Friday, January 13, 2017

here's a dark thought for Friday the 13th

With a week to go before the inauguration, Donald Trump has been making all sorts of enemies. During the campaign, the mainstream media did its best to make him into the next Hitler, and Trump has punked the media several times, either by bringing unexpected guests to a news conference or by inviting reporters to a presser for an "exclusive," then castigating reporters for their bias and sloppiness. Trump has also made enemies within the intelligence community, especially recently with the surfacing of Buzzfeed/CNN's "Pissgate," a fake-news scandal in which Trump has been accused of perverted dalliances in Russia involving prostitutes and golden showers in posh hotels. The president-elect has fired back at both media and intelligence for sloppy work, ranting on Twitter about a "witch hunt." Trump supposedly conducted his own private sting against the intelligence community as a way to determine whether that community was actively leaking classified information; he claims to have caught some leakers, none of which is endearing him to the spooks.

The media and the intelligence apparatus are two huge, powerful, and pervasive blocs that deeply influence American society. Glenn Reynolds, on Instapundit, has written ominously of "the Deep State," a term that refers to large entities that may be trying to quietly control national policy and exercise influence throughout all branches of government. Making these entities into one's enemy is, to my mind, a very dangerous thing, which makes me wonder: what if something terrible should befall Trump on Inauguration Day? It's not inconceivable. Many people, especially those on the left, are actively seeking to keep Trump from the levers of power, and they'll be agitating against him for the next four to eight years.

Unless something happens on January 20, and Mike Pence suddenly finds himself being sworn in as the country's forty-fifth president.


King Baeksu said...

Liberalism truly is a mental disease. Fuck Cancer News Network, fuck the Neocohens, and fuck the Dumbocrats.

If Trump is assassinated, civil war is nearly certain. At least 50 million white people voted for Trump, and a large share of them are very well-armed.

Poke the tiger at your peril, motherfuckers.

Kevin Kim said...

An appropriately dark comment for a dark post. Happy Friday the 13th.

King Baeksu said...

The Teflon Don's insurance policy.

Kevin Kim said...

The site is censored here in Korea. I'll go home and look at it through my VPN.

SJHoneywell said...

Good to know I'm mentally diseased.

I long for the days when civil discourse was possible.

Kevin Kim said...


I know you've got your cutlass, eye patch, and parrot at the ready to storm the inauguration just like those old farts from the Permanent Assurance stormed the glass tower of the Very Big Corporation of America. Don't deny it.

As for civil discourse: it'd be nice, wouldn't it, but my time on Twitter showed me clearly that the spew comes from both sides of the aisle. We did this to ourselves. Except for a select few of us who prefer a more moderate tone, it's all stridency now.

Did you see this? I mean, we could go all day digging up such examples of incivility from both the left and the right. Sad, really.

My meta-take: one thing fueling the stridency is a sense of urgency, i.e., these issues in the news are matters of world-shattering import: Wars have been started over less! I'm not one of those people; I have faith that the ship is overall too big and too stable to be taken down by a couple holes below the waterline, and my overall feeling is: We'll survive just fine. That's my message to liberals: you survived Dubya; you'll survive Trump. Same way the right survived Clinton and Obama.

SJHoneywell said...

You'd be wrong about the eyepatch, etc. I'm not particularly interested in public displays of politics on either side of the aisle.

And yes, it comes from both sides. I won't deny that because that would be ridiculous. There are plenty of people on both sides who are inherently hypocritical, defending anything their side does and damning everything someone on the other side does. It's unhealthy in both situations.

But seriously, man--the first comment on this thread essentially said that anyone who disagrees with the conservative position is mentally ill, a complete disregard for any potential discussion from the other side. It's evidence not of wanting a discussion or even wanting to come to something like truth but of being convinced that there is no possibility of being wrong and looking only for that which confirms what is already believed. Yes, it exists on both sides. I agree, and it's shameful on both sides.

But...had I come here and said "Conservativism truly is a mental disease," would you have replied the same way or would you have admonished me about civility the way you did someone else for agressively disagreeing with me about a movie?

If we're better than this, then we need to be better than this, which includes calling out the bullshit on our own side as well as the opposing side. Truthfully, calling out the bullshit on one's own side tends to be more effective, because there's at least a chance you'll be listened to.

Further, this sort of immediate dismissal of the entirety of the other side is dangerous because it's dehumanizing. The minute you decide that someone who disagrees with you is diseased or has no value...who is to say where that might eventually lead?

If we're going to be better than this, then let's be better than this. If you want civility, you need to expect it from the people with whom you agree as well as from those with whom you disagree, and I'm not sure you lived up to that here, at least initially.

Kevin Kim said...


"But...had I come here and said "[Conservatism] truly is a mental disease," would you have replied the same way or would you have admonished me about civility the way you did someone else for a[gg]ressively disagreeing with me about a movie?"

I would have published your comment, just as I published Scott's because, despite the blanket incivility, it wouldn't have been directed at anyone in particular on my comment threads. That's the main thing that concerns me, not the incivility of a general claim. People have a right to their opinions, but I don't want my blog to become a Punch and Judy-fest, with commenters hitting each other on the head.

Scott himself can tell you that I've (1) refused to publish several of his comments and (2) admonished him (or as he put it to me personally, "policed" him) for his tone in some of my comment threads. I don't expect you to have noticed (1), but perhaps you haven't noticed (2).

That's actually one of the things that annoyed me most when I was on Twitter: even if I wasn't making a direct personal comment, people would take it personally. I routinely retweeted things critical of both the right and the left on Twitter, and I sometimes got shit for those retweets (and my appended comments) that certain of my "followers" took personally. And that's stupid. Don't reply personally to a non-personal utterance unless you're trying to start a fight. (I had a falling-out with a rightie follower who didn't understand the true nature of provocation and reaction. The topic was flag-burning.)

Example: how many times have I heard that Christians are stupid, ignorant, and deluded? And I'm a Christian. As a religious moderate interested in interreligious dialogue, I had to endure Sam Harris's diatribe against moderates who, according to him, merely abet the problem of militant Islam. Did I write him an angry comment? Not at all, although I admittedly grumbled about Harris on my blog. My point is that we control our own reactions, so we have the power to choose not to reply. Hiding behind "I can't help how I feel" is cowardly.

As a practical matter, how I manage my blog's comments isn't going to satisfy anyone but me. I'm OK with what I do; you're perfectly free to complain about unfairness (and I'll publish your complaint), but from where I sit, I've given Scott a chance to vent, and I've given you a chance to vent, too. Trust me: if you want to come on my blog and make a blanket statement about how fucked in the head conservatives are—with a long list of justifications—I'll allow you to do so with no admonitions about civility. I don't go Gestapo until I see people tearing into each other, and if you've followed my blog closely, you know I've closed a few comment threads because things got messy.

That's the best I can do, my friend. If it's not good enough, don't expect it to get any better. As you well know, no blog is a true democracy.

King Baeksu said...

But seriously, man--the first comment on this thread essentially said that anyone who disagrees with the conservative position is mentally ill, a complete disregard for any potential discussion from the other side.

Actually, the first comment in this thread was made in the context of watching the left and much of the Democratic Party establishment lose its freaking mind, attack people, riot in the streets and berate us all just because an election didn't go their way.

It's evidence not of wanting a discussion or even wanting to come to something like truth but of being convinced that there is no possibility of being wrong and looking only for that which confirms what is already believed.

I'm perfectly able to have a discussion and defend my position with facts, logic and relish. Indeed, I did so many times on this blog during the run-up to the election, and usually all I got for my efforts was to be called a "racist" for no damned reason, or to have to waste my time refuting obvious lies and distortions about Trump concocted by the guttersnipe mainstream media.

I'd have more respect for my liberal counterparts if they were more vocal in their condemnation of the extremely poor form and, yes, collective mental derangement we have seen over the past two months, and less humorless and indignant about comments that make the perfectly reasonable point that our President-elect may possibly be assassinated precisely because of the current climate, which has lost all touch with reason and reality.

As for the "truth" and "being right or wrong," unlike just about every mainstream liberal media pundit and polling outfit in the West, I actually correctly predicted that Trump would win months in advance, so who actually has a better grasp on reality?

King Baeksu said...

Going forward, my advice for progressives and the left would be for them to ask themselves how exactly their political ideology mutated into a kind of secular theology, or virtual religion. Your "morality" has become so extreme and intolerant that you have essentially written off half the population of the United States, which is not a very winning strategy in opinion. More to the point, running a state requires realism, not magical thinking, such as encouraging seven-year-olds to have sex changes, or adding $10 trillion to the national debt over the past eight years because you think an economy can function with a hundred million people out of the workforce, and half the population not even paying taxes.

The reason why Trump won is because he is a cold-eyed realist, plain and simple. When he builds buildings, he has to comply with the forces of nature and finance, or else they will either collapse or not get built. He also recognizes that the state is not a church or cathedral, but a money-sucking bureaucracy that he must deal with ruthlessly and mercilessly if his business projects are to proceed. As a seasoned businessman, in other words, he has to confront and respond to reality literally every minute of every day. Our nation desperately needs such a realist in the White House, lest it fly off into heavens forever.

King Baeksu said...

Proper English grammar is now "racist" and "classist"!

See what I mean?

Personally, I side with George Orwell (obviously a "racist" by today's standards):

"Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers."


And if Blogger had an edit function for comments, I'd actually be able to practice what I preach. Reverse discrimination, methinks!

SJHoneywell said...

The mistake I think you're making here is generalizing too much.

Do I have liberal opinions about things? Yes, I do. Does that mean I agree with every liberal opinion or with everyone who expresses one? Absolutely not, and I'll take your outrage over grammar as a case in point.

The position taken in that video is idiotic. Dude, I'm an English teacher among other things. The assumption that you seem to make is that if I have liberal opinions I must agree with all liberal positions and must somehow fall in line behind a stupid rant.

The difference is this--I have no problem saying this is a stupid, misguided rant that is entirely misdirected. Done. In truth, we probably have a number of things on which we will agree. That gets lost in the shuffle if you immediately assume that because I disagree with you on some points that I must disagree with you on all points. The world is a lot more interesting than that. So are most people.

Kevin Kim said...

I think you two should do a podcast together.

King Baeksu said...

The mistake I think you're making here is generalizing too much.

The mistake I think you are making here is condemning my generalizations. My original comment was not about you. It was about a general and clearly discernible trend. Over sixty million people voted for Clinton. 96% of the US media contributed to her campaign and continue to carry out holy war against her opponent, who soundly defeated her (by 77 electoral-college votes). Generalizations are how we make sense of the world; of course there are exceptions to every pattern and rule, but on the whole I stand by my claim that half the US population are pretty much losing their collective mind at the moment.

To recap: CNN is toxic fake news, the neocons are warmongering "Isreal Firsters" who have added trillions to our national debt and caused the deaths of millions, and Democrats today, from Meryl Streep to Rachel Maddow, are by and large smug elitist retards. Oh, and the deep state is currently attempting to overturn the results of the election via a stealth coup, but you're more concerned about the fact that I supposedly hurt your feelings.

I would suggest you skip the lecturing and moral grandstanding going forward. It's a big reason why Clinton lost in the first place. Just some friendly advice!

King Baeksu said...

BTW, because Blogger lacks an edit function for comments, I was unable to change my initial comment from "mental disease" to "mental disorder," which I feel is more precise (and that was prior to any other comments in this thread).

Still, a growing body of academic research suggests that "liberalism" or "progressivism" today manifest clear and distinct psychological disorders. The evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad, for instance, has done much work in this area:

Political Correctness as a Manifestation of Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome

I think the basic problem with most leftists is that they refuse to see reality as it is, but as they want it to be. Have a look at this video short, for example, in which a bunch of white liberals at my alma mater argue that blacks are too retarded to obtain personal IDs, and therefore voter ID laws are "racist":

Are Voter ID laws racist?

I have worked with many blacks, have many black friends and have even had black roommates. They would find it absurd to have to listen to whitey tell them they're too "mentally deficient" to obtain personal IDs for themselves.

We could spend all day probing the mindset of the white folks in the second video, but what it basically comes down to is a refusal step outside of themselves and assess reality according to the standards of reason and factual evidence. Of course, there are a number of psychological disorders that exhibit "detachment from reality," from schizophrenia to narcissism to outright psychopathy.

Of course, I know some liberals will come back at me and say, "I don't think blacks are unable to obtain personal IDs and therefore your argument is void," but that's not really the point, is it? The belief is widely enough held that activists devote considerable energy and effort to ensuring that IDs are not required to vote in many states, and many legislators agree because they feel their constituencies agree as well. Again, there are always exceptions to every rule, but still the phenomenon is real enough to have a very real impact upon the world around us.

King Baeksu said...

The regressive left strikes again.

Why are these people so afraid of mere words? Could it be that the unvarnished truth is like a chainsaw tearing through their tired old shibboleths?

The inauguration next week is going to be absolute mayhem. Another embarrassing mass spaz out is certain to bring plenty more converts to our side!

King Baeksu said...

Leaked Audio of Fascist Plan to Blockade Trump Inauguration

Hmm, I wonder how well they're going to fare with 5,000 barrel-chested "Bikers for Trump" bearing down on their sorry, skinny asses!