back to article Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'

Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin's law, has rescinded his own rule for those outraged by vile fascists marching the streets of Virginia, USA, at the weekend. In other words, it's OK to call these un-American white supremacists exactly what they are: "By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Nazi is a slur anyway

    From the Oxford English Dictionary :

    Etymology: German Nazi (c1920), shortened Nationalsozialist or Nationalsozialistisch (see National Socialist adj. and n.). Compare French Nazi (1930). The spelling with z probably arose by analogy with Sozi (shortened Sozialist socialist n. and adj.).

    The term was originally used by opponents of the National Socialist German Workers' Party and may have been influenced by Bavarian Nazi, a familiar form of the proper name Ignatius and used to refer to or characterize an awkward or clumsy person.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

      Except they call them selfs neo nazis or just nazi

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

        So the equivalent of "the new Bennys" ?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: new Bennys

          I believe it's equivalent to village idiot.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

      I've said before, a million times.

      After WWII, we should have renamed toilets "Nazis" and used the symbol of the swastika as the international symbol to indicate a toilet.

      I wonder quite how many people would want to use the name / symbol and carry on idolising it then. I'm guessing quite a few.

      Words are powerful. Holding "Nazi" as something special is a really bad idea, whether that's a special positivity or negativity. The same as the reason that some Tourette's sufferers swear - the words have been given special meaning, therefore priority in the brain, therefore more likely to be inappropriate (in the same way, swearing when you hurt yourself lessens the pain felt, whereas "darn" doesn't have the same effect no matter how loud you shout it).

      Because of the "Voldemort" effect, we're surrounding by prats idolising the Nazis, their symbols, uniform, and other artifacts. I'm guessing they wouldn't be seen as quite so cool to emulate if 7 billion people took a shit on one every morning.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

        "After WWII, we should have renamed toilets "Nazis" and used the symbol of the swastika as the international symbol to indicate a toilet."

        swastika: "A primitive symbol or ornament of the form of a cross with equal arms with a limb of the same length projecting at right angles from the end of each arm, all in the same direction and (usually) clockwise; also called gammadion and fylfot.

        1882 E. C. Robertson in Proc. Berw. Nat. Club IX. No. 3. 516 In Japan‥the cross-like symbol of the sun, the Swastica, is put on coffins.    1895 Reliquary Oct. 252 The use of the Swastica cross in mediaeval times.    1904 Times 27 Aug. 10/3 [In Tibet] a few white, straitened hovels in tiers.‥ On the door of each is a kicking swastika in white, and over it a rude daub of ball and crescent." [From the OED]

        In Sanskrit swastika means "well-being". The symbol has been used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia and is widely believed to have originated in India. Early European travellers to Asia such as Marco Polo were inspired by its positive and ancient associations and started using it back home.

        There are more cultures on this planet than the one dominated by the USA. Shitting on them would hardly be likely to improve international relations.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

          Used by the Vikings too as a good luck charm (ended up in the Finnish Air force because of that, but that was years before it was adopted by the Nazi) and there is one in the floor mosaic in the ruins of a house from the time of the Romans in England. Should we feel happy they did not adopt the circle or say the cross.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

            "Should we feel happy they did not adopt the circle or say the cross."
            The swastika is a cross/gammadion/fylfot [delete whichever is inapplicable]. As I quoted from the OED earlier: "A primitive symbol or ornament of the form of a cross..."

            Medieval swastika at Coventry Cathedral still as I saw it when ~8 or 9 years old.

            1. Potemkine! Silver badge
      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

        So kind of like "Go to work on an egg". But instead, "take a shit on a Nazi".

        Catchy!

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Nazi is a slur anyway

          :%s/khazi/nazi/g

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " ..call a spade a spade..."

    I know the racist connotations to this particular phrase are specific to certain dialects of English; many of my American colleagues are shocked to discover what it can mean. However, perhaps not the best choice of term in an article on nazism.

    1. psdrake67

      Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

      "... perhaps not the best choice of term in an article on nazism."

      I interpreted the use of that term as intentional. Describing racists with a term that those very racists feel is an insult seems like a particularly surgical weaponization of an benign phrase.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

        Would you rather I call a spade a shovel?

        1. Youngone Silver badge

          Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

          Digging Implement.

        2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

          The thing I never got, is that shovels are more spade shaped than spades.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

            "The thing I never got, is that shovels are more spade shaped than spades."

            Depends on the shovel...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

            "The thing I never got, is that shovels are more spade shaped than spades."

            I was taught that a spade has a relatively flat sharp blade for maximum force when cutting into earth and turning sods. A shovel has prominent side edges for maximum carrying capacity - and is more suited to lifting looser materials.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

      Oh dear. That phrase has a racial connotation?

      What is it? I've never heard it referenced in that way before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

        "Spade" as a derogatory racial term probably derives from the expression "Black as the Ace of Spades".

        The latter could also be a purely descriptive term in some usages - similar to "white as snow". A villain could be said to have "a heart as black as the Ace of Spades". That playing card is also sometimes taken as the sign of a death foretold.

        However - "calling a spade a spade" is not necessarily related to the racial slur. It merely means that you do not use euphemisms when describing something. In other words you do not "beat about the bush" when telling a possibly unpalatable truth.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

        Spade was a pejorative term for a black person in the US from as far back as the 1920s, due to it being "black as the ace of spaces". This crossed over into the much older (at least as old as the greeks in some form) phrase "to call a spade a spade", obviously playing on spade vs shovel. Particularly in the british vernacular this is accepted to be dog whistle for (if you'll forgive the crassness), calling a nigger a nigger, in defiance of perceived political correctness.

        1. Graham Dawson

          Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

          Accepted by whom?

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

      I believe you're over reacting to this. The expression has been around for many decades. Even used as a joke: "Why call a spade a spade when it's a freaking shovel?" <edited for brevity>

      Yeah... I'll get downvotes but the original meaning had nothing to do with race. Google it... you'll see what I mean.

    4. CliveS
      WTF?

      Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

      The phrase dates back to a sixteenth century translation of Erasmus' own translation of Plutarch's Apophthegmatum. The latter translation includes the phrase:

      "as they whiche had not the witte to calle a spade by any other name then a spade"

      Any racist overtones - which I'd never considered before - are a significantly later veneer on the original.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

        "Any racist overtones - which I'd never considered before - are a significantly later veneer on the original."

        From the comments it appears as if this may be another case of different usages on opposite sides of the pond.

        An English friend worked in Tucson for several years. When a proposed solution to a problem was uncertain in its effect - she would use the English expression of "let's suck it and see". She was taken on one side by a US colleague who explained that this was not an expression that a lady should use in polite company.

        As George Bernard Shaw said "England and America are two countries separated by a common language".

        1. Trump rulz

          Re: " ..call a spade a spade..."

          This is a phrase that has acquire multiple meanings as have "gay", "queer", ...

          Alas, our language has become a minefield of worries about stepping in cow pies of unintended slurs.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

      Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        "Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?"

        Idiots?

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          "Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?"
          Idiots?

          I call them Nazi cunts.

          1. TheDillinquent
            Facepalm

            Tautology alert!

            I call them Nazi cunts

        2. Trump rulz

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          ""Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?"

          "Idiots?"

          No, call them sociopaths, calling them "idiots" denigrates people with limited mental ability.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        "Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?"

        Stupid?

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          ""Um when they march with brown shorts and ware swastika what do call them ?""

          How about an air-strike?

          Worked in Europe, eventually...

      3. Toni the terrible

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        If they wear brownshirts, call them Brownshirts (Its the crap they speak that makes them brown)

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

      If you call them what they are -- nazis -- then they won't be able to hide behind some veil of respectability: we know what the nazis did, and it is what they want to do.

      1. ffRewind

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        With the whole "Sieg heil" and saluting thing they were doing it's pretty obvious that they are identifying with the original Nazis who invented that stuff in the first place - and as such see the term as quite a respectable one. Not the label to go with in my opinion if the goal is to make them feel bad about what they are doing.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          Not the label to go with in my opinion if the goal is to make them feel bad about what they are doing.

          They're not going to feel bad about what they're doing, whatever you call them. It's about clearly labeling them for what they are, for others to see.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        @tfb, they consider Nazi a compliment, not an insult. Let's just call them what they ACTUALLY are: "Racist shitbags" or possibly "idiotic dickbags" and keep it at that.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

      "But if you liken them to Nazis instead of defeating their arguments"

      THEY ARE WEARING FUCKING NAZI ARMBANDS. No one is likening them to Nazis. THEY ARE FUCKING NEOI-NAZIS. And see the video at the end of the article for defeating their arguments.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        Perhaps they just think the design is pretty. They might be thoroughly nice boys when they're with their moms.

        1. samzeman

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          "They might be thoroughly nice boys when they're with their moms."

          Undoubtedly. That's the scary part. They seem like normal people until they refuse to be served by a black doctor or something.

          On a related note, the people at that rally had shirts with embroidered swastikas and had flown from around the country. They're upper-middle class people, relatively normal seeming people, which is why it sucks. I want to be able to avoid Nazis on sight.

      2. The Axe

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        @diodesign, a small number were nazis. Why tar the whole crowd because of a few. It's like calling all social justice protesters communists and marxists because a few in the crowd wave communist flags or SWP signs.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

          "It's like calling all social justice protesters communists and marxists because a few in the crowd wave communist flags or SWP signs."

          Redgum: Raggin'

        2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          "a small number were nazis"

          If you are in a march with, a small number" of people carrying a Nazi flag you either ask them to leave, leave yourself, or accept that you a fucking Nazi.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: "a small number were nazis"

            "If you are in a march with, a small number" of people carrying a Nazi flag you either ask them to leave, leave yourself, or accept that you a fucking Nazi."
            You might just find that leaving is not an option unless you like having the living crap beaten out of you.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: "a small number were nazis"

              I'm not at all sure why my comment "You might just find that leaving [a march] is not an option unless you like having the living crap beaten out of you." received so many down votes.

              Back in the early 1970s I rented rooms in an old hotel for accommodation and workspace for my business on Collins Street in Hobart. One lunchtime I was about to enter the building with some shopping when I was seized by a policeman who frog-marched me two blocks to a student demonstration in Franklin Square. I attempted to remonstrate with the policeman, but was told if I didn't shut up, I'd be arrested. I cannot recall what the demonstration was about, but I do recall that it was of no interest to me whatsoever.

              A friend who was arrested at a demo in Melbourne back in those days had the scissors that were used to remove his long hair had been shoved up his arse immediately prior. He didn't receive medical treatment until he was released some days later.

              Coercion can and does happen. Just hope to goodness it doesn't happen to you. It's very frightening...

            2. Spanker

              Re: "a small number were nazis"

              sounds exactly like the militant Islam problem

          2. The Axe

            Re: "a small number were nazis"

            "If you are in a march with, a small number" of people carrying a Nazi flag you either ask them to leave, leave yourself, or accept that you a fucking Nazi."

            So marching with people carrying communist flags makes you fucking commie. Communism and it's bed mates Marxism and Socialism have killed more than the Nazis did.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: "a small number were nazis"

              "Marxism and Socialism have killed more than the Nazis did.".

              What ever, until you understand that there is no difference between the far right and the far left. Same goals, same methods, same people.

              How would you define North Korea, is it far right or far left. And if you choose one over the other how would you define the difference and the reality of that country. The simple fact is that if you define it as far left it's because it's in the east, while if it was in South America it would probably be defined as far right.

              PS. only American are mixed up with social and socialist, if not all, as was proved by the number of votes Sanders got.

              It's also fun to remember how Microsoft realized that calling Linux "socialist" would work only in the USA if even there. This is not to claim "name calling" is not ever efficient which the dear President so superbly proved.

              1. Potemkine! Silver badge

                Re: "a small number were nazis"

                What ever, until you understand that there is no difference between the far right and the far left. Same goals, same methods, same people.

                I disagree, there's a difference. Segregation and exclusion is part of the far-right political program, not of the far-left one. Far-right makes a distinction between people because of their skin color or their ethnic origin, and condemn individuals for belonging to a group whatever they do. Originally, far-left theories consider all people should be made equal, whatever their origin. It is when these theories were implemented that things got ugly... Making both similar because of the massacres made in the name of Marxism would be like assimilating Christians to Nazis because of Inquisition, Crusades and pogroms.

                The far-right is by essence evil, the far-left by implementation.

      3. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Re: Not a fan of white supremacists...

        defeating their arguments

        That's like trying to defeat the arguments of Creationists. Best we can do is continue to expose them and counter their every attempt to use the First Amendment to further their hate.

  4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Stop

    Godwin not applicable here

    Godwin's law doesn't apply when you are *actually* discussing Nazis - this is a long-standing corollary.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Godwin not applicable here

      On Sunday night John Oliver said that Trump's reluctance to condemn them was a 'reverse Godwin's Law' - in that the last person to mention Nazis in the debate loses by default.

      1. TheTick

        Re: Godwin not applicable here

        "On Sunday night John Oliver said that Trump's reluctance to condemn them"

        Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?

        1. TheTick

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          That was a quick downvote so I guess the answer is yes.

          Get a grip on reality.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Godwin not applicable here

            @TheTick:

            All we can do is go by the evidence we have.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @The Tick Re: Godwin not applicable here

          The issue is that the MSM and Hollywood are against Trump. The Dems are against Trump. So they will take any excuse to go after Trump.

          The problem... Trump is actually right on this.

          First, as much as we condemn those A holes, they do have the right to gather and spout their carp because of the First Amendment.

          What happened in VA over the weekend was that the local Police didn't do their jobs and actually according to some reports made things worse. The police should have spent more of an effort keeping the two groups apart. Didn't have this problem back in Skokie IL or other marches. No riot, no one gives a shit about these neo nazis.

          The truth... the Alt-Right wanted the confrontation. Think what would have happened if no one came to listen?

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: @The Tick Godwin not applicable here

            The problem... Trump is actually right on this.

            First, as much as we condemn those A holes, they do have the right to gather and spout their carp because of the First Amendment.

            Condemning them is not the same thing as denying them their rights to free speech. It is voicing an opinion on their message, not an order to silence them.

            The government voices its opinion on issues all the time without sacrificing anyone's free speech rights.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: @The Tick Godwin not applicable here

              "The government voices its opinion on issues all the time without sacrificing anyone's free speech rights."
              [Clears throat]

              Censorship dressed up is denial of free speech

              "If the warning bells are not ringing by now, they should be. Clearly, the Racial Discrimination Act is open to rubbery interpretation on just what an offensive or insulting tone is. If I go into my classroom and in the course of my lesson I use a tone that is apparently offensive or insulting to any racially identifiable group, then I am breaking the law. This background is worth keeping in mind in the light of the intention of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to make changes that are in the exposure draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012. Under the mooted changes, there is a broadening of the definition of what constitutes offence or insult.

              The draft goes further, stating that offending and insulting will come under the umbrella of "unfavourable treatment".

              To quote King Lear: "That way madness lies."

              The unspecified "unfavourable treatment" is a worrying catch-all phrase. The Roxon proposal intends to expand the reach of current anti-discrimination law to all those in "any area of public life", which is defined as work, education, membership of clubs and sport participation.

              This means that if I go into my classroom and dismiss a particular indigenous, Chinese, American, Australian or any nationality text as bad writing, should anyone take offence or be insulted by my remarks, then I am in effect, under the Roxon view, breaking the law. Then there is the question of tone.

              After the Bolt case, Marcia Langton, professor of Australian indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne, in a piece of untrammelled invective published in The Sunday Age, directed to "Bolt and his kind", said: "What Bolt refuses to acknowledge, or is deliberately misleading about is the fact that identifying as Aboriginal is almost certainly likely to lead to being run out of school by racists." This is wrong.

              Her remarks were, and still are, to me as a whitefella, "offensive" and "insulting" and were made in a "tone" that is sneering and sarcastic. They imply that my school, which nurtures Aboriginal children and has staff give up their time to teach in remote communities, is one where Aboriginal children are likely to be excluded by racists on staff. This is not a "fact" and it discredits Langton as a serious academic.

              Still, if an aggrieved student made a complaint against me because of what I said or the tone in which it was said, my employer would have to undertake, as would be the case for any educational institution, an exhaustive and time-consuming inquiry on the supposition that an insult was intended or offensive remarks made.

              The Roxon laws would therefore make the flow of free speech untenable."

              1. Paul Smith

                Re: @The Tick Godwin not applicable here

                If you need justifications to prove you are not a racist, you probably are.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Let's call a spade a spade

              Trump is a racist, period. He was the leader of the 'birther' movement. He paid for the ad about the Central Park Five and even to this day claims they are guilty despite DNA tests exonerating them! He's filled the White House with Nazi sympathizers like Gorka and Bannon. He was sued on multiple occasions for refusing to rent to blacks in the 70s, and was forced to settle with the Department of Justice. He is lightning quick to condemn terrorism or violence from non-whites before any facts are known beyond the race of the assailant, but ignores and equivocates violence by whites.

              I'm sorry, but it is past time to quit giving him the benefit of the doubt here just because he doesn't wear a Nazi armband in public. Trump saying "I'm the least racist person ever" doesn't make it true. In fact, based on the number of lies he spews, him saying that makes it highly likely to be untrue.

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          > Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?

          They're not secret, his relationships with members of the KKK and other groups, they are well documented. Whether Trump is in sympathy or just knows who a chunk of his victory base is, is another question. Certainly leaders of some of these groups took Trump's refusal to condemn them - when directly asked at a press conference - as affirmation. Again, all documented. Watch Sunday's edition of Last Week Tonight, on YouTube if you have to. Those HBO dollars buy a big team of researchers.

        4. veti Silver badge

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          Well, yes. The nazis themselves think Trump has sympathies, secret or otherwise, for them.

          Are they right? Hell no, Trump doesn't even know what "sympathy" is. But he certainly finds them useful, both to mobilize his own base and to illustrate how the media is out to get him.

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: Godwin not applicable here

            aka "useful Idiots"

        5. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          "Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?"

          Well, his dad was arrested at a KKK rally , and refused to rent to people with black skin, so I think it's fair to say that Fred Trump had sympathies for racists (being one himself). It's possible that Donald has rejected his father's beliefs, but so far there's no sign of it.

        6. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?

          They're not secret sympathies. Just slightly obfuscated.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?

          He owes his election to their votes, so he has to keep them sweet for another 3.5 years, no matter how he feels.

        8. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          Actually since his dad was a member f the KKK, I'm not so sure his sympathies are that secret.

        9. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          Are there really people so demented that they think Trump has some secret sympathies for these people?

          Absolutely, everyone knows and sees that Trumpy's sympathies for Nazi scums are not secret, but made public and assumed by the dyed blond clown.

          1. TheTick

            Re: Godwin not applicable here

            Forgot I posted that, interesting to come back a few days later and see how divorced from reality so many of you are.

            The sad thing is that some of you at least are so wedded to your false notion that you will never back away from it, because to do so is to admit how utterly, utterly wrong you can be. And if you had to admit that then maybe...gulp....even your belief in socialism might be wrong!!!

            Secret Nazi in the white house...lol. At least I get a laugh out of you lot :)

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Godwin not applicable here

      Why you gotta ruin a good time?

      C.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Godwin not applicable here

      FFS,

      Go ahead call them a Nazi, cite Goodwin and that's the end of it.

      Why the fsck should you waste any time talking about those losers anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Godwin not applicable here

        "Why the fsck should you waste any time talking about those losers anyway."

        - Man in the street, Germany, 1938...

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Germany, 1938

          I think you 1928. By 1938 they was a whole nation eager to join "those losers".

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Godwin not applicable here

          "Why the fsck should you waste any time talking about those losers anyway."

          - Man in the street, Germany, 1938...

          "Why the fsck should you waste any time talking about those losers anyway."

          - Man in the street, Germany, 1928...

          By 1938, almost all dissidents had been sent to concentration camps ... remember, they used kids as spies to find dissidents ... the brainwashed kids were instructed to denounce their parents/family is any mentioned the Nazis is a bad manner and a lot them did ... similar policy was later used in the GDR.

  5. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The Law is an Ass

    This "law" in particular, as it's really just an attempt to stifle criticism, by arbitrarily dismissing potentially valid arguments with trivia, while the author of this "law" is seemingly allowed to hypocritically suspend it to serve his own, equally potentially valid arguments.

    Actually, that could easily be the job description for "politician".

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: The Law is an Ass

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/godwins-law-mike-godwin-internet-hitler-charlottesville-virginia-donald-trump-a7892171.html

      You said: "it's really just an attempt to stifle criticism"

      Mike said: "To be clear: I don’t personally believe all rational discourse has ended when Nazis or the Holocaust are invoked," he wrote. "But I’m pleased that people still use Godwin’s Law to force one another to argue more thoughtfully.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The Law is an Ass

        Oh Homer! Note the way that Frumious Bandersnatch replied to you courteously, and expanded upon what Godwin's Law means - he did not call you a Nazi, a crypto fascist, an idiot - not indeed did he make any ad hominem attack on you.

        What really stifles meaningful debate is when people start comparing each others to Nazis and the whole conversation breaks down. It was that sort of argument that Godwin was seeking highlight way back when.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

    It's funny, but I noticed that people who talk that way seem never that inclined to actually accept the job of the person they accuse of stealing it. Weird.

    1. Donkey Molestor X

      Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

      > It's funny, but I noticed that people who talk that way seem never that inclined to actually accept the job of the person they accuse of stealing it. Weird.

      Hey, you don't know my life! I was totally going to accept that job of picking strawberries for pennies a day until someone stole it from me!

    2. jamesb2147
      Devil

      Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

      It's an emotional appeal anyway - "someone is STEALING something from me?!" - but the actual impact of reasonable immigration levels, even high ones by today's standards, is small to non-existent and impacts primarily *other* immigrants, as they're more likely to be unskilled. The numbers of skilled workers are so small as to be negligible. So, amongst the locally born populace, the only impacted group is unskilled labor, and even there, the effect is small-ish.

      Any immigration policy that doesn't recognize these facts is likely to be politically charged and can be fairly accused of being ignorant, stupid, or malicious. That's not to say anything about what that immigration process should look like, but pretending it has a big impact on the workforce is lying to the populace. Ergo, an emotional appeal, which is really a way of trying to steal some votes by selling lies.

      Now who wants to vote for me so I can call politicians out on this bullshit??

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

      I take your point, and for the most part agree, but there are some exceptions. Remember the 1990s when a London plumber was £300/hour and waiting times were in weeks? Harry Enfield didn't invent that.

      Junior doctors, prostitutes and IT contractors are finding that increased labour supply depresses prices... but not as much as the recession or "quantitative easing" did.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

        Has the full repercussions of only British "ladies of negotiable affection" been discussed by the house?

        It might cause a few of them to have second thoughts about a hard Brexit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

          It might cause a few of them to have second thoughts about a hard Brexit.

          Surely in such circumstances it's the entry that should be hard, not the exit?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I play devil's advocate just for fun?

    What's the difference between Communism,the Nazis and capitalism?

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Devil's Advocate

      The difference between Communism, Nazism and (Free Market) Capitalism is the precise fairy tale used by would-by totalitarian dictators to sell the scheme to the masses.

      On the far left, the fairy tale is that the government taking control of businesses will lead to plenty for all.

      On the far right, the fairy tale is that businesses taking control of government will lead to plenty for all.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Devil's Advocate

        "On the far right, the fairy tale is that businesses taking control of government will lead to plenty for all."

        That's not far-right. That's collectivism, which is a leftist ideology. There's no practical distinction between the government demanding endless fealty to the State or to the Revolution (which, in practice, is identical to the aims of the State). There's little difference between the state owning the means of production and the means of production ostensibly being privately owned, but taxed, regulated, and controlled by government to the point that they may as well be owned by the state.

        The excuse people give regarding the obvious similarity of "far right" and the far left, that the left-right spectrum is really a circle, so that the farther right you go, the closer to the far left it gets, is not accurate. That kludgy, bizarre, convenient explanation is a dead giveaway that the entire premise of the circular line is faulty. To wit: fascism is not right wing... its leftism with a few meaningless changes that are often misattributed to the right.

        The right vales FREE enterprise; there is no such thing under fascism. Melding of business and government and having the government pick the winners (crony capitalism) isn't free enterprise. That kind of thing was rampant in the Obama administration, the most left-wing administration the US has had in decades.

        The right values individualism; both fascism and communism ignore the individual and see him as nothing more than a member of a specific group. Whether that group is called 'proletariat' or 'bourgeoisie' or 'Aryan' or 'Jew' makes no difference; in either case, the individual only matters as a member of a group that others have assigned to him.

        Fascists may think they're part of the right, but they're dumbasses anyway. They know they hate different groups than the communist/Marxist socialists, but the idea of hating people for their group remains, and that's the trait we should be keying on when it comes to identifying similarity between supposed left or right. It makes no difference whether a leader purges Ukrainians or Jews in a quest for a utopian society; they're both mass murderers on a truly unfathomable scale.

        Marxist socialism and fascism are about as different from each other as Shia and Sunni Muslims. They're members of the same religion with mostly the same beliefs, yet it doesn't stop them from killing each other, or considering each other to be mortal enemies.

        How much sense would a scale of religion make if it had Shia on one side and Sunni on the other? That makes as much sense as putting fascism on the far right.

        1. InNY

          Re: Devil's Advocate

          <quote> the Obama administration, the most left-wing administration the US has had in decades.</quote>

          The guy who saved the US (and global) banking industry? And, who it might be noted, was not particularly enthusiastic about investigating and prosecuting the very same bankers who caused the financial crash?

          The chap who did more to promote (make it compulsory that you have to purchase it) private health/medical insurance?

          Who was really keen on the Trans-Pacific Treaty? - the one that gave untold powers to private corporations?

          Amongst the very many other very business friendly things he did/promoted...

          You mean that guy was a lefty?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Devil's Advocate

            "You mean that guy was a lefty?"

            By the standards of american politics, yes.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Devil's Advocate

              Not by the standards of American politics. By the standards of the Tea Party right, of course anyone to the left of Ghengis Khan is a bleeding heart liberal to them.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Devil's Advocate @Updraft102

          You are, of course, free to try to define "fascism" as left-wing. However, most left-wingers would disown it just as vehemently as you do, and with just as solid arguments. They would say, correctly as far as it goes, that a philosophy of national solidarity inherently conflicts with one of class solidarity. They would point out that (self-described) fascist parties in Europe historically defined themselves in sharp opposition to communist, or even moderate socialist, parties, and allied with conservative parties. And so on.

          The sad fact is that the terms "right" and "left" are a linguistic artifact dating back to the National Assembly of the French Revolution. And to be frank, the factors that differentiated their delegates are not terribly relevant to our time. In politics generally, "left" and "right" don't really have any clearly defined meaning at all any more.

          So your insistence that "right" is by definition synonymous with "individualism" is, quite simply, a quixotic opposition to current usage, based on nothing that will withstand examination.

          I'd also like to point out that certain people in American politics who describe themselves as "the right" will also routinely use "snowflake" - long a symbol of "individuality" - as a term of abuse. So if you are right about what "right-wing" means, then pretty much everyone else is wrong about it (and Donald Trump is the most left-wing president in recent memory).

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Devil's Advocate @Updraft102

            "So if you are right about what "right-wing" means, then pretty much everyone else is wrong about it"
            I find it amusing that Hilary Clinton is well to the right of Adolf Hitler, yet considered to be left wing by the average Merkin.

            Political Compass

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Devil's Advocate

        Communism: You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for you share of the milk, but it's so long that the milk is sour by the time you get it.

        Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

        Capitalism: You have two cows. You lay one off, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when she drops dead.

        Wall st Capitalism: You have two cows.

        You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute an debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows.

        The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company.

        The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

        Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because they make a mess of the office.

        1. TheElder

          Wall st Capitalism: You have two cows.

          You owe me a new Land Rover T shirt. I was laughing so hard I spilled some food on it.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      As any fule kno:

      Under capitalism, man exploits man whilst under communism it's the other way round!

    3. veti Silver badge

      "Communism" is based on a theory of historical inevitability about the balance of economic power between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Its aim is to prevent (further) bloody revolution by eliminating the historical conflict of interest between those two classes.

      It doesn't work, except as a vehicle for ruthless people to seize and hold on to power (and wealth) for a time.

      "Nazism" is a particular strand of "fascism", based on a myth of national (rather than class) unity and racial purity (with the corollary that anyone of the wrong race is not really part of the "nation"). It draws on an imagined glorious past from a time before the nation it was betrayed or declined into modern decadence.

      It doesn't work, except as a vehicle for ruthless people to seize and hold on to power (and wealth) for a time.

      "Capitalism" is a much more limited system, based on the theory that "capital" is the most important factor of production and if its usage is optimised, national output will be maximised. I call it "more limited" because it is not, inherently, tied to any particular political theory.

      Unlike the other two, it does work, precisely because its goals are much more limited. It doesn't pretend to be about rebuilding past glories or eliminating future conflicts. You want to maximise national output? - capitalism is the way to go. Of course, if you believe public policy should be about more than merely maximising output, then capitalism probably isn't the answer for you - or at least, not the full answer. But that's an "ought" discussion, and as such beyond my present scope.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Very well said, sir. Sadly, there is no perfect system as envisioned by the philosophes, etc. As written by Marx, communism could be very doable. But he was a philosopher and a dreamer in too many ways. Same for capitalism where its now been perverted even more so than in the past to give us the 1%ers which is a closed club for the most part. . Human greed and the quest for power (and/or money) always override the philosophy. Nazism, et al, are an excuse for bigotry.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>"Capitalism" is a much more limited system, based on the theory that "capital" is the most important factor of production and if its usage is optimised, national output will be maximised. I call it "more limited" because it is not, inherently, tied to any particular political theory.

        >Unlike the other two, it does work, precisely because its goals are much more limited. It doesn't pretend to be about rebuilding past glories or eliminating future conflicts. You want to maximise national output? - capitalism is the way to go. Of course, if you believe public policy should be about more than merely maximising output, then capitalism probably isn't the answer for you - or at least, not the full answer. But that's an "ought" discussion, and as such beyond my present scope.

        Isn't Capitalism - or at least the Neo-Liberal Capitalism of the last 40 years - just a vehicle for ruthless people to hold onto wealth or power for a time??

        True capitalism depends on increasing the business output to satisfy the demand of increasing customers. Unfortunately without infinite resources or customers it will always fail at some point.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "True capitalism depends on increasing the business output to satisfy the demand of increasing customers. Unfortunately without infinite resources or customers it will always fail at some point."
          Back when I first connected to the Internet with a 300 baud modem (~300 bps), I was told that was the upper limit to what the telephone lines could sustain. Also, we were just about to run out of copper, so there wasn't going to be enough to meet demand for telephones, never mind digital comms. You may have noticed that copper pairs now carry far more data than 300 bps and that there's no shortage of telephones to meet demand.

          There's an old saying that we didn't leave the stone age because of a shortage of rocks.

          1. Uffish

            Rocks

            Don't knock the stone age, it lasted a lot longer than the post stone age will.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Rocks

              "Don't knock the stone age, it lasted a lot longer than the post stone age will."
              You're that bloke who walks down the street holding a sign saying: "The End is Nigh!"

              Mine's the coat with a copy of Last and First Men in the pocket

              --------------->

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          True capitalism depends on increasing the business output to satisfy the demand of increasing customers. Unfortunately without infinite resources or customers it will always fail at some point.

          That simplistic model assumes that resources are destroyed after use, and are completely separate from customers, neither of which is the case. One classic resource is labour, which is renewable on both the individual level (I can work again after a night's rest) and collectively (when I retire or die, someone else will take my place). I am both a consumer and creator of resources, and the resources I consume are not destroyed by that consumption but converted into a form where they can be used by another consumer.

          Since the earth is not a closed system, being constantly refuelled by energy from the Sun, we can't even consider resources as finite, at least not in terms of the practical lifespan of humanity.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            "I didn't know that gorillas could talk"

            "Well we prefer not to let on about it. If people knew we could talk, the conservatives would enslave us and the liberals would train us to operate machine lathes.. and who the fuck wants to operate a machine lathe?"

            - Robert Anton Wilson

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What's the difference between Communism,the Nazis and capitalism?"

      The Communist guy offers to share your drink.

      The Nazis guy offers to rule your drink.

      The capitalist guy offers to sell your drink.

      But none of them matters when the Linux guy offer to give you Wine for free!

    5. D@v3

      Capitalism explained

      https://matadornetwork.com/pulse/capitalism-around-world-explained-cows/

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Everything I don't like is a Nazi

    ... and whatever is Hitler.

    It's been appropriated by straight-out low-IQ and hysterical thought enforcers and politicians out for a quick rallying so much that it's become meaningless.

    See, you have this guy who is looking for some aggro & pushback and keeps hearing from the baying (and let's face it, variously challenged) hordes of people-minding-your-business that he's a Nazi. So, what will he do? Come with a Nazi flag of course to make things clear. What are you going to do about it?

    How many adepts of the ancient germanic-bureaucratic-socialistic movement are there now, for real? A few hundred? You can only listen to tape re-runs of Goebbels a limited number of times.

    Here, at least an interesting take: Codes of the Underworld

    That’s the way to read the alt-right and the stuff they say and do on-line with respect to non-whites, Jews and women. They don’t actually spend a lot of time talking and writing about these groups. They spend most of their time talking about how to organize themselves, the issues that face white identity movements and the philosophical points of their thing. The offensive memes and the racists language are mostly signalling. If you freak out over Hitler themed twitter avatars, then you are never going to be in their thing.

    As with bike culture, it is defensive signalling to ward off entryists and the posers, but it is also a signal that joining their thing is more than just a secret handshake. If you are on-line talking about white identity, you’re never going back to the squaresville world of normie politics. You are rejecting that world as illegitimate in favor of the new thing. In effect, the racist memes are an offer. Accept it as a price of admission, but understand that by accepting the offer you are leaving the old morality behind for the new moral framework.

    ...

    The jury is still out as to whether the alt-right is the long hoped for response to the rise of the New Left in the 1960’s. Ironically, the worst thing that could happen for the alt-right is for Trump to be everything his critics in Washington claim. White identity politics can only flourish when whites believe they must be an intolerant minority, battling other intolerant minorities for space. What is clear is that the alt-right is not another Tea Party. It has staying power because it is a cultural movement, not a political one.

    Deplorable icon, of course. Go Deplorables!

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

      I almost rejected this comment, but I approved it so I could point out its idiocy.

      "It's been appropriated by straight-out low-IQ and hysterical thought enforcers and politicians out for a quick rallying so much that it's become meaningless."

      MATE, THEY ARE WEARING FUCKING NAZI SWASTIKAS. FUCKING NAZI SWASTIKAS. THEY ARE FUCKING NAZIS. No, this isn't name calling or shock labelling by the left.

      THEY ARE WEARING FUCKING NAZI SWASTIKAS. IN AMERICA. IN 2017.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

        Is it dio-design or diode-sign or even di-ode-sign? Just wondered, whilst you're here.

        1. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: diodesign

          It's "diodes ign," short for "diodes ignite." He (or she) has seen a lot of crappy Chinese power supplies in his (or her) time.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: diodesign

            short for "diodes ignite."

            And standard 12v transistors do as well, especially if you put 240v through them. After glowing like an LED for a short time.

            Errr.. allegedly.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

          "Is it dio-design or diode-sign or even di-ode-sign? Just wondered, whilst you're here.

          My money is on dio-des-ign ...

      2. J. Cook Bronze badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

        To add to it: (and pardon my swearing on this here forum post)

        THEY ARE MARCHING LIKE FUCKING NAZIS. THEY ARE TALKING LIKE FUCKING NAZIS. THEY ARE FUCKING **BEHAVING** LIKE FUCKING NAZIS.

        Looks like a duck, talks like a duck, acts like a duck, etc.

        Apparently, large portions of the country I live in have forgotten their history. The trick is 'is the world willing to teach it to us again', or is this how humanity ends?

        *drops mic*

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

          MATE, THEY ARE WEARING FUCKING NAZI SWASTIKAS. FUCKING NAZI SWASTIKAS. THEY ARE FUCKING NAZIS. No, this isn't name calling or shock labelling by the left.

          Perhaps they are just trying to make money on a Broadway Show?

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

            This is the problem when people get labelled nazis for correcting you're grammar. Real Nazis come along and people just assume you're being facetious again.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Stop

              Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

              This is the problem when people get labelled nazis for correcting you're grammar...

              Oooh... want to correct this, don't want to be labelled a Nazi, but want to correct this; what to do?

              1. Mycho Silver badge

                Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                Oooh... want to correct this, don't want to be labelled a Nazi, but want to correct this; what to do?

                You're a grammar pest. I hereby propose this as the new label to distinguish between pedants and the Charlottesville dickheads.

                For easy reference going forward:

                Grammar Pest: Someone who feels the overwhelming need to correct miner textual errors.

                Grammar Nazi: A woman over 60 years old who advocates ethnic cleansing.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                  "Grammar Nazi: A woman over 60 years old who advocates ethnic cleansing."
                  Sexist barsted...

                  1. Mycho Silver badge

                    Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                    Upset that I skipped giving a definition for Grampa Nazi?

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                      "Upset that I skipped giving a definition for Grampa Nazi?"
                      No, you misspelt grandma...

                      1. Mycho Silver badge

                        Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                        If we're being pedantic, it's "Grandmother".

                        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                          Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                          "If we're being pedantic, it's "Grandmother"."
                          No, that's being formal...

                2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

                  Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                  "Grammar Pest: Someone who feels the overwhelming need to correct miner textual errors."

                  a) Motion approved.

                  b) I see what you did there. Well played...

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                  Grammar Pest: Someone who feels the overwhelming need to correct miner textual errors.

                  Oh, for the love of God, you've done it again. It's MINOR!

                  I don't care any more if this makes me an actual Nazi, a grammar pest or a septuagenarian with challenging views, just learn to spell before posting any more words to the internet.

                  1. Mycho Silver badge

                    Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                    Eye wool tree herder.

                  2. ArrZarr Silver badge
                    Headmaster

                    Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                    @ Word_merchant

                    A septuagenarian is somebody between 70 and 79 inclusive.

                    The post you're referring to specifically stated a woman in her sixties.

                    To be fair, that is a miner mistake.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                      "A septuagenarian is somebody between 70 and 79 inclusive."
                      Not according to the OED. Septuagenarian:

                      "A person seventy years old."

                      But that is, as you say, a miner mistake in the minefield of etymology.

              2. David Nash Silver badge

                Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

                "you're grammar..."

                I did wonder whether that was deliberate...

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

      Umm. Can I suggest you put the crack pipe down. Open a window and let the fumes disperse

    3. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Everything I don't like is a Nazi

      They don’t actually spend a lot of time talking and writing about these groups. They spend most of their time talking about how to organize themselves, the issues that face white identity movements and the philosophical points of their thing.

      Well, I wonder how the author split "the philosophical points of their thing" from "these groups". I would assume that whatever line is drawn would be done to suit their particular world-view. If they were sympathetic then they would isolate all they could from the "talking and writing about these groups".

      Besides, the actual Nazis, despite the horrors the wought hardly spent all their time doing just that, they still had a country to run and a war to fight etc.

      The key point is that they do actually hold those views.

  9. Someone Else Silver badge
  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thin line between right and wrong

    I can understand that after an event like this people resort to ad-homenims like calling them "shitheads", but I think it's important to make a clear distinction between right and wrong, or events like this could be exploited to advocate new laws that will encroach on everyone's freedom.

    Forming organisations to represent and advocate the interests of one's religion / race / identity group is common and acceptable. White people must have the same right to form such such groups as anyone else, particularly where they are becoming an underclass. All groups also have the right to associate, hold meetings, stage protests and peacefully disseminate their views. Clearly the line that was crossed here was the assault / murder (or possible manslaughter) by an individual.

    The second line that was crossed is that at least one organisation involved closed ranks to defend the actions of said individual, rather than condemning them as illegal. Even if the perpetrator was provoked, their actions were legally indefensible. Any NGO defending them could be accused of advocating criminality, which is probably in violation of existing laws.

    I can't determine which organisations involved this protest crossed these lines. If they have any sense, they would publicly condemn this action, and expell / disassociate themselves from the criminals. Trump condemns racism, but racism was not the crime.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: The thin line between right and wrong

      I teetered between hitting "report abuse" and "downvote" here. In the end, I downvoted.

      Why? Because you are implying the same sort of false equivalence that Trump used when he said "... on many sides. On many sides."

      That dog won't hunt, Monseigneur.

      1. TheTick

        Re: The thin line between right and wrong

        "I teetered between hitting "report abuse" and "downvote" here. In the end, I downvoted."

        What abuse did you see in his post? I see none, just arguments that seem perfectly reasonable. Especially about events like these being exploited to create new laws that encroach on freedom.

        What did I miss?

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: The thin line between right and wrong

          The part below. It probably slipped under your radar because apart from that it seemed to be a rational post.

          Forming organisations to represent and advocate the interests of one's religion / race / identity group is common and acceptable. White people must have the same right to form such such groups as anyone else, particularly where they are becoming an underclass

          The false equivalency is between organisations like the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, and, well, fascists. Note that last bit: "particularly [when white people] are becoming an underclass".

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: The thin line between right and wrong

            Just to clarify that a bit more, I subscribe to Buckminster Fuller's view that a "racist" is "someone who believes in race." There is only one race, here, and we're all part of it. For that reason, I also reject the idea of forming organisations to advocate for one's race. It's a misguided concept.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: The thin line between right and wrong

              "Just to clarify that a bit more, I subscribe to Buckminster Fuller's view that a "racist" is "someone who believes in race." There is only one race, here, and we're all part of it. For that reason, I also reject the idea of forming organisations to advocate for one's race. It's a misguided concept."
              The only problem with that is it's biologically incorrect. We are all one species, but species are subdivided divided into races. As I pointed out elsewhere, within Africa there exist three haplogroups*/races; outside Africa there is only one haplogroup.

              Incorrect word usage inevitably leads to talking at cross purposes. Species != race.

              * Offspring inherit their mtDNA from their mother. Membership of a haplogroup is determined by which of the available mtDNA types you have. It's possible that Africa has more than three haplogroups; more may remain to be discovered.

              1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

                Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                There is no scientific definition of a race. The closest word is "landrace", which is nothing at all like what ignorant people like to label as "race".

                I am fully aware of what a species is. In that context, I find it ironic that you talk about "talking at cross purposes".

                Look up the whole Linnnaean (or other) taxonomic system. There are zero mentions of "race".

                1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

                  Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                  Oh, and by the way, the "race" I am talking about you being a part of is "the human race". Get with it.

                2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                  "There is no scientific definition of a race."

                  Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, p. 1777. ISBN 0-12-200400-0.

                  Race: an interbreeding subgroup of a species whose individuals are geographically, physiologically, or chromosomally distinct from other members of the species".

                  "Look up the whole Linnnaean (or other) taxonomic system. There are zero mentions of "race"."
                  Irrelevant. "Linnaean taxonomy" as such does not really exist; it's a collective term for several separate fields that use similar approaches. In biological taxonomy, race is an informal rank in the taxonomic hierarchy, below the level of species. Races are defined according to any identifiable characteristic, including gene frequencies. Chromosomal races are populations distinguished by having unique karyotypes and what I was referring to.

                3. Sweep

                  Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                  "Look up the whole Linnnaean (or other) taxonomic system. There are zero mentions of "race"."

                  There are zero mentions of "population", "form" or "morph" either. Do they not exist?

              2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                A haplogroup is not a race. It is merely one group of genes that happens to be traceable back many generations. We all have squillions of other genes that just aren't so readily traceable. Classifying humanity according to what you can trace is not biology; it is stamp collecting.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                  "A haplogroup is not a race."

                  So a haplogroup is not "an interbreeding subgroup of a species whose individuals are chromosomally distinct from other members of the species". Reference please. I do stand to be corrected if wrong. It's my understanding that you can't change from one haplogroup to another without changing who your mother was. A bit more difficult than "stamp collecting".

                  1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                    Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                    So a haplogroup is not "an interbreeding subgroup of a species whose individuals are chromosomally distinct from other members of the species"

                    No - because haplogroups can interbreed with each other. It's as meaningless a distinction as hair colour..

                    And your point about being able to change haplogroup - the same logic applies to any other genetic marker. So - the fact that I have a defective gene controlling thermal management - does that make me a separate 'race'? After all, it can only be changed be "changing who my mother was".

                    Genetics are what we get given (absent CRISPR). Don't fetishise one way of grouping people into something it isn't.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                      "No - because haplogroups can interbreed with each other. It's as meaningless a distinction as hair colour.."
                      I didn't say they couldn't; I actually said they could. I also said they were chromosomally distinct from other members of the species. This is so because the mtDNA is not carried on the germ cells, it's carried in the maternal mitochondria. Your mother is your mother. mtDNA from one haplogroup cannot pass to another. They remain distinct. An individual's hair colour doesn't even stay distinct in that individual's lifetime.

                      "And your point about being able to change haplogroup - the same logic applies to any other genetic marker."
                      Not so. I can select for or against any individual gene that occurs in a germ cell. I can only select for or against the full mtDNA package by selecting a particular mother. Absent genetic engineering.

                      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                        Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                        mtDNA contains 37 genes. That's three-seven, thirty-seven, of around 19,000 coding genes in the human genome.

                        Unless those genes differ significantly in function from one haplogroup to another, there's very little in them that you could claim distinguishes one human from another. Given that mtDNA codes for proteins used by your cells' mitochondria, which concern themselves with energy production, I am also going to assert that if you have a variant of one of these genes that differs significantly in function to anyone else's then you are going to have a very serious disease (think Charlie Gard).

                        mtDNA differs from nuclear DNA in that it is conserved unchanged from mother to child. Nuclear DNA undergoes mixing of genes from mother and father (with exception of the sex chromosomes).

                        In other words, any differences in these genes may be conserved from mother to child, and can therefore be used to determine the matrilineal ancestry to a group of individuals with the same variants. It isn't going to define 'race'.

                        The vast majority of what defines us as human is a mix of DNA from mother and father, and unless you come from a population that has been isolated from the rest of humanity for thousands of years (and if you're a non-native North American this isn't you), it is going to be a pretty good mix of many people from different origins.

                        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                          Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                          "mtDNA contains 37 genes. That's three-seven, thirty-seven, of around 19,000 coding genes in the human genome.

                          Unless those genes differ significantly in function from one haplogroup to another, there's very little in them that you could claim distinguishes one human from another."

                          But the main haplogroups contain subgroups that are grouped geographically and/or culturally, and are associated with varying ratios of important genes. I referred earlier to the recessive genes possessed by many Ashkenazim that can cause great distress when conveyed from both parents. The genes causing the problem aren't mtDNA, but they are strongly associated with a particular haplotype subgroup.

                          "Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.

                          Many drugs that are currently available are “one size fits all,” but they don't work the same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience negative side effects (called adverse drug reactions). Adverse drug reactions are a significant cause of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States. With the knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project, researchers are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body’s response to medications. These genetic differences will be used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.

                          The field of pharmacogenomics is still in its infancy. Its use is currently quite limited, but new approaches are under study in clinical trials. In the future, pharmacogenomics will allow the development of tailored drugs to treat a wide range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and asthma."

                          Should we really ignore our biological differences, or accept that they exist and make good use of that knowledge?

                      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                        Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                        "Your mother is your mother."

                        And using this particular marker, your father is not a relative. I'd say that makes this a pretty poor measure of "race".

                        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                          Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                          "And using this particular marker, your father is not a relative. I'd say that makes this a pretty poor measure of "race"."
                          And so far you have yet to come up with a reference that Homo sapiens sapiens is "a race" as you claim. Homo sapiens are the only surviving species in the Genus Homo I gave the scientific definition of race down to the actual page number of the dictionary: that is a race is a subdivision below the species level. To be a subdivision, there have to be at least two, else it's not a subdivision. You are not going to overturn the whole of biological nomenclature by arguing that 2 = 1 on El Reg.

                  2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                    Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                    I can't change *any* of my genes without changing my parents. Equally, however, I am not restricted in my interbreeding to those who are of the same haplogroup. There may be geographical constraints on supply, but in the last century or two these have lessened.

                    Furthermore, I'm not sure I could place any potential partner in their correct haplogroup if I wanted to, so I'm afraid interbreeding may now be unavoidable. Of course, because of the high degree of traceability down the female line, there is zero traceability down the male line, so we'll never know just how much interbreeding has already occurred.

                    Oh, and I don't think I need a reference. You appear to understand the genetics just fine. From here, the consequences are just maths.

            2. TheElder

              Re: The thin line between right and wrong

              There is only one race here, the human race. This is a lot like the change that happens to most of the astronauts. When they fly in orbit they realise that there are no visible borders, just this tiny blue planet. All this constant war we engage in is meaningless. About the only possible benefit is to reduce overpopulation. There are much better ways to do that. Education is a good start. Getting rid of at least some of the the corruption we are constantly plagued with is another area that really needs fast action.

              Corruption Index

              Pay attention to the graph. It is very misleading since it uses 70 as the bottom line, not zero.

              I attended a lecture by Fuller one time. He was a very interesting man.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                "There is only one race here, the human race."
                Presumably haplogroup L3. Leaving haplogroups L1 and L2 as ubermensch? Fuck me...

                "I attended a lecture by Fuller one time. He was a very interesting man."
                I have no problems agreeing with that...

                "Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment." -- R. Buckminster Fuller

                1. TheElder

                  Fuck me...

                  You are not my haplotype. I prefer these...Ѡ

                  I also wonder where I fit into the "White, blond hair" group? I have somewhat brown hair but I also have Piebaldism. I am half Danish.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: Fuck me...

                    "I am half Danish."
                    I'm half English, half Austrian and half Jewish. Probably explains why I'm overweight...

              2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                Re: The thin line between right and wrong

                Oh how I hate graphs with truncated axes, especially when they are used to accentuate a small change.

          2. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: The thin line between right and wrong

            @Frumious Bandersnatch:

            The part below. It probably slipped under your radar because apart from that it seemed to be a rational post.

            Forming organisations to represent and advocate the interests of one's religion / race / identity group is common and acceptable. White people must have the same right to form such such groups as anyone else, particularly where they are becoming an underclass

            While distasteful, how is it abusive in the context of the discussion? Are you saying this person doesn't have the right to express that view when it has become a discussion about ideology with conversations about Nazism, Communism, Capitalism, discrimination, white supremacy, etc.?

            Is it worth downvoting? Absolutely. Is it worth countering? Again, yes.

            I would classify reporting that comment as abusive would be an abuse in and of itself.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The thin line between right and wrong

        Triggered!

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: The thin line between right and wrong

      "White people must have the same right to form such such groups as anyone else"

      I may be a stupid Brit who has fuck all understanding of American politics and issues, but it seems to me that the majority of "everyone else" forming such groups do so because they are hoping for a freedom from oppression, while these "white people" are actually seeking a means to oppress those who...aren't white.

      Apples and pears.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The thin line between right and wrong

      >particularly where they are becoming an underclass

      Really? You really, honestly believe that?

      Have a look at the people in power (politicians, CEOs etc). How many are not-white?

    4. InNY

      Re: The thin line between right and wrong

      <quote>White people must have the same right to form such such groups as anyone else, particularly where they are becoming an underclass. </quote>

      White people are becoming an underclass? Really? Where?

      Oh, yeah! Zimbabwe!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: The thin line between right and wrong

        "White people are becoming an underclass? Really? Where?"
        I don't think Bob Dylan was singing about Zimbabwe:

        Only A Pawn In Their Game

  11. MrDamage

    The Irony

    Of idiots who claim supremacy, marching under the flags of people who never won a war.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The Irony

      They got silver, it's a podium place.

      1. ACcc

        Podium place

        Not sure they got silver - I'd give that to the Russians: winning side eventually but lost a lot more people, and supported the Germans to start with which bit them on the arse when Germany invaded.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Podium place

          Surely the Italians were second, Russians third?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Podium place

            I think the Italians were - did not finish but then took selfies with the medal winners later

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: The Irony

      Also: Trump supporters who told Hillary's lot "you lost, get over it" marching in support of the Confederacy.

    3. TheElder

      Marching under the flags of people who never won a war.

      It is NOT the flag of the Germans. It is the flag invented by a Dictator who made it clear that if you didn't follow his precise orders he would kill you no matter where you live or who you are. My uncles fought in the underground. My father worked behind the lines as an intelligence officer. He taught me some Russian. My mother still tells me about the incredible privation they suffered in Denmark during the war. My grandmother would save just a little sugar so she could throw it into the fireplace to see it sparkle each Christmas. I have been to Germany twice. Nobody likes to fly the German national flag because they are so ashamed of what happened.

      That is why they are arresting people that lift their hand the wrong way.

      So now we have a Kleptocratic dictator in the dark house. Then we might have an EMP war and it will be dark forever.

  12. choleric

    The ultimate

    Godwin's Law is in meltdown. El Reg gets there in the flippin' subhead! No führer comment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The future...

      I appreciate that you are reiching for that pun

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: The future...

        "I appreciate that you are reiching for that pun"
        I think you just Hitlered the nail on the head...

  13. jake Silver badge

    Something people are missing.

    They claim they want to "take back America".

    Excuse me? THE FUCKING NAZIS NEVER HAD THIS COUNTRY! How can the blithering idiots "take back" something they never had?

    This is America. I know what this country is for, and THEY can't have it!

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Something people are missing.

      "Excuse me? THE FUCKING NAZIS NEVER HAD THIS COUNTRY! How can the blithering idiots "take back" something they never had?"
      I think most of us loathe Nazism because of its eugenics element. It's worth noting that applied eugenics occurred in the USA long before it was taken up in Nazi Germany.

      "In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement.

      ....

      By 1928, there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States' leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum."

      Hitler didn't gain power in Germany until 1933.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Something people are missing.

        Kellog was a crank. He never had anything resembling power in this country. Try not to equate the views of a single nut-job with the opinion of the rest of us, it just makes you look silly.

        Included in a curriculum doesn't automagically mean that most people agree it is a good idea. For example, eugenics is included in various curricula today. As in "those who forget history ...".

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Something people are missing.

          "For example, eugenics is included in various curricula today. As in "those who forget history ..."."
          For those who forget history:

          "But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little-known, role in the American eugenics movement's campaign for ethnic cleansing.

          Eugenics was the pseudoscience aimed at "improving" the human race. In its extreme, racist form, this meant wiping away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in 27 states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries."

          Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Something people are missing.

            You sound accusatory. Have I come across as condoning this kind of behavio(u)r?

            Most nations in that era had similar things going on[0]. That doesn't make what they were doing right. In fact, Sonoma State Hospital, an easy ride from where I type, was a part of that nightmare. I wasn't there at the time. I can't change history. I can, however, learn from the atrocities of the past and do what I can as an individual to see to it that the society that I live in doesn't repeat the errors. Nor sweep them under the rug. I was one of the vocal people who helped convince the asshats on Capitol Hill[1] to pass California SB 1135, which FINALLY banned forced sterilization in correctional facilities in 2014. Yes, twenty fucking fourteen! Our hands are not clean, and I for one don't pretend otherwise (how's the ol' History War coming along? Visited Risdon Cove and/or Oyster Cove recently?).

            [0] Note "most" and "similar", not "all" and "the same". Ta.

            [1] Which is not on a hill here in California, but that's another story.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Something people are missing.

              "You sound accusatory. Have I come across as condoning this kind of behavio(u)r?"
              Then please accept my apologies; I did not intend to. You most definitely have not come across as condoning this behaviour. You did however state: "Try not to equate the views of a single nut-job with the opinion of the rest of us, it just makes you look silly." I was pointing out that it was a lot more than the views of a single nutjob. And as you say it wasn't until 2014 that "forced sterilization in correctional facilities" was banned. That makes me glad; I was unaware of it and believed that law was still in effect.

              "how's the ol' History War coming along? Visited Risdon Cove and/or Oyster Cove recently?"
              Don't believe everything that the black armbanders tell you of Tasmanian history. As one of my aboriginal acquaintances has said: We must be the only race [Tasmanian Aborigines] on the planet who have to prove our existence every day.

      2. ACcc

        Re: I think most of us loathe Nazism because of its eugenics element.

        Hmm. Personally I loathe the Nazis for starting a major European war that resulted in the deaths of millions and for arbitrarily murdering innumerable people of various religions, creeds, races and sexual or political orientations they disliked.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: I think most of us loathe Nazism because of its eugenics element.

          I was against the Nazis you know

          Yes I think most people were

          But I wrote a letter !

  14. Mycho Silver badge

    Trae Crowder put it best

    They protest about their rights as American citizens under the flag of people who fought against those rights, as well as under the swastika. Two symbols best known as the flags of people who lost.

  15. TheElder

    Be Careful

    The word NAZI has various meanings in combining forms. Those of Jewish decent from the central and eastern regions of Europe are commonly Ashkenazi Jews.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Yeah, no.

      The Ashkenazim, also known as Ashkenazi Jews, derive their name from Ashkenaz not from Nazism.

      Just like a pregnant woman can go into labour without changing her politics.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Yeah, no.

        "The Ashkenazim, also known as Ashkenazi Jews, derive their name from Ashkenaz not from Nazism."
        As I understand it, Nazi is a common contraction of the name Ignatz (Ignatius) and in the region of Austria where my father was born also means a stupid and clumsy person.

        I think you can guess how I know that. My name's Jonathan, not Ignatius.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate Illinois Nazis!

    - Jake

    [Peter Gunn theme...]

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: I hate Illinois Nazis!

      I hate what all Nazis stand for.

      - jake

      [Dead Kennedys, Nazi Punks, Fuck Off!]

    2. Chemical Bob Bronze badge

      Re: I hate Illinois Nazis!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsxwhRiiWtc

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which side are the Nazis?

    But which side was he refering to, because as far as I can see right now, both sides of the far left and far right are acting equally as bad as each other. Both sides are out to cause violence and stop the other side from voicing their opinions. Even if you disagree with what people say, they still have a right to say it, what they don't have is a right to be listened to.

    AC because I think this one is going to kick off.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Which side are the Nazis?

      As far as I'm concerned you've raised a good point and is the elephant in the room.

      There is a definite difference between disagreeing with the tragically short-sighted and bigoted views of these neo-nazi's and virtue signalling to the rest of the world that "I hate the Romans already!" (Closely followed by 'oh yeah, how much?'...."A LOT!").

      However, moderate views are not welcome in a war between who can be the biggest arseholes on the planet.

    2. samzeman

      Re: Which side are the Nazis?

      I feel like someone has said these exact words before, in these comments specifically, but it's important to note.

      Were both sides equally as bad in dunkirk, or the somme? How about in the cold war?

      One side advocates genocide, the other advocates.... like, free healthcare or something. but mostly just shutting up the actual Nazis.

      The right isn't out to shut up the left, they're out to achieve their goals of killing at worst, exporting at best. The left is indeed out to shut up the right, because they're condoning actions that are unethical to anybody with any sort of moral compass.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: Which side are the Nazis?

        The nazis are the ones with the swastikas. It's a big clue.

        As for the other "side", they're actually a mixed bunch. The ones falsely identifying innocent people are just as bad as the nazis, whether deliberately or otherwise. Exclude those, and the inevitable handful who came along looking for an excuse for violence, and the majority are likely just ordinary people.

  18. handleoclast Silver badge

    How many downthumbs will this get?

    I've seen some crazy stuff posted here. Seriously crazy. It amounts to: "These guys want to oppress others by taking away their rights so we must take away their rights."

    Seriously, thoughts are not (yet) criminal. Having thoughts that are outright fuckwitted is not (yet) criminal. Performing criminal acts is, not unsurprisingly, criminal. Being a dickhead is not a crime, acting like a dickhead is. Yes, the racists/nazis are fucking dickheads, but they only cross the line into criminality when they use violence.

    Time for a Chomsky quote. He's phrased this in several different ways, but this one is as good as any:

    Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.

    Don't like Chomsky? Doesn't make what he says there any less true. But if you prefer to hear it from somebody else, read John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.

    Want to argue those neo-nazis are fuck-headed idiots? I'm with you on that one.

    Want to argue that both their premises and their logic are seriously flawed? I'm with you there, too.

    Want to argue they crossed the line when they resorted to intimidation, let alone outright violence? I'm way ahead of you.

    Want to argue they should be censored? Go fuck yourself.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: How many downthumbs will this get?

      "Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin."

      That brings back a political joke from the Soviet era.

      "When do we get a freedom of speech like Americans have? You know, in America people can go near the White House yelling "Reagan is a moron!" and they won't be punished. Try something like that on the Red Square..."

      "Oh, but we already have that freedom. You can go to the Red Square, yell "Reagan is a moron!", and you won't be punished. Even better, you are strongly encouraged to say that about Kohl and Thatcher too."

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: How many downthumbs will this get?

        "That brings back a political joke from the Soviet era."
        At a May Day parade, a very old Jew carries a slogan, "Thank you, comrade Stalin, for my happy childhood!"

        The Party representative approaches the old man. "What's that? Are you deriding our Party? Everybody can see, when you were a child, comrade Stalin was not yet born!"

        "That's precisely what I'm grateful to him for!" the Jew said.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: How many downthumbs will this get?

          Museum of Stalin. A visitor is strolling by the exhibition. He stops in front of the picture of Stalin's mother. Takes a thoughtful look and murmurs quietly: "Eh, she seems to be such an intelligent woman. How come she didn't have the wisdom to do an abortion?"

  19. Shannon Jacobs

    Short-circuiting discussion is BAD and helped Trumpism

    Unintended consequences. Back in the days before he proposed his law Mike was a major flamer and, if you ask me, occasional troll. I think the real reason he proposed the law was because too many of the "discussions" he was involved in sank to the level of flame wars and name calling, where Nazi was the ultimate slander and the proof that further discussion was pointless.

    His wording of the law was clever (in his own peculiar way), but the unintended consequence was to short-circuit a lot of real-world comparisons of people who really were acting like Nazis or wannabe Nazis. NOW he wants to apologize and make amends (again in his own peculiar way). I had concluded that some of Trump's supporters should be compared to various unsavory characters long ago--but I still didn't really understand what was going on, especially regarding the targeted use of disinformation.

    Anyway the chief troll of those days in Austin used the handle Omega Man. He's already passed away, but I still want to study the lesson of his life... Mike wanted to "rehabilitate" him, or at least help him improve his social skills, but I was on the other side, regarding him as incorrigible... Did he get better? If so, what or who influenced him in a positive direction? If not, does that prove my old thesis that too much computer usage is bad for mental hygiene?

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Short-circuiting discussion is BAD and helped Trumpism

      I agree, but doesn't shouting Nazi at someone who isn't a nazi short circuit discussion in its own way?

      Assuming that they're not a nazi, by calling them one you lose the argument by virtue of saying something obviously wrong. People who know them know they're not a nazi and so they also accept that your argument is just wrong.

      Godwin's law isn't some amazing wisdom, but before it was known I got quite sick of hearing Jewish friends called nazis for not supporting special benefits for certain musicians. (real example)

  20. Pompous Git Silver badge

    mtDNA: as meaningless as hair colour or stamp collecting

    Migration of Anatomically Modern Humans out of Africa

    Thanks to mtDNA mapping we now know for example that Polynesia was not colonised from South America, that Britain was colonised by farmers from the region we now call Syria and that Australia's Aborigines were the first anatomically modern humans to leave Africa.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: mtDNA: as meaningless as hair colour or stamp collecting

      "Polynesia was not colonised from South America"

      Yeah, but Heyerdahl's voyage was nevertheless a cool feat. It's remotely possible that South Americans did reach Polynesia and brought some bits of culture with them, but their genes did not survive into our era.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: mtDNA: as meaningless as hair colour or stamp collecting

        "It's remotely possible that South Americans did reach Polynesia"

        It's a dead certainty that polynesian and south american paths crossed at some point, somewhere. The polynesian ubiquity of the Sweet potato (Kumara) is proof of that even if there's no trace in human gene lines.

  21. captain_solo

    Godwin's Law doesn't apply to the actual swastika wearing National Socialists down in VA, but it certainly applies to the commentards on this article. I hope the incidences were intentional and ironic, but alas, I think not.

  22. MeRp

    To be fair...

    I'd be all too happy if all the fascists, both those who claim to be and those who claim not to be, just went away. Using violence and the threat of violence to force your opinion on the culture and to suppress the opinion of those you disagree with is totally antithetical to the core principles of the US constitution. Furthermore, two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how wrong the first one is; responding in kind only exacerbates the problem.

    I suspect Godwin agrees with that; he says to call them Nazis, since that is what they are. Defeat their ideology. But he doesn't say to go into the streets and utilize violence and mayhem to suppress them.

  23. earl grey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Bugs Bunny would call them "maroons"

    I'm good with that.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bugs Bunny would call them "maroons"

      I believe that would be "ultra maroons", at least in the vernacular.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Bugs Bunny would call them "maroons"

      "Morans" is also acceptable alternative spelling.

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