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The Cathedral Interprets The Chicago Attack

Driving back from New Orleans today, I caught the beginning of the Weekend All Things Considered’s newscast. Host Michel Martin said that the show was going to devote the entire program to “violence, especially gun violence.” The first story of the broadcast was a three-minute piece in which Martin interviewed Chicago-based NPR correspondent Cheryl Corley about the horrific racist attack on the mentally disabled young white man, who was kidnapped and tortured in racially abusive terms by four young black people, who broadcast the attack on Facebook. Here’s a link to the story:

“Is something different now? Is there a sense in Chicago that there is something unique happening?” Martin asked Corley, about the city’s violence. They quickly got into the Facebook attack, which Martin introduced with this line:

“Just this week, four young adults were charged with attacking an acquaintance in a vicious beating that they livestreamed on social media.”

She also described it like this, in a question to Corley:

“Four young adults allegedly abducted an acquaintance of theirs, abused him terribly, and broadcast this on Facebook live, what are people saying about this?”

Incredibly, in talking about it, including an update from the bond hearing, Corley not once mentioned the fact that anti-white hate, and anti-Trump hate, was a key part of the crime — so much so that the state has filed hate crime charges against the four. The only thing Corley said about race was that the four defendants are “all African-Americans” — leaving aside the fact that the victim was white, and that both race and politics were central to the torture and abuse. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the bond hearing: [1]

“The victim is tied up then gagged. A sock is placed in the victim’s mouth and then his mouth is taped shut. The victim is forced back in to a corner,” [Assistant State’s Attorney Erin] Antonietti said. “One of the male defendants in the background can be hear yelling “F— Donald Trump” and “f— white people.” Hill uses a knife to slice off a chunk of the victim’s hair, cutting his head, then slicing at the sleeves of the victim’s sweatshirt as the man stares, terrified, at Hill, as laughing is heard from behind the camera.

“A male voice is heard saying ‘I don’t give a f— if he’s schizophrenic,’” Antonietti said. “A male shoves the victim’s face into a toilet bowl and the victim is told to drink toilet water.”

At some point during the ordeal, Antonietti said, Hill demanded $300 from the victim’s mother for the victim’s safe return.

To be fair, in its report Friday on the bond hearin [2]g, NPR was upfront about the race-hate aspect of the crime. It was bizarre to listen to today’s report, though, and to see the race-hate angle not even mentioned in passing. It’s as if they wanted only to talk about violence outside of the racial and political context, which is simply impossible in this particular case.

Steve Sailer notes the shocking/not-shocking case of The New York Times, whose editors have found a way to frame the crime not as anti-white or anti-Trump, but an example of bigotry against the disabled [3]. I could not bring myself to watch more than a few minutes of the video, but I am not aware that the alleged captors and torturers made mockery of the man’s schizophrenia part of their attack. The Times could have done a story on the phenomenon of violent attacks on Trump supporters — something that happened again and again during the campaign season. That would have been an obvious angle. Or the matter of black anti-white racism, which also exists. But no. Says Sailer, sardonically:

So, you have your marching orders, right? The video of blacks abusing a white kid has nothing to do with virulent prejudice against whites or Trump, it has to do with Society’s prejudice against the intellectually disabled minority.

Do you understand your mission?

As you know, it is a priori impossible for Victim-Americans to abuse American-Americans. So, the victim must have been a Victim-American.

 

Again, to be fair, the Times‘s report Thursday [4] highlighted the racial and political angle. The Times today ran an AP story [5] saying that anti-white hate crimes are a smaller percentage of overall hate crimes than anti-black hate crimes. Which I accept as true, but I am not aware that after alleged anti-black hate crimes, or even police shootings involving black victims, that the national media make a point of publishing stories downplaying the crime by pointing out their relative rarity among all violent crimes.

You expect lefty crackpot sites like Salon.com to come up with a ridiculous spin like this (that the Chicago crime was really about abuse against the disabled [6]), but the Times?

(That’s a joke.)

Earlier today in New Orleans, I had been having lunch with some friends, both liberals and conservatives. The issue of how so many Americans now don’t have much interest in truth (as distinct from believing what they want to believe) came up. Of course there was the matter of Trump’s dishonesty, but also the matter of the media’s ethics. I said that I read and subscribe to the Times mostly for the same reason Soviets used to read Pravda back in the day: to know what the Official Story the ruling class wishes to tell itself is. That’s not to say that the Times doesn’t feature excellent reporting and good writing; it does. But I don’t trust it to tell me the truth. I trust it to reveal to me the narrative that the greater part of the ruling class (minus the Republican elites) tells itself. That’s a useful thing to know, as long as you know that you’re only getting a take.

What’s interesting is that elite journalists largely lack the epistemic humility to understand what they’re doing. Do you think Michel Martin, Cheryl Corly, or anybody in the NPR newsroom who worked on today’s Chicago report were genuinely aware how their report would sound to someone who was not liberal?

The alt-right movement promotes many ideas, some of them stupid (e.g., the idea that the Chicago Facebook torture was the fault of Black Lives Matter), many of them bad, some of them evil. But the most true and useful thing it (or, to be precise, neoreaction, which is not exactly the same thing as the alt-right) has come up with is the concept of the Cathedral, defined like this: [7]

The Cathedral in a nutshell

  1. The Cathedral (aka the Clerisy, the Megaphone) is basically the Western world’s intellectual fashion industry. It consists of almost all of the respectable or even semi-respectable parts of the news media, the entertainment industry, and the softer social science and humanities parts of the education industry.
  2. Basic economic theory predicts that these industries should be diverse in their approaches to politically sensitive topics. Unlike the field of particle physics, political fashions are not significantly limited by reproducible scientific experiments. The market should be fragmented, and the various firms should specialize in appealing to different segments of the market.
  3. But this does not seem to be the case. Instead, the Cathedral seems much more homogeneous in its coverage of politically sensitive topics than it is in coverage of food, art, sports, religion, etc.
  4. The mechanism for this homogenization is not obvious. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Cathedral has no pope (although I read recently that Warren Buffet owns 71 newspapers, and the New York Times is owned in part by Carlos Slim, whose vast fortune has a lot to do with his special relationship with the Mexican government). One factor is that the credibility of a set of information sources depends on their being able to agree on a story (coordination games, the peloton effect, the parliament of clocks [8]). Another factor is self-dealing: people with high verbal skills tend to support a system of government that is controlled by people with high verbal skills, and once they control it, they tend to want it to be unlimited in scope. Another factor is self-selection: once an institution becomes dominated by members of a political movement, it tends to become unpleasant and career-limiting for anyone else to work there. Another factor is that the easiest way to write a newspaper story is to copy it from a politician’s press handout. To a considerable extent, these institutions are deliberately manipulated [9] by politicians (broadcast licensing, educational and research funding, journalistic access [10], selective leaking of secrets, etc., aka Gleichschaltung; in many cases, journalists are literally married to political operatives or are involved in “revolving door” relationships with the political institutions they write about, such as Jeff Immelt of GE, MSNBC and the Obama administration). But the two biggest factors are probably that (1) intellectuals are seduced by political power (the Boromir effect), and (2) these institutions are quasi-religious, and have taken on the peculiar characteristics of the dominant quasi-religion of the day.
  5. Three things make an intellectual movement quasi-religious: (1) the outputs that they produce are credence goods [11], (2) they provide a framework for competition for social status, and (3) this basis is insecure. The fact that credence goods are involved means that conflict about them will tend to be irrational. The fact that social status is involved, and that the basis for social status is insecure, means that this conflict will be relatively vicious, and will carry a strong odor of a witch hunt.
  6. The Cathedral is powerful partly because its relative homogeneity allows it to serve as a gatekeeper of politically relevant mass-market information and interpretation. But its real power comes from control of what ideas are associated with high status. Everyone thinks, “I’m my own man. I think for myself.” But unconsciously, people tend to copy the opinions of people who are one step above them on the social ladder. This was explained in the Cerulean Top [12] scene in The Devil Wears Prada.

It seems that the high-status thing to believe about the Chicago torture attack is that it was really about bias against disabled people. And by the way, on Sunday, the Times published a short interview with Michael Eric Dyson [13], the Georgetown sociology professor and black commentator, who advocates separate fees for equal service, based on race. Excerpt:

At the end of your sermon, you do a “benediction” section, in which you talk about making reparations on the local and individual level: donating to groups like the United Negro College Fund or a scholarship program, but also, to cite your example from the book, paying “the black person who cuts your grass double what you might ordinarily pay.” That gave me pause!

Good! I used to say in church, “If the sermon ain’t making you a little bit uncomfortable, it ain’t effective.” Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change; you’re engaging in convenience. You’re engaged in the overflow. I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.

I agree with reparations, but maybe this is my white privilege speaking: I can’t imagine actually doing that.

That is what I meant by an I.R.A.: an individual reparations account. You ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician — this is what you, an individual, conscientious, “woke” citizen can do.

Indulgences in our time, right there in the Cathedral’s parish bulletin.

UPDATE: Reader Kgasmart writes:

The Times frames the Chicago case this way specifically for the same reason the European media initially downplayed – or ignored – stories of those mass migrant rapes:

They don’t want to give the “haters” any breathing space.

That is, to be forthright about what happened gives the alt-right types the ability to say “See, we told you so!” The Times has its own narrative and will not give this competing, conservative, “hate” narrative any air.

But it’s inevitable that the truth will emerge. In which case the alt-right types are EVEN MORE empowered, because they can both point to events, and the media’s attempt to cover them up – “fake news” indeed.

The media is utterly destroying its credibility this way, but it’s more beholden to “tolerance” than it is the truth. And this is why it will die out, because when a business model built up on reporting the truth suddenly has a new primary goal – it can’t survive.

True. About a decade ago, as a working journalist, it became clear to me that when it came to some subjects, the media thought it’s job was more about managing the news than reporting it. If you read, for example, The New York Times as if we were the USSR and it was Pravda, you better understand its meaning. The comparison is certainly not one-to-one, but it’s closer than it ought to be.

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78 Comments To "The Cathedral Interprets The Chicago Attack"

#1 Comment By Art Deco On January 9, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

he is simply worse than BLM SJW race baiters as he spent the last eight years calling Obama the Affirmative Action President.

What’s wrong with that? When has anyone with a resume like BO’s been nominated as a major party Presidential candidate? Read the accounts of how his cabinet was chosen or how he makes decisions. He’s a simulacrum of an executive, not the real deal.

#2 Comment By Jim the First On January 9, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

Yep, white/black race issues in the US is just one of the narratives that the MSM ties itself into knots, sometimes hilarious (if tragic) ones, trying to push. Here are some others:

– Immigration
– Islamic terrorism
– LGBT issues
– Climate change
– Free trade
– Abortion

I’d be happy to be proved wrong about this, but at present, there appears to be nothing that the fourth estate won’t sacrifice on the altar of the narrative:

– journalistic principles
– truth
– scientific method
– reputation
– morals
– innocent third parties.

Sad.

#3 Comment By JonF On January 9, 2017 @ 1:15 pm

Re: When has anyone with a resume like BO’s been nominated as a major party Presidential candidate?

Abraham Lincoln? Who didn’t even make it as far as Senate? (Not that Obama = Lincoln– but Lincoln’s political resume was awfully slender– some time as a state legislator and one term in the House and a failed Senate candidate in 1858).

#4 Comment By JonF On January 9, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

Re: We fought a war, and now Welfare and Affirmative Action and Disparate Impact have grown beyond the ridiculous

Oh, good grief, welfare is color blind.

#5 Comment By JonF On January 9, 2017 @ 1:21 pm

Re: Obama’s justice department stopped publishing interracial crime statistics in 2008.

Not true. If you look at the FBI crime states there’s still a racial breakdown, as someone else also noted.
Here’s a link: [14]. (Note that there was a change as to how the stats were tabulated– but that happened in 2003)

#6 Comment By areff On January 9, 2017 @ 4:14 pm

Brilliant essay, Mr Dreher, but one thing needs to be noted about the transformation of the press from a body composed of those ostensibly devoted to the public’s right to know to a closed shop of operatives who believe it their moral duty to decide what the public needs to know: J-schools and their seminal role in the evolution (devolution?)of journalism from craft to “profession”.

Once, long ago, journalists were trained on the job to report the facts. If a cub reporter succumbed to a surfeit of enthusiasm for a cause, there were crusty, hard-boiled editors atop he or she to moderate the copy and content. Now those senior editors are themselves products of the same system, blind to the bias and groupthink that permeates every newsroom. True, this wasn’t always the case, as Walter Duranty demonstrated, but it remained the predominate meme of the industry.

Why the change?

Because the business of straight news reporting is dead simple and bestows very little cachet on its practioners: This happened, these people I’m quoting saw it happen and here is what they said. End of story.

Then came Watergate and the glamourisation of the humble newshound. Suddenly, reporting became the vehicle for achieving societal change and settling political scores. Hey, look over here, we just brought down a president! Wacko the diddlo, as we exclaim in Australia at moments of great delight. That Woodstein was being played by an aggrieved Mark Felt was to be ignored, as his agenda happened to coincide with the newsroom’s bloodlust for a despised Republican.

What changes to old-school journalism were deemed essential? Why, to propagate the passions and persuasions of the J-school professors and campus left, there being no longer an identifiable body of conservative opinion tolerated in the universities.

The result: rather than produce mere and un-sexy “fact stories” (“a disabled white man was yesterday kidnapped and allegedly tortured by four black teens shouting anti-Trump slogans”), the focus is on “issue stories” — hence the shameless spinning of the Chicago attack as an example of bias against the disabled. The “issue” is the newsrooms’ loathing of Trump and the goal is to make sure the rest of the population comes to share it.

Oh, and if you think media bias is bad in the US, you should see Australia, where by far the largest news organisation is the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (imagine PBS on steroids, but without even a pretense of balance), which boasts not a single centre or right-of-centre host, compere or analyst. They are all of the goat-cheese gobbling, well-heeled left, and and they hire each other while txpayers underwrite their mortgages and kids’ private school fees. Professional incest, anyone?

The to fix journalism is to ignore the J-schools and their cookie-cutter human output. But it won’t happen; it’s far too late and the cancer has gone far too deep.

Traditional news organisations are dying. That’s sad, but death is what they deserve.

#7 Comment By SEATAF On January 9, 2017 @ 5:34 pm

These lines–

“I trust it to reveal to me the narrative that the greater part of the ruling class (minus the Republican elites) tells itself. That’s a useful thing to know, as long as you know that you’re only getting a take. What’s interesting is that elite journalists largely lack the epistemic humility to understand what they’re doing.”

“About a decade ago, as a working journalist, it became clear to me that when it came to some subjects, the media thought it’s job was more about managing the news than reporting it. ”

–are especially good.

#8 Comment By Art Deco On January 9, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

Abraham Lincoln? Who didn’t even make it as far as Senate? (Not that Obama = Lincoln– but Lincoln’s political resume was awfully slender– some time as a state legislator and one term in the House and a failed Senate candidate in 1858).

Lincoln had a hardscrabble agrarian upbringing, was largely self-educated, and was a working lawyer for 23 years. BO spent (pro-rating seasonal and p/t labor, about 4 years working in law offices and never built a practice of his own. Very few of our chief executives have had their mettle tested by mundane life in the way Lincoln’s was – Andrew Jackson perhaps, Andrew Johnson perhaps.

#9 Comment By Art Deco On January 9, 2017 @ 6:32 pm

Cannot help but notice you had to reach back 150 years to find even a superficial example.

#10 Comment By Ken’ichi On January 9, 2017 @ 9:17 pm

>>kgasmart

But it’s inevitable that the truth will emerge. In which case the alt-right types are EVEN MORE empowered, because they can both point to events, and the media’s attempt to cover them up – “fake news” indeed.

The media is utterly destroying its credibility this way, but it’s more beholden to “tolerance” than it is the truth. And this is why it will die out, because when a business model built up on reporting the truth suddenly has a new primary goal – it can’t survive.

Tell that bit about the inevitable victory of truth to [15] and his “horse”.

#11 Comment By Eric V Hutchins On January 10, 2017 @ 12:47 am

This is not my first comment on this article. My first was directed to Rod personally as is this. It is a public comment and other readers may express their opinions. I observe: You did not know about the young man who had been sadistically sodomized with the foreign object. You probably didn’t know about this story, either. You may depend upon it, sir, Lefties are not the only ones who live in bubbles.
[16] Read the whole thing. You remark in your post in response to Meryl Streep’s speech that the left is trying to demonize all white people. Blacks of course have argued that some white people, not all, demonize black people. I propose that you give some thought to the following. Some white people are demons. Some black people are demons. The demonic is not typically a derivative feature of the race of the person in whom you may see it. Or, as once was noted in a book with which you may have some familiarity, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Some have even done such evil that one would think they had voluntarily enlisted in the adversary’s cause. One can, without exaggeration, call such evildoing demonic. Be not deceived. No group has a monopoly on this kind of depravity. If it is reprehensible anywhere, it should be reprehensible everywhere.

#12 Comment By DEEBEE On January 10, 2017 @ 5:05 am

Eric vV H
You sound like a person complaining of his conviction of adulterating chicken meat. “Well it was only a 1% contamination. I only put one horse’s meat in 99 chickens”

Oh! And your assumption of people now t have no seen the linked story speaks more to you ur ignorance feigned or otherwise.

#13 Comment By JonF On January 10, 2017 @ 6:29 am

Re: Cannot help but notice you had to reach back 150 years to find even a superficial example.

A mere eye-blink in time: the lives of two old people, end to end.If you read this blog regularly people will reach much farther back in time than that to illustrate a point. Rod occasionally writes pieces pointing to the Middle Ages. And my example does decisively refute your point.

#14 Comment By JonF On January 10, 2017 @ 6:30 am

Re: Lincoln had a hardscrabble agrarian upbringing, was largely self-educated, and was a working lawyer for 23 years.

Which is perfectly irrelevant to politics– and was shared by probably 90% of the population at the time.

#15 Comment By Meredith Dixon On January 10, 2017 @ 7:40 am

>Abraham Lincoln? Who didn’t even make it as far as Senate?

In Lincoln’s time, the House was far more prestigious than the Senate, since the Senate was not yet elected directly.

#16 Comment By M-Pete On January 10, 2017 @ 8:42 am

A bit of a correction here: the “Cathedral” isn’t an Alt-Right term. It’s a Neoreaction term. Neoreaction (often referred to as the Dark Enlightenment) shares many ideas with the Alt-Right, and served as something of a proto-Alt-Right before it had a label. Many within the Alt-Right will tell you that they passed through Neoreaction on their way to the Alt-Right.

“So what?” you might ask. “What’s the significance of slicing the salami so thin?” Well, the concept of the Cathedral was developed by Mencius Moldbug, nom de plume of Curtis Yarvin. Or as the Alt-Right would call him, (((Curtis Yarvin))).

See, Moldbug has some Jewish ancestry (one parent, I believe), and as such he’s not welcome on the antisemitic Alt-Right. Neoreaction, as far as I can tell, is free of the explicit white nationalism, racism, and antisemitism found on the Alt-Right. However, I do think that if you find the views of, say, John Derbyshire to be intolerably racist, you’re not going to like Neoreaction. The SPLC would probably conclude that Neoreaction is a hate group… although I don’t advise you should put stock in the conclusions of people who think that a cartoon frog is racist.

Anyway, the Alt-Right, being antisemitic, concludes that associating Christian imagery with the Left’s power structure is another wily trick by (((you know who))), even if (((they))) have correctly identified the problem. I’ve seen the Alt-Right call the same concept the Synagogue, although I don’t see that term being mainstreamed by those who want to be accepted into polite society. So I guess we’re stuck with labeling an evil power structure with the seat of Catholic power, which the Alt-Right will tell you is what (((they))) want.

#17 Comment By Joshua Chamberlain On January 10, 2017 @ 9:22 am

Mr. Hutchins, are you aware of the Wikipedia article on the Meghan Williams case?

“In October 2009, Williams recanted many of the accusations, including the accusation that the attack was racially motivated, against five of the defendants.”

[17]

#18 Comment By Joshua Chamberlain On January 10, 2017 @ 9:30 am

Rod, you focus too much on kooks like Mencius Moldbug. The “alt right” is really the VDARE guys: Peter Brimelow, Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire.

#19 Comment By J T On January 10, 2017 @ 10:11 am

Talking about someone’s experience outside of politics is 100% relevant to comparing two different candidates. Lincoln started from nothing, and built a very successful legal practice (and no, “90%” did not have anything close to this type of background). Obama was given every advantage growing up, and built … nothing.

Lincoln wrote his own speeches, including the still amazing Copper Union Address which made him, and which will be studied as long there is a USA. Obama probably didn’t even write his own ‘auto-biography’ and had to use a teleprompter to deliver someone else’s lines.

As one counter point, I’ll admit that Lincoln had to overcome competent, accomplished rivals for the nomination (Seward and Chase especially), whereas Obama only had Clinton and Edwards as competition.

Your example does not hold up to the slightest scrutiny.

#20 Comment By Suburbanbanshee On January 10, 2017 @ 10:13 am

JonF – 90% of the population put in 23 years of lawyering? Um….

Lincoln was a known character with a long civic record, who managed to widen people’s knowledge of him through expressing the views of the new Republican Party in a winning and memorable way. He also engaged in a long series of national debates with Stephen Douglas. By the time he was elected, people knew what they had.

The idea that political office is all that counts is weird.

If it makes you feel better, lawyers are officers of the court.

#21 Comment By submandave On January 10, 2017 @ 10:31 am

“You can’t handle the truth.”

The idea that the “common man” can’t understand the nuance of the truth drives a lot of the gatekeeper role Kgasmart speaks of. It’s why every Muslim terrorist attack is first reported and investigated and deeply analyzed from every angle possible before even the possibility that the Arab man named Mohammad who follows the ISIS twitter stream might possibly have been religiously motivated. They consider themselves so much the intellectual and social superior of the “common man,” that in their mind it is impossible for the “common man” to hear the truth and not rush out and start indiscriminately attacking everyone they suspect might be Muslim.

As Kgasmart points out, though, the real effect is a loss of confidence and, I believe, an even greater threat of a real major problem. All those elites who fear the eternally predicted but never materializing anti-Muslim backlash fail to see that their pandering and unwillingness to seriously and frankly address the issue as it currently is simply emboldens and escalates the efforts and goals of the terrorists. My fear has always been pussyfooting around the problem until they finally realize the goal of detonating a nuclear device in an American city, a situation under which I can envision a real backlash happening.

#22 Comment By Lori On January 10, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

“That’s not to say that the Times doesn’t feature excellent reporting and good writing; it does. But I don’t trust it to tell me the truth.”

How can it be excellent reporting, if it’s not the truth?

[NFR: Depends on the subject. — RD]

#23 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 10, 2017 @ 1:14 pm

Traditional news organisations are dying. That’s sad, but death is what they deserve.

My home town daily newspaper has been doing some excellent exposes on slumlords gaming the system to evade fines and enforcement while buying more properties and charging exorbitant rents, led the charge against secret last-minute closed-door efforts to repeal or dilute open records laws… I’m watching to see if the parent company’s purchase by Gannett leads to evisceration of the staff that produce this excellent work, in which case I cancel my subscription.

#24 Comment By JonF On January 10, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

Re: JonF – 90% of the population put in 23 years of lawyering?

No, 90% of the population spent most of their life toiling in obscure jobs like that of one sort or another (including farming). Lincoln’s lawyering was nothing that brought him to national prominence. It allowed him to be well enough known locally in Springfield (a not very big city, even by contemporary standards) to gain a seat in the Illinois legislature– but that same body also featured other people from bourgeois professions, and even some prosperous farmers.
To the extent that Lincoln had any sort of national reputation it arose solely from his debates with Douglas– a mere two years before the election of 1860. A few people may have heard of his vote against the Mexican War when he was in Congress, but that would not have been something that disposed very many favorably to him (and it has a modern analogue in Obama’s vote against the Iraq War, though that had a somewhat larger audience for acceptance especially after the business became a five star fiasco).

Re: The idea that political office is all that counts is weird.

The poster I replied to was the one who defined those terms by asking about Obama’s political resume. There are many things that do not go on resumes– I am far prouder of certain non-resume items in my life (and I mean items that would have no place of a resume) than of anything I would put on such a document. With a touch of arrogance perhaps, I will even say those things point more to the my virtues than where I went to school or who I worked for in what role at what salary.

Over all the country got very, very lucky in Mr. Lincoln. An inexperienced nobody from nowhere whose major skill was exactly the lawyer’s skill of being a good with words was elected and we got not an empty-suited con-man (as lawyers sometimes prove to be) but a highly capable, albeit also mortal and flawed, man who gave us just what we needed at the time. But that was luck. Lincoln was not a Washington, Adams, Jefferson or even a Jackson. We had to elect him to discover what he could do. Or maybe Bismark was right and God really does (did?) look out for drunks and the United States of America.

#25 Comment By Eric V Hutchins On January 10, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

DEEBEE, the point that I attempted to make, perhaps with insufficient clarity, was that neither white nor black Americans have a monopoly on crimes of this sort. I will not offer a Tu Quoque defense of the reprehensible. I may send some reading material to Mr. Dreher which speaks to the issue I tried to address. Mr. Chamberlain, I was unaware of the article. I read it. The article states that most of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. The case was supported by physical evidence that a jury found convincing. I do understand that in many cases like this in the history of this country people have been “encouraged” to withdraw accusations. Those who plead guilty have not recanted their pleas. Please inform me if they have. Thank you for the reference.

#26 Comment By education realist On January 11, 2017 @ 12:13 am

“The “alt right” is really the VDARE guys: Peter Brimelow, Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire.”

That’s goofy. The alt right is a very fringe group that seeks separation of the races. Jared Taylor and Richard Spence.

Then there’s a loud, obnoxious group that Milo and disenchanted guys belong to, many of them young, many of them disgusted by PC. I know more than one of them, and they enjoy yammering racist tripe, even as they have black, Hispanic, gay, or immigrant buddies (some of whom are also in the same groups). They are stupid and offensive, but they aren’t seeking segregation. They are aggressively violating social norms to make the left and other PC establishment folk unhappy.

Steve, VDare, and the Derb belong to neither of those groups. VDare isn’t alt right. It wants less immigration. The Derb isn’t alt right. Nor is Steve Sailer. Both of them have relatively mild politics and are uninterested in racial separation or anti-Semitism.

Yes to whoever above said that The Cathedral was first a term of neoreaction. In fact, I first thought “alt-right” was just the new term for neoreaction or the dark enlightenment. Steve, John (and I) are not of either of those “groups”, either, although we’ve all been adopted.

#27 Comment By Hrant On January 11, 2017 @ 8:33 am

Where is Meryl Streep now?

#28 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 11, 2017 @ 4:46 pm

When we have to argue about “no true alt-right” or who is the REAL alt-right, the term has already lost any objective meaning it may once have had.