I enthusiastically recommend Reason, both the magazine and the website. I am far from being a libertarian, but their reporting and analysis is consistently fair, balanced and perceptive. If I were teaching high school, I’d assign it regularly.
Here is a recent example. Reason’s Scott Shackford correctly flagged the incompetent and misleading media narrative that President Trump eliminated a wise Obama measure that kept guns out of the hands of dangerous mentally ill individuals. The usual media hacks pushed this narrative on the public, like CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who tweeted to Trump,
“Are you aware that one of the regulations you got rid of made it more difficult for mentally ill to get guns?”
“One of the only major actions that Pres. Trump has taken on gun control is to block an Obama-era rule that made it harder for the mentally ill to have access to guns.”
Trump-deranged Washington Post conservative Jennifer Rubin…
“Almost a year ago Trump signed a bill rolling back Obama measure making it harder for mentally ill to get guns”
The Daily Beast:
“A year ago today, the Senate rolled back an Obama regulation that would have prevented 75,000 severely mentally ill people from buying guns and put them “in the hands of people too mentally unstable to manage their own bank accounts”
The degree of ignorance regarding mental illness and Constitutional rights displayed by these and others is horrifying.
A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.
This is a regulation that potentially deprived between 75,000 to 80,000 people of a right based not on what they had done but on the basis of being classified by the government in a certain way. The fact that these people may have these impairments did not inherently mean that they were dangerous to themselves or others and needed to be kept away from guns.
As I noted when the regulation was repealed last March, this rule violated not just the Second Amendment but the Fourth [Note: He means the Fifth...] , because it deprived the affected people of a right without due process. The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands.
That’s why the regulation was opposed not just by National Rifle Association (NRA) but by several mental health and disability groups and by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Exactly correct. Shackford isn’t a lawyer, but he is more competent in Constitutional law than either lawyers Cuomo or Barack Obama. The discrimination faced by those citizens with mental and emotional illnesses is bad enough without Obama’s pandering to anti-gun hysterics and tarring the mentally ill as automatic threats to shoot up schools. There is no nexus between “not being able to manage their own bank accounts” and not being fit to exercise their Constitutional rights.
Hell, I can’t manage my bank account.
Naturally, since the anti-gun news media is insufficiently committed toreporting the facts, and the anti-gun Left is not interested at all in being truthful, only the baaaaad NRA was referenced as culprits in this correct call by President Trump, not the good ACLU. That would have confused people, you see. Confused, as in “this issue isn’t as simple as Democrats make it out to be.”
If the anti-gun activists could win this debate on facts, law and logic, I presume they would try. Since they are constantly relying on misinformation, defiance of the Bill of Rights and hacks like Chris Cuomo instead, it is fair to assume that they can’t.
ADDENDUM: Prof Glenn Reynold posted the Reason piece on Facebook, and Facebook fact-checked him! After all, if a law professor posts an article pointing out how anti-gun activists in the media distort facts to fit their narrative, it must be fake news.
Do progressives really like what’s going on? Do they think this blatant effort to manipulate public opinion so it supports a leftward agenda is a good thing? Do they really? Is honesty, integrity and fairness that disposable?
39 thoughts on “What Do You Get When You Add Anti-Gun Bias To Constitutional Ignorance To Anti-Trump Bias To Incompetent Journalism? THIS…”
People who can’t manage their bank accounts don’t NEED guns, Jack. They have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to keep them safe. That’s all they need!
Not any more with Mulvaney in charge.
Wow! If that is what I have heard people bitching about on Facebook, I am pissed. I knew nothing about the roll-back, only what people posted. I figured it could be a legitimate stance in principle, even if I might disagree with the principle. This is nothing like that. If this is the crap people have been posting about in Facebook, I am furious. This is propoganda. Still, is this what happened? I bet none of the people posting about this can answer that question.
God, I hate to feel like a conspiracy theorist but, when I’ve clicked on his facebook profile, no posts from 2018 come up at all. Maybe January 1 marks the date he departed from the orthodoxy?
The dishonesty about this really pisses me off. Not just because I am a die-hard Constitutionalist, but because it hits pretty close to home on a personal level.
A man in my family in his late 50’s is severely dyslexic, to the point of virtual illiteracy. He is an intelligent, mature person, quite capable in every other way. His mechanical skills are impressive, and he could easily have been an engineer without the dyslexia. Because of his disability, he absolutely needs help managing his finances (thankfully, his wife is able to take on these tasks). Should he have to forego his civil rights because he can’t read?
Using “can’t manage their own finances” as the starting point for branding someone as mentally deficient isn’t even a slippery slope – it’s damn near at the bottom of the slope already. Thanks to piss-poor schools that focus almost no attention on this kind of basic, practical skill, I’d wager that the majority of Americans can’t really manage their own finances. Looking at the crippling mountain of personal debt we’ve accumulated as a nation, I think that’s a safe bet.
“…I’d wager that the majority of Americans can’t really manage their own finances.”
Exactly. The next slip on the slope is “have more than $10,000 in credit card debt? No civil rights for you.”
Who gets to decide who is able to manage their own finances? Obama era progressives?
“ADDENDUM: Prof Glenn Reynold posted the Reason piece on Facebook, and Facebook fact-checked him! After all, if a law professor posts an article pointing out how anti-gun activists in the media distort facts to fit their narrative, it must be fake news.”
I don’t tweet, but a dozen of my conservative friends on Twitter have noted a massive drop in followers last nite. I guess that easier to do when you control your medium.
I wrote this for anyone willing to listen.
As we listen to the plaintiff cries of those affected by recent violence, many demand that we do something. What that something is depends heavily upon who bears the actual cost of that something.
Every day we go about our lives making decisions that involve costs. We unconsciously weigh the value of choosing this over that at any given moment. We ponder for a few seconds does the value of sitting on the couch watching the latest in the Netflix offering outweigh the task of getting up and going to the gym right now? Do we care if the immediate beneficial value of consuming that delicious piece of cake may impose a cost later in life as we wind up needing to manage diabetes in years to come? Do we put a dollar value on the loss of a limb or our eyesight due to complications of such a disease? Do we actually estimate the value of lost days of active living because we choose a sedentary lifestyle, or do we simply evaluate the immediate costs and benefits? Do we contemplate the potential accumulated but deferred costs of the choices we make over a lifetime? For some, yes. For others, the answer is no. These decisions appear inconsequential in our daily lives. But are they? For perhaps 99% of Americans we choose benefits that accrue in the here and now and dismiss the costs and benefits associated with the long term. I chose 99% because I know that 1% of the population has the discipline not to spend everything they have which is why they have been able to accumulate so much wealth. We often fail to accurately calculate the true cost of our decisions because we rarely, if ever, estimate the cumulative costs of our decisions. We are a consumption driven society. It appears that we live thinking there is no tomorrow.
So what you may say. We cannot truly estimate the values of things yet to be. We have few measures to put a price on the intrinsic value of things and events. This is true for us as a group but not as individuals. I can place a value on my privacy for today and tomorrow. I put myself on the do not call list to avoid telemarketers imposing on my dinner time even though I know I might miss some extra special offer that I really might like. I cannot speak for others but for me the rights afforded to me in the Constitution have a significant high value.
I value the first amendment, which gives me the right to express myself in virtually any way that I wish more than anything. I would gladly give up all my possessions and even my life to ensure that that right is never abrogated by the majority. Without this right, I could never attempt to change minds and persuade others that we must all have this right. Embodied within this right is the ability to believe what I wish without the majority telling me what I must believe. Obviously, I am seeking to avoid both the pain of punishment for transgressions against the majority who would tell me what I am able to communicate or believe as well as the cost of having to live a lie. Given that we see movement to ban speech that is deemed offensive why should we believe that this right is sacrosanct and immutable? We have legislators with a growing following pushing for speech and assembly bans now.
Given that I own no firearms, the loss of the 2nd amendment would, on the surface, impose no immediate costs upon me. If I choose to never want to own a firearm it would suggest that the long term opportunity costs are again zero. However, long term decisions cannot be viewed in isolation. I will come back to this later.
It is highly unlikely that I will need protections from the third amendment. In a time of war against a foreign enemy I would gladly quarter our soldiers if asked. I would not however allow soldiers in my home if martial law was declared by our government to suppress the citizens of our nation. This is probably a moot point because I would be on one side or the other. If I was against the government during an insurrection, I don’t think the courts would be favorable to me anyway. As result, the elimination of this amendment would impose a negligible opportunity cost on me. Consequently, if it were eliminated I would not spend much time or energy defending it.
Moving on to the 4th through 6th amendments, imagine a society that demands government do something whenever something bad happens. Is it really plausible to believe that the government will bend over backwards to prevent a corruption of justice in order to placate the crowd that demands swift retribution? What might be the opportunity costs associated with such a society. We have seen what darkness lies in the hearts of men when vengeance and prejudice is part and parcel of the judicial process. We already have secretive courts in which the public has no ability to view the affirmation of probable cause. We know it as the FISA court. How hard would it be to establish a DISA court for domestic surveillance? Other regimes have had their secret police why would we be any different without the protections of these amendments?
For me to be secure in knowing that the government must establish probable cause before knocking down my door and rifling through my belongings to find evidence of wrongdoing on my part is of such great value that I would fight to the death to keep the 4th amendment. If we ban ownership of AR-14’s making possession illegal what would stop the government from knocking on all doors and demanding to search the premises for contraband weapons – and anything else for that matter.
To me the opportunity cost of eliminating the amendment simply to create the appearance of expediency of justice is mind numbingly high. One only needs to turn on the news to see the DOJ indict people on process crimes even when they can find no other rationale to indict on the original offense. It was once said, show me the man and I will give you the crime.
What value would you place on not being subjected to Inquisition like methods to get you to bear witness against yourself? For me, I put the prospect of being isolated in a jail cell for days, months, or years on end without help from an experienced lawyer is frightening. Does anyone think that if legal, that is to say constitutional, the government would not use every power it had to obtain your confession? I believe it would because many think if it’s legal it must be ethical.
How many would be willing to give up the 5th amendment protections against the government taking of your property without just compensation. One look at the way law enforcement has abused its ability to employ asset forfeiture rules might suggest that if left unchecked we are all at risk of losing our life savings. The Washington Post covered this in depth on Sept. 6, 2014.
Given what I previously described, what price would we put on the elimination of the 7th amendment? Do we trust government judges to render an impartial verdict after giving other governmental investigators the right to search your home, hold and question you until you could no longer tolerate the inquisition? Or, would you rather have a jury trial made up of your neighbors? Again, the opportunity costs associated with giving up these protections, that protect both the guilty and the innocent, to me is so high I would physically fight the government to keep them.
Ah the 8th amendment. Wouldn’t it be grand if we could do what we wanted to the Adam Lanzas and Nikolas Cruzes of this world who perpetrate horrific crimes and inflict enormous emotional scars on the survivors? If eliminated, we would not be barred from drawing and quartering these beasts who mowed down innocent children as if they were shooting rats at the dump. Oh, how inhuman they were. They deserve what’s coming to them. For most people there is little opportunity cost because they fail to factor in the costs associated with becoming a blood thirsty society. It’s all great until you or your loved one is subject to the violence of the mob. I place great value on this amendment because without it government could use unjustly high fines to balance budgets, keep people locked up indefinitely without any adjudication, or even institute public hangings for the benefit of showing the public they are doing something. Again, governments have proven themselves untrustworthy with respect to fines. Some argue that governments unjustly incarcerate minorities more often than privileged whites. This is another amendment that I would fight to the death to protect.
Imagine our government without the 9th amendment. They could decide what rights we actually have that were not specified in the Constitution. Ladies, that means no Supreme Court could give you the right to terminate a pregnancy. Moreover, no one would have an imputed right to privacy as it is not enumerated in the Constitution. We should all value this one highly because it is what prevents the government from having unlimited ability to limit our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I know I do.
Rounding out the Bill of Rights is the 10th amendment that all rights not explicitly delegated to the federal government are reserved by the states. Hear that Maryland, California, and Connecticut you have the right to pass laws limiting the rights of your citizens provided they do not violate the individual rights enumerated in the federal Constitution. Through federalism we as citizens have the right to move to states whose laws are more consistent with our values. Thus, we have a choice whether we live in a nanny state that emphasizes safety and security or move to one that values individualism, autonomy, and responsibility. Without the 10th amendment we have no choices if all laws are federal laws.
Now, without the first amendment we can ask how would we ever have promoted the idea of the thirteenth through fifteenth amendments which effectively eliminated the practice of slavery, ensured equal protection under the law and acknowledged the citizenship of all those brought here as slaves as well as their offspring. Oh, I forgot the slave rebellions where slaves took up arms against their masters. Perhaps the 2nd amendment had some value then. Nor would women have been able to mount a movement to enshrine their right to vote within the Constitution with the 19th amendment. We all can contemplate the weapons they used to get the men to agree.
So as we evaluate the costs and benefits of legislation we need to consider the opportunity costs of the choices we make. Every time we restrict a right guaranteed in the Constitution we lower the opportunity cost of government to infringe on all liberties we currently enjoy. While the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals states that military style (not grade but style) weapons can be banned under the Constitution because they are not necessary today what if they become necessary in the future to protect the other liberties that we enjoy? That is the opportunity cost question at hand. What are we willing to sacrifice today to ensure that no future government will attempt to eviscerate that which we hold out as truly American values simply to provide all security but no liberty to think and act as individuals? What do we want to tell future generations who are no longer able to mount a defense against specious charges because we allowed government to strip them of their protections from those who wish expediency over justice?
Naysayers will say none of this will happen. Elected officials would never try to take away all those other rights. I will remind you that elected officials will keep that which enriches the coffers of government so that they can enamor themselves with you through their spending and reject those that could negatively affect their election chances: For example, tobacco and its revenues. I for one do not trust them to look beyond the next election for if they did they would have banned all forms of tobacco years ago knowing that it kills more people per year than does all forms of violence. I will agree that they will not radically impinge on our rights overnight. It will be a gradual process much like how tobacco ravages the body over time. Those in power will attempt to stay in power and will do anything to ensure they are insulated from the rules they impose of the electorate. Safety will become an entitlement which will be as hard to reform as Social Security, and they know that. The point is if we do not critically evaluate the long term opportunity costs of trading liberty for safety we run the high risk of making horrendous decisions today that will be difficult if not impossible to correct in the future. To the naysayers, if what I predict could happen comes to pass, how will we compel the government to give up the power it wants to retain? That is all I ask people to consider?
With all that said, the opportunity costs of eliminating or severely restricting the 2nd amendment has now risen so high that I would fight for the right to prevent useless restrictions of the 2nd amendment in order to preserve all those other liberties using as much force as needed even though I own no firearms now. I do not want my ability to protect all of my rights in the future diminished in any way.
Nonetheless, one common sense simple compromise for AR type weapons is to reclassify them as handguns. Many of these, if not all, have pistol grips and magazines the approximating that of a Glock G22 .40 SA that can be outfitted with a 23 cartridge magazine. A person with two of these weapons can inflict more damage than a person with an AR. The price of two Glock G22 .40 SA’s is less than one mid-range AR. Reclassification of AR’s as handguns would have prevented Cruz from buying his weapon of choice and would also require a waiting period. It is simple and common sense and can be done easily without having to abridge the rights of lawful users. By no means is this a silver bullet but just a conversation starter.
Bravo. First post up tomorrow, and thank you.
Thank you Jack. I don’t have much to offer other than my thoughts.
Well, those thoughts are ALOT.
I am still in a quandary over the 16th amendment – you know the power to tax. (snicker)
(Not all the amendments protect rights…I think you are on solid ground opposing the ones that expand governmental power)
I realize that that all amendments are not specific to individual liberties. I focused only on the first ten and used later ones that most understand to reinforce how loss of one or more of the original ten would obviate the ability to ever get future protections passed.
Maybe post it weekly…have it read on every Sabbath (or maybe each New Moon) and out loud to the assembly on High Holy Days.
I don’t think I can summon to words to thoroughly praise this composition.
I think we moderns underestimate the values hidden inside the 3rd Amendment. I think proper exegesis of that Amendment will reveal even richer arguments against invasion of privacy than the later amendments do which have already explicit and rich arguments in them, as well as security against false accusation, as well as arguments touching on private property rights.
I had not considered the privacy issue of the 3rd amendment. Your input just caused me to increase the opportunity cost exponentially of not fighting to keep it in place.
Greatly informative and balanced post.
Power hungry politicians and their media allies clearly hope the majority of the frogs will not jump out of the pot as it heats up. We shall see.
Brilliant post. Articulate, intelligent, and well thought-out. So what the hell is it doing on the internet? The internet is not a place for thoughtful reflection, it’s for knee-jerk emoting and making childish demands of others. 🙂
Chris, your understanding of and dedication to the principles that this country was founded on is undeniable and inspiring. If they ban semiautomatic rifles, I’ll bury an extra one for you, to be dug up when the real fighting inevitably starts.
Fabulous comment. I’ll hold my reply that I’ve already drafted until after the COTD has been posted.
Brilliant and well reasoned. I liked your concept of “incrementalism”, kind of like a death by a thousand cuts. The argument is: “We only want to ban assault rifles. Nobody needs assault rifles, anyway, so what is the harm.” So, we agree. Assault rifles are gone. Next, the definition of assault rifle will be expanded to include standard issue deer rifles. They are gone. Then, to include shot guns. Adios. Then, BB guns looking like AR-15s are gone. At the end of the day, the citizenry is left without the ability to defend itself from government overreach.
The antigun cult is dishonest, invincibly ignorant, and hates freedom.
Here is a comment on another blog.
I made this reply.
I quoted Andy Gill
– Andy Gill
To which I’d respond “So you admit you want to round up innocent people because you hate their politics, strip them of their legal rights, and put them in prison. But you can’t, can you, because they have lots of guns. See how that works? “
According to Maurice Velenosi, Canadian entertainment exec:
“I praise the young students of America taking such a big stand and challenge all NRA employees to resign and shut down the NRA. Who will make America great again, only these students can. I am impressed by them. America is sick and firearms should be banned as in the case in most civilized countries.”
Comments include that the “far west” (English is his second language, so “Wild West” doesn’t come right to him) is over the 2nd is outdated, and these children will lead the way to vote every single member of the GOP out of office.
The ignorance and arrogance of foreign anti-gunners is staggering. Canada and the US are simply not comparable, starting with the fact that Canada has not much more than 10% of the people in more space, although a quarter of them are in four or five major cities. More to the point, firearms aren’t even “banned,” i.e. totally restricted from civilian ownership, in Canada, although they are heavily restricted and their Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which is about 200 years younger than our Bill of Rights) doesn’t include the right to keep and bear arms. Guns aren’t “banned” in most nations, except the PRC and Japan, and the strictest gun laws are mostly in Asian developing nations (it is worth noting that most Asian cultures place the value of the group above the value of the individual), not “most civilized countries.”
The rest of this statement is a toxic mix of grandstanding and America hatred. These kids are not becoming the basis for any kind of great movement, any more than BLM or antifa or any other group driven by anger ever formed the basis for anything. I made up the proverb once that anger does not make a swordsman, rage does not make a marksman, and passion does not make a leader. I would add to that that emotion does not make good policy or workable policy. I need not remind everyone of the famous proverb that Rome was not built in a day, or even a week. Good policy, Constitutional policy, workable policy takes time, analysis, thinking, and a whole lot of cold-bloodedness, clear-eyedness, and even-handedness. America is no more sick than any other country: Russia with its borderline gang culture, Italy with its inability to organize, Ireland with its borderline theocracy and 800 years of bitterness, and let’s not even talk about the ME theocracies and dictatorships, or the Far East with their dearth of personal freedom. That’s not how we do it here, and we don’t need, want, or appreciate tut-tutting by those who want to deal with the speck in our eye and miss the plank in their own.
As for challenging the NRA to quit? That’s not even worth discussion. The members wouldn’t be there if they didn’t believe in what the organization stood for, and if Sandy Hook didn’t result in a mass exodus, nothing will. Who the hell set this jerk up as our moral judge anyway?
That is like asking the NAACP to quit.
Civilized countries like Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa?
In those countries, gangs have a monopoly on firearms.
The Nation actually published an article on this.
As an outsider, I hope I am not crossing the line by commenting on such an important social issue.
What I observe is that the mass shooters tend to be those who feel isolated, angry, hateful, seek validation and attention, have inflated sense of self and look to be “remembered”.
If people, media, social media can work together, refrain from publishing the real names, photos and unnecessary details of those mass shooters, at least within a certain period of time, it would deny those shooters’ desire to be notorious and remembered. They would be less motivated to kill.
I do believe this works. But probably impossible to implement. Media hunts for sensational stories to sell. People lust after blood and downfalls (even though we don’t want to admit it) and nowadays kids grow up more attached to social media than to real human beings. It is indeed hard not to make mass shooting attractive to those cruel and miserable souls.
Esther Xie writes: “It is indeed hard not to make mass shooting attractive to those cruel and miserable souls.”
I often feel a strange inhibition to express myself. For example when reading something on this forum and also in other places. I notice something, I want to mention it, but I feel that by doing so I will be seen as ‘transgressive’. But I also am aware that I feel, inwardly, that I am transgressing. I feel guilty.
Nevertheless, I have been training myself that especially when I feel constrained to remain silent, to not say what I think, that I resolve to say what I think and not to worry about the consequences.
I therefor need to point out something obvious but often unmentioned. It is that for about 20 years now the United States has been engaging in very dubious and in any case illegal wars and invasions of sovereign countries. The Iraq invasion under false pretenses resulted in a catastrophic example of death, murder, total upending of culture and civilization, at the hands of ‘those cruel and miseravle souls’. We lament the deaths of 3000 souls in NY City. But we then became accomplises in the murders of 500,000.
Yes, those cruel and miserable souls, and with whom we are complicit to the degree that we do not recognize what happened and rectify it. That rectification will be The Day of Reckoning for the US and the people of the US. That is my cold, hard theory, my cold hard truth.
This sounds dramatic but I am making the effort not to dramatize but to describe accurately the truth and reality.
Now, what is the connection between these isolated acts of mass murder and the ‘macrocosmic’ situation of the US where mass murder at a geo-political level has been committed? Is there a connection? If one is going to consider ‘social health’ and mental health and then begin to ask question about the individual who is unwell, or openly sick, then one is going to have to see that individual within a larger context, and with this I suggest a larger social climate.
The society that is the United States of America is a connected whole. There is no thing that does not conect to other things. There is no action that will not have ramifications in other areas. One must (IMHO) begint o openly speak about the fact that the US is entering social and cultural crisis, and in this sense (though forgive the reference to Malcolm X) ‘the chickens are coming home to roost’.
It is admirable to look at one’s own behaviour and recognize one might be abusing the power. It requires self reflection and self control.
America has done a lot to help other countries. On the other hand, America does have a bit of reputation of being a self serving world police.
I don’t think we can see America’s governments as mass shooters. Mass shooters are doing things out of pain and emotional need. They don’t achieve tangible benefits by killing and they die. A country as a super power in this world is far more adult and sophisticated than that. That’s why we are worried that Trump and Korean leaders act too childish and would blow up the earth while throwing tantrums, right?
A super power takes action with financial and strategic benefits in mind. And the superpower is looking at not only remaining alive but also achieving specific goals.
I don’t know if any other country can be better. Great Brian used to colonize other countries all over the world. Before its power faded.. Russia is working on returning back to a super power. China is learning how to have bigger say and more control.
We don’t live in heaven. There is power play between countries just like power play between individual adults.
Thanks for your comment. It is only fair to point out that I am not a very popular poster here to say the least and I have numerous radical opinions. In fact I am *somewhat hated*. Don’t get too contaminated by conversing with me. 😉
“I don’t know if any other country can be better. Great Brian used to colonize other countries all over the world. Before its power faded.. Russia is working on returning back to a super power. China is learning how to have bigger say and more control.”
In order to make sesne of things which tremendously confuse me —- for example just about everything going on in the American present —- I have had to backtrack into some historical analysis. It is definitely not a popular idea on this blog (no one has commented on it to date) but my understanding is that America lost its status as a constitutional republic when it embarked on its neo-colonial projects. I suppose it is a choice that even a person must face: 1) keep your business to yourself, keep things small and ethically manageable or 2) launch out into grand projects of conquest and gain. In America’s case the choice was made to become a neo-imperialism and to displace Britain.
The British Empire was an extraordinary empire! The result of it was in so many senses to have defined civilization; on a certain level even what civilization means. Along with the conquest and the avariciousness which on one hand gave birth to the motive, came many other things of tremendous value. How to reconcile the negaitve against the positive? My mind cannot process the problem …
But I only try to speak ‘factually’ about America as America, with its significant Constitution, declaimed itself as substantially different. That is, it constructed itself around high ideals which (if I understand correctly) had not ever been the ground of any civilization, anywhere.
And it opted to choose the neo-imperial route. Fantastic things came to it, fantastic things were achieved, and yet it entered into disharmonious relationship with itself at that point. It self-contradicted. I try to say this as the most neutral statement as is possible. This self-contradiction, this self-violation, defined 120 years of its history.
America was not created to supercede Britain. It was not created to imitate Britain. Now, right now, today, and visible for all to see such that it is agonizingly plain, painfully plain, ‘the chickens are coming homem to roost’ as they will for a person, a family, a community, a state or a nation. The Bibilical saying explains it nicely: ‘Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind’. The simple definition is: ‘Suffer serious reprecussions as a result of one’s actions’.
Therefor the question as I understand it is Is this assessment fair and accurate? And if so What is the purpose of making the assessment? All such pondering is only part of a process of interpretation: interrpetation of the present. Not at all easy!
English is not my first language. I want to retract “People lust after blood and downfalls (even though we don’t want to admit it)”. It does not express my thought appropriately. What I want to say is that we have tendency to be obsessed with disasters, tragedies and scandals. Media is taking advantage of this and run 24/7 news cycle to sell.
The public, for its own benefit should not co-operate with the crazy selling media to make shooters cult heroes.
BTW, NYtimes , America’s famed newspaper, is crap. I found it out through its coverage of Metoo movement. Is Journalism dead?
You make a valid point. The problem is ensuring the public is informed and their questions addressed and not giving the shooter the notoriety that fuels other losers.
Yes. You nailed it. Thank you.
”People lust after blood and downfalls ”
I don’t think this is an inaccurate characterization of mankind’s unhindered nature and little of modern culture convinces me that mankind enjoys hindering his nature. Of course we’d never send evaluate ourselves as “lustful” after those things- but I’d say an increasing number of people are not having those urges trained out of them anymore.
So far I’ve enjoyed all your comments.
I had realized it and retracted and changed my statement.
I was mentioning that, though you retracted the comment, it is still an accurate assessment anyway.
Shake hands 🙂
Esther Xie writes: “What I want to say is that we have tendency to be obsessed with disasters, tragedies and scandals. Media is taking advantage of this and run 24/7 news cycle to sell.”
I read once, I don’t remember where, that in decadent Rome the theatre devolved into one of ghost and terror stories, blood gore and horror. But theatre in the Greek sense evolved out of sacred theatre and mime. The Greek theatre we are familiar with is altogether of another order and, obviously, was a product of the high-point in Athenian culture.
But we do not live in times that can be compared to those former times. We live in times in which —- like it or not, face it or not —- more or less totalitarian structures surround us and feed us, well, essentially everything. These ‘media’ are our interface with ‘reality’. And what stands behind the media is private interest (private capital), the constellations and clusters of corporations whose purpose is to condition the individual to be a ‘buyer’ or an ‘acceptor’ of what is provided.
I think it is fair, necessary and also good (in the sense of ‘civic duty’) to point out that in a very real sense one can look at this polarity as that of ‘the individual’ vs ‘the media’. It is a simple and reductionist way of looking at it, but useful. I would suggest that one cannot and one should not, ever, assume that private concentrations of capital have an interest in ‘doing good’ in what we would understand to be the civic sense of a ‘good citizen’.
I would rather propose that it is their very nature to undermine the sovereign individual, to defeat his ‘resistance’ to their persuasive messages. Contrasted to that and to what stands behind that is the strong, confident, knowledgable, powerful individual who knows what he or she values, knows why it is valued, and can work creatively and positively in his world to model his world on those values.
In our world, in our Western culture(s), in this family of societies that compose the Occident, both now in the present and historically as one considers 1500 years of culture the individual has been ‘structured’ (if you will permit the turn of phrase) through religious and metaphysical training. Even the definition of ‘the individual’ and an individual with rights has uniquely come about through this training. And that is to say an understanding of reality, in the terrestrial and immediate domain (in time and in mutablitiy: in ‘becoming’) as well as in the supernatural domain.
I would suggest that as the religious and metaphysical viewpoint is demolished, and these religious and metaphysical structures are undermined, that the sovereign individual as an entity that can even be conceived of, is undermined. This is no small thing. It has been a slowish process, this is true, and it is coming to fruition in our present.
Obviously we can notice this most strongly in the last 100-150 years. Many historicans speak of the 2 European Wars as ‘the beginning of the end’ and ‘the loss of faith’ and such. Gilbert Murray wrote of ‘the loss of nerve’ as a crisis in former Greek society, with obvious implications in hsi present. I think this is very true but that in order to describe it one really needs a careful and sophisticated discourse to present it. (It certainly does not help only to say ‘people need to return to church’)
(If anything: the relationship of Occidental man to his very self and to ‘reality’ in the most immediate and profound metaphysical sense must take place or death ensue … and that is where this discourse would eventually lead).
But returning to the notion of ‘totalitarian structures’ I think a great deal can be illuminated by focus on their processes as requiring the ‘defeat’ of the sovereign individual. That is one of the messages, I have gathered, of critical historical theory: that totalitarian structures arose, swayed populations to their will, and did, and do, great harm. But it is more than mere ‘harm’: they overpower the sovereign individual, they render him (or it) an obstancle, or render him useful only to the degree that he serves their will. And this ‘will’ of theirs is a mechanical, machine-like will. It is not really a ‘human will’ in the sense of our humanistic traditions.
Seen in this light the ‘MSM’ must be and can only be seen as something rather scary. But this really means that the conditions in our present are now progressing to a point where we see through the veils and directly to the ‘mechanisms of power’. And in this is so, if the reasoned reports I have read are correct and not exaggerating, we can easily notice, or perhaps ‘infer’, that government, private capital and intelligence agency function in collusion.
This sounds like Alex Jonesian paranoia but I do not think that the basic structure of what I am describing is inaccurate. The questio revolves around how the soverign individual choses to relate to these conditions, or interact with them, or react to them or against them.
The really strange and horrifying thing is to notice what we see developing in our present. The totalitarian propaganda-generating structures show themselves to be what they really are, or perhaps ‘what they have become’.
I think that there is a somewhat darker interpretation of The Present that can be at least suggested. It is that ‘the media’ structure perception; the totalitarian tendency standing behing corporate and government interests that usurp constitutional government, actively work to weaken and demolish the sovereign, value-dedicated individual Capable of living in and operating out of his elevated metaphyisics (what religion orients itself toward, and certainly Christian religion taken at its best), and through this picture I describe one can visualize a System that is capable of manufacturing events if that is necessary to keep hold of power.
In any case, and simply to put it on the table, there is a great deal of dialogue going on which in one way or another deals on these themes: the manipulation of the present through those systems that mediate information.
I agree in the sense that the majority of media are concerned with moral code. You talked about pushing towards totalitarian. I reckon they are pushing towards anarchy because they have no attachment to any particular ideology. They are opportunists driven by money and fame.
Sorry. Are NOT concerned with moral codes.