Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Identity Politics: A Cynical Electoral Tactic

No offense, my Democratic friends, but only in the modern Democratic Party could a Democratic icon such as Andrew Cuomo fearlessly and publicly claim that America “was never that great.” Just two decades ago, few Democrats would dare make that statement.

Sadly, in the leftist worldview, it will never be that great. No matter how many reforms are implemented, no matter how much blood is spilled, no matter how many constitutional amendments are ratified to extend legal equality and equal opportunity to all Americans, it will never be enough for the left, because accusing conservatives of hatred, intolerance, bigotry and heartlessness is about all they have. But it’s not all they believe and all they stand for.

Yes, many conservative analysts are correct that over the past two decades, identity politics has become dominant in the Democratic Party, but identity politics is not what really animates its leftist leaders. Their divisive rhetoric is more a calculated electoral tactic to agitate minorities against Republicans than a deeply held belief.

You can’t convince me that Democratic Party leaders truly believe that half the nation — the half that disagrees with them politically — is racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic and the rest of the poisonous adjectival litany with which they routinely smear us. But it certainly keeps them competitive when their policies don’t.

They say they champion women and African-Americans, but do they really respect them? Do they really treat them all with equal dignity? Just watch what happens when a member of either group dissents from their leftist orthodoxy. The person is treated, not just by black and female liberals but by preening white heterosexual liberals, as inauthentic — as an Uncle Tom or a traitors to his or her race or gender. They ostracize the person as a subhuman heretic whose race or gender counts for nothing if he or she defies the leftist cause.

It is easy for Cuomo to say America “was never that great,” because he and his leftist soul mates believe it. It rolls off their tongues because they reject so much of the American idea. That is why candidate Barack Obama could proudly declare his intention to fundamentally transform America. That is why Michelle Obama, witnessing her husband’s electoral success, could say, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.”

For Cuomo and the left, the discontentment about America isn’t just or even mostly about the plight of minorities. It is about America’s founding principles.

Liberals don’t embrace the Constitution and the rule of law in the same way conservatives do. They pay lip service to the separation of powers and pretend that Donald Trump is usurping authority when he makes derogatory comments about members of the media whose sole reason for existence is to attack him. But they cheered President Obama’s lawless executive power grabs, and they support appellate judges who arrogate to themselves the prerogatives of super-legislators. They treat the cherished principles of federalism and states’ rights as historical mistakes or fictions.

And despite their denials, the Democratic Party has come to fully embrace socialism. Unsurprisingly, a decisive majority of Democrats prefer socialism over capitalism, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

When Cuomo’s defenders claim he was only referring to gender discrimination and other forms of bigotry when he proudly denied America’s historical greatness, they’re dissembling. The Democratic Party and many of its grass-roots supporters reject the American idea itself; it’s not just that it was originally tainted by the sin and stain of slavery. That’s why they favor open borders and amnesty for the millions of immigrants who are here illegally. If they believed America is unique, they would believe its uniqueness is worth preserving and support legal and controlled immigration and assimilation of immigrants into the unique American fabric.

But even with the damaging revelation that the majority of Democratic voters heart socialism, the party honchos still won’t be able to openly embrace it — because this is anathema to a majority of Americans.

In view of its historical track record of abject failure, there is no way Democrats can defend socialism on the merits, which is why they will continue to defame their political opponents as being racist, sexist and multi-phobic. It’s what modern Democrats are; it’s what they do; it’s all they’ve got.


UK: A policeman on patrol? You're more likely to see a wildebeest

By Peter Hitchens

Have you noticed how politicians, police chiefs and media have all stopped pretending that crime is falling? Even the supercilious academics who have sneered for years at real public concern about crime and disorder, tittering from their safe, secluded homes about ‘moral panic’, may eventually have to change their tune.

This is partly because of the exposure – which I helped to publicise – of the systematic fiddling of crime figures by the police. It is also partly because the police like to pretend that minor cuts in their enormous numbers have made crime more common – though how this can be when the police are almost entirely invisible I cannot tell. In the days of regular foot patrols, we had about half as many officers as we do now.

But there’s another reason. You can hide and fiddle the truth about many types of crime. But you can’t keep stabbing and murder secret in any remotely free society.

The authorities long ago gave up doing anything serious about shoplifting, public drunkenness and disorder, vandalism, bike theft, car theft, robbery and burglary. They just stick up notices telling you that these things are your own fault.

They now publicly admit they cannot be bothered to pursue anyone for possessing illegal drugs, even though this offence is at the root of so much other crime. Indeed, they boast about it, as if this laziness and defeatism, a mutinous refusal to do the job we pay them for, were somehow enlightened. They pretend that their inaction will free them to tackle other crimes. It never does.

My own route home, which I often take late and in the dark, was recently the scene of an unprecedented mugging. Parks I have used safely since I was a child have been plagued by various sorts of attacks. How long, I wonder, before the first knifing? Not all that long, I suspect. Round where I live, you are more likely to spot a grazing wildebeest than to see a patrolling police officer. They don’t even pretend that they’re doing it any more.

And now we learn, to my total lack of surprise, that prosecutions have sunk to an all-time low in England and Wales, at a time when even our fishy official figures show that crime is surging upwards.

This is because our 50-year policy of decriminalising crime has finally blown up in our faces. We wait till offenders are hardened criminals before locking them up. When we do lock them up, we let them out as fast as we can. But even then, the prisons can’t hold them. Soft justice, as anyone could have told its supporters, means more crime, for ever.

But whatever you do, don’t dream of trying to defend yourself or your own home. That is almost the only thing that will get you prosecuted and thrown into prison for years. Like all rotten, incompetent monopolies, our criminal justice system can do one thing well – defending itself against competition. When this country eventually goes under, our elite’s infuriating failure to confront or deal with this problem will be one of the main reasons.


‘You dogs, I spit on your cross’: Muslim imam accused of abusing council staff and illegally clearing land claims his Islamic group is exempt from Australian law

A Muslim imam accused of abusing council staff over allegations he was illegally clearing land claims his Islamic group is exempt from Australian law.

Dr Mustapha Kara-Ali is the Imam of religious guild Diwan Al Dawla, a guild which conducts much of its religious practices on a property in Colo, New South Wales.

Hawkesbury City Council has launched legal action against the imam after learning he was allegedly clearing land on the property without a permit, the ABC reported.

Dr Kara-Ali, a Harvard graduate, allegedly screamed 'you dogs, I step on your cross' when council workers visited the property to serve court documents.

The property, roughly 50 kilometres outside of Sydney, is owned by a number of members from the guild.

However after an anonymous complaint was made to the Hawkesbury City Council about earthworks going on at the property, council officers were sent to investigate.

The officers allegedly discovered the illegal clearing of native trees and metal waste.

Officers visited the property several times, allegedly discovering vegetation clearing and even the construction of a boat ramp.

All were allegedly being done without the correct permits, so council issued an $8,000 fine for 'pollution or potential pollution caused by failed sediment erosion fencing'.

Court documents revealed a letter Dr Kara-Ali had submitted to council, ABC News reported.

In it he stated that the guild lives 'separated from secular lifestyles to pursue a religious mode of worship and an ascetic lifestyle under an oath of self-sacrifice and dedication to the purposes of Diwan Al Dawla'.

'The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Act 2012 stipulates that when it is carrying out religious activities that are related to the practice, study, teaching or propagation of its religious beliefs,' he wrote. 'Or other activities ancillary to them … Diwan Al Dawla, as a basic religious charity is not required to comply with Australian laws.'  

A conflict between council officers and Dr Kara-Ali and an unidentified man was caught on dash cam, allegedly showing the unknown man spitting at officers.

'Both men were repeatedly yelling obscenities from the other side of the gate, calling out 'you dogs, I step on your cross', the council officer wrote in an affidavit.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission was quick to dispute the claims being made by Dr Kara-Ali. A spokesperson for the ACNC said religious charities were still required to comply with Australian law.

If a religious charity is found to be in participating in or encouraging unlawful behaviour, it can have its charity status revoked.  


The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies


Note from the editor: Every once in awhile it is necessary and desirable to expose extreme ideologies for what they are by carrying out their arguments and rhetoric to their logical and absurd conclusion, which is why we are proud to publish this expose of a hoaxed article published in a peer-reviewed journal today. Its ramifications are unknown but one hopes it will help rein in extremism in this and related areas.
—Michael Shermer

“The conceptual penis as a social construct” is a Sokal-style hoax on gender studies. Follow the authors @peterboghossian and @GodDoesnt.

The Hoax

"The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that the penis is the male reproductive organ is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial"

That’s how we began. We used this preposterous sentence to open a “paper” consisting of 3,000 words of utter nonsense posing as academic scholarship. Then a peer-reviewed academic journal in the social sciences accepted and published it.

This paper should never have been published. Titled, “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” our paper “argues” that “The penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a gender-performative, highly fluid social construct.” As if to prove philosopher David Hume’s claim that there is a deep gap between what is and what ought to be, our should-never-have-been-published paper was published in the open-access (meaning that articles are freely accessible and not behind a paywall), peer-reviewed journal Cogent Social Sciences. (In case the PDF is removed, we’ve archived it.)

Assuming the pen names “Jamie Lindsay” and “Peter Boyle,” and writing for the fictitious “Southeast Independent Social Research Group,” we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what “post-structuralist discursive gender theory” actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.

Manspreading — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide — is akin to raping the empty space around him.

This already damning characterization of our hoax understates our paper’s lack of fitness for academic publication by orders of magnitude. We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

Consider some examples. Here’s a paragraph from the conclusion, which was held in high regard by both reviewers:

We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.

You read that right. We argued that climate change is “conceptually” caused by penises. How do we defend that assertion? Like this:

Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear.

And like this, which we claim follows from the above by means of an algorithmically generated nonsense quotation from a fictitious paper, which we referenced and cited explicitly in the paper:

Toxic hypermasculinity derives its significance directly from the conceptual penis and applies itself to supporting neocapitalist materialism, which is a fundamental driver of climate change, especially in the rampant use of carbon-emitting fossil fuel technologies and careless domination of virgin natural environments. We need not delve deeply into criticisms of dialectic objectivism, or their relationships with masculine tropes like the conceptual penis to make effective criticism of (exclusionary) dialectic objectivism. All perspectives matter.

If you’re having trouble understanding what any of that means, there are two important points to consider. First, we don’t understand it either. Nobody does. This problem should have rendered it unpublishable in all peer-reviewed, academic journals. Second, these examples are remarkably lucid compared to much of the rest of the paper. Consider this final example:

Inasmuch as masculinity is essentially performative, so too is the conceptual penis. The penis, in the words of Judith Butler, “can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility” (Butler, 1993). The penis should not be understood as an honest expression of the performer’s intent should it be presented in a performance of masculinity or hypermasculinity. Thus, the isomorphism between the conceptual penis and what’s referred to throughout discursive feminist literature as “toxic hypermasculinity,” is one defined upon a vector of male cultural machismo braggadocio, with the conceptual penis playing the roles of subject, object, and verb of action. The result of this trichotomy of roles is to place hypermasculine men both within and outside of competing discourses whose dynamics, as seen via post-structuralist discourse analysis, enact a systematic interplay of power in which hypermasculine men use the conceptual penis to move themselves from powerless subject positions to powerful ones (confer: Foucault, 1972).

No one knows what any of this means because it is complete nonsense. Anyone claiming to is pretending. Full stop.

It gets worse. Not only is the text ridiculous, so are the references. Most of our references are quotations from papers and figures in the field that barely make sense in the context of the text. Others were obtained by searching keywords and grabbing papers that sounded plausibly connected to words we cited. We read exactly zero of the sources we cited, by intention, as part of the hoax. And it gets still worse…

Some references cite the Postmodern Generator, a website coded in the 1990s by Andrew Bulhak featuring an algorithm, based on NYU physicist Alan Sokal’s method of hoaxing a cultural studies journal called Social Text, that returns a different fake postmodern “paper” every time the page is reloaded. We cited and quoted from the Postmodern Generator liberally; this includes nonsense quotations incorporated in the body of the paper and citing five different “papers” generated in the course of a few minutes.

Five references to fake papers in journals that don’t exist is astonishing on its own, but it’s incredible given that the original paper we submitted had only sixteen references total (it has twenty now, after a reviewer asked for more examples). Nearly a third of our references in the original paper go to fake sources from a website mocking the fact that this kind of thing is brainlessly possible, particularly in “academic” fields corrupted by postmodernism. (More on that later.)

Two of the fake journals cited are Deconstructions from Elsewhere and And/Or Press (taken directly from algorithmically generated fictitious citations on the Postmodern Generator). Another cites the fictitious researcher “S. Q. Scameron,” whose invented name appears in the body of the paper several times. In response, the reviewers noted that our references are “sound,” even after an allegedly careful cross-referencing check done in the final round of editorial approval. No matter the effort put into it, it appears one simply cannot jump Cogent Social Sciences’ shark.

We didn’t originally go looking to hoax Cogent Social Sciences, however. Had we, this story would be only half as interesting and a tenth as apparently damning. Cogent Social Sciences was recommended to us by another journal, NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, a Taylor and Francis journal. NORMA rejected “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” but thought it a great fit for the Cogent Series, which operates independently under the Taylor and Francis imprimatur. In their rejection letter, the editors of NORMA wrote,

We feel that your manuscript would be well-suited to our Cogent Series, a multidisciplinary, open journal platform for the rapid dissemination of peer-reviewed research across all disciplines.

Transferring your manuscript:

Saves you time because there is no need for you to reformat or resubmit your work manually
Provides faster publication because previous reviews are transferred with your manuscript.
To ensure all work is open to everyone, the Cogent Series invites a “pay what you want” contribution towards the costs of open access publishing if your article is accepted for publication. This can be paid by you as author or by your institution or research funder. Many institutions and funders now provide financial support for open access publishing.

We took them up on the transfer, and Cogent Social Sciences eventually accepted “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” The reviewers were amazingly encouraging, giving us very high marks in nearly every category. For example, one reviewer graded our thesis statement “sound” and praised it thusly, “It capturs [sic] the issue of hypermasculinity through a multi-dimensional and nonlinear process” (which we take to mean that it wanders aimlessly through many layers of jargon and nonsense). The other reviewer marked the thesis, along with the entire paper, “outstanding” in every applicable category.

They didn’t accept the paper outright, however. Cogent Social Sciences’ Reviewer #2 offered us a few relatively easy fixes to make our paper “better.” We effortlessly completed them in about two hours, putting in a little more nonsense about “manspreading” (which we alleged to be a cause of climate change) and “dick-measuring contests.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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