Nail. Head. BAM! Flush to the board

Just thought this needed bookmarking (via Chicks on the Right)….

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (who is an Iraq War veteran) had this to say in response to those questions and it is the best response I’ve heard from anyone about this –

“Knowing what we know now, I absolutely would have sent the Pacific Fleet out of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 4 to intercept the Japanese Fleet,” Cotton told the Washington Examiner during an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “I say that to highlight how foolish the question is. You don’t get to live life in reverse. What a leader has to do is make a decision, at the moment of decision, based on the best information he has. George Bush did that in 2002 and 2003 and he was supported by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry and every western country’s intelligence agency.”
“There are lessons we can learn from the early days of the Iraq war. One is that we clearly should be more critically analytical about our approach to intelligence assessments,” Cotton added.

 

Maybe Lakoff is Right

Y’all are familiar with George Rhymes-With-Jackoff, the guy behind “frames.”  You know, if we call it “economic patriotism” rather than “socialism,” people won’t realize that it’s socialism, even though it completely and totally is, down to the last detail.

Those of us who read conservative political blogs think this is stupid, but as National Review‘s Jim Geraghty points out (via Ace’s overnight thread), this stuff does seem to resonate with the Low-Info Voters:

We political junkies love political philosophies, and keep subdividing ourselves into smaller and more precise groupings. (Crunchy Cons! Neoconservatives! Libertarian Populism! Reform Conservatives! Eisenhower Anarchist!) We love these labels and terms, because we feel that they help explain a coherent way of looking at the world, government, the Constitution, human rights, society, etc. But to a lot of people, they might as well be Dungeons & Dragons character classes. They don’t know which political philosophy best matches how they see the world because they flat-out don’t understand the terms and, perhaps most maddeningly, are not convinced that they need to know them — nor much about anything else.

The D&D metaphor is a good one.  Now, this is not a knock on D&D, or “gamers,” or whatever.  Please keep your nerd rage bottled up over the next few paragraphs.  But: Everybody knows D&D has no real world consequences.  Lots of people don’t want to learn the arcana of the game because, hey, if I wanted to put in hours and hours of study, I’d take a night class and actually learn something I can use to pad my paycheck.  Right?  There’s just no cash value there.

This is a rational economic decision.  Yeah, ok, the non-gamer doesn’t know D&D; he only knows the stereotypes, and yes, of course, all those stereotypes are wrong.  But there’s one thing he does know that’s indisputably true for him: He’s got better things to do with the 6-20 hours it would take to become minimally proficient at D&D.  Economists call this rational ignorance, and it’s an important concept.  P.J. O’Rourke explained how it works in politics in The CEO of the Sofa:

The danger with political issues, for liberals, is that you might try to understand them.  This would bum you out.  Big government, that you’re so fond of, is as complicated as airline fares.  You’d go nuts if you really tried to fathom all of Washington’s programs, regulations, restrictions, discounts for seniors, and frequent campaign-donor upgrades.  So you do with the U.S. what you do with US Airways: you hand over the money and let yourselves be sent to hell by way of Pittsburgh with nothing but peanuts on the trip.  Economists call this “rational ignorance,” meaning that you could go to hell for $20 less (and get two bags of peanuts), but the time and effort wouldn’t be worth it.

The point of “frames,” I’m coming to realize, is to play up the rational ignorance, to use it in a bait-and-switch.  We readers-of-conservative-political-blogs tend to use “low-info voter” as a synonym for “dumbass.”  But they’re not.  They’re rationally ignorant.

It’s an important distinction.  LIVs don’t want to have to think about that wonky stuff.  “Socialism” is wonky — ask someone who knows what he’s talking about to define “socialism,” and within five minutes you’re deep into “modes of production” and the whole 19th century schmear.  But “social justice,” now… and “progress”… we all have an instinctive idea what those words mean.  That our vague, fuzzy ideas are quite different from — in fact, usually diametrically opposed to — their specific, precisely defined policy goals is the whole point of the exercise.

The buzzwords, the “frames,” are designed to communicate one single, simple idea:  We got this.  You don’t need to put in the hard work of thinking about how “social justice” is to be achieved.  Oh, sure, you could –and, of course, if you did, you’d find yourself agreeing with us 100% — but why bother?  Don’t you have better things to do with your time?

One could, in fact, expand this maximization-of-rational-ignorance thesis to a lot of leftist attitudes.  Their cult-like faith in “experts,” for instance.  Data?  You don’t need to see the data.  Our guys have seen the data, and they’ve spent decades in college, racking up fancy degrees and reading articles in The Peer-Reviewed Journal of Peer-Reviewed Journals.  They know what big words like “heteronormative” and “cisgendered” mean.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  And besides, American Idol is on.  Did you hear Jennifer Lopez is back this year?

indexIt’s important for us not to get frustrated with these people.  We want to say — because it’s true– that rational ignorance of the small picture is dangerous, irrational, wildly irresponsible ignorance of the big picture.  We don’t fall for baloney like “frames” because we’re accustomed to thinking in big picture political terms.  When we hear political buzzwords, our first instinct is to ask for clarification:  “Ah yes, comrade.  ‘Social justice.’  And what policies do you plan to implement to achieve this?  Oh, I see.  So ‘economic patriotism’ is, in fact, just the same ol’ marxoblather that has been impoverishing millions since the 1840s.  Got it.”

LIVs don’t do that.  They don’t hear this guy

358599871_rachel_maddow_031009_300x296_answer_1_xlargeblathering on and hear propositions to be dissected and debated.  Instead, they hear “this person is an expert.  Look at those glasses!  Listen to those big words!  He must know what he’s talking about, because Rhodes Scholar.”

Because they themselves aren’t very good at it, garden variety liberals know how tough thinking is.  How time-consuming.  How boring.  To someone like George Lakoff, who is good at thinking, this difficulty is a feature, not a bug.  He teaches the notso-hotso reasoners among his disciples a technique for playing that up.  And it works.

Geraghty suggests a possible line of counterattack, a possible reframing of liberal frames:

A little while back, I talked about celebrities who are not closely identified with the Republican party or conservative movement, who can articulate a conservative approach to an issue, and enjoy widespread applause: Adam Carolla, HGTV host Nicole Curtis, CNN host/chef Anthony Bourdain, Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs,” Gene Simmons of KISS . . . They say what they think, directly, but they rarely if ever frame their arguments in terms of political philosophies.

Which argument is likely to be most effective?

A) School choice is a good idea because it is consistent with the conservative principles that the government that is closest to the people is most likely to make the best decisions, is most accountable for those decisions, and is easiest to correct those decisions.

B) School choice is a good idea because it is consistent with the libertarian principles that the power of the state should be limited and the power of the individual should be maximized.

C) School choice is a good idea because it puts decisions in the hands of parents, who know what is best for their children.

This is the way to do it.  Stealing another page from the liberal playbook, I’d highlight the speaker over the message.  Ok, maybe Gene Simmons isn’t the best spokesmodel, but Mike Rowe can certainly deliver simple, effective, timeless messages about independence and free choice.  He’s clearly a masculine guy, articulating, both consciously and subconsciously, the message that real men look after their families.  They don’t turn them over to the nanny state.

The first step is admitting that Lakoff was right.  The next step is to steal his idea and make it better.

Syllogisms and Identity Politics

Philmon and I had an exchange below that needs further expansion.  Phil wrote:

I’ve long been suspicious that the modern liberal is typically nothing more than someone who is proud of the “ability” to string multiple syllogisms into what they ultimately consider a de facto valid “argument”.

As have I.  As I wrote in that post, liberals’ confusion about whether or not astrology is scientific comes, not from misunderstanding either of the terms, but from skipping over meaning entirely.

I’m going to ignore the “astrology” part, mostly because I really don’t know what pops into people’s minds when they hear that word.  But “science,” now…. that I get.  It means

knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

Or, at least, that’s what it should mean, used as a standalone word.  The problem is, as Phil noted, Our Betters tend not to use it as a standalone word.  Rather, “science” is part of the definition of another word: Liberal.  A liberal is someone who likes science.

From there, liberals tend to “argue” in bastard syllogisms, like so:

  • I am a liberal.
  • Liberals like science.
  • Therefore, things I like are scientific
  • Therefore, things I dislike are unscientific
  • Therefore, people who disagree with me hate science.

I think this was once known as the fat cattle fallacy — the notion that a cause must be like its effects.  We don’t need to look at the evidence for, say, global warming — it’s “settled science,” and therefore we believe it, and it’s settled science because we believe it.

It’s nothing new that liberals like to poach on the authority of science; it goes back at least as far as Marx himself (his socialism, unlike the gassy love-the-world-ism of guys like J.H. Noyes, was “scientific”).  But Marx was also a philosopher, and he could browbeat folks into submission with verbiage about “dialectical materialism.”  Our modern leftists lack this, and because they do, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re using themselves as the starting point for all their arguments.

Which makes sense, given the left’s identity politics uber alles attitude.  But this makes communication with them very, very difficult, as they’re automatically going to assume that their preferences are both metaphysically true and universally applicable.  And in any conflict with the real world, the real world is likely to lose.

A good example of this comes from the supposedly conservative side of the aisle. I didn’t really follow politics much back then, but I recall that Andrew Sullivan used to call himself a conservative, and graciously allowed himself to be used as the face for the new, open, tolerant right….

His feud with National Review Online was semi-amusing, back when I cared about what any of those hacks thought, but I think they missed a trick when it came to the origins of Sullivan’s “conservatism is whatever I feel it is today” schtick.  It wasn’t George W. Bush’s objections to gay marriage that sent him over the edge; it was the Pope’s.

Now maybe Jonah Goldberg and the crew saw this clearly, and I’m misremembering.  Again: didn’t care, don’t care.  The point is that Andrew Sullivan subscribed to two different identities simultaneously — Catholic and Gay Crusader — and, when they inevitably came into conflict, spent years insisting that he was right and 2,000+ years of Church history was wrong.

That the Catholic Church needs to embrace leftism is one of the rottenest of all chestnuts, of course, but when the hipster dimbulbs at places like Salon.com say it, you know it’s just a nervous tic.  They’d be much happier if the Catholic Church didn’t exist at all.  But from what I could tell, Sullivan really meant it.  He continued to insist he was a good Catholic — indeed, perhaps, the only good Catholic — while rejecting one of the oldest and strongest of Church dogmas.  His endless contortions to square that circle only make sense if he’s “arguing” fat-cattle style — I’m Catholic, I’m gay, therefore the Catholic Church is ok with every item on this minute’s gay agenda, no matter what the supreme and infallible successor to St. Peter says about it.

How to break this thought-complex up beats my pair of jacks.  I can’t enter into that mental world very easily, or stay there for very long.  Like many conservatives, for instance, I’ve abandoned the Republican Party — they just don’t fit with my values anymore.  And while I do understand the urge to change it from within, to get it back closer to what I think its values should be, that’s not what I’m talking about (noble though that pursuit may be).  The fat-cattle version would be, I guess, to insist that the Republican Party is the party of Reagan and Calvin Coolidge, and that there’s no conflict at all between my limited-government preferences and the big-government activism of the GOP establishment, because I’m a small government guy and a GOP voter and therefore Republican plans to “fix” Obamacare are actually shrinking both the scope of government and the debt…..

Any thoughts?

Idiots Ruin All the Good Theories

Further to Morgan’s thoughts on the duped (with which I 100% concur):

Leftwing ideologies are a kind of psychological cutout. They let you will the ends without putting yourself on the hook for the means.  Pick any leftie cause — global warming, say.  It’s obvious that the earth shall not be saved without drastic measures, the kind that no democracy could ever implement and even most dictatorships would blush at.  It’s also obvious that global warming doomsayers don’t take their own prophecies seriously.  For instance, this is Al Gore’s house:

Gore Mansion 3

That’s, like, half the carbon footprint of Bangladesh right there, even with compact florescent lightbulbs.

I used to think this was just because cognitive dissonance is bullshit.  But then I realized: This is why they’re always talking about government action!  If you delegate all your responsibilities to the state, your own lifestyle is off the hook.  Huge, pollution-spewing McMansions haven’t been outlawed yet; therefore it’s fine for global warming Jeremiahs to buy them.*

Once you start looking for this psychology, you see it everywhere.  For instance, here’s silly internet humor site Cracked.com on why The Dark Knight Rises sends the opposite of its intended message:

Because Bane’s anarchy-plagued Gotham works better than a lot of American cities.

Oh sure, we get a little montage of wealthy people getting dragged out into the street, and yes, there are some unfair trials going on. But for the average Joe Gothamite on the street? Life seems to be going pretty well.

Now, I used to think that most folks would realize that when you’re rationalizing your good life with “oh, it’s just a few _____ who are being lined up against a wall and shot,” you are, in fact, a horrible person.  But maybe not.  After all, you got what you voted for.  Der Fuhrer promised law and order and he delivered.  Had I gotten to vote on the whole “lining people up against a wall and shooting them” thing, I would’ve said no — of course I would have! — but I didn’t get the chance.  So I’m not to blame.  Heck, I didn’t even get a chance to vote for Bane.  And meanwhile the streets are safer….

The problem with this theory is that most people are idiots.  And since MPAI, attacking them on the ideological level won’t work.  Abstract thinking’s not their bag, baby, so it’s useless to point out one’s moral responsibility to at least consider the means before voting for the ends.

Instead, we’ve got to counter with specifics, drawn from their own lives.  Forget the whole earth for a sec – have you, personally, noticed even a drop in your electric bill from those new bullshit light bulbs?  No?  Then what possible good are they doing?

We could avoid a lot of debacles this way.  ObamaCare, for instance.  Jimmy Kimmel’s great, but where was all this before the law passed?

Always remember that most people are morons.  Big abstract theories are great — I’m rather fond of them myself — but most people need the nuts and bolts.  “Uh huh, that’s a great idea, Moonbeam.  But now how exactly, specifically, will that be achieved?  Let’s consider what we’re actually empowering the government to do before we do it, mmmkay?”

 

*And of course there will always be exceptions to the McMansion laws for guys like Al Gore.  Every proletariat needs a vanguard.

The Conservation of Misery

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades advances a theory which explains a lot: The Conservation of Misery.

[The] theory of Conservation of Misery which posits that most people have a more or less fixed amount of angst/anxiety/anger hardwired into them.

Now in the past this emotional energy was expended on such real and worthwhile concerns as wolves, starvation, murder, sorcery, and barbarians. But today in a world of vastly more health, wealth and safety we still have this free-floating mass of concern inside us which demands catharsis. So we end up focusing it on ever more trivial and rare (or even non-existent) targets such as global warming, food preservatives, rampant child abduction, people wrong on the internet, and the existence of male-targeted potato chips. Oh THE OUTRAGE!!

Frankly, I’ve always marveled at how much white-hot anger liberals can gin up at the drop of an insufficiently sensitive pronoun.  Which is not to say I necessarily believe them when they proclaim something the Worst Outrage Evar!!11!!eleventy — liberals are, shall we say, scale four types to the bone– but I don’t think I’ve ever been as worked up about anything as liberals are about everything.  Even if we discount this barmy woman’s outrage by a factor of fifty or so (I think that’s reasonable), she’s still got more emotional energy invested in potato chips than I’ve put into a good 80% of my romantic relationships.

Which can’t be good for society.

Just as some of us are shorter or dumber or have slower metabolisms or whatever, these folks just came out of the box with an excess of angst. We need to come up with some way for them to channel it that doesn’t bother the rest of us.  Liberals like soccer, right?  Maybe we can get some “football firm”-type stuff going over here — people who are getting Man U midfielders’ faces tattooed on their bums aren’t going to have much angst left over for global warming.

Nailed It

Blog-friend the Nightfly explains one of the rottenest chestnuts of them all.

One of the saddest things I’ve learned in my trips around the sun is that most people put a very low price on facts and logic.  What people feel about a statement — or about the person making the statement — is orders of magnitude more important to most folks than whether or not the statement is true.

Nightfly uses the example of Obamacare’s ur-lies (I know, it’s lies all the way down, but he’s talking about the original whoppers).  That the central premises are not just faulty, but impossible, is just…. obvious.  There’s really no other word for it.  I remember almost literally banging my head against the wall when I heard some office-mates talking it up– no, you idiots, there is no way a huge new entitlement program will save the taxpayer money.  Zero, zip, nada.  It’s un-possible.  Math don’t work that way.

And yet they wanted to believe it, and they wanted to believe they were smart folks (and informed voters!), and so they did believe it, logic be damned.

The question now — and this is really the only question that matters, if we have any hope of digging ourselves out of this hole — is how to point this blithering idiocy out without making those blithering idiots feel like the blithering idiots they are.  Since they weren’t reasoned into their position, they can’t be reasoned out of it, and the more you attack an emotional attachment the stronger it gets.  We have to devise an emotional tactic to get them to see the light.  Something like “it’s ok, you were lied to by a very smooth con man”…..

….without tacking on “whose lies were so fucking obvious even a concussed chimpanzee could’ve seen through ’em.”

Obviously I shouldn’t be the guy in charge of counter-propaganda.  But you get my point.  Any suggestions?

Gun Owners Getting You Down? There’s An App For That!

Well, isn’t this interesting….

Apparently, it’s now possible to download a new app onto your smartphone which will warn you about those evil, ooogedy-boogedy scary gun owners lurking in your neighborhood. Think of it as a sort of sex-offender, er, gun offender registry…except the reporting is done by your neighbors instead of by the local government. And the locations reported by the app aren’t even suspected of actually breaking any laws.

Nonetheless, gun owners are now on a par with rapists, pedophiles, flashers, and those who sleep with underage girls. Welcome to the brave new world where exercising your Constitutional rights is seen as much the same as being a pervert. You know, cause it’s for the chillllldrunnn, and all.

Here’s an excerpt from the app description:

The Gun Geo Marker operates very simply, letting parents and community members mark, or geolocate, sites associated with potentially unsafe guns and gun owners. These locations are typically the homes or businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners, but might also be public lands or other locations where guns are not handled safely, or situations where proper rights to own or use any particular type of firearm may not exist. Electronically marking these locations can help others in the area learn about their geography of risk from gun accidents or violence.

The product description goes on to note that all information comes from volunteer app users, not law enforcement criminal databases or any other reliable & unbiased source of information on where unsafe weapons (or their use) are to be found. It also doesn’t tie into any official government registry, such as the one the State of California maintains for handguns sold since 1991, when it began entering them into its database at the point-of-sale.

However, we are apparently given some guidelines on reporting these dangerous unsafe weapons and their owners:

There will naturally be some uncertainty about whether any particular location actually represents an unsafe gun situation, and again, the general guideline is that you should mark any location about which you have a gun related concern, while trying to provide enough extra information for others to make their own determination about safety. Try to keep the following warning signs and guidelines in mind when determining if a local gun owner may present a threat to your children or your community. (emphasis NOT mine).

So what exactly are app users supposed to be looking for? Glad you asked:

  • Unlocked, loaded, or carelessly stored weapons
  • Dangerous gun owners
  • Places with an unsafe gun culture
  • Uncertain situations
  • On the other side of uncertainty

Say what? Oh, here we go…apparently any of the following will suffice:

  • “Possible unlocked/loaded/unsafe storage”
  • “Possible insufficient training” (emphasis mine)
  • “Guns and unsupervised children”
  • “Guns and substance abuse”
  • “Possible medical related concern”
  • “Neighborhood talk, unsafe” (emphasis mine)
  • “Possible high conflict, armed neighbor”
  • “Possible out of place, large arsenal” (emphasis mine)
  • “Documented/frequent unlawful discharge”
  • “Possible illegal weapons on premises”
  • “Possible prohibited persons”
  • “Possible anti-government/terror threat” (emphasis mine)

To its credit, the guidelines do remind us, “First and foremost it is important to understand that in the United States, citizens have a constitutional right to own firearms.”

And:

“In general, you should not worry about firearms owned by either hunters or gun enthusiasts who safely store and properly enjoy their weapons in the field, or at local firing ranges for recreational purposes. These are normally the people who have the highest level of commitment to gun safety, and abide by the laws regulating their hobby. The same holds true for most concealed carry permit holders, or other owners permitted and properly regulated.”

While I appreciate the patronizing psychobabble that just being a hunter, gun enthusiast, or CCW holder doesn’t make me a “dangerous gun owner,” the potential problems are still numerous.

If you continue reading past this point on the guidelines page, it goes on to single out the National Rifle Association for “their consistent opposition to gun safety laws that would, for example, require parents to properly secure their guns, allow prosecutors to bring charges against people who allow kids to play with loaded guns, or when they help pass laws prohibiting doctors from asking children about guns in the home in an epidemiological attempt to help prevent children from shooting other children.”

I will not delve here into debunking (again!) the tired notion that more gun laws would correct our nation’s problems with gun violence.

The guidelines then turn right around and admit, “In spite of all of this, you should recall that the NRA also provides high quality safety training as a public service to its members, and that this increases general gun safety.

So which is it? Is the NRA a hero or a villain? Doesn’t their position as trainers and safety advocates put them squarely on the side of those who want to keep firearms away from criminals, children, and the untrained? You know, the dangerous gun owners?

Never mind. This part is the most chilling of all:

People who stockpile large arsenals or numerous assault weapons for reasons other than collecting are likely a concern. Bumper stickers or other public displays supporting gun ownership are not a problem, but when combined with radical anti-government propaganda and/or representations of paranoid political beliefs or support for terrorist organizations, these owners and their locations may well be worth marking.”

Personally, I’m less worried about people “stockpiling” guns and ammo…and more worried about people who are worried about other people stockpiling guns and ammo. And how the heck is the app user supposed to determine whether the guns are being acquired and stored for “reasons other than collecting?” And don’t we already have mechanisms in place to report people suspected of terrorist activity?

And this business about “anti government propaganda” is concerning, too. We all think we know what that phrase means, but one man’s propaganda is another man’s inconvenient truth…and vice-versa. Is anyone else suddenly reminded of the president’s admonition to report anti-government speech?

Remember, boys and girls, this app is entirely devoted to reporting arbitrary designations of safety threats, not outright illegal activity by gun owners and gun use. In fact, the app specifically advises against its use to report that:

If you have direct, personal knowledge or even a suspicion that guns are being used in context of organized criminal activity, then it may be extremely risky for you to mark related locations. You should forget about the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker in all such cases, and instead consider getting appropriate law enforcement agencies involved in the situation.

That’s interesting, isn’t it? It says that if you know about specific illegal activity, then just contact law enforcement through conventional channels and advise them. On the other hand, if there are gun people or gun places that just give you a funny feeling, go ahead and rat on them to the entire world with our stupid app. Point them out so the rest of the app users can hassle & terrorize them….er…I mean…avoid them.

You might be asking, “Cylar, what’s your problem? If you don’t like the app, then freaking don’t use it. Don’t put it on your smartphone. Simple enough for you?” Eh….no. You see, there’s absolutely nothing stopping someone from putting my address on this thing and not only alerting the entire neighborhood that I’m a gun owner, but unjustly and unfairly exposing me to possible risks, including but not limited to:

  • Harrassment by anti-gun neighbors and other busybodies
  • Harassment by anti-gun members of local law enforcement via “routine” traffic stops, “probable cause” searches of the residence, and other unwarranted contact
  • Being unfairly placed on a federal law enforcement agency’s terror “watch list”
  • Provocation: “You’re complaining about my dog barking? You going to shoot me over it, tough guy?”
  • Burglary and home invasion by actual criminals

That last one is the most concerning of all. While I’m a strong advocate of locking up your guns, the fact is that not everyone does and I don’t favor laws forcing gun owners to do so. (I’ll admit that I’ve got considerable frustration with fellow gun owners who don’t lock up their weaponry…mostly because I don’t want to get shot by a burglar or other criminal who just stole a gun from one of these irresponsible clod’s homes.)

The fact of the matter is that most burglaries in the US occur when no one is home:

“Most burglars will sit outside of a residence and wait until the occupants leave for work or school.  They [burglars] wait until they are absolutely sure that no one is in the home,” says Laviage.

It’s easy to see why. If you were breaking into a house, would you do it when the occupant is home, and run the higher risk of being arrested or shot….or would you wait until he’s left for the day and is unlikely to return in the next several hours? The point is that the gun doesn’t protect your home unless you’re actually in the house to use it. Now the burglars have some extra intel on which houses they should be staking out. Thanks, Gun Geo Marker!

Of course, there’s the even more sinister possibility that the burglar is so desperate for drug money (or so high) that he’ll glance at this app, then break into a gun owner’s house anyway (perhaps while the owner is asleep) and murder the occupant & his family while searching the house for weapons he can sell or use to commit other crimes.

As a gun owner I can tell you that my worst nightmare is not just being burgled, but specifically, being burgled in the “home invasion” style – a group of intruders breaks in and holds my family hostage while forcing me at gunpoint to tell them what the combination to my gun safe is. And having to pray that arming a band of thugs, being scared out of my wits, and losing thousands of dollars in personal property are the least of my worries.

I’m wondering if the makers of Gun Geo Marker sleep well at night, knowing they could be indirectly responsible for that…or if they know they may be sued by a burglary victim on the grounds that their smartphone app provided valuable intel to gang-bangers.

Who exactly is spreading propaganda, again? Are they sure it’s gun owners?

A Slight Disagreement

So some knuckleheads named Adam Levine and Lena Dunham apparently said they don’t like America.  Or Memorial Day.  Or something.  It hardly matters.

Turns out the right is not happy about this.  Ace thinks we should lay off the faux-outrage.  I agree, mostly, but I’d quibble with this bit:

I think most people are turned off by this sort of hyperventilating over tiny nothings, and see the people frothing about such slender proofs as hyperpolitical, filled with agenda, and not to be trusted, so I’m not really sure what playing by the left’s rules on this point actually wins us. That is to say, even if we have the moral right to use these shoddy, absurd rules for our own purposes, is it prudent to do so? Do we actually advance ourselves in this way?

Whether or not people are “turned off” by this sort of hyper-politicized nonsense — and I’m by no means sure of that — is immaterial.  Point is, it works.  How did we get to the point where we’re forcing the guy who wrote the latest Star Trek mess to apologize for a bikini shot?

Presented here in the interests of journalistic clarity.

Presented here in the interests of journalistic clarity.

Easy:  The pointy-heads forced it.  Those very same catty, hysterical jerkoffs Ace is discussing in the rest of his post.  And you can say the same for almost all the rest of the leftist agenda.  Why does “everybody know” that Rick Perry is a racist?  That Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house?  That George W. Bush is an idiot?  This exact same type of hyper-partisan poo-flinging.

The only reason “we” shouldn’t do it is that “we” aren’t good at it.  Like almost every other conservative I know, I’m a conservative because I don’t like politics.  I don’t want to have to police every thought, word, and deed for its partisan ramifications.  I think people have the right to do as they wish within the law, including — perhaps especially — things that are stupid and/or counterproductive.  Civilization advances by trial-and-error; people who spend their lives bubble-wrapped by political correctness learn nothing but how to better plumb the depths of their own narcissism.  And when it comes down to it, I really just don’t care all that much what you do on your own time — I’ve got friends and family and pets and jobs and responsibilities; on my off hours I’d much rather put my feet up and watch the ball game with a cold brew in hand than go poking around the internet for something to get riled up about.

Liberals, on the other hand, are deeply, deeply insecure.  They’ve quite rightly concluded that nobody gives them a thought unless forced to.  So they politicize everyfuckinthing.  It still won’t get them invited to the 1983 junior prom; but it’s cheaper than therapy.

That right there should be our tactic.  Instead of getting our panties in a wad about Adam Levine, we should calmly but firmly point out that we don’t wear panties.  Oh, a nice looking lady got paid a whole buttload of money to appear onscreen in a bikini?  Welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism, where free will is king.  The fact that I don’t want to see you in a bikini — or vice versa — is not Society’s problem.  So Adam Levine doesn’t like America, the country that made him the zillionaire he is today?  Well, not only is that his bag, but I for one wish him well, and congratulate him on his savvy marketing.  There’s a rather large subset of folks who like being insulted by their favorite performers.  The term “punk music” ring any bells?

It’s all just so silly.  Leave this stuff to chicks and teenagers, of whatever gender or age.

QUILTS: Priorities

One QUestion I’d Love To See asked has to do with priorities.

subwaypregnancyYou’ve probably read something about the furor surrounding this ad campaign in NYC.  All the usual idiots are outraged, of course, in their usual boring thoughtless screechy way.  What I’d like to know is this:

Which is worse, these ads or 16oz sodas?

It sounds silly, I know.  But stick with me here.  A large part of liberalism’s appeal is its endless insistence that, contrary to all decrees of God and nature, you really can have everything.  If you seemingly can’t have a healthy committed-but-not-clingy relationship while raising 2.1 perfect kids while making partner at the law firm by age 30 while writing a novel while eat-pray-loving around the world while staying in great shape while enjoying a fantastic smorgasbord of international cuisine while living in an ethnically diverse and vibrant yet perfectly safe neighborhood in a rent-controlled apartment no more than a block away from all major services while finishing your PhD in Women’s Studies, it’s not that this would violate several important laws of thermodynamics.  No, it’s somebody’s fault, damn it!

Given humanity’s lamentable propensity to believe pretty lies, and the media’s insistence that reality shall not obtrude upon the public’s consciousness until at least 2016, asking about priorities is the only chance we have of breaking through the veil.  We need to ask them to make some hard choices.  Even a liberal will admit, I think — if you press them hard enough — that two posters can’t occupy the same stretch of subway wall simultaneously.  So: Should we advertise the soda ban, or propagandize for Planned Parenthood?  Similarly, I think they would agree — again if pressed hard enough — that one police officer can’t be in two places at the same time.  So:  Should he spend his time going after secondhand smokers or under-the-counter consumers of oversized colas?

We have to force them to realize there’s an inflection point, even in liberaltopia, even when pursuing two bona fide Good Things.  How, for instance, are we going to get the unwed teenage mom all the education she needs about the bounteous cornucopia of public support that is hers by right if she’s spending all her time getting the 24/7 postnatal care that is also hers by right?  Which is better: a stint in the Peace Corps, or being a full-time staffer at Organizing for America?

How, in other words, do we rank Good Things?

I’d love to see someone put that to Jay Carney.  Of course, we already know how he’d answer….

 

Get Going on it, Rand

Looks like Rand Paul has the same take on this whole Gay “Marriage” issue that I do.

“I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”