Friday, June 16, 2017

Needle in a Hate Stack

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A massacre was barely averted Wednesday (although at the time of this writing, multiple victims are still fighting for their lives) when a "lone wolf" terrorist opened fire on Republicans - because they were Republicans - who were practicing on a baseball field for an upcoming charity game.

The hate-filled gunman, killed by police, is thought to have been "self-radicalized" by violence-promoting materials easily found on the Internet and posted by the incendiary imams of Left-think, a group which sadly includes many liberal politicians, most mainstream "news" outlets, and virtually all social media platforms.

The shooter hadn't bothered to hide his political anger from others because he didn't have to. So pervasive is anti-Trump (and Republican and conservative) rhetoric and calls for violence on social media that his many posts and re-posts on the subject didn't strike anyone as out of the ordinary. He was just a needle in a hate stack.

Let that appalling thought sink in for a moment.

We wish we were over-generalizing, but we don't think we are. As a case in point, we want to share a sad exchange which we were party to on Facebook about 3 weeks ago. A lifelong friend (of more than 60 years) who, like the shooter, is an avid Bernie Sanders supporter, posted an article headlined: "House Republicans Admit Fearing For Their Lives From Growing Civil Unrest." The sub-heading was "You reap what you sow, and Republicans sure have sowed quite a bit of anger."

Our liberal friend added "When their actions threaten the very lives of the constituents they are supposed to be serving, what do they expect? They have gone crazy ramming devastating legislation through. They deserve to be fearful." Ouch.

Far from receiving any social disapproval, these comments were reinforced by her online community. Our friend's adult daughter posted "I find myself actively wishing harm on these people at every turn. I want karmic justice. I want these fucking monsters to suffer."  Her adult son posted "This is their karma," and a sister derided the Republicans as "Snowflakes" for being concerned about the pitchfork-and-torch crowd.

And suddenly, we found ourselves in the position of those "good Muslims" we keep hearing about. Should we report this group enthusiasm for violence to someone? To who? To what end? And is that really the kind of America we want to live in? Or should we simply reach out to the perpetrators and try to change their minds?

Actually, we'd already tried doing that but couldn't get any traction...and we eventually got tired of being called a hater. Instead, we stopped "following" this person (and others) on social media, solidifying the walls which increasingly divide our nation, while reluctantly accepting the idea that some of those endorsing violence on the Left may be, to borrow Hillary Clinton's unsubtle terminology, both deplorable and irredeemable.

We hope that isn't the case with our friend, whom we know to be a decent and good-hearted person. And to be fair, her family has very real problems with health and financial issues, and legitimate (if too often misguided) reasons to be unhappy with the bureaucratic mess in Washington. Neither she nor her family members are bad people - far from it - but a tidal wave of false and angry narratives are leading them, and too many others, in bad directions.

We can and should continue calling for greater civility in public and personal discourse as well as greater journalistic responsibility in the media (as we've done in this space for almost a decade), but we don't think either is likely to happen at this point.

Because "America's favorite pastime" is now an entirely different ballgame...and we're afraid that the gunman in Alexandria just threw out the first pitch.


M. Mitchell Marmel said...

We can derive some faint comfort from the fact that, should it come to actual gunplay, the Left tend to be rather poor shots...

JRMD from Virginia said...

Do you remember all the riots, protests, marches, road blocking, student psyc support, quite time, teachers and students leaving class, political meeting disturbances, etc. that happened after the election of Obummer - especially his re-election when anyone with any intelligence at all could see how dangerous he was?..... No?? Me neither! I guess that's because we conservatives have too much class, sophistication and belief in our democratic process to act like maniacal idiots.

The election of Trump didn't cause this hate, lunacy and violence that we are now seeing. It just brought it to the surface and in to the open.

My US Rep AND his family have been threatened with harm and death and his town hall meetings have been interrupted by hateful, chanting liberal idiots who will not let him speak. Those regressive, divisive liberals who did not vote for him because he is a conservative now feel that he should support ALL of the issues they support.

I caution the libiot dimmercraps that we Bible toting, gun loving conservatives will not be pushed much further before drawing a line. They can be assured that most of us are very well armed and experienced at 'varmint' hunting.

Could a showdown with unruly dimmercraps be called an 'un-civil' war? :)

Granny said...

Another gun buyback amnesty has been announced in Australia. The first since the Port Arthur Massacre. The incidence of gun violence in Australia is escalating at an alarming rate. Mostly Bikie and crime gang related in our major cities. The criminals are not going to hand in their guns. The only people who will hand in their guns are stupid sheep who will be slaughtered in the crossfire.
This mess will reach a tipping point both here and in America, with the nutters pulling the triggers.
Law abiding citizens will be caught in the carnage until we wake up and solve some deeply rooted social problems.
Sorry to be such a pessimist.

Buddha said...

Best take on this whole issue I've seen so far.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Lucy again.

Manwithface said...

I believe this qualifies under Obama's "If you see something, say something" advice when they were classifying TEA Party members as "terrorists" for opposing Beloved Leader.

Unknown said...

I've always liked Lucy.

This is a great observation. The left seems blind to their own hate. They are so self-righteous, there's no way they could be wrong.

And, if they're forced to use violence, it's not their fault, it's the fault of their victims.

Anyway, it's Friday, martini's at 4:00..

chef621 said...

I am going to a family reunion the first week in July with family from TX to NY. I have been thinking that I had better just button my lip and not respond, even if someone else brings it up. I have strong southern republican values and do not want a family war started. I love my extended family but do not agree with all of them politically. I am already trying to think of ways to change the subject. Sixty years ago none of this would have even entered my mind. I would have been anticipating seeing all of them. I still am, but with some anxiety. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I know she's your friend, but you can't call people who wish violence on others "good people". They aren't. They are hateful. It's the same thinking people had/have in Manchester when they describe the bomber as a nice guy who would buy kids ice cream. He wasn't a nice guy.

Judi King said...

"Needle in a hate stack" indeed. It would be very hard to change the minds of people who have been brain washed since childhood or youth. Their mind set is ingrained in them and part of who they are. I don't know how to fight this mental defect....reason and logic obviously don't work. Trying to "get along" doesn't work. I've always considered myself to be part of the silent majority but decided quite a while ago that I would no longer be silent. It sometimes gets me in trouble and causes friction with people I care about but I no longer care. I've had enough of their misguided nonsense (no sense).

Ed G. Mann said...

Rabid critters are put down as a menace to society. That foul vermin in VA was given his condign reward however not quickly enough. When it fits them, the Left will claim that words mean something. Excellent! Make that all the time and use their invective as the reason to eradicate them claiming they're rabid.

There is no reason to tolerate that ilk in our society; we must cut it out of the body before it infects all. Destroy the carriers leaving none alive. Being hardcore Leftists, they will appreciate a full bore Stalinesque purge, although perhaps not the target. Push back and HARD.

Fred Ciampi said...

What everybody else has said and more! And especially what M. Mitchell Marmel said. I practice regularly at several rifle ranges hereabouts and I have never seen a hildabeast or bernie bumper sticker. A group of well armed patriots can only be pushed so far before they have had enough. And on that same note (rhetorical question) when is the gubbermint going to start arresting those who call for violence for sedition? I am afraid that the time is drawing near.

Fred Ciampi said...

Here's an example;

This guy should be hauled in for sedition and more, given a fair trial, than publicly executed.

Jim Lane said...

I've heard it said by more and more otherwise quiet people that, if Trump is forced out of office (by the Left's machinations) we will have another civil war. I ask myself, "Has it really come down to that?"...and I look around and think, "Good God---it's possible!" So many otherwise intelligent, rational people have drunk so much of the Left's poisonous Kook-Aid that it's become like gasoline on their minds. And one ill-timed spark may send our wonderful America up in flames...

Geoff King said...

The globalist machiavellian divide and conquor approach to world domination, which was greatly advanced during the Ă˜bama era, appears now to be reaching the breaking point.
What with the average liberal being totally brainwashed by a compliant media, and many conservatives (including several here) calling for armed resistance, I fear we are approaching the point of no return.
Regardless of any accomplishments Trump may achieve, the left will never accept or even acknowledge him, and the violence and hate will continue to grow.
This, unfortunately, can only lead to civil war and inevitable Martial Law.
That will mean the NWO will be the only winner.
God help us all.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Neither side could "win" an armed conflict, because we'd lose our nation in the process. Everyone - and the Left in particular - needs to stop treating Hate as a sport or online hobby. The stakes are too high.

@JRMD- Again, I hope we never see things come to that, and it's not something I can joke about. But your point is well taken that we simply don't see the rioting and violence from the Right that we do from the Left. And it's not because the Right already has all the power...we clearly don't. But by definition, we believe in civil order at the individual level (that is to say, self-control rather than restraint enforced by the State). What's sadly laughable is the Left's constant excusing of violent acts by claiming that Trump or Rush Limbaugh has created a "climate of Hate" which has provoked the Left. Nonsense. As you say, the hate and lunacy was already there on the Left.

@Granny- I'll admit that I'm not enthusiastic about "more guns" being the answer, but "fewer guns for the law abiding" is an even worse idea. And I really appreciated a meme I saw saying that the Left is now contorting itself out of shape trying to claim that the Alexandria shooter does NOT represent all Democrats, but DOES represent all gun owners.

@Buddha- I was reluctant and saddened to use a personal example, but it's sort of the point: this is personal. I daresay that all of us know people using this kind of angry rhetoric. And let me be clear that it's just as unacceptable from either side.

@Anonymous- I enjoyed seeing Lucy again, too. She's endearing in her own young and clueless way. I was probably nearly as bad when I was young, so I'm hoping she can eventually grow out of her proud and self-congratulatory ignorance.

@Esteban Guitierrez- Thanks for bringing that up. As I said, we surely don't want a Stasi-style America in which everyone is trying to rat out everyone else. We've already seen how that plays out, with the Obama administration portraying conservatives as potential terrorists for eight years. From a conservative and libertarian standpoint, we've already lost what's important at the point we're expecting government to sort out the thought criminals. Rather we need unifying dialogue - but darned if I know how to achieve it.

@Tracy Evans- Exactly; the Left loves to call us Nazis so that they don't have to examine their own feelings about calling for violence. When they start thinking of us as well-intentioned people (as we should think about the majority of them), it makes things infinitely more complicated and - for those who enjoy bloodsport - less fun.

@chef621- I feel for you. I've never had a more difficult time writing a commentary because I deeply care about the people I'm describing. They're more family than friends. So how do we all strike a balance between our political passions and our personal feelings for one another? Avoiding the topic of politics seems like a cop-out, but in the current environment in which minds can likely not be changed it might not be a bad idea.

@Anonymous- You've hit the crux of the quandry. People are complicated; the best of us are "good" with flaws of varying scope and importance. The worst of us probably have some redeeming qualities (admittedly hard to see in some cases). At the point we quantify a whole person as good or bad, it makes it easier - but less accurate - for us to process them mentally and file them away.

The reality is a lot sloppier and is something I'm struggling with.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Judi King- I'm especially concerned about the young adults who have grown up steeped in a culture of misinformation and hate. It's natural for the young to be liberal; it's a "feel good" overly-simplified way of looking at the world. But traditionally, the young have grown out of it after taking on adult responsibilities. Now, too many of them aren't taking on adult responsibilities and prefer to remain permanent children, expecting care and sustenance from the government. There's not much chance of them embracing a more conservative point of view (which is, I firmly believe, the more compassionate belief set) until they start dealing with reality in general.

@Ed G. Mann- Rabid critters are a menace; the trick is discerning who is rabid and who is simply wrong-headed. This will never be sorted out through violence of any kind. The only lasting solution must come from all of us, on both sides, embracing common goals and cultural values (albeit with wiggle room). Sadly, the Left's preference for "identity politics" creates exactly the opposite dynamic.

@Fred Ciampi- Again, I'm going to tamp down the rhetoric a bit here. Yes, "our" side is better armed, but when bullets start flying we've still lost. That being said, I do think it's time for people in positions of authority to start being prosecuted for overt calls for violence. I value free speech very highly, and think it should protect everyone's right to say almost anything. But there is a line, and it's not that freaking hard to see it when it's crossed.

Of course, the danger of giving the government the power to prosecute such speech is what happens in a worst case scenario when the opposition party is in charge. We should never give the government more power than we'd be willing to see wielded against us.

@Jim Lane- I think that people on both sides have become a bit unhinged and lost touch with reality. We're not living in a videogame here, but too many are treating it as such. It's damn scary.

@Geoff King- I don't disagree with a word you're saying, including "God help us all."

Alej said...

Our friend's adult daughter posted "I find myself actively wishing harm on these people at every turn. I want karmic justice. I want these fucking monsters to suffer."

Over at HuffPo, Hodgkinson is being hailed as a "patriot."

I'm not coming over to their way of thinking, and they're not coming over to mine.

Secession, peaceful if possible, is all that is left to us. The America I grew up in is

Gone With The Wind.

Dick Lowman said...

Very well written

TrickyRicky said...

“It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.” - Loretta Lynch

This person was our AG less than a year ago, and the NYT has the unmitigated gall to blame the Alexandria assassination attempt on Sarah Palin.

That is how wide our political divide truly is. Inmates, Asylum, In Charge.

American Cowboy said...

@ Granny said...Sorry to be such a pessimist.

pessimist: 1. a person who tends to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.

realist: 1. a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly.

I believe that you and I like the rest of us here are realists.

Dave N. said...

For years I have told people that Civil War II is coming, or at least "massive social disorder." Most laughed at me behind my back, until the last several months. Now one of my very liberal, left-leaning friends asked if she could come to my house when the trouble starts. (My basement is called "The Armory" for good reason.) A friend has a room in his basement that is stocked with the usual "prepper" supplies, and another room with weapons and ammo. Just before Civil War I, a U.S. Senator from the south used his cane to beat an anti-slavery senator, and that happened on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Supporters of the southern senator sent him more canes. This situation is playing out again now except social media is used. Stocking up on basic necessities seems to be prudent right now.

Tonto Kowalski said...

Be careful wishing for karma glasshoppa.

... Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head.
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead.

*This is a Kung Fu/Lennon (not Lenin) reference for any of you youngsters who may not know.

Captcha is a pain in the ass today too.

Jerry said...

You are much too kind to your friend and his family. But you demonstrated the major fault of conservatives and Republicans. They refuse to accept the fact that when attacked by guns and knives words are not the proper defense. Their guns and knives are.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

My immediate concern is about my daughter and her husband's apparent swallowing of the good old Leftist line in all its forms. They live in ultra-liberal Silicon Valley, make good salaries and listen to KNBR (a PBS station) and digest the pap from the New York Times. Their home is about 2 hours driving time from our home in liberal Sonoma County (just north of San Francisco); as a result, we see them for Thanksgiving, Christmas and on their two teenagers' Spring Break.

My wife and I had always enjoyed those visits, but lately there seems to be a pall in the backs of our minds ever since my daughter told us about six months ago that she didn't want to get into political discussions during their visits. I had always thought they had conservative leanings, but I didn't realize the peer power that has evidently infested kids in their 40s, including mine. I say "kids" because I'll be 80 in three months. I had seen clues of liberal propaganda 25 years ago at my daughter's college graduation ceremony, and was shocked that I had apparently been out-of-touch with such a precursor to what has become today's tsunami of liberal hate.

I love my children, and hope that they can some day learn to listen to an aging white male who may now be considered irrelevant by those who have not had the privilege of living through history that has been so important in forming my political beliefs. The bottom line: the rhetoric and hate displayed by the Left has affected my own family. In my entire life I have never seen anything like it, and my heart weeps because of the same type of mindless, hysterical hate that my grandchildren will surely face as adults, and because of the fact that I am powerless to do a thing about it.

Judi King said...

@ Alfonso: I feel so bad for you. This insidious disease of the mind needs to be stopped but I don't know how. Most children aren't allowed to think for themselves or have a reasonable thought that differs from the agenda that the left controls. The children who were lucky enough to be born in a faith based family have a slight chance, other than that, it seems hopeless for this country to survive as the founders fought, died and hoped for.

Rod said...

We really do have the effect of years of "drift", eight plus years of high level work, and now even more focused effort to change our way of government & life. And Leftists etc. (there are a lot of tags for them) seem so plugged-in, interlaced, well connected, (whatever you want to call it). Here's a thought:

Would it hurt to try a mass broadcast of Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call" ?

SC said...

Obama used to say "Elections have consequences" It was true then & is true now. Too bad the Dems forgot it. That SHOULD shut them up!

John the Econ said...

So after decades of "tolerance" for left-wing hate taken to level-11 over the last year, is this really any surprise? Remember last year when leftists were arguing that just voting in a politically-incorrect manner was, in fact, "terrorism"? Years of de-humanizing their opposition is having a predictable effect. When you do not consider someone a decent "human", it makes it easier to rationalize killing them, especially for the already unhinged.

So why isn't anyone holding Kathy Griffin responsible? Nope. First, as usual we'll try to blame the gun, which happened literally within minutes when we started to get the usual incoherent rant about the need for more "gun control". Amazingly, this time that narrative did not stick.

So the left decided to go with false equivalencies. The New York Times went as far as to try to pin it on Sarah Palin and her "targeting" ad of almost a decade ago. Yeah, that's what did it.

The blessing here is that even given the element of surprise, a suitable weapon, in a prone position and with almost non-existent opposition, he was only able to injure 4 people before being dispatched by a couple of guys with just handguns.

But just as the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 should have been a wake-up call about the impending threat of Islamic terrorism, we should probably be surprised that Wednesday's attack didn't occur sooner. The left has transparently embraced what they see as "morally justified violence" just as Islam has, and as we've seen elsewhere over the last year, is ready to use it. Just like as large percentage of Muslims that do not directly participate in violence but accept it as "justified", a large percentage of Progressives will feign disapproval of violence, and yet will feel morally justified when it happens. Just like they'll tolerate Kathy Griffin.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

As usual, well-said, John. I would like your permission to send your post to some selected friends.

American Cowboy said...

So Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) on Wednesday told reporters at a press conference that the United States loses "93 million Americans a day to gun violence."

He may have tried to "correct" himself and say he meant 93 per day, but throwing that first number out just proves how rabidly the majority of the left hates firearms and is willing to make statements without facts to further their agenda of hate for anything American.

93,000,000 Americans a day would mean that the United States would be devoid of population in less than four days!

GenEarly said...

Excellent post, John. I hope many more come to understand and actually pre-pare for themselves and their families. Like Hoover, Trump may be the recipient of a pre-planned Economic Depression.

Politically as well. Leftist Propaganda is meant to prepare the field for battle. It will come, not because of Patriot Aggression, but because ProgreSSives must constantly "Move Forward" or perish politically. These Progs will never, ever stop themselves or be satisfied with their "achievements" even with their Utopian USSA.

At some point We just have to say NO More, as we did with the election of Trump.
And a line has been drawn, a consensus is forming around this President. The Prog. DemocRat ChamberPot Repub witch hunt will not succeed.

Colby Muenster said...

Great summation, Stilton!

I am praying that this incident at the Alexandria ballpark will be a seed that grows into a country wide wake-up call. I also pray that those who spew vitriol, hatred, and death to others, whose only crime is a differing political view, will realize just how badly they are overreacting to something that happens every 4 years: a presidential election!

OK.... so you hate Trump and all that he stands for. There are just as many of us who hate Obama and all that he stands for. Go vote in 2020 and STFU.

@American Cowboy,
Let's take a moment today to pray for the souls and families of the 93 million people in the USA who will lose their lives today. If I make it to Sunday, I'm going to get very drunk because I'll know my number's up.

Anonymous said...

"...the Alexandria shooter does NOT represent all Democrats, but DOES represent all gun owners." (Leftist meme)

Law-abiding gun owners in America own hundreds of millions of firearms and billions of rounds of ammo. If we were the problem, believe me, you'd know about it.

Anonymous said...

That ball diamond scenario is why it seems both a handy handgun and a quickly available longer range scoped rifle are even better preparation. I like shotguns in the homes. None of these are particular problems in our state and in fact most police encourage arming by well-behaved citizens. Concealed carry is legal (for now) WITHOUT permit in the state but without a permit it may not be reciprocal in states. None of this permitting ever applied to long guns here anyway. Yes, loaded. While entirely legal, in most places here police do not encourage open carry. Among other undesirable things, it can make you the first target.

I fired just one shot to recheck sighting of the deer rifle before last season. 100 yard standard target posted at 200, bench-rested, good light & slight breeze; that cold shot was a bulls-eye 3/8" off of perfect Center X. Close enough.

John the Econ said...

Thanks, @Alfonso Bedoya. Anything I say here is public and free to share if you think it would make a difference in the world.

@American Cowboy, so there's no need to worry about "climate change" since we'll all be gone by the end of the week.

Remember two years ago when the left declared that we had to rid the airwaves of reruns of a 35-year-old TV show because it was feared that a Confederate flag painted on the top of a car was driving young-white-males into racist homicidal rages?

So if a flag painted on top of a car will do it, how can Micheal Moore, Kathy Griffin, Stephen Colbert and countless other actual protagonists be any less responsible?

As for the supposedly impending "Civil War": As encouraging as it might seem to consider that in any armed conflict that we'd be up against a bunch of pajama boys, basement-dwelling "Anfifa" losers, SJW feminists and their nearly-indistinguishable likes, the reality will probably be far more dismal; the collapse of the economy, and shortly thereafter the infrastructure that makes our comfortable existences possible.

Just look at Somalia if you'd like a realistic preview. I assure you that even though most people in this room would fare better than the average Progressive in the short-term, in the long run it's really a place that none of us should want to go.

Happy Weekend!

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Thanks, John. I will send your great comment ASAP.

Shelly said...

Stilton, I too have had numerous instances on my Facebook page of relatives and friends spewing the most vile hatred and fantastical predictions of the doom and gloom that Donald Trump is going to rain down on very person in America. It takes all the gumption I have not to respond but I made a pledge to myself I wasn't going to get in the weeds as it would be frustrating and more importantly, futile. In some of these posts, reasonable folks try to insert logical argument and are immediately denounced and castigated in the most vicious terms. Then I sit back and think, nothing stops them from posting their insidious left-wing tripe, why should I refrain? Most of all I not only feel revulsion towards them but more often pity. How could otherwise normal, loving individuals be so damned ignorant?

Ralph said...

If Karma was real - e would ALL be in trouble!

The words “karma” and “Christian” do not naturally go together. Karma comes from Indian religions and is most definitely not a Christian concept. Karma refers to the concept of “action” or “deed” and is understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect. Thus people popularly speak of someone who experiences a lot of bad events in their life as “having bad karma.” Karma is generally associated with spiritism and reincarnation. In this context “the law of cause and effect” is situated within a deeply spiritual way of understanding.

Paul D Garber said...

So many of you have expressed my heart-felt opinions much better than I ever could, but I'll try to add in my two cents worth. The "Tolerant Left" appears to ONLY be tolerant of Islamic Terrorists, Weather Underground Terrorists, Puerto Rico Terrorists and now, Politically Inspired Left-wing nut Terrorists or "Patriots" as the sleazy "Huffington Post", which we can classify in the same journalistic category reserved for rags such as "The National Inquirer". As someone has indicated this Radical-Left Assassin must be the worst shot in the history of all killers, thank God. Why not offer Concealed Carry Licenses, along with required NRA firearm Training, to all members of Congress? I would suggest a Capital Target practice center with a mandatory, periodic firearm shooting evaluation. Then maybe there wouldn't be so many ""Firearm Free" zones. This would be cheaper than trying to provide security agents to all members of Congress. Finally, I need to mention my assessment of Queen Nancy Pelosi's memory-loss. Not even 24 hours after she spoke of a united Congress, although she even poked at the GOP at that time, she seemed to forget every thing she had said about mutual cooperation. You can't really blame her for this shortsightedness, as it only indicates that I am right about the level of her dementia.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Another site I follow is an excellent news digest, but some of the commenters truly seem to be the hateful bigots that the left tries to paint all conservatives as. Anti gay, anti Islam, anti black (in fairness, mostly 'black culture' rather than skin color, but still...) It's queeze inducing at times...

That being said, attempting to engage in dialog w/ a fanatic is useless. They are not interested in other points of view, logic supported by fact, or even the rhetorical failure technique of appeal to emotion. All they are interested in is a conversion experience - yours. Dialog w/ a fanatic is pretty much an oxymoron. This includes "dialogs" where one fanatic is you....

THAT having been said rational dialog CAN be possible. Trying to get to the root of their feelings can take a lot of painful questions, and subject to eye rolls and 'well, EVERYONE knows, DUH...'
But if you're willing to put in the effort, 'no, I don't know that, can you explain it to me / what's your evidence?' you might be able to get people to think things over.
Not sure it's worth the effort.
Young Friend of mine "well, I CAN'T vote Republican, because, vagina"... MMmmmmkay...
Apparently, she fears Republicans want to make abortion illegal (and she's not entirely wrong) and that's more important to her than jobs, economy, foreign policy, etc.

We, as conservatives, have the obligation to "re-take" the R party, get rid of the statist jerks and be inclusive, and win people over w/ ideas.

Agreed John the Econ, Somalia is a GREAT example of what happens when SHTF and it all degrades to tribal warlordism. not really where *I* want to live.

Anonymous said...

"We can and should continue calling for greater civility in public and personal discourse as well as greater journalistic responsibility in the media (as we've done in this space for almost a decade), but we don't think either is likely to happen at this point."

NO. We can and should call for the ERADICATION OF THE LEFT, and NOTHING LESS.
They want YOU DEAD.
They want ME dead.

You can "debate" with all the rational arguments you have, BUT
when they REPEATEDLY respond with the brain-dead equivalent of,
"you are EVIL! You must be destroyed!"

To delusionally "hope" it still IS a realistic option is SUICIDAL.

Think: "The Chicago Way" speech of Sean Connery in the film "The Untouchables"
(available on youtube).

In the meanwhile, watch this and enjoy:
by Stefan Molyneux

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Alej- In the current atmosphere, I don't see us "coming together" in a rational way. And that makes my heart ache. I don't think secession is entirely impossible anymore - especially since I live in Texas, which was already a country once.

@Dick Lowman- Thank you. I assure you the sentiments are heartfelt.

@TrickyRicky- If that WASN'T a call for violence from Lynch, I don't know what the hell it was.

@American Cowboy- These days, the "pessimist or realist" debate reminds me of the old argument about Certs being a breath mint or a candy mint.

@Dave N.- I hope "prepper" precautions aren't necessary, but I can't say they're imprudent. I've got about 2 weeks worth of food and 4 weeks worth of alcohol. Granted, if the SHTF I might go through the alcohol faster than that...

@Tonto Kowalski- That's a Plastic Ono Band song by Lennon, right? Believe I need to listen to that one again; I've always liked it better than "Imagine."

@Jerry- Here's the thing: I know that my friend has had some really hard knocks in life, and now she (and her family members) are using information that simply isn't true to make their decisions. Not to get too deeply into semantics, but that doesn't make them evil...but it can make their misguided actions indistinguishable from evil. They hate the Right because they believe that people like Paul Ryan are trying to pull off an anti-poor holocaust in our country, because "news" outlets report that "millions will die" because of GOP shenanigans. If I actually believed that, I'd probably be in their camp and thinking myself a freedom fighter.

So I can't give up on these people, but I don't know how to reach them.

@Alfonso Bedoya- You've described the sad reality of this situation more eloquently than I ever could. This is not the traditional schism between generations; we're finding ourselves unwilling participants in a culture war in which the wrong side has most of the power.

@Judi King- Well said.

@Rod- It's never a bad idea to try Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call!"

@SC- As I recall, consequences or not, a lot of us didn't shut up. Nor should we have, nor should those on the Left. Rather, we should engage in honest debate and let ideas compete - based on genuine facts.

@John the Econ- I can't add a thing to what you said. Exactly right.

@American Cowboy- In fairness, McAuliffe was only off by 92,999,907.

@GenEarly- Sadly, I think a number of Leftists would welcome social breakdown under the belief that everything would be rebuilt as a socialist utopia. Granted, it's never worked before...but without an appreciation of history, how could they possible know that?

@Colby Muenster- I can't help but think how much less-stressed and cordial folks would be without hearing the (ahem) "news" these days, or being invested in the echo-chambers of social media. People - on both sides - now treat political minutiae as immediate personal threats.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

@Paul Gerber: Well-said. The solution you presented contains far too much common sense for liberals and liberal anti-gunners to grasp. Unfortunately, NRA/CRPA members in California are forced to continue to endure the blather that Pelosi and her sad ilk spew re their completely idiotic idea that more "gun control" will solve the problem of violence. Law-abiding Californians have been effectively stripped of their right to self-defense by a cabal of politicians who have joined the liberal lemmings who continue to keep them in office.

I am a life member of the NRA and new member of the California Rifle and Pistol Association and fully support the idea that CCW permits should be approved for all members of Congress, BUT if so, "ordinary" law-abiding citizens should also be afforded the same privilege.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- When you subtract the gun deaths from gang violence (largely in Democrat-controlled areas) and suicide, the number of actual gun deaths compared to the number of guns out there is remarkably low. Do I wish the number was "zero?" Of course. But then, I wish for a lot of things.

@Anonymous- The Left might actually find more people amenable to gun control if they stopped posting online that they want us dead.

@John the Econ- I often think that you should be on the front page of this blog, while I deliver snark in the comments section. This is one of those times: excellent point about the "danger" presented by Dukes of Hazzard, and the horrifying reality of Somalia. A new civil war will not have any winners.

@Shelly- People form their opinions based on the information they get, and too many Americans are getting very little other than poisonous lies. How could they feel any other way about what they believe to be happening? Like you, I feel pity for these people, and anger at those who are doing the lying. Mostly, I feel sad about our future.

@Ralph- I agree that if karma reliably worked, we'd all need to be minding our p's and q's a lot more closely. Which might not be a bad thing.

Regarding the Ten Arabic Words, it's really worth following the link you provided - thanks!

@Paul D Garber- I like the idea of all members of Congress being given guns and training. Whether they choose to carry afterwards can be up to them - though they shouldn't make up their minds before finding out whether they'll receive any other armed security.

Regarding Pelosi, she does seem to be exhibiting more cognitive impairment than before. Which, until now, I wouldn't have thought possible.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete (Detroit)- For the record, there are absolutely screaming, hating, bigots out there and they are a stain on America. I recoil at some things I've seen on "conservative" websites. Fortunately, those people are only a small (but depressingly loud) minority.

And I'm not quite sure how to achieve that cross-ideology dialogue, but I know how important it is that we find a way to have it - and soon.

@Anonymous- Well, see, I'm going to have to call bullshit on your comments. You're confusing rhetoric with reality, and throwing gas on the fire. What in the living Hell do you think would be left of our society if we ERADICATE THE LEFT, especially if they didn't succumb to all caps and bold typefaces?

I believe that most people on the Left are well-intentioned and poorly informed. Ignorance is not a capital crime, and treating it as such would make us the very monsters we're accused of being.

Ask yourself: would it have been a positive thing if a Trump-lover had decided to get on with the business of ERADICATING THE LEFT by shooting Democrats while they're playing baseball? If you just answered "yes," then you're as much a part of the problem as they are.

And regarding "The Chicago Way" speech from The Untouchables, you're also quoting Barack Obama (who used it in a speech). That should be a clue that you might not be on the right track.

By the way, I'm leaving your post up because it's the honest thing to do, and because I wanted to respond to it directly. That being said, further posts in this vein will get nuked.

Joe Jetson said...

In Wisconsin, we survived Liberal Hate/Derangement Syndrome back in 2010.

Our new Republican Governor clamped down on Public Employee Union excesses, and the goons went insane. This led to the infamous "Recall" Election for the Governor and several GOP State Reps and Senators. GOP politicians were targets of death threats, never-ending protests, and the loons even staged idiotic "Sing-In's" at the Statehouse. They stormed and "occupied" the Capitol building. They scrawled their filthy leftist graffiti slogans and obscenities on the walls of The Peoples' House. Their rabid tantrums went on for months.

Finally, their big day arrived as the Recall Elections were held. To the snowflakes' and Union Goons' shock, the majority of decent, normal Wisconsinites were so sickened and disgusted by these adult crybabies that Gov. Walker won the Recall Election by MORE votes than he won his original Election.

His Public Union Reforms were the main factor in paying off the previous democrat Governor's ballooning deficit. Gov. Walker has won re-election again since then. Also, the GOP majority in the State Senate and House have increased as Conservative policies succeeded. Conservative Judges have won more seats on the State Supreme Court.

Then, ultimately, Donald J. Trump flipped the state from Dem to GOP for the first time since Reagan. This was a "yuuge" key to Trump's stunning Victory.

Almost every night now, on their Big-Screen TV's, Americans are seeing these rioting anarchists, costumed in black from head-to-toe, hooded, masked, armed, and violent. They smash, burn, loot, assault and riot, while the Media refers to them as "Protesters". I believe decent Americans are repulsed by these scum (including the media).

They see Hollywood celebrities issuing not-so-lightly-veiled death threats towards our President.

They hear the Media editorialize instead of report the news. They remember the fake media polls telling us "Trump has no chance to beat Hillary". Americans know the media is lying to them about fake "scandals". People know they are being lied to by agenda-driven media elites.

People see James Brown-lookalike policians screeching "Impeach 45!" or sniveling liars shedding crocodile tears as their failed socialist programs and policies are dismantled one by one.

Thank goodness we have a real fighter in the White House for a change. With the meek and gutless GOP "Leadership" cowering in the background, President Trump realizes he must fight even harder for us.

So the Moral of This Story is "Keep The Faith". I believe there are still more decent, Patriotic Americans than these sick, disturbed, unhinged liberals.

To quote a great man, "We will Win, and Win and Win!" MAGA!

Fred Ciampi said...

Something just dawned on me; Wasn't there a federal law passed about 30 years' ago that forbid the wearing of ski masks or any other face covering for the purpose of hiding one's identity? If my old and feeble memory serves me correctly, it was authored by good 'ole boy Bob Byrd. Anybody?!?!?!?!?!?!

Harry Hamid said...

I am not a centrist and I lean left on far more issues than I lean right on (although I don't align myself with any group). But I've seen what often happens to people who consume one kind of media for their "news."

We're able to go to websites and set up our facebook feeds in a way where we consume a steady stream of stories about how bad one type of people are... all day every day. I can read articles all day long exclusively about bad things Muslims have done. Or I can read articles and watch clips all day long about Trump supporters screaming racist things at Target. Or Christians acting together to do bad things to gay people. Or liberals advocating dumb things against Republicans.

And after so many days and weeks and months of this steady stream of ugly news stories, who wouldn't start to think ALL people in X group are dangerous? Not just wrong or of different beliefs, but flat out fundamentally different and dangerous?

If I frequented a site where all they did was post stories about bad things left-handed people did, or people named James, or the worst things gardenershhad done, I'd really start to think that left-handed people or Jims or gardeners weren't like other people and maybe so dangerous that we need to start planning to do something about them.

Now, most people aren't going to turn to violence, but some will.

We can't shut down the sites that selectively pick their stories, of course. We can't stop people from selecting those sites.

So what can we do?

I guess we can all take responsibility for what we consume, for starters. And we can refuse to justify unhealthy generalizations simply because they're against people we politically oppose - or justify unhealthy generalizations just because "the other side started it."

We can call people on it - ESPECIALLY those on "our side" - when we hear them make a potentially unhealthy generalization.

That's what I can do to defuse the situation we find outselves in.

It's natural to get mad in the face of leaders with whom we don't agree doing things we believe are counter-productive. There's nothing wrong with it. There IS something wrong with dehumanizing those with whom we don't agree, though.

It's up to each one of us, I believe.

Stan da Man said...

Harry Hamid - +3

jlw said...

@ Fred C.

"United States[edit]
In many US states and the District of Columbia, there are anti-mask laws.[1]
Anti-mask laws date back to the mid-20th century when states and municipalities passed them as to inhibit the Ku Klux Klan, whose members typically wore hoods of white linen to conceal their identities.[2][better source needed] [3]
In the 21st century those laws have been applied to political protesters such as those affiliated with the Occupy Movement or Anonymous—wearing Guy Fawkes masks—.[4][5][6][7]
In some areas motorcyclists have been arrested using anti-masking laws as an illegal form of offender profiling. [8]"

the above is from wiki, below from Constitutional Law Prof Blog

it looks to me like there are state and municipal laws. i didn't find federal.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@ joe jetson- Great comments! I agree that we need to "keep the faith" and remember that most Americans are genuinely decent people. They just aren't getting much press.

@Fred Ciampi- That sounds familiar, but my memory is vague too. It DOES seem like these "protesters" who show up with their faces concealed are likely premeditating criminal activities.

@Harry Hamid- I actually got goosebumps reading your comments. I agree completely. The phenomenon you're describing is called "confirmation bias," and it's not a good thing. People seek out what they expect to hear and cut out the rest - leading to dangerous tunnel vision.

When you say you lean left on more issues than you lean right, I'd love to compare notes. I'm in favor of Gay rights, I detest abortion but think it should be legal (albeit performed less often), think marijuana should be decriminalized and regulated, and I hold other traditionally "social liberal" views. Matched, of course, with a butt load of conservative and libertarian stances.

That's a complexity that certainly isn't unique to me - we're all on a spectrum (I'm not sure I'd trust anyone who is unilaterally Left or Right). Our country isn't going to get very far if we think everyone can be defined as "Us" or "Them." And you're absolutely correct that we should all be engaged in the business of speaking up when someone goes too far.

james daily said...

If these leftist had a brain in their head, they would read about the Russian revolution of 1905 and the French revolution of 1789. It is after the revolution has succeeded that they might want to rethink. Secondly, if they believe that the conservatives will go quietly to the gallows, they best think again. Then, in Germany when the Nazi's started dehumanizing the Jews, it was o.k. to kill them because they were not human. From that we learn that violence is great if it is directed at someone other than yourself and whom it is directed is someone you do not like, doesn't even have to be an enemy, just not your political beliefs.
If the left leaders think they will be leading tomorrow, they should rethink again. When the younger people get a taste of power, they will send these old folks to the guillotine without a second thought.

REM1875 said...

"We hope that isn't the case with our friend, whom we know to be a decent and good-hearted person."

And this is how the average German felt about their National Socialist neighbor or the average Russian felt about their "Red" Neighbor in 1918 and how so many feel about their neighbor's kid who is a little off and wears the Antifa symbol on their hoodie....Good people except for a few minor idiosyncrasies we tend to overlook.....
Sad .....Truly sad......

a follower said...

We are to be the needle.
Be Truthful, this does change as the lies are revealed.
We are to be patient. we may be the ones who need to listen. We are to counsel edify, rebuke with love.
As some are fond of saying, "we were warned." So why should any of us be surprised at what we are seeing? We were also told our part in these days. How are we to react? We are not to become as the world.
"Do not quench the Spirit, Do not despise Prophecies, prove them all. Hold fast to what is good. Keep back from every form of wickedness.
And the Yahuah of peace Himself set you completely apart, and your entire Ruach (Spirit,) and being, and body- be preserved blameless at the coming of our Master Yahusha Mashiak.
Forgive others daily.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@James Daily- Yes, at times like this it can be very useful to know History. Sadly, when I look at the Left these days I think their 15-minute attention spans negate any chance of benefitting from knowledge of the past.

@REM1875- I don't deny the troubling similarities and freely admit my mixed feelings about what to do. And yes, it is sad.

@a follower- I'm not religious, but one doesn't really have to be to find the wisdom in what you're saying. Listen, counsel, rebuke with love. Will that be enough? I don't know - but it's important to try before embracing other actions.

And this leads us to the crux of the problem; those on the Left should also be listening, counseling, and rebuking with love if they believe us to be on the wrong side. They should engage in honest debate if they believe that their ideas will win. But instead, they discourage dialogue (even rioting when the mood suits them) and instead simply demonize those on the Right rather than seeing us as caring human beings who are probably reaching for common goals albeit from a different direction.

We need to try to keep lines of communication open - but the Left needs to do the same.

Fred Ciampi said...

Stilt, you said "And this leads us to the crux of the problem; those on the Left should also be listening, counseling, and rebuking with love if they believe us to be on the wrong side. They should engage in honest debate if they believe that their ideas will win. But instead, they discourage dialogue (even rioting when the mood suits them) and instead simply demonize those on the Right rather than seeing us as caring human beings who are probably reaching for common goals albeit from a different direction."

True story; I sent a wonderful essay by Dr, Thomas Sowell to a screaming lib (my brother) asking his opinion on it. As we all know, Dr. Sowell states facts after he researches them. His answer; "I was standing behind a horse the other day and the horse lifted his tail and out came Sowell". Yes, this is what we are up against. Sigh.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Fred, this is exactly what I have also come up against. When I ask a liberal why he/she is so dogmatic about his/her opinions, then ask for the rationale behind those opinions, he or she can't produce anything logical, historically accurate or with any scintilla of common sense. It is very frustrating, and frankly, my blood pressure tends to suffer as a result of even entering into such dialogs.

I spend several hours each day reviewing and digesting the "news," and constantly try to test my political resolve, but I always end up with the same opinion(s) I had in the first place. Having any type of realistic discussion with a liberal is tantamount to talking to a telephone pole or to our new 3-month old kitten.

Sorry about your brother's ignorance and refusal to learn something new. My wife's brother is in the same condition. He doesn't want to listen to any other viewpoint than his own, which is deeply flawed. Just to keep the peace, I try to steer conversations into subjects that are apolitical. Helps with the blood pressure, also. Needless to say, his infrequent visits are not ones that I anticipate with glee. But....outside of the family, liberals are considered fair game.

Fred Ciampi said...

Alfonso, That's the biggest part of the reason we moved from the Bay Area to Appalachia. I was an aerospace engineer making the big bucks, moved to hillybillyland and worked as an engineer for an underground coal mining equipment company. From up in the air to underground, sort of. I have one other brother and 3 sisters who are libs but not as fanatical. Our little town in the mountains is about 98.6% conservative and the progs keep a low profile. And everybody carries.

Most of our kids followed but one. He stayed in central CA and is very conservative. Plus, now that we are retired, we live better than we would have in San Jose.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Fred, it's interesting that liberals have no problem pushing their agenda on everyone else, and without any form of invitation or provokation. It seems that conservatives are far more polite by not pasting bumper stickers on their cars, engaging in unproductive protests and otherwise acting like spoiled children. I live in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), and have never seen such hate-filled rhetoric from so many people. I am just not used to it, and have had fond thoughts of moving to northern Arizona to evade the liberal juggernaut that has infested my home state.

My only respite is visiting our "getaway" property near Graeagle, California, where I saw many "Trump/Pence" signs by the road and on rear bumpers before the election last year. Such signs in Sonoma County would have been torn down or torched. In Santa Rosa, as mostly elsewhere in California, it is virtually impossible to carry legally, since Sheriffs just don't ordinarily issue Concealed Carry Permits to us "common folk."

It's gotten so bad that Governor Moonbeam has called those of us who pay taxes "freeloaders." I was born and raised here, and never would have dreamed that it would have gotten to this..

jlw said...

There’s a Petition to Name the Next Navy Ship ‘USS The Deplorables’

Geoff King said...

Speaking of Navy ships, condolences to the families of the seven dead crew members aboard the USS Fitzgerald.
That said, I must wonder how it is possible for a lowly cargo ship to ram a highly sophisticated Navy vessel on a clear night?
Was the radar operator asleep at his post?
I can only assume that heads will roll over this incident. Otherwise, Kim Jong Un's threat to shoot missiles at our ships becomes much more likely of success.

Judi King said...

@ Geoff: I wondered about that also. I remember in the 70[s when we were told that there was an oil crisis, etc. and for some reason oil tankers kept crashing and spilling oil all over the oceans. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Bruce Bleu said...

Poor little Lefty Lucy... what a cute head to be housing a nerf brain!

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, if I had your humor and artistic talent, I might agree. As it is, I'm just happy to be along for the ride.

@Anonymous seems to be a troll, looking to make one of us say something transparently hateful to justify their own hate. Sorry. Head to the Daily Kos if you want that kind of action.

@joe jetson, Scott Walker was someone I would have supported for President for the reasons you mention. He stood up to "big state" and won on their turf. If anyone had a chance against the bigger state, it would have been him.

@Alfonso Bedoya, could it be that California is actually jumping the shark? Calling actual taxpayers the "freeloaders" was beyond the pale. It's bad enough that in a state of true Progressive dementia, those who want to keep the fruits of their own labors considered "greedy" while those who demand that other's wealth is appropriated for their own personal benefit and personal vanity considered "virtuous". Brown's "freeloader" comment was a leap beyond that. At this rate, the metaphor of "Will the last one out of the state please turn off the light" will no longer be a metaphor. The productive citizens that hold the place together will leaving as California lives out an actual Atlas Shrugged" scenario.

USS Fitzgerald: I agree, @Geoff King. As someone with a certain level of sea experience, it's seems inconceivable to me that in this day and age that two vessels of this class should collide, day or night, regardless of weather. Even if everyone on watch was asleep, you'd think that on today's high-tech vessels brimming with electronic sensory designed to detect everything from incoming cruise missiles to jihadis in inflatables, that alarms would have been going off several minutes for a collision was imminent. That the collision took place on the Fitzgerald's starboard side also suggest that the freighter had the right-of-way.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Either way, the lost of crewmen in such an accident is tragic.