South Park takes on the national anthem protests and it’s still prudent to understand ‘kafkatrapping’

The protests against the national anthem continue, this time South Park takes a swing at the issue, sending up just about everyone in an episode called “Member Berries“.

It was definitely funny, and worth a watch. Heat Street has write-up of it I think is well-worth the read.

I won’t spoil it for you, but as funny as it was (and as much as this country needs it to be right now), it’s still important to understand what “kafkatrapping” is if you disagree with the protests.

I still think Kaepernick’s protest makes more sense to those who genuinely believe the United States is, in 2016, morally indistinguishable from slavery, the American South during the Jim Crow era, or apartheid South Africa, or believe that cops are all racists hunting down black folks like a LARP version of the Predator movies.

For what it’s worth, I also think Fox Sports broadcaster Jason Whitlock had a much more constructive take than the reflexive smears of bigotry which are a staple of Black Lives Matter activists.

I think it’s entirely sensible which of course means he’s called the kind of racial slurs by the regressive-left, which they publicly flog others for using:

I don’t agree with the premise or narrative of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is why I’m largely quiet about this issue (as difficult as that is for me) and in part why I wrote the following for Refined Right as a warning, or caution to those who might risk their very livelihoods weighing in:

If you don’t agree with why Kaepernick sat, or any of the accompanying political baggage, it’s prudent to understand that whatever your politics are, the kind of people who reflexively side with Kaepernick are going to call you a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe no matter what you say, what you really mean, or whether it’s good or evil which rests in your heart.

They’ll do it with the flimsiest of evidence, if any at all. But as with the Johnson anecdote, even honest denials are treated as further evidence of one’s bigotry.

Such traps aren’t always avoidable, but it’s still helpful to understand how some of them work in order to cope with the fallout.”

I don’t have a problem hammering the edge off a blade already dulled by overuse. The reflexive smear of “racist”, and all the other “-ists”, “-isms” and “-phobias”, has become pervasive-to-the-point-of-ubiquity as a profoundly corrosive means of conducting public discourse.

Being a racist is obviously a terrible thing to be, which is why it’s terrible that word (among many) is used over trivial things, like the bizarre claim that certain people eating certain foods is “racist”, or the proto-totalitarian claim that writing fiction is also “racist”.

There’s no point in even talking about this when the level today could be summed up as, “could you just hurry up and get to the point where you’re gonna smear me as a bigot anyway?”

Until that changes, out of prudence alone it’s important for people who disagree to know it’s okay not to take the bait, and that you can’t bait someone who’s mouth is shut.

Refined Right: Twitter Suspends, Reinstates Account of @Instapundit

Republished from Refined Right

Twitter found itself in yet another censorship controversy on the morning of Sept. 22, with the temporary suspension of conservative law professor and USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds, who runs the aggregator site known as Instapundit.

Reynolds’ @Instapundit account was suspended shortly after tweeting “run them down” in response to the protests in Charlotte, N.C., after a police shooting plunged the city into the grip of riots and looting.

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“Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars is a threat,” said Reynolds, defending his statement.

“Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content.”

The @Instapundit account has since been reinstated.

Many note that Twitter is a private company and able to moderate its services in whatever way they please. Others also lament the apparent lack of consistency in how they moderate. Under normal circumstances, users are held to an internal three-strikes policy before a suspension is handed down.

Robby Soave at Reason notes the difference in how Reynolds was suspended for an arguably snarky suggestion of a means of self-defense, while there seems to have been no such response by Twitter to Vox Editor Emmett Rensin, who with all apparent sincerity plainly stated that starting riots is a legitimate response to Trump’s campaign stops.

Reynolds’ brief suspension could be attributable to automated moderating systems, which kick in following multiple user-generated reports.

It will nonetheless validate suspicions many hold that social media companies like Twitter target users for reprisal who are primarily on the conservative end of the left/right political spectrum, especially since the permanent suspension of conservative provocateur and Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos was handed down under questionable circumstances.

 

The public crucifixion of Jimmy Fallon is unjustifiable and dangerous

Apparently Jimmy Fallon’s interview with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is cause for having a shit-fit.

You see, whenever a comedian has a guest on his show, those who don’t like that guest expect that host to abuse them.

When they instead treat them like a human being, naturally the next thing to do is smear the host as a “racist” and resurrect rumors of their alleged drinking problem:

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Related searches for “Jimmy Fallon” ~13:18 Sep. 16

I don’t watch much TV anymore, except for sports, streaming everything else.

When I do happen to catch one of the late night shows, I prefer to watch celebrities read mean tweets sent to them.

I don’t expect comedians to play the part of Edward R. Morrow, even though nobody seems to mind when Stephen Colbert carries water for Hillary Clinton.

This whole meltdown puts my mind to a line in a movie called “Can We Take a Joke?” which I believe is a canary-in-the-coal-mine regarding freedom around the world:

When they start going for the comedians, everyone else needs to sweat.

 

In light of this, the public crucifixion of Jimmy Fallon is especially worrying, and entirely unjustified.

Unfortunately we’ve become accustomed to our late night TV hosts injecting politics into their shows since Jon Stewart took over the Daily Show in 1999.

I’ve liked him before, and there’s always time for shitposting and satire, but having greenlit the archetypical smug, arrogant liberal who approaches politics from a point of self-appointed moral superiority instead of mere disagreement, Stewart may have inflicted incalculable damage to our ability to speak civily about the issues of our time and the Fallon pile-on is a perfect example of this.

I’m not even high on Trump, who’s so all over the place he’s difficult to take seriously.

But I also rememeber when Joe Biden said Mitt Romney would put black people “back in chains”.

That was a flatly ridiculous claim to make, but this is the level when your electoral success is predicated on cranking the LiterallyHitler™ knobs to eleven, 24/7/365.

Soon enough people start to tune out when they realize how full of it you are.

Perhaps the most unnerving objection I’ve seen is that it “humanizes” Trump, but Trump is not LiterallyHitler™, and this episode is an unnerving reminder, at least to me, of what happens when people are spoken of in less-than-human terms.

Again, I may not vote at all this year, much less for Trump. But you can still not be overly fond of someone or disagree with someone while objecting to how they’re treated.

Fortunately there are people who understand this, which gives me hope for the future of civil public discourse:

 

 

 

PSA: A 30-second Google Images search is a valuable tool for spotting bullshit

Note: thanks to a comment on Facebook, a better photo is available at Getty Images

Just an aside, but I saw the following image, allegedly evidence of a media blackout of the North Dakota pipeline protests, posted with this tagline:

This is why the media won’t show the protest on the pipeline #StayAware

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I’m probably a voracious reader, but I don’t know much about the pipeline protests in North Dakota.

Despite my ignorance, the number of people in the photo seemed a bit…off…for want of a better way of putting that.

The first thought which came to mind was “Woodstock”.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what this is.

I don’t particularly like “gotcha games” which is why I’m not linking back to the source.

The tagline is bullshit, but I don’t know what the intent was – this could have easily been a case of ignorant confirmation bias.

I’ve been burned before, doing exactly that.

There’s enough bullshit floating around the internet. Whatever your cause, sifting through it is a necessary evil.

Wikileaks releases new document dump, Democrats pine for a new Cold War

Transparency group Wikileaks has just published another document dump on the Democratic National Committee with instructions on how to download and open them:

which the DNC anticipated…

Let it not be forgotten that DNC interim chair Donna Braziel was also implicated in the leak which led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, after it revealed that DNC officials conspired to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign after feigning neutrality.

Brazile can try to pin this on the Russians, Trump, or whomever is politically expedient, while using language reminiscent of the Cold War, potentially bringing us back to when the world balanced on a knife’s edge under threat of being blown over by nuclear annihilation.

Hopefully the Democrats will step back from the brink of 1984…

Unfortunately the DNC, as well as the Clinton campaign, are entirely untrustworthy, particularly after Secretary Clinton’s most recent “health episode” wherein she fainted after “overheating” in reportedly temperate weather.

The diagnosis was pneumonia and concerns about the 68-year-old presidential aspirant’s health were suddenly validated after months of Clinton/DNC sycophants dismissing them as “conspiracy theories“.

Some still keep the faith in face of the now-undeniable evidence.

In short, it’s the latest in a string of episodes which demonstrate the lack of trustworthiness and transparency to the extent which necessitates the involvement of organizations like Wikileaks, and hackers like Guccifer 2.0 for the American people to learn what they can about a profoundly opaque candidate.

The spin is of course that it’s a Russian plot, just as everything is a “conspiracy theory”, or when in a pinch, just cry “sexism“.

It doesn’t change the fact that the truth is still the truth, even if it’s the Russians who find it.

Bashing, intimidating huge swathes of the electorate is a bizarre get-out-the-vote strategy

It’s an article that was published at the Huffintgon Post back in June (but “updated” Sep. 12) which I managed not to know about (or remember) until now titled “If You Don’t Vote Democrat This November, Then Fuck You“.

Without reading a single word, my immdediate thought was “Well fuck you too, HuffPo”.

Granted, it’s part of the blogger section, where presumably anyone can set up shop, just as I can here, but with the added benefit of riding on the Huffington Post’s name recognition while providing them with free content.

What was so stunning to me was how immediately off-putting this was in every reasonable way, to the extent that I’m flatly uninterested in learning anything about who wrote this, much less responding to it directly because the title alone is a non-starter.

Perhaps it’s fitting that this resurfaces shortly after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” gaffe in which she smeared presumably a quarter of the American electorate as racists/sexists/bigots/homophobes out of hand.

It’s the first phase of what’s become a marquee political tactic of the identitarian, regressive-left called “kafkatrapping” which in part involves the twisted, sinister, and corrosive use of honest denials of bigotry as further evidence of it.

She’s since walked it back, but the truth remains that smears, bashing (sometimes physical), and intimidation not just of Trump voters (particularly voters the opinions of whom stray from political lines mandated for them by authoritarian left-wing elites), but the abuse of those considering third party tickets as well has become a staple of the Democratic party in general, and Clinton surrogates in particular.

It’s breathtaking to behold the arrogance and self-entitlement Clinton surrogates flash when they insult or threaten enormous swathes of the electorate, people they presumably need to convince to vote for their candidate, as a way to somehow entice people to vote their way.

Chances are, if you’ve decided to read this, you likely have already thought of an instance in which a Democrat tried to shame or indimidate you into voting for Hillary Clinton, whomever your actual candidate of choice (if any at all) actually is.

I still don’t even know who I’ll vote for this year, if I even vote at all.

Sticking with the realpolitik of Electoral College math, my vote for President probably wont matter since I live in Texas, which has not gone for a Democratic candidate since 1976.

I still struggle with the decision because even if it doesn’t matter in the big picture, it matters to me as I’ll have to live with it.

Tactics like this however are among the many reasons the Democratic Party indefinitely lost me as a voter.

There’s immense value in knowing when not taking the bait. Anyone watching Donald Trump knows this, as there seems to be no squabble too petty to bait him into.

I don’t even care to unpack a screed like the before-referenced HuffPo piece.

I know I’m not going to win over people like that, much have a civil, substantive conversation. Whether it’s worthwhile to even try is a seperate conversation.

People who say, more or less, “fuck you, now vote for my candidate” instantly disqualify themselves as anyone to be taken seriously. The only response I reccomend?

“Well fuck you too…”

Whatever your values are, it’s important to stand by them, ignoring the threats, smears, violence, and intimidation deployed by Clinton surrogates, cherishing the freedom to vote however you feel is right.

Exercise that right if only to spite those who would almost certainly take it from you.

 

 

Remembering 9/11, Fifteen Years Later – @RefinedRight

I was asked to contribute to a feature at Refined Right speaking about my experiences and thoughts on 9/11, for which I’m thankful.

I still relish the Texans season open victory over the Chicago Bears, watching the Giants/Cowboys game underway as I write this particular blog post.

I’m trying to make it a point not to talk about politics during football games (I’m trying to be more positive in general, which may be too tall an order these days) and enjoy the liberties which, as an American, permit me to enjoy sports mostly at my leisure.

Despite the confluence of the 2016 NFL season opening weekend, and the 15th anniversary (for want of a better word) of the day the lives of nearly 3,000 people were immolated by religious fanatics, I nonetheless feel compelled to say something, being so “‘Murican” by now that the English Premier League football team I’ve thrown my lot in with is named after a building made for storing firearms.

I feel like I’m not particularly good at memorializing tragedies.

On my mind instead are values, and not the kind spouted by duplicitous preacher-men who get caught fucking around on their wives after thundering about the dangers of same-sex marriage and fornication.

Christopher Hitchens, one of my most foundational influences reviled by many of my left-wing now-former political comrades, wrote an obituary of sorts and reflection on the legacy of Osama Bin Laden called “The Enemy“:

In a brilliant essay on the death of Osama bin Laden, Christopher Hitchens insists that the necessity to resist the threat of theocratic fanaticism is by no means cancelled. Hitchens argues that bin Laden and his adherents represented the most serious and determined and bloodthirsty attempt to revive totalitarian and racist ideology since 1945. Further, that while the unending struggle for reason is entitled to take some especial comfort in his demise, the values of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity will always need to be defended and reaffirmed.

It’s not a long read, and available for perhaps less than a cup of coffee, but very well worth the time of anyone interested in defending the values which make an imperfect society worth living in.

I hope you find it as compelling as I but for now, thanks for the opportunity, and thanks to all who contributed to Refined Right’s inagural memoralization of 9/11, which I hope you enjoy, so to speak, as much as I.

I also hope you enjoy this day however you like, as I certainly will after this brief interlude, but for now, my contribution republished here from Refined Right:

I’d just returned from class when I got word of the attacks. I remember a vague numbness, the kind that might understandably accompany disbelief at the sight of a tragedy that might have been a plot point in a summer action movie: “I can’t believe this is happening.” The reality is of course much more horrific, and not just on the scale of carnage revealed after the dust clouds settled that brilliant September day.

The attacks still challenge our ability to reconcile national security with the rights and liberties that make being an American worthwhile in the first place. It also challenges us to defend the small-l classical liberal values which define and undergird (for now) Western society, as well as challenges us to reject mindless forms of multiculturalism which openly make excuses for flying planes into buildings, killing nearly 3,000 people. I didn’t appreciate it then, but as I see the West’s confidence in its own values flag and flail, values I appreciated when I was then on the left and today in the center, I understand that it is more important than ever to stand firm and defend what is great about America.

Colin Kaepernick Reminds Us It’s Always a Good Time To Talk About “Kafkatrapping”

Republished from Refined Right

Colin Kaepernick decided to inject himself into an ever-controversial conversation by sitting for the national anthem during the Aug. 26 preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick, according to NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

I’ve proudly served my country, the United States of America, in a relatively quiet enlistment in the U.S. Army. I remain, however, deliberately unmoved or otherwise “not-offended” by Kaepernick’s disrespect, most importantly because the First Amendment deserves vigorous defense, and also because the idea of “mandatory patriotism” unnerves even me.

It’s important to be aware of a logical fallacy/political tactic called “kafkatrapping” which I first heard of from Wendy McElroy:

The term “kafkatrapping” describes a logical fallacy that is popular within gender feminism, racial politics and other ideologies of victimhood. It occurs when you are accused of a thought crime such as sexism, racism or homophobia. You respond with an honest denial, which is then used as further confirmation of your guilt. You are now trapped in a circular and unfalsifiable argument; no one who is accused can be innocent because the structure of kafkatrapping precludes that possibility.

This will almost certainly sound at least somewhat familiar to conservatives, libertarians, and even more moderate liberals like myself who have ever run afoul of the latest authoritarian left-wing shibboleths.

It is reminiscent of an anecdote (possibly apocryphal) which involves President Lyndon B. Johnson. As the story goes, Johnson spread rumors that a campaign opponent of his was a “pig-f***er.” When reportedly confronted about this by someone within his campaign, the story usually goes that he more or less told a campaign aide that he didn’t care if it was true or not, because he just wanted “to see the son of a b***h deny it.”

Kaepernick’s act of protest likely makes more sense to one who believes the United States is in 2016 morally indistinguishable from slavery, the American South during the Jim Crow era, or apartheid South Africa.

If you don’t agree with why Kaepernick sat, or any of the accompanying political baggage, it’s prudent to understand that whatever your politics are, the kind of people who reflexively side with Kaepernick are going to call you a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe no matter what you say, what you really mean, or whether it’s good or evil which rests in your heart.

They’ll do it with the flimsiest of evidence, if any at all. But as with the Johnson anecdote, even honest denials are treated as further evidence of one’s bigotry.

Such traps aren’t always avoidable, but it’s still helpful to understand how some of them work in order to cope with the fallout.

Ben Shapiro gave a lecture at the University of Missouri (which now hemorrhages money and prospective students due to racially-charged protests in 2015) titled “Truth is a Microaggression.”

It’s well worth a listen in it’s entirety, but when discussing “white privilege”, a term largely deployed to paint even the dirt-poorest coal miners in West Virginia as the apotheosis of evil in the world, Shapiro mentions this as a marquee political tactic used by the identitarian left to intimidate targets into silence or submission.

His advice is to let such smears roll off the back in hopes to deny people who are entirely too loose with accusations of bigotry a staple in how they approach political discourse.

There are still substantive issues surrounding race in the U.S. which are obscured by people who, with all apparent sincerity and conviction, lodge the most ludicrous complaints, such as the claim that eating certain types of food is racist.

Productive conversations about racial issues are impossible so long as a boilerplate political tactic such as mindlessly smearing people as bigots over genuine political disagreements remains an acceptable method of discourse by the noisiest voices in politics.

Until that changes remember that it is sometimes beneficial to fly under the radar. Never, though, should one back down from their own moral convictions in the face of baseless claims.

Re: #VeteransForKaepernick, qualified

If you’re reading this you’re probably aware of San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem.

I might have something coming out soon for Refined Right which explains why I avoid discussions regarding why he sat as bait for a Twitter-trap.

For now, I’ll say this much; I don’t count myself among the #VeteransForKaepernick.

I’m instead simply someone who will take the principled stand to defend his right to do what he did, while remembering my duty to defend my country against him too if I must.

Kaepernick gets to continue his protest next in San Diego, replete with military personnel and their families, which might be interesting:

A new day in journalism with Refined Right

It’s with much pride to all of us involved that Refined Right premieres today.

About us:

Refined Right was created with a very specific vision in mind: to bring people together under the banner of class and intelligent discussion. While we do cover politics and news, among other things, we are not a political publication. Each of our staff and our contributors holds their own views, as we hope to cover a wide spectrum. Right or left is not what matters: what matters is the ideal of open discussion, journalistic integrity, and respect.

We are more than a news organization. Rather, we are a lifestyle publication. Our goal is to provide quality long-form journalism on topics ranging from news and style, to technology and entertainment. We hope to offer our readers a wide range of views on a wide range of issues, in a very particular fashion. Quality, professional, classy, and intelligent. Refined.

In our premiere issue, we feature a peek at abandoned history as revealed by urban exploration, an interview with a rather colorful Texas Supreme Court justice (who’s rickroll I shamelessly retweeted), and a return of “The Chalkening”, this time to the doorsteps of Twitter for their alleged bias against conservatives, libertarians, and even liberals and leftists who might run afoul of the company’s notoriously opaque ways and reasons it punishes users.

I won’t be alone in thanking the entire team involved for this opportunity. It’s already been a hell of a ride as someone who’s politics have become significantly more complicated over the past few years. I won’t trouble you with the details here, except to say that by now you could call me a small-L “Dave Rubin” classical liberal and I wouldn’t object.

Whever I may be politically, I appreciate operating in a writing environment where intellectual diversity matters too.

This day is bittersweet for me personally but hopefully the beginning of something great, while memoralizing my father who passed a year ago today who’s memory I don’t intend to be a mere footnote but for a lack of better words except simply to say, thanks for everything Dad.

Nothing I say can possibly express that strongly enough.

Here is my first with Refined right on the University of Houston student VP who was sanctioned for saying #AllLivesMater in a social media post after three police officers were murdered in Baton Rouge, La.:

I hope you enjoy it, or at the very least find it thought provoking, and whatever contributions mine might be I hope you enjoy the kind of journalism we have to offer at Refined Right.

Dont forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for updates!

Respectfully,

Jacob M. Santillan

Refined Right Contributor