Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/26/2018: ‘Bombs,’ Bicycles And Bullying

Good morning!

I need Jimmy today. (Bing’s on this one too…)

1. They’re NOT “bombs.” I urge everyone to call their friends on this. Until it is established that in fact the “suspicious packages” (the FBI’s current description) or the “potentially destructive devices” can blow up and that they were intended to blow up, referring to them (as the New York Times has done) as “pipe bombs” and the mysterious asshole who sent them as “the bomber” is misleading and, in many cases, deliberately inflammatory. Cut it out. Nor are the mailed whatevertheyares “attacks.” Nobody has been “attacked” until the intent to harm them has been established, and it hasn’t been.

This is driving me crazy, in case you can’t tell.

The news media obviously wants these to be bombs, wants the sender to be a deranged Trump fan, hell, they’d love it if the sender was Trump himself. So they can’t help themselves, apparently, in jumping the gun and dishonestly reporting what is still very much in doubt. Personally, I would love to have it determined that the perp is a “resistance” member pulling a false flag operation, just to teach the news media a lesson, not that they are capable of learning it.

2. Trump’s Tweets. CNN and MSNBC are melting down with faux fury over this morning’s Trump Tweet, which said,

Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, “it’s just not Presidential!”

Notes:

  • See, even Trump is calling them “Bombs.” But we know that he has the facility for verbal accuracy of a stroke victim.
  • CNN is lowly-rated.
  • Yes, Mr. President, journalists can criticize you at will. That’s a good thing, and it would be a really good thing if they were competent and trustworthy.
  • CNN is shocked—shocked! that anyone would accuse them of blaming the President for the wave of suspicious packages….

Yesterday, as CNN’s John King said  “No one’s blaming the president. Is anyone blaming the president? But the president now wants to make it about him, the chyron below him read,

“CNN: Trump has no plans to claim any personal responsibility for inciting serial bomber.”

I hate to repeat myself, but how stupid and/or biased does a viewer have to be not to see through this kind of thing?

  • Tweeting is now officially Presidential, though the content of many Trump Tweets definitely are not. This one? Responding to dishonest and biased media reporting is a legitimate use of social media.

3. Ah, if only his mother had been found to be 1/1,024th black, he’d really be in trouble…From Tantasqua Regional High School in Massachusetts comes the awful story about a student being taunted and bullied after confiding in a another student that a home DNA test had determined that his mother was “half-black.” These stupid DNA tests and the advertising promoting them just assist the sinister effort to turn the U.S. into warring teams of tribes and assimilated ethnic groups. Why does anyone care what percentage of their DNA is black, Hispanic, Mongolian, Greek, or Cherokee? If you believe as Americans are supposed to believe—that lineage doesn’t and shouldn’t matter—then you should spit on these divisive tests. I don’t give a damn whether you are all black, half black, 5% black or of undetermined origin; it doesn’t make you any better or worse, any smarter or more trustworthy, and if you think other wise, THAT makes me think you are neither bright nor trustworthy. The same goes for gender and sexual orientation. I want to see character and achievements, not pedigree.

4. Except in women’s sports, where it does matter...The previous item reminded me of this story:

Jennifer Wagner, the American bronze medalist who lost a world-championship cycling race to a transgender woman from Canada, criticized the results as unfair after Rachel McKinnon, an assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, boasted on Twitter. about being the  “First transgender woman world champion…ever.”  What a shocking upset! Here are the three medal winners:

Wrote Wagner:

“For clarity – this was the WOMENS world championships. I repeat. Women’s. Congratulations to the brave faces of silver & bronze. The world is gripped by a febrile madness.”

Her more politically-correct silver-winning colleague Carolien van Herrikhuyzen, knew who to pander, and responded with serial irrelevancies and rationalizations, whic are what increasing pass for arguments these days:

“No one is a transgender to steal anyone’s medal…

Irrelevant. It is not the motive, but the obvious inequity that creates the unfairness.

We had an honest race under UCI rules…

Yes, and Wagner is correctly saying that the rules make no sense, and effectively rig the results.

If you compete you accept the rules, otherwise, don’t compete.

Wagner accepted the rules: she didn’t claim she had won. She just stated a fact after she lost: allowing transgender competitor who carry with them the size and muscular advantages of their former gender makes a mockery of athletic competition.

…I can only imagine what she had to go through in her life to be where she is now, how hard it is to fit in.”

In brief, so what? This is Appeal to Emotion at its most blatant, along with virtue signaling. I’m sure it’s hard to fit in. That doesn’t make it fair for her to compete against women who don’t have the advantage of going through puberty as a male. Other competitors shouldn’t be penalized because she’s had to deal with special problems.

Of course, in the end Wagner was bullied into issuing an apology for her comments. The most recent EA post on this classic political correctness gone mad issue is here. “Febrile madness” is an excellent description.

93 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Science & Technology, Social Media, Sports

93 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/26/2018: ‘Bombs,’ Bicycles And Bullying

  1. 1) Well, lucky for the media narrative, so far, the arrested suspect would appear to be a deranged Trump fan.

  2. valkygrrl

    Personally, I would love to have it determined that the perp is a “resistance” member pulling a false flag operation, just to teach the news media a lesson, not that they are capable of learning it.

    So instead of, say, being glad that a suspect has been arrested and no one was harmed you’ve decided to hope this was done by your political enemies because spite.

    Classy.

    • JP

      It was already done. This is misdirection.

    • A.M. Golden

      Of course, he would prefer that it not have been done by any partisan player and, certainly, he’s glad no one has been injured. By now, anyone who’s read Ethics Alarms for any reasonable length of time should know that. He’s just pointing out that it would be just desserts for a media that has had nothing good to say about Trump, his policies, his family, his looks, his successes and looks for any opportunity to lay at his feet the blame for all that evil in the world that the perpetrator be some deluded progressive wanting to play on the emotions of American citizens right before the mid-term elections.

      • valkygrrl

        By the transitive property would that not make it just desserts for Trump and his violent rhetoric that a deranged Trump fan, but I repeat myself, did it?

        That is the argument is it not?

    • That’s not what I wrote, is it?

      1) Wishing that this was a false flag operation in no way affects being glad that the subject was arrested (which occurred after I posted the essay.)
      2) Pointing out that the news media is intentionally misleading the public by calling things that haven’t exploded “bombs” in no way suggest that I’m not glad they haven’t exploded,
      3) The news media isn’t my “political enemy.” Journalists are not supposed to be political at all, and to the extent that they are, they are enemies of democracy, fairness, and public awareness.

      Does the Left-wing echo chamber really make people post comments like yours? That’s frightening.

  3. Michael R.

    Do we have any hard facts on this alleged attempted fake-bombing? They were hand-delivered by a private courier, but they had US postal stamps on them, but the post office inspector found them suspicious, but they didn’t have a postmark on them… None of this is consistent. Now US Postal mail can happen without postmarks, but I have only seen that in mail coming from a large organization with their own postal equipment. So, was this mailed by a large organization or was it by a private courier? Pick one. The FBI is calling these suspicious packages and all had a return address of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, so shouldn’t she be the prime suspect? Is she being investigated?

    • Rusty Rebar

      I suspect that the envelopes you see were packed inside a different package that was shipped. The whole things reeks of a prop, and I think the envelope was part of that.

  4. Sensed

    They might not be bombs, or even attempted bombs, but they look like bombs. Mailing somebody something that looks like a bomb belies a pretty clear intent to cause panic and dread. Whether or not causing panic and dread would count as an “attack” seems like a hair not worth splitting. Everyone would agree this could have been worse, but that doesn’t mean we can’t call it ghastly.

  5. dragin_dragon

    They most assuredly do NOT look like bombs. The few pictures I have seen look like hand-held cocktail stirrers.

  6. JimHodgson

    Regarding #3: Jack wrote “Why does anyone care what percentage of their DNA is black, Hispanic, Mongolian, Greek, or Cherokee?”
    Well. I took a DNA test because I was curious and interested in my ancestry. As an amateur historian, knowing my ethnic ancestry was important to me, personally, “Scientia gratia scientiae.” It helped settle some long-standing family controversies about our ancestry, as one part of a larger genealogical inquiry, and I was also interested in any health-related information that could be derived from my DNA data. I don’t think it makes me “any better or worse, any smarter or more trustworthy” than anyone with a different ancestry. I certainly didn’t begin wearing a kilt, or lederhosen, or flying a Union Jack, or learning Norwegian, or sporting a t-shirt bearing a shamrock and stating “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.” I am always amused and perplexed by those who affect a distant cultural identity in that manner. People I know who have taken these tests had similar motivations and interests as I, and were not trying to establish some genetic basis for claiming superiority or looking for a cultural identity. I don’t see any harm in knowing this information.

    • dragin_dragon

      There is some harm, Jim, as these companies are apparently supplying this DNA information to investigative agencies without the benefit of a warrant.

    • Other Bill

      Well said, Jim.

    • Dwayne N. Zechman

      In a similar vein, I have a friend who was adopted as an infant. He used one of these tests because he was primarily interested in learning his own familial medical history which was otherwise a completely blank slate.

      An interesting accidental side-effect was that he also learned a few bits of information that allowed him to investigate further, and eventually track down someone who is plausibly his birth mother (thanks in large part to the kindness and cooperation of this woman’s family) and the probable reason for having been put up for adoption.

      –Dwayne

  7. Still Spartan

    I think the fact that this is guy is a Trumper is about as interesting as finding out that someone who attacks a Republican official is Liberal. Crazies are everywhere and are not limited to one party.

    BUT, whether or not these were the crudest of pipe bombs or something worthy of a Mission Impossible bomb disposal team is irrelevant. Intent is intent — and this guy intended to hurt people even if he was unsuccessful in doing so. Attempting to shift the narrative in the direction of “only terrorists with a body count deserve media coverage and anything else is fake news” is ridiculous.

    • Other Bill

      I think we need some more time and more facts on these devices. Presumably, we’re going to find out what was in the PVC pipe.

      • Other Bill

        This whole thing brings Clock Boy to mind. At least to my mind.

      • Still Spartan

        Why does that matter? If someone sent me a pipe bomb, and the SWAT team later determined that it was actually filled with Bazooka bubble gum, does that mean that I shouldn’t be afraid that some crazy asshole wants to kill me and my family?

        • Other Bill

          If it’s talcum powder, doesn’t that mean he wanted to scare you rather than kill you?

        • We’ve talked about this before….. Your fear, rational or not, does not change reality.

          • I mean… Really. If someone sent you a pipe full of Bazooka Joes, you might have felt fear, it’s a rational fear, but that doesn’t change the fact that you were never in danger, and the perp obviously didn’t intend you harm.

            Scaring you with a fake pipe bomb is probably legally actionable, but it’s going to be actionable in a completely different way than planting an actual bomb, and it should be.

          • Still Spartan

            Isn’t that a terrorist’s goal — to fill one with terror?

            A student might burst into a crowded gymnasium armed with nothing but blanks — but I bet a lot of those kids will have PTSD for the rest of their lives.

            • Your original assertion was about terrorists intent on harming people.

              If you are just talking about terrorists intent on merely scaring people, then ok.

              But that isn’t what you were originally discussing.

              • Still Spartan

                I’m discussing both things — I can multi-task like that. 1) Most criminals are incompetent — but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t go to prison for trying to harm people (and sometimes they get lucky and do). 2) Terror is a very real thing, and doesn’t require a body count. Either of these situations are worthy of media coverage — but I don’t care if this man had “I love” Trump, Jesus, or Obama stickers on his crazymobile.

            • I’m having trouble deciding if you’re being deliberately obtuse…. Duh, a kid running into a gym with a gun dull of blanks will cause harm, but are you really suggesting that we treat that the same, the exact same, as a kid that actually shoots up a school? Because I think you’re too smart to think that, but if you don’t think that, I have no idea what point you even think you’re making.

              • Still Spartan

                One is worse than the other … but they both cause terror.

                Given this asshole’s rap sheet though, it’s pretty clear he falls into the incompetent wannabe serial bomber category though. It’s worthy of news coverage.

      • Greg

        NBC says:

        “According to sources, the explosive devices were made from PVC pipe and contained a timer (likely a digital alarm clock) to set off the detonator. The powder contained in the bombs comes from pyrotechnics. X-rays show there was likely shrapnel inside the PVC pipe, law enforcement officials say.”

    • JP

      I would agree if his intent was to harm. If that is the case, it is moral luck that bombs did not go off. If his intent was to scare, that is different.

      • Isaac

        The gross incompetence of the bombs suggests that if they aren’t hoaxes, then the bomb-mailer is crazy. And I mean the “drooling, needs to be institutionalized” kind of crazy.

        It’s as if he thought that slapping together bomby-type things would result in a functional bomb. A timer?

  8. William Gauci

    The hyperbole is getting pretty thick at times. Nothing whips the media into a frenzy more than when they become part of the story. I do get a kick out of watching Cuomo and Lemmon some nights. The night that the “Bomb Like Packages Intended To Intimidate” (can I copyright that phrase?) arrived was exceptionally entertaining. Cuomo even gave Lemmon what could possibly be the most awkward and cringe worthy on air kiss and hug while live broadcasting from the street because apparently that was still the safest place to be at 10pm several hours after the “Bomb Like Package Intended To Intimdate”©️ had been removed. They were so moved that all of them had survived the attack That they waxed emotionally that even the makeup people made it out alive.

    I do agree with Jack that these weren’t bombs. Simply a somewhat amateurish attempt to sow terror and intimidation. Not unlike the lunatics who send talcum powder in the mail to simulate an Anthrax attack.

    Clearly this individual has some serious issues and is not your average MAGA. Anyone with a little common sense would know that these would be traced back to the originator in a matter of days and I would question the competency of this person if they didn’t already know that would be the case. I would be willing to bet that as the media descend on this person and surrounding area you’ll hear a lot of tales about this person and his goings ons in the county that will show he’s a couple bricks short of a border wall.

  9. Luke G

    Just to clarify:

    Your standard for declaring something definitely a gun is “looked like a gun and sounded like a gun when it hit the floor,” and when Judge Claps’ attorney argued it could have been something else mistaken for a gun you deemed it a “ludicrous defense” and an “evident lie.”

    Your standard for declaring something a bomb is that “alleged bombs are innocent until proven guilty. And I’m not kidding” and “they are not bombs until they are proven to be bombs.”

    So which is it? Is a weapon a weapon if it looks like a weapon, or not unless it’s proven to be one? How do you assert one to be a gun with absolute certainty, but say that calling the other a bomb is misleading?

    • Bomb – something designed to actually explode.

      Crappy bomb – something designed to actually explode but doesn’t.

      Hoax bomb – something designed to look like a bomb but not designed to actually explode.

      At the current level of analysis, we are debating between the “suspicious packages” sent to various Democrats as being either “crappy bombs” or “hoax bombs”.

      The distinction between the two make all the difference in the world on what this crazy guy was trying to accomplish. And reporting the objects as definitively one or the other, is, therefore, misleading.

      “So which is it? Is a weapon a weapon if it looks like a weapon, or not unless it’s proven to be one? How do you assert one to be a gun with absolute certainty, but say that calling the other a bomb is misleading?”

      What is this game?

      What are the odds a judge brings a toy gun to a courthouse…a toy gun no less that has the kind of mass to make the sound of a solid block of metal hitting the floor when it’s dropped?

      The odds are probably worse than .0000001%.

      What are the odds that bomb threats turn out to be hoaxes? Sufficiently higher than that, and in a historical context that demands further investigation before definitive declarations.

      Jack isn’t being inconsistent here.

    • Expected that argument. A bad one.

      Is a gun that doesn’t shoot, isn’t loaded, and the owner doesn’t intend to shoot it still a gun? Yup.
      Is a “bomb” that doesn’t explode, can’t explode, and wasn’t made with the intent that it explode a bomb? Nope.

      There is considerable doubt that the “devices” qualify as bombs legally or definitionally.
      There was no reasonable doubt that the judge’s dropped object was a gun. He owned a gun. It looked like a gun to experienced witnesses. The theory that a 70-year old judge carried a toy gun into a courthouse isn’t reasonable.

      The theory that an asshole tried to terrorize people by sending something that seemed like a bomb but wasn’t one is completely plausible.

      Lame gotcha.

      • But what if the judge left the bench to stop the mailing of all the “bombs”?

      • Luke G

        You keep saying “toy gun” as the only alternative to a real gun, but one of the alternatives presented was a gun-shaped lighter. I know many people who own them (and I’d argue that being a gun owner means you’re more likely to like the aesthetic), and they look quite a bit like real guns (especially in a fleeting moment such as seeing someone drop one and recover it). I don’t see how it’s reasonable that a judge brought a gun to court illegally, but wild insanity that he could own a gun-shaped lighter or other novelty product. (oh, and before you hang too much faith on the “experienced witnesses,” remember that police have also falsely identified as guns such objects as a wallet, a sandwich, a bible, a tripod, a plunger, a microphone, a beer bottle, and a cell phone. They’re trained to err on the side of false positives rather than false negatives).

        Are you likely correct that it’s a gun? Of course- but you’re playing a weird game here where you’re willing to equate “most likely correct” with “absolute certainty and anything else is a stupid lie” in one case, but demand 100% proof in another. I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong in either case, but you’re speaking with a level of certainty that you simply can’t justify.

        • I don’t agree with your post, but honesty requires me to note that non functional replica guns are made to mimic look, feel, materials, and weight.

          Why a judge brought one of those to court is just as specious as it being a lighter… he never heard of Bic?

    • Chris Marschner

      I think the point here is that the suspect is a terrorist but not a bomber because no detonations took place. He can be a suspected bomb maker but the acts are not bombings for the same reason.

      James Hodgkinson was a shooter but not a murderer because everyone he shot at survived.

      Media reports of him being a serial bomber is incorrect he is a serial attempted bomber. As a result, the criminal charges are different as will be the sentences.

  10. valkygrrl

    Not seeing apologies from the people who were shouting “false flag.”

  11. Another Mike

    There seems to be too much missing from these items for them to be anything other than intents to cause fear, but no real damage. What this fear was supposed to accomplish remains to be seen.

    From the meager information available so far, I noted a lack of a power source (battery) to set off a detonator, which I did not see in any of the photos or x-ray images. I don’t see PVC as a really good pipe bomb material — the metal pipe is the source of much of the shrapnel in the real McCoy, with other metal objects included to boost the effectiveness.

    I’ve seen nothing yet regarding the nature of the actual explosive. I seen mention of “a black powder” which, to me, is entirely different from “black powder” an actual explosive. All that was said was that a white powder was tested and found to be something that would not create a biological event; more testing would follow.

    My radar says that too much effort is being made to provide very little useful information.

  12. Sue Dunim

    Personally, I would love to have it determined that the perp is a “resistance” member pulling a false flag operation

    You get your wish! Thousands, tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands or even millions of Republican voters have determined exactly that!

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/26/trump-supporters-sceptical-about-pipe-bomb-arrest?fbclid=IwAR0sM-xekAc210aM0JkCOTXfbF0Zdi1uLJr4PMW6p0wetp0kJWzc6OWjV1o

    ” Trump’s devoted followers in the sports arena were also scathing about that. Kathy Chenette, 62, a realtor from Mooresville, North Carolina, said she had read on Twitter that the same configuration of stickers on the back of the van had been photographed on the side of the van.

    “This was obviously Photoshopped,” she said. “I think it’s a distraction against the invasion of illegal immigrants at the border. It’s all set up by Soros.”

    George Soros, the billionaire financier, activist and philanthropist, was one of those who had a bomb mailed to his address. In the criminal complaint, prosecutors alleged that comments critical of Soros were posted on Wednesday on a Twitter account believed to be used by Sayoc.

    “We just don’t know,” said Tyler Yelton, 43, who works as a landscaper. “Maybe he bought the van already with the stickers on it, or maybe this whole thing is a setup.”

    • Sue Dunim

      https://theguardiansofdemocracy.com/trump-supporter-claims-obama-and-hillary-built-bombs-and-mailed-it-to-themselves-to-smear-trump/?fbclid=IwAR3McHyOOhNDP7Z6DeU1rh3whafSknWko8Fsq7vFhLHyYn4nqWSrZ–CeRQ

      NBC News sent a reporter to a “Make America Great Again” campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday to ask Trump supporters what they thought of the arrest of Cesar Sayoc, a Florida Trump supporter who is accused of mailing 13 explosive devices to prominent Democratic officials and critics of President Trump.

      “Barack Obama probably sent his to himself and Hillary Clinton probably sent hers to herself,” claimed one Trump supporter hours after Sayoc was taken into custody.

      “So you don’t think this guy actually sent these bombs to these officials?” the reporter asked outside the Trump rally.

      “No, probably not,” he responded.

      “Why?” the reporter pressed.

      They probably had it done. They may have paid him to do it,” he added.

      “I think I heard something about it being a Bernie Sanders supporter,” another Trump supporter wrongly claimed.

      “You know, there’s so much news going on right now that people don’t know what to believe, so they stick to what they know,” she added.

      • dragin_dragon

        Sue, you know me to be as conservative as anybody on this blog. I will admit that I am a bit disappointed that Sayoc is a crazy Trump fan. I would have loved to see it be a ‘false flag’ operation, but it appears that it is not to be. What he is, is utterly incompetent at building bombs. Otherwise, I have to believe he never intended for them to BE bombs. My one request is that you and Valky not lump all conservatives in with the tin-foil hat crowd.

        • You get your wish! Thousands, tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands or even millions of Republican voters have determined exactly that! (“…that the perp is a “resistance” member pulling a false flag operation.”)

          Sue, you know me to be as conservative as anybody on this blog. I will admit that I am a bit disappointed that Sayoc is a crazy Trump fan. I would have loved to see it be a ‘false flag’ operation, but it appears that it is not to be.

          Well, this is good evidence that it is exceedingly difficult to make successful judgments and evaluations of the events that are unfolding in front of us.

          We learn — often after-the-fact — that people and agencies that we trusted had engaged in serious lying and misrepresentation. The examples are legion. ‘Trust’ is supposed to exist and we are supposed to be able to trust, yet we learn that we cannot trust. We cannot place our trust, blindly, in anyone. This leads to a strange epistemological problem: an individual who becomes suspicious of everything and everyone and who falls back into him- or herself in order to *interpret*.

          It is a very curious situation because *interpretation* is not in any sense easy. I mean ‘the world at large’, the events going on in the world which are then interpreted by others, *spun*, and then presented to us.

          I think I must fall into the camp of one who is deeply suspicious of any information I receive through Media Systems that seems to me designed to influence how I *structure my views of the present* and how I go about *cobbling together an interpretive narrative*.

          At the same time, having studied how black-hat intelligence operations are carried out, and that they have been carried out in the US in numerous instances (that is, it appears to be the case, but I mention again the ‘fog of uncertainty’ that the individual is driven back into), the present one could rather easily fit the prototype.

          An unstable man with a relationship to the more bizarre and outlandish rhetoric of a popular rightism (these are unformed, semi-intellectualized, emoted, unstudied *ideas* that are swirling around in the right-leaning camp but certainly also in the left-leaning camp, too), could have been selected as a fallguy, and it would not have been hard to plant DNA as well as a fingerprint. I do not say that this is what happened — it is possible that he dreamed up this plan all on his own — but suspicion about the present, and how perfectly and timely these Events occur causes me to *suspend judgment* . . . to hesitate in going along with the developing narrative that is so quickly spun and set in motion.

          Once these things are *framed* they do not seem to be unframed. Once it is set, it just keeps moving along the lines it was set in.

          My actual true and honest view is that 9/11 signified the beginning of very large-scale operations the purpose of which one only sees with some hindsight. That is, the present is obscured by the chaos of the Event and one is, so to speak, a victim of uncertainty. In such a state one tends a) to rely on established narratives spun by Big Players, or b) retreat even more into a refusal to give assent to any specific narrative, or to hold to those that one *suspects* are *true*.

          When I studied the events of 9/11 (through examination of the many videos and talks and discourses on these events) I came across one man who had a very good video and who, when his own trusting interpretive world was shredded when he concluded the involvement of intelligence operatives in the construction of the Event shattered his confidence in the narrative-spinners, turned back to his Christian faith and quoted Ephesians in the credits of his video-presentation:

          For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

          One could relate to it strictly as Christian (which could mean a dozen different things) but I take it more philosophically and *hermeneutically*. We certainly know that we live in a warring world. We know that the violence of struggle and war are part of the human condition so-called. We know that when it comes down to it the struggle is ultimately, or basically, related to ‘flesh’ (and one could take this in a Marxian manner, as in the functions of historical materialism, the economic and territorial struggles that define, literally, the world we live in). And we know that ‘rulers’ and ‘principalities’ definitely exist and that ‘darkness’ (a complex term!) penetrates to these higher levels. And we also are aware of ‘wickedness’ in these high places (as we are simultaneously aware of it in ourselves).

          But in a strange postmodern sense I notice that people exist within a somewhat *paranoid* and *suspicious* frame of mind which includes a great deal of suspicion and lack of trust. One turns back, if you will, to one’s *metaphysical self*, to one’s spiritual self in an out-of-control world. And yet one still peeps out to look at the unfolding events, as always uncertain who precisely to interpret and catalogue them.

        • My one request is that you and Valky not lump all conservatives in with the tin-foil hat crowd.

          This is interesting. To be completely honest, though Valky and Sue are quite different, one does not receive from anything either write a definte sense of where they stand politically. I mean, in holistic intellectual terms.

          One can only guess, therefor, about the *structure of ideas* that inform them. I gather that this way of describing people — ourselves — is irritating to some? But it has to be. Because we function through a system of ideas that is imposed through our perceptions and our interpretations (these go hand in hand).

          The question is: Who is looking at the given Conservative. That is, what interpretation is made of what conservatism is and what it means. But the other aspect is what will this [conservatism] mean for me?

          The posture of the Left, generally speaking, is to see conservatism as a manifestation of evil. Progressives can access a self-definition that allows their view and perspectives to seem angelical. As part of an Advent that is trying to enter our darkened world and make it bright.

          Therefor, to ask such a *SJW* or *Progressive* to see the Dread Conservative differently than the framing, is a somewhat futile act. It would be tantamount to asking the SJW/Progressive to be something different than what she or he operationally is.

          The ‘tinfoil hat crowd’ is a curious term as well. When one investigates the total strangeness of Deep Conspiratorial views, the term takes on some life! But, within America, it is a term that requires a special definition. In fact, the greater bulk of the American populous — of all colors and races — are of a sort that could quite easily fall toward Tinfoil Hat Beliefs:

          Without proper education background; without a solid forming in Aristotelian modes of thought (I mean this nearly literally). Eating a bad diet, surrounded by throngs who cannot reason properly, but very important to the consumer culture that has been created here, and *coddled* as being important and Number One! How strange it is that it is America herself that has created a class of Tinfoil Hatters and that they have a great deal of power. They should not have, of course, but they do.

          • Sue Dunim

            It helps to have a grounding in Kantian and Utilitarian ethics too. A little Wittgenstein on the side.

            But.. you’re right. Start with basic logic first. Epistemology. Critiques of Bishop Berkely.

            Where do I stand politically? It changes. I go with whatever seems most likely to work, modifying my Ideology in light of experience, and as situations change. Before 1980, the evidence was that trickle down economics worked, and I espoused it. By 1990 it was obvious either something had changed so it no longer worked, or my original analysis was faulty.

            I’ve been described by others who think in holistic intellectual terms as a Kantian Realist. I can’t vouch for their accuracy.

        • Sue Dunim

          My one request is that you and Valky not lump all conservatives in with the tin-foil hat crowd.

          I can’t speak for Valkyrie, but as regards myself – request granted. Of course.

          It would be irrational and unfair to do so. Bonkers, basically. Against observable evidence. Also unkind, and to me, that’s of equal or near equal importance. Reasonable people can differ with me on that.

          To deny that in today’s climate, not just a few, but a substantial proportion of those on the far Right are Tinfoil hatters would also be against the evidence. As would be to deny that historically, in the past, it was the far Left who were as bad or worse. Red Brigades. Baader Meinhof. Japanese Red Army. Symbionese Liberation Army. All extinct now for decades, and a good thing too.

          It’s the Right now who are sending pipe bombs, shooting up synagogues, and only no longer bombing abortion clinics because there are so few left to bomb.

          It could reasonably be said that the Right – including the GOP – stopped being conservative some time ago. They are Radicals. Full of reformist zeal. Some so Zealot they kill, like the original Zealots and Sycarii.

          • Sue Dunim

            Some… But mostly they’re sane. From the evidence. I know of no one who has ever commented on the site, with one possible but improbable exception, who no matter how much they’d disagree with me would kill me if they could get away with it unpunished. Even if they said they would.

        • valkygrrl

          My one request is that you and Valky not lump all conservatives in with the tin-foil hat crowd.

          Three attacks.

          The MAGAbomber
          The Kroger shooter
          The synagogue shooter

          Middle-aged white men.

          What would you say if they were Muslims? What would you say if those manila envelopes were sent to Sean Hannity and Steve King? What would you say if a black man had shot two white people and pointedly left a black person alive? What would you say if someone had targeted a church full of Christians?

          Now, what is this boon you ask of me?

          • dragin_dragon

            I would roundly…and very vocally…condemn each. They are acts of cowardice, and senseless violence. And the boon I ask of you is the same as I would ask of a Valkyrie…do not paint us all with the same brush. I would die defending you, just as I would die defending Sean Hannity. Actually, I’d probably die sooner defending you. I actually like you.

            • valkygrrl

              Of course, you would condemn each. But would it be the individuals you condemn or would you pain with a broad brush?

              I would die defending you,

              *places a hand on your head*
              We accept your oath Sir Dragin.

  13. Sue Dunim

    From Christian Newswire

    . “They are evildoers. They are a threat to human life, Truth, and Justice. They are self-conscious enemies of the Laws of God. They are baby-killers.

    . “And now – exploiting this news cycle just days before the election – they want President Trump and the rest of us Christian conservatives to surrender our most effective weapon: The Truth.

    . “We will not surrender the Truth.

    . “The targets of mail bombs were baby-killing evildoers two days ago…they’re still baby-killing evildoers today. We must fearlessly continue to say the truth.

    . “… Civilized societies have equal justice under the law. We chant, “lock her up!” because Hillary is a law breaking criminal. She escaped justice because of her status, not her innocence.

    . “I beg all God-fearing broadcasters, bloggers, writers, and speakers to not surrender the truth during these harrowing days. The only ones who will benefit if we stop proclaiming the truth are the liars and child-killers in politics, at CNN, and the other godless fake-news networks that are the enemies of life and justice…”

    • Simply proof that the insanity is on both sides now. Not in equal proportions, but it exists.

      • Best part of this pathetic attempt at bothsidesism is that Christian Newswire is a little read outlet. But it’s being held up by Zoebrain as a comparison to the Mainstream Media that is increasingly swinging further and further left.

        But hey, it’s got the word “Christian” in it, so it works for a smear.

        I mean, Christian Newswire, billing itself as the nation’s leading *distributor* of articles with religious content garners a whopping 40 thousand views per month.

        Pretty impressive.

        Piddly little CNN, to which we presume Zoe wants us to compare these zealots, only manages 509 million views per month.

        If we only compare websites.

  14. Another story on the transgender revolution colliding with the ability to accommodate the overwhelming majority of people.

    https://www.apnews.com/1ee70b1adc5a4618a759771847431c81

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