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Discusses 2020, Trump and Jordan Peterson

05.12.2018. Camille Paglia is one of the most interesting and explosive thinkers of our time. She transgresses academic boundaries and blows up media forms. She's brilliant on politics, art, literature, philosophy, and the culture wars. She's also very keen on the email Q and A format for interviews. So, after reading her new collection of essays, Provocations, Spectator USA sent her some questions. Thus begins the article Camille Paglia: 'Hillary wants Trump to win again'. Some excerpts:

Does the 'deep state' exist? If so, what is it?

The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration. As government programs have incrementally multiplied, so has their regulatory apparatus, with its intrusive byzantine minutiae. Recently tagged as a source of anti-Trump conspiracy among embedded Democrats, the deep state is probably equally populated by Republicans and apolitical functionaries of Bartleby the Scrivener blandness. Its spreading sclerotic mass is wasteful, redundant, and ultimately tyrannical.

I have been trying for decades to get my fellow Democrats to realize how unchecked bureaucracy, in government or academe, is inherently authoritarian and illiberal. A persistent characteristic of civilizations in decline throughout history has been their self-strangling by slow, swollen, and stupid bureaucracies. The current atrocity of crippling student debt in the US is a direct product of an unholy alliance between college administrations and federal bureaucrats — a scandal that ballooned over two decades with barely a word of protest from our putative academic leftists, lost in their post-structuralist fantasies. Political correctness was not created by administrators, but it is ever-expanding campus bureaucracies that have constructed and currently enforce the oppressively rule-ridden regime of college life.

In the modern world, so wondrously but perilously interconnected, a principle of periodic reduction of bureaucracy should be built into every social organism. Freedom cannot survive otherwise.

What is true multiculturalism?

As I repeatedly argue in Provocations, comparative religion is the true multiculturalism and should be installed as the core curriculum in every undergraduate program. From my perspective as an atheist as well as a career college teacher, secular humanism has been a disastrous failure. Too many young people raised in affluent liberal homes are arriving at elite colleges and universities with skittish, unformed personalities and shockingly narrow views of human existence, confined to inflammatory and divisive identity politics.

[...]

There's a lot of buzz about the 'intellectual dark web'. One of its leading figures is Jordan Peterson, who is in some ways like you — he provokes, he works in an array of disciplines, he encourages individual responsibility. I saw your podcast with him. What did you make of him? Why is he so popular?

[...]

Peterson's immense international popularity demonstrates the hunger for meaning among young people today. Defrauded of a genuine humanistic education, they are recognizing the spiritual impoverishment of their crudely politicized culture, choked with jargon, propaganda, and lies.

I met Peterson and his wife Tammy a year ago when they flew to Philadelphia with a Toronto camera crew for our private dialogue at the University of the Arts. (The YouTube video has had to date over a million and a half views.) Peterson was incontrovertibly one of the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered, starting with the British philosopher Stuart Hampshire, whom I heard speak impromptu for a dazzling hour after a lecture in college. In turning psychosocial discourse back toward the syncretistic, multicultural Jung, Peterson is recovering and restoring a peak period in North American thought, when Canada was renowned for pioneering, speculative thinkers like the media analyst Marshall McLuhan and the myth critic Northrop Frye. I have yet to see a single profile of Peterson, even from sympathetic journalists, that accurately portrays the vast scope, tenor, and importance of his work.

Is humanity losing its sense of humor?

[...]

We're back to the hypocrisy sweepstakes, where gestures of virtue are as formalized as kabuki. Humor has been assassinated. An off word at work or school will get you booted to the gallows. This is the graveyard of liberalism, whose once noble ideals have turned spectral and vampiric.

Read the entire interview in Spectator USA.

 


The American democracy is eroded by political fundamentalism

19.11.2018. After last week's mailings of crude bombs to several prominent liberals, Democratic and Republican leaders rose to denounce the acts and declare this is "not who we are as Americans." We aren't all bombers, true. But we are in a dangerous, explosive place in America. Thus begins editor Nolan Finley of The Detroit News his opinion piece Be honest, we hate each other:

We hate each other. It's no longer a matter of incivility; it's open hostility, visceral loathing. Extreme intolerance of anyone who challenges our perception of the truth. And there is no moral high ground.

[...]

Too many Democrats are drenched in self-righteousness, convinced of their superiority over the deplorable masses. They can't grasp that intelligent people can look at the same set of facts, apply to them their own values and experiences, and come up with different opinions.

The possibility they might be wrong, or there is any validity in contrary views, or those who disagree with them aren't evil or ignorant or cowed by their husbands, is unfathomable. They are too smug to harbor self-doubt.

[...]

Their resistance has morphed from opposing policies and appointees to undermining the presidency to, now, the formation of mobs. And they justify it, as Hillary Clinton articulated last week, because conservatives have a different vision for the country than they do.

Public shaming of their opponents is easier than engaging them in persuasive debate. Better to harass them in public, threaten their families, troll them on the Internet and violate their right to privacy than to prevail on the strength of earnestly expressed ideas.

Disagree with what someone is saying? Shout them down. Chase them from the podium. Go after their jobs.

The catch phrase answer to all of our problems is, "We need to have a national conversation."

But we are as far from a constructive dialog as a nation can be. Conversing requires listening. And we don't want to hear what the other side has to say.

Winning is all that matters, and we're so convinced we hold the keys to wisdom that we think it's OK to do so by any means necessary.

For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.

The left bullies, the right bullies back. They shout, we shout. And when it spins out of control, a left-wing wacko shoots up a Republican baseball practice and a right-wing nut mails out bombs to Democrats.

Yes, this is who we are. And it's who we'll be long after Donald Trump is gone. He hasn't changed America; America's character has changed.

Read the entire opinion piece in The Detroit News. Hat tip Sylo Taraku.

 


Not always on the right side of truth

08.11.2018. One of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh's accusers admitted this week that she made up her lurid tale of a backseat car rape, saying it "was a tactic" to try to derail the judge's confirmation to the Supreme Court. Another Kavanaugh accuser admits to fabricating rape story.

 


Will not help us build a good society

04.11.2018. A leftwing student union president has sparked outrage by vowing to deface a mural commemorating the fallen World War One heroes as they are "white men". Thus reports the Sun in Outrage as University of Southampton Student Union leader vows to paint over mural commemorating WW1 war dead as they are 'white men' ahead of Remembrance Day (my emphasis):

Emily Dawes, president of Southampton University Student Union, threatened to paint over the uni's Rothenstein Mural, which depicts students who died during the Great War collecting degrees that they didn't get to finish.

She tweeted: "Mark my words – we're taking down the mural of white men in the Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself."

Many were outraged at Dawes' pledge, which came on the centenary of the end of WW1 and the day before the Royal British Legion launched its Remembrance Day Poppy Appeal today.

One fumed: "The white men who died so you can spout such hateful nonsense?

[...]

"A state created by hard working brave people: most of whom were the white men you profess to despise."

Another said: "Is this the mural to those heroic students from the university that had to forego their studies in order to fight for the freedom of Europe in WW1, and never got to graduate? I'm trying to think of a reason why anyone would actively want to deface a war memorial..."

[...]

Dawes finally issued a grovelling apology one day after her original tweet and two hours after The Sun Online published its story.

She said: "Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused with what I have said. I never meant the disrespect to anyone past, present and future.

"I had no intention of the tweet being taken literally, and upon reflection realised how inappropriate it was.

Read the entire article in the Sun.

 


Brandon Straka explains why he left the «left»

23.07.2018. Brandon Straka: «I am kicking off the #WalkAway campaign by releasing my video about why I am walking away from liberalism and the Democratic Party.» See his video at YouTube (six minutes).

See also:

  • #WalkAway™ Campaign. The #WalkAway Campaign, founded by former liberal Brandon Straka, is a true grassroots movement. It is a Facebook video campaign movement, dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the Democratic Party has become. Some of us left long ago, while many have recently been "red-pilled". Some have wanted to leave for some time but have feared the consequences they might suffer from friends or family if they were to walk away.
  • Interview with Judge Jeanine.
  • Scott Adams truth bombs the #WalkAway Movement.
  • #WalkAway's Threat to Democrats' Base. A movement launched just weeks ago is crippling the Left.

HonestThinking comments: Straka has a powerful message that is worth listening to. Something is indeed seriously wrong with the left, not only in the USA, but also in the rest of the West.

Straka has published a transcript of his message:

Once upon a time I was a liberal. Well, to be honest, less than a year ago I was still a liberal. I became a liberal because I felt I'd found a tribe whose values aligned with my own. I staunchly reject racism of any kind. I reject the marginalization of any human being based off of their gender or sexual orientation. I reject tyrannical groupthink. I reject a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed, and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and then apathetically steamroll over the truth. I reject the acceptance of junk science and superstition to advance ideological agendas. I reject hate.

These are the reasons I became a liberal.

And these are the same reasons why I am now walking away.

For years now, I have watched as the left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, Un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded, and at times blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric. Liberalism has been co-opted and absorbed by the very characteristics it claims to fight against.

I have watched for years as people on the left have become anesthetized to their own prejudices and bigotry and the prejudices and bigotry of those around them who echo their values.

I have watched as formerly sensible people, who claim to reject racism, have come to embrace the principles of hating and universally blaming all of societies problems on all people who have white skin.

I have witnessed the irony of advocacy for gender equality morphing into blatant hatred and intolerance of men and masculinity.

I have seen the once-earnest fight for equality for the LGBT community mutate into an illogical demonization of heteronormativity, and the push to attack and vilify our conventional concepts of gender. These same self-proclaimed victims of intolerance now turning on the gay community that they attached themselves to to further their agenda- now calling gay people "privileged" and themselves "victims" of injustice.

I have watched as the left has willingly allowed themselves to become hypnotized by false narratives and conclusions, perpetuated by social justice warriors who intentionally misrepresent and misconstrue facts, evidence, and events to confirm their own biases that everybody who does not comply with their prejudicial conclusions and follow their orders is a racist, a bigot, a nazi, a white supremacist, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic- an "alt-right extremist".

And I have watched as they used these heartless and carelessly assigned labels to intimidate, threaten, bully, silence, attack, unemploy, black list, and destroy anybody who dares to fight back.

They'll come for me... and then they'll come for you.

And worst of all, The Democratic Party and the liberal media has embraced, affirmed, aided and abetted this cult ideology. In an effort to gain voters and maintain power the Democratic Party that I once loved has joined forces with the extremist left. The Democratic Party and the liberal media now believe their own ill-gotten conclusions and have ominously decided that they and only they know the remedy for society ills.

The left has decided that the solution to problems with race relations in America... is MORE racism.

The left believes that attacking, insulting, and dehumanizing one group of people elevates another.

The left has decided that it's point of view is the only acceptable one; and that suppressing, censoring, and banning open dialogue and debate is virtuous and progressive.

The Democratic Party has adopted a deleterious belief system, happily and without skepticism, separating people into groups based of off identity and organizing them into camps of victims and oppressors. If you are a person of color, an LGBT person, a woman, or an American immigrant, the Democratic Party wants you to know that you are a victim, and destined to stay that way.

They will insist that you are a victim doomed to exist within a system that is rigged against you.

That you are a victim of systemic oppression.

That you are a victim of your circumstances, and that no amount of hard work or motivational action will ever allow you to overcome your victimhood or the privilege of those around you. This is perhaps the Democratic Party's greatest and most insidious lie.

But if you are a minority in America today the liberal media and left wing politicians don't s want you to ever discover this lie. So they bombard us with stories designed to reinforce the narrative that you are in danger, that you can not succeed. They manipulate your fears and concerns by telling you that you are disadvantaged, disempowered, and disposable… to everyone except them.

They will tell you that you need them. They will tell you that you are only safe under their supervision. They will promise to liberate you from all that chains you. And then… they will do absolutely nothing for you.

Once upon a time I was a liberal. But liberalism has changed, and I will no longer be a part of an ideology or a political party that represents everything that contradicts my values of unity, equal opportunity, personal empowerment, compassion… and love. So I am walking away. And I encourage all of you to do the same.

Walk away.

From The Unsilent Majority.

 


Understanding what is going on here

02.04.2018. The following are excerpts of a speech, "Is Our Membership in the EU a Real Blessing?", delivered by former president and former prime minister of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, at the Corvinus University of Budapest on February 22, 2018:

I came to Budapest to participate in the launching of the book about the recent mass migration to Europe. Its formal launching took place yesterday in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Our ambition in writing the book was to contribute to the refutation of the false and misleading interpretations of the current European migration crisis. They have been promoted and propagated by the European political and intellectual elites with their progressivist, multicultural, politically correct views and attitudes. Their thinking is based on the untenable assumption that the mass migration is a positive social phenomenon. We strongly disagree. It is not a positive phenomenon, it destabilizes Europe, it endangers the peaceful and quiet developments in individual European countries.

History teaches us that any mass migration creates considerable cultural, social and political conflicts, shocks and tensions. Its costs have always been much higher than its benefits. We see it in Europe these days. The costs connected with it are high and visible and – to be frank – we have not been able to find any benefits from of it. It is evident that Europe does not need any mass migration.

We are aware of the specifics regarding the current mass migration, of the Hungarian stance, which is the result of the courageous -- and in Europe singular and isolated -- position of Prime Minister Orbán. We can assure you that his views are greatly supported in the Czech Republic. I am glad to say that my own views are very similar to Prime Minister Orbán's views.

There are plenty of arguments suggesting that the contemporary migration crisis is connected with the post-democratic character of the EU: it is a by-product of the already long-existing European crisis; systemic errors and misconceptions of European policies; built-in defects of EU institutional arrangements, and the ideological confusions and prejudices of European multicultural political elites.

My criticism is based on the fact that we are – due to our EU membership – once again masterminded from abroad and that our sovereignty is again considerably constrained.

The substance of my polemics with the EU arrangements is based both on the criticism of the negative effects of the ambitions to centralize economically and excessively unify the European continent. It is also based on those who underestimate the negative consequences of undemocratically suppressing nation-states in favor of a pan-European governance.

In the communist era, our dream was to be free citizens, not just inhabitants of our non-free states. Regarding mass migration, the issue of citizenship has become crucial again. Citizenship reflects that one belongs to a particular political community. I strongly disagreed with a well-known and often quoted statement by President Obama, when he famously announced that he is "a citizen of the world". The European political elites similarly keep saying that they are citizens of Europe. Yet, it is impossible to be a citizen of Europe. Europe is not a political community. One can only be an inhabitant of Europe.

I want to live in a Europe with less of the EU and with more of the nation-states. The currently prevailing EU ideology (I call it Europeism) systematically undermines the traditional, historically proven building blocks of the European society: the nation state, the family, the man.

I am very much in favor of the increased openness of the European society. It was attained in the first phase of the European integration process (in the era of the EEC and the EC). I am, however, very critical of the increased bureaucratic centralization, of the permanently growing regulations that suppress human activity, and of the frustrating de-democratization that is connected with the second phase of the European integration process (with the era of the EU), with the European unification. To sum it up, our membership in such an entity is a very mixed blessing. We should have the courage to say it loudly.

Read more at Gatestone Institute.

 


Grooming gangs were allowed to abuse 700 girls

08.03.2018 (updated 09.03.2018). Grooming gangs that preyed on 700 vulnerable girls and women in and around Newcastle developed an "arrogant persistence" because the authorities locked up the victims rather than the offenders, a Serious Case Review has found. Thus writes crime correspondent Martin Evans in Newcastle grooming gangs were allowed to abuse 700 girls because police blamed the victims, review finds (links in original):

Operation Sanctuary, which was launched in 2014, resulted in 112 offenders being jailed for a total of almost 500 years for abuse carried out against more than 270 victims.

But a shocking report has revealed that the actual number of those targeted was at least 700, as gangs of men from a range of backgrounds plied victims with drugs before raping and forcing them into prostitution.

According to the review, the abusers were mainly "not white but came from a diverse range of backgrounds including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Turkish, Albanian and Eastern European".

In some cases the victims of the gangs were placed in secure accommodation because of what was seen as their poor behaviour, while the offenders were seen to be innocent and went unpunished.

Continue reading in The Telegraph.

Se also:

  • Fear of being called racist stops people reporting child sexual exploitation concerns, Labour frontbencher claims. A fear of being called racist is stopping authorities from dealing with child abuse and sexual exploitation, a Labour frontbencher has claimed. Sarah Champion, the shadow women and equalities minister, said that "people are more afraid to be called a racist than they are afraid to be wrong about calling out child abuse". Her comments came after 18 people were convicted of or admitted offences in a series of trials related to child sexual exploitation in Newcastle.

 


Even Merkel now admits the countray has no-go-zones

04.03.2018. Chancellor Angela Merkel has claimed there are 'no-go areas' in Germany, leaving ministers speechless. Officials have previously dismissed the notion there are places in the country that police and other outsiders can't visit. But Merkel said she favours a zero-tolerance policy on crime that includes preventing no-go areas, which she called 'areas where nobody dares to go' in an interview with n-tv on Monday. Continue reading in The Daily Mail.

 


«The time for reconciliation is over»

04.03.2018. South Africa's parliament has voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country's Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation. Thus begins 'The time for reconciliation is over': South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land without compensation at news.com.au (links in original, emphasis added):

The motion was brought by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters, and passed overwhelmingly by 241 votes to 83 against. The only parties who did not support the motion were the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the African Christian Democratic Party.

It was amended but supported by the ruling African National Congress and new president Cyril Ramaphosa, who made land expropriation a key pillar of his policy platform after taking over from ousted PM Jacob Zuma earlier this month.

"The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice," Mr Malema was quoted by News24 as telling parliament. "We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land."

[...]

Mr Malema has been leading calls for land confiscation, forcing the ANC to follow suit out of fear of losing the support of poorer black voters. In 2016, he told supporters he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now".

Civil rights groups have accused the EFF and ANC of inciting an ongoing spate of attacks on white farmers characterised by extreme brutality, rape and torture — last year, more than 70 people were killed in more than 340 such attacks.

Read the entire article at news.com.au.

See in particular: 'Bury them alive!': White South Africans fear for their future as horrific farm attacks escalate. Nearly every day, horrific acts of rape, torture and murder are carried out on a community under siege.

 


At the forefront of political correctness

20.02.2018. "Don't feel guilty about our colonial history", Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar titled a column in The Times. He asked his colleagues and students to have "pride" in many aspects of their imperialist past: [...] Dozens of Oxford academics immediately united to condemn the "simple-minded" defense of British colonialism by the professor. Student associations also branded Biggar a "racist" and a "bigot", and asked the university to suspend him. Trevor Phillips, former chair of the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, said that Biggar's critics are using "an attack line of which Joseph Stalin would have been proud". Its goal, in fact, seems the moral destruction of the intellectual adversary. Thus begins Giulio Meotti his article Oxford University: Delirious Capital of Political Correctness (see original for links to Meotti's many sources; italics in original):

Biggar's case illustrates the atmosphere in Oxford, the West's capital of political correctness. Oxford's students and professors are the leaders of a movement which, under the guise of "anti-racism", is closing the Western mind and killing the Western culture with dogmatism, tribalism, anti-intellectualism and groupthink. All this indoctrinating has led only to a militant loathing of the Western past and a public revulsion for humanistic Western values, culture and the ability at least to try to correct our wrongs -- as only the West does. Students and professors are now unable to explain why a culture that treats women and men equally or that protects freedom of thought is superior to a culture that subjugates women and oppresses individual choice.

Oxford now preaches the cult of "diversity". But the true diversity for which a university should fight -- the diversity of opinion and thought -- is continually eroded and often completely destroyed. Roger Scruton, in an article for The Times, defined what is happening at Oxford as an "indoctrination without doctrine" and has charged Western universities with reviving the notion of "heresy".

Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.

 


Serious problems within the Berlin Police

14.01.2018. Berlin's local government has come under fire after reports of frequent, habitual and sometimes criminal misconduct by Berlin's police cadets. According to the reports, such misconduct, especially by those with a migrant background, is rampant in the Berlin-Spandau police academy. Thus writes Germany-based journalist and author Stefan Frank in his article Germany: Berlin's Police Problem (links in original):

The scandal was revealed when a private WhatsApp voicemail was leaked to the public. The author, a paramedic who had given classes in the academy, complained:

"Today I held a class at the police academy. I've never experienced anything like it. The classroom looked like a pigsty. Half of the class [are] Arabs and Turks, rude as hell. Dumb. Could not express themselves. I was about to expel two or three of them because they disturbed the class or were actually sleeping. German colleagues related that some of them had threatened to beat them. ... [Some students] speak virtually no German. I am shocked, and afraid of them. The teachers ... believe that when they expel them, they will destroy the cars on the street. ... These are not our colleagues, this is the enemy among us. I have never before felt such hatred expressed in the classrooms. ... They throw punches during class -- you cannot imagine that."

The paramedic sent the voicemail to several people, one of whom brought it to the attention of Berlin's Chief of Police, Klaus Kandt.

The first reaction came from police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf, who acknowledged that there were "frequently problems" at the police academy; he also admitted that some of the cadets committed crimes -- but "they are immediately expelled." Neuendorf then attacked the paramedic by saying that "the tone and the form" of his criticism had been "inappropriate". Moreover, Neuendorf said, the paramedic should have reported these things only to his superior.

At the same time, it emerged that Berlin's police commanders and the Senate had been aware of problems with cadets "of migrant background" long before this exposé.

Continue reading at Gatestone Institute.

 


Not everyone can say #MeToo

14.01.2018. Sweden has let in a huge wave of young male migrants, many of whom have created an insecure environment for women; when these women have cried for help and tried to share their stories, the Swedish media and politicians have refused to listen. The Swedish media recently reported that police no longer have time to investigate rape cases because of the many murders. The main problem with the "#MeToo Movement" is that instead of relying on the rule of law, people start relying on the rule of social media. The number of "likes" or "retweets" decides whose experiences of sexual assault are recognized. If you have not been harassed or assaulted by a celebrity, nothing happens. If you were sexually assaulted by a nobody, nobody cares. Thus writes Nima Gholam Ali Pour in Sweden: Not Everyone Can Say #MeToo.

 


Diagnosing people you never met

14.01.2018. Following the Goldwater-psychiatrist debacle, the American Psychiatric Association declared it to be unethical for a psychiatrist to offer any kind of a diagnosis on a public figure without having examined that person. Thus writes professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz about what happened in the USA in the 1960s in his article Don't Diagnose President Trump – Respond to Him. He continues:

Now, more than half a century later, numerous psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are violating that sound ethical principle by diagnosing Donald Trump, whom they have never examined. They are offering diagnoses, ranging from Alzheimer's, to narcissistic personality disorder, to paranoia and more. A Yale psychiatry professor has suggested the possibility that Trump might be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Others have proposed that he be required to undergo psychiatric or psychological testing. While still others have suggesting invoking the 25th Amendment and declaring the president incompetent.

For more than 25 years, I taught courses on law and psychiatry and related subjects at Harvard Law School. I co-edited a basic text in the field. And I have written numerous articles regarding the ability and inability of psychiatrists to predict future conduct. On the basis of my research and writing, I find it unprofessional, unethical and absurd for any mental health professional to offer a diagnosis or psychiatric prediction regarding President Donald Trump. We are all entitled to our opinions regarding his political and personal qualification to be president. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, because I felt she was more qualified than Donald Trump to be president. That is my right as an American voter. But psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have no more of a right to pathologize a president or a candidate because they disagree with his or her political views than do prosecutors or politicians have a right to criminalize political opponents.

I have been writing against the criminalization of political differences for decades, because it is dangerous to democracy. It is even more dangerous to pathologize or psychiatrize one's political opponents based on opposition to their politics. Using mental health professionals to pathologize political opponents was a common tactic used by the Soviet Union, China and apartheid South Africa against political dissidents. The American Psychological Association took a strong stand against the use of this weapon by tyrants. I was deeply involved in that condemnation, because I understood how dangerous it is to diagnose political opponents instead of responding to the merits or demerits of their political views.

It is even more dangerous when a democracy, such as the United States, begins to go down the road of pathologizing political differences. So let us debate the merits and demerits of President Trump's policies, personality and other factors that are relevant to his presidency. But let us leave diagnoses to doctors who have examined their patients.

Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.

Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy.

 


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HonestThinking is dedicated and committed to the art of thinking honestly. Yet honest thinking is not the same as true thinking, for it is possible to think honestly, but be mistaken. For the same reason, honest thinking is not identical with objective thinking either. Honest thinking is striving to get things right. This involves being truthful about whatever one publishes, but just as importantly, it involves an uncompromising dedication never to suppress relevant data, even when data collides with dearly held prejudices. Such an approach may sometimes cause hurtful revisions in one’s belief system. That’s what HonestThinking is all about! Read the entire manifesto.



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Please send e-mail to postmaster at honestThinking.org (replacing ' at ' with '@') if you would like to tip us about a web resource that we should link to, or if you wish to submit an article for publication here. Quality contributions are welcome from anyone.

 



 

The current European immigration and integration policy is profoundly disrespectful of both Muslims and Islam, because it is built on the tacit assumption that the Muslims will become like us. One claims to have respect for Islam and for Muslims, but one also expects Muslims to give up their orthodox faith when they come here. At the same time one is assuming that Islam will be reformed and modernized as soon as the Muslims become integrated and understand and appreciate how superior our Western culture is compared to their own. This is cultural shauvinism and arrogance indeed! The unspoken premise for this scenario is that Western socities are superior to Islam. Read more.

 


 

 

Human rights and democracy are under pressure. One threat comes from the Western world, in the form of lack of or dishonest thinking. There exists a peculiar Western "tolerance" which is so "tolerant" that it even tolerates totalitarian or anti-democratic ideologies. A tacit assumption underlying such an attitude is that all cultures, world views, and religions are really equally good. As a consequence of this assumption one is cut off from the possibility of critically examining the above mentioned ideologies. Read more.