Counter-reactionaries working to staunch the wokee cultural tide

    For those of you who don't know yet, I'll be launching a website next week that should help shed a whole lot of light on Critical Social Justice. Getting excited to show you some of what I've been working in for the last few months.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020

    Between New Discourses and Cynical Theories, it's going to be a good year for explaining what's going on with Wokeness and helping people understand what it is.

    — James Lindsay, being effective again (@ConceptualJames) February 22, 2020


    George Floyd was a felon, but it seems in his last 7 years out of prison, he made good on his effort to reform (based on Wikipedia) He shouldn't be lionized not should he be demonized. And it always makes me uncomfortable when someone references Thomas Sowell, who always came across as a superficial partisan hack, though I haven't read him in a decade.

    ETA: ugh, case in point

    Point taken. But at the same time, I want academics who are always looking at what all colleagues are writing. I do appreciate Anon's challenge here. Perhaps he's sympathetic to Sowell type thinking, so what? Being sympathetic is not the same thing as the almost hysterical acceptance of woke-a-tude that's happening all at once. Which I think Anon. describes well. On Twitter, I am seeing the only ones brave enough to challenge using their name in public are safe Pulitzer winner types like Annette Gordon-Reed. It takes that kind of power to be able to challenge the tide in the history -biz, everyone else is cowed, even those with tenure. 

    Overall it was very well written, and I agreed with much. I pointed out 2 things that detracted from it in my eyes. Sorry I didn't make that clear. Yes, I support the diversity of ideas in academia and elsewhere. I'm a bundle of contradictions myself - how could I not love that? (I also left off his/her petty use of 'Democrat' as an adjective) (Sowell is a rather autocratic thinker, so imitating him would be jumping from the woke pan into the alt-right fire - not an improvement in my eyes - whereas respecting/being interested in some of his ideas is just investing in the market or casino of ideas, wherever the chips may lie - certainly there's more nuance and spectrum to our analysis and intellectual offerings than two (literally) violent extremes?

    Happened to see a Sowell article praising this book "Injustice" from 2011, and I think it was one of those bellwether events in how the right would deal with race and the justice department (along with voter fraud hype, but the former is more important to today's QAnon fighting "leftwing racists"). Not the heavily sock-puppeted 5-star reviews.

    On the author of "Injustice", J. Christian Adams.

    A former commissioner on President Donald Trump’s now-defunct Voter Fraud Commission reached a settlement this week with a group of Virginia voters who claimed they were subjected to false accusations of felony voter fraud.

    The initial lawsuit was filed last year in Virginia federal court by voting rights groups and four individuals accusing the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) and its president and general counsel J. Christian Adams of creating and distributing reports that falsely mislabeled them as non-citizens who illegally registered to vote — despite all of the plaintiffs being American citizens.

    The PILF reports, titled “Alien Invasion in Virginia” and “Alien Invasion II,” were released in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and stated that thousands of people had committed felonies by illegally registering to vote in Virginia. According to the complaint, Alien Invasion II contained information about many of the purported felons, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, and “in some cases social security numbers.”


    Adams, a former attorney for George W. Bush’s Department of Justice, must also provide a written apology to the plaintiffs on behalf of himself and the group, which is also required to remove any information of individuals purported to have illegally registered to vote from its current and future reports.

    Heather Mac Donald:

    just one typical example of "the tide" I see on my Twitter feed oriented towards humanities in academia-I see this kind of thing day in, day out from institutions allover the western world, it's a flood, as in "be there or be square":


    Interesting excerpt from The Politics of Riots by Cathy Young, illustrating how easy it these days to convince a Senator into censoring his normal plain spoken sensible statements because they don't coincide with Critical Race theory:

    Meanwhile, the bizarre claim that looting is only about “property” and that calling it violence cheapens human (and especially black) lives had been made by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the “1619 Project” exploring American slavery, and echoed by many others including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut). After the rioting broke out in Kenosha, Murphy initially tweeted a condemnation of police brutality and vigilantism as well as looting and property damage.

    An hour later, he deleted it, explaining that he had been told it equated murder with property crime.

    This is how it affects politics: they don't say the things they used to, they just censor themselves, on advice of some aide who is hip to current political correctness. It's better if they're not sure the politically correct will like it, to just shut up. Because one thing they do understand is how activitists use social media to draw attention of the extreme believers.

    This is how it works in academia too. Many who are doing it are not believers, they're just chicken. I've known some who say what they feel when they retire and are free to be honest about it.

    Chloe S. Valdary, been following her for a while, brave independent thinker, calling out Kendi when he criticizes Trump as pot calling the kettle black:

    The op-ed kinda weirdly falls off - is he afraid to get into specifics?

    better than nothing (admit I have bigotry of low expectations from leftie intelligentsia on this front)

    more ruminations on the Jessica Krug story:

    Didn't Fred Trump pretend to be Swedish to not scare away Jewish tenants? Which is an unfortunate bit of racism, but  if your people just wiped out another people, there might be these little knock-on effects, especially when you act like a ravenous inhuman Teuton.

    Good story I didn't know.

    Got me thinking about how a WASP friend married to a Jew and they both kept their religions,he explained the stereotype to me about the "culcha" this way--it's not so much a victim thing, rather they celebrate suffering, everything's about celebrating suffering and subsequent deliverance from it by their own power of will/faith. I.E.,what doesn't break you makes you stronger. Almost like suffering should be welcomed.

    "It is impossible to achieve your goals without suffering" - J.G. Bennett (teachings of Gurdjieff)

    Whether you respect the suffering as being the hurdle to struggle through for next stage enlightenment, or worship suffering itself like monks self-flagellation are 2 different approaches.


    two new to me, haven't listened yet:

    Abolish the concept of race? The first thing we do when we open our eyes Day 0 is start to identify the features that make Mom Mom and Dad Dad, and file those characteristics in our tiny "this is good" box. Visual, smell, voice/sound, touch... It's largely subconscious in our pre-literate days. As the Catholics say, "give us your babies til they're 5, they're ours forever". Except by 2 you're already programmed on race to a large degree.

    Identity politics was fine when it was white identity politics, White politics was considered national politics. When blacks and other minorities began looking out for their specie interests, identify politics magically became something horrific.

    There was an article by Thomas Sowell above. He does the lazy scholarship of saying Bull Connor was a Democrat. He then pretends that a shift in racial politics between the parties has not occurred.

    Sowell says

    Perhaps the biggest voter fraud of all is the fraud against black voters, by telling them bogey man stories, in order to try to get them to come out on election day to vote for Democrats.

    As if Republicans have not perfected voter suppression as an art. Trump is even willing to destroy the post office. Sowell is trapped in the past.

    Look 5 posts up - there's a black son with white father. They're a family unit. We like the uplifting stories more than the hate-filled recriminations. Hey, they might even vote different - but it doesn't matter - they've got the vibe. More family clips, less street vandalism. People's Lives do Matter - the focus on BLM is out of necessity, an observable need, an imbalance. Turn that attention into a reverse Injustice, there'll be well-deserved pushback. Respect is earned, and needs to be maintained.

    Wow. I had completely forgotten about Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Halle Berry, etc.

    Edit to add:

    The upbeat stories are nice, glad you like them.

    Many are angry

    Most are not creating chaos in the streets.

    You don't get to set the criteria

    BLM does not have to address "black on black crime"

    The Rochester police department is being reformed in front of our eyes

    Mental illness cases will, at some point, no longer be the sole responsibility of the police

    Baby steps.

    Reform will happen whether you require upbeat stories or not.

    I post whatever the fuck I want - it's not "setting the criteria" - it's my opinion or whimsy. But I do hope it bothers you.

    Doesn't bother me

    Reform will happen without your input

    May or may not happen w/o your long weird pedantic lists

    What an absurdly arrogant answer, as if you have a crystal ball.  Do you also predict a pandemic and the fall of the world economy? You are absolutely sure "reform" will happen, whatever that is. The problem is others like you are absolutely sure of a fall into a dystopian tribal stone age of small armed camps fighting for food like in The Walking Dead.

    I asked you once if you could please stay off this thread. I am asking again.

    This thread is not for debating politics or countering the work of people I post on it.

    It's for me and others who are interested in knowing more about the independent thinkers who are challenging woke culture.

    I don't give a damn that you don't like them!!! I really don't care what you think. I am interested in what THEY think. I may not agree with them, it doesn't matter, I'm still interested in what they think.

    I am rarely interested in what rmrd thinks, what he thinks just irritates me as it is often off topic and includes arguing with straw men and activisit political mindset.

     I don't want to be dragged into arguing about it like you just did to use for the umpteenth time. This thread is NOT ABOUT ACTIVISM, JUST THE OPPOSITE. It's analytical. THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING TO ARGUE ABOUT EXCEPT THE INTERPRETATION OF WHAT THE QUOTED SAID. NOT "for or against". Just interpretation, and offering more.

    Please stay off of it and start your own thread if you want to argue about something on it . As I said before, this is for my own personal use and those who share the interest.

    I give a fuck if you consider any of these people your enemy because of their ideas. Doesn't interest me in the least when you do.

    The Rochester police department is being transformed. Those are the words of the mayor, She said that involving social services in police calls for mental issues was a possibility. I was repeating what Mayor Lovely said at her public press conference. She said it would take time, but that the wheels were turning. Go back and listen to the press conference.

    At a news conference on Sunday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren pledged to change how the city and its police respond to mental health crises — including moving some services out of the police department.

    "We are doubling the availability of mental health professionals. We will take our family crisis intervention team out of the police department and move it and its funding to the department of youth and recreation services," Warren said.


    But she added, "This work won't be done in a week or a weekend.

    I did not think pointing out what the mayor said was out of bounds. 


    I took the time to listen to the podcast and posted my impressions.

    I listen to Blogginheads with Glenn Loury and John McWhorter

    As I noted, I listened to the podcast with Loury, Hughes, McWhorter, Chatterton Williams, Kmele, et. al.

    I don't consider them enemies

    McWhorter is clear that he is voting for Biden. He is writing a book on racism and is writing from the perspective that Biden is going to win

    Loury is clear that he is a contrarian.

    In fact Loury's own son points out that if too many people agree with his father, he takes the other side.

    Boy oh boy, you are not going to be very happy when you don't have Trump's co-option of identity politics to kick around any more. Because Biden's a uniter, not a divider.

    Not gonna be disappointed. This is obviously not just about Trump

    After President Trump won the 2016 election, there was a big debate over the role “identity politics” played in his victory. Some scholars argued that many white voters without a college degree — a group that proved pivotal in that election — jumped from supporting then-President Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 largely because they liked Trump’s framing of identity issues, such as immigration, more than Hillary Clinton’s.1 After the election, some (usually whiteliberal and Democratic-leaning voices said that Democrats needed to abandon “identity politics” or face more defeats like Clinton’s. Other liberal voices (often Black) said that Trump had successfully tapped into the racist views of many white Americans. Both of those perspectives implied that debating issues of identity and race was bad for Clinton and good for Trump, and in the future it would be good for the GOP and bad for Democrats.

    Never mind all that, at least for now. America is talking about identity and race, and so are both presidential candidates. And all that racial talk seems to be helping Democrats, not Republicans. Joe Biden led Trump by about 6 percentage points in national polls on May 25, the day a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. Biden leads Trump by an average of nearly 10 points now, after weeks of race and racism dominating the national discussion.

    Kamala Harris

    NEW ORLEANS — Sen. Kamala Harris accused critics of “identity politics” of weaponizing the term to diminish issues of race, gender and sexual orientation, pressing Democrats on Friday to address those issues head on.

    related Biden cartoon:

    Tends to be a gathering of the same people

    Kmele was in a podcast with Loury, Hughes, McWhorter, Hughes, Chatterton Williams, etc.

    Argument is that we shouldn't focus on race

    Then Iman tells us that African immigrants do better than Caribbean immigrants in Britain

    We shouldn't lump people together as Black

    How did we get that information if we were not looking at tribes?

    The discussion continues that it is a great horror to look at race

    Never address how we deal with different levels of care despite identical illnesses and insurance, etc.

    I see a mirror image of Robin Di Angelo and Ibram Kendi

    George Wallace would like it:

    heh the little kid's face is the best thing! Way better than a lot of the stock gifs I've seen people use to express the same reaction

    Black people wondering why white people coopted zombies.

    Here are people getting into the music and dancing with abandon. I think that's great but people bound up with and inhibited by socially acceptable behavior laugh at it. Ken Wilber would call this type of undifferentiated union of body and mind the Centaur level, where the ego is not separated from the body directing and riding it like one rides a horse but one with it as a centaur is one creature. Mind and body are one. 

     A good primer on Wilber's theory of consciousness and the many "splits" that need/could be unified is No Boundary. A more comprehensive description is laid out in The Spectrum of Consciousness

    idk, the older man may have been dancing with abandon but other man and the woman looked more like they were dancing with a sort of primitive ritual intent, particularly the woman. Was she casting a spell? invoking spirits? Whatever. Obviously, neither was to that manner born. The incongruence of that and how out of place and time it was is what made it both amusing and interesting.  Also, the young boy's reaction. :)

     the young boy's reaction.

    His reaction to what he perceives as weird when in my opinion seeing and being weird should be the norm.We are after all unique individuals. The reaction to this reminds me of the, probably apocryphal, story of scientists painting a monkey blue and putting him in a cage with other monkeys. They tore him to shreds.

    We're all wearing a costume, usually of the most banal and repetitive nature. That's what I find bizarre. Rarely is anyone willing to risk being a blue monkey because the reaction from everyone will always be like that young boy's. If we're lucky. 

    story of scientists painting a monkey blue and putting him in a cage with other monkeys. They tore him to shreds.

    Quite simply that's an example of a major cancellation for not following tribal norms.

    I always thought that the one very special thing about the combo of democracy and capitalism is that individualism is celebrated.

    The boy's reaction is that of shock and awe of children learning things are not what they thought they were, and it's funny for that reason. Learning not to make presumptions.

     they were dancing with a sort of primitive ritual intent, particularly the woman.

    It's all a ritual, whatever the style. Whether it's Classical or Romantic as defined and explored in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, or Classical and Improvised in Jazz. Is the "I" directing the body to move or is the music dancing the body. Either can be good but they are different. One can dance with abandon within the confines of a style. In this case what you categorize as primitive ritual intent.Isn't the problem that you find her ritual intent outside the norm?  Isn't all of this dancing with ritual intent?







    One of my all time favorite YouTube videos! Thanks.

    About the other stuff: me thinks we are talking past one another so I'm done.

     we are talking past one another 

    I expected we would. That's why I almost never talk about it.

    I may try again tomorrow. Need to sleep now.


    Even before critical race theory--there was a ideology problem:

    Read this and consider it's implications in solving social problems using automated tech (or pick your own fav area: the Unbearable Lightness of Art Research?)

    nor anything to learn. History is the landscape of revealing mistakes and atrocities. Pol Pot tried to wipe the slate clean with Return To Year Zero. That didn't work out too well - a Nazi-sized atrocity less than 30 years later.

    I know I keep saying this, but George Wallace would like things saira rao's way


    For real, not a joke.

    from an interesting twitter thread

    Harper's Editor Christopher Beha on "The Letter" for their October 2020 issue:


    this particular wokee invention not very welcome among intended:

    About One-in-Four U.S. Hispanics Have Heard of Latinx, but Just 3% Use It

    Young Hispanic women among the most likely to use the term

    By Luis Noe Bustamante, Lauren Mora and Mark Hugo Lopez @, Aug. 11

    Pan-ethnic labels describing the U.S. population of people tracing their roots to Latin America and Spain have been introduced over the decades, rising and falling in popularity. Today, the two dominant labels in use are Hispanic and Latino, with origins in the 1970s and 1990s respectively.


    A chart showing most Latino adults have not heard of the term Latinx; few use it

    More recently, a new, gender-neutral, pan-ethnic label, Latinx, has emerged as an alternative that is used by some news and entertainment outlets, corporationslocal governments and universities to describe the nation’s Hispanic population.

    However, for the population it is meant to describe, only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard of the term Latinx, and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves, according to a nationally representative, bilingual survey of U.S. Hispanic adults conducted in December 2019 by Pew Research Center.

    The emergence of Latinx coincides with a global movement to introduce gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into many languages whose grammar has traditionally used male or female constructions. In the United States, the first uses of Latinx appeared more than a decade ago. It was added to a widely used English dictionary in 2018, reflecting its greater use.

    Yet the use of Latinx is not common practice, and the term’s emergence has generated debate about its appropriateness in a gendered language like Spanish. Some critics point to its origins among U.S. English speakers, saying it ignores the Spanish language and its gendered form.1 Still, there are examples of the term’s use in Spanish in the U.S. and abroad.2 Meanwhile, others see Latinx as a gender- and LGBTQ-inclusive term, reflecting a broader movement within the U.S. around gender identity.

    Young adults, college graduates some of most likely to have heard of Latinx

    While only about a quarter of U.S. Hispanics say they have heard the term Latinx, awareness and use vary across different subgroups. Young Hispanics, ages 18 to 29, are among the most likely to have heard of the term – 42% say they have heard of it, compared with 7% of those ages 65 or older. Hispanics with college experience are more likely to be aware of Latinx than those without college experience; about four-in-ten Hispanic college graduates (38%) say they have heard of Latinx, as do 31% of those with some college experience. By comparison, just 14% of those with a high school diploma or less are aware of the term.

    In addition, the U.S. born are more likely than the foreign born to have heard the term (32% vs. 16%), and Hispanics who are predominantly English speakers or bilingual are more likely than those who mainly speak Spanish to say the same (29% for both vs. 7%).

    Hispanics who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party are more likely to have heard of Latinx than those who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party (29% vs. 16%).

    Awareness of the term Latinx does not necessarily translate into use [....]

    They can be re-educated

    KINGS COLLEGE | Faculty of Arts & Humanities | English | Modules |

    COURSE # 5AAEB084

    Post/colonial Pirates

    Credit value: 15
    Module convenor: Professor Ananya Kabir
    Assessment: 1000 word critical review (15%), 3000 word essay (85%)
    Teaching pattern: 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar, weekly
    Pre-requisites: None

    Module description: 

    Corsairs, filibusters, swashbucklers, buccaneers, renegades: the rich lexicon of piracy in our vocabulary of rebellion attests the role they have long played in the collective imagination. But there is a complex history from which they sprang on onto the global stage. The rise of the pirate as a dangerously desirable figure is intimately linked to the maritime expansion conducted by several European nations in the early modern period, that coalesced into the creation of Empires and colonies through which European powers came to dominate world history by the 19th century. This module reads against the grain of those dominant narratives of colonialism as world-making by focusing on the pirate as an interruptive force, who derails the movement of peoples, goods, ideas, and laws across the maritime routes linking the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds. Important tools in the module will be the reading practices of postcolonial theory, which will teach us to extract and assess this alternative history of the post/colonial pirate.

    [....] we shall connect the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean Sea, taking in on the way issues of race and gender on the pirate ship, pirates and colonial commodities such as rum and sugar, Pirates’ English, Somalian pirates today, piracy as still-useful metaphor for hacking the capitalist and neoliberal system, and, of course, the sunken treasure chests that continue to haunt our imaginations. 

    Educational aims: 

    This module reads against the grain of those dominant narratives of colonialism as world-making by focusing on the pirate as an interruptive force, who derails the movement of peoples, goods, ideas, and laws across the maritime routes linking the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds. Important tools in the module will be the reading practices of postcolonial theory, which will teach us to extract and assess this alternative history of the post/colonial pirate. The module will also teach students to nuance standard maritime historiographies through literary reading practices, as well as evaluate the metaphoric application of piracy to contemporary, interruptive, economic practices.


    Methinks taking fencing and crew might serve them just as well, plus they get in shape.

    It's insulting the way you're trivializing the pirate life style. They'd have to drink substantial quantities of rum as well.

    *After* the meets. Strict training regs. This ain't a schooner off floating around in the Caribbean just sipping fancy rum drinks. Something has to separate the tourists from the salty sailors.

    Aye, attacking the colonialist system with anarchist seizure of valuable goods is hard serious work, matey, and just like with other mind-altering substances, best that the dealer not sample too much of the booty.

    Imagine if a group of writers had observed and chronicled the Salem Witch Trials firsthand, as they took place, and set down in clear prose and detached temperament what was occurring. This is what Tablet Magazine is doing with the Woke Panic.

    — Roy Abrams (@RQA) September 15, 2020

    Normies need patient explainers of the online social dynamics that have generated the depraved groupthink that now rules the media. It's a crucial part of the deprogramming process. @Jacob__Siegel
    Jacob__Siegel with an excellent primer here

    — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) September 15, 2020


    Corporatism was amoral - who woulda thunk.

    Calvin Robinson in the UK. Seems like a very astute young man who instinctively realizes Trump identity politics when it's invading his country:


    Nor the nonsense that taking a knee insults the troops and the flag, and that stopping police from using illegal chokeholds or other forms of torture on black suspects is a detraction from our precious sports? Sure, more whites die from police abuse than blacks, but there's a long tradition of rather sick exhibitionism in mistreating blacks, as well as the standard tactic of "arrest the nearest black guy" in whatever situation. The Sandra Bland case was a perfect example - middle of the day, broad boulevard, no signs of drugs or guns or other contraband, no crimes being committed, out-of-state woman coming from a job interview, no need to harass a driver, but still the cop did.

    this elaboration strikes me as: could have been quite useful in certain past Dagblog discussions:


    Mujanovic, as introduced in this twitter thread, struck me as an idiot. He uses extreme examples along with hostile accusations as if they apply to everyone he is describing as part of a group. 

    The following text is a review by Danijela Dolenec of the new book by Jasmin Mujanović Hunger and Fury: The crisis of democracy in the Balkans (C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2018). Dolenec, a member of the editorial board of the Croatian Political Science Review, is currently a visiting scholar at the Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK. She presented her review of Mujanović’s book as an invited discussant at the book launch event on 24th January 2018 at St. Anthony’s College in Oxford, UK. Dolenec’s generously informed critical reading of the book moves further the debate about the democratic transformation of the Balkans.

    The sumation paragraph:

         In Mujanović’s political vision for the region, emerging civil society actors should be helped by the liberal international community to take power and become the new elite that will govern these societies in a more participatory manner than the kleptocratic elites who are in place now. He is therefore rehearsing a familiar argument for bringing democracy to backward societies, and in this aspect his discussion comes close to conservativism. This is further accentuated by the fact that he declaratively takes on an explicitly anti-Orientalist stance, but the dramatic style of his book relies heavily on metaphors of blood and soil, evoking emotions of fury, chaos, trauma, fear and despair. He portrays the Balkans as a ‘social time bomb with a short fuse and in search of a light’ (p.136) where ‘it seems only a matter of time before some enterprising revanchist pulls that trigger or lights this fuse on the region as a whole’ (p.139). Not only does this language perpetuate the Orientalist image of the Balkans as the powder keg of Europe, but it situates the discussion about social movements within conservative functionalist approaches to social movements that portray mass mobilizations as irrational mobs, born of despair and capable only of disruption and chaos.

    Whoops, forgot the link.

    From my time in the Balkans, "bargaining with corrupt elites" is a good summation. The EU is not an occupying power - it is a club with standards and benefits. Yet if it doesn't insist on standards, as frequently happens in the more backwards new member parts of the EU, along with turning accession for prospects into a drawn out game of maintaining the status quo (whereas Russia and China and Turkey are less hands-off), it can result in a *relative* disaster (yes, people in the Balkans see themselves as more important than they are - get used to it)

    this is great, someone actually trying to do something to counteract all the woke agitprop in school curricula and get students to thimk:

    cartoon to think about, not get mad at:

    Background from 2014-we’re all a little like RT America:

    When think tanks are in the tank

    By Jonathan H. Adler Contributor, The Volokh Conspiracy @, March 9, 2014

    Blogger Zaid Jilani has a post claiming that when he worked for ThinkProgress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, he was pressured to toe the White House line, even when that conflicted with the positions his organization was supposedly advancing.

    One of the controversial topics that was very constrained in our writing at ThinkProgress in 2009 was Afghanistan. CAP had decided not to protest Obama’s surge, so most our writing on the topic was simply neutral — we weren’t supposed to take a strong stand. . . . Flash forward a couple years, and the Democratic Party’s lawmakers in Congress were in open revolt over the Afghanistan policy. Our writing at ThinkProgress had opened up a lot on the issue, and I was writing really critical stuff. . . . But then phone calls from the White House started pouring in, berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy. . . . Soon afterwards all of us ThinkProgress national security bloggers were called into a meeting with CAP senior staff and basically berated for opposing the Afghan war and creating daylight between us and Obama. It confused me a lot because on the one hand, CAP was advertising to donors that it opposed the Afghan war — in our “Progressive Party,” the annual fundraising party we do with both Big Name Progressive Donors and corporate lobbyists (in the same room!) we even advertised that we wanted to end the war in Afghanistan. But what that meeting with CAP senior staff showed me was that they viewed being closer to Obama and aligning with his policy as more important than demonstrating progressive principle, if that meant breaking with Obama.

    The Daily Caller reports on the post here.  Pejman Yousefzadeh comments here. What Jilani describes at Think Progress, if true, does not reflect well on his former employer. The lesson Jilani draws from his experience is that “we’re all a little like RT America,” referring to the Russian media programming that tends to align its coverage and commentary with the positions of the Russian government. Jilani seems to think that all think tanks and media outlets put similar constraints on their reporters and commentators. Yet that’s an awfully broad generalization based on limited experience. It’s certainly true that some political organizations and think tanks constrain the work of their employees so as not to offend influential politicians or funders. Back in 2006 a right-leaning think tank canned Bruce Bartlett for writing a book that was too critical of President Bush and I am aware of instances in the 1990s when analysts at the Heritage Foundation were pressured to tone down their criticisms of Bush 41. Nonetheless, there are organizations that steadfastly refuse to cater to the politically powerful, and some that actually revel in bucking political pressure and donor interests. At least that was my experience during the decade I spent in the think tank and policy advocacy world. When I worked at CEI in the 1990s, it was a badge of honor if the Bush 41 White House got upset with something we did, and we regularly told funders to kiss off if they didn’t like our work.  I would this is still the rule, rather than the exception. All putatively independent policy organizations have their biases, yet they should all aspire to doing intellectually credible work.  That some may trim their sails when asked by the White House (or anyone else) is shameful, whether or not this sort of thing has become business-as-usual in Washington, D.C.

    UPDATE: Think Progress Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum writes:

    This is an inaccurate portrayal of our editorial process both now and when Jilani left ThinkProgress more than two years ago. (He also inaccurately characterizes the policy position of CAP which advocated a troop surge in Afghanistan — along with a rapid draw-down in Iraq — long before Obama was President.) ThinkProgress is editorially independent and we regularly publish critical reporting of Republicans, Independents and Democrats, including the White House. Like any aggressive journalistic outlet, our work can generate controversy and debate. But we stand by our work and are guided simply by the facts and our progressive values.

    I have asked Legum a few follow-up questions and will post any responses I receive.

    SECOND UPDATE: I asked Legum whether he wished to dispute any of the specific details of Jilani’s account and about the consistency of CAP’s position on Afghanistan.  Here is his response:

    I don’t have the inclination or frankly the memory to do a tick-tock around a post we did 3 years ago. (We publish 40 posts a day, on average.) No one contacted me but my understanding is the White House did not like the post. We left it up. It’s still up today. Fairly typical at any news outlet to get complaints.

    We have and will continue to publish critical reporting of Obama and the White House. I’m happy to send over a bunch of examples, if that’s helpful.

    All of CAP’s major policy reports (Strategic Redeployment, Strategic Reset) called for a surge in Afghanistan. But that was just one component of a broader policy to wind down both wars. ​ThinkProgress doesn’t have policy positions per se — we are a news site.

    Jonathan Adler Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and environmental law at the Case Western University School of Law, where he is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation.


    An Electoral College victory for Trump, if he loses the popular vote again, would, in this new elite consensus, prove beyond doubt the centuries’ long grip of “white supremacy”. Some are already calling such a victory illegitimate, even though it would be completely constitutional, under the rules everyone has agreed to. 

    I haven't agreed to those rules. I think the theft of the election by Bush and Trump is a bigger part of the so called delegitimization of liberal democracy by the left than is discussed.  I'm not alone and it's not just far left people like me. In 2000 was working in home repair, painting, construction, for some of the richest democrats in Philadelphia. High powered lawyers and doctors living in these hundreds of years old mansions. Gore's lost really affected these establishment people. I remember one of these lawyers saying to me a few weeks after Gore conceded, "I'm surprised how angry I am about this. I can't let it go."

    I was in AZ by the time Hillary lost so I don't know how that affected them. But if they were that angry about a small popular vote win by Gore I can imagine how a 3 million popular vote win by Hillary affected them.

    I imagine the 8 years of Bush & co acting like he win a mandate pretty well rubbed the salt in the wounds even before Hillary's was stolen. And Roger Stone was behind both. No wonder he got a pardon.

    But too many in left-media questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency from 2016 onwards, citing Russia and voter suppression.

    Andrew should read the news more. Russia and voter suppression were and are real. Mueller redactions were released last week for more confirmation.



    4 Assange pardon attempts

    Election (in)Security - access w anon tab if needed

    One old independent-minded warrior has just been lost:

    Bit dispiriting how long the same arguments have been raging:

    “[Crouch] found ready adversaries among fellow Black Americans, whom he criticized as defining themselves in racial terms and as reducing the broader Black experience to one of victimization.”

    — Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill) September 20, 2020


    yes, just say no to woke math:

    no kidding. I'd say more than a whiff:

    I noted the words of Stanley Crouch about Janes Baldwin and race. I always viewed Baldwin as speaking directly about race. He commented about police brutality and the need for white people to keep blacks who protested in their place.

    James Baldwin was one of America’s greatest thinkers and writers on the subject of race. What would he have thought about present-day protests against police brutality and for racial equity? We can glean much about his thoughts from his rich legacy of writing and recorded interviews. Here are some quotes from James Baldwin, most from over half a century ago, that are particularly resonant today:

    –From “The Fire Next Time,” 1963: “You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were Black and for no other reason. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity.”

    –Chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies and author of “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own,” Eddie Glaude quoting Baldwin in 1980: “What we are dealing with really is that for Black people in this country there is no legal code at all. We’re still governed, if that is the word I want, by the slave code.”

    –Dick Cavett interview, 1969: “If any white man in the world says give me liberty or give me death, the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing – word for word – he is judged a criminal and treated like one, and everything possible is done to make an example of this bad nigger so there won’t be any more like him”.

    –Dick Cavett interview, 1969: “(The police) are a very real menace to every black cat alive in this country. And no matter how many people say, ‘You’re being paranoid when you talk about police brutality’ – I know what I’m talking about. I survived those streets and those precinct basements and I know. And I’ll tell you this – I know what it was like when I was really helpless, how many beatings I got. And I know what happens now because I’m not really helpless. But I know, too, that if he (police) don’t know that this is Jimmy Baldwin and not just some other nigger he’s gonna blow my head off just like he blows off everybody else’s head. It could happen to my mother in the morning, to my sister, to my brother… For me this has always been a violent country – it has never been a democracy.”

    –From “Florida Forum” on WCKT-Miami in 1963, answering the question on whether the racial conflict in Alabama and Mississippi could happen in Florida: “The situation in Alabama and Mississippi which is spectacular and surprises the country is nationwide. Not only could it happen in Florida, it could happen in New York or Chicago, Detroit or anywhere there’s a significant Negro population. Because until today, all the Negroes in this country in one way or another, in different fashions, North and South, are kept in what is, in effect, prison. In the North, one lives in ghettos and in the South, the situation is so intolerable as to become sinister not only for Mississippi or Alabama or Florida but for the whole future of this country.”

    –Nearing the end of his life in the mid-1980s, Baldwin’s patience had run out. The anger he had channeled into his writing could no longer be quelled. He expressed his outrage and frustration in these words from an interview in the documentary film James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket: “What is it you want me to reconcile myself to? . . . You always told me it takes time. It has taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ and my sisters’ time, my nieces’ and my nephews’ time. How much time do you want for your ‘progress’?”

    I think Crouch and Chatterton Williams are not promoting something new. The idea that blacks should not be so-called victims was espoused by Booker T. Washington. Alain Locke has a similar message in the Harlem Renaissance. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. The message is now carried by Chatterton Williams, McWhorter, and Hughes. In each time period, they faced the pushback that Crouch received in his lifetime.

     not promoting something new

    Oh really?!!! NOBODY HEREIN SAID THAT. ALWAYS THE STRAWMEN!  I actually quote Williams pointing out just the opposite in the beginning: Bit dispiriting how long the same arguments have been raging:...

    Even if they did, which they didn't, the kind of debate you keep trying to bring to the thread does not serve the purpose of my thread! That is why I ask you to take it elsewhere. You don't want to participate in what I want to use this thread for, don't understand why I am doing it and the spirit in which I am doing it , observing and recording a phenomenon about intellectualism at this point in time.

    You want to do something else.

    So for the umpteenth time: do it elsewhere, please. I am not at all interested in arguing your college freshman survey course type stuff on this. Don't want a splainer and don't want debate of the basic ideas involved. You drag it down to freshman level every time and thereby threaten to hijack. Take it someplace else that will appreciate it, discuss with like minded amongst yourselves...

    I like the idea of proving someone's unique and self-thinking by pulling out a quote from 150 years before justifying them. It's like my hippie trip to India was predicted in Plato's Republic.

    I posted a response to how the late Stanley Crouch felt about James Baldwin. I did not post a response to you.

    I see no reason not to make comments about Chatterton Williams, et. al. as you...

    [The lady asked you not to post this stuff on her thread. Deleted. A time and a place for everything. Start your own thread. - PP]

    Again, PLEASE TAKE IT TO YOUR OWN BLOG, don't do that on this thread. Or go over to Twitter and see if Chatteron Williams will argue with you about This thread is not about discussing ideological and sociological solutions to societal problems!It is meta about trends in intellectualism, intellectual rigor and opposing propagandistic reinforcement of codes of speech and thinking in academia that are warping free thought. I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ON THIS THREAD AND I DON'T WANT YOU CLUTTERING IT UP WITH HIJACKING. It's my blog, it's not a news post. I am not inviting discussion here about what you want to discuss.

    YES indeed I'm actually inviting ridicule of some trends. Everyone else seems to get what's appropriate to post on this thread except you. All you do here is continue to make yourself look dense and naive. 

    Take a clue from who signed "The Letter". Lots of people who disagree politically and/or socially.

    PLEASE START YOUR OWN BLOG IF YOU WANT TO ADDRESS content rather than wokeness codes.


    Marx w/o a beard, or kinkier than that?

    Alternate title: Where Engels Fear to Tread

    see all the comments on this thread:


    how a criminal defense attorney sees Kendi's instructions:


    See whole thread.

    A true scholar would not block Conor Friedersdorf. She can't handle the situation that's developed, whatever it is.

    I suspect youse in trouble when ye olde Worldwide Socialist Website run by the official ICFI publishes unhappy chatter about your woke history project

    The New York Times and Nikole Hannah-Jones abandon key claims of the 1619 Project

    By Tom Mackaman and David North
    22 September 2020

    The New York Times, without announcement or explanation, has abandoned the central claim of the 1619 Project: that 1619, the year the first slaves were brought to Colonial Virginia—and not 1776—was the “true founding” of the United States.


    The Times “disappearing,” with a few secret keystrokes, of its central argument, without any explanation or announcement, is a stunning act of intellectual dishonesty and outright fraud. 


    yup scholarly trouble and maybe other kind too:

    this is quite some catch!

    Richard Spencer is an idiot.

    Steve King, VP Mike Pence, the NRA and others have taken the words of Martin Luther King Jr. out of context. If you think Spencer is clever, you are mistaken.

    you are making yourself look like an idiot for saying that on this thread as if the people discussing it don't know that.

    PLEASE STAY OFF THIS THREAD, you consistently hijack it with simplistic agitprop shit that doesn't apply, clearly not able to understand its purpose WHICH IS NOT POLITICAL.

    Edit to add:

    I am trying to avoid being tempted to be insulting about things you say by asking you not to participate on this blog of mine.

    It would just be to everyone's benefit here on Dag if anything that interests you on it you just start your own blog entry instead of dragging mine where you think it should go.

    If you think you have something insightful to add on a topic addressed here, start your own blog on it and see the response you get there or not. Don't use me for your agendas.

    p.s.  and I purposefully have not started a new blog on topic precisely because I want it to be hard to find and don't want all kinds of mundane political arguments on it. I don't want your attention or input in this case, really I don't, last thing I want. Your arguments are actually always with the people I am quoting. I am not those people!!! If you want to argue with them, go over to Twitter and argue with them there.

    If I have a position different than something posted in a link, why should I not be able to comment? 
    There are few people here because they have been chased away.

    You constantly post then have monologues. 

    You constantly post then have monologues. 

    That's basically what the blog is for!. You know, like taking lecture notes in college. I am not asking you or anyone to look at it by posting on it! It shouldn't matter to you. MAKE YOUR OWN PLEASE, Make your own blog for your own interests. Especially if you want to debate. I don't want to debate you on this, others get it and offer useful input, you don't, you want to fight with some of the people quoted on it. I think that's a useless exercise, a waste of my time, all about opinion, emotions and not analysis, and if you wish to do it, start your own blog or go over to Twitter.

    I do not want to know what you would say to them! Tell them not me! Why are you after me to harange me on these issues, why not just leave me alone? I am trying to keep this blog a semi-private sort of thing, I do not want or need a large audience for it, I don't advertise it and I can't help my additions turn up on "latest comments".

    None of your comments on this blog over a long time have been helpful, every single one has been a distraction or a hijacking.

      There are few people here because they have been chased away.

      By who and how? By my observations of this site most left many years ago and before I started posting. So I actually don't know what happened. What I do know is that many people left TPM and joined this site when it started. Soon after that I had to leave this site, and all the internet, when I moved to a ghost town without electricity and internet. When I returned after a few years in isolation most of those people weren't posting. And not too long after I returned Arta stopped posting. She's only recently returned. PP wasn't on the mast head at that point. So who exactly are you claiming chased them away and how do you think they did it?

      Here's fact on that front, which others can interpret  however they like. After my return from hiatus, Michael Wolraich thanked me via email for posting so much news on his site even though he himself had stopped posting much on it. And he offered to put me on the masthead which would include moderator privileges. I thanked him and declined.  As I have no interest in doing this for anything other than personal hobby/gratifcation.

      For that reason I do not have any guilt about hogging up a lot of space posting things that interest me. I know nothing more. I very much appreciate his keeping the site in good order and paying for it. It works for me! Very well indeed he keeps it operating much better than a lot of other sites.

       And I have no interest in invading his privacy by asking why he himself doesn't use it more, I guess that he likes to keep it in good shape in case he does need it for something in the future but I am not sure. Don't care, why look a gift horse in the mouth. Like you, I like the smallness, don't need or want a big audience.

      Edit to add: Also, at my Twitter account under my real name, which I use for professionally related posting, I have following/follower relationships with Wolraich, Maiello and Cardwell, who have accounts there under their real names. I don't bother them there about Dagblog and they don't bother me about it either.

      I noticed in the past that Dagblog also has an account there and posts from here feed into it--it has 586 followers--but I never look at it and don't follow it, just looked at it now for the link for the first time in years. Don't know how it works and don't care. Imagine there might be similar on Facebook as Wolraich has their "like: button on top.

      Not revealing anything that's not public.

      There's a happy median, subjective of course. I'd like to see one or two dozen more posters. We're a bit too few and we know each other too well. Much more than that it would get too large for good conversations. One problem is people who have come have agendas and leave when that agenda is over. Like Hal who only came to support Sanders and attack Hillary. He never talked about anything else and after the election was over he left.

      Frankly the site would be dead without you posting articles In The News.

      We got stuck with Wattree and Hal and others, where discussions turned into repetitive harangues, which also blocks up the Comments, so all a visitor usually sees are the long-drawn uninteresting spats.

      I've just recently found a partial solution.

      Of course the flip side of that is how the "colonizers" white children were nursed by black mammys and raised by them and other black house servants.

      Is what we are seeing now with CRT and general Wokeness among the descendants of both those "privileged" black and white children simply the logical end of those practices?


      I get what you are saying but the irony is right now because of Covid almost everyone was and is "stuck at home raising their own children"! And the only cultural and class mixing is online virtual. Where you don't really know if other people are who they say they are anyways. Gives me a headache sometimes for everyone to be hashing over this tribal and class stuff, sometimes violently, when everyone worldwide is pretty much in the same boat except for billionaires, changing their own sheets, washing their own dishes and being their kids teaching assistant. Amazon and and other contactless delivery people are the essential workers now, there's a lot fewer housekeepers nannies or cleaning ladies becoming part of your family. If you have them, they are contactless, no different than pool cleaners or grounds maintenance.

      Wearing a mask and keeping social distance, you can't even use smiling or some other facial expression to become closer with those outside your "pod" doing physical tasks for you. Unless you do it through cell phone video!

      Intelligentisa aren't ready to deal with the reality of the new world so they focus on relitigating the past?

      If a person demands that other people stop protesting because the issue is not a major concern of that particular person, we are  all not in the same boat. 

      Glimpsed like this, this vision is crazy bleak yet also astonishingly hubristic—both an appeal to authority and a claim to authority. A desire not to persuade but to control and engineer. A belief that there is a single truth and that one possesses it on behalf of everyone else.

      — Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill) September 28, 2020

      This is delicate, but ... is it that he is seeking to "control" or is it that he sincerely thinks he's speaking truth? Over the past couple weeks, I have gotten a sense that he genuinely doesn't comprehend the criticisms he receives.

      — John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter) September 28, 2020

      related two stories near top of PP's thread Raised by own Stuffard

      Important "Short letter to the misunderstanding right" by Helen Pluckrose @ New Discourses:

      330. million, most don't do anything. Of those who do, what do they do, what kind of faction is that, etc. If we talk about 70 year olds, what is their politics, how extreme their different factions of belief and action (incl the effect of using money & laws for action your own way). Same for 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, etc.

      This guy needs re-education, he named The Bible, Sun Tzu and 6 long dead white colonizer types, go figure:


      "Rest in Power", uggh. Eaten by worms is as powerless as one can imagine. What self-delusion to think that our carcasses display power. Perhaps if we embraced futility and disintegration, we'd make better use of time on earth, rather than thinking we waltz victor-like into the afterlife.

             Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. 
             There is always something
                    - Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men

      So confused and bewildered by the brave new wokee world, he made a picture to try to sort it all out for himself:

      The thread includes the info that John McWhorter finished his new book on race

      Says the tone is angry

      It seems that he doesn't have a publisher yet.

      The book should be interesting 

      This one gone viral on Twitter under "Yelp"

      the commies at least had a two-tier system?

      Lake Woebehere - all the children are *below* average

      The champagne in Spain fails mainly to complain.

      Of course #17 isn't an imperialist capitalist etc., but 22 and 42 obviously are. Some people just don't understand math!

      reply to above:

      While I agree that ideas should be supported by evidence, shouldn't be immune from criticism or debate, and especially there should be no  coercion and silencing, consciousness raising is a big part of the college experience. In practically every field education should raise up the students from the simplistic and often false ideas they learned in high school and the culture. A woman should be free to argue that women are not oppressed but I believe in a vigorous debate on that question the evidence would clearly support that they are. Perhaps one could argue that oppressed is too strong a word but at least discriminated against in significant ways.

      Note (in reference to the Clifford Levy tweet and not the Yang retweet)

      All the Juicy Narratives that's Hip to Print

      I am not sure why Lindsay is posting this, but as a former Wisconsinite, born and bred, I read it as "we are not racist but no way are we ever going to cotton to elite coastal CRT lingo like 'anti-racist'":

      Intriguing voice new to me, has few followers, retweeted by Tho. Chatteron Williams

      Mimi Reyes @mimiko_reyes Queens girl, @bronx_science grad, @smithcollege@TeachersCollege grad student, #hispanicsforeducation, #educationnews, ~opiniones son mías~ Queens, NYJoined May 202

      Not all far lefties go along with the woke police, this guy's a proud Marxist:

      Anyone who thinks that free speech is conditional on not offending anyone has just decapitated a schoolteacher.

      — JJ Charlesworth (@jjcharlesworth_) October 17, 2020

      Boris thinking about it:

      A take certainly worth noting:

      new one on my follow list, he hooked me with this tweet:

      One of the hardest truths to accept is that most evil is caused not by malevolence, but by a perverted pursuit of the good.

      — Bo Winegard (@EPoe187) October 25, 2020

      turns out he self-describes as  Exiled academic promoting science, discourse, debate, and the conservation of the values of the West. Culture wars, movies, psychology, and cute animals. Ohio. Joined May 2014

      In realizing that Bo's apparently very politically oriented

      I realize that many of these other guys and gals are not!

      Kind of the kicker for me

      (being obviously non-woke)

      Best comment on that thread, Women get pregnant, even if they think they are men. Men don't get pregnant, even if they think they are women.

      fascinating (at least to me) conjecture by Wesley Yang, reminds me that I should really get around to reading his book "The Souls of Yellow Folk":

      The cultural emasculation of Asian American men also serves a sociological function: being portrayed as docile and harmless makes it easier for the majority to accept academic and income-based over-performance without undue resentment.

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      Yuri Slezkine's the Jewish Century set out a taxonomy of the gender inversion characterizing "middleman minorities" wherever they appear throughout history

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      As many have noted, Asian immigrant over-performance has gotten so extreme that the culture has moved to curtail it. What's interesting is that it is being done in the name of a struggle against "white supremacy."

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      Japanese Americans were a group who arrived in large in the early 20th century. They prospered in America but were expropriated by the government during the 2nd World War.

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      They responded to this trauma by becoming intense assimilationists and intermarrying in large numbers such that today there are mixed Japanese than pure Japanese.

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      Their desire for the promise of full integration has largely been achieved, though to some degree they remain a "middleman minority" in the racial imaginary -- "perpetual foreigners" as the ethnic studies literature puts it

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      I met a mixed Japanese-American guy who was writing a book about the American navy whose intense militaristic patriotism and bluff American masculine demeanor was regarded in a gently bemused way by the artists and writers at the colony where he was working.

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      The initial and lingering bemusement everyone felt is an index of the extent to which Asians remain middlemen minorities in America

      — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) October 27, 2020

      Very thought provoking, especially if you compare it to things about some young black males admiring Trump style for certain reasons and how Jewish males are so confident about their place in society that they feel free to use self-deprecatory humor all the time....etc.


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