And now for a moment of sanity: Most of you didn’t know a single person involved in the Orlando incident. Yes, it’s sad and anger-inducing, but it should be the sort of sadness and anger that is commensurate with the impact on your life.
It’s a good thing to feel some kind of empathy when dozens of people are hurt by a savage, but — just as it was unhealthy for this turd of a guy, who didn’t know a one of these people, to go out and kill and injure — it is similarly unhealthy to conflate the incident with you, your family, your tribe, or whatever.
It’s an attack on America! No. This guy was a killer and a shit; making him anything else glorifies his actions. It was an attack on the whole homosexual community. Only if you let politicians use this to disarm you, my fine, flamey friend. (As I told a gay biker friend of mine yesterday: buy a pistol, ’cause you can’t carry a battleship with you.) ISIS is coming to get us! Well, they seem only efficacious enough to attack a nigtclub. What heroes. (My wife,s response to this was, “I’m angry our politicians have weakneed us to the point they would even try it.” Fair enough — vote to turf the bastards in Washington out.)
I realized this simple fact a few years ago during one of the paroxysms of grief some were experiencing over an earthquake/tsunami in Thailand: It’s much healthier to pour your efforts and emotional baggage into people you can actually help — friends, family, local community, but as you move outward, you have to start rationing that response or you will be forever sad, angry, hurt, whatever. You’ve met these people. Everything is a crisis, every loss a tragedy, any horror angers them to insensate over-reaction. The world hits them, repeatedly, in the feels.
There’s about 7 billion people on the planet. If you give a second of thought for all of them, that’s about 222 years. You don’t have that kind of time. Sure, it’s good to say, “Fuck that guy!” But unless you were directly impacted by the event, throwing up rainbow flags on Facefuck Facebook and calling for the immediate disarmament of citizens, or bombing of Syria, might be a touch much.
So have some coffee, or something, stronger, and call someone you love. And calm the fuck down.
Here’s an excellent piece by Ben Swann putting together all the news reports and facts you didn’t pay attention to until there was a “humanitarian crisis” attached to it.
Simply put — American nation-building efforts hollowed out a country and created a breeding ground for these creatures. But it’s not ineptitude, it’s hubris, that made ISIS jump from a bunch of punks to a small, but global, terror player today. President Obama insisted on playing around in awful but stable countries like Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and weakened those regimes. Evil little men like John “Angry Gnome” McCain and Lindsey “Bring the War to the Homeland” Graham pushed to help the “poor rebels” because these bastards love the idea of getting your kids killed in glorious combat. Worse, McCain — a bumbling moron since he came out of the Naval Academy — even put his pasty, fat mug out there to show his approval for the raping, beheading pricks he’s now claiming to hate.
Worse, is that the Ivy League political class in both parties, are so assured of their positions and superiority, that they push this policy of nation-building, even in the face of complete failures like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria. Both parties. And the idiots in both parties rail against the wars of “the other side” while they tout “their side.” Try finding an anti-war Democrat…I’ll wait.
These “smart people” we have in office are puppets. The half-assed bombing runs against ISIS aren’t meant to destroy them, but keep them contained and active, to keep the money flowing for banks and oil companies that are profiting with these monsters; to keep the military contractors making money on their gear as we sell it to the Free Syrian Army, only to have it pushed to ISIS. That’s not a “bug”‘ that’s a “feature” of this low, “manageable” conflict. If we put people into Syria, it will be a replay of the same nonsense we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan — fighting just enough to pretend we’ll win any day, while extending the conflict as long as possible to keep the money flowing.
The refugee crisis and the inevitable terror cell attacks that will be linked (rightly or wrongly) to them, are meant to engender public sentiment to keep this fight going. It’s all a show, and one which your “news” agencies are actively complicit in.
Ah, Wired — i remember when you were a magazine angled at people who were interested in science and emerging computer and electronics markets, but publishing has steadily moved away from niche ‘zines towards mediocre puff pieces to separate the ads for TAG Heuer, Kenneth Cole, Lincoln, and — oooh, Microsoft Cloud (that’s enough tech shit, back to Movado and other glitzy lifestyle brands!) You can’t blame them, I suppose; most of their business is online, now, and getting eyeballs to look at your ads on the sidebars requires clickbait — intriguing, important, or funny taglines to get people to have a look…like “Wired Goes Full Retard”… (Ooh, a pop culture reference!) Here, the clickbait is a lamentable piece of steaming monkey shit called “New Study Links VW’s Emissions Cheating to 60 Early Deaths”.
FUCK!!!! Congress and Obama better get the 86th Wing up and bombing the snot out of Wolfsburg before they kill again!
Except…it’s a load of bunk. A quick look at the piece shows you why Wired is about as reliable as a year-old Tesla. The premise is that the nitrogen oxide levels your Passat is kicking out are 40x what they are supposed to be. Okay — that could be bad. Should it be fixed? Yes. Should VW get fined for it? Sure. Are they destroying the planet and killing old people and babies? Only if badly driven. But this does not fit the narrative.
They cite a study by an “emissions researcher” at MIT who found this scandal was perfect for testing his new computer model on pollutants. Well, that sounds a bit suspicious, right away. As we all know, computer models have been staggeringly accurate at predicting activity in large, highly chaotic systems like weather (it was supposed to be sunny today…it’s rainy and gray), or long term temperature trends (oh, that 15 year dip in runaway climatic heating is a bit embarrassing, ennit? Say…we’re we supposed to be underwater, by now?)
This model “proves” “back-of-the-envelope calculations from the New York Times, Vox (possibly the largest collection of congenital idiots in current events publishing right now), and other news organizations” that VW’s emissions increases could have lead the the early deaths of tens of people in the US alone! Tens! We are breathlessly being told how super-smart and prescient the “news” organizations are when they aren’t jumping to incorrect conclusions on just about everything else. Keep in mind that Communications & Journalism is the major you go into when subjects like engineering, physics, and art history are just too hard. I am sure, however, that
Worse, these tens of people, and the presumably hundreds of others than could suffer heart or lung disease we are assured NOx causes will cost $450 million over the next ten to twenty years. Terrible! The federal government spends more than that in a similar time period on unauthorized funny music videos of their employees wasting your time and money.
Shut up, Scott, you say; this study was peer reviewed!!! Peer review is like slapping “organic” on a food label — It must be accurate, right? Other scientists — in no way similarly motivated by enviro-activism that infects just about every credulous, under-educated member of “journalism.” Maybe the author should have been as suspicious of this story as she was of the much-hyped and totally ridiculous bacon causes cancer story, but my suspicion is she loves bacon and hates the internal combustion engine.
Cato Institute has a good piece on a publishing phenomenon that seeks to “juke the stats” on scientific research. Like confirmation bias, where a person seeks out opinions and evidence that support their own, publication bias is the act of publishing only or mostly articles favorable to the particular stance or theory. We see this plenty in politics and history, but that it has infected scientific periodicals, academic and popular, is a serious breech of the public’s faith and might explain why more and more people distrust scientists (and worse, by extension, scientists.)
i haven’t said much about the socially-retarded backbirth who shot up the community college in Oregon because I refuse to give him attention. Again, this was not an issue of “the gun”, but of a spoiled, narcissistic product of modern life who thinks his anger and frustration give him a right to attention.
By the way, kids — it doesn’t.
I’d rather talk about this guy: Chris Mintz, US Army veteran, who charged this pathetic backbirth. HOOAH!
However, one of the best quotes generated by this incident follows:
[W]e shouldn’t play the shooters’ game. These acts are dramatic because they are unusual (not as unusual as we’d prefer), extraordinary because they are unrepresentative of the contemporary experience rather than representative of it. Those of us who were around for the Clinton years do not recall them as a time of bloodthirsty savagery, but in terms of being shot to death, Americans are about twice as safe today as they were in the early 1990s. We are not, in fact, a polity dissolving into chaos. Our streets aren’t filled with blood — they’re filled with mediocrity. Politicians sell you emergency when they want to take something away from you. Terrorists are not the only people who know that a scared population is a compliant population.
Kevin D Williamson, “Don’t Play the Shooters’ Game“, National Review, 4 OCT 2015
Anyone remember the crack “epidemic” (otherwise known as loads of people making shitty decisions..?) 2200 or so people got shot in 1990 New York in the crack period. Last year, NYC saw 328 murders last year. That’s, if I did my basic algebra right, a hair under 15% of the violence of a quarter century ago. However, the 24 hour news cycle and the breathless, panicked approach to reporting these rare incidents makes them seem — as with terrorism — ever-present, just like serial killers and child molesters were not waiting around every bush in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Could we reduce gun injuries due to idiocy with mandatory training, as we (supposedly) do with motorcycles? Maybe…but a quick perusal of YouTube makes me think Darwin Award nominees will find a way, no matter what. Could we reduce the rate of suicide by restricting guns..? Maybe, or maybe they’ll turn to pills, razors in the tub, or “accidents” on the freeway. Will it lower violent crime and murder? Unlikely, as a quick trip to the crime stats for Britain will suggest. Hell, in 1996 a guy went after the Scottish parliament with a claymore (the sword, not the anti-personnel mine.) You know how heavy a f’ing claymore is? Someone comes for you with one of those things…you did something.
I think it is unlikely that after seven years of race baiting, high unemployment, high consumer debt, reduced business opportunities due to taxes and regulations, bailouts, endless war, and militarized policing that people are lashing out.
You want to lower murder rates by gun in the United States? Less welfare programs that incentivize broken homes, less laws for victimless crimes (like selling loose cigarettes, or smoking weed), cut into the gangs by decriminalizing or legalizing most drugs and take away the profit margin. Stop pissing people off by regulating every aspect of their lives and business, so they don’t feel boxed in or can strike out and try to improve themselves. Leave people alone and most of these folks will behave themselves.
But there will always be that whinging self-promoted that wants you feel his pain… (and you’ll note, I never mentioned his name, because he is beneath notice.)
One of the most frustrating things for me when dealing with academia, or any “intelligentsia” of any kind is the inability to carry a line of thinking through to it’s logical conclusion. This video is proof of the kind of tanged thinking you have to have to make a statement which has a strong thesis — often supported by evidence — which you then fuck up by refusing to recognize that your particular “team” is guilty of the same things — be it a lack of adherence to an ideal, ignoring the law, using their connections to enrich a small few, lying to their public and followers…
This was one of the main concerns of George Washington on leaving office — that “factions” (political parties) inevitably led to a spirit of malice and retribution, and created artificial camps of identification. It’s just like having an allegiance to a particular sports team because you liked the jerseys, or they did well that year you got interested in the sport. You’re a [insert team] fan for life! despite poor performance, a lack of regional connection, or any other good reason. The same with political party — your family are all Democrats, or you were raised a Republican, or you really agree with that stance on a particular platform issue that your party has inconveniently refused to hold the line on — abortion, guns, mercantilism (crony capitalism), spending, taxing, [insert fringe group] rights…
They count on your allegiance to “the cause”, and your emotion overriding your reason.
And you prove them right, every time.
The Federalist has a spectacular post called “How to Escape the Age of Mass Delusion” that really should be read by everyone — link to it and annoy your friends with it. It dovetails with a few things I’ve been exploring for my coming 400-level class “Wealth and power in America” at the university I teach at. We’ll be dealing with some influence networks — not just the “rich”, as the original content was designed at the home base — money, fame, and other factors influence public opinion, public policy, and empower certain sectors of the American society.
Recently, I made a comment on the cynosure of internet evil, the social media site, Face
fuckbook, to the effect that the creation of the comment button contributed to the collapse of civility and rational thought in the last ten years or so. That ability to quickly, reflexively, vent on a story anywhere around the interwebz has been instrumental in the rise of the Outrage Industry™, where ginning up anger and response to an issue or story gains a site more clicks, more advertisement dollars. Worse, it allows what were once fringe groups to network and get more effectively offended at some comment, imagined slight, policy issue, or social trend, and have out-sized influence socially, where years ago someone would have slapped the shit out of them and told them to grow up. Case in point, every college student whinging about trigger warnings and being psychologically threatened by differing opinions.
If anything, the internet shows us the dangers of true democracy, the rule of the mob, where transitory shifts in public opinion can lead to devastating consequences on ordinary folks just going about their daily lives. This was precisely the sort of reactionary response to events that led the Founding Fathers to create a republic, not a democracy. In a democracy, all you need is a plurality — not even a majority — of people to agree to criminalize something and turn an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a pariah.
It also illustrates the dangers of party allegiances, and social cliques with money and power. The ability to wield a worldwide bullhorn, to seed mimetic capital throughout societies small and large, near and far, allows a hazardous concentration of power in the hands of people with access and control over the new media platforms. Witness the sudden shift in public opinion in the United States toward free speech, as just one such example; those who are most at risk from free speech are those in power — the political class, if you will — and they seek to quiet those they compete with for your ears and minds with hate speech codes, censorship of ideas or speech that might incite a response from other outraged and offended groups prone to violence, and use the courts to prosecute those with unpopular ideas. The use the force multiplier of the comment button to do what shouting contrarians on news programs have done successfully since CNN was launched — shift discourse from rational discussion and thought, to emotion and response.
One way to stop the madness might be to ignore all those comments at the bottom of a news piece, and not to join the fray yourself. Stop watching televised news and talk radio — both feed on anger and fear, and rarely foster rationality. Stop letting the offenderati into your head.
Now feel free to comment below.
Before we get all butthurt about the rest of the piece: 1) About the only people I discriminate against a folks with bad tattoos…you obviously make bad decisions, but hey! that’ll look great at 65! 2) I live in a state with a RFRA and that didn’t lead to flaming pyres with homosexuals roasting upon them. 3) As a libertarian (or “real liberal”) I don’t care what you do, so long as you don’t scare the horse, and everyone’s on board with it. So check the pro- or anti-gay bullshit at the door if you choose to comment.
Oh, you might need this…
Indiana joined the ranks of 19 other states, and the federal government, that have some version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or “riff-ra”) last week and the interwebz melted down with deliriously outrageous outrage. Apparently, the passage of this bill will lead to some manner of Auschwitz-style oppression of homosexuals in the state. You’d be well forgiven for thinking this if you’ve been getting your news
Facefuck Facebook or some other mainstream media outlet (except Fox…then civilization is imperiled by the protests.) However, unless you are protesting and boycotting the other states on the map below, you’re a fucking hypocrite…or just really uninformed. You choose:
So doing what I know not a single one of the people complaining on Facebook has done, I RTFM (military folks know what this means, for the rest of you…) I read the damned bill before I opined. Novel, I know. Here’s a quick comparison of RFRA for those of you who can’t click here and read it.
What RFRA does, in this case, is — as in all of the other instances of this sort of law — establish that the state cannot “burden an individual’s exercise of religion unless the burden is of a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. Here are some examples of what that means:
RFRA laws got their start in 1993, mostly due to the 1990 Employment Division v. Smith decision (Google it — research is good for you…) with a federal law that “statutory presumptive entitlement to exemption from generally applicable laws.” This doesn’t not abnegate other civil rights or legal obligations, but places the burden — rightfully — on the government not the plaintiff and states the State cannot compel you to do something against your conscience. You know, that conscience that people respect until it doesn’t align with their conscience.. RFRA, as The Washington Post tells us, are “…about accommodating religious belief, not authorizing discrimination…” no matter what Tim Cook’s (or your Facebook friend from England or France or Germany, or wherever they are whinging from) opinion on the matter might be.
“But, Scott,” someone is currently wheezing through their vapors, “It will be used to discriminate against gay people!” 1) Happy people are cool and shouldn’t be discriminated against, no matter their sexual orientation, but in case you mean homosexual, then 2) no it fucking won’t. How do I know? Let’s look at a few cases where RFRA laws were involved in legal cases concerning discrimination by businesses against homosexuals.
New Mexico has a RFRA. We’re also a recent cynosure for religious vs.
homosexual personal rights. Here’s some ways this has played out.
1) In 2006, a New Mexico church was using hoasca tea in their ceremonies…because it gets you high, if we’re going to be honest, but let’s assume that it is vital to their communications with whatever Almighty they worship. The federal government used the Controlled Substances Act to seize their hoasca and harass the membership. In a rare moment of protecting the interests of the people, the Supreme Court found against the government, thanks to RFRA.
2) Last year, a Elaine Photography was found to have violated the civil rights of a homosexual couple when they refused to provide services for their wedding. So right there is your precedent for why the Indiana law won’t discriminate against gays. It’s settled law.
But that’s just New Mexico, you say? I read in The Atlantic that it’s different in significant ways! Nope. But it says that religious protections exist even when the government isn’t involved in the case…well, that’s the pesky First Amendment for you; you can’t discriminate against me because I’m Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, an agnostic, or a Scientologist. Well…Scientologist…
It also establishes that companies, not just non-profits have the right to religious protections, similar to the Texas RFRA. This is due to the recent Burwel v Hobby Lobby decision. And what about Burwell v Hobby Lobby you ask? Even the creepily progressive rag Slate couldn’t find fault here –even Sam Alito, not a favorite of the Progressives, said the ruling was not a “…shield [for]…religious practice to escape legal sanction…” So that’s, again, precedence set by the Supreme Court of the nation. Nowhere, over the two decades of RFRA, has it been used successfully to discriminate against homosexuals.
You are, simply, wrong.
So why is everyone so fired up about this law? Here’s the truth: Progressives are trying to get in front of the 2016 election, in which Indiana governor Mike Pence was seen as a strong contender for the Republicans. They only wish this was happening in Wisconsin so they could go after Scott Walker. It’s political theater produced to make people who read headlines like they were the full story have a visceral, emotional reaction that goes viral on FaceTwitSpace.
You have, simply, been used.