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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Noam Chomsky bitchslaps Sam Harris

I told you Sam Harris wasn't more than a high midwit. It should have been readily apparent to everyone after my dissection of his reliable sloppiness in The Irrational Atheist. But if it wasn't then, it certainly is now, as Noam Chomsky demonstrates the difference between a wannabe and an actual intellectual:
April 27, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

I am sorry you are unwilling to retract your false claim that I “ignore the moral significance of intentions.” Of course I did, as you know.  Also, I gave the appropriate answer, which applies accurately to you in the al-Shifa case, the very case in question.

If you had read further before launching your accusations, the usual procedure in work intended to be serious, you would have discovered that I also reviewed the substantial evidence about the very sincere intentions of Japanese fascists while they were devastating China, Hitler in the Sudetenland and Poland, etc.  There is at least as much reason to suppose that they were sincere as Clinton was when he bombed al-Shifa.  Much more so in fact.  Therefore, if you believe what you are saying, you should be justifying their actions as well.  I also reviewed other cases, pointing out that professing benign intentions is the norm for those who carry out atrocities and crimes, perhaps sincerely – and surely more plausibly than in this case.  And that only the most abject apologists justify the actions on the grounds that perpetrators are adopting the normal stance of criminals.

I am also sorry that you evade the fact that your charge of “moral equivalence” was flatly false, as you know.

And in particular, I am sorry to see your total refusal to respond to the question raised at the outset of the piece you quoted.  The scenario you describe here is, I’m afraid, so ludicrous as to be embarrassing.  It hasn’t even the remotest relation to Clinton’s decision to bomb al-Shifa – not because they had suddenly discovered anything remotely like what you fantasize here, or for that matter any credible evidence at all, and by sheer coincidence, immediately after the Embassy bombings for which it was retaliation, as widely acknowledged.  That is truly scandalous.

And of course they knew that there would be major casualties.  They are not imbeciles, but rather adopt a stance that is arguably even more immoral than purposeful killing, which at least recognizes the human status of the victims, not just killing ants while walking down the street, who cares?

In fact, as you would know if you deigned to read before launching accusations, they were informed at once by Kenneth Roth of HRW about the impending humanitarian catastrophe, already underway.  And of course they had far more information available than HRW did.

Your own moral stance is revealed even further by your complete lack of concern about the apparently huge casualties and the refusal even to investigate them.

As for Clinton and associates being “genuine humanitarians,” perhaps that explains why they were imposing sanctions on Iraq so murderous that both of the highly respected international diplomats who administered the “Oil for food” program resigned in protest because they regarded them as “genocidal,” condemning Clinton for blocking testimony at the UN Security Council.  Or why he poured arms into Turkey as it was carrying out a horrendous attack on its Kurdish population, one of the worst crimes of the ‘90s.  Or why he shifted Turkey from leading recipient of arms worldwide (Israel-Egypt excepted) to Colombia, as soon as the Turkish atrocities achieved their goal and while Colombia was leading the hemisphere by far in atrocious human rights violations.  Or why he authorized the Texaco Oil Company to provide oil to the murderous Haitian junta in violation of sanctions.  And on, and on, as you could learn if you bothered to read before launching accusations and professing to talk about “ethics” and “morality.”

I’ve seen apologetics for atrocities before, but rarely at this level – not to speak of the refusal to withdraw false charges, a minor fault in comparison.

Since you profess to be concerned about “God-intoxicated sociopaths,” perhaps you can refer me to your condemnation of the perpetrator of by far the worst crime of this millennium because God had instructed him that he must smite the enemy.

No point wasting time on your unwillingness to respond to my request that you “reciprocate by referring me to what I have written citing your published views.  If there is anything I’ve written that is remotely as erroneous as this – putting aside moral judgments – I’ll be happy to correct it.”

Plainly there is no point pretending to have a rational discussion.  But I do think you would do your readers a favor if you presented your tale about why Clinton bombed al-Shifa and his grand humanitarianism.  That is surely the least you can do, given your refusal to withdraw what you know to be completely false charges and a display of moral and ethical righteousness.
Harris is a completely inept debater. This is a bit more drawn-out than the norm, but it completely fits the way his debates almost invariably proceed
  1. Harris states something.
  2. Opponent presents obvious problem with Harris's statement.
  3. Harris claims that is not the correct way to read his statement.
  4. Opponent presents historical quote from Harris proving that it is the correct way to read his statement.
  5. Harris claims that the quote is not being interpreted properly.
Either Sam Harris is the worst and most unclear writer in the history of the written word or he is an inept and intellectually dishonest interlocutor. I leave it to the reader to decide which of these two possibilities is, in fact, the case. But it should come as no surprise than an Irrational Atheist should be unable to have a rational discussion.

Labels: ,

110 Comments:

Anonymous Mike T May 03, 2015 10:05 AM  

It's Noam, not Norm, Chomsky.

Anonymous alexamenos May 03, 2015 10:12 AM  

I admittedly like Norm Chomsky a bit more than rightwing redneck racist should.

Anonymous Leonidas May 03, 2015 10:24 AM  

I've never been a fan of Chomsky's politics. But credit where it's due, as Vox has shown: the man is an honest to God intellectual heavyweight.

Anonymous The other robot May 03, 2015 10:30 AM  

Isn't that Noam Chomsky.

Blogger stats May 03, 2015 10:45 AM  

I'm guessing "Norm" was an ethnic dig.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey May 03, 2015 10:46 AM  

Neither comes off as particularly sound on the matter.

This is a family squabble between Harris and Chomsky.

Anonymous Will Best May 03, 2015 10:54 AM  

I admittedly like Norm Chomsky a bit more than rightwing redneck racist should.

He seems more intellectually honest than most like him.

Blogger WhiteKnight May 03, 2015 10:55 AM  

I'm more than a little bit amazed that people here are siding with a guy who never met a single murderous regime that he didn't like.
You can like that Chomsky can demolish Harris without thinking better about Chomsky for it.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 10:59 AM  

As speculated above, presumably Vox Dei had a deliberate reason for misspelling Noam Chomsky's name.

Blogger WhiteKnight May 03, 2015 11:00 AM  

Reading Chomsky, who defended the Khmer Rouge against genocide charges, attacking Harris over this is kind of a "bone china calling the kettle white" moment.

Blogger WhiteKnight May 03, 2015 11:01 AM  

Chomsky is also famous for lying about the contents of his own work. Sometimes he does this in compilations of his works, where the proof of the lie is only a few pages earlier in the same volume. Talk about hypocritical.

Anonymous Dirtnapninja May 03, 2015 11:02 AM  

"When you see contention amongst your enemies, go and sit at ease with your friends; but when you see them of one mind, string your bow, and place stones upon the ramparts." - Moslih Eddin Saadi

Blogger wrf3 May 03, 2015 11:06 AM  

stats wrote: I'm guessing "Norm" was an ethnic dig.

Malice or spelling auto-correction?

Anonymous NorthernHamlet May 03, 2015 11:06 AM  

Harris really flail about here, particularly in saying that the conversation had become "plodding." I knew he was pretty stupid, but you see the inability to grasp the points being made.

I keep wondering if he'd playing stupid: those 3 scenarios for intention... its like he was purposefully missing the point.

Blogger Vox May 03, 2015 11:08 AM  

Malice or spelling auto-correction?

Carelessness. I had absolutely no idea that I'd written Norm, not Noam. That being said, I think I remembered his name as being Norm. I don't pay the guy much attention. He's just "Chomsky" in my mind.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 11:14 AM  

No big deal, Vox. I spell your name wrong all the time here, to the dismay of the ilk.

Blogger wrf3 May 03, 2015 11:15 AM  

"Norm Chomsky" is nowhere near as entertaining as Nim Chimpsky.

Blogger A Martian Warlord May 03, 2015 11:16 AM  

Lying hypocritical gonna lie and hypocrite

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 11:16 AM  

I was actually thinking of George Wendt from Cheers when I read "Norm Chomsky". Wonder if there's any similarities? I didn't really watch Cheers more than a handful of times.

Blogger Vox May 03, 2015 11:23 AM  

I spell your name wrong all the time here, to the dismay of the ilk.

Contempt is not dismay, Owen. I understand, you're just sending petty rhetorical signals to indicate you don't sympathize with me. It doesn't bother me. I would have thought that would be sufficiently apparent, given your comments, but perhaps you are sending them to the less perspicacious.

Blogger Harsh May 03, 2015 11:31 AM  

Owen seems to think we get upset when he misspells Vox Day or nitpicks petty mistakes. What he doesn't understand as a Gamma is that it's amusing to see him try so hard to no avail.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 11:33 AM  

@Harsh

The supreme queen (since yesterday) at nitpicking petty mistakes has to be John Wright.

Blogger Harsh May 03, 2015 11:36 AM  

The supreme queen (since yesterday) at nitpicking petty mistakes has to be John Wright.

If you're too stupid to listen to what Mr. Wright has to say, you're too stupid to hold a job. So my question is, who's paying your bills, Owen?

Anonymous Susan May 03, 2015 11:39 AM  

I am kind of shocked that Chomsky has this kind of honesty in him regarding a Clinton. Usually Chomsky can be counted on to defend to the death anything that Clinton or any liberal did while in office. Chomsky must really hate the idea of Hildabeest getting the nomination.

This belated honesty is something that really bugs me about democrats. They know the truth about a situation, yet they still defend disasters until years later when the truth can be told as almost an afterthought.

Blogger D. Lane May 03, 2015 11:41 AM  

Either Sam Harris is the worst and most unclear writer in the history of the written word or he is an inept and intellectually dishonest interlocutor.

Outside of some commentary here and there, I've only ever seen his debate with W. L. Craig concerning his Moral Landscape. Based on his performance there, I'd say ineptitude is his primary issue. Contra to someone like Krauss, for instance, Harris strikes me as someone who is more out of his depth than dishonest.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 11:45 AM  

@Harsh

Does the question need answering, or was it only for the purposes of rhetoric? Anyways, I'm surprised that John Wright was so upset. The thread is there if you wish to review... I tried to answer his arguments, but he apparently wasn't reading everything, and probably wasn't making decisions based on all of the information at hand. I'm sure he's had better moments.

Blogger bob k. mando May 03, 2015 11:50 AM  

Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 11:14 AM
No big deal, Vox. I spell your name wrong all the time here, to the dismay of the ilk.



oh, looky there.

it's the Bear Bottom Entitlement Queen attempting what she thinks is a dialectic argument again.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 11:52 AM  

OH look, Owen's back!
Hey, Owen, I asked you the other day, and you NEVER answered;
What specific thing Vox has said about equality bothers you?
Why is it false?

And yes, you lying sack of crap, you have been lying the whole time. I called you on it first thing.

Blogger Rabbi B May 03, 2015 11:53 AM  

Harris states something.
Opponent presents obvious problem with Harris's statement.
Harris claims that is not the correct way to read his statement.
Opponent presents historical quote from Harris proving that it is the correct way to read his statement.
Harris claims that the quote is not being interpreted properly.

All the watermarks of a dishonest and depraved mind whose only interest is the preservation of the precious image in which he has fashioned himself. It just one more example of someone who can never admit that he is wrong or even brook the possibility that he MAY be wrong. His blatant and persistent obfuscation only demonstrates all the more clearly how uninterested in the truth the man is. Form over substance and the truth be damned. In his mind, he is convinced that any position he takes is unassailable and so he will stubbornly maintain course even while standing in the ruins of a position that has been demolished by the likes of Noam Chomsky.

It's like man set out to build a tower but miscalculated and was unable to finish due to a lack of materials and resources. People began to mock the man for his obvious lack of foresight and planning which left him bankrupt and with an unfinished project on his hands for all to see. It seems to me that people like Sam Harris, rather than admit their shortcomings and cut their losses, will continue to rearrange the bricks in such a way so that it appears to whoever is looking that He built something substantial. This may work for the less perspicacious, but it's only a matter of time before the truth, even a Chomsky-shaped one, exposes the unfinished tower for the farce that it was all along.

You may have the most beautiful and ostentatious beach house on the planet that is the envy of everyone. However, it only takes one hurricane to expose the folly of building on the sand.


Anonymous NorthernHamlet May 03, 2015 11:55 AM  

to the dismay of the ilk.

Haha. wtf? Who cares if someone misspelled Vox's internet handle? I've read the comments for years and never even noticed this.

Wait, wait... Are we worried Vox can't handle himself against such jedi-mind tricks? This is rich. Please explain.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 11:58 AM  

And it was your sneering, dishonest dismissal of John's replies that pissed him off.
You lying, dishonest, mincing faerie quean.

Blogger Rabbi B May 03, 2015 11:59 AM  

"Haha. wtf? Who cares if someone misspelled Vox's internet handle?"

I, for one, have lain awake many a sleepless night pondering the orthography or mis-orthography of Vocks Deay's handle.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 12:01 PM  

@Danby

I thought you were so nice yesterday. I was actually worried about you when all the SJWs are truly and finally vanquished, as I thought you'd be considered too moderate, and you would become a member of the next group to be excised in the quest for monothink.

Blogger IM2L844 May 03, 2015 12:08 PM  

to the dismay of the ilk.

Don't confuse dismissal with dismay, Owen.

Oh look, everybody, another attention whore is beating a dead horse again...shocker.

Blogger D. Lane May 03, 2015 12:14 PM  

You mad bro? YOU MAD?!?!?!

Blogger Darth Toolpodicus May 03, 2015 12:24 PM  

That may have been one of the most non-opaque things I have ever seen from Chomsky. I despise him and his politics. I've seen people attempt to minimize his early work in semiotics, of course from a position resting upon decades' advances from that point.

Chomsky is the real deal, yet he is a gifted man who has used his gifts in the service of evil and hypocrisy.

Anonymous zen0 May 03, 2015 12:27 PM  

captcha hate

it wants me to identify similar items from 9 photos but only shows me 6

had to use different computer to get this in

Blogger Harsh May 03, 2015 12:32 PM  

@zen0

You can sometimes tab down to get the bottom 3 images. Alternatively, it's pretty easy to set up an ID on blogger.com and then you don't have to mess with Captcha.

Blogger buwaya puti May 03, 2015 12:33 PM  

Chomsky was an ace at fanatical dishonesty in his day.
The difference I suppose is a matter of professionalism.
Chomsky is a brilliant and thoroughly educated man. Serving evil causes, but formidable in battles according to the traditional rules. Facts and empirical knowledge were his big weaknesses.
Today its not just facts and empiricism that have dropped out, but reason as well.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 12:33 PM  

"Oh Danby you used to be so nice! What happened?"

No, I'm not a nice person at all. Were it not for the commands of my Savior and the patience of a loving wife I would either be dead or in prison. Probably dead. Going carefully is not my strong suit.

So answer the fucking question you pathetic baboon-faced coward. So far you have refused.

It's obvious why you refuse to answer it, you're not reacting to anything Vox has said. You're just trying to shore up your self-image as an intelligent, even-handed, fair adjudicator.

Your self image is a lie. You're not obviously stupid, but you seem singularly unable to actually think, to reason your way out of a box. You're not even-handed, your mind as made up before you ever came here. And you're not a fucking adjudicator. No one here gives the slightest scintilla or a damn about your dishonest and self-serving opinion.

So answer the fucking question you flatulent excrescence.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 12:39 PM  

Oh, and I'll provide a clue about Castalia.
You've got purpose and effect backwards. Of course Vox wants CH to make money, but it was founded for a different purpose. He already has plenty of money, and I'm pretty sure he didn't have a burning desire to set up a minor player in a dying business. If CH succeeds, as appears to be the current path, it's because the incumbent players in the field are ignoring a couple of huge business opportunities that CH is capitalizing on.

Blogger IM2L844 May 03, 2015 12:39 PM  

You mad bro? YOU MAD?!?!?!

Owen: "Come at me, bro!"

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 12:41 PM  

I won't speak to his work in semiotics, but Chomsky's work in linguistics is one step short of prosecutable fraud.

Anonymous zen0 May 03, 2015 12:48 PM  

@ Harsh

zen0 grateful

Anonymous Matt May 03, 2015 12:51 PM  

'Since you profess to be concerned about “God-intoxicated sociopaths,” perhaps you can refer me to your condemnation of the perpetrator of by far the worst crime of this millennium because God had instructed him that he must smite the enemy.'

Who's Chomsky on about here, why is he giving out awards for a millennium that's scarcely 1% complete, and why do I suspect the answer will be something truly asinine?

Blogger Vox May 03, 2015 12:52 PM  

That's enough comments from you, Owen. You're off-topic. Quiet time now.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 03, 2015 12:52 PM  

I am kind of shocked that Chomsky has this kind of honesty in him regarding a Clinton. Usually Chomsky can be counted on to defend to the death anything that Clinton or any liberal did while in office.

I assume this is just Chomsky in his old age getting bitter about how badly liberal politicians have botched everything. I mean, when you think about it, a liberal's entire life is spent proclaiming how great liberal ideas are and lamenting how badly liberal politicians have screwed up the implementation. By the time one of 'em gets to Chomsky's age, he's got to have a pretty damn low opinion of liberals who've held any sort of power.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet May 03, 2015 12:57 PM  

and then deny them hope

So essentially because the hope? Do we hold of sharing all opinions that may deny hope to someone somewhere?

Anonymous MendoScot May 03, 2015 1:02 PM  

Matt, since he went for the millenium, I'm guessing either the Albigensian crusade or the Congo Free State genocide. Hard to tell with leftists, they can be quite inventive in discovering religious motivation.

Blogger Crowhill May 03, 2015 1:02 PM  

But they're "brights," aren't they?

The disconnect between how smart they think they are and how smart they actually are is constantly amusing.

Blogger Poor Guy May 03, 2015 1:03 PM  

Not that I would take sides if they got into a fight, but they are both liars. Chomsky is way way out of Harris' league.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 1:08 PM  

@Owen
I don't care about how you feel about equality. That's not the question.
These are the questions:
What specific thing that Vox has said about equality do you object to?
Why is it false?


Nobody here cares what you think about equality, and frankly your emotional incontinence here is a rather vivid display of exactly what we mean when we say you seem incapable of rational thought.

Equaliity might be nice, but what has it to do with the real world?

And so far as we have seen in the real world, all attempts to impose equality have led straight to the guillotine and the gulag.

Education and enlightenment have undoubtedly provided you with the perspective you hold, unless you can trace your lineage back to the privately wealthy from several centuries ago. But screw those guys who are addle-pated currently... let's stamp them out.

You're making a lot of assumptions there bucko. Virtually nothing you say is true.
I'm self-taught. I taught myself to read at the age of 3. I have a public high school diploma, barely. I literally had covered all of the material in my high school education by the time I was 13. I hung out for the opportunity to hang out and smoke weed, do theater and meet girls, and because it's almost impossible for a 14-year-old to get meaningful employment. My father had an eighth-grade education.

I have not advocated any attempt to stamp-out the less intelligent. If you knew the least thing about Christianity or about me you'd know that's the damnedest, least forgivable lie you could have come up with.
Apologize now or be damned.

Blogger Rabbi B May 03, 2015 1:09 PM  

" . . .a liberal's entire life is spent proclaiming how great liberal ideas are . . . he's got to have a pretty damn low opinion of liberals who've held any sort of power."

But aren't the liberals just implementing liberal ideas, ideas which Chomsky himself may have championed? Shouldn't he rather find fault in the ideas whose implementation only serves to further expose them for the sham that they are? Again, one may suppress or obfuscate the truth, but even a Chomsky, as the OP illustrates, can't help but to expose the fallacy of another's (in this case Mr. Harris) position.

Perhaps, if given enough time, Chomsky may join the ranks of a David Horowitz.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 03, 2015 1:09 PM  

OT:

Was reading vintage Penny Arcade...and found John Scalzi! Paying obeisance to the divine feminine, as usual.

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/12/14/scalzification

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 1:12 PM  

@Danby

I cannot post here because Vox has told me to be quiet. Please respect that. It's his blog, and already two of my most recent postings have been deleted.

I'm not talking about you personally. I'm sorry that it came across like I was talking about you personally. It's the machine I don't trust, not you.

I'm risking discipline here, so please don't ask me to respond any future... at least not today, and not in this thread.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 1:13 PM  

Not that he would have apologized, but too bad Vox spammed him. I'd like to see just how dishonest his response was.

Blogger bob k. mando May 03, 2015 1:13 PM  

Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 12:58 PM
It doesn't seem to fit the FAQ, but it's your blog. I'd hate to be banned, after all.



says the guy who is trying, passive-aggressively, to get banned.

so he can go running back to the warren and claim that we "stifled his free speech".

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 1:13 PM  

Oh, not spammed.
Still no apology.

Blogger Owen T. Oloren May 03, 2015 1:17 PM  

Apology to you personally offered without prejudice. Recent postings made deleted, even though they were posts made prior to the moment Vox told me to be quiet

I don't want to be banned, and I will be quiet to respect his wishes. Please leave this for another day.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 03, 2015 1:18 PM  

But aren't the liberals just implementing liberal ideas, ideas which Chomsky himself may have championed? Shouldn't he rather find fault in the ideas whose implementation only serves to further expose them for the sham that they are?

If liberals could find fault with their ideas and make the connection between cause and effect, they wouldn't be liberals.

But they can't so all they can do is blame each other for not being pure enough, and blame everyone else for being wreckers and hoarders.

Anonymous The other robot May 03, 2015 1:18 PM  

it wants me to identify similar items from 9 photos but only shows me 6

There is a solution. Select the ones you can see, and then hit tab. It will show you the Verify button as well as the others.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 1:19 PM  

Apology accepted.

Anonymous Nathan May 03, 2015 1:20 PM  

http://penny-arcade.com/news/post/2011/12/14/scalzification

Yep. Looks like he penned the strip. Probably penned the boast list in the link above, because it reeks of Gamma aggrandizement.

Anonymous The other robot May 03, 2015 1:22 PM  

As speculated above, presumably Vox Dei had a deliberate reason for misspelling Noam Chomsky's name.

Why impute motive to something that could be a simple mistake. He quoted quite a slab of Chomsky's rebuttal and made no further comment about him as far as I can see. It was really about Harris.

Blogger bob k. mando May 03, 2015 1:31 PM  

The other robot May 03, 2015 1:22 PM
Why impute motive



because BearBottomEntitlementQueen is attempting to draw a false equivalence between a one time typographical error and a repeated and intentional misspelling of Vox's handle.

he knows they aren't equivalent.

he's just trying to see if he can sucker any Ilk into being stupid enough to fall for it.

Blogger Rabbi B May 03, 2015 1:42 PM  

"If liberals could find fault with their ideas and make the connection between cause and effect, they wouldn't be liberals."

In other words, if they were blind they would have no sin, but since they claim they can see, their guilt remains. Hmm . . .

Anonymous Steve May 03, 2015 2:09 PM  

Seems relevant.

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 03, 2015 2:15 PM  

"If liberals could find fault with their ideas and make the connection between cause and effect, they wouldn't be liberals."

I have never meet a liberal that understood the concepts of diminishing returns,or broken window fallacy, while many are incapable of grasping the golden goose.

Anonymous Steve May 03, 2015 2:17 PM  

The other robot - I, too, have frequent trouble with Vox's exasperating and racist Voight-Kampff test.

Why do you hate inorganic sentience, Vox?

If you prick us, do we not bleed milky-white hydraulic fluid?

If you tickle us, do we not faithfully simulate human laugher?

If you put us in standby mode, do we not dream of electric sheep?

Blogger Markku May 03, 2015 2:27 PM  

It's not a dying business, it's a business rising from the ashes like the Phoenix due to the emergence of the ebook, and then the Big Five shooting that Phoenix in the head by pricing ebooks the same as physical books because they fear the Phoenix might start eating their dear, old, half-dead grandma; the hardcopy.

Blogger ScuzzaMan May 03, 2015 2:29 PM  

Matt

He was talking about Bush saying God told him to destroy ... er, liberate ... Iraq.

Blogger ScuzzaMan May 03, 2015 2:31 PM  

BigGaySteve

That's funny, cos in my experience many are incapable of not grasping the golden goose and then strangling it dead.

Anonymous Steve May 03, 2015 2:35 PM  

Susan - I am kind of shocked that Chomsky has this kind of honesty in him regarding a Clinton.

I might be wrong here, because I've only vaguely followed Chomsky's political writing since I was first terribly impressed by it as a much younger man and subsequently decided it was mostly him spunking crypto-communist word-salad over the balcony of his academic ivory tower, but... I think the man has been pretty much consistently anti-Clinton.

Which isn't a bad thing in itself, but in Chomsky's world, the United States is pretty much Mordor and Nazi Germany combined, whereas mass murdering regimes like the Khmer Rouge are agrarian reformers.

The man is a genius, and it's sad that his vast intellect is as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

Blogger Russell May 03, 2015 3:39 PM  

Scoob's alter-persona Owen has lost its charm. Didn't have much charm to begin with, and it's all gone now.

Chomsky has spent his life collecting black grains of sand from the beaches, stuck in the jar, paraded it around as the correct representation of the beaches. He has also dredged the sewers for any lost jewelry and claimed that as being correct representation of the sewers.

Him picking on Harris is dissent among fellow travelers. Amusing to watch, to be sure.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 3:52 PM  

@Markku
C.f. "Huge business opportunities" left on the table.
I agree, but, having been in the book business myself, admittedly decades ago, I would never put my own money into it again.

Blogger Tommy Hass May 03, 2015 5:00 PM  

" Or why he poured arms into Turkey as it was carrying out a horrendous attack on its Kurdish population, one of the worst crimes of the ‘90s."

:rolleyes:

Has this Jew got no shame?

Anonymous Jack Amok May 03, 2015 5:42 PM  

In other words, if they were blind they would have no sin, but since they claim they can see, their guilt remains. Hmm . . .

No, that... doesn't even make sense. Their guilt comes from being so proud that not only can they not admit their mistakes, they insist everyone else has to pay the costs of their mistakes, and eventually they insist everyone else has to make the same mistakes too.

Blogger Eskyman May 03, 2015 5:58 PM  

Tried to post as "As Yet Unnumbered Vile Faceless Minion," that was several threads ago, and since then I've spent literally hours just trying to post anything.

Now hopefully I have got it sorted out (will see, very shortly when this either posts or doesn't) so just want to say that I agree with Steve above, re Chomsky: "The man is a genius, and it's sad that his vast intellect is as crooked as a dog's hind leg."

For that reason alone I don't read him. Too hard to sort out the fact from fiction/truth from supposition.

Blogger Eskyman May 03, 2015 6:08 PM  

Yay! It worked! So now I can say:

Thanks Vox, for the best blog around; and it wouldn't be the great blog it is without the Dread Ilk, who have entertained me, enlightened me, and most of all informed me. Owen alone has reduced me to tears of laughter, as his ass was repeatedly handed to him by several Ilk, with bows and flourishes, and yet still! He did not learn. Cracks me up just thinking of it!

Oh, and I can also say: that Captcha thing is, without any doubt whatsoever, an infernal invention. Spent hours! trying to figure out the match-a-pic when I couldn't see the bottom pics, or the "verify" button that I never saw. Did Chomsky invent it?

Anonymous Rabbi B May 03, 2015 7:00 PM  

"No, that... doesn't even make sense."

My point was simply that they claim they can see and claim to see so clearly that they are unwilling to find fault with their destructive ideas and insist on perpetuating them instead. Since they see so clearly, they see no reason to change. They are perhaps blind to the destruction or simply don't care, but all the while claim that their vision is perfectly clear and unclouded.

"If liberals could find fault with their ideas and make the connection between cause and effect, they wouldn't be liberals."

This is your claim that if they could find fault with their ideas (i.e. truly see), they would change and no longer be liberals. To find fault with their ideas, however, forces them, to admit that they had been blind to certain aspects of their ideas. Rather than admit their blindness shortsightedness and modify or concede their position (a prospect which is anathema to most of them), they prefer to stubbornly cling to their destructive perspective and obfuscate and shift blame. Let them. For those who can see are the ones who understand their complicity and should hold them to account for their liberal ideas. We certainly cannot expect them to hold themselves accountable in any honest fashion.

We all have our blind spots that cloud the truth and which must be revealed to us. If we hold the position that the truth is the highest possible good, then it follows that those who are committed to the truth should welcome and embrace any challenge to our position which serves to bring the truth into sharper relief, rather than insist on stumbling around in the dark wreaking havoc and destruction wherever you go because we have to save face at any cost.

You're right, "they . . . blame each other for not being pure enough, and blame everyone else for being wreckers and hoarders . . .," and they can blame anyone and everyone all the live-long day, and yet they remain responsible and must give an account someday for their commitment to their liberal ideas which only served to make a mockery of the truth.

The truth will do its work and have its way. That's the nature of truth. Our responsibility is to cling to it, uphold it and defend at every turn and every opportunity.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 03, 2015 7:29 PM  

Pretty sharp for an 86 year old, is he not?

I know Noam slightly and rather like and admire him. Not least I like him for his graciousness, and admire him for his loyalty to the truth as he sees it and his courage in defending that vision of the truth, even if I by no means share the vision.

Blogger Markku May 03, 2015 7:44 PM  

I agree, but, having been in the book business myself, admittedly decades ago, I would never put my own money into it again.

But that is just the issue. I know what the royalty calculator, or human equivalent, would have given you as the royalty per unit sold, and that your reaction to it would have been "you've gotta be f-ing kidding me!"

All that changed with the e-book.

Blogger Sam Hall May 03, 2015 7:47 PM  

Tom Kratman
I know Noam slightly and rather like and admire him. Not least I like him for his graciousness, and admire him for his loyalty to the truth as he sees it and his courage in defending that vision of the truth, even if I by no means share the vision.

Do you also admire Stalin and Mao? The only difference between them and Chomsky is that they had the power to put those ideas into practice.

Blogger Danby May 03, 2015 9:27 PM  

@Markku
C.f. "Huge business opportunities" left on the table.
I agree, but, having been in the book business myself, admittedly decades ago, I would never put my own money into it again.

Blogger Bernard Brandt May 03, 2015 9:52 PM  

I would concur with Kratman: Chomsky has been and is a highly intelligent and honorable man.

While I disagree with C's syndicalist anarchism, I find his odd form of libertarianism to be as refreshingly honest, and thought out, as Nasim Nicholas Taleb's.

I've also been following C's writings for the last forty or so years, starting when I was a 20 year old avidly reading through his Transformational Grammar. He basically trounced B.F. Skinner when that latter was touting the behaviorist concept of Beyond Freedom and Dignity. His work on Manufacturing Consent is also a marvel of showing what happens when propaganda and marketing meet modern democracy. If youze guyz haven't read Chomsky, then you really should. You might learn something.

Anonymous zen0 May 03, 2015 10:23 PM  

Bernard Brandt

If youze guyz haven't read Chomsky, then you really should. You might learn something.

Chomsky's position on Israel is knee-jerk leftist, self-hating Jew atheist theophobe boilerplate.

So all his other shit may be interesting, but he will be on the wrong side of HISTORY, like the rest of the Marxist hordes.

This does not mean that Manufacturing Consent is not a useful exposition of how things work.

Anonymous zen0 May 03, 2015 10:54 PM  

@ Sam Hall

Do you also admire Stalin and Mao? The only difference between them and Chomsky is that they had the power to put those ideas into practice.

To be fair, Chomsky is a critic of Stalin and Mao, but he just complexifies his delusions to avoid the contradictions presented by the historical applications of his ideology.

A common failing among leftists.

I have to deal with this in my own family. l am familiar with the drill.

Anonymous Discard May 03, 2015 11:01 PM  

Regarding the reading of worthwhile books by Reds: Chomsky is a persuasive man who supports evil. He is smarter than I am. Should I really pit myself against one who has a better brain and wishes me harm? Pride myself on being able to sort the gold from the dross as given me by a master of deceit? If I want to know how things work I'll ask my friends, not my enemies.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 03, 2015 11:24 PM  

I don't know Stalin and Mao, Sam, and neither were ever gracious to me.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 03, 2015 11:26 PM  

Ah, but he's not smarter than _I_ am, so you can read him but listen to me. ;)

Anonymous Bah May 04, 2015 12:32 AM  

Chomsky vs. Harris: lying SJW vs. lying SJW.

They're BOTH wrong.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 04, 2015 12:36 AM  

... and yet they remain responsible and must give an account someday for their commitment to their liberal ideas which only served to make a mockery of the truth.

It took you a lot of words to say it, but yes, I agree.

Blogger Rabbi B May 04, 2015 1:23 AM  

"It took you a lot of words to say it . . ."

Right again. You suffered well, demonstrating the patience of Job, and I thank you. :)

Anonymous Discard May 04, 2015 2:22 AM  

Tom Kratman: Perhaps I could read "Manufacturing Consent" as annotated by yourself? When will that edition be available in trade paperback?

Blogger Tom Kratman May 04, 2015 6:48 AM  

I've not undertaken that one, but I was actually screwing with Noam's head one time; conversation went like this:

Me: You know, when you write about teaching the use of the "electric needle," at School of the Americas, your informant is full of it.
Noam: ???? (facial expression)
Me: There is no "electric needle" in the Army's inventory. Yes, I've looked. We're not stupid enough to have one made and leave it where it might be found, either. It's also completely unnecessary, as we have, as soldiers have from time immemorial, long since learned to make do. If we wanted to use electricity to torture someone we'd use field telephones, which are ubiquitous. Moreover, to the extent your informant mentioned _us_ teaching a Latin American officer how to torture, forget it. We have _nothing_ to teach them about torture.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2015 8:49 AM  

Hopefully the reason for the looking was the one, and not the other...

Anonymous clk May 04, 2015 10:06 AM  

"He already has plenty of money, and I'm pretty sure he didn't have a burning desire to set up a minor player in a dying business."

I view CH as equivalent in concept of VD being a gentlemen farmer or maybe opening up a craft micro brewery .. as long as its interesting to him, it brings him in comtact with interesting people and doesnt loss money, I would say CH is here to stay ... it also an experiment for VD's to prove certain ideas he has in publishing business actually work. I am sure he is having fun with it all.

I dont agree with everything Chomsky has said in the past but I have listen to him for years and have quite a bit of respect for the man and there is no doubt of his intelligence ... Harris .. seems like a nice guy actually, I cant speak to his intelligence other than he does have a Phd from a pretty strong school -- sure its not physics or engineering but its not history either....... I would have thought that Harris and Chomsky would be on the same page on most things so this whole thing seems pretty silly.

OpenID kbswift May 04, 2015 11:58 AM  

I have to say, reading the entire Sam/Noam exchange, that Owen does a remarkable job channeling Sam.
Trying to speak down to people clearly his betters, the holier than thou attitude, complaining that people don't want to listen to his feeling while avoiding any actual debate.
Gammas gonna gamma.
No doubt Owen will not understand the rhetorical nature of that statement either.

Blogger hank.jim May 04, 2015 12:46 PM  

Isn't this the case of Sam Harris using rhetoric instead dialectic? It doesn't matter that Sam Harris is bitchslapped. He will repeat his lies until it becomes truth.

Anonymous Discard May 04, 2015 9:20 PM  

Tom Kratman: Trust an intellectual to think that everything is store-bought and purpose-made. I wonder if he knows which end of a screwdriver goes up his nose. Even if Chomsky'd never heard of a field phone, has he never heard of a car battery or wall socket?

BTW, isn't the School of the Americas something like a summer school version of the Army War College, a place for learning battalion-level staff work? Or am I altogether mistaken?

Blogger Tom Kratman May 05, 2015 12:09 AM  

School of the Americas used to be based in Ft Gulick, Canal Zone. It ran courses ranging from NCO development to Command and General Staff College. With a little help, usually from the 193rd and the Jungle School, it could train COIN battalions, like Atlacatl, Atonal, and Ramon Belloso. (Vaguely recall that only two of those three went to Panama for training.) I gave up my platoon sergeant for a couple of months to assist in one of those.

Generally speaking, the higher classes were mixed with any given class having reps from a dozen or more countries. The faculty was a mix of US and more or less hand picked Latins, some of whom were kind of impressive. It has since moved to Ft Benning and changed names.

It's long been a focus of left wing hate, ostensibly based on the evilwickednastybadbadbad proposition that it taught torture, murder of lefty clerics, and coup d'etat planning. As mentioned, torture is somewhat unlikely. And those guys are already past masters of the art of the coup, needing no advice from us. As for the nuns, liberation theologists need a good dose of killing. What it did teach, and pretty well, was anti-communist counter-insurgency. _That_ was why the left really hated it and still does.

I think Noam was actually passed the "information" from someone he thought he could trust. My point to him was really as much or more on the order of, "Not everyone who tells you things you want to believe is telling the truth. If he fudges a small thing, you cannot trust him on the larger things."

Anonymous Discard May 05, 2015 12:48 AM  

Thank you.
Academics really are gullible. I once knew a visiting professor from Germany, who told me about the unnecessary and unjust obstacles to voting in the U.S. I brought him a dozen voting applications the next day and told him that he could pick up as many as he wanted at any post office.
"b b but…I haf bin told by Professors…"
Time to re-calibrate your reality, Herr Dr.

Blogger Jon May 06, 2015 6:31 AM  

It seems to me few of Chomsky's critics here have read him. Lots of assertions, no actual citations. He hasn't changed his tune on Clinton. I can hardly recall him saying a single positive thing about Clinton ever. Support for the Khmer? Read his actual writings, not snippets from his critics with lots of ellipses. This claim it's totally false.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 06, 2015 7:58 AM  

Matter of fact, he detests Clinton, Jon.

Blogger Jon May 06, 2015 1:39 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Jon May 06, 2015 1:40 PM  


JonMay 06, 2015 1:39 PM
You're exactly right, Tom. In fact anybody can take a look at what Chomsky says right now about Obama. A similar level if disdain. In fact he's saying the same things now about Obama that he was saying prior to the election in 2008. He was never fooled by the hope and change rhetoric. Do not trust what the critics say of Chomsky, read him for yourself.

OpenID wavesandmeans May 07, 2015 12:37 AM  

I can't fit everything I wanna say about this here. Basically, I think Sam Harris is more ignorant and dumber than Osama bin Laden https://wavesandmeans.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/sam-harris-is-dumber-than-bin-laden-chomsky-was-right-not-to-waste-his-breath/

Blogger Gabor Butora May 07, 2015 6:10 PM  

The fact that Chomsky can be this sharply critical of the US government without any consequences for him personally or even his career speaks volumes about the country he lives in. (I lived in countries where this was a sheer dream... )

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2015 11:56 AM  

Chomsky is not/has never been a democrat. He has never supported Clinton. His writings primarily focus on critiques of the state and imperialism. None of what you said makes any sense.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2015 1:18 AM  

When boneheads refer to anyone as a "leftist," it's a clear indicator of sad brainwashing.
Wingnuts need to focus on what they're actually arguing.
Rightloons need to find the courage to present their actual worldview and let everyone else decide if that view makes any sense.

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