Summoning the demons

(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject.  If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement.  History clearly shows where that road leads.

And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations?  Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads.  Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent.  In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight.  It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying.  I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…

We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.

There is more to this, however.  With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?

I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response.  Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:

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Land of the freak, home of the depraved

The cartoon below seems to adequately sum up a lot of headlines I’ve been bumping across lately, that show how not just the United States, but the whole of Western Civilization is in freefall:

If America can be divided into those who don’t have tattoos and those who do, the two groups seem to be rapidly approaching equilibrium. About one in five Americans have tattoos, and among 18-29 year-olds the latest figures peg those with ink at 40 percent

If tattoos were once an act of rebellion against cultural norms, now they are a well-established norm. If you want a tattoo, hey, it’s a free country. But it seems many people still get them laboring under the delusion that they’re a hallmark of individualism.

Meanwhile in Britain, where parents aren’t allowed to decide whether to pursue a slim hope of lifesaving treatment for their own child, a very confused young man has “changed sex” three times already at just 18 years old.  Talk about priorities out of whack.

Morbidly obese people used to be a staple of sideshow carnivals.  Now they’re so common the TV show “My 600-Pound Life” is in its eighth season, as being overweight becomes synonymous with being American.

All the above is merely a small sample of what happens when everyone does what is right in their own eyes, rather than acknowledge any external standards.  Government routinely lies to us.  Biblical marriage is held to be an “obsolete institution,” while society applauds “LGBTXYZ” demands for affirmation.  The Left in general demands conformity with its agenda — or else.

How did we get here?  Part of it might be summed up by a quip I recently read, which said “modern American Christianity has too many lovers and not enough fighters.”

Something to think about.

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That this even has to be said…

…shows how much the media and public in general lack critical thinking.  There needs to be a thorough housecleaning regarding leakers.  It’s one thing to be a whistleblower; it’s something entirely different to abuse your position of confidence to score points on the gossip circuit.  Have the guts to come forward, or shut your yap.  As for the media: your credibility is already in the toilet, and some of us didn’t need the press release below to know that most of what you have to say these days must be taken with a grain silo of salt.

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Knowing how this ugly business works, I’m hoping this was just a reminder born of frustration at all the leaks to this point, rather than a pre-emption of a shoe likely to drop in the near future. Every day it seems there’s some new bizarre angle that will be “investigated.”  It’s like one side is throwing around as much poo as they can, hoping something will stick.  Our government is paralyzed by all these circuses… and that’s by deliberate calculation.

Final unrelated thought: the copycatting of yesterday’s shooting has begun.

On the edge

Today’s shooting at Republican Congressmen practicing for a baseball game is but the latest (and possibly most worrisome) example of ever-more violent rhetoric leading to more violent action.  Our entire nation needs to take a deep breath and look hard at the road we’ve been traveling to this point.

Nearly a quarter century ago, shortly after Supreme Court Clarence Thomas was confirmed by the Senate, PBS pundit Julianne Malveaux infamously said on air ““You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”  A number of people on both sides of the aisle considered this sort of statement to be well beyond the pale.

How far we’ve fallen.

Politics has long borrowed military language: campaign, objective, tactic and so forth.  It used to be understood these were metaphors.  Then Sarah Palin put out a campaign graphic putting “crosshair” targets on key districts in the election.  The Left went melodramatically berserk over her “eliminationist” message, trying to pin the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Palin’s activity.  (For the record, Gifford’s shooter turned out not to be a ‘right-winger,’ but rather, a mentally unstable person who had a bizarre fixation on her.)

Now the shoe is tied tightly on the other foot, and hopefully it pinches hard.  The militant vocabulary used today is not a metaphor: there are two broad worldviews in competition in the U.S., and both increasingly see the other as a literal enemy (and for many, one that must actually be destroyed, not just voted out of office).  I’m sure many Democrats were greatly disappointed when Wednesday’s shooter turned out to be a Bernie Bro and Rachel Maddow fan, instead of a militia member or such rot.  (That didn’t stop their automatic pleading for more gun control.)  Facebook apparently was quick on the trigger to take down the shooter’s page, but not before some of the wiser denizens of the web captured it all for posterity.

Trump is easily one of the most questionable occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and continuous scrutiny is prudent.  That’s not what the other party offers.  They’re trying to nullify the last election by waging an overheated rhetorical war on two fronts: obstructionism in Congress and the courts, and riling up their base to vandalism and worse with some of the most vile language imaginable.  (Note to the Democrats: increasing the frequency of F-bombs in your public addresses might endear you to some of the college crowd, but for the rest of us it just shows you to be a crass juvenile who feeds on emotion, not careful thought.)

College campuses seem out of control, to the degree that self-appointed vigilante groups of students have to be asked by administrators to stop roaming campus with baseball bats and other instruments.  Attempts by conservatives to speak on a campus are now met frequently with vandalistic temper tantrums.  And protestors on both sides of issues like immigration are now showing up suited for battle, not just to carry signs.

Why write all this?  Because I’m concerned our nation crossed a critical line today, and the path we’re on is leading to disaster.  There are plenty of nuts in both camps, and a continuous backdrop of violent rhetoric (particularly on the internet) only encourages them.  As each side looks warily at the other, the mutual distrust leads many ordinary people to wonder if they need to be making preparations for war.  Thus does the divide get wider and more hostile.

We all need to realize that when ballots no longer settle issues, bullets do.  Is that really how we want to go forward?  Do the posturing online ‘toughs’ really want to see their friends and family caught up in the bloodshed of civil war or anarchy?  I spent 24 years in uniform believing I was helping defend America.  I’ve seen firsthand what a country looks like in a civil war (spoiler: it isn’t pretty).  Now it seems we’re determined to destroy ourselves.  If Wednesday’s any indicator, I have a feeling those who are playing with fire to score political points are going to be among the first to get burned.  But probably not the last.

God help us all.

Where are the grown ups?

So the former FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress about his prior investigations and his dealings with President Trump (it’s still strange to type that).  Here’s how much of a circus this has become:

  1. The Director admitting leaking information to the NY Times via a friend
  2. The leak supposedly contained notes he wrote after meeting with Trump
  3. When asked for his notes, he claims he no longer has a copy
  4. Congress has to ask his friend for any copies he received

Really?  Really?  Either the former Director or the President (or, quite likely, both) is shading the truth considerably.  If it can be shown the Director broke rules on protecting information, or has perjured himself before Congress, there needs to be severe penalties.  Congress also needs to take Trump up on his offer to testify under oath.  And finally, it appears former Attorney General Lynch put more pressure on Comey than Trump ever did… something you likely won’t hear played up in the press.

Meanwhile, both Nancy Pelosi and John McCain are amply demonstrating in a bipartisan fashion how geriatric Congress has become (and how much we need term limits).

Any last vestiges of credibility our government may miraculously have seem to be vanishing right before our eyes.  At this point, maybe an EMP blast from North Korea would be an improvement.  At least then we wouldn’t have to listen to these idiots and their pageantry on radio or TV anymore.  And we’d all be too busy scratching out an existence to care about anything beyond the next town.

The company you keep

Immediately after the inauguration, there was a highly publicized “Women’s March on Washington.”  Of course, it didn’t represent all women… just those of a certain political persuasion, claiming to speak for an entire gender.

The list of those who spoke makes for interesting reading.  Particularly this one.

Such lovely people.  I can’t figure out why the country just tossed them out of power .

Kidding aside, these people must never be allowed anywhere near the levers of power ever again.  Their rage at the election of Trump has shown their true colors.  I would say I hope they keep at it so that 2020 is a breeze, but we do have to consider how the rest of the world looks at all this unbalanced juvenile nonsense (sorry for the photo, but imagine what it takes to dress up like this):