Thursday, August 13, 2015

Roosh V Is the Troll Toxic Radfem Deserves

As recently as a few days ago, I had a pretty low opinion of Daryush Valizadeh. The progeny of an Iranian father and an Armenian mother, Valizadeh -- or Roosh V, as he's more commonly known -- has become public enemy number one for radical feminism, or toxic radfem as I call it.

My personal opinion of pick up artists as a general rule is not high. In my personal opinion, they've set out to commonly objectify people in a quest for shallow sexual gratification. The impression I personally have about pick up artists is that they do this with virtually no care for the feelings of the people they objectify.

So even though I was disgusted by the behaviour of a Montreal feminist who led a swarm assault on Roosh V, I also had a very low regard for Roosh himself.

That slowly began to change as I gained a better understanding of who Roosh V is and what he's really about. That eventually culminated in his recent interview with Ezra Levant, and mine is a changed mind.

I've come to realize that Roosh V is a lot of things. But if I had to quantify it, I'd estimate it as follows: he's 50% serious about some serious issues, 20% comedian, 20% satirist, 10% provocateur. And all troll, but a troll in the George Takei vein: a troll with a very specific agenda which he genuinely believes is in the best interests of western civilization, and which he pursues in the most irreverent fashion imaginable. And like Takei he has a horse in the race.

His approach is that of the old-school wrestling heel who gets on the mic and says deliberately-provocative things to get his targets riled up. In pro wrestling, they refer to it as "cheap heat." Roosh V is absolutely swimming in it.

He says that rape should be legal. He says that women should submit to him. Just like Rowdy Roddy Piper always told the people of Tallahassee that the women of Tallahassee are the fattest and ugliest on the whole planet. And told the people of Raleigh the same thing about the women of Raleigh. And of course he always really meant it all of the time, right?

Let me put it to you this way: answer that question in a particular way, and you're a complete mark. That ain't a good thing to be.

The radical feminists of Montreal, the radical feminists of Toronto, and various civic politicians (as well as numerous NDP candidates) have effectively outed themselves as complete marks; people who can be taunted, baited, and insulting into giving someone exactly the reaction they want.

This isn't only how old-school wrestling heels work. It's also how trolls work. Trolls love cheap heat. It's their specialty.

In with the comments designed to be deliberately-provocative, Roosh also sprinkles some truth. Perhaps every bit as important as that, he also draws them out and makes them expose themselves for who they really are.

The Montreal incident is a classic example. A vengeful feminist threw a beer in his face. That's not a big deal, and it wouldn't be if that was all that happened. But it quickly became apparent that throwing a beer in his face wasn't enough. She then had to savagely berate him, which also wouldn't be a big deal if that had been all that happened.

She and a mob of her fellow toxic radfem psychos and their beta male toadies then followed him up the street, attempting to physically attack him all the way. They then sent out a torrent of tweets encouraging other people to also attack him. One Quebec beta even made Facebook comments wishing rape on Roosh's unborn hypothetical daughter. And received applause from self-described feminists for it.

All this over someone who wins if he can do so little as have a meet and great with forty guys in Toronto on Saturday.

Perhaps that in itself is the most revealing thing of all: the tolerance of toxic radfem to opposing ideas is so low that they seek to prohibit something so seemingly insignificant.

Roosh V is the troll toxic radfem deserves.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This is What You'd Call "Salvaging Teh Narrative"

With the cat publicly out of the bag regarding just how insane the plight of Gregory Alan Elliott really is, and with the cat out of the bag regarding just how vicious and vindictive his accusers are, it's been interesting to see how the tables have turned.

Since a recent National Post article written by Christie Blatchford, it's also been remarkable to see the supporters of Steph Guthrie and Heather Reilly flock to try to salvage the narrative. I've previously examined an ethically-questionable Canadaland blogpost by Anne Theriault wherein the author essentially tried to shame Blatchford for publishing details of the case that are certainly portray Guthrie's and Reilly's conduct in a less-than-flattering light.

The general modus operandi of Guthrie's and Reilly's followers can be described quite simply: suppress the facts. They are smart enough to understand that their narrative cannot survive with those facts in the open.

But there was one supporter of Guthrie and Reilly who attempted to adopt a different tactic. National Post Full Comment blogger Alheli Picazo attempted a different tactic. She acknowledged the disturbing conduct of Guthrie and Reilly, but tried to muddy the waters by claiming the case had exposed Guthrie and Reilly to online harassment.

Then there was this:

"Should charges against Elliott be dismissed, Guthrie and Reilly, and their group of vocal public supporters, will be inundated with more misogynistic attacks from angry MRAs, including threats of rape or murder. It’s happened before. It will again."

It essentially amounted to: sure Guthrie (in particular) set out to harass people, and sure Guthrie (in particular) expressed a callous indifference to whether or not she was ruining lives, or even potentially driving someone to suicide. MRAs are bad, and that's somehow become central to this case.

Picazo's blogpost is essentially the kind of intellectual puffery you'd expect from someone attempted to look based without actually being based. While acknowledging the catastrophic damage done to teh narrative she still tries to salvage it by invoking -- often without evidence, or even being able to link the two -- MRAs and harassment.

That became all the more clear when Picazo was deemed by the toxic radfem mob to have not sufficiently dismissed Guthrie's and Reilly's ill conduct, and she rushed to write this blogpost, this time on her own blog. Wherein she twists herself into pretzels trying to still hate on Elliott.

It features gems like the following:

"To those accusing me of seeking to defend Blatchford, as intent to undermine Guthrie/Reilly, or as somehow actively championing an odious twitter persona I’m on the record as having no sympathy for..."

"I am genuinely concerned about the fallout should a verdict not favour the complainants."

"None of this diminishes the complainants’ perceived sense of fear, nor does it excuse Eliiott’s alleged behaviour."

"... Should the judge rule in Elliott’s favour, it ensures the focus remains on the Crown’s potential shortcomings rather than the validity of the complainants’ experience.

One can believe the allegations, even support the complainants, while recognizing evidentiary weaknesses."

These particular passages from Picazo's "explanatory" blogpost raise some serious questions about just how Picazo herself has judged whose side to take.

She makes herself perfectly clear here: she's on the side of Guthrie and Reilly. That's her prerogative. But having claimed to have read the available court documents, there are some clearly-glaring inconsistencies between Picazo's take and the facts of the case, as they've emerged through in-court testimony.

Most key is that Guthrie and Reilly testified to a feeling of being "creeped out," rather than fear. In my mind it's worth noting that "creeped out" is typically a term people use to attack people they don't like, rather than an actual expression of fear. In fact, at specific points in her testimony Guthrie (in particular) seemed tacitly unwilling to testify that she was genuinely afraid of Elliott.

If Bendilin Spurr put on the stand, I wonder if he could honestly say the same of Guthrie?

Picazo stipulates that she is concerned about the fallout from the case, specifically if the outcome doesn't favour Guthrie and Reilly. And of the evidence? Evidence be damned. The evidence is weak, but Picazo has still judged Elliott to be guilty. And she did that all the way back in 2012.

All this while constantly complaining about "harassment" of the complainants. She specifically refers to rape threats and death threats "from MRAs."

Not only does she not provide any evidence of any rape threats or death threats toward Guthrie or Reilly -- although I've seen plenty of common mockery -- that she attributes them to "angry MRAs" is very telling. For the toxic radfem mob there is no dog whistle to which they are more sensitive than that of MRA. Many of them seem to believe that there is an MRA hiding under every rock, behind every tree.

Here's where this takes a really ironic twist. First off, I can't think of any publicly-documented instances of feminists -- or even women, for that matter -- being besieged (literally besieged) by "angry MRAs." But it's a matter of public record that a University of Virgina fraternity spent a period of weeks last year with their home besieged (literally besieged) by angry radical feminists, all over rape allegations that turned out to be false. It's also a matter of public record that attendees of an MRA event at the University of Toronto were forced to first run a gauntlet of abusive radical feminists who berated them, cajoled them and insulted them every step of the way. There were even reports of violent threats.

Secondly, I myself have been threatened with violence by one of Picazo's followers. I'll decline to mention the individual by name, but essentially this amounted to some muscle dummy threatening to break my face because I used the phrase "self-styled," and he didn't know what it meant. (When you consider how often that phrase appears in comic books, that speaks volumes as to his reading level.)

I wasn't particularly intimidated by it, but it's very telling as to just how serious Picazo is about threats and harassment.

Picazo, erstwhile crusader against online threats and harassment, chose to say nothing that day. In fact, she chose to talk some smack about me with the guy who was literally minutes away from making a violent threat. (It also strikes me as a comment on the character of Picazo's online personae that she chose to do that after I'd agreed with her that Moncton shooter Justin Bourque is a domestic terrorist.)

So don't be taken in by Alheli Picazo's talk about harassment and threats. It's not anything that she's genuinely concerned about, it's just her last-ditch effort to salvage teh narrative. And she's utterly transparent.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Canadaland is the Worst

"Christie Blatchford is the Worst," blares the headline of a recent Canadaland blogpost about the Gregory Allan Elliot case.

It actually gets worse from there, as blogger Anne Theriault goes on to complain that Blatchford is insignificantly sympathetic to the complainants of the trial, and not hostile enough to the defendant. Theriault then goes on to spin on behalf of the complainants -- who in my own opinion, and based on the facts of the case are the ones who should really be on trial -- trying to pass off Blatchford's reporting as not sufficiently rooted in fact.

Yet, instead, it's Theriault's account that chooses to leave a vast swarth of fact out, and for reasons that strike me as fairly obvious.

For example, she makes no mention of the foul malfeasance in relation to not only Elliott himself, but towards Bendilin Spurr, a man who created an incredibly stupid online game in which those playing it could punch Anita Sarkeesian in the face until she's bruised and bloody.

For this, Guthrie targeted Spurr for harassment. In the online parlance, she doxxed him, and suggested that those participating in her harassment campaign against him should take care that he become unemployable in the Seault Ste Marie area.

When put on the stand, Guthrie expressed a stunning degree of callousness toward her target. She testified that she would feel no guilt whatsoever should Mr Spurr's life be ruined, or even if he took his own life.

Guthrie admitted that she also targeted Elliott himself, and declared that she actually thought herself entitled to attack and smear Mr Elliott without having to face a defense from him.

If that isn't demanding privilege, I don't know what is.

What's worse is that Guthrie and her supporters, via bail conditions, were actually granted such privilege. Guthrie's supporters continue to smear Elliott and can do so without without him having the opportunity to defend himself.

Theriault at least has the ethical wherewithal to identify herself as a friend of Guthrie and co-complainant Heather Reilly. However, this is where another interesting detail of the trial -- which I personally refer to as the Guthrie Trial, as that is who I personally believe should be on trial -- comes into play: that of the "August meeting" wherein Guthrie, Reilly and several other women involved in the WiToPoli community met in order to decide how they would communally attack Elliott.

Was Theriault, friend of these two women, present at the August meeting, wherein a conspiracy against Elliott was obviously hatched? If she was, this is undisclosed. I do have to admit that if Theriault were to claim she was not present at that meeting, I wouldn't be predisposed to believe her, as she has insisted on expanding the smear campaign against Gregory Alan Elliott to Christie Blatchford.

Theriault closes her blogpost by attempting to blame Blatchford's reporting for causing Guthrie and Reilly to be harassed. She offers less than a handful of cherry-picked tweets in order to serve as evidence of this.

There is some irony in this. First off, if the facts of the case, as revealed via testimony in court, are sufficient enough to provoke this scale of public disgust with these two women, perhaps Theriault has chosen the wrong horse to bet on. (Speaking strictly metaphorically, of course.) Second, if we are to be disgusted by harassment, perhaps there's a better horse for Theriault to bet on than one who herself was so proud of the harassment campaign that she instigated that she gave a TEDx talk about it, and actually bragged about the number of people she was able to get participating in that campaign.

But then we must consider one further point of irony: Theriault herself. The general line of smear against Gregory Alan Elliott by Guthrie's supporters is that he's a "creep" who doesn't respect people's boundaries.

Anne Theriault first got attention from the internet by spying on, and live-tweeting, some hapless couple's first date. Does this seem to you like someone who respects other people's boundaries?

In the final analysis, it's all incredibly ironic. Jesse Brown has managed to elevate Canadaland from some run-of-the-mill weblog into something of a destination blog because he frequently sets out to take the piss out of the mainstream media, usually on ethical grounds.

Well, this attempt on Christie Blatchord's reporting on the Guthrie Trial was an attempt that Brown should have simply declined to permit Canadaland to become involved in. Anne Theriault's ethically-dubious account of the story is ample fodder for anyone who may feel it necessary to take the piss out of Canadaland.

At least Christie Blatchford probably got a good laugh out of it.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Thomas Piketty's Fun With False Equivalence

Of all the so-called "star economists" in the world, by far the most undeserving of the title is Thomas Piketty. Bar none.

In fact, in Piketty's case, one would have to use a few more quotation marks to make clear just how unfitting the title of "star economist" is to him. It would be more like "star 'economist'." As in, not only is he not really a star, but he's not much of an economist.

Nor is he much of a historian.

As this is written, Greece's future is extremely uncertain. In a referendum the Greek people have voted "no" to adopting budget cutting measures in exchange for another bailout. Greece has already defaulted on its debt payments, and it's unclear if they intend -- or will be able -- to make future payments.

Enter Thomas Piketty. Unable to accept that Greece reveals the utter paucity of the school of economic thought that he not only prefers, but fudged the numbers in order to become a standard bearer for -- Piketty has decided to try to deflect.

His answer? Germany simply should not attempt to collect the debt Greece owes.

His reason? Because billions of gold marks in post-WWI debt was forgiven.

This is what people who are familiar with logical fallacy refer to as a "false equivalent." There is an obvious difference between a debt imposed on Germany when Germany was scapegoated for a war that those imposing the debt had every bit as much to do with starting, and a debt freely and openly sought by those who incurred it.

There are few ways Piketty could even possibly be more on the wrong side of history. The Treaty of Versailles did not produce a just peace,  In fact, the Treaty of Versailles is a textbook case of an unjust peace, one not reached through agreeable negotiation, but rather imposed at the muzzles of thousands of guns.

It was literally a peace imposed by parties that were every bit the belligerent and opportunist as Germany or any other participant in the war.

In the end, as anyone whose study of history is even passing knows, the economic consequences of the Treaty of Versailles gave rise to a regime far more extreme, capable of horrors the Kaiser would have never imagined, let alone performed.

This is a very different relationship between debtor and creditor than the relationship between Greece and its creditors. Greece's debt was not imposed upon it, but rather openly sought. The Greek government borrowed billions to fund consumption, and now will find that prospective creditors will not lend them even a single euro.

Perhaps even more insipid than Piketty's historical argument is his generational argument, wherein he bizarrely suggests that because the German government of today is not held responsible for the actions of the German government of 1914 (101 years ago), that the Greek government of today cannot be held responsible for its actions in 2009. Six years ago.

Yes, Piketty is this ridiculous.

Those who, like Piketty, cannot accept that the Greek mess is their mess, are now clinging to his poor and nonsensical arguments for dear life.

It boggles the mind to try to imagine just how Piketty imagines an economy should function. Greece wanted to fund absurdly generous social benefits it. It did not have the money to pay for them. So they borrowed it.

How could Greece have funded these programs had they not borrowed?

If borrowers commonly refuse to repay, lenders will simply stop lending. For other countries that may want to borrow to fund similarly unsustainable social benefits -- or perhaps simply want to borrow to fund infrastructure -- how will they do this if lenders are no longer willing to lend?

The act of borrowing comes with the acceptance of an obligation to repay. How does Piketty imagine that borrowers can simply walk away from the obligation they've accepted?

An economy cannot function like this. It's madness to think otherwise.

Greece is hardly the first country to ever default on a debt. In fact, it's been shockingly common throughout history. Recovery from default is, under most conditions, a long and arduous process. But it is possible.

What Thomas Piketty has advocated for is the debtor's alternative to predatory lending: predatory borrowing. This is the idea that governments, because they are governments, can borrow irresponsibly and unsustainably for decades and then simply walk away from the debts they've incurred, demanding "forgiveness" as they do so.

No economist in their right mind could actually support this kind of practice.

One thing is crystal clear: whatever "star 'economist'" Thomas Piketty is actually practicing, it is not economics; perhaps the Paris School of Economics should see fit to have words.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to Lose the Fight Against ISIS

The image above may be the most egregious blunder the west has committed in the fight against the Islamic state. We can look forward to it being used in ISIS propaganda.

Today, protesters took the "draw Mohammad" day on the road, and gathered around a Mosque in Phoenix, Arizona. This in itself is not much to fret about. It's long past time for Islam as a religion to grow up and accept that all things, including and particularly religion, are subject to criticism.

Accusing the protest organizers of bigotry is not a sufficient response to this criticism. So it's not about that either.

But one need not be a pacifistic hippie peace activist to recognize the foolishness of gathering around a Mosque while brandishing weapons.

If ISIS were -- and they surely were -- hoping for the west to grant them some sense of legitimate grievance they could recruit off the back of, this is it. Among those Muslims to whom the idea of beheading someone for not being a Muslim, for for being the "wrong kind" of Muslim, ISIS needed no help recruiting. Among those legitimately fear genuine oppression in the west, who needed to be given a legitimate grievance in order to join up with ISIS, there could have been no greater boon than the sight of armed Americans surrounding an Arizona mosque.

If any ISIS sympathizers remained within that particular Mosque -- a Mosque that had been frequented by those responsible for the Garland, Texas shooting -- literally nothing could spur them to more radical action than the sight of armed men outside of their own Mosque.

Now, ISIS' call to "Jihad" can more easily be perceived as legitimate, or even justified. Islamic doctrine holds that Jihad may only be waged against "unbelievers" who fight against them, and in the way they fight against them.

Those are two very important boxes that would-be ISIS fighters, be them in Arizona, the United States, the west at large or even in the Middle East, can now check off. They can now refer to attacks on the west as "Jihad" with a closer semblance to legitimacy than ever before. The idea that Muslims in western lands are oppressed now has a very powerful propaganda image to back it up.

This was literally the worst blunder the protesters could have managed.

Protesters defended the presence of weapons at their protest by pointing out to ISIS calls for violence against the protesters. Fortunately, no ISIS fighters, actual or aspiring, turned up at the event. No shots were fired.

All this being said, it's not reasonable to pretend there was no threat of attack. It's not reasonable to suggest that protesters should not have taken steps to protect themselves against such attack. But there were better ways to do it than openly carrying semi-automatic rifles.

They could have done what Pamela Gellar did in Garland, TX and hired armed security to protect them. Failing that, they could at least have kept in mind that Arizona is a concealed carry state, and not carried weapons openly.

Of course that would have denied some of these neckbeards the thrill of playing soldier, patrolling a perimeter on US soil.

Certainly, ISIS propaganda could have still complained about weapons present, but those complaints are less potent without the image of them.

So these Arizona protesters may congratulate themselves for one thing: they handed ISIS a propaganda coup the likes of which they could only have imagined.

Good job, boneheads.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Joss Whedon Didn't Understand Social Justice Warriors

Joss Whedon must have thought himself very clever. Very clever, indeed.

See, Whedon was a man with a problem: most of the media properties he ever created or adapted had deeply conservative ideas at their core.

But he so desperately wanted to be one of who he thought the cool kids were. So he had to find a way to masquerade as a leftist. So first he made a video suggesting that electing Mitt Romney as President of the United States would result in a zombie apocalypse. (That there have been numerous violent outbreaks which roughly resemble the zombie apocalypse under Barack Obama simply reveals how insightful Whedon's leftist bleatings have been... not very.)

This wasn't enough. So Whedon decided to cozy up to who he -- with his epic lack of insight -- thought was the coolest kid of all: Anita Sarkeesian. He would masquerade as a feminist social justice warrior, even though nearly everything in nearly anything he ever produced was bound to disgust your average SJdub.

For a while, things were good. He helped Sarkeesian -- who despite having establishment feminists pushing her very hard down people's throats, is something of a nonentity within the media which she criticizes -- raise her profile. She at least seemed to be helping him evade criticism for the distinctly-non-social-justicey nature of his work.

Then Avengers Age of Ultron dropped, and Whedon began to receive harassment and threats over Twitter. But not from #Gamergate, who he liked to being like the KKK. Rather, it was all from the SJdub allies he had attempted to cultivate by associating with Sarkeesian.

This included Sarkeesian's producer and writer, Johathon McIntosh, whose attack on Age of Ultron contained eye-roll-inducing phrases such as "toxic hegemonic masculinity."

Somewhere Whedon is reading McIntosh's tweets and declaring "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

Not-at-all-ironically, The Mary Sue -- a website typically obsessed with online harassment -- simply declined to recognize the virulent harassment of Whedon by radical feminists, who themselves did not understand the film.

(It was his own fault, really, Whedon had the gross misfortune to be born without a vagina, so of course TMS will ignore harassment of him by toxic radical feminists.)

The complaint of the toxic radical feminists in question was that the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansen) described herself as a "monster" after explaining how she was sterilized as part of her assassin training. (The detail that she was sterilized so that having a family would never distract her from being a killing machine somehow managed to elude them.)

Some demanded to know who permitted Whedon to write the Widow character. I can only presume they would have preferred she remain fertile so she could go on to have, like, a hundred abortions.

It's not Whedon's fault that he was targeted for concentrated harassment by toxic radical feminists. That's the fault of those targeting him. But it is his fault that he deluded himself about his place in the grand scheme of what passes for toxic radical feminist "thought."

In future he'll know better.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Democracy Watch Has Jumped the Shark

So, this happened.

Democracy Watch has officially joined the political hysteria over government advertising.

I suspect that someone in the Auditor General's office is going to find their email-writing campaign a little confusing. They describe their letters as "calling on the Auditor General to audit Conservative ads, and on PM Harper to stop them."

That's rather amusing. The Auditor General has no power to investigate Conservative ads, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has no reason to stop them.

Then you read the rest of the page in question and discover that what they're actually complaining about is "the Harper Conservatives’ government advertising that is propaganda for the Conservative Party."


Now, I don't recall Democracy Watch complaining when the Liberal Party was in power and they spent $111 million on ads in a single year... this after the Liberal Party was caught red-handed stealing from one of its government own advertising programs, the sponsorship scandal.

One of the revelations from the Gomery Inquiry was that, aside from the blatantly-stolen monies, the sponsorship program was administered in such a way as to help Liberal Party candidates get elected in Quebec.

The problem was so bad that then-Finance Minister Ralph Goodale -- who learned so little from the sponsorship scandal that he simply refused to investigate the Income Trusts leak -- felt compelled to defend government advertising in this document.

That document contains the following statement:

"The government of Canada has a duty to tell its citizens about its initiatives, decisions and priorities. Government organizations advertise to inform Canadians and non-Canadians about their rights and responsibilities, government policies, programs, services and initiatives, or about dangers and risks to public health, safety or the environment."

The amusing thing is that Goodale wasn't wrong when he wrote this. But that was 2004. He and his party are wrong today when he objects to government advertising for this purpose, simply because it's no longer to their advantage.

With all the benefits the Economic Action Plan -- which is, by the way, a government program -- offers Canadians, it's unsurprising that the Liberal Party would prefer that Canadians not know about it. It undermines their entire "economic program" advertised to date.

So the Liberals are doing what the Liberals have always done: they're attempting to poison the well. It's a little strange that an allegedly pro-democracy group like Democracy Watch is working with them to try to undermine this vital link of information between the government of Canada and the citizens of Canada.

Unless, of course, Democracy Watch is no longer a pro-democracy group, and has simply become a partisan organization.

In other words, they've jumped the shark. As has the Liberal Party.