Violence & Escalation

     Just a week ago, your humble author noted a marked increase in the acceptance of violent rhetoric and and warned of “fringe individuals who live in political echo chambers who are likely to do something stupid”. Less than a week after posting, there was an attempted assassination of Donald Trump.   Initial reporting on the shooter suggests that the shooter was a loner of the “school shooter” variety, rather than some dedicated ANTIFA or other Leftwing nutball. The actual reason for the assassination attempt does not, and can not, detract from the very basic fact that that it must be condemned without reservation. Let us also not forget the other victims, either.

     There were, unsurprisingly, plenty of anecdotes of “undecideds” or people who were planning to skip the that line on the ballot suddenly coming out as newborn die-hard Trump supporters. However, this was far from a universal observation—both online and in the real world.   You humble author previously noted that so many voters are treating the election like a non-event and seem almost indifferent to an extent hitherto not seen in modern era politics. But people are being swamped with more politics than ever by a smaller number of people than ever. They’ve stopped caring, and the people responsible don’t care. This disinterest is real and may not be accurately measurable. Case in point:

     It’s telling that people are choosing indifference over siding against one side or the other.   The “double-haters” are real and it’s a sign of the sad state of politics today that not even an assassination attempt of a former President and current major party Presidential nominee is enough to get them to care. From an electoral standpoint, this assassination attempt will likely help with turning out Trumps voters and push some “double-hater” likely voters to vote for Trump rather than skip the ballot or vote for Biden. But this will be marginal, though margins matter a lot, just as they did in the previous two Presidential elections.

     Before the motive of the assassin was even known, rhetoric on social media by the Right placed the blame, not on the shooter, but on Biden and the Democrats in general for hyperbolic rhetoric about how Trump will be a dictator or become the new Hitler. Your humble author yet again notes that less than a week ago condemnation of over the top violent rhetoric and fearmongering would lead to an escalation of violence was made, and a call for people to get out of their bubble fear and vitriol and touch proverbial (or not so proverbial) grass.

     And yes, this was a condemnation of the violent rhetoric and violent actions from the fringe of both sides.   And for that condemnation, typically sensible people became incensed that the Right was not blameless in the increased ratcheting of fearmongering and violent rhetoric, or that it didn’t matter because the Left started it or was worse.

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News of the Week (July 14th, 2024)

 

News of the Week for July 14th, 2024


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Firing Line Friday: The Dalai Lama Looks Back

     In the hopes of encouraging a more civil, and illuminating, discourse, here is another episode of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s “Firing Line”.

     A reminder from forty years ago that Communist China was, as it still is now, dedicated to not only cultural genocide, but outright murder of countless innocents. Let us look back with William F. Buckley, Jr. at the 14th Dalai Lama looking back at a quarter century of his ascension.

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Quick Takes – Canada The Killer: One Doctor Kills Hundreds; Organ Harvesting From Non-Terminal Patients; Quebec Doctors Want Your Organs

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: Someone set up us the euthanasia? All your organs are belong to Canada!

     First, a little mood sketch:

     Carrying on…

Death, Rx

     Euthanasia has become so normalized that it has ceased to be seen as a sad but “signified” way to end suffering… and become something to boast about in Canada.

“For Wiebe, medical assistance in dying (MAID) is ‘incredibly rewarding’ work. She hasn’t faced nearly the same sort of stigma she once faced as an abortion provider and says that while she and her MAID colleagues ‘all work within the law,’ she’s also not as ‘conservative’ as some.

“What she isn’t prepared to share publicly is how often she has administered a fatal substance upon a patient’s request.

“‘I know the exact number,’ the Vancouver doctor said, ‘but I don’t want to do that, no. It’s become a weird thing, people talking about their numbers, or criticizing people who talk about their numbers.’

“‘Hundreds is good,’ she said. About 430 as of May 2022 alone, as she then testified before a special parliamentary committee on medical assistance in dying, or MAID.”

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Frustration & Violence

     Whether its a hard Leftist who wants to double down on immanentizing the eschaton, or someone one the post-conservative Right who feels like the country has suddenly gone mad and thinks that no one is trying to bring back normalcy, people on both sides are becoming frustrated and increasingly likely to lash out. Plenty of folks in the middle and myriad moderate voters are also frustrated, but they don’t have the luxury of doing anything except getting by and dealing with more immediate issues in real life. But those proverbial idle hands seem awfully accepting of calls to violence. Case in point:

     This shouldn’t be dismissed as mere rhetorical hyperbole. From Black Lives Matter, to “Black Block” anarchists and campus anti-Semites, violence and storming buildings to take control is nothing new. Sadly, the Right demonstrated that they are more than a match to the Left when it comes to violence and force three and a half years ago.

     It is not some full scale People’s Revolution or some second Revolutionary War that is a concern, but frustrated fringe individuals who live in political echo chambers who are likely to do something stupid, with or even without prodding from others.

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News of the Week (June 7th, 2024)

 

News of the Week for July 7th, 2024


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When in the Course of Human Events…

Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

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An Uncanny Election Year

The sign you shouldn’t make me tap.

     Of all the elections for decades that your humble author has experienced, this one feels different.   Perhaps we’re on the verge of some epochal political realignment, or perhaps the irrational has just drowned out the sensible. Either which way, there has been no clear evidence in prior actual election results, so what will happen is not as clear as many are making out out to be. Many will be right not because the reasoning behind their predictions was right, but despite said reasoning—much like continental drift.

     However, there are at least a few things that are likely to be true after election day:

  1. Both sides will misinterpret the election outcome;
  2. Whoever wins will likely overplay their hand and overreach bigly; and
  3. Whoever loses will likely be in a strong position in 2026 and 2028 (though they’ll be more likely to screw that up somehow).

     But beyond that, making predictions based on past results is iffy at best. Is an orgy of black swans event upon us—one so great that it is making 2016 seem a continuation of normal when it comes to Presidential elections?   Or is this just a combination of the irrational exuberance (or dismay) from an echo chamber divorced from a silent majority? One thing, though, seems certain: Something is different this year.

     Perhaps one of the almost unsettling differences is that it seems that for most people, the election is a non-event. Most people just aren’t talking about it Oh, this isn’t just low information voters and “normies” not being engaged until Summer if over, but an almost complete lack of any outward acknowledgement that a contentious major election is upon us.   It seems that to the terminally online and professional pundit class, the election is in hyperdrive and everyone is bursting with political energy. There is an increased energy overall in this election, but it is coming from an exponentially increased fervor from a logarithmically decreasing number of voices, leaving more and more people sick and tired before the election season even began! How much of polling is being affected by these voters refusing to engage at all, including with pollsters, to a degree far greater than in past elections to a degree that makes this election seem “off” as a result?

     Perhaps all that most are seeing politically are the ardent few shadow puppeteers in Plato’s cave, and not the great many disengaged from any such shenanigans.

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News of the Week (June 30th, 2024)

 

News of the Week for June 30th, 2024


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Firing Line Friday: What’s on Malcolm Muggeridge’s Mind?

     In the hopes of encouraging a more civil, and illuminating, discourse, here is another episode of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s “Firing Line”.

     It is the current fancy of some to blame America First and accuse America of being warmongers while self-declared enemies thereof are automatically considered as acting in self-defense, even when those enemies explicitly say otherwise. This is nothing new, as we see from forty years ago when William F. Buckley, Jr.’s discussion with Malcolm Muggeridge.

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