Brick

The individual American is so weak that the only solution one can think of is that we march in no particular direction, shouting what we are told to shout and hope the government steps in and does something based on our shouting. And the government is the only body that can do anything, and the first group Americans now turn to fight something. It’s the largest, heaviest brick we can think of and we’re trying to throw it at everything all at once. Everything needs a law now: Free speech must be curtailed for what some describe as hateful speech, which is more often a euphemism for “opposing view”, the government needs to step in and make bad people disappear, the government needs to step in and curtail this group of people or that group of people, all of this in line with what the speaker finds to be hateful, bigoted or otherwise evil. Continue reading Brick

Incarceration

We do not live in a culture that believes in redemption. Single tweets destroy decades-long careers, a video dug up from 15 years ago can do the same thing. Moral outrage is a political tool, the moral argument in politics begins with “Look what an advocate for this once said”, which is met with a similarly disparaging remark from someone on the other side of the argument.  “Look what Jeff Sessions said a few years back” is met with the fact that Democrat legend Robert Byrd was a high-ranking member in the KKK.. In fact, a large part of the discussion today is noticing that the people who supported something when Obama was in office are now against it with Trump, and those who support what is essentially Obamacare were vehemently against it when Obamacare wasn’t being threatened.  It doesn’t take long to see that the culture is made up of hypocrites with a fetish for magnifying the sins of others. Especially those they do not know and who’s misfortunes they are unaffected by. In fact, this distance makes the pouncing all the more cathartic. We’ll discuss two examples. Continue reading Incarceration

Stagnant

There is a great irony in the political scene today. It is at once chaotic and boring. Most of this is, of course, because the #resistance has made fever pitch routine, but as more people begin to realize that Trump is not the authoritarian, tyrannical Nazi-esque so on and so forth (and whatever the President is this week in addition to the usual epithets), they find he is a thoroughly uninteresting antagonist with nothing remarkable about him. Save maybe for his punctuality in light of eight years of “30 minutes late” being considered “on time”. You’re either dealing with this terrifying force of nature one remembers from the primary and the general but who has demurred in a way, or just the guy you’re used to seeing in the President’s seat at this point but are personally invested in yelling at. Continue reading Stagnant

Projection

There is a sense of delusion guiding the Social Justice Movement that I didn’t realize they weren’t aware of until the Grammys, and the funny thing is we’ve seen it before in New Atheism. It comes from the idea that they are fighting some massive, monolithic figure with a stone and a sling. Instead, they are fighting the version of that which they despise most that makes them feel like they’re under pressure to defeat him for the good of the world. They’re trying to be something they’re not, by fighting a caricature of what’s actually there. We’ll tackle the New Atheists first and move to parallels with the SJW as the New Atheists approach is the bedrock for the activist of today.

The subtitle of “Fighting God” by American Atheists President David Silverman is “An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World”. The implication of the subtitle and a running theme of the book is that Atheists in America are fighting an uphill battle to have themselves be heard, to have religious talk expunged from the political sphere as though it were a common presence, and to adopt a fighting style called “Firebrand atheism”. Continue reading Projection

Appeal to Authority

The “Appeal to authority” fallacy is becoming quite common in political discourse. Particularly when someone who would typically line up with an opinion different from the one making the appeal says something in line with the appealer’s belief. For instance, if I’m a gun rights supporter (and I am), I must naturally support that one time Wayne LaPierre of the NRA came out against campus carry in the 1990s. If I am a libertarian (and I am) I must naturally agree with Milo and Ben Shapiro, even though they don’t agree with each other. Christians point to Anthony Flew and more recently, Leah Libresco. Atheists, especially New Atheists, have many stories of reading the Bible, usually, if not exclusively the first three books, being abhorred and abandoning Christianity. Their patron saint is Penn Jillette. Continue reading Appeal to Authority

#HelpTrump

The fallout over Trump’s alleged (yes, alleged) comments are proving that the #resistance is trapped in a very, very angry cycle

First, can anyone point to something Trump said that is on record and not from “sources familiar with the story”? Seriously, we’ve been playing the “anonymous sources controversy” game for a year now. Also, how is there no cognitive dissonance for people who justified Antifa violence, the behavior of the Clintons and the weaponization of MeToo who now feel like they have a right to the moral high ground?

As mentioned last time in “Parallels” and in “Reflection“, the latest Don Lemon one-liner “It is better to be strategic than outraged” goes against what has been the hallmark of the #resistance since that thing’s inception. How are we to believe “strategic” is something this bunch even knows the definition of? Continue reading #HelpTrump

Parallels

I’ve tried to get a pulse on what’s missing from this deluge of sexual harassment claims being made through Hollywood and the media. First there was Bill O’Reily, and it felt like the coverage was more to get Fox News than anything else. Nobody taking a principled moral stand, just using abhorrence to their advantages. Then came the Weinstein story, then Spacey, Rose, Halprein, Bolling and now Matt Lauer. The political aspect dissipated, how could it not? However, a monologue from Erick Erickson on WSB demonstrated a few missing points that either haven’t been addressed, or are being carefully avoided.

We’ll cover a few things here. I’m seeing a bit of a similarity in the sexual harassment conversation to the usual mass shooting conversation. There is an attempt to either contain what is evil, or to use it for political ends. To the former, every time some murderer circumvents three or four laws, the same few questions and statements pop up. “Who could do this?”, “I didn’t think this could happen here”, “we need to do something to make sure this never happens again.” Strangely, the same statements seem to come up in this wave as well. So let’s go through them. Continue reading Parallels

Language

“Those who are determined to be offended will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics and it is degrading to make the attempt.” — Christopher Hitchens

It seems every year ends with lamentations on what went wrong and how the next one “can only get better”. In 2016, the election of Donald Trump sent much of the country on a tailspin between recounts, abolishing the Electoral College (a constitutionally enshrined institution, not like that changed anything), and the great tradition of quad-annual threats to move to Canada if they didn’t get their way. Once again, they all still live here. Whether that is because they never were going to move to Canada or because Canada’s immigration and citizenship policy made it more complicated than just calling Mayflower to bring them to freedom and hope again is left up to the reader, but if past experience on this is anything to go by, they were quite happy to sit and complain in a nation that has the American South for them to escape to without a passport. Continue reading Language

Normalcy

In the musical “The Book of Mormon”, there is a number that sees the Ugandan people the missionaries have been sent to air their grievances: “There isn’t enough food to eat/People are starving a street” they sing, “we’ve had no rain in several days/80% of us have AIDS”. When it’s time for the missionaries to “list the bad things in your life”. Among them, somebody took their luggage away, the plane was crowded and the bus was late.

I’m reminded of this ridiculous comparison as I watch the fallout of the power outage at Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta. The outage, it is now believed was caused by an electrical fire. The comments consisted of a more interesting set of ideas: Government conspiracy, mayor Kasim Reed hired a buddy to run the power grid, CIA op etc. But the more prevalent complaints were of a more ignorant set than that. Continue reading Normalcy

An archive of insightful rambling