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December 23rd 2016 print

Peter Smith

A Fog of Generalised Imbecility

Many of what pass these days for mature adults believe the views of sixteen-year-olds are worth taking into account, and why wouldn't they? Their own views are baseless invocations of ideas blowing in the wind, therefore no more valid than those of callow youths

screaming teenEver have annoying experiences? Well, of course we all do. I have more these days because I get annoyed by MSM commentators, even by the dwindling number of conservatives. No-one can tell me that the quality of commentary has improved in the past thirty to forty years. I don’t know why precisely. Perhaps it is the fault of post-modern education which, so I understand, encourages barely-formed minds to have views instead of concentrating on absorbing building blocks for rational thinking.

I am glad to say that when I was sixteen I had no views at all. My recollection is that having views was not encouraged. Every mature adult knew that the views of a sixteen-year-old were worthless. Now views have supplanted building blocks. They are, if you like, anchorless views. Accordingly, the new breed of mature adults thinks that the views of sixteen-year-olds are worth taking into account. Why wouldn’t they? Their own views are baseless invocations of ideas blowing in the wind and therefore no more valid than those of callow youths.

The manifestation of this trend towards generalised imbecility is what I call foggy thinking. I was in quite a few ‘pea-soupers’ when growing up in England. You simply couldn’t see a metre in front or behind you. I can only assume that pea soup has crept into commentators’ cranial cavities.

The number of deaths from guns dwarfs deaths from terrorist attacks in the US we are regularly told by left-wing commentators. Juan Williams on Fox News is the latest I have heard spouting this guff during a discussion of the Islamic massacre in Berlin. Quite honestly, what are we supposed to take from this kind of comment?

Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) spoofed it brilliantly in Quadrant a little time ago. I recall he suggested that Britain in WWII might have been better served concentrating on reducing heart attacks than on countering the blitz, which took far fewer lives.

A related topic that generally has me weeping in frustration is the thought, often propagated by conservative commentators, that it is extremely difficult to identify the few among Muslim migrants who might do us physical harm. The implication is that if ‘extreme vetting’ worked it would be fine to allow Western societies to be inundated by ‘peace-loving’ Muslims. No, it wouldn’t, dummies!

The Devil is a novice. His biggest trick is to convince us that he doesn’t exist. In the face of survey after survey showing religious and social intolerance among Muslim communities most everywhere and in the face of supposedly democratic Muslim countries like Indonesia and Pakistan wanting to punish and execute their citizens for insulting Islam, apparently the vast majority of Muslims are fine and dandy. And this narrative gains strength after each horrific Islamic terrorist massacre. What a trick!

Here we have subscribers to a supremacist, intolerant and violent creed being given a pass because only a relative few (tens of thousands, or is it more?) of their number out of 1.6 billion are monstrous literalists. Well, these monsters could not and do not emerge from a vacuum. They are a product of their creed; a vile excretion from the mass of subscribers.

The trick goes on. The Bible is violent too, say the foggy brains. Oh well, that is alright then, are we are meant to retort? Really, where in the world does this lead? It leads nowhere of course. But if your mind is addled nowhere is as good as anywhere else.

The Bible is certainly violent in part. Unfortunately I am not a biblical scholar. However, the violence in the Old Testament is, to my knowledge, almost all concerned with the Jews battling and killing people in their way of reaching the Promised Land, thousands of years’ ago. No continuing imprimatur is given to killing or enslaving or subjugating non-believers, as in the Koran. But this aside, we do not have a problem with Jews or Christians wantonly enslaving and killing those of different beliefs, or of thousands of clerics preaching hatred. If we had that problem it would be a problem. But we don’t, so it isn’t. Why am I saying it like that? In the faint hope that even addled brains might catch on.

I will switch tracks while staying among foggy brains. The DNC and John Podesta’s emails were ‘hacked’ during the US presidential campaign. I don’t know exactly what took place or who did it. However it is widely thought to be the result of a phishing attack. This is where people are emailed and encouraged to reveal their log-on details through some subterfuge. We need stronger cyber security and firewalls, I often hear from talking heads.

Stronger cyber security and firewalls might be required. I have no idea. But what the foggy brains on both side of the aisle didn’t explain to me is how cyber security can prevent people from giving away their log-on details. If I give away my Gmail password people will be able to see my emails and send out salacious Weiner-type emails as though they came from me. This won’t require Vladimir and the apparatus of the Russian state to mount a full frontal computer attack on my firewall. These people who talk about this simply don’t connect dots – not for people like me who were educated before post-modernists took over schools and universities.

I will switch tracks for the last time – though, of course, I could go on and on. Donald Trump exhibited classic racism, we were told by fair-weather Republican ally, Speaker Paul Ryan. Gonzalo Curiel is in the frame as presiding judge. Curiel was appointed by President Obama, is a member of a La Raza Lawyers Association whose members act for illegal migrants. A class action was brought against Trump University by a legal firm which gave large sums of money to the Clintons. Trump argued that his side of the case was being treated unfairly in court. He believed that the case had taken on a political dimension and commented that his own strong stand on illegal Mexican immigration may have affected the judge’s ability to act objectively.

Time and time again, I heard the muddled, addled and fogged brains say that Trump had said that Curiel’s Mexican heritage should disqualify him from hearing the case. The problem is that he didn’t say that. He said that Curiel’s Mexican heritage might be influencing his judgment in this particular case. This is no more racist than a black defendant claiming that an all white jury might be biased against him. For rare sense among the nonsense, read Patrick Buchannan.

Buchannan is obviously old school. He is part of a dying breed. Pretty soon everyone will be wandering around in the fog. Pea-soup brains will prevail. At question is whether Western civilisation will survive it.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [12]

  1. Bill Martin says:

    Reading your article, Peter, I was wondering whether all those highly skilled climate scientists might not be able to construct a computer model that would devise a sure-fire formula for the dispelling of the fog engulfing all the luvvies’ brains. It wouldn’t matter if it made any sense or not, since that is never a criterion in their world. Just a thought…

  2. Bran Dee says:

    On the money again Peter and was it not Kevin Rudd who suggested lowering the voting age to 16. More Labor votes there just as there is with Muslim immigration. It was silly of Malcolm Fraser who under attack form Labor lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 without seeking any concession such as making voting for the younger age group optional.

    Having just received the January/February Quadrant one notes the splendid political item by Dominic Perrottet “Why we need a Conservative Spring”. Without a Conservative Spring he says “we become the funding arm for Labor’s cultural Marxism’. True Malcolm and Tony?

    Many thanks to the editor and to writers like Peter Smith, and wishing to all QOLers a Blessed Christmas. In the new year after the inauguration of Donald Trump happiness will abound, except on the Southern border where they will say like me: !ya he terminado!

  3. Warty says:

    I’m afraid we are going to have another look at our terminology, Peter. You mention conservative commentators finding it ‘difficult to identify the few among Muslim migrants who might do us physical harm’. There are those LINOS who are token conservative, but when the push comes to a shove are just as permeated with politically correct sentiments, as any in the Labor Party. Then there are those who are conservative to the core, and are prepared to defend and preserve those values we consider traditional, age-old.
    I’m sure Winston Churchill had a Christopher Pyne type in mind, when he said ‘an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last’, whilst a Cory Bernardi would grab the same crocodile by the tail, throw it into the opposition trenches, and then sincerely pray for their souls.
    There are all too many in the Liberal Party, intent on pursuing the party line, maintaining ‘party discipline’ and yet disregarding the people who put them there. Then there are those who show gratitude to those who elected them, travel round the country to thank them and then set about initiating the policies originally advocated. They call the latter a populist, yet I would call it integrity.

  4. en passant says:

    Peter,
    It is going to need an education revolution. I collect my grandson from primary school on alternate days. On the drive home I ask him what he learned today. The usual responses range from:
    1. we are killing the planet by using fossil fuels.
    2. the seas are turning to acid and the coral reefs are all dead.
    3. global warming is frying the planet and we are all going to die.
    4. free enterprise, business & ‘deniers’ are evil.
    5. etc

    He is yet to learn how to read and write, but he knows all the important things and should be allowed to vote.

    It is a wonder to me that he has not topped himself at seven. He is certainly encouraging me to do so at seventy.

    • Jody says:

      My grandson is going into Year 2 and when I ask him what he learned at school today he says “reading, some maths and other stuff”. Then he rushes into the play room at our place to get out his books, puzzles, activities because his father doesn’t want him welded to screens or watching television. He’s a hands-on boy who loves challenges and at 7 he builds complex Meccano and Lego. He doesn’t care about global warming or world problems because these things are not discussed in his conservative home, which is focused on the development of his literacy, numeracy and problem solving.

  5. LBLoveday says:

    Quote: “Muslim countries like Indonesia and Pakistan wanting to punish and execute their citizens for insulting Islam”.
    In Indonesia’s case, the law is not applied to just Islam; a woman was recently jailed for 14 months for (translated into English from the judgment) “purposefully and publicly expressing herself in a way to ignite conflict and defame a certain religion in Indonesia” when she called Hindu offerings (Canang Sari, small baskets of rice, flowers, leaves placed outside homes) “dirty and disgusting”.
    The law she was convicted under is (again translated) Article 156 of the Criminal Code, which states “A person who expresses feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt against one or more groups of the Indonesian population shall be punished with a maximum imprisonment of four years or a maximum fine of Rp “. Of course most cases prosecuted are for insulting Islam, as Indonesia has a large Muslim majority, but the law is ostensibly secular and is not limited to religious insults, in theory at least as I know of no case of someone being prosecuted for, eg, expressing contempt of a Papuan on account of his “race”.

    • LBLoveday says:

      As a further indication of the scope of the law, (translated) Islamic Defenders Front leader Habib Rizieq who was at the forefront of the Christian Jakarta Governor being charged with blasphemy against Islam, and was called as a witness in the trial, has been reported to the police for blasphemy against Christianity by (translated) the Catholic Students Association.

  6. Keith Kennelly says:

    Wonderful Peter. At last someone else prepared to call out the imbeciles.

    I’ve done it often.

    I’m used to being called; racist, mysognist, bigoted, a hater, strange, old, odd, Protestant, extreme right wing, Nazi (until I point out SOCiALIST is among the initials of NAZI), despotic, denier etc.

    I console myself that I’m never called; Fidel, Josef,Adolf(after correction), Mao, Pol, Kim I’ll- whatever or any other of the socialist nutjob mass murderers.

    Merry Christmas.

    I’ll leave you with three quotes.

    Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom. Franklin

    … we have three precious things in our country, free speech, free conscience, and the prudence to never practise them. Twain

    It is dangerous to be right when the establishment(or the mob or the elites), are wrong.
    Voltaire.

    I discover most of my abusers have read little of these wise men.

    Merry Christmas

  7. Jody says:

    Talking about imbecility, I’ve just watched this vintage “Crossfire” interview with Jon Stewart (who doesn’t shut up for one minute and talks over the ‘guests) about how Tucker Carlson is ‘partisan’ and ‘destroying the US’. Jon Stewart is a stupid fool who can only revert to ridiculing Tucker Carlson because the latter has terrific arguments. Carlson resigned from CNN after this program. Stewart is another bien pensant, lecturing, hectoring dupe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE

    • LBLoveday says:

      I’ll (we’ll?) never know the truth, but it’s been reported that Carlson claimed to Patricia Duff: “I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn’t like the partisanship”, which seems to be at odds with CNN’s story that they told him a few months after the show that they would not renew his contract. Does not matter, just reinforces the wisdom of not believing much of what I hear/read.

  8. Homer Sapien says:

    Enjoyed the article Peter. A sugar-milk combination is the worst brain food there is, go easy on it over the holidays!