Others see thing as we do too…
Years ago, I dreamt up a method to debate with people — generally leftists. I thought that if you didn’t contradict them, but merely peppered them with the logical questions that their beliefs engendered, then you both had a good chance of learning something. That ended up being the methodology entirely for this blog.
As it turns out, a guy named Socrates cooked up this very method himself, so it came to be known as “The Socratic Method.” I guess I wasn’t all that original in formulating it.
I never really gave up that belief, I just never found a leftist who was able to hang in there and answer the questions. They’d throw something out there that was little more than a re-statement of their original talking point, and stalk off, pronouncing me closed-minded and stupid.
Well, here’s a guy who encountered a couple of typical huffing and puffing leftists who were willing to go a few rounds of Q&A with him, and then stalked off in self-righteous, but thoroughly debunked, indignation. The entire piece — all four pages of it — is well worth the read.
In the first part, the author, one Oleg Atbashian, a 1994 émigré from Ukraine, with an extremely interesting bio (see end notes), first describes the encounter, then provides a list of the questions that he posed to his interlocutors.
It’s those questions that will have my focus in this piece. Without further ado, here they are, in the order in which they’re presented in Atbashian’s essay (I’ve added some comments [in square brackets and red font]):
- If all cultures are equal, why doesn’t UNESCO organize International Cannibalism Week festivals? [As well as International Nazi Week, and so on…Oh, wait… they do. They just call it “Islamic,” or “Socialist.”]
- Why do those demanding “equal pay for equal work” never protest against “equal pay for little or no work”? [Good question!]
- Why has no politician ever run on men’s issues or promised to improve the lives of males? [We’ve beren asking this question, in many different ways as well. The feminist left hasn’t yet quite felt bold enough to declare that men are, for example, “non-persons,” but they’re working toward it.]
- If all beliefs are equally valid, how come my belief in the absurdity of this maxim gets rejected by its proponents? [The left is not interested in entertaining points-of-view that challenge theirs.]
- Ever noticed that for the past thirty years, we’ve been hearing we have less than ten years to save the planet? [Aaaaannnnd, we’ve been posing this question as well.]
- Once a politician labels the truth as hate speech, can anyone trust him to speak the truth afterward?
- If a politician gets elected by the poor on a promise to eliminate poverty, wouldn’t fulfilling his promise destroy his voting base? Wouldn’t he rather benefit from the growing numbers of poor people? Isn’t this an obvious conflict of interests? [This is definitely a re-wording of a question that we’ve been posing for a very long time. We said something to the effect that “no bureaucrat ever tried to work himself out of a job.”]
- How did the “war on poverty” end? Has there been a peace treaty or a ceasefire? Who is the occupying force and who are the insurgents?
- Why weren’t there demonstrations with anti-feudal slogans under feudal rule? And under Stalin, no anti-communist demonstrations? And under Hitler, no anti-fascist demonstrations? In a free capitalist society, anti-capitalist demonstrations are commonplace. Is capitalism really the worst system? [Lol! How many times have we said this?!?]
- If capitalism makes some people rich without making others poor, who will benefit when capitalism is destroyed?
- If the poor in America have things that people in other countries can only dream about, why is there a movement to make America more like those other countries? [Yep. Why is that, pray tell?]
- Why, on the rare occasions when Obama’s actions benefit America, does his base get angry? And every time his actions are hurting this nation, his base is happy? Who exactly are these people?
- If cutting out the middleman lowers the price, why are we paying the government to stand between us and the markets?
- If racial profiling is an abomination, what do you make of the last presidential election? [Bingo! We phrased this as something like, “When did it become more important to elect a black President than to elect a good one?“]
- After Eric Holder called Americans a nation of cowards, what has he done personally to help the situation? [Answer: you have to remember that Eric Holder believed what he said, but didn’t disapprove of it. He’s one of the most prominent race addicts in America. Holder’s assessment that America is a nation of cowards made him, and other race addicts, very happy. By contrast, the very worst thing to happen to Holder is what actually did happen to him: a realistic understanding that America long ago addressed its racism problem. She doesn’t expend a lot of intellectual and emotional ergs on white hostility to black Americans because it’s been utterly defeated.]
- If diversity training benefits everyone, why do those classes mostly consist of white heterosexual males? [Answer: because real diversity — the only diversity that counts: intellectual diversity — is not important to the left. As far as thinking is concerned, the left has no desire to encounter anything resembling a challenging point of view.]
- Why is a huge poisonous cloud over a volcano considered magnificent — but a smokestack over an American factory is ugly and harmful? [Lol! Good question: We might have mentioned this a few times as well. For example, those times where we mentioned the fun science trivia that, for example, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines expelled more “green house gases” in its one eruption than all of humanity in the entirety of its existence. If you paid attention in earth science class as I did, you heard that very message, evidently in a spirit of trying to impress us impressionable young’uns with the power of the planet to shake off the puny efforts of anything on it.]
- How many Kyoto Protocols are rendered pointless by one medium-sized volcanic eruption? [Ummmmm… all of ’em 🙂 See previous bullet]
- Why is burning gas in my car hurting the planet, but setting fire to housing developments in California is saving it?
- Why does Hollywood glamorize drug addicts, criminals, liberal Democrats, and mentally challenged people? What do they all have in common? [Ummm… being mentally challenged?]
- How come Hollywood can always find a good side in thugs, but never in businesspeople? What was the last movie that pictured a self-reliant, industrious man as a role model?
- If it’s capitalist greed that forces Hollywood to exploit the lowest human instincts, why didn’t the same greed force Hollywood to exploit America’s patriotism and make war movies showing the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as a force for good? Wouldn’t one such film bring more green cash than all the anti-American flops in the recent years? Where was Hollywood’s capitalist greed then?
- How come those calling Sarah Palin a “bimbo” often look like part of Paris Hilton’s entourage? [Lol! So true! Admit it! you thought this too!]
- If there are no absolutes and family is an antiquated tool of bourgeois oppression, why is having gay marriage an absolute must? [Yep. Good question. We’ve asked this question too.]
- Would you know from the media coverage that there are more sex offenders among public school teachers then among Catholic priests? How come the church gets the blame and the Department of Education doesn’t? [Most important question: what are the “per capita” statistics. I really would like to know. Even though I know that the percentage of gay pedophiles in the teaching profession far exceeds their percentage among the Catholic clergy. With that said, there is no excuse for betraying your young boy charges either in the churches or the schools. That,though, doesn’t change the fact that the “coverage” of the Catholic clergy scandal was criminally irresponsibly, pathetically, stupidly … bad.]
- Why is the media so outspoken about sex abusers being priests, but avoids calling them homosexual pedophiles? Who are they afraid to offend? [Language is important. We’ve been making that point for some time now.]
- Why do those who decry modern civilization never live far from shopping centers and why don’t [they] grind their coffee with a stone ax?
- If we are called a “consumer society” because we consume, why aren’t we also called an “excreter society” because we excrete? For that matter we also sleep, dream, talk, think, invent, play music, raise children, feel pain, get sick and die. Many of us work for a living. Why aren’t we called a “producer society” because we produce the things we consume? Who puts these labels on us and for what purpose? [Language is important. We’ve been making that point for some time now.]
- How come the unselfish Americans hate their country out of personal frustrations, while the selfish ones defend America with their lives? [Good point! Really good point.]
- If describing terrorists as freedom fighters is justified by the journalistic principle of neutrality, what is the name of the principle that justifies describing U.S. troops as rapists and murderers?
- When the media portrays the killing of terrorists as “slaughter of civilians,” while slaughter of civilians is portrayed as “resistance to occupation,” is the media really being neutral? Whose side are they really on? [One of our pet bugaboos. The media are not neutral. They are not objective. Media neutrality or objectivity are both impossible things. Like unicorns.]
- If Hollywood types are so opposed to capitalism, why is there a warning against unauthorized distribution of their movies? [Lol! Because “Hollywood” — generally — has no idea what it’s talking about. It’s jam-packed with ignorant, uneducated, ill-educated, poorly-educated, stupid, selfish, cruel, egotistical, scum-sucking whores. Why would anyone be surprised that the output of such a brothel would be less than … wonderful?]
- Why is experimenting on animals cruel, but experimenting on human embryos compassionate? [Answer: because in America, we’ve largely bought into the culture of death.]
- How come industrial logging is a crime against nature, but the destruction of forests by wildfires is a natural cycle of life? [Hmmmmm… why is that?!? ]
- Why do those who object to tampering with the environment approve of tampering with the economy? Isn’t the economy also a fragile ecosystem where a sudden change can trigger a devastating chain reaction? [Good point! Really good point!]
- Isn’t the latest economic crisis such a chain reaction?
- Aren’t most of today’s social ills the result of tampering with social ecosystems?
- Why is bioengineering bad, but social engineering good? [Another good point.]
- If Al Gore is right and our consumption of the planet’s resources is a moral issue, doesn’t that make genocide an ethical solution? How about an artificial famine? What would Al Gore choose? [Ooof! Ouch! The only answer to this is that genocide is an ethical solution. The contradictions of the left are many! Or, as is probably true, the left is absolutely not opposed to genocide. If, that is, you’re killing the right kind of people. Don’t forget, this increasingly influential little think tank caught out the Race Grievance Industry calling for genocide at the very same time as they condemned it.]
- If being a winner in nature’s struggle for survival is selfish, does being extinct make you an altruist? [The author, Atbashian, has a series of questions that would make any thinking environmentalist (is there any such thing?) very uncomfortable.]
- Since our planet’s resources are limited, wouldn’t the ultimate act of environmental activism be to stop eating and starve to death? [see previous bullet.]
- How come those who hate humanity for its faults are called “humanists” but those who love humanity for its virtues are called “hate-mongers”?
- If economic ups and downs are natural cycles, why is the downturn always blamed on unbridled capitalism, but the upturn is the result of a wise leadership of a Democrat president? [Answer: media dishonesty, corruption, stupidity, greed … you name it.]
- Why is there never a media story praising capitalism for the booming economy?
- Ever noticed that those who demand “power to the people” also believe that people can’t do anything right without government supervision? [Yep. We’ve said this, if not quite as succinctly.]
- How exactly does dependency on the government increase “people power”? [Answer: It doesn’t. It decreases the power of the people. That’s why the left struggles so desperately to portray increases in the power of the government as greater power to “the people.”]
- Why is there never a headline that says “Government program ends as its intended goal has been achieved”? [Lol! Exactly! We’ve said this a number of times as well. Oh, yeah… in this very post, above. The comment about the bureaucrat never trying to work himself out of a job.]
- How come so many anti-American radicals are wearing American brands, listen to American music, watch American movies, and play American video games on computers designed by American engineers? [Good point! If you were to remove America and all the progress she has fostered, you’d have to re-introduce poverty, hunger, diseases, vast manual labor into the world. As a result of that, you’d have to eliminate feminism, environmentalism and a number of intellectual fads that have captivated the intellectually feeble in the past few generations.]
- Why do advocates for higher taxes have accountants advising them how they can pay smaller taxes? Wouldn’t you expect them instead to seek advice on how to give away more of their income to the IRS? Or at least not to hire accountants at all? [Yep. You would expect that, but you would be wrong, because these leftists are not really in favor of Socialism, because they know they would be among the first to be dispossessed.]
- Can you name one person who paid the IRS more than he owed because he trusted the government to put his money to good use? [Nope. I suspect you can’t.]
- Did it occur to any of the 9/11 Truthers that a government conspiracy to murder thousands of people would have also included a plan to rub out a few troublemakers. [Nope, it never occurred to them. Remember. they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed. More importantly, though, they’re not vying for the votes of the sharpest tools in the shed.]
- If U.S. oil companies own everyone in Washington, how come they allowed Congress to grill them for the alleged price gouging — and to broadcast it on C-Span? [Lol! Yeah! How come?!? Could the left be … ummmmm… lying?]
- Why didn’t Congress also grill Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, and a guy named Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Muhammad al Saud? [Hmmmm… good question!]
- Why are windfall profits a problem when they enrich U.S. companies that pay billions in taxes — but when Hugo Chavez uses the same windfall profits to fund Marxist guerillas in Colombia, it’s not a big deal? [Hmmmm… another good question!]
- If George W. Bush was an oil-thirsty dictator, why couldn’t he in eight years get permission from Congress to drill in ANWR? And why didn’t that failure in any way hurt his dictatorial reputation with the media? [Hmmmm… still another good question!]
- If it’s true that the media emphasized bad news and harassed President Bush only because they competed for ratings, what changed now? Aren’t they worried that today’s emphasis on good news from the White House will destroy their ratings and make journalism irrelevant? [Lol! Nope. They’re not worried about that.]
- And finally, if all opinions are equal, how come a liberal who disagrees with a conservative is open-minded, but a conservative who disagrees with a liberal is a bigot? [Yeah! How come?]
Oleg Atbashian, brief bio (from Wikipedia):
Oleg Atbashian: Before moving to the U.S. in 1994, Atbashian lived in Ukraine where he sometimes worked as a propaganda artist for the old Soviet Union, creating agitprop posters for the local Party Committee in a small town. During that time, Oleg says he “witnessed the transition of Republics of the Soviet Union from corrupt socialism to corrupt kleptocracy.”
When he arrived in the U.S., Atbashian was puzzled by the “level of delusional affection for all things Left among the ‘liberal‘ intellectual elites who take America’s exclusive well-being for granted.” At that time Oleg dismissed this “delusional affection” as silly and of little consequence.
Then 9/11 happened. Oleg witnessed that day from the base of the Twin Towers. “I’m still haunted by the horror I came to be a witness of,” says Atbashian. “The subsequent blame-America attitude among the intellectual trend-setters enraged me; ‘liberalism’ no longer seemed laughable. It was dangerous suicidal madness that had to be confronted. I took up political activism.”
Oleg’s activism blossomed into the satirical street-theater group, “Communists for Kerry”. Atbashian says that, “Communists for Kerry was started in July, 2004 as a six-member satirical group with the stated goals of helping George W. Bush get re-elected and having a lot of fun in the process. I was the group’s writer, graphic artist, and webmaster. The project exceeded our expectations. Our last street theater event on Union Square in New York featured over 30 volunteers in communist costumes; many more people joined us online from all over the USA. We even had a sister group in Australia, and people wearing CFK shirts at a rally in Paris, France.”
With The People’s Cube, Oleg is hoping to turn it into “a nationwide community web portal of spontaneous political humor and parody for conservatives, libertarians,objectivists, and anyone who supports and celebrates America’s freedoms, individual rights, and capitalism.” He currently writes for The People’s Cube under the pseudonym“Red Square”.
Oleg and Bryan McCarthy (a recent immigrant from Ireland) also launched the commercial website Che-Mart, which sells products lampooning Che Guevara.