“Both sides are bad”

How terrible!  How horrible!  How dare you say both sides are bad when one side is Nazis!

Well, I’ll tell you, there are worse things than Nazis in the world.  Yes, the Nazis of the 30’s and 40’s were horrible, vile, beyond the pale.  But even so, there have been worse things in the world.

That’s even leaving aside that as far as actual Nazis are concerned, there are no more than a few hundred to a few thousand out of a nation of over 300 million.  You can find more people believing that the Earth is flat, that it’s hollow and there is “another world” on the inner surface, or that NASA has a sex colony on the moon.  That’s actual, ideological Nazis, not the “everyone who disagrees with me is Hitler” type of “Nazis” that seems to be so popular among certain elements of the Left.  And the only people who take them seriously, or at least to profess to take them seriously, are pundits on the left who present them as though they’re if not the norm then at least common to drum up support for opposition.

To us, Hitler was a monster

To Lenin and Stalin, he was an amateur.

To Mao, he was just so adorable!

In the Holocaust, the Nazis killed about 11 million people.  In the Holodomor, just one of the many atrocities Stalin committed, over 12 million were starved to death.  Mao basically said, “Hold my beer and watch this” and killed between 49 and 78 million people, most of them within a single four year plan.

In this running, Leopold II of Belgium in the Congo was an also-ran with 8 million killed.

So, “Nazis” vs. “Antifa”

On the one hand we’ve a handful of people of no real import, limited to saying mean things who have, with very few exceptions been no violent except in self defense (Yes, there have been exceptions, but few, and generally quickly shut down with essentially nobody making excuses for or justifying them), who apparently live rent free in a lot of Leftists heads.  On the other, we’ve got an objectively larger group, that uses violence regularly, that we’re apparently not allowed to criticize for fear of being called a “Nazi sympathizer”.

Screw that.  I know which one of those is actually a threat to freedom.  It’s not the one using free speech in ways I don’t like.  It’s the ones using violence to shut down people using free speech in ways I don’t like.

So, if you are using violence to silence people saying things you don’t like, then, no, how offended you are isn’t an excuse.  How “hateful” they are isn’t an excuse.  How ‘justified” you think you are isn’t an excuse.  For anything short of incitement to violence where there is a real and immediate threat of that violence being carried out, the proper response is to speak in opposition.

If you really think that you’re views are superior, if you really think that you have the majority on your side, then speak out.  No need for violence.  Rally your side’s support, win in the political arena, and they’ll slink away as they have done time and time again, perhaps raising their voices more loudly in what they pretend is anger but is actually frustration.  If they engage in actual violence, then of course you can respond in kind to the violent–not those who are simply speaking, but the actual violent.

But if you engage in violence to shut down verbal opposition, however vile you may think that opposition, then you are the fascist, whatever you might call yourself.

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67 thoughts on ““Both sides are bad””

  1. The left is in a quandary. They no longer win elections except in a few enclaves. Speech and more speech hasn’t won them what they expected it would. So they are falling back on older methods. The American Nazis never expected political power. They are just happy to be in the news occasionally. They don’t need violence, while the left does.

  2. One side channeling their inner Mao versus the other side is channeling their inner Hitler. So why exactly can’t I condemn both?

      1. The author is in favor of condemning both. The mainstream media insists that for the Neo Nazis speech is violence while for the Antifa Blackshirts, violence is speech and therefore beyond complaint.

  3. I’m Jewish and live in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in a near suburb of Detroit. I do embroidery and work with car and motorcycle clubs in an around the city, so many of my customers and friends are black. I’ve yet to speak face to face with any Jews or blacks who think American neo-Nazis and the KKK are anywhere near the threat to our civil society that Antifa thugs present.

    1. From what I’ve seen these pathetic losers calling themselves “Nazis” couldn’t organize a bake sale, let alone the conquest of most of Europe. Deserving of mockery at most–if even that much attention.

      1. I understand that the demonstration in Charlottesville Virginia was a gathering of Neo Nazis, Klansmen, white supremacists, and whatever other hate group had common cause with the others, and it was organized by Jason Kessler, who was rumored to have been an organizer for left wing causes mere months before. Unable to organize a bake sale is not far from the mark. It seems as if they were a whole group of Marinus van der Lubbes sent to Charlottesville to burn the Reichstag.
        The Antifa, on the other hand dressed like Blackshirts, but with masks. The only thing they lacked was the rope to tie their opponents to lamp posts, and castor oil to force down their throats.
        Were the two groups to destroy each other like Kilkenney cats, I’m sure that every conservative in the country would consider that a happy ending.

        1. The other thing to remember is that only the NeoNazis had a permit to be there…. which was delayed by the Democrat city and state to make sure antifa knew where and when to be there.

          1. Indeed. While I am generally very skeptical of “conspiracy theories” (you can confirm that from my posting history in other places like FaceBook), I have to wonder: if the democrats in power wanted to engineer a conflict while still retaining at least implausible deniability, what would they have done differently?

          2. Given the fact that there is a VA state law forbidding wearing masks in public (there are exceptions for holidays like Halloween), all the antifa could have been arrested and removed from the area for that alone. Ironically, it was started as an anti-Klan measure.

    2. Hi, I was raised Jewish and I and more concerned about Nazis and the KKK than Antifa.* Nice to “meet” you. You can stop using that anecdote now.

      *I noticed that you said more threatening “to our civil society” which I will need more explanation of. My response is simply based on my concern about people who want to kill or beat me no matter what I say or do, just because of my ancestry. That being said, it is ridiculous to imagine that one cannot be concerned about both.

      1. I noticed that you said more threatening “to our civil society” which I will need more explanation of.

        Because one side is miniscule in numbers and almost universally reviled. The media makes a big deal out of them but they’re in the “believe in a hollow earth” level as far as their numbers and support is concerned. The other is much more numerous and finds a lot of support both in the media and in political circles. That makes them more dangerous.

        Ebola is a more virulent disease but the flu is a lot more likely to kill me, or really anyone around me. So I worry more about the latter. That said, I dispute that Antifa is any less virulent than Nazis. Their violence is just aimed at “politically correct” targets. Just like Nazis in the 20’s and 30’s in fact. Take their rhetoric, swap “Jew” in for whoever they’re talking about, and it could have come from the pen of Goebbels. They are definitely not a “lesser evil”. And the support they have makes them worse.

        So your relative levels of concern is “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.”

        1. I’m still thinking through your response, but I guess I am just more concerned about someone who supports killing my family than someone who wants to punch me. I recognize that there is a lot of privilege in that position. I don’t find death threats or beatings to be civil so I still need help with what it means to be a threat to our civil society. I’m not convinced that either group is significant and I think both benefit from the societal reluctance to ever openly agree with a perceived opponent.

          So much of this is based on the silly idea that there are only two sides. Somehow, we assume that violence and non-violence are all on a single, linear spectrum of political and social opinion. This makes it very easy for us to reject a moderate person by tying them to the extremist. I don’t think it represents the social landscape. I think it is a simplification we use so that we can excuse our own incivilities toward everyone we dislike.

          I also just noticed that the original comment said that they have never met the described person “face-to-face,” which renders my comment useless and makes their story less compelling.

          1. I’m still thinking through your response, but I guess I am just more concerned about someone who supports killing my family than someone who wants to punch me.

            You think Antifa and their ilk (yes, I said “ilk”) aren’t making death threats? While I, personally, haven’t received any yet, that’s largely because I’m too small a fish, as it were, to draw much attention. Friends of mine however, have.

            Again, you’re seeing what the media wants you to see.

            It was interesting when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Skokie (wonderful place to visit, if disturbing–and it should be–if you get the chance) and they went through the leadup to the Holocaust. It isn’t Trump or even the Nazis who are following the path they laid out. It’s Antifa, BLM, and the like. It takes very, very careful cherry picking and fabrication to make “conservatives” appear to be following that path. And it takes a lot of willful blindness (which the media is more than willing to provide by proxy) to make those others look like they’re not.

          2. And, again, the flu is a lot more likely to kill you than ebola. If you’re going to worry about severity without taking into account likelihood, worry about a supernova that could sterilize this part of the galaxy.

            One is far, far more likely to do harm to any particular individual than the other. And it’s not the tiny number of almost universally reviled “Nazis”.

          3. And now I see you did re-read… though I greatly disagree with you on it making their statement less compelling.

            Then again, I also am familiar with how deadly a punch, especially when it involves improvised weapons or brass knuckles can be, and consider someone threatening that and being observed to carry it out is a lot more dangerous than people who are going “yeah, we should totally get public support to kill people like you!”

      2. The ones making systematic use of violence are Antifa, not the “Nazis”. The “Nazis” know they will be slapped down hard on the use of violence. Antifa has no such presumption and, indeed, given track record to date the presumption of just the opposite.

        1. Why is it important to figure out who is more likely to lead to Nazi Germany? Why can’t the Nazis be leading us toward that and the Alt-Right, or Antifa, or “liberals” or “conservatives” are leading us different places?

          This discussion over which is “more threatening” strikes me as a conversation about whether I should be more concerned with lightning strikes or shark attacks. Both are rare and unlikely to affect me, however, if I happen to be standing in a field during a storm, I’m less concerned with sharks.

          1. Why can’t the Nazis be leading us toward that

            Because they aren’t leading anyone anywhere. They are a tiny number of idiots. The only people who pay them any mind whatsoever is the left, using them as a boogie man against the right.

            if I happen to be standing in a field during a storm

            But you’re not. You’re in a building adequately provided with lighting rods and proper grounding, letting yourself get scared because people tell you lightning horror stories while ignoring the people down in the building setting the building on fire.

        1. It is less compelling in the sense that the number of Jews and blacks that Johann Amadeus Metesky has spoken with face-to-face is likely to be smaller (and cannot be larger) than the number they have spoken with through all methods. The “face-to-face” qualifier makes it a smaller group and therefore less impressive of a statement.

          1. Quality matters a lot more than quantity– I’ve run into a few too many folks who were, in person, not as advertised.

            In quite a few cases, the louder someone online is about being a member of a group– the more likely you are to find them claiming to be a member of an entirely different and contradictory group.

            As opposed to attempting to fake being Jewish or black in a face-to-face conversation.

    1. They are useful to the left, and therefore the media. By giving them attention all out of proportion to their actual numbers and influence (next to none in both cases), they can create an impression to drum up opposition to a non-existent threat.

      Now where have I heard of that before?

  4. But they are anti-fascists! They are against Nazis!

    Suddenly we are taking the names of political groups as hyper-literal fact. Because the names of political groups have never been used to deceive before.

    1. But try mentioning the National Socialist German Workers’ Party to people who harp on “Antifa’s” name with the innocent question of “so, they actually were socialist then? It said so right in the name, after all.”

  5. My issue with “both sides are bad” was not about Trump’s equivalence. I quite like the idea that violence is always bad. However, I haven’t really seen Trump speak that way before. As a candidate, he was very encouraging of violence against protestors, even non-violent ones, and very critical of the violence by protestors. I don’t recall him telling his supporters not to be violent.

    Not every fact has to be stated at every given opportunity. I would love to see the president be more critical of all violence. The day after a white nationalist killed someone at a Nazi march was a bizarre time to start.

    1. I haven’t really seen

      What you’ve seen is what the media wanted you to see. Yes, there was a case of Trump telling supporters to deck folk, but if you actually saw the entire clip it was in the context of reaction to people bringing violence to Trump rallies. You know, self defense is a thing.

      It’s funny that after months of violence, and violent rhetoric from Antifa and the like one waits until one particular individual responds violently in return before saying the President has to speak out against violence (and only that one violence).

      Where were these people when an Antifa protestor was beating people with a bicycle lock? Where were they when a woman was egged for wearing a MAGA hat? Where were they when a woman talking to a reporter was pepper sprayed out of the blue? Where were they when a wheelchair bound veteran was attacked by a mob? And on and on and on.

      Not going to justify that asshole with the car but, really, it’s a funny time to start being concerned with political violence.

      1. You seem to be making some of assumptions about what media I see and how much I trust it. I would love to see that clip where his protestors were responding to violence. I was only thinking of the ones inside his rallies where he suggested that people yelling or disrupting the rally should be “roughed up” etc. I can give the usual caveats about “I’ve been talking about it for a while” or “I’ve spoken against Antifa” but that stuff is pointless. It makes me look fair-minded to people who want to agree with me and people who want to disagree will assume I am lying.

        Other than that, most of your post is not directed toward me, but rather toward “they” so I feel no need to respond to it. I can think of a number of reasons why people are selective in their outrage and, unfortunately, none of them surprise me.

        1. I was only thinking of the ones inside his rallies where he suggested that people yelling or disrupting the rally should be “roughed up” etc.

          Ah, you didn’t see the bit where he was talking about people throwing things. Yeah, that bit got edited out. Much like the media also edited the video of the guy carrying an AR15 outside one of Obama’s campaign events in 2008–media portrayed that as “white rage” and carefully edited the video so you didn’t see the guy carrying the rifle (discretely slung) was a black man.

          I can give the usual caveats about “I’ve been talking about it for a while” or “I’ve spoken against Antifa” but that stuff is pointless

          Actually, I’m perfectly willing to take you at your word. However, the media, and various public figures have not. Look at the response to “violence on all sides.” Only the “Nazis” are supposed to be criticized.

          Are you familiar with the expression “Damning with faint praise”? This is the converse of that. Antifa violence is soft-pedaled. Those in positions of power and influence make excuses for them or simply ignore them. Police are told to stand down. Only in the most egregious cases are any of them called to account and even then, they’re made out to be some kind of martyr.

          It’s taken months before any of the politicians on the left have started to actually condemn Antifa violence (although most still won’t touch BLM), probably because they are starting to realize that this might not actually be a good election strategy.

          So whether you personally have been speaking out against Antifa really isn’t the point. It’s not what I was addressing. Unless you are in a position of power and influence–media pundit with large viewership, politician, that sort of thing–then what you do, or do not do, is not the issue and not what I’m talking about. It’s what those who are in such positions are doing. Hell, just look at the response to the Scalise shooting, the number of “he brought it on himself” and “while I abhor violence I can understand why…” (remember that converse of “damning with faint praise”?).

          Sure, there are going to be violent assholes on any position–Niven’s Law: “There is no cause so right that you won’t find fools following it for foolish reasons” (often more pithily worded as “that it won’t attract fuggheads”)–but we’re not talking about a few “fuggheads”. We’re talking about the fuggheads, and the ones who order the police to stand down thus enabling them, and the police who follow those orders (“I was just following orders”?), and the pundits who gloss over their violence, and the politicians who “understand” as though their violence is a reasonable response to losing an election.

          That’s why antifa, BLM, and like groups are so much more of a threat to civilized society than a few disaffected Nazis who nobody but the left (so as to use them as a weapon against the right) takes seriously.

          1. Sorry about the spam. Last post!

            “Actually, I’m perfectly willing to take you at your word. However, the media, and various public figures have not. Look at the response to “violence on all sides.” Only the “Nazis” are supposed to be criticized.”

            I realize that you aren’t particularly concerned with my position because I am not influential enough, but there was plenty of reason to be critical of Trump’s response other than “only the ‘Nazis’ [should be] criticized.” As I mentioned, it was not the statement itself, but the timing and the unusual tone. He has not spoken like that in other conflicts and he didn’t need to do it immediately after the attack.

            For instance, why has Trump never mentioned violence on both sides after a terrorist attack? European and American forces have been waging war on ISIS for years. It is factual that there has been violence on both sides of that conflict. It is sometimes worth noting that and considering it. The day after a terror attack it would be inappropriate to mention it.

        2. And you asked why Antifa and their like were more of a threat to civilized society than Nazis in America. You were given the answer:

          – Relative numbers: There are only a handful of actual Nazis and even among those, the vast majority limit themselves to speech that nobody gives heed to.
          – Use of violence: Antifa is much more willing to use violence and to endorse actual use of violence now unlike Nazis who mostly speak of some vague time in a future that will never happen where they “win” electorally and can implement policies.
          – The selective outrage by the media and people in positions of power and influence. Antifa is much more free to engage in said violence because it is largely swept under the rug, excused or “praised with faint condemantion”.

          You may not like these answers but they remain true. And they are why Antifa and their co-travellers are a bigger threat to you, a bigger threat to me, and a bigger threat to civilization.

          1. It isn’t a matter of what answers I like. Those are valid reasons to be more concerned about Antifa and I have valid reasons to be more concerned about Nazis. When we talk about who uses violence, though, let’s be careful about whether we are talking about “actual Nazis” vs. “Antifa” or “white nationalists” vs. “ilk” etc. There has been violence on both sides. 😉

            If we are being pedantic, I didn’t actually ask why antigua were more of a threat. I stated that I was more threatened by Nazis and said that I couldn’t speak to the idea of a “civil society” without the original commenter providing further explanation. You have given thorough and respectful responses, but they weren’t exactly to me. As we all do, (as I did in ignoring the “face-to-face” aspect) you have read my comments and then directed your messages to some version of me that you have imagined: someone who didn’t know about the tomatoes being thrown; who hadn’t compared his encouraging violence-to-violence there with his criticism of violence-to-violence in Charlottesville. I think talking directly to people through blogs and comments helps me paint a picture of diverse opinions that is not contrived by political parties or media companies.

      2. “Not going to justify that asshole with the car but, really, it’s a funny time to start being concerned with political violence.”

        Yeah, presumption of innocence is a real drag. However, there are also reports that he was attacked with bricks being thrown at his car up the block; if that’s so, he probably was trying to escape.

        And as for candidate Trump’s comments inspiring violence, let’s not forget that we have Clinton campaign staff ON VIDEO admitting that they had hired people to attend and provoke / commit violence. If there isn’t a DOJ investigation on that, Sessions is derelict in his duties.

  6. Sigh. Not enough layers of nesting.

    but there was plenty of reason to be critical of Trump’s response other than “only the ‘Nazis’ [should be] criticized.”

    But that’s not what the topic was here, was it? This post was specifically made to refute the nonsense that “claiming both sides are bad, when one side is Nazis, is to be a Nazi supporter”.

    You don’t get to move the goalposts on my blog, not without being called on it.

    As I mentioned, it was not the statement itself, but the timing and the unusual tone.

    And as I mentioned the only “timing” issue–in violence not being mentioned before, is a creation of the leftist media.

    European and American forces have been waging war on ISIS for years.

    Wow. Conflating fighting a war and domestic criminal violence. That’s breathtaking. OTOH, when we’re fighting a war I do expect our leaders to talk about violence on our side. It’s called “winning battles.”

    The day after a terror attack it would be inappropriate to mention it.

    You mean like, say, if FDR had said this: “Today, the Japanese launched an attack on Midway Island. This comes in the wake of American attacks in Coral Sea leading to destruction of significant Japanese strategic resources”? You mean like that? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

    and I have valid reasons to be more concerned about Nazis.

    You see that’s the problem. The dispute is over just how valid that concern is. It isn’t. Your feels don’t trump the reality on the ground. Nazis in America are limited to a few pathetic losers who couldn’t organize a bake sale. “Fear” of them is nothing more than hysteria trumped up by the media and the leftist politicians they support in order to attempt to frighten people, like you, into supporting said leftist politicians.

    There has been violence on both sides.

    But only one side has people “justifying” their violence. Only one side has the police being told to leave them alone so they can continue to commit their violence. Only one side has media pundits downplaying their violence.

    Hint: It isn’t the Nazis.

    I didn’t actually ask why antigua were more of a threat

    Actually, you did. I quote: “I noticed that you said more threatening ‘to our civil society’ which I will need more explanation of.”

    As for:

    I stated that I was more threatened by Nazis

    People have all sorts of irrational fears. The reasons why Antifa and their fellow travelers are more of a threat are why that feeling of greater threat is irrational in that it’s not based on fact.

    Here’s another bit.
    – If some Nazi makes an actual credible threat against you personally, the police will almost certainly act.
    – If some Antifa thug makes one against me, the police very likely won’t.

    One has a largely free hand. The other doesn’t.

    What made the Nazis such a threat in the 20s and 30s wasn’t that they were violent. Lots of others were. It was that because for various reasons they had a largely free hand to carry out that violence.

    It’s the ones who can carry out their violence with relative impunity that are the biggest threat both to civilization and to the people as individuals. Fearing the ones that can’t more than the ones that can is neither valid nor rational.

    1. I’m not going to go point by point. I appreciate the conversation but we have reached an impasse. I did not comment here to engage you, I was engaging with the Johann Amadeus Metesky. Our conversation has travelled since then and I did not intend to “move the goalposts.” I didn’t really even comment about your post until the conversation moved that direction. I like commenting on smaller blogs and outlets because I am able to speak directly to individuals so we can see different versions of “liberal” or “conservative” and learn new perspectives.

      I have learned a bit here and I appreciate the opportunity. You are more compelled to address extreme perspectives than mine, which is perfectly reasonable to do, though not my preference. You also consider it critically important that Antifa be treated as MORE threatening. I have made no comment as to Antifa’s threat to “a civil society” (my question was what Johann Amadeus Metesky meant by “a civil society”). I have only addressed my personal concern. As a liberal-minded, non-violent Jew, I have a hard time being more afraid of Antifa than Nazis. That being said, neither group is much of a concern to me.

      I am more concerned with the milquetoast reactions to both. You are right that anti-conservatives (that seems more precise than “liberals”) are reluctant, at best, to condemn Antifa. I can only hope you believe me when I tell you how eerily silent even my friends have been about anti-Semitism. Nazis tend to get a groan of “of course they are terrible” but many in the Alt-Right hold anti-Semitic views. Jewish stereotypes have been far more present in my life than they have in the past. The entire reason I engaged here was not because of your blog post, but because of the proposition that Jews are terribly concerned with Antifa. I thought I could offer a simple counter-example, until I saw the face-to-face qualifier.

      1. I can only hope you believe me when I tell you how eerily silent even my friends have been about anti-Semitism.

        One would need to define what is meant by “anti-Semitism” to know how to respond to that since it seems to have a very slippery definition. After all, “from the river to the sea” is not exactly a right-wing slogan.

        And, well…

        and

        Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, is a practicing Jew. Trying to tie anti-Semitism to this administration is a Big Lie worthy of Goebbels himself. And, yes, I see the extreme irony in that statement.

      2. In addition, I should probably thank you since your posts here illustrate my point so well. You give an incredible amount of head space to a handful of pathetic losers who have neither power nor influence. And you soft sell, by placing their importance lower than those powerless skinheads, Antifa and their fellow travelers–which is exactly why they are more of a threat. You say you’ve criticized their violence and I’m willing to take you at your word on that but here you’re soft selling them, “praising with faint condemnation.”

        So, basically, you make my point for me.

        1. Again, some assumptions make your comment miss the mark. You have no idea how much headspace I have given to Antifa and the ignorant/extreme protestors who consider themselves “left.” I did not place their importance lower, I just said I am more threatened by Nazis than by Antifa. Your conclusion seems to be that, since I did not criticize them enough HERE then I fit into the mold you have imagined for me. I do not accept that I must enter into every new space and assert every position I hold relevant to the topic at hand.

          Ironically, your reaction to the anti-Semitism seemed to be “are you sure it was anti-Semitism?” Then you talked about the Trump family. I made no reference about the administration or the Trump family and their relationship to Judaism. You may have assumed that was my point because it is often the case these days. Would a photo of a kindly Antifa protestor change anything for you? This is another example of you not really conversing with me, but just using me as an excuse to criticize more powerful and influential voices. As an added note, you referenced a Palestinian slogan, too. I have absolutely no connection to Israel and Israel is not representative of all Jews. Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israeli sentiment are fundamentally intertwined but also not the same thing.

          While you frequently advised me not to fall into media traps, I would caution you to do the same. You have been addressing certain media’s version of an uninformed liberal who gives tacit approval to Antifa violence. I am not that person and I don’t need to be here for you to address that person.

          1. You seem to have some serious issues with reading comprehension; this is at least the third time you’ve come out in a victorious counter-argument against something that wasn’t said.

          2. Okay, I’m going to be blunt now.

            I did not place their importance lower, I just said I am more threatened by Nazis than by Antifa.

            You’re trying to claim that you don’t put more importance on what you are more threatened by than by what you are less threatened by? Really? The bigger threat isn’t more important to you?

            Your conclusion seems to be that, since I did not criticize them enough HERE

            My conclusion is based on how much soft-selling of Antifa you have done here. And how many of those posts were after you said, and I quote, “Sorry about the spam. Last post!”

            You haven’t even tried to refute the factual basis by which they are a greater threat (despite what you “feel”). Instead you present your feels as though they are a rebuttal. You want to say that given your posting history you don’t give quite a bit of headspace to that handful of pathetic losers.

            Tell it to the Marines, because the Air Force ain’t buying.

            Ironically, your reaction to the anti-Semitism seemed to be “are you sure it was anti-Semitism?”

            You tried to move the goalposts from actual Nazis to “anti-Semitism” and rather htan calling you out on that outright I simply asked you to define your terms. Rather than doing so you respond with faux-outrage.

            Then you talked about the Trump family. I made no reference about the administration or the Trump family and their relationship to Judaism.

            Since one of the things you objected to was the “timing” on Trump’s objection to “violence on all sides”, that’s a lie.

            you referenced a Palestinian slogan

            Because Liberals make such common cause with them.

            Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israeli sentiment are fundamentally intertwined but also not the same thing.

            And yet you couldn’t be bothered to define. your. terms. on your attempted goalpost change.

            From the start you have had nothing but “I feel” for any of your statements. You present your emotional response as though they are some reflection of reality. And you get offended when called on it.

            That is not debating, or even arguing, in good faith. You can either change tactics and proceed in good faith in debate in actual reality with well-defined terms (in which, “define what you mean by that” is an entirely valid question and not cause for outrage), or you can go away.

            I’m game either way.

          3. “I did not place their importance lower, I just said I am more threatened by Nazis than by Antifa.” Blink. Ooookaaaayyyyy…

          4. “You’re trying to claim that you don’t put more importance on what you are more threatened by than by what you are less threatened by? Really? The bigger threat isn’t more important to you?”

            What is more important: A single flea or a single ant? The folks who specifically want me dead are a bigger threat. Neither are significant enough for me to call them important.

          5. “What is more important: A single flea or a single ant? The folks who specifically want me dead are a bigger threat. Neither are significant enough for me to call them important.”

            Neither is a single flea or a single ant a threat, even if one of them specifically wants you dead.

  7. I didn’t realize that the natural progression of a conversation was a goalpost change. I say things that I think are important to be heard in a context where I think it is important to mention them. I did not say Trump was anti-Semitic. The implication from your article was that the criticism of Trump’s statement was about the ‘Nazi vs. Antifa’ issue. I thought it worth mentioning that there are other criticisms such as the timing and tone. I claimed not to have mentioned the Trump family AND their relationship to Judaism. I didn’t claim to not mention Trump OR Jews. I don’t see how I lied about that. I mentioned Trump because he made the statement. Separately I mentioned Jews and anti-Semitism.

    If there was every any trust between us it is gone. We are analyzing every word and assuming the worst. I certainly don’t feel victorious because this is not a game to be won or lost. We retreated to our assumptions and are all worse off for it. The conversation has failed, we have vilified another opponent so that we don’t have to consider their perspective.

    1. P.S.
      an·ti-Sem·i·tism
      ˌan(t)ēˈseməˌtizəm,ˌanˌtīˈseməˌtizəm/Submit
      noun
      hostility to or prejudice against Jews.

      For me, that includes chanting “Blood and Soil,” waving Nazi flags, the “Jewish Question,” destruction of grave-sites, vandalism of memorials, perpetuation of stereotypes, and all forms of violence.

        1. Also “for me”. Again with the feels.

          While I’m not a “blood and soil” person (I have posted on that topic before, in fact mostly following Chesterton’s observation that the US is the only nation founded on a creed and it’s adherence to that creed that makes one fundamentally American), that does not actually exclude Jewish people–people who have been here, have as much “blood and soil” as any of European ancestry. So you have to deal with whether the specific application of that term excludes Jews or not.

          1. “One would need to define what is meant by “anti-Semitism” to know how to respond to that since it seems to have a very slippery definition.”

            I gave you the dictionary definition and then I told you what it meant to me. You wanted me to tell you what it meant to someone else?

  8. The folks who specifically want me dead are a bigger threat.

    You see, here I base my threat on the ones more likely to actually cause me harm. I don’t really care what they “want” if they don’t have the power to carry it out.

    Antifa has far more ability to carry out its threats than do any “Nazis” in the US. End of story.

    That you “feel” otherwise is the exact degree to which your fear is irrational–by definition.

  9. I gave you the dictionary definition and then I told you what it meant to me.

    That you “feel” something fits the dictionary definition doesn’t make it so. I showed why “blood and soil” does not necessarily do so.

    But funny how I was willing to go with it and asked you to provide specific examples. You know, so we can discuss things in terms of concrete reality rather than your fuzzy feels. You seem to have ignored that part. Why is that?

    1. “Why is that?”

      Because I am exhausted at trying to “prove” my concern. I am not trying to convince you to be concerned. I am asking for a human connection where we care about each other and recognize that our perspective is not the only one. I don’t need for you to be more threatened by Nazis or talk more about Nazis. I had hoped that you might acknowledge that I am more threatened by Nazis and that anti-Semitism is more prevalent than many realize.

      Those in power want us to view each other cynically. That way every comment is an attack and every thought must be proven to an unachievable standard. We must stay tuned in so they can tell us all the new ways people are trying to trick us. I don’t support those in power so I try not to accept their terms.

      1. Because I am exhausted

        And yet, you keep posting. And how many of those posts were after you said, and I quote, “Sorry about the spam. Last post!”

        I am asking for a human connection where we care about each other and recognize that our perspective is not the only one.

        1) you are asking for what you are not willing to give.
        2) Reality is reality. A “perspective” based on false presumptions doesn’t become valid simply because of feels.

        I had hoped that you might acknowledge that I am more threatened by Nazis and that anti-Semitism is more prevalent than many realize.

        I acknowledge that you may feel more threatened. I don’t acknowledge that you are more threatened. And just because you believe that there are monsters under the bed doesn’t mean that there actually are monsters under the bed.

        You have been entirely resistant to take the argument out of your feels to a fact-based basis where we could look at actual instances and the prevalence thereof. If you’ve exhausted yourself talking about feels rather than facts, well, that’s on you. I’ve been trying to get a fact-based argument out of you from the beginning.

        1. I recognize that you are more concerned with Antifa and that you think I am disingenuous and unable to research and cite facts to support my position. I accept that when I mitigate a sentence because I studied mathematics and statistics, which gave me an appreciation for the rarity of absolutes, you view that as me dodging fact-based reasoning. I acknowledge that without knowing me, my interactions with Nazis, anti-Semites, or bigots, my proximity to the KKK, or my relationships with members of Antifa and their “ilk,” you decided that it is impossible for Nazis to be a greater threat to me than Antifa. You don’t even know what country I live in. Your fact-based argument is devoid of relevant facts. Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year. That is a fact. It does not tell me what level of threat malaria is to you.

          If you wanted to know about anti-Semitism, you could learn about it. If you want to keep feeling correct, just keep demanding that others educate you. That way, your lack of facts on anti-Semitism proves you right, but my failure to provide facts proves me wrong.

          1. I recognize

            Ah the old “I recognize that I’m right and you’re wrong” troll gambit. Simply asserting those things doesn’t make them so.

            You don’t even know what country I live in.

            Well, if you life in Saudi Arabia or somewhere I can see where anti-Semitism would be a problem. But if you don’t live in America, then Nazis in the US–which I have specified from the start–are even less threat to you.

            Do try to keep up.

            If you wanted to know about anti-Semitism, you could learn about it

            Ah, the old “Do your own homework” gambit beloved of trolls everywhere. And if I don’t come to the same conclusion as you, well, clearly I didn’t do enough homework[/sarc].

            Yeah. That’ll fly.

            just keep demanding that others educate you

            It’s called “supporting your claim.” You aren’t willing to do so. That pretty much tells the peanut gallery all they need to know.

            And how many posts is this after you said, and I quote, “Sorry about the spam. Last post!” Do you really think playing the “I’ll keep posting until he gets tired so I have the last word” is going to work on my blog?

            You are starting to bore me now. That is the cardinal sin. Arguing with me is not. Disagreeing with me, with actual arguments not simply assertions and contraditions (“No it isn’t!”) is not. Hel’s Misty Hall, provide those and I might actually change my mind. It’s happened before. However, treating “Argument Clinic” as a how-to instead of a comedy sketch is not the way to proceed.

            Boring me however, is unforgivable.

            And, right now, you seem to think “The Argument

          2. Do you really think playing the “I’ll keep posting until he gets tired so I have the last word” is going to work on my blog?

            *inserts Bugs Bunny “He don’t know me very well, do he?” clip*

  10. “Neither is a single flea or a single ant a threat, even if one of them specifically wants you dead.”

    Every person named Dawn that I have spoken to face-to-face thinks an ant is a bigger threat than a flea.

    1. So now you’re merging what Johann said and what I said to create a nonsensical sentence. Mm-hm.

      However, you have done a great job of showing that it’s a good thing we don’t base objective threat identification on what any particular person thinks.

      In going through the comments, I believe the conversation overall took a turn away from understanding when Johann brought up the threat to civil society, and you asked what that meant and then defined it yourself as a society in which the members are civil to each other. Since you received no other definition, you kept yours. What you are talking about is how you think Nazis are more of a threat to you personally. Everyone else is talking about what could damage society as a whole, whether the definition of “civil society” is, as I would state it, the underlying fabric of American society that creates civilization or, say, the Wikipedia definition, the “aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.” Since you’re talking micro and everyone else is talking macro, there’s no communication.

      Regardless, feel free to think that Nazis are more of a threat to you personally than Antifa while thinking both are as important to you as a single flea or ant.

  11. And of course lost in this is the fact that Antifa is doing its best to bring about a Nazi regime. Remember, one of the key factors in how the Nazis got popular backing in the last days of the Weimar Republic is that they looked like they could make the ongoing street fighting by all parties *stop* and bring stability back to Germany.

    So if the Antifa idiots keep going, sooner or later there will be someone in that position – a strong man on a horse who seems to be able to shut them down, and to whom people will flock. That doesn’t generally end well.

    As an aside, the hyperfocus that Antifa and related groups seem to have on identity politics is about the worst thing possible for Jews, given what tends to happen to us when that comes into primacy.

    1. Another thing to remember is that for groups like Antifa, it’s not enough to be in actual opposition. They’re very much “everyone who’s not with us is against us”. You have to be wholeheartedly and devoutly support them. It’s not enough to not oppose them. You simply have to not cheer loudly enough.

      It’s an old pattern being played out yet again.

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