Free Speech

On Hypocrisy

So I’ve been a follower of the Why Evolution is True for quite some time now.  I’ve even met Jerry Coyne, got my book signed by him and sat right beside him at a brunch event on the topic of free will.  Seemed like a nice enough guy.  I’ve made some comments on his blog on various posts over the years but they are generally quite few and far between.  That was, until yesterday.  I’ve contravened the rigorously enforced “roolz” of the language police and have now been banned from here


The apparent thread that set it all off started at comment number 23.  I’ll let you read it through and decide for yourself.   Apparently telling someone who brings up the electoral college and the popular vote (a year and a half after the election) that they’re just engaging in sour grapes is a grave insult.  I encourage you to read through the rest of the post and you’ll find instances of “insults” being leveled at other people.  Didn’t see any warnings issued to those people.  I suspect it was because of my political stance (I’m not a rabid, mouth-frothing Trump-hater like almost everyone else in the forum) although he denies it.
This was the thread that broke the camel’s back apparently and got me banned:

Jerry Coyne banned

Now, this wouldn’t really be that big a deal if it wasn’t for the fact that he routinely posts stories on his blog, decrying the suppression of free speech on University campuses.  It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if he didn’t say the following about John Haught after a public debate the two of them had in which Haught tried to get the video of the event suppressed:
“I am deeply angry about this stand, and can see only one reason for what Haught has done: cowardice. He lost the debate; his ideas were exposed for the mindless theological fluff that they were; and I used his words against him, showing that even “sophisticated” theology, when examined under the microscope of reason, is just a bunch of made-up stuff, tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ”

Apparently calling a man a coward and telling him that his ideas are mindless fluff told by an idiot is perfectly fine and not insulting in any way.  (Ironically, I completely agree with everything Jerry said.  I’ve watched the debate and I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything that John Haught said.  Gibberish from start to finish as far as I could tell.)   However don’t you dare direct any insults towards him or even his readers because the language police will ban you!

I don’t have a right to post on anyone’s blog.  I never claimed that I did.  The only thing I have done, is point out that for a a man that claims to be in favour of free speech, he quite plainly doesn’t practice what he preaches.

And that’s why he’s a complete and total Hypocrite.


19 thoughts on “On Hypocrisy

    • Thanks Mak. Did you go to the site and read through the exchange between myself and Jerry as well as other threads? Am I wrong? Is there something I am missing? Am I being needlessly cantankerous?
      I don’t see how he can get away from the charge of being a hypocrite, can you?


      • I have now read the thread.
        First I disagree with almost everyone on that thread including your comments about Churchill.
        America and Americans must stop lecturing people about nuclear weapons. They are the only ones to have used such weapons anyway and two they almost brought a catastrophe on African soil during their support for the apartheid SA regime.
        I know of no country that NK has ousted their leader. The US government has.
        On your being moderated, I see no sense in it.


        • So I’ll make some clarifications about this. I’m an admirer of Churchill. When the entire continent of Europe buckled under and to the pressure of the might of the Nazi war machine, when no one did anything about it, including the USA, Britain and Churchill were the only ones to stand up and say “NO, Fuck you!” to the Nazi’s. Eventually the US finally came around but not until the cold hard reality that you can’t remain isolated forever.
          I believe that the use of the atomic bombs against Japan were absolutely the correct decision, with the only caveat being I think they should have targeted military rather than civilian targets. The reasoning behind my opinion has to do with the particular ferocity and desperation with which the war in the Pacific theatre was fought. Looking through the famous island battles, we see a fanatical Japanese army, determined to fight to the death, to the last man. No food, no ammo, no matter. Charge the enemy with your bayonets and get mown down. No surrender. 90-95% casualties (fatalities). An attack on the Japanese mainland would have been horrendous and might well have resulted in the complete destruction of the entire country with almost the entire population wiped out.
          That being said, the US is no angel and they’ve done numerous stupid and criminal things in their history. On balance, I think they are a force for good in the world. Their winning the cold war was the greatest thing any country could have ever done to propel the idea of human freedoms and individual rights and responsibilities.
          Had I moderated your comment or threaten you with such, how would we be able to discuss this? I don’t see any sense in that either.


          • The two wars were European tribal wars they should have found ways of dealing with them. Churchill was among other qualities a horrible human being. Used chemical weapons in Russia.
            I don’t think there would be any justification for using an atom bomb.
            I don’t think the US is a force for good. They are not any different from Britain with her imperial ambitions colonizing almost everywhere they could. On the contrary, the cold war represents just how absurd the thinking of US leaders are. They put blockades on Cuba simply because it was a communist regime. No, America doesn’t promote human rights. It pays lip service to it.


          • I consider your thinking on this matter extremely myopic and hopelessly naïve. I find it rather telling when people tell me that Churchill was a terrible human being, citing past misdeeds, while completely ignoring the fact that it was him alone who stood up to the Nazi terror in Europe. Saying “they should have found other ways of dealing with them” (the Nazi’s) is as lazy as it is ignorant. The Nazis advanced, unimpeded almost immediately from Hitler’s election in 1933 to the point where, by Aug 31, 1939, they had 1/3 of Europe under it’s control at gunpoint, while the entire fucking world sat back and watched it happen. The “other ways of dealing with them” clearly didn’t work. It took 6 years of all out viscous warfare and millions of people dead, to convince them of their folly.
            I just gave you a justification for using the bomb. The emperor Hirohito was steadfast in his refusal to surrender, buttressed by a majority of Japanese military commanders. It was not until the bombs were dropped that the Emperor realized that there was no hope of winning the war. This was still opposed by some military personnel that wanted to fight on, to the last man if necessary. No amount of dreaming and wishing would have changed the situation.
            The blockades of Cuba “simply” because it was a communist regime is also hopelessly naïve and ignorant. Have you ever heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Do you have any knowledge of the terrors and horrors of Communism?


            • Yes, I have heard of the Cuban missile crisis and I know the reasons it got to that point. Had the Russians not sent their missiles, Cuba would have been blown to smitherens. So I make no apologies for that.
              Terrors and horrors of communism? Yes. How are they different from the smart bombs, drones and what notes that keep killing civilians everyday?
              Call me naive or myopic. But I think this applies to you more than anyone else. But I don’t think that’s how you want us to proceed with this discussion.


              • You’ve got that exactly backwards. The missiles were shipped from the Soviet Union to Cuba, THEN the Cuban Missile crisis began. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion was the pretext used to ship the missiles there, to prevent future invasions. The US has been the world’s most eminent nuclear super power for 70 years. If they would have wanted to blow up the world, they could have done it 20 times over by now. I notice they have not done that. Castro was perfectly willing to sacrifice every single person in Cuba to repel an invasion by the US. In other words, the US would have been hurt but not destroyed and Cuba would have been completely annihilated. There goes your “self defense” theory flying out the window. These are the actions of an ideological madman, not someone concerned about the welfare of his people or his country.
                Are trying to suggest that drone killing of military targets (i.e. Taliban leaders, ISIS leaders, etc) with civilian collateral damage is the moral equivalent of Stalin’s Red Purge or Mao’s Great Leap Forward? Yes. I most certainly will call you naïve and hopelessly ideological. If you don’t think the US is a force for good in the world or is a great example of liberty and freedom, I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to other world governments, most of which are run by thugs and tyrants.


                • Hopelessly ideological? What ideology? You, mate, are hopelessly deluded. The US has been planting those tyrants or supporting them anyway. If that is being a force for good, I would rather be called naive.
                  I think you have got your history wrong. Any country has the right to protect itself from outside aggression or so goes international treaties. There is no where that treaty says the US can attack any nation it so desires, even though it has done so. Cuba was justified in forging partnership with whoever they saw fit. Besides America had missile defence in Turkey next door to Russia. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander, is that not what they say?


  1. That’s interesting that this happened to you; it just happened to me!

    I usually don’t comment of WEIT but a long time commentator Dianne MacPherson (sp?) got her facts wrong about her government (she’s Canadian) and claimed the Governor General was a just a figurehead and agreed with Coyne that maintaining a foreign head of state was a sign of national immaturity. So I corrected her and then offered a better understanding of why such a system doesn’t lead to ‘immaturity’ at all, which she took to be rude and delivered in a snooty tone. Granted, my tone did take a turn for the worse when I had to then correct her intentional misquote of what I wrote, and then deal with her intentional misunderstanding of my explanation! neither of these are considered rude enough by the blog host Coyne, to insist on ‘Da Roolz” to moderate her, of course. But she stuck to her counter-factual opinion about the GG being only a ceremonial figure so I took her to task again and blamed her lack of a education in civics as the possible reason for maintaining a factually incorrect opinion. She then claimed this was an ad hominem attack, a rude and snooty tone that offended her. Sure enough, Coyne entered the exchange and told me to apologize to her or be banned. That she was factually wrong, intentionally deceitful about my comments, and demonstrated a refused to correct her mistakes was beside the point, I guess. What mattered most to Coyne was that my tone had to be less offensive (I seriously don’t know how my tone could be held to be offensive when encountering someone determined to hold a factually incorrect opinion and misrepresent what and how I said anything, but hey). So I did apologize for my tone but that I held greater esteem for respecting what’s true than I did concern for the hurt feelings of someone who doesn’t like to be corrected or questioned when factually wrong.

    Later, I thought about the allure of using if not PoMo ideology to avoid responsibility for one’s opinions then certainly the tools of its trade. Even many classical liberals like Coyne are becoming more and more concerned with the snowflake feelings of his ‘allies’ and then hiding behind ‘Da Roolz’ as if these and not he carries out exactly the same execrable actions of censorship and social shaming that identifies a card carrying Regressive Leftist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So have you been banned or merely relegated to moderation status? I find it rather hypocrital of a man to resort to such tactics while claiming to be a supporter of free speech. I guess there’s not much left to the imagination as to what if he would do if he had the power is there?


      • I think he’s getting old and lazy and forgetting that when principle and practice clash, as Enlightenment thinkers – as supporters of classical liberalism, that is to say – we have an ethical and primary duty in spite of personal discomfort to uphold and support the principle.

        I don’t know if I’m still under moderation; my apology was and then posted but I haven’t tried since. My disappointment in Coyne – a man whose principles and opinions usually aligned with my own – is now vast, I have to say. But I also better understand how easily any of us can be tempted to use the culture of offence to not have to face up and be held accountable to maintaining a higher ethical or intellectual standard. In other words, PoMo thinking is all too easy to fall back upon rather than do the critical work necessary to respect what’s true always. There’s probably an aspect of giving in to temptation to use brawn rather than brains when it’s so easy to use on a blog to ‘resolve’ anything quickly. In real life, we don’t usually stick our fingers in our ears and claim we can’t hear anything and think well of ourselves for doing so because we know immediately we’re behaving immaturely and that’s really what such censoring and banning is: an immature response to commentary we don’t want to have to address as a grown up.


        • I went for a walk with my dog yesterday afternoon (lasted about 45 min), just a short while after all this went down. I spent a good portion of the time dwelling on this and thinking about it. I questioned myself, had some doubts, etc but couldn’t bring myself to believe that I had done anything so profoundly terrible that it warranted this kind of reaction. I don’t recall feeling any anger or really much else other than disappointment. Profound, gut-wrenching disappointment. Maybe even a tinge of betrayal and heartbreak. I just had bigger expectations.
          Oh well. I’ve unsubscribed to WEIT for now, but I think I might end up going back. I used to get too many email from that site anyways and about 80% of them are of no interest to me. Food and animals and such. He has the odd good one, about university shenanigans but it’s hard for me to take those kinds of posts seriously now, knowing what I know and having been treated the way I was treated.
          Who knows, maybe some day he’ll come around.


  2. The sales pitch about presenting the US to be equivalent in behaviour and therefore equivalent in virtue to other despotic and corrupt nations is one thing; people like Noam Chomsky have been especially effective convincing people – partiocularly those who who wish to shroud themselves in inherited guilt for their privilege to be raised in a secular liberal democracy – who should know better that this equivalency is legitimate when it’s obviously not in reality.

    But it’s quite another to actually supplant reality with this artificial and highly negative false equivalency construct under PoMo ideology and then act on it as if true. Its not just foolishness but a very real danger to secular liberal democracies themselves and serves only anti-Enlightenment advocates and those who wish to implement their version of PoMo ideology on history to justify imposing the ideology on their neighbour, insert a faux-history that favours the ideology in place of reality itself that stands in opposition to it.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rise of the Regressive Left mirrors the rise of Noam Chomsky-ian popularity busy rewriting history to match the false equivalency as well as today’s drones who continue to chant this packaged mantra of equivalency. That is what Mak is doing… hitting all the important guilt-laden buttons as if these justified the PoMo opinion about power, painting the world to be about victims and victimizers. Mak has demonstrated this using the same talking points as if they legitimately informed a critical counter opinion when all it really is is regurgitating the PoMo ideology through revisionist history. It’s turtles all the way down and we can recognize the turtles whenever we encounter the language necessary to sell it: when ‘black’ is not opposite to ‘white’ and in opposition to it but according to PoMo ideology they are equivalent colours… really, the same… just a slightly different kind of white, you see. Not oppositional. Not contrary. Not different at all. Equivalent. That’s the Big Lie that turns people’s critical faculties to mush. This is exactly how one rewrites history to make villains just another kind of hero, you see, and heroes just another kind of villain. And it’s all so damn easy to fall into because it requires no work yet seems to be reasonable when it is not.


  3. When people from anywhere need to relocate to build a more secure life with greater opportunity and personal safety, people do not flock to a Nazi Germany, a communist Russia, an East Germany, a China, or a Cuba. This fact alone demonstrates beyond doubt that there is no equivalency in reality between these systems of government and those found in the West. People the world over know there is a significant difference between secular liberal democracies and all other despotic forms of government. They just don’t want to admit it if it means having to seriously think about why this is so.

    It’s so much easier to simply wave the intellectual wand and pretend no such difference is true in reality because then one has to figure out what those differences really are, why these differences irrevocably alter the understanding of why certain actions were carried out and why the justification for them makes all the difference when the results can be seen to cause suffering. And when presented with the talking point list of ‘crimes’ carried out by secular democracies framed only by the ideology of victim and victimizer, then it’s even harder. It’s so much easier to go along with false equivalency model championed by PoMo ideologues and claim the knife wielding criminal is equivalent to the scalpel wielding surgeon because – oh look – the cuts make people bleed. Surgeons are just as bad, you see, as any other criminal. The criminal – under this imposed PoMo framing – is really an equivalent surgeon, you see, but a surgeon of a different kind.

    It’s all such disappointing bullshit when it comes from minds perfectly capable of seeing through the PoMo bullshit.


  4. Mak said: Hopelessly ideological? What ideology? You, mate, are hopelessly deluded. The US has been planting those tyrants or supporting them anyway. If that is being a force for good, I would rather be called naive. I think you have got your history wrong. Any country has the right to protect itself from outside aggression or so goes international treaties. There is no where that treaty says the US can attack any nation it so desires, even though it has done so. Cuba was justified in forging partnership with whoever they saw fit. Besides America had missile defence in Turkey next door to Russia. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander, is that not what they say?

    Tildeb said:
    Mak, do you know anything about the Monroe Doctrine, why it was introduced, when it came into effect, its history on European expansion, it’s extension into the Pacific, why it was used, why it’s a justification to action in comparison to reacting to European real politik actions in the Western hemisphere?Certainly Khrushchev knew the risk he was raising but he carried on anyway and learned an important lesson about how real politiks works in reality here in the Western hemisphere: stay the fuck out or be prepared for war. Every. Time. In friendly countries and hostile ones. The US mobilized for invasion of Canada as recently as 1970 because of French meddling. But you will also notice that the US military is not used as a bludgeon to enforce the US dominance that makes all countries in the rest of the Western Hemisphere suzerain to it. That’s simply a brute fact of economics. But it’s also a force that can be called upon even by close allies like Canada from the US. For such a ‘bully’ nation, why on earth would people so easily forget that NORAD itself is under the command of Canadians half the time? That’s like Russia inviting Ukraine to head up its military or China asking Tibet to lead its air defense systems. I mean, seriously, there is no equivalency you are trying to justify.

    Do you know anything about the Berlin airlift? Greek revolution? Do you know about the Warsaw Pact? Do you know about the political role of the Bomark missiles? Do you appreciate that many countries threatened by Soviet expansion and destabilization refused to carry them, which caused a serious problem approaching a crisis with NATO coherence? The US did not equivalently overthrow governments to get their missiles in place. I mean, seriously, these points you raise are so shallow in depth of understanding that perhaps even you don’t recognize just how thinly veiled is the motivating ideology to paint the US and the West with the same totalitarian and despotic brush that real world despots and real world totalitarian Dear Leaders rightly deserve. What you doing is furthering this gross distortion about victim and victimizer ideology and applying it irresponsibly to a shared history in order to revise it in favour of the ideology. The problem is, such revisionism is not the creative force to understanding today’s real world; it’s an artificial construct that interferes with that real world understanding of how things have come to be.

    The important point here is that to mitigate and perhaps even solve real problems requires an understanding of those real world problems. What PoMo ideology does is make this task next to impossible because it directly impedes this fundamental requirement to gain a good understanding first. It’s like claiming that polio properly understood is really a Western virus and the West’s attempts to eradicate it are really a plot to gain political power to make the East submit. Victims and victimizers, you see. The framing of the actual problem itself – the virus and how to stop it – morphs this reality into a model, a construct, an ideology that magically turns attempts to treat the virus into an equivalent kind of political interference as any other. The ideology requires people to go along with this reframing – using the suffering of real people in real life as these justified the framing necessary to create the false equivalency. PoMo ideology itself is a major problem that impedes the real world attempts to eradicate a deadly virus, impedes an in-depth understanding of real world problems and resists real world solutions to real world problems. Post Modern ideology is the Magical Kingdom and those who spend time there are being foolish if they think it reflects the real world or offers any real solutions to it.


  5. No, the US didn’t have any hand in installing the tyrannical communist regimes that infected so much of Asia and other parts of the world. That is a profoundly breaking taking display of historical ignorance that you should be completely ashamed of. They fought a 40 year cold war with the USSR, coming to the brink of all out Nuclear warfare – which the USSR was prepared to initiate because of a submarine being depth charged with signaling charges and 2 of the 3 officers in charge were in favour of launching the nuclear missile they had on board, unbeknownst to the Americans. The lone hold out is likely the reason that 1/2 the world hasn’t had to dig itself out of the ashes of a nuclear holocaust.
    The US fought wars in Korea and in Vietnam to prevent the spread of communist ideology as well as the Bay of pigs invasion in Cuba, all of which were unsuccessful. And because of that, the inhabitants of those respective countries have had to live in a tyrannical, authoritarian shit hole for decades.
    But if you think communism isn’t such a bad idea, may I suggest moving to Cuba or North Korea or Vietnam or China and finding out for yourself? You can compare the relative lifestyles of each country and then see how you make out. By the way, kiss talking to your blogging friends goodbye while you’re there, because it almost certainly won’t be allowed (say N Korea) or would be subject to government surveillance.


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