He won’t be the last, Sammy

Sam Harris is upset because Theodore Dalrymple can read:

Beyond simply hating my book, Dalrymple seems to imagine that he has exposed me for what I am: not merely a fraud, and a lazy thinker, but a genocidal maniac. On Dalrymple’s reading, everyone who liked The End of Faith—my editor at Norton, the critics who favorably reviewed it, the deluded souls at the PEN America Foundation who awarded it their prize for nonfiction in 2005—must have simply skipped the chapter where I recommend that we murder millions of innocent people for thought crimes. Granted, the few sentences that Dalrymple lifted from my book with forensic care, like bloody fingerprints, seem alarming when viewed out of context. Indeed, I appreciated this liability when I wrote them. I am very happy to report, however, that no devout Christian, Muslim, or Jew—many of whom detested The End of Faith—has had the gall to excerpt these sentences and intentionally mislead readers the way Dalrymple has. His summary of my views is among the least honest I have come across, and his criticism of the “new atheist” bestsellers the least enlightening. This is more of an accomplishment, in fact, than it may appear. The race to the bottom has been fast and furious.

Except, of course, that Dalrymple’s accusations are not misleading at all. In The End of Faith Harris is clearly justifying preemptive mass murder in self-defense against dangerous thoughts; he specifically refers to “ideas” and not actions. It is impossible to view this as anything but an attempt to justify killing large quantities of people for crimes they have not committed. Imagine that, an atheist attempting to justify mass murder… we certainly haven’t heard that one before!

Harris’s proposed ethic is, as Dalrymple noted in his apology for being “intemperate”, (not, you’ll notice, inaccurate in any way), quite likely to lead to mission creep. Morever, Harris even points out precisely where that mission creep is likely to occur, as he echoes the call of past atheist icons like Bertrand Russell in advocating the establishment of dictatorial world government and the extirpation of national identity.

Notice that at no point in his “defense” does he actually offer a defense of his assertion or even deny it, he only argues everyone else who liked his book hadn’t complained about it. This, of course, says far more about what kind of morons liked his book than it does about what he did or did not write.

Harris is both a fraud and a lazy thinker, as I document in TIA to the point of dead-horse beating. There are literally dozens of examples. There’s also some evidence that he is intentionally dishonest, although I incline to the belief that it is merely intellectual incompetence. Sam Harris may or may not be a genocidal maniac, but it is absolutely clear that his book offers far more cover and support for genocidal maniacs than religious moderates offer religious extremists.

If Harris wishes to clarify his views with more precision, then he should do so. As long as he insists that it is ethical to slaughter people for dangerous, intolerable and unspecified ideas, he will continue to be viewed with contempt and disgust by all rational human beings.

Mixed emotions

As a reader, writer and general skeptic about the future of a post-literate world, I find it hard to be joyful about the continued decline of conventional newspapers. On the other hand, as a right-wing technophile whose nationally syndicated column was rejected by pretty much every major newspaper editor with the exception of the Dallas Morning News, it neither surprises nor upsets me to see how badly the left-wing ideologues are crashing and burning in the marketplace now that technology has shattered their ideological monopoly:

According to an analysis of ABC figures, for 538 daily U.S. newspapers, circulation declined 2.5% to 40,689,617. For 609 papers that filed on Sunday, overall circulation dropped 3.5% to 46,771,486….

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, circulation declined in Minneapolis and was virtually flat in St. Paul. At the Star Tribune, daily dropped 6.5% to 335,443, and Sunday was down 4.3% to 570,443. Daily and Sunday circulation at the St. Paul Pioneer Press was up a fraction — 0.1% for both averages. Daily circ is 184,474 and Sunday is 245,930.

Talk about a dying business…. It’s interesting to note that WorldNetDaily’s daily readership already exceeds the Pioneer Press’s circulation and is rapidly approaching that of the Star Tribune.

Is Indy cheating too?

ProFootballTalk provides a link to a recording of the weird effect on the crowd noise at last night’s Colts-Patriots game. It’s interesting to see how much quieter the crowd was after the effect disappeared, creating the obvious impression that fake crowd noise is being used to pump up the volume inside the stadium.

The end of immigration

It hasn’t begun yet, but it is in sight:

“In Rome alone, 20,000 expulsions should be carried out right away,” right-wing leader Gianfranco Fini, a key Berlusconi ally, said on a TV talk show Sunday.

Romanians have been detained as suspects in several recent high-profile crimes, including the rape of a woman on church steps in northern Italy, a mugging that left a Rome cyclist in a coma for weeks before he died, and the robbery of a Milan coffee bar in which the elderly owner was beaten and her daughter raped. Other recent crimes in which foreigners are suspected include the mugging of Oscar-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, which sent him to the hospital; the holdup of a prominent TV anchorman and the mugging of a Rome municipal commissioner….

Italian authorities say statistics show foreigners commit a disproportionate number of crimes. Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said 75 percent of arrests in the city in the last year involved Romanians. On a national level, less than 5 percent of Italy’s population in 2004 — before Romania joined the EU — was foreign, yet foreigners accounted for 26 percent of those convicted of crimes.

The same pressure is building across Europe, as similar stories can be found in Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the UK. The anti-nationalists are still in charge, as shown by the recent Tory scalp obtained by the multicultis in Britain, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Hastilow return as a more influential figure soon, given the popularity and accuracy of his “controversial” statements.

Ann is crystal clear

About her position on women’s suffrage, something that appears to have taken John Hawkins by surprise in his interview with her:

You caught a lot of flack for saying, “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.” Wasn’t that just a tongue in cheek comment meant to point out the bad choices so many single women are making about which political party to support?

No, it’s not tongue-in-cheek, it’s an inarguable statement of the facts.

What Ann understands and so many nominal conservatives do not is that women’s suffrage is completely incompatible with human liberty or a republic as described in the U.S. Constitution. The two cannot co-exist. One cannot defend freedom on the basis of emotion, as fear always runs to promises of security, however nebulous.

It’s interesting to note that since women received the right to vote, no bald politician has been elected in either the United States or the UK with the exception of Eisenhower and Churchill. (Atlee was bald too, but he was running against Churchill so there was no hair option in 1945.) And being bona fide war heroes, both Churchill and Eisenhower represented security even more than the archtypical tall politician with executive hair; neither one of them were capable of winning in less extraordinary times.