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Cheer up, for the worst is yet to come

The title is Jonah Goldberg’s. Apologies for forgetting who/what tipped me off to his recent speech. It wanders, but covers much interesting ground.

  • On the 2012 election: Romney is a good man, but was a poor candidate from a poor field. His consultants’ disdain for ideas and making conservative arguments led to Romney often sounding like nothing more than a right-wing greeting card. This let Obama paint him (however wrongly) as a rich, greedy prude and to win voters on the basis of “who cares more about people like me”.
  • On the 2016 election: It’s rare for a party to win a third term, and we can be sure the Democrats won’t do it with Vice President Biden. Meanwhile, the Republicans will have a stronger field.
  • On the GOP’s long-term prospects: The GOP has the right ideas, the ideas that work, but a huge ‘persuasion problem’. Democrats are better at deploying the language of community – such as “government is the one thing we all belong to”, or Clinton’s remark on the politics of “you’re on your own” vs. the politics of “we’re all in it together”. This is a pity, because in real life, conservatives tend to be better involved in their families, communities and causes larger than themselves.
  • All political fights ultimately are Locke vs. Rousseau. Locke is the idea that we are captains of ourselves, our rights precede government, the fruits of your labor belong to you (not the collective), society should be organized to maximize individual freedom, civilization is a process of recognizing these things. Rousseau – the opposite: civilization messes us up, rights are granted by the collective, the collective is all.
  • As followers of Rousseau, leftists make a basic error, over and over: Fantasizing that government will make them feel loved and bring meaning to their lives. It never works, because government can’t provide those things. [Jeff adds: Not for real. It can provide a fake – a simulation, a temporary illusion of them.]
  • With Obama, leftists have successfully ‘scored’ for the idea called ‘positive liberty’, which says that liberty consists of government granting you benefits and entitlements to enable you to do things, e.g., “free” birth control (Sandra Fluke). [Jeff adds: We know the idea is wrong, and is in fact the opposite of liberty, because it means enslaving people or stealing their property, in order to pay for said entitlements.]
  • With Obama having years more to run, the worst is yet to come. Conservatives / libertarians will be fighting the bad effects of Obama’s mistakes for the rest of our lives.
  • BUT, we will be fighting the good fight: for human liberty and prosperity, the Lockean revolution which is the best thing to happen to humanity in the last 1000 years.
  • TS Eliot: there is no such thing as a truly lost cause, because there is no such thing as a truly won cause. The cause can still be won, as long as there are people willing to fight for it.

On a personal level, Goldberg’s speech is a reminder of my limitations. There are many people on this Earth whom I won’t be able to persuade.

As one example: I object to the idea (as voiced by Democrats) that “we are all in it together.” Good people – prudent/productive people who love human freedom – are “in it together” for causes such as natural rights, and the Rule of Law. But when a parasite comes to me saying “Come on, we’re all in it together”, I know I’m about to be looted, and I say “No we’re not, so get lost!” So if Goldberg is looking for someone who is able to win over the mushy American middle by using the language of community, well, it won’t be me.

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68 Comments

  1. Pffffffftttttt! Piffle.

    Now the fool demands the unification of the Christian sects and the creation of the unified doctrine. Shall we call it the Council of Nicea IIa through k? First we will do the one true Biblical Canon and either get the Jews with the program or just banish the suckers for good. Then we will establish one orthodoxy and force the Greeks and the Russians and the Copts and the splinter Constantine division to cut the crap and get on board. Then we will get the Christian soldiers all armed up and march everyone to Rome.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket. And the little meathead, By-Passing, shall lead them.

    It is to laugh.

    Saw a baboon today sitting in the middle of the road daring to get clocked by a passing lorry. Just saying……

    Comment by heliotrope — March 16, 2013 @ 1:07 pm - March 16, 2013

  2. “Now the fool demands the unification of the Christian sects and the creation of the unified doctrine. Shall we call it the Council of Nicea IIa through k? First we will do the one true Biblical Canon and either get the Jews with the program or just banish the suckers for good. Then we will establish one orthodoxy and force the Greeks and the Russians and the Copts and the splinter Constantine division to cut the crap and get on board. Then we will get the Christian soldiers all armed up and march everyone to Rome.”

    And don’t forget the Sedevacantalists, the Orientals, and the Assyrians. And that other mob who split as well a bit more recently, if you know what I mean–

    “It is to laugh.” I have to agree with you there–what a delightful message –cracked me right up. You are quite funny when you relax a little bit. Grab another My Tai.

    And as for baboons…, I thought you might like this, Mufasa.

    By the way, how are you finding South Africa? Are you in Pretoria? Are the jacaranda trees still in bloom?

    Be well, Christian Soldier.

    Comment by Passing By — March 16, 2013 @ 3:40 pm - March 16, 2013

  3. I know you just do this stuff for shits and giggles, but really–what rational argument are you making here?

    A simple and straightforward one: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    I know that “You are a poopy head, PB,” snort, snuffle, snort, snuffle, snort…repeat as needed, etc, etc, etc…” is your trusty fallback position. But, come on, dude–its so funny that I can’t even take this seriously. I’ll say this though, you make me laugh, North Dallas Thirty, you really do. Thank you.

    As the quote goes: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Yes, and I I accepted his judgement at the time, and I’ll accept your judgement this time as well–for exactly the same reasons! “Mayhaps you are right. After all, who but a fool would continue to engage with you as you hurl ad hominems, non sequiters, and appeals to authority, all in the clearly vain hope that you might grace this thread with a rational argument.”

    Of course.

    As another famous quotation goes, “Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.”

    And, as you have made clear to us, you know everything.

    LOL.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 16, 2013 @ 7:29 pm - March 16, 2013

  4. ““First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.””
    I just seem to be stuck at the laughing bit, sorry. And actually, our argumentative relationship is working in reverse, I think. Thanks for recognizing that you do use non-sequiters, ad hominems, and arguments to authority. You’ll keep using them I am sure, but its good that you know that that is your argumentative style.

    ““The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”” “As another famous quotation goes, “Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.””

    So, the wise man is a fool, and he knows everything but he also knows that he knows very little, or…. OK, sport, you do realize that this is a contradictory set of beliefs–shared in the space of a few comments. Or, is it that the fool knows nothing but knows that he knows nothing, or something, but isn’t that the wise man, who is a fool, or a rabbit, or maybe its an early bird that catches a stitch in time…. danger Will RObinson, mind caught in logic loop, overload, warning, warning…!!!

    “lol.” Glad you can keep a sense of humor. Cheers.

    Comment by Passing By — March 17, 2013 @ 2:16 am - March 17, 2013

  5. By the way, how are you finding South Africa? Are you in Pretoria? Are the jacaranda trees still in bloom?

    Spring is the time for that sight. Try October.

    I have found South Africa the way I always find it. Thank you. Have you decided that I am in South Africa, or are you still in master sleuth and doubting dodger mode?

    Comment by heliotrope — March 17, 2013 @ 1:15 pm - March 17, 2013

  6. “Have you decided that I am in South Africa, or are you still in master sleuth and doubting dodger mode?”
    Or a better question–have you decided to become less defensive?

    Comment by Passing By — March 17, 2013 @ 3:44 pm - March 17, 2013

  7. And actually, our argumentative relationship is working in reverse, I think. Thanks for recognizing that you do use non-sequiters, ad hominems, and arguments to authority. You’ll keep using them I am sure, but its good that you know that that is your argumentative style.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    So, the wise man is a fool, and he knows everything but he also knows that he knows very little, or…. OK, sport, you do realize that this is a contradictory set of beliefs–shared in the space of a few comments. Or, is it that the fool knows nothing but knows that he knows nothing, or something, but isn’t that the wise man, who is a fool, or a rabbit, or maybe its an early bird that catches a stitch in time…. danger Will RObinson, mind caught in logic loop, overload, warning, warning…!!!

    But of course.

    As stated before, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence you can’t understand how anyone truly intelligent could admit their limitations, since you equate intelligence with never admitting your own transgressions, limitations, or failings.

    And it is why you cannot and will not learn, because you do not believe that there is anything that anyone else could possibly teach you.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 17, 2013 @ 8:39 pm - March 17, 2013

  8. “But of course.”

    Yes. That is about it NDT. You find one avenue of attack closed off or shown to be off base (and some have been way off base), and rather than acknowledge it, you just ignore your boo-boo, and move on to another line of attack. Once, might be an accident. But that ignoring your boo-boos, and attacking anew, is your one of your signature moves. A simple question for you: When was the last time you told a liberal or progressive you were wrong (not facetiously, but in a genuine attempt to accept that a lib/prog voice had got it right, and you wrong) about something on this website’s threads? You know from your own experience that I have acknowledged when I got something wrong (no where near as often as you would like–that is for sure!), but I have done so, on occasion. I have never seen it with you. So, show me. Otherwise, I will let stand by your comment [amended]:

    “[In regards to liberals and/or progressives] your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone [liberal and/or progressive] who disagrees with you is wrong…. And it is why you cannot and will not learn, because you do not believe that there is anything that anyone [liberal and/or progressive] could possibly teach you.”

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 1:24 am - March 18, 2013

  9. But of course, Passing Gas.

    As stated before, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And that’s why you’re screaming and crying now that I have never done something and demanding that I prove you wrong, while refusing to provide any links or support for your assertion that you have.

    Until you produce links, I shall not. I shall merely take your failure to do so as yet another admittance of your childish belief that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And that continues to brand you as a fool.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 18, 2013 @ 2:45 pm - March 18, 2013

  10. “Until you produce links, I shall not.”

    OK. Let us be clear–if I produce a link to a thread entry from Gay Patriot that shows that I acknowledge that I was wrong on a point my conservative/libertarian/etc opponent challenges or offers, you will offer a link that shows you doing so with a liberal/progressive opponent?

    Do you agree to do this?

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 11:39 pm - March 18, 2013

  11. OK. Let us be clear–if I produce a link to a thread entry from Gay Patriot that shows that I acknowledge that I was wrong on a point my conservative/libertarian/etc opponent challenges or offers, you will offer a link that shows you doing so with a liberal/progressive opponent?

    Do you agree to do this?

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 11:39 pm – March 18, 2013

    Of course not, fool.

    You made the claim. You back it up.

    Once again, you scream and cry and demand that I prove you wrong while refusing to provide any links or support for your assertion that you have.

    And by failing to do so, you demonstrate once again your childish belief that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Now pontificate and squirm and cry and make excuses and try to divert from the fact that you won’t hold yourself to the same standards you demand of others. It only demonstrates, again, your childish belief that you are always right that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 19, 2013 @ 9:44 pm - March 19, 2013

  12. You made the claim. You back it up, specifically comments #49-56.

    Proof of the pudding time, my little darling.

    Comment by Passing By — March 19, 2013 @ 11:58 pm - March 19, 2013

  13. Oh my….LOL.

    Really, Passing Gas?

    Your link is to someone named “Cas”, not to you.

    Granted, this “Cas” argues quite similarly and equally childishly, as we see in this comment here:

    ,blockquote>It is clear that I cannot support a counter-claim as regards “record tax receipts” as you have kindly showed me. However, in the course of our conversation, you have said a couple of things that warrant comment.

    So as we see, this Cas still desperately tries to spin and spin and spin that it isn’t wrong, that the persons who proved it wrong are in fact wrong, and that it in fact is correct.

    Again, the same childish pattern.

    Now, compare this to a statement from an actual adult:

    58.Sonic, upon reading that again, I apologize; that was a very unfair and wrong statement to make about you. In all the time we’ve interacted, you’ve never behaved that way, and it was wrong for me to say that about you. I got upset and said something about you that wasn’t true, and for that I am very sorry.

    No “but”, no “however”, no attempt to blame the other person for their behavior; only a direct statement that they did something wrong and apologized for it.

    In direct contrast to this “Cas”, which NEVER acknowledges that it is wrong and continues to repeatedly try to twist and spin and break the discussion so that it can blame other people and claim THEY are wrong for its mistakes.

    Try again, fool.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 20, 2013 @ 1:29 pm - March 20, 2013

  14. I am glad you can admit you are wrong about a personal attack; I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact? I would LOVE to have read the original thread to see the context for your retraction–must have been a doozy… but it apparently no longer exists.

    As for the rest-I don’t have to try again. I acknowledged I was wrong about an issue of fact. Apparently, you cannot grasp the idea that one can be wrong about something, whilst still hold that they are right about something else. You can argue irrationally as much as you please, NDT. I just disagree with you on going that far down the road, as you do.

    As for your quote, “An actual adult”: I have no idea if you are an actual adult. I think the jury is out on that one.

    Comment by Passing By — March 20, 2013 @ 6:18 pm - March 20, 2013

  15. But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    To whit:

    I am glad you can admit you are wrong about a personal attack; I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?

    No, you’re not glad. That’s why your immediate next reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.

    If you were to acknowledge my statement as is, your previous statement that I had never done such a thing would be wrong. Therefore it cannot be right, and you start spinning and adding qualifiers to make it wrong.

    Again: Your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Which leads us to this hilarious gem.

    Apparently, you cannot grasp the idea that one can be wrong about something, whilst still hold that they are right about something else.

    Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.

    As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.

    Again: Your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And lastly:

    As for the rest-I don’t have to try again. I acknowledged I was wrong about an issue of fact.

    You’ve acknowledged nothing of the sort. You linked to some individual named “Cas” and tried to pass its hilarious attempts to avoid at all cost its acknowledging it was wrong as relevant.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 20, 2013 @ 9:42 pm - March 20, 2013

  16. What a bullshitter you are! And one to be quietly admired.

    “As stated before, [NDT], your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.” There, I can do that sort of nonsense as well. Its wrong, whether I say it or you do.

    “I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?” = “[this] reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.”
    Only in an irrational universe are these two statements the same. Why you “cry and scream and demand” that I see them as the same is an act of aggressive bullshitting.

    “Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.” And you think they are “analogous” arguments? Wow; again really funny! I’m sorry, but it is funny.

    “As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.” Easy, sport; you are starting to froth at the mouth. You are getting a tad overwrought now.

    As for having used the handle, “Cas,” yes I have posted under that handle earlier on this site. Since “you screamed and cried and demanded” that I acknowledge being so in an earlier thread and have been reading threads where this was established, your surprise seems, well, disingenuous at best.

    As for being a “fool,” yes, I grant that. As I said–only a fool would continue a conversation with someone as committed as you are to being a bullshitter. I am an optimist by nature, and one has to be in order to keep the hope that you will give up your craptaular ways.

    Comment by Passing By — March 20, 2013 @ 11:34 pm - March 20, 2013

  17. What a bullshitter you are!

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence for you to criticize what I’m doing is a given. You really can’t do anything else.

    “As stated before, [NDT], your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.” There, I can do that sort of nonsense as well. Its wrong, whether I say it or you do.

    Well, of course you can do it; after all, you are always right, regardless of what you do, and anyone else is always wrong.

    And we know that you believe your doing this is right, because if it were wrong and you genuinely believed it was wrong, you wouldn’t be doing it.

    “I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?” = “[this] reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.”
    Only in an irrational universe are these two statements the same. Why you “cry and scream and demand” that I see them as the same is an act of aggressive bullshitting.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    In that case, my argument will NEVER be rational or logical to you, because you do not agree with the outcome. The concept that an argument can be rational and logical and reach a conclusion with which you disagree is quite frankly beyond both your educational and psychological capacity to understand.

    “Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.” And you think they are “analogous” arguments? Wow; again really funny! I’m sorry, but it is funny.

    As the quote goes: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    As for having used the handle, “Cas,” yes I have posted under that handle earlier on this site. Since “you screamed and cried and demanded” that I acknowledge being so in an earlier thread and have been reading threads where this was established, your surprise seems, well, disingenuous at best.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    This is why my pointing out your deception, my calling out the fact that you were deceiving people, and then my maneuvering you into acknowledging your deception by actually treating you as if I were going along with it makes me the bad person.

    We expect no better. It isn’t in your nature or capability to admit that you deliberately tried to deceive people by posting under a different screen name.

    “As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.” Easy, sport; you are starting to froth at the mouth. You are getting a tad overwrought now.

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Thus you take the hilarious tack that facts and truth fluctuate in factual and truthful content depending on the emotions of the person stating them.

    This is, of course, a fallacy. But you are a desperate and malicious child, and a desperate and malicious child will say and do anything to get their way, even if they are clearly not in any position whatsoever to make the type of statements they are making.

    Which leads us finally to this.

    As for being a “fool,” yes, I grant that. As I said–only a fool would continue a conversation with someone as committed as you are to being a bullshitter. I am an optimist by nature, and one has to be in order to keep the hope that you will give up your craptaular ways.

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence for you to criticize what I’m doing is a given. You really can’t do anything else.

    Furthermore, since I know you will make statements which you are in no position to judge factually, i.e, your “foaming at the mouth” statement, what that also indicates is that you will say or do anything to get what you want, regardless of how false it is.

    People, conservatives in particular, generally have the admirable traits of trust and self-correction; that is, when called a racist, most people will instinctively think that a) someone wouldn’t be saying that unless it was true and b) they ought to change their behavior accordingly.

    Naturally, liberals such as yourself exploit this, as you do every other worthwhile virtue of mankind, for your own self-interest.

    Fortunately, you have revealed yourself to be on numerous occasions a liar who will say and do anything, no matter how outrageous or non-factual, to attack and harm other people.

    Therefore your screaming about my being a “bullshitter”, “craptacular ways”, etc. is meaningless; since we already know you will lie to get your way, all we need do is consider this as yet another one of your lies.

    Furthermore, it betrays the desperation. You are a child, and a child wins by volume and persistence, not by superior argumentation. You literally are unable to disengage and leave this conversation because your doing so would be a tacit admission that you are wrong.

    And as an adult, I intend to exploit that to the fullest. I need only outlast you, and I will have won in your eyes — which is a psychological blow from which I doubt you will recover.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm - March 21, 2013

  18. “You are a child, and a child wins by volume and persistence, not by superior argumentation.”

    But of course.

    Leaving aside the fact that this is a description of your modus operandi (by your own admission), you must live in a very loud place, NDT. Everyone who disagrees with you is “screaming.” Really? How do you know they are screaming? The usual Internet convention is to use block letters. As for me using “screaming, etc…” copying your words, you got me–but it is because I find your hyperbole about “screaming, etc” so funny to begin with. By the way, I never said “foaming” right? I said “froth”-ing. I will wait for you to acknowledge that you made a boo-boo of fact there (I’m just messing with you! :)). I am also fascinated by your need to cling to your mantra about my supposed all-knowingness. Its an unprovable axiom, but as a matter of faith, it is no worse than others you could have chosen, I guess. Its repetition has a nice rhythm to it which I can appreciate, but then poetry such as yours doesn’t have to be true, just aesthetically interesting. It doesn’t even have to make sense. So, I like your poetry.

    Since you claim things that can be objectively shown to be false, one could argue that you are a liar, knowingly peddling lies. But I don’t think so. That is why I prefer “bullshitter” or “bullshit artist” because it is not clear that you actually differentiate truth from fiction. so it is not clear that you can actually choose to lie. How much of these words you use, you actually believe, is an open question though.

    However, the most interesting thing you have said is this:

    “You literally are unable to disengage and leave this conversation because your doing so would be a tacit admission that you are wrong….I need only outlast you, and I will have won in your eyes — which is a psychological blow from which I doubt you will recover.”

    Would it be right to assume that you are prepared to stay here with me on this thread–to “outlast” me? Why would me leaving the thread be a tacit admission that I was wrong (and wrong about what, exactly)? I ask because the argument of this original thread is long gone, and if you are going to stay active on this thread, come hell or high water, this offers us an exciting possibility, NDT. I doubt anyone else is interested in this thread because we are “over the hill” so to speak. What do you want to do with this opportunity?

    I ask because even as I have made clear that there is plenty I do not admire about your approach, I can appreciate qualities that you show: Your doggedness and indomitable will to never give in or give an inch, your unrelenting desire to attack those views you disagree with, and your loyalty to those you consider friends.

    The one thing that is also clear is that you are thinking of this interaction between us as one between opponents/enemies. I don’t see it that way–my assumption set is different to yours. We have each other pegged a certain way–you see me as a liar and a fool; I see you as a bullshit artist and someone who doesn’t differentiate between what is true and what is fiction. Maybe we are right; maybe we are wrong–but, it leaves space for other things to do and ask, now we have established that set of beliefs.

    For instance, when you say: “People, conservatives in particular, generally have the admirable traits of trust and self-correction; that is, when called a racist, most people will instinctively think that a) someone wouldn’t be saying that unless it was true and b) they ought to change their behaviour accordingly.” I am assuming that this sort of thing happened to you–is that right? What did you do in these instances, and when did you realize you had to change your approach into the more muscular one you use today to resist these kinds of charges? How did your views evolve through time, or was it a sudden break with the past?

    Comment by Passing By — March 21, 2013 @ 9:54 pm - March 21, 2013

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