Arnold wrote: "I should note that Mike Pence, the Republican who served as VP under President Trump, is quite angry with the demonstrators and with Trump." Pence is too simple-minded. There were four groups involved in January 6: 1) honest Trump-supporting legitimate protestors who did nothing wrong (the overwhelming majority; 2) a handful of disorderly Trump supporters; 3) Antifa radicals masquerading as Trump supporters to bring obloquy on them (as they had done at 2016 Trump campaign rallies); and 4) government undercover agents, some of them disguised as Trump supporters, who encouraged and facilitated the disorder.

Unfortunately, the many legitimate protestors have been tarred with the brush of the disorders, thus obscuring that there are reasonable concerns about the integrity of the election, and smearing those who have them.

Some of group 1 appear to have been entrapped into entering the Capitol through encouragement and facilitation by government agents.

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Totally agree with Scott Atlas that society needs to be told the harsh truth in the starkest possible terms. American society is living a multilayered cake of lies and it is dying as a consequence.

My 2 cents on "stolen elections" is the harsh truth is American elections are easily manipulated and government/ political parties are resistant to changes that would improve voting integrity. The consequence is political parties are in a race to optimize voting manipulations. The result is diminishing confidence in election results.

I'll add that one of the freshly baked lies we have in America is that a filled out ballot invariably reflects the distinct will of a legal, interested voter. The system only assumes that is the case.

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The claim that most adults make friends via their employer strikes me as incorrect. At least as far as my experience is concerned.

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The Twitter Files have demonstrated that various bureaucracies within the US federal government were successfully coercively pressuring the major social media tech platforms like Twitter, Facebook/Instagram, Google/YouTube, Medium, Wikipedia, and Pinterest to manipulate public opinion on COVID and on the 2020 election. Stories unfavorable to Trump, even false stories about collusion with Russian and Putin were amplified and given credibility via federal government actions. Stories unfavorable to Biden had their circulation drastically reduced via federal government action. Some said this wasn't strict censorship, because determined members of the public could still find and read the stories, but large numbers of the public wouldn't hear about them, and their impact on broad public perception and broad voting behaviors would be reduced.

Is this fair play or is this cheating? It's quite reasonable to say that controlling all the major news and media platforms had a large impact on the 2020 election, and given as close as the election was, it's reasonable to say that without these dirty tricks, Trump would have won 2020.

Arnold Kling, would you agree that the federal government was coercively pressuring all major media and tech platforms to manipulate public opinion on the 2020 election? Would you consider this fair play or cheating or somewhere in between? If this was cheating, and if we accept for arguments sake that this did have a significant impact on voting behavior, and Trump would have won without cheating, is it a "stolen election"? Would you prefer some different semantics or phrasing?

My guess is that Kling wouldn't defend the tactics used, he wouldn't say it was a reasonably fair election, but he doesn't have sympathy for the Trump crowd, and isn't willing to hear them complain about it.

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Mar 19·edited Mar 19

More than any other Kling post, I found it lacked context for me to recognize what much of it was about. So far I've only verified what I guessed Naomi Wolf was referring to. Glad I did. While I knew much of the event was peaceful and the police officer didn't die of his wounds from being attacked (and all but one civilian died of causes unrelated to the event), it was interesting to see how different this video footage is from what we've previously seen. If you haven't seen Carlson's piece, here it is.


Too bad it's a bit tarnished by Carlson destroying his debatable reputation by lying on air about how he really feels about Trump.

It also increases my doubts that suicides by officers present were indeed related to this event and not coincidence.

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Well, if Naomi Wolf found a Tucker Carlson segment convincing, that's enough for me.

To heck with the months of testimony confirming "the narrative" of what occurred that day (I like to think that facts can exist outside of a subjective narrative, but on these topics this publication retreats to that post-modern position of BS for some reason). Just put this one in the hopper with every other news story you don't want to think too deeply about and move on.

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“[F]or many people, empathy is very close to morality.” Well, it underlies the soft side of morality. But there is also a hard or sharp side--the punitive aspect, in which transgressions of the social rules are punished—underlain by righteous anger.

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Torenberg (and Nietzsche) misrepresents Christianity. Rather than invert the Master/Slave dynamic, it tends toward erasing it, with a universalizing theology that all are Gods children and equally valuable. Case in point, Classical society was built on slavery, Christian society freed the slaves. This didn’t result in less meritocracy or achievement, but more - opening up education government and professional activities to all classes, races, genders. The grand achievements of the Christian West that we all benefit from attest to this.

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I would agree with Arnold's having had it with narratives. It seems that our media have mostly become nothing but narrative engineers. But concerns about the integrity of the election are well founded, given how little it takes to swing the electoral college by relatively small manipulations in a few key cities, where the vote counting process was highly dubious, plus the whole atmosphere of manipulation described in Molly Ball's (in)famous Time article. https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

So I would not classify these concerns as a mere "narrative" that should be dropped.

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Mar 20·edited Mar 20

To a first approximation Torenberg is wrong and de Waal is ready right. The "naturalness" of Master morality is a theory my story divorced from observation. "Slave" morality is just a Nietscherian slur for what should just be called "human" morality.

But at the second approximation, marauding and bullying sometimes work. They work often enough that we have well adapted cognitive machinery for exploiting and coping with the fact. That machinery runs deep enough that Homer could write literary masterpieces about it.

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"Lorenzo Warby on conspiracism"

I didn't see any link or description in the post. If added later, please feel free to delete this comment.

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There's an interesting schizophrenia with the victimhood morality these days. On the one hand, they valorize victims and victimhood, but at the same time they take a scorched-earth approach toward those they don't like (e.g., Republicans), being more than willing to destroy them by any means necessary.

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Narratives: The "stolen election" is simple enough to just "drop."

There are many different Democratic narratives of 1/6, so which should be dropped?

Fauci was the public face of many many incorrect, misleading messages (mainly, but not exclusively by not keeping the message up to date with the changing disease prevalence and vaccine status but more fundamentally because the messages were about what to DO rather than giving people the information they needed to decide for them selves what the most cost effective things to do were). But a lot of dissent WAS misinformation.

Not as simple as "dropping" a narrative.

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