We’ve just had another mass shooting, this time involving a guy with a record of gun offenses using several firearms which were undoubtedly illegal in the jurisdiction in which the shootings occurred to commit murders (which are against the law everywhere), so naturally the left is once again taking advantage of public outrage at criminal violence to provide the impetus for legislation aimed at curtailing gunownership by law-abiding citizens.
At Ricochet, ExUrban Kevin last night was already expressing annoyance at being blamed and potentially penalized for the actions of some whackjob.
How The NRA Twitter Handles A Mass Shooting: Silence
The model is to go silent for at least a day, depending on the scope of the tragedy.
Why should the NRA respond? Is the Navy Yard shooter an NRA Life Member? Why should the NRA care about such things if he’s not? Funny how I never see the American Automobile Association pestered for immediate commentary when someone decides to commit vehicular manslaughter.
I hate, hate the fact that I have to defend the right to defend my family every time some monster with a screw loose decides to kill others, then himself (next time try that in the other order, bucko).
Timothy Birdnow argues that the left’s recent efforts “to make football safer” are really expressions of their reflexive determination to eliminate competition and aggression and to emasculate America.
The liberal sports media has jumped on board. ...), and, ironically, they may well kill the very sport that puts food on their tables. They can’t help it; a scorpion stings because it is a scorpion.
It is in this current climate of pacifism (and that is the purpose of the campaign: to turn football into a more pacific game, thus removing another layer of America’s masculinity) that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed a law mandating insurance for student-athletes.
The law says that a school’s minimum policy will cover $3 million in aggregate benefits or five years of coverage – whatever comes first – for injuries that total medical expenses over $50,000. The law includes public and private schools and state officials estimate that the cost of the coverage will be no more than $5 a student. Currently, some schools carry insurance for athletes, but it hasn’t been mandatory. The Illinois High School Association provides students with this catastrophic insurance for state tournaments.
First, one must ask why this is needed, since it will soon be the law of the land that everyone be covered by health insurance. I was under the impression that ObamaCare was designed specifically to fix this sort of problem. Why are schools in Illinois being made to pay for catastrophic health insurance when Mr. Obama, the product of that state’s political genius, has already addressed the issue? ...
This will kill many sports programs in poor school districts and likely in the lion’s share of private or parochial schools. Would a struggling Catholic school spend money needed for actually educating students on sports insurance? It will become a choice between teaching and athletics for many schools.
Of course, such would suit the educational commissars just fine. There has been an increasing effort by the Progressives to straitjacket young children. Sports are one outlet they have targeted, with an increasingly regimented and organized approach to what were once thought of as children’s games. Michelle Obama may say “Let’s Move!,” but she wants all movement under her watchful eye. Gone are the days of sandlot football, of a bunch of kids getting together for a stickball game or a spontaneous game of field hockey. Children now devote much of their time to thumb exercises as computers replace the athletic field. When children are allowed to play, they are wrapped up like mummies lest they get a bruise.
All this teaches a lesson to the children: private, individual action is dangerous and should be avoided. Life must be lived within the guardrails, carefully planned and safeguarded by society.
Even more distressing to the left is that sports started as a means of training for soldiers. That is why football is so appealing to America; it is a he-man sport, a vestige of the old America, where an association of free men stand together in battle. Yes, team effort is required, but there is also plenty of room for heroics, and the individual may make a huge difference.
But at football’s core is a physicality bordering on violence, and to the left, that is anathema—an atavistic impulse that must be squeezed out of our children.
So instead of a healthy game of tackle football at recess, liberals substitute Ritalin and maybe a good heated game of tag.
Consider the war against dodgeball. Progressives fret that it is traumatizing children and have been systematically banning the game. Why? Nobody ever gets hurt from dodgeball, but Progressive educators still want it gone. That is because of the actual acts performed in the game: one physically tries to hit another. The goal of the left has been to make physical aggression taboo; thus, dodgeball, which teaches children to be physically aggressive, must go.
James Delingpole has been arguing with lefies, and has learned a great deal about himself from them.
I think it’s time you learned a bit more about me. Be warned, it isn’t pretty.
Basically, my sex life is a mess. I’ve never had a successful relationship with women, owing to the fact that I’m misogynistic, immature and a braying right-winger with a face like a horse. And we haven’t even got on to the size of my penis yet which, as you can well imagine, is minuscule.
Then there’s my unfortunate educational background. You’d think it would be an advantage having had an excellent private education at Malvern followed by a stint reading English at Oxford. But God, you couldn’t be more wrong. From public school all I learned is arrogance and a sense of entitlement and a lofty disdain for the poor while my English degree, being a mere “humanity”, is worthless and leaves me especially ill-qualified to comment on any issue which has to do with science.
And it’s not just that I’m ignorant about science, either. I’m actually anti-science. Perhaps it’s all the money I’m paid by Big Oil, perhaps it’s because I’m mentally ill, or perhaps it’s just because I’m plain evil but, would you believe it, I’m on a personal mission to disseminate ignorance by deliberately distorting the truth about issues like climate change because it doesn’t accord with my selfishness and greed and refusal to alter my rapacious lifestyle for the common good.
Did I mention my mental illness? I think I did but it really can’t be mentioned often enough. I’m sick, warped, perverted – not to mention stupid, childish, puerile, irresponsible, silly, flippant, sexist, racist, disablist – and totally wrong in the head. It’s all down to the lack of love I received as a child, which turned me into a rampant attention seeker. The kind of upbringing I have scarcely bears thinking about but what we can say with confidence is this: the values imparted to me by my parents were so perverse that they created the veritable monster I am today.
Great minds from the Rhode Island media tell you what to do if you run into a black bear. Note that the bear you are going to run into is already labeled as merely “curious.” He couldn’t possibly be “ravenous,” “aggressive,” or “predatory.”
The Inquisitr tells us that a predictably inevitable step in the leftist agenda has arrived in Europe.
Standing up while urinating may soon be illegal for men in Europe. Male representatives on the Sormland County Council and the Left Party are pushing for “sitting only” public restrooms. Exactly how the self-avowed socialist and feminist political party plans on enforcing the allegedly more sanitary restroom habits of males remains to be seen. Supporters of the law against standing while urinating also believe that male health will be bolstered when urinating while sitting on a toilet so the bladder empties more effectively, according to the Huffington Post.
If upright male urination becomes too politically incorrect to tolerate in Western Europe any longer, legal citations may soon begin flying. The Naked Scientists website notes that a similar movement is also brewing in Germany, France and Holland.
Jim Geraghty, in his emailed Morning Jolt, was today in a mood to fight back against the community of fashion’s blame game.
One of my nuttier ideas was taking a Twitter conversation between Cam Edwards and Kurt Schlicter envisioning a rightward sitcom answer to HBO’s “Girls” entitled “Dudes” and trying to turn it into an actual script.
At one point, I had a character in that script rant:
I’m a married middle-aged guy with a house in the suburbs who goes to work, pays his taxes and takes care of his kids. When the hell did I turn into the villain in society? Chris Brown still walks the streets! In the time it’s taken me to finish this sentence, “Shawty Lo” has impregnated three more women and Kim Kardashian’s been on four more magazine covers! I think one of ‘em’s a fishing magazine!
Yet somehow Madison Avenue considers me to be their go-to stereotype as a doofus, I’m the butt of every joke, sneered at for unsophisticated tastes, dismissed as a relic of a fading past, accused of not paying my fair share in taxes and insufficiently globally conscious because I’m only taking care of what’s directly in front of me instead of glaciers or the Gaza Strip. How am I the problem in the world today? What the hell did I ever do?
I remember a comment from Mark Steyn a few NR cruises ago, and I’m going to paraphrase it now: “Americans are first citizens of a global superpower with no interest in conquest. We don’t want other territory, we don’t seek to subjugate other nations, we’re not trying to wipe out any culture we deem inferior. And yet through the rhetoric and of the environmental movement, you, driving your SUV and drinking your Big Gulp and eating your Big Mac, are accused of literally destroying the planet! Not even history’s most brutal dictators faced an accusation on that scale!”
Our political culture and our popular culture are the one-two punch contending that you, ordinary American, going to work or looking for work or looking for better work and just taking care of your families, have somehow become the root of the biggest problems facing the country. It’s your fault.
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! —Act 1, Scene 3.
Gagdad Bob manages to combine Catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI, kid’s baseball, Title IX, liberal guilt, and Barack Obama into a terrific rant. Which muse do you suppose makes a specialty of inspiring rants?
[P]ostmodernism, is opposed in principle to hierarchy (or pretends to be), which is the secret to why it cannot recognize or tolerate quality in any dimension, right down to the most trivial activity. It is why all the kids on my son’s baseball team are forced to engage in the ritual of receiving a meaningless trophy at the end of the season.
Talk about a fake benediction! Humans don’t have the power to forgive bad baseball playing.
This refusal to acknowledge hierarchy is also how the the left can confuse a person with a single meaningful accomplishment or ability with Obama.
Dan Greenfield, in another of his intelligent essays, describes the national dynamic operating behind the current gun control debate.
The designated victim, like the ancient saint, is a martyr to a cause. And with the left, the cause is invariably really big government. The suffering of the saintly victims is monetized by the cause as unquestionable moral authority. The victims are designated, made famous and milked for their victimhood, and then the victimhood is bottled into white jars and shipped to Washington D.C.
Americans are suckers for a sob story. But a lot of them are also suckers for personal freedom. Whenever a bullseye is put on freedom for the greater good, two narratives battle it out for the soul of the country. “We have to fix this” and “Leave me alone.”
Think of We have to fix this” and “Leave me alone” as the devil and angel on the shoulders of every cartoon character for the last hundred years. “We have to fix this,” wears an earnest expression and her appearance is calculated to suggest nurse, teacher or PTA member, when in reality she’s usually an Ivy League grad with a lot of time spent in government and political advocacy and whose kids are raised by Elena from Guatemala, whose immigration status is that of Undocumented Democrat. ...
The other figure on the shoulder is a familiar one. You can see him on the news talk shows where he shows up as the designated target. Usually he wears his best suit, combs his hair and comes prepared to explain why we shouldn’t give up our freedoms just because a California Senator has decided that this is her chance to create a lasting legacy over the bodies of dead children. ...
But there’s still a great deal of visceral sympathy for “Leave it alone” from millions of Americans who have their privacy violated and their rights abridged by government officials every day. They like the thought of a little rebellion, even symbolic, and every time a gun ban is put on the table, they begin buying up the stock of sporting goods stores.
The ordinary Americans may have to account to the government for how he heats his home, mows his yard, feeds his hogs, fuels his car, teaches his kids, sells his crops and fixes his roof, but the 2nd allows him to hang on to the illusion that he is his own master and that at any moment an uprising can sweep away the petty bureaucrats who have their Vibrams on his neck. And maybe one day it can.
Aaron Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013)
Argues the learned and cynical
Mencius Moldbug, and he makes a darned good case.
Aaron, born one of humanity’s natural nobles, grows up in a century cleansed by military force of its own cultural heritage, in which all surviving noble ideals are leftist ideals. No one ever had a chance to tell him that his only honorable option was to live in the past. And in any case, that option was probably too antisocial even for Aaron Swartz. He must be noble, he cannot retreat to mere selfish bourgeois money-grubbing and family-rearing. So he must be an activist.
So he takes the blue pill. He starts with a blue joint or two and gradually works his way up to the blue heroin. He believes in his century’s narrative as it is – except more so. Why not more so? For even without marinating his brain in Chomsky, what bright young person can miss all the trouble our polity has in living up to its own comm – I mean, “progressive” – ideals?
The Nazis are beaten, supposedly. But somehow the seeds of autocracy are everywhere. Wherever you see a corporation, you see a little Third Reich with its own pompous CEO-fuehrer. Wherever you see property, especially inherited property (have you noticed the increasingly universal meme of saying “privilege” when you mean “property?”), you see a little king of a little kingdom, whose answer to “why do you own this” is no more than “because I do.”
As an Aaron Swartz bred on Horace instead of John Dewey might have remarked, tamen usque recurret [Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. “You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back.” Book I, epistle x, line 24 -DZ]. Of course the utopia is unachievable. As a geek world which had not Chomsky but Mosca on its dogeared hackerspace bookshelves would know in its bones, autocracy is universal and cannot be repealed, only concealed. Always and everywhere, strong minorities rule weak majorities.
You cannot drive out nature with a pitchfork. ...
Here’s how Chomsky kills: first, he sets you to the pitchfork. In the Plato’s cave of Chomsky it is not nature, of course, that you are driving out with a pitchfork. It is black, unnatural, fascist conspiracy. Which is naturally everywhere – and yet, everywhere in embryo. Giant terrifying kings and dictators are nowhere to be hacked and sawn. It was your ancestors who had this privilege. Today, in a diminished age, the enemy is no more than the seeds and sprouts of advancing black reaction, whose every great stump is crowned with dangerous suckers.
And while these seedlings are everywhere, each is small and weak. Individually, they yield quite handily to the hoe, giving the stalwart farmer a sense of progress and victory. If only a local sense. For the activist who is only really interested in power, this is quite enough. He just wants to be part of something that’s fighting something else. It’s a normal human drive. And of course, his team is the winning team, which he likes quite well.
You can be this farmer, and live a happy, successful and fulfilling life. But be sure to focus on the seedlings. Or the old dead stumps. Notice, however, that the vines which slew those old trees have grown so great and woody that they almost resemble trees themselves… and you are in for a different experience. At the very least, you’ll need to come back with something sharper than a pitchfork.
The truth is that the weapons of “activism” are not weapons which the weak can use against the strong. They are weapons the strong can use against the weak. When the weak try to use them against the strong, the outcome is… well… suicidal.
Who was stronger – Dr. King, or Bull Connor? Well, we have a pretty good test for who was stronger. Who won? In the real story, overdogs win. Who had the full force of the world’s strongest government on his side? Who had a small-town police force staffed with backward hicks? In the real story, overdogs win.
“Civil disobedience” is no more than a way for the overdog to say to the underdog: I am so strong that you cannot enforce your “laws” upon me. I am strong and might makes right – I give you the law, not you me. Don’t think the losing party in this conflict didn’t try its own “civil disobedience.” And even its own “active measures.” Which availed them – what? Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi [“What is lawful for Jove is not lawful for cattle.” -JDZ].
In the real world in which we live, the weak had better know their own weakness. If they would gather their strength, do it! But without fighting, even “civil disobedience.” To break a law is to fight. Those who fight had better be strong. Those who are not strong, had better not fight.
In this case, you see, Leviathan’s henchmen simply failed to recognize how feeble their adversary was. Today, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, argued publicly that she and her minions had not done wrong. They merely intended to convict young Aaron and give him a sentence of six months in a minimum security federal facility. Ortiz neglects to mention that part of his sentence would have denied him usage of a computer and access to the Internet for some very substantial period of time, most likely an interval resembling the full-term of his minimized-to-six-months actually served sentence.
Giving up one’s personal computer and the Internet would not be a life-shattering catastrophe for everyone, but for an IT prodigy, software designer, and Internet activist it would be pretty terrible. It would have been a lot like convicting Mozart of something, putting him in jail for a few months, but also then denying him access to musical performance and composition.
William G. Zincavage (my father) fulfilling his top-of-the-food-chain responsibilities in 1947.
Last month, NYM linked an article on Slate reporting that hunting was catching on among left-wing, bicycle-riding hipsters as a sort of an extension of back-to-the-land locavore fashion. The hippie berry-pickers and mushroom-gatherers have been slowly evolving into hunters.
Today, we find, on the eminently leftist blog Obsidian Wings, an article by an anti-gun suburbanista from New Jersey styling herself “Doctor Science,” who has suddenly discovered that hunters have an important role to play in wildlife population management.
The way I see it, humans are the top predator around here, and we have an ecological obligation to act like it. Which means killing deer, especially the young ones and the does. In other words, for food. The reason the venison we had last week was so exceptionally scrumptious was because it came from a 2-year-old antlerless animal, just the kind you’d select if they were farm-raised.
What I’m seeing in NJ is that hunters and birders (and other conservationists) are working together more than used to be the case. ...
I don’t know if there will be a shift in hunting culture, if hunters in places like NJ come to see themselves as ecological agents who don’t just “harvest” or exploit wild animals, they use their skills to perform crucial tasks of population control and management.
“Doctor Science” (I keep struggling to suppress a derisive snort every time I read her self-application of that undoubtedly grossly exaggerated appelative) attributes her enlightenment on the unfashionable subject of hunting to her being a bird watcher.
We spend time outside, cultivating patience, observational skills, and learning to keep our feet warm. Birding definitely taps into part of the ancient hunting impulse, to chase things down and find them out. I can definitely understand hunting on a gut level and see the appeal, even though I’d be a pretty terrible hunter.
I think she’s probably right about the last, since she is obviously pretty lousy at finding things out.
If she was much of a hunter of information, about birding, for instance, she’d know that wildlife in North America generally was saved from extinction, parks and gamelands created, habitat preserved, commercial hunting suppressed, and bird and animal species successfully managed (and sometimes dramatically restored) by hunters.
She would know that John James Audubon invariably reduced to possession with a gun the Birds of America he recorded in his paintings.
She would know that the Conservation Movement of the late 19th century that preserved from extinction, and brought back only too successfully, those white-tailed deer she finds delicious was created entirely by prominent sportsmen, by men like Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, Charles Sheldon, William T. Hornaday, John C. Phillips, Aldo Leopold, and others. All of those gentlemen wrote books which the lady could hunt up and read. There is also a general survey of the history of the conservation movement in this country, published in 1975, and titled An American Crusade for Wildlife.
“Doctor Science” is sufficiently self-enamored to suggest that hunters ought to become more like left-wing suburban bird watchers, give up their NRA memberships, quit liking and collecting guns, and use firearms guiltily, reluctantly, and only when thinking of them as food harvesting implements. Aesthetic, historical, technological, and associative sentimental appreciation of firearms would be wrong. Just as hunting for sport, for the personal pleasure of participatory experience of the active role in the natural contest of predator and prey, for the aesthetic awareness of the ritual of the chase, and for the sense of self-identification with a rich, immemorial tradition would be wrong. It is only right, she tells us, to hunt in order to acquire “healthy, clean meat to feed my family.”
It is typical of self-congratulatory liberal narcissism to think that one’s own provincial and Philistine outlook and motivations represent the supreme moral ideal that the rest of mankind needs to be taught to emulate.
The murder of first graders in Sandy Hook, Connecticut by a disturbed 20-year-old was exactly the kind of dramatic and appalling event that captures the attention of the entire country and which provokes the national commentariat into furious efforts at prescribing actions to be taken to ensure that such a tragedy can never happen again.
All this, of course, is insanity.
The shootings in Sandy Hook, though undoubtedly terrible and tragic, really constituted one of those rare, bizarre, and tremendously unlikely occurrences which can never be anticipated or successfully averted by planning, and which proves nothing beyond our own human vulnerability to irrationality, evil, and mere happenstance, to what the Ancient Greeks knew as moira, “Fate”.
There obviously exists no discernible real constituency of passionate paedophobes singlemindedly committed to the recreational shooting of small children as to represent an existing hazard at all.
The very existence of any person so defective, so angry, and so perverse as to choose herostratic self destruction is enormously unlikely. Someone of this sort comes along only exceedingly rarely, even in a population of 300 million. But the combination of the herostratic suicide (who is invariably male and post-pubescent but not mature) with an active animus against small children is orders of magnitude even more unlikely. With the death of Adam Lanza, chances are pretty good that this particular rare and hyper-exotic population is extinct.
Really, it is as if, unaccountably in a fashion no one could have anticipated or expected, a ravenous Kodiak bear suddenly appeared last Friday morning at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive in Sandy Hook, Connecticut where it inflicted numerous fatalities on first graders, teachers, and the school principal. How could anyone have ever been prepared for an emergency so unlikely, so intrinsically incapable of being anticipated, or even of being viewed as within the range of possibility?
Officials, legislators, police, and parents might more rationally decide to erect superstructures above elementary schools intended to intercept meteors rather than waste their time cerebrating over what to do to foil the next Adam Lanza or the next hungry Brown bear. Another century or more may go by before anything quite like this ever happens again.
The real problem we have is a deeply-embedded cultural delusion which proposes that if we simply get together a representative sampling of our best and our brightest, if we put our establishment elite to work, the calculative power of human reason applied by the agency of officialdom and the Leviathan state is omniscient and omnipotent, and planning and regulation can assuredly avert any possibility of the perverse operation of Fate. All undesirable and untoward events can be planned and regulated out of human existence. All we have to do is give our elite class of experts and government more power, and then we will perfectly safe. No more Kodiak bears, no more Adam Lanzas.