.”

          With denunciations by such eminences as Krugman, Chaitt and Updike you know this author merits your attention.

          Liberals just hate when their white-washing of history gets revised.

        • I was just thinking the same thing. My reading list is far too big now.

      • Also, the amount of revenue into the federal treasury increased sharply after tax rates were cut.

        This collections datum, like the similar experience during the Reagan years, is only a feature if one believes the tax systems purpose is to fund the government. If instead one feels that the purpose of the tax system is to inflict appropriate pain on the appropriate people, the efficient collection of revenues is a mere side note, and in fact may be irrelevant.

        • This was a point acknowledged by candidate Obama in April, 2008, when the following exchange occurred with moderator Charles Gibson:

          [Courtesy The Tax Foundation, Gerald Prante]

          GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,” which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.

          But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.

          OBAMA: Right.

          GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

          OBAMA: Right.

          GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.
          So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

          OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

          We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.


          GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

          OBAMA: Well, that might happen, or it might not.

          Both Gibson and Obama show their ignorance on the topic of capital gains taxation in this exchange. Gibson’s implying that cutting capital gains taxes raises tax revenues by the mere time series correlation he cited was a stretch. Much of the short-run response to changes in the capital gains tax rate are for tax timing purposes. …

          But Obama didn’t question this assumption made by Gibson. He seemed to be saying, “Okay Charlie, even if this is true, the rate should still be 28 percent.” And that’s a ludicrous statement too. Obama appeared to assume that even if we were indeed on the right side of the Laffer Curve (where revenues decrease from cutting tax rates, all else equal), he still doesn’t want a free lunch. Any truly concerned liberal who favors increasing the size of government given such a situation would merely seek to find the rate that maximizes tax revenue, and then the progressivity issue could have been dealt with on the spending side by using that money to expand a social program (or a tax/spending program like EITC). Everyone would win (i.e. a free lunch), and we could “build our infrastructure, pay for everyone’s health care, build our schools, (insert big government program here that sounds good to voters), and blah, blah, blah.”

          Emphasis added.

          • The early explanation for Obama’s policies was that he was adopting a strategy opposite that of Reagan’s. Whereas Reagan attempted to cut taxes in an attempt to reign in spending, Obama increased spending in hopes that Congress would feel forced to raise taxes.

            • Yep. HE wanted to be the ANTI-REAGAN. He’s succeeding beyond what I thought he could. Hello Cold War, my old friend.

              • I thought Obama made the big reveal when he said that he wanted to fundamentally transform America.

                • Fundamentally transform America?

                  Isn’t that what Jefferson Davis and the Democrats supporting him wanted to do?

                  Kruschev wanted to fundamentally transform America, too, when he pounded his shoe at the UN.

                  Reagan, contra-Obama (as insightful here as he is in foreign policy) had no interest in transforming America — his desire was to preserve America as a nation where people were free to shape their own destinies without bending the knee or tugging the forelock for government.

                  Reagan wanted America to be a shining city on a hill, inspiring the world; Obama wants America to be a public-housing bloc, squatting sterile but equal for all (so long as they know their place.)

              • And unfortunately, Obama’s strategy of raising taxes is much easier to bring about than Reagan’s strategy of lowering spending…


      • Perhaps the most memorable contrast for me was the Transcontinental Race.

        The railroad companies that took Congress’s incentive to build as fast as possible (and claimed as much as possible) suffered greatly, because no one really wanted to ride their trains. There really wasn’t much point, since it was mostly empty land. They were also in such a hurry to claim land, they had to go back and redo swaths of track, to correctly grade them, and so forth. These companies abused special deals in an attempt to attract use (and even to punish competitors) in an attempt to prevent bankruptcy; as a result, Congress heavily regulated the industry.

        In contrast, a railroad up north carefully built their rails a little bit at a time, provided discounts to encourage settlements all along the way (and thus provide reasons for people to use the railways), and carefully built the rails to the correct grades and turns. Although the other railway systems refused to provide discounts for shipping materials, this railroad was against regulation, because they were in the process of trying to open up trade with Japan; killing discounts meant that this railroad couldn’t encourage people to do trade, and thus this trade died out.

        Sure, the latter railroad took longer to complete, but it was also much more sustainable!

        • Yep – the Trans-Con was a magnet for corruption – most especially I think the Union Pacific. The transcontinental lines did have their problems — all except the Great Northern – which built gradually and carefully, exciting public interest through masterful public affairs campaigns.
          The Union Pacific and to a slightly lesser degree, the Central Pacific were more dependent on government. Which had the most to win and the most to gamble, all at once.

  21. What they are is ineffective in the real world. Most of us are. We are, after all, the people who hang back and think, people of words, not of deeds.

    People of words have occasionally had world-shaking influence. People of words on the Left share the blame for millions of corpses and billions who’ve endured tyranny and squalor while their masters lived like kings. Karl Marx. Edward Bellamy Upton Sinclair. Saul Alinsky. There are others.

    I could only wish that we people of words who understand and love freedom could be as effective as the villains named above.

  22. In an example of the curious synchronicity of this world, note this post from National Review Online’s gangblog, The Corner:

    Charity or Philanthropy?
    By Ian Tuttle — November 3, 2015

    Almshouses are out of fashion, as are, for the most part, alms — the former having been supplanted by alliances, foundations, and the like, and the latter having taken the form of “giving opportunities” to said foundations. “Charity” has become “philanthropy.” What have we gained, and what have we lost, in this transformation? That is the question at the heart of Jeremy Beer’s new book The Philanthropic Revolution: An Alternative History of American Charity, which I review today at First Things:

    Jeremy Beer, publisher of The American Conservative, has written a short book on a profound topic: the transformation of the ancient Judeo-Christian tradition of charity into the modern American practice of philanthropy. He approaches by way of theology: “Both [charity and philanthropy] are associated with theological presuppositions,” he writes, “not only in the most fundamental sense that there is no escaping such presuppositions, but also in the historical sense that philanthropy arises out of a reimagining of Christian eschatology and the proper role of Christianity in society.”

    For Jews and for Christians, charity was salvific, a laying up of treasure in heaven, and the object of charity, the beggar, was an altar to be reverenced. The centrality of charity to the theology of Catholic Christianity inspired the West’s first hospitals, shelters, food kitchens, and orphanages. But the earthbound clerks of parishioners’ spiritual bank accounts began to accept funny money, and the indulgence system, among other corruptions, impelled Protestant reformers toward the doctrine of sola fide. Thus almsgiving was stripped of its sacramental significance and the beggar of his sanctity.

    Centuries later, on a new continent, Protestant dogma, capitalist ambition, and Enlightenment reason would converge in the millennialism of the Second Great Awakening—and the replacement of Jesus’s admonition that the poor will always be with us with a conviction that the Christian reformer’s duty is to end poverty altogether. By the late nineteenth century, a new “scientific philanthropy” had emerged, the goal of which was wholesale social transformation.

    Beer explores the mixed consequences of that turn, and maps out an alternative.

    Links to the book and the review quoted are embedded at

    • Actually, the ancient Christian tradition is of almsgiving, which is a manifestation of charity or caritas that is the highest virtue.

  23. There is a narrative going on in the back of our heads that makes it difficult to fully live, say, a fight, without taking notes.

    This is one of the reasons that RDJ’s Sherlock “worked” for me. He’s so smart he can do what I do– AND STILL BE EFFECTIVE!

  24. Something related, but not explicitly touched on– vulnerability.

    A lot of the other side– ours too, but I’m looking over there– have an issue with vulnerability.

    They treat it with disdain, as close to a moral failing as can be.

    That’s WHY it’s OK to take cheap shots, and be vicious about it– why so much of their humor is just nasty, and it’s a common thread in the targets for removal. (Most of the folks that are on our side– defined roughly as “not against us”– that also have an issue with vulnerability either have the issue with being vulnerable themselves, or view it as a weakness instead of a moral failing. The ones that view it as a blanket invitation to prey on that vulnerable person learn to either channel it into “acceptable” routes or get dumped pretty damn fast.)

    Not sure what it means, though.

  25. “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.”

    – Flannery O’Connor

  26. Maybe it’s a matter of wanting stuff on the cheap– it is called “cheap grace” or “cheap virtue,” after all.

    If you believe the false black-and-white thing where we’re all stupid and evil, then it’s EASY to be good.
    Instead of being hard, and painful, and even when you do your best it may not be enough and it won’t ever be perfect this side of heaven.

    • yes, on the hard and difficult.

    • But it is easy! All you need do is support the right people, express the correct opinions and be prepared to turn on a dime when different opinions are ruled correct. (Example: Old, bad opinion: it is wrong for men to abuse the power of their positions to extort sexual favors from women. New, good opinion: as long as the man uses his power to protect women’s right to kill their babies in utero, exploiting interns is no biggie.)

      Sure, the spinning can cause whiplash and it can be a challenge to stay in step, but once you abandon all principles beyond echoing your betters it isn’t so difficult.

      BTW, I heard this yesterday and nearly got whiplash from doing a double take:

      “I am very proud that my presidency can help to galvanize and mobilize America on behalf of issues of racial disparity and racial justice,” Obama said during an interview with “NBC Nightly News.” “But I do so hoping that my successor, who’s not African American, if he or she is not, that they’ll be just as concerned as I am, because this is part of what it means to perfect our union.”

      Let me repeat that: to perfect our union.

      Not “to make our union more perfect” — to perfect our union.

      We’ve got fourteen months of this banal moron looking back upon all he has done and proclaiming it good. And blaming Republicans, tools bought and paid for by special interests, as racists, sexists, homophobic xenophobes for not helping him do more.

      Because when your opponent is evil you’ve no need to worry about whatever collateral damage your programs may inflict.

  27. Interesting how parts of this are meshing with the book I’m reading right now. Saturn’s Race. A large part of the plot is about putting the smart people on artificial islands then secretly sterilizing the rest of the world so they don’t have to fight them for resources later.

  28. A stark demonstration of useful idiots: