The banishment of John, Part 1. UPDATED. UPDATE 2.

UPDATE: khms, an actual European, has responded to John’s latest here.

UPDATE 2: Rotary Wing, another Australian, has responded to John’s latest here.

[CONTENT NOTE: xenophobia, bigotry, Islamophobia and a whole bunch of other horrible shit.]

I cannot believe it took me so long to catch on. John Miller has been an occasional commenter here for three years. The sum of what I know about him is that he’s Australian, made his career as a Phys Ed teacher, and is prone to making terrible and uninformed statements on my blog.

There was the time he agreed employers shouldn’t have to pay for employee contraceptives—not because of religious objections to women’s health care, but out of concern for the employer’s embarrassment. Both Tony and I responded to the myriad errors in his thinking, but he never acknowledged any of that. There was the time he treated us to some anti-vaccination rhetoric (“I’m sure an advocate for vaccination but …”), making dangerous and entirely unevidenced suggestions—for example that perhaps it might be better for most children to actually contract measles, mumps and chicken pox as opposed to getting vaccinated. If only there was some way to find out!

On a post by SJ about some of the structural factors contributing to extreme inequality and lack of social mobility in the US, John regaled us with the myth of the American Dream Nightmare. As usual, John had no idea what he was talking about.

Commenting on one of Don’s posts reporting on a study that found vitamin supplements to be worse than useless, John trashed science-based medicine as faith-based junk, and peer-reviewed medical journal articles as “written by the inmates of the sheltered workshops for the academically gifted.” “To get sound nutritional advice,” he helpfully offered, instead of consulting a physician “most people would be better off going to a vet.” As in, veterinarian. He tied it all up with a misogynist “joke.” (To his credit, he apologized for it after I called him on it.) And I warned him then that if he ever pulled that shit again here, I’d banish him.

Then there was that truly baffling occasion when he dismissed out of hand the precipitous drops in math, science and reading scores of students in the US compared to other countries. He did so by expounding upon fantastical ideas like a “math gene” that only some people have, plus a heretofore unheard of secret cabal of “maths power elite” that “despises people who work with their hands.” He proclaimed math and science education past the level of grade 4 “slavery,” “religious indoctrination” and a childhood-destroying fraud, and urged that instead we really ought to “rate kids on their ability to change a tap washer, run a mile, make their bed (with hospital corners) drive a car and chop wood.”

Yes indeed, these are the quintessential skills that will secure success and prosperity for the US workforce in the 21st century global economy.

It was while handing his ass to him in that thread that I first suspected a case of Conservative Personality Disorder—and once again considered banishing him to prevent him from further embarrassing himself (and much more importantly, from further boring the shit out of me).

WHY OH WHY DIDN’T I DO IT THEN HUH? Alas, this is a question that will haunt Your Humble Monarch™ for the rest of her days. With a single wave of my scepter I could have spared us all from John’s most recent, and quite possibly his most excremental, rantings. As the world’s foremost expert on Conservative Personality Disorder, I really should have seen this coming. So many signs were there! Anti-science, anti-intellectualism, conspiracy theory, casual sexism, BOOTSTRAPS!!!, persecution complex, projection, willful ignorance, fact-averse opining, and—most damning of all—the telltale inability to change one’s mind when the evidence demands it.

How, then, could anyone be surprised that one of his latest blatherings is a specimen of raging xenophobia, Islamophobia, fact-free bigotry, apocalyptic paranoia, blithe entitlement, imperious grandiosity, willful ignorance, anti-multiculturalism, sympathy for violent racists, and implicit support for unconscionable cruelty and a genocidal government—all densely packed into a single, 127-word turdbullet?

I would think that the people of Myanmar have every right to be concerned about the effect that Muslims will have on their culture. If they go by what’s happening in Europe, Muslims will eventually destroy the Myanmar way of life. A small group will become terrorists. The Rohinga will stay in enclaves and refuse to integrate into the Myanmar society. In the face of change they will continue, above all else, to hold on to their a weird superstitious beliefs. They’ll put acting and dressing like Muslims ahead of acting and dressing like Myanmarians. The will stand offside and separate themselves from Myanmar culture. I wouldn’t be so harsh on the people of Myanmar who fear for what their country may look like in 30 years.

Here’s a fun exercise: replace “Muslims” with Mexicans, “terrorists” with criminals, “Myanmar culture” with Our Way of Life™, and violá! It’s instantly a Fox News screed worthy of Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin or even Bill O’Reilly! Or, you know, try it with Jews and Aryan culture, circa 1930s Germany. Or how ’bout Black people and White culture? (Incidentally, here is where I get to pat myself on the back for suggesting in my original post that the racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, ultranationalist, theocratic Ma Ba Tha monks and their supporters might seem oddly familiar to readers. Ahem.)

So then commenter khms—an actual European—politely responded to John that he hears from conservatives all the time that Muslims are destroying European culture, but so far as he can tell, “I can’t see even any indication of a beginning of such a thing.” I, of course, was far less polite (politeness is not my forté after all—that would be mocking conservatives):

What the fuck, John. Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are one of, if not the most persecuted minorities in the world—and that is saying something, my friend. What’s happening in Europe that you’re so concerned about? Are Muslims actually destroying the Western (patriarchal, imperialist, racist, colonialist) “way of life”? No. No, they are not.

By the way, the Rohingya “staying in enclaves and refusing to integrate into the Myanmar society” is not the same thing as being forcibly isolated, exiled and imprisoned. FYI. If only they would act and dress like Real Americans Myanma and believe the correct superstitions (not the “weird” ones), they wouldn’t be such an existential threat to Official Myanmar Culture™. That would be the one dominated by racist, misogynist, right-wing, conservative shitlords.


That was back in November, and I thought (hoped?) that was the end of it. But no. On Tuesday, John posted a response to khms—who is, again, an actual European—to which I shall soon respond. Not on behalf of khms, who is of course free to do so here any time [UPDATE: khms has responded to John here], but simply to relish the opportunity to thoroughly deconstruct the horrifying shitshow that is the mind of John Miller—for the very last time.

Stay tuned for Part 2.



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