Friday, July 28, 2017

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength



On Fascism and Kryptonite

By Mike Wood

When I was a kid, I was more interested in gun magazines than comic books, but there was one comic book that made a strong enough impression that I remember it even now.

In this particular edition, our hero Superman traveled to an upside-down planet known as Bizarro World, in which everything we’re accustomed to is grotesquely reversed. In Bizarro World, good is bad, and bad is good. Ugly is beautiful, the worthless is prized, and the nonsensical is normal.

While it was intended to be entertaining, I thought Bizarro World’s reverse polarity of reality was disturbing—enough so, that the troublesome concept lingered in my thoughts long after the comic book had disappeared.

Reality imitating art


Fast forward more than four decades, and I sometimes wonder if I’ve awakened in that backwards, alternate reality. As I consider life in modern day America, I can't seem to shake the feeling that somewhere along the way, the wires got crossed and the current was reversed. The America that I grew up in was so fundamentally different from today's version, that I sometimes have to question if the two even share a relation. Did I somehow manage to miss a grand, cleverly-concealed, “bait and switch” of American culture, language, and values?

Anti-what?

Take the recently defined “Antifa” movement, for example. These self-anointed “anti-fascists” have made a big splash as the masked face of a protest movement that seeks to block the advancement of a “fascist” political agenda in the United States by way of force. Their violent and destructive pattern of rioting, uncivil protest, and outright criminality has captured the imagination and admiration of many on the political Left, particularly those who oppose the policies of the current President of the United States, and his party.

Yet, even the most cursory of examinations reveals the incongruity of the movement. For starters, the angry, masked mob doesn't seem to understand how to define what it is that they're in opposition to. Consider the Merriam-Webster definition of “Fascism:”

A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

One might wonder where such “fascism” is present in the American political spectrum? Where is the “fascism” that the trophy generation thugs have sworn to oppose with tantrums of violence?

Don't look here . . .

It's certainly not in the White House. For those who missed it, President Trump was elected to office by the American voters in a free and democratic election, and serves at their pleasure. He did not wrest power by force, nor subvert the system to attain his position. He simply delivered a more appealing message and platform to the majority of America (at least the part that wasn't too lazy to vote). He maintains the office at the will of The People, not by force of arms, and if The People decide he has failed to live up to their expectations, he will be removed from office as quickly and as peacefully as he was placed there.

So much for a “centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader.”

. . . or here

The President campaigned on a platform dedicated to removing the burdens of excessive government on The People. He promised income tax reform, an end to the penalizing and economy-wrecking Obamacare, and renegotiated international agreements that would restore American competitiveness. He promised job creation, a resurgent industrial base, and the liberation of the private sector economic engine from the firm grasp of government control, all of which would improve the quality of life for Americans—all Americans, regardless of class, social status, race, or gender.

So much for “severe economic and social regimentation.”

Orwellian dreams

The supreme disconnect of the Antifa movement is that it maintains President Trump is the “fascist” they oppose, despite the fact that he demonstrates none of the foundational attributes of a fascist. Yet, in a strange, Bizarro World-like twist, the “anti-fascists” are the ones most likely to think and act like fascists.

It's the “anti-fascists” and their political partners who would seek to split America up into racial subgroups that can be pitted against each other. The link between the oft-racist Black Lives Matter movement (factions of which have promoted attacks on whites, particularly white police officers) and Antifa has been ably demonstrated. If any group in contemporary American politics could be seen as “exalting race above the individual,” it would seem to be this collaboration of forces.

And while Antifa wont to decry the oppression of the state, the sad truth of our current state of affairs is that the state has been content, for the most part, to standby and watch as the masked thugs have rioted, vandalized, burned, and looted their way through urban America. The police have been directed to “give them space” to wage their destruction, and they largely have, ceding entire portions of major cities to the excited mayhem.

The “forcible suppression of opposition” in America has been coming not from the Right, but from the Left. It's the Left, with Antifa as the shock troops, who has repeatedly used violence to prevent conservatives from speaking before crowds that invited them. It's the Left who has thrown the rocks to break up the Free Speech rallies, and assaulted people for wearing Trump-logo clothing. It's the Left who has chummed the waters to summon the monsters that would shoot police officers across America, and citizens in Fresno, California, because they were white, and baseball-playing Congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, because they were Republican.

It's the Left that pushes gun control in America, a proposition that, at its core, threatens to use the power and force of the state against citizens who exercise a fundamental, constitutionally-protected and recognized, natural right of Man.

Remind me again who the fascists are?

Inside The Ministry of Truth


In the Bizarro World of the Left, having a moral code is immoral, a human’s gender is subject to interpretation, law abiding gun owners are responsible for criminal violence, and an election is only legitimate if their candidate wins. In Left World, fascism no longer resides on the right end of the political spectrum, and the only reliable indicator of a fascist, is whether or not they don the black hoodie and mask of an “anti-fascist.”

It’s enough to confuse even Superman.

"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."
"Big Brother is Watching You."
"Proles and Animals are free"

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fearless Barney Fife



Now, don't get me wrong - I like the police and the role they have sworn to perform.  Its just that the cops I see today are a lot different than the ones I knew most of my life.  Don't merely take my word for it - ask the retired cops that you know.

It seems as though every house that I've lived in has had a cop living nearby.  Two of my next-door neighbors have been Washington State Patrol Troopers.  One was a California Highway Patrolman, one was a city Detective.  I've worked shoulder-to-shoulder with police of all sorts:  Swat team commanders, County Sheriffs and their deputies, Chiefs of police from various cities and towns, and one guy was even the Chief of Police of the US Air Force.  Mind you he was THE Chief of Police of the ENTIRE Air Force with over 40,000 subordinates - not just a run of the mill officer.

Each and every one of these guys were self assured and calm. They were mostly unflappable in the face of very difficult circumstances.  They were slow to anger, and when they did get angry it was never a screaming hollering spittle-spewing anger, but a reserved and contained anger that could be focused and wielded like a light saber.

 One of my neighbors, a former city policeman and detective, has told me numerous stories of tussling with bad guys that meant him serious harm.  One time a ner-do-well even stabbed him but he didn't even draw his revolver.   He verbally reprimanded him to the point of serious embarrassment then slapped the cuffs on him.  I know it is a true story, because I knew the bad guy as well (we went to high school together).

All of those cops of yesterday are just as leery of today's cops as I am.

Everyone of these guys will shake their heads and say the same thing:  Today's cops are scared.  They are jumpy and nervous and unsure of themselves.



It is not police as a group, or police as a clique or a fraternity that is going sour, it is the individual person that is missing something. Maybe they didn't get spanked enough as kids to realize that a little bit of hurt won't kill you.  Maybe their fathers and mothers didn't instill a sense of honor and duty in them.  Maybe the phrase "cowboy-up" doesn't mean anything to them. Maybe it is something else - but there are some big pieces of old-fashioned courageous compassion and resolute toughness missing from today's boys in blue.


What  a pity.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Snowflakes Will Not Read This: "Are His Tweets Beneath the Dignity of The Office?”



I am often reluctant to post opinion pieces longer than a couple of paragraphs, however on second thought, any snowflake that comes upon more than 100 words in a row, or even a shorter bit peppered with multi-syllabic words, will seek a safe place.  That, my friends, will prevent the wanton waste of bandwidth for the brave of heart and clear of thought

This piece was passed along to me by a friend (Rick Owen).  I hope you read it - (don't be a snowflake).

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”
Here’s my answer:
We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency. We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain? We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney? And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party. I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks. I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent. Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”
The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.
The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming. Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today. Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking, son-of-a-bitch. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum, then Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.
Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!” That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics.
That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis. It is a book of such pure evil that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.
Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do.
First, instead of going after “the fake media” – and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri – Trump isolated CNN. He made it personal. Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.”
Everyone gets that it’s not just CNN – in fact, in a world where Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow, Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof are people of influence and whose “reporting” is in no way significantly different than CNN’s – CNN is just a piker.
Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. With Trump’s ability to go around them, they cannot simply stand pat. They need to respond. This leaves them with only two choices.
They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery.
The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.
Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s, church.
Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.
This makes “going high” a non-starter for CNN. This leaves them no other option but to ratchet up the fake news, conjuring up the next “nothing burger” and devoting 24 hours a day to hysterical rants about how it’s “worse than Nixon.”
This, obviously, is what CNN has chosen to do. The problem is that, as they become more and more hysterical, they become more and more obvious. Each new effort at even faker news than before and faker “outrage” only makes that much more clear to any objective observer that Trump is and always has been right about the fake news media.  And, by causing their hysteria, Trump has forced them into numerous, highly embarrassing and discrediting mistakes. Thus, in their desperation, they have lowered their standards even further and run with articles so clearly fake that, even with the liberal (lower case “l”) libel laws protecting the media, they’ve had to wholly retract and erase their stories repeatedly.
Their flailing at Trump has even seen them cross the line into criminality, with CNN using their vast corporate fortune to hunt down a private citizen for having made fun of them in an Internet meme. This threat to “dox” – release of personal information to encourage co-ideologists to visit violence upon him and his family -- a political satirist was chilling in that it clearly wasn’t meant just for him. If it were, there would have been no reason for CNN to have made their “deal” with him public.
Instead, CNN – playing by “Chicago Rules” – was sending a message to any and all: dissent will not be tolerated.  This heavy-handed and hysterical response to a joke on the Internet has backfired on CNN, giving rise to only more righteous ridicule.
So, to my friends on the Left – and the #NeverTrumpers as well -- do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do. These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years.
So, say anything you want about this president – I get it, he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. I can’t spare this man. He fights.
 Evan Sayet

Evan Sayet is the author of The Kinder Garden of Eden: How The Modern Liberal Thinks. His lecture to the Heritage Foundation on this same topic remains, some ten years later, by far the single most viewed lecture in their history. Evan can be reached at contactevansayet@gmail.com.
--
As, for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam, so judges should be withdrawn from their bench, whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the republic, which is the first and supreme law. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Smartphones: The real Zombie Apocolypse

The Zombie Apocolypse is real.  It is upon us now.  The vast majority of those younger than the Theodore Cleaver generation have been infected.

The Internet wants and (in the case of most Americans), has control of your feeble brain.

It seems obvious that internet companies would calibrate their apps to keep you using them as often and as long as possible. But did you realize that these companies have become so good that your relationship with the internet has crossed from an affection to an addiction?

Scientists across the globe have demonstrated that shifting the internet from our computers to our phones has created an epidemic worse than the one created by smoking, albeit attacking our minds instead of our lungs.

60 Minutes recently ran a piece showing how Silicon Valley engineers are using what they know about the brain to manipulate us into staying perpetually addicted to our smartphones. Their investigation caught numerous firms red-handed as they used knowledge of brain science to increase the addictive natures of their apps. Snapchat, the social network for kids, overtly designed its “streak” feature to make users feel compelled to check in with other Snappers every single day. One 18-year old told Business Insider that “if you lose the streak, you lose the friendship.” Facebook’s endless scrolling format has been proven to keep you on the app longer. Instagram experiments with how clusters of “like” notifications, of varying amounts and at various times, will make you spend the most time on the app. That’s right, they actually withhold your “likes” to keep you checking more often.

It’s a simple fact that the purpose of a company is to generate revenue, and that companies do what they can—often through clever marketing—to make you purchase more of their products. Many of these techniques manipulate our minds; for example, advertisements featuring beautiful, smiling people create links in our mind between a product and being attractive and happy, even if the product is something as seemingly innocuous and unemotional as a bar of soap. Marketers have long known that linking a product to the brain’s pleasure center is a highly effective way to sell it.

The overall effects on society are usually positive or neutral – so what if every time you reach for that bar of Irish Spring in the shower you get a tiny shot of dopamine due to its positive associations in your brain. The worst individual effect is that you pay a few cents more for Irish Spring than for an equally effective generic bar of soap. It has a negligible effect on society as a whole.

Of course, sometimes advertising has a negative effect: in the case of cigarettes, for example. We learned the hard way that watching those beautiful, smiling people on television enjoying cigarettes made people want cigarettes. This led to emphysema, heart attacks, cancer, and very ugly smiles, ultimately leading to a public health crisis. It is with good reason that the advertising of dangerous goods is now highly regulated.

The concept of corporations manipulating the brains of their customers through marketing is not new. Neither is the concept of regulatory agencies making sure that those corporations do not advertise in a way that society has deemed too manipulative or otherwise detrimental.

Applying these concepts to Silicon Valley however, is unprecedented and murky. When television commercials first appeared, there were no rules, no regulating bodies, and no truth-in-advertising laws. Similarly, we’re now in the Wild, Wild West of the internet, smartphones, and apps that are competing for your money, your eyeballs, your time, and your brain.

It’s hard to fault the internet itself. After all, every app on the homepage of your smartphone serves a purpose. Many were “free,” included in your smartphone purchase, or obtained for only a few dollars. And many improve our lives – personally, I’d be literally cold and lost without my maps app and my weather app. Internet companies deserve to generate revenue and profits for putting out a useful product.

Making profit off a good product is one thing; purposefully manipulating us to make us addicted to a product is another. Comedian Bill Maher recently ranted about this very phenomenon on his show: “New rule: The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they are friendly nerd-Gods creating a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in t-shirts, selling an addictive product to children. Because let’s face it: checking your likes is the new smoking.”

Maher may be a comedian, but addiction is no laughing matter: these are big issues with enormous consequences. A relatively small number of Silicon Valley engineers are experimenting with, and changing in a significant way, human behavior and brain function without serious regard for the long-term consequences. As damaging to humanity as the smoking epidemic has been, the consequences of tinkering with the brain could be much, much worse. As Bill Maher succinctly stated, “Phillip Morris just wanted your lungs. The app store wants your soul.” I would argue that the internet wants your brain, which may make the implications even worse.


Jeff Stibel
Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet

 
 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Little Rock Rap Club Shooting



17  25  28 shot and none died?

The state of marksmanship in this country today is a disgrace…