Did I swallow the red pill, or am I still reasonable?

[The “red pill” and its opposite, the “blue pill” are popular cultural ideas – metaphors that represent the choice between knowledge, freedom, and the brutal truths of reality (red pill), and the safety, happiness, and ignorance of illusion (blue pill).]

MONDAY, 18 JUNE 2018

I understand why people, especially young men, want to migrate across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

I also understand why many European people see mass migration as an attack on their way of living, welfare, language, and culture – and why they are pushing back.


(Inspired by the article “Devastation and Denial: Cambodia and the Academic Left”.)


A particular political group claims something is happening. Just because you are opposed to this group’s politics is not to say that that particular event is not happening.

One example: Conservative, pro-free market, pro-capitalism politicians, especially those in positions of power, took every opportunity during the Cold War (1945-1990) to argue that communism was an evil doctrine. (They also had the habit of ignoring injustices perpetrated by their own side.) In 1975-1979 they spoke of hundreds of thousands of people who had been killed and who were dying of hunger and inhumane treatment at the hands of the radical communist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Many of their political opponents on the left ignored them, with tragic consequences. These people had clung to their own ideological positions instead of critically looking at reports about what was going on in Cambodia. One gets the idea that eyewitness reports were inconvenient for them, and instead of doing their own research they decided to reject and even criticise the reports.


Just because you can point to one case where someone whom you oppose politically was disastrously wrong is not to say they are wrong on other positions they take.

An example: Malcolm Caldwell, a British Marxist, was critical of American imperialism and the foreign policy of other Western powers in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also an energetic supporter of the Khmer Rouge – until he was killed in his hotel room in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, in 1978. The fact that he was wrong about the Khmer Rouge does, however, not mean he was wrong in his criticism of American actions and policies, and those of other Western powers in those decades.

SUNDAY, 22 JULY 2018


I watched a conversation on TV this morning with a woman who advocated the term “theybies” instead of babies. The idea is to not program the young child with any gender before the child has had an opportunity to choose their own gender. (According to nbcnews.com: “to shield them from gender stereotypes”).

So, I thought: Why stop at gender? It’s just one of many factors that ultimately determines who and what you are and how you think of yourself. Why speak English to the child? Why not expose the child to a dozen languages in equal measure, and give the child a chance to choose their own language? Same with culture. The American parents of a young child should never mention baseball and hot dogs and Independence Day or any other aspect of American culture in those first few years of a child’s development. What if the child wants to be culturally Portuguese, or Russian or Taiwanese? Then those parents would have caused the child irreparable damage programming him/her/X with a culture not of the child’s own choosing. The same goes with socioeconomic elements of their upbringing. How dare the parents expose the child only to middle-class culture? Should the child not be equally exposed to at least also working-class culture and artistic-bohemian? And if the child is primarily exposed to artistic-bohemian culture, how dare those parents? What if the child ultimately realises that he/she/X is petite bourgeois?


Most citizens of a country are keen to welcome new immigrants with talents and outstanding abilities.

Most citizens of a country are keen to welcome new immigrants with positive characteristics.

Most citizens of a country are keen to welcome new immigrants who are tolerant and open-minded.

Most citizens of a country are keen to welcome new immigrants who will contribute something to their community.

What people do not want is more garbage in the street. (The nation’s own citizens already create enough litter.)

What people do not want is more criminals. (There are already enough criminals among their fellow citizens.)

What people do not want is intolerance. (There is already enough intolerance among their own country folk.)

What people do not want are more gangs of young men angry with people they hold responsible for their own misery. (There are already enough gangs of nihilistic young citizens who destroy communities.)

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Us South African English teachers in Taiwan are like Mexicans, and other Central American people who want to go to the US in search of a better life, and Taiwan is our America. We arrive here with a tourist visa, knowing that we are going to look for work, and if we get a job, that we might settle down here. We also hope for a “green card” (APRC plus personal work permit) that will allow us to live and work here permanently.