Freedom and Liberty
An article sampling how some words used today by SJWs have been redefined from a more positive sense to a negative one which supports victim hood. The article then asks:
What Has Happened to Language?
This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.
First, over a half-century of institutionalized equal opportunity has not led to an equality of result. Particular self-identified groups feel collectively that they are less well off than others and are bewildered that this is still possible, since they can point to no law or custom that precludes their opportunity by race, class, or gender. Therefore, inventing a vocabulary of grievances is far more effective in gaining concessions than self-criticism and self-reliance are in winning parity.
Second, in an affluent, leisured and postmodern society of $300 Jordan-label sneakers that sell out in hours, big-screen televisions at Walmart that become prizes for warring consumers on Black Friday, and over 50% of the population exempt from income taxes, it is becoming harder to define, in the material sense, oppression-driven victimhood. In such a world, even multi-billionaire Oprah has difficulty finding discrimination and so becomes reduced to whining about a perceived snub in a Swiss boutique that sells six-figure purses. Language is pressed into service to create victims where there are few, but where many are sorely needed, psychologically — and on the chance such a prized status might lead to a profitable trajectory otherwise impossible by passé notions of work and achievement.
Point one – this is what “1984” talked about. The subversion of language to fit an ideology or agenda. The SJWs of today do have a difficult job of assigning blame, so they’re twisted words to enable that. “Privilege”, which used to be a positive word, is now coupled with “white” in a decidedly negative way. The entire point, of course, is to “gain concessions” by producing guilt in the target audience. In this way they remain the “victim” class and it is the responsibility of the victimizers to subsidize or ensure advantage in life to the “victims”. It’s one of the reasons we see so many grievance movements popping up now … it works.
The second point – as we’ve all been made aware, our “poor” live at a level that would be considered middle class in Europe (speaking of “privilege”). But the world evolved now where equality in opportunity, at least in Western countries, isn’t at all hard to find. But, of course, that means “work and achievement”. Why do that when you can “suffer” as a “victim” and be forever subsidized in some way or another in the name of “equality” or whatever “ism” you prefer. That shaming and guilt production produces rewards from those who buy into the guilt and shame. And often they are politicians who are quite happy to use your money to assuage this assumed guilt. And, as we all know, we get less of the behavior we punish and more of that which we reward.
Guess which form of behavior we’re getting now, and why?
As exemplified by Margaret Carlson on “Morning Joe”:
Carlson said of assimilating immigrants, “we do know how to do it. Europe doesn’t know how to do it. France especially doesn’t know how to do it. England not very good at it. And so, we have less of a problem. You know, those people who have snuck in, that, I don’t know if they’ve snuck in, but maybe they become Americanized, maybe the anger goes away. Maybe what they snuck in to do they’re not going to do, because we do have an acceptance of these people, as Congressman [Keith] Ellison (D-MN) said. They’re more patriotic because they’re here and they work harder.”
Because that’s why jihadists came here – to assimilate, get jobs, work harder.
Remember when we were told that all the members of ISIS needed were jobs? If we’d provide that, well, they’d just settle down and quit trying to impose a 7th Century caliphate on the world. And then there’s Mohammed Atta, who basically came here, hung around, tasted the “good life”, learned to fly and shopped at Walmart and ate at Pizza Hut the day before he flew a hijacked plane into one of the twin towers. He “assimilated” quite well didn’t he, Margaret?
The fact that the left will not admit to or recognize the fact that this is a war of ideologies and the radical Islamist ideology isn’t about “assimilation”, any more than was the Nazi ideology, is dangerous. They also apparently can’t admit that there is evil in the world and in this case, it is epitomized in ISIS, and one must confront evil head on. If they did any of that they’d have to admit their “tolerance” and “multicultural” arguments are nonsense. Admitting all of that would also demand they take action.
None of that is going to happen with this crowd. Just look at the man in the White House. He’s all about pretending. He’s pretended for quite some time that ISIS isn’t really a threat. His failure to admit, recognize and confront the evil that is radical Islam has helped lead us to this point. And he still won’t take action. But he’s not going to. In a recent speech, he as much as said that:
But what we do not do, what I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow, in the abstract, make America look tough, or make me look tough. And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed, and I see a 25-year-old kid who’s paralyzed or has lost his limbs, and some of those are people I’ve ordered into battle. And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may.
Whether or not he goes to Walter Reed, this is just an excuse leveraged off of the military. My first thought was if he’s not able to make the hard decisions that will keep the American people safe, he needs to resign from the job. The second thing I thought was, just as I did, these young men and women were willing to pay the price necessary to keep this country safe, and he’s just made that effort worthless. It has been all OJT for him anyway, and he has failed miserably. As to playing “political games”, that’s all the man does. This play on wounded military is just that.
We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.
Of course the CJCS have presented numerous proposals that he wouldn’t even entertain, much less approve and none of which included the dreaded “boots on the ground”. He’s simply not going to do anything serious. The above is politics. He no more wants to meet and debate than he wants to strike ISIS. He’s “too busy” being arrogant and inept and leaving a huge mess for whomever it is that has to fill the vacancy we’ve actually had for 7, going on 8, years. As for doing “what’s required to keep the American people safe”, apparently importing possible jihadis from a hot bed of them how this is done.
This is the legacy of liberalism
Beautiful, ain’t it?
Because, you see, air-conditioning uses HFCs and she’s convinced that banning them would help lower the global temperature and fight global warming – you know, the pseudo-science that has proven to be unproven … in fact, almost everything the alarmists predicted would happen hasn’t and everything that wouldn’t happen has.
But when you’re really in the redistribution of income business any narrative, no matter how discredited, will do:
EPA Chief Gina McCarthy wants the world to stop using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioners and other consumers products as part of President Barack Obama’s plan to fight global warming.
McCarthy is so determined to make this happen, she’s taking the lead role at an ongoing United Nations summit to expand the current global treaty covering ozone-depleting substances. The EPA chief hopes that her agency’s recent HFC regulations will convince other countries to join the U.S. in limiting the chemicals.
“Because of the importance of taking aggressive action on these chemicals to achieve global climate goals, I will be leading the United States delegation at that meeting,” McCarthy wrote in an oped for The Guardian.
“Over the past year, the US Environmental Protection Agency has completed four separate actions that both expand the list of safer alternatives to HFCs and prohibit them from certain uses in the refrigeration air conditioning, foam, and aerosol sectors where safer alternatives such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), hydrocarbons and lower-polluting blends are available,” McCarthy wrote.
“Solutions are here, and it’s time to amend the Montreal Protocol to reflect that,” McCarthy wrote, adding that phasing out HFCs would avert 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.
Total nonsense, of course. And, a rhetorical question – who will something like this hurt most? That’s right, those who can least afford it. This is politics marching to the tune of a bankrupt ideology. HFO’s cost more than HFCs. HFCs, by the way, do not deplete the ozone layer and as real science has shown, greenhouse gasses are not having the warming effect on the earth that the “science” of the alarmists have claimed.
So what’s the point? Zealotry. Zealotry in the service of ignorance simply because she has the power. She “believes” this to be true and thus you will conform if she has her way.
A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.
Their findings will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 we could be facing increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.
How long have we been saying the bulk of our climate is determined by that big yellow burning thing in the sky? You know, the one the alarmists have either ignored or discounted.
Guess who I think has a better chance of being correct in this case?
And in this day and time, surprisingly it’s “no”. Michael Walsh writes:
And bathrooms won, as Texas voters said to hell with with “equality and inclusiveness,” which they and the rest of the country are just now figuring out mean a wholesale destruction of cultural norms as the descendants of the Frankfurt School continue their merry work to overturn thousands of years of human history. The war against the Left is partly a fight over the language, which we are losing, and this is a good example. ”Transgender” bathroom “rights” has gone down in Houston. But it will keep coming back until heteronormativity is destroyed.
There’s always a line. Sometimes it surprises us when it is finally reached and crossed, but you can always count on that happening at some point. The line is the place in any cause where those who favor the cause push it too far and people finally wake up and say, “you know, this is BS.” Apparently the “transgender” nonsense is the “cause” that crosses the line.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — Proposition 1 on the local ballot —would have extended bans on employment and housing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national original and other classifications to gay people, bisexual people and transgender people.
What Houstonians figured out rather quickly is this had nothing to do with “equal rights”. It had to do with using the force of law to humor a special class who wanted to buck the norm for no good reason other than they could. Opponents called it the “bathroom ordinance”. Why?
Under the defeated ordinance, local businesses that discriminate against various classes of people — including transgender people using whatever bathroom they want — would face fines up to $5,000. The failed law specifically exempted religious institutions.
But everyone else? Well, they were on the hook for that $5k fine if they didn’t establish that men with penises who claimed they felt like a woman would be allowed to use the women’s bathroom. That idea obviously went over like a lead balloon in Houston:
By the wee hours of Tuesday morning, 95 percent of the ballots had been counted and 61 percent of voters opposed Proposition 1.
It only came to a vote because the Supreme Court ruled that the ordinance required the vote of the people it would effect, i.e. the citizenry. And the citizenry resoundingly sent a message to city hall. NO!
This, of course, doesn’t mean the issue will go away. Once started by the political left, they never seem to go away. However, they’re going to have to find a new way to approach the cause other than forcing it on people. Seems few, if any, of their “causes” are popular enough that the people want to enact them by vote. So control of government is more than just desired, it’s essential.
Anyway, hooray for Houston. They got this one right.
Bjorn Lomborg thinks it is. In today’s Wall Street Journal, he takes exception with the UN’s continued pushing for a “solution” for “climate change”, formerly known as “global warming”. Lomborg thinks that it ignores the real problems out there and this focus on global warming takes money away from them for what is, at best, a marginal problem.
In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.
For instance, says Lomborg, according to a recent study, if the UN spent .57% ($570 million) of the $100 billion climate-finance goal on mosquito nets to help control malaria, it could reduce malaria deaths by 50% by 2025 and save approximately 300,000 lives.
Instead, the UN is more interested in the world’s largest wealth redistribution scheme. Somehow the scam has rich nations happy to pledge their citizen’s money and poor nations lining up to receive it. How much will actually go toward addressing the real problems Lomborg highlights is anyone’s guess, but if history is to be a guide, not much. There’s a reason the poorer countries are poor and that has much to do with who is in charge.
Anyway, Lomborg points to the obvious, or at least what should be obvious, in terms of this rush to be “green” and what the world (and the UN) could be doing instead:
Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.
According to the World Health Organization, three billion people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution because they burn wood, coal or dung to cook. These people need access to affordable, reliable electricity today. Yet too often clean alternatives, because they aren’t considered “renewable,” aren’t receiving the funding they deserve.
A 2014 study by the Center for Global Development found that “more than 60 million additional people in poor nations could gain access to electricity if the Overseas Private Investment Corporation”—the U.S. government’s development finance institution—“were allowed to invest in natural gas projects, not just renewables.”
Wow. Electricity. Its been with us for over a century. We all know its benefits. We all know how well its access could help lift those without it out of poverty.
Yet the UN is more interested in chasing the chimera of “global warming” and its unproven science. The reason, of course is power. Money and control equal power. And this scheme with $100 billion changing hands under the auspices of the UN offers undreamed of opportunities for those in the UN to engage in an unprecedented level of graft. There just isn’t the level of opportunity in helping the world’s poor gain electricity.
As you’ve heard many, many times … follow the money.
Thomas Sowell discusses the rash of political charlatans we’ve been plagued by over the recent decades.
He blames them for the condition we’re in, policy-wise. But he puts equal blame on “we the people” for continuing to support them and their policies:
Political charlatans are not the whole story of our social degeneracy on many fronts. “We the people” must accept our own share of the blame because we voted these charlatans into office, and went along with their ever-increasing power over our lives.
When it came to charlatans taking ever larger amounts of our own money to finance ever more big government programs, we stood still like sheep waiting to be sheared. We remained as meek as sheep when they turned schools into places to propagandize our children to grow up accepting more of the same.
All the while we had the power to vote them out. But we couldn’t be bothered to look beyond their magic words. Even now, many are too absorbed in their electronic devices to know or care.
Most voters, it seems to me, are like magpies – distracted by shiny things and never able to see the danger that exists in reality. Sowell uses “the legacy of slavery” as one of his points of discussion. I’m going to add a lengthy quote that pretty succinctly tells the story of how we allowed political charlatans to distract us with a problem that seems to not have existed and used it to gain greater control over our lives while, in fact, making the “problem” worse”
Here again, rhetoric distracts attention from questions about logic or evidence. The “legacy of slavery” argument is not just a convenient excuse for bad behavior, it allows politicians to escape responsibility for the consequences of the government policies they imposed.
Although the left likes to argue as if there was a stagnant world to which they added the magic ingredient of “change” in the 1960s, in reality there were many positive trends in the 1950s, which reversed and became negative trends in the 1960s.
Not only was the poverty rate going down, so was the rate of dependence on government to stay out of poverty. Teenage pregnancy rates were falling, and so were rates of venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Homicide rates among non-white males fell 22 percent in the 1950s.
In the wake of the massive expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s “war on poverty” program — with the repeatedly announced goal of enabling people to become self-supporting and end their dependence on government — in fact dependence on government increased and is today far higher than when the 1960s began.
The declining rates of teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases in the 1950s both reversed and rose sharply in the wake of the 1960s “sexual revolution” ideas, introduced into schools under the guise of “sex education,” which claimed to be able to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases.
Black labor force participation rates, which had been higher than white labor force participation rates in every census from 1890 to 1960, fell below white labor force participation rates by 1972 and the gap has widened since then. Homicide rates among non-white males reversed their decline in the 1950s and soared by 75 percent during the 1960s.
None of this was a “legacy of slavery,” which ended a century earlier. But slavery became the rhetorical distraction for the political magicians’ trick of making their own responsibility for social degeneration vanish into thin air by sleight of hand.
Now you can point to many negatives the “War on Poverty” brought us … Sowell highlights the big ones. But the most important changes were two-fold. One: it created more dependency on government (and it helped tear the nuclear family apart among the poor) and it created an illusion that government (which mostly meant “Democrats”) cared more than any other institution.
The political charlatans had created a false problem and a false narrative which has had disastrous results in the long run. But those changes it created were manifestly worth it according to certain of the political class, because it increased their power. And the narrative that has been built about this program (and the “legacy of slavery”), along with the narrative that has created the “cult of the victim”, has hidden the huge problems created by government intrusion and instead has created a myth which says “more government is good government”.
So you end up with an entire segment of the voting public duped by this “shiny” narrative and either too lazy or too incurious to look below its surface. That’s the formula for political success on one side and national decline on the other.
The question, then, is how do the defenders of liberty catch the attention of the voting magpies and help them catch a clue? Facts apparently don’t matter. And alternate narratives don’t seem to stick.
If you can answer that question, you’ve hit upon a way to help save this country. I’ve been trying to come up with a way for 40 years.
I wish you luck.
Ah, yes … another sicko rampages and the same old bromides are offered as a cure. More laws. Fewer guns. Yatta, yatta.
Let’s face it, if restrictive laws were the answer, we wouldn’t have a drug problem, would we? And we’ve tried prohibition before, haven’t we? How’d that turn out?
What we have among the gun grabbers is an argument based on a false premise. It goes, “if we restrict or ban something (guns), we’ll have less of something (in this case, violence and death) else.” To believe that premise, you have to believe that the “something” is the problem and the only problem, and not anything else (i.e. the culture or human nature (or both)). You have to believe that if you “ban” that something (and in this case the “something” is an inanimate object), that alone will achieve the goal (less violence and death).
There is absolutely no rational basis for such a conclusion, especially when banned object is inanimate. Dumb. Can’t act on its own. It isn’t the “cause” of the violence and death. It may be the instrument, but the cause is holding the gun, or knife, or club or rock, or explosive.
The obvious extension of such thinking is cars cause accidents, spoons make you fat and beer makes us alcoholics. If we just banned them we’d have no accidents nor would we get fat and there would be no alcoholism. There is no one that will admit to believing that (and at least with the last, we have practical experience to refute the belief). Yet those who want gun control willingly put forward that argument when it pertains to guns and are amazed when others not only don’t agree but tend to deride them and their argument (and privately, they likely question their ability to reason critically).
So to those of you who know all of this already, I apologize. I know … basic reasoning 101. Nothing really magic here.
However, this is the argument those who would ban guns (and “cleverly” try to hide that in phrases like “common sense gun laws” and “more rigorous background checks”) use daily. And, unfortunately, there is a rather large segment of the population who abandoned critical thinking (and knowledge about history, economics and all sorts of important and useful subjects) a long time ago that buy into this nonsensical argument.
In the case of guns, those who would take yours also live with a number of fantasies they (at least when it concerns guns) consider to be fact and the underly their “argument”. A) Laws will stop unwanted actions and outcomes. B) Banning something effectively removes it from society. And C) Criminals will obey the law and the ban. Again, no thinking human being can intellectually buy into those fantasies. Laws don’t stop unwanted outcomes (they proscribe the behavior and punish the law breaker who behaves in that manner), banning usually has the opposite effect, creating a black market in the banned item (and giving it a certain chic) and finally criminals, aka “scofflaws” will not obey the law nor will they honor the ban. They never have … thus the name.
So, here’s my question – how do you argue with people who insist on fantasy based arguments?
Ok, so it’s sort of rhetorical – the answer, as you all know, is “you don’t”.
You don’t waste your time or your effort on people who seem unable to separate fact from fiction/fantasy and critical arguments from bunk.
The problem, of course, is if you remain silent, then the “low information” types are left with a single, screechy and strident voice that misrepresents facts and figures to back their fantasies.
And we all know that if they get enough of that type, things like “prohibition” happen (and frankly, it is a miracle of sorts that prohibition actually was repealed … government rarely gives up any power it gathers to itself).
If you want to see a civil war in this country, it likely won’t be about race, or abortion, or even a hundred other wedge issues.
It’ll be about guns and who is or isn’t allowed to keep them.
One of Mr. Obama’s stated campaign goals was to make big government “cool” again. If the latest Gallup poll is to be believed, he and his administration have done precisely the opposite.
Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.
The reasons vary but the top four are telling:
Gallup does a bit of equivocating in its analysis, but finally makes a fairly obvious point about its results:
Still, the persistent finding in recent years that half of the population views the government as an immediate threat underscores the degree to which the role and power of government remains a key issue of our time. As a case in point, a question in this same survey asked Americans to name the most important problem facing the nation, and found that issues related to government were the most frequently mentioned. Plus, numerous other measures show that the people give their government some of the lowest approval and trust ratings in the measures’ history.
In the age of terror, citizens are finally waking up to what its cost in freedom has been. They’re finally beginning to notice that government has grown much more powerful, intrusive and costly. There seems to be more corruption and cronyism. They’ve also noticed it has become much less responsive and efficient. In fact, in many areas it is downright inefficient and broken. If you look at the top 4 reasons though, it’s the intrusiveness of government that has most people worried.
The survey deals with government as a perceived threat and it is clear, since 2003, that perception has grown by 19 points from 30% to 49%. That’s significant and, if I had to guess, will only go higher in the last part of the Obama administration.
The man who planned to make government “cool” again, as he has with so many of his other plans, has failed. In the long run, that’s a good thing.
I remember when flying was mostly a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Not so much anymore:
Not too long ago, flying could be a relatively pleasant experience, but executives focused on cutting costs have stripped away everything flyers associated with luxury or even dignity. Food, baggage handling, boarding in a logical manner: Things once taken for granted now must be paid for or done without. Flights are more crowded than they’ve been since World War II, when they were carrying troops.
Competition has winnowed all the perks out of the process (mostly due to the demand for lower fares), security has made the boarding process a nightmare and, frankly, rude and short-tempered people who simply don’t know how to act in public have killed off the rest of the enjoyment. As they like to say, “you get what you pay for.”
Is anyone else laughing out loud at Hillary Clinton’s latest ironically impaired attempt to relate?
I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault.
Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have a right to be heard. You have a right to be believed. We’re with you.
I hear Juanita Broadrick and Kathleen Willey agree. But Willey has a few words of her own in response:
“She believed what happened for sure,” Willey tells The American Mirror. “She just chose to ignore the plight of all of his victims, thus enabling him to continue to abuse and rape women in the future.”
Willey adds, “She’s a money-hungry hypocritical witch who will do anything for money.
“She’s a lying pig. I CANNOT believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.“
Yup, so do a lot of us. One place we don’t want her, though, is in the Oval Office.
Bernie Sanders, the darling of the socialist left, has been getting a bit of traction against Hillary Clinton. In fact, Clinton is losing support so fast that even Joe Biden is considering entering his clown car into the race.
And what does Sanders bring to the table? Bigger government (much bigger), more spending (18 trillion, in fact) and much higher taxes. Wow, what a deal (one that has always appealed to the liberal left):
In all, he backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal, a sum that alarms conservatives and gives even many Democrats pause. Mr. Sanders sees the money as going to essential government services at a time of increasing strain on the middle class.
His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, plus large sums to rebuild roads and bridges, expand Social Security and make tuition free at public colleges.
To pay for it, Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent running for the Democratic nomination, has so far detailed tax increases that could bring in as much as $6.5 trillion over 10 years, according to his staff.
And the “but the government is paying for my stuff” crowd is going wild over him. How do you explain to the economically illiterate where this is all headed and what the result at some point in the future MUST be?
Oh, and by the way, they’re not even trying to deny it:
Mr. Gunnels, the Sanders aide, said the campaign hasn’t worked out all details on his plan—for instance, his version might allow each state to run its own single-payer system. But he said the $15 trillion figure was a fair estimate.
So, let’s elect Bernie and double our debt!
Monday at North High School in Des Moines, IA, President Barack Obama said the notion that people who illegally come to live in the United States, as they have for generations, are suddenly now “less worthy in the eyes of God,” is “un-American.” Obama said, “This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that is out there in politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a native American, your family came from someplace else. And although we are a nation of laws and we want people to follow the law, and I have been pushing Congress to make …” yatta, yatta, yatta.
Who is making the argument that anyone is less worthy because of how they ended up here? I think the argument is they’re “illegal”! There is no “anti-immigrant” sentiment. There is an “anti-illegal immigrant” sentiment since our laws prohibit it. As for the “native Americans” they were merely the first immigrants as their families “came from someplace else”, namely Siberia. And this guy, who refuses to enforce the laws about immigration already on the books has the temerity to lecture others about being a “nation of laws”. Ironic guffaw follows ending with a contemptuous sneer.
Did the Obama administration turn down a Russian offer in 2012 to dump Syria’s Assad?
If true, this was a staggering missed opportunity. The President’s string of misjudgments on the Middle East—on the peace process, Erdogan, withdrawal from Iraq, Libya, ISIS as the “J.V. team”, and Syria—is one of the most striking examples of serial failure in the annals of American foreign policy.
Generally speaking, what the President seems worst at is estimating the direction in which events are flowing. He thought Erdogan was taking Turkey in one direction; Erdogan was going somewhere else. He thought there was a transition to democracy in Egypt; there never was a prospect of that. He has repeatedly been caught flatfooted by events in Syria. And Putin keeps running rings around him.
Understanding the intentions and estimating the capabilities of people who don’t share his worldview are not our President’s strong suits.
And now, who is it again that Russia and Iran are reported to be cozying up too? Worst president ever.
Can’t take a break from ideology and politics to simply comment on a tragedy. The newswoman and cameraman who were shot and killed on a live TV feed this morning were apparently the perfect fodder for the White House’s anti-gun campaign:
The White House on Wednesday redoubled its call for tougher gun laws in the wake of a shooting that killed two television journalists in Virginia.“This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday.Earnest said there are “common sense” steps Congress can take to reduce gun violence in America without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
The facts simply don’t support the statement that this is becoming “all too common” anywhere. In fact, they say the opposite. It’s becoming less common.
Don’t forget, the Charleston SC mass murderer was given a government OK to buy a gun even though we found out the background check was faulty. That’s one of those common sense steps that we entrusted to the government and guess what failed?
Cooke frames their argument in the only way that makes any (common) sense and then takes it apart:
If there is an argument to be made, it’s that America has too many gun-related deaths in absolute numbers, and that this drop does not make up for that. Personally, I don’t know what people who say this really mean. As always, we start from where we are, and we are going in the right direction. That’s good, especially given that the positive changes have come at the same time as the laws have been liberalized and the number of guns increased vastly. Either way, though, it is simply not true that there is an “epidemic” or a “surge” or that shootings are becoming “more common.” It’s not even true that mass shootings are up.
In absolute numbers, the people dying in car crashes every day is too high, but you don’t see anyone pushing for the abolishment of cars. Unlike guns, they hold the drunk or reckless or incompetent driver at fault.
But in the era of postmodernism, “facts” are passe. Now it’s all about the narrative, and the White House has again pushed the narrative forward over the still warm bodies in Roanoke.
Never let a crisis (or apparently a tragedy) go to waste, huh?