Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: January 12, 2011


QOTD: Ace of Spades Edition

This is part of a very long post regarding the meme being shaped by the left:

If even a left-winger can’t resist Rush Limbaugh’s commands to kill when he doesn’t even hear them, what possible chance is there that the 60% of the Tea Party which is primed to murder will resist his call when they do hear it?

As they say, RTWT.


Say “no” to Rep. King’s proposed gun law

Well the usual over-reaction is under way after the Tucson shooting of Rep. Giffords.  I’ve mentioned the silly nonsense about a bill to ban “crosshairs” in political speech (which begs the question, what part of “Congress shall make no law” concerning political speech as laid out in the First Amendment).  But Rep. Pete King, a NY Republican, has decided that a “gun control” measure is what is necessary.  His solution?

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s intentions.

Why is it the propensity of these folks to restrict the freedoms of others instead of doing something to increase their own security?  Mostly because they can. Look, I can understand the fear this sort of a situation brings, but I’m sorry, restricting the freedom of law abiding citizens because of your fear is not what this country is all about – not if freedom is the fundamental idea upon which it is founded.

Consider this scenario in light of King’s nonsense – a legal possessor of a concealed carry permit is in a diner with his firearm on his hip sipping his morning coffee and minding his own business.  Some “government official” drops in unannounced to do a little per-election glad-handing.  The man with his legal firearm is now a inadvertent but prosecutable law breaker.

So what’s King going to do – make every government official wear a sign around their neck so those who might be carrying legal firearms can give them a 1,000 foot wide berth?  Why not just put – dare I say it – crosshairs on them?  Because if this is to become the law then it is incumbent upon “government officials” to ensure that those who might inadvertently break the law otherwise, are fully aware of when “government officials” are in the area.

Secondly, I hate to break it to King, but as with all laws, those who have a criminal agenda will not obey it or even give it a passing thought.  Essentially it will only ensnare those who most likely are innocently doing their own business.   Guys like Loughner won’t change their plans one iota because King and Congress pass some law about 1,000 feet of space.  It will only become another after-the-fact charge, another law broken, to add to the charge sheet.  But won’t stop a thing.

It is one thing to say you can’t bring a firearm to within 1,000 feet of a school or government building.  They don’t move and they’re easily identifiable.  Not so with “government officials”.

Bad idea and would make a bad law – as simple as that.  Oh – and when Mayor Michael Bloomberg comes out enthusiastically for this restriction on our freedom, you should automatically know it’s a bad idea, Rep. King.

Don’t make laws in emotional haste after the fact – they almost always end up being bad laws that further restrict our freedoms.  And this one would be no exception.

~McQ


Challenging the media narrative and the results of the challenge

Bains, a long time commenter here at QandO, and someone who I enjoy reading, put out a rather lengthy comment on the post about the CBS News poll that showed the majority rejected the narrative that heated political rhetoric caused the Tucson shooting.  I thought I’d give the bains comment some further visibility because it has some tasty parts that I think deserve discussion.  Here’s the comment in its entirety:

I’m noticing something else at play here. A theory of mine that recent events support, perhaps even validate. This will be long so please bear with me.

In 2008 I was in an argument with my father. I was lamenting that if only the media did its job, the nation might have a better idea of just who Barack Obama was, and where he wanted to take this nation. As with many of my friends, and evidently a good number of voters, he would have none of my criticism. Pop was, and still is, mired in a hatred of George W Bush. As such, he entirely missed the point I was trying to make. When news media becomes an advocate for a person, or a position, or a policy, we can not trust that media. It is not just that they are no longer ‘objective’; no, they have become willing disseminators of propaganda. Most here know this.

In a fit, I said that his reliance upon the MSM would come back to bite. All the blowback to the partisan blame-naming that we have seen over the past several days is a good indication of that “bite”.

No, it is not that the MSM is heavily biased leftward (they are). Rather, that those who have studiously ignored, and many have denied, this bent have seriously damaged their own cause. When one agrees with an author, or commenter, or pundit’s point of view, it is quite easy not to call them out on the inaccuracies they use in promoting their cause. And for forty years, the major media outlets have rarely been taken to task for their inaccuracies. That the narrative was acceptable was/is all that is important – facts be damned. And for a long time, this worked: Bork was Borked, Gingrich shut down the government, Limbaugh was responsible for the OKCity bombing, Reagan and Bush’s support of Israel caused 9-11, Humans cause global warming, and evil corporations (supported entirely and only by the right) caused all of our economic woes.

Instead of saying “wait a minute MSM, what proof do you have to make that statement” far too many folks nodded in agreement. Not because of a compelling argument, but because of an overwhelming agreement with how the conclusion could change the course of politics. Bork et al were/are bad solely because their views were/are in opposition to the enlightened, and therefore, brilliant judgments of the political “vanguard” – the Left.

Now what this has led to is a media, and the political left ill-suited to make compelling arguments. All this time, they have been living in an intellectually cloistered tabernacle, only hearing praise for all their illogical and un-provable prognostications. All their “brilliant” arguments are merely juvenile and facile, applauded only because they “proved” the proper position (approved by the ‘right’ cocktail circuits in the ‘right’ locations with the ‘right’ dignitaries approving).

Pundits of this ilk, say Paul Krugman and many others, have been living in a world of masturbatory bliss. Egos massaged, they willingly shelve any intellectual acumen for further gratification. They proudly spout the approved line, support the approved policy, advocate the approved politician,  fighting evil in the name of (party approved) decency and Nobility.  Hell, a Nobel Prize proves they must be brilliant (and Noble)! But therein lies the (nasty sandpaper) rub. There will come a time when they will not be able to hide their intellectual inadequacies behind a screaming choir.

This is why we see, I surmise, Krugman, his hosting broadsheet, and so many others, going off the deep end regarding the shooting in Tucson. They are loosing their grip on the narrative, and are petulantly lashing out at those who are more and more willing to reject not just the politically motivated narrative, but also those who mindlessly foist that narrative.

Bains’ theory is similar to the thoughts I’ve had (although I’d hesitate to call mine a theory, so ill formed are those thoughts at this moment) about the state of the media.  I think bains raises some interesting points.  As my brother has said to me, the internet’s democratization of publishing and commentary is as “important as Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type”.  The more I observe what is happening, the more I agree.  Bains takes that a step further to point out the impact and implications that “invention” is having.

Gutenberg took the Bible away from those who controlled it’s narrative at the time – the Church.   It was the beginning of the end of the Church’s power.  No longer were they the sole possessors of the written word or the narrative.   Now many, many more could directly possess what only the wealthy church could previously possess (since Bibles at the time were all hand made and hideously expensive) and they were also able to offer their own (and competing) interpretations as well.

For a few centuries, the “media” has been – in some form or another – pretty much the sole provider of “news”.  It chose the topics, it chose how they were treated and it chose how they were presented, followed up and talked about.  Or, as bains points out, they controlled the narrative.

That’s big power.  And for the most part, they had no competition except within their own industry.  So people like Krugman, et al, became used to having their opinion accepted as “the” opinion and were able to push whatever narrative their ideology demanded as the “common wisdom”.

But there was a true revolution brewing that they missed completely.  As Al Gore’s internet stood up in the mid to late ‘90s a challenge developed to the “official narratives” that were then considered conventional wisdom.   No longer were the keepers of the narrative unchallenged.  The first thing I remember – and this was before blogs or just as blogs were beginning to develop – was the “Tailwind” scandal where CNN’s Peter Arness was brought down over a lie that US troops used poison gas in Cambodia (I believe – this is from memory).

Then came Rathergate, when blogs came into their own and destroyed the story a major news organization was pushing as true and accurate.  It wasn’t.  

Since then and with the rise of the democratized press, bains theory seems to describe well what has and is happening.  Krugman seems to me to be the perfect example of the establishment media’s reaction to the situation.  

Certainly there have been vast changes in the media itself.  The rise of radio then television.  The death of “appointment TV” with the rise of cable news. Etc.  But all of those still had an insular media in charge of the narrative and able, for the most part, to do what bains describes.

Not anymore – with the bar to entry lowered so that anyone with an internet account can challenge the big boys and their narrative the monopoly on information deemed “news” is over.   The decision as to what is or isn’t “news” is not something the traditional media can dictate anymore.   Proof of that are the many stories essentially ignored by the traditional media, kept alive in the blogosphere and finally and reluctantly covered by the MSM.

Anyway, seemed a great topic for discussion – go for it.

~McQ