Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The child sex of the anointed

Jerry Stratton, August 31, 2013

Recently I wrote a review of Thomas Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed, in which I wrote that his thesis is that the anointed do not see the world in terms of systemic processes—cause and effect—but rather in terms of feelings and intentions. It doesn’t matter how logical a solution is, as long as the intentions of its supporters are good. Nowhere is this more blatant than in Betsy Karasik’s Washington Post op-ed that sex between high school students and teachers should not be a crime.

Later in the article she even says there should be no stigma attached to it, either. She does say that the teacher should lose their job, but this is a sop. As out of touch as she is with common sense, she realizes that her proposed solution needs to alleviate the “hysterical” fears of parents. Even in her solution, teachers will resume their duties after they “complete rehabilitation”. But that won’t last. Once there’s no stigma attached to a 49-year-old teacher having sex with a 14-year old student, why should an otherwise good teacher lose their job, punishing other students with an inferior teacher?

Yes, that’s the case that Karasik is addressing: a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old student. There’s more to the story, of course, but it confounds Karasik. The victim committed suicide at sixteen.

I don’t know what triggered Morales’s suicide, but I find it tragic and deeply troubling that this occurred as the case against Rambold wound its way through the criminal justice system.

That statutory rape by authority figures routinely results in psychological problems is a systemic process, and thus is invisible to the anointed.

Now, you might say, “But, this is a suicide! It is clearly about feelings. Don’t the anointed worship feelings?” But in fact they don’t, not precisely. They worship their feelings, and the feelings of the anointed. Everyone else can go pound sand.

Further, their feelings should not be restricted by systemic processes. After all, all processes that interact with humans will result in feelings. The question is, whose feelings, and are the results bound by the processes or bound by the feelings?

Because there are no processes to the anointed. There are only feelings and intentions. As long as Karasik’s intent is to reduce the psychological effects of statutory rape, it doesn’t matter how monstrous her solution is; it doesn’t even merit mention.

And if it turns out to have the wrong effect, all we will need to do is try harder. The anointed never have to revisit their logic, because they have none. This is obvious from reading her article: she jumps from children to adults, from high schools to adult jobs, from high school teachers to college professors, from job harassment to statutory rape to political scandals, as if they are all equivalent situations, with no indication that she even needs to make that case. It’s all the same to her.

Why, after all, was the trial still going on two years after the crime? Why was the victim still having to deal with the stress of a rape trial in February 2010, when Rambold was charged in October 2008? Karasik is right that the trial was going on when the victim committed suicide. It’s hard to draw a logical conclusion from that when there was no point that the trial wasn’t going on.

The more obvious answer is that maybe we shouldn’t drag trials out for such a long time.1

In cases like this, systemic processes is another way of saying common sense, and common sense is anathema to the anointed. They can’t be better than everyone else if their beliefs are common.

The average person, after hearing that Rambold only got 31 days, was outraged that he should get such a light sentence for statutory rape. Karasik is not average. To prove it, she is not outraged, and she thinks he should have received an even lighter sentence, which is to say, none at all except a temporary leave of absence.

This is the culture war Sowell talks about: the war between common sense and logic on one side, and the intentions of the anointed on the other. Is the world ruled by systemic processes, predictable, able to be acted on logically; or by the capricious feelings and intentions of the anointed? One vision produces a world of success and growth; the other, a world of snowballing failure.

January 6, 2016: Intellectuals waive reality

Having just read another Thomas Sowell book a few weeks ago, I’m more sensitive to the tendency of the anointed to ignore reality. For a more recent example of the unwillingness of the intellectual class to test its ideas, it is an article of faith that putting more boots on the ground will increase the ability of terrorists to recruit new terrorists. And the more anti-terrorist rhetoric we use, the more terrorists will be able to use our public resolve in videos to recruit new terrorists.

Thus, Hillary Clinton complains that Donald Trump’s words will be used in videos. But, as it turns out, in current videos Hillary Clinton and her husband both figure far more prominently; if willingness by terrorists to use someone in a video is evidence of their being wrong, then Hillary Clinton is, by her own logic, wrong.

But she isn’t wrong, because she isn’t testing her ideas empirically against the actual world; she only tests her ideas against other members of the establishment, who, of course, agree with her.

Now, it may be that Donald Trump’s words will also make it into videos. But it is also an article of faith among the intelligentsia that fighting back against terrorists by taking the fight to them in the Middle East is exactly what the terrorists want us to do. They’re recruitment will skyrocket if we put boots on the ground to fight them.

As it turns out, the State Department keeps records that can be used to test this idea:

April 12, 2014: The colorful mirror of the anointed
Bull elephant at Addo Elephant Park

Is that an African elephant coming up behind you? (Brian Snelson, CC-BY 2.0)

In the latest New York magazine, Jonathan Chait writes ostensibly about the character of racism during the Obama presidency. It’s generated a minor firestorm because it’s presented as a sort of apologia for conservative racism—the left doesn’t like the apologia, and conservatives don’t agree with the implied racism. Despite claiming to be about “not the way anyone imagined” it is still the same old stuff, the usual falsehoods that have made it into the liberal worldview:

That the tea party was a reaction to Obama; the only question is how race played into it. This ignores that the first tea party target was TARP. The movement began—before it was named—against the program that President Bush signed. The protests continued against President Obama’s pork-barrel “stimulus”, but they started as protests against TARP.

Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst is discussed solely through the question of how racist it was, and without any discussion of whether or not it was true; merely an assertion that it was not. However, states implementing the ACA are basically promising that the information submitted will not be checked, and the ACA does not appear to require proof of citizenship even though it says citizenship is required. This doesn’t guarantee that illegal immigrants will have their health care covered under the ACA—but it doesn’t make for much of a block, either.

When he talks about the new media myth that excludes Republicans and how that makes Republicans angry, his pantheon includes Martin Luther King—without mentioning that King was a Republican, and that the reason he was a Republican is that Republicans were instrumental in passing civil rights legislation against the filibusters of Democrats. In other words, there’s a good reason that Republicans are angry at the new media myth: it’s wrong.

And to back it up, he puts forward an old misleading quote from Lee Atwater.

However, the most telling line in the opinion piece is this:

…the Obama years have been defined by a bitter disagreement over the size of government, which quickly reduces to an argument over whether the recipients of big-government largesse deserve it. There is no separating this discussion from one’s sympathies or prejudices toward, and identification with, black America.

  1. And, what did the authorities do after the suicide? They offered him the opportunity to go into rehabilitation. Which he was kicked out of because he continued to have “unsupervised visits with minors”.

    So much for rehabilitation.

  1. <- California 2013
  2. The moose should have told you ->