Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Equivalences

 

“To say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.” – William F. Buckley

The left is very invested in false equivalences nowadays. We have seen example after example in the impeachment hearings over the last weeks. Context matters, and the motivations for actions also matter. As Buckley illustrates an action that is generally unacceptable – pushing old ladies around – may become justifiable in the context of a situation.

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  1. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    The CIA have acquired more in common with KGB than I was aware of before 2016.

    • #1
    • December 7, 2019, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The CIA have acquired more in common with KGB than I was aware of before 2016.

    That’s true, but Buckley was writing of an earlier CIA, one protecting us from the Evil Empire. And again, it is a matter of context. Today’s CIA seems to be more interested in pushing old ladies into the path of a hurtling bus than out of its path. But what do you expect when we had a communist running the CIA in the first years of the Trump Administration?

    • #2
    • December 7, 2019, at 7:54 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Vectorman Thatcher

    Seawriter: As Buckley illustrates an action that is generally unacceptable – pushing old ladies around – may become justifiable in the context of a situation.

    In 1951, William F. Buckley Jr.  was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where he served for two years, including one year in Mexico City with E. Howard Hunt. He also wrote novels about fictitious CIA agent Blackford Oakes.


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many days available on the December Signup Sheet, including 1 next week. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #3
    • December 7, 2019, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The CIA have acquired more in common with KGB than I was aware of before 2016.

    That’s true, but Buckley was writing of an earlier CIA, one protecting us from the Evil Empire. And again, it is a matter of context. Today’s CIA seems to be more interested in pushing old ladies into the path of a hurtling bus than out of its path. But what do you expect when we had a communist running the CIA in the first years of the Trump Administration?

    I’m not entirely sure that some of the coups engineered by the CIA qualify as pushing an old lady out of the way of a bus. Seems more like making sure that the old lady boarded our bus.

    The agency was essentially born and bred to cope with a specific kind of threat–international communism. Most, if not all, of the cold warriors with that mission are gone, and the agency is now a bureaucracy in search of a mission. In some ways they’ve succeeded, but, in other ways, you get the likes of John Brennan.

    • #4
    • December 7, 2019, at 10:21 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    Seawriter: The left is very invested in false equivalences nowadays.

    Nowadays?

    • #5
    • December 7, 2019, at 10:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Boss Mongo Member

    Seawriter: To say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around. – William F. Buckley

    To channel the best movie ever made (The Princess Bride): I’ve known too many CIA agents for that.

    • #6
    • December 8, 2019, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    the agency is now a bureaucracy in search of a mission.

    This is reminiscent of the March of Dimes. It was founded to cure Polio. When Polio was cured, they faced a crisis. They mastered it neatly by choosing birth defects, a cause that will never face the risk of cure. The CIA chose badly.

    • #7
    • December 8, 2019, at 10:28 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    You’re only saying that because you’re literally Hitler. 

    • #8
    • December 8, 2019, at 2:55 PM PST
    • 1 like