Mark Kleiman* shows classic tertiary stage of [runaway conspiracy theorizing~].

[~It’s too nice a day to be that mean.]

Basically, [runaway conspiracy theorizing] – which is my (non-professional**) term for the condition – follows three stages:

  1. OK, [insert conspiracy theory here] obviously isn’t completely true, but there’s some stuff here that suggests that they have a point.
  2. [stunned look]  My God. It all makes sense, now.  This explains every mystery of human society, ever. I was blind before, blind!
  3. Yeah, it’s all because of the Joooooooooooooooooooooos.

You can function more or less indefinitely at Stage 1, but once you hit Stage 2 it’s really, really difficult to keep from hitting Stage 3.  So, anyway… Mark Kleiman.  Notably known for taking far too seriously the notion that asking people to show a picture ID when they vote*** is actually a Republican conspiracy.  So he’s a high-risk candidate.

And here we go:

UCLA Prof. Mark Kleiman—an expert on drug policy that we’ve praised before—has, like many well-meaning people before him, fallen victim to Jewcentricity. Via the Free Beacon, we came across a blog post of Kleiman’s on the Washington Monthly site telling people with “Jewish sounding names” to write their DC representatives to oppose the Iran sanctions bill in the Senate. Apparently, Kleiman thinks that US Senators and Representatives will count email from “Jewish sounding names” as being so important that it will sway their votes.

Via Instapundit.  The Washington Free Beacon has more along these lines, including Kleiman’s apparent obsession with Sheldon Adelson****. Which is why I actually feel kind of bad about Walter Russel Mead; he fairly obviously doesn’t know about this rule of thumb.  It is indeed very depressing, Walter.  You see the best – for given values of ‘best’ – minds of their generation lost to madness over it…

Moe Lane

*I’m talking about him out of nostalgia: he was one of the old school bloggers. Had some promise, but never really went anywhere and never could quite figure out why.

**To put it mildly.

***Amazing how people like Mark Kleiman think that minority voters don’t write checks, buy booze, buy cigarettes, drive, go abroad, open a bank account, or buy decent decongestants.  But if I start rolling my eyes at the epistemic closure that’s typically on display by provincials from the Left Coast then I’ll be doing it for the rest of the morning, and I have things to do today.

****Presumably because Adelson once called for the US to drop a nuke on some uninhabited Iranian desert, the better to get Iran’s attention. Which is an argument that I don’t buy, any more than I buy the argument that doing something similar to Japan would have caused the country to surrender in WWII.  That last is, I believe, an at least mildly popular delusion among the anti-war crowd; I wonder why Kleiman hasn’t fulminated against it? – Oh, right, Israel.

3 thoughts on “Mark Kleiman* shows classic tertiary stage of [runaway conspiracy theorizing~].”

  1. Yeah, that last one. It took TWO nukes on necessary industrial cities – after wreaking the same destruction conventionally on Tokyo – to do the trick.

    We’re frankly lucky they didn’t know we didn’t have any more left (right away), or were fanatical enough to ignore the bombs. We may have had to invade *anyway*.

  2. For the information of anyone who shows up who was educated in a public school, or on the Japanese curriculum, here is why we say this.
    1) No, they were not going to surrender anyway. We knew at the time exactly what they were prepared to do, as we had broken the Japanese diplomatic cipher, Purple.
    2) No, the existing terms weren’t good enough. The Americans were seeking terms that would allow them to ensure that there would not be another war with Japan in twenty years or so. This is why they held out for unconditional surrender.
    3) Even if you consider only Japanese to be human, the bomb saved lives. The firebombing, which the Japanese were entirely prepared to endure, was killing fairly substantial numbers of Japanese. Even if the bomb only knocked a few months off the war, the math points that way.
    4) The Japanese armed forces were killing a fairly significant number of non-combatants in the non-Japanese Asian populations. Again, even knocking a few months off the war would be a huge savings in life.
    5) Neither of those really matters, even if the Japanese ought to be saying thank you for the bomb, as it was entirely proper for the decision to be made on the grounds of American interest, and saving American lives. Operations Olympic and Downfall were projected to be quite costly. There are almost certainly here commentators alive today only because their forefathers were not killed assaulting the main islands.
    6) There were alternatives for waging the war to bombing and infantry. The Japanese, even with American food aid, got down to around 1000 calories a day in some places after the surrender. Hindsight suggests that we could have instead eventually starved them into surrendering. However, this would have taken a very long time, and war weariness could stopped things first.
    7) The bomb only worked because of a loophole in Japanese psychology. They made a distinction between resisting human phenomena, which could be worthwhile, and resisting natural phenomena, which was seen as senseless. At the time, nuclear explosions were seen as being on the scale of natural phenomena.
    8) If Japan had retained sufficient autonomy after the war, they would have likely have been prepared for another war in twenty to thirty years. Depending on nuclear proliferation during that period of time, they might well have been able to enter that war psychologically prepared to endure nuclear explosions. Testing an ‘unstoppable’ spear against such an impenetrable shield would not have been a fun exercise.
    9) IIRC, the dropping of the second bomb was bungled. That design, dropped as intended, would have killed a lot more people.
    10) Kyoto was taken off both the conventional and nuclear target lists. I have thought that this was immoral.

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