Benighted woman justifies the punching of “Nazis”

February 4, 2017 • 12:15 pm

Dan Arel continues to defend the punching of Nazis (read: “any white supremacist”), tweeting a link to one of the most misguided articles I’ve seen in the past year:

Yes, go have a read at The Establishment of “Why punching Nazis is not only ethical, but imperative,” by Katherine Cross (identified as “Sociologist, Transfeminist, Gaming Critic, Opera-loving slug matron, itinerant Valkyrie, and @Feministing columnist.” She’s also a grad student in sociology at the City University of New York) Her argument, as the title states, is that it’s our moral duty to punch Nazis because of what they did during World War II, because they’re fundamentally antidemocratic, and because they would destroy this country if they were allowed to speak freely (which, she says, they shouldn’t be).

This is the scary kind of violent rhetoric that we predicted from Trump supporters, but is actually coming almost exclusively from the Regressive Left—that group of people who now think that civil disobedience should involve physical assault on people they disagree with. And this attitude appears to be spreading, as we see not only from Arel, who once was sane, but also from the Berkeley anarchists who shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’s talk. (There are more; just Google “punching Nazis,” and you’ll find other apologists like this one.)

Cross is of course referring to Richard Spencer, an odious white supremacist who, while giving an interview on January 20 in Washington (Inauguration Day), was punched in the face by what looks to be a hooded anarchist. Here’s the video:

First of all, is Spencer a Nazi? He denies it, and he’s not a member of the American Nazi Party, but he certain aligns with much of the ideology behind neo-Nazism. As Wikipedia notes:

Spencer has repeatedly quoted from Nazi propaganda and denounced Jews, and has on several occasions refused to denounce Adolf Hitler.

Spencer and his organization drew considerable media attention in the weeks following the 2016 presidential election, where, in response to his cry “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”, a number of his supporters gave the Nazi salute and chanted in a similar fashion to the Sieg heil chant used at the Nazis’ Nuremberg rallies. Spencer has defended their conduct, stating that the Nazi salute was given in a spirit of “irony and exuberance”.[14]

So he’s an anti-Semitic white supremacist who seems to knowingly co-opt aspects of Nazi behavior. But he’s not a Nazi per se, and we shouldn’t call all white supremacists Nazis, which immediately aligns them with the Hitlerian ideology that may not be appropriate.

Even so, did Spencer deserve to get punched? Cross says “yes,” and that it’s our obligation to punch him. Why? Cross gives several reasons (her words are indented):

1). Spencer should be punched because he conjures up the Holocaust.  Cross says this:

For the mainline liberals and conservatives who lament the punching of Richard Spencer, the young white supremacist activist who coined the term “alt-right,” Nazism remains a theoretical construct, an “idea” that can be debated and defeated without a shot being fired in anger. For the rest of us — for many Jews, for ethnic and religious minorities, for queer people — Nazism is an empirical fact with the solidity of iron roads leading to walled death camps.

The camps are Nazism’s endpoint; it is what Nazism is for. Nazism serves as a refuge for whites dislocated by mass society and modernity, who seek someone to blame for their anomic dread. With that in mind, we must be very explicit about what Nazism’s relationship to democracy must be, and refuse dangerous, whitewashing euphemisms when discussing it (e.g. “you support punching someone who disagrees with you”).

Not all white supremacists are calling for concentration camps for Jews—in fact, I know of none who are. But even if they did, they have the right to say it under the First Amendment, for it doesn’t inspire immediate violence. Of course I’d oppose that call with every atom of my being, and I’m confident enough in today’s world that reminding people of the Holocaust is sufficient to ensure that rational people won’t fall under Spencer’s sway. As for that “whitewashing euphemism,” well, it’s not as euphemistic as you think given the recent political violence we’ve seen. Milo Yiannopoulos, for instance, is not a Nazi, regardless of what you think about him.

2.) Spencer should be punched because his words may actually create a Holocaust of either Jews or African-Americans. 

Yes, it could be said that I “disagree” with Spencer that a genocide of Black Americans is desirable, but I believe he should be punched because of the very real risk that he could galvanize such an event into actually happening. This is a fear supported by the tremendous weight of our history, and by the fact that we had to fight the bloodiest war of our species’ existence the last time Nazism came into conflict with modern democracy. To call this a “disagreement” is an unspeakable slight against millions of dead.

First of all, punching people like Spencer merely gets them sympathy; it doesn’t stop them from promulgating their ideas. And to suppose that our country is on the verge of creating Auschwitz-like camps for anyone is simply unjustified hysteria. But of course the Regressive Left, of which Cross appears to be the type specimen, likes to whip up such hysteria by branding their opponents with the worst names possible: racist, misogynist, Nazi.

3.) Spencer should be punched because his views abuse democracy. We should not let these people speak, and we should beat them up, too.

Fascism is a cancer that turns democracy against itself unto death. There is no reasoning with it. It was specifically engineered to attack the weaknesses of democracy and use them to bring down the entire system, arrogating a right to free speech for itself just long enough to take power and wrench it away from everyone else. Simply allowing Nazis onto a stage, as the BBC did when it let British National Party leader Nick Griffin sit and debate with political luminaries on its Question Time program, is to give them an invaluable moral victory. Like creationists who debate evolutionary biologists, the former benefit mightily from the prestige of the latter.

In using this tactic, Nazis abuse the democratic forum to illegitimately lend credence to something that is otherwise indefensible, the equality of the stage giving the unforgivable appearance of “two sides” to a position that is anathema to public decency. This is not because Nazis love democracy or free speech, but because they know how to use this strategy to unravel them.

Yes, allowing odious speech is “abusing the democratic forum.” In other words, we can’t allow people like Spencer the rights of other citizens in a democracy, like free speech, because they will use those rights to destroy democracy. Now I don’t think Spencer has the inalienable right to a platform in a university, but if he’s legitimately invited, then yes, he should be allowed to speak. Opponents should be allowed to protest peacefully, ask questions in the Q&A session, and engage in counterspeech. And yes, Spencer should be allowed to get a permit to stand on a soapbox in the park and bawl his hatred out to high heaven.

In fact, people like Cross herself are the ones who endanger democracy. As far as I know, Spencer hasn’t called for censoring or physically assaulting anyone. In a country run by Cross, that would not only be legal, but encouraged, and people like Spencer wouldn’t be allowed to speak. (Presumably Cross would be The Decider.) Free speech? Only for those with acceptable views! Further, the “credibility” argument doesn’t hold for me. While I won’t myself debate creationists because that gives them the cachet of having a real scientist think they’re worth debating, I wouldn’t for a moment try to censor them in public talks simply because they’re wrong. (Public schools, of course, are a different matter: teaching creationism is teaching lies to children, and at the same time pushing unconstitutional religious views on them.)

4.) Spencer should be punched because hurting him reveals “the shared humanity that Nazis deny.” With this argument Cross takes herself to Cloud-Cuckoo Land, for in what sense is hurting people you don’t like a form of “shared humanity”? Perhaps in a just war, but surely not among citizens in a democratic land. But listen to Ms. Cross (my emphasis):

As I noted earlier, Nazism is democracy’s anti-matter; coming into contact with it is often destructive for our institutions because it is the personification of bad faith with malice aforethought. The only nonviolent solution is to marginalize Nazism from public life in our society — one may be free to hold these views, but not to try and spread them at the highest echelons of our public fora. When, however, someone like Spencer does come along and is being feted in the mainstream, there are no other options available to us.

The vulnerability of Nazis cannot be revealed through debate — many thinkers who lived through the Second World War, from Karl Popper, to Hannah Arendt, to Jean Paul Sartre, have been quite clear about why dispassionate discourse with men like Richard Spencer is not only pointless, but actively dangerous.

 The use of force, by contrast, does reveal the shared humanity that Nazis deny. Our vulnerability is one of the things that links us all, seven billion strong, in a humane fragility. These are essential aspects of our humanity that both Nazi mythology and channer troll culture deny. Punching a Nazi, by contrast, reveals it. It reveals they are no masters, but quite eminently capable of fear, of pain, of vulnerability. And that takes the shine off; it eliminates their mystique, and it puts the lie to the idea that their ideology is an armor against the pains of modernity.
That alone justifies Richard Spencer being punched in the face on camera.

It is this kind of stuff that scares me about the Regressive Left. They not only twist language out of its normal meaning to justify violence—something that Orwell warned about repeatedly, but use their new language to justify hurting other human beings. Indeed, it’s not just ethical to hurt them, but required.  You know what this leads to: people punching Muslims for their “noncompliance” with the tenets of Western society, Jews for being exponents of occupation and promoting an “apartheid” state, and people like Milo (not a Nazi!) being punched for promoting “hate speech.”

This is not a road that progressives want to travel. I’m far more scared of an authoritarian like Cross than of a white supremacist like Spencer. Spencer will never achieve anything, but Cross, along with Arel and others, is rapidly convincing many progressives that it’s okay to hurt the bodies of people who hurt your feelings.  And that is fundamentally antidemocratic.

Katherine Cross, Decider of Who Gets Punched

300 thoughts on “Benighted woman justifies the punching of “Nazis”

    1. +1

      FGL, I just want to say that I am loving your contributions to these discussions. Your comments always make me think. The stuff about Sweden was also very illuminating.

      1. Thank you.

        I think comparisons can be invaluable in these kind of discussions, since it can both put critical aspects into perspective, expose hypocrisy and break circular reasoning.

        I also think Sweden in many aspects is in front of the curve, and, can act like a canary and a warning of what might be in store for others further down the line.

        It is not unreasonable to believe that the inherent (current) problems with for example the Geneva refugee convention ultimately might come to its head here.

  1. A friend linked this article to me this morning:

    Some highlights:

    here are some fundamental things to understand about Hitler:

    1. He took over a small, failing state that didn’t have separated government, enumerated powers or checks and balances. It’s difficult for a guy like that to show up here, in this system.

    2. His entire political career was violent from the beginning. There was always death in his wake. He didn’t just suddenly “turn” violent. It was a pattern …as it always is with sociopaths. This is THE most important thing to watch; the violence. I always keep an eye on who is rioting …breaking things …throwing rocks and bombs. It doesn’t make them Nazis. But it signals how far they’re willing to go.

    3. He entered office with his own personal military construct (the SS) with allegiance to him ONLY. They would carry out things the regular military would never carry out: i.e. the murder of private citizens and political opponents. Nothing like that exists or COULD exist in America. We simply wouldn’t allow it.

    4. He didn’t start out just killing Jews. He started out euthanizing people with special needs …for the betterment of the care-givers’ lives. (You can decide which side of the aisle favors the extermination of “inconvenient” people).

    5. He disarmed the population, then nationalized healthcare and education. (Two-out-of-three of those are Bernie Sanders moves …But, guess what? Bernie isn’t Hitler either …not by a long shot)

    OH, and if it’s ok to punch “Nazis”, then it’s ok to punch anyone with leftist leanings, after all, ‘pinko commies’ killed MILLIONS.

    1. I have a minor quibble. I can’t see by any definition how when Hitler took over Germany was a small state. Prior to World War I, it was the most powerful state in Europe, militarily and I believe economically. Under Hitler, it quickly regained its military dominance and took a massive effort by several nations to defeat him in World War II.

      Under the Weimar Repubic, Germany was largely disarmed, but had the capacity to quickly reverse that condition, which is what happened.

      1. True, Germany was no “small state” in political power or military terms. But before Hitler it was already rebuilding its military – covertly in USSR territory and its airforce under fairly flimsy cover within Germany itself under the Weimar republic and had been doing so considerably. From William Keylor

    2. Wow.

      1. I fail to see how the USA at this point have working checks and balances. There is an enormous amount of power vested in the president alone and the heavily gerrymandered legislative seems to rubber-stamp all he wants. Only the courts are left, but they are often politicised and stacked with partisans. We’ll see how that goes. Either way, Weimar Germany had an overly powerful president, a government appointed by the president, a legislative, and courts, just like the USA. It was certainly not a failing state in the sense of Somalia.

      2. As a German I wasn’t aware that Hitler had personally murdered somebody. But from context I guess this is meant to imply that only leftists ever riot, and right-wingers never attack anybody. Ahahaha.

      3. The first few sentences here made me think that for the first time a valid point might be made, then comes “we would never allow that in the USA”. Ye gods. Yes, by all means continue to believe that US citizens are morally superior humans than everybody else. Good luck.

      4. Not sure what the point here is.

      5. And here is where the sneaking suspicion that this screed is out of right wing Lala Land is decisively confirmed. Germany’s public health insurance was established in 1883, six year before Hitler was born. The setup of the public education system did not significantly change during Nazi times, although of course a totalitarian dictatorship takes a lot of influence on what is taught, be the system public or private. While on the topic of what Hitler did, he also boasted in his first months in office that he had eradicated atheism.

        1. I did not say that. These points are complete nonsense even if the non-sequitur conclusion that Trump does not equal Nazi is correct. At best they are like “the sky is blue, therefore chocolate is delicious”.

          1. And apparently I used up all my mental energies looking up Otto von Bismarck’s health insurance law. I meant to write something like “chocolate is made from tar, therefore chocolate is delicious”.

            More generally, this topic has made me wonder when people consider it appropriate to compare somebody to the Nazis. Although clearly the comparison is very much over-used, it does not seem very helpful to insist on a 100% fit either. In the extreme that would lead to “but they committed genocide against five million instead of six million people, so you can’t say they are like the Nazis”. Surely that would be absurd. But conversely, the five points above seem simply irrelevant to establishing whether the comparison is valid, even if the comparison is ultimately invalid in this case.

      1. The US has a lot of elaborate checks and balances that quite often frustrate the majority on economic issues but are also designed to prevent extreme tyrannous measures on any issue. Hence Trump currently copping it from the Federal courts. Not to say the US system doesnt have problems and Trump isn’t utterly vile. But it is Not Nazi Germany and it doesnt excuse anarchist violence.

        In prewar Germany – actually pre WW1 Germany The Junker military elite that ran the country needed to buy off the workers – but it was still not really democratic – there were guilds of interests but they made sure to ensure that the feudal Junker class retained power over parliament under the Kaisers. The workers were important because they were determined to be a major industrial power which they were. This was weakened somewhat under Weimar but the Weimar was just a very weak parliament – except for its resolve to build up Germany’s military. The military check arrangements on Frances northern border were gradually eroded then abandoned. the European great powers were too busy competing with each other for territory in the interval and America -w which held the ring of the huge debts UK and France owed it- waived german reparations altogether after a very few years and wasn’t worried by German rearmament either.

        1. This is not really an argument against what I wrote. You start by claiming that the USA have exceptional checks and balances, and then argue that Weimar failed not because of a lack of checks and balances (which it had) but because of the social and political forces at play.

          Just my point. The constitution of your country with all of its much-vaunted checks and balances means nothing if 51% of your compatriots decide to ignore it, regardless of which country yours is.

          1. 51%? Please, educate yourself. You really are not aware of the full extent of checks and balances in the American system.

            The checks are mainly against the government and majorities (or powerful minorities) stepping on the rights of individuals.

              1. Yes, I understand your point now. Even a determined 10% (or less) when much of the remaining population is apathetic or ignorant could tear down the system. I’m not worried we are even approaching that sort of danger in the U.S.

        2. Republicans have been working to subvert governments checks and balances for decades.
          It could be said it started with Newt Gingrich’s plan to destabilize congress and make America hate it. He was wildly successful.

          Republicans have been trying to get control of the voting system in every state possible so they can institute voting ID laws and polling closures that disenfranchise targeted voters. Republicans have admitted it. They have succeeded and expanded voter ID laws and targeted closures, and will continue to do so with newly won states.

          The Republican’s plan to block Obama at every point was decided before Obama was even sworn in.
          Obama had more appointments not voted on, (never mind voted down) than any other president ever.

          The point of not voting for Obama’s SCOTUS appointment (and many other appointments) was a direct assault on the checks and balances of government.

          This isn’t an accident, this is a long term plan to capture as many of the levers (checks and balances) of government as possible.

          It’s working.

          While Democrats and supporters have had success in fighting some of the voter ID laws and targeted poll closures in lower courts, eventually Trump will get his nomination to SCOTUS. Then Trump, and Republicans at all levels of government will start bringing cases they have lost to the US Supreme court.
          A court they will most likely control for decades to come. I wonder how long Ginsberg will hold on, now at 83 years old.
          Many of those cases will be voter suppression cases.

          No, the US is not Nazi Germany, Trump is not Hitler, but for US government checks and balances to work there must be agreement that those checks and balances are necessary and good, and not something to be cast aside or exploited for the sake of power grabs. It requires seeing the opposition as having legitimacy, in power or out.

          Republicans want power for powers sake, Trumps election shows they want power at practically any cost, all their supposed precious ideals tossed aside.

          To quote Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein:
          Today’s Republican Party has little in common even with Ronald Reagan’s GOP, or with earlier versions that believed in government. Instead it has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition . . . all but declaring war on the government.”

          “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism” by Thomas E. Mann & Norman J. Ornstein

      2. On the contrary, I think that the US checks and balances are working. Judges are overthrowing illegitimate orders by the US president, and the poor one has to resort to angry tweets.

  2. Of course, Ms. Cross won’t be doing any of the punching. She will leave that for her brown-shirted compatriots. #ivorytowerhero

    1. Precisely, just the sort of person Hitler welcomed as long as he could use them.
      It used to be axiomatic that violence will be answered by violence (the Nazi relied on getting a violent reaction to bolster the ranks of their fighters) has something changed and I didn’t notice?

  3. That’s amazing about Katherine Cross — where’d she find that “Opera-loving slug”? Wonder whether it prefers Verdi or Wagner.

    1. She probably asked (and heard an answer from) one of Prince Chuckie Saxe-Coburg-Big-Ears much talked-to plants.

  4. “…our moral duty to punch Nazis because of what they did during World War II,…”

    Goebbels’ secretary just died the other day at the age of 106. I find the ideas of punching little old ladies (and old men) repugnant, even if they did do horrible things before I was born.

    1. It also leads to the question of whether we have to punch communists, anti-free speech advocates, leftist anarchists, etc. because of what they’ve done over the course of modern history.

    2. Holding the people of today accountable for the sins of people who lived in the past who superficially resembled them in appearance is standard doctrine for the regressive left.

        1. I was wondering, would people approve of punching a woman who was spouting white supremacist speech? Not all bigots are men. Would it be okay if a man punched her, or only another woman?

          1. As fat as I’m concern it doesn’t make any difference. It’s the violence that’s the problem.

            In my latest post I said it was disgusting not only when Robert Spencer got elbowed in the face, but when a female Trump supporter at UCB was pepper-sprayed in the face. (Both were caught on camera.)

            Violence in wrong. There are no ifs, ands or buts, just a full stop (or period as USIans say).

            1. I agree. I was wondering about people who do approve of punching Nazis–if they saw a man slugging a woman, would they applaud it? Or would that be “punching down?”

          2. Also, if a Muslim calls for extermination of all Jews, should he be punched as well?
            (Yes, Muslims weren’t those who perpetrated the Holocaust, but neither were American white supremacists)

  5. Violence is exciting. It’s an adrenaline rush.

    People who are addicted to violence don’t just switch off at the end of the day. Thugs who solve problems with their fists will go home and beat their partner because their dinner isn’t on the table. People who cannot reason with another adult will find beating their kids easier than teaching them how to behave.

    What we have here is feminists normalising macho behaviour. To object to violence will become ‘unmanly’.

    If the personal is political then this new form ‘politics’ will cross over into the domestic sphere.

    1. There have been violent feminists since the movement started. Just look at the contingent that wasn’t with Susan B. Anthony, which engaged in what was effectively terrorism. For a more recent example, look at what they did to Erin Pizzey when she tried to support abused men.

      1. No Its in the atavistic regressive lefts mentality that the past and traditional (in their case, non white traditional or else a mythical pre monetary existence in medieval times) is better than modernity and that modernity is uniquely bad.

        1. All while they use the internet, electronic devices, and enjoy the comfort of things like air conditioning and every other comfort modernity has afforded them.

          1. I saw a video the other day which sums up these coddle middle class anti-FA LARPers perfectly…

            The scene:

            Anti-fa are forming a blockade across the street.

            A man, on his way to *work*, is prevented from going to work by the very people who claim to be fighting for the proletariat…

            He tells them, rudely, to get out of the way, and an anti-fa throws a punch. Proletariat man defends himself, beating down violent anti-fa protestor.

            Anti-fa then whine, saying ‘someone call the cops, one of us was assaulted’


            1. Reminds me of the video of the female news reporter from Rebel News (admittedly a right wing trump supporting type media outlet, but not being aggressive or wearing pro trump gear) who was punched by a male women’s march supporter in a “women’s march” against Trump in Canada. No one lifted a finger to apprehend him and one of the organisers actually lambasted the reporter for making things unsafe! Pathetic.

    2. A very large proportion of terrorists, whatever their beliefs, have a history of family violence.

      The family is where the violence starts – where bullies get their practice before they take it to the workplace, the streets, and elsewhere. It’s a well known precursor to more and more violent acts.

      1. This contradicts the well known positions of Steven Pinker and Judith Rich Harris. Do you have new information, or or you quoting old discredited beliefs they labored so heavily to disprove?

        1. I don’t see where I’m contradicting them. I’m not saying people who suffer violence or abuse become perpetrators – I don’t believe that- just that if they are violent/abusive, they’ve often been victims. In fact, I did not believe the “abused become abusers” myth before the data showed it was a myth. It never made sense to me. To me it always seemed more logical that if you were a victim you wouldn’t want anyone else to go through the same thing. It was certainly my reaction.

          Also, violent people are more likely to be like that at home before they take their violence into the public arena, not the other way around. It is true though, that they rarely just switch off from violence when they get home unless they’re a sociopath or something.

            1. No worries. I can see that I hadn’t worded my comment that clearly and it would’ve been easy to read it the way you did.

              1. You guys are handling this all wrong.

                Needs more:

                “You’re a xenophobic, sexist, victim-blaming bigot!”

                “You’re a racist, elitist, nazi WASP!”

                “You’re a narrow-minded, euro-centric, victim-blaming nazi!”

                “You’re a racist, hyper-masculine, islamophobic pig!”


              2. If I ever turn into an SJW, I give you permission to use any of those phrases on me.

                Of course, in that instance, I will deny ever having given permission despite the evidence of putting this in writing. 🙂

              3. I’ve got you covered Heather. You need never take responsibility for anything ever again:

                Fictionkin – Someone who identifies as coming from a world that is fictional outside of one’s head.
                Fictive – A member of a system who originates from a work of fiction. This is a controversial term, and some find it offensive and prefer the term “soulbond.”
                Fronting – When a member of a system has control over the body’s actions and consciousness.

                Co-fronting – When two or more members of a system share consciousness and bodily actions of the host/core.
                Core – Can refer to either the original owner of the body of the system, or to a central part of the headspace.

                Spirit Companion – A spirit involved in a partnership (of any kind) with an individual.


                Just blame it on your spirit companion!


                Yes, this is real.
                Yes, this is a trend.
                It’s all over Tumblr and has been for some time.

                On an *entirely* serious note, I do blame modern society for the fact that many young people are choosing various special snowflake identities. People want to be valued. They want to stand out. And it’s really hard to be special in the vast world of social media. Taking on an otherkin, a non-binary or a headmate identity gives you instant snowflake status with minimal investment. And no one can prove you wrong. Your identity is unfalsifiable.

              4. I keep thinking it can’t get worse. Then it does. I suppose I’ll just have to get used to the idea of being old and out of touch.

                It’s all pretty sad really, though I’d have more sympathy if they weren’t so effing irritating.

  6. Cross is a star among the “social justice” crowd – their version of an “intellectual”. I’ve seen her writing for a few years now, after her profile rose from being part of the anti-GamerGate backlash.

    Her views are deeply authoritarian – the degree to which you rights should be protected is only to the degree to which you’re “marginalized”, and the rights of non-marginalized must always take a back seat to the will of the marginalized. Kind of a nasty piece of work, too – much of her writing shows a deep and personal hatred (even by SJW standards) for those she considers privileged. Also somebody who’s so deeply sectarian that she’s gone after people for being too neutral on the GamerGate controversy, and after Bernie Sanders supporters for not sufficiently supporting identity politics.

    Her favorite rhetorical device is to paint those she disagrees with as perpetrators of online harassment, and I won’t be surprised if she’ll try and play that card against Jerry Coyne after this article.

    1. “‘and after Bernie Sanders supporters for not sufficiently supporting identity politics.””

      Lest anyone forget, Sanders supporters – ‘BernieBros’, were smeared as being ‘sexist, racist and homophobic’ during the election…

      So, for those who are advocating that “Nazis” be punched, bear in mind that there are people who consider *you* to be a Nazi for your support of Sanders.

      1. That’s par for the transactivist’s course. They’ve conducted smear campaigns on psychologists they don’t like, accusing them of child molestation, and such. They bombard employers with such accusations, and threats until the psychologist or researcher is fired.

      1. I am afraid I differ here. I hope, I really do, she tries to whip up a mob against a professor emeritus for the crime of opposing thuggery. She won’t though, because it will be too public, with a target too well known.

      2. In my opinion people like Cross are encouraging the formation of Distributed Vigilante mobs. Using social people to egg on violent behaviour, agitators for the digital age – at what point does encouraging violence in others become incitement and illegal? speech’?

        Vigilante mobs, even distributed ones, are not reliable or controllable. I think we should be personally careful not to be drawn into the thrill of fashionable offence.

        I salute the measured responses of PCCE!

    2. “Her views are deeply authoritarian – the degree to which you rights should be protected is only to the degree to which you’re ‘marginalized’…”

      Oh, she doesn’t even have enough room for all of them. She has supported the harassment and doxxing people who are from groups she considers “marginalized” simply for not agreeing with her views.

      Because, as you know, white regressives think people from “marginalized” groups are a monolith, and any who don’t fall in line are traitors.

      1. As per our discussion yesterday BJ…

        Marginalized people are only a tool that exist to be used in order to push her own agenda. Minority Muslims such as AHA and Maajid Nawaz can be thrown under the bus because they disrupt the narrative.

    3. “Cross is a star among the “social justice” crowd – their version of an “intellectual”.”

      I’m no fan of academic philosophy for the most part, but in this case I’d love to see someone capable of imagining and presenting a number of examples of ideological disagreements debate Cross and try to get her to define just where her “violence is not only permitted but encouraged” mindset falters… I suspect it’d be child’s play to tie her up in intellectual knots.

      1. Yes. I’d like to see someone challenge her on how she developed her philosophy and where she got her ideas. Because the parallels to Naziism are strong. She’s authoritarian in the extreme, and seems incapable of self-reflection.

        What’s the bet she is a survivor of childhood violence? Despite her obvious intelligence, she doesn’t seem to have learned how to solve problems. She just lashes out and tries to force her opinion on others instead of trying to reason with them.

        And of course, needing to resort to violence in this context is a sure sign you can’t back up your pov with sound arguments.

        1. That all makes sense.

          Or, to risk being called a cynic, perhaps she just has an excellent grasp of clickbait. 😉

          1. Or, to risk being called a cynic,

            You say that as if you think it is a bad thing. Either to be a cynic (“realist” in some dictionaries), or to be accused of being a cynic.

            1. You got me.

              I’m damned proud to be a cynic, and if only we didn’t scorn them in principle I’d be proudly flying my cynics’ flag.

              1. Sadly, either Google lets me down, or a certain toy company’s lawyers are being just a little too protective.
                (The putative lawyers, I can see sleeping easily after taking out a prostitution site “Bros’R’Us” ; Cynics’r’us, OTOH is less obviously harmful and you could fight an argument on it being valuably educational.)

        2. “…incapable of self-reflection.”

          A defining characteristic of both the regressive left and the religious right.

  7. Look, the other evening I flipped over to Fox News (out of some deep-seated, subconscious Freudian masochistic streak, no doubt) and there, saying words to each other, were the split-screen visages of Tucker Carlson and Ted Cruz — the two most-punchable faces in the modern American mediascape, the merging binary black-holes of punchability.

    It was a battle, but I desisted in putting a boot through the tube. If I can manage that, I’ve no sympathy for those who resort to violence against mere Nazis.

  8. Free speech? Only for those with acceptable views!

    The history of Freethoughtblogs over several years shows how, if you once allow people to be cast out of the discussion and beyond acceptable society, owing to their views, then the encompass of what views are acceptable becomes rapidly to be drawn tighter and tighter.

    1. I commented there for about 6 months. I noticed that if I wanted the regulars to pay any attention to me that I had to act in an abusive manner.
      So say I am debating abortion. I can’t be like “bro, your info is wrong, here are some citations”. Not angry enough. But, I would get positive feedback from them if I phrased it “you ignorant fucking shitstain why don’t you educate yourself you misogynist piece of shit + citations”
      It is kind of frightening to think that these people felt that engaging in verbally abusive behavior was righteous and just.

      Shameless butt-kissing time :: I really like the fact that PCC enforces civility on this site. If anything, it keeps one’s mind on the *quality* of the argument vs winning some kind of pissing match with emotion alone

      1. I agree entirely with both your points here Cindy.

        And I don’t think it’s sucking up when it’s the truth!

      2. It is fascinating how swearing and abusive language is such a feature of the SJW blogs and especially comment sections.

        On the other hand, it seems somewhat easy to understand. People love to let anger out. It’s a form of feeling powerful. And self-righteous anger, where you are just sure you are shouting from the moral high ground, is the most satisfying feeling. You have full license to take all the gloves off and let your “id” have full reign, because damn it your targets are just so obviously wrong and therefore a##holes. And the more angry you are the more self-re-enforcing this is that you are right…in a world where we always have to add caveats, keep civil, and shade things in gray, THIS is something I’m just flat out right about, to the point that I can hurl abuse at someone who thinks otherwise. So you get the double-whammy satisfaction, a sort of feedback loop of feeling you really have a hold of a truth, and being angry, which just re-enforces to yourself – and others in your group – how damned right you are on this one!

        1. The funny things is, that that is very much what seems to be happening (in ritualistic form) when the in the old days, the men got together to try and “hit” those pesky neighbors in the valley yonder…

          …they are so wrong, we where here first, and do you see how ugly they are… and evil, I am certain that the old crone we saw a week ago has cast a spell on me, because I fart constantly… Yeah, yeah, and last year they bewitched my cousins nice, and she was only 6. What evil monsters, kill em all, yeah yeah…

          Usually a lot of singing, drinking body paintings commenced, rattling of spears and shields in front of all the women, and then it was of to hit your enemy for six…

          Sigh… we never seem to learn…

        2. Before Pharyngula got as scathing and obnoxious as it is now, repeated recommendations from the regulars finally convinced me to read a couple of books that turned out to be worth it. One was Mistakes were Made (But Not by Me), one of those pop-psych books that actually makes a good point: about how people who basically agree with each other to begin with can get hung up on minor disagreements which they become more and more adamant and contentious about until ultimately these previous allies are at each others’ throats. Then as the regressive/alt/CTRL left rose to prominence and crowded out all other thought there, I was struck by the irony of their erstwhile recommendation…

          (The other book they convinced me to read–for which I’ll be forever grateful!–was Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel. I can only imagine what they think of her now!)

            1. Glad you like it, but I stole it from someone else here a few days or weeks ago. I agree, it’s brilliant! Would love to see it gain some traction. 🙂

            1. Indeed! New concept for me–or I should say, new name for what’s no doubt been a frequently noted concept as long as something called human nature has been recognized…

              Forgot about the Life of Brian example. 😉

  9. Over at The Spectator somebody has quoted this passage from George Orwell’s Coming Up For Air:

    It was a voice that sounded as if it could go on for a fortnight without stopping. It’s a ghastly thing, really, to have a sort of human barrel-organ shooting propaganda at you by the hour. The same thing over and over again. Hate, hate, hate. Let’s all get together and have a good hate. Over and over. It gives you the feeling that something has got inside your skull and is hammering down on your brain. But for a moment, with my eyes shut, I managed to turn the tables on him. I got inside his skull. It was a peculiar sensation. For about a second I was inside him, you might almost say I was him. At any rate, I felt what he was feeling.

    I saw the vision that he was seeing. And it wasn’t at all the kind of vision that can be talked about. What he’s saying is merely that Hitler’s after us and we must all get together and have a good hate. Doesn’t go into details. Leaves it all respectable. But what he’s seeing is something quite different. It’s a picture of himself smashing people’s faces in with a spanner. Fascist faces, of course. I know that’s what he was seeing. It was what I saw myself for the second or two that I was inside him. Smash! Right in the middle! The bones cave in like an eggshell and what was a face a minute ago is just a great big blob of strawberry jam. Smash! There goes another! That’s what’s in his mind, waking and sleeping, and the more he thinks of it the more he likes it. And it’s all O.K. because the smashed faces belong to Fascists. You could hear all that in the tone of his voice.

  10. Violence has a time and place. In America, we are nowhere near the point where vigilante violence is needed to defend liberal values. Just the opposite – the “punching Nazis” sort will be highly counter productive. We should insist and be patient that our democratic institutions will do their jobs. These punching advocates are dangerous amateurs who will only accelerate what they claim to be opposing.

    1. I have no problem with using self-defense. But lately, the left and the right are treating such incidents more like a sporting event/photo op. Even someone on the left that I respected has gone this route. I’m 68yrs, and this behavior is new to me. It still don’t know what to make of it or do about it.

      1. I suspect that there have always been outbreaks of offence being take violently. Previously limited to small communities, pubs and bars, some political rallies, or sports events.

        What is different now it the use of media, especially social media, to whip up the emotions of ‘like minded people’ who may never have met.

    2. We humans (on average) I would claim genuinely dislike fear, chaos and uncertainty, and, when that happens, we rapidly shrink our circle of empathy, to those who look like us, talk like us, and behave like us, and become much more conservative in our outlook.

      We are psychological risk averse, (Kahneman/Tversky), and, I think one of the easiest ways to go from democracy to an authoritarian or totalitarian system, is by inciting fear.

      I think it has Hannah Arendt who wrote, (In the Origins of Totalitarianism), that,

      ‘Nothing proved easier to destroy, than the privacy and private morality of people who thought of nothing but safeguarding their private lives.’

      We have been here so many times before, but so many people seem to have learned all the wrong lessons, and focus more on the surface representation, than the underlying structure and processes.

    3. Just the opposite – the “punching Nazis” sort will be highly counter productive.

      Counter-productive for whom?
      Have these people never worked in an organisation where you are certain that agents provocateurs/em> are working, but not sure who they are?

  11. I’m wondering how long the left is going to remain pro-gun control.

    It seems to me that if they genuinely believe that America is descending into fascism that this is an instance where the constitution provides for an armed militia to counter the state’s power.

    1. We need to have the state remain in control of the citizens. Democracy is the antidote to tyranny. Resisting state power with guns usually does not work out well, unless you enjoy rubble and dead bodies. See Syria for a recent example.

      Widespread unregulated gun ownership is a big part of the reason why we have so much violence in this country. That and our semi-functional economic system.

      1. “Widespread unregulated gun ownership is a big part of the reason why we have so much violence in this country.”

        I support strict gun control, but I have to say that I’m not sure this particular statement I’ve quoted is true. A place like Canada has a widely armed populace, but significantly less violence. I’m not sure where that leaves us in terms of an answer for the discrepancy, though.

          1. Haha fair enough, but I think it must be a confluence of many factors, such as culture, greater heterogeneity, etc.

        1. I’m Canadian. I don’t think we have a widely armed populace. The only guns I’ve seen in Canada were carried by police or military. The only people I’ve known who own guns are hunters or farmers.

          1. We have about 1/3 the guns per capita, and, frankly, are largely lacking the asshole gun culture that surrounds much of the ownership in the U.S.

            1. Both true but also in Canada the majority of guns are hunting weapons and handguns are very tightly regulated as to who may have one, where it must be stored, how & where it may be transported, where ammunition may be stored etc etc. You really have to want to have a handgun to be worth jumping through all the hoops. Of course criminals don’t bother but most Canadians are pretty law-abiding.

              1. Right, so when we compare the gun violence stats between the two, the gulf shouldn’t be nearly as large as it is.

              2. There is no should or shouldn’t about it. The U.S. has higher rate of a gun violence than Canada. However, the rate of gun violence in the U.S. has dropped sharply in recent decades, while at the same time the number of guns has greatly increased.

              3. And, at the end of the day, I have to imagine that the deciding factor is probably the gang presence in the US and the drug war on the US-Mexican border, as that’s where a huge majority of gun violence comes from. It’s really not a country where two people just randomly pull out guns and start shooting to settle an argument, but rather where a select few places are extremely dangerous due to gang presence/control. And most of the guns those groups get are illegal.

              4. I think you are on the right track with this analysis. Illinois, and Chicago in particular, have had the strictest gun control laws paired with worst or nearly the worst gun violence. Non urban areas, where gun ownership is nearly universal, probably has gun violence rates similar to Canada’s (I’m conjecturing here).

            1. except the local farmers and people who hunt regularly.

              I can see the justification (not the same word or concept as “need”) for farmers to have a shotgun more-or-less to hand for “vermin control,” but I wonder about the hunters. Is there much of a market for gun rental – for the training range and the occasional hunting trip with the firearm equivalent of a Maseratiti BFG-9000 which can take out a platoon of bears in skirmishing order at 1000km through it’s satellite interface. I’m only being 30% sarcastic there, BTW.
              Then again, for about half the time that I’ve had a driving license – still – I’ve only used hire cars because owning a car is such an effing hassle which you don’t need if you live in a city.

      2. I’m pro-gun control. I’m just wondering how long the American Left will remain so. If you are going to throw punches at the Right they are going to protect themselves. That means an escalation.

    2. I’ve always been under the impression that the ‘well regulated militia” mentioned in the second amendment was for the defence of the republic not for its overthrow; at a time when standing regular armies were not popular.

  12. “In fact, people like Cross herself are the ones who endanger democracy. As far as I know, Spencer hasn’t called for censoring or physically assaulting anyone.”


    1. But he has called for “nonviolent” ethnic cleansing and a white ethno-state. You can see how that might get people upset, especially in light of the violence already directed at various minorities. Who believes he’s sincere about the nonviolence or that his followers are?

        1. Where? How? Openly advocating suppression of other cultural groups invites a violent reaction (fighting words) so in managing society we need to find ways keep that under control. Words are not thoughts. We don’t want to end up with widespread violent conflict, Rwanda style. The spark for that was apparently “just words” so we need to be a bit careful.

          1. You could be accused of inciting violence yourself, could you not?

            We fight speech with speech in this country. It’s served us well for a long time.

            1. I could also be accused of being a rabbit, but not rationally.

              We also fight violent abusive speech with law and social mores. Carefully, one hopes, since this stuff is not black and white. We’re trying to keep violence and coercion to a minimum, no? Sometimes that requires looking at more than one thing.

            2. We fight speech with speech in this country.

              Ah, that habit of describing an aspiration as an accomplishment.

              It’s served us well for a long time.

              Which would explain how the racism-free USA I’ve heard of for decades now has a bigot in the White House.
              What’s that Feynmanism? “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”

          2. You’re advocating heckler’s veto over free speech, based on the expected reaction of the listener. Under the First Amendment, this is allowed only in the instance of so-called “fighting words,” where it is unfeasible for the government to protect the speaker from an immediate violent reaction. In all other circumstances, we protect the freedom of the speaker, since the cure for bad speech isn’t suppression, but countervailing good speech.

            Any society that allows the curtailment of free speech for “good” purposes eventually finds it being put to bad purposes. Limitations on free speech breed authoritarianism, from the left or the right.

            1. I’m not doing that. A heckler’s veto is when someone shows up at a discussion at a public meeting and makes noise (or threats) in place of arguments. Like what the “Tea Party” did a few years back at meetings about health care.

              I’m simply pointing out that people (groups) will respond to attacks and threats aimed at them even if those are simply verbal at the moment. There are strong emotions involved here, and scared and angry people may respond violently and perhaps irrationally. We have to take that into account in public policy. The original threats are the problem that needs repair. How do we keep people like Spencer from making verbal threats? What do his threats contribute to our public discussion?

              The question of whether some racial/ethnic group should be dispossessed and evicted from the country does not seem like a sane topic in a free society.

              Advocating violation of basic human rights, as Spencer has repeatedly, is almost automatically going to get people riled up and does need to be condemned universally and curtailed to the degree possible. There’s a balancing act needed here.

              1. While I agree with you that some speech (combined with some audiences) amounts to nothing more than throwing gasoline on the fire, I don’t think Spencer, joke that he is, falls into that category, especially as long as he’s speaking in open public forums, to the legitimate press, on YouTube, etc. Now if he were ranting deep in the woods on a dark night, to a clandestine crowd of armed ignoramuses (why am I visualizing burning crosses here?), that might justify at least some careful monitoring. (Well, what he’s doing now already justifies that, I guess. Which is, in fact, happening.)

                Total suppression, though, can serve only to further radicalize a bigot’s already paranoid followers.

              2. .”We have to take that into account in public policy.”

                We do; we provide extra security for controversial speakers.

                What we don’t do is silence them. No one — not you or me, not any government official high or petty — has the right to prescribe what the orthodoxy is in matters or thought, speech, or writing.

                I have confidence that, in a democracy permitting the free flow of information, right ideas will get accepted, bad ideas rejected. Don’t you?

  13. This is one reason why the internet is so valuable now.

    I would rather learn where and who are all of the stupid people are.

    Who wants to not know who the next Timothy McVeigh? Who wants to not learn how to actually solve problems like SJWs?

    Want to prevent racism? Sexism? Talk to these people. You may not reach them, but maybe their compatriots or their children. Punching accomplishes more hate. Full stop.

  14. letting Nick Griffin on the BBC exposed him for the hollow little man he really is and he, and his party, more or less disappeared from British politics in the aftermath, their bubble having been comprehensively burst by needle sharp ridicule

    1. Indeed, ridicule is one of the most powerful weapons available. Punching people in the face, as has been pointed out with the Nazis above, is often what these people desire more than anything.

      You can be Trump and his supporters are delighted when riots break out in response to their actions. It proves that the laws need to be tightened up and heavily policed restrictions are needed for “public safety”.

      1. when the people doing the violence are wearing masks, how do you know who they are and why they are doing violence.

        Robert Reich makes the point that Berkley students are *proud* of their history of protest and it would be against Berkley culture to wear masks during protest activities and so he considers the masked violence to be a form of a “false flag” operation to justify the kind of response you allude to.

    2. I was going to make the same point. Griffin is now a busted flush. I don’t suggest that people with odious right wing views have been utterly defeated in the UK but Griffin’s presence on Question Time only exposed him to ridicule and in no way gave him the validation he craved.

    3. and he, and his party, more or less disappeared from British politics in the aftermath,

      They already had their cross-memberships into UKIP and the CUP. They’re still around, like Nile crocodiles below the waterline. (Deliberate use of an African stereotype for offence to Britain’s xenophobes, not to denigrate archosaurs of distinguished lineage.)

    4. Absolutely. I was going to say the same thing: she got Nick Griffin’s appearance on QT *completely wrong*.

      Between the late 90s and 2009/2010 the BNP had improved their standing massively. They gained council seats (incl one on the London Assembly), and got 6.3% of the popular vote in the European elections – gaining 2 MEPs. Nationally the BNP peaked at 1.9% of the popular vote in the 2010 GE. At this point, though the BNP was already on the way out – thanks in good part to Nick Griffin’s QT appearance. They had slumped from >2% of the ;popular vote pre-GE to 1.9%, and by 2015 secured 0% of the national vote.

      This, as Monty Python would put it, is a dead party.

      (Probably pining for the fjords….)

  15. Prediction, based on previous experience with this person’s behavior. Cross will post a long twitter thread calling out Jerry for his privilege, or accusing him of being a harasser or some sort of ‘-ist’, MRA, reactionary dudebro, etc. for criticizing her. He will have to block many Twitter accounts calling him names.

    1. Yes, she will probably say that she is now being harassed and threatened, and Jerry “sent his followers” to carry it all out. It’s what she always does (as do so many other like her). It has made claims of being threatened or harassed something to be immediately greeted with skepticism, which is extremely unfortunate (not that they care. It’s the same thing they’ve done with words like racism, sexism, misogyny, etc.).

  16. Her reasoning leaves a lot to be desired:

    “but I believe he should be punched because of the very real risk that he could galvanize such an event into actually happening.”

    Does she really think that ‘punching’ would stop such an event? If so she needs to come to grips with how the real world operates.

  17. What a great list to put on your cv: “Sociologist, Transfeminist, Gaming Critic, Opera-loving slug matron, itinerant Valkyrie”. In other words, no talent at all.

    Do you think she’d advocate punching some of the fine Islamist friends too. And the communists too. Killed more than the nazis.

    1. *Do you think she’d advocate punching some of the fine Islamist friends too. And the communists too. Killed more than the nazis.*

      Good point, quoting her article it seems she does:

      “To be blunt: Nazism is democracy’s anti-matter. There is nothing about the ideology or its practice that is anything but corrosive to democratic institutions.”

  18. I have no objection to punching Richard Spencer — but only in the course of mutual combat conducted according to the Marquis-of-Queensbury rules.

    1. Do an Ali-on-Ernie-Terrell number on him, except instead of asking “What’s my name?” (Terrell had insisted on calling Ali “Cassius Clay”), you ask him between shots “Do you renounce Hitler and all his works?”

      Hell, take him through a quasi-exorcism liturgy. Expiation by blood, or at least by solid pummeling.

  19. The tactics Cross approves of benefit the groups associated with the punchee. There is a
    group called the Black Bloc that shows up at marches and other events for the purpose of creating havoc which usually gets blamed on the event.

    Ms. Cross: Prior to and during WWII, America had pretty large contingents of pro-Germans (some of whom were Nazis) and Communists. Some very famous people in America and England were pro-Nazi or pro-Communist. If your father, mother or other relatives believed something you hate, would you punch them?

    Would you approve if I found your radical feminism, etc., so offensive that I punched you? Where is the line drawn between who punches and who quite properly gets punched?

    I find your views repulsive.

  20. Well, when I saw that video, I wondered if it was a set-up . . . he certainly didn’t look all that injured (other than losing his hair do) and he immediately started talking about wanting to be in a “safe space.” Call me a skeptic but I have seen enough fake news, photoshopped happenings and fabricated events that I don’t know that I can trust anything on the internet unless I know the person responsible for posting it and can verify its “truth,” in this post-truth world.

    1. Quite irrelevant whether the video was in fact set up or not at this point.

      The problem is that a lot of people thinking it’s a good idea to punch what they deem Nazis.

      1. He was interviewed on the David Packman show. He said the blow had ruptured an eardrum. He also said he didn’t want to get into the game of denouncing historical figures (Adolf Hitler).

    2. Considering just how many people have been supporting such violence, don’t you think the most logical and by far most probably conclusion is that it wasn’t fake?

    3. Well, the guy who did it has been pretty well hunted down by the internet. And I think that’s been ruled out, though the hunters probably didn’t even consider that a possibility – or wouldn’t want to reveal that it was. Still, what they uncovered makes it kind of unlikely.

  21. “In fact, people like Cross herself are the ones who endanger democracy. As far as I know, Spencer hasn’t called for censoring or physically assaulting anyone. In a country run by Cross, that would not only be legal, but encouraged, and people like Spencer wouldn’t be allowed to speak. (Presumably Cross would be The Decider.) Free speech? Only for those with acceptable views!”

    Thank you.

    It wasn’t the Nazis’ terrible views that made them so terrible. Terrible views are a dime a dozen. It was their ACTIONS that made them so terrible. They adopted and promulgated an ends-justify-the-means mindset that allowed them to silence their political opposition through dehumanization and violence. THAT’S the path that leads to death camps.

    What people like Cross and Arel don’t understand is that IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR DESIRED ENDS ARE. It’s the silencing tactics of dehumanization and violence that we need to watch out for, regardless of our politics.

    I don’t know much about Spencer (why would I waste my time on him?). Sounds like he’s quite comfortable with dehumanization. But you know what? Right now, the “let’s normalize punching” brigade is more Nazi-like than Spencer in the ways that matter most: they’re encouraging, celebrating, and COMMITTING violence against those they’ve dehumanized.

      1. What does the Quebec mosque attack have to do with literally anything I said? I honestly have no idea what your point is.

        1. Violence has come from people like Spencer very recently. Terrible actions flow from terrible ideas, and Spencer has those.

          The right is generally more violent than the SJWs, who are mostly just talkers. Stupid talkers. We’ve recently had Spencer punched by someone (not Cross) and multiple people shot dead by a rightist xenophobe influenced by people like Spencer (but probably not Spencer).

          And, who burned that mosque in TX last week? A follower of Cross?

          Both sides do it?

            1. The anti-fa who torched that limo owned by a Muslim businessman were no doubt agents of Richard Spencer, since anti fascists would never ever ruin the livelihood of an oppressed minority would they?

            1. There isn’t any.

              I agree with you, except as to the part about not paying attention to people like Spencer. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the Spencer types — just as it would’ve been a good idea to keep an eye on young Corp. Schicklgruber when he was ruminating to his cellie in Landsberg while the two were doing time for the beer hall putsch.

  22. She wants people to silence the people she hates who voice ideas she fears with violence and the threat of violence. She says it’s our duty to follow her orders and beat people she doesn’t like for their ideas because of our shared humanity. Dunno, but that sounds a lot like authoritarianism to want people you don’t like silenced by violence. She decries people who say mean things on the Internet and yet is more or less a person in the Internet calling for violence.

    1. Plus, we can probably assume that as a member of the (statisically) smaller, weaker, less testosterone-driven sex, she’s probably not likely to be doing any of the punching herself. Perhaps she should also write about the importance of kicking Nazis in the balls? Spraying them with Mace?

        1. Thanks, Cindy…I’m always so out of things.

          One’s (well, I’m) tempted to respond that that might explain at least some part of her declaration here, but I don’t want to (mis-)characterize all trans women by any means.

          (I actually worried that my original remark might be taken the wrong way, but hoped that this audience would understand I was referring to statistically measurable variation rather traditional stereotypes. FWIW I’m a staunch second-wave feminist, also a supporter of human rights for the trans community and other variations we’re beginning to admit are real biological phenomena.)

          1. No worries Diane.

            This is what upsets me about illiberal leftists and their attitude towards speech they don’t like. Which could literally be anything. It does not matter if your heart is pure and intentions honorable. If they smell blood they will attack. This strategy not only has a chilling effect on “hate speech” but it has a chilling effect on ALL SPEECH. At any given moment you could be engaging in so-called “hate speech” and not know it. Hate speech is any speech that an SJW can decide to take offense at.

            This upsets me because good people like Diane should not have to worry about what they say. And I have seen others here too, having to qualify every word lest they be accused of bigotry. I have to do it myself, lest my dissenting opinion on some matters lead to unfounded accusations ..

            What ever happened to discussing things like adults without having to resort to immature character assassination?

            1. That went south when they realised they can’t win the argument with reasoned discussion and evidence based logic. All they’re left with is demonising their opposition. Sad but somehow it seems to be effective.

            2. Cindy, very well said, that’s exactly what drove me to flee Pharyngula. Sadly, I remember a time when it was not yet so cutthroat and intolerant and when PZ was friends with many who are now his enemies, particularly some important voices in the movement who were once his natural allies.

              One of the last straws for me was, oddly enough, in a thread about appropriate secular readings for funerals. One brave new-comer posted a eulogy he’d written for one of his parents’ funerals that was, I thought, beautiful and heartbreaking. In response a few of the most annoying Pharyngulites proceeded to tell him just how bad his poetry skills were. Is there any justifiable reason to be so cruel?

              I also used to get a kick out of how they denied that any of their slurs and vitriol could possibly give outsiders the wrong impression of humanism and atheism…

              I always appreciate your posts from the trenches, as it were, especially regarding third-wave feminism in all its jaw-dropping ludicrousness. While I can’t stand to read this stuff myself, it is important to realize just what we’re up against…

              1. “One brave new-comer posted a eulogy he’d written for one of his parents’ funerals that was, I thought, beautiful and heartbreaking.”

                Let me guess: the posters were angry that the newcomer assumed the gender of his parent? 😛

              2. (@BJ)

                Y’know, I don’t remember any mention of that. They must’ve been slightly off their game that day. 😉

  23. Violence is easy to escalate and very difficult to de-escalate.

    When we’re past punching and into the stabby and shooty weapon phase, the left won’t be able to say “whoah, this is getting out of hand, can we go back to just shouting at each other?”

    And it won’t be cowardly chickenhawks like Arel or Cross facing that violence either.

  24. Underlying Cross’s comments is considerable historical ignorance and a deeply pessimistic view of Americans’ moral and intellectual competence; apparently, a nation that has gone in my lifetime from accepting black peonage in the southern states to twice electing a black president and creating a federal holiday in honor of a black civil rights leader – the only American to be so honored, I think – will revert to the bad old ways and much worse unless she or her surrogates can physically intimidate a tiny political minority with whom she disagrees.

    It must be dispiriting for Jerry to keep dealing with this nonsense, but as a non-American who admires the US, despite its imperfections, for its defence of freedom at home and abroad, the more this would-be despotism is exposed and refuted, the better. If President Trump is alarming, how would a President Katherine Cross be described?

  25. If this keeps growing (and I only know it will grow), then there will come the day when someone from the far left of us will murder a Nazi. It really can happen, b/c what happened here is how that sort of thing starts. Murder. The ultimate in virtue signalling!

    1. Exactly! As others have noted, in Cross’s reasoning there’s no reason not to punch somebody else in the face as well, when you think their views are the anti-matter of democracy, but there’s is also no reason not to take her reasoning one step further and do some real damage.
      Why not up the ante and start torturing Nazis?
      Why does Cross draw the line at punching, why not shooting them instead?

  26. All of a sudden the regressives care about the Jews? Give me a break, Cross. If being anti-Semitic was a reason for getting punched, they would have to punch a whole lot of people on their own side.

    Just like freedom of speech and many other rights, the radicals on each side only care about them when the other side is in a position of power.

    I’d also like to note that Cross has said so many odious, ridiculous, and awful things in the past that it would be an enormous chore to list them.

  27. Is Spencer A Nazi?

    “Dollfuss was a fascist and so was Schuschnigg, but neither of them was noticeably on the side of Hitler and one was assassinated and the other seized and imprisoned by Hitler. Metaxas in Greece was a fascist, but he was far from being a champion of his warlike neighbor who finally drove him from his fascist dictatorship and his country.”

    John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching

    As professor Coyne has noted, Spencer and his ilk align a lot of their ideology with Nazism.
    But I am quoting this piece to emphasize that even “honestly” being against another Nazi or another fascist, does not automatically make one a free speech champion.


      “John Heinrich Detlev Rabe (November 23, 1882 – January 5, 1950) was a German businessman and Nazi Party member who is best known for his efforts to stop the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanking Occupation and his work to protect and help the Chinese civilians during the event.”

      Things are rarely as black and white as people want them to be. John Rabe was an actual card carrying Nazi, and a humanitarian, he was called “A living Buddha” in China.

      “Rabe continued to play negotiator and interlocutor with the Japanese, provider and protector to the poor Chinese, and pleading representative to any power he hoped could intercede for his people. The committee saw to the feeding, medical care and winter housing of somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 Chinese souls for six weeks. Hundreds of thousands of people would have likely died in that bloody winter without their Nazi. I don’t know if a staunch Nazi can be a good man, but by the end of it all in late January, he was a hero.”

      “Rabe appeared to have understood something of the disposition of Nazis towards Jews. In Nanking he took in a German friend whose career was ended by having a Jewish ancestor. But he blamed the Jewish ancestor for his friend’s misfortune, not his beloved Nazis. If he objected to the war, little of the objections seems to have made it into the record of his life.”

      1. It is true that when it comes to basic humanity, actions are more important than the ideology people identify with.

        However, my point was about rejecting Spencer’s defences such as “Nazis hate me”, or “I think Hitler was bad.”

        Obviously, Nazis can hate each other. History has taught us that much.

  28. I notice she turned off comments.

    I wonder how long until people start getting shot because they assaulted someone who was armed? Oh, that’s right, it’s already happened:
    A lot of people on the left are upset because the man defended himself from an unprovoked assault.

    For those who say it’s just a punch:

    When you assault someone you are implicitly agreeing to a battle that might result in you or your opponents death, or severe brain damage. Once it starts you can’t know how it turns out. You can’t know if the other person has a weapon, or will get lucky and knock you out then continue to beat you to death because he’s a lunatic, or if he just had a really bad day, or peeved because you sucker punched him. Or that his friends might want to get their kicks in, or smash your head in with a full beer bottle, or stab you in the kidney. Or in the US, shoot you in defence of a friend or family member.

    That is not a slippery slope argument, that is the reality of a street fight. Which is what it is when you punch someone.

    1. Exactly.

      For the same sort of reasons I also think that there’s really no such thing as a “just war.” The concept seems to imply that the morally superior side will inevitably prevail, when in truth of course it depends on nothing but military strength, strategic advantage, and luck. There might be such a thing as “inevitable war,” even “necessary war” if it’s a matter of self-defense and no other options exist, but “just war?” I fail to see why violence is condemned in the playground yet somehow justified when the stakes are so much graver.

      1. I most surely agree with that thought. If someone is ever thinking of a “just war” they should quickly discard it and insert necessary. I can only think of 3 necessary wars in American history and one of them, Korea was not declared. The other two are the civil war and WWII. These conflicts became necessary to stop very bad things from continuing and generally made things better for humanity. We should ask ourselves – did the outcome accomplish good that otherwise would not have come. For us, Korea was the last time that any American conflict had purpose and accomplished something good. We have surely done a lot of stupid things in the last 67 years.

        Far as this Cross goes…she needs to find something to do.

        1. Thank you for your input, Randall. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say what I mean about the “just war” concept and finding it difficult; your concrete examples are much more effective than my vagueness and have helped me clarify my thoughts as well.

          They also reminded me of a talk I had with an inspiring undergraduate mentor of mine in the late sixties; he was a biology professor who was also quite active in the antiwar and draft-avoidance activities of that era. We’d been talking about how many of my generation were finding ourselves in such painful disagreement with our parents about these issues, and he explained to me just how tough it was for some of the veterans of “the Good War” to relate to the very different circumstances of the war in Viet Nam…

      1. Not really. The incident with Houdini involved multiple blows to the abdomen, and the cause of death was appendicitis, which may or may not have been related to the beating.

  29. Regarding Richard Spencer’s claim that the Nazi salute at his Washington DC rally was “given in a spirit of ‘irony and exuberance,'” the cellphone video of that incident previously posted on this site shows much exuberance, but precious little irony.

    I doubt an appreciation of irony is a trait much prized among neo-Nazis.

    1. I saw that video and the whole thing made me cringe.

      The way to defeat shitty people is to mock the hell out of them. Don’t punch them. Reveal them to be dorks who are unworthy of respect. I miss the old Daily Show…

  30. Katherine Cross.. I knew that name sounded familiar.

    I am really not surprised that she endorses violence. When I started studying the trans phenomenon I came across this site:

    I am no fan of radfems. I think that their ideology is not grounded in reality. But at least they acknowledge that biological sex is real. However, this has caused them to be dehumanized to the point where in certain circles it is considered righteous to murder a radfem. Words are violence, after all.

  31. I’d let Ms. Cross throw the first, the second, the third,…, however many punches she wants. She doesn’t have to justify to me. Just do it and suffer the consequences.
    She knows it’s wrong, but tells people it’s OK to do so. How evil.

    1. I don’t see her doing it herself (she looks pretty scrawny to me). Nor do I see her paying the legal fees of the people who’ve been encouraged by her article.

  32. Given the regressive left’s penchant for branding everyone (even those of Jewish ancestry) who disagree with them on any point as Nazis, Ms. Cross is pushing a very dangerous line. … a line which borders on incitement to violence which is NOT protected under free speech provisions in the US constitution.

    1. If I, a person born to a Jewish family and who had 3/4 of their ancestors wiped out between the Bolshevik revolution and the Holocaust because of the anti-semitism in those movements, have been called a Nazi multiple times by regressives, then you better believe it can happen to anyone.

    2. I’m struggling to see how arguing that not only is it right but in some cases necessary to punch a Nazi can be anything but incitement to violence. I guess I’m not as bright as the average Itinerant Valkyrie.

  33. Surely if she thinks he could “galvanize” death camps then punching is not enough. Why should punching stop it? Surely he must be killed, by her arguments.

  34. The really surprising thing about this Cross woman is that she is over the age of 16. Almost all that she writes resembles the half formed thoughts of some angry adolescent.

  35. One punch, or two? Once a week? Once a day? Once an hour? Can two people punch at the same time? Three?

    If ever there was a slippery slope, there it is. If you can punch him, you can kill him. And all his friends.

    Haven’t we already sorted this out?

  36. Here’s another example, NYC Professor, or so she claims cursing out the police because they are not beating up Gavin McGinnis.

    She keeps screaming that the cops need to ‘protect’ these people (legal adults, in a enclosed auditorium) from the speech.

    This appears to be just like the attacks against heresy in the glory days of the church. Anyone who goes against the current left narrative is a heretic, and people MUST be prevented from hearing heresy at all costs!

    In old Germany, if you wanted to be a Nazi, you had to join, attend meetings etc. Now all you need to do is say something a SJW doesn’t like.

    1. Probably don’t want to engage in that NYU/NYC confusion in Greenwich Village (or on the City College campus in Harlem). Guy could get punched for a mistake like that. 🙂

      1. But I would bet it got her an enormous amount of praise and social approval among her academic circle and students. Disgusting behavior like this has become a currency for this group, where you engage in it and then receive benefits for doing so.

  37. Given that there’s no reasoning with the likes of Arel or Cross I would only ask that they prove their conviction. Go out into the streets and bloody your own knuckles. Put yourselves in harm’s way rather than just cheerleading.

    But they won’t because they’re the classic political chickenhawk. They can’t wait to send someone else’s child off to fight.

  38. Of course, it was pointless and counterproductive to punch Spencer. Nor does it serve any purpose to argue about how much Trump resembles Hitler. What is important is to consider the incipient fascism that Trump and people like Steve Bannon represent. There is supposedly a sign in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., which is as follows:

    1. Powerful and continuing nationalism
    2. Disdain for human rights
    3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
    4. Rampant sexism
    5. Controlled mass media
    6. Obsession with national security
    7. Religion and government intertwined
    8. Corporate power protected
    9. Labor power suppressed
    10. Disdain for intellectual and the arts
    11. Obsession with crime and punishment
    12. Rampant cronyism and corruption

    As far I can tell the sign is genuine, but it may be an item for sale. It is remarkable that Trump seems to exhibit or is attempting to implement all 12 warning signs. In any case, Trump will succeed as long as he can successfully divert public attention to issues such as Islamic Terrorism, which by no means is trivial, but pales in comparison to Trump’s threat to democracy. The question is whether the institutions of this country and the general public are strong enough to resist him. This is the great crisis of our time.

        1. +1 For the most part the regressive left are the mirror image of right wing extremists, and they share many values and behaviours for different ideology.

          For the regressive wing of the left that is. Different elements of the regressive left affect parts of the left via postmodernism and critical theory but the regressive left is not at all overall progressive.

          The regressive left is thoroughly authoritarian and despite their criticism of the state, they expect the state to be all powerful in practise. They defacto care far more for traditional values than for women, and will overrule women interests at home that affect most women or most profoundly affect women for high flying principles or unreasonable ideals . They are obsessed with foreign policy as utterly west focussed (i.e. Everything, not just some things are the fault of the west and anything bad other cultures do is because of Western capitalism). They care about inflexible ideologies and principles regardless of de facto affect on rights of most people. They are anti nationalist but also extremely localist and have idea of unreaslistic unlimited cosmopolitanism so wind up encouraging hardline nationalism – plus their emphasis on total state control economically and ultimate responsibility for all social conditions and services encourages nationalism. They support left wing dictatorships or else any Anti western dictatorship abroad. They want to control the mass media – their favourite taunt against someone is that that person takes note of the Main Stream Media. They are very friendly to certain kinds of religion – either those particular Churches that are so guilt wracked about Western crimes that they defacto advocates eventual expungement of western values or else all Islam ‘cos Islam is seen as anti capitalism and critical of Western Evil. They hate any art that doesnt promote a political agenda they agree with and object to art being just beautiful or uplifting or moving. Ditto intellectual world and science -they dislike science because it is Modern and they see it as aligned and entertwined with the rise of capitalism and Western colonialism. They think no one should be punished except those they see as western imperialists – who should be severely punished. They inundate government with programs for the perfect, as opposed to improved world and They dislike the lack of ideological clarity in machinery of government and process designed to thwart corruption and tyranny, and they tend to excuse corruption on their own side. They protect corporate power if its aligned to them (e.g. corrupt unions, or wealthy left wing donors or friendly states. They assume anyone opposed to them in politics is illegitimate and hence undermine the political system. They are happy to suppress labour power if they think it has the wrong agenda and the economic interests of the majority if it is considered to be “imperialist” or skewed to the majority ethnicity or ethnicities.

          1. “The regressive left is thoroughly authoritarian…”

            I would venture, that it is worse, they are totalitarian…

            1. Excellent distinction. As you already know, authoritarians just demand you follow their orders and punish you when you don’t; totalitarians also demand that you *believe* in every facet of their ideology, and punish you even if you just express a different thought. It’s even worse than authoritarianism.

      1. We could go point by point through the list and argue about what the far right and the far left believe in. What’s much more important is that the far right controls the government and, therefore, is the threat.

        1. Do you seriously claim that Trump (and his cabinet) is far right?

          Then, I assume we would have to claim Obama as representative of the far left, and Bernie, probably far far left, and what about Ted Cruz, far far right, and then we have the real neo Nazis, the far far far right?

          Seriously? Trump is many things, but he is not a representative of the far right.

          Precision in language is important, and this type of hyperbole is (in my eyes) destroying the possibility of serious constructive rational discussions.

          1. Trump’s ideology (if we may make bold to use that term so loosely) in incoherent. Some of it is far right; some, is a throwback to old ideas that no longer fit neatly along the usual left-right spectrum. And some of it simply Strangelovian, unique to the Donald himself (although I suspect it originates with Steve Bannon).

            1. “Some of it is far right…”

              Since most persons will share some aspects of their personality, ideas or behaviors with any other, applying such a rule consistently, would rapidly lead to a collapse into meaninglessness.

              Hitler loved children, was a vegetarian and against cruelty and suffering for animals on moral grounds, and established animal welfare laws in Nazi Germany that were decades ahead of its time.

              Obama killed his own citizens including children without trial, bombed foreign countries without legal right under international law, and supported and extended the most draconian and intrusive surveillance of his citizens in human history.

              Does that make Hitler a saintly environmentalist and Obama a warmongering authoritarian dictator?

              The utter stupidity and self-defeating nature of this type of reasoning ought to be blindingly obvious.

              But I am curious, exactly what is far right, i.e. the extreme end of the spectrum, in Trump’s case.

              It can obvious not be immigration and refugees, and not protectionism and nationalism, since there exist many many parties and organizations that have positions far more extreme than anythings he has proposed.

              When you compare him to for example the Golden Dawn in Greece, Fidesz and then even further to the right Jobbik in Hungary, Pis in Poland, and so on…

              1. Trump’s ethno-nationalism is stereotypically “far right” — as demonstrated by his call to build a 2,000 mile border wall and to deport 11 million aliens, his attacks on Mexicans as “murders and rapists”(and his attack on an American-born federal judge), his call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and for a Muslim-American registry and surreptitious surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods and mosques (and hid attack on a Muslim-American gold-star family). It is of a piece with the far right in Britain (BNP and the extremes of UKIP), with the Penist Front National in France, and with other European far-right ethno-nationalist parties.

                Do you deny that Donald Trump’s birtherism, and his claims that Obama was a secret jihadist and the founder of ISIS, were all typical of the “far right.”

              2. Let’s add Trump’s call to “punish” women who have abortions to the “far right” list.

              3. Ken,

                I will try to illustrate the problem with your reasoning using just one example, immigration.

                The stated goal of the current Swedish Government is to deport 80 000 illegal residents the coming years.

                Which, if we scale to the size of the USA, would equal 1.5 million per year, during 2017 and 2018.

                And, that very same Government in early 2016 installed identity checks on the Danish mainland, not just for travelers from 7 countries, but for the whole world, and contemplated closing the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden completely with the help of the military. Sweden does not need to build a wall, since we basically is surrounded by sea.

                This reduced the flow of refugees from more than 8000 per week to a couple of hundred.

                The critical aspect (and coup de grace) as far as your argument is concerned, is that the Swedish Government that did this, is made up by a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Green Party, which, on the political spectrum are so far to the left of Bernie Sanders, that they make Barack Obama look like Ted Cruz.

                To define someone as “far right” based on repatriation or deportation of illegal aliens, or closing borders (or build walls), is in light of this, and our current and historic record, not only spectacularly wrong, but ludicrous.

              4. You’re running afoul of the fallacy you cited above: classifying someone according to a single factor wrenched from its context. Here, you’re categorizing Trump’s policy as “moderate” solely on the basis of his stated goal of repatriating 11 million aliens.

                But that single aspect of Trump’s program should not be viewed in isolation. It is of a piece with his attacks on Mexicans and Muslims (collectively and, in some instances, individually), his call for “a total and complete shutdown” of US travel by Muslims, his calls for a Muslim registry and for warrantless surveillance.

                Viewed in this context, and combined with some of his other expressed policies, Trump’s program is one of far-right ethno-nationalism. Trump’s chief political advisor in the White House, Steve Bannon, is openly of this ilk. And Trump and Bannon have had contact, and engaged in mutual support, with European far-right parties, including Britain’s UKIP and the Penists of France.

                It is undeniable that Trump made appeals to the far right as a candidate; what remains to be seen is whether he attempts to govern from that position.

              5. Ken,

                “You’re running afoul of the fallacy you cited above: classifying someone according to a single factor wrenched”

                I explicitly stated in my very first sentence, that, “I will try to illustrate the problem with your reasoning using just one example”

                I have marked the crucial word here in bold.

                Space and time are limited, but I had hoped, that with this illustration you could (on you own, and with a bit of goodwill) expand that reasoning to other instances. That is, you can make comparable arguments for all the other aspects of Trumps policies as well.

                As Ken Phelps below seem to imply, Trump does not (in my opinion) have a coherent political platform in line with the left-right scale, he is all over the place.

                To then use one, two or five aspects of his policies to define him, is simply not accurate. Even worse, as I began to show in my comment above, with one explicit example, these proposed actions are not a unique marker for a “far right” political position, but are held (and acted upon) by current, or historic mainstream political parties from left to right.

                To shift perspective, it seems everything one disagrees with today is “far right”, but few seem to clearly remember what that actually stands for and represent in concrete terms.

                To call Trump far right, is (in my eyes) disrespectful of the historic victims of real far right leaders.

                A real far right leader, (in accordance with our historic knowledge) would not only want to deport illegal aliens, he would want to ethnically cleanse the country. So, until Trump starts to speak about deporting every black and mixed American back to Africa, and there starts to plop up labor and concentration camps in the backwaters of say, Pennsylvania and Texas, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on.

                And, a far right leader would not show his displeasure by angry tw**ts, but by the knock on the door by three men in dark clothes, 3am in the morning…

              6. Do you deny that Donald Trump’s promotion of “birtherism” — the abjectly meritless claim that Barack Obama was not an American citizen but a Muslim jihadist born in Kenya — was a blatant appeal to far-right racists?

                It’s what originally gave him a political base and made him the favorite candidate of neo-Nazis, and former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, and the so-called “alt-right.”

          2. Trump may not have much an ideology, but his Cabinet and advisors are largely far right. And most of his actions have quite pleased the far right. You have heard of Steve Bannon? If you deny this, then we can’t have a serious constructive rational discussion.

            1. “And most of his actions have quite pleased the far right…”

              So, if a presidential candidate would give a barbecue party that pleased absolutely everyone, he would suddenly be both far right, far left and everything in between, no?

              Seriously, on more scientific grounds, since when do we use such criteria to determine the political position of an individual ?

              I can empathize with the disappointment, frustration and even fear, that many now experience, but that is no excuse for either sloppy thinking or self-justification.

              As I asked Ken above, on exactly which points does Trump (or his cabinet) take a position on the extreme end of the spectrum, in comparison with for example The Golden Dawn, Jobbik or Pis?

              1. I wish people would avoid “right” and “left” as political terms. For one, they are ambiguous. More important, they are a lazy way of arguing – too often they are used to label someone and be done with it (not my tribe = evil). It’s much better to deal with individual positions, one by one.

              2. Carl,

                I sincerely concur.

                Case in point, some populist parties in Europe today, are called “far right” based on one or two aspects alone, immigration and nationalism, but in reality (and in a majority of questions) they can be way more to the “left” than for example Bernie Sanders, and could perhaps more correctly be termed socialistic.

                But I also think we might need (in some instances) to keep “left” or “right” as temporary scaffolds, until we can bridge the discussion and craft new habits and concepts of thought.

                I think the core ideas (of left/and right) are way past their best due date, and our scientific knowledge seem to indicate that no side have a monopoly on being right, and both sides have ideas that are in direct conflict with basic human nature and psychology.

          3. “rump is many things, but he is not a representative…”

            And that’s the problem. He is an empty vessel, a tool of whomever can bend his dysfunctional emotions and fill his empty head. Asking what Trump believes or thinks about policy is a non sequitur.

            1. I wonder if you might not have misunderstood Trump?

              I think Trump to a large degree is a populist, and as such, he will (in many questions) mirror the view of the majority of the people.

              There is no reason to believe (or requirement) that the majority of the people in a nation must have coherent views, either of the left, or the right.

              To the contrarily, I think it is much more common (and probable), that it is not so, and that the majority view can (and will) shift from issue to issue.

              Being a populist is not a lack of a conscious ideological position, as it is a position that lacks predefined positions on issues.

              But I also think he melds this with some overarching core ideas.

              So, if you what to ask what Trump will do in regard to a certain issue, you might just need to look in a mirror.

              1. “I wonder if you might not have misunderstood Trump?”

                No. I think you have. The problem with Trump is not populism, it is ignorance and emotional dysfunction.

                “So, if you what to ask what Trump will do in regard to a certain issue, you might just need to look in a mirror.”

                I am unable to parse anything coherent from this sentence.

      2. “… just as much”? Really? The left is just as obsessed with nationalism? Just as disdainful of human rights? Sexism? National security? Promotion of religion? Corporate power? Anti-labor union? Just as disdainful of the arts and public education?

        Sure, the regressive left is bad in certain aspects that perhaps touch on some of these topics, if only obliquely. But to contend it is “just as” bad or obsessed as the Right on any of them would be ludicrous.

        1. Let’s go point by point:

          – Nationalism: “we need to make this a country for everyone. Everyone is welcome in this country”; We need to uphold this democracy, and if we don’t vote for Hillary/oppose everything Trump does, it will all fall apart”; etc.

          – Disdain for human rights: “speech I don’t like isn’t free speech”; “people I find odious I get to label Nazis, and then we can use violence against them”; “lets destroy people’s property to show our unhappiness”; “any many accused of rape doesn’t deserve due process rights”; etc.

          – Sexism: “kill all men/ men don’t deserve to be here and cause us trauma with their presence”; “All men are rapists”; “we oppose at every turn the creation of centers for abused men”; etc.

          – National security: “This is a country for everyone like me, and if we don’t do what I say now, it will crumble into an authoritarian nightmare where we will all be destroyed. We must do what I say now or our country will be forever decimated”

          – Religiion: if you read my comment again, you’ll notice I said that this was not normally seen on the right, though one can argue that something as dogmatic as their social justic and the ways in which they both promulgate and enforce it are extremely religious, and their goal is to intertwine that religion with government at all levels.

          – Anti-labor: None of these people care about labor unions anymore and, even more importantly, they actively mock and look down upon blue collar workers. They practice a feminism that has been gladly and obviously co-opted by the corporate world, supporting things like blockbuster movies (Ghostbusters) just to win petty internet fights. They’ve allowed their ideology to be corporatized with no resistance, all while not only ignoring, but denigrating the lower-class people who actually do the work.

          – Disdainful of arts and education: oh, they’re in favor of any art and education, so long as it precisely expresses what they want at all times. Any art and education that goes against their dogmatic views is expunged through harassment, hounding of authority figured, slander, and other nasty tactics like no-platforming and rioting.

          1. Sorry, under religion, I meant to say that I said “this was not normally seen on the *left*” rather than right.

          2. +1

            Blue collar workers, you know ,the ones who supported Obama but abandoned Hillary, were told that any concerns that they had about, oh, keeping a job, not being treated like cattle by their employers, were just evidence of their ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’.

            White cishet males cannot simply be concerned about the economy. No, that’s too easy. They all have to secretly be racists and sexists, who did not support Hillary because they secretly wanted to oppress women and ‘people of colour’.

            What a load of bullshit. When people are down, you don’t tell them that their feelings are invalid because they are all ‘bigots’. No wonder HRC’s campaign backfired so spectacularly.

            1. It’s just like that recent HuffPo article that was ostensibly a list of why Hillary lost. Reasons 1-199 were “misogyny.”

          3. You’ve offered what purports to be quoted material. Do you have citations for it? Because it doesn’t sound like anything anyone’s actually ever said, simply pure strawman.

            Plus, this sub-thread is about the “12 early warning signs of fascism.” What you’ve done is simply to redefine wildly what the terminology in those factors means. What you describe as “nationalism” and “sexism” and “national security” etc. isn’t recognizable as such within any generally applicable understanding of what those terms mean. (And, although you said you’re taking them “point by point,” you wholly omit any mention of pro-corporatism and anti-labor-unionism, which you originally included in your claim that they “apply just as much” to the left as to the right.)

            Finally, your “just as much” claim is spurious. The 12 factors at issue can be found right now, on the right, coming from the White House and the halls of congress, and are rampant in the Tea Party/Religious Right base of the Republican party. The beliefs you’ve attributed to the far left, to the extent they’re held by anyone at all, are not held by a single person holding office in any branch of government anywhere in this nation. The threats posed by the far right and the far left, accordingly, are hardly comparable.

            1. How is hatred of men not sexism under any known or commonly used definition? Can sexism only be committed against women?

              I addressed anti-labor and pro-corporatism.

              I don’t need to cite the quotes I used. You can see these sentiments expressed on the twitter and tumblr accounts of tons of regressives. And I addressed how SJWism uses the same tactics and punishment of the outgroup as religion.

              1. If you want to leave out nationalism, fine. But I don’t see how I “radically redefined” the definitions of anything else, and you don’t seem to have a problem with any of the other of the twelve points that you didn’t bring up in your comment.

              2. Warning sign #4 on the fascism list is “Rampant sexism.” Can you tell me how rampant your claimed call to “kill all men” is on the left? Can you name a single liberal officeholder or Democratic party official who espouses it?

                Anyway, let’s assume you can:

                Some nut on the left says “men don’t deserve to be here.” The right (and not just the “far right”) opposes women’s reproductive rights and equal pay for equal work.

                The left calls people whose speech they don’t like “racist” and tries to “no platform” them. The right opposes the UN Declaration of Human Rights and supports torture.

                The left made disparaging remarks about blue-collar workers. The right opposes collective-bargaining rights and a minimum wage.

                The left encouraged people to see a movie with a multicultural cast. The right rolls back consumer-protection laws and environmental regulations, and passes laws allowing unlimited corporate campaign contributions.

                The left is “dogmatic” in promoting social justice. The right wants to re-introduce school prayer and the teaching of creationism (and the “far right” wants theocracy).

                You really think these things are equivalent, that the first in each paragraph above is equally as dangerous as the second?

              3. I wouldn’t think those things are equivalent, but they’re not what’s actually happening. The right doesn’t believe in the wage gap — and rightly so, as there are far too many factors that put the lie to it — and thus they already believe women are being paid the same when they do the same job for the same number of hours over time. Hell, we’ve had the Lily Ledbetter Act for how long? Have you seen any on the right try to repeal it? And it was just red meat to the left’s base in the first place.

                And when you say that people on the right “oppose women’s reproductive rights,” what I see is people with sincerely held beliefs that abortion is murder. Now, I don’t agree with them (up to the point of fetus viability), but I’ve spoken with more than enough anti-abortion advocates to know that this is their sincerely held belief. They don’t see their proposals as limiting the reproductive rights of women, but of protecting unborn life from murder. Again, I don’t agree, but I respect that they have a sincerely held belief and aren’t opposing abortion out of some patriarchal conspiracy or malice. It’s also important to note here that there are more women who oppose abortion than men.

              4. I’m sure Pro-life’s positions are sincerely held. I’ve gone to several of their conventions and trainings. However, you’ll also find that they believe a woman’s place is the home, married with children and *submitting to her man.* Because God.

              5. Well I have spent a lot of time debating pro lifers and at some point all of the pretense about “saving the babbbbies” disappears and out come comments like “If you don’t want a baby, keep your legs closed, slut”

                Often they don’t know my gender, so when they assume that I am a man, they accuse me of wanting to “f*ck and run” and when they think that I am female they suggest that I love abortion because I am a complete slut who can’t keep her legs closed.

                I believe that pro lifers are a variant of the social justice warrior. They rally around the sacred fetus the way an SJW will worship an Imam. Both are obsessed with purity and virtue signalling. The best thing is, opposing abortion and defending Islamists is a risk free proposition. Get on social media, talk about how much you love Islam and / or detest sluts, feel morally superior, rinse and repeat.

                I do agree with BJ that there are true believers, but those are usually the folks who shoot up clinics, since that is an understandable reaction if you think that actual babies are being killed for fun and profit.

              6. Also, the right might want to introduce school prayer, but the left wants to introduce privilege theory, feminism, social justice, and other such subjects into public schools — and at a very young age! They’ve already succeeded in many places, and in most large colleges.

              7. I, too, have respect for those who sincerely oppose abortion. Which is why I oppose any woman ever being forced to have one. But it is when those who oppose abortion want to stick their noses in another woman’s uterus and impose their views on her by controlling her reproductive rights that it becomes sexism.

                Sincerely held religious beliefs aren’t a defense to sexism; sincerely held religious belief are the main cause of sexism across the globe. Or are you prepared to give Muslims a sexism pass for female genital mutilation where they have a sincere belief it’s mandated by Islam.

                The right can deny there’s a wage gap between the sexes, but that’s just another right-wing “alternative fact.” Here in the reality-based community we accepted the evidence that such a gap exists. That pay gap has steadily decreased over the past 50 years, thanks to laws and policies pursued by the left and opposed by the right, but to say it does not exist blinks reality.

              8. @Ken

                I disagree that this suddenly makes opposition to abortion sexism. If you look at it from their point of view, they are not trying to punish women, but to save the lives of millions. To them, it’s like fighting to stop a genocide. Just because it affects women negatively doesn’t make it sexism. Intent is what makes something sexism, and their intent isn’t to hurt women, but to save what they consider the lives of children.

              9. @Ken

                And study after study has shown that there is no real “wage gap.” The supposed wage gap is calculated by adding up all the money made by all men in a year, versus all that made by women in the same frame of time. Once we account for the larger number of men working, the fact that men work longer hours in their jobs than the women in the same jobs (on average), take less time off in those jobs, quit those jobs earlier (and thus don’t get all the raises and positions that go with long-term seniority), value flexibility of hours over higher salary or better jobs, and don’t work jobs that afford “hazard pay” (like coal mining, oil rig working, etc., which pay higher salaries because of the detriments to health and physical danger associated with them, thus causing men to make up *98% of workplace deaths and 93% if workplace injuries*), and other factors, that supposed wage gap disappears.

                It’s not a wage gap, it’s an earnings gap.If the wage gap as feminists promote it existed, we would see many lawsuits based on the Ledbetter Act.

              10. If employers could get away with paying women less than men, would it not make economic sense to only hire women?

            2. @Ken

              Sorry, I made part of my last post unclear. Everything after “take less time off from those jobs” applies to how women, on average, do things, not men. Sorry for the third post! I must read more carefully in the future.

              My apologies.

              1. The Christian belief that abortion violates the commandment against murder is based on belief in the ensoulment of zygotes.

                Are you willing to cut the same sexism slack to Muslims who hold a sincere religious belief that female genital mutilation (and female covering) are required to avoid the sins of adultery, fornication, and lust?

              2. You keep calling it “sexism” simply because it affects mostly women. It’s like saying suicide is misandrist. I’m not cutting anyone any slack for sexism, because these people’s objections to abortion isn’t based on the sex of the person carrying the fetus.

              3. BJ, You understand, I hope, that a woman’s ability to establish reproductive control over her own body is a key factor — indeed, the key factor across cultures — in her being able to achieve prosperity and equality in any society. In any society that denies women that right, they are demonstrably poorer and less equal.

                That being the case, it is an act of sexism to deny women reproductive freedom, especially where the denial is being done primarily by men in positions of power, and secondarily by women acting from religious motivation. That these men and women are acting out of some misguided religious compunction does not per force abrogate the sexism. To the contrary, sexism and religiosity are strongly correlated across cultures — for Muslims, for Jews, and for Christians, here in the US and across the globe.

                But let’s go beyond that. This sub-thread is about the “warning signs of fascism.” Do you not see that denying women control over their reproductive options provides stronger indicia of fascism than does women enjoying such reproductive freedom?

                Perhaps the hang-up here is the word “sexism.” Instead of “Rampant Sexism,” it might be more accurate (and perhaps we might be in agreement?) were we to re-label fascism’s fourth warning sign “Rampant denial of freedom and equality to women.”

    1. It reads like a very recent document with rampant sexism being added to cover Trump. It does miss the most glaring characteristic of fascist regimes: suspension / rigging of free elections.

  39. Cross is directly inciting to violence., after all, punching in the face is violence. Couldn’t a case for prosecution be made?
    Whichever way, her (his?) attitude is reprehensible, how shall we call it, fascist?

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  41. There used to be a sport known as “poofter bashing”, where fit young men would go to homosexual beats to bash guys they found there. When homosexuality became more accepted there was a “poofters bash back” campaign threatening violence in defence of homosexuals.

    The “lady” in question and her sidekicks might care to contemplate the consequences for themselves of going around assaulting people they don’t like.

  42. I must admit that I had never heard of Dan Arel before, but she doesn’t sound to me like a person of the left, regressive ot otherwise, at all. In fact, she sounds like a classic agent provocateur – someone who deliberately encourages violence by the left, in order to give the right an excuse to clamp down, crush the left and impose its own viciously repressive agenda.

    People who talk glibly about Nazis should read up on the history of Nazi Germany, and they might understand that it was an act of supposedly left-wing violence – the February 1933 Reichstag fire – which gave Hitler the excuse he needed first to clamp down on Germany’s powerful Communist Party, and then to smash all movements opposed to Nazism.

    It doesn’t matter whether the man accused of setting the Reichstag fire, the Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, acted alone, or whether he was set up by the Nazis themselves. The result was still a milestone in the establishment of Hitler’s genocidal dictatorship.

    When I see that somebody in a mask has punched a prominent Trump supporter, or that supposed anarchists have broken windows and started fire to stop another Trump supporter from speaking at Berekely, I can’t help but wonder whether we are witnessing an American version of the Reichstag fire, the effects of which might be just as toxic.

  43. Corrected version of my comment: mistakes that result from typing too fast!

    I must admit that I had never heard of Dan Arel or Katherine Cross before, but they sound to me like a classic agent provocateur – someone who deliberately encourages violence by the left, in order to give the right an excuse to clamp down, crush the left and impose its own viciously repressive agenda.

    People who talk glibly about Nazis should read up on the history of Nazi Germany, and they might understand that it was an act of supposedly left-wing violence – the Reichstag fire – which gave Hitler the excuse he needed first to clamp down on Germany’s powerful Communist Party, and then to smash all movements opposed to Nazism.

    It doesn’t matter whether the man accused of setting the Reichstag fire, the Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, acted alone, or whether he was set up by the Nazis themselves. The result was still a milestone in the establishment of Hitler’s genocidal dictatorship.

    When I see that somebody in a mask has punched a prominent Trump supporter, or that supposed anarchists have broken windows and started fire to stop another Trump supporter from speaking at Berekely, I can’t help but wonder whether we are witnessing an American version of the Reichstag fire, the effects of which might be just as toxic.

    1. Indeed. It doesn’t really matter which ideology you hold or how right you think you are. At the end of the day, your side being the violent one makes people ask themselves, “if this is how they act when democratically elected leaders do anything they don’t like, how could I possibly trust them with the power of the government? How could I possibly trust these people to run things fairly and for the benefit of my country?”

  44. “Simply allowing Nazis onto a stage, as the BBC did when it let British National Party leader Nick Griffin sit and debate with political luminaries on its Question Time program, is to give them an invaluable moral victory.”

    I don’t understand this at all: the only impression that I got from Griffin’s appearance on QT all those years ago was how little one had to debate him to make his views appear just as morally bankrupt as they are. Given the chance to speak, he had the rest of the panel, as well as an entire audience of people, laughing at him. He was constantly challenged by others on the show and ultimately had his “arguments” torn apart. Having people like this air their views in a public forum is the best way to expose them for what they are.

    I managed to realise from this episode (at age 19, by the way) that one of the most important reasons to protect free speech for all is that, ultimately, it is one of the most reliable ways to weed out bad ideas — the more we let people like him speak, the sooner we’ll realise how odious their views are — while this article by Cross seem to suggest that she has a surprisingly long way to go on that front.

  45. There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding exactly who is responsible for the violence at Berkeley. No, it isn’t a false flag created by Trumpets to make leftists look bad. Just stop with that please. Own the fact that being a leftist doesn’t automatically equal pureness and innocence. Leftists can be complete shits as can RWNJs.
    The folks responsible for the recent violence are anti-fa aka black bloc’ers. They have been around a while and they are known for rooting at G20 events and so on. They are mostly middle class kids who are LARPing (playacting) at being revolutionaries.

    There is currently a petition to get them labelled a terrorist organization.

    1. And just look at the completely normalized leftist violence in the 1970’s. Over 2500 bombings within the US, dozens of bank robberies, shootings, underground terror networks (Weatherman, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and the many other associate groups”, the targeted police killings, etc. The extreme left waged a war against America with the express purpose of bringing down the industrialized west once and for all. They failed, but there’s no question they tried.

      And this was all in response to Nixon, so just imagine what a response to Trump could morph into.

    2. +1

      There is this scene from Black Adder, when Rowan Atkinson is tasked with operation Winkle, (to winkle out a German spy) and General Melchett (Stephen Fry) grumbles, ‘filthy hun weasels, fighting their dirty underhand war’

      Fortunately, one of our spies, Captain Darling starts to say… and Melchett fills in… ‘Splendid fellows, brave heroes risking life and limb for Blighty!’

    3. And, if we’re being honest, it’s not just small groups from the radical left like anti-fa, but also many individuals and groups not part of those particular clubs. One need only look to BLM marchers chanting and advocating for the indiscriminate killing of police officers, or many riots that have taken place with far more people than those that belong to these small black-bloc and anti-fa groups, or the widespread leftist protest violence in the sixties and seventies, etc.

      These are people who believe they are more righteous than anyone who does not fall in line with them and that they’re “on the right side of history,” and such thinking inevitably leads to an ends-justify-the-means type of mentality.

      Even online, you see countless SJWs provoking, encouraging, and engaging in doxxing, mass harassment, campaigns to get wrong-thinkers fired from their jobs, and on and on…all while complaining that they’re being “harassed” and “threatened” the moment someone sends a completely polite tweet of disagreement.

  46. Well, i have to admit that i have a really strong distaste for Nazism. At first i was expecting to see a verbal confrontation that ended in fisticuffs. I suppose under that condition it might be gratifying to see a Nazi apologist get the worst of a physical confrontation. Instead i was shocked by the ensuing “drive-by” sucker punch. This wasn’t a case of right defeating wrong, it was a simple assault…Any gratification i might have gotten from the bad guy getting his comeuppance was lost, because cold-cocking someone and then running away is an act of cowardice, not an honourable response to outrageous ideas taken to extreme.

    However i have to say; No.I don’t believe people should be physically attacked for speaking freely, no matter what they say. That way is the slippery slope to despotism.

    On another note, i found some concern with this statement;
    “While I won’t myself debate creationists because that gives them the cachet of having a real scientist think they’re worth debating..”
    If silence implies consent (from the viewpoint of the masses), how can we possibly benefit from not directly confronting and opposing lies and misconceptions? When Ken Ham gets to spout his nonsense unopposed, doesn’t that lend it credibility? A debate in real-time can make all the difference to some between swallowing his pseudoscience and exposing it as the pious trash it really is.

    It’s all well and good to preach to the choir in books and blogs…it reinforces our resolve. But there are times, i believe, when a direct rebuttal would arrest the spread of useless and dangerous ideas and ideologies. I debate Creationists whenever the opportunity arises…and i’m not even a qualified scientist!

    1. The problem with debating creationists is that they can tell lies much faster than you can rebut them. As I mentioned on another thread, the answer to why is there so merging rather than nothing is in a Lawrence Krauss book of over 200 pages. While you’re explaining that answer, your opponent will have stated 5 other lies. Then, because you will never have time to rebut every one of these false assertions, your opponent will declare victory because you’ve failed to rebut his points.

      Go watch an old Dr Dino presentation and figure out how you’d counter all of his assertions in an equivalent amount of time.

  47. It is interesting in these Godwin attacks, that the ultimate evil is always Hitler, and never Stalin. Partly, I suppose, because some of the heroes of the 20th century left were communist sympathizers.

    1. It’s obvious that Hitler’s success was a result of an appeal to populism. Stalin took control by means of assassination and totally disregarded the will of the people. He didn’t pander to their fears and hatred, he simply subjugated them.

      That’s why Trump is likened to Hitler.

  48. Whether Spencer really is a fascist or Nazi is a matter of degree, since he genuinely embraces similar views or language and makes little gestures to distance himself. At one speech, some in the audience make the Nazi salute and it seemed accepted there.

    “Social Justice Warriors”* no longer can distinguish between people like him or his audience, and ordinary pluralists. They’ve declared everyone critical of them as misogynist, rape apologists, racists, supremacists and we are now up to fascists and Nazis. They’ve also shown enough that such labels need not be accurate to them, as they’ve rationalized to themselves everything from hateful rhetoric to blocking, banning, smearing, making stuff up, fabrication, doxing, workplace harassment, and character assassination who drew their ire. Even Dawkins was considered a supremacist. He dared to start a hashtag where everyone could suggest individuals that represent humanity, as a #CosmicTombstone, and began by suggesting Shakespeare, Einstein, Darwin and Schubert — all white men, the SJW crowd complained.

    Social Justice Warriors have successfully exported their Manichean worldview, where everyone on the Left proper is into intersectionality and critical race theory and who are collectively the Good People. And they’ve cooked up an imaginary “Other” of everything else composed of whatever they see opposite: misogynists, racists, rape apologists, supremacists, fascist and Nazis. This was then identified to be the “Alt Right”, and it alternatively includes 4chan shitposters and Sarkeesian critics, and at another time, it means Spencer-type fascists, who is credited with coming up with the Alt Right term.

    In other words, Arel and Cross do not promote physical violence against Spencer and “real” Nazis — that would be one thing. Still wrong, but it’s a kind of Motte and Bailey doctrine. It can be justified somewhat depending on urgency and rhetorics (motte). But they promote physical violence against every critic of their ideology, as demonstrated by years of elastic groups, and labels that are easily attached, which they of course will not readily admit, because that’s not as defensible as their motte version. To give an idea, here’s it fresh from Buzzfeed:

    “Stuff like this is something that hooks in many people who are looking for somewhere to belong. They start with nonpolitical channels who tinge their content with political stuff, and then move on to things like [alt-right YouTubers] Sargon Of Akkad, Thunderf00t, and Blaire White. Then, they get into the hardcore Nazi stuff.”

    The whole situation is again grotesque extraordinair as is typical for Social Justice Warriors, because the same faction considers it violence to disagree with their ideology in your own content. Tweeting is violence (but literally punching is OK, just a matter of “side”). It’s harassment to make critical videos (as e.g. Thunderf00t did) and “obsessive”. In other words, the cult of social justice is now at a point where, after deplatforming, banning, blocking, character assassination, and crybully victimhood behaviour, all just to prevent dissent or even a debate at all, they now suggest physical violence.

    Spencer is a fascist, but the social justice warriors litterally and figuratively beat him.

    * Social Justice Warrior is a troubled term, and often misused, but also denied to make their specific intersectional ideology invisible and to sell it as the Default Left. People who are against SJW are as much against social justice as critics of “pro life” are against life. A specific ideological cluster and mindsets can be identified, even if many people, especially SJWs and their allies play obtuse. Ask yourself, when did we agree to Critical Race Theory? When did that discussion took place? The answer is: never. It was forced in, through bullies, virtue signals and buzzwords and simply assumed as “normal” — now also enforceable with punching.

    1. Lol at Thunderf00t being an “alt-right” Youtuber. I guess if you opposed radical feminism, stand for free speech, and in any way criticize the SJWs, you’re “alt-right.” I mean, he opposed Brexit and Trump. But nothing except complete acquiescence is good enough for these people.

      The media has had, and continues to have, a huge role in this radicalization of the far left.

    2. And Blaire White as well. She’s trans, but she’s not the right kind of trans, and since she opposes fourth wave feminism and identity politics, she is also now “alt-right.”

      And, as we know, since “alt-right” means “Nazi,” and anyone who even slightly speaks out against just a single tenet of regressive leftism is “alt-right,” what these people are really advocating is the punching of anyone who disagrees with them in any manner.

      Not that we didn’t already know that.

      1. I love Blaire White. I check out her channel regularly. I am >< close to becoming a hardcore Nazi

        “Stuff like this is something that hooks in many people who are looking for somewhere to belong. They start with nonpolitical channels who tinge their content with political stuff, and then move on to things like [alt-right YouTubers] Sargon Of Akkad, Thunderf00t, and Blaire White. Then, they get into the hardcore Nazi stuff.”

        1. She really is excellent, eh? Aside from the (few) occasions she goes overboard.

          It can’t be easy being a prominent trans women going against the grain. She deserves a huge amount of respect for her willingness to speak out, and do so forcefully.

          By the way, Cindy, where are you from? If I had to guess from your comments, I would say you’re an American like me…

          1. Canada.

            Our socially conscious PM has just been accused by BLM of being a “white supremacist terrorist”. Also, I learned that Canada was built on slavery.

            1. Well, don’t worry; even Bernie Sanders has been accused by them of being a white supremacist because he said identity politics ended up being a bad idea for the Democratic party.

              But I pity you for living in Canada. Not that Canada isn’t absolutely beautiful and a lovely place to live, because it is! I’ve been to Banff-Whistler, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, and several other locations up there, being thoroughly impressed by them all for their beauty, cleanliness, and kindness of the people. Unfortunately, you have PM Super-Progressive Pretty Boy in charge. And hate speech laws. And the insane rulings of your Human Rights Commission. Still, it is lovely.

              Where in Canada are you located? What do you think of the country as a whole?

              1. P.S. I’m surprised Trudeau hasn’t yet changed the lyrics of the national anthem to “in all thy people’s command,” or “all thy peoples of diverse sexual orientations, genders, races, and neuroatypical people’s command,” since “brothers” is sexist and exclusionary.

            2. “Built on” is a bit of a stretch although there was a sizable number of slaves who arrived with their owners after the American Revolution. The Imperial Act of 1790 encouraged American slaveholding loyalists to move to Canada and keep their slaves.

  49. “First of all” no person should be punched because free speech is an absolute right that must be protected. Second of all, a paramount purpose of government is to protect our rights by banning the initiation and use of force to violate those rights. Lastly, dead last, you shouldn’t punch someone because they gain empathy.

    1. It is saddening, I think.

      Just to add on something…

      I just ran past an article that could be of interest here, in the more general scheme of things, and that might interests you.

      If the information and inferences in this article is valid, it might put (some) of Trumps apparent incoherence and capriciousness in perspective.

      I know too little to (seriously) judge the claims made, but it is curious I think, and might add one piece of the puzzle.

      I am not a supporter of Trump, or defend him, but I find this whole episode highly stimulating in regard to the old noodle…

  50. “Spencer will never achieve anything.” Steve Bannon, a supporter and ideological follower of Richard B. Spencer, is currently in two different prominent positions in the government and has been helping make Trump’s policy. It also happened during an interview with an Australian broadcast channel, which he was using as a propaganda mouthpiece.

    He’s already achieved quite a bit, and those of us who literally die in the Nazi gameplan are scared, and increasingly frustrated with the demonstrably ineffective anti-fascist tactics that have only allowed people like Spencer and Bannon to reach this level of power.

    The fascists and Nazis in WW2 were not defeated by vigorous debate, by poking holes in their logic and debunking their false claims, and it was not for lack of trying.

      1. I’m aware of no evidence that Steve Bannon is a “follower” of Richard Spencer. But both are part of the same “alt-right” ilk. Bannon has stated that he took over Breitbart to establish a media platform for the alt-right. (He has also compared himself to a right-wing Vladimir Lenin, intent on destroying “the state” and replacing it with something else.) At Breitbart, Bannon published a profile of alt-right figures (written by Milo Y) that spoke flatteringly of Spencer.

        The business acumen of Donald Trump is a matter that might reasonably be debated. What is beyond debate is that Trump is a hopeless dupe when it comes to knowledge of public policy, of the functioning of the US government, and of geopolitical strategy. Bannon (who is by all account smart and a strategic thinker) has secured for himself a spot on the crucial “principals committee” of the National Security Council — the first political advisor to the president ever to be so named — apparently by taking advantage of Trump’s abject ignorance of such matters.

        That someone like Bannon has attained such a position of power should be of concern to all citizens. That he has such power in the administration of someone as unsuited to the presidency (by experience, by intellect, and by temperament) as Donald Trump, all citizens should find deeply disturbing.

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