on white reactions

Very interesting notes on an interview with a professor who wrote a book in 2002 on white reactions to cultural trends. Dr. Swain even suggests a distinction between white supremacy and white nationalism. That she is African-American makes this all the more challenging. The New White Nationalism in America may be a book we should read in the age of Trump.

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on climate alarmism

Just a reminder of the large leap between the statement that human activity influences climate and global temperature increases and the apocalyptic alarmist claims about killing the planet. Watch this interview with Dr. Judith Curry on climate changes and public policy.


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Bret Stephens on reactions to terrorism

In the category of columnists able to see a bigger picture, along with Megan McArdle we can add Bret Stephens, who very specifically points out how the obfuscation about Charlottesville that people rightly denounced has been routinely overlooked when the acts of terror were done by groups favored by the Left, especially Jihadists. President Obama and his administration routinely refused to name evil specifically coming from groups they favored. President Trump’s initial reticence was rightly rebuked, but Stephens is right to say the criticism from the Left rings hollow in light of their own practices.

Read the whole thing in the New York Times. I’m sure the responses from typical Times readers will be instructive as well.

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credit when it’s due

No one will confuse the author with a conservative, but somehow in this column she allowed for some nuance in the discussion of the costs and benefits of labor policy. I wonder what kind of quizzical looks she’ll get at the next soirée she attends, assuming the invitations haven’t been withdrawn for her heterodoxy on policy claims.

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McArdle on Damore

One could wish the level of discourse overall in our society was at the level Megan McArdle exemplifies in this column. It shows an awareness and appreciation of both the natural differences that apparently exist between males and females and the structural problems that arise in groups where one gender and its preferences predominates. She also seems to have the sense not to demand purity in one fell swoop while working toward alleviating those structural problems, condemning any who don’t share her vision. If our society could move toward this approach, a lot more could get done.

Read the whole thing.


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on “identity liberals”

I might have used “identity leftists” since there is very little of liberalism in what the author describes here, but I suppose he wanted to stay consistent with the title of the book he cited at the beginning of the essay.

In any case this is a solid assessment. Read the whole thing.

Here’s an important point:

Identity liberals forget that women have sons and husbands too, and worry that their male loved ones will be stigmatized and punished unfairly in the workplace, just as they worry about their female loved ones. What identity liberalism within corporations has done is embed in the structure of corporate culture a set of prejudices and values that are no more just than the ones they replaced.

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on discourse about disagreements

One of the more significant features of the current moment is the extent to which political allegiance has become for so many an all or nothing proposition. It is impossible for some to even acknowledge a weakness in their own point of view, or to acknowledge the strength of some aspect of the opposing point of view, whether it’s gun rights, abortion, immigration, climate science, or the presidency of Donald Trump. Anyone who deigns to acknowledge the slightest deviation from absolute agreement with the absolute extreme of one side is banished. This has led to much of the violent mob actions in 2017.

Damon Linker writing for The Week provides a wonderful model from the Left of how to do better, and how to do very well in talking about these things. He is a voice of reason in an online cacophony. Here he makes suggestions on how to work on the question of immigration and refugees. (h/t Clifford Humphrey). That’s just a taste of his approach to these things. He’s always worth reading.

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on finding common ground

There is a marvelous profile of a Democrat in Iowa that underscores much of the problem in our politics today. The problem is the polarization on certain issues that have come to define Left and Right when many people in each party, Democrat and Republican, are not doctrinaire enough for the leadership and/or the social media mobs that want to define each party. I hope the Democrats and the Republicans both find more room for people like Mr. Fedler to direct their agendas.

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on avoiding the division that exists

Mark Steyn observes the monotonous response to the bombing in Manchester, the mantra of refusing to allow terrorists to sow division, which ignores the sharp division that exists in Western countries between those who wish them to continue in their diversity and those who wish to unite them under Islam.

Does history matter? Does the present? What will the future be like? These are questions Western leaders need to consider as they observe the treatment of history and the present by Islamists.

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on unintended consequences

Walter Russell Mead has been a keen observer of society and its arrangements and structures, especially what he calls the “Blue model” of government, where public spending becomes a key support of economic support for certain demographic groups. Notably in the past decade Mead has noted the increasing difficulties for the Blue model, and the increasing weakness of its support of those it intends to help.

The current situation in Puerto Rico typifies the problem, and Mead comments here. As the title of his post highlights, the unfortunate irony is the cruel results of what is apparently intended as compassion.

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