By John 'Birdman' Bryant
Date: June 06, 2006
To: The usual suspects
From: John Bryant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Re: Birdman's Weekly Letter #379: Do Whites Benefit From Affirmative Action?
Contents: Opinion (as always)
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Do Whites Benefit from Affirmative Action?
In his essay "I Guess I Touched a Nerve" at http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/leonard_pitts/7054701 Leonard Pitts Jr, in an effort to argue against the notion that affirmative action promotes incompetent blacks over better qualified whites, claims that whites have long benefited from affirmative action. In particular, he argues that
"If affirmative action is defined as giving someone an extra boost based on race, it's hard to see how anyone can argue the point. Slots for academic admission, for employment and promotion, for bank loans and for public office have routinely been set aside for white men. This has always been the nation's custom. Until the 1960s, it was also the nation's law."
Altho Pitts' argument is a bit incoherent, what we can say is that white men have benefited from the fact that, other things being equal, white men prefer to hire men of their own race. But then the very same thing can be said of black men: Black employers prefer to hire men of their own race. So how can Pitts maintain -- implicitly -- that white men benefit from discrimination and black men don't?
The answer, of course, is simple: Relative to population, there aren't too many black employers, ie, if blacks want work, they have to go to whitey. This, however, defeats Pitts' implicit premise that blacks are 'equal'. Needless to say, he will argue that blacks have been historically discriminated against, and this is why they have not developed businesses the same as whites; but against this we may point out that many other races -- Chinese, Jews, Irish, etc -- have encountered the same problem, but have nevertheless thrived. The conclusion, of course, is that blacks are inferior, at least in the economic sphere. (We will, of course, concede their superiority in basketball, penis size, and crime.)
But there is more to the matter than that; for if blacks really were equal to whites in competence, racial discrimination would most likely wither away like the proverbial Marxian totalitarian state. The basic idea is that, if blacks are discriminated against in the workplace, this means that blacks would have to offer their services at a discount in order to find work. However, as soon as non-discriminating white employers discover that 'equal' blacks are lower-priced than whites, they will begin hiring blacks and benefit from the 'black discount'. This, then, gives non-discrimination an advantage over discrimination in the free marketplace, meaning that discrimination will eventually crumble as discriminating employers are driven from the marketplace by more economically-efficient non-discrimination.
All of which is to say that Mr Pitts is either a gushing liberal, or else an affirmative action black.
This week's Hell's Lettres: Correspondence with Simon Sheppard
Note: To make it more readable, the initial part of this correspondence has been omitted.
To: Simon Sheppard <email@example.com> www.heretical.com PO Box 1004 Hull Yorkshire HU3 2YT
From: Birdman Date: 04 June 2006 Contents: Opinion
I want to take this opportunity to carefully review our conflict.
Some years ago you objected to the fact that I was posting on my site material which had been taken from your site. I understand your objection -- you wanted people to come directly to your site in order to give you the traffic. All webmasters want traffic -- it makes them feel important, and -- if they seek advertising -- it allows them to charge a higher price.
My response to your objection was that I did not personally take your material -- I merely posted files on my site that my correspondents sent me, and that I would have been just as happy to post urls, had my correspondents sent them to me, which would have given YOU the traffic. In fact, I would have PREFERRED to have posted urls, because if I post files rather than urls, that means that I have to go thru the trouble of loading them onto my site, which takes a few minutes for each file.
Your response to this explanation was to get nasty and remove a link to my site from your own. That was an act of high pettiness, but my response was to LEAVE INTACT the link I had posted for your site on my Links page, but with an explanation of how petty you had been. I did not want to appear petty, as you had shown yourself to be, but I did want the message of your pettiness to get out.
OK, now fast-forward to late last year, where my site got knocked off the air because of a hack attack on my then-webhost, 1st-Amendment.net. When you heard about this, you invited me to put up a skeleton page on your site -- a seemingly generous move, which I imagined to be motivated by a desire to 'kiss and make up' in view of your previously sorry behavior, tho it turned out to apparently be motivated by your desire to acquire me as a customer for your reselling business -- you wanted to become my webhost by reselling space to me that was actually on another webhost's computer. OK, a little disappointing, perhaps, but surely nothing unethical. So I took your bait and became your customer. I told you I had been paying 1st Amendment $15 per month; you started charging me $18. OK, no big deal.
Now fast forward to the present. I got an email from you a few days ago pointing out that (gasp!) I had a file from your site posted in my archives ("Articles of Others"), and you wanted me to take it down. Your motive was apparently the same as when we first had a conflict -- you wanted the traffic that your file was drawing. I wrote back to explain my policies and why I wasn't going to take it down. Here is the relevant information which I intended to convey:
* All files which are posted on my site are first posted on my Daily Reads page. Some I wish to post permanently, which end up in my archives; others are just posted temporarily.
* Whenever I have an url for a file on another website that I want to post on Daily Reads, I post the url. HOWEVER, if there is a file I wish to post permanently, I will post the url on Daily Reads if I have it, but keep a copy of the file and (eventually) post that file (rather than the url) in my archives.
* I do not post urls to other websites in my archives because websites come and go, and an article which I want to post permanently may disappear if I don't post the actual article on my site. To post only urls would begin to leave 'holes' in my archives, and -- given enuf time -- the archive would completely disappear. Obviously, I have invested a lot of time in creating the archive, so I don't want it to disappear. Posting the actual files is the only way to keep that from happening.
The above reflect my policies, but your attitude is apparently that I must take 'your' articles down, because you have invested time in creating them, and you want the traffic. I understand that concern, but I TOO HAVE MADE AN INVESTMENT in creating an archive, and I want to preserve that investment. So clearly, I have a moral right to post 'your' material in my archives, at least if I am not doing it wholesale, which I am not.
That's the morality of the matter, but the real issue, I think, is your ego, or more precisely, your insecurity. What happened is that you -- stupidly, because you didn't learn anything from our first conflict -- complained about 'your' article being 'taken' by me. That in itself is an ego/insecurity problem. But then when I turned you down, you went postal -- I had provided a blow to your ego which you couldn't take because of your insecurity. No matter the foolishness or the real cost to you -- you HAD to be right.
A point relevant to the above discussion is that most people are happy to have their material posted by others. It may not give them traffic for the specific article, but -- providing they have put their name and url on the article, which you do -- it provides exposure for them or their site. You, on the other hand, are so god-damned possessive of the traffic your articles might generate, that you do not even think of the peripheral benefits such as the one just mentioned, which could be far greater than the traffic for the particular article. You also do not consider the good-will which is expressed when others post your articles, and the ill will which is generated when you hassle them about it. Or to put it another way, you are short-sightedly stupid.
But beyond this, you do not seem to see yourself as part of the Movement -- the White Liberation Movement, the movement which seeks to free whites from the predations of its enemies, particularly liberals and Jews. I find that a bit strange for someone who has been to prison for (as I understand it) being politically incorrect. I also find it strange that you do not see the importance of archives such as the one I have. My archive is a vital part of my website which -- if my viewer statistics are to be believed -- is playing an important role in holding back the enemies at the gates. To employ an over-used metaphor, you seem to be preoccupied with rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while it is in danger of sinking.
But there is more to your pettiness and shortsightedness than just your narrow selfish interest in this matter. The webhost to which we have now moved our site -- SiteGround -- just so happens to be the outfit for which you are a reseller; but when we asked for permission from you (required by SiteGround) to move our files from your area on the computer to the new area where our site will be, you refused, thus requiring that we reload our site by hand. It gained you nothing -- it just made trouble for us (not that much, actually) -- but the utter pettiness of it all, combined with an apparent unconsciousness of what my site is all about (the Movement) just makes you out to be one of the lowest forms of life in cyberspace.
But for all your pettiness, grasping and greediness, you are actually much further behind now than when you started all this. First, you have made yourself an enemy -- myself -- who just a month ago had told you that he would make a fundraising plea for you on his website to help you with your recent legal troubles (You refused, saying you didn't need the money). I have to ask, why would one deliberately turn a friend into an enemy over an issue which had already caused problems years ago? Are you just stupid, or can't you be happy without a fight? But it gets worse, because, by our now being independent customers on SiteGround, we have reduced our costs from $18 to $6 a month, and reduced your income by at least that amount. Now maybe you don't need the money, but then why are you in the business?
But if the above is not enuf, you have wrongly accused me of being unethical in placing my site with SiteGround. You said:
[QUOTE] " It is unethical for you (John) to approach them directly -- it is only through me that you know about them at all. I suggest you find a web host elsewhere. It is only my professionalism that has stopped me from pulling your site entirely. Many would have, faced with the attitude displayed, never mind going over my head to the web hosting company." [END QUOTE]
If there is some ethics violation here by me, I do not perceive it. Yes, I benefited from information you gave me, but so what? That's no ethics violation. Maybe you harmed yourself by telling us, but as I recall, we discovered it on our own -- not that you could have kept it from us. (My point: If you harm yourself, that does not make us guilty of an ethics violation.) To which I might add that we had other webhosts to go to, eg, NearlyFreeSpeech.net. Which means that ACCUSING US OF AN ETHICS VIOLATION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MAKES ***YOU*** GUILTY OF AN ETHICS VIOLATION.
So let me just summarize, Simon. You are insecure, egotistical, petty and grasping, you turn on your friends, you are stupid, you are unethical, you are ungrateful, and you tried for purely personal reasons to throw up a block against a device -- the article archive -- which is absolutely crucial to the Movement. If I omitted anything, just let me know.
To which I will add that your behavior reminds me of Jonathan Swift's remark that "We have enough religion to make us hate, but not love, one another."
PS: I am going to post this letter permanently on my site. If you want to attempt to refute any of these charges, or make fresh ones, I will post or link your comments, possibly with more of my own (which I will allow you to reply to, etc). I always try to be fair, even to assholes like you.
On 6/4/06 at 10:17 AM Simon Sheppard wrote:
Your email is "TL-DR" - Too Long - Didn't Read. You're not my customer any more, in fact you closed down in a rush so as not to pay any more than strictly necessary, so why should I give you my time? I have 40 domains to check and another site doing 8GB/day so I'm busy with that.
Maybe you didn't read it, but others will, including Luke. I don't think you will earn too many Brownie points playing Ostrich.
[Simon replied with a brief note -- unfortunately now lost -- saying something like 'I wish I had never gotten involved with you.' Birdman thought of several cheeky responses, but decided to refrain from replying in view of that old saying, "Never hit a man when he's down. He might get up."]
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