The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Dan Riehl Always Gets His Man: Madison Althouse Stalker James L. Shankman UPDATE: Social F–ing Justice Theory? Shankman Quotes … Pope Leo XIII!

Posted on | March 18, 2011 | 47 Comments

Hey, did I call this one or what?

I’d expect online research maestro Dan Riehl is going to have much, much more to tell us about Mr. Shankman.

As soon as Shankman was ID’d as author of the anti-Althouse rant, Dan’s name crossed my mind and within a couple hours he was on the phone with Shankman:

Shankman is currently unemployed, claims to not be a member of a union and says he most often works as a dishwasher when employed. He insists that he does not advocate for violence and in some ways sought to distance himself from his “manifesto,” while also acknowledging authorship. He says he’s done with the issue and was simply giving voice to thoughts and rhetoric he “regularly hears in the street.”
“I’m done with it,” said Shankman . . .

Damn right you’re “done with it,” Jim — just like a cockroach is done feeding on crumbs when somebody turns on the kitchen light.

Go read the rest of Dan Riehl’s interview, and I’ll be back in a few minutes to tell you what’s been going on behind the refrigerator where this roach has been hiding.

UPDATE: On Althouse’s original post, commenter “Mike” wrote:

Kim’s the dean over at Benedictine college, we could always let her know what her son is up to.

That was one little tidbit I checked out last night, but it seemed like a long run for a short slide, so I dropped it and moved on to other things.

However, public records show that Jim Shankman has an address in Atchison, Kansas, and Kimberly Shankman, Ph.D. is dean of Benedictine College,  1020, N. 2nd St., Atchison, Kansas. A conservative, Dr. Shankman has written for the Claremont Institute, and was recently awarded a St. Thomas Aquinas Fellowship from a Catholic educational foundation.

Those who saw Shankman’s now-defunct Facebook page (see commenters at The Underground Conservative) say it indicated that Dr. Shankman was, indeed, his mother. If so, one wonders what went so horribly wrong in Jim Shankman’s life that the son of an eminent conservative Catholic academic became a ranting moonbat — and itinerant dishwasher — in Madison, Wisconsin.

More to the story? You betcha!

UPDATE II: Longtime readers know that, as a student of Mises and Hayek (and Calvinistic Protestant), I have from time to time criticized the Catholic “social justice” teachings of Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, etc.

Grant that the Christian in business should think in terms of the Golden Rule, striving to deal righteously with his fellow man; nevertheless this obligation does not create “worker’s rights” in the sense that secular liberals conceive that term. And if the AFL-CIO is an agent of divine Providence, it is so only in the sense that Jehovah employed the Babylonians to smite ancient Israel. A wrathful God sometimes uses the heathen to chastise His straying children. But I digress . . .

It is interesting, in light of Catholic “social justice” theory, to find this in Dan Riehl’s interview with Jim Shankman:

While denying he is a socialist, or Marxist, Shankman labeled his economic ideology “distributionist.” He believes we should divide the wealth of America across the population “so that everyone can buy a house,” feed and support themselves, starting over from there based upon some concept modeled somewhat after Catholic charity.

Well, that was a quick Google search away:

Distributism (also known as distributionism, distributivism) is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to apply the principles of Catholic social teaching articulated by the Catholic Church, especially in Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum and more expansively explained by Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

So you see that Shankman’s adoption of this dangerous (and I dare say heretical) Catholic doctrine was what inspired his obscenity-filled rant against Ann Althouse: “God told me to f*** you up!”

(Aside: How did Chesterton get mixed up in this daft scheme? And what would G.K. say to find Shankman his self-proclaimed disciple?)

From Mises we learn that, ultimately, “Christian socialism” is . . . socialism. So it is just a different sort of good intentions that pave the proverbial road to a familiar and unfortunate destination. (“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man . . .”)

His mind darkened by this “distributionist” folly, Shankman ranted that advocates of economic liberty are “unkind, unChristian and anti-American.” As though those grim Calvinists who sought to make this land a “shining city on a hill” were un-American, you see. 

But come back in a bit. I’m not finished yet.

UPDATE III: Invariably, my many Catholic readers (who so often praise my writings on family issues) are offended when my aim is directed at their church’s “social justice” teaching. It would be a sin of omission on my part, however, if I did not speak out against this dangerous doctrine that seems to have filled Jim Shankman with so much self-righteous rage against Ann Althouse.

It would be wrong to bite my tongue merely to flatter those who, with “itching ears,” will not “endure sound doctrine.”

Now, I’m not blaming  Leo XIII or JPII for the Madison dishwasher’s anti-Althouse rant, nor saying that any other Catholics is complicit in Shankman’s spectacular application of the New Motherf–ing Tone. I do say, however, that Shankman’s left-wing “distributionist” mentality is a plausible interpretation of Rerum Novarum, and that therefore we ought to take seriously his demented beliefs.

The Catholic/Marxists who propagated heretical “liberation theology” also thought themselves divinely sanctioned to support the Sandinistas. They were taken seriously, and not dismissed as mere “kooks.” Yet how many American Catholics today support the Obama agenda on similar “social justice” grounds as Shankman? Tens of millions, I’d estimate.

“Jeez, what a pathetic loser,” Professor Reynolds says of Shankman, and Jim Hoft says, “The dude is nuts.”

As with Jared Loughner’s Zeitgeist obsession, it’s too easy to dismiss as insignificant or irrelevant the particular content of a crackpot’s madness, especially when so many seemingly “sane” people believe the same crazy things. Not every “social justice” fanatic posts hate-filled rants on the Internet, and not every 9/11 Truther turns into Jared Loughner (or Charlie Sheen). But if ideas have consequences, as Richard Weaver taught us, then bad ideas have bad consequences —  Judge Maryann Sumi’s restraining order, to cite an obvious example.

The Religious Left collects millions of dollars to propagate its heretical heaven-on-earth political gospel, poisoning the minds of gullible young people like Jim Shankman.

And yet not one of them ever hit my tip jar. Talk about “social injustice” — I’m a father of six. It’s for the children!

UPDATE IV: From the cache of Shankman’s Facebook page:

The source is quoted accurately, if out of context: Leo XIII’s so-called “just wage” doctrine from Rerum Novarum:

45. Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice.

To explain what’s wrong with that, as basic economics, would require a long argument. But it is wrong: There is no “just wage,” nor is there a “fair price.” 

Most of you are reading this blog for free — a relative handful of readers ever hit the tip jar — but this does not make me “the victim of force and injustice.” I’m just a clueless chump who hasn’t figured out a better scheme to monetize the full value of his blog traffic. If I ever find a way to de-chump myself, I’ll let you know in my final post before jetting off to my private island in the Caribbean.

But in the meantime, hit the tip jar, Ye Tight-Fisted Overlords of the Internet. I’m sure Mises or Hayek addressed themselves to this “just wage” fallacy somewhere. Maybe one of the oppressed peasants in the comments will link to a relevant treatise, just as one commenter already tipped me to this Facebook item.


47 Responses to “Dan Riehl Always Gets His Man: Madison Althouse Stalker James L. Shankman UPDATE: Social F–ing Justice Theory? Shankman Quotes … Pope Leo XIII!”

  1. Anonymous
    March 18th, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    DUDE! What a catch! That’s going in the next update.

    I ought to pay you for that tip, but . . . well, six kids. “Social justice” and all that.

    Stop guilt-tripping me, man!