An admission, if indirect
Posted by aogTuesday, 26 December 2006 at 06:55 TrackBack Ping URL

Orrin Judd writes “The need to feel oneself in control of events is the signal characteristic of the Left—little wonder they think that their (our) actions control the wogs” which is a theme I have hit on multiple times. Of course, OJ seems to think exactly this, for example in this post about election turnout in Iran.

P.S. That last post gets bonus points for the quote

Facts just kinda bounce off you don’t they?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Jeff Guinn Thursday, 28 December 2006 at 05:11

Also interesting in those exchanges was OJ’s assertion that US voter turnout is low because the competing parties are so similar.

OK, fine.

What, then, to make of the fact that all the Iranian candidates are vetted by the Supreme Council (or whatever the name of the group that ensures candidates hew closely to Islamic Revolutionary principles).

That would be like having an election where every candidate was hand picked by Howard Dean.

Speaking of pesky facts.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 28 December 2006 at 10:57

But OJ is fine with exactly that sort of mechanism, the only important thing is that such machinery be run by an Abrahamic religion. In his view, as far as I can see, the only thing wrong with the Central Committee of the USSR was the staffing.

pj Thursday, 28 December 2006 at 11:23

AOG - I don’t know how to explain oj’s peculiar beliefs, but it’s probably a similar mechanism to that which causes the left to deny unpalatable realities. In oj’s case, his loyalty to humor, the third way, and majoritarianism may cause him to reject realities in which humorous mockery is not the right response, and old-fashioned remedies are needed. He seems to identify with leading politicians, e.g. Bush and McCain, and only advocates positions he deems politically realistic for them. Thus, when a majority turned against Iraq, oj became adamant that power had to be turned over to Iraqis and U.S. troops withdrawn. With the prospect of all-out war against Iran exceedingly unpopular, he has to believe in the alternative of non-military regime change.

It’s quite unfair, I think, to say he supports a religious totalitarianism. Indeed, he’s said many times that “all we have to do” is open the Iranian elections to all comers. So he’s not fine with that mechanism, but I think he knows deep down that Iran has nukes and that war with Iran could devastate his preferred future, and makes himself believe that it’s not necessary.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 28 December 2006 at 12:48


I must disagree. He’s stated multiple times that Iran is already a democracy, and his comments about the last Iranian presidential election indicates that he thinks the system is already open enough, it was only the electoral boycott that was the problem. I know he’s openly mocked precisely the position that the pre-certification of candidates removes any valid political positions.

Of course, I must admit that that in no way demonstrates he hasn’t said exactly the opposite as well.

Also consider his emphasis on conformity, and how (to take an extreme example) he thinks witches should be burned solely because they are non-conformist. I can’t see any conclusion except that it is a fine thing to use the machinery of the state to enforce that conformity.

pj Friday, 29 December 2006 at 17:07

Though oj is no libertarian, in general I don’t take the statements in which he advocates violence and coercion seriously. I think he strives for provocativeness, thinks it an element of humor, and exaggerates his own views. I agree that his views on Iran have been particularly detached from reality and self-contradictory; while his belief in conformity is a few centuries behind the times.

There’s often a grain of truth in what he says, if you moderate it by a factor of ten. On conformity, his view was the more or less standard view worldwide right up to the development of modern transportation and communications. When criminals could routinely outrun pursuers, it was impossible to police crime effectively and the predominant strategy was to coercively inculcate strong and uniform moral beliefs — a sort of early “broken windows” strategy. This doesn’t excuse things like the Spanish Inquisition, but it goes part way toward explaining them. oj often praises this “Puritan” strategy of policing minor immoralities. I used to despise this point of view and I still disagree with it, but he’s helped me to see the (weak, I believe) case for it.

daniel duffy Sunday, 31 December 2006 at 07:51

You have a very strange brother PJ.

I wonder what his Jewish wife thinks of his pro-Iranian stand, especialy after the Iranian government called for Israel’s extinction and claimed the Holocaust was a hoax.

You see, I happen to be “Baja”, the one how made the obvious point that “facts just kinda bounce off” OJ. With my new job, I travel a lot and most hotels have internet access. He can’t block me in a cowardly fashion if I decide to participate. As I see it, I’m doing him a favor. By blocking nay sayers like myself, Jeff, AOG and other he just surrounds himself with yes men and he becomes even more (as you said) “detached from reality”.

At least he no longer edits and twists the posts of others in a deceitful fashion that is beneath contempt. Did you make him stop?

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 31 December 2006 at 08:00


I have been thinking about your comment on and off and I realized this morning that the most likely cause of OJ’s delusional beliefs about Iran is his investment in the idea that Shia are naturally liberal democracts. To admit that Iran is an oppressive regime despite it’s Shi’ism is to call in to doubt the inevitable existence of liberal democracy in Shiite societies. OJ does not handle doubt well, therefore Iran must be effectively a liberal democracy.

cjm Sunday, 31 December 2006 at 12:17

if you have to adjust what someone says by a factor of ten, then what’s the point of listening to them at all ?

dd: get a life of your own, you might like it.

Robert Duquette Monday, 01 January 2007 at 10:43

There’s often a grain of truth in what he says, if you moderate it by a factor of ten.

Yes, and you can recover gold from seawater, but only someone with a lot of time, energy and money to waste thinks that it is a worthwhile exercise.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 01 January 2007 at 12:53

Oh, OJ isn’t that bad. I have been torn about how much to comment on his posts here, because he frequently writes stuff that is intellectually stimulating (although I think his ratio has dropped off over the last year or two because he’s accumulated too many tropes). I don’t comment there because it’s the only place where my comments have ever been modified and deleted (not even the fervent lefty places I sometimes joust at have done that).

pj Wednesday, 03 January 2007 at 10:37

Robert - It takes a lot less time to sift grains of gold from oj’s writing than from the New York Times’s. They’re so utterly conventional there’s rarely an insight; oj looks at things from unusual angles.

Daniel - I could hardly “make” oj do anything, nor did I attempt to influence him. It’s his blog. At the time things went awry I wasn’t even paying that much attention to comments, so I found out about the deletions/edits here long after the fact. When oj changed policy, I think it was his own response to the loss of former commenters like AOG. oj misses the old commenters too, I’m sure.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 03 January 2007 at 11:03


I wonder about that sometimes. I am not so sure that driving off the old crew wasn’t on purpose, to achieve a more instructional style, as opposed to a place for debates.

Peter Burnet Wednesday, 03 January 2007 at 14:12

Reading Daniel’s comment about posting from different cities (chortle, chortle) makes me imagine Mewman taunting Seinfeld.

cjm Saturday, 06 January 2007 at 12:26

dd reminds me of Rupert Pupkin

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