Saturday, February 11, 2017

"...for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations."

I, too, side with the gay immigrant of Jewish descent who dates black guys. Instead of anti-free speech violence & thuggery.  And Gay Jewish immigrant who dates black dudes is the weirdest definition of Nazi White Nationalist ever.  The mental gymnastics required to even make the claim is mind boggling.

UC-Berkeley Protesters Set Campus on Fire, Shut Down Milo Yiannopoulos Event - Hit & Run :

Berkeley and Hitler | Scott Adams' Blog: "Speaking of Hitler, I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago. I have been a big supporter lately, with both my time and money, but that ends today. I wish them well, but I wouldn’t feel safe or welcome on the campus. A Berkeley professor made that clear to me recently. He seems smart, so I’ll take his word for it. I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus.  Yesterday I asked my most liberal, Trump-hating friend if he ever figured out why Republicans have most of the Governorships, a majority in Congress, the White House, and soon the Supreme Court. He said, “There are no easy answers.” I submit that there are easy answers. But for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations."

Thugs Indulge Their Weimar Dreams and Become the Totalitarians They Claim to Hate - "Well, that's how they imagine it in their fever dreams, anyway. In reality, the Nazis didn't show up and the protesters themselves were the only totalitarians in sight. The Black Bloc thugs—"about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest," says UC-Berkeley—seem to imagine themselves as stars of a Weimar Germany reenactment. In their minds, they march through the streets as the phalanx of the center-left Eiserne Front (or, more likely, the communist Rotfrontk√§mpferbund), battling their deadly enemies in the Nazi SA between sessions at the beer hall. But the anti-fascists couldn't find any Nazis at Berkeley. 

So instead "[t]hey shattered the glass of our Amazon Pickup Center, one of the few places Berkeley students can receive packages without fear of them getting stolen. They created a bonfire of trash in the center of the chaos, picked up barricades to drive through the building's glass walls, set off fireworks, and left a trail of rage-filled destruction in their wake as they stormed the very streets we call home," in the words of a student who saw a peaceful anti-Trump protest hijacked by visitors from 1930. Oh, and they sold a whole lot of books for Milo, who is less a Nazi than a professional troll and self-promoter who has tied his personal brand to that of Donald Trump. Brownshirts also missed the date at Gavin McInnes's speech at New York University. Anti-fascist crusaders had to settle for pepper-spraying McInnes himself before he'd even opened his mouth, and cursing out cops for not beating up McInnes and his supporters. And they got themselves arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief. McInnes, by the way isn't a Nazi either. The co-founder of Vice and serial hipster's major "offense" seems to be that he's a Trump supporter; he's also a self-described "Western chauvinist," seemingly a male chauvinist, and no fan of Islam. 

Arguably, a Nazi did show up for the very first act of anti-Nazi direct action of the Trump era, when avowed racist Richard Spencer was violently attacked the day after the new president took office. Ironically, he was giving a TV interview at the time, during which he denied being a neo-Nazi—he's just awful in so many other ways. But that's close enough for the incident to have sparked a Nazi-punching craze, with allegedly serious articles in major publications pondering the ethics of committing battery against people for their political views.

Curiously, each major target of violent anti-fascist ire has actually been further and further from an actual Nazi, from Spencer, to Yiannopoulos, to McInnes. This suggests that the threshold allegedly justifying physical assault is movable, making anybody at the outer edge of the shifting acceptable realm for speech eligible for a punch. If it's Nazis all the way down, ultimately, only two black-clad douchebags will be left standing in a basement somewhere, fists clenched, glaring at each other with each wondering about the other's anti-Nazi bona fides. Which is a big part of why it's not OK to punch Nazis..."

One thing that bugs me in the wake of the violence was the "denunciation" by some on the left of how the Black Bloc protesters invaded the march and weren't emblematic of the movement as a whole.  The weren't "real" Democrats or Leftist or whatever.  They were *anarchists*!  [See also, No True Scotsman fallacy.]  Maybe.  But this is from the sidebar of UC Berkeley News after the riot: 

No mention of the students and other people who were pepper sprayed and beaten for having different political opinions...

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