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Topic: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual (Read 287 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Long read, but full of some pretty solid lols:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/12/the-cool-kids-philosopher

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Shapiro's thoughts about Arabs are all along similar lines. Usually conservatives are careful to draw a distinction: they are not condemning an ethnicity, but rather adherents to an ideology, namely Islamism. Not so with Shapiro: for him, the problem is not Islamism or even Islam writ large. It's Arabs: "The Arab-Israeli conflict may be accurately described as a war between darkness and light. Those who argue against Israeli settlements--outposts of light in a dark territory--argue for the continued victory of night." Arabs "value murder" while Israelis "value life," and "where light fails, darkness engulfs." Arabs are therefore, as an undifferentiated unit, a people of darkness. Palestinian Arabs are the worst of all: they are a "population rotten to the core... Palestinian Arabs must be fought on their own terms: as a people dedicated to an evil cause." The "Arab Palestinian populace... by and large constitutes the most evil population on the face of the planet." Since they're "rotten to the core," there's no such thing as a good Arab: your evil is defined by your ethnicity, by being a member of the People of Darkness and Murder rather than the People of Goodness and Light. Again, it may just be my failure to understand Facts and Logic, but I am having trouble understanding how population-level generalizations about the moral characteristics of particular ethnic groups can be anything other than bigotry.

Quote
Shapiro once explained his actual preferred solution to the problem of the dark Arab hordes: mass expulsion. As he said, bulldozing Palestinian houses and subjecting them to curfews are insufficient "half-measures": the only solution is to drive every last one of them forcibly from their homes and take their land:

The Arab enmity for Jews and the state of Israel allows for no peace process. The time for half measures has passed. Bulldozing houses of homicide bombers is useless. Instituting ongoing curfews in Arab-populated cities is useless... Some have rightly suggested that Israel be allowed to decapitate the terrorist leadership of the Palestinian Authority. But this too is only a half measure. The ideology of the Palestinian population is indistinguishable from that of the terrorist leadership. Half measures merely postpone our realization that the Arabs dream of Israel's destruction. Without drastic measures, the Arab dream will come true... If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It's an ugly solution, but it is the only solution... It's time to stop being squeamish.

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Alright, well, we may disagree over whether pressuring Congress to pass a jobs bill makes you literally Mussolini. But Shapiro says the anti-Semitism part is clear-cut. Why? Well, the first piece of evidence is that when the Israeli military stormed an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, killing nine activists, the Obama administration soon released a statement saying that "The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained." "How else are we to interpret [this] lightning-fast, knee-jerk anti-Israel response?" except as evidence of anti-Semitism, Shapiro asks. But perhaps you're not convinced. Well, Shapiro has more. In 2009, Rahm Emanuel went to speak at AIPAC and told the audience that U.S. efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program would be conditional on successful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict. This, Shapiro says, showed that Obama harbored a deep animus against Jews, because he holds Israel to a higher standard than he holds anyone else. And while it may have turned out that Rahm Emanuel never actually said anything like this, leading at least one other columnist to issue a correction, Shapiro stood firm. Not only did he not amend the story, but he later called Emanuel (who held Israeli citizenship for nearly two decades, whose middle name is literally Israel, and who even Jeffrey Goldberg thought made the idea of Obama being anti-Israel seem "a bit ridiculous") a "kapo," i.e. a Jew who does the Nazis' bidding. Shapiro said that any Jewish person who voted for Obama was not really a Jew at all, but a "Jew In Name Only" serving an "enemy of the Jewish people." They may "eat bagels and lox," but by supporting an "openly" anti-Semitic administration they are "disgusting" and a "disgrace," and the "twisted and evil" "self-hating Jews" who "enjoy matzo ball soup" and "emerged from a Jewish uterus" but nevertheless choose to "undermine the Israeli government" "don't care a whit about Judaism" and in fact hold "anti-Semitic views." (Those may be snippet-length quotes but go and read the columns if you suspect me of excising context or nuance.)

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Shapiro isn't interested in discussing any of this seriously. Just look at how he distorted his questioner's response about moose: he says "Why aren't you a moose?" and when she replies "That's different," he interjects "That's right, men and women are different." She clearly said that species and gender are different (which they are, in that there's a good argument for revising one of the categories but not for revising the other). But he tried to convince his audience that she had essentially conceded his point, by seizing on and spinning the word "difference." (We call this "sophistry" rather than "logic.")

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For a man who cares about Facts rather than Feelings, Shapiro doesn't seem to care very much about facts. There are plenty of minor mistakes that cast doubt on the Times quote that Shapiro "reads books." Some are just the little slip-ups that come from careless writing, e.g. the U.S. abolished slavery in "1862," "atheistic philosopher Gilbert Pyle" [sic]. Others are suspicious unsourced generalizations, e.g."Walk into virtually any emergency room in California and illegal immigrants are the bulk of the population." But there are also major embarrassing bloomers, like Shapiro promoting the false rumor that Chuck Hagel received a donation from a group called "Friends of Hamas." A New York Daily News reporter had made up the group's name, as something so ludicrously over-the-top that nobody could possibly believe it, but Shapiro credulous enough to think the organization could exist, and published an article demanding answers. When it was pointed out that there was no such group, Shapiro did not retract the story. Instead, he doubled down, insisting that because he reported that sources said there was a Friends of Hamas, and the sources did say that, his reporting was sound. (Note: this is not how journalism works.)

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Shapiro mocked T.I. for naming his children "Zonnique and Deyjah." (It's not clear what the Rational basis for disliking black names is.) When Barack Obama said that "we need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs," Shapiro wondered why Obama thought anyone should "be rewarded for their sexuality." (I am curious how Shapiro did on the Logical Reasoning section of his LSAT if he believes "Don't punish X or reward Y" means "reward X and/or Y.") He thinks that criticisms of those who seem to love wars but decline to fight in them are "explicitly reject[ing] the Constitution itself, [which] provides that civilians control the military." (Go ahead and try to figure out the reasoning on that one.) He was strongly against a federal ban on using cellphones while driving, because it would take away drivers' freedom of choice, yet he believes it is "morally tragic" that we no longer use the police to stop people from making and watching pornography, because it follows the "silly" philosophy that "as long as what I do doesn't harm you personally, I have a right to do it." (Shapiro said that if pornography is legal, there would be no logical reason not to legalize the murder of homeless people, without addressing the potential meaningful distinctions between "having sex" and "killing a person in cold blood.") Shapiro may be The Cool Kid's Philosopher, but on the rare occasions when he actually dips his toe into metaphysics, the results are catastrophic: he argues that atheism is incompatible with the idea of free will because religious people believe that free will is granted by God. ("My beliefs say that your beliefs can't be true therefore they can't be true" is known as "assuming the conclusion.")

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What's more, Shapiro doesn't believe that criticizing the American government during a time of war ought to be legal at all. The champion of Free Speech has literally called for reinstating sedition laws. When Al Gore told a Muslim audience that he believed the United States' indiscriminate rounding-up and detention practices after 9/11 were "terrible" and abusive, Shapiro called the statements "treasonable," "seditious," and "outrageous" and demanded that the law respond:

At some point, opposition must be considered disloyal. At some point, the American people must say "enough." At some point, Republicans in Congress must stop delicately tiptoeing with regard to sedition and must pass legislation to prosecute such sedition... Under the Espionage Act of 1917, opponents of World War I were routinely prosecuted, and the Supreme Court routinely upheld their convictions.... During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment of hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans, as well as allowing the prosecution and/or deportation of those who opposed the war.... This is not to argue that every measure taken by the government to prosecute opponents of American wars is just or right or Constitutional. Some restrictions, however, are just and right and Constitutional--and necessary. No war can be won when members of a disloyal opposition are given free reign [sic] to undermine it.

The Wilson administration's crackdown on critics of the war, and the imprisoning of dissidents, were actually a low point in the history of American liberty, and the legal decisions upholding these acts are now discredited. But Shapiro sees this, along with the even more disturbing mass internment of Japanese Americans, as a model for eliminating critics of America's wars. (Although elsewhere Shapiro has called the Supreme Court's decision upholding Japanese detention "evil and disgusting." Consistency, as I have indicated before, is not his forte.)

BUT HE WENT TO HARVARD DID YOU GO TO HARVARD????

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #1
Who is Ben Shapiro?
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • linus
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #2
He quit breitbart.com when Lewandowski got violent with another breitbarter and Bannon sided with the Trump campaign. In this brave new world he is the new political center between Trumpism and classic republicanism.

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #3
Also the NYT just published an almost fawning profile on how brilliant he is and also did you know he went to Harvard? Because he went to Harvard. And other people mention that he went to Harvard even more than actual Harvard graduates mention that they went to school in Boston but not in Boston but not Tufts but...

  • Doobie Keebler
  • Ridiculous Callipygous
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #4
Quote
What's more, Shapiro doesn't believe that criticizing the American government during a time of war ought to be legal at all. The champion of Free Speech has literally called for reinstating sedition laws. When Al Gore told a Muslim audience that he believed the United States' indiscriminate rounding-up and detention practices after 9/11 were "terrible" and abusive, Shapiro called the statements "treasonable," "seditious," and "outrageous" and demanded that the law respond:

At some point, opposition must be considered disloyal. At some point, the American people must say "enough." At some point, Republicans in Congress must stop delicately tiptoeing with regard to sedition and must pass legislation to prosecute such sedition... Under the Espionage Act of 1917, opponents of World War I were routinely prosecuted, and the Supreme Court routinely upheld their convictions.... During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment of hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans, as well as allowing the prosecution and/or deportation of those who opposed the war.... This is not to argue that every measure taken by the government to prosecute opponents of American wars is just or right or Constitutional. Some restrictions, however, are just and right and Constitutional--and necessary. No war can be won when members of a disloyal opposition are given free reign [sic] to undermine it.

The Wilson administration's crackdown on critics of the war, and the imprisoning of dissidents, were actually a low point in the history of American liberty, and the legal decisions upholding these acts are now discredited. But Shapiro sees this, along with the even more disturbing mass internment of Japanese Americans, as a model for eliminating critics of America's wars. (Although elsewhere Shapiro has called the Supreme Court's decision upholding Japanese detention "evil and disgusting." Consistency, as I have indicated before, is not his forte.)

Ah, the ol' "I know it when I see it" standard.

Also the NYT just published an almost fawning profile on how brilliant he is and also did you know he went to Harvard? Because he went to Harvard. And other people mention that he went to Harvard even more than actual Harvard graduates mention that they went to school in Boston but not in Boston but not Tufts but...

Maybe he likes apples.



"I'm over 70 and have never seen such , arrogance, incompetence and Ill -intentions as this President and his aids."    The Dotard     (posted 12 days after his 68th birthday)

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #5
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Not only did he not amend the story, but he later called Emanuel (who held Israeli citizenship for nearly two decades, whose middle name is literally Israel,

fucking lol

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #6
Ban Shapiro is Breitbart's "one Jewish friend" that proves they're not a bunch of antisemites.

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #7
and he really, really cherishes that role

  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #8
He quit breitbart.com when Lewandowski got violent with another breitbarter and Bannon sided with the Trump campaign. In this brave new world he is the new political center between Trumpism and classic republicanism.
I'm not even sure how to categorize all this.  among people who think political correctness is this big terrible problem, there are those who are sort of honest free speech zealots and then those who just use noise about free speech as cover for bigotry.  I had thought Shapiro was the first kind, but if he is racist against arabs then I have him wrong.

i think there's a related split, with almost the same fault line, between people who think right wing conspiracy media should strive to be "honest", and those who think they should just be trump apologists.  Shapiro was definitely on the first side of that.

I don't even know how to align all that with the usual political landscape.  it almost isn't even about politics, just people's dumb feelings about what is the True Meaning of their imaginary war against an invisible evil empire.

  • linus
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #9
He quit breitbart.com when Lewandowski got violent with another breitbarter and Bannon sided with the Trump campaign. In this brave new world he is the new political center between Trumpism and classic republicanism.
I'm not even sure how to categorize all this.  among people who think political correctness is this big terrible problem, there are those who are sort of honest free speech zealots and then those who just use noise about free speech as cover for bigotry.  I had thought Shapiro was the first kind, but if he is racist against arabs then I have him wrong.

i think there's a related split, with almost the same fault line, between people who think right wing conspiracy media should strive to be "honest", and those who think they should just be trump apologists.  Shapiro was definitely on the first side of that.

I don't even know how to align all that with the usual political landscape.  it almost isn't even about politics, just people's dumb feelings about what is the True Meaning of their imaginary war against an invisible evil empire.
Yeah, from what little I've seen of him, he seems to freely acknowledge that Trump is an unqualified disgrace while also thinking media is hysterical about it. With regard to basic politics, he might basically be a Paul Ryan? Or a more racist version of Paul Ryan, judging from what meepmeep quoted (and, well, his former breitbart affiliation).

  • linus
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #10
My favorite Ben Shapiro work, the analogy between medical treatments and luxury furniture:

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #11
I am in awe of his amazing brilliant brain and his ability to wield Facts and Logic in the service of Truth:


  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #12
lol, he thought he had to stick up for humans in comparison

  • nesb
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #13
Conservatives have this weird thing about judging historical figures by their times. Maybe, because they know they're the bad guys, and will be judged negatively when e.g. Israel causes a bloodbath by trying to forcefully remove Palestinians, when said Palestinians have no place to go. I talked about this with my dad, who somewhat recently succumbed to Evangelical madness. He said folks in Israel, when he visited there, asked him what Americans would do if Native Americans controlled all the land around us. Would it be right to take it? I said "no", and he said "bullshit."

  • Faid
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #14
I mean, it's a completely hypothetical question
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • nesb
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #15
Yeah...

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #16
... my dad, who somewhat recently succumbed to Evangelical madness. ...
I am sorry for your loss.  :(
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #17
Wait...conspiracy theory time. Is Pandora a Shapiro sock?  :hmm:

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #18
Conservatives have this weird thing about judging historical figures by their times. Maybe, because they know they're the bad guys, and will be judged negatively when e.g. Israel causes a bloodbath by trying to forcefully remove Palestinians, when said Palestinians have no place to go.

I don't think it's that simple and I don't think the conflict even ends this way. Remember, a bunch of secular American Jews (and Israeli Jews) grew up in the 80s and 90s when Palestinian terrorist organizations were targeting Jews outside of Israel and were engaging in hate speech that makes the current Alt-Right sound sophisticated and moderate, at a time when there was a lot more mobility across the Green Line and when the Israeli government was pretty left-leaning and actively working towards a diplomatic peace. So the starting point, which is that the Pan-Arabist movements were themselves racist as fuck towards Jews, Kurds, and visible minorities, as well as sexist as fuck and homophobic as fuck, is more or less accurate. The issue is that a minority of Jews, like Shapiro, have taken that extra step to say "well, all Arabs are racist, sexist, and homophobic and therefore do not deserve self-governance" which is an obviously racist thing to say.

As for the eventual outcome of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Netanyahu is probably weeks away from going to jail for corruption, so the government itself is going to radically reorganize and will hopefully empower groups who want to back away from the Likud hard lines. Additionally, Israel is no longer the center of Middle-Eastern discord anymore, so we're not seeing a lot of the state sponsorship of Palestinian extremist groups that was such an issue 10 years ago. At this point, Hamas and Fatah are both running out of the money and arms necessary to run their militant branches, and the Palestinian people in general are just as sick of their own leadership's intransigence as they are of the occupation. A left-leaning Israeli government in replacement of Netanyahu and a third-way Palestinian Authority leadership (e.g. Barghouti) might be able to reach a realistic peace within a handful of years.

  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #19
I've been tuned out of the issue for a while, but I'd be fascinated to see where negotiations go from here.  the Palestinians gave up on US-sponsored negotiations and just went to the UN to become a semi-recognized state, and then worked the international community and now have full recognition from most of the world's countries.  that pissed off the Israelis something fierce.  now trump is about to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  that will piss off the Palestinians something fierce.  it's hard to see a basis for good faith negotiations from here. 

they're just going to keep up the ugly wrestling on the ground while talking past each other publicly.

Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #20
The basis for good faith negotiations is that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and other state sponsors of the more radical elements of the Palestinian hard-line have been distracted by their own conflicts as well as ISIS, whereas both Fundamentalist Christianity and American Jews are now busy dealing with the mess that is Trumpism (from opposing sides). A huge part of the problem from the beginning has been that both sides have had their more radical elements rewarded by groups looking to sustain that conflict, and without that external financing, both sides need to come to grips with the fact that they're on their own and need to come to a peace that will make their situation livable rather than a peace that will satisfy all their external backers. Once Netanyahu and his right wing Russian backers are out of power, and once Hamas and Fatah are non-issues as well, there's actually a real possibility for a lasting peace based on exhaustion. Trump recognizing the capital will basically have no real affect because Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran are in a full-on proxy war against each other and really don't have the time or energy to worry about Jerusalem. The Palestinians themselves realize that they're not coming out of this with sovereignty over the Old City, so this isn't really news.

  • ksen
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #21
Who is Ben Shapiro?

Hopefully the next victim of a "bad apple" cop.

  • ksen
Re: Ben Shapiro, the Serious Intellectual
Reply #22
Don't kid yourself teeth, you are basically TR's Ben Shapiro. But instead of hating Arabs you hate Rurals.