Where’s the Outrage?

UPDATE (11/18/17): It’s only fair to note that in the three days since I posted this I haven’t seen any objections to the Wumo strip. It’s either too funny for outrage or not on the radar of the easily outraged — perhaps both.

This funny Wumo strip, though dated November 3, appeared in today’s papers:

I expect Wumo and/or many of the newspapers to apologize abjectly for giving offense to transgendered persons. Those who are secure in their adopted sexual identity will find it funny. But there will howls of outrage from “liberals”, whose search for “victims” to defend is never-ending.

Dining with “Liberals”

Yesterday evening my wife and I dined at the Austin home of her female first cousin, once removed. Others in attendance were the cousin’s husband, the cousin’s parents (the father is my wife’s first cousin), the cousin’s brother and his wife, and my wife’s sister and her husband. The cast was white, college-educated, professional (the host and hostess are lawyers), and various shades of left (except for me). The topics of conversation — other than children, grandchildren, and renovations — included Trump, Rand Paul, guns, abortion, stereotyping, and the Austin school-bond proposal, which passed 70-30 on November 7.

You can guess how it went:

Trump is crazy and evil. People who voted for him didn’t know what they were doing.

There was an initial “cover up” about the extent of Rand Paul’s injuries. (Actually, he didn’t realize their extent for quite a while after he was blind-sided by his neighbor, Rene Boucher.) So maybe there’s some hanky-panky involving Paul and the attacker’s wife. That one was pulled out of thin air, but there was no mention of the more credible, widely discussed, political motivation for the attack. As one source puts it, “Boucher is a registered Democrat. He is shown through Facebook postings to be highly critical of President Donald Trump, Boucher is also an advocate for gun control and healthcare reform [i.e., Obamacare].” (I strongly suspect that Boucher is a James Hodgkinson without a rifle, a one-man Antifa mob.)

Guns should be controlled, but not “my” guns.

Men have no business deciding what women do with “their bodies”, as if an unborn child were an appendix.

Stereotyping is bad. This topic was introduced by a woman who recalled that an “ignorant” woman once made anti-Semitic remarks in her presence, not knowing that she is Jewish — because “I don’t look Jewish”, she said. So she was actually stereotyping Jews while objecting to stereotyping. And there was much stereotyping of people who voted for Trump, people who own guns (themselves excepted, of course), rural types, and all the other usual suspects.

It’s wonderful that the school-bond proposal was adopted, even though (no one said this) it will drive more low-income families out of Austin and cause “liberals” to find more ways to subsidize “affordable housing” (i.e., try to keep Austin from becoming entirely white), even though such subsidies will cause taxes to rise even more. (“Liberals” never seem to grasp the connection between their voting habits and their tax bills.)

I kept my mouth shut, of course, having no wish to upset my wife or spoil the feeling of smug unanimity that prevailed. Further, I actually like those people. They are truly nice, and good company when they’re not virtue-signalling to each other.


You are a superior person (i.e., a liberal and probably a Yuppie) if you hate most of these things:

  • smoking (tobacco)
  • fast food
  • rednecks and other rural types
  • all sports but running, soccer, and cycling
  • fundamentalist Christians (but not fundamentalist Muslims)
  • Israel
  • AGW “deniers”
  • fossil fuels (but not the low-cost energy they yield)
  • CO2 (though your “carbon footprint” is probably bigger than that of most Americans and almost everyone else in the world)
  • the Constitution (as written) and those who defend it
  • large families
  • home-schooling and private schools (for others)
  • deregulation
  • war (though WWII turned out okay)
  • police (except when you need them)
  • guns
  • capital punishment (all other forms are also suspect)
  • capitalists (though you may be one and certainly benefit from capitalism)
  • red-meat eaters (unless they also like sashimi)
  • private-property rights and freedom of association (for others)
  • anyone who likes most of the above
  • people who are opinionated, judgmental, intolerant, and hateful (high irony)

Color Me Unsurprised…

…by this, from Daniel Klein:

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian….

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26….

The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect. (“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2010)

Part of the explanation, of course, is that “liberals” and “progressives” derive their view of the world from their emotions: “It ought to be that way, so that’s the way it is.” Another part of the explanation is that “liberals” and “progressives” just aren’t as smart or rational as they like to think they are:

IQ and Personality
IQ and Politics
The Right Is Smarter Than the Left
The Psychology of Extremism

I wouldn’t mind it if the hubris of “liberals” and “progressives” led them to a nasty end, but they have acquired the power to take the rest of us with them.

Utilitarianism, “Liberalism,” and Omniscience

Utilitarianism is sort of under debate in the blogosphere (see here). But all the hifalutin’ philosophising misses the main point about utilitarianism: Those who practice it are arrogant pretenders to omniscience.

The appeal of utilitarianism rests on two mistaken beliefs:

  • There is such a thing as social welfare.
  • Transferring income and wealth from the richer to the poorer enhances social welfare because redistribution helps the poorer more than it hurts the richer.

Having disposed elsewhere of the second belief, I here address the first one.

The notion of a social welfare function arises from John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism, which is best captured in the phrase “the greatest good for the greatest number” or, more precisely “the greatest amount of happiness altogether.” From this facile philosophy grew the patently ludicrous idea that it might be possible to quantify each person’s happiness, sum those values, and arrive at an aggregate measure of total happiness for everyone.

Utilitarianism, as a philosophy, has gone the way of Communism: It is discredited, but many people still cling to it under other names — “social welfare” and “social justice” being perennial favorites among the “liberal” intelligentsia.

How can supposedly rational “liberals” imagine that the benefits accruing to some persons (unionized employees of GM and Chrysler, urban developers, etc.) cancel the losses of other persons (taxpayers, property owners, etc.)? There is no realistic worldview in which A’s greater happiness cancels B’s greater unhappiness; never the twain shall meet.  The only way to “know” that A’s happiness cancels B’s unhappiness is to put oneself in the place of an omniscient deity — to become, in other words, an accountant of the soul.

It seems to me that “liberals” (most of them, anyway) reject God because to acknowledge Him would be to admit their own puniness and venality.