Archive for Mind Games

Ever consider the implications of what you think you want?

Jazz Shaw provides an example of dissonance where ideology is in conflict with reality. Watch: Clinton supporting small business owner realizes Dem minimum wage plan is pretty awful.

It’s just another day in the life of a presidential campaign. We have activists out in the streets arguing in favor of someone who is promising to deliver programs which fundamentally damage their own self-interests. At least in Ms. Rosenberg’s case she’s aware of the issue and the damage which is coming. How she squares that with her political views is another matter entirely.

The basic question is about the proper role of government. See Venezuela if you want an example of thinking that control of all commerce is the proper role of government. Actually seeing the destruction doesn’t seem to have any impact and that is what is (or should be) worrisome.

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The Washington Times: dissonance

The Washington Times pundits are at it again. Consider these thoughts:

Stephen Moore on What Republican turncoats forget — “If Obama/Hillary win a third race, there won’t be a conservative movement.”

I certainly don’t mean to disparage conservatives who say they won’t vote for Mr. Trump. One’s vote is a matter of personal conscience. But to actively support Hillary is to put the other team’s jersey on and then run a lap around the stadium.

It’s worth examining the case of the Republicans for Hillary, because none of the arguments make much sense.

Robert Knight describes The reality of a pipe dream — “Socialism has been at war with marriage and family for more than 200 years.”

There’s something about deploying the government as a mugger to obtain the fruits of someone else’s labor that appeals to the worst in us. But it invariably leads to poverty, dishonesty and even tyranny.

A common myth perpetuated in academia and the media is that a straight-line axis would put the Nazis and Fascists on the far right and the Communists on the far left, with Socialists in the middle. But the Communists, Nazis and Fascists are all, in fact, on the far left under the umbrella term of Socialism. On the far right would-be anarchists who believe in no government. America, with its limited government and guarantees of individual liberty, is somewhere in between.

To sort this out, here’s a tale of two cows that I didn’t originate but did embroider a bit.

Anarchy: You have two cows. You sell milk at a price your neighbors want or they kill you and take the cows.

Fascism: The state takes both and sells you the milk.

Communism: The state takes both and gives you milk — but only if you have party connections or stand in the right line.

Nazism: The state takes both and shoots you if you’re Jewish, a gypsy or a troublesome Christian.

Socialism: The government takes one and gives it to someone else. Then they come for the other, accusing you of being selfish and hateful.

Finally, there’s Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one for a fair price to your neighbor . and buy a bull.

Speaking of family matters, in the 1930s, J.D. Unwin, an Oxford anthropologist, released “Sex and Culture,” a study from every continent over 5,000 years. He found that all cultures throughout history honored marriage, and those that abandoned monogamy soon were depleted of energy and were destroyed. This helps explain the fall of Greece and Rome.

Now, why is this important? It’s because Socialism has been at war with marriage and the family since the late-18th century. The most prominent socialist thinkers, including Rousseau, Marx and Engels, promoted the sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued in order to eliminate loyalties other than to the state.

As America drifts from our spiritual origins, there are signs of the socialist disease: rising obsession with redistribution and sensate entertainment, loss of virtue and respect for innocent life, mounting public and private debt, and an ever-growing government.

David Keene on Why Venezuela faces collapse — “With a socialist government and a disarmed populace, prospects are grim.”

The Venezuelan collapse is perhaps the starkest modern example of just how quickly socialism can destroy a basically wealthy, democratic nation. When Hugo Chavez came to power, the left in this country celebrated him and his policies. Hollywood types and “progressive” politicians praised him and looked forward to a demonstration of just how effectively socialism could transform a country — and that’s what everyone’s witnessed since. But it wasn’t quite the sort of transformation they expected.

Where are we headed? Where are we going? What are we likely to find? A lot of that can be seen from the travels of others and from where we have been.

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Road to perdition

Edwin Meese III and Kelly J. Shackelford describe How the lawyers plan to stifle speech and faith — “The American Bar Association’s new code must be rejected.”

Frighteningly, the ABA leaders’ statements verify that they understand — and intend — the ramifications of Model Rule 8.4. President Paulette Brown advocates that the ABA must prevent “bias” in ways that go far beyond current law. Committee member Drucilla Ramey insists bar authorities go “to the top of the legal profession” to “incentivize” attorneys to change their views and speech on these issues, views and speech often informed by attorneys’ religion. All this, despite committee testimony that such a rule has “little relation to concerns” arising in most lawyers’ offices, could be “used tactically against someone inappropriately,” and will “have a chilling effect on something that has always been in the best traditions of the bar: representing minority views and unpopular positions or clients.”

The purpose of our legal system is to ensure freedom. Popular speech rarely needs legal protection. The law protects dissenters’ right to disagree with governmental orthodoxy. It must not become a weapon to oppress those dissenters.

The ABA’s un-American censorship regime is beyond draconian; it coerces conformity regarding religious and political beliefs on a level unprecedented in American history. It borders on fascism, and must be explicitly repudiated.

Silence the opposition. Squash any debate. Maintain conformity by bringing everyone down to the pablum level. Tolerate no divergence from the ideal and spew hate and contempt on those who dare question the orthodoxy of correct politics. The road to perdition begins here.

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Decay is hard to reverse

Peter J. Wallison If you believe a President Trump could not stop regulation, think again. A precedent has been set. A small step has been taken.

After Donald Trump’s speech yesterday, many on the left hastened to note that the president doesn’t really have the power to stop the regulatory juggernaut as Trump promised. They are wrong.

Again, Congress will howl, and those of us who protested what the Obama administration was doing will agree, but it will be too late. Congress, and sadly the media, too — for wholly partisan reasons — has abandoned the principle that independent agencies are supposed to be independent, and that principle will not easily be reclaimed when a Republican president makes use of it.

Much of the principle that provided the check and balance process in governance has been eroded. Trying to reverse this is difficult and goes against the grain. See Venezuela for what going with the grain produces.

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Grok Trump?

The IBD claims that Establishment Republicans Shoot At Trump — And Hit Themselves In The Foot

many of the examples these erstwhile Republicans provide to back up their decision apply as much to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as to Trump.

Trump has serious character flaws, to be sure, but Clinton has an actual record of failure in just about everything she did as secretary of state. And that’s to say nothing of the cavalier disregard for national security with her use of an unsecured private email server while at State. Even the head of Obama’s FBI admitted that Clinton’s recklessness likely put classified information in the hands of our enemies.

Constructive criticism of any candidate is important. But there’s a difference between constructive criticism and the tawdry political opportunism on display this week by Republicans who ought to know better.

There are other groups that are making fools of themselves, too. Thomas Lifson takes up the case where Trump successfully baits media into hysteria. Again.

The anti-Trump media (another name for the mainstream media) have resumed their frenzied claims that Donald Trump is out to unleash indescribable horror in the American people. The current version of doom is that he is calling for NRA assassins to kill either Hillary Clinton or her Supreme Court nominees, or both. What he actually said was this:

“By the way if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Within thirty minutes, according to Rudy Giuliani interviewed on Fox News this morning, the Clinton spin machine had shaped the media narrative. Trump was not calling for electoral activism (at a rally of electoral activists!). No, he was calling on “Second Amendment People” to use their evil guns to kill someone or other.

Given these conditions, it would make sense for Trump to capitalize on the media’s inability to be fair, and get them to anger his base to turn out. And also to discredit themselves in the eyes of persuadables in the general public. People who despise him are going to write bad things about him anyway, so why not push them over the edge into revealing more than they intend about their own prejudices?

And Howard Kurtz explains how the Media justify anti-Trump bias, claim he’s too ‘dangerous’ for normal rules,

The media’s legions of Trump-bashers are finally acknowledging the obvious.

And trying their best to justify it.

But there’s one problem: Tilting against one candidate in a presidential election can’t be justified.

This is about the mainstream media’s reporters, editors and producers, whose credo is supposed to be fairness.

And now some of them are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign.

Many of the reporters who feel compelled to stop Trump are undoubtedly comfortable because all their friends feel the same way.

But they are deluding themselves if they think that going after one candidate in a two-candidate race is what journalism is about.

Deluding themselves, indeed. Jim Rutenberg of the NYT refers to “coded appeals to racism or nationalism” which is the kind of language used when you are not able to find a reality to support your perceptions.

This is the establishment under the microscope. Establishment has been an ugly word since the 60’s, Those who made it an ugly word were successful and became ‘establishment’ themselves. Now they are trying to defend themselves because they have become the worst of what they railed against in the past. Trump is the one who brought to microscope to the table and what he is making visible is not pretty. But the ‘people’ knew that. That is why Trump is getting traction. Some of the ‘establishment’ get this, they Grok Trump. Others don’t and they are suffering dissonance.

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Tactics. Propaganda.

Robert Knight on The truth about lies — “Lies are embraced when the truth plays second fiddle.”

Omitting key details is one way to lie. We still hear about the shooting of the “unarmed teen Michael Brown” in Ferguson, Missouri with no mention that he was attacking a police officer. Adding adjectives is another. In supposedly objective news stories about voter ID laws, the writers keep inserting “restrictive” in front of them in order to make them sound onerous. All laws are “restrictive” in some sense. They never do this with gun laws, by the way.

Even when the press gets caught red-handed, they just move on as if nothing had happened. Much of the ease in which so many in the media embrace dishonesty can be traced to their formative years on campus, where leftist academics taught them that truth is in the eye of the beholder.

A former newspaper editor who has seen it all, Mr. Duigon said that a lie of this magnitude “takes your breath away.”

If past is prologue, we’d better break out the oxygen masks.

Why do so many seem to feel ‘at this point, what difference does it make?’ Something strange is happening.

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the State Propaganda Machine vs. Trump

Jeffrey Lord on the Media vs. America.

Monday night at that Trump rally here in Pennsylvania, a rally I have described here in The American Spectator, Trump drew what was unarguably his most sustained applause when he said of his campaign:“the biggest problem is the media.” The audience erupted, applauding and cheering, with many turning – unasked by Trump – to the back of the room where the television cameras were perched on risers and booing repeatedly.

Frank Miele on ‘Mediagate,’ the scandal you won’t hear about on cable news.

In the last two weeks, it has become obvious that a political scandal is unfolding which exceeds in scope anything seen previously in our country’s 240-year history.

I’m talking about “Mediagate” — the attempted coup d’etat by the talking heads at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, who aimed salvo after salvo of Trumped-up stories at the GOP nominee as soon as he appeared to be closing in on Hillary Clinton following the Republican National Convention.

Then there’s Reena Flores on a Report: Donald Trump never threw a baby out of a rally.

On Friday, Trump charged the media with being “dishonest” about his handling of a crying baby at an Ashburn, Virginia, rally earlier in the week.

That same day, Trump’s general election opponent, Hillary Clinton, came out with a mocking video of Trump’s own words from that memorable Virginia campaign stop, circulating it on social media:

The enterprising fact-checkers at the Washington Post tracked down two sources — an eyewitness to the proceedings and the mother of said baby — and determined that Trump was, in fact, telling the truth Friday about how he treated the bawling infant.

“The media did in fact blow this entire situation out of proportion,” Ebert, from Virginia, wrote in an email. “I’m not looking to make it into anything bigger. All I’m hoping is that Trump personally is aware that I am in agreement with him and stand by the fact that I was never kicked out of the rally.”

Then there’s Scott Johnson: “If you read the story like Russians used to read Pravda, looking for the nugget of truth that might be buried in an article, you will find this

A while back it was a concern that Trump leveraged celebrity for favorable media coverage to win primaries. At least that was honest. Now the wheel has turned, honesty has gone down the tubes and the State Propaganda Machine is in full spin mode to destroy what it created. People do notice. We will see if if matters to the public at large.

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The State Propaganda Machine gets some notice

Thomas Lifson note that there is Fifty times more TV network coverage for Khizr Khan than Pat Smith

Media bias has entered new territory in the United States with the nomination of Donald Trump. Somethig approaching scared moral duty to defeat him permeates newsrooms across the country. So it is no surprise that news judgments are ridiculously skewed, to the point where comparisons with totalitarian regimes are becoming thinkable.

Jim Waurishuk picks it up with The Left’s Anti-Trump Political Media Show

What went on last weekend mainly on CNN and Sunday News/Talk shows is an outrage. The liberal media is in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and they know it. First of all the Khans stood on the stage of the DNC Convention and not only told their story, but savagely attacked Mr. Trump. They said two things that were way out of bounds; The First, that Mr. Trump has made no sacrifice, and the Second, that Mr. Trump never read the Constitution.

Then there’s Matthew Boyle on Khizr Khan: ‘I Was Just Joking’: Media Apoplectic as Khizr Khan Attack on Donald Trump Goes Down in Flames.

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

Meanwhile, hours after Breitbart News presented this information publicly in a coherent report on Monday, others in media engaged in willful distortion of the story’s origins.

But, facts be damned, the entire mainstream is on a warpath to try to stop Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. It’s also worth noting that each and every one of them is in their own right working to undermine Trump and elect Clinton.

Much can be gleaned from the moral preening seen as a faux outrage filled with judgment and prognostication that reveals the propaganda. One problem is that many of those ‘neverTrump’ camp followers do not notice the “faux” in their outrage and nobody ever thinks they are engaging in moral preening. This tends to lead to hyperbole and sometimes that goes astray. It appears that the Gold Star episode is yet another of those. One wonders how many and how often for these reveals is needed to make a dent.

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The Pope and the ‘everybody does it’ fallacy

At The Guardian Pope Francis says it is ‘not right’ to identify Islam with violence — “Leader of the Catholic church says all religions have a ‘small fundamentalist group’ and that faith was not the only cause of terrorism.”

Pope Francis has said it was wrong to identify Islam with violence and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism.

“I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence,” he told reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome after a five-day trip to Poland. “This is not right and this is not true.”

The Guardian view on Pope Francis in Kraków: what religions are really about
Editorial: The pontiff shares some traits with John Paul II, but has a very different agenda
Read more
The pope was responding to a question about the killing on 26 July of an 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest during a church service in western France. The attackers forced the priest to his knees and slit his throat. The killing was claimed by Islamic State.

“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group,” he said, adding “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.

Picking out money as the bogeyman despite plain evidence to the contrary is bad enough. Ignoring the teachings of the Koran raises things to a whole new level. A reasonable person might conclude that this is bearing false witness but the Pope is supposed to be above that. Confusing the sin in human nature with the teachings of false prophets is dangerous territory for any religious leader. Rather than bemoaning the evil of others concerning greed and money, perhaps some introspection about one’s own ‘wanting nice things’ is in order, especially when those nice things are for a reflection of humanity that does not exist and that your faith warns you about.

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How did it get this far apart?

Robert Knight calls it A tale of two platforms and says that “The glaring differences give Americans a clear choice.”

Regardless of the Trump-Clinton matchup, it’s instructive to contrast the Republican and Democratic Party platforms. While nearly identical in length, they reveal utterly opposite worldviews.

The 54-page Republican platform calls for greater personal responsibility; decentralizing power; a balanced-budget amendment; reducing the size and scope of government; parental rights; gun ownership and religious liberty; tax incentives for economic growth; reducing taxes across the board; a crackdown on the Internal Revenue Service; overturning the Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare, abortion and same-sex “marriage”; rejecting any treaties not vetted by the Senate; rescinding President Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to illegal immigrants; withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities”; building a wall on our southern border; rebuilding American military strength, and exerting international leadership against ISIS and other threats.

The 52-page Democratic Party platform promises a new War on Poverty and the Bernie Sanders-inspired Socialist War on the Rich [not their wording]; massive new public works projects; expanding federal programs at every level; more tax-subsidized abortions; cradle-to-grave health care; a “cradle-to- college pipeline”; free public college tuition for all; free childcare; mandatory national service; racial affirmative action; the LGBT political agenda; new regulatory mandates on businesses; a radical climate change agenda; leading “a broad coalition of allies and partners to destroy ISIS’ stronghold in Iraq and Syria,” and sky-is-the-limit confiscatory taxation, including a new levy on financial transactions, to pay for it all.

The question is how the politics became this divisive, how the two major parties became so separated in values and perceptions.

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Perspective and context

VDH ponders Trump and the Politics of Moral Outrage. The current brouhaha about Russian hacking is just one example that illustrates his points. That example is about perceptions, actual causes, the use of satire and humor, outrage, and political machinations.

No doubt, some of Trump’s flamboyant invective is isolationist, nativist, and protectionist. Certainly, we are in the strangest campaign of the last half-century, in which members of Trump’s own party are among his fiercest critics. In contrast, the ABC/NBC/CBS Sunday-morning liberal pundits feel no need to adopt NeverHillary advocacy. They apparently share little “Not in my name” compunction over “owning” her two decades of serial lying, her violations of basic ethical and legal protocols as secretary of state, her investment in what can be fairly termed a vast Clinton pay-to-play influence-peddling syndicate, and the general corruption of the Democratic primary process.

Amid the anguish over the Trump candidacy, we often forget that the present age of Obama is already more radical than most of what even Trump has blustered about.

Is Trump’s threatened “isolationism” worse than the present “lead from behind” or the empty step-over lines, deadlines, and red lines of the last seven years? Or than refusing to increase security at Benghazi and creating fables to hide the dereliction? I often hear the question: “Who knows what Trump might do?” I hear it much more often, in fact, than I hear anyone recall “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” or “What difference does it make?” The point is not to excuse Trump with “you too” moral equivalence, or to cynically race to the bottom of low-bar politics, but again to remind our ethicists that we live in an age characterized by Petronius’s Satyricon, not the elder Cato’s moral republic — and if they object to that fact, there were plenty of occasions to voice their outrage long before Donald J. Trump left The Apprentice. Trump may well be Trimalchio, but neither Clinton nor Obama is a Scipio (more likely a Catiline, Clodius, or Milo).

Like it or not, this election is about degree, relative political agendas, and comparative hazard, not about marrying ideological purity and consistency with sobriety and character — a sad fact that did not enter our politics with Donald J. Trump.

The current campaign is change and the state propaganda machine and established politicians are having a tough time trying to figure out what is going on. There are lessons to be learned about the people and about the wisdom of those who framed the U.S. systems of government.

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Diagnosing tactics: the AP

John Hinderaker: The Association Press Plays the Race Card.

The Associated Press was once a straightforward, relatively nonpolitical news source, but those days are long gone. Now some of the most hard-core Democratic Party advocacy comes from the AP. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP is trying to advance the Democrats’ narrative that Trump is a bigot.

Is that assertion true? The AP takes no responsibility, it is just what “some observers say.”

“Coded racial language” is big on the left, but note that so far, the AP hasn’t quoted a single word that Donald Trump actually said. Not one. The AP goes on in the same vein, quoting Trump’s far-left critics, but never citing any of Trump’s own words.

And tomorrow, the AP will run a story on how Communists and Socialists are cheering for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They won’t do that, of course, because fringe people are of interest only if they support Republicans. It’s just another day in the lives of liberal journalists who are devoted to advancing the interests of their party.

At least the propaganda is being dissected and exposed. There is still a significant gullible market for propaganda and that means that there will be those to serve the market. There is a lot of work to be done to shrink that market and education about tactics, techniques, and methods may help promote better integrity.

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People notice

At least Tammy Bruce thinks so. Chaos at the Democratic National Convention — “The chaos of the Democrats follows the noisy challenge of the GOP.”

Americans notice things like no American flags on the DNC convention stage. It might be small to some people, but it’s a statement. The Democrats think so because someone made a deliberate decision to eliminate the image of the Stars and Stripes. After criticism mounted, they added them the second night. What sort of people need to be proded into including the American flag at a convention for the presidency?

The contrast is there. It is not only in symbols such as the U.S. Flag and other Americana that usually overwhelms at a national party convention. It is also in the speakers and topics that are chosen to be on the agenda. As Bruce noted, it is also in the management of the convention itself, something that isn’t noticed if well done.

Politics seems to have risen above opinion and reason and even integrity. It has gone beyond patriotism and pride in one’s society. Do the people notice? Do they care? They will tell us soon.

Then take a look at the DNC platform. IBT describes it For Democrats, Is It ‘Great America’ Or ‘Hate America’?.

The bedrock of America has always — always — been its free-market system, which has provided greater wealth and opportunity for more people than any other system ever. Yet, there have been no comments made from the convention stage in unqualified support of our free-market system. None.

The truth is, as the Democratic platform clearly shows, the Democratic Party now is in near total opposition to the free-market system we have — favoring instead top-down control of nearly every aspect of American life.

or consider answering the question Why Are ‘Progressives’ Fighting Against Uber and Airbnb?/

So in other words, to help out rich, politically connected special interests, progressives like Warren are perfectly willing to cause direct harm to middle-income families.

This isn’t being progressive, folks. This is being reactionary.

An anti Airbnb notice even came out with the Washoe County property tax notice. Will people notice?

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Tactics

Richard Berman thinks he knows How to defeat activists. “The key is exposing the opposition’s hidden agenda.”

Having a first-mover advantage, then occupying the moral high ground, allows activists to shift the burden of proof to the opposition. This puts opponents in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative — e.g., explaining why a higher minimum wage won’t decrease poverty, and how food labeling won’t make consumers more informed.

So how does one respond? Not by continuing to try to win on an intellectual level.

It is getting more discussion about how integrity – the intellectual level – isn’t much of a factor in today’s political arguments. Berman’s problem in envisioning tactics is that his proposed solution falls back to that of the honest person. That dissonance is a significant internal dilemma: how do you prevail when you are up against an opposition that has no boundaries on its behavior?

Consider, for instance Ed Feulner on Challenging the climate change bullies — “Despite what Democratic lawyers say, free speech isn’t debatable.”

Actually, Mr. Schneiderman can assert that all he wants. Unlike him, I believe in free speech for all, even those I disagree with. What I find abhorrent is the idea of using the power of government to compel groups who express a politically incorrect point of view to open their files for investigation.

Sorry, Mr. Whitehouse. The only fraud being perpetrated here is by those who would deny basic First Amendment rights to their fellow Americans. Let’s hope those who recognize your bullying tactics keep turning up the heat.

Keep turning up the heat – that’s another tactic and it is an effective one. It means selling the people to join you in exposing the fallacies and absurdities and in pushing back against improper behavior.

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A malaise in science, a failure in culture

Dr. Tim Ball thinks that the Credibility Loss in Climate Science is Part of a Wider Malaise in Science.

There are a widespread malaise and loss of direction in western society promulgated by bizarre ideas and theories produced by completely unaccountable academics. How can anyone promote ideas that were so wrong and did so much damage, like Paul Ehrlich, yet continue to practice?

Lack of accountability is endemic among the financial, political, and academic elite trio. It is no wonder that the modern attitude, especially among the young, is that you only broke the law if you got caught. Even then, it is most likely nothing will happen to you or anyone who benefits from your absolution if you are in the elite trio. So the malfeasance expands as the practices and false rewards continue.

One of many incorrect assumptions made in education is that it can increase a person’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The difference is between nature (IQ) and nurture (education). Aristotle defined the issue when he pointed out that you can have a mathematical genius of five years old, but you will never have a five-year-old philosophical genius. Aristotle’s point was that most of the subjects’ students study in school require life experience, which they don’t and can’t have.

The give away in the entire climate debacle were the actions taken before and after the emails were leaked. The resort to denial of freedom of information requests for data, use of intellectual property claims to prevent other scientists replicating results. The examples in climate science appear to be extreme.

There is worry about a lack of accountability and differing rules and standards for different cohorts. Why is it fostered and allowed to stand? That is the puzzle.

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Struggles with guns

The dissonance is on display. Paul Marantz is wondering: More guns or fewer? The problems with evidence-based gun research and provides an illustration of asking the wrong question and avoiding logical inference by avoiding selected data.

To me, it seems patently absurd to suggest that fewer people would have died in that movie theater in Aurora, CO, if more theater-goers were toting firearms, or that fewer children would have died in Sandy Hook, CT, if there were armed guards in all schools, or Donald Trump’s more recent statement that if more people in that Orlando nightclub had been carrying guns, “you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.”

Absurd? It is one thing to not understand but entirely another to pre-judge. The use of ‘toting’ is also an indicator of this bias. Why would it be absurd to think that an armed citizenry would increase the odds of reducing the tenure of a mass murderer? The he poses a hypothetical to support his view: “But since we can’t actually know something that didn’t happen.” The logical fallacy is trying to apply a single case to a statistical phenomena. Rather than limit the observations to one specific and selected event to determine definitive result, why not look at the broader, statistical, population? If you do, then you will find cases where an armed citizenry did indeed cut a mass murder short and other evidence that your judgment of “absurd” is off base. This is only a part of the problem.

why not take a scientific approach to determining whether there is such an association and in which direction it points? While my heart resonates with this argument, my head finds a few significant problems:

1. The powers that be don’t want this sort of information.

Just how is assuming a conspiracy taking a “scientific approach”?

2. Even when information is available, we tend to ignore or disbelieve evidence that doesn’t comport with our beliefs. While there hasn’t been enough research on gun violence, there has been some, and it generally supports the notion that having fewer restrictions on gun access is associated with more, not fewer, fatalities

When you start to allege bias, the first place to look is always in the mirror. In this case, the need is shown by a questionable allegations. This is about not enough research – like the research that has been done and the measurements taken don’t support the view I like so we need more to find some that does. Another problem is the “fewer restrictions” means more fatalities which flies in the face of the overall statistic that violence has reduced over the last couple of decades as gun ownership and CCW permits have increased. The only ‘research’ to support his allegation is highly selective and bypasses proper consideration of pertinent variables in a complex situation.

3. Americans’ mistrust of science. This last point is perhaps the most problematic; although as troubling as I find it, I do understand it a bit. First, while science represents a methodology and an approach to thinking about and understanding the world, the way “science” is taught tends to emphasize what we’ve learned from science (often focusing on fact retention) rather than the methodology itself. While the latter is more interesting, it can be intellectually challenging, and one wonders whether our educational system is up to the task

How is this mistrust measured? Is it a sop for an ad hominem attack on those who do not agree? Perhaps a place to start would be to start to examine one’s own views of science. Think about the values of science and how poorly they are reflected in your own conclusions and rationalizations.

In sum: I’m hoping for effective, evidence-based policies to curb gun violence and reduce firearm-related deaths, but I am of little faith.

What are these “effective, evidence-based policies” that are going to do what what is already happening? Why is this restricted to just one type of violence and what does that indicate about the real target of the plea – and why is that target hidden? 

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Soros v Koch

A number of Democrats in the Senate are having a go at the Koch brothers claiming that they are defrauding the public and should be silenced. Meanwhile, there’s George Soros. Kelly Riddel says Beware the Soros zombies — “They’re headed to the Republican convention with a mission to disrupt and distract.”

Civil rights group Color of Change — which Mr. Soros gave $500,000 to in his Foundation’s latest tax return — collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition to demand Coca-Cola and other companies withdraw their support from the [Republican] convention. The petition that featured a Coke bottle with the label, “Share a Coke with the KKK.”

Brave New Films, which received $250,000 from Mr. Soros‘ foundation, tried to make waves for Republicans by creating misinformation about their convention through social media.

Deceit and lies — that’s what these groups are up to — and they’re using the mainstream media as their pawns.

Last weekend, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a progressive organization that was given $900,000 by Mr. Soros’s Foundation, held a People’s Convention in Pittsburgh, to organize social justice movements ahead of the political conventions both in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

That’s right, Mr. Soros is actively working to build another ACORN.

It is one thing to voice an opinion, another entirely to fund demonstrations to disrupt and destroy and silence the opposition. Soros v Koch illustrates the difference and tells much about the ethics and values that are at play in current politics and the stark differences between parties.

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An IBD collection

Investor’s Business Daily has a parade of solid thinking today. Start off with Walter Williams on why We Don’t Need Another ‘National Conversation’ On Race. Then take a look Kerry Jackson: June Hottest Month On Record? It’s Just One More Overheated Claim. Both illustrate how measures of reality are in dissonance with political desires and fantasies.

The primary victims of lawlessness are black people. To address this problem and most others, black people should ignore the liberal agenda. If civil authorities will not do their job of creating a safe environment, then black people should take the initiative. One example comes to mind. In 1988, at the request of residents, Black Muslims began to patrol Mayfair Mansions, a drug-infested, gang-ridden, unsafe Washington, D.C., housing project. The gangs and drug lords left.

Without self-initiative, there is not much that can be done about the high crime rate in black neighborhoods. Black and white liberals and their allies in the ACLU, as well as many libertarians, will not countenance the kind of tools needed to bring about civility.

Similar to the ‘foolishness’ and many falsehoods driving the anti-police movement is that driving the climate propaganda.

One of the points that has to be taken from this is the foolishness of trying to determine an average temperature for a country, let alone an entire planet.

And it is indeed foolishness. Bjarne Andresen, a professor at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, says the concept of a global temperature is thermodynamically as well as mathematically impossible to establish.

“It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth,” Andresen, an expert in thermodynamics, says.

“A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate.”

NOAA would have more credibility if it simply reported that summer had arrived in the Northern Hemisphere in June and reminded Americans, particularly those in regions where June was cooler than usual, that, yes, summer is hot.

Yes, it’s a hot summer and some are saying it was planned – at least the race riot type things. 

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Jay Stalien on Facebook 

The more I listened, the more I realized. The more I researched, the more I realized. I would ask questions, and would only get emotional responses & inferences based on no facts at all. The more killing I saw, the more tragedy, the more savagery, the more violence, the more loss of life of a black man at the hands of another black man….the more I realized.

All of my realizations came to this conclusion. Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm”, and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter”.

I realized that some of these people, who say Black Lives Matter, are full of hate and racism. Hate for cops, because of the false narrative that more black people are targeted and killed. Racism against white people, for a tragedy that began 100’s of years ago, when most of the white people today weren’t even born yet.

I realized that some in the African American community’s idea of “Justice” is the prosecution of ANY and EVERY cop or white man that kills or is believed to have killed a black man, no matter what the circumstances are.

I realized the African American community refuses to look within to solve its major issues, and instead makes excuses and looks outside for solutions. I realized that a lot of people in the African American community lead with hate, instead of love. Division instead of Unity. Turmoil and rioting, instead of Peace.

I realized that they have become the very entity that they claim they are fighting against.

I realized that the very reasons I became a cop, are the very reasons my own people hate me, and now in this toxic hateful racially charged political climate, I am now more likely to die,… and it is still hard for me to understand…. to this day.

hard to understand indeed. go read the rest as it is a powerful plaint.

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Democrats v Bill of Rights

Peter Roff on Freezing Free Speech — “Democratic senators are trying to put the First Amendment on ice.”

This coordinated attack on what the Democrats are calling the “Web of denial” is a hideous affront to the right of a person or an organization to hold and to propagate an opinion running counter to the political interests of the powerful. That those participating are making use of the tactics they accuse their opponents in the climate change debate of using would make for delicious irony were the stakes not so high.

Whitehouse and company understand well they cannot yet make a difference of opinion a criminal matter. They can however make it a costly one – and they are not above using the resources available to them as officers of the United States government to do it. No matter what your beliefs about climate change you should all be sickened by the spectacle. Open debate is healthy, but that’s not what this is. It’s an effort at oppression, the kind many of our forebears fled in deciding to first come to America.

If you can’t make it illegal, you can at least make it costly to oppose you. The assault on the Bill of Rights by the Democratic Party is indeed “a hideous affront.” What is frightening is that it is a major political party supported by a good portion of the citizenry.

update: the minions are falling into line: Calling out the Koch Brothers. Note the picking of a personal target and how it is rationalized and defended in the comments. 

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