Hannah Arendt was a moral disgrace

This is a review of a new film on Hannah Arendt characterisation of the Holocaust written by Alan Dershowitz: New Eichmann Film Puts the Lie to Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil” I think his argument is weak but at least it is not a sell-out as so many discussions of Arendt seem to be. This is from the review:

Deliberately distorting the history of the Holocaust — whether by denial, minimization, unfair comparisons or false characterizations of the perpetrators — is a moral and literary sin. Arendt is a sinner who placed her ideological agenda, to promote a view of evil as mundane, above the truth. To be sure, there are untruths as well in Operation Finale, but they are different in kind rather than degree. Some of the drama and chase scenes are contrived, but what else can be expected of Hollywood? What is important is that Eichmann is presented in his multifaceted complexity, in the manner in which Shakespeare presented Iago, Lady Macbeth and many of his other villains — not as banal but as brilliantly evil.

“Brilliantly evil” is just stupid. Eichmann was the essence of evil; in what way could any of it be described as “brilliant”. He was a mass murderer who knew what he was doing. He never thought for a moment to defend what he had done when his life was at stake in that courtroom in Jerusalem. He was not a careerist. He did not do what he did because his name was drawn out by lot. There is nothing in his life that would make one believe that he ended up with the job he had by a series of random accidents. His mission in life was to kill as many Jews as possible. There may be others who think that is a worthy aim in life, but they are just as evil as Eichmann. That Arendt helped let him off the moral hook is a disgrace and indefensible.

Here then is Steve Sailer looking at the same film, where he discusses Eichmann.

In any case, Eichmann’s ample personal guilt is clear, despite his being only the administrative equivalent of a lieutenant colonel. While bureaucrats in several of Germany’s allies slow-walked Berlin’s ghastly initiative for as long as they could, Eichmann worked tirelessly to speed the process.

And in relation to Hannah Arendt, he writes:

Arendt, who doesn’t appear in this movie, was a Germanophile snob. Her ex-boyfriend, philosopher Martin Heidegger, might have been a Nazi for a while, but to Arendt at least he was an extremely cultured German Nazi. Arendt wrote to Karl Jaspers about Israel:

My first impression: On top, the judges, the best of German Jewry. Below them, the prosecuting attorneys, Galicians, but still Europeans. Everything is organized by a police force that gives me the creeps, speaks only Hebrew, and looks Arabic. Some downright brutal types among them. They would obey any order. And outside the doors, the Oriental mob, as if one were in Istanbul or some other half-Asiatic country. In addition, and very visible in Jerusalem, the peies (sidelocks) and caftan Jews, who make life impossible for all reasonable people here.

Nothing is now sacred

It no longer crosses my mind that the leaders of parties on the left are men and women of goodwill who are seeking the best for us all. I may misunderstand them, but little they do or say ever reminds me that their aim is anything other than political power at any price. The disgusting behaviour over the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a new low, which has only been achievable because of the astonishingly depraved attitudes of those who support the Democrats in the United States. It apparently costs the Democrats nothing to go all in to prevent an honest, decent and honourable judge from being confirmed. All this is brought together in a post by Conrad Black: Only the People Can End This Democratic Horror Show. You should read it all, but this is at the core:

There has already been ample reference to the fact that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) waited tactically to the last minute before raising this matter of Kavanaugh’s alleged drunken grope of a fellow high school student 36 years ago, of which the senator became aware in July. Neither in public nor private hearings nor in a private one-hour meeting did she bother to raise the subject. Kavanaugh denies it, no one corroborates it, no illegality is alleged, no subsequent claimants of like behavior have come forward, and scores of women who have known the judge for decades have attested to his irreproachable behavior and character.

It is nonsense; many men have done such a thing, and so have many women, and it absolutely does not, in itself, even if the incident happened, disqualify this nominee or anyone else, at this remove in time, from any office, even in the celibate clergy.

The supporting evidence is the notes, contradictory in places, of the complainant’s psychotherapist from a psychoanalytic session, 26 years ex post facto—i.e. the complainant herself a generation later from a psychiatric couch. This has as much probative value as Hillary Clinton’s citations from the Steele dossier, which she commissioned and paid for, and when exposed, described as “campaign information.” Where is the shame? Where does this demeaning idiocy stop? Obviously nothing is now sacred, but must every act and every public office, be profane?

The left continue to take an axe to our institutional structures that will with certainly be brought down if they are allowed to continue. Only a Republican majority in the Congressional elections in November might turn things around, but even that is uncertain. It may well be that it is darkest before the dawn, but there is no doubt that things are certainly going to get darker before things turn around, assuming they ever do. Dark Ages last a long time.

Rebellion comes with consequences

How a Social Justice Mob Fired a Tenured Professor is a common enough story that is almost no longer visible in the rush of other almost identical processes in campuses around the world. If you actually believe the world is run on ethics rather than my-gang-is-bigger-than-your-gang, you think you can be protected by the hypocritical nonsense they spout. But the reality is that the only rules are the rules of the ruling class and they are the ones who are happy to live in a world of masters and servants. You can enroll in the Master Class but they will discard you at a moment’s notice if you rock their boat. So what happened to tenured Professor Mehta. He took them at their word and so they turfed him out.

He described multiculturalism as a “scam.” Multiculturalism might be described as the official state religion of Canada, and Canadian universities as its schools of theology…. He is accused as well of “denying the wage gap between men and women and dismissing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a vehicle for ‘endless apologies and compensation.’” The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a body created in 2008 by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to make things right with the native peoples of the country.

Nor was he some peripheral journeyman without a record of academic achievement.

Mehta taught at Acadia for fifteen years; his teaching included large-enrollment introductory courses; he won teaching awards twice; served on numerous committees; remained professionally active in his discipline at the national level, and served local community groups. He was by traditional standards, an exemplary professor.

All was well until:

Mehta’s troubles began, he says, between 2015 and 2017, when he came under the influence of fellow psychologist Jordan Peterson and started to take notice of “protests and cancellations of talks at universities.” In early 2017, his concerns came to a head when he wrote to the search committee that was engaged in looking for Acadia’s next president. He voiced his worry that then-candidate Dr. Ricketts had little to say about “critical thinking or listening to a diverse range of perspectives” and that Ricketts “planned to commit Acadia to social justice.”

Did he seriously think an incoming President would welcome an opportunity to debate his most cherished beliefs? He might have thought tenure would protect him and it should have, but one should never be astonished when it does not. The author of this report believes this is something new. It is the very opposite of new. It is the way of the world and will always be thus.

The past is a foreign country-they really did do things differently there

That’s Number 1 but it should not stop you from looking at all the others: 10 Technological Marvels from the 20th Century that Today’s Kids Don’t Know What to Do With. I wonder what they’d make of a washboard. In thirty years’ time what will kids then make of the internet? No doubt gadgets are better now than they were and will keep on getting better as well if we can prevent ourselves from Venezueling our economies.

“Space, time and matter had to appear out of nowhere”

Does belief in God make sense of the world? Or does reality itself point to God’s absence? Is God real or is he a product of human minds? The video is from Those Who Lack a Belief In God Usually Lack an Argument. In the debate above, both have arguments but only one has an argument in favour of God, and the opposite case seems absolutely empty. You should also go to the link.

“Bullying” is the very essence of the political process

From A Snowflake’s Guide to Politics. See if you can see a pattern.

Here is the first definition of “arm twisting” that comes up on Google. It’s from The Cambridge Dictionary:

arm-twisting noun [ U ]

UK  /ˈɑːmˌtwɪs.tɪŋ/ US  /ˈɑːrmˌtwɪs.tɪŋ/

behaviour in which you try to make someone do something by threats or by persuading them forcefully:

The vote was won only as the result of much arm-twisting by the government.

Here’s the second, from Merriam-Webster:

arm-twisting

noun  arm-twist·ing  \ -ˌtwis-tiŋ \

Definition of arm-twistingthe use of direct personal pressure in order to achieve a desired end

for all the arm-twisting, the … vote on the measure was unexpectedly tight

Newsweek

Here is the third, from The Free Dictionary:

arm-twisting

arm-twist·ing(ärm′twĭs′tĭng)

n. Informal

The use of personal or political pressure in an effort to persuade or to gain support.

You know the line: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. That’s part of what politics is all about, and when it comes right down to it, it is almost everything that politics is all about.

And if you are interested in why this is even worth mentioning, see this from Andrew Bolt.

Spinning up an inquisition

From Steve Hayward at Powerline: Academic Cowardice Reaches a New Low. There are modern compulsory myths about the world and absolutely no one is permitted to even hint that they are untrue, even in a paper on mathematics that no one would ever have read except for all the havoc. The left are fascistic nazis in every way that counts. They would end free speech in a minute if they could and close down all public opposition to their beliefs. A terrible story foreshadowing a terrible future. It is similar in many ways to the story about “bullying” told by Andrew Bolt. Meantime, let us see what happened when it is pointed out that there is evidence that the male of the species have different characteristics than the female of the species, and in this we include the human species.

About ten days ago I reported on the academic study of “sudden onset gender dysphoria” that Brown University repudiated after it came under fire from the transgender community, but today I learn of a new suppression of academic expression that makes Brown’s cowardice look tame.

The good people at Quillette have the whole story (and if you’re not reading Quillette you should be). The story is long and detailed and hard to summarize, but these are the key elements:

• Prof. Ted Hill, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Georgia Tech, wrote an article, whose background research had been supported by the National Science Foundation, on the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH), which asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. This hypothesis is well known in the data on sex differences, and has a long lineage in evolutionary biology. After working with some other scholars to review the data further and enlisting one (Sergei Tabachnikov of Penn State) as a co-author, Hill secured publication in the journal Mathematical Intelligencer, whose editor-in-chief is Marjorie Wikler Senechal, Professor Emerita of Mathematics and the History of Science at Smith College.

She liked our draft, and declared herself to be untroubled by the prospect of controversy. “In principle,” she told Sergei in an email, “I am happy to stir up controversy and few topics generate more than this one. After the Middlebury fracas, in which none of the protestors had read the book they were protesting, we could make a real contribution here by insisting that all views be heard, and providing links to them.”

Well you can guess where this story goes from here. When a pre-print version of the article appeared online, feminists took aim, and succeeded spinning up an inquisition against the authors:

On August 16, a representative of the Women In Mathematics (WIM) chapter in his department at Penn State contacted [Sergei Tabachnikov] to warn that the paper might be damaging to the aspirations of impressionable young women. . . Sergei said he had spent “endless hours” talking to people who explained that the paper was “bad and harmful” and tried to convince him to “withdraw my name to restore peace at the department and to avoid losing whatever political capital I may still have.” Ominously, “analogies with scientific racism were made by some; I am afraid, we are likely to hear more of it in the future.”

The the National Science Foundation ran for the tall grass:

The National Science Foundation wrote to Sergei requesting that acknowledgment of NSF funding be removed from our paper with immediate effect. I was astonished. I had never before heard of the NSF requesting removal of acknowledgement of funding for any reason. On the contrary, they are usually delighted to have public recognition of their support for science.

The ostensible reason for this request was that our paper was unrelated to Sergei’s funded proposal. However, a Freedom of Information request subsequently revealed that Penn State WIM administrator Diane Henderson (“Professor and Chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee”) and Nate Brown (“Professor and Associate Head for Diversity and Equity”) had secretly co-signed a letter to the NSF that same morning. “Our concern,” they explained, “is that [this] paper appears to promote pseudoscientific ideas that are detrimental to the advancement of women in science, and at odds with the values of the NSF.”

Next:

That same day, the Mathematical Intelligencer’s editor-in-chief Marjorie Senechal notified us that, with “deep regret,” she was rescinding her previous acceptance of our paper. “Several colleagues,” she wrote, had warned her that publication would provoke “extremely strong reactions” and there existed a “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.” For the second time in a single day I was left flabbergasted. Working mathematicians are usually thrilled if even five people in the world read our latest article. Now some progressive faction was worried that a fairly straightforward logical argument about male variability might encourage the conservative press to actually read and cite a science paper?

It gets still worse from here. The authors placed the article online in a second journal, the New York Journal of Mathematics, only to see the article suddenly disappear after another campaign to suppress it. The entire article is stomach turning. But do read it: I’ve only samples a few highlights in this summary.

Free speech consists only of what I think is reasonable to say

This is via AP and found in Campus Review: A third of online election news in Sweden ‘junk’: English study. No idea how well those people at Oxford speak Swedish, but this is a very strange story. How would they really know if the information provided was actually “mis-leading” and even more difficult to know, whether these non-factually accurate and biased reports were “deliberate” attempts to mislead? The one certainty, however, is the wish to prevent specific news stories from being read.

One in three news articles shared online about the upcoming Swedish election come from websites publishing deliberately misleading information, most with a right-wing focus on immigration and Islam, Oxford University researchers say.

Their study, published on Thursday, points to widespread online disinformation in the final stages of a tightly contested campaign that could mark a lurch to the right in one of Europe’s most prominent liberal democracies.

The authors, from the Oxford Internet Institute, labelled certain websites junk news, based on a range of detailed criteria. Reuters found the three most popular sites they identified have employed former members of the Sweden Democrats party; one has a former MP listed among its staff.

It was not clear whether the sharing of junk news had affected voting intentions in Sweden, but the study helps show the impact platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have on elections, and how domestic or foreign groups can use them to exacerbate sensitive social and political issues.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, whose centre-left Social Democrats have dominated politics since 1914 but are now unlikely to secure a ruling majority, told Reuters the spread of false or distorted information online risked shaking “the foundations of democracy” if left unchecked.

The Institute, a department of Oxford University, analysed 275,000 tweets about the Swedish election from a 10-day period in August. It counted articles shared from websites it identified as junk news sources, defined as outlets that “deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news”.

“Roughly speaking, for every two professional content articles shared, one junk news article was shared. Junk news therefore constituted a significant part of the conversation around the Swedish general election,” it said.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on the results of the study.

Facebook, where interactions between users are harder to track, said it was working with Swedish officials to help voters spot disinformation. It has also partnered with Viralgranskaren – an arm of Sweden’s Metro newspaper – to identify, demote and counterbalance junk news on its site.

Joakim Wallerstein, head of communications for the Sweden Democrats, said he had no knowledge of or interest in the party sympathies of media outlets. Asked to comment on his party’s relationship with the sites identified by the study, he said he had been interviewed by one of them once.

“I think it is strange that a foreign institute is trying to label various news outlets in Sweden as junk news and release such a report in connection to an election,” he said.

Swedish security officials say there is currently no evidence of a coordinated online attempt by foreign powers to sway the September 9 vote, despite repeated government warnings about the threat.

What could “foreign powers” do that they were not doing themselves. The deep state exists everywhere.

Recreational outrage

Having been at the cutting edge of the Protest Generation of the 1960s, I can attest it was just for fun, and for me anyway, a safe activity since I never thought anyone would take us seriously. When these pussy establishment giants kept falling over to appease our stupidity I knew I had had enough. But on it has gone. This is from Lionel Shriver writing in The Spectator.

What is the real emotional experience of pouncing on minor infractions of rules right-on activists seem to be making up as they go along, and which only proliferate and grow more exacting the more cravenly the rest of us obey the last ones? (The latest: ‘stay in your lane’, or ‘white writers shalt not use AAVE’.) Nothing short of exhilaration. Crusaders relish locating another paper dragon to slay. In the guise of suffering and woundedness, the overriding emotion in call-out culture is a sensation of triumph….

The students cowering in ‘safe spaces’ don’t feel endangered; they’re claiming territory. In protecting the faux-helpless from noxious opinions via no-platforming, they’re exercising power. The experience of exercising power isn’t scary, except on the receiving end; it’s supremely gratifying. These people aren’t frightened. They want you to be frightened of them. And we’re not talking ‘microaggression’. PC police often prefer macroaggression, the kind that can get people sacked….

Progressives seem especially prone to disguise one feeling as another. Reliably entwined with self-deceit, the problem isn’t solely among the young. When American liberals my age claim to suffer from white guilt over slavery and the slaughter of Indians, I question whether they really feel guilty. They weren’t personal agents of these crimes, and they know it. Nothing wrong with being historically aware. But white guilt is often a blind for moral vanity.

What employers look for in graduates

From The Campus Review. This is an exact reprint.

Survey results highlight philosophical debate about universities’ purpose

Have you noticed that students aren’t that resilient? Eleven thousand global employers have. In the QS Global Skills Gap in the 21st Century Report, they reported a lack of resilience as the largest student skill gap, among many others.

The report, by QS and student recruitment agency the Institute of Student Employers, found that employers thought students deficient in 12 of the 15 skills surveyed.

Having also gleaned insights from 16,000 students, the report authors noted that students and employers held different views on which skills were most valuable. While students believed creativity and data analysis were key, employers preferred problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills.

The results also varied by business size, as well as location. For example, large companies prized leadership over technical skills, and North American employers were relatively satisfied with their graduate employees – especially compared with Latin American ones.

Global Overview of Core Skills: Importance v Satisfaction

Photo: QS/Institute of Student Employers

Dasha Karzunina, Market Insights Manager at QS, said the report verifies widely-held beliefs about students’ skills gaps. This implies that a purpose of university education is to prepare students for employment. Undoubtedly many – if not all universities would affirm this. Yet some people argue that preparing students for employment is the job of vocational providers, not universities.

These, however, are lone voices. Students want graduate jobs, so universities, swayed by market forces, attempt to ready students for them. Examples include the growing emphasis universities place on inculcating soft, transferable skills in students to suit the rapidly shifting employment landscape, and the increasing prominence of experiential learning and industry placements across degrees.

To further prepare students for careers, universities could introduce measures that enhance their resilience – their largest skill ‘gap’. For instance, universities could consider improving resilience as part of the student experience, even as an educational outcome.