Ben Shapiro on the Alt Right

Gotta love Ben Shapiro. The more I hear from him, the more I respect the guy.

Yes, the end portion of that video is a repeat, but I think it’s worth letting the message sink in.

Karen Straughan’s afterthoughts on Chris Cantwell and white nationalism

All of her points made there sound reasonable to me.

More from Chris Cantwell

“Christopher Cantwell Radical Agenda how-to-hit-your-girlfriend”:

Wow… Huh…

Well, that gives me a different perspective on the guy. Not too cool…

So much for being about using reasoning to get your point across and not resorting to using force.

Couples are going to do whatever they’re going to do, and that’s between them, I guess. But he chose to put it out there, so we in the outside world are going to have reactions. Just like people react to whatever I put it out there, but he’s far more popular and since found himself among the leaders of a well-publicized, nazi-attended political rally.

That letter though…

Sounds pretty pretentious and demonstrates a need to control his partner.

So, he’s a drunk, and she provokes him. Sounds exactly like the type of couple who ought to start a family.  american_smiliebs_smiliedisbelief

Society is a mess, from the bottom to the top. Clearly we’re all mixed up. Weird people keep breeding. And encouraging others to breed also.

His Vice interview (HBO footage):

Wow…  His interview at the end though…

Now that I’ve learned a little more about the guy, I’m less impressed. To say the least. Pretty big switch from how he acted during that interview with Karen Straughan (aka Girl Writes What).

And this is the infamous video circling around of him very emotional after learning of his arrest warrant:

BIG switch…

Hmmm…  What can I say? Just another oddball out in society. As an oddball myself, I’m limited on how much criticism I can levy here without being a total hypocrite. However, alluding to threats of violence against counter-protesters (on video, no less), then later being terrified of violence from cops simply because they issued a warrant on him (also broadcast to the internet) is a pretty major shift in gears. Part of me feels kinda bad for the dude since he’s embarrassed himself across media networks and youtube. But he also looks to have had it coming. Talked a really big game that he obviously can’t live up to. This is the problem with too much pride and arrogance, especially when one’s house is made of glass.

Makes me rethink sharing so much shit online, to be honest. Because this kind of thing can happen and blow up in your face. Hence why it’s important to try to stay reasonable and relatively humble. Bravado tends to get tested in the end. We all put on acts to one degree or another, but some outright misrepresent themselves in dramatic ways. This being a case in point. Sucks when your public image implodes, and that one was a doozy. I’m emotional as hell my own self, and I nowadays try not to pretend otherwise. It’ll come out in the end anyway — might as well be fairly upfront about it. Just strikes me as kinda strange that someone with such an emotional disposition would attempt to lead others in a movement such as that. Seems it would’ve been better had he recognized this limitation in his personality and not sought a leadership role in the first place. Neuroticism and leadership just don’t bind well.

Those who seek power aren’t always, or typically, the ones who deserve it or can handle it. And now that’s been made clear once again.

“Interview: Christopher Cantwell”

Karen Straughan’s interview with the self-described white nationalist Christopher Cantwell:

Very interesting talk, not knowing who he was prior to this past week.

I can understand where he’s coming from in some areas, just can’t get behind framing this all in terms of race. Looks to me to be more about values. Good to hear his views out of his own mouth and not as second-hand hearsay.

She handled that conversation fairly. More talks like this ought to occur rather than people just bashing one another and refusing to seriously consider the other’s perspective. No crime in being curious.

Eighteen years later (the Columbine school shooting and its aftermath)

Reflecting back on an event from April 20th, 1999:

Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters who committed the Columbine High School massacre, years later granted an interview with 20/20:

The other shooter’s name was Eric Harris. Son of a retired U.S. Air Force pilot father and a homemaking mother.

Both families appeared middle-class and stable, not what one might expect to generate hooligans of that magnitude.

A couple of their friends agreed to an interview in 2000:

Sue Klebold speaking out about suicidal tendencies and living in the aftermath of her son’s crime on TEDMED (Feb. 2017):

Can’t say that I share her faith in psychiatric drugs to remedy this malady considering how often it’s born out of a sense of nihilism and existential reckoning. Altering brain chemistry alone can’t infuse someone’s life with meaning or erase our personal problems. And occasionally the main problem is bigger than that, as with psychopathy. Furthermore, drugs prescribed to treat depression can actually worsen it. As in inducing a condition called Tardive Dysphoria where prolonged antidepressant use leads to chronic depression. Or the drugs themselves may simply stop proving effective over time. Not to mention all the other unwanted side effects. Then there’s the problem with increased aggressiveness and suicidality in youths prescribed these drugs, despite many years of active targeting and marketing of these drugs toward young age groups, which is inevitably ushering in new class action lawsuits against Big Pharma companies. Also read somewhere about how antidepressant drugs marketed today have no better clinical success rate than placebos for many, if not most, people.

Stuff to keep in mind and to research more in-depth for oneself. It’s become too easy of an answer to keep pushing drugs and “mental health services” on youths experiencing social and interpersonal problems as well as depressing symptoms and anxiety, and how much good is it really doing? Why should it even be necessary for so many people in general nowadays to be labeled according to psychiatric standards and prescribed a drug? Why is modern life proving that difficult to cope with for this many people across the West? Sounds like an existential issue at bottom, not one that can be medicated away.

Anyway… Continuing on with Kacey Johnson, survivor of the Columbine shooting, speaking up now as a mother herself:

Colin Flaherty is too often misunderstood

I am a fan of the man’s channel. On break from watching it much lately, focusing attention on other matters. But his content is a showcase of what’s happening out in society. He’s not making this stuff up — he’s documenting it very publicly. For doing this, some folks accuse him of racist motives and dismiss his material presented. Swept away and ignored. Out of sight, out of mind. People say it about him so it must be true, right? Wrong.

First off, it doesn’t matter what his motives might be — his content stands on its own merits. He’s opted to turn his focus to black crimes news because a disproportionate and significant amount of crime in this country is currently being committed by black people. It’s a relevant topic. Very much so. This is impacting all of society. Stating facts isn’t racist. Can telling the verified truth be racist?

Colin Flaherty doesn’t offer up speculation on why there’s a higher crime rate within the American black community. In fact, he resists doing so even when asked by interviewers. Because to him that isn’t what’s most relevant. What is is that VIOLENT CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED AND IMPACTING ALL OF SOCIETY.

Many have been asking why for years. Politicians responded by orchestrating the funneling of evermore financial aid to poor (also disproportionately black) citizens and inner-city schools, as well as implementing anti-discrimination legislation and affirmative action programs in workplaces and universities. Measures have been taken, yet black crime remains on the rise. Why? Who knows?

Dr. Thomas Sowell answered that the very problem lies in these social welfare programs and altered racial standards. But who listens to him anyway? People claim to want answers but won’t accept any that are provided. Won’t even take time to consider the proffered answer if it doesn’t fit the narrative one wishes to believe. So then we bog down arguing over which cause(s) are most likely the culprit…and the problem worsens while we’re all sitting around bickering and accusing people of racism.

Meanwhile Colin Flaherty is offering up abundant evidence of what is actually going on, year after year and with no signs of relenting, regardless of what theories are being tossed around to explain it.

Can we deal with the facts as they are here on the ground? Is it now racist to point out reality?

The truth’s not always pleasant, but we still have to deal with it. This is the current situation. And if you pay attention to some of the people involved in the crimes he documents, they’ll give you clues as to why they do what they do. Some show clear signs of feeling entitled to do so and are themselves racist toward members of other races and indifferent toward the lives of members of their own. Or at least that’s how their words and actions come across to me. You can form your own judgments.

The videos and news stories shared by Colin Flaherty form a collection of data to support his assertion not only that black-on-everybody-else crime is persistent and increasing but also the quality of violence is remarkable. That’s worth taking serious note of. (Might provide a couple more clues as to why this keeps happening.)

Plenty of black people themselves state that there is severe dysfunction within the black community (despite often resulting in them being bombarded by their fellow blacks with accusations of being “race traitors,” “coons” and “uncle toms” — further proving how swiftly and surely hostility arises when anyone dares to make the black kids angry). And that spills out and affects everybody else in society, hence why it is our business and we’re curious to learn information about it. Colin’s channel is one that offers that. It’s not racist to want to be honestly informed.

This is where deflections like to enter the conversation, redirecting our attention back to select cases of white crime and claims of “white supremacy” and “racism” (a worn-out accusation if there ever was one). How does “white supremacy” make you a criminal in this day and age? Especially considering how much social and financial aid this tragically “racist” society doles out to black Americans and actively panders to their political causes. Yet that’s not enough — it’s even viewed by some vocal folks out here as not amounting to squat. There’s something wrong with all the rest of us apparently. We’re the culprits. We’re all to blame. Apparently because we deserve mistreatment. Is that not the message being sent?

Anyway, Colin doesn’t get too wrapped up in the ins and outs, preferring to keep his own message straight-forward in identifying the crimes taking place. That’s what he’s about. And I, for one, am glad that he’s willing to do so. It’s not too comfortable showing people what they do not wish to see or hear about. But it’s not his fault if others can’t handle the truth. There’s a problem here that must be addressed. People, including many black people as well, are dying as a result of all this lawless behavior, and that’s not fair or tolerable. Where’s the call for racial tolerance running the other way? Where’s the appreciation for non-black people’s lives and safety mattering too?

People get angry at Colin Flaherty because his channel content, especially when viewed in large volume over time, snaps at us to pay attention and to consider where this is all heading. (Will the crime rate continue to rise?) It also asks of us how police ought to respond. (Can cops do their jobs without being accused of racism and sparking street protests?) This is societal problem, so people other than black people can’t help but take notice and call for some sort of action. There are people out who don’t like that, but it’s not racist to believe our own eyes and to want to talk about it. Better to talk than respond with violence, especially where innocent people wind up concerned.

Which leads me to my last thought on this. Because of the recent events in Charlottesville and the decision of members of various factions of the Political Right to show up at a rally beside people sporting nazi insignia, ending with a woman being run over and killed by a car, we are forced to acknowledge where ramping up violence can lead us and have an imagination for how it might escalate going forward. Colin Flaherty isn’t advocating for that. But he too may well wind up tarred and feathered because some actual racists do watch his channel and put their $.02 in. Because he’s busy he doesn’t tend to monitor his comment section, and outright mean-spirited comments remain up. (Or he might choose not to censor his comment section, as is my policy on my own channel much of the time). But people notice that connection and assume Colin’s producing this material to appeal to those kind of people. He’s not. He’s showcasing it for all of us out here, not only the racists who look for anything to confirm their bias.

I’d liken it to how Donald Trump winds up being accused of being a racist bigot and supporter of the resurrected KKK and neo-nazis and whatever else because some of those people voted for him. That’s not all who voted for him, but of course they’re a group who attract a lot of attention thanks to the shitty things they spew about members of other races. There around, so that’s a fact we have to accept as well. Colin has repeated over and over again that his motive is not racism, that he was a journalist who could no longer ignore the disproportionate amount of crime being committed by black people in this country and how it’s not receiving adequate or honestly straight-forward coverage. That is a disparity begging to be called into question, as to be expected in an open and democratic society such as ours. Whether blatant racists and wanna-be nazis applaud his efforts is irrelevant — none of us can help who all takes interest in us. We can clearly state our own position, but others obviously aren’t under our control. And I doubt what those jackasses choose to entertain themselves with is of much concern to Colin. Those types also happen to like to watch and ridicule videos on WorldStarHipHop — is that the fault or responsibility of that site? I’d argue it’s not.

So, in closing, people do project too much onto Colin Flaherty. The man’s a retired journalist-turned-youtuber. This is what he does. He’s following a story of great interest, which is black crime on the rise both in sheer number of crimes being committed and the quality of the violence involved. That’s undeniably something people deserve to learn about, if for no other reason than to take precautions in order to protect ourselves. If you don’t like this reality, then work on changing it. But it certainly won’t be solved by simply demanding that people cease paying attention.

“The tragedy at Charlottesville” and other videos by Vee

Learned of that guy’s channel in the past but hadn’t looked much into his content until last night.

Don’t know the dude but agree with him in these videos. This shit is cancer on both extremes.

Ten Jewish authors I appreciate

Since I keep hearing and reading online so much negativity blaming Jewish folks for everything under the sun, I figure now would be a good time to post up something positive and share a few of the notable Jewish authors in my book collection. In no particular order:

1.) Erich Fromm — Might as well begin with the most obvious since I’ve mentioned his works time and time again on here and my YT channel. Thus far I’ve read 12 books by this man (excerpts are linked where available):Escape_From_Freedom_Fromm

Not all are personal favorites, but as a collection unto themselves they’ve certainly served as interesting food for thought over time.

2.) Richard L. Rubenstein — His book The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future provided a lot to seriously consider when I first came across it about 8-9 years ago. Shared copies with friends, though I can’t say for sure if any of them actually read him.

choose-yourself_Altucher3.) James Altucher — His audiobook Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Makes Millions, Live the Dream actually proved useful during a very depressing spell a couple years back. His promotion of what he refers to as the “Four Daily Practices” (basically caring for our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health) are what I needed to hear at the time and helped improve my mindset and outlook. Happen to be re-listening to it this week for kicks and giggles — he’s a pretty funny guy. Originally came across him accidentally by way of his blog, as so many people do. He encourages people to routinely itemize ideas in lists of 10 or more (on any subject we fancy) so as to flex and expand our “idea muscle.” Good idea, James.  wink

4.) Steven Pinker — Earlier this year I completed the audio version (after initially receiving a print copy as a gift) of his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which I did quibble over quite a bit and still am not sold on the data and arguments presented therein. But its content was worth considering. Still chewing it over. Perhaps it deserves to be mentioned that several years back I received a copy of his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature as a gift as well, though I have yet to read that one (planning to listen to the audio version eventually instead, having recently loaned out my print copy).

5.) Yuval Noah Harari — Came across this author by random chance earlier this year and listened to his audiobook Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

6.) Richard P. Feynman — Originally I received as a gift a few years back a copy of his book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, following that with listening to The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman and What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character. He offered up some very thought-provoking essays (along with quirky personal stories).

What_Is_Life_Margulis_Sagan7.) Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan — After first learning of their book What Is Life? on Dr. Corey Anton’s YT channel, I ordered a used copy online. Loved it and share it with others (especially young people — makes a great gift). Followed that with the audio version of their book Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature, which contains a couple stories that particularly stick in my mind and inform my imagination. So far I’m very impressed with what I’ve come across from this mother/son authoring duo.

8.) Dan Ariely — A family member first introduced me to his book Predictably Irrational. Later, I picked up a copy of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves. Both are worth reading.

9.) Leonard Mlodinow — His audiobook Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior remains among my favorites. Following that, I purchased a print copy of his and Deepak Chopra’s book War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, which I happened to find fascinating. Wasn’t a fan of Deepak Chopra prior to reading that book but came to see their viewpoints as not necessarily diametrically opposed to one another, despite initial outward appearances (even after watching footage of them debating). Can’t make a clear case for why I see it that way — it’s just how their written back-and-forth arguments resonated with me. I personally found both books valuable.

Deathbird-Stories-Ellison10.) Harlan Ellison — Can’t recall how I first came across his books, not being a regular reader of fiction, but somehow his collections of short stories crossed my radar. The two books I have read by him thus far are Strange Wine and Deathbird Stories. His writing skills are undeniably impressive, and it’s a pleasure to occasionally take time out to retreat into the products of his imagination.

Surely I could locate several more Jewish authors within my book collection (Elie Wiesel, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Karl Polanyi, Karl Popper, Viktor Frankl, Isaac Asimov, Michael Pollan, Stanley Milgram, Jonathan Haidt, Robert Heilbroner, Steven Levitt, Ayn Rand, Thomas Szasz, Jared Diamond, etc. — come to find out enough to populate another list or two), but my goal today was simply to list the first ten that came to mind.

And perhaps presenting this list will serve as a deterrent to those online who might otherwise feel the desire to ask me, as someone did just yesterday, if I’ve considered “the Jewish question.”  ??  To which I flippantly responded about my appreciation for several Jewish authors (hence what motivated me to create this list in the first place) and for Mel Brooks’ films, on top of being an enthusiastic lifelong fan of Weird Al Yankovich who just so happened to marry a Jewish woman. So…there’s your answer, in a nutshell. And if being anti-Semitic is expected or required of those who align themselves with the so-called Alt-Right, well then, that’s just one more movement/political camp I need not concern myself too much with. Not a fan of movements of any kind anyway. Nor of categorically demonizing and scapegoating whole groups/classes/races of people based on arbitrary criteria so as to suit ideological ends. That’s not my bag.