Pursuing aims in ways that predictably damage your cause is bad enough. But once the outcome becomes clear, it’s beyond belief that you refuse to reflect on your methods.
Even if you’re right and have the best of intentions, if you’re not smart in making your moves, you can exponentially worsen the problem you’re addressing — along with seemingly unrelated ones.
And already have — again and again . . .
Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.
— Barbara Tuchman
Unschooled in Adjustment
I recently watched Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Legacy on Amazon. I’m not qualified to discuss climate change, but I can say with certainty that no number of Legacy docs would put a pinprick in the atmosphere of absurdity that’s suffocating America today.
It’s easy to blame climate deniers — but you’ve done plenty of damage by denying reality of your own. The Right is not always wrong, and the smart move is to agree with them when they’re making sense.
It’s also the right thing to do.
The right thing tends to be the demanding thing — the difficult that can’t be captured in slogans, kneeling, and knocking down monuments.
The Left institutionalizes weakness — and the Democratic Party is notorious for lacking backbone. You weaken the very people you’re trying to strengthen — branding weakness to boot. And right on cue, the Right is ready to pounce.
I don’t blame ’em — except for the part about them being weak while branding strength.
Conservatives have put on a masterclass of complaining for 30 years — but because the intelligentsia on the Left perennially pumps candy into the piñata: They beat the hell out of you — while unconscionably ignoring the debauchery of their own behavior.
Sailing away on Scot-Free . . .
And they’ve got a helluva lot of help — unwittingly in some cases. Back to that in a bit. As I wrote on Without Passion or Prejudice in reference to the opening image:
Half the country is with me on this — and I just lost the other half. Had I started with the image below — it would be the opposite half.
By just recognizing that the challenges I face are different than the standard fare in America — you might find some appreciation of what I’m up against.
When taking on the entire nation — you can’t just lay it all out in a linear fashion. I faced this same problem in structuring my documentary and even in the naming of it . . .
What’s with the different names of your doc?
What’s with your mindset that necessitates massaging it with harmonious headlines? How do you convey fair-mindedness in a culture that instantly supports or scorns on lickety–split perception alone?
Alas, I have to factor for the “having said that” culture we’ve created — where you’ve gotta pamper your audience to pave the way for what you really wanna say.
And after you’ve soothed their minds with some degree of shared scrutiny — that goodwill goes right out the window the moment you mention anything that challenges their calcified convictions.
The rotor speed required to separate uranium isotopes doesn’t care who’s president.
In order to maintain such speeds, the material properties of centrifuges are as critical as it gets. You don’t need to interview a world-renowned nuclear scientist to figure that out — but I like to be thorough.
To take a story this complex and convoluted and boil its essence down to 5 minutes was no small feat:
Trillion Dollar Tube
You should see what I did with 160
Not long before this Tweet — this guy was condemning my efforts like all the rest that day.
And then he opened the doc . . .
The Right wants the Left and the black community to get its act together on matters deeply woven into the fabric of America’s long history of brutality and disgrace:
Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, murder, decades of civil rights violations, questionable shootings, and so on . . .
While the Right won’t even look at the material properties of a tube. What’s wrong with that picture — and this one?
Hmm, so the dimensions exactly match the tubes used in Iraq’s history of manufacturing the Nasser-81mm artillery rocket (a reverse-engineered version of the Italian Medusa)
Be quite a coincidence if they weren’t . . .
Ya know, connected
How much can we hope to accomplish in a culture that razes reason for fun?
Whether it was one email, one article, one Facebook post, one YouTube comment, or one Tweet: I’ve almost invariably been met with this madness.
On matters of mathematical certainty, no less . . .
Yellowcake to UF6 Conversion to Uranium Enrichment
With the “backwater” bit below — there was no website with an array of imagery to gripe about. It was just Trillion Dollar Tube — my 5-minute clip that crushes the most obvious of lies.
And that was mocked too . . .
Without watching one second.
So the notion that it’s my fault you can’t find your way to the truth through my maze of a website — is preposterous, particularly because you have a choice:
The documentary is structured to the hilt — so it’s much easier to digest.
Why would I repeat that approach — when I’m dealing with your obstinate refusal to watch it in the first place?
- In a culture that considers a long paragraph to be a burden
- Where battling it out 280 characters at a time is seen as meaningful debate
- Where habitually slinging self-congratulations and high praise for people who’d repeatedly rehash the same topics till the end of time before they’d question the efficacy of their efforts
You’re gonna find fault no matter what I do.
With just a little inquiry and an ounce of decency — you could gain some insight into why my material is arranged in ways you’ve never seen. And when you’re seeing it for the first time — you’re unaware of the endless efforts to reach your kin who came before you:
It is as though with some people — those who most avidly embrace the “we are right” view — have minds that are closed from the very get-go, and they are entirely incapable of opening them, even just a crack.
There is no curiosity in them. There are no questions in their minds. There are no “what ifs?” or “maybes.”
— Laura Knight-Jadczyk
So spare me your cries that my site is at fault for your failure to find the truth. I’ve heard it all and I’ve seen it all — as your kind always has an excuse laced with self-satisfied scorn.
You skim my site and instantly issue your “where’s your facts?” refrain of an automaton. If you don’t wanna watch my documentary that’s chock-full of facts on this fiasco for the ages, that’s your prerogative.
But don’t bitch about what you don’t see when you refuse to look.
In a country more concerned with criticizing websites than people who lied this nation into war: You think reaching hermetically sealed minds is just a matter of following a formula?
For people who can’t comprehend the complexities in explaining interrelated stories of America’s decline over decades of delight in the Gutter Games of Government:
You would think that!
Ah, the pooh-poohers of possibility: Forever on the front lines of lowering the bar while I’m trying to raise it — you’ve been a constant companion almost all my life.
Where would I be without you?
It seems we have all the time in the world to promote the false — but not a second to spare for the truth. “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on” — a quote that’s been around in various forms for over 300 years (evidently the original being from 1710):
Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect.
To claim that war wasn’t a lie should be like saying we didn’t land on the moon.
In denying that reality, half the country helped create a culture where denying reality is now the norm.
Ripping on woke is all the rage. And outrage industries of dish it but can’t take it — would talk about race and responsibility till the end of time. But heaven forbid we have a single conversation about war and responsibility.
Speaking of the moon
I’d suggest heading on back to that backwater school, Purdue, for a little more indoctrination, er, I mean education.
To call the Cradle of Astronauts “backwater” is award-worthy for nonsensical statements. Nobody behaves like that without ulterior motives.
In the Crap is King culture we’ve created:
Infantile insults are celebrated. The doubt-free who don’t do their homework are the experts. Those who belittle and/or outright reject correction — are the righteous and wise.
The ones with courage to admit when they’re wrong — are the weak. Tireless dedication is mercilessly mocked — while intellectual laziness is esteemed.
Original thinking and uniqueness are bashed — while conforming to the trite is trumpeted. Depth is discarded with disdain — while shallowness is embraced with love.
The honest & sincere are shunned — while manipulators & liars are welcomed with open arms.
This is my story — and if you read it in full, you’ll find it’s part of your story too. You’ve all dealt with the same behavior I have — the difference is that I get it from every direction.
Or Not . . .
Snowflake, Libtard, Libturd, Cupcake, Bush hater, Bush basher, Bush Derangement Syndrome, TDS, Demon-crat, Democrat Party
Instead of genuinely listening to each other with our fine collection of communication tools — slinging snippets of certitude has become America’s pastime.
We have created a knee-jerk nation where discernment is derided and negligence is in vogue.
What was beyond the pale in the past is now perfectly acceptable. There was a time when adults acted their age, but those days are long gone — as the internet and the cable clans paved the way for the onslaught of the utterly absurd.
Anything Goes for apologists trying to preserve what they perceive. I know their Rolodex of Ridicule rabbit-hole routine — all too well:
And Now for the Weather
This unquenchable thirst to think you’re right about everything is what has become of America.
You see it yourselves — but never in yourselves.
I see it everywhere
I happily belong to an infinitesimal minority that feels we’re not informed enough to have all the answers to every controversial issue in America. We don’t have a monopoly on virtue — and don’t want one.
We’re not only willing to change our minds, we welcome it — and appreciate those who correct us.
Defenders of the indefensible have no such notion.
Everything they think is held with the same calcified conviction. And that’s what this story is really all about: How far people will go to protect their interests and cement how they see themselves.
Never mind the damage they do in the pursuit (even to those interests they so desperately defend).
Not the tiniest trace of reasoning can be found in anything I’ve come across in 20 years on this topic when dealing with the doubt-free.
This isn’t just about WMD and other systematic self-delusion I discuss — it’s about the psychological gymnastics of human nature that’s become a plague across America:
Believing things that have no bearing on reality . . .
I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys
— Lebron James
There was a time when it would be embarrassing for a ball player to feign being fouled on the level of theatrics in King James’ court.
You’d be laughed off the court for pulling stunts like that in my day. This man takes no pride in how he wins — and it’s increasingly rare to find people who do.
It’s all the more absurd when you consider that even with the hardest-hitting fouls back in the 80s — nobody flailed about like that on impact.
Never mind Lebron’s built like a Tiger tank.
Tiger Tanks Could Withstand a Dozen Sherman[s]
The only way that so many levels of sham & stupidity could be so easily accepted — is that it was normalized little by little over time.
His words are pure fantasy
But it doesn’t matter, because that’s the country we’ve become — where words are empty and utterly baseless claims can be beaten into your brain as bedrock fact.
You can apply a follow-the-facts standard in one breath and abandon it the next . . .
And get away with it with ease — because you’ve got “friends”:
The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence we have specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, we would expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselyte or to persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.
These five conditions specify the circumstances under which increased proselyting would be expected to follow disconfirmation.
The NBA implemented an anti-flopping rule almost a decade ago, but it’s rarely enforced. That such a rule was needed in the first place is bad enough, but then they created one with fines that are a joke — since they miserably fail to follow through.
So the saga continues — much like America’s ever-increasing acceptance of the asinine & flagrantly false.
A buffoon befitting of this circus music — that is the legacy he’ll leave behind. He doesn’t concern himself with the future and the harm he does in shaping it.
And neither do you
In a country that can’t even establish that much — on a matter of world-altering magnitude: What makes you think that another documentary on climate change is gonna make a dent in hermetically sealed minds?
To conform to fact
Anyone in arguing in good faith would recognize that . . . and this:
We must agree that it was watermelon and consider what it means: Maybe nothing, maybe everything. But you pollute the debate when you won’t even acknowledge the irrefutable.
Worse than that — you poison your purpose . . .
And this one
The moment Obama caved into the Democratic Party playbook — he put Trump on the path to the presidency.
It’s quite possible that Comey’s cover-his-ass actions in the 11th hour tipped the scales. Given the possibility that a single event like that could alter the atmosphere of an election — what do you think pouring fuel on the fire for years did?
Given the tight margins — there’s not a doubt in my mind that these ploys put Trump in the White House.
And still — you don’t learn . . .
At the core of our country’s decline — is the unrelenting refusal to get to the bottom of anything.
Like this 1619 business: You wanna draw correlations from the past — while flagrantly ignoring crystal-clear connections in the present. Black Lives Matter, monuments, kneeling, and now this?
You’re all over the place — and you’ve got company:
There’s a galactic waste of time and energy on monuments & other symbols to make you think you’re making progress (firing up the base for fleeting gain).
We’ve got serious problems plaguing this country — and you’re concerned about some statue in a park?
Let it go — and let’s get down to business.
And please — spare me your hyper-sensitivity training I flag down on The Yellow Brick Road.
Don’t get giddy on the Right: You’re just better at framing the narrative about the Left’s whiny and woke ways while you gleefully get away with your own.
When you start acting your age (and try living up to those values you wear on your sleeve) — maybe we can actually solve some problems.
But I wonder if you really even want to — as Dalrymple was right on the money:
Man is at least as much a problem-creating as a problem-solving animal. Better a crisis than the permanent boredom of meaninglessness.
The most costly entitlement of our time is the infinite faith people place in their own opinions . . . unburdened by whether they’re informed or not.
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion . . . draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises . . . in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.
Whatever damage is being done by “safe spaces” on campus and such, it pales in comparison to the one that rules them all:
Where regurgitating garbage gets people to “Like” you — celebrating “victory” by clicking “bravo” to bad manners and bunk.
Social Media is Safe-Space Central
Anything Goes on Safe-Space Central — where you can hide amongst friends in fellowship of fury. The ever-rising ocean of partisan pettiness is gluttony under the guise of concern.
Origin of Safe-Space Central
November 20, 2016
So when the Left protests an election — they’re “snowflakes,” but when the Right does it — you’re “freedom fighters”? Yeah, yeah, yeah — you’ve got your exuses.
You’ve always got your excuses.
Makin’ bank with bullshit . . .
From the fountains in the mountains
Comes the water runnin’ cool and clear and blue
And it flows down from the hills
And it goes down to the towns and passes through
When it gets down to the cities
Then the water turns into a dirty gray
It’s poisoned and polluted
By the people as it goes along its way
Don’t go near the water children
See the fish all dead upon the shore
Don’t go near the water
Water isn’t water anymore . . .
America is consumed with telling people that you’re right and they’re wrong. I don’t roll that way. I live by my principles — and welcome those who remind me when I fall short.
If you wanna gauge someone’s commitment to doing right by their fellow man — ask ’em how many times they didn’t.
Early on in COVID, I was ridiculed for refusing to take a position on something I knew nothing about.
I’m old-fashioned that way
A lot of things are old-fashioned on here — and my willingness to admit mistakes is one of ’em. With the right spirit, you can even have fun with it — as I did in Elephant in the Room Award.
Acknowledging error is liberating and leads to enlightenment.
The Last Battle tells of a snail-mail letter of apology I wrote to someone unworthy of it — a jealous husband who ruined one of the best friendships I ever had. His role in shaping those events doesn’t excuse mine — an honest mistake that a little thoughtfulness could have prevented.
I blew it. Writing that letter was the right thing to do — period!
Houston, We Have a Problem is about the February freeze — and the importance of looking out for others.
We lose sight of that sometimes, and it’s good to be reminded — as I was.
And I made a mistake . . .
In my video montage that captures the essence of my documentary.
Years later, I was looking around and discovered that the picture on the right is a different Trayvon Martin.
At the time, I just grabbed the graphic without giving it much thought . . .
Which is precisely the problem!
My endless efforts to get it right on everything else — doesn’t excuse my carelessness.
It’s bad enough that it’s the wrong Trayvon, but big, bold letters of “The truth Should Not have an agenda!” is not my style. More importantly, I would never purposely paint anyone in an unfair light.
I made a mistake and I’m embarrassed by it.
None of that goin’ around
That slip-up is nowhere near my standards — which bugs the hell out of me and always will.
But it’s an opportunity to show how this can happen — even to those with the most unwavering commitment to truth.
And that when you make a mistake — you say so.
All that aside — to this day, I doubt that most people know what Trayvon actually looked like.
And that — is by design
I think what’s amazing . . . to give you a sense of the lack of danger here — is that the kid weighs 140 lbs . . .
— Cenk Uygur
Lemme tell you what’s amazing, Cenk — you guys making 2 key factual errors in 33 seconds:
The second the Left painted Trayvon as a child — they contaminated their judgment.
The cops made an honest mistake in calling his watermelon drink “iced tea” (simply because of the brand).
That the media advocates reported it the same way at first is understandable. That they never corrected it is unforgivable.
Is their motive to hide the watermelon because of the stereotype and/or the Lean connection? Likely both, but either way — it’s a watermelon drink and it’s dishonest to say otherwise.
Note: A few years ago, I looked into the stereotype and wrote a bit about it on Way of the Watermelon. I love the process of discovery in the origin of things — as you might have noticed.
It took every page of these books to understand what was in ’em. I didn’t skip to chapter two in calculus and start crying:
I don’t understand — all these functions are so confusingly formatted!
We went to war on manufactured lies formatted to your liking — nice and linear, easy to swallow, short and simple, and effortless to spread:
Bonding in bumper sticker branding
So when someone comes along and says:
Wait a minute — there’s a ton more to this story
You’re all torqued up to tap a Tweet on what you’ve been told for 20 years.
And all those precious virtues you promote on a daily basis in the Facts Over Feelings Parade — are rolled right over with your feelings.
As you cry . . .
I don’t understand — I don’t understand!
Well try this on for size
On this story, 10 pages of reading trumps 10,000 hours of TV.
That’s not hyperbole! Let’s say you watched around 3 hours of news every day over the last decade. All the networks combined wouldn’t come close to what The Washington Post wrote in its August 10th, 2003 article called — Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence.
“His name was Joe” are the first four words.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act IV
And I had access — to everything
Who cares about 10 pages when “You Can’t Believe Everything You Read”?
Same standard to snub someone who’s read 10,000 — on world-altering affairs you snicker at.
And I noticed “You can’t believe everything you read” only applies to words you don’t like.
If I did cartwheels on TikTok to tell this story — you’d take issue with my form. We’ve created a culture where constant complaining has become a virtue — where everything of value is in the gain you get in the moment:
And easy is all the rage!
Anyone entering this discussion with sincerity — would come away realizing that there is no debate, and there never was.
They just made it up . . .
Making it Up as You Go
You think I wanted to chop up my doc into clips to accommodate America’s attention span? I put it all on a silver platter, but you wouldn’t spend 160 seconds to consider anything — let alone 160 minutes.
But just quietly moving along in your lack of interest would never enter your mind — you gotta be dutiful and deliver your derision in the Gutter Games of Government.
And in each instance, you further calcify habits that are at the other end of the spectrum from these.
I’ve always thought there’s something wildly out of whack with pursuing values in a manner devoid of virtue. In one form or another, inevitably there are consequences for convictions unguided by conscience.
You see a culture that looks anything like those habits above? You’ve all been doing it your way for decades — and look at the results. Yet your answer to America’s problems:
More of the same
Since the labyrinth that lies below isn’t really working out for anyone, seems like it’d be worth a shot to try something else. But that’s me.
If you think one party is to blame for this Charlie Foxtrot of a country we’ve become: You’re not part of the solution — you’re part of the problem.
[W]e must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.
In a nation that endlessly blames and complains (seemingly for sport) — no one’s taking responsibility for anything. If we don’t right this ship, we will not see a return to some semblance of recognizing reality in our lifetime.
Mark my words
Your ways will seal that fate . . .
The United States is now a country obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance. . . . [W]e’re proud of not knowing things. Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything.
It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.
We no longer have those principled and informed arguments. The foundational knowledge of the average American is now so low that it has crashed through the floor of “uninformed,” passed “misinformed” on the way down, and is now plummeting to “aggressively wrong.” People don’t just believe dumb things; they actively resist further learning rather than let go of those beliefs.
I was not alive in the Middle Ages, so I cannot say it is unprecedented, but within my living memory I’ve never seen anything like it.
I know the feeling!
There’s no willingness to say, “I’m wrong.” I mean, you have to take a 2×4 to these people, basically — to get ’em to, sorta, knock ’em down and admit they were wrong.
When it comes to ascertaining the truth, I don’t care what your cause is, who’s in the White House, who controls Congress or the courts.
I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.
From where I sit, we owe all those who came before us who had to fight in ways we’ll never have to. They handed us so much to build on — and this is how we honor their sacrifice:
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave
- Rather than read and digest, people scan and dismiss — frantically seeking any fragment they can frame in their favor.
- Sensible arguments are snubbed with meaningless replies that are utterly absent of thought — mercilessly torturing reason with trite talking points.
- Even against overwhelming evidence served on a silver platter — they will swat it away in disdain without so much as glancing at the goods.
- Any sound bite that can be manipulated to their liking will be repeated in endless cycles of certitude.
- Always at the ready — they’ll gleefully “inform” you with 60 seconds of “research” — compiled by copying & pasting material disseminated by the equally uninformed.
- They’ll look away from a mountain of evidence against their side — while nitpicking over pebbles to pounce on the other.
Yeah, that’s a country goin’ places
What’s the harm is just considering what someone has to say — and sincerely asking a few questions before you make up your mind?
If you’ve got the goods to back up your beliefs — shouldn’t they be able to withstand scrutiny? Maybe you’re right in some aspects of what you see, but being open to criticism can sharpen your views on what you don’t.
You can always decline to take the advice, but do this first — and maybe you won’t . . .
You can rattle off personalities you perceive as fair-minded, no doubt.
But how many of you have dealt with any of them one-on-one? And of that group, how many have put their principles to the test on matters practically woven into their DNA?
Stick around — and you’ll see how some household names of the fair-minded behaved in the face of irrefutable fact.
So I will ask you once again . . .
How do you expose the whole charade — when bona fide fair-mindedness is not welcome here?
When you figure that out
Lemme know — but in the meantime . . .
Forget the mile — I’ll settle for just putting on the shoes.
Think of what you’re saying
You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s alright
Think of what I’m saying
We can work it out and get it straight, or say goodnight . . .
Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long . . .
America has become all too cozy with run-of-the-mill information that caters to your cravings. Some suppliers are sincere, some are corrupt to the core, and there’s a faction for everything in between.
In any case, we’ve seen more than enough and it’s not working.
You’ve got plenty of that 24/7/365 — would it kill ya to see somethin’ new and say to yourself:
Hmm, this is unlike anything I’ve ever seen — maybe this guy sees something we don’t. And shouldn’t I apply my own standards to find out?
Putting aside Bill Cosby’s fall from grace — he was a universal icon of goodness growing up. In this 5-second scene from Picture Pages — a parallel can be drawn to everything I advocate:
There’s a mutual responsibility in communication — and that “deal” is to hold up your end of the bargain (and it’s in your interests to do so). After all, you want others to consider your concerns — shouldn’t you do the same?
Wouldn’t some good ol’ give-and-take be refreshing for a change?
But now information is so funneled in a fashion to your liking — you don’t even know what to do with anything that isn’t. It astounds me that wading through unfamiliar territory on this site is somehow seen as complicated as quantum physics.
I assure you . . .
What it took to acquire this information was infinitely more demanding than anything you face here — let alone the complexities in exposing systematic deception at the core of our country’s ills.
I wrote my documentary as a tool for discussion — to illustrate argument in the face of folly . . .
opinions lightly adopted but firmly held . . . forged from a combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and fashion
I’m not smart enough to be a nuclear scientist — but I’m smart enough to interview one. When I drove up to the University of Virginia to meet with Dr. Houston Wood — on my iPad I was packin’ pictures and structured inquiry like nothing you’ve ever seen.
I’d never done any journalism, but I was striving for the best of what it’s supposed to be.
My Prime Directive
- No leading questions
- If this man wants to talk — scrap the script and keep my mouth shut
Because of that — I obtained information that nobody else did.
My grades wouldn’t cut it for the intelligence community — but I could ask key questions to Colin Powell’s chief of intelligence at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).
With a little help, I managed to make it through physics in college — but I couldn’t be a physicist. I could correspond with the one who wrote extensively on the subject matter though.
I could believe what liars claimed on intelligence investigations — or I could read the reports and make up my own mind.
I could do all that & much more
And then be belittled by people who didn’t do anything but gleefully get in the way — torturing the truth without mercy.
There’s a correlation between the above & below in accuracy, craftsmanship, commitment, detail, and design:
What road have you taken to lose sight of such things deserving of at least a little respect?
Respect is not my concern . . .
But if you showed some — it might be just enough to crack open a conduit to this quaint thing called conversation.
You might mock my tireless dedication to the truth, but maybe you’ve got woodworking experience — or any kind of background in creating things. Perhaps you have an eye for unconventional problem solving.
Or maybe an appreciation of the arts alone would be enough to connect on a human level. Let’s start with that . . .
wouldn’t that be something!
We are living through an epidemic of cowardice. The antidote is courage. . . .
Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission.
— Bari Weiss: Some Thoughts About Courage
Why have things come so undone? And what can we do to rebuild them?
I have an Idea . . .
But she’s not gonna like it — no one will. But like my ideas on homelessness in Cruel to be Kind: That you don’t like it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. And we’ve seen the results of your endlessly recycled ways.
Just for kicks — couldn’t we try somethin’ new for a change?
And it’s about time we ditch the desire for the so damn easy . . .
We get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs-up — and we conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth.
There are countless people saying the same things in the same old ways — with channels, sites, and substacks that conform to the formula.
No offense to the fine work that many people provide on those platforms. But I find those environments unimaginative, unfulfilling, and of questionable efficacy.
Not to mention — this:
But we’re all here because we share some important things in common: a commitment to reason, curiosity, independence, decency, and a hunger for honest conversation. In our upside-down world, holding fast to these ideals can sometimes feel lonely.
More than ever, we crave the company of people who share our core values.
— Bari Weiss: Welcome to Year Two
It’s a nice gesture to bond with her audience.
Unfortunately, it’s not true . . .
In any audience
I’m sure it’s intoxicating to amass a following and feel like you’re making a difference. But I’m gonna weigh your impact partly as a reflection of your community:
How people behave — not what they believe.
If you can’t get that right, I don’t care how big your following gets — you’re taking this nation nowhere. Not in the right direction, anyway.
Anti-racism has become religion, but fighting that religion has become another religion — and they already belonged to one before that. You’ll see.
Like Black Lives Matter, they’re just pounding away at problems without any examination of the efficacy of their efforts.
This is not problem solving — it’s serving a market.
Their audience doesn’t know the difference, and I’m not sure they do either. However intelligent and well-intentioned some of it may be — this is not the mark of Loury’s “looking at the deep questions”:
We’re a university. We should be above whatever the fad or the fashion is of any given day. We should be looking at the deep questions. We should be analytical. We should be emphasizing reason. Instead, it was like a kind of emotional rush — in which . . . the president and provost and the top leadership of my university — wanted to jump on a bandwagon. They wanted to wave a banner.
And I thought to myself, what have we come to at the university — that the first reaction to grave matters — and the rioting in the street after George Floyd died is a grave matter.
That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of Black Lives Matter
— Glenn Loury
Remove the references around George Floyd — and that behavior rings a bell.
Now I Remember . . .
As the patriots “Never Forget“
The aftermath of this
That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of . . .
If you’re not gonna do your part and accept responsibility for the damage you’ve done, why should the Left?
Why should anyone?
We should be above whatever the fad or the fashion is of any given day. We should be looking at the deep questions. We should be analytical. We should be emphasizing reason.
Only for problems that are popular and easy to perceive? Whatever’s in your wheelhouse? Is that as deep as your questions go?
Rush Limbaugh once said, “I’m an entertainer.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but now I think it’s the most honest thing he ever said.
So when I came across this question below, it really hit home. I had asked a similar question before I found this one.
His was better. Not only was it more direct, but it also shed light on something I hadn’t thought of . . .
And I love that
I wanted to believe — and it’s easy to get lost along the way. But I never get lost for long, and this question kickstarted my turnaround.
Across those communities . . .
I’ve never seen anything with even a hint of the questions we asked. And what they miserably fail to recognize is that their efforts act like a firewall by unwittingly providing an unlimited supply of candy to that piñata.
I’m not suggesting they stop — I’m suggesting they reframe the debate by broadening it. I explain all that later. Somebody really “looking at the deep questions” — would have the courage to consider mine.
By not deviating from your lane, you don’t understand the roadblocks within it that were created outside of it.
It would be extremely difficult to reach the Left no matter what you do. But by feeding that firewall, you’re building in barricades that block you from reaching them in ways you might be able to without the Right sailing Scot-Free.
That the Left brings it on themselves is another matter.
Preach responsibility and take none
Conservatives control the narrative about responsibility and think that magically translates to taking responsibility. Republicans pounce on the Left day in and day out — as if the Right’s record vanished off the face of the earth.
It’s all about framing the narrative — and the Left institutionalizing weakness is a gimme for the Right to rail on them.
And the icing on the cake
Sincere intellectuals justifiably calling out universities, woke ways, racially rigged incidents and such:
Providing endless fodder for the Right to rip people for behavior that pales in comparison to what they did after 9/11 and to this day.
The Right delights in ridiculing the Left for burning buildings to further the cause. Yet they went batshit crazy after 9/11: Setting the world ablaze — and browbeating anybody out of line in their March of Folly
That — is faith-based belief at its best . . .
The Left’s anti-racism religion, woke, and whatnot — they’re amateurs.
I’m not an authority on race relations, but I have a knack for knowing what’s not working and why. My area of “why” is in human behavior — not the answers to how all these things can be fixed.
There are people who have the answers (or ideas that could get us there with the cooperation and courage to foster them).
The same can be said for most issues in America. So my aim is to clear the clutter for honest debate — especially for people who really know their stuff.
Like this guy, Glenn Loury . . .
“The Civil Rights Movement is over” — in 1984!
That — took guts!
And that — is the Loury I was looking for.
Maybe when you’re done talking race, woke, and CRT for the ten-thousandth time — we can consider approaching problems in a more multi-dimensional manner?
Just a thought!
The commentary in these communities speaks volumes about social media & the state of society: Habitually slinging self-congratulations and high praise for purveyors of virtue:
Virtues that vanish the second they’re called to put them to the test.
Following facts going in the direction you desire — doesn’t count.
Anybody can do that!
The bit below is tame compared to the savagery I’ve received for decades on WMD. But it’s emblematic of how new-age apologists mindlessly dig in to defend — without even knowing what the topic is yet.
This crowd: They bark back at me on things we even agree on. The nanosecond they sense any dissent from the company line — rapid-fire ridicule is well on its way.
That my scrutiny has a higher purpose that actually serves theirs (and everyone’s):
Does not compute
In their collective state, the Borg are utterly without mercy; driven by one will alone: the will to conquer. They are beyond redemption, beyond reason.
— Jean-Luc Picard
And this is the best part: Their world revolves around peddling praise and pouncing on people who don’t fall in line — while the personalities & principles they praise are about being critical of the unquestioning.
It’s just pathetic
And in that entirely-transactional universe:
No one even bothers to notice that it’s not working — and actually getting worse. But they just repeatedly rehash the same topics — red meat devoured by an audience that thinks these people are some of the greatest minds to ever live.
This lecture has made me kinda sad. This is NOT the guy we see on Bloggingheads. Glenn has clearly lost a step or two (intellectually) since 2003.
To which I replied, in part:
I can’t speak for what he’s lost on that front, but from personal experience with him — I can speak definitively on this one . . .
As I admire Loury’s boldness back in 1984, I’m simply saying he’s lost something since then. Or maybe he was never the person I believed him to be.
In any case: Since Loury once called my writing “brilliant” and was “blown away” by my site and signed up, I’d like to think that would earn me some credibility.
Not with these people. Nothing registers — no matter what you say and how much evidence you’ve got to back it up:
You are the enemy!
He’ll never know how much more the world had to offer him — and how much more he had to offer it.
Ridicule just rolls right off me anymore. I’m not dealing with individuals — I’m dealing with a collective machine that’s been programmed to put me down.
My job is to jam up the gears — and get these gears going again:
I like the cut of your jib, sir
And then there are those memorable moments when someone surprises you with the simplicity and elegance of a line like that.
In a sea of insults, one kind comment is like wind in your sails.
The smorgasbord of sub-cultures has created another dimension of delusion in America: Hardening minds not broadening them.
In and of itself, the quality of the work might be excellent. But on the whole, it amounts to fodder for a fix (even for the sincere). Ever-growing exposure to never-ending battles becomes an illusion of impact.
I don’t see a single person of prominence doing any analysis on how the problems that plague America are interrelated.
They’re all blunt instruments
Including the ones I agree with. They all operate under umbrellas of interests that don’t account for complexities outside of them.
Speaking of the wrong direction
In our culture of instant offense, we ban before we think. However, banning isn’t a sign of strength or resolve, but an admission of defeat, of showing how little we have engaged with whatever the bigger issue that belies the ban.
Instead of asking or addressing the roots of violent racism in the South in 2015 — far too difficult, far too intimidating — we focus on symbols. If we take a flag down, if we remove a TV show from the schedules, it shows we are doing something. It shows our hearts are in the right places.
Elaine’s exasperation x 10 =
How impossibly stupid it is that they banned The Dukes of Hazzard
But the high five is just so stupid!
From as far back as I can remember, I loved the Land O’Lakes Indian. And then they butchered the spirit of it for the sake of sensitivity.
If such measures had any chance of actually making an impact that matters — I’d gladly sacrifice my precious brand of beauty.
For those who would try to educate me by saying I don’t understand the feelings involved in the removal of monuments and wiping Indians off boxes of butter:
No, you don’t understand . . .
Had Obama said these words instead of Kobe — POTUS would have put us on a new path. And wasn’t that the point of his presidency?
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American.
That is the difficult — Symbolism is easy
The former has limitless potential — the latter solves nothing and makes matters worse while you’re at it. Moreover, it molds your mind to buy into the oversimplified that sells: Feeling like you belong in a movement — never taking notice that you’re going nowhere.
The slog of real work is what renders results — taking a hard look at multi-dimsional problems to find multi-dimensional answers.
But you can’t slap a slogan on that, can ya!
Equality is a noble pursuit, but this over-the-top engineering of sensitivity has gotten totally out of hand. And it confounds me to no end that you can’t see how colossally counterproductive it is.
Excessive sensitivity breeds hypersensitivity.
Some efforts in sensitivity are certainly called for — but taking it to extremes has been disastrous . . .
And even deadly
That’s the great conflict of my position: How to keep Montana growing — without losing that thing that makes it Montana
— Governor Perry: Yellowstone
This nation needs to be asking the same question about the soul of America — and all she’s lost in perennial pursuit of shortsighted gain.
My God — what a show!
There’s a lot to be said for the spirit of something’s true intention:
And things that were just baked into society because they were historically male-oriented.
When I took Business Law in the early 90s, it was the Reasonable Man standard. In and of itself, replacing “man” with “person” is not a big deal — and there are others I’m open to as well.
But like everything else along these lines, where does it end? What problems does it solve?
And at what cost?
[C]onduct is measured against a community-wide standard of reasonableness rather than turn on the subjective mental state of the defendant.
That is what matters. Just as the right to vote and who can go into a manhole is what really counts — not what you call it. Sensitivity is a good thing, but hypersensitivity — is not.
When you water things down to be politically correct, our nation’s ability to discern decreases right along with it.
Creating a culture that’s increasingly more easily offended and radically irrational . . .
Across the board
The hypersensitivity illustrated throughout this site is a microcosm of how America’s gone totally out of its mind. You see your concerns through the prism of politics — while I’m looking at brands of behavior that all share similar traits.
Right and Left: It’s all Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin.
For most GitHub users, this is probably old news — but it was news to me. I came across an article that mentioned it and at first I thought it was a joke.
I should have known better, but really . . . this nation should know better.
But you’re busy . . .
When everything is seen through the lens of the next election, you are blind to what’s beyond — and even what’s right in front of you.
Which is why so few see that the problems that plague America are interrelated. 8 years ago — I set out to say something about that.
I wrote and produced a 7-part documentary on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history.
True folly, Tuchman found, is generally recognized as counterproductive in its own time, and not merely in hindsight. In Tuchman’s template, true folly only ensues when a clear alternative path of action was available and ruled out.
— Russ Hoyle, Going to War
No other Iraq WMD doc comes close to the granularity of mine. But any one of them was plenty to put this lie in its place. It wasn’t their work at fault — it was an audience that worships the word of professional know-it-alls who avoid detail like Black Death.
There is no amount of gain you could give me to believe something to be true that is false. When warranted, I will defend those I despise and call out those I like.
I call a spade a spade, period.
The disciples of Thomas Sowell have no such notion. His kind fabricated this fantasyland where they follow the facts wherever they go. Your record is who you are — not what you believe.
Why take on Thomas Sowell when there are far more prominent figures who manufacted this fraud? I already did that — and apologists issued nothing but insults & excuses for that too.
I’ve been practically spit on for 20 years on this topic. And of all those in that crowd that I’ve challenged on WMD — their knowledge combined could fit into a thimble with space to spare.
“Following Facts Where They Lead“ . . .
“Said so and so” — that’s one helluva trip you took there, Mr. Sowell.
Stirring Defense . . .
America has gone totally off the rails in its worship of the wildly undeserving — and that includes the so-called Rock Star running the show right now.
— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue
Those times were tame compared to the blind worship I have witnessed in the echo chamber around Sowell. It almost makes me miss the good ol’ days of garden-variety Bush apologists — when at least their contempt for the truth was in the theatre of war.
Sowell’s acolytes are a whole other breed of bullshitters who butcher reality — while incessantly bitching about others doing the same.
Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.
I’m not trying to steer you away from Thomas Sowell — I’m showing you how you can make him better.
And how he can return the favor
The ultimate irony is that your blind loyalty limits him — while my criticism could elevate him to heights your coddling ensures he’ll never go.
Believe it or not, my aim is to make Thomas Sowell the catalyst who could turn the tide. But in order to do that, I gotta take him to task for his reprehensible record on Iraq WMD.
Don’t shake your head. I’m not done yet. Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can . . . understand this now . . .
It astounds me that even sharing something in hopes of a human connection — that maybe having something in common could pierce your force field of fallacy:
Even that is mocked — and conveniently taken as “weakness” in argument.
So in the face of centrifuge physics:
Belittling my “disjointed” & “juvenile” website with “irrelevant music & movies” is the best ya got?
I don’t understand the satisfaction in taking endless delight in embracing slogans and simpleminded narratives — designed to make damn sure you don’t look beyond the surface . . .
While mocking my “juvenile” visuals for illustrating timeless truths and anything that might make a hairline crack in your hermetically sealed minds.
It is hard to fill a cup which is already full
This man is a liar and a hypocrite — and that’s a fact:
truth verifiable from experience or observation
But he’s treated like Jesus and his every word seen as solid gold — whether it has any merit or not.
This crowd . . .
They defend him before they even know what the subject matter is — and once they do, they instantly issue their “where’s your facts?” refrain of an automaton. If you don’t wanna watch my documentary that’s chock-full of facts on this fiasco for the ages, that’s your prerogative.
But don’t bitch about what you don’t see when you refuse to look.
His army of apologists are gutless in the face of facts they don’t like — disguised by their goose-stepping glory in the Facts Over Feelings Parade.
He’s the Grand Marshal of this lockstep lovefest — and the Admiral of the Scot-Free fleet.
On evidence involving artillery rockets and material properties of centrifuge rotors — the apostles of Sowell smugly cite his books on economics, race, and whatnot:
Anything to glorify him as they abandon any notion of accountability.
These people do nothing but question my motives, mock my site, and assault my character — then proudly post quotes of Sowell looking stately as he condemns the very thing they’re doing.
- Repeat slogans: “Everybody believed Iraq had WMD”
- Question people’s motives: Bush hater, Bush basher, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Plamegate & plenty more. Adding to the arsenal of childish crap to continue the tradition: Snowflake, Libtard, Libturd, Cupcake, TDS, Demon-crat, Democrat Party
- Bold assertions: Russians said so, British said so, Bill Clinton said so, Leaders of both parties said so . . .
No coherent argument, Repeat slogans, Vent their emotions, Question people’s motives, Bold assertions . . .
I wouldn’t care if Sowell cured cancer:
You don’t get a pass for basking in baseless beliefs that cripple the country — and have the bottomless nerve to preach responsibility & accountability to boot.
That is a cancer of its own
The poison he pumped into the atmosphere helped destroy the internal organs of America. So we have very different standards as to what qualifies as a “National Treasure.”
Help me expose this fraud and it’ll spread like wildfire.
We’re talkin’ undeniable evidence of mathematical certainty — and all I need is one person of influence in his circle to open their eyes.
Even the most reasonable of the bunch will look away at first, but one or two will eventually come around . . .
And that’ll do
You use their own standards against them — and on this issue, they’ve got nowhere to go. You’ve let the Right control the narrative for decades. It’s time to stick it to them for once — and they’ve got it comin’.
I didn’t write Mariana Trench of Mendacity out of thin air.
Do this . . .
And you’ll open the door to debate in ways your methods never will — by clearing the clutter that cripples this country. If they could realize how wrong they are about someone they worship, it might open their minds on other fronts.
But here’s the deal — that door’s gotta swing both ways. You’ve gotta be willing to listen and learn from them too.
Einstein borrowed from the one below:
The worth of man lies not in the truth which he possesses, or believes that he possesses, but in the honest endeavor which he puts forth to secure that truth; for not by the possession of, but by the search after, truth, are his powers enlarged, wherein, alone, consists his ever-increasing perfection. Possession fosters content, indolence, and pride.
I already did all the work for you in my documentary, 5-part series Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell, and other posts before that.
The incurious see something like the imagery below and mock what doesn’t instantly materialize in meaning. I see it and want to take the journey.
The wonderless see “disjointed” media & writing — while I see patterns that clearly have a design. That it demands something of my mind is what interests me all the more.
I love having to work things out and connect the dots.
People who talk glibly about “intelligence failure” act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything.
— Thomas Sowell
D.O.E’s standard is to spin a tube at 20% above 90,000 RPM before failure — so 48,000 short is a pretty loose definition of “rough indication.”
And since the entire point of testing should be to replicate the conditions of centrifuges, one would think that the full-blown testing would be performed before the N.I.E. was completed.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act II
Between Sowell’s words and mine
Which ones strike you as glib?
Hard to Imagine . . .
That I have to explain that quote to people who seemingly live to flood the internet with his words.
He and his flock incessantly complain about the media — and they don’t make policy. But the second I scrutinize Sowell — suddenly you have new standards.
Everything that guy just said is bullshit!
Touting technicalities as “facts” doesn’t get it done (especially when they’re as empty as what he’s shoveling).
It’s the conclusions you’re drawing that matters most.
And don’t you find it suspicious that someone of Sowell’s caliber is gonna come right out of the gate with something so weak as:
What are the known facts about Saddam Hussein’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons? We know that, at one time or other, he was either developing or producing or using such weapons.
Immediately followed by:
Back in 1981 . . .
“Stanley, see this — this is this, this ain’t somethin’ else, this is this!”
That 5- second scene is essence of arguing on the merits — which means to stay true to the topic at hand.
— Richard W. Memmer: Act IV
Wisdom of The Deer Hunter
“To learn to ask: ‘Is that true? Maybe there’s something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That’s interesting. Maybe I should change my mind. I changed my mind.’”
Look at the journey this guy took with just a little wonder . . .
For the record
Sowell’s articles on the subject are assertions, not argument.
It’s high time we appreciate the difference — perfectly defined on a blog I stumbled across years ago called Duane’s Mind: A Christian’s Perspective:
An assertion is just a point of view, an opinion. An argument goes further. An argument is a point of view supported by reasons that demonstrate the view is a good one.
In my documentary, series on Sowell and other posts: I do address his piece littered with talking points.
And do so with argument . . .
If they were doing the same, they’d take one look at this imagery and think:
So, you did a documentary on the most definitive intelligence by far — that was the difference between going to war and not going. That sounds pretty important.
Perhaps you should listen to people who addressed the evidence instead of being so quick to defend those who pretend to.
Central to my examination is that I will illustrate the shallowness in Colin Powell’s U.N. speech in February 2003. The media typically rushes over everything and explains NOTHING.
I am taking the opposite approach with my isolated look at the aluminum tubes — and insight into that intelligence scheme is a roadmap to the rest. But the only way to truly understand the story is to juxtapose the relationships of the relevant players involved.
That includes the Intelligence Community, Congress, the Bush Administration, the media, the intelligence investigations — and even our role in fostering it all.
— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue
Seduced by the Secretary
And about that “mudslinging“
By definition, that’s not what I do — as it’s demonstrably provable that Thomas Sowell is a liar and a hypocrite. Moreover, if he comes clean per my plan, his reputation will soar worldwide.
Doesn’t quite fit, does it . . .
the use of insults and accusations, especially unjust ones
If you have a history of hypocrisy and lying — you are a hypocrite and a liar. If you don’t like being called those things, don’t do those things.
But so typical of the times — nothing has meaning anymore. “Mudslinging” is just somethin’ to say to escape scrutiny.
And the irony is
I’ve received almost nothing but mudslinging for decades — by people who cry foul with counterfeit claims on what they do for real.
And let’s face it: You need it to be mudslinging, because if it’s not — your beliefs are gonna fall apart.
Even at a glance, you should know that Sowell’s piece is not the stuff of substance. If you opened it (all 752 words of a 2-minute read) — knowing that I did a 7-part series that’s 2 hours and 40 minutes. On that alone, what goes through your mind?
And what does it say to you that he makes no mention of the evidence on display with the props?
Since it’s the marquee material that took us to war in the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11 — how do you reconcile that?
For Colin Powell’s claims to have any merit, they would have to violate the laws of physics. This nation went to war on pure fantasy — poisoning everything in its path to this day. America moved on, I didn’t.
I knew then what few know now: The immeasurable value in the willingness to be wrong, understanding why, and looking to learn from it. And that not doing so — increasingly compounds the consequences of no accountability.
Forget what Sowell said — what’s far more important is what he didn’t say. This mountain of information was publicly available before he wrote that article — and not one word about it.
For a guy who’s made his living on “follow the facts” — and you following him:
How do you reconcile that?
The plausibility of these tubes being used as centrifuges was so far-fetched that one D.O.E. analyst said: “If Iraq was really trying to make them into centrifuge rotors — we should just give them the tubes.”
— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue
To argue in good faith, you must consider the evidence presented by Powell.
This — is arguing on the merits:
Why would anyone infer a 2.8mm wall for Zippe rotors that were never more than 1mm?
The rotor wall thickness for the Beams centrifuge has also been specified as 6.35 mm
Notice how WINPAC/Turner tossed that into the NIE (referenced in Senate Intelligence Report).
Never mind THIS
The Zippe unclassified report discusses several centrifuge rotor designs but does not explicitly state the wall thickness of any of the rotors.
Based on the limited documentation, we can infer that Zippe used rotors with wall thicknesses that range from I mm to approximately 2.8 mm.
“Based on the limited documentation”? . . .
Why not just pick up the phone and find out from the father of the modern uranium centrifuge himself?
The report below is from the consulting that Zippe did during the late 50s at the University of Virginia — which science historian Alex Wellerstein addresses in his excellent article on Zippe and the evolution of centrifuge technology.
Dr. Wood and the late Dr. Zippe talking tubes. If you were following the facts — seems like you’d take the trail to the most obvious place it would go:
To see what two of the foremost experts on the planet had to say:
At the Energy Department, those examining the tubes included scientists who had spent decades designing and working on centrifuges, and intelligence officers steeped in the tricky business of tracking the nuclear ambitions of America’s enemies.
On questions about nuclear centrifuges, this was unambiguously the A-Team of the intelligence community. . . .
What hard evidence do you have?
— Thomas Sowell
Hard enough to drop the hammer on you a hundred times over.
Consider yourself lucky that concrete evidence of mathematical certainty doesn’t qualify with your flock when it comes to protecting you and their interests.
Nor does any notion of responsibility and accountability.
Those things only apply to people you don’t like.
By the way, the Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq was released on July 9, 2004 — one day before Sowell’s Weapons of Crass Obstruction.
That report didn’t appear out of nowhere — it was known to be coming.
Even if the timing was a coincidence: What does it say to you that he never addressed the evidence presented by Powell and ignored every substantive argument on the matter?
Not only did Sowell flagrantly fail to follow the facts on all-things Iraq — he brazenly ignored the debauchery in his own party to politely pounce on the other.
Showing Sowell’s piece below has nothing to do with defending the Left. This is about his record being wildly out of sync with reality on the Right.
I didn’t write Mentality of a Mob from my imagination.
And this — is Conformity 101:
Ice-cold partisan hackery wrapped in the warmth of a “white lab coat” . . .
I didn’t write this poem from my imagination either.
I wrote it 3 years before Sowell’s piece — and for decades, this behavior is all I’ve seen from Republicans on Iraq and a helluva lot more.
And how do you reconcile that? . . .
So you found one small crack in Sowell’s character where he defended Iraq having WMD, does that hurt his credibility?
This man muddied the waters of debate to serve himself — on a little matter of war in the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11.
Factoring for his history of hypocrisy and lying on that — along with ripping the Left while shamelessly ignoring the debauchery on the Right:
That “one small crack” is a wide-open window into his character and credibility.
Say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind . . .
We can go when we want to
The night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet
And surprise ’em with the victory cry
Say, we can act if we want to
If we don’t, nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile . . .
The self-importance of people like Sowell just kills me — how they sit there acting like they’re Senators from Krypton.
That’s not knocking appearance just for kicks — as the look and the language is all part of . . .
Sowell’s celebrated as a statesman for smugness under the guise of civility.
He has a habit of painting the Left in the worst possible light — while acting as though “hostility and even hatred” are completely uncharacteristic of conservatives. It’s all about framing the issue in a way that allows him to conveniently ignore the same behavior in other forms.
How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans?
— Thomas Sowell: The Anger Of The Left
I’ve been met with almost nothing but belligerence and belittlement for decades on WMD — but because I wasn’t shouted down in the streets, it doesn’t count?
And this gem
It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice but they are hated like the devil incarnate
So you can manipulate the nation into war — make up more lies to rationalize those lies, pit half the nation against the other in a post 9/11 world, and on and on:
But as long as liars don’t raise their voice — there’s no call to be angry about it?
That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.
Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.
“What is surprising, however” . . .
Is that your crowd treating me with nothing but contempt for the truth for 20 years — slinging baseless beliefs with “hostility and even hatred” . . .
Doesn’t constitute a “way of life” to you, Mr. Sowell.
It’s painfully obvious what this guy’s up to: He’s engineering an illusion — and you bought it.
For the record: My poem’s not anti-war — it’s pro-thinking . . .
When your camp came up empty on WMD — you just bought more bullshit from the same people who sold you the first batch:
George W. Bush was one of the last to say so. Yet he alone is accused of lying.
— Thomas Sowell: Weapons of Crass Obstruction
I don’t play those games, Mr. Sowell . . .
They all lied
Some circles call that evidence — I call it cowardice
As a distinguished scholar once said: “The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”
— Thomas Sowell: Desperate and Ugly in Florida
And he has a habit of headlines oozing in partisan pettiness. On two of the biggest events in history — Sowell seems pretty tribal to me.
And I find it interesting that with Sowell — one reason some people today would find it hard to go with him is that he doesn’t write with that tribalist sense.
He’s trying to be purely objective and there’s nothing in him of — here’s what we down here think. Here’s what we’ve been through.
It’s not seasoned with any of that — he’s just trying to have a white lab coat on and look at the facts.
If his Crap is King claims on WMD isn’t “seasoned” to you, Mr. McWhorter — what is?
Hard to Imagine
And Damn Disappointing to Boot . . .
It’s bad enough I gotta deal with unyielding yahoos who yearn to praise Sowell as if he’s some kind of saint-like Sherlock Holmes. But to see people I respected fall into the same trap — enabling their “National Treasure” and the echo chamber around him: Good grief!
The crude, dirty “brutes” of the land of the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The Yahoos are irrational people and represent the worst side of humanity. By contrast, the wise and gentle Houyhnhnms, their masters, are rational horses and represent humanity at its best.
The likes of Loury & McWhorter see themselves as Houyhnhnms — as if they’re immune to irrational behavior in defense of their interests.
If someone of Loury’s caliber called your writing “brilliant” and was “blown away” by your site and signed up — you’d probably find it as uplifting as I did. But would you challenge that person on something practically baked into their DNA — knowing you’d likely to lose ’em?
He wasn’t too keen on the truth when I took his hero to task.
When you see a sentence like “Not a trace of Thomas Sowell’s ‘follow the facts’ claim to fame can be found on the most world-altering topic of our time”:
“I have no idea what you’re talking about” . . . is not the mark of an intellectual giant (or an intellectual on any level).
Sowell is a great man because of his books. I stand by that. you want to refute his books — go ahead. I’m listening.
— Glenn Loury
Sowell sold out to sell those books you stand by.
I wrote that post with the likes of Loury in mind. You confine his record to a box of beliefs that suit you — and stand by that. How noble of you.
Same stunt that Riley pulled in writing Maverick . . .
Jason Riley has rendered an enormous service by providing a compelling . . . biography
— Glenn Loury
It’s not compelling at all when you look at the whole story.
It’s just preposterous to write a biography and blatantly ignore a huge hole in its premise. This over-the-top praise from purveyors of virtue was all I could take. It took me of all two minutes to see who Sowell really is.
To believe he’s a “great man” and “fearless” “maverick” with what you knew of him — is one thing: To continue to believe it in the face of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence — is pure fantasy.
Maybe you don’t know Sowell as well as you thought you did, and heaven forbid you hold him to same standards pushing your popularity.
You asked them to take stock — just don’t ask you.
I have no idea what you’re talking about . . .
What part of “WMD,” “biggest and most costly lie in modern history,” and “most world-altering topic of our time” — do you not understand?
Perhaps an inquiry or two for clarification was in order?
You said that they had no argument against your [R]ebuttal to Brown University’s letter on racism in the United States. Neither do you on your “National Treasure.”
But right on cue with our country that’s goin’ to hell in a handbasket:
Little did I know that something so comical would become so acceptable:
Sir, I have got conclusive evidence: Notarized depositions, tire prints, blood samples. I’ve got eyewitness accounts, murder weapons, fingerprints, recordings . . .
Hold it. Hold it, kid. It’s flimsy. It’s not enough. It’ll never hold up, not in a court of law. Let’s put this aside . . .
“We’re here to socialize — not talk shop” . . .
The solution to this problem is more truth, not less
— Someone on Twitter
Not in today’s trench warfare between armies of unreachables — paralled by this excerpt from Blueprint for Armageddon:
The Belgians are going to teach the first great lesson of the war — about what’s changed since the last time great powers faced off. How much the killing power that machines afforded mankind on the battlefield.
How much that had changed the age-old equation of war.
Machines have been taking over for a long time — becoming more and more important. This is the war where they take over completely. And man’s supremacy on the battlefield — even though they’re the ones who run the machines — will always be now secondary compared to the killing power and mechanization that can be brought to bear by modern societies. . . .
And one of the interesting sort of sub-themes of this whole upcoming conflict is: How long it takes some people to absorb the lessons that are being taught in this conflict.
Lesson number one is how deadly the weapons are and how you have to account for that.
Some of the generals and military thinkers understood this going into the war, because they had paid close attention to the 1905 Russo-Japanese war . . . That taught lessons about what happens when two sides armed with machine guns, and two sides armed with modern artillery and all that face off.
But the lessons were not the kind of lessons some people wanted to learn. . . .
These cavalry commanders don’t want to hear that it’s even worse than it used to be. . . . If your country’s doctrine and your entire military is organized around the culture of the offensive . . . where it’s all about guts . . .
Nobody wants to hear that machine guns just rip guts out — that’s the only thing they care about guts, and it doesn’t work to have bayonet charges and ridiculous offenses. Well, the French would say:
“Yes, well what doesn’t work for the Russians or the Japanese — will work for the French — and that’s why we have a great military.”
There are all kinds of ways to rationalize what you don’t want to learn.
Audio version (with additional commentary)
Tuchman alighted on a root cause of folly that she called “wooden-headedness” — defined in part as “assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting contrary information.”
Many of the militaries of the world are organized like Napoleonic times. They don’t want to hear that that is a completely wrong way to be organized.
The French cavalry heading off to war . . . you have to imagine this:
If you want to see what Napoleon’s soldiers looked like — go look at pictures of the French cavalry in 1914 going off to war — with metal breastplates and horse hair helmets. You’d have to be an expert to look at a picture of them in 1914 and a picture of Napoleon’s cavalry in 1814 — and find the differences.
The officers are gonna go to war in white gloves. They’re gonna have swords.
They’re gonna stand up and troops are gonna march into combat — in like billiard ball formations or bowling pin formations, drill formations from the battlefield.
None of the people who consider this to be an integral part of military culture want to learn:
That the rules have changed. . . .
The military virtues of valor that were so celebrated during this period — where the romance of warfare, which had always been strong in human culture, was probably at its height.
The 19th century — the romance was incredible. This is the era where that romance runs into reality.
Here’s the thing that this war is gonna teach: If you watch the Charge of the Light Brigade and you think it’s magnificent and brave — a doomed sort of attack on the part of incredibly courageous men:
What happens if, after the charge fails — they send another one and the same results occur. And then they send another one and the same results occur.
And then they do it again and again
At what point does this wonderful, doomed, romantic celebration of the courage of the military heart become something obscene?
This war is gonna take us there — and it’s going to pound the point home till you’re sick of it.
Audio version (with additional commentary)
She also saw wooden-headedness as a certain proclivity for “acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by facts.” Wooden-headedness, said Tuchman, was finally — “the refusal to benefit from experience.”
The refusal to benefit from experience
In today’s trench warfare — “white gloves” depict the presentation of tactical arguments that don’t account for larger complexities in play.
“Swords” are posts that puncture with a pinprick at best:
YouTube talks, Tweets, podcasts, debates, speeches, books, blogs, articles, conventional docs . . .
The “billiard ball formations” embody the endless barrage of niche-based argument — repeatedly rehashing the same old problems in the same old ways.
And right on cue
An audience that eats it up like they’re part of some revolution in reason.
The program aims to honor and foster investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good. . . .
This is as deep storytelling as it gets. But by juxtaposing irrational behavior by both the Left & Right, I had a snowball’s chance in hell that any organization would award my doc 7 years ago.
The Iraq War shaped the society you see today — and the guilty got off scot-free. Had my documentary been on that alone — I would have been welcomed with open arms by programs seeking “deep storytelling in service of the common good.”
But the fact that my submission letters had to dance around the race-related element of my doc — speaks volumes about the integrity of these organizations.
If they were what they claim — I wouldn’t have to worry about being seen as insensitive for being so direct about racially-rigged incidents. And since I go after both parties on the war as well, clearly, I don’t play favorites. It’s a judge’s job to weigh what that means — and welcome being challenged in ways they’ve never been.
If they acted impartial instead of protecting the image of their mission — they’d see that my mission serves theirs:
And this one
Somehow I doubt the judges were keen on uncomfortable conversations — somewhat like those who blindly believe in this guy.
Never mind that my criticism could elevate the people you’re coddling: That holding their feet to the fire is in their long-term best interests — and yours.
But America doesn’t do long-term thinking . . .
And some circles
Well, God can’t make square circles — but these people think they can:
Any one minute of my doc is more substantive than everything Sowell ever said on the subject.
Even without it — any of my posts is plenty to prompt any rational person to wonder. In a matter of moments, just scrolling through the imagery alone is enough to know that something’s off on Sowell’s claims.
Sowell’s cogent & sober arguments . . .
“Disjointed” or not — you’ve been bombarded with detail that could only be known with real research — and a helluva lot of it. For anyone who wanted the truth on this matter of world-altering consequence — no way you’d ignore that.
I point you to a 7-part, 2 hours and 40 minutes documentary — that distills a story that demanded a massive amount of effort, thought, research, and writing:
And you tap a Tweet with a talking point or two — thinking you can inform me.
That you even think that a story so complex and convoluted could be explained away so easily — is a monumental problem all by itself.
Such behavior is an embarrassment to the entire history of human achievement — and lo and behold, what he wrote:
Is wrong in every respect
Rather than reflect on where his words go in Graham’s Hierarchy of Argument below, he doubled down with an insult:
Incorrectly classifying it to boot.
These people have no understanding of the subject matter — and make no attempt to learn or show any civility in refusal to do so. They begin and end by contorting anything they can twist to their liking in a sycophantic effort to absolve Sowell.
An Ad hominem attack is a negation of reason and an appeal to emotion and is irrelevant to any debate. It is a non-debate, or an avoidance of debate because the person resorting to this strategy has no substance to what they are saying or does not know how to properly respond to the argument being presented. . . .
“To be more specific, a fallacy is an ‘argument’ in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support.”
Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.
Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim).
Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:
1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
3. Therefore A’s claim is false.
The reason why an ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).
When you have no idea what the argument is:
Wrapping quotes around “argument” is as ridiculous as using air quotes incorrectly.
And without even the most basic insight into anything on this story: His camp has a habit of glossing over global issues of catastrophic consequences with:
If he’d paid any attention at all:
He’d know that the baseline argument is about Sowell’s abysmal failure to address the evidence that Powell presented.
By Sowell’s status and by his own ethics — he had a huge responsibility.
By himself, he could not have shaped the decisions in those dead set on going to war. But he could have been the catalyst for the kind of debate that such decisions should demand.
Even if you take his responsibility off the table, the very basis of “Hard to Imagine” — is that he would have something to say about world-altering lies and ineptitude for the ages.
So on top of having no idea what you’re talking about — you don’t even understand the most basic tenets of the person you put on a pedestal for those principles.
It’s just a fancy quote to float
You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte . . .
Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time . . .
The account he’s referencing isn’t even Thomas Sowell (and I’m sure he’d would have a lot more than 850k). But even if he had 850 million — it has no bearing on the issue in question.
All of this behavior is an egregious breach of the very principles they put him on a pedestable for.
I tried again in 2022
I’m sure these people are worthy of winning this award over my 5-part series Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell. I don’t do anything for accolades — and taking on the entire is not a path to popularity.
But whatever their reasons for not awarding my work last time and this time — they could have fostered my ideas in some fashion (which is all I really cared about anyway). With the right connections, my doc could have changed the trajectory of the country.
Whether it went more Right or Left is your game, not mine. I don’t do politics — I do reality.
However exceptional other submissions might be, they tend to operate in one theatre of overlapping concerns. My work operates in the theatre of all concerns — as I’m saying something larger about who we are, what we’re becoming, and what we can do to turn it all around.
— Richard W. Memmer
That’s a big idea
Secret IRS Files — is not.
Purely on the merits of shaping a story, I don’t doubt that their work outshined my series on Sowell. But on the impact of what I have to say — there’s no comparison, and that was deserving of a least a little help.
You blew off my doc 7 years ago — and unwittingly rolled out the red carpet for Trump. Even Sowell was spot-on about him in 2016. Why wasn’t he worshipped as a Maverick for that? . . .
But nobody beats what someone else had to say on the subject:
The thing that is most disturbing to me, in a sea of disturbing things — is that there is no opportunity in all of humanity, to observe the world we live in, and to see all the scope of life in the world, like being President of the United States. You sit there, and for 4 years, or for 8 years — the crème de la crème of society is presented to you.
“Here’s the bravest man and woman in the military. Here’s the smart scientists. Here’s the most dedicated children in their learning.”
You get to see the ugliest . . . what are terrorists doing in torture camps. You see the world from a vista that only a man, or one day a woman, can have that outlook. And I thought to myself: “Surely, when he won . . . he would change as a result of that.”
Every day, you’re having meetings and talking to serious people. And then you come into the Oval Office to “Here’s the winners of the Spelling Bee of San Diego.” . . .
And you meet these people, and life just comes washing over you. Your heart and your mind open up. What a learning experience — how much you learn about the world.
And I thought, “It’s gonna change him.” . . .
He didn’t change one f#%@g gram.
That says a great deal more about America than it does about Trump.
And now you’re fighting over what could happen on Roe v. Wade. Had you listened to me 7 years ago, this would not be happening.
But had you listened 14 years ago
A Hillary/Obama ticket was the smart move. He wasn’t ready (nor do I think he was presidential material anyway — but leaving that aside).
She’d most likely get 8 years — and in the meantime, Obama would be groomed for the next 8. That’s a high probability of 16 years of Democratic rule — and who knows from there.
You wanted a plant when you could have had a crop — and all you had to do was sacrifice a little longer.
But you just had to have your first black president — instead of getting a seasoned candidate 8 years later.
This ain’t Monday-morning quarterbacking — I said so at the time.
It might surprise you that I voted for Obama in 2008. I gave Romney a shot in the second round. I just have this old-fashioned idea about not rewarding people who are dishonest and don’t do a good job.
— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue
It’s hard enough making change even with fairly reasonable people in any environment — let alone the incessant scheming in politics.
Black Lives Matter with the first black president sitting in the White House — was the worst possible thing you could do to make black lives matter.
If the indiscriminate approach of BLM pisses me off: What did you think it was gonna do for people gunning to bring Obama down?
You overplayed your hand
He had golden opportunities to take the country forward, but instead of leading the way — he followed his base and went backwards.
Whatever I think of Obama — you stole that seat no matter how you slice it. Mine is a principled position — yours is nothing of the kind.
What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president
— Mitch McConnell
Jesus, it just never ends with these people.
If it weren’t that it would be “leap year” or some other ridiculous rationalization.
It was March 16, 2016 — so “the people should decide in an election year.” If it were October 16th with your boy in office — you’d bulldoze that nomination through if at all possible.
I wrote that 4 months before they did exactly that . . .
One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, “Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”
There is no measure for how small you are in my eyes, Senator McConnell — you rank with the most soulless scoundrels I have ever seen.
There is one thing, my dear sir, that must be attempted and most sacredly observed or we are all undone. There must be decency and respect, and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank, or we are undone. In a popular government, this is our only way.
— From John Adams to James Warren, 22 April 1776
My record is impeccable on seeing the lay of the land — and that includes the conservative side. I argue for the smart thing and the right thing — which side it serves at a particular time is not my aim.
They brought a [butter] knife to a gunfight
In the Florida election fiasco of 2000, I just wanted the right thing to be done — whether it served my interests or not was irrelevant.
And said so at the time
That sense of fairness is so foreign that I might as well be speaking another language.
If Bush really won — then that’s what I wanted. If Gore did, that’s what I wanted. The smart thing and the right thing — tend to be the hard thing. And these things are good for the country in the long run.
That’s my aim
I’m mostly met with mockery and all sorts of dismissiveness, but occasionally someone comes along with a courteous reply in the interest of truth and understanding.
I like the fact that this guy below doesn’t just take my word for it. And it doesn’t bother me one bit that he’s too pressed for time to read my site.
But he kept the door open . . .
I could have just pointed him to Without Passion or Prejudice — which provides the outline he asked for. But I decided to honor his request by writing a more condensed page for my plan.
Right on cue — some will race to the end as if nothing matters in the journey. Without even understanding the problem, they’ll delight in deriding the solution.
You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you an inactive Spectator, but if the Sword be drawn I bid adieu to all domestick felicity, and look forward to that Country where there is neither wars nor rumors of War in a firm belief that thro the mercy of its King we shall both rejoice there together.
I greatly fear that the arm of treachery and violence is lifted over us as a Scourge and heavy punishment from heaven for our numerous offences, and for the misimprovement of our great advantages.