Comment Of The Day: Saturday Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 2/24/18: …#1 Welcome Student Commenters!

This is a unique Comment of the Day, self-explanatory and greatly appreciated.

Here is teacher Andrew Myette’s COTD on Item #1 of the post, Saturday Afternoon (Because I Was Up At 5 AM Writing About CNN’s Unethical “Town Hall”) Ethics Warm-Up, 2/24/18: Generic Packaging Scams, Goodbye Molly, Polls, And Welcome Student Commenters!:

Mr. Marshall and Ethics Alarms’ Commentators:

I am the (a?) teacher who has directed my students to Ethics Alarms. I teach an Expository Reading and Writing Course to 12th grade students. Part of the high school English curriculum, the course was developed by the California State University system in response to an influx of students who were not prepared for the rigors of college reading and writing, most notably the inability to recognize, respond, and develop argument.

I have directed them to Ethics Alarms because of the opportunity for them to engage in real world discourse on significant, relevant, and important issues, many of which challenge their world views.

I do not endorse nor do I condone inflammatory, immature, and inaccurate commentary. They know better – or, at least, I hope. As Mr. Marshall posted (under another post), I agree that their age should not excuse them from the challenges they encounter in this forum (“they will not be coddled”). I encourage it. But they must also handle the challenges of the forum with maturity, decorum, and respect. To do otherwise is a sad testament to their preparation for life after high school.

Here are the guidelines I have instructed my students to use when examining and writing argument:

When responding to argument, in writing or verbally, please keep in mind the following.

Be passionate! Reason originates in emotion, but must be tempered by logic and ethos.

Read (listen to) through the text you responding to, including comments, if any. Before you respond, consider the following aspects of rhetoric:

-Think about the essential question posed in the text/conversation.
-Think about writer’s rhetorical aim in the passage/text.
– Identify the subject the writer addresses. What his/her/their attitude (tone) toward the subject?
-Identify the writer’s main argument.
-Identify the evidence the writer uses to support his/her/their subject.
-Examine the techniques the writer uses to develop his/her/their argument, including:
>Word choice (diction)
>Figures of speech
>Syntax
>Use of rhetorical questions, and Rhetorical appeals.
>>>What is the author’s attitude (tone) about the subject he/she/they is addressing in the passage?
>>>What specific word choice (diction) clues the reader in?
>>>What figures of speech are used? Does the imagery/analogies/allusions conjure positive/negative/angry/melancholy/activist feelings in the reader?
>>>What type of syntax is used? (short, abrupt, choppy; lengthy, thoughtful, questioning) Are there any rhetorical questions?
>>>What kinds of rhetoric does the author employ? (ethos, pathos, logos, inductive/deductive reasoning, syllogisms)

Questions about Logic (Logos)
-Locate major claims and assertions and ask, “Do you agree with the author’s claim that . . .?”
-Look at support for major claims and ask “Is there any claim that appears to be weak or unsupported? Which one and why?”
-Can you think of counter-arguments that the author doesn’t consider?
Do you think the author has left something out on purpose? Why?

Questions about the Writer (Ethos)
-Does this author have the appropriate background to speak with authority on this subject?
-Is this author knowledgeable?
-What does the author’s style and language tell your students about him or her?
-Does this author seem trustworthy? Why or why not?
-Does this author seem deceptive? Why or why not?
-Does this author appear to be serious?

Questions about Emotions (Pathos)
-Does this piece affect your students emotionally? What parts?
-Do you think the author is trying to manipulate their emotions? In what ways? At what point?
-Do their emotions conflict with their logical interpretation of the arguments?
-Does the author use humor or irony? How does this affect your students’ acceptance of his or her ideas?

Then, prepare your response and remember that others will examine – and challenge – your use of rhetoric.

Questions about Logic (Logos)
-What are my major claims and assertions
-What support do I have for major claims and ask “Is there any claim that appears to be weak or unsupported? Which one and why?”
-Have I considered possible counter-arguments? How will I address them?

Questions about the Writer (Ethos)
– Do I have the appropriate background to speak with authority on this subject?
– Am I knowledgeable? IF NOT, HAVE I CONDUCTED SUFFICIENT RESEARCH TO RESPOND?
-What will my style and language tell others about me? Will I come across as a serious commentator?
– Will I seem trustworthy? Why or why not?
– Will I seem deceptive? Why or why not?
– Will others take me seriously?

Questions about Emotions (Pathos)
– Will my response affect others emotionally? What parts? Why?
– Will others think I am trying to manipulate their emotions? In what ways? At what point?
– Will my emotions conflict with my logical interpretation of their arguments?
– Do I use humor or irony? How will this affect others’ acceptance of my ideas?

If in doubt, remember these key points:
– Identify argument
– Establish your position
– Consider the degree to which you agree/disagree
– Make concessions
– Name your naysayers or opponents >>>>Introduce your rebuttal
-Establish why your claims matter

I look forward to ongoing dialogue. I thank Mr. Marshall for the wonderful teaching opportunity Ethics Alarms provides.

Should you want to contact me directly, I can be reached at amyette@sandi.net

With respect,

Andrew Myette

48 Comments

Filed under Character, Comment of the Day, Environment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Leadership, The Internet

48 responses to “Comment Of The Day: Saturday Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 2/24/18: …#1 Welcome Student Commenters!

  1. Sue Dunim

    Well, that’s one approach to teaching.
    Or you could just give her a gun, as her primary mission is to keep students safe.

    (See comment below)

    • Sue wrote, “Or you could just give her a gun, as her primary mission is to keep students safe.”

      Please explain why you felt it was appropriate to go there?

      • Sue Dunim

        See comment below.
        There are multiple nestings of meta and self reference here, and further elucidation might merely obfuscate.

        Basically, a topical (ie is in the news) subject, a short pithy piece related to teaching, suitable for applying the concepts in the post of the day to, on an emotionally highly charged subject which has been particularly poorly argued by both sides elsewhere.

        Followed by a comment exemplifying pedagogical analysis.

        Ok, going meta again here – notice the vocabulary change in this reply? I use big words. Yuge words. The best words. I am smart.

        (It actually nauseated me to write that last).

  2. Again Andrew,
    Great comment.

    I hope the experience was a great learning experience for all of your students.

  3. I am truly humbled.
    Thank you, Jack.
    And, yes, I will continue to direct students to Ethics Alarms!

    Andrew

    • Jeff

      Andrew, the guidelines you have given your students are detailed, thorough, useful, and intelligent. It leaves me with one question: are you sure you’re teaching in an American high school? I was under the impression that treating your students as developing adults and expecting them to behave as such had gone a bit out of favor… I suspect you may be the kind of teacher that even students who dislike you now will look back on fondly once they realize that you truly were trying to prepare them for the world.

      Just a couple weeks ago, there was a furor at one of the local middle schools here where seventh graders were asked to draw and color a picture of themselves as a slave, as part of some misguided and incomprehensible attempt at teaching a Civil War history unit. In all the hue and cry over the slavery aspect of the controversy, nobody other than my wife and myself seemed to be asking the critical question: Are they seriously giving 12-year-olds coloring assignments in history class? When I was in school not all that long ago, the general rule seemed to be that coloring and drawing were left behind as a general teaching tool well before the students’ ages reached double digits.

      So after hearing about all that you can understand how encouraging it is for me to see a thoughtful, mature, age-appropriate approach to education. Thank you!

      To Mr. Myette’s students: pay attention to this guy. He really is trying to give you the skills you’ll need to succeed.

  4. Sue Dunim

    Examine the above “drive by” (so to speak) comment in light of the comment of the day.

    Additional questions;

    Should the primary duty of the teacher be to stop her students from being slaughtered? Is mere gun possession likely to increase or decrease the odds there?

    Is such heavy handed irony, with no attempt at subtlety, likely to be an effective technique? Might it indicate an unhelpful degree of passion on the part of the author, that makes her argument less effective?

    What limitations are there imposed by space and the TLDR; phenomenon on blog comments? The communication has timbre, pitch etc filtered out, and without < sarcasm > or other tags, can be ambiguous.

    Did you notice the implicit sexism, assuming the teacher was female?

    (In passing, to those students of Mr Myette – treasure your teacher. He’s one of the better ones, you’re lucky to have him.)

    • Sue Dunim,
      Forgive my own ignorance, but what the heck are you doing?

    • “Should the primary duty of the teacher be to stop her students from being slaughtered? Is mere gun possession likely to increase or decrease the odds there?”

      In the event of ANY situation where a bad actor seeks to kill children, nature COMPELS adults to prioritize the protection of children. If that means you’re the only adult around 30 children…I don’t care if you are a lowly janitor all the way up to the pope…I don’t care if your IQ is 40 or 160…I don’t care if you are a coward or the world’s greatest hero…nature COMPELS you to protect children.

      This comment is facile because it presumes particular duties are always prioritized at all times. This isn’t true. It is contextual. So yes, in a school shooting it becomes the primary duty of the teacher to stop her students from being slaughtered. Yeah, I get it…most adults are not mentally prepared to react in that situation with a “fight” mentality. Tough.

      We are merciful and tolerant however towards adults who react like most people would, by running, because we recognize the complete rarity of most emergencies, and especially these catch people off guard and put them into a natural flight mode, so we forgive this particular dereliction of duty.

      But the duty is still there for adults to protect children.

      This cannot be in doubt.

      • Michael et al:

        We have adopted this protocol from Homeland Security regarding active shooters:
        https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mMHxPXMe6CWuRjvYeWnDhYxBJS-HJZvNsfIwGZCM-qo/edit?usp=sharing

        We will have a drill on March 2 at my school.

        Andrew Myette

        • I’m not sure if this reply was just a sharing of information or if I should take it as a disagreement?

          For the sake of expanding the discussion, I’ll assume it is posted as a disagreement:

          I completely understand and generally agree that if a shooter arrives in a situation where the students are all in classrooms, the best course of action is lock-down (presuming doors are sturdy enough to handle some solid attempts to breach. Lock down in that situation is the best way for Adults to protect Children.

          But I’m asking for when the time has come to see the elephant: Children are in the hallways in panic. The gunman is visible. Is there or is there not a natural duty of adults to protect children, with their lives if need be?

          I contend that there is. I contend that all those protocols that DHS passed to you are ultimately a subset of that principle. I just merely think that when the time comes and a situation arises where none of the rehearsed protocols will be effective and it’s time to stand and deliver: does nature compel adults to sacrifice themselves to protect the next generation?

          If so, then the answer to Sue Dunim’s question, “Should the primary duty of the teacher be to stop her students from being slaughtered?” during the time that there is a shooter on campus, is: Yes, Yes it is, and I lean towards this being sacrificially absolute and not a “well, I did my best, better save my own skin” standard of duty.

          Her follow on question, “Is mere gun possession likely to increase or decrease the odds there?” may be up for debate, though I tend to think that an unarmed person, on average, will fare far, far worse, than an armed person when facing another armed person clearly out to kill them.

          • A bit of both, Michael.
            (1) Yes, I agree. It is an adults duty to protect children.
            (2) Yes, I agree that an armed person will fare far better when facing another armed person clearly out to kill them.
            (3) I don’t want to be that person – the teacher with a gun.
            [I really want my students to chime in on this topic]

            • Would you rather be the teacher without a gun?

              • Good question.
                My instincts tell me to protect myself and those I care about.
                My upbringing tells me not to harm others.

                • “My upbringing tells me not to harm others.”

                  This can’t be absolute.

                  Though I have to admit I’m close to this dichotomy myself. But I’m reasonably certain I will harm others (or try) who have surrendered their own protections by their manifest violence, if that violence is directed at a third party.

                  My struggle, without going down a Christian ethics sidebar, is whether or not I’d engage in lethal defense on my own behalf. Which, as of now, I’m reasonably certain that nature would kick in there as well and I would, whether or not some claim that Christian ethics teaches absolute pacifism in regards to self-defense. (I’m certain it’s not absolute regarding protecting others, I’ve just merely heard solid arguments that it is absolute regarding self-defense but here I am going down the sidebar, so I’ll cease that).

                  However, I am open to arguments that indeed it is the duty to just flat out run and try to get as many children running also, because regardless of what the victims do, they aren’t the bad actors. But I’m not comfortable with conceding to the ethical superiority of those arguments.

                  • (As for that last paragraph: I’m not comfortable with the superiority of those arguments because I think it fails Kant- if everybody runs and never resists the bad man, then bad men always win)

                  • I am torn, Michael, and cannot say that I disagree with your argument here.
                    But I cannot say that I would be comfortable carrying a gun – even with training.

                    • philk57

                      Andrew – I have a phrase that, upon first look, seems flippant. But it really isn’t. That phrase is:
                      “Carrying a gun is not meant to be comfortable – it is meant to be comforting.”
                      Having said that, I also believe that there are many people who should not carry a gun – they simply are not temperamentally capable of doing so in a way that enhances safety, rather than threatens safety.
                      I just deleted a long description of how a hard target is better than a soft target when it comes to schools. You and everyone here already knows all of that, or at least has heard it before. Agree or not, bullies hate it when their victims grow fangs the same way that mass shooters hate it when their target is no longer “gun-free.”

                    • Andrew Myette wrote, “But I cannot say that I would be comfortable carrying a gun – even with training.”

                      Andrew,
                      You are basing that statement on what you currently know about yourself and what you are comfortable with today, it’s really not fair to your character to pass judgement upon yourself related to something that you currently know nothing about. That said, I can completely respect that you have absolutely no interest in getting a firearm, getting training, and concealed carrying a firearm, it’s not for everyone. Plus, since the point of concealed carry is that others don’t know you’re doing it, I can also respect never, ever, making it known to those around you that you concealed carry or would not have a problem doing so.

                      Rhetorical question:
                      Would you have a problem with other teachers that have had adequate professional training to concealed carry if they were comfortable doing so?

                    • Something else to seriously consider Andrew in this conversation;

                      Too many people have perceived responsibilities of a person carrying a concealed carry firearm that are inaccurate. Just because a person has a concealed carry firearm does not automatically turn them into a tactically trained swat police officer or a door kicking infantry soldier/marine that is somehow required to track down and eliminate evil.

                      For civilians; using a concealed carrying a firearm is a last resort kind of thing, immediate life or death situation. Personally I would never expect a teacher with a concealed carry firearm to do anything but to hunker down in a defensive position and protect the immediate students within his/her care. I would never ever expect a teacher to leave their students unprotected and actively venture into the hallways to hunt down an active killer, that kind of direct aggressive tactic intervention requires tactical training and should be left to individual choice but I would not recommend it. The thing that must be remembered is that when these kinds of terrible situations arise; if a teacher chooses to bravely go hunt down an active shooter, that teacher leaves their classroom full of students unprotected and vulnerable, sure the teacher is bravely putting themself in harms way to end a terrible situation but at the same time they are leaving their students unprotected, plus when the police arrive they might have a really hard time identifying who the real shooter is with teacher(s) randomly roaming the hallways with firearms. Those are the choices.

                    • Andrew,

                      If you are not comfortable carrying a gun, you should not. That teacher is not you. And I respect that. As Clint Eastwood (playing Dirty Harry) said, “a man has to know his limitations.” 🙂

                      Others have the frame of mind, and the training, needed to run into danger. We prevent them from responding in our current society.

          • Another Mike

            The opposition to arming teachers appears to assume it will be accomplished by calling the faculty into the faculty lounge, showing a 10 minute video on “how to shoot a gun” and then issuing everyone their own Glock.

            No one seems to have heard the words “training” and “qualified” that have accompanied the pro-arming advocates. At this point it is probably not wise to use law enforcement as an example, but I must yield to experience and do so. Police officers do not just appear; they are taught and trained. A lot of it deals with use of force, both the how-to and the when-to, and only when they demonstrate full understanding and competence are they turned loose on the public. Yes, some slip through the cracks. This same comprehensive training would be given to those teachers selected, self-selected to some extent, before they are armed. If it is not in your DNA to “pack” then by all means do not, be you a teacher or not.

            The greatest value of having (some) teachers trained and armed is the deterrent it provides. Knowing that there is a chance that someone might be shooting back will keep a certain number of the Cruzes on the internet and out of the school hallways. Had deputy Peterson only entered the building and engaged Cruz, Cruz would have been immediately distracted and have to stop and deal with a problem he had not planned for… if he did much planning. During that break in the action it is possible that some of those mourned today might have turned that corner or ducked into a room and be here today.

            Its a real shame that Peterson did not understand that the day would come when he earned his whole year’s pay in a matter of minutes. He disgraced a lot of us.

            • philk57

              Mike – you note that: “Police officers do not just appear; they are taught and trained.” This is quite correct. What most people are not aware of is that, generally speaking, police officers are not very good with their sidearms in terms of accuracy. This is not surprising since the cost of ammunition is quite high and the time that it takes to attain and maintain a high level of competence is significant. Not only that, but most officers are just not “gun guys” – nor would we want them to be given the reality that deadly force encounters by officers is relatively rare. (I can say this with some authority as I am a competitive pistol shooter and the qualification courses required of police officers is laughably easy for me).

              What is important, though, is the the vast majority of officers are competent enough to engage an active shooter and either disrupt him enough for victims to get out of the target zone, or to actually put the active shooter down. In a few hours, I could train virtually anyone who is not terrified of guns to shoot well enough to pass most agencies qualification courses. But this is the least important component of any training that a teacher would need in the event that they decided to be one of the armed teachers. Mike points those elements out above and also makes the critical observation that the deterrent effect would be the greatest effect.

              • I plan on putting some of your commentary – if that’s okay – in front of my students to see that they have to say.

                Andrew

              • Pennagain

                I’m agreeing with Slick here. There is a point about police training …. and military, for that matter. Learning to hit a target is one part of training. Understanding that you have the power to kill and that you MUST use that power under certain circumstances is a call to strong emotions, many of which go contrary to applying that training. That emotional component is also evident in knowing that when one is “on the job” so to speak, one has to be constantly alert and ready to respond. No matter how good or how strenuous the training is, even a certain percentage of enlisted soldiers and police will fail to achieve the point at which they can kill another human being. … Training at that level is not likely to be available to teachers who are carrying, barring the few who have been through it professionally, nor are those engaged in classroom teaching prepared to be en garde at all times. I think this is one of those times when the Do-Somethings need to be gagged while rational people think it through without listening to the rationalization: But There’s No Time!

          • There is I think a new industry that is developing: a special security company, perhaps a sort of franchise, of trained military-style School Protectors. The idea of arming teachers is simply inane on its face. Or, we might have a special branch of the NSA that offers a certification course in letters and armaments.

            However, and depending on the size of the school, it seems that a two-man team (ok, I suppose ladies could participate) could offer enough protection to an average school and thus deter an armed lunatic. They would ‘roam’ throughout the school and there would be alarm buttons that could be pressed if there were an incident.

            A larger school would require a crack team of as many as 10 with small mobile transport vehicles fully equipped with SWAT gear.

            I know that our veterans have returned to face uneasiness and psychological issues but this might be a sort of ‘transition point’ of reintroduction into society. All their previous military training, and direct combat experience, would mean thay would not require a special program to prepare them.

            Another possibility is just to arm everyone.

            • JK

              Your comment, “The idea of arming teachers is simply inane on its face” merely exposes your ignorance about the type of people who are true teaching professionals. “Scary, sad” etc. I can accept but not inane. The quality of people who become good teachers is way beyond most other professions. And there are enough good teachers who are already trained or who can be trained to use firearms to protect their innocent students. What does it tell you about our world that we’ve reached this point where teachers need weapons? It tells me that the leadership has failed us.

              • Inane means ‘silly’. It is a silly idea to imagine that tens of thousands of teachers could be or will be trained to have and use firearms as part of their profession. In my view there is nothing more that need be said here.

                My understanding, which I cannot validate to you, is that these ‘events’ that we are witnessing are manipulated events. A manipulated event could mean some level of involvement in fomenting the specific action, or a manipulation of the event after-the-fact to channel it to certain purposes. And what stands behind them, in the background, are intelligence operatives of the government, and this connotes para-military and para-democratic forces. In my view one can start from the premise that such things go on. In fact they are part of the very foundation of things.

                My sense (my suspicion) is that the ground is being prepared for an eventual civil conflict situation in which certain rights are suspended. This is already happening in a ligher sense: the (engineered) defunding of certain Rightist websites, their getting kicked off of Twitter and also PayPal, and other instances.

                The problem with my view and my argument I fully recognize: an average person is just an observer, a viewer, of ‘what goes on’. We are forced to surmise speculate interpret what we see going on around us. We do not have the tools, ourselves, nor the resources to turn these things into research projects. So we are forced to guess. That is a problem.

                But we do have a rather cynical view of ‘power’ and ‘how power functions’. And my own view is that power will stop at nothing to achieve its interests. This is a Machiavellian predicate but it also connects to other ideas that are, obviously, metaphysical (I won’t bore you with an explanation…)

                . It is the nature of the place where we exist that ‘power determines’. Not only in the natural world but in our human world insofar as we are natural beings.

                I would say then that my pessimistic view is a form of realism. But I am aware as well that, quite easily in fact, it could become (and sometimes can manifest as) open paranoia. This is the chaotic world of image and idea in which we now live and operate. It is bizarrely postmodern.

              • Alazia,

                We are not talking about training existing teachers to handle guns so much as allowing those who are already proficient to volunteer, then get certified to carry, anonymously. Then the school says there are armed employees on campus (deterrence) and have the chance to distract the shooter long enough to allow the targets to escape.

                Had ONE person the the Aurora movie theater shot back, many might have escaped as the shooter would have had to duck… and might have been knocked down, depending on the size of the gun firing back. Note he was well protected from bullet penetration, but the kinetic energy cannot be shrugged off like in the movies.

        • Steve

          Andrew I am glad you and your students have joined us, Jack does a fantastic job. I haven’t gone and read through your students comments yet but I look forward to doing so. EA is a great place for them to evaluate and debate different scenarios through an ethics lens.

          My background is in anti terrorism and force protection and I want to caution you against posting your drill information. You have already given enough information for me to find your school and now I know when you are having a drill. Identifying yourself online is not necessarily a big deal but posting the date, details and time of an exercise is, that information can provide a bad guy with an opportunity.

          Jack can delete or edit your posts as well as this one.

  5. charlesgreen

    Great advice for all of us!
    (Somehow this reminds me of my favorite prayer: Lord, let me be the man my dog thinks I am).

  6. Sue Dunim

    Attempting to teach. However poorly.

    I’d forgive your ignorance, but I don’t see any to forgive. If you didn’t understand, the fault is mine for not making myself clearer to the ntended audience. Being fair, the intended audience is not you, but students of English.

  7. Really great guide, Andrew. Thanks.

    • Thank you. Appreciate your kindness.

      • My dad was a high school teacher and my mom an elementary school secretary. My sister an elementary school teacher. Many extended family have been educators in some capacity or another.

        My most favorite professors at university (though they didn’t start out as my favorites) happened to be the most rigorous and unforgiving.

        I’ve often asked educators their opinions about rigor in the classroom, as I’ve often run across teachers who end up being big squishes who leave students less prepared for the follow on year or expect less of incoming students.

        Here’s a series of links to a professor, whose teaching philosophy seemed to mesh with all the teachers I’ve most appreciated. If you have time to review them, can you give me your opinion of his methodology?

        What is an A?

        Top Ten No Sympathy Lines

        Really, Really Inconvenient Truth

        How to Learn Facts

        Beyond Index Cards

        In the sub-link “Top Ten No Sympathy Lines”, the professor extols the virtues of rote memorization:

        “Memorization is not the antithesis of creativity; it is absolutely indispensable to creativity. Creative insights come at odd and unpredictable moments, not when you have all the references spread out on the table in front of you. You can’t possibly hope to have creative insights unless you have memorized all the relevant information.” -Professor Dutch

        I’ve also read opinions that rote memorization stifles inspiration and creativity.

        What is your opinion?

        • Michael,

          My opinion of Professor Dutch’s methodology is that he is spot on!
          I plan to share his philosophy with my students and some of my colleagues. Easy to understand and theoretically sound.

          You may like Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer. He touches upon memorization much like Dutch.

          Without memorization, how can we connect to the past?

  8. JP

    So I was thinking about this earlier when I was reading some of the more emotional based arguments on my facebook feed. The other day Jack posted a comment from a senator regarding how we care more about civility than dead children. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. For dialogue to progress, we must remain civil towards each other.

    “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

  9. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark …

    There is a video in today’s NYTs: ‘What Makes #NeverAgain Different?’ It has become my view that the Times is operating as a Propaganda Organ within the AgitProp Establishment. I am employing AgitProp in its original sense: agitation + propaganda.

    Effectively, this seems to me to be almost a Maoist collusion between the media-industry and the State. Now, they are sponsoring and creating a climate in which certain corporations must sever links with the NSA, and it is established as a ‘necessary good’ that one joint Julia in a scripted 2 Minute Hate outburst. That they are making this a spontaneous youth movement is quite telling in my view. Because in a significant sense that is what the public relations/advertising/propaganda industry must create, sets out to create: a mindless, sensitive, feminine (feminized), programmable social-unit who receives orders and obeys them.

    This view, this portrait, of ‘the average American’ or what ‘they’ desire to create out of the American stock is unflattering, and some of course will react emotionally to the description, but clear seeing about this and then activism against these techniques of social manipulation, is necessary. In fact it should be and it is the duty of a responsible citizen to bring forward criticism.

    “These kids survived a mass shooting at their school”, says the Maoist narrator in the NYTs vid, “now they are leading a national movement for stricter gun control’.

    I think this needs to be looked into a little. A few tentative statements, always speculative, interpretive, tentative for who can really know what, exactly, is going on in our present? Which is really to say: Who can really say where stimulus and influence originates? when, in truth and in fact, we are constantly influenced by advertising and PR rehearsals which are the highly rational products of specially trained technicians (social scientists, advertising psychologists i.e. propagandists) who present to us a pixel-facade, a ‘narrative’, infused with sappy emotionalism: a trick, a trap, a sophistry of the first order. And not only do we know this, we accept it, we invite it, we celebrate the effectiveness of their campaigns! We rate their effective, or non-effective, manipulation of us!

    A national movement for stricter gun control, eh? Is that right? A completely organic ‘social movement’ arising spontaneously out of the political body; an act of righteous youth-rebellion aganist monsterous elders! Against the NRA. Against the ‘old guard’. Against the Republicans. Against the ‘deplorables’ (stop, Alizia, don’t go there! I command you to stop!. Or put another way You are commanded to stop!)

    Town Meeting did you say? C’mon! What was that? What is that? I would suggest that one see it in a Maoist light. Essentially, these are Maoist propaganda rehearsals which, like simulacra, pretend to be one thing and yet are completely and radically another. First, these are advertising stages. Second they are engineered mass-political manipulation events. Third they are highly scripted and planned down to the last detail (while I assume a certain spontaneity is encouraged).

    But now comes the more exegetic requirement and that requires hermeneutic skill. (Sue you must forgive me these ‘yuge’ words but they are necessary!) The images that ‘they’ present us are scripted by specially trained PR techs, we know this, but the State has an interest too and is said also to have a presence within the major media. Intelligence operatives. Or ‘liaisons’ as they are called. It is really quite simple: in order to understand America, and postwar America, one has to understand the PR Industry and its close and tight links with the ‘intelligence establishment’. If you can’t talk about it or if you don’t wish to see it, you are acting the role of classic fool.

    I think there is more to be gained from seeing this particular event, and many of the recent events that we can name (Charlottesville is a very good example but so is Ferguson) as “managed events”. I am not sure that they can be described as ‘created’ events, though there is certainly exposition on that topic, but they are definitely managed.I personally must confess that I definitely assume the presence of intelligence operatives who are acutely aware of and acutely concerened about the political events of our present, as indeed they must be, yet these things by their very nature are exceedingly difficult to prove. They require literal ‘research projects’. (See: E. Michael Jones in ‘The Slaughter of Cities’ as a decent starting point).

    OK, so if there is a ‘national movement for gun control’, which can here be seen, rather starkly, as no such thing but rather a deliberate and rational decision by far larger actors to create out of this event a national propaganda campiagn the purpose of which seems to be to create a situation in which people voluntarily surrender their civil rights, and participate in a fabricated and engineered ‘political movement’ to bring emotional and psuedo-moral force against the Enemies of the progressive left and its dep-state backers.

    And here we must (well, I must) take a long hard look at the social engineering projects that define our Postwar era. There is a whole list of them. The abortion-rights movement, the feminism movement (so-called woman’s movement), the homosexualization movement and a great deal of the ‘sexual revolution’. Add to that (IMHO) a seemingly deliberate which has resulted in the undermining of religious establishment, but which is in effect an attack on certain metaphysical predicates (see: concupiscence as a Thomist term) that results in a tremndous weaking of the empowered individual who is then a willing victim of sophistic campaigns …

    … and you wind up with a situation and a Reality that requires hermeneutical discipline to understand, explain, resist.

    In any case, Sunday Morning! Complacencies of the peignoir, and late coffee and oranges in a sunny chair …

    Bring on the Entitled California Brats! 😉 I am ready!

  10. NRA I meant to write in the third paragraph.

  11. Isaac

    Hi everyone!

    Just chiming in to say, I’ve basically never touched a gun. But were I a public school teacher, and if I was permitted to…I would join the NRA, take the shooting and handling courses, and concealed-carry a nice handgun to school every dang day. I think there are plenty of teachers at most schools willing to be that guy. It’s not a pleasant solution, but the real problem here is cultural. And since no one is having a conversation about THAT, this ain’t getting better.

  12. Wayne

    Sounds fine with me. Maybe paticipating in this blog with assist them as university students actually develop critical thinking skills to deal with the indoctrination will undoubtedly receive at the universities they will attend.

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