Ethics Warm-Up, 10/24/2018: Catchers, Judges, Photographers, And Journalists Behaving Badly. Then There Are The Bombers….

Good afternoon!

You might as well know: I’ve been what they euphemistically  call “under the weather” recently. Ethics is getting in the way of my naps…

1. About those bombs…Not much that needs to be said about the explosive devices sent to Soros, the Clintons, Obama and—it fits–CNN, except this: it was inevitable. With conservatives being harassed and attacked in public places, Fox News offices and Republican offices being vandalized, and Democratic leadership and the media openly feeding the hate while rationalizing extreme incivility ( Philippe Reines, former adviser to Hillary Clinton, on MSNBC regarding mobs harassing Mitch McConnell and others: “People are doing these things because it’s all that’s left.” Gee, I guess there were some other tactics left after all, eh, Phil?), that some unstable wacko would decide to bring a gun to knife fight was a near certainty. Naturally, the news media and Democrats want to blame Republicans for the crimes. That’s not going to defuse the situation, and it’s also wrong.  The blame falls on all of those who have encouraged the rhetoric of hate and uncivil conduct rather than conducting political debate in a manner that doesn’t shame democracy.

You can make that list as easily as I can. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, the extreme anti-government rhetoric—by the standards of those times, at least–of the Right was fairly accorded the bulk of the blame for raising anger to a dangerous level. This time, the hate machine is being operated around the clock by the Left, and for two years without a break or a significant easing on the accelerator—indeed, it is pretty much the Democratic theme of the 2018 elections.

2. It’s a huge bat! It’s a black-robed blur! It’ SUPER JUDGE! In Chehalis, Washington, Judge R.W. Buzzard left the bench and chased  after two handcuffed inmates when they made a run for it from his Washington state courtroom. 22-year-old Tanner Jacobson and 28-year-old Kodey Howard bolted for the door and down  four flights of stairs, but the judge grabbed Howard just as he was about to exit the courthouse, and Jacobson was caught by police apprehended Jacobson a few blocks away.

As with the cases of bank tellers and grocery clerks who spontaneously play vigilante, the judge was exceeding his authority and interfering with law enforcement. This wasn’t his job, and is not the kind of image the judiciary wants to project. He should be disciplined, but probably won’t be.

Sheriff Rob Snaza said of the incident, “These things don’t happen very often.” No kidding. And they shouldn’t happen at all.

3. I’m stunned!!!! “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade donated to President Trump’s campaign, and is lying about it. You will recall that in his MSNBC days, Keith Olbermann was suspended for contributing to a Democrat’s campaign, and George Stephanopoulos was caught contributing to–also a stunner—the Clinton Foundation. I have no problem with biased journalists contributing to partisan causes, as long as they are open about it and state who and what they have contributed to every tome they cover any story with partisan content. A crawl on the screen would be sufficient. But the public has a right to know, and a right to understand where the alleged objective journalist stands.

Kilmeade told The Hill that he  accidentally made a $600 donation to the Trump campaign during Christmas shopping back in 2016. His story: he was buying Christmas ornaments that looked like Trump’s Make America Great Again hats for his friends and family, which came after Trump won the 2016 presidential election. “I had no idea that this would be considered a donation,” Kilmeade said, explaining that he somehow stumbled onto the Trump campaign website.

Right.

On the site, purchasers of merchandise  are given a choice to make an additional donation and,  before  checkout, they must to enter their occupation because of a federal law. The shipping and returns section states that transactions on the site are political contributions.

Fox News told The Hill that it has no policy permitting reporters from buying holiday ornaments.

And that, my friends, is why I do not watch Fox News except to remind myself of how unprofessional it is.

4. I don’t even know what to call this. Travel photographer John Milton traveled with his fiance to the war-torn Congo in 2017 to take staged wedding photos with a “we’re getting married in the middle of a civil war” theme…like this one:

Then he shared them on Instagram. Now he and his wife are social media pariahs.

Let me play Tevye for a bit. (If you don’t know what I mean...cultural literacy!!!)

On the one hand, it’s their wedding pictures, and really nobody’s business what they think is a funny gag.

On the other hand, putting something like this on Instagram is the equivalent of wearing a “Kick Me!” sign. The Congo is a human rights nightmare, people are being shot and raped, and anyone who views this as a proper setting for photo hilarity has serious ethics alarms malfunctions.

On the OTHER hand, this is just an “It seemed like a good idea at the time” lapse of taste. We should not be at risk of permanent villain status for something as ultimately inconsequential as a gag photo nobody thinks is funny.

5. Today’s arcane baseball ethics note. “Framing” is institutionalized cheating. There was a lot of it yesterday in Game #1 of the World Series. The practice consists of a catcher quickly moving his glove into the strike zone as the pitch, out of the strike zone, lands in the pocket. This fools the umpire, when it works, into calling what is really a ball a strike. There are even stats that measure how effective individual catchers are at “framing.” A skilled framing expert can get ten or more balls called strikes during a single game.

I know this practice is as old as baseball, but it still is cheating, intentionally deceiving the home plate umpire so he calls the pitch incorrectly. The batters are cheated, the teams are cheated, and the fans are cheated. Now that pitches can be accurately called electronically, there is no excuse for allowing the practice to continue. In my opinion, there never was an excuse.

I would advocate, right now, a rule in which umpires can warn a catcher for framing, and if the catcher tries it again, the catcher is ejected. Another approach would be to tell catchers that “if I see you try to fool me, that pitch will be a ball, and so will the next one.”

Interestingly, the explosion of passed balls and wild pitches this season is being attributed by some observers to catchers concentrating more on stealing strikes than on catch the balls.

112 Comments

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112 responses to “Ethics Warm-Up, 10/24/2018: Catchers, Judges, Photographers, And Journalists Behaving Badly. Then There Are The Bombers….

  1. 2) I can accept that a judge ought not to break out of his bench for this. But how is the act of stopping *an actual crime* in it’s progress vigilantism?

    I understand vigilantism to be an ordinary citizen pursuing what he *thinks* is enforcement of the law. That is a citizen enforcing what he *wants* the law to be. Or a citizen pursuing what he errantly thinks is an actual violation of the law. Or a citizen, long after a crime has actually been committed, taking it upon himself to enact punishment or pursuit of someone.

    But, a citizen stopping an *actual* crime *in the act*? I’m not sure that is vigilantism.

    • Isn’t it vigilantism by definition? He’s not in law enforcement—his status is exactly the same as if a spectator chased down the fleeing crooks. Oxford: “a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish someone who has committed a crime”

      • Oxford seems to leave out the present tense.

      • A line under Arrest:

        “A “citizen’s arrest” can be made by any person when a crime has been committed in his/her presence.”

        I know the concept is much mocked. But it isn’t vigilantism.

        If “Citizen’s Arrest” isn’t a good example of private non-vigilante crime stopping, I certainly know the parallel concept of stopping crime known as “Citizen’s Blowing Away of a Person Invading their Home at Night” is permitted by law. That isn’t vigilantism.

        • I really don’t want to be argumentative, but am curious what your final conclusion is on this?

          • It’s vigilantism. The chasing down and making contact clinches it.

          • It’s a little more than “Good Samaritan” and fleeing the courthouse was an active crime in progress. I’ll side with you and argue that point with Jack all day long. It was, however, unprofessional. The judge can no longer be considered impartial in any future proceedings on any subject. Maybe there’s enough judges and staffing which makes that okay, but if he presides over any future action concerning these men, that should result in discipline.

            • See, I agree with this. I do accept that the judge has inhibitions on his conduct while acting in his capacity as judge. But I don’t think, for anyone else, as you explain, that stopping a crime *in the act* can be called “vigilantism”.

              • If law enforcement officials are actively involved in enforcement, as in this case, you can’t call it anything but unauthorized interference with law enforcement, undertaken without legal authority by the self-appointed: the definition of vigilantism.

                • If you are still talking specifically about the isolated conduct of the judge, I’ve already accepted that judges should operate with inhibitions on their conduct.

                  It’s this set up phrase: “As with the cases of bank tellers and grocery clerks who spontaneously play vigilante”. In which you expand the principle to all citizens. That I take issue with.

                  Police can tell a citizen to stop assisting, but I’ve seen plenty of citizens assist struggling officers and an officer hasn’t commanded them to halt and that citizen will face no legal repercussions for assisting.

                  • That they don’t get prosecuted does not mean they were lawful or responsible.

                    • I never asserted that, I asserted that they aren’t prosecuted because there is nothing illegal about trying to stop a crime *in the act*. Citizen’s Arrest statutes and Self-Defense statutes reflect this in all but the most progressive nanny-states.

                      And the ethical principle behind the concept is sound as well.

        • Michael R.

          Apparently, vigilantism is well established in law and culture in Oklahoma. When a man entered a restaurant and began shooting, people fled to the parking lot…to retrieve their own guns. It then became a race to see who could kill the attacker first. It was a tie. The restaurant was a ‘gun free’ zone, so the patrons had to go to the parking lot before confronting the attacker. The ‘vigilantes’ are referred to as “Good Samaritans’ in the article. All the news agencies and police agencies praised them. No one condemned them. This is allowed under Oklahoma law. If it is allowed under the law, does that mean vigilantism is legal? If it is legal, and society is OK with it, what is the problem with it? By the way, the shooter was a CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) licensed armed security guard. He was the ‘licensed authority’ on the scene.

          https://www.koco.com/article/lake-hefner-shooting-what-we-know/20914484

      • Michele

        Doesn’t a sitting judge have an official responsibility to help anyone accused successfully navigate the justice process? Mr. Howard and Mr. Jacobson were there to answer to charges. Seems like the judge just did his job, albeit in an unconventional fashion.

  2. >>Now that pitches can be accurately called electronically,>>

    That is not settled science.

  3. JutGory

    Devil’s Advocate here:

    On framing: your argument has always bugged me. I would not go so far as to call it cheating.

    (Framing is another reason to go to computerized ball/strike calls. This momentary digression is actually relevant to my larger point.)

    Called balls/strikes is a format that requires a judgment call by an umpire. Regardless of what the rules say about the dimensions of the strike zone, the judgment call by the umpire introduces some uncertainty into the process. Knowing that there is this uncertainty, wiggle room, what have you, catchers are doing their job by putting the best appearance on a pitch.

    Analogously, as a lawyer, I may make objections that I think are questionable; it is the Judge’s job to judge.

    Similar arguments could be made about sports where athletes try to “sell” their fouls (soccer being the most routinely ridiculed). Football players may exaggerate their fouls, or they make a flag throwing gesture to demand a penalty. An offensive charging foul in basketball often involves embellishment, as well as a foul on the shot.

    Your bias against framing probably stems from your belief that balls and strikes should be computerized. But, it is certainly NOT the catcher’s job to correct the umpire’s bad calls, even if the umpire calls a strike a ball.

    What would be unethical? Your solution that an umpire pre-Judge a pitch as a ball. That is not within the umpire’s “penal” authority and would be extra-judicial under the rules.

    Also, framing is disciplined catching. It puts the best face on a close pitch. A catcher foes not want a strike to get called as a ball because of excessive movement of the glove. I can attest. I was a crappy catcher. I got called for interference too many times because I was so focused on catching that I could not wait for the ball yo come to me. Framing is not just about moving the glove, but turning the glove in a way that it frames the strike zone so that, even a pitch on the edges looks like it hits the lines. And, it may hit the lines; you just want to make sure that the umpire sees that because your glove didn’t move. If your glove is moving around, you might convince an umpire that a strike was actually a ball. That is not a common occurrence, but only because good catchers are disciplined enough to avoid this pitfall.

    -Jut

  4. Other Bill

    Does framing even work? The ump looks at the ball as it crosses the plate and tries to determine if it’s high, low, or within the vertical dimensions of the strike zone (how they do that I’ll never know). Once the ball is past the plate it enters the catcher’s mitt. I have to assume the ump only sees the ball enter the glove peripherally. He’d also see the glove moving into the strike zone. What ump makes a call based on where the catcher’s glove is?

    I just think framing is a completely bogus thing promoted by catchers well beyond it’s actual utility. “So and so is a good framer.” Baloney. Who cares other than guys who do it a lot thinking it will enhance their reputation and value.

    Which is not say we need electronic balls and strikes. Immediately. The umps’ union notwithstanding. For one thing, it would shorten games. It’s the one thing that could be done to really shorten games.

    • It works. You can SEE it work. They keep track of balls called strikes because of framing.

      • Other Bill

        You know me. I’m a data skeptic. Me and Harold (“I have the most electrically illuminated smile of any human in history”) Reynolds.

      • Here's Johnny

        I have pitched, caught, and umpired baseball, and I understand the striving to get it right and the frustration when it isn’t.
        If framing works, and I’ll accept that it does, then the need for change is on the umpire, not the catcher. The pitch must be called, at least in the umpire’s mind, as it crosses the plate. The position of the catcher’s glove as the ball is caught, much less an instant after it is caught, should be irrelevant. A good curve ball, slider, screwball, or even a fastball can be caught in a glove position that makes a strike look like a ball. Pitchers can and do throw sweeping curves that look inside before the plate and outside after, but have sailed right through the strike zone over the plate. The key is where the ball was when it went through that three-dimensional irregular polygon that forms the strike zone. An umpire who cannot visualize that polygon as the ball flies should not be calling balls and strikes.
        Determining strike/ball as the ball crosses the plate is well within the reach of technology. The plate umpire has a few other things to attend to, so, there would not have to be downsizing of the ump crew. Yet, I wonder if that kind of change would be for the better. Attempts to ‘get it right’, challenges, automatic reviews, have changed the character of the game.
        An extreme example of ‘getting it right’ came up in a college class years ago when the prof posited that all MLB fields be exactly the same, dimensions, turf, etc. Only then, he said, could we judge the relative athletic skills of the fielders. (Never mind what this would do to the ability of the Red Sox to steal the catcher’s signals from the manual scoreboard.) I asked whether athletic skills included the ability to adapt to differing conditions, and his argument was done.
        What’s that got to do with framing, you might ask? Well, should hitters adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the umpire? This guy likes the strike zone higher. That guy has a small strike zone early, and so on. Should a catcher adapt? This guy’s a little slow to call balls and strikes; framing might work.
        So, I favor idiosyncrasies, adaptability, and, always, striving to get it right.

        • You are essentially saying that no umpires are qualified to call balls and strikes, and the endorsement of individual variations on a zone that is described in the rules as unvarying clinches it.

          Robocalls. ASAP.

          • Other Bill

            Here’s a three year old article about framing: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2015/04/07/pitch-framing-catchers-metric-analytics/25417499/

            According to the article, Buster Posey was the best at framing, getting a hundred and seventy nine balls changed to strikes. But that’s over the course of year. It comes to about one and a half balls changed to strikes per game. I think that’s such a minor occurrence that it is is inconsequential to the point of being non-existent. Can that even be measured? Is it even sufficiently significant? I think this verges on much ado about nothing.

            Interesting in the article that no one spoke to any umpires. Do umpires admit to being influenced by catchers moving their mitt around? Do they even notice it? Would be interesting to get their perspective even though it may be self-serving.

            • A single missed call can completely change an at bat, and a game, and, potentially, a pennant race and a season.

              • Other Bill

                Sure, but that’s a problem to be solved by computerized balls and strikes. I’d say currently umps miss about three or more calls each half inning. That’s over fifty a game. That’s a significant datum.

  5. Scott GF

    I don’t agree with your framing argument. A strike or ball should be called if and when it crosses the plate (and at the correct height) and not after it is caught into the catchers mitt. Where the catcher catches the ball should be irrelevant to the call. It’s technically out of bounds at that point.

    • Then what is it that you disagree with? That’s why its cheating: the catcher moves the ball a split second after it crosses the plate, tricking the umpire into thinking it crossed the plate higher, lower, or less outside or inside than it did. That’s what happens; you can see it happen. Sure it sholdn’t matter, but umpires make the call after the glove moves. It affects their judgment.

  6. dragin_dragon

    #1: In so far as I am aware, there was no explosive, blasting cap or detonation device on ANY of these devices. Can they then be called “bombs”? I think not.

    • Proto-bombs? Wannabe bombs?

    • dragin_dragon wrote, “#1: In so far as I am aware, there was no explosive, blasting cap or detonation device on ANY of these devices. Can they then be called “bombs”? I think not.”

      A bomb doesn’t require a blasting cap, and bare wire with a battery can easily become a detonation device. That said; if you’re trying to terrorize it doesn’t really matter.

      • Steve

        I won’t throw out any sensitive or inside information but I can say that these packages have all the hallmarks of hoax devices. As a matter of federal policy a “suspicious package” is a bomb and is to be treated as such until an EOD technician or bomb squad says it is not.

        I don’t want to validate any false flag conspiracies but I will say that as of this moment I find it unlikely that these devices were intended on producing fear. In other words these devices/ packages were intended to be found and widely publicized. As for the overall motive that will eventually come out but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be someone on the left.

        • Steve wrote, “I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be someone on the left.”

          There are so many possibilities of who and why to count. Here’s another one…

          It could be domestic terrorist(s) from the political left lashing out with another episode of their ends justify the means hate trying to frame the political right to produce anger against Republicans in the upcoming election – the timing is suspicious.

          The timing of the migrant caravans is also suspicious.

          It’s more than just interesting how these things are popping up a week or so prior to the mid-term election.

          • Furthermore…

            These things that are popping up are very strong emotion generating catalysts for both Republicans and Democrats which is straight out of the modern day Progressive playbook.

      • A bomb doesn’t require a blasting cap, and bare wire with a battery can easily become a detonation device.

        Have you ever tried it? Let one who has ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE WITH MAKING PIPE BOMBS tell you that getting an energetic reaction from black powder (as these propaganda devices likely are) using a hot wire is cost prohibitive, in terms of electrical power needed: one would have to reach temperatures above the flash point of black powder with the requisite number of joules.

        A car battery could do this, I think. Something the size of the packages I saw? Difficult, but maybe not impossible, if you get creative and everything goes just right. The reaction requires a LOT of heat at once (like fire) which is hard to produce reliably in the package shown.

        (Using phosphorus sesquisulfide* as an intermediary is a solution, though, as it flashes at a mere 272 degrees F, while black powder runs north of 572 degrees F. Still a harsh bar to overcome with a 9 volt battery! Friction is easier yet, but mechanically difficult.)

        This is just one reason I believe these are hoax bombs: the physics involved given the information we have right now.

        *phosphorus sesquisulfide: strike anywhere match heads. Note: have you ever seen the impact of 1000 decapitated match heads igniting at once? Look it up: you might be surprised.

        Do it yourself pokemon balls:
        https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/exploding-tennis-balls-discovered-by-children-in-weber-county-no/article_de7ab91e-fbe1-53c4-8873-fca0df136efe.html

        • slickwilly wrote, “Have you ever tried it?”

          Heck no, but I know electricity and physics really, really well.

          Here is an easy experiment to show you the possibilities: Take a single strand of wire out of a standard household cord for a lamp and cross the poles of a new 9V battery with that wire and see what happens.

          • dragin_dragon

            With C4 and dynamite, all a hot wire will do is set them on fire. Blasting caps are required to make them go ‘Boom!’. I don’t know about trinitrotoluene (TNT) as I’ve never messed with it. Nitroglycerine and mercuric fulminate are both too unstable to be used in a mailed device. Cancelling the stamps would set it off. As slick mentioned, a hot wire or a strip of magnesium will work with black powder.

            • TNT will burn, albeit fitfully.

              My point is that I am not sure a small battery is reliable to ignite black powder.

              Magnesium strips still have to be lit somehow (and oxidation can hinder the start)

              I graduated from the Ft. Leonard Wood Engineering school (a long time ago) and was taught about land mine clearing and explosives. Fun stuff when you are a teen!

              • Steve

                Friggin engineers. Let you guys play with explosives and you think you’re EOD technicians.

                • Stop bashing engineers Steve. You haven’t got a clue of the experience of those with whom you converse with.

                  • Steve

                    Unfortunately it is a professional obligation to remind any engineer who foolishly speaks of explosives in public and cites being an engineer as a credential to remind them they are not EOD.

                  • Come on Zoltar, if you can’t recognize inter-branch trash talk, you need to re-calibrate your sensitivity monitor. As a former infantryman, you should be used to superior branches, such as mine (Armor/Cavalry), reminding you of such.

                    Smile Emoji.

                    • Michael West wrote, “if you can’t recognize inter-branch trash talk, you need to re-calibrate your sensitivity monitor”

                      Maybe so; however to my defense, Steve really hadn’t put forth anything that implied that it’s “inter-branch trash talk”, that would have been an assumption. It’s your choice to make assumptions and your assumption may be correct, but I choose not to do that.

                      I stand behind this, “You haven’t got a clue of the experience of those with whom you converse with.”

                    • $10 says my assumption was accurate.

                      (and that my assumption was made in the basis of solid experience and therefore my assumption was on the greater than 50% likelihood of being accurate)

                    • Michael West wrote, “$10 says my assumption was accurate. (and that my assumption was made in the basis of solid experience and therefore my assumption was on the greater than 50% likelihood of being accurate)”

                      An assumption is still an assumption regardless if it is accurate or not. 😉

                    • I would submit that every person on this planet (including you) handle the vast majority of their decision making and conduct on a solid foundation of assumptions.

                    • Michael West wrote, “I would submit that every person on this planet (including you) handle the vast majority of their decision making and conduct on a solid foundation of assumptions.”

                      That’s another assumption. 😉

                    • Yep. A reasonable one borne out by reality.

                    • Michael West wrote, “Yep. A reasonable one borne out by reality.”

                      You making the assumption that assumptions* is the core of the vast majority’s’ decision making reality* is actually kinda funny when you get right down to it.

                      *Reality: The world or the state of things as they actually exist.

                      *Assumption: A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

                      Do you not think that there’s a conflict between reality and assumptions? Maybe your head hit the inside of the armor one too many times.

                      Side note: I’d like to read the conversation about what’s real, reality, and assumptions that could spawn between you and Alizia. That might be epic.

                    • There is no internal conflict in my assertion.

                    • But you keep being you. This response was on-brand.

                    • Michael West wrote, “But you keep being you.”

                      Expecting something else?

                    • Yeah, someone who won’t jump on an obviously teasing comment like Steve’s.

                    • Michael West wrote, “Yeah, someone who won’t jump on an obviously teasing comment like Steve’s.”

                      Instead they are supposed to jump to assumptions, like you.

                      Give it a rest Michael.

                    • I think you need a rest.

                    • PennAgain

                      missed the Reply space; meant to be here

                    • As a former infantryman, you should be used to superior branches, such as mine (Armor/Cavalry), reminding you of such.

                      Armor… hmmm… yeah, those are the guys we located and blew away each year during exercises (Radio Intercept and Decrypt, not engineering role. Knowing where and when to drop the ordnance is the most important aspect of modern warfare… ask the 49th AG!)

              • slickwilly wrote, “My point is that I am not sure a small battery is reliable to ignite black powder.”

                Dude, I wasn’t saying that that would do the job it was an experiment to show the possibilities.

          • Don’t think it gets reliably hot enough, especially with standard lamp cord stranded wire. Black powder requires a LOT of energy to ignite the way you would wish in a pipe bomb.

            YMMV 🙂

  7. 77Zoomie

    Rookie umpire: I can them as I see them.
    Experienced umpire: I call them as they are.
    Expert umpire: They are what I call them.

  8. Ian McElroy

    Ian McElroy,
    I’ll leave the arguments to all you fans and experts. My simple-mindedness leaves me to believe that perhaps electronically a device might know exactly where the ball is (up, down, in, out) after it passes the plate and before it enters the catcher’s glove, and maybe even where it ended up after the catcher frames the pitch (or his catch). At any rate, I cannot figure out a *close call* when the ball is actually moving 96 miles per (or how many feet per second?) and I (like all of you) am sitting on a couch miles away, while the ump’s eyes are just a few feet away, in real (real) time. I’ll go with Jack on this one, especially when I see no contrary comment on the fact that the profession keeps track of framing. Go Sox!!!

  9. Michael R.

    (4) Is that picture real? It really looks Photoshopped to on my screen. It is a shame if he traveled all that way, posed for pictures in poor taste, takes heat for them, and he could have achieved the same thing at home and then had the excuse “it’s just Photoshop!”.

  10. Sue Dunim

    The blame falls on all of those who have encouraged the rhetoric of hate and uncivil conduct rather than conducting political debate in a manner that doesn’t shame democracy.

    Concur.
    Whoever does that should be locked up, punched (I’ll pay for the defence), body slammed etc. That’s the standard now, isn’t it?

    • valkygrrl

      Yes anything violent, just don’t shout or interrupt a meal. That’s the real crime.

        • Sue Dunim

          Remember when the Right used to bomb Abortion Clinics?

          Only a tiny, unrepresentative minority so far, maybe just one group of a few people, like those who have been burning black churches. Or hadn’t you noticed that happening?

          It’s one thing when a nonentity of a pastor calls for RBG to be shot for treason on Infowars. It’s another when the President – the President of the USA calls for mob violence, not once, but repeatedly, in rally after rally.

          What did you expect would happen? That the assaults would be confined to body slamming journalists with the President expressing full approval for attacks on such enemies of the state?

          It says a lot for the general level of sanity in the US that this isn’t happening on a regular basis.

          • Sue Dunim,
            If you had an honest bone in your body you would be condemning ALL the hateful rhetoric, but of course we all know that it’s fine for the de facto leader of the Democratic Party to openly tell the world that they won’t be civil until they get their way and then when their side suffers the consequences of their own hate the call for unity – HYPOCRITES!

            Deceitful propaganda coupled with hateful rhetoric inspires both followers and opposition.

            We reap what we sow; this principle is true in physics, philosophy, and business.

            Motivation isn’t optional; everyone is motivated to do nothing or to do something, either positively or negatively.

            When you back an animal into a corner with the perception of being attacked the cornered animal will respond in a like manner.

            Everything spoken, written, or done has a consequence; Democrats found out yesterday that they are not immune from the side effects of the hate they have been promoting as they thought.

            The Democrats have shown their hand and that inspired someone to take this action but don’t make quick assumptions as to the motivation of the action until we have all the facts. PERSPECTIVE ON THE RECENT MAIL BOMBS

            Look in the mirror Sue, you’re actually part of the real problem.

            • Here’s an *American Walmart Mirror*. Hope it helps!

              Look in the mirror Sue, you’re actually part of the real problem.

              OK, but just for all the wagon loads of fun fun fun that arrive when we examine our statements more closely, how about considering Projection:

              Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naïvely suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. … All the contents of our unconscious are constantly being projected into our surroundings, and it is only by recognizing certain properties of the objects as projections or imagos that we are able to distinguish them from the real properties of the objects. … Cum grano salis, we always see our own unavowed mistakes in our opponent. Excellent examples of this are to be found in all personal quarrels. Unless we are possessed of an unusual degree of self-awareness we shall never see through our projections but must always succumb to them, because the mind in its natural state presupposes the existence of such projections. It is the natural and given thing for unconscious contents to be projected. [“General Aspects of Dream Psychology,” CG Jung., par. 507.]

              Projection means the expulsion of a subjective content into an object; it is the opposite of introjection. Accordingly, it is a process of dissimilation, by which a subjective content becomes alienated from the subject and is, so to speak, embodied in the object. The subject gets rid of painful, incompatible contents by projecting them. [“Definitions,” CW 6, par. 783.]

              Very hard to say what is *the problem* and harder still to say where it *originates*.

          • Esteemed Sue and Valkygrrl:

            I think you are very right to point to the issue — the reality — of underlying violence, but it would be best to understand it better before condemning it as something specific to the political Right. Underneath the present social conflicts — ethnic, racial, political, social, and those conflicts that arise out of (radically) different visions of what is good and bad, right and wrong — the stuff of the Culture Wars — there is ultimately, or basically, the reality of violence. There has not ever been a time when the reality of violence has not been present in any human society, at any juncture. It is always there and it can always erupt.

            It is true that Trump is irresponsible with his words. The better word is *sloppy*. And though the Antifa, of course, are openly violent, and likely more numerous than those they oppose, they have not undertaken assassinations and murders as far as I know. But I do not think it would be fair or accurate to deny that the potential for violence is less among the political Left than among the political Right. There is a simmering violent potential that could at any moment receive an igniting spark. And this takes place within a very violent culture and a nation with a good deal of propensity to employ violence. To understand violence and war, one must not look at *events* but rather at *systems*. (A fundamental tenet of so-called peace-studies).

            Again, the cause of the violence, the cause of anger and dissatisfaction, the causes of social conflict, should be seen as *the culprit*. But it is a fraught task to put a label to it that is agreed upon. My view, and to an extent *our view* given that I am an exponent of a Movement, is that the present conflicts arise directly out of those known social engineering projects that were instituted in the Postwar. It goes under the heading of *constructing multiculturalism*. Therefor — I do notice the problematical nature of the assertion! — the culprit is the project itself. Even such an apparently high-minded and ultra-idealistic project as that declared to be truly morally correct and necessary by Martin Luther King. It becomes so difficult to intellectually deconstruct the rhetorical forces that were set in motion, given how bound they are to folk-songs and what seem like sincere social sentiments of a high-minded sort. It is exceedingly difficult to arrive at a stance from which to view all of that accurately. It is so laden with rhetorical content. It has utterly infused the culture.

            But it has all been constructed on essentially false ideas. And it is now unravelling. This is a simple truth and one facially recognizable. And people are going to be forced to make very demanding choices that have consequences. And we fear those consequences because we know that they will, inevitably, produce social conflicts and, of course, violence. But then one has to ask: where will this go? And to answer that one must introduce the question Where should it go?

            But what is the previous pattern or perhaps prototype that has led to this present? That is, what is the historical precedent that has set all this in motion? I wonder if it is not the War Between the States? Was the sacrifice worth it? is the good question that can now be asked. Was it worthwhile to sacrifice 600,000 men in order to hold to a national political unity? Given the total population then 600,000 was an unreally large sacrifice. But if it is true that our present is a direct effective result of the prior causes (the will of the North to defeat the South and hold it in *union* no matter the cost), there is no way to avoid looking to the historical patterns, the historical evolutions, as being played out again on one level or another. Is the present a crisis that will be overcome? or the beginning stages of a new organization? Will the present crisis be resolved by the intervention of the State and the establishment of some semi-tyranny? Will the State with all its economic components, and its control of the *media systems*, succeed in patching things up so that everything can go on as before? Or, will the crisis deepen? And if so what is presaged here? What is really going on? And where is it really tending? And finally what will you we he they eventually serve? What future, what outcome, what *world*?

            Therefor, a larger *picture* is required as a base on which to construct an *interpretation* of the events going on today. Everyone sees them, no one seems able to interpret them. Or, interpretation is so intensely contested that it becomes a mire of conflicting views.

            Where is this going? That is a specific question for a specific Nation. But it is occurring, as well, within a larger and a world-context. The rise of a dynamic political and social Right is widespread, even perhaps a bit universal. What is going on? Again, those who *interpret* end up in contentious territory. Interpretation is therefor radical and problematic. The most common *narrative* is that this social and political new right is a Nazi-like manifestation. Nazi = Evil and there you go. No further thought and consideration is needed. Yet, and I would say ‘for a thinking person’, such reductionism, and such binary narratives, will mislead one.

            And I suggest that both Sue and Valkygrrl are stuck within both binaries and reductionsims that will not lead to any kind of intellectual enlightenment. At the very least Sue offers some (weak) intellectual content while as far as I am aware Valkygrrl has not one nor ever discussed anything resembling *an idea*. And they are mere reflections of tens of thousands — literally millions — of people who are trapped within conventional views.

            Why? Because of ‘prepared narratives’. Because of narratives that are *spun* and disseminated. But those *narratives* that are operating in the present have been in operation, though modified as needed from time to time, for a loooonnnngggg while. How totally boring it is to observe quite intelligent people lock themselves into simplistic binaries! But that is of course what (quite literally) goes on in our culture(s). You could look to Edward Bernays and the idea of ‘crystallizing public opinion’ and you could also look at it through the lens of a more contemporary theorist, such as Walter Lippmann:

            Walter Lippmann introduced the notion of “manufacturing consent” in his book “Public Opinion,” which was published in 1922. As a journalist, Lippmann suggested that the “news” and the “truth” are not synonymous. The news, according to him, functions as a way of signifying how an event happened. In this sense, the subjective interpretation of the writer is a factor. The truth, he argued, refers to concealed facts. Democracy for Lippmann suffers because of the fragility as to how issues are played in the media. Which results in one crucial thing—the ignorance of voters.

            I think the notion of *taking the Red Pill* can be introduced here to some good purpose. But differently than how it is used on, say, 4Chan (et cetera). To take the Red Pill in this context would be to become awakened to the level in which our opinions are determined by Established Narratives. And that to *think freely* requires a disassembly of established narratives that have been *spun* by systemic powers. What else could it be? How could one ask, or hope, for anything much different given the way the System actually works? This is not a Leftwing view, nor a Rightwing view, it is one that has to do fundamentally with epistemology. And it is hermeneutic insofar as giant forces powers and entities need to be seen and described — understood. The Red Pill is therefor the reintroduction of the capacity in the individual to intellectualize his, and her, situation.

            • The Wednesday Woman

              Okay, so “even such an apparently high-minded and ultra-idealistic project as that declared to be truly morally correct and necessary by Martin Luther King” was “constructed on essentially false ideas.”

              Please hand me a red pill here. What *were* those false ideas? Can they be articulated in a few words? Please keep in mind that leaving the Matrix is overwhelming, and in my spoiled citizen child-baby brain can only process so much information to begin with. But we all have to start somewhere.

              • I really do sympathize with your plight. You poor mindless child! I’m here to help . . .

                You’ve begun by asking a good question. You get a silver star. I will keep this very very short:

                The dream of a multicultural society, and the notion of blending different cultures together at a world-scale; the inevitability (and the necessary, as per the narrative) of blending of dissimilar cultures as well as differently oriented physical beings … would be one statement that I think proves unreal. I think that one has also to see that under the Christian veneer of MLK there was, in fact, a Marxist operative. The same is (even more) true with Nelson Mandela.

                As these ideas are playing out in our present, they tend to start in fine idealisms and then, all on the sudden, other elements show themselves. I tend to see the screaming crazy students at Evergreen as part-and-parcel of The Dream. But when things get stripped and when they stand rawly exposed.

                I think also that the notion of a Propositional Nation, a nation that you join through some sort of mental assent, is an idea destined to fail. I do not mean in the short run, but possibly in the long run. What you wind up with, as some say, is Brazil.

                I would not say that Brazil either the real place and the idea and notion, is ‘bad’ nor even ‘wrong’. But I would propose that what makes a nation strong, and even what makes a nation possible, is a greater pool of shared similarities. I became aware, and I overcame any negative self-feeling about it, that I want to join with, work with, create with, breed with, people who look like me. The surface is much more than the surface though.

                It is not ‘skin color’, as is often said, but a whole range of different characteristics aptitudes intentions desires and capabilities.

                On *our side* (the Nationalistic Right or the Ethno-nationalist Right or the Alt-Right) which is, as I say, international, we have begun to propose a counter-movement to these liberal social processes, and therefor to the structure of ideas that underpin them. Some put a great deal of emphasis on racial or cultural similarity, and others less. The grandfather of a more culturally Nietzschean perspective, Julius Evola, himself often dismissed *race* in favor of essential nobility (that by the way). Some in Europe now, for example Alain de Benoit, also place less emphasis on race specifically but are highly critical of ‘liberalism’ and (some of) its outcomes.

                I am one who believes not in the goodness of creating a mass-society of incorporated cogs, but rather in allowing real diversity to exist. It means de-structuring the ideology that underpins liberal constructs. It means reconsidering a certain amount of what has been created in the Postwar as ‘ideal concepts’.

                So, now, it is important that people begin, again I guess, to think through all of this stuff. Well, apparently that is what is happening.

              • If you are interested, I suggest understanding better our position. This is an in depth conversation that explains and develops our perspectives.

          • 1. The President has never called for mob violence. He’s made bad and irresponsible jokes.
            2. Republican Congressmen were attacked by a democrat with a rigle, and one was shot.
            3. You have no argument, and the Left has no argument, just double standards and denial. Hollywood and entertainment figures have been calling for violence for two years, as well as military coups and revolution.
            4. Blaming Trump doesn’t fly with anyone who wasn’t part of that plan.

            • crella

              CNN has an Analysis piece up now, “Trump’s Attacks on the Media Have Real-Life Consequences”

              “Trump unleashed the dogs of hatred in this country from the day he declared he was running for president, and they’ve been snarling and barking at each other ever since,” Gergen said. “It’s just inevitable there are going to be acts of violence that grow out of that.”
              News industry executives have repeatedly warned that Trump’s reckless attacks against the media are having real-world consequences. Some journalists now travel to Trump rallies with security personnel, for example.”

              Guess they forgot all the mobs screaming ‘Not my President!’ and the boycotts of the Inauguration, and all the ugliness on display in reaction to the election. They are pure as the driven snow, no responsibility for them, no sir!

              • This is a false flag operation, timed to coincide with the midterm elections. These were not bombs, just propaganda. Black powder in a tube are not bombs without detonators.

                I bet these skirt the line as to violating federal law: there is no law against shipping black powder in a metal pipe.

  11. People are doing these things because it’s all that’s left

    Is that not how rapists feel?

  12. Other Bill

    Jack: typo on headline. Should be October 24, not 14. Unless you’re still catching up?

    Cheers.

  13. adimagejim

    In personal and professional travels I have always attempted to encourage all I encounter to pursue peaceful, civil means of communication in disagreement. Those who appear to be on my point of view are consistently urged to pursue the least objectionable ways to approach discord and seek common understanding.

    My recommendation is quite consistent, on all occasions work toward peace, but prepare for something far worse than that.

    No matter who is behind these most recent devices being sent, we are observing symptoms of a society moving away from peace and toward something far worse than that.

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