Idiocracy, a stupid movie accidentally stumbled on the reason for manifesto-driven shootings.

Made in 2006, Idiocracy is one of the stupidest AND funniest movies I have ever seen. Pvt. Joe Bauers, a completely average guy, is forced into a military experiment, in which he and Rita, an average woman who is also a prostitute, are put into suspended animation for a year to see whether it might work at all. The experiment goes haywire, and they don’t wake up for 500 years. By that time, 500 years of over-populating by the dumbest people in society and under-populating by the smartest have resulted in a country that is so dumbed down, that Joe and Rita are the two most intelligent people in the world. There is a lot of evidence that this dumbing down process is not just fiction. You can read about it here. https://curmudgeon550.blog/2019/06/03/why-are-we-becoming-dumber/

The movie projects the trajectories of present trends 500 years into the future, with no ameliorating forces. Some of the sight gags are ridiculously hilarious. Buildings in cities are crumbling and held together with wire. The Washington monument is leaning to one side. Costco warehouses are the size of small cities, but the shelves are piled so high that the merchandise is unreachable, and most of it has crumbled into heaps of junk. The furniture section features only thousands of identical red sofas, because no one can figure out how to make anything else. The President of the US is a black rapper played to the hilt by hugely muscular Terry Crews, wearing a gold wig. Predictably, the movie gets dumber and less funny as it tries to substitute a plot for sight gags, but the lack of meaning and purpose in life infects everyone. They probably hope for a mass shooting to liven things up, or to end their meaningless existence.

As a sample, the most popular TV show in the country when Joe wakes up is called Ow, My Balls. It’s an endless reel of men performing stupid stunts that result in getting their crotch impaled, and the most popular movie, which has hundreds of patrons giggling, simply called Ass, is hours of naked saggy butts. I then realized that this movie inadvertently illustrates the driving forces behind these manifesto-driven “mass shootings.” How so? Writes Alyssa Ahlgren: Regarding modern day life, “more people are on medication than any other time in modern human history. Rates of depression and suicide are at an all-time high. The dismantling of the family unit is destroying our youth. There is a lack of purpose and higher calling as we become cold to the thought of the existence of God or anything greater than ourselves. Our minds are denigrated to a place of immorality without the guidance of a virtuous purpose above our own subjective feelings. This lack of purpose allows for a dangerous dogma to fill the void. Mental health problems and disgusting ideologies like white supremacy take the place of the unifying religious and American values that fuels the human spirit.”

She’s correct, but as usual, proposes solutions that generalize about what the royal “we” needs to do. “Instead of more legislation, we need to better enforce the laws already on the books. We need to build up our mental health system that was destroyed in the 50s and 60s. We need to be proactive in treating the sick among us. We need to make sure law-abiding citizens have the ease to exercise their Second Amendment right when the institutions designated to enforce the laws fail us. And we need to revitalize the higher purpose and values that built this country in the first place. Guns have been a widespread presence for 243 years; staring at an inanimate object instead of the problem won’t cure this cancer of the soul.”

Okay, all well and good, but….These manifesto driven killers are actually hungry for community, personal acknowledgement and authentic relationships. That’s a big reason for writing their rambling online manifestos. This is their meaning in life, their minds are confused vacuums filled with blame, shame, anger, all of which demands someone to blame, like Hitler blaming the Jews for Germany’s post WWI woes. I am going to suggest two ideas here, one is what the authorities can do, and the other is a basic truth of life that the rest of us might strongly consider. This basic truth is: You are ultimately alone, unless you are resting in the lap of God. People move on, relationships move on, life moves on, friends and family die, move away, become estranged. As Jackson Browne put it in his song, For A Dancer, “no matter how close to yours, another’s steps have grown, in the end there is one dance you’ll do alone.” Accept it, embrace it, if you want friends, first be the friend you’re looking for, or get a dog, but don’t fight your feelings or blame someone for your isolation. If you are more or less well adjusted, blaming others for this fact of life may just sadden you, but for the manifesto killer, sadness and loneliness transform into bullets, then the media and politicians transform the bullets into bullshit.

As for what the government can do: If these killers are looking for notoriety, or don’t fear death or prison (if they find lots of like-minded friends or fans), deterrence might not be possible, but what’s the most likely deterrent? Let it be known that whatever population the killers hate the most, according to their manifesto or statements, that’s the very group they will live with in the general prison population. For example, the guy who killed in El Paso says he hated Mexicans, make sure he is incarcerated with lots of them. Of course that’s a death sentence, but 1. It’s deserved and 2. If anything could deter his actions, it would be that. Is that too cruel? You might raise the objection that such a fate would make death preferable, so the killers will not surrender but try to kill more. Don’t they already try to kill as many as possible?

Am I being satirical or serious? “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.”- Ecclesiastes 8:11. So said Solomon, the wisest man who lived. The average death row inmate spends 20 years, 3 months in prison from sentencing until the sentence is carried out. Virtually all the mass shooters surrender to police when apprehended rather than choosing to shoot it out, so you have to ask yourself, why prefer prison to death? Could it be that their expectations of prison or their trials is about prolonging their notoriety?

Evil is no longer deterred by the threat of prison, prison has even become something cool to certain types who think it brings street cred. Gangs operate with impunity inside prison, they terrorize the least of the criminals and elevate the worst. Mass shooters are probably lionized and protected by their particular hatred group. My idea would create the opposite situation. They would know what it is to be terrorized. But that’s not enough. Their prison experience needs to serve as a lesson to would-be manifesto murderers.

I wrote all of the foregoing before seeing the latest news about reactions to the El Paso and Dayton shootings. Now I have to do a part two, because the Idiocracy isn’t in 500 years, we already live in it.

Who is Adam Lankford and how does he get a pass on fact-checking?

Cali has the most murders, but is #44 in gun ownership per person!!

John R. Lott wrote a book called More Guns Less Crime, and runs the Crime Prevention Research Center, CrimeResearch.org. Adam Lankford, University of Alabama, authored a study which reported that the USA has more “mass shootings” than any country in the world. Both adopted a definition of “mass shooting” that requires four criteria: 4 or more people killed in a public place; not related to another crime; not an act of genocide or sponsored terrorism; not in a war. Lankford’s “study” claimed that since 1966, 90 cases of mass shootings occurred in the USA and 202 in the rest of the world.

Lott’s group found a total of 3,081 cases in the world during the same time frame. Lankford’s figures and conclusion (mass shootings = gun ownership) were immediately published by journalists(?) like CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, USA Today and Fox News, without fact-checking nor knowledge of his methods, nor did he provide ANY raw data. John Stossel asked Lankford for his data and methods and was rebuffed, as was Lott. Most of the 171 countries “cited” by Lankford are not English speaking, nor did they even track such incidences for many years since 1966, AND there was no internet for most of this time. Lankford claimed that he researched foreign language publications too, but refused to cite any or even the languages themselves. CPRC did use foreign language translators.

Just yesterday, the Washington Post published another gun control screed with propaganda substituted for truth. “Frequent mass shootings are unique to the United States. The reason is guns, and especially semiautomatics. Unique to the United States is easy access to the means to commit mass murder.” What is the truth?

In terms of CRPC’s research, the USA is #62 in mass shootings in the world with .11 per 100,000. The Northern Mariana Islands lead the world with 6.275/100,000, followed by Iraq, Angola, Guyana and the like. Comparing the annual death rate per 1 million in the USA vs. Europe and Canada from 2009 to 2015, Norway is #1 (1.888), USA is #11 (.089) and Canada is #14 (.032). Comparing frequency of mass shooting incidences over the same period, Macedonia is #1 (.471/million), USA is #12 (.078/million), Canada #13 (.056/million). LET’s ALL MOVE TO CANADA TO RAISE OUR LIFE EXPECTANCY! Just don’t misgender, or you will meet the dreaded Human Rights Tribunals.

Let’s see, if there is a direct relationship between gun ownership per person and mass shootings, as the WaPo insists, then isn’t it logical that the state with the highest gun ownership per person would also have the highest mass shooting rate? Wyoming has by far the highest per person gun ownership, according to the ATF, 229.24. Next highest is Washington DC, at 68.05. Wow, what a gap. New York has the lowest, at 3.83. How about mass shootings? Even more relevant would be murder rates, since, by definition, mass shootings involve multiple murders, and gang related murders far outnumber deaths from mass shootings.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county-level breakdown is available, 54% of US counties (with 11% of the population) had no murders. 69% of counties had no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country. The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 2% of counties contain 28% of the population and 51% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. But even within those counties the murders are very heavily concentrated in small areas.

That same year, most counties in Wyoming had no murders. Six counties averaged 2 murders. In New York, 2 counties averaged more than 30 murders, 2 others more than 10, 5 others more than 5. Only about half the counties in New York had no murders. According to a 2013 PEW Research Center survey, the household gun ownership rate in rural areas was 2.11 times greater than in urban areas (“Why Own a Gun? Protection is Now Top Reason,” PEW Research Center, March 12, 2013). Suburban households are 28.6% more likely to own guns than urban households. Despite lower gun ownership, urban areas experience much higher murder rates. One should not put much weight on this purely “cross-sectional” evidence over one point in time and many factors determine murder rates, but it is still interesting to note that so much of the country has both very high gun ownership rates and zero murders.

Don’t fall for the bullshit of media driven lies about gun ownership and murders, or mass shootings, or the big lie that our country is #1 in mass shootings. The big media are simply propagandists for government control of your life, as long as Democrats are the ones in control. The only question about who’s #1 is in lies per capita in our media: is it CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NY Times, LA Times?

Democratic Socialist Apocalypse Now!

Another “free for all”

The Democratic Socialists of America (how dare they use that term America, don’t they know it elevates the USA?) Conference, Chicago, 2019, is quite a circus. Human Events managing editor Ian Miles Cheong comments after an outburst of “gendered language” protest: “Real life is worse than that BBC skit making fun of social justice warriors offended by everything.” Cheong also called the person who complained about gendered language a “manchild.” Sorry Ian, which BBC skit? How about dozens from Monty Python’s Flying Circus? Manchild? Where’s the man part?

Later, Cheong flagged that a delegate from New York (also using the “he/him” pronouns) objected to the “tactical” use of the term “democratic” in “democratic socialists,” as a way to market the socialist ideology to Americans (Americans? Stop already). Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are three of the most prominent self-described “democratic socialists” in the Democratic Party. What’s this “self-styled” business? They really have no convictions beyond “what will promote me, what will reinforce my own goodness and show up everyone who doesn’t agree as evil”.

Satirist Titania McGrath (real name Andrew Doyle) mocked the whole thing: “POINT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE! Could the individual who called out the offensively gendered language of the individual who called out the sensory overload of the aggressive whispering please refrain from speaking at such an excessive triggering volume.” Incredibly, even the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel couldn’t resist piling on: He (cisgender, I suppose) suggested the moment could take the wind out of some of President Trump’s dire warnings about the impending threat of socialism. “This clip has one DSA delegate saying ‘whispering and chatter’ gives him sensory overload, and another asking for gendered terms not to be used,” Weigel said. “Depending on the day, socialists are a terrifying force ready to overthrow the government, or a collection of snowflakes to laugh at.

I have to admit, given that the United States is ruled by a Constitution (it really is, despite occasional appearances to the contrary) which places power in the hands of the citizens rather than military force (unlike countries which actually implemented socialism), I have no realistic fear of that changing any time soon–like within the next century …or two. While this is going on, real Americans (yeah, too bad) are lining up at blood banks in El Paso and Dayton to give blood for the shooting victims, while others are handing out pizza and snacks and bottles of water to them ….FOR FREE! Yes, free stuff really exists…..when it’s voluntary! Take that, DSA’s.

One act of hatred meets 100 acts of love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spzL17u-7zs

From Peter Heck, TheResurgent.com: “That’s a video taken outside a blood bank in El Paso.  Those are people who aren’t on Twitter.  They aren’t concerned with blaming people or pointing fingers.  They’re there to offer their blood.  They overwhelmed the blood banks.  And the ones who aren’t offering their blood are handing out free pizza, free Gatorade, free water.  And by “free” I mean free to those who are there to help.  It was purchased or donated by others who are there to help.  Real Americans. And notice something else about those Americans.  There are white ones, Hispanic ones, black ones, ones wearing yarmulkes, others crosses, others nothing but t-shirts and shorts.

“One act of hatred meets a hundred acts of love.  It is possible, even in this era, to put down the cup of wrath we are so quick to pour out on others, and choose instead to serve and sacrifice for our fellow man.  We see it in the wake of tragedy and terror.  If we could learn to make it reality every day, we still have a chance.”

A truly brilliant blog post too: https://www.patreon.com/posts/helter-skelter-28927368?utm_medium=post_notification_email&utm_source=post_link&utm_campaign=patron_engagement

Is Sin a living parasite inside us?

Do you ever talk to yourself as if you are addressing an entity that is part of you, or inside of you, but not essentially you? Do you ever think, “why did I just do that” after you have said or done something “totally unlike you?” Do you ever resolve to stop a bad habit or start a good habit, but then find yourself drifting back into habits you had resolved to leave behind, almost as if you weren’t conscious of the drift, and then suddenly awakened back in the grip of the old? These are known as rhetorical questions, in that I already know the answer, as do you. The answers to these questions are yes, yes and yes. The apostle Paul experienced the same thing. He addressed the reality in Romans chapter 7.

“What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” Romans 7:7-12.

If indeed Paul is explaining a phenomenon experienced by all human beings, everywhere, regardless of their “religion” or politics or personal beliefs or circumstances, and I say he is, it would appear that this thing we Christians call sin is an entity that is part of our makeup, and motivates and deceives us to engage in doing and saying things that are contrary to God’s commandments, regardless of what we want or resolve to do. He explains further that God’s law is not only good, but good for us, and sin brings spiritual death.

“Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” Romans 7:13-20.

No longer I but sin? Isn’t that an excuse, blaming sin for your actions? Maybe not. Could Paul have special knowledge? He was blinded by an encounter with the living Christ, healed miraculously, commissioned by Christ to carry His word to the gentiles, to the whole western world, and was taken to actual heaven in the spirit, if not the body, and shown things he could not reveal. So yes, he had special knowledge.

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:21-25.

Do you delight in the law of God? Or maybe you don’t. Either way, it is hard to live it, even in the simple things. Do you then substitute earthly wisdom or causes, chanting slogan words like equality, inclusiveness, tolerance, for seeking to understand yourself truly and seeking the wisdom from above? Am I implying that you can escape the grip of sin, that all you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your substitutionary savior, and all will be well? Of course not. Paul was closer to the Lord than you and I will ever be in this life, yet sin still had the upper hand. Then why accept Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice if I will still sin? I hope you really really really get this. Jesus died and rose again so that, when you sin after He becomes your savior, God the Father doesn’t see your sin, He sees Jesus’ perfect righteousness instead. You and Jesus Christ are one in his eyes.

“If you live for people’s acceptance you’ll die from their rejection.”

humbug

My title is a quote from Jaelene Hinkle’s Twitter profile. Who’s she? A great soccer player who would probably have made the US Women’s National Team….except she would not wear the rainbow jersey for “Pride” week. Why not? Jaelene believes the Bible, which includes more admonitions against pride–the foundational sin–than any other sin. If you’re a Bible believing Christian, the matter of pride is simple: pride was Adam and Eve eating the fruit that God had forbidden, because the serpent promised they would become like God; pride humbled Israel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Solomon; pride was condemned by every Old Testament prophet and most of the apostles; pride was condemned by Jesus Christ himself. But who cares what the Bible says if you want to justify your pride? Certainly not Ashlyn Harris, one of the lesbian team members, who accused Ms. Hinkle of “bigotry”. Certainly not Ali Krieger, who is the “fiancee” of Ashlyn. Ali’s brother defended the team against any implications of anti Christian bigotry by saying “the team even has inclusive Bible studies.” Uh huh, what kind of bible study is that? So the lesbian team members, the coach, and the other pride promoters were offended by a team member who put her relationship with Christ first, though of course they call that bigotry.

Theodore Dalrymple writing The Age of Humbug in Takimag.com: “It is the obligation of citizens in a free society to be able to take offense without demanding protection from the laws, in other words to bear with tolerance the opinions of others that they consider repellent or disgusting. If we treat being offended as a harm in the same way that being run over and injured is a harm, we are destined for the tyranny of enforced silence.” Which is now the case in Progressive companies like Google, in enclaves of privilege, like most college campuses, and in woke cities should any hapless Trump supporters be caught wearing a Scarlet Letters hat, i.e. MAGA. Obviously being able to take offense without demanding protection from the laws is not an obligation of citizens in our society, and especially not in Canada nor Western Europe. The key word here is “free”, which should mean volitional in the sense of no government penalties for speaking your mind. Since taking offense is perhaps the second most popular spectator sport, behind the NFL, it’s highly questionable whether our citizens appreciate their freedom.

Mr. Dalrymple continues: “While those who are, or rather claim to be, made of psychological eggshells, such that they are seriously harmed by hearing something that they consider offensive or shocking (usually, in the modern world, something against the fleeting orthodoxy of the moment), requiring therefore special protection or privileges for themselves, they are also rather proud of their alleged friability, because it shows how very good they are. This is because only a person who feels things deeply can be offended to the point of suffering harm. Our lack of resilience is a sign of our superior sensibility.

“A hypocrite is a person who espouses one ideal and practices something else. Except for those very few, rather frightening people among us who behave with absolute and unyielding conformity to their principles, we are all to an extent hypocrites. A humbug, by contrast, is a person who claims more exalted, deeper or supposedly more virtuous feelings than he actually has. He is the kind of person who claims not to be able to sleep at night because of the situation in Outer Mongolia. Hypocrites have ideals that they fail, more or less egregiously, to live up to. Humbugs claim ideals that are beyond the possibility of people, or at least the vast majority of people, genuinely to feel. There is overlap between the two, of course, and they are not mutually exclusive. But the humbug is far more dangerous. At worst the hypocrite is a rogue; but the humbug is so wedded both to his conception of himself and to his attempt to deceive others that he does not in the least care about the practical consequences of his humbuggery when it is made the foundation of policy. Any number of people may be sacrificed to preserve the exaltation of his pseudo-feelings.

I am an occasional hypocrite but never a humbug. I don’t know how to take offense, an attitude which goes “hand in glove” with having no sympathy for those who take offense, and a pure hatred (can I use that word?) of Humbug, though honestly, before reading Mr. Dalrymple’s opinion piece, I never really knew what humbug was. Humbug is accusing people with whom you don’t agree of racism-homophobia- transphobia-bigotry-assorted-other-phobias and isms. Because nothing is a higher calling than your heroic defense of your own feelings. Pride? Yeah. Proud of what? Is everything automatically to be proud of? Is anything to be ashamed of? Are you living for the acceptance, the approbation, the agreement with your feelings? Prepare to die then, people will let you down. Then what will you have sacrificed for your pride? Jaelene Hinkle has the right idea. She is on track to hear the best words, “good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

Bullying an adult? Really? A few tips for un-bullying.

Count’em, five knuckles….

Headlines from the Wall St. Journal: “Republican Software Engineer at Google bullied.” Was he physically pushed around, smacked in the face, hit over the head? At Google? I doubt it. Then how was he “bullied?” How does one bully an adult? I didn’t read the article, but I can guess. Fellow employees said nasty things, or got up from the table and left the free lunch when he approached, or texted or emailed aggressive emojis, or projected nasty looks. Okay, so google, the “don’t be evil” company, is notoriously narrow minded about anyone who has an original thought i.e. is conservative politically. Google is a famously robotic monoculture of Perfectionist Progressives and their impractical, utopian, unrealizable ideas. What else is new?

Dude, if you want to work there, you can keep your opinions to yourself or grow a pair and fight back. They’re the ones with the stupid ideas, the rote parroting of liberal drivel, the distaste for defending their opinions. You have the ammunition. How can you be bullied? Stop using that term. Both Booker T. Washington and Eleanor Roosevelt agree, no one can bully you without your permission. How do you give bullies your permission? Or better yet, how do you deny permission to be bullied? A handy guide follows:

1. Take nothing personally. They don’t know you, what’s inside, what you are capable of, or what you really think. Then what are they attacking? Their own projections. They might read something you wrote, or hear something you said, or simply don’t like your face. It doesn’t matter. What they are attacking is, “if I said/wrote that, here’s what I would be thinking.” They are attacking their own ugliness. You just happen to be convenient.

2. They are the one with a problem. You can sympathize, pity or reflect back to them, but don’t grovel, stoop to their level by counterattacks, or feel sorry for yourself. Most of all, never let them see you sweat. Stay cool, calm, measured….yeah, easier said than done, but with practice you will improve.

3. Put them on the defensive by insisting they define their terms and explain, how specifically does that apply to me? Did someone call you racist? “Define racist. How exactly do I fit your definition? What is your evidence?” I guarantee you, one of three things will happen again: they will struggle to define the term, realizing how they haven’t thought much about it; they will attack you personally, while not admitting they can’t define the term; they will calm down and try to reasonably discuss your questions. Hint: #3 is the least likely. No matter what, the attacks will all but cease, out of fear of being put on the spot.

Do you have the ability to remain cool under fire? If not, practice. Role play with a friend, or even yourself, how you will handle various scenarios of bullying. Are you an inviting target for bullies? If so, what makes you so? Are you overly sensitive to criticism? Are you desperate for approval? Do you lack confidence in your own opinions, or your ability to debate? Practice, practice, practice. No? Then go crying to your teacher, your boss, the EEOC, or if you’re unfortunate enough to be Canadian, the Human Rights Tribunals of your province. Just don’t expect the bullying to end if you carry the seeds inside you.

I provoke a lot of people with my blog, and sometimes in person. In the past, I was bullied, and then I took my own advice. I am almost disappointed that I haven’t had the opportunity to sharpen my debating skills for the last 50 years.