Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

The Truth is out there, but Team Kimberlin has striven to avoid it. The TKPOTD for nine years ago today dealt with Bill Schmalfeldt’s unfamiliarity with Truth.

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There’s going to be some very interesting news later this week. Meanwhile, I’d like to deal with the following tweet from Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt.frr201310061833ZThe Gentle Reader who takes the time to examine The Fine Print page here at Hogewash! will discover these word:

No statement of opinion may be relied upon as fact. Nothing represented as a fact should be relied upon without further investigation by you sufficient to satisfy your independent judgment that is is true.

Those may seem like weasel words, but they’re not. I take the facts seriously, and I recognize my own fallibility. When considering material found on this blog, the Gentle Reader should trust but verify.

Over the past few days, I’ve written criticisms of the junk published by the Cabin Boy dealing with his outlandish theories of the law and court procedure and his misrepresentation of the facts relating to the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt and Schmalfeldt v. Hoge cases.

IANAL, and I certainly haven’t been giving legal advice, but I have written about my understanding of the applicable law touching on points raised in Schmalfeldt’s tweets and posts. I’m fairly confident that what I have written is correct, and I’ve backed it up with citations to appropriate references.  Please note that I have only been addressing his tweets and posts; I will have nothing to say about the contents of his motion to modify the peace order until the court has ruled on it.

As for the facts, they speak for themselves. The Cabin Boy has never denied sending the harassing messages I received. He authenticated them as his own in court. He has tried to say that he wasn’t on notice, but the facts don’t support that. He has tried to claim that his messages were covered by the First Amendment exemption in the harassment law, but the fact of his writing about “troll time,” “poop flakes,” and such convinced the court otherwise. He has repeatedly misrepresented the facts concerning what has happened since the court issued the peace order.

I have featured Mohandas K. Gandhi a couple of times in my Quote of the Day.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

I endorse Gandhi’s words. The Cabin Boy, OTOH, seems more in tune with Homer Simpson.

Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!

Almost in tune, but not quite, because Schmalfeldt seems bent on using non-facts to try to prove falsehoods.

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No legacy is so rich as honesty.

—William Shakespeare

Some New Words

One of the advantages of a proper education in Western Civilization that included ancient languages is the ability to coin new technical and scientific words without having to resort to Newspeak. Take the word hoplophobia for example. Jeff Cooper created the term by combining the Greek words όπλο (weapon) and φοβία (fearfulness) to describe the irrational fear of weapons. It succinctly describes an attitude held by many who favor suppression of Second Amendment rights. BTW, it is more on point than the misuse of the -phobia suffix in the words homophobia and Islamophobia which seems to mean the hatred of homosexual and muslims rather than the fear of them. A proper Greek-derived suffix for hatred would be -echtra.

I see a need for a couple of new phobia-suffix words to describe attitudes that are becoming prevalent in our public discourse. They are epistimiphobia and altitheiaphobia.

The first is based on επιστήμη which means science, so it means an irrational fear of science. I believe it will be useful in describing the sort of person who clings to a particular hypothesis long after it has been falsified repeatably because of an emotional investment a false belief.

The second is based on αλήθεια which meant truth or reality. It means an irrational fear of the truth. I believe it will be useful in describing  the sort of person who is even further along in his denial than an epistimiphobe.

The guy who is still wearing two masks in the park may be an epistimiphobe, but if believes that he is a woman, he’s probably an alitheiaphobe.

Speaking Truth to Power

I’m so old I remember when it was fashionable for those on the left to favor non-violent protest. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Vaclav Havel, and Desmond Tutu were honored by the Left as heroic figures because they engaged in speaking truth to power rather than violent revolution.

Fashions change.

These days, it may seem the Left has taken Noam Chomsky’s analysis to heart—power knows the truth already and is busy concealing it—but I don’t believe that’s what’s motivating them. Given the Left’s move from liberalism to marxism, their worldview is no longer centered on truth. Instead, it is all about power. Truth has become, if not irrelevant, their enemy.

The Left is now speaking shouting power at truth.

The Left fails to understand is that there is nothing more powerful than Truth in the long run. They have chosen poorly.

Cultural Appropriation

I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematical logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

The Flip Side

Last Friday, I posted about double standards. As I’ve read the comments, it seems that the tweet from The Babylon Bee that I referenced may not have been satire. The standard we hold our side to is sometimes not as strict the standard we require the other side to meet.

And that brings me to something else that has bothered me since I first started following politics—the lies that each side tells about the other. Since I’m on the Right, I’ll use my side’s misbehavior as an example. I’m sure that the Gentle Reader can think of plenty of examples on the Left.

IMHO, Barack Obama was the worst President of my lifetime. He’s certainly in the same league as Carter and Buchanan. There’s enough truthful stuff to be said in criticism of him and his presidency that there’s simply no reason to resort to telling lies about him. We stand on firm ground when we hold any politician to account for his own lies (“If you like your doctor, …”). We stand in quicksand when we slander a politician or anyone else with lies.

The Truth is out there. Which side are you on.

Losing Control of the Narrative

Winston Churchill once remarked:

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

That says quite a bit about the elections this year. We’ve seen more than the usual share of malicious attacks and ignorant derision, and most, but not all, of course, has come from one side. Thus far, after each outburst, the truth has wound up taking center stage in spite of significant campaigns to confuse the public. As Stacy McCain writes, the truth has been going viral.

When I was working in radio in Nashville back in the ’60s and ’70s, their were only six effective daily news outlets in town: The NBC outlet (WSM-AM/TV), the ABC outlet (WSIX-AM/TV), the two separately owned and staffed CBS outlets (WLAC-TV and WLAC-AM), the morning paper (The Tennessean), and the evening paper (The Nashville Banner). Only one, the Banner, had a conservative point-of-view. In the early ’70s, the Nashville media market began to “diversify” when WPLN joined NPR. Nashville was not unique in left-wing dominance of its news media.

The media landscape isn’t like that anymore. The cost of entry into the news business has essentially evaporated. A $300 laptop and a cup of coffee at Starbucks is all that it takes to access the world via the Interwebs. The result has brought about the left’s worst nightmare, even worse than math for President Obama. They’ve lost control of the narrative.

Chairman Mao once said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” That might have been controllable. Millions of flowers are simply too many for them.

UPDATE—Several folks roughly my age at those news operations have gone on to other things. I’ve gone from WLAC-AM to working at Goddard Space Flight Center. Oprah Winfrey moved on from WLAC-TV and Pat Sajak from WSM-TV to other work in television. And Al Gore has moved from The Tennessean to Current TV.

UPDATE 2–An excellent example of viral truth may be found here. Brava, Danielle Saul!

Quote of the Day

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn