Tom Nichols: Trust The Experts

I had to think long and hard about tackling this particular subject, because Tom Nichols is a smart man and I often agree with what he has to say. Even in this, there are some points of agreement. I’ve long noted the dumbing down of America, most poignantly demonstrated in the under-appreciated film Idiocracy. When Tom speaks of the death of expertise, he is commenting on a phenomenon that is real, pervasive, and at least partially responsible for the mess America finds herself in. After all, if the average voter is a complete moron, should we be surprised when he votes for morons to represent him?

Yet, Tom and I got into a bit of a flame war on Twitter surrounding this issue. It started when the 911 transcripts for the Orlando shooting were released with the now-famous [omitted] redactions plastered throughout. Now, as my readers are aware, I have a very personal interest in the Orlando shooting. So I found this transcript rather insulting. Even the idiots Tom is wont to rant about are likely able to make the connections the redactions were supposed to suppress. The government wasn’t fooling anybody, but they did demonstrate just how little they think of the American people.

Even the redneck from Podunk is likely to understand that much. I suggested that they ought to release the 911 transcript without such redactions, and release any other such materials that were not classified. Daylight, I said, was the best disinfectant for terrorism. Tom vehemently disagreed with me, and framed the resulting argument as a sort of anti-intellectualism. The flame war continued for awhile, and some choice words were exchanged. I won’t get into it here, but you can view it on my Twitter account, from a couple of days ago, if you wish.

One of the things that struck me as odd, however, was that Tom explicitly trusted the intelligence community to handle this matter. He stated as much, likening my suspicion of them to desiring a random layman to pilot an airplane. Yet therein lies the problem with Tom’s argument. I trust the pilot not merely because he has credentials, but because the safety record for commercial airline travel is impeccable. You are far more likely to die driving a car, than in an airline crash.

So unless the pilot is shouting “Allahu Akbar” I have little reason to doubt him. On matters of intelligence analysis, however, we have more reason to doubt. In this specific instance, the Orlando shooting, the FBI had been watching him for some time. He had been on and off of terror watchlists. A gun store reported him as suspicious, also. The analysts categorically failed with him.

Furthermore, the Obama administration often characterizes right-wing terrorism as the grave threat which America faces. Is this a failure of intelligence, or just a failure on the part of the chief executive? I don’t know, but it’s worth investigating. Other intelligence failures abound. Everything from Benghazi, to 9/11, to the Iraq war indicate failures in intelligence.

And, apart from those failures, it’s worth noting that even if you accept the expertise of the government in these matters, that doesn’t mean you trust their motives. The airline pilot and his passengers have no conflict of interest, generally speaking. All involved desire that the plane land safely at its destination (the rare suicidal pilot being the noted exception). So, with the documented safety record of commercial airline travel being good, his credentials and expertise, and with the alignment of our interests, I am pleased to trust the pilot.

That does not mean I should trust the government experts. Their interests do not necessarily align with mine. The government has a record filled with intelligence failures. The administration is on record saying the most blatantly untrue things, be it either out of ignorance or malice (or both). So, while I am not an intelligence expert, I do have good reason not to trust them. If you hire an electrician to fix your breaker box, and after he leaves the breakers keep tripping, you know that he failed, even if you don’t necessarily know what, specifically, he did wrong.

Tom explains his view for us:

I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.

 

This is a very bad thing. Yes, it’s true that experts can make mistakes, as disasters from thalidomide to the Challenger explosion tragically remind us. But mostly, experts have a pretty good batting average compared to laymen: doctors, whatever their errors, seem to do better with most illnesses than faith healers or your Aunt Ginny and her special chicken gut poultice. To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.

To some extent, I agree with his first statement, that there are all too many people who will think themselves knowledgeable on a thing merely because they looked it up on Wikipedia. I tire of them. I have spent much of my adult life studying Byzantine history, and I once found myself in a debate regarding the Pirenne Thesis, a theory put forth by Henri Pirenne in the 1930s regarding the then-innovative idea that it wasn’t the Germans who were responsible for the Fall of Rome, but rather the Arabs. Several of us educated on matters of Byzantine history were discussing the finer points of the thesis when a Wiki-idiot decided to butt in and explain that Wikipedia said the Roman Empire fell in 476, and Arabs didn’t come until later, so we were all wrong.

To say I wanted to throttle this person until his head popped was an understatement. It didn’t help that his proclamation was followed by the sort of Jon Stewart smugness such people are naturally inclined to. So in this, I understand and agree with Tom completely.

It is the second paragraph where Tom starts to go awry. He declares: “…and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.”

Here’s the thing, they do have a right to their opinion. If someone wants to ignore the advice of his doctor, and go get acupuncture treatment instead, that’s his right. Indeed, perhaps a little natural selection might improve the gene pool. Even the smug Wiki-idiot who interrupted our discussion on Byzantine history had a right to his opinion.

In politics, too, the problem has reached ridiculous proportions. People in political debates no longer distinguish the phrase “you’re wrong” from the phrase “you’re stupid.” To disagree is to insult. To correct another is to be a hater. And to refuse to acknowledge alternative views, no matter how fantastic or inane, is to be closed-minded.

In this, I must tell Tom that we have reached a pot, kettle, black situation. When I confronted him on his assertion about the 911 call, his approach was to frame me as being stupid for disagreeing with him. He did the very thing which he accuses others of doing. That’s okay, I still respect him. God knows I’ve gotten angry and called people morons when they didn’t deserve it, also.

Critics might dismiss all this by saying that everyone has a right to participate in the public sphere. That’s true. But every discussion must take place within limits and above a certain baseline of competence. And competence is sorely lacking in the public arena. People with strong views on going to war in other countries can barely find their own nation on a map; people who want to punish Congress for this or that law can’t name their own member of the House.

Here is where I start to peel off from what Tom is saying. He suggests that discussions must take place within certain limits. Who decides these limits? Who decides who the experts are in the first place? The Climate Change debate is a famous example where criticism is automatically shut down, because disagreement with the premise is taken to be stupidity. The sort of intellectual protectionism which Tom is suggesting here can be very easily perverted into intellectual elitism wherein alternative views are automatically dismissed because they did not originate from the properly orthodox.

There’s also that immutable problem known as “human nature.” It has a name now: it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says, in sum, that the dumber you are, the more confident you are that you’re not actually dumb. And when you get invested in being aggressively dumb…well, the last thing you want to encounter are experts who disagree with you, and so you dismiss them in order to maintain your unreasonably high opinion of yourself. (There’s a lot of that loose on social media, especially.)

This Dunning-Kruger effect is touted widely by SJWs who, ironically, think they are smarter than they actually are. They use this notion to shut down debate. If you prove them wrong, it’s not really because they were wrong. It’s because you’re not smart enough to understand the nuance of their position. Then the Jon Stewart smugness makes its appearance, and the Wiki-idiot relishes in his imagined superiority.

No, I’m not accusing Tom of being an SJW. But he’s walking on a knife edge here. Once, in the Western world, a dreadful insult was considered worthy of a challenge to fight, often to the death. The gauntlets would be thrown, and if the challenge was not accepted, then one was considered a coward. But it was permissible for a man of high stature to ignore a man of sufficiently low stature. A great lord need not accept a challenge from a stable boy. Yet this exemption had to be used very carefully, so as to avoid the appearance of cowardice. It was better to default to accepting the challenge, unless the difference in station was demonstrably great.

So, too, must the notion of Dunning-Kruger be used carefully, and in circumstances where the other person is clearly of far lower intelligence. Do not bring it out immediately, or use it defensively.

None of this ignorance stops people from arguing as though they are research scientists. Tackle a complex policy issue with a layman today, and you will get snippy and sophistic demands to show ever increasing amounts of “proof” or “evidence” for your case, even though the ordinary interlocutor in such debates isn’t really equipped to decide what constitutes “evidence” or to know it when it’s presented. The use of evidence is a specialized form of knowledge that takes a long time to learn, which is why articles and books are subjected to “peer review” and not to “everyone review,” but don’t tell that to someone hectoring you about the how things really work in Moscow or Beijing or Washington.

Peer review is a great theory. But in practice, there are problems with it. Like all human institutions, orthodoxy can creep in, wherein questioning the accepted narrative is considered heresy. Your peers may suppress you, even if you are completely correct. In other examples, the peers may become lazy, and accept things that are clearly false merely because they haven’t bothered to thoroughly review your work.

Now, again, I’m not saying peer review is all bad, either. Rather, I suspect Tom puts too much trust in these things. One thing that any scientifically-minded person should practice is a healthy dose of skepticism. Experts can be wrong, also. Here is a professor of Byzantine Studies who wrote an error-prone book laced with falsehoods and carelessness (her arguments torn to shreds by Dr. Kelley Ross):

Herrin returns the neglect, if not the contempt, with a certain shocking carelessness for Roman history of Late Antiquity (despite her being a professor of “Late Antique” as well as Byzantine Studies). Thus, she says:

 

“…and the last Roman Emperor in the West was deposed in 476, leaving a half-Vandal, half-Roman general, Stilicho, in control of Italy.” [p.13]



Unfortunately, Stilicho had been assassinated in 408. Herrin is thinking of Odoacer. Similarly, she says of the original Constantine, who was proclaimed Emperor by his father’s troops in 306, that “he was not recognized by Licinius, the senior emperor in the East” [p.4]. Again, unfortunately, Licinius was not made an Emperor until 308, and he was at that point junior to Galerius (d.311) and Maximinus II Daia (d.313).

Judith Herrin was acknowledged as a credentialed expert, subject to peer review from other historians. She was also very wrong, and you categorically did not need to be an expert to understand that.

Tom recovers himself a bit in the end, though:

But when citizens forgo their basic obligation to learn enough to actually govern themselves, and instead remain stubbornly imprisoned by their fragile egos and caged by their own sense of entitlement, experts will end up running things by default. That’s a terrible outcome for everyone.

At last we get to a point I can strongly agree with. The experts running things is a bad scenario, not a good one. The fact is, there is a strain of intellectual elitism in the West, wherein those who do not run in the proper circles are dismissed arbitrarily. The technocrats determine what is best for you, and in doing so strip you of your freedom and self-determination.

The most common excuse for their removal of your rights is that people are stupid. They are so stupid, say the elites, that they must surrender control over their lives to smarter, wiser men.

Socrates would have known them for the fools they are.

But an expert is far more likely to be right than you are. On a question of factual interpretation or evaluation, it shouldn’t engender insecurity or anxiety to think that an expert’s view is likely to be better-informed than yours. (Because, likely, it is.)

Is that the case? What if the expert decides to lie to you? Technically, in his own mind, he is correct. But he would be using his acknowledged status as an expert to hoodwink you. Politicians do this all the time. Trust us, they say, because we’re the experts. Don’t send a regular guy to Washington, send an experienced, expert politician…

An engineer or a doctor has a much harder time hiding a lie or a mistake. For if an aeronautical engineer makes a mistake, maybe a plane crashes, and people die. When a doctor does likewise, people die. When a plumber makes a mistake, the pipe bursts and your house becomes a lake. You may not know much about plumbing, but you know that he did something wrong.

Politicians, analysts, and other government cronies can hide their mistakes. They can pass off the blame. They can lie, cheat you, steal from you, and use you. So, even supposing they are competent, you still have good reason to mistrust them and to question them.

Tom takes a parting shot:

And how do I know all this? Just who do I think I am?
Well, of course: I’m an expert.

I find this one particularly amusing. There was a book I read sometime ago called Tales of New America. There was an amusing scene in the book, wherein a very attractive, intelligent, and sophisticated man finds himself being questioned by a border control guard. The man is naturally dismissive of the guard, for what else could he be but a low-level flunky? He was fat, and plain in the face. He did not use higher, educated language.

The guard books him quickly, after discovering the man’s illegal activities. The sophisticated man is confused and angry. The guard explains that, while he didn’t have the money to go to a good school or the good looks to garner a high station in life, that didn’t mean he was stupid or uneducated. Intelligent people are everywhere, and often where you least expect them.

After all, does anyone expect a club DJ to be an expert in Byzantine history? Probably not…

Be careful about underestimating people, Tom.

The Moving Goal Post

Some time ago, my compatriot here at The Declination, KodeTen, wondered why I bothered with the #GamerGate issue. I didn’t have a good answer for him then, but as I read this article at Breitbart, it clicked into place. Leftism has been fracturing for some time now due to the nature of its moving goal posts. Now that the ideology has embraced censorship, it is in the process of creating a new breed of Right-winger out of abandoned former Leftists. Reagan famously explained the situation:

I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left me.

GamerGate is part of a larger phenomenon, wherein extreme-Left Social Justice ideologues are expelling their moderate counterparts from the movement. It is a kinder, gentler form of the Stalinist Purge. Increasingly, GamerGate supporters are finding that fair treatment is not coming from bastions of the Left-wing media, but from the Right. This is despite the fact that many GamerGate supporters are still self-identified Leftists.

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The Purged don’t know where to go. Some, like Jonathan Chait, are adrift in a sea of confused, self-identified Progressives. They embrace freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other similar principles. They are economic Leftists but still socially similar to classical Liberals. They didn’t move with the goal posts because their erroneous beliefs are nonetheless sincerely held. SocJus advocates have no principles, they are Ray Bradbury’s Autumn People, moving with the breeze, drifting along the political winds, neither truly living nor safely dead.

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So this is why I involve myself in GamerGate and other similar matters. This is a critical moment in the battle to save Western Civilization, it’s a moment when all the cherished notions of the principled Leftists have been shattered, when they have been viciously betrayed by their supposed friends and allies. They are adrift and don’t know where to go.

Yes, they are a rag tag bunch of political refugees, and their view of economics is terribly dim. But if there is ever a moment when they might be reasoned with, when they are sincerely open to our point of view, that time is now. For the first time, these Progressive exiles trust us more than they trust the Far-Left, for at least we have kept our word and respected their right to disagree.

SocJus can abide no disagreement nor principle. It has no goal, no end. It is Orwell’s boot, stomping on a human face, given flesh and blood. Games may not be that important in the grand scheme of things, but this war has already been lost in other mediums. A toehold must be maintained in mass media, and for the first time we have a genuine revolt from within that has given us allies behind the lines.

 

 

Some Hope for the Future

Most of my musings have a decidedly negative tone. We live in a civilization in decline, so that cannot be helped. Nonetheless, there are bright spots on occasion.

Oliver Campbell is a gamer of some stature. He runs a website called Top Game Review. He has been one of the leading figures of #GamerGate, at the front of the charge against the Social Justice phenomenon.

He’s also a Black Man. Normally this would be of trivial importance, because, despite all my posts on crime statistics, etc… a person is not his skin color. But here, it is important because he tells the world what a White Man can longer say.

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It’s a fact. When a White Man says this, he is decried as a racist, a privileged person, an oppressor or whatever Social Justice buzzword is currently in vogue. But when truth comes from the mouth of the “oppressed minority” they cannot so easily dismiss it. It contorts their worldview into knots.

But Mr. Campbell has more to give us.

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The great lie of Social Justice advocates arguing against gamers is that gamers are racists, sexists, homophobes, etc… Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, nobody believes the White Man when he says it. But coming from Mr. Campbell they have no choice but to reexamine their mythos.

Mr. Campbell’s righteous anger is still not done.

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God, I wish this man was leading the Black community instead of Jesse Jackson. And that was not an instance of taking the Lord’s name in vain. I really mean it. I don’t even know his political persuasion, but it doesn’t matter to me at this point because he has sense, he can be reasoned with. Race baiting Social Justice Warriors can’t be reasoned with.

Mr. Campbell is still not done.

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And the reaction from everyone has been positive.

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I do not personally know Mr. Campbell, but I can almost imagine him standing on the pulpit, delivering righteous wrath upon the sinners. And it gives me hope. We’re still doomed, but we’re also not alone in our fight. Others fight with us for our civilization and our values. And, as Mr. Campbell tells us… he came from the ‘hood. If you can come out of that and deliver the truth to 9,000 twitter followers in #GamerGate, then nobody has an excuse anymore.

Update: Mr. Campbell is STILL not done. Check this out.

#GamerGate: A Line in the Sand

I was a latecomer to the #GamerGate affair. Oh, as an interested party, I had been aware of it since the beginning, but it took a long time for me to comment on the issue. The reason, of course, is that I am not as hardcore about my gaming as many who are involved.

That isn’t to say I am a casual gamer either. Recently, I built an arcade cabinet out of plywood. That isn’t for the “casual” hobbyist, I can assure you. I play the same sort of games “hardcore” gamers play, I just play them less often. My time is much more limited. I have a family, a job that consumes a great deal of time and I am also a DJ. It’s a balancing act.

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Not for the faint of gaming heart, I assure you.

 

Yet, this is also why #GamerGate is also so important to me. In the old days, if I accidentally played a terrible game, what of it? I had the time to burn. Today, I rely on the community, on reviews, journalists and ratings to help me decide which game to invest my time in. I have to trust that these people are being truthful in their assessments.

The Zoe Quinn affair proves that they are untrustworthy. Oh, Depression Quest isn’t the sort of “game” I would have been interested in anyway. But if journalists could be seduced into covering something that bad favorably, then how much of what I’m reading is complete bullshit?

But that was only the beginning of #GamerGate. Once the Social Justice Warrior crowd got involved, accusations of sexism, racism, transphobia and pretty much any other SJW buzzword were lobbed into the fray. This revealed a far greater threat to the gaming community than journalistic ethics.

Censorship.

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Another SJW using their preferred battle tactic: censorship. This guy is basically saying “I won’t talk to you until you agree with me.” Because THAT is mature.

 

Gamers are some of the most diverse people I’ve ever known. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the content of your character. Well, that’s pretty much all gamers are judged on. We don’t see each other, most of the time. I don’t know if the other person I’m fighting in Starcraft II is a man, a woman, trans, Black, White, Asian, etc… And I also don’t care. I care about winning the game, which is rare for me since I don’t have the time to invest  in order to become a Starcraft God. That, and somebody decreed it to be the national sport of South Korea (gamers are diverse, remember?).

Gamers are also used to being insulted, teased and trolled. Many of them were bullied as children. As adults… well let’s just say they don’t censor their opinions. Join a CoD game and listen in. A friend of mine once referred to gamers as “the only people more offensive than you.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement. Yet it is a general offensiveness. It is not targeted at your race or gender. It is targeted at YOU, personally. Believe me, I know. In the days of Quake 3, I was a hardcore camper, and very, very good at it. Everybody knows a camper is going to attract some serious hate. Should I start a support group for campers? Camper prejudice!

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Yeah… I’ve heard this plenty of times. Campers get more hate than anyone in gaming. Period.

 

So trying to censor gamers is an exercise in futility. Furthermore, calling gamers names isn’t going to work on most of them. We’re too used to that, at this point.

But the issue is still huge. SJWs wanted to extend censorship to the games themselves.

One of the common accusations of the anti-#GamerGate crowd is that everyone is a bunch of Right wingers. That’s patently false. In fact, Libertarianism seems to be much more common than Conservatism among gamers (I certainly lean that way myself). And many #GamerGate supporters are Moderates or even Liberals, just not SJW Liberals. Ironically, in crying for censorship in games, and “diversity panels” the SJWs are acting more like Conservatives than #GamerGate supporters are. Hard-Right Conservatives aren’t terribly fond of violent video games, after all.

They want more women in certain roles, more trans people in other roles, more “people of color” here or there. They have a hard time understanding that gamers don’t care about these things. If gamers see a Black man or a Transwoman as a lead in a game, wonderful. Does the game suck? If it does, they won’t play it. If it doesn’t, they will. But I don’t want the creative freedom of developers hamstrung by a bunch of SJWs on a personal crusade.

I mean, would the Grand Theft Auto series of games even exist if SJWs were at the helm? Absolutely not. That would have been torpedoed on day one. But we all know they are fun. And that’s what matters. The SJWs attempted to use this incident as evidence of our prejudice, of our hate, in order to advance THEIR agenda. We are the defenders here, NOT the attackers, as they portray us.

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This game would not exist if SJWs had their way.

 

Consider the lunacy of the SJW position. They are angry because people are being oppressed in video game portrayals. They are angry because a “game developer” who made a terrible game got called out for doing so. They are angry because a woman who did terrible things to her boyfriend got criticized for her behavior. They are mad because we don’t like the idea of people sleeping with journalists for favorable coverage.

If Zoe Quinn had been a man sleeping with female journalists, what would the SJWs have said then, eh?

If we judge people on the content of their character then Zoe Quinn is a terrible person who made a terrible game. The journalists who took her “bribes” are similarly terrible people. And the SJWs trying to use this incident as cover for their censorship campaign are going to ensure that more terrible games, made by more terrible people, reviewed by more corrupt people, come to dominate our hobby. This cannot be allowed.

To that, I can only say: Fuck off.

To all my #GamerGate compatriots, whatever gender, race, creed and political persuasion, I can only say: Stay the course and we will win.

Lavos must die. Er... Anita and Zoe must be defeated.

Lavos must die. Er… Anita and Zoe must be defeated.

The “Jack Booted Thugs” of America’s Thin Blue Line

Pay attention class, we now have a prime example of our civilization in decline…Ferguson, MO.

I hear a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, of late, as to the “overstepping of authority” and “militarization” of police. Considering I am Military, and having spent some time on the front lines, I feel a little “called out” as it were, and will, reluctantly, weigh in on the matter.

First, I will state up front, I do not see the police as “militarized.” They are 21st century cops, equipped to handle the problems of the 21st Century. You see, when we moved into the 21st Century, we embraced these awesome advances in technology, like, body armor, accurate duty rifles, armored vehicles, and vision enhancement systems, all developed with the unspoken intention of putting LESS people in boxes, on both sides of the gun.

A 21st Century Police force utilizing restraint and technology in Ferguson

Utilizing restraint, psychology, and technology in Ferguson

They may appear intimidating, (they’re supposed to), they may appear similar to Soldiers (they don’t, and aren’t.) but the simple facts are, they are equipped to effectively counter to threats to Law & Order that we face within our communities today.

“Militarized”? Says you?

A military acts in such a manner as to disguise it’s movements, defend and attack from concealed positions, respond with overwhelming firepower, using all available means to maim and kill in an effort to break the backs and the will of our enemies and end the fight. We use belt-fed machine guns, launched and hand thrown high explosive grenades, artillery and mortars, rockets, white phosphorous, heat-seeking and wire-guided missiles, just to name a few, with the express goal of killing the enemies of our nation, wholesale. And we try to do it before they even realize we’re there in force.

The author hides in wait for an opportunity to kill the enemies of his country.

Similar look, entirely different mission, means, and motive.

The police in civil unrest situations act in such an anti-thesis to a “military” that to even draw the correlation is laughable. They get out in the streets, in force, with bright flashing lights, PA systems, and the word “POLICE” big and bold across their chest. They draw as much attention to themselves as possible, they act with restraint, employing non-lethal means, tear gas, smoke, pepper spray, bean bag rounds, flash-bangs, they do everything in their power to restore order and inflict no lethal harm until the last possible moment, when the choice is kill this crazed rioter, or leave the scene in a body bag.

I admire their restraint, especially with the amount of gunfire coming from the animals and the molotov cocktails being thrown. You ever had a molotov thrown at you? You’d want to shoot that motherfucker too.

The Second Amendment is a beautiful thing, and I am firmly in the camp of relaxing restrictions on firearms because it is simply a guaranteed right (and potentially my duty as an American) to own one. But, unfortunately, it goes both ways. Just the same as the Police can have possession of a rifle that fires a .50 BMG, so too can Snoop Diggity fo’shizzle thug life in Detroit. And let Snoop have it! Until such a time that he proves that he lacks the maturity to properly execute that right (and inherent responsibility) i.e. participates in felonious fucking activities.

And when said felonious fucking activities involve that .50 cal rifle, or molotov cocktail, or AR-15, or AK-47, you, I, and everyone nearby, are gonna be glad when the cops pull up in that vehicle with armor too thick for Snoop to shoot through.

Look. I get it. There are concerns about the depth and breadth of authority our Police enjoys in this day and age, for every good news story of a police officer adding to the enjoyment of life within his community, there’s a horror story about an overreaction, an overstep, or a bad policy decision, but there is an effective way to challenge this authority and see it curtailed, should you so desire, and that desire is shared by many.

Spoiler alert!

The “effective way” does not involve chaos in the streets of your community, burning businesses, and pillaging anything you desire. Such activities can, should, and will be met with appropriate force, and the “Jack Booted Thugs” will return with their armored vehicles.

The courts, and the offices of your legislators is the place to fight the police. Or maybe, hell, stay within the bounds of the law. I personally have enjoyed a very fulfilled life up to this point and the only run-ins with the police are when I was driving my souped-up truck too fast. I can’t really complain.

But for fuck’s sake, keep your battles with police out of the streets. Fight the Police in the streets and they will, rightfully, do everything in their power to ensure that you lose.

It’s not just their job, it’s their duty. (And it’s of great amusement to guys like me, I might add.)

I want you all to watch Ferguson closely. This is it, folks. Ferguson, is the Declination. The Free Shit Army is on the march and what we saw the night of the 24th is what “they” want. Total Anarchy, mob rule, and it ain’t over yet.

I don’t know about you, but I feel for the average Joe American in Ferguson right now, just trying to raise his family and get by. It’s a terrifying thing to try and sleep at night not sure if the next thing you’re gonna hear is some ignorant race-baiting cowards  smashing down your door to assault you and yours, steal everything you worked so hard to get, and set your house on fire just because some thug who so happened to be black, fought a police officer (who so happened to be white), tried to take his gun, and, rightfully, got gunned down in the street for his trouble.

That’s what they keep screaming, anyway. I’m pretty sure the rest of us sensible folk have already seen through their lie.

Fucked up world we live in. I really wonder if we’d a having this discussion if Ofc. Wilson was black?

1984

1984

Orwell’s seminal work has come to pass. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia. Or Eurasia. Bush is a Nazi, but didn’t we defeat the Nazis? Iran is going to be the great savior of America. This is the same Iran that declared America is the Great Satan.

1984-screencapAmerica subsidized Iraq. America was at war with Iraq. America liberated Afghanistan, America invaded Afghanistan. Iran is an evil quasi-nuclear power. Iran is to be the savior of Iraq. Socialism is evil, except now Socialism is good. The same woman who says rap music disgusts her shakes her booty to “slob on my knob like corn on the cob.” Sex with children is a crime, except when feminist authors do it, because they helped so many women (except her own daughter who was raped repeatedly by her mother and step father). It isn’t so much the hypocrisy and the shifting attitudes of the proles that is worrisome. Rather, it is the absolute ignorance of the proles that concerns me. They will do and countenance whatever their masters tell them. They aren’t even moral agents because they have no independent moral compass. Two Minutes Hate on Guns (but more guns for cops to shoot dogs with).

Then there is this doozy: PETA, a group that claims to love and cherish animals, pursues a policy of killing them. They don’t even hide the doublethink, it’s right there on their website.

Every human is a hypocrite. We have all done things which we do not approve. Rather, it is the utter lack of awareness or concern that is, itself, something to worry about. The Left was against bombing in the Middle East, until a Leftist does it. But it’s still not right when Bush did it? There is no coherence, no logic. It’s as if the invention of the DVD meant that VHS never existed. Bailing out banks is wrong, except when Obama does it. Bankers are evil, except the first female to head the Fed.

There are not rules for them except power and the acquisition of more.

We have always been at war with Eastasia. Or is it Iraq? Or Iran? Or Russia? What about Ukraine? Two Minutes Hate on George Bush. He did it. Is it Global Cooling? Global Warming? Nah. Climate Change. All changes in climate are the fault of middle class American white men. Except gay white men. And atheist male feminist authors who dress up like women. Benghazi is no big deal, and it wasn’t a terrorist attack, it was just a youtube video gone wrong. Except it wasn’t.

Give up your nukes, Ukraine. We’ll guarantee your sovereignty. Trade a traitor for 5 enemy leaders. But the Taliban is not our enemy, they are moderates. Moderates that gave aid to terrorists to blow our buildings up. Al Qaeda is an evil terrorist organization in Afghanistan. It’s the loyal moderate rebel force in Syria. Egyptian democracy is good, except when an American leader doesn’t like the result, then it is bad. White men are evil, except gay white men. 4chan’s Father’s Day prank was so believable it actually began to circulate legitimatelyWhy? Because the pranksters emulated the power-brokers so effectively, the proles figured it was an official Two Minutes Hate and they rushed to get on board.

The non-coherence of thought is evidence that most of the population are proles, and it doesn’t really matter what they say. Now it’s time for the Two Minutes Hate of Donald Sterling, Racist with dementia. Or was that last week?

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