Archive for April, 2022

Don’t Scold Me

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

There’s this mythology that persists, that anyone with a political opinion different from the default must “like/love to argue about politics.” It’s conspicuous because in these current times, the default opinion has a lot to do with starting up conflict where it didn’t exist before. So we seem to be systematically confusing people who just want to go about their lives free of unnecessary conflict, with pugnacious Twitter-denizens spoiling for a fight, and vice versa.

I see if you want to get a fight started where there wasn’t one before, but want to look like you’re just a harmless little mammal on the bottom of the food chain just seeking to co-exist with nature, you just portray yourself as either threatened, or feeling threatened. Oh no. I’m worried about hate crimes. You’re using the wrong pronouns on me. Climate change! Such-and-such a bumper sticker could be construed as a call to arms for people to attack me. It’s reached the point where we can’t get away from this kind of talk anymore, and the truth is that this kind of talk is just the sound bullies make when they want to act like non-bullies. For the record, throughout all of human history an important aspect of bullying has been to put up this false imagery that the bully is a non-bully, and the person getting bullied is “the real bully.”

Because of this, the people who can least afford to get immersed in and distracted by politics, end up being the ones who must.

Speaking just for myself, I don’t actually relish political arguments because they tend to lead to me getting scolded. The people who have yet to make a persuasive argument to me, seem to think when all else has failed, it’s time to do some scolding.

As a child of the 1970’s, not conspicuously one of the brighter males in the class, usually the last one to “get” whatever is the thing all the kids are supposed to get…throughout my lifetime I’ve been scolded a lot. It doesn’t quite enmesh the teeth in my cogs. It strips them. I have a tough time picking out the vowels and consonants with scolding. And it doesn’t inspire me to show much respect. Over the years I’ve learned to recognize it as the one tool left in the bag, of someone who didn’t start out with too many others. It’s a clarion call to me that someone is seeking to WinTheArgument at any cost, when they don’t deserve to win it at all.

When I see a mentally handicapped truant Swedish child scolding an international body of delegates and the delegates cheering for the scolding — at them — what I see is a room for mental health patients, filled to capacity plus one. Nobody of sound mind should cheer scolding at them. It tells me all the “civilized” nations of the world are maintaining a habit, without borders, of investing real authority and influence in mental midgets. I don’t know why all these supposedly advanced nations have all slipped off their rockers this way at the same time, and I don’t really care. It’s evidence that I can’t trust what authorities say, because the authorities by default are cuckoo. It really doesn’t help matters that the “facts” being dished out by the young Swedish mental patient are nonsense.

But seriously. If you have so much passion invested in what you’re saying and you don’t think I’m taking it seriously enough, don’t scold. That’s like finding yourself in a hole, and digging some more. That’s just how I work. But I doubt like the dickens I’m the only one. Since the above-mentioned 1970’s, females and effeminate types scolding males and masculine types, without anyone considering it with the gravity it deserves, has settled in as a sort of default configuration. It’s obvious we have a lot of people with loud voices and influence who can’t seem to get enough of it, nevermind whether they get to play the part of the person scolding or the person being scolded. It hasn’t resulted in any pattern of good decision being made. We’ve arrived at a point where it might be a good idea to take an extended break. Leave those little fists un-balled up and off your hips for a few years, ladies and Justin Trudeau, and throttle back on the whole “how dare you” thing. You don’t need to confront all of the time. It doesn’t look to others the way it looks to you.

I don’t think these things because I deserve scolding and haven’t gotten enough. I think these things because I’m normal, sane and of sound mind. I’m capable of dropping one opinion and picking up another if I can hear a rational argument as to why I should, but I don’t respond to scolding from intellectual indigents. That’s the way we all should be.

Free Speech and Truth

Friday, April 15th, 2022

So, Elon has made his move on Twitter. And now we’re all talking about free speech, and those awful terrible billionaires doing…stuff.

This debate over “free speech” is about to drift over into “Yeah but what about truth?” The narrative is going to be that we can’t have speech that’s so free that people can sling about untrue things. So it’s like a hose, you see? Or a coffee filter. You can constrict it and be anti-free-speech, but if you open it up too much, a bunch of “disinformation” gets in there…so we have to find a happy medium.

Back up the truck. Before we even get there, let’s inspect this.

Anti-free-speech advocates deleted posts and restricted accounts of people who said Hunter Biden’s laptop was a real thing…and then it turned out to be real.

They deleted posts and restricted accounts of people who were calling bullshit on the “COVIDE came from bat meat at a wet market” thing…which turned out to be bullshit.

We aren’t arguing about whether to let Bill Clinton’s “truth detectors” restrict free speech. No no no. This doesn’t have anything to do with truth. We’re arguing about whether to let “fact checkers,” younger than the socks I’m wearing now, who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ’em square in their hairless balls — take a SWAG about what’s true and, based on that, play whack-a-mole with the posts and accounts.

You’re better off asking a Magic-8 ball what’s true, than these clowns.

So let’s not even go down that road.

it isn’t free speech versus truth. It’s: Allow free speech so we can hear the story from all sides, and figure out for ourselves what’s true. Because Silicon Valley is not to be trusted. Even if they knew what they were doing they still wouldn’t be trustworthy. But they were in Kindergarten when the World Trade Center fell, and they don’t know what they’re doing.

No Apology, No Note of Contrition or Regret…Nothing

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

So when all’s said & done, the prosecution couldn’t get a conviction in the Whitmer kidnapping case for lack of evidence. You might say they couldn’t convict anyone of kidnapping, or plotting to kidnap, because there was no kidnapping and there was no plot. This would mean a lot of people who were sure they were right, were actually wrong, and things we were all told had been done or plotted, were never done or plotted.

Is anyone anywhere going to reverse course, pull out of the cul de sac, or maybe just change bearing or velocity…a little tiny bit? No? Hmmm.

You’ll all still make fun of me for “believing in conspiracies”? Fresh off watching our government unsuccessfully attempt to railroad people — yet again?

It’s a lot of conspiracies. Let’s see, what have we got now…

1. Steele Dossier, hookers peeing on bed, all that stuff.
2. Coordinating the “mostly peaceful protests,” and reporting on them that way.
3. Covering up Hunter Biden’s laptop.
4. Circling the wagons around Hillary Clinton and her zillion plus deleted e-mails.
5. Keeping the China Bioweapon secret after it escaped the Chinese lab, the red-herring treatment with the “wet markets,” etc. Gain of Function research. Fifteen days to slow the spread. Playing down natural immunity, playing down Ivermectin, calling it horse dewormer, playing down Hydroxychloroquine, all the China Bioweapon lies.
6. The masks were “the MAGA hat of the left.” Yes that was a conspiracy. Let’s stop pretending. Masks everywhere you look, in the middle of an election year, that was an in-kind contribution.
7. January 6. A setup.
8. Now we have kidnapping Gov. Whitmer. A setup.
9. Counting votes in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Nevada.
10. Calling Kyle Rittenhouse a “white supremacist,” and setting up Nick Sandmann.

Now look. You can tell me something is a certain way, for the very first time, and then immediately ridicule me for not believing it, or for questioning it, or for doubting it…or for merely hesitating to believe it. Or for listening to other people who have a different take on it. You can ridicule me for those things if you want…

But, you’re essentially ridiculing me for doing what any logical, sensible person is going to be doing at this point. When you do that you don’t look smart, or sophisticated.

You look like someone doing P.R. for unscrupulous types, for free, the same P.R. work someone else is doing for lots of money. And no, you’re not fooling anyone into thinking you’re sure of what you’re saying just because you act like it. You look like what you are, which is a bullshitter. We’ve been bullshitted so much. Everyone should be questioning pretty much everything.

In my previous post (and on earlier occasions) I explored these two different ideas about how government should operate, and what exactly it is it’s trying to do. Here we are dealing with something much more fundamental. If you could layer your ideas like the modules in an extremely well-designed and mature software product, at the bottom of it all that has to serve as a foundation, the “kernel” if you will, supporting the primitive operations of everything else, you would find what we could call a “concept of truth.” What exactly do you mean when you say something is true?

Remember what Ronald Reagan said: “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” He was on to something. Conservatives and liberals don’t agree about what’s true, because they don’t agree about what truth is. This is what we explore when we ruminate about such simple things as “two and two make four.” A conservative says that’s “true” in the sense that all correct math equations are true; in the field of math, generally, there is one and only one correct answer. Three is not the correct sum, and neither is five.

To a liberal, it is “true” that Hunter Biden’s laptop is really just Russian disinformation, or that Trump schemed with Vladimir Putin to ratchet up gas prices after he left office. Liberals live in a universe in which everything is an attempt, because everything is a revolution. Someone, somewhere has power and doesn’t deserve to have it, and “we” are going to take it from them. This is why they are most destructive, peculiar and clownish when they already run everything. In California post-Wilson, and in the U.S. after the beer summit (except for you-know-who being President), in Chicago, DC, New York City, Atlanta, DFW they’re like the dog that caught the car. This is where they’re conducting their glorious revolution against a boogeyman that doesn’t really exist.

So they’re always trying to get the ball rolling. Always trying to generate momentum…behind…something.

It’s “true” that the planet is going to die in twelve years if we don’t do something — means — Look, what we’re trying to do is generate some momentum behind the idea that, if we don’t do something, the planet will die in twelve years. That’s not what conservatives hear when they’re told “We only have twelve years to save the planet.” They take that literally. And twelve years afterward, when we’re all still here, someone, somewhere, should be atoning. Someone should, at the very least, be admitting they thought they were right about something, when they weren’t, if for no other reason than to restore confidence in the notion that they’re at least trying to make a good call, or to learn as they go.

But that’s not going to happen because that’s not how liberals think. Passing on the word that Sarah Palin is borderline-retarded, or someone tried to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, or the United States has enough nuclear weaponry to blow up the world seven thousand times, is the liberal equivalent to tossing a ten-spot into the church collection plate. Remember, everything is an effort, everything is a revolution. What passes for their connection to “truth,” is nothing more than an effort. In addition to adding their contribution to the effort, they’re making a spectacle out of themselves as they do so, preening to their fellow liberals, hoping to elevate their own social status. They couldn’t possibly care less if there was a plot to kidnap Whitmer.

So there’s no need to atone for it later when it turns out to be wrong. In the liberal universe, it wasn’t wrong. Rather, it was spent, like the money in the collection plate, now it’s on to the next thing.

When I say — Never let liberals decide for the rest of us what’s true, right, equal or unequal — this is what I mean.

They actually know nothing. They measure nothing. There is no “truth” in their world as the rest of us know it. There is only the glorious revolution that’s always just around the corner. There is only the effort to generate momentum behind…whatever.

I Will Never Forget

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

I won’t forget the China Bioweapon, ever, in part because now we know China develops bioweapons. The question remains whether they release them on purpose or by accident, but it’s settled that they develop bioweapons and they lie about them.

Also, I’m not inclined to forget about the conflict I saw paraded in front of me for two solid years. We don’t all agree about how a government works or how it’s supposed to operate. I think we elect leaders who we count on to make good decisions, and when they don’t, they’re accountable for the results. I think they’re like captains obliged to go down with the ship. I think, if there are bad consequences from wrong decisions, and these consequences loom larger for the governed than for those doing the governing, something is broken and it was already broken before the decisions turned out to be bad ones.

There is this other mindset, clung to by all sorts of people walking around and living their lives…I have no idea how they do, how they get dressed in the morning. They think the position of governing people is kind of like owner equity. If you’re a “leader” you “own” everything involved in your decisions. If you make a bad decision, it’s like a child breaking a toy he owns, it isn’t anybody else’s business. Momma go buy me a new one. According to this, leaders don’t really make “wrong” decisions because there’s no way for them to make mistakes. If they break something, it’s like the child breaking the toy. They get to do that. If they won an election, or were appointed by someone who was, and the term isn’t up yet then it all belongs to them. Everything they do is their right.

SlaughterhouseIt’s the difference between trustees laboring under the burden of making weighty decisions for others, who will hold them to account; versus, a farmer attending to a flock of dumb beasts. Disposable beasts. Not like cows that cost a certain number of dollars per head. More like fleas in a flea circus.

“The science changed!” That’s just a fancy way of saying your talking points changed. And you still don’t want to be accountable. Science never changed.

It’s the difference between remembering the constituents are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, living real lives…and, forgetting all about that.

The era of living under the dreaded China Bioweapon may have passed, but this difference in visions about what government is, is still with us. A yawning gap.

Many among my fellow citizens have no desire for citizenship. It isn’t true of all of them, but it’s true of far too many. They don’t want to be citizens at all.

And my “leaders” told lie after lie after lie, and then orchestrated witch hunts against the citizens who had the audacity to notice the lies. They produced bogus “science” strongly suggesting, and occasionally coming out and saying, that if you don’t wear a mask everywhere you go, you must not care about people and you’re trying to kill Grandma. That if you don’t get vaccinated, you’ll spread the pathogen quicker, or more surely, or more times, or something. They lied to get more people to do what they wanted them to do, and half my fellow constituents thought this was wonderful to lie this way. Clapped for it and demanded more, like dumb circus seals.

I will never, ever forget. Not if I live to be five hundred.

Liberals Have Stopped Discussing

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Sometime in the last fifty years, and I get the impression this has been changing faster lately — liberals stopped arguing. It used to be they’d rely on appeal to authority, which, say what you want about it, at least it is some sort of an appeal. I think that’s the last appeal to disappear. We saw it throughout the China Bioweapon crisis…and maybe that’s the pivot point. “Who are you to question Dr. Fauci” lost its value as a “This ought to convince you” sort of argument, and subtly shifted its weight toward something like “This magical incantation ought to drown out the sound of your voice.”

In these post-Bioweapon times, they don’t seek to persuade at all. They just sort of repeat their talking points half heartedly. The most charitable way to describe what they’re giving you, is as a rationalization for them thinking what they’re thinking. They aren’t telling me, for example, why we should defund the police. They’re telling me why other people think we should defund the police. This is a significant shift, when the same shift applies to all of their positions about everything.

Maybe it’s the “High gas prices are not Biden’s fault” thing that slipped their center of gravity over the brink. After all, you can’t prove that, even if you believe it to be true. So it’s really just nonsense. It sounds better than “I can’t hear you la la la” but that’s what they’re saying. They’re not indemnifying Biden. They’re just talking over you when you peg Biden as the problem…accurately.

Half a century ago, when they said “We need lower taxes on people who make less money because they need a greater percentage of their income to fulfill the basics,” they believed it…and, they were persuasive. It may or may not have persuaded you. Perhaps it should have. Perhaps it should not have. But the argument, at least, made sense on some level. It was based on fact and/or easily observed situations and it relied on provable basics of economics and household management. It relied on logic, lesser things being treated as lesser things, and greater things being treated as greater things. It play-acted, with some degree of legitimacy, at being grounded in compassion.

If any of their arguments did any of those things today, it would be truly remarkable. What changed?

Here’s a theory: This “argumentum ad poopheadidum” thing, for lack of a better term — in which they call you a terrible person for believing the wrong things, or for not accepting their version, has become a sort of “golden hammer.” They ply you with their version of what you should be thinking, and you buy it or you don’t. If you don’t buy it, they call you a dirty rotten jerk or whatever, show off for each other, and walk away, cowardly. If it were more dignified, it would be canine-like behavior: Bark at the thing, pee on it, walk away.

It’s a change that doesn’t help them in the long run.

It’s really not too good for the rest of us, either. People may not realize it, but there’s a point to arguing about politics. If you’re really right, you should be able to defend your position from someone who is out to attack it — so long as they attack it honestly and in good faith.