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Friday, September 11, 2020

Like Lambs to the Slaughter

 

 

Friends, today is the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and I'm going to take the opportunity to reflect on what we can learn from those events.  

 

One of the fascinating things about the human condition, if you ask me, is just how much subjectivity it involves.  In my view, people are almost infinitely manipulable, and their fears are a point of special vulnerability.  Simply put, our perception of risk, and the reality of risk, need not bear any meaningful relationship to one another.


What am I talking about?  In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, terrorism, which had previously been only a modest concern of our government and of the American people, rocketed to the top of our list of priorities.  Our nation spent trillions of dollars after 9/11, and involved itself in two wars, because of our newly-hyperbolic anxiety level vis-a-vis Islamic terrorism.  While I don't wish to minimize the ghastliness of terror, nor excuse the nefarious deeds of terrorists, the fact remains that these fears were largely irrational.  Terrorism never posed a significant threat to most Americans -- not compared to other threats which we face routinely and with a light heart.  I could prove this claim to you statistically, but there would hardly be a point, since we all know it to be true. Nonetheless, despite the ethereal nature of the "War on Terror", it held all of us in its vice-like grip for months, and arguably for years.  Only gradually did terrorism-related levels of dread abate.  They rose again around 2014-2017, when ISIS briefly held sway over a large portion of Syria and Iraq, only to shrink again, virtually to the vanishing point, as, in 2017 to present, Americans were redirected to other threats: police brutality, the coronavirus, and the greatest scourge of them all: Donald Trump!


And what, pray tell, is my point?  It is that we, as humans, are fallible.  In fact, we may misperceive the world around us more often than we perceive it for what it is.  Politics is the art of persuading men (and women) to make sacrifices, to set priorities, to surrender their freedoms and their hard-earned assets, even to put their very lives on the line, for one cause or another.  Most of these causes, moreover, when you get right down to it, are bunkum.  They may have some basis in reality, and some semblance of justification, but savvy, smooth-talking elites have always known how to twist these causes, and our devotion to them, to promote their own selfish ends.  More often than not, they are the winners in these political machinations, and we, the huddled masses, are the losers.


My point, therefore, is that the phantasms which currently keep Americans up late at night -- bloodthirsty, super-racist policemen, killer viruses from China, and orange-haired tyrants -- are, even if vaguely based on reality, mostly fictional, and almost certainly harmless to the vast majority of the American people.  

 

So, I conclude, support and vote for whichever politicians you feel have the keenest sense of the threats that truly threaten us, and who will uphold the values that made our country great in the first place -- but don't kid yourselves: red or blue, conservative or liberal, most politicians and pundits are as befuddled and blinkered as the rest of us.  They only claim to know what they're talking about.  Most of it is just hot air.


Another thought, along the same lines: if most of the dangers that captivate us are largely fictional, then how many real dangers are we failing to notice at all?  And, in the end, might we, or might this country, succumb to them, while our backs are turned?


Probably, but fear not -- when one set of distortions has outlived its usefulness, another will soon take its place.  Because one thing never changes: we, the People, are always being played.

11 comments:

  1. DR. NICK

    Thanks for this article. It is, in my opinion, the best you have written, that is to say, since I started posting my crazy comments on your site.

    Your analysis of the situation sums it up nicely. Politicians, most of them, regard people as pawns in whatever games they decide to play, and along with the super wealthy, see who can manipulate the masses the most.

    Our current dilemma reminds me of the Mexican Revolution, so far without the carnage, where a bunch of opposing groups rode across the landscape leaving a lot of dead people in their wakes.

    On that note, I need to rewatch one of my favorite movies, A 1971 production by the late and great Sergio Leone, with music by the late and great Ennio Morricone, and superb acting by the late James Coburn, and the late Rod Steiger. It is" "Duck, You Sucker!" and also known under the title "A Fistful of Dynamite".
    Check it out.

    In the meantime, watch out for various revolutionary groups riding around in our landscape. Introducing The Bidenistas, The Trumpanistas, The Obamalistas, and The Clintonistas. All are heavily armed with the latest in political elite propaganda, and anything else they can think of to deceive The American People.

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  2. In answer to your what real dangers that we are failing to notice; well, you can see it happening right now. Between the MSM/Fake news, protests that are really riots, enemies of state/country and so on. I have a former professor who also lives in Rochester and has "attended peaceful protests" including the one that "protestors" stormed the restaurant. He firmly stated, "It was peaceful!" Oh? He thinks it is perfectly ok to get in peoples faces, yell, scream, knock over tables, harass, burn, loot etc. He formally stated this on his FB page and mine. He also believes defunding the police is really the answer. To think this man sponsored my Internship and Directed Study and was a great mentor during my times at the Univ. and to find him proclaiming such hateful behavior is really shocking. I am really shocked and I am sure he thinks the same about me and my attitude of support for the current occupant of the WH. I am trying to offer excuses for his behavior, but truthfully, I can not.

    Personally, that is the real danger; the misinformation and academia who are teaching our kids and or young adults this stuff. The indoctrination is darn right scary.

    Ray, I look forward to your comments, always do. Indeed, watch out Dr. Waddy for those revolutionary groups. (I wouldn't actually characterize them as such they are really Marxist, Coup d'etat's).

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    Replies
    1. LINDA

      Testing. I'm attempting to respond, but many times someone out there is trying to block my comments.

      Delete
    2. With regard to the violence of The Left in this country as perpetrated by BLM and Antifa, the government is not handling this in the right way, no pun intended. Part of this has to do with a reluctance to use deadly force on groups like this due to our system of government.

      Also, I don't really think that the majority of Americans understand that the use of deadly force BY these groups is dedicated to the dismantling of our society through violence.

      Conservative European governments in the 19th Century understood perfectly how these groups needed to be dealt with. When Marx and Engels came out with their "Communist Manifesto" in 1848, there were Leftist revolutions all over Europe, and THEY WERE PUT DOWN WITH DEADLY FORCE, and that was demonstrated again in 1870 in France, when the Communards were destroyed by the French Army in that case.

      Sorry, but deadly force is the only force that can effectively deal with deadly force. At the very least, when these demonstrations began they should have immediately been disbursed with lots and lots of tear gas, rubber bullets, and whatever else short of live fire, plus curfews. Failure to do so means that these groups now feel "empowered" to continue. Looters should be shot on sight!

      Delete
  3. LINDA

    If you already know about this person, please disregard my comments.

    If you really want to understand how The Left in our country operates, and why, you ad your husband need to start reading DAVID HOROWITZ. He is TOTALLY qualified to tell every person in this country what The Left is all about. I heartily suggest you start reading what he has to say. No, he is hardly a nut case right winger (and there are too many of those) but a person who has been into The Left as deep as you can get. PLEASE! Start reading HOROWITZ, with special attention to his key writings in his "Black Book of the American Left". You will not regret this in any way, seriously. Start reading about him and by him, TODAY! No I am not frothing at the mouth. Ha!

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    Replies
    1. I know of him, Ray and I also know the left wing MSM really don't care for him. So many people are just liking their heads in the sand and prefer to go on their merry ways. I am also getting tired hearing from the current occupant of the WH --he reminds me of this parent who shakes his finger to a petulant child. IF your going to do something about these riots---JUST DO IT! Quit playing around. Go full force commando. I see Oregon (or was it WA?) who will not allow tear gas and such now. SHAMEFUL. On another front, I see the dems/deep state are playing dirty, anything to win, right? I wish the Republican Party would start getting in the mud, way past time. Hey, Ray, I am all for going full commando. You got my vote and agreeance on your comment above.

      As for the "gremlins" about posting, it must be an internet issue, having problems here too.

      Delete
  4. Dr Waddy from Jack: Yes, another superlative essay from you! I'll be back after the Bills game.

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  5. Dr.Waddy et al:I enthusiastically second your endorsement of David Horowitz; he is brilliant, a very fine writer and possessed of demonstrated heroic mien. His experience as a leading '60's radical and his well justified rejection of their evil, made him the focus of vicious leftist calumny which has not caused him to lose a step.The far left invited Nemesis upon itself when it inspired him in his unrelenting evisceration of their benighted screed. He stands a true hero of the conservative movement.

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  6. Ray from Jack: I meant to address the above to you.

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  7. Dr.Waddy et al: Marxist-Leninists, surely the backbone of this insurrection, seek to exacerbate and bring to fruition, "inevitable" societal "contradictions" in order to hasten scientifically assured revolution. I would guess the President is holding back now in order to win the election. After that,I'm confident he will lower the boom. No, it isn't fair to the lawful of Portland and Rochester (and, by implication, so many of us as you have noted, Linda) but I think it is realpolitik. I hope what I think to be his actual intent is not misread by the real America as acquiescence to traitors. I don't think he would betray us. Its hard, but we must believe in him. He has proven himself many times over to be one of us, in much but if only by his defiance of the incalculable calumny directed at him and his family. We must not let him down; he is a wealthy man who could have retired in ease instead of fighting our fight at his age!

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  8. Ray, thanks for the kind words! That wasn't even an article -- just a modest blog post -- but maybe I will turn it into an article. It's a little wanting on the evidence and examples side, but that can be fixed.

    Linda, I share your mortification at the thought that so many intelligent people on the Left openly condone intimidation and even direct physical violence against "fascists" -- that is, anyone who dares contradict them. The execution style shootings of two LA County Sheriff's deputies today is a natural outgrowth of that sort of contempt. The good news (if "good" news can ever be gleaned from such events) is that, the more violent the Left becomes, the more votes Trump will get in November!

    And, Linda, I agree 100% that the mind control that the Left is attempting to exert over ordinary Americans, via our media, popular culture, education system, etc., is THE story of the decade, maybe even the century. For, when you control how people think, all else is secondary.

    Ray, I basically agree that force must always be met with force...or else with surrender. Those are the only two realistic options. BUT...I would disagree that this was the response of the European establishment, by and large, to Marxism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Sure, revolutionaries were often nipped in the bud, but revolutionary THINKERS were tolerated. Marx was scarcely inconvenienced because of his toxic beliefs and pronouncements. The British, who were too civilized by half, gave him and many other misfits the equivalent of asylum. If only he HAD been, say, hanged as an enemy of the state, modern history might have charted a completely different course.

    Ray/Linda, I see you want the riots suppressed forcefully and federally tout de suite. Be careful what you wish for. This would be spun as fascism sprung to life by the media -- and it would also, if it succeeded, deprive the American people of a great object lesson in why the Left can't be trusted with the White House. Remember, red parts of the country ARE dealing decisively and successfully with insurrectionists and anarchists. It's blue areas that are succumbing to chaos. I say...let them!

    I think Jack has it right: after the election, which I assume will confirm Trump as our "Dear Leader", the violence will escalate massively. That would be the time to "lower the boom", as Jack puts it. The time for subtlety and self-restraint will have passed, and the need for order will be paramount.

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