Archive for Mind Games

FUD Football

Joseph C. Maroon and Julian E. Bailes Jr. are neurosurgeons Weighing the childhood risks of contact sports who think that “Staying on the sidelines carries far more health danger than getting into the game.”

“Fear has created a market for concussion information and products, and the media is overreacting to sensational but unsubstantiated pronouncements and factoids. The anti-football hype is so prevalent that even Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, George Will, asserted, “For all players who play five or more years, life expectancy is less than 60; for linemen it is much less,” without as much as a footnote. It’s a shocking statistic but it’s not an accurate one. Research shows that retired NFL players are living as least as long as their peers and have lower rates of cancer and heart disease.”

“Organized sports are a bulwark against the very real health risks associated with childhood obesity such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease. These benefits are critical to the health and development of our youth and they serve to show the need for a more balanced approach to how we address the safety of our kids playing contact sports. Unfortunately, participation in youth football nationally and high school football in many regions of the country have substantially fallen in recent years.”

Couple health and children and you have a ripe field for spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt to feed a “we must do something, anything” movement. Consequences and implications and even reality go to the back of the bus. The costs can be horrific.

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The Busy Body Brigade

Fingers Malloy says No, there shouldn’t be a law.

“I call them the Busybody Brigade (The BB for short). The Left’s army of activists who look for problems that don’t actually exist, and solve them with restrictions that don’t actually work.

Their motto: “There should be a law….”

They are meddlesome. They are relentless. And they are on a quest to influence almost every decision you make, from sunrise to sunset. It’s all in an attempt to “better the collective” and control your life.”

“The arbitrary outrage of the BB is a lesson in cognitive dissonance. These are the same people who insisted that Dick Cheney was violating their privacy and personally reading all of their emails, yet they are fine with someone rummaging through their garbage cans to monitor what they are throwing out.”

Yeah, he’s the Snark Factor guy but he does have a point. Doesn’t the Busy Body Brigade have something more important to do – like get an education and make a life?

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Increasing the heat

With the lack of results of various Congressional inquiries over the last few years, one could wonder if either there was no substance to investigate or if there was something else going on. It is beginning to appear to be the latter. Frontpage Mag says Gowdy Comes Out Swinging. It appears that obstructions to fruitful investigation are being called.

“Rep. Trey Gowdy came out swinging at Tuesday’s hearing of his Select Committee, laying into Democrats for playing political games and blasting the State Department for refusing to produce documents and for preventing witnesses from testifying before the committee.”

“By putting up a website called “Asked and Answered” before the Select Committee had even held its first hearing, the Democrats “instantly prejudged facts that are not yet in evidence,” Gowdy wrote.”

“Many of the so-called answers the Democrats provide to nagging questions on Benghazi answer nothing at all.”

“In a classic straw man argument, the Democrats accuse Republicans of claiming that Secretary of State Clinton personally “ordered” Defense Secretary Panetta to “stand down” an ongoing rescue attempt. That obviously didn’t happen; and no credible source has alleged that.”

There is a lot of defense going on and that means that the offense needs to use more force to clear the way. That can be painful but it must be done else: Argentina (for example). The new Congress is showing some indications that the tolerance shenanigans might be reduced.

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Propaganda machine: warmist year evva’ ??

Luboš Motl describes why NOAA, NASA: 2014 was probably not the warmest year on our recordA direct proof that the professional alarmists are intentionally lying. It’s a basic matter of the science of measurement and intentional misrepresentation.

“the two questions are: how much do the error margins of the NOAA, NASA temperature records matter? And if they change the answer to the question whether 2014 was the warmest one, did they know about this fact when they loudly announced that “2014 was the warmest year” or did they overlook that detail?

“The answer is that the answer is heavily affected by the error margins and NASA, NOAA knew that – but were careful to get the wrong answer to the media.”

“The tweet by Gavin Schmidt is a simple example of mass manipulation in action. They publish some of the correct yet inconvenient clarifications at places where almost no one reads – the press conference was attended by a small number of people, Schmidt has a few thousand Twitter followers, almost no one reads the bulk of the IPCC reports etc. – while at the places which matter because millions of people read them, they always post the distortions, oversimplifications, and downright lies.

“This combination of strategies allows them to say that they “did release the truth”. However, they are careful that they only speak the truth when almost no one listens.”

The headlines were sufficient for any but the most gullible to wonder about. Delving just a bit deeper revealed that the claim was based on just 0.02C temperature difference and that the satellite record told a different story. The history of the alarmist climate assertions should also give pause. Perhaps that is why the offense is so offensive to intellectual integrity?

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Like cats in a bag

Liz Peek says Give Boehner a break: GOP Speaker brings real leadership to 114th Congress.

“Only Republicans could celebrate one of the great moments in the party’s history by falling on each other like cats in a laundry bag. Weeks after securing one of the GOP’s most convincing electoral sweeps, Tea Partiers in the House, egged on by the likes of Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, decided to humiliate Speaker John Boehner by rallying to elect one of their own.

“They failed, but in the process they gave wounded Democrats ample fodder for ridicule. They also steered the narrative away from the popular programs mainstream Republicans hope to pursue and that Americans hunger for.

“The pundit chorus should stand down. While they were sniping over his tactics, the New York Times reports that Boehner participated in some 150 campaign events during 2014, raised $102 million — and transferred $23 million from his own political action committee to the National Republican Campaign Committee. That GOP majority that conservatives accuse Boehner of squandering — he helped build it.”

When your think your enemy is your own right foot, it shouldn’t surprise you that you can’t compete in the race.

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Nobody so blind as he who won’t see

Someone defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That seems to be a chosen mode of operation in some political corners these days. For an example, see ‘Hidden in Plain Sight': A Q&A with Peter Wallison on the 2008 financial crisis and why it might happen again

“Legislation can only be effective if it is drawn up by a Congress that understands the nature of the problem it is supposed to solve. Dodd-Frank was based on the false idea that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by insufficient regulation of the private sector. This narrative supported what the 2010 Democratic Congress wanted to accomplish—the imposition of much greater regulation on the US financial system—but did not come close to identifying or addressing the government policies that were the actual cause of the crisis. Indeed, by absolving the government from any role in the crisis, the supporters of Dodd-Frank left the government free to do the same thing again—something that is occurring right before our eyes. The president’s proposal last week to reduce the FHA’s insurance premiums, and the FHFA’s ruling that Fannie Mae and Freddie should accept 3% down payments on mortgages, are only the most recent examples that we are on our way to repeating a very sad history.”

“The key question is whether the American people have learned that it was the government’s housing policies, and not the risk-taking and greed of the private sector, that caused the 2008 financial crisis. With that understood, we can have a genuine national debate on whether the US should continue a government role in the housing finance system. At the moment, the signs are not good.”

It does sound so nice – for everyone to be able to own their own home. The problem occurs when it is decided that the government is the agent to be used to accomplish this idea. Then, when the results of that effort hit home, the ‘sounds nice’ crowd get into rationalizations that choose an ‘evil capitalist’ to explain the failure. That continues to downward spiral of solving the wrong problem, creating more problems, and spending ever more resources on solutions to the wrong problems.

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A tremor in the force

Pope Francis raises eyebrows.

How are we to explain that at the very moment that the oldest Christian communities in the world are being violently destroyed; that while Christians are murdered, raped and tortured in Africa and the Middle East; and while horrific barbarities are committed daily in the name of God, the pope issues an encyclical and travels around the world to talk about climate change?

Senator Marco Rubio, a practicing Catholic, put it succinctly:

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy.”

In the long run, this will bring down the Church — just as it has mainstream Protestantism and non-Orthodox Judaism — as well as diminish decency on earth.

It is, moreover, clear that the pope has been so influenced by leftism that he appears to know only the propaganda, not the science. For example, the typhoon in the Philippines had nothing to do with global warming. The leading science journal, Nature, wrote as much:

“Did climate change cause Typhoon Haiyan? There is limited evidence that warming oceans could make superstorms more likely.”

Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn’t mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, “Inequality is the root of social evil,” as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope’s tweet is from Marx, not Moses.

Dennis Prager on Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism.

It is interesting that a Typhoon is the stimulus. A friend who owns a farm in the Phillipines one described the lack of preparedness of his neighbors for such well known hazards as the occasional typhoon. He didn’t think that the sort of preparedness typical for natural disaster typical in the U.S., would work in the Phillipines. That is because un-prepared neighbors would soon be at the door of the prepared farm demanding largess. There is moral failing there, both in terms of lack of preparedness and in respecting neighbors that is much more in line with a Pope’s purview than a fantasy about human caused typhoons. The moral lesson of the story about the three little pigs seems to have been lost with many other lessons from Western Culture.

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The year when the facts died?

First up is Lamont Colucci who describes what he calls the Red Puritans and concludes:

“The crackup is coming, and it won’t be the rapture the Red Puritans have prepared for. The new Garden of Eden, which would have a smaller human population living in harmony with an untamed wilderness, is not on the horizon. The paradox they preach by using absolute terms to worship at the altar of relativism cannot endure. The Orwellian nature of their totalitarian dream is beginning to crumble, but they won’t go without a fight. They will continue their crusade until it becomes abundantly clear how morally bankrupt they are, but the beginning of the end is looming.”

Then Maureen Dowd is used as the poster child by Tammy Bruce.

“Facts do tend to be pesky things, as Ms. Dowd and the rest of The New York Times crew found in 2014. After years of morally superior, self-righteous preening, they had a problem: Judith Miller was proven right about WMD in Iraq. Revealed in a 2010 Wikileaks document dump, The New York Times finally wrote a 10,000 word story on “abandoned chemical weapons” in Iraq as it became evident our troops continued to be injured by them and their existence could no longer be denied.”

The premise is the same, “the crackup is coming” in those “Red Puritans” as the defense crumbles and extreme tactics must be used to maintain the facade.

“The now-consumed 2014 has been perfectly described by some commentators as the year when facts died. Politicians, mobs in the streets and their willing accomplices in the media swamped us with lies, obfuscations or riots manifest because, as author Thomas Sowell has noted, “What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people’s preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob.”

For some, the facts have never lived so how can they die? How do the rest of us protect ourselves from these ‘Red Puritans’ when they do not share even a value such as a need for intellectual integrity with us?

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Who is exhibiting “rage, hysteria and denial”?

Hinderaker deconstructs a gun control rant and concludes

“The factual propositions asserted by the New Yorker are not “inarguable.” On the contrary, they are argued all the time. But to participate in the argument, you have to know some facts. And note that, despite the final reference to “legislation,” no such proposed legislation has been articulated. From context, I think we can infer that the author wants to ban semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines. But that, in essence, was the ill-fated “assault weapon” ban of the 1990s. All observers agree that the previous “assault weapon” ban had zero effect on homicide or crime rates. But that’s contemporary liberalism–all bullying, no argument. The thing you always need to keep in mind is: liberals are not as smart as you are.”

Perhaps one of the first fallacies is that the gun control ‘debate’ is partisan. That whitewashing tries to cover up the fundamental issue in many modern arguments. That issue is one of intellectual integrity. Unless and until honesty with reality and integrity in logic become fundamental, there will be no progress made in evaluating opinions and viewpoints. Hinderaker’s deconstruction is telling in that his exposition of the dishonesty is not exceptional but rather typical. You can see the same behaviors on display in many issues promulgated by the left.

Trying to create a constructive dialog with someone who doesn’t have his feet on the ground is as productive as talking sense to a confirmed alcoholic or a dedicated terrorist. Fruitless. and that is what is dangerous.

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Lust for revenge

It is a warning not to be taken lightly.

“This unvarying tendency toward atrocity suggests that all these regimes had something in common, and it’s not that they all suffered from boils. It’s the lust for vengeance — revenge for slights and crimes either real or imaginary,  that can be found in every leftist from Nechaev to Bill Ayers. No less than Barack Obama spilled that when, his back apparently against the wall in 2012, he began ranting about “voting for revenge”.

“This was displayed clearly enough this past holiday season.

J.R. Dunn calls it The Left’s Base Motive: Vengeance. “we see trivia blown up to apocalyptic proportions” whether it is accusations of racism or rape or immigration or voter fraud or whatever can be used as a tool to incite a rationalization for revenge. Honesty has no part in this effort. That is a price of revenge based politics.The cost in human life and suffering has been overwhelming but that seems to not matter in the ever continuing onslaught for yet more revenge against fantasized slights.

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Anthropogencic catastrophic climate change: Pope gives hope?

Phil Plait of the Slate shows why the issue is a problem in his praise of the Pope. See Pope Francis to Catholics: It’s time to take action on global warming

“The basic problem here, the very basic problem, is that arguing over climate change isn’t based on science, it’s based on ideology. The facts are overwhelmingly clear that the globe is warming, creating catastrophic effects from pole to pole, and people who deny that are shutting their eyes tightly and sticking their fingers in their ears.”

There is a problem in asserting that views on the issue are based on ideology and then saying “facts are overwhelmingly clear” as if maybe it isn’t. Then there’s the usual ad hominem to add icing to the diatribe.

One clear fact is that there isn’t disagreement about some measures of global temperature. Responsible scientists agree that this measure has increased about 1C over the past century. They also agree that there hasn’t been any such increase in this measure for the last 15 – 20 years. Another fact is that there haven’t been any catastrophic effects from “pole to pole”: polar ice hasn’t melted, hurricanes have been rather mild of recent years, no one has been able to show any statistical patterns in changes in the occurrence of any significant weather. The disagreements come in the form of how global temperature is measured and the quality of that measure, why models used to forecast climate temperatures are off base, the weighting of various climate feedback mechanism and the impact of human influences on them, and the linkage between nominal variations in climate and weather and long term trends.

Ideology would explain the Pope getting involved but an ideology based on dishonesty is the work of the devil and that should be a significant concern to any religious leader.

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The protest business

There can be some debate about whether peaceful and lawful protest is a good way to garner public support for a cause. The case gets weaker when the protest leaves the ‘peaceful and lawful’ arena. It gets weaker still when it’s composed of rent-a-mob characters and when the cause seems to be a bit dishonest. Jazz Shaw notes some of these problems in speculating about The next Michael Brown.

“Colin Flaherty has a column at American Thinker this week which should provide some important insight for those watching the unraveling of the relationship between America’s first responders and residents of high crime rate communities. In it, he discusses the disturbing trend of activist organizations and seemingly prefabricated crowds of protesters showing up within hours any time there is a police shooting these days. And to be clear, this includes incidents where there is no conceivable basis for questioning the shooting, such as when one cop already has three bullets in him.”

“Some of these protests turn violent, though not all. But the common thread in all these situations is that a protest most certainly does take place. It happens quickly and there is a generally a representative from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – or some similar organization – on hand before you could possibly imagine they could have gotten there.”

The instigation for the ‘race riots’ is fabricated. The targets seem to be more towards economic systems and authorities rather than racism or brutality. Formation is too convenient and those who service the riots are getting to where they recognize participants. It looks as if there is a protest business that is well organized, well funded, and on careful watch for when to slide in a few players to get things going. What isn’t so clear is just what they are protesting.

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Hate

Consider Stowe Boyd:

“What the Scandinavians know: high taxes and generous social benefits do not lead to higher unemployment. On the contrary. But try to tell that to wackazoid conservatives who simply won’t look at the data.”

Then the implications from An Academic’s Shocking View: “I Hate Republicans” which concerns Professor Susan J. Douglas’ expressed hatred of Republicans.

“It’s possible to confront a “single-minded, uncomplicated, good-vs.-evil worldview” and respond with something besides hate. That, in fact, is what I am doing in this very post — and it’s something Republicans (and Democrats less hateful than Ms. Douglas) do all the time in this country.”

“I have not read the “studies” Douglas cites, but it’s clear that the qualities she describes are derisive terms for a world view that Thomas Sowell describes as “constrained.” “Dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance
 of ambiguity” as well as “a need to avoid uncertainty” represent a philosophy that recognizes the importance of incentives, and favors order even if it potentially raises the chances of individual instances of injustice. “Resistance to change” represents a support for traditions that reflect common wisdom over ages. “Support for inequality” is a nasty and unfair slur against a philosophy that prizes equality of opportunity over equality of result — and recognizes that efforts to equalize results often result in government creating power imbalances among groups, and in unintended consequences that decrease the quality of life for everyone, including the least fortunate.

In short, Ms. Douglas, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. While I don’t hate you, and I try not to hate even your ugly thoughts — because hate is a negative emotion that corrodes the soul — I certainly reject your hatred. I feel sorry for those who have to deal with someone so hateful. I feel sorry for your students, for your colleagues, for your neighbors, and everyone else who crosses your path and feels the sting of your nasty worldview.

And ultimately, I feel sorry for you — because you’re clearly proud of your hatred, which means you are unlikely to change. Which means you’re trapped — you have trapped yourself, that is — in a situation I don’t envy: a life driven by negative emotions and ugliness.”

Hate distorts. It leads people to defensiveness and that to a lack of intellectual integrity that can be seen in logical fallacies such as Boyd’s conclusion.

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A matter of intent or intent matters

Bruce Thornton thinks it is Sloppy Thinking About ‘Torture’ and explains why. Intentions matter. So does the actual law. Feelings can get in the way but due care needs to be taken so that they don’t mislead.

“Contrary to Noonan and McCain, and despite the dishonest rhetoric from our resentful allies, rivals, and enemies, the Senate report does not diminish America as a “force for good in the world,” a beacon of freedom, tolerance, and opportunity. That is why the U.S. is the emigrant’s favorite destination, why the U.S. is the go-to power for those countries in need when stricken by natural disasters or violent aggressors, and why the basic attitude of most of the world’s peoples is “Yankee go home, and take me with you.” The United States is in fact the “city on the hill,” the only world power in history that has used its power more for good than for ill. To think that reports of interrogation techniques used to save lives challenge the reality of American exceptionalism bespeaks a lack of confidence and faith not in our perfection, but in the fundamental goodness of America and its aims despite our occasional imperfections.”

What is not put on table in regards to intent is the intent behind the Senate report release. Those who put out the report are not very clear in regards to their motives and that tends to feed suspiciond. Arguing with ‘feel good’ rather than reason and fact don’t help much, either.

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Another ‘big lie” – bank bailout

It’s Hinderaker on the occupiers and their complaints about Wall Street and the bailout of big banks:

“For years, my friends in the banking industry told me that the federal government was forcing them to make bad loans. Mortgages were not the only such bad loans, but while they were the largest, they were also the least problematic from the banks’ standpoint, since the taxpayers, through Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, stood ready to buy them and assume the risk. The financial collapse of 2008 and the recession that followed were caused primarily by liberal policies enforced by the federal government that went back to the Carter administration.”

“”In what sense were banks “bailed out”? They weren’t “given” anything. Large banks were forced to take liquidity loans by the lender of last resort to prevent a bank run while the equity holders got mercilessly hammered in the market. Most “bankers” had huge amounts of their bonuses and net worth in options or in equity in the bank, respectively, which also became nearly worthless. Hundreds of thousands of “bankers” lost their jobs and will never work in finance again, most likely. This is a “bailout”?””

“”The bank liquidity programs were nothing like the bailout of GM or Chrysler, which were actually given money directly and indirectly, through special tax legislation creating a loophole worth about $45 billion in foregone taxes, most of which will never be recovered. And it was done in an irregular.””

“Of course, if the Democrats want to base their 2016 campaign on anti-bank populism, they will have to deal with the fact that the financial industry contributed more money to Barack Obama’s campaigns than any industry has contributed to any candidate in the nation’s history. Why might that be? The Democratic Party is, and has been for a long time, the party of Wall Street. The congruence between the Obama administration’s policies and Goldman Sachs’s interests is almost perfect.”

It’s where the money is and that means it is a rich target for political hacks who haven’t considered the morality of their ideology. The lack of intellectual integrity is a necessity in order to maintain the pretense, to believe the lie. That never turns out well.

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The Curse of Cassandra

Ken Allard says its Giving our enemies aid and comfort … but. of course, they don’t think so.

“By their deplorable conduct, the Senate Democrats not only aided our enemies but also undermined a tradition of bipartisan trust that has been the bedrock of intelligence oversight for more than a generation. Our recent elections have only begun the longer and more difficult process of putting things right.”

One only has to consider the recent rhetoric from countries such as ISIS, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea to see who is gaining aid and comfort from the Democrat’s war on Bush and the CIA. It does worry some. It should probably worry many others.

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tortured politics

Persistence has its value but it really needs a bit of intellectual integrity to avoid damaging results. The Democrats are still trying to recover from their turn-around in 2003 in regards to the war on terror. The latest is a partisan political (the Senate is in a lame duck session of a Democratic Party majority) effort to excuse the mess. Jed Babbin, a former deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration, describes some of the problems in Feinstein’s tortured report — “It’s a political condemnation of CIA that thwarts interrogation of terrorists.”

“The “torture” report released Tuesday by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is the latest attempt to prove that the George W. Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on a small number of terrorist prisoners amounted to torture and that the CIA lied to congress about them. It is a political condemnation of CIA conduct meant to erect another barrier to effective interrogation of terrorists, and it is wrong in its statement of the law.”

One of the issues is the attempt to redefine torture. A U.N. convention in 1994 prohibited it but was so vague that statute was needed to define it. The interpretation of that statute is what the left is trying to distort. On the right, the conclusion is that the techniques we use in training military personnel that do not produce lasting mental or physical harm. Another issue is the idea that the enhanced interrogation techniques did not produce useful intelligence. That is disputed by those who used information gained to stop attacks are even to find OBL.

The war on the NSA, the CIA, and other components of the U.S. spy community by the Left is damaging both in terms of ability to protect and in terms of international relationships with long term allies. 

Then there’s the current riot season. This also appears to be an attempt by leftist organizers to leverage current events with false propaganda in order to develop anti-capitalism protests and foment social unrest. 

The assault is in full force on several fronts. 

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What a drag

What separated the United States from a Peru or Nigeria or Mexico or Laos or Russia was the sanctity of the law, or the idea that from the highest elected officials to the least influential citizen, all were obligated to follow, according to their stations, the law. Under Obama, that sacred idea has been eroded. We live in a world of illegal immigration and amnesties, Ferguson mythologies, and alphabet government scandals, presided over by a president who not only does not tell the truth, but also seems to be saying to the public, “I say whatever I want, so get over it.”

when the law is a drag by Victor Davis Hanson.

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There are real heroes

Carl Rowan goes on a rant about the real heroes of Furguson. The inconvenient heroism of Witness No. 10“Eric Holder could learn respect for the law from a Brown shooting bystander”.

“Then we learned that some true heroes had chosen to rise up and tell the truth (supported by the forensics) about the shooting. Several community members, apparently all black, stepped forward to state clearly that Brown had charged at the policeman. He had not tried to surrender as some witnesses had falsely said. These people, such as Witness No. 10, chose to tell the truth about what they saw when doing so made them subject to social scorn and physical danger. They are true American patriots who will never get so much as a nod of appreciation from Mr. Holder or the useful idiots, black and white, who can’t accept the truth and who applaud while race hustlers like Al Sharpton compare Brown to slain civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.”

There’s more: “facts caught up with the craven politicians who were trading on rumor and demagoguery” … “When a city is set on fire by looting criminals, I expect to see a furious attorney general declare that the full weight of the federal government will be brought to bear on the rioters” … “They have tried on the cloak of victimhood and found it to be very comfortable” …

obviously not happy. good rant. worth reading carefully.

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Anti-military propaganda: just for fun?

Carl Forsling provides a rant about how Onscreen Science Fiction Is Not Doing The Military Justice.

“Everyone likes watching an epic sci-fi battle. But whether it’s Star Trek’s Federation versus the Borg, Battlestar Galactica versus the Cylons, or the Rebel Alliance versus the Empire, most veterans are left wondering, “It’s like a thousand years in the future. Why are they fighting like it’s the Bronze Age or something?”

“One might think that these futuristic battles are just idle fun, and in a way they are. They allow us to fantasize about the way we wish war was — straightforward battles between good and evil, and not the inhuman, horrific spectacle as it actually is. Nonetheless, they shape the way the public looks at war today. Pop culture shapes the subconscious, which shapes public consciousness. Public “knowledge” of war comes in more ways than we realize. Most of the biggest onscreen battles in recent years have been science-fiction. More often than not, they ignore military innovation, real warfare strategy, and the grim reality of loss of life in battle.”

“Probably the biggest disservice though, is portraying death as completely cost free, both to the attacker and the attacked. Princess Leia personally witnessed the destruction of her entire planet — something that could be considered the Holocaust, the Mongol invasion, and Stalin’s purges put together and multiplied by a thousand — yet is nonchalantly kissing her brother on Hoth a few weeks later. Luke single handedly took out a small planet’s worth of Imperials on the Death Star. Sure, he probably feels justified in killing the Stormtroopers, but even he has to feel a twinge of guilt having wasted probably hundreds of innocent space janitors along with them.

“The day Luke Skywalker is shown talking in a veterans advocacy group about the trauma of losing his arm fighting his own father in hand-to-hand combat, maybe that will be the day we know the public has finally abandoned the illusion that war is painless … or glorious.”

In reality it is going towards one, carefully selected, shot to produce one kill. In the movies, you’d think it was Ghengis Kahn and the Mongol Hord. But then, reality would be boring and not much fun. The question is just how much of an impact the fiction has on perceptions of reality.

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