Clearing the clipboard

I’ll be very busy for the next ten day so I’m clearing my clipboard:

Surely when no offense is intended, none should be taken? Wrong. Taking offense has become an opportunity—a delicious chance to exercise power, to intimidate, to terrorize. And, sadly, many among us seem to pant after such opportunities.

… A white executive at Netflix was fired in June by a white executive at Netflix for saying the “N-word” during an internal discussion about when it’s permissible to use the “N-word.” In August, an Emory professor was disciplined after saying the same word in a class discussion of a legal case in which the word was pivotal. For the reductio ad absurdum, see the Wikipedia entry entitled “Controversies about the word ‘niggardly’ ”—a term with no etymological relation to the ugly racial epithet.

Holman Jenkins, Megyn Kelly, Elizabeth Warren and PC Power

[M]anager Dave Roberts emerged from the dugout. He had decided that the bullpen gave the Dodgers a better chance to hold the lead than Hill, his brilliance to that point notwithstanding. Suffice it to say Roberts chose wrong. A collection of six Los Angeles relievers imploded in Game 4, resulting a 9-6 loss that brought the Red Sox to the precipice of earning the franchise’s fourth championship since 2004.

Jared Diamond. Most of my baseball-watching was around 60 years ago, and I feel some gratification when all the statistics-based gaming of the game flops spectacularly.

Some sober thoughts on the Pittsburgh shooting.

[T]here is one infallible rule for a sensible person: Give no opinion when the facts are in doubt.

… There is no reason to opine in the moment, to shoot out opinions as if the Republic depended on our hottest take.

Here is a better rule: When times are bleak, do not opine. Stick to basic moral principles and enduring facts.

Almost everything I need to know about Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue murderer, is distilled in Gab being his preferred social media site.

I don’t think this violates the advice of John Mark Reynolds, immediately preceding, as this seems an established, if collateral, fact.

Some basic principles and enduring facts:

To be clear, when I talk about antisemites I mean the actual bigots who promote hatred of Jewish people, paranoia about Jewishness, or any type of violence against or mistreatment of Jews as a race. I do not mean people who voice legitimate criticisms of Israel and its government, I do not mean people who criticize the way Zionism is used as a tool of manipulation to advance geopolitical agendas, I do not mean people who question the justification for the creation of Israel in the first place, I do not mean people who defend Palestinians, and I do not mean people who voice valid, factual criticisms of George Soros or any other billionaire who happens to be Jewish.

Caitlin Johnstone. It’s sad that one needs to make such a disclaimer.


I f***ing hate antisemites. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Not only are they vile racists whose particular brand of hatred should be easily recognized as uniquely toxic by anyone who’s ever skimmed a history book, but they heap other layers of personal obnoxiousness on top of that as well. They’ll accuse you of being a “coward” if you reject their pet medieval superstitions, but they themselves speak only in coded language and oblique, side-mouthed innuendo because they are too cowardly to come right out and state their points in plain language. They’re arrogant, they’re condescending, and they’re impervious to reason, and they always expect you to treat their vapid, slug-brained perspectives with the same respect you’d treat someone who is making real arguments using actual facts.

More annoyingly, they derail some of the most important conversations that critical thinkers and skeptics of establishment narratives need to be having in the new media environment. The foundations of oligarchy and imperialism have nothing whatsoever to do with Jews or Jewishness but with the way the dynamics of money and power interact with human behavioral tendencies … One need only to look at the way Jeff Bezos, who is not Jewish, rose to the top of the plutocratic class and began instantly buying up media and forming alliances with intelligence and defense agencies to see how the dynamics of oligarchy play out with no difficulty when Jewishness is completely removed from the equation. One need only look at the prominence and influence of bloodthirsty psychopath John Bolton, who is not Jewish, to see the how dynamics of neoconservative warmongering play out with no difficulty when Jewishness is completely removed from the equation.

If you can’t describe the problem without babbling about Jews and Jewishness, it’s because you don’t understand the problem.

Caitlin Johnstone

Not a journalist, I nevertheless have had a similar thought as:

… a proposal I once made for the launch of an eccentric daily newspaper.

This paper would be eight broadsheet pages, with no ads. There would indeed be a thorough summation of “breaking news,” from the top of the front page, under title, “A Chronicle of Current Events”; plus an editorial homily in boldface down the left-most column. That “Chronicle” would meander onto page two, most entries condensed to a single paragraph of fact without comment, beyond droll wit. Page three would sport a fairly long essay; and a poem or excerpt (frequently in translation); with a feuilleton (serialized tale) running across the bottom. The centrefold pages (four and five) would be “from our correspondents” in interesting, often remote places. Page six, “breaking” arts and books and kulcha. Page seven, a survey of market reports. Letters to the editor on the back page. No news photography whatever; mostly drawings, caricatures, and art reproductions; needed “mugs” engraved at postage-stamp sizes. No heading over 20 points, and most a constant 10. Crisply printed on book paper (not newsprint); colour where appropriate, but never glitz. The type (8 points with 1-point leading in a revised Garamond font) in fairly wide columns; I think it was 15 picas in my mock-up (five columns to the page). Generous outside margins, to an overall breadth of 15 inches.

Alas, the plausible media tycoon to whom I was pitching rejected the idea. Without ads, the per copy price would be too high, and only intelligent people would buy it. He thought there were too few of those: “Maybe I would subscribe, but no one else would.”

I argued that one ought to invest in, and tirelessly promote, something one believes in; leave cynicism to the cynical. It is a view that has lost me a lot of money over the years.

David Warren, Essays in Idleness

ethics isn’t a “skill” that can be added to anyone’s set

Matt Kaul, The implausible idea of a “chief ethics officer”

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