Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unreasonable university calls for a civil war against Trump

First, some technical announcements.

I was so proud to have made this blog show "completely safe" in Chrome when opened via the HTTPS protocol (almost no personal website I know has achieved that) that I turned on "automatic redirect to HTTPS" in the control panel.

Everything would work fine except for a detail: all the 200,000 Disqus comments disappeared – before I made them reappear again by abolishing the redirect to HTTPS. And the new ones posted between 8 pm on Saturday and 8 am on Sunday or so are living their "own life" in a separated HTTPS URL multiverse. Please post them again if they're gone and you find them important.

Interestingly, without the redirect, all the comments are opening whether you open the blog via HTTP or HTTPS. I may sometimes make the redirect and fix the URLs in some way but I've spent hours with this HTTPS stuff recently and it was enough.

BTW next month I will have to start to pay $10 a month to Disqus for our conversations to avoid ads – which could be annoying for too many of you and which could also clash with the ads that are already embedded. I expect you to understand that companies like Disqus – but also the content creators etc. – need to make some profit for their work to be sustainable and have some quality. And yes, I think that the quality of the Disqus platform has already greatly surpassed the Blogger built-in comments and the Haloscan/Echo/JS-Kit comments that existed in the following years.

Some of you may view these extra expenses as a reason for some modest PayPal donations. All donations numerically ending with $*1.00 such as $11.00 will be viewed as contributions to the Disqus support.

Now, back to the tension between Trump and the university leftists. At some moment, you could think that the climate hysteria is the most important "value" that the leftist folks really care about. But as the ongoing screaming shows, multiculturalism is ultimately above the climate hysteria. People from universities – including various people I know and sometimes like – are writing petitions, urging their colleagues to fight and resist, and all stuff like that.

The reason is that Trump has fulfilled his campaign promises and suspended the arrival of people from unsafe Muslim countries. It's 7 countries that are "compromised by terrorism" which means that unrecognized terrorist would-be state-like entities such as Daesh are operating on these territories. This is why travelers from these countries may be reasonably considered a threat for the U.S.: their countries have lost their control over the law enforcement on their own territories. This is why Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and four more are included while Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and others (surely pragmatic friendly countries like Azerbaijan) are not included.

It makes some sense to me. I surely don't claim that the exact policies as adopted by Trump are the only right and justified ones. But the philosophy behind the refinement of these policies makes more sense than an average policy of this kind that you could invent. On the other hand, I don't fully understand why e.g. Iran agrees with the description of a "country compromised by terrorism".

Lisa Randall has tweeted one word, "insane", to say what she thinks about the fact that these policies also affect a holder of an Iranian passport in Germany. Omid Nouripour is a German lawmaker for the Green Party, as Spiegel tells us.

Is it really "insane"?

I don't think so at all. The Trump regulations are such that the holders of the Iranian passports have a problem at the airport. This green lawmaker was born in Iran and currently has both Iranian and German passports. Well, Iran doesn't allow their citizens to abolish their Iranian citizenship.

Lisa and others probably say that it's "insane" because they believe that lawmakers – including these rank-and-file representatives of non-essential parties such as the Green Party of Germany – are a higher caste who simply "have to be" allowed to travel everywhere. This is not how I understand democracy. There's no reason why rank-and-file lawmakers should have some extra privileges that janitors or car designers don't have. After all, such lawmakers are supposed to do the work in Germany, not in the U.S., so they shouldn't need to travel much. Of course the same laws and regulations should apply to everyone unless there is some really good explanation for individual exceptions but it's not the case here. Why would someone doubt it? This guy is also a member of a German-American parliamentary group which is nice but not terribly official and important and doesn't make people like that less dangerous in average.

If you would try to tell me that people from the Muslim world who become politicians or diplomats are automatically safer, I would ask you to think again. We know something about it in Czechia. Three years ago, the Palestinian "ambassador" detonated himself near a safebox in his "embassy" in Prague. This "embassy" was actually a warehouse containing lots of the Palestinians' favorite arguments – namely explosives.

And the fact that Nouripour has two passports, including a German one? Again, I don't think that this makes the people safer. To see an example, Anis Amri, the Tunisian truck terrorist in Berlin, had between 4 and 12 identities and numerous passports and other documents. So no, I don't think that two passports should serve as a good "proof of safety". Germany has been extremely irresponsible while adopting immigrants and giving them assorted documents and this German irresponsibility is clearly one of the big mistakes that Trump wants to counter. Maybe there are good reasons to extend his policies to many other people in Germany, i.e. German citizens born in the Middle East.

And what about scientists and particle physicists? Obviously, it may be annoying for other scientists and particle physicists when someone is denied entry etc. But would it be justified to give them a universal exception because scientists or particle physicists are so much nicer and safer than anyone else? Again, I don't think so. Five years ago, they caught the Al Qaeda terrorist Adlène Hicheur who was a physicist at CERN!

None of these ad hoc exceptions would really be justified. One's being from from those countries of the Middle East does seriously increase the probability that he or she could plan a terror attack in the U.S. But his or her being a diplomat, green lawmaker, or particle physicist doesn't significantly decrease the probability. So why don't you just accept that the people in these occupations have the same rights like everyone else? I am sure that people in various preferred occupations have gotten used to "special rights" but this system may be ending in the U.S.

Another activity. The social networks contain many calls that now, when the U.S. isn't allowing the folks from those 7 countries to arrive to the U.S., the U.S. conferences should be boycotted. There just can't be any conferences. An example of numerous tweets and comments like that:

So I responded that the logic underlying this boycott is hypocritical and the proportions are almost comical. It's "unethical" to shield people from Syria etc. from the U.S. airports for several months because they are Syrian (or Muslim or Arab or from a country compromised by terror) – and it's a discrimination against a nation.

But this Jasper and many others apparently find it completely OK to scr*w all U.S. organizers of conferences just because they are U.S. citizens! It's doubly ironic because most of the organizers of scientific conferences in the U.S. are Trump critics themselves – but their plans for a conference must be destroyed just because they have the same citizenship as Donald Trump whose policies towards countries compromised by terrorism are disliked by somebody?

Give me a break. You don't have any right to target America with the excuse that this is a fight for the equality of nations. Such an excuse is self-evidently self-contradictory. Similar contradictions in the hard left ideology have been known to us for many years. In particular, the calls for the ever greater "diversity" basically meant that the percentage of normal conservative, especially white male or even Christian, people in the university environment has been reduced nearly to zero – they were labeled incompatible with "diversity". Is the nearly perfect elimination of normal conservative people with common sense (those who won the latest U.S. presidential elections) a sign of "diversity"?

At the end, it obviously makes much more sense to shield a country or people from the folks in Syria, many of which have murdered lots of others and done incredible harm in recent years, than to shield a country or people from organizers who are U.S. citizens whose only "crime" is to have elected a president who wants to defend his country by refusing to issue some stamps.

Finally, a blog post by a notorious jerk whose title starts with the word "fascism". OK, let's begin in 1866. Oskars Voits is born in Latvia. He gradually becomes an achieved physician and a diplomat. He has served as an ambassador to Netherlands and Germany. In June 1941 when Germany takes over these Baltic States, he is personally picked as the only well-known Latvian public figure who has sympathies for the German regime and he is placed among the 3-5 most powerful Latvians in the puppet regime. A month later, pogroms begin and 40,000 Jews in Riga are murdered, many of them were burned in their synagogues.

I am pretty sure that all the people who could be considered Czech counterparts of Oskars Voits were executed and even their descendants were pretty much reduced to lowly workers. Things worked differently for him. Everything was fine and his grandson, Peter Woit, has invented himself as a would-be academic and a critic of theoretical physics. And now, this guy – who was only born because the Latvians didn't find it important to draw a thick line after their embarrassing pro-Nazi track record during the war – has the chutzpah to attack President Trump as a "fascist" just because he doesn't want the people from territories affected by the ISIS to get a stamp to enter the U.S. for a few months.

In his latest ludicrous post about Trump, he urges everyone to overthrow Trump, either by impeachment or by referring to his "inability to discharge the powers". Trump is apparently more able to "discharge the powers" than anyone in recent decades! After a tirade saying that Trump is deranged, delusional, and dangerous, Woit shows us once again how he imagines a meaningful, democratic discussion:
I’m moderating comments here and will only post one kind of comment: positive ideas about what to do about this emergency situation. At this point I think what’s needed are ideas way beyond suggestions of a “scientist’s march” to promote rationality. We need to figure out how to fight a new form of Fascism that has just come to power and is starting to rule by decree.
Only "positive" ideas how to get rid of Trump are allowed – and they shouldn't be just some modest proposals for a march.

Hmm, this kind of a censorship saying that "only unhinged jihadists similar to the owner of that blog may discuss" is just harmful and fundamentally disagreeing with the way how the West envisions conversations. My blog has always dedicated a significant fraction of the posts to politics and I find it obvious that for a sensible, meaningful, sometimes inspiring conversation, pretty much the same rules have to be adopted like in scientific and other topics. Basically everyone must be allowed to offer his views and insights and moderation only begins when they turn too repetitive, silly, or impolite. But even if I am annoyed by lots of widespread opinions, I would never adopt a policy to "ban some views completely". That's why, despite my efforts to suppress things that try to turn the comment sections into another cesspool identical to cesspools all over the Internet, you still find thousands of anti-quantum-mechanics or anti-string-theory or hardcore left-wing comments in the threads on this blog and of course, it's generally how things must be.

Also, I think that the left-wing university people's frequent seemingly "ethical" insistence that no politics is allowed (on the university soil, their blogs etc.) – a rule that they have been heavily violating since Trump's victory – was mostly a one-sided tool to suppress the conservative or otherwise opposition voices in a situation in which their political soulmates controlled the politics of the U.S. Politics must be allowed and academics should be interested in it and debate it like other citizens if not more so.

OK, let me offer you a comment that would be appreciated over there – a "positive" comment how to confine Donald Trump. If you want to enclose Trump in the psychiatric asylum, use this simple trick, Mr Voits. Call the physicians, persuade them that you are insane (it will be easy) and agree to be enclosed in a spherical room in a psychiatric asylum. And once you are inside, perform the inversion in a sphere i.e. \(r\to 1/r\). You will be outside and Trump will be caught inside! It's that simple. And you may even wait for Christopher Columbus to arrive along with the tap water. ;-)

Otherwise, as some commenters tell him, Woit is just detached from reality and his calls are nothing else than calls to start a civil war. He must still be misunderstanding that Trump does represent the majority of voters in a majority of the U.S. states and they actually want policies like these to be adopted. If and when Trump were removed in some Daesh-style or Maidan-style coup, be sure that there would be quite a backlash. The masterminds of such a coup would probably not survive that backlash.

Aside from that, I am amazed by the sky-high arrogance of zeroes like this spoiled brat from the fascist family. He apparently thinks that he should be more important than the average U.S. citizen or that he should place himself above Donald Trump now – but why does he think so? He knows nothing about politics and the only thing he has achieved in his life was to radicalize a bunch of complete imbeciles who were ready to parrot nonsensical, scientifically indefensible claims that there was something wrong about string theory. You're just a piece of worthless waste, Mr Woit, and you lost the election, too. If you think that you can't live in a country respecting values and pursuing policies similar to Trump's, you will have to emigrate somewhere. You may try Israel. Don't forget to tell them what your grandfather did, how you imagine political discussions on the Internet, and ask them who is the fascist.

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